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THE BOOK OF
BORN at Stratford-on-Avon, in Warwickshire. The house in which he was born still standing. Educated at the Stratford Grammar School. Married when only eighteen years of age, and was compelled, either by the wants of his family or the fear of punishment for deer-stealing, to leave his native town for London, about the year 1586. It is said that he earned his living in London for some time by holding horses at the door of the theatre. However this may be, he soon became one of the proprietors of the theatre, and commenced his unrivalled career as a dramatic writer and poet. He realized a fortune, was specially noticed by Queen Elizabeth, and, having bought a house and land at his native Stratford, he retired there in 1612. Died in 1616, and was buried in Stratford Church. Shakspere's dramatic works are thirty-seven in number, and are usually divided into tragedies, comedies, and historical plays. The great tragedies are King Lear, Macbeth, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet. The chief comedies are The Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and All's Well that Ends Well. Among the historical plays, the finest perhaps are Julius Cæsar, Coriolanus, Richard II., Richard III., and Henry VIII,
THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN,
ALL the world's a stage,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice ;
THE quality of mercy is not strained,