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fingers unconscious of soap or nail- in 1617, but this is palpably a mis. brush, flakes of pie crust, and stains take. Burton was born in 1576, and of bacon and tallow candles. This died in 1640. He was, therefore, accounts for its often mutilated and more directly a_contemporary of unsightly appearance. The usual de- Shakespeare than Fuller can be conficiencies are the genuine title-page sidered, and may have known him and portrait engraved by Martin personally either in Oxford or LonDroeshout, with Ben Jonson's verses, don. His melancholy was like that which have been quoted until school- of Jacques ; "compounded of many boys know them by heart.
simples, extracted from many objects, Twenty of Shakespeare's plays were a most humorous sadness."
An originally published separately in thony Wood describes him thus :quarto during his life ; dingy-looking “I have heard some of the ancients little pamphlets, priced sixpence of Christ Church often say, that his each. These play-books, nevertheless, company was very merry, facete, and raised the venom of Prynne, who in juvenile; and no one in his time did his "Histriomastix," published in surpass him for his ready and dex1633, but written many years earlier, terous interlarding his common dissays:“that they were more numer- courses among them with verses from ous than Bibles, and set forth in a the poets, or sometimes from classic costlier form.” The early quartos are authors; which being then all the now aves rarissime, and seldom, in- fashion in the University, made his deed, met with. There are choice company the more acceptable.” From specimens of them, which belonged to such a man, and in such a book, we King George the Third and Garrick, are disappointed in finding only three in the British Museum ; Malone's are allusions to, or quotations from, at the Bodleian, and John Kemble's, at Shakespeare. Here
they are, from the Chatsworth. These collectors gave section on “Love- Melancholy.” enormous sums for their rarities, which have been exceeded since. A
1, When Venus ran to meet her roseperfect copy of “Richard III.,” date cheeked Adonis, as an elegant poet of ours
sets her out 1594~the only one known-sold at
The bushes in the way, Evans's, in 1825, for sixty-six guineas.
Some catch her by the necke, some kiss John Kemble gave Mr. Stace £30 her face, for “Romeo and Juliet,” date, 1597. Some twine about her legs to make her “Love's Labour Lost,"' 1598, brought stay, at the sale of Rhodes's library, in And all did covet her for to embrace." 1825, £53 118. 8d. ; and at Bindley's,
2. “Who ever heard a story of more woe £40 10s. The "Merchant of Venice,
Than that of Juliet and her Romeo." 1600, has produced £52 108. Henry
3. “And many times those which at first V.,” 1600, £27 68. ; King Lear,"
sight, cannot fancy or affect each other,
but are harsh and ready to disagree, offend1608, £28 ; “Taming of a Shrew,"
ed with each other's carriage, like Benedict 1594, £21; * Midsummer Night's and Betteris, in the comedy, begin at last Dream," 1600, imperfect, £25 108.; to dote insensibly one upon another."
Merry Wives," 1602, £28; “Pericles," 1619, at Sotheby's, in 1826, We might have expected comment, £35'; and “Othello," 1622, £42, and either disparaging, or laudatory, or £29 8s. These sums may frighten critical, but we discover none. the uninitiated in bibliomania, who After Fuller, we find Shakespeare will lift up their hands in wonder at occasionally mentioned, and always human enthusiasm or insanity. with warm admiration, by Dugdale,
Robert Burton, our Democritus Dryden, Phillips-author of "TheJunior, as he styles himself, read atrum Poetarum”-Sir T. Blount, and everything, and appears to have re- Anthony Wood. Some trifling informembered all that he read. His mation also concerning him may be book, “ Anatomy of Melancholy,” a gleaned from the MSS. of Aubrey very encyclopædia in itself, was and Oldys. Rymer was the first who first published in 1621-two years an- ventured on a vituperative tone, in a tecedent to the Shakespearean folio, splenetic survey of “Othello," puband five years after the poet's death. lished in 1693, in a small volume in Dr. Ferriar says it originally appeared 12mo, bearing the title of "A Short View of Tragedy, with some reflec- ment and silence. At last, when all tions on Shakespeare, and other Prac- began to exhibit symptoms of wearititioners for the Stage. We are ness, the medium proposed a resort to indebted to Aubrey for the tittle- the alphabet, and the "beloved " tattle, not perpetuated by Rowe, that spirits were respectfully invited to Shakespeare, in his early youth, was manifest themselves. The answer apprenticed to his father's trade of a came, much after the mode in which butcher; and that when he knocked an apology is made for the indisposia bullock or a calf on the head, he tion of a popular performer whose did it in high style, indulging in a name is in the programme, and in prefatory oration and a theatrical these words duly conveyed by knocks: Hourish. The tale will do to match “We request to say, that to-night it with what Mr. William Guthrie, of is impossible.” At supper, a gentleGeographical Grammar celebrity, tells man sitting next to the professor us in an essay upon English tragedy, asked, whether it had ever occurred published circa 1750, as a well-known to him or any of his gifted brethren, tradition ; namely, that Shakespeare to rap up Shakespeare, and solicit him shut himself up all night in West- to clear surmises long in controversy. minster Abbey when he wrote the The reply was, No; we have not scene of the ghost in “Hamlet." yet got so far back. The spirits we Both fables may parallel with the can evoke at present are of more reequally authentic but more appalling cent date.” Since then, it has been anecdote fathered upon Michael An- written that Bacon and even Dante gelo Caravaggio, that he poignarded have come into the spiritual court, a man to catch the agonies of death somewhere in America, when called. from a real subject when painting Further, we have seen a printed his “Crucifixion.” The truth of the pamphlet, in which, on the authority latter horror
is not established, because of a clergyman, an official exorcist, it Dr. Night-Thoughts Young wrote is stated, that even the Arch-Enemy verses implying that he believed it. was compelled to answer a summons Is it not rather a modern application and avow his identity. Surely, then, of the legend fastened on Parrhasius, the chronological obstacle being thus who is said to have bought a very old levelled, an easy mode presents itself man offered for sale amongst the of solving many literary questions by Olynthian captives of Philip of Ma- the direct evidence which has hithercedon, for, the express purpose of to eluded research. Here would be putting him to death with protracted a permanent benefit conferred on adtorture, the better to pourtray the vancing science, and a more satisfacpassions of “ Prometheus chained to tory application of the assumed powthe rock,” in a picture on which he ers, than the bewilderment of elderly was then engaged.
ladies of both sexes, by hoisting a A few years since, the writer of medium to the ceiling in an armthis notice happened to make an in- chair, without visible agency, floating significant unit in a party, including him round on airy nothing, and lowsome celebrities of note, who“ assist- ering him again when the tour de ed,” as our French friends say, at a jonglerie has run its course. special spirit-rapping seance in the The numerous and meritorious bioneighbourhood of London ; on which graphers of Shakespeare, from Rowe occasion a leading medium of the day down to Mr. Fullom, inclusive, have was expected to exhibit his most been unable to determine when he wonderful endowments. But, some- first began to develop his poetical how or other, the spirits were refrac- genius. The earliest printed edition tory, and came not when they were of “Venus and Adonis” bears the called. There were none of the pro- date of 1593, when the author was in mised hands and arms dimly flutter- his twenty-ninth year. There is a ing in the darkness - visible; no copy in the Malone collection at Oxgrasping of knees under the table; ford, for which he (Malone) gave £25. nothing was elicited beyond a not If offered for sale now, it would bring very palpable motion of the heavy £100. But it may have been compiece of furniture round which the posed while the writer was yet a expectant group sat in disappoint- youth, and the publication delayed
until time and opportunity cohered Hathaway was granted on the 28th of favourably. He gave no striking November, 1582, while the parish regisspecimens of precocious verse, as did ter of the baptism of Susanna, their Cowley and Pope ; nor can we affirm eldest child, is entered on the 26th of of him as Pope sings of himself- May, 1583; an untoward proximity of
dates, which induces Lord Campbell to “He left no calling for his idle trade, No duty broke, no father disobey'd ;
pronounce, with a bias of judicial seveAs yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,
rity, that the lady being so much older, He lisp'd in numbers for the numbers
was the seducer, and - no better than she should be.” The last term implies
habitual levity, for which we have We incline to think that when no warrant in evidence. The varium Shakespeare began to write, he wrote et mutabile semper femina of Virgil for bread ; that “necessity of pre- cannot justly be applied to the fair sent life," was his stimulating im- Anne of Shottery, against whom pulse ; and that when the bread no charge of inconstancy has been came, and the reputation along with alleged, and who, it is but fair to it, he wrote more eagerly, quickly, remember, was much more below her and better, as men do when the lover in intellect than she had the aurum palpabile gives form and advantage of him in years. Her antipressure to their literary aspirations. matrimonial lapse (assuming a cer
We know that Shakespeare made tainly disputable hypothesis to be an imprudent love-match at little the only true one), was a perillous more than eighteen, with a rustic token of confidence not to be excused beauty seven or eight years older than or recommended on grounds religious, himself. The disparity was little moral, or political. It occurs, neverthen, but it became more as time theless, commonly enough, down to rolled on, and he still flourished, a our own days, in the fashion of country handsome man of five-and-forty, while wooing in that line of life, and she, as was most probable, waned often without unhappy results. The into a fading matron of fifty-three. favoured swain is not likely to treaBut we do not know, and have no sure it up as an after reproach when right to infer, that they lived unhap- he merges into the husband. Shakepily, or grew tired of each other; or speare seems to have had his own case that the single bequest of the second in memory when he thus suggests an best bed“ in Shakespeare's will is any apology for a supposititious one :indication of conjugal alienation, indifference, or contempt. This ques
“If you, in your own proof tion has been so ably argued by Mr. Have vanquish'd her resistance Knight, Dr. Severn, and others, that And so extenuate the 'fore-hand sin.”
she did embrace me as a husband, it is needless to dwell further on it here. The existing laws secured a That Shakespeare's family never wife in a due share of her husband's resided permanently with him in property; and beds, first or second- London, where his line of business best, which were more costly in their obliged him to pass so much of his furniture in the olden times than they own time, appears to be a settled are now, were often left as special point, as also that he visited them tokens of regard. A more direct and constantly and periodically before his convincing proof of matrimonial har- retirement from active life, when he mony may be drawn from the fact set up his staff of rest amongst them. that Mrs. Shakespeare, who outlived In London, no doubt, he was sought her husband seven years, was, at her after, and beset by many temptations. own desire, buried by his side. The Delilahs may have been nume
Some prying archæologists, delving rous and seductive, but we have no into the records of the Ecclesiastical reason to suppose that he was of a Court, at Worcester, have unearthed libertine turn, or a fast man upon the awkward fact that the license for town, although our mind and conWilliam Shakespeare to marry Anne science misgive us that he may have
* Dr. Johnson, in the copy of the will, printed with his edition of 1765, says brown best bed,
made an occasional slip, and that ella in his familiarity with agriculthere may have been a closer intimacy tural nomenclature. He discourses between him and comely Madam of war with the practical science Davenant, of the Crown Inn at Ox- of Vegetius, Polyænus, or Folard. ford, than canon-law permits. We He is as much at home in the idioms fear the anecdote is not altogether of the quarter-deck, as if he had idle, which tells how a grave citizen been ship-mate with Drake, Frobisher, of the town one day met young Will or Hawkins. Mr. Malone, Mr. J. P. Davenant, the embryo laureate, run- Collier, and Lord Chancellor Campning hastily along the street, and thus bell decide that he acquired his legal accosted him : Where are you hur- lore in an attorney's office. Lord rying to, my lad?” “To see my god- Campbell, in particular, holds that father, Shakespeare, who has just juridical phrases and forensic alluarrived." "A good boy, but he care- sions, in the extent and propriety with ful you are not taking God's name in which Shakespeare employs them, yain.”
could only proceed from a person who We are to bear in mind, however, had served a regular apprenticeship. that Sir William is, himself, the “ There is nothing," he says, “ so danrelater of the anecdote, and was, with gerous, as for one, not of the craft, to more tenderness for his muse than tamper with our free-masonry. In for his mother, specially desirous of the House of Commons I have heard a establishing a natural as well as county member who meant to intimate a spiritual relationship with his illus- that he entirely concurred with the last trious sponsor; and everybody knows precedling speaker, say, 'I join issue too well how readily, in a gossiping with the honourable gentleman who town, a bit of local scandal, however has just sat down; the legal sense of idle, will embody itself in a jest, to which is, 'I fatly contradict all his treat this anecdote as evidence of facts, and deny his inferences.'" Mr. more than the currency of such a S. W. Fullom, unless we entirely misstory.
apprehend his meaning, has fallen We also know that Shakespeare into the same misconception, at p. 94 migrated from Stratford to London, of his late highly interesting “History either because some youthful frolic, of the Player and Poet," where he induced by thoughtless associates, says, with reference to Lord Camphad made his native town too hot to bell's opinion, “None will dispute hold him, or that the wolf growled Shakespeare's law, when it is entoo closely around his domestic dorsed by a Lord Chancellor: But hearth, or that prospects had opened, while joining issue on this point, we or that his innate convictions spurred demur to the rule that this proficiency him on to a wider sphere of action, was acquired in a lawyer's office." and a more distinguished arena. Thé Technicals are, in truth, delicate immediate cause is of less conse- weapons to handle, and are not always quence than the effect. He became happily wielded, even by those whose successively, actor, author, manager, trade it is to use and understand and theatrical proprietor; and when them. The old general in “ Roderick fairly embarked in these avocations, Random” backs out upon sheer ignohis time and faculties must have been rance when called upon to explain too completely absorbed to admit of the meaning of an epaulement, a term episodial deviations. But when did ever in his mouth in connexion with this course commence, and until it a favourite exploit. He would excommenced, what did he do? Here pound the mystery practically, he we wander in the mazes of conjecture, said, when his majesty thought with no certain clue to follow, or proper to give him the command of compass to steer by.
an army. We, ourselves, knew a We now pass to the inferential military engineer-he was a Comdeductions drawn from the amazing pany's man, and not a king's officerperspicuity with which Shakespeare who, when he was asked what a handles the technical terms peculiar Martello tower was, unhesitatingly to almost every subject of which he described it as a wooden structure treats. Not Coke, or Grotius, or that went upon wheels. Puffendorff are more correct in their Always building upon his free legal phraseology. He rivals Colum- and correct application of technicals,
Shakespeare has been set down for “Laird” or a “Bailie” of those days, to many things which he certainly was set the Londoners on a roar, and to not. Mr. Knight has no doubt that amuse after ages. Others, again, he was a practical farmer. Schlegel think that he made a tour on the thinks he must have been a disciple Continent, and journeyed through of Æsculapius, and that medical France to Germany, Italy, Spain, students may look upon his truthful delineations of the mental diseases,
"To Nova Zembla, and the Lord knows
where.” melancholy, delirium, lunacy, &c., as a catalogue of real
Mr. Dr. John Sherwin, M.D., in a William J. Thoms is morally certain voluminous MS. in 4to, preserved in that he was a soldier, and saw actual the library of the Literary Institution service in a campaign in the Low of Bath, entitled, “Vindicatio ShakeCountries. The author of “ Vonved speareana," delivers himself of a longthe Dane” determines that his dramas cherished conviction that Shakespeare afford internal evidence that a portion is to be powerfully illustrated by a of his life was spent at sea. How knowledge of the Northern dialects. much he was not sure, but a single How, wlien, and where did he fall in year, he says, would be enough for the way of this acquisition; and how such a genius as his to achieve can we trace it in his works? We that comprehensive familiarity with should as readily collect from thence the marvels of ocean, that nastery that he was personally intimate with over the seaman's vocabulary which the vernacular of Llewellyn, Hoel, his plays, the “Tempest,” in particu- and Cadwallader. lar, profusely evince. In a note on the Some, too, have contended that opening scene of the "Tempest,” Dr. Shakespeare followed Adam's trade, Johnson says--" In this naval dia- grounded on horticultural passages in logue, perhaps the first example of the "Winter's Tale” and Richard sailor's language exhibited on the the Second.” Some, also, that he was stage, there are, as I have been told an apothecary, from his minute invenby a skilful navigator, some inaccu- tory of the starved man's shop, in racies and contradictory orders." "Romeo and Juliet." Why do they
More than one commentator are of not enrol him as a master of the opinion that Shakespeare resided for hounds, from the splendid description some time in Edinburgh, with the by Theseus of his pack, in “A Midcompany of players of which he was summer Night's Dream !'' oras a horsea member; but this rests on a mere dealer, from the consummate knowconjecture, to which we may oppose ledge of equine anatomy, in “Venus the question, had it been so, would and Adonis ?” which no auctioneer in Shakespeare's comedies have failed Tattersall’s, no veterinary surgeon in to exhibit an effective reflection the service could surpass, or, perhaps, of Scottish character and dialect. compete with. It excites our wonder Jamy, in Henry V., is no such por- as often as we recur to the passagetrait: it is unworthy of Shakespeare's “Look, when a painter would surpass the life, hand, and the haste in which he is
In limning out a well-proportioned steed, withdrawn indicates a sense of weak- His art with Nature's workmanship at ness and dissatisfaction in the poet. strife, It shows however, his readiness, As if the dead the living should exceed; to use Scottish as freely as Welsh
So did this horse excel a common one, character, had he possessed equal
In shape, in courage, colour, pace, knowledge and facility respecting it.
and bone. Of course, after the accession of "Round-hoofed, short-jointed, fetlocksshag James, there would have been a reason
and long, for such forbearance. There was Broad breast, full eye, small head, and
nostrils wide, none, however, before it ; and from the store-house of Shakespeare's
High crest, short ears, legs straight, and shrewd and lively observation,
passing strong, making notes of all men's humours
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock,
tender hide; and eccentricities, and pressed upon Look, what a horse should have he constantly by an audience as exacting
did not lack, of variety as our own, it is nearly Save a proud rider on so proud a certain there would have issued a