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The soil that erst so seemly was to seen,
Hawthorn had lost his motley livery,
THE PRECISE TAILOR.
BY SIR JOHN HARRINGTON.
[SIR JOHN HARRINGTON was born at Kelston, near Bath, in 1561. Queen Elizabeth was his godmother, and took him under her patronage ; but he afterwards greatly offended her, by receiving knighthood from the Earl of Essex. James I. made him a Knight of the Bath. He died in 1612.
Harrington was the first who translated Ariosto into English. His epigrams are his best productions.]
A TAILOR, thought a man of upright dealing-
And zealously to keep the Sabbath's rest,
[WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE was born at Stratford-upon-Avon, in 1564, and was educated at the free school of that town; afterwards, he was placed in the office of an attorney. At eighteen years of age he married the daughter of a farmer, and soon after was obliged to leave his native place, for reasons which have been differently related. It is said that when he arrived in London, he obtained a living by holding horses during the performances in the theatre at Southwark; but this has been very reasonably questioned. He soon, however, became an actor, wrote his celebrated plays, and often performed the part of the ghost in his own “Hamlet.” His extraordinary talents soon rendered him eminent; he was a favourite both with Elizabeth and James I., and his prudence enabled him to accumulate considerable property, with which he retired to the place of his birth, where he purchased a house and estate which he called “New-place,” and which, by the munificence of a few individuals, has lately become the property of the nation. Having enjoyed his retirement four years, he died on his birthday in 1616, and was buried in the church at Stratford ; a monument was erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey in 1741, the expense of which was defrayed by two benefits, one at Drury Lane Theatre and the other at Covent Garden.
The amount of learning possessed by Shakspeare has been a subject of great controversy. That he was well versed in history, and was not unacquainted with classical subjects, is evident from his plays. But while his genius was such, that, however he acquired it, his mind was stored with knowledge, his fame rests immoveably on his acquaintance with the human heart, and the mastery he exercised over its passions and its weaknesses. His apparent indifference to the judgment of future times caused him to neglect the means required to preserve and authenticate his productions before his death, and hence many attempts have been made to ascribe to him what he never wrote, and even, in some instances, that which would have been utterly unworthy of him. But the imposture was generally discovered without difficulty.]
Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,