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The want of an edition oi Shakespeare which would give the student oi 
reader the w^orks of the Great Poet in a convenient form, with large type, 
unburdened with discursive or critical notes, but only such as would be neces- 
sary to a more perfect understanding of the text, has been so often expressed 
as to induce t)ie publishers to issue the present edition. The text is that of 
the Collier Folio of 1632. 

The preparation of the Notes was confided to the late George Long Duy- 
ckinck, Es(]^., a gentleman of rare taste. It has been the aim, by close con- 
densation, to convey a greater amount of information directly illustrative of 
the text than has ever been presented in a similar form. 

The notes illustrative of obsolete words, expressions, and customs, have 
b<^en derived from Mr. Collier's first edition. Knight's Pictorial Shakespeare, 
the works of Dyce, Douce, Halliwell, Hunter, Richardson, and the American 
editions of Messrs. Verplanck and "Hudson, with such aid as Mr. Duyckinck's 
long acquaintance with the Dramatic and general Literature of the <age of 
Ehzabeth and James could furnish. 

The head of the Poet, which forms the frontispiece, is a faithful co'py of 
the engraving by Martin Droeshout, which is printed on the title-page of the 
folios of 1G23 and 1032, and upon which Ben Jonson wrote the celebrated 
lines testifying so decidedly to the faithfulness of the likeness, — a stronger 
guaranty than can be claimed for any other portrait of the Dramatist existing. 

By the addition of the exhaustive Life of Shakespeare, Players' Dedi- 
cation, and Address to Readers, the Will of Shakespeare, the commendatory 
verses of men of the time, a thorough History of the Drama and Stage, 
a full descriptive introduction to each play, ample elucidatory notes, the 
Poetical Works, and the numerous spirited illustrations, it is believed nothing 
more can be desired to make this a truly complete edition of the Works of 


[A Literal Cepy from the Edition of ifiij.] 


To the mod Noble and Incoinparaole Paire of Brethren. William Earle of Pembroke, 8fc 
Lord Chamberlaine to the Kings moft Excellent Maiefty. 
And Philip Earle of Montgomery, &c. Gentleman of his Maiefties Bed-Chamber. 
Both Knights of the moft Noble Order of the Garter, and our fingular good Lords. 

Right Honourable, 

HILST we ftudie to be thankful in our oarticular, for the many fauors 
we haue receiued from your L. L. we are falne vpon the ill fortune, to 
mingle two the moft diuerfe things that can bee, feare, and rafhnefle ; 
riflinefte in the enterprize, and feare of the fuccefle. For, when we valew 
the places your H. H. fuftaine, we cannot but know their dignity greater, 
then to defcend to the reading of thefe trifles : and, while we name them 
trifles, we have depriu'd our felues of the defence of our Dedication. But 
fince your L.L. haue beene pleas'd to thinke thefe trifles fome-thmg, heere- 
tofore ; and haue profequuted both them, and their Author liuing, with fo much fauour : we 
hope, that (they out-liuing him, and he not hauing the fate, common with fome, to be exe- 
quutor to his owne writings) you will vfe the like indulgence toward them, vou haue done 
vnto their parent. There is a great difference, whether any Booke choofe his Patrones, or 
finde them : This hath done both. For, fo much were your L. L. likings of the feuerall 
parts, when they were a£ted, as before they were publifhed, the Volume afk'd to be yours. 
We haue but collefted them, and done an office to the dead, to procure his Orphanes, 
Guardians ; without ambition either of felfe-profit, or fame ; oneJ[^ to keepe the memory of 
fo worthy a Friend, & Fellow aliue, as was our SHAKESPEARE^ by humble offer of his 
playes, to your moft noble patronage. Wherein, as we haue iuftly obferued, no man to 
come neere your L. L. but with a kind of religious addrefle; it hath bin the height of our 
care, who are the Prefenters, to make the prefent worthy of your H. H. by the perfection. 
But, there we muft alfo craue our abilities to be confiderd, my Lords. We cannot go 
beyond Our owne powers. Country hands reach foorth milke, creame, fruites, or what 
they haue : and many Nations (we haue heard) that had not gummes & incenfe, obtained 
their requefts with a leauened Cake. It was no fault to approch their Gods, by what 
meanes they could : And the moft, though meaneft, of things are made more precious, 
when they are dedicated to Temples. In that name therefore, we moft humbly confecrate 
to your H. H. thefe remaines of your feruant Shakefpeare : that what delight is in them, 
may be euer your L. L. the reputation his, & the faults ours, if any be committed, by a 
pavre fo carefuU to fhew their gratitude both to the liuing, and the dead, as is 

Your Lordfhippes moft bounden, 

loHN Heminge. 
Henry Condell, 

[A Literal Copy from the Edition of 1623.] 


ROM the moft able, to him that can but fpell : There you are number' d. 
We had rather you were weighd. Efpecially, when the fate of all Bookes 
depends vpon your capacities: and not of your heads alone, but of your puifes. 
Well ! it is now publique, Sc you wil Hand for your priuiledges wee know : 
to read, and cenfure. Do fo, but buy it firft. That doth beft commend a 
Booke, the Stationer faies. Then, how odde foeuer vour braines be, or your 
wlfedomes, make your licence the fame, and fpare not. ludge your fixe-pen'orth, your 
(hillings worth, your fiue {hillings worth at a time, or higher, fo you rife to the iuft rates, 
and welcome. But, what euer you do, Buv. Cenfure will not driue a Trade, or make 
the lacke go. And though you be a Magiftrate of wit, and fit on the Stage at Black-Friers, 
or the Cock-pit, to arraigne Playes dailie, know, thefe Playes haue had their triall alreadie, 
and ftood out all Appeales ; and do now come forth quitted rather by a Decree of Court, 
then any purchas'd Letters of commendation. 

It had bene a thing, we confefle, worthie to haue bene wiflied, that the Author him- 
felfe had liu'd to haue fet forth, and ouerfeen his owne writings ; But fince it hath bin 
ordain'd otherv.'ife, and he by death departed from that right, we pray you do not envie his 
Friends, the office of their care, and paine, to haue collefted & publifh'd them ; and fo to 
haue publifh'd them, as where (before) vou were abus'd with diuerfe fl:olne, and furreptitious 
copies, maimed, and deformed by the frauds and flealthes of iniurious importers, that expos'd 
them : euen thofe, are now ofFer'd to \our view cur'd, and perfeifl: of their limbes ; and all 
the reft, abfolute in their»numbers, as he conceiued them. Who, as he was a happie imi- 
tator of Nature, was a moft gentle exprefTer of it. His mind and hand went together : 
And what he thought, he vttered with that eafineffe, that wee haue fcarfe receiued from 
him a blot in his papers. But it is not our prouince, who onely gather his works, and giue 
them you, to praife him. It is yours that reade him. And there we hope, to your diuers 
capacities, you will finde enough, both to draw, and hold you : for his wit can no more lie 
hid, then it could be loft. Reade him, therefore; and againe, and againe : And if then 
you doe not like him, furely you are in fome manifeft danger, not to vnderftand him. And 
fo we leaue you to other of his' Friends, whom if you need, can bee your guides : if you 
neede them not, you can leade your felues, and others. And fuch Readers we wifh him. 

loHN Heminge. 
Henrie Condell 










love's LABOUR 's LOST . 







THE winter's TALE 













POEMS ..... 



















I'for. the Effigtes of my worthy Friend, the Author, 
Master William Shakespeare, and his Works. 
Spectatoi', this life's shadow is : — to see 
ITie truer image, and a livelier he. 
Turn reader. But observe his comie vein, 
Laugh ; and proceed next to a tragic strain, 
Then weep : so, — when thou find'st two contraries, 
Two ditt'eient passions from thy wrapt soul rise, — 
Say, (who alone effect such wondere could) 
Rare Shiike-speare to the life thou dost behold. 

. In Epitaph on the admirable Dramatic Poet, W. Shake- 
Wliat need my Shakespeare for his honour'd boneg. 
The labour of an age in piled stones ; 
Or that his hallow'd reUques should be hid 
Under a star-ypoiuting pyramid i 
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame. 
What need'st thou such dull witness of thy name ? 
Thou, in our wonder and astonishment. 
Hast built thyself a lasting monument : 
For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring art, 
Thy easy numbers flow ; and that each part 
Hath, fiom the leaves of thy unvalued book. 
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took ; 
Then thou, our fancy of herself bereaving. 
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving ; 
And, so sepulchred, in such pomp dost lie, 
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die. 

/b the Memory of the deceased Author, Master W. Shake- 
Shake-speare, at length thy pious fellows give 
The world thy works ; tliy works, by which outlive 
Thy tomb thy name must: when that stone is rent. 
And time dissolves thy Stratford monument, 
Here we alive shall view thee still : this book. 
When brass and marble fade, shall make thee look 
Fresh to all ages ; when posterity 
Shall loathe what 's new, think all is prodigy 
That is not Shakespeare's, every line, each verse, 
Here shall revive, redeem thee from thy heai'se. 
Nor fii'e, nor cankering age, as Naso said 
Of bis, thy wit-fraught book shall once invade : 

I An Epitaph on the admirable Draraatio Poet. W. Shakespeare. 1 
rtese lines, lilte the preceding, have no name appended to them in 
Che folio, 1G3'J. but the aulhorsnip is ascertained Sy the publication 
n/ them as iMilton's, in the edition of his Poems in 101.3. Svo. Wa 
give them as they stand there, because it is evident that they irera 
then printed from a copy corrected by the author : the Tariations arc 
interesting, and Malone pointed out only one, and that certainly the 
least important. Instead of " weak witness'' in line (i the folio 1G32 
has '■ dull witness ;" instead of " live-long monument," in line 8, the 
folio has " tftsling monument :" instead of " heart," in line 10, the 
folio hajj 'par:,'' an evident misprint: and instead of *' itself be- 
reaving," in line 1:1, the folio has ■'A(?r.^e// bereaving." The last is 
the difierence mentioned by Malone, who aUo places " John Milton" 
at the end, as if the name were found in the folio of Hi-3'.i. 

^ Than when thy half-sword parleying Romans spake :] Leonard 
Diggee prefixed a long copy of verses to the edition of Shakespeare's 
Poems in IfttO. Svo, in which he makes this passage, referring to 
" Julius C-esar." more distinct ; he also there speaks of the audi.;nces 
Bhakespeare's plays at that time drew, in comparison with Ben. Jon- 
•on's. This is the only part of his production worth adding in a note. 
"So have 1 seen, when Ceesar would appear. 
And on the stage at half-sword parley were 
Brutup and Cassius, 0, how the audience 
Were ravish 'd ! with what wonder they went thence ' 

Nor shall I e'er believe or think thee dead, 

(Though miss'd) until our bankrupt stage be sped 

(Impossible) with some new strain t" outrdo 

Passions of Juliet, and her Romeo; 

Or till I hear a scene more nobly take. 

Than when thy half-sword parleying Romans spake :* 

Till these, till any of thy volume's rest. 

Shall with more file, more feeling, be express'd. 

Be sure, (our Shake-speare,) thou canst never die. 

But, crowu'd with laurel, live eternally. 

* L. DiooEs. 

To the Memory of M. W. Shake-speare. 
We wonder'd (Shake-speare) that thou went'st so soon 
Fi'om the world's stage to the grave's tiring-room : 
We thought thee dead ; but this thy printed worth 
Tells thy spectators, that thou went'st but forth 
To enter with applause. An actors art 
Can die, and live to act a second part : 
That 's but an exit of mortality, 
This a re-entrance to a plaudite. L M' 

To the Memory of my beloved, the Author, Mr. Willinn. 
Shakespeare, and what he hath left lus. 
To draw no envy (Shakespeare) on thy name, 
Am I thus ample to thy book, and fame ; 
While 1 confess thy writings to be such. 
As neither man, nor muse, can praise too much ; 
'T is ti'ue, and all men's suffrage ; but these ways 
Wei'e not tlie paths I meant unto thy praise : 
For seeliest ignorance on these may light, 
Which, when it sounds at best, but eolroes right , 
Or blind affection, which doth ne'er advance 
The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance ; 
Or crafty malice might pretend this praise. 
And think to ruin, where it seem'd to raise : 
These are, as some infamous bawd, or whore, 
Sliould praise a matron ; what could hurt her more 
But thou art proof against tliem ; and, indeed. 
Above th' ill fortune of them, or the need. 
I, thei'efore, will begin : — Soul of the age, 
The applause, delight, the wouder of our stage, 
My Shakespeare, rise ! I will not lodge thee by 
Chaucer, or Spenser ; or bid Beaumont lie 
A little further, to make thee a room* : 

When, some new day, they would not brook a line 

Of tedious, though well-labour'd, Cataline; 

Sejanus too, was irksome : they priz'd more 

' Honest' iago, or the jealous ISIoor. 

And though the Fox and subtil Alchymist, 

Long intermitted, could not quite be mist. 

Though these have sham'd all th' ancients, and might fi.» 

Their author's merit with a crown of bays, 

Yet these sometimes, even at a friend's desire, 

Acted, have scarce defray'd the sea-coal fire. 

And door-keepers : when, let but Falstaff come, 

Hal, Poins, the rest, — you scarce shall have a room. 

All is so pesterM : let but Beatrice 

And Benedick be seen, lo I in a trice 

The cock-pit, galleries, boxes, all are full, 

To hear Malvolio. that crcss-garter'd gull. 

Brief, there is nothing in his wit-fraught book, 

Wliose sound we would not hear, on whose worth lo<*k," &c 

* Perhaps the initials of John Marston. 

* Referring to lines by William Basse, then circulating in MS . 
and not printed (as far as is now known) until IG3.'3, when they -were 
falsely imputed to Dr. Donne, in the edition of his poems in in*i 
year. All the MS3. of the lines, now extant, differ in min'ite pa; 




Thou art a nioniiiiient without a tomb ; 

And aii alive still, while thy book doth live. 

And we have wits to read, aud praise to give. 

That I not n)ix thee so, my biaiu excuses ; 

I mean, with great but disproportion'd niuseu: 

For, if I thought my judgmcut were of yeai*, 

I should commit thee surely with thy peers ; 

And tell how far thou did»t our Lyiy outshiue, 

Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe's mighty line : 

And thougn thou hadst small Latin, and less Greek, 

From thence to houour thee, 1 would not seek 

For names ; but call forth thundering .iEschylus, 

Euripides, and Sophocles, to us, 

I'acuvius, Aeeius. him of Cordova dead. 

To live again, to hear thy buskin tread 

And shake a stage : or, when tliy socks were on. 

Leave thee alone, for the comparison 

Of all that insolent Greece, or haughty Rome, 

Sent forth, ov since did from their ashes come. 

Tiiurnph, my IJiitjiin I thou hast one to show, 

To whom all scenes oi Europe homage owe. 

He was nut of au age, but for all time ; 

And all the muses still were in tlfeir prime, 

When like Apollo he came forth to warm 

Our ears, or like a Mercury to chann. 

Nature herself was pr-oud of his designs, 

And joy'd to wear the dressing of his hues ; 

Which were so richly spun, and woveg so fit, 

As since she will vouclisafe no other wit 

Tlie meri'y Greek, tart Aristuphanes, 

Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please ; 

But antiquated and deserted lie, 

As tliey were not of Nature's family. 

■yet must I not give Nature all ; thy art. 

My gentle Shakespeare, must eujoy a part: 

For though the poet's matter nature be, 

His nj't doth give the fashion ; and that he. 

Who casta to write a living line, must sweat, 

(Such as thine ai'e) and stiike the second heat 

Upf)n the muses' auvil ; tui'u the same, 

(And himself with it) that he thinks to frame ; 

Oj' foi' the laurel he may gain a scorn, 

Koi- a good poet 's made, as well as boi-n : 

And such wert thou. Look, how the father's face 

Lives in his issue ; even so the I'ace 

Of Shakespeare's mind, aixl manueis, brightly shines 

In his well-turned and true-tiled lines; 

In each of which he seems to sliake a lance, 

As brandish'd at the eyes of ignorance. 

Sweet Swan of Avon, what a sight it were, 

To see thee in our water yet appear ; 

And make those flights upon the banks of Thames, 

That so did take I'Ui/.a, and our .James. 

liut stay ; I see thee in the hemisphere 

Advaucd, and made a constellation there: 

Shine forth, thou star of poets ; aud with rage, 

Or influence, chide, o'' cheer, the dioojiing stage ; 

Which, since thy flight from hence, hath niouru'd like 

And despairs day, but for thy volume 'e light. 


On worthy Master Sluiknapciirc. and his poems.' 
A mind reflecting ages past, whose clear 

And equal surface can make things appear, 

Dist.'ml a thousand yeais, and rcpiesont 

Them in their lively colours, extent : 

To outrun hasty time, retrieve the fates, 

UaM back the heavens, blow ope the iron gates 

Of death and Lethe, where (confused) lie 

Great heaps of luiuous mortality : 

I In that deep duslcy dungeon to disccin 
A royal ghost from churls ; by art to learn 
The physiognomy of shades, and give 
Tlieiu sudden birth, wondering how oft they live ; 
What story coldly tells, what poets feign 
At second hand, and picture without brain. 
Senseless and soul-less shows : to give a siago 
(Ample, and true with Ufe) voice, action, age, 
As Plato's year, and new scene of the woi-Id, 
Them unto us, or us to them had hurl'd : 
To raise our ancient sovereigns from their hearse, 
Make kings his subjects ; by exchanging vei-ee 
Enlive their pale trunks, that the present age 
Joys in their joy, and trembles at tlieir rage : 
Yet 80 to temper pas.sion, that our ears 
Take pleasure in their pain, and eyes in tears 
Botli weep aud smile ; fearful at plots so sad, 
Then laughing at our fear ; abus'd, and glad 
To be abus'd ; affected with that truth 
Which we perceive is false, pleas'd in that ruth 
At which we start, and. by elaboi ate play, 
Tortur'd aud tickled ; by a crab-like way 
Time past made pastime, and in ugly sort 
Disgorging up his ravin for our sport : — 
— While the plebeian imji, from lofty throne. 
Creates and rules a world, and works upon 
Mankind by secret engines ; now to move 
A chilling pity, then a rigorous love ; 
To strike up and stroke down, both j'ly and ire ; 
To steer th' affections ; and by heavenly fire 
Mould us anew, stuYn from ourselves : — 

This, and much more, which cannot be exprcss'd 
But by himself, his tongue, and his own breast, 
Was Shakespeare's freehold ; which his cunuing braio 
Improv'd by favour of the nine-fold train ; 
The l)uskiu'd muse, the comic queen, the grand 
And hinder t^aie of Clio, nimble hand 
Aud uimbler foot of the melodious pair, 
The silver-voiced lady, th'3 most fail- 
Calliope, whose speaking silence daunts. 
And she whose praise the heavenly body chants 
These jointly woo'd him, envying one another, 
(Obey'd by all as spouse, but lov'd as brother) 
And wrought a eui'ious robe, of sable grave, 
Fresh green, and pleasant yellow, red most brave 
And constant blue, rich purple, guiltless white. 
The lowly russet, and the scarlet bright ; 
Branch'd aud embroider'd like the painted spring 
Each leaf mateh'd with a tiowei*, and each string 
Of golden wire, each line of silk ; there run 
Italian works, whose thread the sisters spun ; 
Aud there did sing, or seem Jo sing, the choice 
Birds of a foreign note and various voice : 
Here hangs a mossy rock ; there plays a fair 
But chiding f.iuntain, pm-led : not the air. 
Nor clouds, nor thunder, but were living drawn ; 
Not out of common tiifany or lawn. 
But tine materials, which the muses know. 
And only know the countries where they grow. 

Now, when they could no longer him enjoy. 
In mortal garments pent, — death may destroy, 
They say, his body ; but his verse shall live. 
And more than nature takes our hands shall give 
In a less volume, but more strongly bound, 
Shakespeare shall breathe and speak; with Iinrel 

Which never fades ; fed with ambrosian meat, 
In A well-lined vesture, rich, and neat. 
So with this robe they clothe him, bid him wear it ; 
For tune shidl never stain, nor envy tear it. 

The friendly admirer of his endowments. 

I. M. S. 

I On worthy Muter Shakeiipeare, and hi» Poema] Thew linflnnj-'i I may have bepn appended to the other copy of verseK by him prefixed 
ijbboribed I .M. 8. in the lolio Ui:rj, •• probably Jiif'per Mayne," Kays ' to the folio of lli:j'i, in order that lii» initials should stand at the end 
Malone. Mo«t prob.nbly not, becauite Mayne haa lell nothing behind of tiie precont. We know of no other poet of tlic time capable ot 
I. in to lead unto KUppone that he could have produced thiesurpnjoiin;,' writin}. the ensuing lines. We feel morally certain that they are b) 
trioute [ M. 8. may possibly be lohii .Milton. .Vruf/.'Hr, and no name Miltou. 


XI n 

Upon the Lines, and Life, of the famous Scenic Poet. 
Master W. Shaiespeare. 

Thns« bands which voa so cbipp'd. go now and wring, 
Tou Britons brave ; for done are Shake-speare"s davs : 
His days are done th:it made the dainty plays, 

WTiicb made the Globe of heaven and earth to ring. 

Dried is that vein, dried is the Thespian spring, 
Tum'd all to tears, and Phcebus clouds his rays ; 
That corpse, that coffin, now bestick those bays. 

Which crown'd him poet first, then poet's king 
'J tragedies might any prvlogne have, 

AU those he made would scarce make one to this ; 
Whure fame, now that he gone is to the grave, 

(D«ath's public tiring-house) the Xuntius is: 

For. though his line of life went soon about. 

He life yet of his lines shall never out. 


The foUoinng are Ben Jonsoti's lines on the Portrait o' 
Shakespeare, precisely as they stand on a separate leaf 
opposite to the titte-pase of the edition of 1623, ana 
urhich are reprinted in the same place, irith some trifling 
variation of typography, in the folio of 1633. 


This Figure, that thou here seest put. 
It was for gentle Sh:ikespeare cut , 
TVTierein the Gi-aver had a strife 
With Xature, to out-do the life : 
0, could he but have drawn his wit 
A s well in brass, as he hath hit 
His face ; the Print would then surpass 
AU, that was ever writ in brass. 
But since he cannot Reader, look 
Not at bis picture, but his book. 




Richard Bdsbai>ge. 
John Hesoiisgs, 


William Kkvpt. 
TnosLiS PooPE. 
George Bet.\x, 


Richard Cowlt. 
johx lowcjk. 


Alex-i-vder Cooke. 


Robert Akmis, 


Nathan Field. 



Joseph Taylor. 
Robert Bexfield. 
Robert Gocghe. 
Richard RoBi>soat 
JoHX Shasc^b. 
JoH> Rio. 





Ix or '«r to make the reader acquainted with the ori^ of | 
the Kiighsh stage, Bueh as Shakespeare fouud it when he 
Deoarae conueoted with it, it is necessaiy to mentioD that a 
miracle-plaj- or mystery, (as it has been termed in modern 
times), is the oldest form of dramatic composition in our 
lano;uat;e. The stories of productions of this kind were 
derived fjnra the Sacred Writings, from the pseudo-evan- 
gelium, or fj-om the hves and legends of saints and martyi'S. 

Miracle-j^lays were common in London in the year 1170 ; 
and as early as 1119 the miracle-play of St Katheiine had 
been represented at Diinstaple. It has been conjectured, 
and indeed in part estabhsbed', that some of these perform- 
ances were in French, as well as in Latin ; and it was not 
until the reign of Edward IIL that they were generally 
acted m Knglish. We have thiee existing series of miracle- 
plays, all of which have been recently printed ; the Towne- 
tey coUeetion by the Surtees Club, and those known as the 
Covent)-y and Cbester pageants by the Shakespeare Society. 
The Abbotsford Club has Uke'wise printed, from a majiu- 
script lit Oxford, three detiiched miracle-plays which once, 
probably, formed a portion of a connected succession of pro- 
ductions of that class and description. 

During about 300 years this species of theatrical enter- 
tainment seems to have flourished, often under the auspices 
of the clergy, who used it as the means of religious instruc- 
tion ; but prior to tlie reign of Henry VI., a new kind of 
drama had become popular, which by wi'iters of the time 
was denominated a moral, or moral play, and more recently 
a moraUty. It acquh'ed this name fioni the natm'e and 

f)urpo9e of the representation, which usually conveyed a 
esson for the better conduct of human life, the characters 
employed not being scriptural, as in mh'.acle-plays, but alle- 
gorical, or symbolicaL Miracle-plays continued to be repre- 
sented long after moral plays were inti'oduced, but fi'om a 
remote date abstrai-t impersonations bad by degi'ees, not 
Dow easily traced, fmind their way into miracle-plays: thus, 
perhaps, moral plays, consisting only of such characters, 
grew out of tliem. 

A very lemarkable and interesting miracle-play, not 
foimded upon the Sacred Wntings, but upon a popular 
legend, and all the characters of wliich, with one exception, 
purpoi't t»j be real personages, has recently been discovered 
in tlie library of Trinity College, Dubbn, in a manuscript 
certainly as old as the later part of the reign of Edward 
tV.' It is peihaps the only specimen of the kind in our 
language ; and as it was unknown to all who have hitherto 
written on tlie history of our ancient drama, it will not here 
oe out of place to give some account of the incidents to 

I See Hist, of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, vol. ii. p. 131. 

' We are ind-^bted for a correct transcript of the original to the zeal 
uid kindness of Dr. J. H. Todd, V.P., R.S.A. 

> In another part of the manuscript it is called "The Play of the 
ConTersion of Sir Jonathas, the Jew, by the Miracle of the Blessed 
Sacrament ;" but inferior Jews are converted, besides Sir Jouathas, 
who is the head of the tribe iin the " famous city of Araclea." 

which it relates, and of the persons concerned m th« m. Tlie 
title of the piece, and the year in which the events are sup 
posed to have occurred, are given at the close, where we 
are told that it is " The Plav of the Blessed Sacrament'," 
and that the miracle to which it refers was wrought " is 
the forest of Arragon, in the famous city of Araclea, in the 
year of our Lord God 1461." There can be no doubt that 
the scene of action was imaginary, being fixed merely for 
the greater satisfaction of the spectators as to the reahtv 
of the occurrences, and as Uttle that a legend of the k-iud. 
was of a much older date than that assigned in the mainr 
script, which was probably near the time when the di'ama 
had been represented. 

In its form it closely resembles the miracle- plays which 
had their origin in Seripture-history, and one of the charac- 
ters, that of the Saviour, common in productions of that 
class, is introduced into it : the rest of the personages 
engaged are five Jews, named Jonathas, Jason, Jasdon, 
Masphat, and Malchus ; a Christian merchant called Aris- 
torius, a bishop. Sir Isidore a priests a phvsieian from 
Ifrabant called " Mr. Brundyche," and CoUe his servant' 
The plot relates t»i the pm'chase of the Eucharist by the 
Jews from Aristorius for 100/., under an assurance also 
that if they find its miraculous powers veiified, they will 
become converts to Christianity. Aristorius, having pos 
session of the key of the church, enters it secretly, taket 
away the Host, and sells it to the Jews. They put it to 
various tests and torments : they stab "the cake" with 
their daggers, and it bleeds, while one of the Jews goes 
mad at the sight. They next attempt to nail it to a post, 
but the Jew who uses the hammer has his hand torn off, 
and here the doctor and his servant, Mr. Brundyche and 
Colle, make their appearance in ordertc attend the wound- 
ed Jew ; but after a long comic scene between the quack 
and his man, highly illustrative of the manners of the 
time, they are driven out as impostors. The Jews then 
proceed to boil the Host, but the water turns blood-red, 
and taking it out of the cauldron with pincers, they throw 
it into a blazing oven : the oven, after blood has run ont 
" at the crannies," bursts asunder, and an image of the 
Saviour rising, he addresses the Jews, who are as good 
as their word, for they are converted on the spot. They 
keel to the Christian bishop, and Aristorius having con- 
f-ssed his crime and declared his repentance, is forgiven 
after a suitable admonition, and a strict charge never 
again to buy or seii. 

This very singular and striking performance is opened, 
as was usual with miracle-plays, by two Vexillators, who 

* This name may possibly throw some light on an obscure passage, 
in a letter dated about 1535, and quoted in "The History of Knj;i. 
Dram. Poetry, and the Stage," I. 131, where a person of the name ol 
Thomas Wyliey informs Cromwell. Earl of Esses, that he had writlet/ 
a play in which a character called Colle, dogger of Conscience," wa» 
introduced, to the great offence of the Boman Catholic cletgy. 




ixplnin tlie nature of the story about to be repreBented, in 
altfirnate stanzas ; and tbe wbule performance i» wound nj) 
by an epilogue from tbe bisbop, enfttroing tlie mural, wlii<*h 
of course was intended to illustrate, and impress upon the 
»uiUence, tlie divine origin of tbe doctrine of transubstantia- 
tion. Wei'e it necessary to our design, and did space allow 
of it, we should be strongly tempted to introauce some 
characteristic extiacts from this hitherto unseen production ; 
but we must content ourselves with saying, that tbe language 
in several places appears t« be older than the reign of 
Edward IV., or even of Henry VI., and that we might be 
disposed to carry back the original composition of tbe drama 
to file period of Wickliffe, and the Lollards. 

It \i as not until the reign of Elizabeth that miracle-plays 
were generally abandoned, but in some distant parts of the 
kingdom they were persevered with even till the time of 
James I. Miracle-plays, in fact, gradually gave way to 
moral plays, which pieseuted more variety of situation and 
character ; and moral plays in turn were superseded by a 
species of mi.\ed drama, which was strictly neither moral 
play nor historical play, but a combination of both in the 
same representjxtion. 

Of this singular union of discordant materials, no person 
who has hitherto written upon the history of our dramatic 
poeti'y has taken due notice ; but it is very necessary not to 
pass it over, inasmuch as it may be said to have led ulti- 
mately to the introduetii:>n of tragedy, comedy, and history, 
as we now understimd the terms, upon the boards of our 
public theatres. No blame for tbe omission can fairly be 
imputed to our predecessors, because the earliest specimens 
of this sort of mixed drama which remain to us have been 
bi'ougbt to light within a comparatively few years. Tbe 
nil -si importimt of these is the " Kyiige Joban " of Bisbop 
Bale. We are not able to settle with precision the date 
when it was originally writteu, but it was evidently per- 
formed, with additions and alterations, after EUzabeth came 
to the throne.' Tbe purpose of the author was to promote 
the Reformation, by applying to tbe eireumstauees of his 
Dwu times the events of the reign of King John, when tbe 
kingdom was placed by the Pope under an interdict, and 
when, according tt) popular belief, the sovereign was poisoned 
by a draught admiuistei-ed Ut him by a monlc This ilrama 
resembles a moral play in tbe mtroduction of abstract im- 
pers* nations, and a historical play in the adapt.atiou of a 
po.-lion of uur national annals, with real euaracters, to the 
imposes of the stage. Though peifirmed in tbe reign of 
i^Uzabetb, we may carry back the tii'st composition aud 
representjition of " Kynge Joban" to tbe time of Edward 
VI.; but, as it has been pi'inted by the Camden Society, it 
is not necessary that we should enlarge upon it. 

The object of Bale's play waa, aa we have stated, to 
advmice the Reformation under Edward VI.; but in tbe 
reign of bis successor a drama of a smiilar description, aud 
of u directly opposite tendency, was written and acted. It 
has never been mentioned, and as it e.\ists only in manu- 
Borip' of the time," it will not be out of place to quote its 
title, and to e,\plaiii briefly in what manner the anonymous 
author carries out bis design. He calls bis di'ama " Res- 
puWica," and he adds that it was " made in the year of our 
Lord 1653,.and tbe first year of the most prosperous reign 
of our most gracious Sovereign, Queen Mary the First." 
He was sup]iosed to speak the prologue himself, in the 
ebaracter of " a Poet ;" and altbough eveiy person he intro- 
duces is in fact called by some abstract name, be avowedly 
brings forward the Queen herself as " Nemesis, tbe Goddess 

* Bale died in Nov. 1563: but he is nevertheless thus spoken of, as 
•'.iU living, in B. Googe's E[jlog3, Epitaphes, and Sonncttes." piib- 
lislicd, we (lave rea-Hon to believe, in the spring of that year ; we nave 
■evei seen this tribute quoted, and therefore subjoin it. 
*' Good aged Bale, that with thy hoary iiearos 
Dofite yet persyste to turne the paynefull booke ; 
O hapye, man I that hast obtaynde such yeares, 
And leav'at not yet on papers pale to looke ; 
Gyve over now to boats thy weryoti braine. 
And rest thy penne, that long hath labour d sooret 
For aged men uiifyt sure is auche paino. 
And thee beseems to labour now no more : 
But thou, I thynke, Don I'latoes part will playe, 
With booke in hand to have thy dying daye." 


of redress ajid connection," while iier Idngdora of Eughiud u 
intendeii by " Respubliea," and its inhabitants represeute- 
by " People:" the Reforiuatiou in the Church is distinguished 
as " Oppression ;" and Policy, Authority, and Honesty, are 
desiguated " Avarice," " Insolence," und " Adulation." AL 
this is distinctly stated by tbe author on his title-page, wliile 
he also emjiloys the impersonations of Misericordia, Veri- 
tas, Justitia, and V^ax, (agents not mifrequently resorted to 
in the older miracle-plays) as the friends of " Nemesis," tlif 
Queen, aud as the supporters of the Roman Cathobc religior 
in her dominions. 

Nothing would be gaiued by a detail of the import of the 
tedious interlocutions between tbe chaiacters, represent^'tl, 
it would seem, by boys, who were perhaps the children (if 
the Chapel Royal ; for there are traces in the performance 
that it was oi'iginally acted at court. Respubliea is a widow 
gieatly injured and abused by Avarice, Insolence, Oppres- 
sion, and Adulation ; while People, using throughout a 
rustic dialect, also coniphun bitterly of their sutfeiings, 
especially since the introduction of what had been termed 
" Reformation" in matters of faith : in the end Justitia 
brings in Nemesis, to effect a total change by restoring the 
former condition of religious affairs; aud the piece closen 
with the delivery of the offenders to condign punishment 
The production was evidently wiitten by a man of educa- 
tion ; but, although there are many attempts at humour, 
and some at variety, both in character and sitgation, the 
whole must have been a very wearisome performance 
adapted to please the court by its general tendency, but 
Uttle calculated to aeeonipUsh any other purpose entertained 
by the writer. In aU respects it is much inferior to the 
"Kynge Joban" of Bale, which it followed m point cf date, 
and to which, perhaps, it was meant to be a coimterpart. 

In tbe midst of the performance of dramatic proiiuetiona 
of a religious or political character, each party suppoi'tiug 
the views which most accorded with the autln.^r's individual 
opinions, John Heywood, who was a zealous Roniim Catho- 
lic, and who subsequently suffered for his creed imder 
Edward VI. aud Ehzabeth, discovered a new species of 
entertainment, of a highly humorous, and not altogether 
of an uoiustructive kind ; which seems to have been veiy 
acceptable to the sovereign and nobiUty, and to have 
obtained for the author a thstinguisbed chai'acter as a coml 
dramatist, and ample rewards as a court dependent.' 
These were properly callal " interludes," being short comic 
pieces, represented oriliuarily in tbe interval between the 
feast and the bimquet; and we may easily believe that 
they had considerable influence in tlie settlement of the 
form which our stage-performances ultimately assumed. 
HejTVOod does not appear to have begun writing until 
after Henry VIII. had been some years on the throne ; but, 
while Skelton was composing such tedious elaborations as 
his " Magniiicence," which, without any improvement, merely 
carries to a still greater length of absurdity the ol<! style 
of moral plays, HeyT\'ood was writing his "John Tib aud 
Sir John," his "Four Ps," bis "Pardoner and Friar," and 
pieces of that description, which prescntetl both variety of 
matter and novelty of construction, as well as considerable 
wit and drollery in the language. He was a very origuial 
writer, aud certainly merits more admiration than any of 
his dramatic contemporaries. 

To the commencement of the reign of Eliznbeth we may 
refer several theatrical productions which make approaches 
more or less near, to comedy, tragedy, and history, and stib 
retain many of the known features of moral plays. " Tom 

Besides "King Johan," Bale was the author of four extant draiuafia 
productions, which may be looked upon as miracle-plays, both in their 
lorm and characters: viz. 1. "The Three Laws of Nature, Moses and 
Christ;" a. "God's Promises:" 3. "John the Baptist;" 4. "The 
Temptation of Christ." He also wrote fourteen other dramas of vari- 
ous kinds, none of which have come down to us. 

3 In the library of I\Ir. Hudson Gurney, to whom we beg to expresl 
ottr obligations for the use of it. 

3 John Heywood, who flourished in the reign of Henry VITI., is not 
to be confounded, as some modern editors of Shakespeare have con* 
founded him, with Thomas Heywood, who became a dramatist more 
than half a century afler\vards, and who continued a writer for the 
stage until near the date of the closing of the theatres by the I^iintana. 
John Heywood, -ji all probability, died before Thomas Heywood vrasbom. 



nier and his Wife" is a comedy in its incidents ; but the 
allegcieal personages, Desire, Destiny, Strife, and Patience, 
connect it immediately with the earlier species of stage- 
entei'tainment " The Contiict of Conscience," on the other 
hand, is a tragedy on the fate of an historical personage ; 
but Conscience, Hypocrisy, Avarice, Horror, ifee., are called 
lu aid of the pm'pose of the writer. " Appius and Virginia" 
is m most respects a history, founded upon facts; but 
Rumour, Comfort, and Doctrine, are importantly concerned 
in the representation. These, and other productions of the 
same class, which it is not neoessaiy to pai-ticularize, show 
the gradual advances made towards a better, because a 
more natural, species of theatrical composition.' Into miracle- 
lays were gi-adually introduced allegorical personages, who 
nally usurped the whole stage ; wMe they in turn yielded 
f<i real and historical characters, at first only intended to 
give variety to abstract impersonations. Hence the origin 
of comedy, tragedy, and history, such as we find them in 
the works of Shakespeare, and of some of his immediate 

What is justly to be considered the oldest known comedy 
in our language is of a date not much posterior to the reign 
of Henry VIII., if, indeed, it were not composed while he 
was on the throne. It has the title of " Ralph Roister 
Doister," and it was writteu by Nicholas Udall, who was 
master of Eton school iu 1540, and who died in 1557.' It 
is on eyerv account a veiy remarkable perfonnance ; and 
as the scene is lull in London, it affords a curious picture 
of metropohtan manners. The regulaiity of its construction, 
even at that early date, may be gathered from the fact, 
that in the single copy which has descended to us' it is 
divided into acts and scenes. The story is one of common, 
every-day life ; and none of tlie characters are such as peo- 
ple had been accustomed to find in ordinary dramatic enter- 
tainment.s. The piece takes its name from its hero, a young 
t<jwn-gallant, who is mightily enamoured of himself, and 
who is encouraged in the good opinion he entertains of his 
own persiin and accomplishments by Matthew Merrygi-eek, 
a poor relation, who attends him in the double capacity of 
companion and servant Ralph Roister Doister is iu love 
with a lady of property, called Custance, betrothed to 
Gawin Goorlluck, a merchant, who is at sea when the 
comedy begins, but who returns before it concludes. The 
main incidents relate to the mode in which the hero, with 
the treacherous help of his associate, endeavours to gain 
the affections of Custance. He writes her a letter, which 
Merrygreek reads without a due observance of the punctua- 
tion, so that it entirely perverts tlie meaning of the wiiter: 
he visits her while she is surrounded by her female domes- 
tics, but he is unceremouiou.sly rejected: he resolves to 
carry her by force of arms, and makes an assaiUt upon her 
habitation; but with the assistance of her maids, armed 
witb mops and brooms, she di'ives him from the attack. 
Then, her betrothed lover returns, who has been misinformed 
on the subject of her fidelity, but he is soon reconciled on 
an explanation of the facts; and Ralph Roister Doister, 
finding that he has no chance of success, and that he has 

' One of the latest pieces without mixture of history or fable, and 
consisting wholly of abstract personages, is, "The Tide tarryeth no 
Man." by George Wapal^ printed in 1 J7(i : only a single copy of it has 
b»ep. preserved, and that is in the library of the Duke of Devonshire. 
The principal persona introdnced into it have the following names; — 
Painted-profit. No-good-neighbourhood, Wastefulness, Christianity, 
Correction, Courage, Feigned-furtherance, Greediness, Wantonness, 
and Authority-in-Jespair. 

* A very interesting epistle from Udall is to be found in Sir Henry 
Ellis's volume (edited for the Camden Society) •■ Original Letters of 
Eminent Literary Men." ^hat of Udall is first in the series. 

' This single copy is withbut title-page, so that the year when it was 
printed cannot be ascertained ; but Thomas Haoket had a licence in 
l5(jG for the publication of " a play entitled Ranf Ruyster Duster,'' as 
It is oalled on t.qe registers of the Stationers' company. We may pre- 
sume that it was published in that year, or in the next. 

* By " the older drama," we mean moral plays, into which the Vice 
was introduced for the amusement of the spectators : no character so 
oalLed, or with similar propensities, is to be traced in miracle-plays. [ 
He was, in fact, the buffoon of our drama in, what may be termed, its ' 
•ecoiid stage; after audiences began to grow weary of plays founded 
upon Scripture-history, and when even moral plays, in order to be 
relished, re:}iiiTed the insertion of a character of broad humour, md 
vicious inclinations, who vas sometimeB to be the companion, and at 


only been cajoled and Liughed at, makes up his mind to be 

merry at the wedding of Goodluck and Custance. 

In all this we have no trace of anything like a moral 
play, with the exception, perhaps, of the eliaraeter of 
Matthew MeiTj-greek, wliich, in some of its features, its 
love of mischief and its drollei'y, bears a reseuiblanc tty 
the Vice of the older drama.' Were the dialogue modern- 
ised, the comedy might be performed, even in our own 
day, to the satistaetion of many of the usual atteudanto at 
our theatres. 

In considering the merits of tliis piece, we are to reeoUed 
that Bishop Still's "-Gammer Gurton's Needle," which, untii 
of late, was held to be our earliest comedy, was written 
some twenty years after " Ralph Roister Doister :" it was 
not acted at Cambridge until 1566, nine years subsequent 
to the death of Udall ; and it is in every point of view an 
inferior production. The plot is a mere piece of absurditv, 
the language is provincial (well fitted, indeed, to the country 
where the scene is laid, and to the clownish persons engagecl 
in it) and the manners depicted are chiefly those of iUiter'jte 
rustics. The story, such as it is, relates to the loss of a needle 
with which Gammer Gurton had mended Hodge's breeches, 
and which is afterwards found by the hero, when he is about 
to sit down. The humour, generally speaking, is as coai-se 
as the dialogue ; and though it is hupossible to deny that 
the author was a man of talents, they were hardly such as 
could have produced " Ralph Roister Doister." 

The drama which we have been accustomed to regard as 
our oldest tragedy, and which probably has a just claun 
to the distinction, was acted on 18th Januarv, 1562. and 
pi-inted in 1565.' It was origiuaUy called " Gorboduc ;" but 
it was reprinted iu 1571 under the title of "Forrex and 
Porrex," and a third time iu 1590 as " Gorboduc." The first 
three acts were written by Thomas Norton, and the last two 
by Thomas Sackville, afterwards Earl of Dorset, and it 
was performed "by the gentlemen of the Inner Temple." 
Although the form of the Greek di-ama is observed in 
" Gorboduc," and each act concluded by a chorus, yet Sir 
PhiUp Sidney, who admitted (in his " Apology of Poeti-y") 
that it was " full of stately speeches and well-sounding 
phrases," could not avoid complaining that the unities ot 
time and place had been disregarded. Thus, in the verv 
outset and origin of our stage, as regai-ds what may be 
termed the regular drama, the hbertj', which allowed full 
exercise to the imagination of the audience, and which was 
afterwards happily carried to a greater excess, was distinctly 
asserted and maintained. It is also to be remarked, that 
" Gorboduc" is the earliest known play in our language in 
which blank-verse was employed ;° but of the introduction 
of blank-verse upon our public stage, we shall have occasii m 
to speak hereafter. It was an important change, which 
requires to be separately considered. 

We have now entered upon the reign of Ehzabeth; and 
although, as already observed, moral plays and even miracle- 
plays were stiU acted, we shall soon see what a variety of 
subjects, taken from ancient history, from mythology, fable, 
and romanoe, were employed for the purposes of *Jie di'ama 

others, the casticator, of the devil, who represented the principle of evil 
among mankinj. The Vice of moral plays subsequently became the 
fool and jester of comedy, tragedy, and history, and forms another, and 
an important, link of connexion between them. 

* In the Hist, of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, ii. 48*2, it is said 
that the earliest edition of '- Gorboduc" has no date. "This is a mistake, 
as is shown by the copy in the collection of Lord Francis Egerton, 
whici. has "anno 1.50.5, Septemb. ^i" at the bottom of the title-page. 
Mr. Hallam, in his admirable "Introduction to the Literature of 
Europe," A:c. (Second Edit. vol. ii. p. 1G7), expresses his dissent from 
the position, that the three Jirst acts were by Norton, and the two last 
by Sackville. The old title-page states, that " three acts were written 
by Thomas Norton, and the two last by Thomas Sackville." Unless 
the printer, William Griffith, were misinform-d, this seems decisive. 
iforlon's abilities have not had justice done to them. 

^ Richard Edwards, a very distinguished dramatic poet, who died in 
1500, and who w-rote the lost play (*f "Palamon and Ajcite," which 
was acted before the Queen in September of that year, did not follow 
the example of Sackville and Norton ; his "Damon and Pithias" (the 
only piece by him that has survived) is in rhyme. See Dodsley's Old 
Plays, last edition, vol. i. p. 177. Thomas Twine, an actor in -' Palamor 
and Arcite," wrote an epitaph upon its author. " Gammer Gurton'f 
Needle," and " GorboduCj" (the last printed from the second edition 
are also inserted in vols. i. and ii. of Dodsley's Old Plavs 



Bt«abeD Gosson, one of tie earliest enemies of theatrical 
peifoniianeea, wiitirg his " Plays confuted in Five Actions" 
a little lifter the period of whi<'h "we are now spealiing, but 
adverting to the drama aa it had existed some years befoi'c, 
tella us, that " the I'aluce of Pleasure, the Golden Ass, the 
J^tbiopian History, Amadis of France, and the Kound 
Table," as well as " comedies in Latin, Frencli, Italian, and 
Spanish, have been thoroughly ransacked to furnish the 
play-houses in London." Hence, unquestionably, many of 
the materials of wliat is termetl our romantic drama were 
obtained. The accounts of the Master (jf the Revels between 
1670 and 1680 contain the names of various plays repre- 
sented at court ; and it is to be noted, that it was certamly 
the practice at a later date, and it was probably the pi'ae- 
tice at the time to which we are now adverting, U> select 
for performance before the Queen such pieces as were most 
in fiivour with public .ludiences ; consequently the mention 
of a few of the titles of productions represented before 
Elizabeth at Greenwich, Whltc-hall, Kichmond, or Nonesuch, 
will show the character of the jiopular performances of the 
day. We derive the followuig uames from Mr P. (Junniug- 
bani's " Extracts from the Revels' Accounts," printed for the 
Shakespeare Society : — ' 

Lady Barbara. 


Ajax and Ulysses. 


Paris and Vienna. 

The Play of Fortune. 


Quiritus Fabius. 

Mutius Sacvola. 
Portio and Demorantes. 
Titus aixi Gl8ij)puM. 
Three Sisters ot Mantua. 
Cruelty of a Stenuiother. 
The Greek Maid. 
Kape of the second Helen 
Tlie Four Sons of Fabius. 

Timoclcu at the Siege of Thebes. History of Surpedon. 
Perseus and Andromeda. Murderous Michael, 

Tlio Painter's Daugliter. Scipio Africanus. 

The History of the Collier. The Duke of Milan. 

The History of Error. 

These are only a few ovit of many dramas, establishing the 
multiplicity of sources U) wliieh the poets of the time 
resortjed.' Nevertheless, we find on the same indisputable 
authoritv, that moi-al plays were not yet altogether <iis- 
carded lu the court enteitjiiuments; for we read, in the 
original records, of productions the titles of which prove 
that tliey were pieces of that allegorical description : 
among tliese arc " Truth. Faithfulness, and Mercy," and 
' The Marriage of Mind and Measure," which is expressly 
cnlled " a moral." 

Our main object in referring to these pieces has been to 
show the great diversity of subjects which had been drama- 
tised befejre 158U. In 1881 Kainabe Rich ]iubhshed his 
" Farewell t« Militnry Profession,"" consisting (jf a collection 
of eight novels; and at tlie chise of the work he inserts this 
stnuige address "to the reader:" — "Now thou hast perused 
these histories to the end, 1 doubt not but thou wilt deem 
of them as they worthily deserve, and tliink such vanities 
more titter to bo presented on ii stage (as some of them 
have been) than to be published in print." The fact is, that 
three dramas are exttnt whieli more or less eloselv resem- 
ble three of Rich's novels: one of them " Twelfth" Night ;" 
another, " The Weakest gocth to the Wall ;" and the third 
the old play of " Philr.tus."" 

Upfpn the manncM- in which the materials thus procured 
ware then handled, we have several contemporaneous 
a-.ithorities. George Whetstone, (an author who has prin- 
cipally acquired celebrity by writing an earUei' diama upon 
the incidents eniphiyed by Shakespeare in his "Measure 
tor Measure") in the dedication of his " Promos imd Cassan- 
dra," gives a compendious description of the nature of popu- 
lar theatrical representations in 1678. "The Englishman 

*_''Tlio Play of Fortune." in the above Hit. is doubtlfisg tlifl piece 
which hlB reached ur in a printed shape, as "The Rare Triumphs of 
LoTe and Fortune :" it was acted at court as earljr as l.'»73, and again 
in loSr!; but it did not come from the press until 15n!1, and the only 
copy of it is in the library of Lord Francis Egerton. "The purpnso of 
the anonvmous writer was to compose an entertainment *iiich should 
possess the pri'at r.'.ininite of ^-ariety, with as much show .is could at 
that early date be accomplished: and we are to recollect that the court 
theatres possessed some unusual facilities for the purpose. The "Induo- 
.len" is in blank-verae, but the body ef the drama is in rhvmo- "The 

(he remarks) in this quality is most vam, indiscreet, and out 
I of order. He first gi'ounds hie work on impossibilities; 
then, in three hours, runs he through the worhl. marries, getu 
■ children, makes children men, men to comiuer kingdoms, 
murder monsters, and briugeth gods irom heaven, and 
fetcheth devils from hell : and, that which is worst, their 
ground is not so uuperfect as their working indiscreet ; not 
weighing, so the people laugh, though they laugh them fot 
their follies to scorn. Many times, to make mirth, they 
make a clown companion with a king : in their grave coun 
cils they allow the advice of fools ; yea, they use one order 
of speech for all persons, a gross indecorum." Thia, it will 
be perceived, is an accurate account of the ordinary liceiLW 
I taken in our romantic drama, and of the reliauee of poets, 
long before the time of Shakespeare, upon the imaginationa 
i of theu' audit<-)rB. 

To the same effect we may quote a work by Stephen 
I Gosson, to which we have before been indebted, — " Play< 
confuted in Five Actions." — which must have been printed 
' about 1580 : — " If a true history (says Gosson) be taken in 
I hand, it is made, hke our shadows, longest at the rising and 
I falling of the sun, shoi'tcst of all at high noon ; for the poets 
drive it commonly unto such points, as may best show the 
majesty of their pen in tragical speeches, or set the hearers 
agog with discourses of love ; or paint a few antics to fit 
their own humours with scoffs and tjtmits ; or bring in a 
show, to fiu'nish the stage when it is bare." Again, speak- 
ing of plays professedly founded upon ri>mance, and not 
upon "true history," he remarks: "Sometimes you shall 
see nothing but the adventures of an amorous knight, pass- 
ing from counti-y to country for the love of his lady, encoun- 
tering many a terrible monster, made of brown paper, and 
at his return is so wmiderfully changed, that he cannot be 
latown but by some posy in his tablet, or by a broken ring, 
or a handkerchief, or a piece of cockle-shell." We can 
hardly doubt that when Gosson wrote this passage he had 
particular productions in his mind, and several of the cha- 
racter he describes are still extant. 

Sir Philip .Sidney is believed to have written his "Apology 
of Poetry" in 1583, and we have already referred t<5 it in 
connexion with " Gorboduc." His observations, upon the 
general character of dramatic representations in his time, 
throw much light on the state of the stjige a very few 
years before Shakespeare is supposed to have quitted 
Stratford-upon-Avon, and attached himself to a theatrical 
company. " Our tragedies and comedies (says Sidney) are 
not without cause cried out against, observing neither rules 

of honest civility, nor skilful poetry But if it be so 

in Gorboduc, how much more in all the rest, where you 
shall have Asia of the one side, and Afric of the other, and 
so many other under-kingdfmis, that the player, when he 
Comes in, must ever begin with telling where he is, or else 
the tale will not be conceived. Now you shall have three 
ladies walk to gather flowers, and then we must believe 
the stage to be a garden : by and by we hear news of a 
slii])wreek in the same place ; then, we are to blame if we 
accept it not for a rock. lT])on the back of that comes out 
a hideous monster with fire and smoke, and then the miser- 
able bcholt^rs are bound to take it for a cave ; while, in 
the meantime, two armies fly in, represented with four 
swords and bucklers, and tlieu what nard heart will not 
receive it for a pitched field ! Now, of time they are much 
more liberal; for ordinary it is that two young-princes fall 
in love . itfter many traverses she is got with child, delivered 
of a fair boy; be is lost, groweth a man, falleth in love, and 
is ready to got another child, and all tliis in two bouis' 
space : which how absurd it is m sense, even sense mav 
imagine, and art hath taught, and all ancient examples juetj- 

History of the Collier," also mentioned, was perhaps the comedy subse- 
(^uently known and printed as " Grim, the Collier of Croydon ;" and it 
has been reasonably supposed, that " The History of Error" was an ol^ 
play on the sajne subject as .Shaki-speare's " Comedy of Errors." 

3 Until recently no edition of an earlier date than that of 1G06 was 
known; but thore is an impression of I.'i^^l at Oxford, which isaboul 
to be reprinted by the Slialcespt;are Society. Malone had heard of a 
copy in i5&-3. but it is certainly a mistake, 

' It was repriuled for the Bannatyne Club iti 183.5, by J W, Mack 
nnzje Ksu. 



ded" He afterwards ivme* U> a point previously unceti bv 
Whetetoue; lor Siiinev compUiius that pUiys were "ucithir 
right tr«ire<lieo uor riglit iviueitioSv miugliug kiiigs and 
doTrns, uot beoause tiie matter so earrieth it, but tlirust iu 
the oJowu b_T head aud shouldei's, to play a part in maiesti- 
cal matters vritli ueither deeeuov nor rtiscretivni ; si> as neither 
the adiiiiratiou and couuuisei-atioii. nor right sp»irtfiihiess is 
by their mongrel tni^-'-wmieily obtaiueil." 

It will be remarked that, with the exception of the | 
iu£tauoe of " (.it^irlKRiue, " no writer we have had oe«isiou to 
cite mentions the English Chivnicles, as having yet fuiiiishnl 
dramatists with stories for the statre ; and we may perhaps 
ixifer tliat res*>rt was not had to them for the purp<ises of tie 
public theatres, until alter the date of which we ai-e ih'W 

Having thus briefly adverted to the natui-e aud character 
of di-aiitatic representations frx-m the earliest times t«i the 
Tear I080. auo having establislied that our ivnmntic drama I 
^as of ancient origin, il is neeessaiv shortly to descrilw the [ 
-jrcmnstjmces under whicfa plays were at didereut early 
;eiiods performeii ! 

There were no regular tbeatjvs, or buildings permanently 
Doostructed for the purpi'ses of the ilrjuiut, untu .liter 1575. 
Miracle-plays were sometimes exhibited iu churches imd iu 
the halls of corp^iratious, but more frequently upi>n move- 
able stages, or scali'olils, erecteil iu the open air. Moral 
plays weine subsequently performeil under really similar 
circumstjiuces. excepting thjit a practice had grown up, 
among the nobility aud wealthier geutiy. of having dramatic 
eutertaimuents at pai'ticiilar seasi>ns in tlieir ».»wn residences.* 
These wei-e sometimes performed by a cvm^xuiy of actoi* 
retained iu the fimiily, aud souietiines by itinej'ant players.^ 
who belonged to hii'ge t*iwns, or who called themselves the 
servants of members of the aristocracy. In 14 Kliz. an act 
was passed allowing stivUing actors to perform, if liceuseii 
by some lv»i\>n or uoblemau of higher degree, but subjecting 
all othere to the penalties inflicted upt>n vagi-ants. There- , 
fore, althiiusih m:my compimies of phiyei-s went iwmd the ! 
country, and actetl as the servmits of s*>mc of the nobility, 
they had uo legislative prv>teetiou until 1572. It is a singu- 
lar &ct, that the earUest known company of plaveiis. travel- 
ling under the uaiue aud ^xttrouage of one ui> tiie iK<bility. 
was that of the Duke of Gloucester, afterwards Kichaixi 
ILL' Henry YH. had two distinct IxkUcs of -act*'!^ of 1 
interludes'" iu his pay. and fivm henceforwaixi the prt>fession 
of a player became well undei-stiH>d imd recoguizeiL In L'le 
later part of the reign of Henry VII.. the playei:s of the 
Dukes of Norfolk and Buckingham, aud »'f the Eiirls of 
Anmdel. Oxfoi-d. and Jforthuniberlimd. performed at court. 
About this perii>d. and stnuewhat eiu'lier, we also hear of 

> As early as H6o a company of players had performed at the wed- 
4ins of a person of the nJimp of Mi'iincs. who ^Ta5 nearly related to 
Sir John HowTird. afterwards Duke of Norfolk. See " Manners and 
Household Exi^nses ot Enirlaiid." printed by Mr. Botlield. M. P.. for 
the Roiburshe Club in l^41. p. 511. 

* The anonymous MS. play of " Sir Thomas More,'* Trrillen towards 
the close of the rei^ of Elizabeth, girths a rery correct notion of the 
mode in which ofl'crs to pefform were made by a comi>any of players, 
and accepted by tlie owner of the mansion. Four players and n' boy ' 
(for the fel£ale characters) tender their senrices to the Lord Chancel'- 1 
lor. jest as he is on the point of giving a grand suppeg to the Lor\l i 
Mayc f and Corporation of l<»udon : Sir Thomas More inquires what 
f iec«* :hey can perform, and the answer of the leader of the company 
■applies the names of seven which were then pv^pular; viz., "The ] 
Cradle of Security.*' " Hit Nail on the Head.'' "Impatient PovertT." | 
"The Four Ps," " Dives and Laxarus." " Lusty Juventus," and " Ttie I 
Marriage of Wit and Wisdom." Sir Thomas More ti.Nes uiK.n the last. 
and it is accordingly represented, as a play within a play, hefore the ) 
tonquet. " S-r Thomas More " >yas regularly licensed for public per- 
formanc« I 

' Hither from preference or policy, Richard IH. appears to have ' 
been a great encouraeer of actors and mttsici.u\s: besides his players, I 
he patronized two distinct Kxlies of " minstrels.'' and performers on 
instruments calle.! ''shalms.'' These facts are derived Irom a manu- ) 
•cripl of the household-book of John Lord Howard, atterftartls duke of I 
Norfolk, preserved in the library of the Society of Antiquaries- and ' 
recently pnnte.! for the use of the members oj'the Roxburghe Club, I 
»■ a sequel to Mr. Botfield's volume. I 

* At a considertbty subsequent date some of these infant companies | 
performed before general audiences: and to them were added the 
Chihlren of the Revels, who had n^ver been aitached To any religious j 
•etablishment. but were chiefly encouraged as a nursery for actors. I 
The Queen of James I had also a oo^lpan^ of theatrical children 
•ndar her patronage j 

I companies attached to particular places ; imd in w^ral 
records we read of the players of \ ork. Coventry. Laven^ 
I ham. Wycombe, Chester. Manuingtree, Evesham. Mile-end. 
! Kingston, Ac. 

1 In the reign of Henry '\'ni, and perhajis in that of his 
i predeeessi>r, the s^ntlemen and singing-boys of the Chapel 
. RoyiU were employ txi to act plavs and iuteiludes before 
I the cimrt ; aud atterwanls the children of \V estmmster. Sl 
j Paul's, ami \Vinds<'r. imder their several mastet^ are not 
uufrequently mentioned in the household bivks of the 
]<djice, luid iu the accvnmts of the de|>artment of tlie revels,* 

In 1514 the king added a uew cvmjiauy to the dr.uuntic 
retinue I'f tlie c\airt, besides the two cuiupanies which Iju) 
been paid by his father, and the ass*K-intious of theatriesl 
childien. In fact, at this peri^xl dramatic enlei-taiumenta, 
iuas*juts, disguisings, and revels <if every dcsci ipliou. wei* 
carrie»l to a costly excess. Heniy VI 11. raised the sum, 
1 until tlien paid for a play, fivm fi/.l.")*. 4<i. to lo/. \Villi.-uu 
I Comyslie. the master >f the children of the chapel on one 
occa.-5ou was paid no less a siuu than 200/_ in the money of 
! that time, by wav of rewanl ; aud John HerwiKid. the author 
of mterludes before mentioned, who w.ts also a plaver upi'U 
the virgiu.-ils. had a salary of 30/. per annum, in ailihtioo t«i 
his other eniolmneuts. During scas^ius of festivity a IjoiO 
of Misiulc was regularly apjviuted to snperiutmd tlie 
sports, aud he also was sep;u'atcly and lilx niUy remuue- 
ratoil The example of the omrt was foUowei,! by the 
c«nutiers, and the ivmp;mies of theatrical retainers, in the 
pay. or actii^ in various parts of the kingdom under tW 
Uiuiies of particular noMemen, became extremely numerous. 
Religious liouses gave them eucouragement, and even assisted 
ill the getting tip aud representation of the pelfonnanee^ 
espeeiiilly shortly Ivfore the dissolution of the monasteries 
in the acoount-lxH>k of the IVior of Diiumow. between 
March 15S'2 mid July 16oG. we find entries of |iaynieuta 
to Ixirils of Misrule there apfK>iuted. as well as to the playe™ 
of the King, imd of the Earls of Derby. Exeter, imd bussex ' 
In 154S was passed a statute, rendered nccessju'v by tlie 
pi'Iemii'al cltiracter of siime of the diimias publicly repie- 
senteil. although, not niimy years before, the king had him- 
self encouraged such performances at court, by being present 
at a plav iu which Luther and his wife were i idiculed. The 
act prohibits " ballads, phtys. rhymes, songs, and other iiui 
tasies" of a rehgious or doetrimd tendency, but at the same 
time eaicfuUy piwides. that the chiuses shall iKit exteud t<i 
" Si'ugs, plays, aud interludes'' w hicli had for object " the 
rebuking imd repivadiing of \-ices. aud the setting fortli of 
virtue ; so always the said swings, plays, or interludes med- 
dle not with the iuterprctatious ot Scripture."" 
The permanent oflice of Master of the Revels, for the 

* For this information we are indebted to Sir X. H. Xicholas, who 
has the ori^ual document in his library. Similar facts might be 
established Irom other aulhorities. both o'f an earlier aud somewhat 
later date. 

• See Hist, of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage. "Vol. i. p. tU7. 
The olficial account, made out by Richard Gibst^n. who the pre;.A- 
ration of the dre-<ses. .Vc, is so curious and characteristic, thai w? 
quote it in the words, though not in the uncouth orthography, of the 
ori^nal document : the date is the 10th Nov. 15iJS. uot long before the 
king saw reason to change the whole course of his jiolicy a« regardrii 
the Reformation. 

"The king's pleasure was that at the said rewls, by cierks in tb* 
Latin tongue, should be played in his presence a play, wheroof cnsia- 
eth the names. First an Orator in apparel of gold: a IWt in apparel 
of cloth of g\>ld : Religion. Ecclesia, Veritas, like three Novices, in 
garments of silk, and veils of lawn and eypress : Hervsy. Fal-^e-inter- 
pretation. Corniptitt-scriptoris like ladies of Bohemi.v apparelled in 
garments of silk of divers colours; the heretic Luther, like a party 
friar, in russet, damask and black tatfeta : Luther's wile. like a frow 
of Spiers in Almain, in red silk: Peter. Paul, and James, in three 
habits oi white sarsenet and three red mantles, and hairs of silver of 
damask and pelerines of scarlet, and a cardinal in his apparel ; twj 
Sergeants in rich apparel : the Pauphin and his brother m coats of 
velvet embroidere*! with gold, and caps of satin iH^iind with velvet ; a 
Messen^r in tmsel-satin ; six men in gv^wns of green sarsenet ; six 
women in go-rus of crimson sarsenet : War in rich cloth 3f gold and 
feathers, and armed ; three A.mains in apparel all cut and slit of lilk ; 
Ladv Peace, in lady's apparel, all white unA rich ; and Lady QuietnMa, 
and 'Dame 'franquillity. richly beseen in la^lies' apparel. 

The drama represented by these personages appears to have 'oeei 
the compoaition of John Rightwise, then master of ^he eb'ldteii •<( 
St. Paul's. 



lupeiiutcndeuce jf all dramatic perfi>imBnce8, was created 
in 1546, and Sir Thomas Cawarden was a]ipt>iuted to it with 
an annual salary of 10/. A person of tne nam? of John 
Bernard was made Clerk of the Revels, with an allowance 
of 8<i per day and livery'. 

It is a nniaikable point, estabUshed by Mr. Tytler', that 
Henry VIII, was not yet bmied, and Bishop Gardiner and 
his paiishiouers were about t<i sing a dii'i;e for his soul, 
when the actors of the Earl of Oxford posted bills for the 
perfonuance of a play in Southwark. This was long before 
the construction of any regular theatre on the Bankside ; 
but it shows at how early a date that pait of the town was 
selected for such exliibitious. When Mr. Tytler adds, that 
the players of the Earl of Oxford were " the first that were 
kept bv iuiy nobleman," he falls into an error, because 
Richiu' J. II I., and others of the nobihty , as already remark- 
ed, had companies of players attached to their households. 
We have the evidence of Puttenham, in his " Art of English 
Poesie," 1589, for stating that the Earl of Oxford, ui\der 
whose name the players in 1547 were about to perform, 
was himself a di'amatist 

Very soon after Edward VI. came to the throne, severe 
measures were taken to restrain not only dramatic per- 
formances, but tlie publication of dramas. Playing and 
printing plays were first entirely suspended ; then, the 
companies of noblemen were allowed to perform, but not 
without special authoiity ; and, finally, the sign manual, or 
the names of six of the Piivy Council were required to 
their Ueenses. The objectii m stated was, that the plays liad 
a political, not a polemical, purpose. One of the first acts 
of Mary's government, was to issue a proclamation to put 
a stop to the performance of interludes calculated to ad- 
vance the principles of the Reformation ; and we may be 
sure that the play ordered at the coronation of the queen 
was of a conti-aiy description'. It appears on other autlio- 
rities, that for two years there was an entire cessation of 
DubUe dramatic performimces ; but in this reign the repre- 
sentation of the old Roman Catholic miracle-plays was par- 
tially and authoritatively revived. 

It is not necessai-y to detail the proceedings in connexion 
with theatrical representations at the opening of the reign 
of Elizabeth. At first plays were discountenanced, but by 
degrees they were permitted ; and the queen seems at all 
times to have derived much pleasure from the services of 
her own players, those of her nobiUty, and of the different 
companies of children belonging to Westminster, St. PaiJ's, 
Windsor, and the Chapel Royal The membei'S of the inns 
of court also performed " Gorboduc" on 18th Jimuaiy, 1562 ; 
and on February 1st, an historical play, under the name of 
" Julius Caesar," was represented, but by what company is 
uo where mentioned. 

lu 1572 the act was passed (which was renewed with ad- 
ditional force in 1597) to restrain the number of itinerant 

^ The original appointment of John Bernard is preserved in the 
W)7ary of Sir Thomas Philiippes, Bart., to whom we owe the addi- 
l'j>aat information, that tliis Clerk of the Revels had a house assigned 
to liim, strangely called, in the instrument, ''Egypt, and Flesh- 
Hall," with a garden which had helonged to the dissolved monastery 
of the Charter-house : the words of the original are, omnia ilia do- 
mum et edijicia nitper vocala Egipte et FUshall, ct iUntn ilomum 
mdjacenltni nuper vocatam U garneler. The theatrical wardrobe of 
Ikw court was at this period kept at St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell. 

> In his ■■ Edward VI. and Mary," laSO, vol. i. p. 2U. 

* See Kempe's " Losely iVIanuscripts," 1^35, p. (il. The warrant 
for the purpose was under the sign manual, and it was directed to 
SirT. Cawarden, as Master of the Revels ; — ^' We will and command 
y<m, upon the sight hereof, forthwith to make and deliver out of our 
Revels, unto the Gentlemen of our Chapel, for a play to be played 
before us at the feast of onr Coronation, as in times past hath been 
accustomed to be done by the Gentlemen of the Chapel of our pro- 
genitors, all such necessary garments, and other things for the fur- 
niture thereof, as shall he thought meet," &.c. The play, although 
ordered for this occasion, viz. 1st Oct. 155-'3, was for some unex- 
plamcd reason deferred until Christmas. 

* There is a material dilFerence between the warrant under the 
privy seal, and the patent under the great seal, granted upon this 
occasion : the former gives the players a right to perform •' as well 
irithin the city of London and lioertiea of tlie same " as elsewhere ; 
but the latter (dated three days afterwards, viz. 1(J May, 15T1) omits 
tins paragraph; and we need' entertain little doubt that it was ex- 
cluded at the instaikce of the Corporation of London, always opposed 
^ theatrical performancca. 

performers. Two years afterwards, the Earl of Leicester 
obtjiined from EUzabeth a patent under the great seal, to 
enable his players James Burbage, John Perkyn. John Lan- 
ham, William Johnson, and Robert Wils<)n, to perform 
" comedies, tragedies, interludes, and stage-plays," in any 
part of the kingdom, witJi the exception of the mctropoUs* 

The Lord Mayor and Aldermen succeeded in excluding 
the players from the stiiet boundaiies of the city, but they 
were not able to shut them out of the liberties ; and it ia 
not to be forgotten that James Burbage and his associates 
were supported by court favour generally, and by the pow- 
erful patronage of the Earl of Leicester m particular. Ac- 
cordingly, in the year after they had obtained thiir patent, 
James Burbage and his fellows took a large house in the 
precinct of the (.hssrilved monasteiy of the Black Friars, and 
converted it into a theatre. This was accfmijilished in 1576, 
and it is the first time we hear of any building set apart for 
theatrical representatious. tjntil then the various compa- 
nies of actors had been obhged to content themselves with 
churches, halls, with temporaiy erections in the streets, or 
with inn yards, in which they raised a stage, the spectators 
standing below, or occupying the galleries that surrounded 
the open space°.i Just about the same period two other 
edifices were built for the exhibition of phiys in Shoreditch, 
one of which was called " The Curtain"," and the other " The 
Theatre." Both these are mentioned as in existence and 
operation in 1577'. Thus we see that two buildings close 
to the walls of the city, and a tliird within a privileged dis- 
tiict in the city, all expressly applied to the purpose of 
stage-plays, were in use almost immediatelv alter tiie date 
of the Patent to the players of the Earl of Leicester. It is 
extremely likely, though we have no distinct evidence of 
the fact, that one or more play-houses were opened about 
the same time in Southwark ; and we know that the Rose 
theatre was standing there not many years afterwards' 
John Stockwood, a put itanical preacher, pubhshed a sermon 
in 1578, in which he asserted that there were " eight ordi 
nary places " in and near London for dramatic exhibitions, 
and that the united profits were not less than £2000 a year 
at least £12,000 of our present money. Another divine, of 
the name of White, equally opposed to such ])erformauces, 
preaching in 1576, called the pl."iy-houses at that time 
erected, " sumptuous theatres." No doubt, the puiitauical 
zeal of these diviues had been excited by the ojieiiing of the 
Blackfiiars, the Curtain, and the Theatre, in 1576 and 1577, 
for the exclusive purpose of the drama ; and the five addi- 
tional places, where plays, accorcUng to Stockwood, were 
acted before 1678, were most likely a play-house at New- 
ington-butts, or inn-yards, converted occasionally into 

An miportant fact, in connexion with the manner in which 
dramatic performances were patronized by Queen Elizabeth, 
has been recently brought to light'. It has been hitherto 

* In 1557 the Boar's Head, Aldgate, had been used for the per- 
formance of a drama called " The Sack full of News ;" and Stepnen 
Gosson in his " School of Abuse," 157i), {reprinted by the Shakespeare 
Society) mentions the Belle Savage and the Bull as inns at which 
particular plays had been represented. R. Flecknao, in his '■ Short 
Discourse of the English Stage." appended to his '' Love's Kingdum,-' 
ItjGJ, says that " at this day is to be seen " that " t'le inn yards of th« 
Cross-Keys, and Bull, in Grace and Bishopsgate Streets" had been 
used as theatres. There is reason to believe that the Boar's Head, 
Aldgate, had belonged to the father of Edward Alleyn. 

fi It has been supposed by some, that the Curtain theatre owed it* 
name to the curtain employed to separate the actors from the audi- 
ence. We have before us documents (which on account of then 
length we cannot insert) showing that such was probably not the fact, 
and that the ground on which the building stood was called the Cur- 
tain (perhaps as part of the fortifications of London) before any play- 
house was built there. For this information we have to ofl'er out 
thanks to Mr. T. E. Tomlins of Islington. 

^ In John Northbrooke's ^' Treatise." Sec. against " vain plays or 
interludes," licensed for the press in 1577, the work being then ready 
and ill the printer's hands It has been reprinted by the Shaksspeare 

s See the " Memoirs of Edward Alleyn," {published by the Shake- 
speare Society) p. 169. It seeias that the Rose liad been the sign of 
a house of public entertainment before it was converted into a theatre. 
Such was also the ca|e with the Swan, and the Hope, in the same 

• By .\Ir. Peter Cunningham, in his " Extracts from the Aocovnti 
of the Revels," printed for the Shakespeare So3'etv, pp 32 an/ 



lujiposed that in 1583 she selected one company of tirelve 
peiforniers, to be called " the Queen's players ;" but it seems 
that she had two separate associations in her pay. each dis- 
tinguished as " the Queen's players." Tylney. the master 
ijf the rerels at the time, records, in one of his account*, 
that in March, 1583, he had been sent for by her Majesty 
" to chuse out a company of players :" Richard Tarlton and 
Robert Wilson were placed at the head of that association, 
which was probably soon afterwards divided into two dis- 
tinct bodies of performers. In 1590, John Lanham was the 
leader of one body', and Lawrence Dutton of the other. 

We have thus brought our sketch of dramatic perform- 
ances and performers down to about the same period, the 
year 1583. We propose to continue it to 1590. and to as- 
sume that as the period not, of course, when Shakespeare 
Iji-st joined a tlieatneal company, but when he began writing 
original pieces for the stage. This is a matter which is 
more distinctly considered in the biography of the poet; 
but it is necessary here U> fix upon some date to which we 
are to extend our introductory account of the progress and 
condition of theatrical affairs. What we have still t« offer 
will apply to the seven years from 1583 to 1590. 

The accounts of the revels at court about this period 
alford us little information, and indeed for several years, 
when such entertainments were cei-tainly required by the 
Queen, we are without any details either of the pieces per- 
formed, or of the cost of preparatioa We have such par- 
ticulars for the yeai-s 1581, 1582, 1584, and 1587, but for 
the intermediate yeare they are wanting.' 

The accounts of 1581, 1582, and 1584, give us the fol- 
lowing names of dramatic performances of various kinds 
exhibited before the Queen: 

A comedy called Deliglit. Ariodante and Genevora. 

The Story of ?ompey. Pastonil of Philhda and 
A Game of the Cards. Clorin. 

A comedy of Beauty and History of Felix and Phi 

Housewifry. liomeua. 

Love and Fortune. Five Pl:iys in One. 

History of Ferrar. Tliree Piays in One. 

History of Telomo. Agamemnon and Ulysses. 

This list of dramas (the accounts mention that others 
were acted without supplying their titles) establishes that 
moral plays had not yet been excluded^ The " Game of 
the Cai'ds" is expressly called " a comedy or moral." in the 
accounts of 1582; and we may not unreasonably suppose 
that " Delight," and " Beauty and Housewifry," were of the 
eame class. " The Story of Pompey," and " Agamemnon 
and Ulysses," were evidently performances founded upon 
ancient histoi-y, and such maj' have been the ease with " The ' 
History of Telomo." •' Love and Fortune" has been called I 
" tlie pUiy of Fortune" in the account of 1573 ; and we may 
feel assured that " Ariodante and Genevora" was the st^ry 
told by Ariosto, which also fonus part of the plot of 
" Much Ado about Nothing." " The History of Ferrar" was 
doubtless "The History of Error" of the account of 1577, 
the clerk having written the title by his ear ; and we may 
reasonably suspect that " Felix and Philiomena" was the 
tale of Felix and Felismena, narrated in the - Diana" of 
Montemayor. It is thus evident, that the Master of the 

180. The editor's " Introduction " is fail of new and valnable infor- 

^ Tarlton died on 3 Sept. 15S9. and we apprehend that it was not 
antil after this dale that Lanham became leader of one comTianv of 
the Queen's Players. Mr. Halliwell discovered Tarlton's wifl in the 
Prerogative Office, bearing date on the day of his decease : he there 
calls himself one of the grooms of the Queen's chamber, and leaves 
all his " goods, cattels. chattels, plate, ready money, jewels, bonds 
olili^lory. specialties, and debts," to his son Philip Tarlton, a minor. 
He appoints his mother, Katherine Tarlton. his friend Robert Adams, 
and "his fellow William Johnson, one also of the grooms of her 
Majesty's chamber," trustees for his son. and executors of his will, 
which was proved by Adams three days after the death of the testator! 
As Tarlton says nothinp about his wife in his will, we may presume 
that he was a widower ; and of his son, Philip Tarlton, we never hear 

* From ISs* tc 1604, the most important period as reparde Shake- 
speare, it does not appear that any official statements by the master 
of tbe .erels have been preserved, in the same wav there is an nn- 
fnrluaate interval between 16U4 and 1611. 

* One of the last pieces represented before Queen Elizabeth was a 

Revels and the actors exerted themselves to fui-nish variety 
for the cnteitainment of the Queen and her nobditv ; but 
we still see no trace (" Gorboduc" excepted) of any play at 
court the materials for which were obtained fn 'in the Eng- 
lish Chronicles. It is very certain, however, that anterior 
to 1588 such pieces had been wiitten, and acted before pub- 
lic audiences* ; but those who catered for the court in these 
matters might not consider it expedient to erhibit. in the 
presence of the Queen, any play which mvolved the actions 
or condudt of her predecessors. The companies of players 
engaged in these representations were those of the Queen, 
the Earls t»f Leicester, Derby, Sussex, Oxford, the L::d« 
Htmsdon and Strange, and the children of the Chapel RoyiJ 
and of St. Paul's. 

About tliis date the nimibei of companies of actors per 
i forming pubhcly in and near London seems to have beer 
very ctmsiderable. A person, wh» cidls himself " a soldier," 
writing to Secretary Walsingham, in January. 1586,' tells 
him. that " eveiy day in the week the players' bills are set 
up in sundry places of the city," and after mentioning the 
actors of the Queen, the Earl of Leicester,' tlie Earl of 
Oxford, and the Lord Admiral, he goes on t« state that not 
fewer than two hundred persons, thus retained and em 
ploj'ed, strutted in their silks about the streets. It may be 
doubted whether this statement is much exaggerated, re- 
collecting the many noblemen who had players acting under 
their names at tliis date, and that each company consisted 
probably of eight or ten performei's. On the same authority 
we learn that theatncal re[3resentations upon the Sabbath 
had been forbidden ; but this restriction does not seem to 
have been imposed without a considerable struggle. Before 
1581 the Privy Cotmcil had issued an order upon the sub- 
ject, but it was disregarded in some of the suburbs of Lon- 
don ; and it was not untU after a fatal exliibition of bear- 
baitmg at Pails Garden, upon Sunday, 13 June, 1583,-wheH 
many persons were killed and wounded by the falling of a 
scaffc 'Id. that the practice of playing, as well as bear-baiting, 
on the Sabbath was at all generally checked. In 1586, as 
far as we can judge from the iuformatii 'U that has come 
down to our day, the order which had been issued in this 
respect was pretty strictly enforced. At this period, and 
afterwards, plays were not unfrequently played at comt on 
Simday, and the chief difficulty therefore seems to have 
been t«^i induce the Privy Council to act with energy against 
similar performances in pubUe theatres. 

The annual official statement of the Master of the Revels 
merely tells us. in general terms, that between Christmas 
1686. and Shrovetide 1587, "seven plays, besides feats of 
activity, and other shows by the children of Paul's, her 
Majesty's sei-vants, and the gentlemen of Gray's Inn," wei'e 
prepared and represented before the Queen at Cireenwich. 
No names of plays are furnished, but in 1587 was printed a 
trao;edy, under the title of " The Misfortunes of Arthur," 
which purports to have been acted by some of tJie members 
of Gray's Inn before the Queen, on 28 Feb., 1587 : this, in • 
fact, must be the very production stated in the revels' ac- 
counts to have been got up and performed by these par- 
ties; and it requires notice, not merely for its own iutiinsic 
excellence as a drama, but because, in point of date, it is 

moral play, under the title of '■ The Contention between Liheralitw 
and ProdigaLiy," printed in 160*2, and acted, as appears by the strong 
est internal evidence, in 16(10. 

* Tarlton, who died, as we have already staled, in Sept. 15S6, o}> 
tained great celebrity by his performance of the two parts of Derrick 
and the Judge, in the old historical play of '' The Famous Victories 
of Henry the Fifth." 

' See the original letter in Harleian MSS. No. 2-:6. 

* The manner in which, about this time, the players were bribed 
away from Oxford is curious, and one of the items in the accounts 
expressly applies to the Earl of Leicester's servants. We are obligwi 
to the Rev. Dr. Bliss for the following extracts, relating to tiiis pe- 

I riod and a little afterwards : 

j 1567 Solut. Histrionibas Comitis Lecestrise. ut cum suis India 
I sine majore Academis molestid discedant . . xx« 

Solut. Histnonibus Honoratissimi Domini Howard . xxa 
1588 Solut. Histrionibus, ne ludos inhonestos exercerenl in- 
fra Universitatem .... (no suss* 
1590 Solut. per D. Eedes, vice-cancellarii locum tenentera, 
quibusdam Histrionibus. ut sine perta^batiine ftt 
strepita ab Academic discederent ■ V 



the second nlav founded upon English history represented | stage is noticed, is an epistle ty Thomas Nash introducing 
at court, as ^vell as the second original theatrical production ! to the world his friend Robert Greenes "Menapnon^ n: 
in blank-verse that has been presei-ved'. 'ITie example, in 1587': there, in reference to " vaiu-glorious tragedians, he 
this parlirular, had been set, as we have already shown, in I says, that they are " mounted ou the stage of airogance, 
" Ooi'bodi.c," tilteen years before ; and it is pmbible, that in and_ that^ they " thmk to put^braye better P™^^ Jj_^__^,« 
that interval uot a few uf the serious compositions exhibited " ' . -^ i „ . „..=» «= ^,™„,.,i 

at couit were in bhink-versc, but it had not yet been used 
on any of our public stages. 

The main Iwdy of "The Misfortunes of Arthur" was the 
authoi-ship of 'I'homas Hughes, a member of Gray's Inn; 
but some speeches and two chomscs (which ai-e iu rhyme) 
weie added by William Fulbecke aud Francis Flower, 
while no less a man tliari Lord Bacon assisted Christopher 
Yelvertou auJ John Laucaster in the preparation of the 
ilumb-sbows. Hughes evidently took " Gorboduc" as his 
model. Doth in subject and style, and, like Sackville aud 
Norton, he adopted the form of the Greek aud Roman 
drama, and adhered more strictly than liis predecessors to 
tlie unities of time and place. The plot relates to the re- 
belUon of Mordred against his father, king Arthur, and part 
of the plot is very revolting, on account of the incest be- 
tween Mordred and his stepmother Guenevora, Mordred 
himself beiug the son of Arthur's sister : there is also a vast 
deal of blood and slaughter throughout, and the catastrophe 
is the Idlliug of the son by the father, and of the father by 
the sou; so that a more painfully disagreeable story could 
hardly have been selected. The'author, however, possessed 
a very bold aud vigorous genius ; his characters are strongly 
drawn, and the language they employ is consistent with 
their situations and habits : his blank-veree, both in force 
ind variety, is superior to that of either SackviUe or Nor- 

It is yeiy clear, that up to the year 1580, about which 
date Gossou published his " Plays confuted in Five Ac- 
tions," ■dramatic performances on the public stages of Lon- 
don were sometimes in prose, but more coustautly in rhyme. 
In his "School of Abuse," 1519, Gosson speaks of "two 
prose books played at the BeU Savage' ;" but in his " Plays 
confuted" he tells us, that " poets send their verses to the 
stage upon suoh feet as continually are rolled up in rhyme." 
with one or two exceptions, all the plays pubhcly acted, of 
a date anterior to 1590, that have come down to us, are 
either in prose or in rhyme*. The case seems to have been 
ditfereut, as already remarked, with some of the court- 
shows and private entertainments ; but we are now advert- 
ing to the pieces represented at such places as the Theatre, 
the Curtjiiu, Blackfriars, and in inn-yards adapted tempo- 
rarily to dramatic amusements, to which the public was 
indiscriniinately admitted. The earliest work, m which the 
employment of blank-verse for the purpose of the common 

1 Gascoyne's ".Tocasta," printed in 1577, and represented by the 
luthor and other members of the society at (Jray's Inn in 151iG aji a 
private show, was a translation from Euripides. It is, a-s far as has 
yet been ascertained, the second play in our language written in 
•blank-verse, but it was not an original work. The same author's 
■^ Supposes," taken from Ariosto, is in prose. 

a "The Misfortunes of Arthur," with four other dramas, has been 
reprinted in a supplementary volume to the last edition of liodsley's 
Old Plays. It is not, therefore, necessary here to enter into an ex- 
amination of its structure or versification. It is a work of extraor- 
dinary power. ftn ,.. . L 

3 See the Shakespeare Society's reprint, p. 30. Gosson gives them 
Ihe highest praise, asserting that they contained "never a word 
without wit, never a line without pith, never a letter placed in 

vain." ' , , 

* Sometimes plays written in prose were, at a subsequent date, 
when blank-verse had become the popular form of composition, pub- 
lished as if thev had been composed in measured lines. The old his- 
torical plav. "The Famous Victories of Henry tne Fifth," which 
preceded that of SnaKespeare. is an instance directly in point : it was 
written in prose, but the old printer chopped it up into lines of un- 
equal length, so as to make it appear to the eye something like blank- 

« Greene began writing in 1583, his "Maraillia" having been 
then printed: his ''Mirror of Modesty" and " Monardo," bear the 
date of 15t<4. His "Menaphon" (afterwards called "Greene's Ar- 
cadia") first appeared in lot<7, and it was reprinted in IS.'i'J. Vfe 
have never seen the earliest edition of it, but it is mentioned by 
various biblingraphors ; and those who have thrown doubt upon the 
point, (stated in the History „f English Dramatic I'oetry and the 
Stage, vol. iii., p. ISO), for the sake of founding an argument upon 
■■ have not adverted to the conclusive fact, that "Menaphon is 

swelhug bimbast of bragging blank-verse." He aftei-warda 
talks of the " dinunming decasyllibon" they employed, and 
ritUcules them for " reposing eternity iu the mouth of a 
player." This question is fartlier illustrated by a produc- 
tion by Greene, published m the next year, " Perun«de«. 
the Blacksmith," from which it is evident that Nash had at 
iniUvidual allusion in what he had said in 1581. Clreena 
fixes on the author of the tragedy of " Tamburlaine," whom 
he accuses of " setting the end of sehohirism in an EngUsli 
blank-verse," and who, it should seem, had somewhere ac- 
cused Greene of not being able to -nn-ite it. 

We learn from various authorities, that Christopher 
Marlowe" was the author of " Tamburlaine the Great," a 
dramatic work of the highest celebrity and popularity, 
printed as eaily as 1590, and affording the first known in- 
stance of the use of blank-verse in a pubhc theatre : the 
title-page of the edition 1590 states, that it had been "sun- 
di'y times shown upon stiiges in the city of London." In 
the prologue the author claims to have intioiluced a nfw 
form of composition : — 

" From jigging veins of rhyming motlier-wits, 
And such conceits as clownago keeps in pay, 
We Ml lead you to the stately tent of war," &c. 

Accordingly, nearly the whole drama, consisting of a first 
and second part, is in blank-verse. Hence we see the value 
of Dryden's loose assertion, in the dedication to Lord Oi'- 
rery of his " Rival Ladies," in 1661, that " Shakespeare was 
the first who, to shun the pains of continual i-hyming, in- 
vnited that kind of writing which we call blank-vei-se." 
The distinction belongs to Mai-lowe, the greatest of Shakes 
peai'e's predecessors, and a poet wlio, if he had lived, might, 
iieihaps, have been a formidable rival of his genius. We 
liave too much reverence for the exhaustless oi'iginality of 
our great dramatist, to thmk that he cannot afford this, or 
any other tribute to a poet, who, as far as the public stage 
is concerned, desei'ves to be regarded as the inventor of a 
new style of composition. 

That the attempt was viewed with jealousy, there can b« 
no doubt, after what we have quoted from Nash and Greene. 
It is most likely that Greene, who was older than Nash, 
had previously written various drannis in rhyme ; and the 
bold experiment of Marlowe having been instantly success- 
ful, Gieeue was obliged to abandon his old course, and his 
extant plays are all in blank-verse. Nash, who had at- 


ntioned as already in 

TiCB' in the introductory matter to another 

of Greene's pamphlets, dated in 1587— we mean "Euphues his 
Censure to Phiiautus." 

6 If Marlowe were born, as has been supposed, about \obi, (Uldyi 
places the event earlier,) he was twenty-four when he wrote "Tam- 
burlaine." as we believe, in 1.5«6, and only thirty-one when he WM 
killed by a person of the name of Archer, in an affray arising out of 
an amorous intrigue, in 1.593. In a manuscript note of the time, in 
a copy of his version of "Hero and Leander," edit. lO'iO, in our pos- 
iiession. it is said, among other things, that " Marlowe's father was a 
shoemaker at Canterbury," and that he had an acquaintance at Dover 
whom he infected with the extreme liberality of his opinions OB 
matters of religion. At the back of the title-page of the samt 
volume is inserted the following epitaph, subscribed with Marlowa' 
name, and no doubt of his composition, although never befol 

noticed : — . . . 

"In obitum honoratissimi vin 
RoGKRl .Man-wood, Militis. Ciuiestorii 
Reginalis Capitalis Baronis. 
Noctivagi terror, ganeonis triste fiagellum, 
Et Jovis Alcides. rigido vulturque latroni, 
Urnik subtegitur : scelerum gaudete nepotes. 
Insons, luctifica sparsis cervice capiUis, 
Flange, fori lumen, veneranda; gloria legis 
Occidit : heu ! secum effoitas Acherontis ad oras 
Multa abiit virtus. Pro tot virtutibus uni, 
Livor. parce viro : non audpcissimus esto 
Illius in cineres, cujus tot millia vultlis 
Mortalium attonuit : sic cum te nuncia Ditis 
Vulneret exanguis, feliciter ossa quiescant, 
FamEBque marmorei snperet moniiinenta sepulchri.^' 
It is added, that "Marlowe was a rare scholar, and died aged aboa* 
thirty." The above is the only extant specimen of his LatinJom 
position, and we insert it exa^t^r as .t stands in iDe,nuficr,pt 



tacked Mailo-sce in 1687, before 1693 (when Marlowe was 
billed) had joined him in the production of a blank-verse 
li-agedy on the storj' of Dido, which was printed in 1594. 

It has been objected to " TamburLiine," that it is written 
in a turgid and ambitious style, such indeed as Nash and 
Greene ridicule ; but we are to recollect that Marlowe was 
at this time eudeavoming to wean audiences from the 
"jigging veins of rhyming umther-wits," and that, in order to 
satisfy the ear for the loss of the jingle, he was obliged to 
give what Kash calls " the swelling bombast of bragging 
blank-verse. " This consideration wUl of itself account for 
breaches of a more correct taste to be found in " Tambur- 
kine." In the Prolngue, besides what we have already 
quoted, Marlowe tells the audience to expect " high as- 
toutding terms," and he did not disappoint expectatioa 
Perhaps the better to reconcile the ordinary frequenters of 
pubhc theatres to the change, he inserted various scenes of 
low comedy, which the prmter of tlie edition in 1690 
thought fit "to exclude, as " digressing, and far unmeet for 
the matter." Marlowe likewise sprinkled couplets here 
and there, although it is to be remembered, that having ac- 
complished his object of substituting blank-verse by the 
drst part of " Tamburlaine," he did not, even in the second 
part, think it necessaiy by any means so frequently to in- 
troduce occasional rhymes. In those plays which there is 
ground for believing to be the first works of Shakespeare, 
couplets, and even stanzas, are more frequent than in any 
of the surviving productions of Marlowe. This eiicum- 
stance is, perhaps, in part to be accounted for by the fact 
(as far as we may so call it) that our great poet retained 
iu some of his performances portions of old rhyming drsmias, 
which he altered and adapted to the stage ; but in early 
plays, which are to be looked upon as entirely his own, 
Shakespeare appears Ui have deemed rhyme more neces- 
■■ary to satisfy the eai- of Ids auditory than Mai-lowe held it 
when he wrote his " Tamburlaine the Great" 

As the first employment of blank-verse upon the pubUe 
stage by Mai'lowe is a matter of much importance, in rela- 
tion to the history of our more ancient drama, and to the 
subsequent adoption of that form of composition by Shakes- 
peare, we ought not Ui dismiss it without afl'ording a single 
specunen from " Tamburlaine the Great" The following 
is a portion of a speech by the hero to Zenocrate, when first 
he meets and sues to her : 

" Disdains Zenocrate to live with me, 
Or you, my lords, to be my followers ? 
Think you I weigh tliis treiusure more than you '( 
Not all the gold in India's wealtliy arms 
Shall buy the meanest soKlier in my train. 
Zenocrate, lovelier than the love of Jove, 
Brighter than is the silver Khodore, 
Fairer than whitest snow on Scythian hills, 
Tliy person is more worth to Tamburlaine, 
Than the possession of the Persian crown. 
Which gracious stars have promis'd at my birth. 
A hundred Tartars shall attend on thee, 
Mounted on steeds swifter than Peirasus : 
Thy garments shall be made of Median silk, 
Knoh'as'd with precious jewels of mine own, 
More rich and valuroua tliau Zenocrate's : 
With milk-white harts upon an ivory sled 
Thou sualt be drawn amidst the frozen poles, 

0-1/ quotation is from a C5py of the edition of 1.590, 4to. in the 
ti'xarf of Lord Francis Egerton, which we believe to be the earliest ; 
en the title-pa?e it is stated that it is " now first and newly pub- 
lished." It was several times reprinted. No modern edition is to be 
trus»id ; they are full of the grossest errors, and never could have 
been dilated. 

3 Another play, not published until 1657, under the title of " Lust's 
Dominion," has also been onstantly. but falsely, assigned to Mar- 
lowe : some of the historical events contained in it did not happen 
until five years after the death of that poet. This fact was distinctly 
pointed out nearly twenty years ago, in the last edition of Dodsley's 
Old Plays (vol li., p. 311) ; but nevertheless •■ Lust's Dominion" has 
ftince been spoken of and treated as Marlowe's undoubted production, 
and even included in editions of his works. It is in all probability 
the same drama as that which, in Henslowe's Diary, is called '' The 
t^panieh Moor's Tragedy." which was written by Delcker, Haughton, 
and Day, in the beginning of the year 1(300. 

' In the History of English Dramatic Poetry and the Stage, vol. 
rii., p. 1.39, it is incautiously stated, that " the character of Shakes- 
peare's R-ichai 1 II. seems modelled in no slight degree upon that of 

And scale the icy mountains' lofty tops, 
Wliich with thy beauty will bo soon dissolv'd."' 

Nash having alluded to "Tamburlaine" in 1587, it is cvi 
dent that it could hardly have been written later than 1685 
or 1686, which is about the period when it has been gener 
ally, and with much appearance of probabihty, supposed 
that Shakespeare arrived in London. In considering the 
state of the stage just before our great dramatist became a 
•wi-iter for it it is clearly, therefore, neeessarv to advert 
briefly to the other works of Marlowe, observmg iu addi- 
tion, witli reference to " Tamburlaine," that it is a historical 
drama, iu which not a single tmity is regarded ; time, plaoH, 
and action, are equally set at defiance, and the scene shifti 
at once to or from Persia, Scj'thia, Georgia, and Morocco, 
as best suited the pui-pose of the poet 

Marlowe was also, most Ukely, the author of a play in 
which the Priest of the Sim was prominent as Greene men- 
tions it with " Tambm'laine" iu 1588, but no such piece is 
now known : he, however, wrote " The Tragical History of 
the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus," " The Massacre at 
Paris," " The rich Jew of Malta," aud an Enghsh historical 
play, called " The troublesome Reign and lamentable Death 
of Edward the Second," besides aiding Nash in " Dido 
Queen of Carthage," as already^ If they were 
not all of them of a date anterior to any of Shakespeare's 
original works, they were "written Ly ti man "who had set 
the example of the employment of blank-verse upon the 
pubUe stage, and perhaps of tne historical imd romantic 
di'ama in all its leading features and characteristics. His 
" Edward the Second" aifords sufficient proof of both these 
points : the versification displays, though not perliaps in the 
same abundance, nearly all the excellences of Shakespeare ; 
and in point of construction, as well as iu interest, it bears 
a strong resemblance to the " Richard the Second" of our 
great dramatist. It is unpossible U> read the one without 
being reminded of the nther, and we can have no difficulty 
in assigning " Edward the Second" to an anterior period.* 

The same remark as to date may be made upon the 
plays which came from the pen of Robert Greene, who 
died in yeptembor, 1592, when Shakespeare was rising into 
notice, and exciting the jealousy of dramatists who had 
previously furnished the public stages. This joalousy broke 
out on the part of Greene in, if not bf^ore, 159'2. (in which 
year his " Groatsworth of Wit," a posthumous work, was 
published by his coutemporary, Henry Chettle'',) when he 
complained that Shakespeare had "beautified himself" 
with the feathers of others : he alluded, as we apprehend, 
to tlie maimer in which Shakespeare had availed liimself 
of the two parts of the " Contention between the Houses, 
York and Lancaster," in the autht^rship of which there is 
much reasou to suppose Greene had been concerned.' Such 
evidence as remams upon this point has been adduced in 
our " Introduction" to " The Third Part of Henry V I. ;" and 
a perusal of the two parts of the " Contention," in their 
original state, wiU serve to show the condition of our dra- 
matic literature at that great epoch of our static-history," 
when Shakespeare began to acquire celebrity.' •■ The True 
Tiagedy of Richard ilL" is a drama of about the some 
period, which has come down to us iu a much more imper- 
feet state, the original manuscript having been obviously 

Edward 11." We willingly adopt the qualification of Mr. Hallam 
upon this point, where he says, (•' Introductiooi to the Literature of 
Europe," vol. ii., p. 171, edit, Ivl't,) "1 am reluctant to admit that 
Shakespeare modelled his characters by those of other,^; and it is 
natural to ask whether there were not an extraordinary likeness in 
the dispositions, as well as in the fortunes of the two kii>gs?" 

* In our biographical account of Shakespeare, under the date of 
1.392, we have necessarily entered more at large into this question. 

* Mr. Hallam (" introduction to the Literature of Europe " "dI. ri., 
p. 171) supposes that the words of Greene, referring to Snakespeaje. 
'' There is an upstart crow beautified with our feathers." are addressed 
to .Marlowe, who may have had a principal share in the production 
of the two parts of the "Contention " This conjecture is certainty 
more than plausible ; but we may easily imagine Greene to have 
alluded to himself also, and that he had been Marlowe's partner in 
the composition of the two dramas, which Shakespeare remode'Jed, 
perhaps, not very long before the death of Greene. 

* They have been accurately reprinted by the Shakespeare S-xiety 
under the care of Mr HalliweU, from the earliest impressi'nc i» 
1594 and 1595 



very corrupt It. was piiut^d in 1694, and Shakespeare, 
tincliiig it in. tlie possession of tbe conipnuv to -ffhieli be 
was attiielail, probably bad no scruple iu constructing bis 
" Ricliard the Third " of some of its rude mateiials. It 
'Ceius not unlikely that Robert Greene, and perhaps some 
ther popular dramatists of his day, hud been engaged 
upon "The True Trageily of KieharJ III."' 

The dramatic works published under the name or initials 
of Robei't Greene, or by extraneous testimony ascertiimed 
to be bis, were "Orlando Furioso," (founded upon the 
poems of Boiardo and Ariosto,) first printed iu 169-1 -^ 
" Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay," also first printed iu 1594, 
and taken from a popular st<u'y-b<iok of the time ; " Al- 
phonsus Kiug of Arragon," 1699, for which we know of no 
original ; and " James tbe Fourth" of Scotland, 1598, 
l^arlly borrowed from history, and partly mere invention. 
Greene also joined with Thomas Lodge in writing a species 
of moral-minicle-play, (part;iking of the nature of both,) 
under the title of " A Lookiiig-Glass for London and £ug- 
huid," 1694, derived from sacred history ; and to him has 
also been imputed " George a Greene, the Pinner of Wake- 
field," and " The Contention between Liberality and Prodi- 
gality," the one prmted in 1699, and the other in 16ua. It 
may be seriously doubted whether he had any hand iii-the 
two hist, but the productions above-named deserve atten- 
tion, as works written at an early date for the gratification 
of popular autiicaecs. 

Ill the passage already referred to fiom the " Groats- 
worth of Wit," 1592, Greene also objects to Shakespeare 
on the ground that he thought himself " as well able to 
bombast out a bhrnk-verse" as the best of his contempijra- 
ries. The fact is, that iu this respect, as iu all others, 
Greene was much inferior to ilarlowe, and still less can his 
lines bear comparison with those of Shakespeare. He 
doubtless begim to write for the stage in rhyme, and his 
blank-verse preserves nearly all ttie defects of that early 
form : it I'eads heavily and monotonously, without variety 
ol pause and inflection, and almost the only difference be- 
tween it and rhyme is the absence of corresponding sounds 
at the ends of the lines. 

Tha sjmie defects, and iu quite as striking a degree, be 
long to another of the di'amatists who is entitled to be eon 
sidered a jiredecessor of Shakespeare, and whose name has 
been before introduced — Thomas Lodge. Only one play in 
which he was unassisted has descended to us, and it bears 
the title of " The Wounds of Civil War, lively set forth in 
the True Tragedies of Marius and Sylliu" It was not 
printed until 1594, but the author begiin to write as early 
as 1580, and we may safely consider his tragedy anterior 
to the original works of Shakespeare: it was probably 
written aliout 1587 or 1588, as a not very successful expe- 
riineut in blank-verse, in imitation of that style which 
Marlowe had at once rendered popular. 

As regards the dates when his pieces came from the 
press, John Lyiy is entitled to earlier notice than Greene, 
Lodge, or even Marlowe; and it is possil>Ic, as he was ten 

> This drama has also been reprinted by the Shakespeare Society, 
witli perfect fitielity to tbe original edition of 1694, in the library of 
the Duke of Devonshire. The reprint was superintended by Mr B 

»In "The History of EnKlish Dramatic Poetry and the Stage,'' 
vol. iii., p. 165, it is observed of " Orlando FuriuBo :"— " How far this 
play was printed according to the author's copy, we have no meant 
of deciding ; but it hijs evidently come down to us in a very iuiper- 
tect state." Means of determining the point beyond dispute have 
since been discovered in a manuscript of the part of Orlando (as writ- 
ten out for Edward AUeyn by the copyist of tlie theatre) preserved at 
Dulwich ColleRe. Hence it is clear that much was omitted and cor- 
rupted in the two printed editions of 16<J4 and 15U0. See the "Me- 
moirs of Edward Atleyn," p. I'Jy. 

> They were acted by the children of the chapel, or by the children 
of St. Paul's, and a few of them bear evidence on the title-pages that 
they -were presenl-^d at a private theatre— none of them that tliey had 
been played upoB public sla^zes before popular audiences. 

♦ He is supposed to have been born about the year 1553. He was 
probably son to .Stephen Feole. who was a bookseller and a writer of 
baUads. Stephen feelc was the publisher of Bishop Bale's miracle- 
play of "God's Promises," in 1.577, and his name is subscribed, as 
author, to two Ballads printed -by the Percy Society in the earliest 
production from their press. The connexion between Stephen and 
Go'jrfe Peete has never struck any of the biographers of the latter. 
Bt«phen I'eele was most likely the authoi of a pai;eant on the mayor- 

years older than Shakespeare, that he was a writer before 
any of them : it does not seem, however, that his dramas 
were intended for the public stage, but for court-shows or 
private entertainments.^ His " Alexander and Campaspe," 
the best of his productions, was represented at Court, and 
it was twice pruited, in 1684, and again in 1691 : it is, like 
most of this author's productions, in pi'ose ; but his " Wo' 
m.oD in the Sloon" (printed iu 1697) is in blank-verse, and 
the " Maid's Metamorphosis," 1000, (if indeed it be by him,) 
is iu rhyme. As none of th^se dramas, generally com- 
posed in a refined, affected, and artificial style, can be said 
to have had any material influence upon stage-entertaio- 
ments before miscellaneous audiences in London, it is un- 
necessary for our present purpose to say more regarding 

George Peele was about the same age as Lyly ;* but his 
theatrical productions (with the exception of " The Ar- 
raignment of Paris," printed in 1584, and written for the 
court) are of a difiercut description, having been intendea 
for e.xliibition at the ordinary theatres. His " Edwaid the 
First" he calls a " famous chronicle," and most of the inci- 
dents are derived from history : it is, iu fact, one of our 
earhest plays founded upon English annals. It was printed 
iu 1693 and in 1699, but with so many imperfections, that 
we cannot accept it as any fair representation of the state 
in which it came from the author's pen. The most re- 
mai'kable feature belonging to it is the imworthy manner 
in which Peele sacrificed the character of the Queen to his 
desire to gratify the popular antipathy to the Spaniards : 
the opening of it is spirited, and aft'ords evidence of the 
author's skill as a writer of blank-verse. His " Battle of 
Alcazar" nuiy also be termed a historical drama, in which 
he allowed himself the most extravagant hoence as to 
time, incidents, and characters. It perhaps preceded hifl 
" Edward the First" in point of date, (though uot printed 
until 1594,) and the principal event it refers to occiu'ied in 
ISTS. "Sir Clyomon and Clamydes" is merely a romance, 
in the old form of a rhymiug play ;° and '' David and Beth- 
sabe," a scriptural drama, and a great miprovement upon 
older pieces of the same description : Peele here confined 
himself strictly to the incidents in Holy Writ, tmd it cer 
tainly contains the best specimens of his blank-verse com- 
position. His "Old Wives' Tale," in the shape iu which it 
has reached us, seems hardly deserving of criticism, and it 
would have I'eceived little notice but for some remote, and 
pertiaps accidental, resemblance between its story and that 
of Milton's "Coinus."* 

The " Jeronimo " of Thomas Kyd is to be looked upon as 
a species of transition play: the date of its composition, 
on the testimony of Ben Jonson, may be stated to be prior 
to 1588,' just after Marlowe had pi'oduced his "Tambur- 
laine," and when Kyd hesitated to follow bis hold step to 
the full extent of his progress. "Jeronimo" is therefore 
partly in blank- verse, and partly in rhyme: the same ob- 
servation will apply, though uot in the same degree, tc 
Kyd's " Spanish Tragedy :" it is in truth a second part of 

ally of Sir W. Draper, in 15G6-7, of which an account is Eriven bv 
Mr. Fairholt, in his work upon " Lord Mayors' Pageants,'^ printed 
for the Percy Society : he erroneously supposed it to have been the 
work of George Peele, who could not then nave been more than four- 
teen years old, even if we carry back the date of his birth to 1553. 
George Peele was dead in 15'J.-^. 

* It may be doubted whether Peele wrote any part of this produc- 
tion : It was printed anonymously in tSUy, and all the evidence of 
authorship is the existence of a copy with the name oi Peele, in an 
old hand, upon the title-page. If he wrote it at all, it was doubtless 
a very early composition, and it belongs precisely to the class of ro- 
mantic plays ridiculed by Stephen Gosson about 15bO. 

« See Milton's Minor Poems, by T. Warton. p. 135, edit. 1701. Of 
this resemblance, Warton, who Hrst pointed it out. rem-irks, "That 
Milton had an eye on this ancient drama, which might have been a 
favourite in his early youth, perhaps it may be affirmed with at least 
as much credibility, as that he conceived the Paradise Lost from seeing 
a mystery at Florence, written by Adreini, a Florentine, in 1017, 
entitled Adarao." The fact may have been, that Peele and Milton 
resorted to the same original, now lost : " The Old Wives' Tale" 
reads exactly as if it were founded upon some popular story- 

' In the Induction to his " Cynthia's Revels "' acted in 1600 
where he is speaking of the revival of playi^, and amtng othws of 
'' the old Jeronimo," which, he adds, had '- departed a dczna yeuv 



" Jeronimo," the storv being continued from one play to the 
other, and mnniiged with considerable dextei'ity. The in- 
terest in the latter is great, and generally well sustained, 
and some of the characters are drawn with no little art and 
force. The success of " Jeronimo," doubtless, induced Kyd 
to write the second part of it immediately; and we need 
not hesitate in concluding that "The Spanish Ti-agedy" 
had been acted before 1 590. 

Besides Marlowe, Greene, Lodge, Lyly, Peele, and Kyd, 
there were other dramatists, who may be looked upon as 
the immediate predecessors of Shakespeare, but few ef 
whose printed works are of an earlier date, as regards 
composition, than some of those which came from the pen 
of our great poet. Among, Thomas Nash was the 
most distinguished, whose contribution to "Dido,*' in con- 
junction with Marlowe, has been before noticed; the por- 
tions which came from the pen of Marlowe are, we think, 
easily to be distinguished from those written by Nash, 
whose genius does not seem to have been of an imaginative 
or dramatic, but of a satirical and objurgatory character. 
He produced alone a piece called " Summer's Last Will 
and Testament," which was written in the autumn of 1592, 
but not printed until 1600: it bears internal evidence that 
it was exhibited as a private show, and it could never have 
been meant for public performance.' Henry Chettle, who 
was aUo senior to Shakespeare, has left behind him a 
tragedy called " Hoffman," which was not printed until 
1630; and he was engaged with Anthony Munday in pro- 
ducing "The Death of Koliert Earl of Huntington," 
printed in 1601. From Henslowe's Diary we learn that 
iioth these pieces were written subsequent to the date when 
Shakespeare had acquired a high reputation. Munday had 
been a dramatist as early as 15S4, when a rhyming trans- 
lation by him, under the title of " Tlie Two Italian Gentle- 
men," came from the press ;^ and in the interval between 
that year and 1602, he wrote the whole or parts of various 
plays which have been lost.^ Robert Wilson ought not to 
be omitted : he seems to have been a prolific dramatist, 
but only one comedy by hin> has .'■urvived, under the title 
of "The Cobbler's Prophecy," and it was printed in 1594. 
According to the evidence of Heuslowe, he aided Drayton 
and Munday iu writing "The First Part of the Life of Sir 
John Oldcastle," printed in 1600; but he must at that date 
have been old, if he were the same Robert Wilson who was 
one of Lord Leicester's theatrical servants in 1574, and 
who became one of the leaders of the company called the 
Queen's Players in 1583. He seems to have been a low 
comedian, and his "Cobbler's Prophecy" is a piece, the 
drollery of which must have depended in a great degree 
upon the performers. 

With regard to mechanical facilities for the representa- 
tion of plays before, and indeed long after, the time of 
Shakespeare, it may be sufficient to state, that our old pub- 
lic theatres were merely round wooden buildings, open to 
the sky in the imdience part of the house, although the 
stage was covered by a hanging roof: the spectators stood 
on the ground in front or at the sides, or were accommo- 
dated in boxes round the inner circumference of the editice, 
or in galleries at a greater elevation. Our ancient stage 

1 It can be bIiowd to have been represented at Croydon, no doubt 
at Beddjngton, the residence of the Carews, under whose patronage 
Nash acknowledges himself to have been living. See the dedication 
to his "Terrors of the Niglit," 4to, 1694. The date of the death of 
N'aflh, who probably took a part in the representation of his " Sum- 
mer's Last Will and Testament," has been disputed — whether it was 
before or after 16U1 ; but the production of a cenotaph upon him, 
from Fitz-geoffrey's Ajfunios, printed in 16t)l. must put an end to all 
doubt. See the Introduction to Niish's " Pierce Penn.vle^s," 1592, as 
reprinted for the ShakespeHre Society. 

* The only known copy of this comedy is without a title-page, but 
It waa entered at Stationers' Hall for publication in 1584, aud we 
may presume that it was printed about that date. 

* He had some share in writing the first part of the " Life of Sir 
John Oldcastle," which was printed as Shakespeare's work in 1600, 
although some copies of the play exist without hia name on the title- 

was unfurnished with moveable scenery ; and tables, ghairs, 
a few boards for a battlemented wall, or a rude structure 
for a tomb or an altar, seem to have been nearly all the 
properties it possessed. It was usually hung round with 
decayed taj>estry ; and as there was no other mode of con- 
veying the necessary information, the author often provided 
that the player, on his entrance, should take occasion to 
mention the place of action. When the business of a piece 
I required that the stage should represent two apartments, 
the effect was accomplished by a curtain, called a traverse, 
drawn across it ; and a sort of balcony in the rear enabled 
I the wTiter to represent his characters at a window, on the 
platform of a castle, or on an elevated terrace. 

To this simplicity, and to these deficiencies, we doubt- 
less owe some of the finest passages in our early plays ; for 
it was part of the business of the dramatist to supply the 
absence of coloured canvas by grandeur and luxuriance 
of description. The ear was thus made the sulistitnte for 
the eye, and the poet's pen, aided by the auditor's imagina- 
tion, more than supplied the place of the painter's biush. 
Moveable scenery was unknown in our public theatres until 
after the Restoration; and, as has been observed elsewhere, 
"the introduction of it gives the date to the commence- 
j ment of the decline of our dramatic poetry."* 

How far propriety of costume was regarded, we have 
no sufficient means of deciding; but we apprehend that 
more attention was paid to it than has been generally sup- 
posed, or than was accomplished at a much later and more 
refined period. It is indisputable that often in this depart- 
ment no outlay was spared: the most costly dresses were 
purchased, that characters might be consistently habited; 
and, as a single proof, we may mention, that sometiine* 
more than 20/. were given for a cloak,' an ononnous price, 
when it is reeollected that money was then five or six timea 

valuable as at present 

We have thus briefly stated all that seems absolutely re- 
quired to give the reader a correct notion of the state of 
the English drama and stage at the period when, according 
to the best judgment we can form from such evidence a? 
remains to us, Shakespeare advanced to a forward place 
among the dramatists of the da}'. As long ago as 16'79 
Dryden gave cui'reucy to the notion, which we have shown 
to be mistaken, that Shakespeare " created first the stage," 
and he repeated it in 1692:° it is not necessary to the just 
admiration of our noble dramatist, that we should do injus- 
tice to his predecessors or earlier contemporaries : on the 
contrary, his miracubius powers are best to be estimated by 
a comparison with his ablest rivals ; aud if he appear not 
greatest when his works are placed beside those of Mar- 
lowe, Greene, Peele, or Lodge, however distinguished their 
rank as dramatists, and however deserved theu' popularity, 
we shall be content to think, that for more than two cen- 
turies the world has been under a delusion as to his claims. 
He rose to eminence, aud he maintained it, imiid strogglee 
for equality by men of high genius and varied talents ; and 
with liis example ever since before us, no poet of our own, 
or of any other country, has even approached his excel- 
lence. Shakespeare is greatest by a cumpai'ison with great 
or he is nothing. 

• " History of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage." vol. lii.. p. 369. 

• See " The AUeyn Papers," pnnted by the Shakespeare Society, 
p. 1-i. 

• In his ProIogTje to the alteration of "Troilus and Cres^ida •" 
1679, he puts these lines into the mouth of the Ghost of Sb&ciia 
peare : — 

" Untaught, unpraotis'd, in a barbarous age, 
I found not, but created iirst the stage." 
In the dedication of the translation of Juvenal, thirteen yeais after. 
wards. Dryden repeats the same assertion in nearly the .same words 
"he created the stage among us." Shakespeare did not create the 
stage, and least of all did he create it snch as it existed in the time 
of Dr>-c'en : " it wasj in truth, created by no one man, and in ro roe 
age; and whatever improvements Shakespeare introcucetl, when he 
began to write for the theatre our romantic drama was completely 
formed, and firmly established,''— Pref. to ■■ The Hist, of Kngl. Drain 
Poetry and the Sta^e," vol. i , p xi. 




S ft Sliakespenre ndvnnced or rewarded by Henry V'll. An- 
tiquity of the Shakespeares in Warwickuliire, &c. Enrliest 
oocurrence of the name at Stratford-upon-Avon. Tlie 
Trade of John Sliakcspe<ire. Richard SliaKespearc of Snit- 
terfield, probably father to Julin Sliakespeare, and cer- 
tainly tenant to Kobert Arden, fatlier of John Shakespeare's 
wife. Robert Arden's seven daughters. Autiijuity and 
property of the Arden family. Marriage of John Sliakes- 
peare and Mary Arden : their circumstances. Purchase 
of two houses in Stratford by John Shakespeare. His 
progress in the corporation. 

It has been supposed that some of the paternal ances- 
tors of Williiun Sliakcspeare were advaneei and rewarded 
with hinds and tenements in Warwickshire, for services 
rendered to Henry VIL' The rolls of that reign have 
been recently most carefully searched, and the uiune of 
Shakespeare, according to any mode of spelling it, does 
n )t occur in them. 

Many Shakespeares were resident in different parts of 
Warwickshire, as well as in some of the adjoining counties, 
&t an early date. The register of the Guild of St Aime of 
Knolle, or Knowle, beginning in 1407 and ending in 1535, 
when it was dissolved, contains various repetitions of the 
name, duiing the reigns of Henry VI., Edward IV„ Rich- 
ard III., Henry VIL, and Henry VIII: we there find a 
Thomas Shakespere of Bahshalle, or Balsal, Thomas 
Chaesper and Jolin Shjikespeyre of Rowington, Richard 
Shakspere of Woldiche, together with Joan, Jane, and 
WilUam Shakespeare, of phices not mentioned : an Isabella 
Shakspere is alio there stated to have been jirioriasa de 
U'raa-o/e in the 19th Henry VIL' The Shakespeares of 
Wroxal, of Rowington, and of Balsal, are mentioned by 
Malone, as well as other persons of the same name at 
Claverdon and Hampton. He canies back his information 
regarding tlie Shakespeares of Wai'wiek no higher than 
1602, but a WiUiam Shakespeare was drowned in the 
Avon near Warwick in 1674, a John Shakespeare was 
resident on "the High Pavement" in 1578, and a-Thomas 
Shakespeare in the same place in 1685.' 

Tlie earliest date at which we hear of a Shakespeare in 
the borough of Stratford-upon-Avon is 17th June, 1566, 
when Thomas Siche instituted a proceeding in the court of 

* On the authority of a ffrant of arms from the Herald's College to 
Join] Shakespeare, which circumstance is considered hereafter. 

» For this information we are indebted to Mr. Staunton, of Long- 
bridge House, near Warwick, the owner of the original Rrgixttrium 
Fratrum et Sororum Gitde Sancte Anne de Knotte, a MS. upon 

* Kor the circumstance of the drowning of the namesake of our 
iKMt, we are obliged to the Rev. Josej)h Hunter. Mr. Charles 
Dickens wa* good enough to be the medium of the information 
respecting the Shakespeares of Warwick, transmitted from Mr. 
SandyB, who derived it from the land-revenue records of the respec- 
tive periods. 

* Aubrey's words, in his MS. in the Ashmolean Museum, at Ox- 
ford, are these : — "WiUiam Shakespeare's fatlier was a butcher, and 
i nave been told heretofore by some of the neighbours, that when he 
was a boy he exercised his father's trade ; but when he killed a calf, 
au would do it in a high style, and make a speech." This tradition 
a«rtainW does not read like truth, and at what date Aabr«v obtained 

the bailing for the recovery of the stmi of 8/. from John 
Shakespeare, who has always been taltcn to be the father 
of our great dramatist. Thomas Siche was of Arlescote, 
or Arscotte, in Worcestershire, and in the Latin record of 
the suit John Shakespeare is ^Ued " glover," in Enghsh. 
Taking it for granted, as we have every reason to do, that 
this John Shakespeare was the father of the poet, the 
document satisfied Malone that he was a glover, and not a 
butcher, as Aubrey had affirmed,' nor a deider in wool, as 
Rowe had stated. We think that Malone was right, and 
the testimony is tmquestionably more positive and authen- 
tic than the traditii>us to which we have referred. As it is 
also the most ancient piece of direct evidence connected 
with the establishment of the Shakespeare family at Strat- 
ford, and as Malone did not copy it quite accurately from 
the register of the baiUff's court, we quote it as it there 
stands : — 

" Stretford, ss. Cur. Phi. et Muriee Dei gra, &c. secjiido et 
tercio, ibui tent, die Marcurii videlicet xvij die Junij ann. 
predict, coram Johiie Bnrbage Balliuo, &c. 

Thomas Siche de Arscotte in com. Wigorn. qnerif versus 
John Shakyspere de Stretford in com. Wurwic. Glou in plae. 
quod reddat ei oct. libi'as &c." 

Jolin Shakespeare's trade, " gloyer," is expressed by the 
common contraction for the termination of the word ; and 
it is, as usual at the time, spelt with the letter u instead of 
v. It deserves remark also, that although John Shakes- 
peare is often subsequently mentioned in the records of 
the corporatiou of Stratford, no addition ever accompanies 
his name. We may presume that in 1656, he was estab- 
Ushed in his business, because on the 3uth Apiil of that 
year he was one of twelve jurymen of a court-leet Hia 
name in the list was at first struck thr<'Ugh with a pen, but 
underneath it the word stet was written, probably by the 
town-clerk. Thus we find him in 1566 acting as a regular 
trading inhabitant of the borough of Stratford-upon-AvoiL 

Little doubt can be enteit^iined that he came fi'om Snit- 
tertield. three miles from Stratford ; and upnn this point we 
have several new documents before ns. It appears from 
them, that a person of the name of Richard Shakespeare 
(no where before mentioned) was resident at Snitterfield in 
1650:° he was tenant of a house and land belonging to 

his information has not been ascertained : Malone conjectured that 
Aubrey was in Stratford about IGyO : he died about 1700, and, in all 
probability, obtained his knowledge from the same source as thj 
writer of a letter, dated April 10, 1093, to Mr. Edward Southwell, 
printed in IG.t-'ri. It appears from hence that the parish clerk of Strata 
ford, who was "above eighty years old" in 16f)-'J, had told ^^r. Ed- 
ward Southwell's correspondent that William Shakespeare had been 
'• bound apprentice to a butcher;'' but he did not say that his father 
was a butcher, nor did he add any thing as absurd as Aubrey sub- 
joins, respecting the killing of a calf " in a high style." 

* Rowe is supposed to have derived his materials from Betterton, 
the actor, who tfied in 1710, and who. it is said, went to Stratford to 
collect such particulars as could be obtained : the date of his visit if 
not known. 

* In 15*i9, a person of the name of Antony Shakespeare iived at 
Snitterfield, and, as we learn from the Muster-book of the county t'f 
Warwick for that year in the State Paper odice, he was Hppoiated * 




Rober' Arden (or Ardei'n, as the name was anciently spelt, 
and as it stantis in the papers in our hands) of Wiknecote, in 
the parish of Aston Cautlowe. By a conveyance, dated 
21st Dec, nth Henry ^■III., we find that Robert Arden 
then became possessed of houses and laud in Snittei'field, 
from Richard Rushby and his wife : from Robert Arden the 
propirty descended to his son, and it was part of this 
estate which was occupied by Richard Shakespeare in 1650. 
We have no distinct evidence upon the point ; but if we 
suppose Richard Shakespeare of Snitterfield* Ut have been 
the father of John Shakespeare of Stratford,^ who married 
Mary Arden, the youngest daughter of Robert Arden, it 
will easily and naturally explain the manner in which John 
Shakespeare became introduced to the fimiily of tlie Ar- 
deus, inasmuch as Richard Shakespeare, the fatJier of John, 
and the grandfather of WiLham Shakespeare, was one of 
the tenants of Robert Arden. 

Malone, not having the information we now poBsess be- 
fore him, was of opinion that Robert Arden, who marned 
Agnes Webbe, and died in 1566, had only four daughters, 
but the fact undoubtedly ia that he had at least seven. On 
the 7th and 17th July, 156U, he executed two deeds, by 
which he made over to Adam Palmer and Hugh Porter, in 
trust for Some of liis daughters, certain lauds and tene- 
ments in Snitterfield.^ In these deeds he mentions six 
daughters by name, four of them married and two single : 
— viz., Agnes Stringer, (who had been twice married, first 
to John Hewyns,) Joan Lambert, Katherine Etkins, Mar- 
garet Webbe, Jocose Arden, and Alicia Arden. Mary, his 
youngest daughter, was not meluded, and it is possible tliat 
he had either made some other provision for her, or tliiit, 
by a separate and subsequent deea of trust, he gave to her 
au equivalent in Suitteifield for what he had made over 
t<i her sisters. It is quite certain, as will be seen hereafter, 
that Mary Arden brought property in Snittei'field, as part 
of her fortime, to her husband John Shakespeare. 

Altliough the Ardens were an ancient and coneidei-able 
family in Wai-wickshire, which deiived its name from the 
forest of A'deii, or Ardern, in or near which they had pos- 
sessions,, Robert Ai'den, in the two deeds above referred to, 
which were of course prepared at his instance, is only 
called "husbandman:" — •' Ruherlus Ardrrn de Wilmecote, 
in jtarovhia dc Anton Caiitlowe, in vnmilatu Warwici, 
nusbandman." Nevertheless, it is evident fi-om his will 
(dateii 24th November, and proved on the 17th December, 
1556) that he was a man of good landed estate. He men- 
tions his wife's "jointure in Snitterfield," iiayable, no doubt, 
out of some other property than that which, a few years 
Defore, he had conveyed to trustees for the benefit of six of 
his daughters; and his freehold and copyhold estates in 
the parish of Aston Cantlowe could not have been iucon- 
sideiable. Sir John Arden, the brother of his grandfather, 
had been esquire of the body to Henry VII., and his ne- 
phew had been page of the bedchamber to the same 
monarch, who had bountifuUv rewarded their sei-vices and 
fidelity. Sir John Arden di'ed in 1626, and it was his 
aephew, Robert Arden, who purchased of Rushby and his 
wife the estate in Snitterfield in 1B20. He was the father 

* ' Riobord Shakespeare, who, upon this supposition, was the ^and- 
t&ther oi the poet, was living in 15GU, when Agnes Arden, widow, 
i;ra«ted a lease for forty years to Alexander Webbe (probably some 
member of her own family) of two houses and a cottace in Snitter- 
fcjld. in I', 3 occupation of Richard Shaitespeare ana two others. 
Malone d;sc;/ered that there was also a Henry t^hakespeare resident 
»t Snittetheld in IS-li, and he apprehended (there is little doubt of 
"he fact) that he was the br' dier of John Shakespeare. Henry 
Shakespeare was buried Dec :S)th, l-VJO. There was also a Thomas 
Shakespeare in the same Tillage in 1582, and he may have been 
another brcthei of John Shakespeare, and all three sons to Richard 

* This ij rj-ndered the more probable by the fact that John Shakes- 
peare christened one of his children (born in 1573) Richard. Malone 
found that another Richard Shakespeare was living at Rowington in 

^ They are thus described : " Totum iUud virsfiin^ium rncum. rl 
trejt qunrironas tirnr. cum protia ciadcm pertincnttius. cum suis per- 
ttnentii.t, in Unytterfyide. tjutB jiuiic sunt in tenura cujusdam Hicardi 
Henley^ nc totum itlud cotlnfftitm meum, cum gardmo et pvmarto 
Mjaccntihus. cum /tuts perttvcnttia. in Snytterfuld. gutB nunc aunt in 
tenura Hu^tnus Porter." Adam Palmer, the other trustee, does not 
•eem tri hav9 occupied any part of the property. 

of the Robert Arden who died in 1566, and to wboee 
seventh daughter, Maiy, John Shakespeai-e was marned. 

No i-egistration of that marriage has been discovered, 
but we need not hesitate in deciding that the ceremony 
took place in 1557. Mai-y Ai len and her sister Ahcia 
were certainly unmarned, wheD they were appointed "fx* 
eciitores" under their father's will, dated 24th Nov,, 16&6 
and the probabihty seems to be that they were on that 
account chosen for the i>ffice, in preference to their five 
married sisters. Joan, the first child of John Shakespeare 
and his wife Mary, wad baptized in the chui'ch of Sti-atford 
upou-Avon on the 15th Sept., 1658,', so that we may fix 
tbeii' union towards the close of 1567, about a yeiir aftei 
the death of Robert Arden. 

What were the circumstances of John Shakespeare nt 
the tune of his marriage, we can otly conj.'ctuie. Il has 
been shown that two years before that event, a clann of 8/. 
was made upon him in the borough court of Stratford, and 
we must conclude, either that the money was not due and 
the demand unjust, or that he was unable to pay the debt, 
and was therefore proceeded against The issue of the 
suit is not known ; but in the next year he seems to hav- 
been established in business as a glover, a branch of trade 
much carried on in that part of the kingdom, and, as al- 
ready mentioned, he certainly served upon the jury of a 
eourt-leet in 1556. Therefore, we are, pcihups, justified in 
thinking that his atl'airs wore sufficiently prosperous tti 
warrant his union w ith the youngest of seven co-heiresses, 
who brought him some independent property. 

Under her father's will she inherited 6/. 13». id. in 
money, and a small estate in fee, in tlie parish of Aston 
Cautlowe, called Asbyes, consisting of a messuage, fifty 
acres of arable land, six acres of meadow and pasture, and 
a right of common for all kinds of cittle.'' Malone knew 
nothing of Mary Arden's property in Snitterfield, to which 
we have already referred, and, without it, he estimated that 
her fortune was equal to 110/. 13«. 4d., which seems to us 
rather an under calculation of its actual value." He also 
speculated, that at the time of their mariiage John Shakes- 
peare was twenty-seven years old, and Mary Arden 
eighteen f but the truth is that we have not a particle of 
direct evidence upon the point. Had she been so young, 
it seems very unlikely that her father would have ap- 
pointed her one of his executors in the preceding year, and 
we are inclined to think that she must have been of full 
age in Nov. 1556. 

It was probably in contemplation of liis marriage that, 
on 2d October, 1556, John Shakespeare became the owner 
of two copy -hold houses in Sti afford, the one in Greenhill- 
street, and the othei- in Henley -street, which were alienated 
to liim by George Tumor and Edwaid West, respectively 
the house in Grcenhill-street had a garden and croft h*t- 
tached to it, ami the house in Henley -street only a garden ; 
and for each he was to pay to the lojd of the manor an an 
nual rent of sixpence.' In 1557 he was again sworn as a 
juryman upon tue eourt-leet, and in the spring of the -fol- 
lowing year he was amerced in the sum of fourpeOce for 
not keeping clean the gutter in fi-out of his dwelling ; Frau- 

* The register of this event is in the following form, under tjie 
head " Bapti.-^me.=, Anno Dom. 155o :" — 

"Septeber 15. Jone Shakspere daughter to John Shakspere." 
It seems likely that the child was named after her aunt, Joan, mar- 
ried to Edward Lambert of Barton on the Heath. Edward Lajnbert 
was related to Edmund Lambert, afterwards mentioned. 

* Shakspeare, by Boswell, vol. ii. p. ii.5. 

* The terms of Robert Arden's bequest to his daughter Mary are 
these ; — "Also I geve and bequelh to my youngste daughter. Marye, 
all my lande in WiUmecote, called A.-^byes, and the crop upon the 
ground, sowne and tyllede as hit is : and vj/i. xiij.-;. iiijrf. ol money, to 
be payde over ere my goodes be devydede." Hence we are not to iin- 
der.-;tand that he had no more land in Wilmecote than Asbyen, but 
that he gave his daughter Mary all hia land in Wilmecote, uiliich 
was known by the name of Asbyes. 

" Shakspeare, by Boswell, vol. ii. p. 39. 

1 We copy the following descriptions from the original borough 
record, only avoiding the abbreviations, which render it less intel- 
ligible : — 
ftemy guodO corfftvg Turn or at ienavit.Johnnni Shitkcspere.&-c vmunite- 
ncnicntum.cum ff'irdtii i:t rroft.cum pcTtiuentibus, inGrcnchyil stretf.i-e 
Kt quod Edtcnrdus fVest aitenavit predicto .lohanni Sftakesper* 
unum tenementum, cutn gardin adjaceittc. in Hcn'.cy atrtU. 



tie Burbage, the then bniliff, Adnan Quiuey, " Mr. H;J1 and 
Mr. Clopt^tu" (so theu' names stand in the iustriinieut) were 
each of them at the same time fined a similai' sum for the 
same neglect,' It is a point of Uttle importance, but it is 
nighly probable that John Shakespeare wa.s first admitted 
a member of the corporation of Stratford in 1557, when 
he was made one of the ale-tasters of the town ; and iii 
Sept., 1558, he was appointed one of the foui' constables, 
his name following thfise of Humplu-ey Plymley, Roger 
Sadler, and Jolin Taylor.^ He continued constable in 1559, 
his associates then being John 1 aylor, William Tyler, and 
WiUiam Smith, and he was besides one of four persons, 
called sifTeerors, whose duty it was to impose fines upon 
their fellow-townsmen (such as be had himself paid in 1557) 
for offences ag.oinst the bye-laws of the borough. 


Death of iTol.u Shakespeare's eldest child, Joan. Two John 
Shakcspeares in Stratlbnl. Atnereements of members of 
the corporation. Birth and death of John Shakespeai-e's 
pecond child, Margaret. Birth of William Shakespeare : 
iiis birth -day, and the house in which he was born. The 
plague in Stratford. Contributions to the sick and poor by 
John Shakespeare and others. John Shakespeare elected 
alderman, and subsequently bailiff. Gilbert Shakespeare 
born. Another daughter, baptized Joan, horn. Proofs 
that John Shakespeare could not write. 

It was while John Shakespeare executed the duties of 
constable in looS, that liis eldest child, Joan, was born, hav- 
ing been baptized, as already stated, on the 16th Septem- 
ber, of that year ; she died in her infancy, and as her burial 
does not appear in the register of Stratford, she was, per- 1 
haps, interi'ed at Snitterfield, where Richard Shakespeare, ; 
probably the father of John Shakespeare, still resided', as 
tenant tn Agnes Arden, widow of Robert Arden. and mo- 
ther of Mary Shakespeare. Id respect to the registers of 
marriages, baptisms, and deaths at Stiatfi->rd, some confusion I 
has been produced by the indisputable fact, that two per- 
sons of the name of John Shakespeare were living in the 
town at the same time, and it is ntpt always easy to dis- 
tinguish between the entries which relate to the one, or to 
the other : for instance, it was formerly thought that John 
Shakespeare, the father of the poet, had lost his first wife, 
Mary Ar-dcn, and had taken a second, in consequence of a 
memorandinn iu the register, showing that on the 26th Nov., 
15S4, John Shakespeare had married Margery Roberts; 
Maloue, however, took great pains to prove, and niay be 
said to have succeeded iu proving, that this entry and ' 
others, of the births of PhiUp, Ursula, and Humphrey 
Shakespeare, relate to Jolm Shakespeare, a shoemaker', 
and not to John Shakespeare the glover. 

Jolm Shakespeare wiis again chosen one of the four 
affcerors of Stratford in 1561, and the Shakespeare Society 

* The original memorandum runs thus ■ — 

** Francis Berbajre, Ma.ster Baly that now ys, Adreane Quvnv. 
Mr Hall, Mr. Clopton, for the putter alonpe the chappelt in Chap- 
pell Lane. John Shakspeyr, for not kepynge of their gutters cleane, 
^hey stand amerced," 

The sum wnich they were so amerced, 4ii., is placed above the names 
?^ eich of the parties. 

' The following are the terms used : — 

'Item, ther trysty and welbelovyd Humfrey Plymley, Roger 
l!.*dler, John Taylor, and John Shakspeyr, constabulles." 

' This fact appears from a lease, before noticed, granted on '2Ist 
Ma5 t.'^SO, by Mary Arden to Alexander Webbe, of two messuages, 
with a cottage, one of which is stated then to be in the occupation of 
R'chard Shnkespeasa. We quote the terms of the original deed in 
the hands of the Shakespeare Society ; — " Wytnesseth, that the said 
Agnes Arderne, for dyverse and sundry consyderations. hath de- 
mysed, graunted. &c. to the said Alexander Webbe, and to his as- 
signes, all those her two messuages, with a cottage, with all and their appurtenances in Snytterfeild. and a yarde and a halt'e 
of ayrable lande thereunto belonging, &c., being in the towne and 
fyldes of Snytterfeild atForsaid : all which now are in the occupation 
^f Richarde Sbakspere. John Henley, and John Hargreve." Of course 
this property formed part of the jointure of Agnes Arden, mentioned 
in the will of her husband. 

* John S'lakespeare. the shoemaker, seems not to have belonged to 
lh« rt-ixiration, %t all events, till many years afterwards, so that the 

is in possession of the original presentation made by theM 
officers on the 4th May in that year, the name of the father 
of our great dramatist, coming last, after those of Henry 
Bydyll, Lewis ap William, and William Mynske. Th(? 
most remarkable circumstance connected with it is tie 
number of persons who were amerced in sums varjdng from 
6s. 8d. U) 2d, " The bailiff that now is," was fined 3x. id 
for " breaking the assize," he being a " common baker :" three 
other bakers were severally compelled to pay similar 
amounts on the same occiision. and for the same ofifence.* 
In September following the date of this report Jolm Shake- 
speare was elected one of the chamberlains of the boroiigli, 
a very responsible post, in which he remidned two years. 

His second child, Margaret, or Margareta, (as the name 
stands in the register,) was baptized on the 2d Dee., 1662, 
while he continued chamberlain. She was buried ou 30th 
April, 1563». 

The greatest event, perhaps, in the hteiary history of the 
world occurred a year after%vards — WiUiam Shakespeare 
was born. The day of his birth cannot be fixed with abso- 
lute certainty, but he was baptized on the 26th April, 1664, 
and the memorandum iu the register is precisely in the 
following form : — 

" 1564. April 26. GuUelmusfiUus Johannes Shahspere." 

So that whoever kept the book (in all probability the clerk) 
either committed a common clerical error, or was no great 
proficient in the rules of grammar. It seems most likely 
that our great dramatist had been brought iuto the world 
only three days before he was baptized', and it was then 
the custom to carry infants veiy early to the font. A house 
is still pointed out by traditiou. in Henley-street, as that in 
which William Shakespeare first saw the light, and we 
have already shown that his father was the owner of two 
copy-hold dwellings in Henley-street and Greeuhill-streel, 
and we may, perhaps, conclutle that the birtli took pUice in 
the former. John and Maty Shakespeare having previously 
lost two girls, Joan and Margaret, William was at this time 
the only child of his parents. 

A malignant fever, denominated the plague, broke out at 
Stratford while William Shakespeare was in extreme in- 
fancy : he was not two months old when it made its appear- 
ance, having been brought from London, where, according 
to Stow, (Atiuales, p. 1112, edit. 1615,) it raged with great 
violence throughout the year 1563, and illil not so far abate 
that term could be kept, as usual at Westminster, until 
Easter, 1564. It was most fatal at Stratford between June 
and December, 1564, and Malone calculated that it carried 
off in that interval more than a seventh ])ait of the whole 
population, consisting of about 1400 iuhabitauts. It does 
not appear that it reached any member of the immediate 
family of Jolm Shakespeare, and it is not at all unlikely that 
he avoided ita ravages by quitting Stratford for Snitterfield, 
where he owned some pro])erty in right of his wife, and 
where perhaps his father was still hving as tenant to Alex- 
ander Webbe, who, as we have seen, iu 1660, had obtained 

confusion to which we have referred does not extend itself to any ef 
the records of that body. After John Shakespeare, the father of our 
poet, had been baililf, he is always called .Mr. or JIatrister John 
Shakespeare ; while the shoemaker, who married Margery Roberts,* 
and was the father of Philip, Ursula, and Humphrey, is invariably 
styled only John Shakespeare. There is no trace of any relationship 
between the two. 

^ The aff'eerorsseem to have displayed unusual vigilance, and con- 
siderable severity: William Trout, Christopher Sniythe, Maud Har- 
bage, and John Jamson were all fined 3*. 4(/. "for selling ale, and 
having and keeping gaming contrary to the order of the C^ourt :"* 
eleven other inhabitants were amerced in smaller sums on the same 
ground Robert Perrot was compelled to pay Oi*. tid. "for makim 
and selling unwholesome ale." 

« The registrations of her birth and death are both in Latin :— 
"l.^(>2. Vecemher 'Z. Mnr^nretn filia .hkannis Shakspere." 
" 156:3. .^pri/ 30. Mnrfraretnfilia .lokavnis Shithspcre.^^ 
' The inscription on his monument supports the opinion that he 
was born on the a3d April : without the contractions it runs thus :— 
" Oljiit JInvii Domivi 1611) 
JElatis 53. die S!3 Jlprilts." 
and this, in truth, is the only piece of evidence upon the joint Ma- 
lone referreo to the statement of the Rev. J. Greene, as an authority 
but he was master of the frce-schooi at Stratford nearly two centurib* 
after the death of Shakespeare, and. in all probability, sptkeonly front 
the tenor of the inscription in the church 



a lease for foi*,T years fi'om his relative, the widow ^gnes 
Arilcn, of the mcssufi^e in which Richard Shakespeare re- 

In order to ebow that John Shakespeare was at tbia date 
ill moderate, and probably comfortable, though not in afflu- 
ent circumstances, Malone adduced a piece of evidence de- 
rived from the records of Stratford': it consists of the 
names of persons in the borough who, on this calamitous 
visitation of the plague, contributed various sums to the re- 
lief of the poor. The meeting at which it was determined 
to collect subscriptions with this object was convened in the 
open air, " At a hall holden in our garden," &c. ; no doubt 
ou accoimt of the infection. The donations varied between 
7s. id. (given by only one individual of the name of Rich- 
ard Symeus) and 6d. ; and the smu against the name of John 
Shakespeare is Is. It is to be recollected that at this date 
he was nut an alderman ; and of twenty-four persons 
enumerated five oth'ers gave the same amount, while sis 
gave less : the bailitf contributed 3s. id., and the head alder- 
man 2s. S</., while ten more put down either 2s. 6rf. or 2-5. 
each, and a person of the name of Botte 4s. These sub- 
serijitions were raised on the 30th August, but on the 6th 
September a failher sum seems to have been required, and 
the baihtf and six aldermen gave l.f. each, Adrian Quyney 
1 «. 6d., and John Shakespeare and four others 6d. each : only 
one member of the corporation. Kobert Bratt, whose name 
will afterwards occur, contributed id. We are. we think, 
warranted in coucludmg, that in 1564 John Shakespeare 
was an industrious and thriving tradesman. 

He continued steadily to advance in rank and importance 
in the eorpoiation, and was elected one of the fom'teen alder- 
men of Stratford on the 4tb July, 1565 ; but he did not 
take the usual oath until the 12th September following. 
The bailiff of the year was Richard Hill, a woollen-draper; 
Hud the father of our poet became the occupant of that 
•situation rather more than three years afterwards, when 
his son William was about four years and a half old. John 
Shakespeare was bailiff of Stratford-upon-Avon from Mi- 
chaelmas 1568, to Michaelmas 1569, the autumn being the 
customary period of election. In the meantime his wife 
bad brought him another son, who was christened Gilbert, 
on 13th October. 1566^ 

Joan seems to have been a favourite name with the Shake- 
speares : and Joan Shakespeare is mentioned in the records 
of the guild of Kuowle, in the reign of Hem-y VIII. ; and j 
John and Mary Shakespeare christened their first child, ' 
which died an infant, Joan. A third daughter was born to i 
them while John Shakespeare was baiUff, and her they also 
baptized Joan, on 15th April 1569^ The partiality for! 
the nimie of Joan, in this instance, upon which some bi- 
ographers have remarked without behig able t<j explain it, ' 
may be accounted f )r by the fact that a maternal aunt, 
married to Edward Lambert, was cidled Joan ; and it is 
very possible that she stood god-mother upon both occa- 
sions. Joan Lambert was one of the daughters of Robert ; 
Arden, regardmg whom, until recently, we have had no 

We have now traced John Shakespeare through various 
offices in the borough of Stratford, until he reached the 
highest distmction which it was in the power of his fellow- 
townsmen to bestow : he was baihff, and ex-officio a magis- 

Two new documents have recently come to light which 
belong to this period, and which show, beyond all dispute, 
that although John Shakespeare had risen to a station so 

1 Shakspeare, by Boswell, toI. ii. p. 83. 

3 Th« register of the parish-church contains the subsequent 
«ntry ; — 

"1566. October 1.1. Oilbertus fitiua Jukannis Skakspere.^'' 

^ Although John Shaltespeare was at this time bailift", no Mr. or 
Ma^ister ig prefixed to his name in the register, a distinction which 
ippears only to have been made after he had served that office. 
■'13G9. April 15. Jone the daughter of John Shakspere." 

* Malone gave both the confirmation and exemplification of arms, 
btit with some variations, which are perhaps pardonable on account 
of the state of the originals in the Heralds' College : thus ho printed 
"parent and late antecessors," instead of '' pnrtnu and late ante- 
cessors,'' in the confirmation ; and ••■whose parent and ^reat grandr 
fatSer. and late antecessor," instead of •' whose parent, great grand- 

respectable as that of baiUff of Stratford, -with his name in 
the commission of the peace, he was not able lo write, 
Malone referred to the records of the borough to estabhah 
thjit in 1665, when John Wheler was called upon by nine- 
teen aldermen and burgesses txj undertake the duties of 
bailiff, John Shakespeare was among twelve other marks- 
men, including George Whately, the then baihtf, and Roger 
Sadler, the " head alderman." Theie was, therefore, nothing 
remarkable in this inabiUty to write ; and if there were 
any doubt upon this point, (it being a little ambiguoua 
whether the .vpiiu?/! referred to the name of Thomae 
Dyxun, or of John Shakespeare,) it can never be enter- 
tained hereafter, because the Shakespeare Society has been 
put in possession of two wan-ants, granted by John Shake- 
speare as baihff of Stratford, the one dated the Srd, and 
the other the 9th December, 11 Elizabeth, for the caption 
of John Ball and Richard Walcar, on account of debts 
severally due from them, to both of which his mark only is 
appended. The same fact is established by two other 
documents, to which we shall have occasion "hereafter to 
advert, belongmg to a period ten years subsequent to that 
of which we are now speaking. 


The grunt of arms to John Shakespeare considered. The con- 
firmation and exemplification of arms. Sir W. Dethick'a 
conduct. Ingon meadow in John Sliakespeare's tenancy. 
Birth and death of liis daughter, Anne. Richard Shake- 
speare born in 1574, and named, perhaps, after his grand- 
father. John Shakespeare's purchase of two freehold 
houses in Stratford. Decline in his pecuniary affairs, and 
new evidence upon the point. Indenture of sale of JohL 
Shakespeare's and liis wife's share of property at Snifter- 
field, to Robert Webbe. Birth of Edmund Shakespeare ir 

Although John Shakespeare could not -write Ids name 
it has generally been stated, and believed, that while he 
filled the office of bailiff he obtjiincd a grant of ai-ms from 
Clarencieux Cooke, who was in office from 1566 to 1592. 
We have cousiderable doubt of this fact, partly arising out 
of the circumstance, that although Cooke's original book, in 
which he entered the arms he granted, has been preserved 
in the Hei-alds' College, we find in it no note of any such 
concession to John Shakespeare. It is true that this book 
might not contain memoranda of all* the arms Cooke had 
granted, but it is a circumstance desei-ving notice, that in 
this ease such an euti-y is wanting. A eonfii-mation of these 
ai-ms was made m 1596, but we cannot help thinking, -with 
Malone, that this instrument was obtained at the personal 
instance of the poet, who had then actually pui-chased, or 
was on the eve of purchasing. New Phice" (or " the great 
house," as it was also called) in Stratford. The confirma- 
tion states, thiit the heralds had been "by credible report 
informed," that " the parents and late antecessors"' of John 
Shakespeare '■ were for tlieir vaUant and faithful services 
advanced and rewarded of the most prudent prince, Henry 
the Seventh ;" but, as has been before stated, on examining 
the rolls of that reign, we can discover no trace of ad- 
vancement or reward to any person of the name of Shake- 
speare. It is true that the Ardens, or Ardei-ns, were so 
'■ advanced and rewarded ;"' and these, though not strictly 
the " parents." were certainly the " antecessors" of William 

father, and late antecessor," in the exemplification. We are bound 
here to express our acknDwled"ments to Sir Charles Youngs the 
present Garter King at Arms, for the trouble he took in minutely 
collating Malone's copies with the documents themselves Othej_ 
errors he pointed out do not require particular notice, as they apply- 
to parts of the instruments not necessary for our argument. 

* Robert Ardern had two offices conferred upon him by Henry "VTl., 
in the lUth and 17th years of his reign; and he is spoken of in the 
grants zsuniis g/rrcioFium camereE nostra: : the one office was that of 
lieeper of the park at Aldercar, and the other that of bailitf of the 
lordship ofCodnor. and keeper of the park there. He obtai ned a granl 
of lands in -2;3 Henry Vll. ; viz. the large manor of Yoxsall, in l'n» 
county of Stafford, on condition of a payment of a rent lo the \»-njr»t 
4-2/. per annum 



Shakespeare. In 1599, an exemplification of arms was 
procured, and in this document it is assert eil that the " great 
grandfather" of John S)iakespeare had been " advanced 
and rewarded with lands and teacraents" by Henry Vl[. 
Our poet's "great griuidfather," by the mother's side, was 
8o " advanced and rewarded ; " and we know that he did 
' faithful and approved service" to that " most prudent 

Another point, though one of less importance, is, that 
it is stated, m a note at the foot of the conhrmation of 1590, 
that John Shakespeare " showcth" a patent " under Clarence 
Cooke's hand:" tlic word seems originally to have been 
sent, over which " showeth" was written ; if the original 
patent, under Cooke's hand, had been sent to the Heralds' 
College in 1596, there could h.ave been little question about 
it ; but the substituted word " showeth" is more indefinite, 
and may mean only, that the party applying for the con- 
firmation alleged tliat Cooke had granted such a coat of 
arms'. That William Shakespeare could not have pro- 
cured a grant of arms for himself in 159tj is highly proba- 
ble, from the fact that he was an actor, (a profession then 
much looked down upon) and not of a rank in life to eu- 
title him tt> it: he, therefore, may have very fairly and 
properly put firwai'd his father's name and claims as 
having been bailiff of Stratford, and a "justice of peace," 
and e<jupled that fact with the deserts and rewards of the 
Ardcns under Henry VH., one of whom was his maternal 
"great grandfather," and all of whom, by reason of the 
marriage of his father with an Arden, were his "ante^ 

We only doubt whether John Shakespeare obtained any 
^ant of arms, as has been supposed, in 1568-9 ; and it is 
to be observed that the documents relating to this question, 
still preserved in the Heralds' College, are fuU of correc- 
tions and interlineations, particularly as regards the au- 
oestors of John Shakespeai'e : we aie persuaded that when 
WilUam Shakespeare applied to the oflice in 1596, Garter 
of that day, or his assistants, made a confusion between the 
" great grandfather" and the " antecessors" of John, and of 
William Shakespeai'c. What is stated, Ixith in the confir- 
mation and exemplification, as to parentage and descent, is 
true as regards William Shakespeare, but erroneous as re- 
gards John Sliakespeare''. 

It appears that Sir William Dethiek, garter-king-at- 
arms in 1596 and 1599, was subsequently called to account 
for having grauted coats to persons whose station in society 
and circumstances gjive them no right to the distinction. 
The case of Johu Shakespeare was one of those complained 
of in this respect ; and had Clareneieux Cooke really put 
his name in 1568-9 to any such patent as, it was asserted, 
had been exhibited to Sir William Detliick, a copy of it, or 
some record of it, would probably have remained in the 
office of arms in 1596 ; and the production of that alone, 
proving that he had merely acted on the precedent of Cla- 
reneieux Cooke would, to a considerable extent at least, 
have justified Sir WiUiam Detliick. JVo copy, nor record, 
vas however so produced, but merely a memorandum at 
the foot of the coutirmation of 1596, that an original grant 
had been sent or sliuwn, which memorandum may have 

t The word '' showeth" is thus employed in nearly every petition, 
»nd it is only there equivalent to uliueth. or selfelk furtk. The as- 
bortion that such a eraiit had been alleged was. probably, that of the 
heralds. , - . i 

> The confirmation and the exemplification dmer slightly as to 
thfi mode in which the arms are set out ; in the former it is thus : 
*' I have therefore assijrned, graunted. and bv these have confirmed, 
this shield oi cote of arms, viz. jjould. on a bend sable and a speare 
ef the first, the point steeled, proper ; and for his crest or cognizance 
a faulcon., his n'ings displayed, argent, standing on a wrethe of his 
couUors, suppoiting a speare gouM Steele as aforesaid, sett uppon a 
helmett with mantelles and tasselles as hath been accustomed." In 
the exemplification the arms are stated as follows: "In a field of 
Eould upon a bend sables a speare of the first, the poynt upward, 
Eedded argent ; and for his crest or cognisance a falcon with his 
wyngs displayed, standing on a wrethe of his couUors, supporting a 
speare armed lieJJcd or steeled sylver. fyxed upon a helmet, with 
mantelles and tasselles." In the confirmation, as well a.s in the ex- 
emplification, it is stated that the arms are " depicted in the mar- 
gin ;" and in the latter a reference is made to another escutcheon, in 
which the arms of Shakespeare are impaled with "the auncyent 
arms of Arden of Wellingcote, signifying thereby that it maye and 
•nail be lawful! for the said John tfiiakespeare, gen., •<) beare and 

been added when Sir William Dethick's conduct was called 
in question ; and certain other statements are made at the 
bottom of the same docuir.eut, which would be material to 
Garter's vindication, but w'-^ich are not borne out by facts. 
One of these statements iS, that John Shakespeare, in 
1596, was worth 500/., an erroi- certainly as regarded him, 
but a truth probably as regaided his sou. 

It is really a matter of little moment whether John 
Shakespeare did or did not obtjiiu a grant uf arms while lie 
was baihtf of Stratford; but we are sti<jiigly inclined tn 
think that he did not^ and that the assertion that he did, and 
that he was worth 600/. in 1596, originated with Sir W. 
Dethiek, when he subsequently wanted to make out his own 
vindication from the charge of having conceded arms to 
various persons without due caution and inquiry. 

In IS'IO, when WiUiam Shakespeare was in his seventh 
year, his father was in possessioi^ of ^ field called Ingi in. 
or Ington, meadow, within two miles of Stratford, whicii 
he held under William Clopton. We caimot tell in what 
year he first rented it, because the instrument proving his 
tenancy is d;ited llth June, 1581, and only states the fact, 
that on llth Dec, 1570, it was in his occupation. The an- 
nual payment for it was 8/., a considerable sum, certainly, 
for that" time ; but if there had been "a gi>od dwelling- 
house and orchard" upon the field, as Malone conjectured, 
that circumstance would, in all probability, have been men- 
tioned°. We may presume that John Shakespeare em- 
ployed it for agricultural purposes, but upon tliis point we 
are without information. That he lived in Stratford at tlie 
time we infer from the fact, that i>n the 28th Septemln-r. 
1S71, a second daughter, named Anne, was baptized at The 
parish-church. He had thus four children living, two boys 
and two girls, William, Gilbert., Joan, and Anne, but the 
last died at an early age, having been buried on 4th April, 
1579'. It will be remarked that, on the baptism of his 
daughter Anne, he was, for the first time, called " AfagUler 
Shakespeare" in the Latin entry in the Register, a distinc- 
tion he seems to have acquired by having serveii the oftice 
of baiUff two years before. Tiie same observation will 
apply to the registratii m of his fifth child, Richard, who 
was baptized on llth March, 1573-4, as the son of "i/r. 
John Shakespeare'^." Richard Shakespeare may have been 
named after his gi-andfather of Snitterfield, who perhaps 
was sponsor on the occasion''. 

The increase of John Shakespeare's family seems, for 
some time, to have been accompanied by an increase of his 
means, and in 1574 he gave Echnund and Emma Hall 40/. 
for two freehold houses, with gardens and orchards, in 
Henley-street'. It will not be forgotten that he was al- 
ready "the owner of a copyhold tenement in the same street 
which he had bought of Edward West, in 1666, before his 
marriage with Mary Arden. To one of the two last-pur- 
chased dwellings John Shakespeare is supposed to have re- 
moved his family ; but, for aught we know, he had lived 
from the time of his marriage, and continued to five in 
1574, in the house in Henley-street, which had been ahen- 
ated to him eighteen years before. It does not appear that 
he had ever parted with West's house, so that m 1574 he 
was the owner of three houses in Henley-street Forty 

use the same shield of arms, single, or impaled as aforesaid, during 
his naturall lyfle." The motto, as given at the head of the confil 
mation, is 


For "Arden of Wellingcote" the heralds should have said Arden c^ 

3 Malone places reliance on the words of the close roll, ^rom which 
the information is derived) "with the appurtenances;" but surely 
"a good dwelling-house and orchard" would have been specified, 
and not included in such general terms: they are not mere "ap- 

* The following are copies ,>f the registration of the baptism anc 
burial of Anne Shakespeare : — 

'•1571 tiepteb^ -JS. Annafilia JiJniristri Skalcsperf!." 
" 1.579 April 4. Anne daughter of Mr. John Shakspere," 
a The baptismal register runs thus : — 

" 157:J .March U. Richard sonne to Mr. John Shakspeer." 

• Malone speculated (Shakspeare, by Boswell, vol. ii. p. 106,) thai 
Richard Hill, an alderman of Stratford, had stood godfather to thu 
child, but he was not aware of the existence of any such pci^t n a» 
Richard Shakespeare, of Snitterfield, who, there is good grODod U 
believe, was father to John Shakespeare. 

^ " Malone's Shakspeare, by Boswell," "3', ii. p !I:I 



poQodB, even allowing for great difference in value of 
money, seems a small sum for the two fi'eehold houses, 
with gardens and orchards, sold to him by Edmund and 
Bmma HalL 

It is, we apprehend, indisputable that soon after this 
date the tide of John Shakespeare's affairs began to tui-n, 
and that he experienced disappointments and losses which 
seriously affected his pecuniary circumstances. Malone 
was in possession of several impoi-tant facts upon this sub- 
iect, and recently a str-ong piece of coufirmatoi-y testimony 
has been procui-ed. We will first advert to that which was 
in the bauds of Malone, applicable to the beginning of 
1678. At a borougl haU on the 29th Jan. in that year, it 
was ordered that eveiy alderman in Stratford should pay 
6.5. 8(/., and evei-y burgess Zs. -id. towards " the furniture oi 
three pikemeu, two billmen, and one archer." Nc:>w, al- 
though Jtthn Shakespeare was not only an alderman, but 
had been chosen "head alderman" in 1571, he was allowed 
to contribute only S.f. id., as if he bad been merely a bur- 
gess : Humphrey Plymley, another alderman, paid 6s., 
while Ji'hn Walker, Thomas Brogden, and Anthony Turner 
contributed 2s. 6rf. each, William Brace 2.'!., and Robert 
Bratt " nothing in this place." It is possible that Bratt 
had been called upon to furnish a contribution iu some 
other place, or perhaps the words are to be tjiken to mean, 
that he was excused altogether ; and it is to be remarked 
that in the contribution to the poor in Sept 1 664, Bratt 
was the only individual who gave no more than fourpence. 
In November, 1678, when it was required that every alder- 
man should " pay weekly to the relief of the poor 4d.," 
John Shakespeare and Robert Bratt were excepted : they 
were " uot to be taxed to pay auy thing," while two others 
(one of them Alderman Plymley) were rated at 3(/. a week. 
In Mai'ch, 1678-9, when another call was made upon the 
town for the pui'pose of pui'chasiug corslets, caUvers, <te., 
the n.ame of John Shakespeaie is found, at the end of the 
account, in a list of persons whose *' sums were unpaid and 
unaccounted for." Another fact tends strongly to the con- 
clusion that in 1678 John Shakespeare was distressed for 
money : he owed a baker of the name of Roger Sadler 5/., 
for which Edmund Lambert, and a person v( the name of 
Cornishe, had become security: Sadler died, and in his will, 
dated 1-ith November, 1678, he included the foUowbg 
among the debts due to him : — " Item of Edmund Lambert 
and Cornishe, for the debt of Mr. John Shacksper, 6/." 

Malone conjsctured that Edmund Lambert was some re- 
lation to Mary Shakesjjeare, and there can be little doubt 
of it, as an Edward Lambert had married her sister Joan 
Arden. To Edmund Lambert John Shakespeare, m 1678, 
mortgaged his wife's estate in Ashton Cantlowe, called 
Asbyes, for 40/., an additional cireumstjinoe to prove that 
he was in want of money ; and so severe the pressure of 
his necessities about this date seems to have been, that in 
1579 he parted with his wife's interest in two tenements in 
Soitterfield to RobeH Webbe for the small sum of 41. This 
IB a striking confirmation of John Shakespeare's embarrass- ' 
ments, with which Malone was not acquainted ; but the orig- 
inal deed, with the bond for the fulfilment of covenants, 
(both bearing date 15tli Oct. 1579) subscribed with the dis- 
tinct marks of John and Maiy Shakespeare, and sealed with 
their respective seals, is in the hands of the Shakespeare 
Society. His houses iu Stratford descended to his son, but 
they may have been mortgaged at this period, and it is in- 
disputable that John Shakespeare divested himself in 1678 
xnd 1679, of the landed property his wife had brought him, 
being in the end driven to the extremity of raising the 

> The property is thus described in the indenture between John 
Bhakespeaje and his wife, and Robert Webbe. Fur and in conside- 
ration of the sum of 4/. in hand paid, they " give, graunte, bar- 
ra/ne, and sell unto the said Kobert Webbe, his heirea and assignes 
for ever, all that theire moitye, parte, and partes, be it more or less*, 
»f and in two messuages or tenementes, with thappurtennances, sett, 
lyinge and beyng9 in Snitterfield aforesaid, in the said county of 
Wirwiclie." The deed terminates thus : 

" In witness© whereof the parlies above said to these present inden- 
tures interchangeablie have put theire handes and scales, the day 
and yeare fyrst above wrytten . ' | 

'"the marke + of John Shackspere. The -narke M of Marye | 
dhaclUDfnt I 

trifling sum of 41. by the sale of her share of two mes- 
suages iu Snitterfield'. 

It has been supposed that he might not at this time 
reside in Stratford-upon-Avon, and that for this reason he 
only contributed 3s. 4d. for pikemen, &c., and nothing to the 
poor of the town, in 1578. This notion is refuted by the 
fact, that in the deed for the sale of his wife's property in 
Snitterfield t<i Webbe, in 1679, he is called "John Shack- 
spere of Stratford-upon-Avon,' and in the bond foi' the per- 
formance of covenants, " Jo/iannein Shackxpere de Stratford- 
upon-Avon, in cimiitat. Warwici" Had he been resident 
at Ingon, or at Snitterfield,'he would hardly have been de- 
scribed as of Stratford-upon-Avon. Another point re- 
quiring notice in connexion with these two newly-discovered 
documents is, that in both John Shakespeare is termed 
"yeoman," and not glover: perhaps in 1579, although he 
continued to occupy a house in Stratford, he had relin- 
quished his original trade, and having embarked in agricul- 
tural pursuits, to which he had not been educated, had been 
unsueeessfuL This may appear not an unnatural mode of 
aceountmg for some of his diSiculties. In the midst of 
them, iu the spring of 1680, another son, named Edmund, 
(perhaps after Edmund Lambert, the mortgagee of As- 
byes) was born, and christened at the parish church" 


Education of William Shakespeare : probably at the free- 
school of Stratford. At wliat time, and under what cir- 
cumstances, he left school. Possilily tui assistant iu the 
school, and afterwards in an attorney's office. His hand- 
writing. His marriage with Anne Hatliawav. The prelimi- 
nary bond given by Fulk ,'^andells and John Richardson. 
Birth of Susanna, the first cliild of Williiim Shakespeare 
and his wife Anne, in 1.'583. Shakespeare's opinion on the ■ 
marriage of persons of disproportioniite age. llis domestic 
circumstances. Aune Hathaway's family. 

At the period of the sale of their Snitterfield property by 
his father and mother, William Shakespeare was in his six- 
teenth year, and in what way he had been educated is mere 
matter of eonieeture. It is highly probable that he was at 
the free-school of Stratford, foundetf by Thomas Jolyffe in 
the reign of Edward IV., and subsequently chartered bv 
Edward V I; but we are destitute of tdl evidence beyond 
Rowe's assertion. Of course, we know uothing of the time, 
when he might have been first sent there ; but if so sent 
between 1670 and 1578, Walter Roche. Thomas Hunt, and 
Thomas Jeukins, were successively masters, and from them 
he must have derived the rudiments of his Latin and Greek. 
That his father and mother could give him no instruction 
of the kind is quite certain from the proof we have adduced, 
that neither of them could wi'ite; but this very deficiency 
might render them more desirous that their eldest son, at 
least, if not their children in general, should receive the 
best education circumstances would allnw. The free gram- 
mar-school of Stratford afforded an opportunity of which. 
it is not unUkely, the parents of William Shakespeaie 
availed themselves. 

As we are ignoi'ant of the time when he went to eehrol, 
we are also in the dark as to the peiiod when he left it 
Rowe, indeed, has told us that the poverty of John Shake- 
speare, and the necessity of employing his son profitably 
at home, induced him, at an early age, to withdraw him 

" Sealed and delivered in the presens oi 

Nyciiolas KnooUes, Vicar of Anslon, 

Wyllyam Maydes, and Anthony Os- 

baston, with other moe." 

The seal atKxed by .Tohn Shakespeare has his initials I S, upon it, 
while that appended to the mark of his wife represents a rudely-cn 
graved horse. The mark of Mary Shakespeare seems to have been 
intended for an uncouth imitation of the letter M. With relen'nce 
to the word " moiety," used throughout the indenture, it is to be re- 
membered that at its date the term did not, as now, imply half, inl 
any part, or share. Shakespeare repeatedly so uses it. 

* The register contains the following ; — 

"1580. Mar 3 Edmund aonne to Mr John Shakspere " 



be.- of the corporaUon ^»"^f .'^"f ^^"^^^ of his fathers 
boy were ^-^^^'^^'^^^^S, his Btadies there 
embarrasBrtients, tlie expins ,^ui„tiSn: he must have 

could not have «°'«^«,\' '"^' ^'.^'^i ""ler to aid his father 
been taken away, »%1^:^.^''-^X eonXting, after the death 
in the mamtenanee of f''«f'l™''y'jX birth of his son Ed-j 
""- ""l Sr:/.r;if and' Zt Se. However, wel 
r^Sout^he power of confirming or contrad.etmg Rowe s 

molean M"^'^"™',"'^' ."^^ the coimtry T nud the truth may 
n^^1f^lt;'SoWer penoa)^^^^^ 

lirnli^trirm'iT-t-— ^ ^-^^ ^^'-^ ^"- 

^"'Te Teldelw conenr with Malone in thinking, that after 

-^ jiS^ S:^\^Xgu«g:a 

and it would be easy U> multiply them.' ^e may pr«><m.« 
that if so employed, he was paid sometlimg lor his sei^ 
vte; fo?, ifTe were to earn nothing, his father could hav« 
had no other motive for takin- hi>n from BchooL buppfls- 
in^him to have ceased to receive instruction from Jenkins 
1^^1579 when John Shakespeare's distresses were appa- 
"nt?; mo^. severe, we may easUy "-g'- ^ha^^^^ --' ^".^ 
the next vear or two, in tne oihce of .me of the sf venal, 
tornevs in Stratford, whose nanies Malone mtroduces. Tha 
he wr,rte a good hand we are perfectly sure, not only from 
the ex ant specimens of h.s signature, when we may sup- 
pose him to have been in health, but from the "d'cule wh^ 
El "Hamlet." (act v. sc. 2) he throws upon such as affected 
to write illegibly ; 

" I once did hold it, as our^statists do, 
A baseness to write fulr." 
In truth many of his dramatic contemporaries wrote ex- 
Xntly Ben Jonson's penmanship was beautiful ; a,.d 
I Peele Chapman. Dekker, and Marston, (to_ say nothing of 
I some inferSr authors) must have given prmters and copy- . 

"I^Sti- by mere tradition, we hear not a syllable re^ 
eaSwilUam Shakespeare from the time of his birth 
Shf had considerably passed his eighteenth year, and 
Zn we suddenly come t'o one of the most important eventa 
„f his Ufe established upon irrefragable testmiony t we al- 
hide to his marriage with Anne Hathaway, which could not 
bave^aken place before the 28th Nov ,1582 because on 
thit day two persons, named Fulk Sandells and John Rich- 
ardson entereS into a preUmina.7 bond {which we subjom 
^ o ?nto°^ in the Denalt%' of 40/. to be forfeited to the bishop 
onheto eTe ofXlcSter.if it were thereafter found that 
theie^'ted any lawful impediment to the solemnization 
of mrimony between William Shakespeare and Anne 
Hathaway, of Stratford. It is not known at what church the 

^^"^':Z^^^^^^^'^" p.o«c.e„cy."-Ro..e s 

'^'l-Aubrey c.les "Mr. Bee.W' -^•^'--^■ft^'rde^hTsh:."/. 

that name were connected ^' >> t>'J'\",;%'^^^° ,he assertion with the 

.peare, and long alterwaras, '•<> °"f J',' '° ,„tis Diary, was employed 

.^ore respect. §imon ^'''^^''.'^''°l^Z\ll^li"cVi and wi paid 

IVtle ;:.IZ S\hr.%s1^' h.';"^itance. The same m.^ht be 

,,he case with Sh^^espeaie. y,^^^ ^^f„„ Greene;s 

. l^ "C^- h^Xeen heS by some to apply to Shakespeare to h.s 
'' Mpnapnon. na» peen n«m ? . - attorney s ottice. 1 ne 

" Hanilet,- and to h.s «"\r °""P"'i°rei".on todatesi •' Menaphon " 
best answer to th'S suppos.t on .s an attention t ^_^ ^^^^ .^^^ 

was not printed for 'he fi's"'™=' l^atospe^e haYwritJen any play, 
in 1.W7-, .n.J,llP7^';^'^J,K'/^™^Ur' tSwhich Na^h alludes must 
much less " Hamlet,'- The "^™'" existence long before Shake- 
have been the old drama ^^^'^^'^Xe^^'joys^are these ; and 
speare took up the subject^ L*^,Wnrhe means an Attorney or attor- 
-. is to be observed, that by "">"""' "° T commencing J^ovcrmt 
nev-s clerk, employed to "J''^'' ^P ^^''"J,' n^w-a-d^^es, amS.,sst a s«t 
u»«ers,-,&c. •'"■^^""?T"'; through every art' and thrive by 
of shifting "'"J^"'°"/;'?''„U"r"nrwhereto they were borne, and 
none, to leave the ."fi,' "fj";^^;^";,' oT art, that could scarcely Lat- 
bus.e themselves the ""}_'>'°y? °' " ' je • yet English Seneca, 
,„.« the,rneck verse,, fhey^hould have n_eed_e^ ^ ^,^^ ^^ ^ ,^^. 

read by :andle-light. yields many fe ^ ^^^^^^ morning, 

ffr, and so forth; »"'*'fj^" '"/;,, Should say handfuls of 
le will affoord you whole H'''"''^?,''?Xr that the author of the old 
speeches - Hence we may possibly ■"'" '^''^ J ^.^n an attorney's 
•-Hamlet," preceding Shakespeare stragecy, "^ 1,;^^ ear, and 

olerk. U ir,Hl. Shakespeare was ""'^ '" J'.Vj" ,^,„^„h every art. 
fould hardly be sa.d by ^^at ™e 'o have^^^run^thro^g^ ^ 

^ei^ir;; n^^^Sbe^Xid^Xsir^;^'^^" 

r;^„e^'.":;^^n^-trvrr;lrs;in\\e wrote the couplet, 

"Pome clerk foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, ] 

wTo pens a stanza when he should ingross. 
. It is certain'also that Shakespeare wrot;.,.hg«atJac,l,^^^ 

- V^— T:^; ald^q^^l^a^eW 101. .-^^ ^^ ^_^ 


rthiuVand ! 7''-'; ^'J-VIr theif gnoTaneTwho cruVe that circucn- 
l?]ic'':fo"cIimenAe.^frW by^ wherein be most faulted; and to 

justify mine own -^our for I l^ve^ the ™--d^do honour^ h.s 
memory (on this ='*= ■3",y„=^„™"°" had an excellent fancy, 

pardoned. Consisieniiy vvm. fnllowinfr in the address 

Lyers had " »/«„ menr.oned ,-« A^f 'he ollo,,n^g .n^^ 

°^ "rT'Tl(i•?^-4i^m;nd and hand went together.and what he 
'th^igh? hVut^ered ^ That_easiness, that we have scarce received 
'■'rT^riL'trumL'^ril-Jed of useless formal contractions, ran. 

ford in cornitatu "^.'^"'"'^^f, '„!,,:'; Ricardo Cosin. generoso, et 

galis monet. ^"^''^i^^s sui"\d qu""aem sol^t.inem beni 
executoribus, vel f^signatis suis, ad qua q nostrum, per s» 

et fidel.ter faciendam °^'5^f'itce^°','ores et administratores nostros 
pro toto et in sol.c o h redes »>;'=;«"'«; i,\\„,. i,,t,,„ 28 die No- 
Francae et H.berni^ Regina>, Fidei Defenscr.s &c ,!D . ^^^^ 

-The condition °f 'h.s ob ig on ys ^uche,j.ha^^ U ^^ ^^^ 

shall not appere any lawfull '«" or 'mp ^;, '„,her lawfuU 

precontract, oonsanguimt.e, ^ftmtie, or by y^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^^^ 

meanes whatsoever, hf ha J 'Uia.n -^'JJ Worcester, maiden, 
and AnneHathwey, of Stratlord in tne i ^^^^^ 

may lawfully -'7"-',^„':^'\',r manind"lffe. according unto the 
wards remaine and continew '.""Lr'L„„„,er, if there be not at this 
lawes in that heha provided ^ ^"^ >^o ^maund. moved or depend- 



fend and save harmles the '^■ght Ke'eren j^^ ,(,j ^j^jj 

force and vertue. ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^^^^^^ ^^^ Richa.d«. 



3«remony wa« ferPirmed, but cei'tainly not at Stfatford- 
upon-Avon,' to -n-bifh both the parties belonged, where the 
bondsmen resided, ;ind where it might be expected that it 
would have been registered. The object of the bond was 
to obtain such a dispensation from the bishop of Worcester 
as would authorize a clergyman to unite the bride and 
groom after only a smglc pu6lication of the banns ; and it is 
not to be concealed, or denied, that the whole proceeding 
. seems to indicate haste and seeresy. However, it ought 
not to escape notice that the seal used when the bond was 
eseeuted, although damaged, has upon it the initials R. H, 
88 if it bad belonged to R. Hathaway, the father of'the bride, 
wd had been used on the occasion with his consent." 

Considering all the circumstances, there might be good 
reasons why the father of Anne Hathaway should concur in 
the alliance, independently of any regard to the worldly 
prospects of the )iarties. The first child of William and 
Anne Shakespeare was christened Susanna on 26th May, 
1583". Anne was between seven and eight years older 
than her young husband, and several passages in Shake- 
speare's plays have been pointed out by Maloue, and 
repeated by other biographers, which seem to point directly 
at the evils resulting from unions in which the parties were 
" misgratfed in respect of vears." The most remarkable 
of these is certainly the well-known speech of the Duke to 
Viola, in " Twelfth Night," (act ii. so. 4) where he says, 

" Let still the woman take 
An elder than herself: so wears she to him; 
So sways she level in her husband's heart: 
For, boy, however we do praise ourselves, 
Our fancies are more giddj' and unfirm, 
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn, 
Than women's are." 

Afterwards the Duke adds, 

" Then let thy love be younger than thyself, 
Or tliy nffcotion cannot liold the bent." 

Whether these lines did or did not originate in the au- 
thor's reflections upon his own marriage, they are so apph- 
cable to his own case, that it seems impossible he should 
have wi itten them without recalling the circumstances at 
tending hie hast}' union, and the disparity of years betwee i 
himself and his wife. Such, we know, was the confirmed 
opinion of Coleridge, expressed on two distinct occasions in 
his lectiu'es, and such we think will be the conclusion at 
which most readers ■will arrive :— " I cannot hesitate in be- 
lieving," observed Coleridge in 1815, " that in this passage 
from ' Twelfth Night,' Shakespeare meant to give a caution 
arising out of his own experience ; and, but for the fact of 
the disproportion in point of years between himself and his 
wife, I doubt much whether the dialogue between Viola imd 
the Duke would have received this turn'." It is incident to 
our nature that yi-)Uth8, just advancing to manhood, should 
feel with peculiar strength the attraction of women whose 
charms have reached tbe full-blown summer of beauty ; but 
we cannttt think that it was so necessary a consequence, as 
some have supposed', that Anne Hathaway should have pos- 
sessed peeuhar personal advantages. It may be remarked, 
tliat poets have (■ften appeared comparatively iudifferent 
to the features and persons of their mistresses, since, in pro- 
portion to the sti-ength of their imaginative faculty, they 

1 Malone conjectured that the marriage took place at Weston, or 
Billf sloy, but the old registers there having been lost or destroyed, it 
is im possible to ascertain the fact. A inor« recent search in the reg- 
isters of some other churches in the neiehbourhood of Stratford has 
not been attended with any success. Possibly, the ceremony was 
performed in the vicinity of Worcester, but the mere fact that the 
bond -was there executed proves nothing. An examination of the 
registers at Worcester has been equally fruitless. 

" Rowe tells us. (and we are without any other authority) that 
Hathaway was "said to have been a substantial yeoman," and he 
was most likely iti possession of a seal, such as John Shakespeare had 
Bsed in 1579 

' The fact is registered in this form ; — 

. -U'^^"'-. ''"y '*>■ Susanna daughter to WiUiam Shakspere " 
^* We derive this opinion from our own notes of what fell from 
woleridpe upon the occasion in question. The lectures, upon 
ne was then engaged, were delivered in a room belonging to the 
Globe tavern, n Fleet-street. He repeated the same sentiment in 

have been able to supply all physical deficiencies'. Cole- 
ridge was aware, if not from his own particular case, from 
recorded examples, that the beauty of the objects of the 
affection of poets was sometimes more fanciful tlian real . 
and his notion was, that Anne Hathaway was a womat 
with whom the boyish Shakespeare had fallen in love, per- 
haps from proximity of residence and frequency of inter 
course, and that she had not any jjeculiar recommendations 
of a personal description. The truth, however, is, that we 
have no evidence eidier way ; and when Oldys remarks 
upon the 98rd sonnet, that it " seems to have been addressefl 
by Shakespeare to his beautiful wife, on some suspicion of 
her infidelity'," it is clear that he was under an entire mis- 
take as to the individual : the lines, 

"So shall I live supposing thou art tnie 
Like u deceived husband; so love's face 
May still seem love to me," &c. 

were most certainly not applied to his wife ; and Oldys could 
have had no other ground for asserting that Anne Hatha- 
way was " beautiful," than general supposition, and the er- 
roneous belief that a sonnet like that from which we have 
made a brief quotation had Shakespeare's wife for its ob- 

The present may not be an improper opportunity for 
remarking (if, indeed, the remark might not be entirely 
spared, and the reader left to draw his own inferences) that 
the balance of such imperfect information as remains to us 
leads us to the opinion that Shakesjjeare was not a veiy 
happy married man. The disparity in age between him- 
self and his wife from the first was sucli, that she could 
not " sway level in her husband's heart ;" and this difl'erence. 
for a certain time at least, became more apparent as they 
advanced m years : may we say also, that the peculiar eir- 
cmnstances attending their marriage, and the birth of their 
first child, would riot tend, even in the most gi-ateful an.! 
considerate mind, to increase that respect which is the chief 
source of confidence and comfort in domestic Hfe. To this 
may be added the fact (by whatever circumstances it may 
have been occasioned, which we shall consider presently; 
that Shakespeare quitted his home at Stratford a very few 
years after he had become a husband and a father, and that 
although he revisited his native town frequently, and ulti 
mately settled there with his family, there is no proof thai 
his wife ever returned with him to London, or resided witl: 
him during imy of his lengthened sojourns in tlie metroptv 
lis : that she "may have done so is very possible : and in 
1609 he certainly paid a weekly poor-rate to an amount 
that may indicate that he occupied a house in Southwark 
capable of receiving his family^ but we are here, as upon 
many other points, compelled to deplore the absence of dis- 
tinct testimony. We put out of view the doubtful and am- 
biguous indications to be gleaned from Shakespeare's Son- 
nets, obsorving merely, that they contain little to show that 
he was of a domestic turn, or that he found any great en- 
joyment in the society of his wife. That such maj have 
been the fact we do not pretend to deny, and we willingly 
believe that much favourable evidence upon the point has 
been lost : all we venture to advance on a question of so 
much ditficultry and deUcacy is, that what remains to us ii 
not, as far as it goes, perfectly satisfactory. 

public in 1818, and we have more than once heard it from him in 
private society. 

6 The Rev. Mr. Dyce, in his Life of Shakespeare, prefixed to the 
Aldine edition of his Poems, 12mo. IS.'ia. p. xi. It cumpiisesall t'ne 
main points of the biography of our poet then known. 

' When the Rev. iVlr. Dyce observes thet ".I is 'inlikely that l wo- 
man devoid of personal charms should have won the youthfui affoo- 
tiona of so imaginative a being as Shakespeare," he forgets tha: the 
mere fact that Shakespeare was an "imaginative being" wtuld 
render '-personal charms" in his wife less necessary to his happi- 

' In his MS. notes to Langbaine, in the British Museum, as nuoted 
by Steevens. Sea " Malone's Shakspeare, by Boswell," vol. XX. 

p. 306. , ,.. . L 

8 We have noticed this matter more at length hereafter, with re- 
ference to the question, whether Shakespe.\re, in IW? were not rated 
to the poor of Southwark in respect of his theatriccl property, ao4 
not for any dwelling-house which he occupied. 



in the town- 

wher*' 1^' ' 

&-1^^i^ i'v^U'^lS^f^tS:^ in «l.-at^^ -T^f ^:!;^r;Sn>anees of various^ns of a. 
•""""^Uht' date ^TSZ-^Mt tunAlers') also exWbited j hereby P^du^d -^^y^^^J^^,-^^ f,,„„, tUeir homes, to 

E!rS^^ ^^r^ri^??| f^^Srr^^ ^^t^^;^:^-;^ 


1 oil J. ii«7»i*«.- -" ,j • 

, aud of mei-e specula- 

to h;;"e" visited the borough. ' In 1686 " the players '^ (with- 
out mentiouiug what company) exhibited; and m 15S7 no 

comtenanciug them not being named. 

It ic t/i he remarked that several of the piayere, -n iiu pann,,t oeueve ue i..>.uv. -.- -.v — - "., - ,■ 

the.ebj the J-aao .rituessod did not give a 

Aat vf l^nn. t beheve he foid his way into thiU gorgeous 
mat we i..iuujt ^ ,.... -i „n, „r„a f.mrteeu miles dis- 



aid ihem on their road to another pl!««- , .jester very soon after- 

"= The widow of Walter Devereux 7^°", J-'^Xi 14^2 the Earl 
wards mamed. It is to be ''^f^'X^^MTJuIiT. the protection 
of Essex l"'^ ^""JTJnfhe'^itrranuary Lord Howard, through one 
M his name, and that on the ■"'^ •'^■""Yhis Earl of Essex was, how- 
„f his stewards, gave them ^.y^^^^^^J^^'^^Xe" ,rto was created 
„er, of a different family, ^z. "'"jy »;"Csehold Book of John 
L-orfHowardra^rwia'-Dufeof'S^rfolk, printed .„ 1»44 for the 

''fr.t:^^:^^^^^'^-^ cost of the ^^i^^srJ^-:^ 

are told that " sundrey feates ot_.nmbl;;g ^^f ToVd Strannge his ser- 

the public archives. hal'eve upon no evidence be- 

Greene was in some way related to ;,ha.>espeare^ 

•' 1.589. March 8. Thomas Green, alias bhakspere. 

.1,. f„.h«r of Thomas Greene, the actor, who was a 
This was perhaps the '''"'" oil nomas ^ became so famous 

comedian of S'""''^'^'^"?/?^ J the ply of "he "City Gallant - 
,n a character called "^i "^^^J '4^, occurs, with the constant 

(acted by the au^en = ^ ^""y"^' "\y"'a 'fte, him In the account of 
epeatedphrase,T«_5»o?"e,wasnameda erhim in 

are told that " sundrey leates oi "" '- "^ "^ ^J^ Straunge hi. . 
^ai-^e's-^rr-p.-CrnVinlhamf E'xltt3^■rom the Revels a. 

'°r^'^,^„n'e"who gleaned these r-tioul^ f™m f^'^^y^^f^^ 
Chamberlains of Stratford, mis-stated this date luiu, 
^:«ained ,. to b=1.5S0, a.s ''^\'f^!Z^'''^^TX.h ,he Queen had 
. This ws. most likely one of the '^"".'I'^^'^'^'J'^hTbest actors from 
Ji,ected to be formed, ""f't?f °Ll itv and noreither of the dis- 
ll'n^tToreror.'fntrrutp^laVr-t'i'o^haS visited Stratford while 

'"^"Mlllr^tt^LTe^^^h^^Uowing order madefy the 00,0.^^^^^^^ 
of Stratford many years after the date '" J^^^'',,'^, i^^ted in other 

-f,lres''"a;l'ry^l^hr'l-^en''i?nrrd'^w,.h l ........ of 

^"^^"^Z'T^: toS^;-: A| 'Hi. H=^i7e'ham°ber^';au"dh:iU 
.hall be no plays or ■nterludes played in the Chamber^,^^^^^^^^^ 

!rS?!^!'y:f ^;i?i-t^: in:'ISX^t - "cl roallant " and afte. 

ser- the Revels of lOU-U 

■2 It is called hrit •' ine \^ii-y 'j^"-'."'-! • ■■ — - 

wi5rT,r,«o,„. : it'was P-n-'i '"Q>f/,'''.r^;LeS:d''°by''an e fstle 

" Greene's Tu ClrrVhich it anpe^ tSa't Greene was 'then 'dead, 
from T. Hey wood, ^y -".hich it appearj ina ^____^^,^ .. ^ 3^ 

tr^^llrb^-rrm^rf^WtU may bedouM^^^^^^^^^ 
'^^Z ^^t^tS't-d-onl'^of S-U a solicitor ...d m 

L<o"'i°"- jff», fr^m t>i« Uev Mr. Hn.lpin in his in- 

, Upon this P"'"' r/,^'|" ''""^'obfron-s Vision!" printed b, 
genious and agreeable ^yf^y "I,;;" ;„ 1,15 u Reliques," was th« 
rhe Shakespeare Society Bi^H^P 1 e cy ^n h ^^ ^^ ^.^^ 

first to start the idea that Sh^jKespeare na 1 ^^^^^ .^ ^ ,. 

tainment at kenilworth ?-"'i„'He K'' 'Hr^j by Malone and adopte. 

i^ r^^u^ ^b^th^rf r s^r?^. .p^^rs .o u 

than that of Percy, Malone. an 

}S^S-^^ ,-^^t^:^=-l '^t;^.^ [Si. Wing '. of Thomas Greene. 




me whole of thi t part of the country ; and if the cele- 
britod p:iss;i;L^e in " A Midsummer Night's Dream " (act. ii. 
sc 1 ). had any reference to it, it did not require that Shake- 
Bpeare should have been present in order to have written 
it especially when, if necessary, he had Gascoyne's " Pi"iucely 
Pleasures of Kenilworth " and Laneham's " Letter " to as- 
sist hJB memory^ 


■#obn Shakespeare removed from his situution as alderman 
of Straifurd, aiul its possible connexion with WiHiam Shake- 
speare's departure for London in .the latter end of 15S6. 
wiUiam Shakespeare a sharer in the Blackfriars Theatre in 
15S9. Complaints against actors : two companies .silenced 
for bringing Martin Mar-prelate on the stage. Certiflcate 
of the siiarers in the Bhickfriars. Shakespeare, in all prob- 
ability, a good actor : our older dramatists otten players. 
Shakespeare ■"« earliest compositions for the stage. His 
"Venus and Adonis" and "Luerece" probably written 
before he came to London. 

In reference to the period when our great dramatist aban- 
doned his native town for Londt)n, we tliiuk that sulficieut 
attention has not been paid to im importimt incident in the 
life of hie father. John Sliakespeare wjis deprived oi his 
gown as alderniau of Stratford in the autumn of 1686 : we say 
that be was deprived of his gown, not because any restdu- 
tiou precisely warranting those terms was come to by the 
rest of the corporation, but because it is quite evident that 
such was the fact, from the tenor of the entry in the records 
of the borough. On the 6th Sept 1586, the following me- 
morandum was made in the register by the town clerk^ : 

'* At this hall William Smythe and Kichard Courle are 
chosen to be aldermen, in the place of John Wheler, and 
John Shaxspere ; for that Mr. W heler doth desycr to be put 
out of the companye, and Mr. Sliaxspere doth not come to 
the halles, whuu they be warned, nor hath not done of a 
long tyme." 

According to this note, it was Wheler's wish to be re- 
moved from his situation of alderman, and had such also 
been the desire of John Shakespeare, we should, no doubt-, 
have been told so : therefore, we must presume that he 
was not a consenting, or at all events not a willing, party 
to this proceeding; but there is no doubt as Malone ascer- 
tained from an inspection of the ancient books of the bo- 
rough, that he hacl cfeased to attend the halls^ when they 

1 Gascoyne's "Princely Pleasures," Sec. waa printed in 157(>, and 
Laneham's "Letter" from Kenilworth in the preceding year. Gas- 
coyne was himself a performer in the shows, and, accorainp to Lane- 
ham, represented "a :5avage Man," who made a speech to the Queen 
&£ she came from hunting. Robert Laneham, the aiTected but clever 
writer of the " Letter," was most likely [as is suggested in the 
Bridgewater Catalogue, 4to. lS-'i7, p. \G2] related to John Laneham, 
the player, who was one oif the Earl of Leicester's players, and is 
named in the royal license of 1574. '^Robert Laneham." observes 
the compiler of that Caialogue, "seems to have been quite as much 
& comedian upon paper, as John Laneham was upon the stage." 

3 William Tyler was the bailiff of the year. See Malone's ShaJc- 
•peare )»y Boswell, vol. li. p. Ili4 

' This use of the word "■ warned " occurs several times in Shake- 
speare : in "Antony and Cleopatra," (p. ) Octavius tells Antony, 

"They raeaa to irarri us at Philippi here ;" 
fc:id in " King John," (p. ) after King Philip hassaid, 

" Some trumpet summon hither to the walla 
These men of Angiers," 
k ffitizcK exciaimi from the battlements, 

" Who is it that hath wamt^d us to the walls ?" 

* We id not imagine that one event, or the other, was influenced 
in any way by the execution of Edward Arden, a maternal relative 
of the family, at the close of l.'j.-vJ. According to Dugdale, it was 
more than suspected that he came to his end through the power of 
Leicester, who was exasperated against hira, " for galling him by 
MTtain hareh expressions, touching his privat* acce&scs to tlie Counl- 
SM of Essex," wh;ie she was still the wife of Walter Devereux. It 
Joes not appear that there had been any intercourse between Edward 
ArJen, then the head of his family, and Mary Shakespeare, the 
foungest daughter of the junior branch. 

* Sr.akspeare by BosweU, vol. ii. p. 157. 

' The excess to which the enmity between the corporation of Lon- 
i(it and th« plav*^ was carried may be judged by the following 

were "waraed " or summoned^ from the year 1579 down- 
wards. This date of 1679 is the more imjjortant, although 
Malone was not aware of the fact, because it was the same 
year in which John Shakespeare was so distressed for 
raoneVi that he disposed of his wife's small property in Suit- 
teiiieid for 41. 

We have thus additional reasons for thinking, that the 
unprosperous state of John Shakespeare's pecuniary cir- 
cumsUinces had induced him t<.) abstiiin from attending the 
ordinary meetings of the corporation, ami tinally led Uj his 
removal from the office of alderman. What connexion thia 
last event may have had with William Shakespeare's de- 
termiuaticn t<.) quit Stratford canuot be known from any 
circumstances that have since come to Ught, but it will not 
fail t«> be remarked, thiit in point of date the events seem 
to have been coincident*. 

Malone " supposed " that our great poet left Stratford 
"about the year 1686 or 1587V' but it seems to us more 
likclv that the event happened in the former, than in the 
latter year. His twins, Hamnet and Judith, were baptized, 
as we have shown, early in February, 1585, and his father 
did not cease to be an alderiuim until about a yeai' and seven 
months afterwards. The fiict, that his sou hail bt;c<)me a 
player, may have had something to do with the lowt-r rank 
his brethren of the bench thought he ouglit to hold in the 
corporation; or the resolution of the son to abandon his 
home may have arisen out of the degradation of the father 
in his native town ; but we canuot help thinking tliat the 
two circumstances were in some way C'-)uuected, and that 
the period of the departure of WiUiam Shakespeare, io seek 
his iortune in a company of players in the metropolis, may 
be fixed in the hitter end of 1586. 

Nevertheless, we do not hear of him in Loudon until 
three years afterwards, when we find him a sharer in the 
Blackfriars theatre. It had been constructed (or, possibly, 
it" not an entirely new building, some large edifice had been 
adapted to tlie purpose) upon part of the site of the dis- 
solved monastery, because it was beyond the jurisdiction of 
the lord mayor and corporation of Loudon, who had always 
evinced decided hostiUty to dramatic representations". The 
undertaking seems to have been prosperous from the com- 
mencement; and in 1589 no fewer than sixteen prrformers 
were sharers in it, including, besides Shakespeare and Bur- 
bage, Thomas Greene of Stratford-upon-Avon, and Nicholas 
Tooley, also a Warwickshire man : tLe association Wits prob- 
ably thus numerous on account of the tlourishing stiite of 
the concern, many being desirous to obtiuu an interest in ita 
receipts. In 1589 some general complaiuu i*eem toha^e 

quotation from *' a Jig," or humorous theatrical ballad, called ^ Thu 
Horse-load of Fools," which, in the manuscript in which it has been 
handed down to us, is staled to have been written by Itichard Tarl- 
ton, and in all probability was delivervd by him before applauding 
audiences at the Theatre in Shoredilch. Tarlton introduces to tht 
spectator a number of puppets, accompanying the exhibition by w 
Uf'cad stanzas upon each, and ue thus speaks of one of them : — 

" This foole comes from the citizens ; 
Nay, prithee doe not frowne ; 
I knowe him as well as you 
By his liverie gowne ; 

Of arare horne-mad familie. 

" He is a foole by prenticeship 
And servitude, he saves. 
And hates all kindeb ot wisedome. 
But most of all in playes : 

Of a verie obstinate familie. 

"You have him in his liverie gowne, 
But preseotlie he can 
Qualifie for a mule or mare. 
Or for an alderman ; 

With a golde chaine in his famltie. 

*' Being borne and bred for a foole, 
Why should he be wise. 
It would make hira not fitt to sitt 
WitK his brethren of assize ; 

Of a verie long earde familie." 

Possibly the lord mayor and aldermen complained of th-.s very 
zomposition, and it may have been one of the causes w lich, *ooa af- 
terwards, led to the silencing of the company ; at all events it wai 
not likely to conciliate the members of the corporation. 



oeen made, that improper matters were iotroduced iiito 
pla3'9 ; aud it is quite certain tliat " the children of Paul's," 
33 the acting ehoir-boys if£ that cathedral were called, aud 
the ass<fciaiion of regular professioual performers occupy- 
ing the Theatre in Shoreditch at this date, had introduced 
Martin Mar-prelate upon their stages, in a manner that had 
given great offence to the Puritans. Tylney, the master of 
the revels, had interposed, and having brouijht the matter 
to the knowledge of Lord Burghley, two V'dies of players, 
those of the Lord Admind aud Lord Strnnge, (the latter 
by this time having advanced fi'om tumblers to actoi's) had 
beeu summoned before the lord mayor, and ordered to de- 
sist fi'om all perfijrmance6\ The silencing of other associ- 
ations would probably have been benetieial to that exhibit- 
ing ai: Blackfriars, and if no proceeding of any kind had 
been ii.stiiuted against James liurbage and his partners, we 
may presuine that they would have continued quietly to 
reap their augmented harvest. We are led to mfer, how- 
ever, that they also apprehended, and experienced, some mea- 
Bm*e of restrauit, and feeUng conscious tliat they had given 
no just ground of offence, they transmitted to the privy 
council a sort of certificate of their good couduet, asserting 
that they had never introduced into their representations 
matters of state aud religion, and that no complaint of that 
kind had ever beeu preferred against them. This certificate 
passed into the bauds of Lord EUesmere, then attorney- 
general, and it has been preserved among his papers. We 
eubjoiu a copy of it in a note^. 

It seems rather strange that this testimonial should have 
come from the players themselves ; we should rather have 
expected that they would have procui-ed a certificate from 
8ome disinterested parties ; and we are Xa) take it merely as 
a statement on their own authority, and possibly as a 
eoi't of challenge for inquiry. Wheu they say that no 
compliant of the kind had ever been pi-eferred against them, 
we are of course to understand that the assertion applies 
to a time previous to some general representation against 
theatres, which had been made in 1689, and in which the 
sharers at the Blackfriars thought themselves unjustly in- 
cluded. In this document we see the important fact, as re- 
gards the biography of Shakespeare, that in 1589 he was, 
not only an actor, but a sharer in the imdei'takiug at Black- 
fi-iars ; and whatever inference may be drawn from it, we 
find that his name, following eleven others, precedes those 
of Kempe, Johnson, Goodale, imd Armyn. Kempe, we 
know, was the successor of Tariton (who died in 1588) iu 
oomic parts^, and must have been an actor of great value 

1 AH the known details of these trarsactions maybe seen in "The 
Hiat. of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the ritage," vol. i. p. '271, iVc. 

a It is on a long slip of paper, very neatly written, but without 
any names appended. 

" These are to certifie your right Honble I^ordships, that her Ma- 
jesty's poore Playeres, James Burbadge, Richard Burbadge, John 
Laneham, Thomas Greene, Robert Wilson, John Taylor, Anth. 
Wadeson, Tiiomas Pope, George Peele, Augustine PhiUipps, Nicho- 
las Towley, William Shakespeare, William Kempe, William John- 
Bon, Baptiste Goodale, and Robert Armyn, being all of them sharers 
in the blacke Fryers playehouse, have never given cause of displea- 
sure, in that they have brought into their playes maters of state and 
Religion, untilt to be handled by them, or to be presented before 
lewde spectators : neither hath anie complaynte in that kinde ever 
Dene preferrde against them, or anie of them. Wlierefore, they trust 
most humblie in your Lordships consideration of their former good 
rehaTiour. being at aL! tymes readie, and willing, to yeelde obedience 
to any command whatsoever your Lordships in your wisdome may 
thinke ip such case meete, &,c. 

"Nov. 15:^y.'' 

Here we see that Shakespeare's name stands twelfth in the enu- 
meration of the members of the company ; but we do not rest much 
on the succession in which they are inserted, because among the four 
names which follow that of our great dramatist are certainly two 
performers, one of them of the highest reputation, and the other of 
long standing in the profession. 

3 In the dedication of his " A Iraond for a Parrot." printed without 
date, but not later than 1569, (the year of which we are now speak- 
mg) Thomas Nash calls Kempe " Jestmonger and Vice-gerent gene- 
ral to the ghost of Uick Tariton." Heywood, in his '■ Apology for 
Actors," IGi'i, (Shakespeare Society's reprint, p. 43) tells us that 
Kempe succeeded Tariton " a,s well in the favour of her Mijesty, as 
in 1 tie opinion and good thoughts of the general audience." 

* He was also one of the executors under Tarlton's will, and was 
also truBifett for h'.s son Philip. See p. xiii. What became of Johnson 
after ITi^^i, we have no information. 

* Ufi was <^ne of the actors, with Laneham, in the anonymous 

and eminence in the company : Jolioson, as appeait* by thi 

royal heense, had beeu one of the theatrical servants of the 
Earl of Leicester iu 157-i*: of Goodale we have no account, 
but he bore a Stratf'.>rd uarne^; aud Armyn, though he had 
beeu instructed by TarlUiU^, waa perhaps at this date quite 
young, aud of low rank iu the association. The situation in 
the list which the name of Shakespeare occupies may seen: 
to show that, even iu 1589, he was a person of considerable 
importjmce iu relation to the success of the sharers iu Black- 
friars theatre. Iu November, 1589, he was in the middle 
of his twenty-sixth year, and in the full strength, if not ir 
the higliest maturity, of his mental aud bodily powei-e. 

We can have no hesitation in believiug that he origUjally 
came to Loudon, iu order to obtain his livehhood by the 
stage, aud with no other view. Aubrey tells us that he 
was " inclined naturally to poetry and acting ;" and the 
poverty of his father, and the difficulty of obtaining pi'ofit- 
able employment in the country for the maiuteuauce of liia 
family, without other motives, may have induced him readily 
to give way to that inclination. Aubi-ey, who had probably 
taken due means to inform himself, adds, that " he did act 
exceedingly well ;" and we are convinced that the opinion, 
founded chiefly upon a statement by Rowe, that bhake- 
speare was a very modei-ate performer, is erroneous. It 
seems Ukely that for two or three years he employed hijn- 
self chiefly iu the more active duties of the profession he 
had chosen ; and Peele', who was a vei-y practised and popu- 
lar play -Wright, considerably older than Shakespeare, was a 
member of the company, without saying anything of Wade- 
son, regarding whom we know nothing but that at a subse- 
quent date he was cue of Heuslowe's dramatists; or of 
Armyn, then only just coming forward as a comic performer. 
There is reason to think that Peele did not continue one of 
the Lord Chamberlain's servants after 1590, and his extant 
di'amas were acted by the Queen's players, or by those of 
the Lord Admiral : to the latter association Peele seems 
subsequently to have been attached, and his "Battle of Al- 
cazar," printed iu 159-4, purports on the title-page to have 
beeu played by them. While Peele remained a member 
of the company of the Lord Chamberlain's players, Sliake- 
speare's services as a dramatist may not materially have 
interfered with his exertions as an actor; but afterwards, 
wheu Peele had joined a rival establishment, he may have 
been nmeh more frequently called upon to employ Ins pen, 
and then his value m that department becoming clearly 
undei-stood, he was less frequently a performer. 

Out of the sixteen sharers of which the company he be- 

manuscript play of ** Sir Thoma.= More." (Harl. Coll., No. 73GS) which, 
we may conjecture, was licensed for tde stage before 159^. 

^ This fact is stated in a publication entitled '• Tarlton's Jests,'' of 
which the earliest extant impression is in 1(U1. but they were no 
doubt collected and published very soon after the death of Tariton 
in liJSS. 

' When the Rev. I\Ir. Dyce published his edition of Peele 's Works, 
he was not aware that there was any impression of that author'i 
•■* Tale of Troy," in l(iu4, as wel! as in IS-^ll, containing such varia- 
tions vs show that it must have been corrected and augmented by 
Peeh' after its first appearance. The impression of 16U4 is the most 
dimir.utive volume, perhaps, ever printed, not exceeding an inch and 
a half high by an inch wide, with the following title : — " The Tale 
of Troy. By G. Peele, M. of Artes in Oxford. Printed by A. H. 
1604." We will add only two passages out of many, to prove th« 
nature of the changes and additions made by Peele after theoriginiJ 
publication. In the edition of 1004 the poem thus opens : 

*' In that world's wounded part, whose waves yet swell 
With everlasting showers of tears that fell, 
And bosora bleeds with great etVuze of blood 
That long war shed, Troy, Neptune's city, stoodj 
Gorgeously built, like to the house of Fame, 
Or court of Jove, as some describe the same," &c. 

The four lines which commentfe the second page of Mr. Dywi'n 
edition are thus extended in the copy of I(iU4 : 

" His court presenting to our human eyes 
An earthly heaven, or shining Paradise, 
Where ladies troop'd in rich disguis'd attire, 
Glistring like stars of pure immortal fire. 
Thus happy, Priam, didst thou live of yoro, 
That to thy fortune heavens could add no more." 

Peele was dead in 159S, and it is likely that there were one ^■^l 
more intervening impressions of "The Tale of Troy," betw *en l^r^l 
and L6U4. 



longed to consisted in 1589, (besides the usual proportion of 
■ hired luen,"' who only took infeiior characters) there would 
be more than a sufficient nun ber for the representation of 
most plays, without the assistance of Shakespeare. He was, 
doubtless, soon busily and profitably engaged as a dra- 
matist; and this remark on the rareness of Ids appearance 
on the stage will of coui-se apply more strongly iu his after- 
life, when he produced one or more dramas every year. 

His instructions to the playei^a in " Hamlet " have often 
been noticed as estjiblishiug that he was admirably ac- 
quainted with the theory of the art , and if, as Rowe as- 
serts, he only took the short pait of the Ghost' in tiiis 
tragedy, we are t4) recollect that even if he had considered 
himself competent to it, the study of such a chai-acter as 
Hamlet, (the longest on the stuge as it is now acted, and 
etill longer as it was origiually written) must have con- 
sumed moi-e time than he could well afford to bestow upon 
it, especially when we call to mind that there was a mem- 
ber of tlie (fompany who had hitherto represented most of 
the heroes, and whose excellence was as undoubted, as his 
popularity was extraordinary ^ To Richard Burbage was 
therefore assigned the arduous chai-acter of the Priuce, 
while the author U.)ok the brief, but important part of the 
Ghost, which requii-ed pcreon, deportment, judgment, and 
voice, with a debveiy distinct, solemn, and unpressive. All 
the elements of a great actor were needed for the due per- 
formance of " the buried majesty of DenmarkV 

It may be observed, in passing, that at the period of our 
ii'ama, such as it existed in the hands of Shakespeare's 
umnediate predecessors, authors were most commouly ac- 
tors also. Such was the case with Crreene, Marlowe*, 
Lodge, Peele. pi-obiibly Nash, Munday, Wilson, and othei*s : 
the same practice prevailed with some of their successors, 
Ben Jonsou, Hey wood, Webster, Field, tfec. ; but at a &(->me- 
what later date dramatists do not usually appear to have 

^ "His name is printed, as the custom was in those times, amongst 
those of the other jdayers, before some old plays, but without any 

f articular account of what son of parts he used to play ; and tlioagh 
have inquired. I never could meet with any further account of him 
this way, than that the top of his performance wa^s the Ghost m his 
own ' Hamlet.' " — Rowe's Life. Shakespeare's name stands first 
among the players of " Every Man in his Humour," and fifth among 
tliose of '■ Sejanui.'' 

2 From a .\lri. Kpitaph upon Burbage, (who died in 1619,) sold 
ajnon^ the books of the late Mr. Heber, we find that he was the orig- 
inal Hamlet, Romeo. Prince Henry, Henry V , Richard III., Mac- 
beth, Rrutus. Coriolanus, Shylock, Lear, Pericles, and Othello, in 
Shakespeare's Plays ; in those of other dramatists he was Jeronimo, 
in Kyd's ":;panish Tragedy ;■' Anionio, in Marston"s "Antonio and 
Mellida;" Frankford. in T. Heywood's '■ Woman killed with Kind- 
ness ;" Philaster, in Beaumont and Fletcher's play of that name ; 
Amintor, in their '-.Maid's Tragedy.'" — See "TheAUeyn Papers,'' 
printed by the Shakespeare Society, p. xxx. On a subsequent page 
we have inserted tiie whole passage relating to his characters from 
the Epitaph on Burbage. 

3 Mj. Thomas Campbell, in his Life of Shakespeare, prefixed to 
the edition, in one volume, IsSa". was, we believe, tiie first to remark 
upon the almost absolute necessity of having a good, if not a great 
actor, for the pan of the Ghost in '■ Hamlet." 

* It seems Jrom an obscure ballad upon Marlowe's death, (handed 
down to us in MS., and quoted in "New Particulars regarding the 
Works of Shakespeare,'" -vo. 1^:30,) that he had broken his leg while 
fccting at the Curtain Theatre, which was considered a judgment 
ipon him for his irreligious and lawless life. 

"BoLh Jay and night would he blaspheme, 
And day and night would sweare ; 
As if his life was but a dreame, 
Not ending in despaire. 

"A poet was he of repute, 

And wrote full many a playe; 
Now ^.-rutting in a silken sule, 
JN'ow begging by the way. 

" He had alsoe a player beenc 
Upon the Curtain© stage. 
But brake his leg in one lewd scene, 
When in his early age. 

" He was a fellow to all those 
That did God's lawes reject ; 
Consorting with the Christian's foes, 
And men of ill aspect," iScc. 

The ballad consists of twenty-four similar stanzas of Marlowe's 
Le&'h the auilior thus writes : 

'• His lust was lawlesse &a his life, 
Ami brp-'^ht about his death. 

trodden the stage. We have no hint that Dekker, Chap 
man, or ilarstou, though contemporary with Ben Jonsou. 
were actors ; aud Massiuger, Beaumont, Fletcher, Middleton, 
Daborne, and Shirley, who may be said to have follow^ 
them, as far as we now know, never had anything to do with 
the perfonuauce of their own dramas, or of those of othe^ 
poets. In their day the two departments of author aiiG 
actor seem to have been generally distinct, while the con 
trary was certainly the case some years anterior to the de- 
mise of Elizabeth. 

It is impossible to determine, almost impossible to gveea, 
what Shakespeare had or had not written in 1&89. That 
he had chiefly employed his pen in the revival, alteration, 
and improvement of existing dramas we are strongly dis- 
posed to beheve. but that he had not ventured upon origi- 
nal composition it would be much too bold to assert " The 
Comedy of EiTors " we take to be one of the pieces, which, 
having been tirst written by an inferior dramatist^ was 
heightened aud ameuded by Shakespeare, perhaps about 
the date of wbich we are now speaking, aud " Love's La- 
bour's Lost," or " The Two Gentlemen of Yei'oua," may have 
been origiuiU compositions brought upou the stage prior to 
1590. We also consider it more thim probable that " Titus 
Andronious " belongs even to an earlier period ; but we feel 
satistieJ, that although Shakespeare had by this time given 
clear indications of powers superior to those of any of his 
rivals, he could not have written any of his greater works 
until some years afterwards^. With regard to productions 
unconnected with the stage, there are several pieces among 
his scattered poems, and some of his sonnets', that indispu- 
tably beUing to an earlier part of his life. A youug man, 
so gifted, woidd not, and could not, wait uutil he was five 
or six and twenty before he made cousiderable and most 
succesful attempts at poetical composition; and we feel 
morally certain that " Venus and Adonis " was in being 

For in a deadly mortal strife, 
Striving to stop the breath 

"Of one who was his rival foe, 
With his owne dagger slaine, 
He groan'd and word spoke never moe, 
Pierc't through the eye and braine.' 

Which pretty exactly accords with the tradition of the mode in 
which he came to his end, in a scuffle with a person of the name of 
Archer : the register of his death at St. Nicholas, Depiford, ascertains 
the name : — "1st June, lo9;3. Christopher Marlowe slain by Francia 
Archer.' He was just dead when Peele wrote his " Honour of the 
Garter/' in 1593, and there spoke of him as '"unhappy in his end," 
and as having been "the jMuses' darling for his verse." 

* See pp. ix. and xiii., where it is shown that there was an old 
drama, acted at Court in 1573 and 15S'2, called "The History of Er- 
ror" in one case, and *'The History of Ferrar" in the other. See 
also the Introduction to '"The Comedy of Errors." 

6 Upon this point we cannot agree with Mr. F. G. Tomlins, who 
has written a very sensible and clever work called "A brief view of 
the English Drama," l'.imo, 1^-lU. where he argues that Shakespeare 
probably began with original composition, and not with tlie adapta- 
tion and alteration of works he found in possession of the stage when 
he joined the Lord Chamberlain's players. We know that the earli- 
est charge against him by a fellow drajuatist was, that he had availed 
himself of the productions of others, and we have every rea.son to be- 
lieve that some of the plays upon which he was tirst employed were 
not by any means entirely his own : we allude among others to the 
three parts of "Henry Vl." It seems to us much more likely that 
Shakespeare in the first instance confined himself to aiteraiizLs anc 
improvements of the plays of predecessors, than that heat once found 
himself capable of inventing and constructing a great originai, 
drama. However, it is but fair to quote the words of Mr. Tomlins. 
''We are thus driven to the conclusion that his writing must ha^• 
procured him this distinction. What had he written .' is the next 
queotion that presents itself. Probably original plays, for the adap- 
tation of the plays of others could scarcely be entrusted to the inex- 
perienced hands of a young genius, who had not manifested his know- 
ledge of stage matters by any productions of his own. This kind of 
work would be jealously watched by the managers, and must eve; 
have required great skill and experience. Shakesj-eare. mighty as he 
was. was human, and it is scarcely possible that a genius, so, ripe, 
so rich, so overflowing ,is his, should not have its enthusiasm kin- 
dled into an original production, and not by the mechanical botchii.^ 
of the inferior productions of others," p. 31. 

Upon this passage we have only to remark that according to oui 
view, it would have required much more "skill and experience'' te 
write a new play, than merely to make additions to the speeches oi 
scenes of an old one. 

" " His sugair'd sonnets " were nanded about '" among his privat* 
friends '= many years beforn they were printed : Francia Meres men 
tions them in the wotds we have loOd. 


anterior to Shakespeare's quitting Stratford*. It bears all 
the marks of youthful vii!;our, of stroug passion, of luxuriant 
imagination, together with a force and originality of ex- ' 
pression which beU>ken the first efforts of a great mind, not 
always well regulated in its taste : it seems to have been 
written in the opeu air of a fine country like Warwickshire, 
with all the fi-eshuess of the recent impression of natural 
i»bjects; aud we will go so far as to say, tluit we do not 
think even Shakespeare himself could have produced it, in 
the form it bears, after he had reached the age of furty. It 
was quite new in its class, being founded upon no model, 
either ancient or modern : nuthing like it had been attempted 
rjefore, and nothing comparable to it was pr«.iduced after- 
wards^. Thus in 1593 he might c:dl it, in the dedication to 
Lord Southampton, "the first heir of Lis invention " in a 
double seuse, uot merely because it was the first printed, 
but because it was the tirst written of his productions. 

The information we now possess enables us at unce to 
reject the story, against the truth of which Maloue elabo- 
rately argued, that Shakespeare's earliest employment at a 
theatre was holding the horses of noblemen and gentlemen 
who visited it, and that he had imder him a number of lads 
who were known as " Shakespeare's b<:»yB." Shiels in his 
" Lives uf the Poets." (published in 1763 in the name of 
Gibber) was the first to give cuiTency to this idle inven- 
tion : it was repeated by Dr. Jolinson, and has often been 
reiterated since ; and we should liardly have thought it 
worth notice uow, if it had not found a place in many modern 
accounts of our great di-amatist^. The company to which 
he attached himself had not unfrequently performed in 
Stratford, and at that date the Queen's Flayers and the 
Lord Chamberlain's servants seem sometimes to have been 
confounded in the provinces, although the difference was 
well understood in London ; some of the chief members 
of it had come from his own part of the country, aud even 
from the very town in which he was born ; and he was not 
in a station of life, nor so destitute of means and friends, as 
to have been reduced to such an extremity. 

Besides having written " Venus and Adonis" before he 
came to London, Shakespeare may also have composed its 
counterpart, " Lucrece," which, as our readers are aware, 
first appeared in print in 1594. It is in a different stanza, 
and in some respects in a dilTerent style ; and after he joined 
the Blackfriars company, the author may possibly have 
added pai'ts, (such, fur instance, as the lung and minute de- 
scription of the siege of Troy in the tapestry) which indi- 
cate a closer acquaintance with the modes and habits of 
society ; but even here no knowledge is displayed tliat 
might not have been acquired in Wai-wickshire. As he had 

1 Malone was of opinion that ■' Venus and Adonis" was not writ- 
len until after Shakespeare came to London, because in one stanza 
it contains an allusion to the stage, 

** And all this dumb pl<iy had his acts made plain 
With tears, which, chorus-like^ her eyes did drain." 
Surely, such a passage might have been written by a person who had 
never seen a I'lay in London, or even seen a play at all. The stage- 
Knowledge it displays is merely that of a schoolboy. 

2 The work that comes nearest to it, in some respects, is Marlowe's 
" Hero and Leander ;" but it was not printed until 1598, and although 
its author was killed in 1593, he may have seen Shakespeare's '' Ve- 
nus and Adonis" in manuscript: it is quite as probable, as that 
Shakespeare had seen '• Hero and Leander" before it was printed. 
iMarscon's " Pygmalion's Image," published five years after ^^ Venus 
and Adonis," is a gross exaggeration of its style; and Barkstead's 
** Myrrha the Mother of Adonis " is a poor and coarse imitation : the 
■ame poet's '^Hiren, or the Fair Greek," is of a similar character. 
Shirley's ''Narcissus," which must have been written many years 
afterwards, is a production of the same class as Marston's " Pygma- 
lion," but in better taste. The poem called " Satma-sis and Herma- 
phroditus," first printed in 1602, and assigned to Francis Beaumont 
tn I(>40, when it was republished by Blaicklock the bookseller, we do 
not believe to have been the authorship of Beaumont, and it is rather 
ft.n imitation of " Hero and Leander " than of " Venus and Adonis." 
At the date when it originally came out (16U'2) Beaumont was only 
sixteen, and the first edition has no name nor initials to the address 
"To Calliope," to which Blaicklock in 164U, for his own book-selling 
purposeB, thought fit to add the letters F- B. In the same way, and 
with the same object, he changed the initials to a commendatory 
poem from A. F to I. F., in order to make it appear as if John 
Fletcher had applauded his friend's early verses. These are facts 
that hitherto have escaped observation, perhaps, on account of the 
extreme rarity of copien of the original impression of '' Salmasis and 
cIeriaaphrodi*"i«." pievetting a comparison of it with Blaicldook's 

exhibited the wantonness of lawless passion \v '* Venus and 
Adonis." he followed it by the exaltation of matron- likt 
chastity in " Lucrece ;" and there is, we think, nothing in the 
latter poem which a young man of one oi- two and tw«*uty, 
so endowed, might not have written. Neitlier is it at all 
impossible that he had done something in connexion with 
the stage wlule he was yet resident in his native town, and 
before he had made up'liis mind to quit it If his •* -ucUna- 
tion for poeti-y aud acting." to repeat Aubrey's words, were 
so strong, it may have led him to have both wiitten and 
acted. He may have contributed temporary prologues or 
epilogues, and without supposing him yet to have possessed 
any extraoi-dinary art as a dramatistr— <.)iily to be acqiured 
by practice, — he may have insei-ted speeches aud occasional 
passages in older plays: he may even have assisted Bora* 
of the companies in getting up, and performing the dramas 
they represented in or near Stratford\ We own tliat this 
conjecture appears to us at least plausible, and the Ivord 
Chjunberlaiu's servants (known as the Earl ot^Leicestera 
players until 1587) may have experienced his utihty in 
both departments, and may have held out stroug induce- 
ments to so promising a novice to continue his assistance by 
accompanying tliem to London. 

What we have here said seems a natural aud easy wa;- 
of accounting for Shakespeare's station as a sharer at th 
Blackfriars theatre in 1589, about three years after we snp 
pose him to have finally adopted the profession of an actor 
aud to have come to London for the pm-pose of pursuing it 


The earliest allusion to Shakespeare in Spenser's *' Tears of 
the Muses," 1591. Proofs of its applicability — What 
Shakespeare had probably by this date written — Edmund 
Spenser of Kingsbury, Warwickshire. No other dramatist 
OI the time merited the character given by Spenser. Greene. 
Kyd, Lodge, Peele, Marlowe, and Lvly, and their sevend 
claims: that of Lyly supported by Mulone. Temporary 
cessation of dramatic peribrmances in London. Prevalence 
of the Plague in 1592. Probability or improbability that 
Shakespeare went to Italy. 

We come now to the earliest known allusion to Shakespeare 
as a dramatist ; and although his surname is not given, we 
apprehend that there can be no hesitation in applying what 
is Siiid to him: it is contained in Spenser's "Teare of the 
Muses," a poem printed in 1591^ The application of tlie 
passage to Shakespeare has been much contested, but the 

fraudulent reprint, which aleo contains various pieces to which, it m 
known, Beaumont had no pretensions. To aiford the better means of 
comparison, and as we know of only one copy of the edition of IGU^. 
we subjoin the title-page prefixed to it : Salmasis and HermaphroditDh. 
Siilmacida spolia sive sanguine et sudore. Imprinted at London foi 
John Hodgels, &c. 16()-2." 4to. 

3 It is almost to be wondered that the getters up of this piece of 
information did not support it by reference to Shakespeare's obvioj^ 
knowledge of horses ana horsemanship, displayed in so many p&J'J 
of his works. The description of the horse in " Venus and Adonis'* 
will at once occur to every body ; and how much it was admired at 
the time is evident from the fact, that it was plagiarised so soon aftei 
it was published, {See the Introduction.) For his judgment of 
skill in riding, among other passages, see his account of Lamord't 
horsemanship in "Hamlet." The propagators and supportera of 
the horse-holding anecdote ought to have added, that Shakespeai 
probably derived his minute and accurate acquaintance with tn 
subject from his early observation of the skill of the English nrSi.ity 
and gentry, after they had remountei at the play-liouse door: — 
" But chiefly skill to ride sei. <is a science 
Proper to gentle blood." — Spenser"B F. Q.. b. ii. c. 4. 

♦ We have already stated that although in 15S5 only one on- 
named company performed in Stratford, in the very next year 
(that in which we have supposed Shakespeare to have become a regu- 
lar actor) five companies were entertained in the borough '■ one of 
these consisted of the players of the Earl ^f Leicester, i.) wnom me 
Blackfriars theatre belonged ; and it is very possible that Sh'akespeara 
at that date exhibited before his fellow-townsmen in his new pro- 
fessional capacity. Before this time his performances at Stratford 
may have been merelyof an amateur description. It is, at al! events, 
a striking circumstance, that in 158G only one comj)any performed, 
and that in 1587 such extraordinary encouragement was civeo ir 
theatricals in Stratford. 

* Malone (Shakipeare by Boswell, vol. ii. p. 168) says that Speu- 



Jifliculty in our mind is, how the lines are to be explained 
by reference to any other dramatist of the time, even sup- 
posing, as we have supposed and believe, that our great 
fMiet was at this period only rising into notice as a writer for 
the stage. We will first quote the lines, literatim as they 
tlnod in the edition of 1591, and afterwards say something 
of the claims of others to the distinction they confer. 

" And he the man, whom Nature selfe had made 
To mock her selfe, and Truth to imitate, 

With kindly counter under Mimick shade, 
Our pleusant Willy, ah I is dead of late : 

With whom all joy and jolly meriment 

Ig also deaded, and in dolour drent. 

" In stead thereof scoffing Scurrilitie, 

And scurnfull Foilie with contempt is crept, 
Kollinff in rymes of shameless ribaudrie, 
Without regard or due Decorum kept: 
Each idle wit at will presumes to make. 
And doth the Learned's tuske upon him take. 

•' But that same gentle Spirit, from whose pen 

Large streames of lionnie and sweete Nectar flowe, 

Scorning the boldnes of such base-borne men, 
Which dare their follies forth so rashlie Ihrowe, 

Doth rather clioose to sit in idle Cell, 

Thau so himselte to mockerie to sell." 

The moat striking of these lines, with reference to our 
present inquuy, is, 

" Our pleasant Willy, ah ! is dead of late ;" 
and hence, if it stood alone, we might infer that Willy, who- 
ever he might be, was actually dead ; but the hitter part 
of the third stanza we have quoted shows us in what sense 
the word " dead " is to be imderstood : Willy was " dead " 
as far as regarded the admirable dramatic talents he had 
already displayed, which had enabled him, even before 
1591, to outstrip all living rivalry, and to atford the most 
certain indieiiti-ms of tlie still greater things Spenser saw he 
would accomplish ; he was " dead," because he 

" Doth rather choose to sit in idle Cell, 
Thau so himselfe to mockerie to sell." 

It is to be borne in mind that these stanzas, and six 
others, are put into the mouth of ThaUa, whose lamenta- 
tiou on the degeneracy of the stage, especially in comedy, 
follows those of Calliope and Melpomene. Rowe, under 
the impression that the whole passage referred to Shake- 
speare, introduced it into his " Life," in his first edition of 
1709, but silently withdrew it m his second edition of 1714: 
his reason, perhaps, was that he did not see how, before 
1591, Shakespeare could have shown that he merited the 
character given of him and his productions— 

*' And he the man, whom Nature selfe had made 
To mock her selfe, and Truth to imitate." 

Spenser knew what the object of his eulogy was capable 
of doing, as well, perhaps, as what he had done ; and we 
have established that more than a year before the publica- 
tion of these lines. Shakespeare had risen to be a distin- 
guished member of the Lord Chamberlain's company, and 
a sharer in the undertaking at the Blackfriars. Although 

■er^s '* Tears of the Muses " was published in 1590, but the volume 
in which it first appeared bears date in 1591. It was printed with 
koiue other pieces under the title of " Complaints. Containing sun- 
irie small Poems of the Worlds Vanitie. Where.jf the next Page 
maketh mention. Bv Ed. Sp. London. Imprinted for Wiiliam 
ronsonbie, ko, 1591." It will be evident from what follows in our 
taut, that a year is of considerable importance to the question. 

' Perhaps it was printed otF before his "Bartholemew Fair" was 
act«d in l(il4 ; or perhaps, the comedy being a new one, Ben Jonson 
did not think he had a right to publish it to the detriment of the 
company (the servants of the Princess Elizabeth) by whom it had 
be«n purchased, and produced. 

* Such as '■ The Widow," written soon after 1613, in which he was 
assisted by Fetcher and Middleton ; ■' The Case is Altered," printed 
in 16U9, in which his coadjutors are not known; and "Eaj*tward 
Ho I" published in IGO", in which he was joined by Chapman and 
Marston : this last play exposed the authors to great danger of pun- 

' We are not to be understood as according in the ascription to 
Stall «<peare of rsiious plays imputed to him in the folio of lUtj4, and 

we feel assured that he had not composed any of his greats 
est works before 1591, he may have done much, besiden 
what has come down to us. amply to warrant Spenser in 
applauding him beyond all his theatrical contemporaries. 
His earUest printed plays, " Romeo and Juliet," " Richard 
II," and '■ Richard III.," "bear date in 1597 ; but it is indis- 
putable that he had at that tune written considerably more, 
and part of what he had so wi'itten is contained in the foUo 
of 1623, never having made its appearance in any earhei 
form. When Ben Jonson published the large volume of 
his "Works" in 1616', he excluded several comedies a. 
which he had been aided by other poets^, and re-wjote pari 
of " Sejanus," because, as is supposed, Shakespeare, (wh. 
performed in it, and whom Jonson terms a " happy genius ■) 
had assisted him m the composition of tl e tragedy as it 
was originally acted. The player-editors of the foi.o of 
Shakespeare's " Comethes, "Tragedies, imd Histo-ies," ii 
1623, may have thought it right to pursue the same course 
excepting in the case of the three parts of " Heniy VI. : 
the poet, or poets, who had contributed to these historiij 
(perhaps Marlowe and Greene) had been then dead thirt) 
years ; but with respect to other pieces, persons still living 
whether authors or booksellers, might have jomt chiimt 
upon them, and hence their exclusiim'. We onlj put thin 
as a possible circtmistance ; but we are pei'suaded that 
Shakespeare, early in his theatrical hfe, must have wnitten 
much, in the way of revivals, alterations, or joint produc- 
tions with other poets, which has been forever lost We 
here, as before, conclude that none of his greatest original 
dramatic productions had come from his pen ; but if in 1591 
he had only brought out " The Two Gentlemen of Verona" 
and " Love's Laboiu- 's Lost," they are so infiuitely superior 
to the best works of his predecessors, that the justice of the 
tribute paid b)' Spenser to his genius would at once be ad 
mitted. At all events, if before 1591 he had not aecom 
plished, b)' any means, all that he was capable of, he had 
given the clearest indications of high genius, abundantly 
sufficient to justify the anticipation of Spenser, that he was 
a man 

' whom Nature's selfe had made 

To mock her selfe, and Truth to imitate :" 

a p.is6age which in itself admirably comprises, and eom- 
pi-esses nearly all the excellences of which dramatic poetry 
13 susceptible — the mockery of nature, and the imitation of 

Another point not hitherto noticed, because not hitherto 
known, is, that there is some little ground for thinking, that 
Spenser, if not a Warwickshire mim, was at one time resi- 
dent in Wai-wickshire, and later in life he may have become 
acquainted with Shakespeare. His birth had been conjee- 
turallv placed in ISSS*, and on the authority of some lines 
in his' " Prothalamion " it has been supposed that he was 
bom m London : East Smithfield, near the Tower, has also 
been fixed upon as the part of the town wliere he first 
drew breath ; but the parish registers in that neighbour- 
hood have been searched in vain for a record of the event^ 
An ?!;dmund Spenser unquestionably dwelt at Kiugsbuiy, 
in Warwickshire, m 1569, which was the year when the 
author of " The Faerie Queene " went to Cambridge, and 

elsewhere. We believe that he was concerned in '* The Yorkshil 
Tragedy," and that he may have contributed some parts of " Arde 
of Feversham ;" but in spite of the ingenious letter, published at 
Edinburgh in 1633, we do not think that he aided Fletcher in writ- 
ing " The Two Noble Kinsmen." and there is not a single passage 
in "The Birth of .Merlin" which is worthy of his most careless mo- 
ments. Of '* The first part of Sir .Tohn Oldcajitle " we have else- 
where spoken ; and several other supposititious dramas in the folio 
of 16(14, which certainly would have done little credit to Shaive- 
speare. have also been ascertained to be the ^ srk of other dramatists. 

* This date has always appeared to us '.30 late, recollecting that 
Spenser wrote some blank-verse sonnets, prefixed to Vandernoodt"* 
"Theatre for Worldlings," printed in 15119. Il he were born in 
1.553. in 1569 he was only in his sixteenth year, and the sonnets ir. 
which we refer do not read like the productions of a very young man 

s Chalmers was a very diUigent inquirer into such matters, and hs 
could discover no entry of the kind. See his "' Supplemental Apol- 
ogy," p. 22. Subsequent investigations, instituted with reference 
t<i this question, have led to the same result. Oldys if respocsibli 
for the statement. 



was admitted a eizer at Pembroke College. The fact that 
Edmund Spenser (a rather unusual combination of names') 
was an inhabitant of Kingsbury in 1569 is established by 
the muster-book of Warwieksliire, preserved in the state- 
paper office, to which we have before had occasion to refer, 
but it does not give the ages of the parties. Tliis Edmund 
Spenser may possibly have been the father of the poet, 
^whose Christian name is no where recorded) and if it were 
tlie one or the other, it seems to afford a liuk of eounexiou, 
however slight, between Spenser and Shakespeare, of which 
we have had no previous knowledge. Spenser was at least 
eleven years older than Shakespeare, but tneu' early resi- 
dence m the same part of the kingdom may have given 
rise to an intimacy afterwards' : Spenser must have appre- 
ciated and admired the genius of Shakespeare, and the au- 
thor of " The Tears of the Muses," at the age of tliirty- 
Beven, may have paid a merited tribute to his young fl iend 
of twenty-six. 

The Edmimd Spenser of Kingsbury may have been en- 
tirely a different person, of a distinct family, and perhaps 
we are disposed to lay too much stress upon a mere ooinci- 
deuce of names ; but we may be forgiven for clinging to 
the conjecture that he may have been the author of " The 
Faerie Queene," and that the greatest romantic poet of this 
country was upon terms of fiiendship and cordiahty with 
the greatest dramatist of the world. This ou'cumstance, 
with which we were unacquainted when we wrote the In- 
troduction to " A Midsummer-Night's Dream," may appear 
to give new point, and a more certam application, to the 
well-remembered lines of that drama ( Act v. so. i.) in which 
Shakespeare has been supposed to refer to the death of 
Spenser^ and which may have been a subsequent insertion, 
for the sake of repaying by one poet a debt of gratitude to 
the other. i 

Without taking into consideration what may have been 
lost, if we are asked what we think it likely that Shake- 
speare had written in and before 1591, we should answer, 
that he had altered and added to three parts of " Henry 
VI.," that he had written, or aided in writing, " Titus Au- 
dronicus," that be had revived and amended " The Comedy 
of Errors," and that he had composed " The Two Gentle- 
men of Verona," and " Love's Labour 's Lost." Thus, look- 
ing only at Ids extant works, we see that the eulogy of 
Spenser was well warranted by the plays Shakespeare, at 
that earh- date, had produced. 

If theevidence upon this point were even more seamy, 
we should be couvmced that by " our pleasimt Willy," Spen- 
ser meant WiUiara Shakespeare, by the fact that s\ich a 
character as he gives could belong to no other dramatist of 
the time. Greene can have no pretensions to it, nor Lodge, 
nor Kyd, nor Peele; Marlowe had never touched comedy; 
but if these have no title to the praise that they had mocked 
Dature and imitated truth, the claim put in by Malone for 
Lyly is little short of absurd. Lyly was, beyond dispute, 
the most artiiioial and affected writer of his day : liis 
dramas have nothing hke nature or truth in them ; and if it 
could be established that Spenser and Lyly were on the 
most intimate footing, even the exairgerate admu-ation of 
the fondest friendship could hardly have eairied Spenser to 

- And b» flging to no other family at tfiat time, as far as our re- 
iearchee Lave extended. It has been too hastily concluded that the 
Spnnser whom TurberviUe addressed from Russia, in some epistles 
printed at the end of his " Tragical T'jles,'" 1-5&7, was not the poet. 
Taking Wood's representation, that these letters were written as 
eariy as 15lJ*J, it is still very possible that the author of *' The Faerie 
Queene" was the person to whom they were sent; he was a very 
young man, it is true, but perhaps not quite so young as has been 

2 Kobody has been able even to speculate where Spenser was at 
school ; — possibly at Kingsbury. Drayton was also a Warwickshire 

3 Differences of opinion, founded upon discordances of contempo- 
raneous or nearly contemporaneous, representations, have prevailed 
respecting the extreme poverty of Spenser at the time of death. 
There is no doubt that he had a pension of 50^ a year (at .east •2501. 
of our present money) from the royal bounty, which probably he 

■rereived to the last. At the same time we think there is m'Jch plau- 
sit*lrty in the story that Lord Burghley stood in the way of some 
•pecial pecuniary gift from Klizabelh. The Rev. H. J. Todd disbe- 
lieves it, and in his " Life of Soenser " calls it '* a calumny,'' on the 
founJition of the pension, without considering, perhaps, that the 

the extreme to which he has gone in his " Teai-s of tht 
Muses." If Malone had wished to point out a dramatist of 
that day to whom the words of Spenser could by no possi- 
biUty fitly apply, he could not have made a better choice 
than when he fixed upon Lyly. However, he labours the 
contrary position with great ])ertiuucity and considerable 
ingenuity, and it is extraordinary how a man of mueh read- 
ing, and of sound judgment upon many points of literal'} 
discussion, could impose upon himself and be led so fai 
from the ti'uth, by the desire to establish a novelty. At all 
eveuts, he might have contented liimself with an endeavour 
to prove the negative as regards Shakespeare, without goin^j 
the strange length of attempting to make out the affirma- 
tive as regards Lyly. 

We do not for an instant admit the right of any of ?hafcfc- 
speare's predecessors or contemporaries to the ti-ibute of 
Spenser ; but Malone might have made out a case for any 
of them with more plausibihty than for Lj'ly. Greene wae 
a writer of fertile fancy, but choked and smothered by the 
overlaying of scholastic learning : Kyd was a man of strong 
natural pai'ts, and a composer of vigorous lines : Lodge was a 
poet of genius, though not in the department of the di'ania : 
Peele had an elegant mind, and was a smooth and agreea- 
ble versifier ; while Marlowe was gifted with a soaring and 
a daring spirit, though imchecked by a well-regulated taste : 
but all had more nature in their dramas thau Lyly, who 
generally chose classical or mythological subjects, ana dealt 
with those subjects with a wearisome monotony of style, 
with thoughts quaint, conceited, and violent, and with on 
utter absence of force and distinctness in his characteriza 

It is not necessaiy to enter farther into this part of the 
question, because, we think, it is now established that Spen- 
ser's lines might apply to Shakespeare as I'egards the date 
of their publication, and indisputably applied with most 
feheitous exactness to the works he has left behind him. 

With regard to the lines which state, that Willy 

*' Dotli rather choose to sit in idle Cell, 
Than so hiinself'e to mockerie to sell,'* 

we have already shown that in 1689 there must have been 
some compulsory cessation of theatrical performances, 
which affected not only offending, but unoffending compa- 
nies : hence the cei'tificate, or more prtipei'ly I'eraonstrance, 
of the sixteen sharers in the Blackfiiars The choir-boys 
of St. Paul's were silenced for bringing " matters of state 
and rehgion " on their stjige, when they introduced Martin 
Mar-prelate iut-j one of their dramas : and the players of 
the Lord Admiral imd Lord Strange were piohibited from 
acting, as far as we can learn, on a similai" grouud. The in- 
terdiction of performances by the children of Paul's was 
pei'severed in fir about ten years ; and although the pubUc 
companies (after the completion of some inquiries by com- 
missioners specially appointed) were allowed again to fol- 
low their vocation, thei'c can be no doubt that tliere was a 
temporary suspension of all theatricid exhibitions in Lon- 
don. This suspension commenced a short time before 
Spenser wrote his " Tears of the Muses," in which he 
notices the silence of Shakespeare. 

epigram, attributed to Spenser, may have been occasioned by th« 
obstruction by the Lord Treasurer of some additional proof of th« 
(Queens .^dnli^ation for the author of ''The Faerie Queene." Fuller 
first published the anecdote in his '• Worthies," IGIJ-J ; but sixty yea« 
earlier, and within a very short time after the death of Spenser, thf 
story was current, for we find the lines in Manninghain's Diary 
(Harl. MS. 5353) under the date of May 4, 11)02; they ale thus intro- 
duced : 

'' When her Majesty had given order that Spenser should have a 
reward for his poems, but Spenser could have nothing, he presente-1 
her with these verses ; 

'' It pleased your Grace upon a time 

To grant me reason for my rhyme ; 

But frcm that time until this season. 

1 heard of neither rhyme nor reason." 

The wording differs slightly from Fuller's copy. We add the fnl 
lowing epigram upon the death of Spenser, also on the authority of 
Manninghara : — 

" III Spctiscruni. 

" Famous alive, and dead, here is the odds; 

Then god of poets, now poet of the gods." 



We have no means of ascertaining how long the order, 
iuhibitiug theatrical performances generally, was persevered 
in ; but the plague broke out in London in 1592, and in the 
autumn of the year, when the number of deaths was great- 
est, '■ tlie Queen's players'," in their progress round the 
country, whither they wimdered when thus prevented from 
acting in the metropolis, performed at Chesterton, neai' 
Cambi'idge, to the great auuoyance of the heads of the uui- 
. versity. 

It was at this juncture, probably, if indeed he ever were 
in that country, that Shakespeare visited Italy. Mr. C. 
Amiitage Erown, in his very clever, and in many respects 
original work, " Shakespeare's AutobiogiaphiciJ Poems," 
has maintained the affirmative with great contideuce, and has 
'Drought int<-i one view all the internal evidence afforded by 
the productions of our great dramatists External evidence 
there is none, since not even a tradition of such a journey 
has descended to us. We own that the internal evidence, 
in our estimation, is by no means as strong as it appeared 
to Mr. Brown, who has evinced great ingenuity and ability 
in the conduct of his case, and has made as much as possi- 
ble of his proofs. He dwells, among other things, upon the 
fact, that there were no contemporaneous translations of the 
tales on which " The Merchant of 'Venice " and " OtheUo " 
ai'e founded ; but Shakespeare may have understood as 
much Italian as answered his purpose without having gone 
to Venice. For the same reason we lay no stress upon the 
recently-discovered fact, (not known when Mr. Brown 
wrote) that Shakespeare constructed his " Twelfth Night " 
with the aid of one or two ItiJiau comedies ; they may 
have found their way into Eughmd, and he may have read 
them in the original language. That Shakespeare was ca- 
pable of translating Itidiau sufficiently for his own pur- 
poses, we are morally certain ; but we think that if he had 
travelled U) Venice, Verona, or Florence, we should have 
had more distinct and positive testimony of the fact in his 
works than can be adduced from them. 

Other authors of the time have left such evidence behind 
them as cannot be disputed. Lyly tells us so distinctly in 
more than one of liis pieces, and Rich informs us that he 
became ac'|uaiuted with tlie novels he translated on the 
other side of the Alps ; Daniel goes the length of letting 
us linow where ceitain of his sonnets were composed ; 
Lodge wrote some of his tracts abroad : Nash gives us the 
places where he met particular persons; and his friend 
Greene adinits his obligations to Italy and Spain, whither 
he had travelled early in hfe in pursuit of letters. In truth, 
At that period and afterwards, there seems to have been a 
prevaiUng rage for foreign travel, and it extended itself to 
mere actors, as well as t*.) jjoets ; for we know that Wilham 
Kenipe was in Rome in lijol'^, during the interval between 
the tune when, for some unexplained reason, he quitted the 
eomp;my of the Lord Chamberlain's players, and joined 
that of the Lord Admiral". Although we do not beUeve 
that Shakespeare ever was in Italy, we admit that we are 
without evideuce to crove a negative ; and he may have 

» They consisted of the company under the leadership of Lawrence 
Uuttcn, one of the two associations acting at this period under the 
(tiueea's name. Both were unconnected with the Lord Chainber- 
la:n':} servants. 

2 See Mr. HalUwell's " Ludus Coventri®'' (printed for the Shake- 
ncare Society), p 410. Rowley, m his " Search for Money,'* speaks 
•1 this expedition by Ken'.pe. who, it seems, had wagered a certain 
wjm of money that he would go to Kome and back in a given num- 
ber of days. In the ijf.troductiou to the reprint of that rare tract by 
the Percy Society, i is shown that Kempe also danced a morns in 
France. These ci'iumstances were unknown to the Rev. A. iJyce, 
when he 5upe*:utended a republication of Kempe's "Nine Days' 
Wonder," ItiUd for the Camden Society. 

^ It is a new fact that Kempe at anytime quitted the company 
playing at the Biaokfriars and Globe theatres ; it is however india- 
futable, and we have it on the authority of Heaslowe's Diary, where 
payments are recorded to Kenipe, and where entries are also made for 
the expenses of dresses supplied to him in 11102. These memoranda 
Malone overlooked, when the M.S., belonging to Dulwich College, 
was in his hands ; but they may be verv important with reference 
to the dates of some of Shakespeare's plays, and the particular actors 
sngaged in Ihem ; they also account for the non-appearance of 
Kempe's name in the royal license granted in May, HiU3, to the com- 
pany to whi-h he had belonged. Mr. Dyce attributes the omission 
if Kempe's name in that instrument to his death, because, in the 

gone there without having left behind him any distind 

record of the fact At the date to which we are now ad- 
verting he might certainly have had a convenient opportu 
nity tor domg so, in consequence of the temporaiy prohibi- 
tion of dramatic performances in Londoa 


Death of Robert Greene in 1592, and publication of h 
"Groatswonh of Wit," by H. Chettle. Greene's addres* 
to Marlowe, Lodge, and Peele, and his envious mention of 
Shakespeare. Shakespeare's offence at Chettle, and th« 
apology of the latter in his " Kind-heart's Dream." The 
character of Shakespeare there given. Second allnsion by 
Speuser to Shakespeare in " Colin Clout's come home 
again," 1594. The " gentle Shakespeare." Change in the 
chanicter of his composition between 1591 and 1594 : his 
"Richard II." and " Richard III." 

DuEi.NQ the prevalence of the infectious malady of 1592, 
although not m consequence of it, died one of the most no 
torious and distinguished of the Uteraiy men of the time, — 
Robert Greene. He expired on the Sd of September, 1592, 
and left behind him a work purporting to have been writ- 
ten during his last illness : it was published a few months 
afterwards by Henry Chettle, a fellow dramatist, under the 
title of " A Groatsworth of Wit, bought ■with a MiUion of 
Repentance," bearing the date of 1592, and preceded by an 
address from Greene " To those Gentlemen, his quondam 
acquaintance, who spend their wits in making Plays." Here 
we meet with the second notice of Shakespeare, not indeet' 
by name, but with such a near approach to it, that nobody 
can entertiun a moment's doubt that he was intended. It 
is necessary to quote the whole passage, and to observe, 
before we do so, that Greene is adclressiiig hunself particu- 
larly to Marlowe, Lodge, and Peele, and m'gmg them to 
break off all connexion with players' : — " Base minded men 
all three of you, if by my misery ye be not warned ; for 
imto none of you, like me, sought those burs to cleave , 
those puppets, I mean, that speak from our mouths, those 
autieks garnished in our colours. Is it not strange that I, 
to whom they all have been beholdmg ; is it not like that 
you, to whom they have all been beholding, shall (were ye 
in that case that I am now) be both of them at once for- 
sakeu ( Yes, trust them not ; for there is an upstart crow 
beautified with om' feathers, that with his Tiger's heart 
v:rajjpd m a player's hicle, supposes he is as well able 
to bombast our blank-verse, as the best of you : and, being 
an absolute Johannes Fac-totmn, is, in his own conceit, 
the only Shake-scene in a coimtry. O ! that 1 might en- 
treat your rare wits to be employed in more profitable 
courses, and let these apes imitate your past excellence, 
and never more acquaint them with your admired inven- 

The chief and obvious pm'pose of this address is to in- 

register of St. Saviour's, Southwark, Chalmers found an entry, dated 
Nov. d, 1603, of the burial of "William Kempe, ii titan.'' The:e 
were doubtless many men of the common names of William Kempt ; 
and the William Kempe, who had acted Dogberry, Peter, &c., was 
certainly alive in 1005, and had by that date rejoined the Lord Cham- 
berlain's servantes, then called " the King's players-"' The follow- 
ing unnoticed memoranda relating to hira are extracted from Hene 
lowe's Diary ; 

"Lent unto Wm Kempe, the 10 of Marche. Il'i0'.3, in redy mony, 
twentye shillinges for his necesary uses, the some of xx». 

" Lent unto W" Kempe, the "id of Auguste, 11)02, to buye buck 
ram to make a payer of gyentes hosse, the some of v". 

■' Pd unto the tyerman for mackynge of W"» Kempe's sewt, and 
the boye-s, the 4 Septembr 1002, some of viij*. St." 

* We have some doubts of the authenticity of the " Groatswortii 
of "Wit,"' as a work by Greene. Chettle was a needy dramatist, and 
possibly wrote it in order to avail himself of the high popolarity of 
Greene, then just dead. Falling into some discredit, in consequence 
of the publication of it. Chettle re-asserted that it was by Greene, 
but he admitted that the manuscript from which it was printed wa» 
in his own hand-writing : this circumstance he explained by stating 
that Greene's copy was so illegible that he was obliged to transcnb* 
it ; "it was ill-written." says Chettle, "as Greene's hand was none 
of the best ;*' and therefore he re-wrote it. 



duce Marlowe, Lodge, and Peele to cease to write for the 
"Stage ; aud, in the course of his exiiortation, Greene bitterly 
inveighs agaiust " uu upstart crow," who had availed liim- 
eelf of the dramatic labours of othei's, who imagined him- 
self able to write as good blank-verse as any of his con- 
temporaries, who was a Johannes Fac-totwn^ and who, in 
his own opiniou, was " the only Shake-scene in a couutry." 
All this is clearly levelled at Shakespeare, under the pur- 
posely-perverted name of Shake-scene, and the words, 
" Tiger's heart wrapp'd in a player's hide," are a parody 
upon a line iu a historical play, (most likely by Greene) 
' 0, tiger's heait wrapp'd in a woman's hide," from which 
Shakespeare had takeu his " Henry VI." part iii.' 

From hence it is evident that Shakespeare, near the end 
of 1592, had established such a reputation, aud was so im- 
pjrtant a lival of the dramatists, who, until he came for- 
ward, had kept uudisputed possession of the stage, as to ex- 
cite the envy aud enmity of Gi'eene, even during his last and 
fatal illness. It also, wc think, establishes another point not 
hitherto adverted to, viz. tliat our great poet possessed such 
variety of talent, that, for the purposes of the company of 
which be was a member, be could do anything that he 
might be called upon to perform : he was the Johannes Fac- 
totum of the association : he was an actor, and he was a 
writer of plays, an adapter and improver of those 
already in existence, (some of them by Greene, Marlowe, 
Lodge, or Peele) and no doubt he contributed prologues or 
epilogues, and inserted scenes, speeches or passages on any 
temporary emergency. Having his ready assistance, the 
Lord Chamberlain's servants required few other contribu- 
tious from rival dramatists" : Shakespeare was the Johan- 
nes Fac-totum who could turn his hand to any thing con- 
nected with his profession, aud who, iu all probability, had 
thrown men like Greene, Lodge, and Peele, and even Mar- 
lowe himself, into the shade. In our view, therefore, the 
quotation we have made from the " Groataworth of Wit " 
proves more than has been usually collected from it 

It was natural and proper that Shakespeare should take 
offence at this gross and public attack : that he did there is 
DO doubt, for we are told so by Chettle himself, the avowed 
editor of the " Groatsworth of Wit :" he does not indeed 
mention Shakespeare, but he designates him so intelligibly 
that there is no i-oom for dispute. Marlowe, also, and not 
without reason, complained of the manner in which Greene 
had spoken of him iu the same work, but to him Chettle 

^ See this point more fully illustrated in the Introduction to 
" Henry VI." part iii. 

2 At this date Peele had relinquished his connection with the com- 
pany occupying the Blackfriara theatre, to which as will be renieia- 
Dered, he was attached in 15s9. How far the rising genius of t^hake- 
speare, and his increased utility and importance, had contributed to 
.^.e withdrawal of Peele. and to his junction with the rival associa- 
tion acting under the name of the Lord Admiral, it is impossible to 
determiite. We have previously adverted to this point. 

3 There were not separate impressions of " Kind-heart's Dream '■ 
in 1592, but the only three copies known vary in some minute par- 
ticulars : thus, with reference to these words, one impression at Ox- 
ford reads, ''his/atiO(i5 grace in writing," and the other, correctly, as 
we have given it. "Kind-heart's Dream" has been re-printed, by 
the Percy Society, from the third copy in the King's Library at the 
British Moseum. 

* More than ten years afterwards. Chettle paid another tribute to 
Shakespeare, under the nameol Melicert, in his "England's Mourn- 
ing Garment:" the author is reproaching the leading poets of the 
iay, Daniel, Warner, Chapman, Jonson, Drayton. Sackville, Dekker, 
Ilc., for not writing in honour of Queen Elizabeth, who was just 
iaao ha thus addresses Shakespeare : — 

" Nor doth the silver-tongued Melicert 

Drop from his honied Muse one sable tear, 
To mourn her death that graced his desert, 

And to his lays open'd her royal ear. 
Shepherd, remember our Elizabeth, 
And sing her Rape, done by that Tarquin death." 

This passage is important, with reference to the Royal encourage- 
ment given to Shakespeare, in consequence of the approbation of his 
plays at Court : Elizabeth had " graced his desert," and " open'd her 
royal ear " to " his lays." Chettle did not long survive the publica- 
tion of " England's Alourning Garment " in 160.3 : he was dead in 
IG07, as he is spoken of in Dekker's " Knight's Conjuring." of that 
year, (there is tn impression also without date, and possibly a few 
months earlier) as a very corpulent ghost in the Elysian Fields. He 
had been originally a printer, then became a bookseller, and, finally, 
A pamphleteer and dramatist. He was, in various degrees, concerned 
In about forty plays. 

made no apology, while to Shakespeare he offered all the 
amends in his power. 

His apology to Shakespeare is contained in a tract called 
" Kind-heart's Dream," which was published without date, 
but as Greene expired on 3d September, 1692, and Chettle 
tells us in "'s Dream," that Greene di .J " about 
three months " before, it is certain that " Kind-heart's 
Di'eara " came out prior to the end of 1.592, as we now cal- 
culate the year, and about three months before it expired, 
according to the reckouing of that period. The whole pas- 
sage relating to Marlowe and Shakespeare is highly inter- 
esting, aud we therefore extract it entire.— 

" About three months since died M. Eoberl Greene, leav- 
ing many papers in sundry booksellers' bunds : among otlierg 
bis Crroatsu'orth of Wii^ lE which a letter, written to divera 
play-mukers, is otfensively by one or two of them taken ; and 
because on the dead they cannot be avenged, they wilfully 
forge in their conceils a living author, and after tossing it to 
and fro, no remedy but it mustlitjhl on me. How I have, ail 
the time of my conversing in printing, hindered the bitter in- 
veighing against scholars, it hath been very well known : and 
how in that I dealt, I can sufficiently prove. With neither 
of them, that take otTence, was I acquainted ; and with one 
of theni [Marlowe] I care not if I never be : the other, [Shake- 
speare] whom lit that time 1 did n^t so much spare, as since I 
wish I had, for tiiat as I have moderated thelieat of living 
writers, and might have used my owu discretion (especially 
ill suclx a case, tiie author being dead) that I did not I am aa 
sorry as if the original fault had been my fault; because my- 
self have seen his demeanour no less civil, than he excellent 
iu the quality he professes : besides, divera of worship have 
reported his uprightness of dealing, which argues his honesty, 
and his facetious grace iu writing, that approves his art. For 
the first, [Marlowe] whose learning 1 reverence, and at the 
perusing of Greene's book struck out what then in conscience 
1 lliought he in some displeasure writ, or liad it been true, 
yet to publish it was intolerable, him 1 would wish to use me 
no worse than I deserve." 

The accusation of Greene against Marlowe had reference 
to the freedom of his religious opinions, of which it is not 
necessary here to say more : the attack upon Shakespeare 
we have already inserted and observed upon. In Chettle's 
apology to the latter, one of the most noticeable points is 
the tribute he pays to our great dramatist's abihties as an 
actoi', " his demeanour no less civil, than he excellent in 
the quaUty he professes :" the word " quality " was applied, 
at that date, peculiai-ly and technically to acting, imd the 
" quabty " Shakespeare " professed " was that of an actor. 
" His facetious grace iu writing^ " is separately adverted to, 
and admitted, while " his uprightness of dealing " is attested, 
not only by Chettle's own experience, but by the evidence of 
" divers of worship." Thus the amends made to Shake- 
speare for the envious assault of Greeue shows most deci- 
sively the high opinion entertained of him, towards the 
close of 1592, as an actor, an author, aud a man*. 

We have already inserted Spensei-'s warm, but not lest 
judicious and well-merited, eulogium of Shakespeare in 
1591, when iu his "Tears of the Muses" he addresses him 
as Willy, and designates him 

" that same gentle spirit, from whose pen 

Large streames of honuie and sweete neotar iiowe." 

If we wi:re to trust printed dates, it would seem that io 
the same year the author of " The Faeiie Queene " gav* 
another proof of his admiration of our great di'amatist. 
we allude to a passage in " Colin Clout's come home again," 
which was published with a dedication dated 27th Detem- 
ber, 1591 ; but Malone proved, beyoud all cavil, that for 
1591 we ought to read 159-i, the printer having made an ex- 
traordinary blimder. In that poem (after the author has 
spoken of many Uving and dead poets, some by their names, 
as Alabaster and Daniel, and others by fictitious and fanci- 
ful appeUatious') he inserts these lines : — 

• Malone, with a good deal of research and patience, goes over all 
the pseudo-names in " Colin Clouls come home again." applying 
each to poets of the time ; but how -jncertain and unsatisfactory any 
attempt of the kind must necessarily be may be illustrated in 
single instance. Malono refers the frllr^wing lines to Arthur tioUin^: 



" And there, though Inst not least, is ^tion ; 
A gentler shepherd may no where be found. 
Whose Muse, full of high thought's invention, 
Doth, like himself, heroieally sound." 

Malone takes umecessary pains to establish that this paa- 
»agu applies to Shakespeare, although he pertinaciously 
denied that " our pleasant Willy " of " The Tears of the 
Muses " was intended for him. We have no doubt on either 
point ; and it is singular, that it should never have struck 
Malone that the same epithet is given in both cases to the 
person addressed, and that epithet one which, at a subse- 
quent date, almost constantly accompanied the name of 
Shakespeare. In " The Tears" of the Muses" he is called a 
'gentle spirit," and in " Colin Clout's come home again " we 
are told that, 

" A gentltr shepherd may no where be found." 
In the same feeling Ben Jonson "calls him " my gentle Shake- 
( peare," in the noble copy of verses prefixed Xu the folio of 
1623, so that ere long lie term became peculiarly applied 
lo om- great and amiable dramatist'. This ccjincidence of 
expression is another uireumstunce to establish that Spenser 
eertamly had Shixkespeare in his mind when he wrote his 
' TeaJ-a of the Muses " in 1591, and his " Colin Clout's come 
home again " in 1591. In the latter instance the whole de- 
scription is nearly as appropriate as in the earlier, with the 
addition of a line, which has a clear and obvious reference 
t" the patronymic of our poet : his Muse, says Spenser, 

" Doth, like himself, heroically sound." 
These words alone may be taken to show, that between 
1591 and 1594 Shakespeare had somewhat cluiuged the 
character of his compositions : Spenser having applauded 
him, in his " Tears of the Muses," for unrivalled talents in 
comedy, (a department of the drama to which Shakespeare 
had, perhaps, at that date especially, though not exclusively, 
devoted himself) in his "Colin Clout" spoke of the "high 
thought's invention," wliich then filled Shakespeare's muse, 
and made her sound as " heroically " as his name. Of his 
genius, in a loftier straui of poetry than belonged to comedj', 
our great dramatist, by the year 1694, must have given 
some remarkable and undeniable proofs. In 1591 he had 
perhaps written his " Love's Labour 's Lost " and " Two 
Gentlemen of Verona;" but in 1594 he had, no doubt, pro- 
duced one or more of his great historical plays, his " Rich- 
ard II." and " Richard III.," botli of which, as before re- 
marked, together with " Romeo and JuUet," came from the 
press in 1597, though the last in a very mangled, imperfect, 
and unauthentic itate. One circumstance may be mentioned, 
as leading to the belief that "Richard III." was brought 
out in 1594, viz. that in that year an impression of "The 
True Tragedy of Richard the T'hird," (an older play than 
that of Shakespeare) was published, that it might be 
bought under the notion that it was the new drama by the 
most popular poet of the >lay, then in a course of repie- 
sentation. It is most probable that " Richard II." liad been 
composed before " Richard III," and to either or both of 
them the lines, 

" Whose Muse, full of high thought's invention, 
Doth, like himself, heroically sound," 

will abundantly apply. The difference in the character of 
Spenser's bibutes to Shakespeare in 1591 and 1594 was oc- 
aasioned by the difference in the character of his produc- 

'* And there is old Palemon, free from spite, 

Whose careful pipe may raalce the iieajere rue ; 
Yet he himself may rued be more right. 
Who sung so long, until quite hoarse he grew." 
The passage, in truth, applies to Thomas Churchyard, as he himself 
Inlorris us in his " Pleasant Discourse of Court and Wars," 1596 : he 
Jomp'ams of neglect, and tells us that the Court is 
"The platform where all poets thrive, 

Save one irfiose voice is hoarse^ they say ; 
The stage, where time away we drive, 
As children in a pageant play." 
In the same way we mi^ht show that Malone was mistaken as to 
other poets he supposes alluded to by Spenser ; but it would lead us 
too fer out of our way. No body has disputed, that by .^tion, the 
author « f Colin CI it " meant Shakespeare, 


The dramas written by Shakespeare up to 1594. New doon- 
ments relating to his father, under the authority of Sii 
Thom.os Lucy^ Sir Fulk GreviUe, ifec. Recusants iu Stral- 
ford-upon-Avon. John Shakespeare eurployed to value 
the goods of H. Field. Publication of " Venus and Ado- 
nis "during the plngiie in 1593. Dedication of it, and of 
" Lucrece," 1594, to the Earl of Southampton. Bounty of 
the Earl to Shakespeare, and coincidence between the dale 
of the gift and the building of the Globe theatre on the 
Bankside. Probability of the story that Lord Soulhamf- 
ton presented Shakespeare with 1000^. 

Having arrived at the year 1594, we may take this oppor- 
tunity of stating which of Shakespeare's extant works, in 
our opinion, had by that date been produced. We have al- 
ready mentioned Uie three parta of " Henry VL," " Titus 
Andronicus, ' " The Comedy of Errors," " The Two Gentle- 
men of Verona," and " Love's Labour 's Lost," as in being in 
1591 ; and in the interval between 1691 aud 1594, we ap- 
prehend, he had added to them " Richard II." aud " Richard 
III." Of these, the four last were entirely tie work of 
our great dramatist : in the others he more or less availed 
himself of previous dramas, or possibly, of the assistance 
of contemporaries. 

We must now return to Stratford-upon-Avon, in order to 
advert to a very different subject. 

A document has been recently discovered in the State 
Paper Office, which is highly interesting with respect to 
the religious tenets, or worldly circumstances, of Shake- 
speaie's father in 1592^ Sir Thomas Lucy, Sir Fulk Gre- 
viUe, Sir Henry Goodere, Sir John Harrington, and four 
others, having been appointed commissionei-s to make in 
quiries " touching all such persons " as were "Jesuits, semi- 
nary priests, fugitives, or recusantes," in the county of Wai 
wick, sent to the Privy Council what they call their " second 
certiiieate," on the 26th Sept 1592^ It is divided into 
different heads, according to the respective hundreds, pa 
rishes, ifcc, and each page is signecf by them. One of 
these divisions applies to Stratford-upon-Avon, and the re- 
turn of names there is thus introduced : — 

" The names of all sutch Eecusantes as have bene hearto- 
fore presented for not comin^e niouethlie to the 
churcli, according to her Majesties lawes, and yet are 
thought to forbeare the church for debt, and for feare 
of processe, or for some other wor^e faultes, or for age, 
sicknes, or impotencie of bodie." 

The names which are appended to this introduction are the 
following : — 

William Bainton, 
Richard Harrington, 
William Fluilon, 
George Bardolphe* :" 

"Mr. John Wheeler, 
John Wheeler, his SDn, 
Mr. John Shackapere, 
Mr. Nicholas Barnesliurste, 
Thomas James, alias Gyles, 

and opposite to them, separated by a bracket, we read these 
words : — 

" It is sayd, that these last nine coome not to churohe for 
feare of processe of debte." 

Here we find the name of " Mr. John Shakespeare " either 
as a recusant, or as " forbearing the Chunch," on account of 
the fear of process for debt, or on account of " age, sickness, 
or impotency of body," mentioned in the introduction to 
the document The question is, to which cause we are to 
attribute his absence ; and with regard to process for debt, 

t In a passage we have already extracted from Ben Jonson'a *' Dis- 
coveries," he mentions Shakespeare's " gentle expressions ;" but he 
is there perhaps rather referring to his style of composition. 

2 We nave to express our best thanks to Mr. Lemon for directing oul 
attention to this manuscript, and for supplying us with an analysis 
of its contents. 

' The/rst certificate has not been found in the State Paper Office, 
after the most diligent search. 

* Hence we see that Shakespeare took two names in his " Henry 
V." from persons who bore them in his native town. Awdrey ws* 
also a female appellation known in Stratford, as appears elsewhere jo 
the same document. 



«e are to reculleot that it could not be served oq Sunday, i 
do that apprehensioQ of that kiud need not have kept him 
away from church on the Sabbath. Neither was it likely 
that his son, who was at this date profitably eraploved in 
Londtiu as an actor and author, and who three years before 
was a sharer in the Blackfriars theatre, would have allowed 
his father to continue so distressed for nioue\% as not Uj be 
able to attend the usual place of divine worship'. There- 
fore, although John Shakespeare was certaiulv in great pe- 
cuniary difficulties at the time his son William quitted 
Stratford, we altogetlier reject the notion that that sou had 
permitted his father to Uve in comparative want, while he 
tumself possessed more than compett'uce. 

" Age, sickness, and impoteucy of body," may indeed 
nave kept John Shakespeare from church, but upon this 
point we have no information beyond the fact, that if he 
were born, as Malone supposes, in 1530, he was at this date 
only sixty-two. 

With i-ej^ai'd to his religious opinions, it is certain that 
after he beciime alderman of Stratford, on 4th July 1566, 
he must have taken the usual oath required from all pro- 
testants ; but, according to the records of the borough, it 
was not administered to him until the 12th September fol- 
lowing his election. This trifling circumstance perhaps 
hardly deserves notice, as it may have been usual t;i choose 
the corporate officers at one court, and to swear them in at 
the nejct So far John Shakespeare may have ctpnformed 
to the requirements of the law, but it is still possible that 
he may not have adopted all the new protestaut tenets, or 
Jiat having adopted them, hke various other conscientious 
men, he saw reason afterwards to return to the faith he had 
abandoned. We have no evidence on this point as regards 
hun ; but we have evidence, as regards a person of the 
name of Thomas Greene, (who, although it seems very un- 
Ukely, may have been the same man who was an act< n' in 
the company to which Shakespeare behmged, and who was 
a co-sharer in the Blackfriars Theatre, in 1589) who is de- 
scribed in the certificate of the commissioners as then of a 
different parish, and who, it is added, had confessed that he 
had been " reconciled to the Romish religion." The memo- 
randum is in these terms : — 

" It is here to be remembred that one Thomas Greene, of 
tliis parisshe, heretofore presented and indicted for a recu- 
saute, liath confessed to Mr. Eobt. Burgojn, one of the com- 
missioners for this service, that an ould i*reest reconciled liim 
to the Komishe rehgion, while he was prisoner in Worcester 
goale. This Greene is not everie day to be fouude." 

On the same authority we learn that the wife of Thomas 
Greene was " a most wilful recusant ;" and although we are 
by no means warranted in forming even an opinion on the 
question, whether Mary Shakespeare adhered to the ancient 
f;uth, it is mdisputable, if we may rely upon the represen- 
tation of the commissioners, that some of her family con- 
tinued Roman Catholics. In the document under considera- 
tion it is stated, that Mrs. Mary Arden and her servant 
John Browne had been presented to the commissioners as 

> By an account of rents received by Thomas Rogers, Chamber- 
Iain of Stratford, in Ijy'.t, it appears tlial ''John Shakespeare '' occu- 
pied a house in Bridge-street, at an annual rent of twelve shillings, 
nine shillings of which had been paid. Perhaps (as Malone thought) 
this was John Shakespeare, the shoemaker ; because the father of the 
poet, having been bailiif and head-alderman, was usually styled Jlr. 
John Shakespeare, as we have before remarked. However, it is a co- 
incidence to be noted, that the name of John Shakespeare immediately 
follows that of Henry Tylde or Field, whose goods Mr. John Siiake- 
epeare wa^ subsequently employed to value : they were therefore in 
•11 probability neighbours. 

a '"Shakspeare and hia Times," vol. i. p. 9. Dr. Drake seems to 
be of the opinion that John Shakespeare may have refrained from 
attending the corporation halls previous to I5S(j, on account of hie 
religious opinions. 

3 It has the following title : — 

" A true and perfect Inventory of the Goodes and Cattells, which 
were the Goodes and Cattells of Henry Feelde. late of Stretford-uppon- 
Avon in the County of Warwyke, tanner, now decessed, beynge in 
Stretford aforewayd, the tilst daye of Auguste, Anno Domini 150"2. By 
Thomas Trussoll, Lrentl iraan, Mr. John Shaksper, Richard Sponer and 

The items of the inventory oonsist of nothing but an enumeration of 
old bedsteads, paiited cloths, andirons. &c. of no curiosity and of 
little value. It is to be observed that Thomas Tnjssel was an attor- 
ocy of Stratford, and it seems likelv that the valuation waa made in 

recusants, and that they had been so prior to the date ol 
the former return by the same official persons. 

In considering the subject of the faith of our poet's father, 
we ought to put entirely out of view the paper upon which 
Dr. Drake lays some stress^; we mean the sort of religious 
will, or confession of faith, supposed to have been found, 
about the year 1770, concealed in the tilmg of the house 
John Shakespeare is conjectured to have inhabited. It was 
printed by Malone in 1790, bflt it obviously mci-its no at- 
tention, and there are many reasons for believing it to tie 
spurious. Malone once looked upon it as authentic, but h 
corrected his judgment respecting it afterwards. 

Upon the new matter we have here been able to pro 
duce, we shall leave the reader to draw his own concl-sioOi 
and to decide for himself whether John Shakespeare fci^ 
bore church in 1592, because he was in fear of arrest, be- 
cause he was " aged, sick, and impotent of body," or be- 
cause he did not accord in the doctrines of tbe protestant faitk 

We ought not, however, to omit to add, that if John 
Shakespijare were infirm in 1592. or if he were harassed 
and threatened by creditors, neithei' the one circumstance 
nor the other prevented him from being employed in Au- 
gust 1592 (in what particular capacity, or for what precise 
purp<j8e is not stated) to assist " Thomas Trussell, gentle- 
man," and " Richard Sponer and others," in taking an inven- 
tory of the goods and chattels of Henry Feelde of Strat- 
ford, tanner, after his decease. A contemporary copy of 
the original document has recently been placed in the hands 
of tile Shakespeare Society for publication, but the fact, 
and not the details, is all that seems of miportimce here' 
In the heading of the paper our poets father is called " Mr. 
John Shakespeare," and at the end we find his name as 
" John Shakespeare senior :" this appears to be the only in- 
stance in which the adthtion of " senior " was made, and the 
object of it might be to distinguish him more effectually 
fixim John Shakespeare, the shoemaker in Stratford, with 
whom, of old perhaps, as in modern times, he was now and 
then confounded. The fact itself may be material in de- 
ciding whether John Shakespeare, at the age of sixty-two, 
was, or was not so " aged, sick, or impotent of body " as to 
be unable to attend protestant divine worship. It certainly 
does not seem likely that he would have been selected for 
the performance of such a duty, however trifling, if he had 
been so apprehensive of arrest as not to be able to leave 
his dwelling, or if he had been very infirm from sickness or 
old age. 

Whether he were, or were not a member of the protes- 
tant reformed Church, it is not to be disputed that his child- 
ren, all of whom wei'e born between 155» and 1580, were 
baptized at the ordinary imd established place of worship 
in the parish. Tliat his son William was educated, liveo. 
and died a protestant we have no dtiubt*. 

We have already stated our distinct and dehberate opin 
ion that " Venus and Adonis " was written befoi-e its authoi 
left his home in Warwickshire. He kept it by him for some 
years, and early in 1593 seems to have put it into the hands 

relation to Field's will. The whole sum at which the goods were 
estimated was £14. 14.*. Ud., and the total, with the names of th^ 
persons making the appraisement, is thus stated at the end of the ac 

" Some totall— £14. Us. Od. 
John Shaksper senior 
By me Richard Sponer 
Per me Thomas Trussel 
Script, present." 
Of course, unless, as does not appear in this coeval copy, John 
Shakespeare made his mark, the document must have been subscribed 
by some person on his behalf. 

* Nearly aH the passages in his works, of a religious or doctrinal 
character, have been brought into one view by Sir Frederick B. Wat- 
son. K. C. H., in a very elegant volume, printed in 1^43, for the 
benefit of the theatrical funds of our two great theatres. The object 
of the very zealous and amiable compiler was to counteract a notion, 
formerly prevailing, that William Shakespp're was a Roman Catholic, 
and he has done so very ellectually, although we do not find among 
his extracts one which seems to us of great value upon this question : 
it forms part of the prophecy of Cranmer, at the christening of Ctueen 
Elizabeth in " Henry VIII.'' act v. sc. 4. It consists of but five ex- 
pressive words, which we think clearly refer to the completior ^f tht 
Rfformation underour maiden queen. 

"In her days • • • • 
OoU skali be trultt knnrnn " 



of a printer, named Richard Field, who, it hgs been said, 
was of Stratford, and might be the son of the Henry Feelde, 
or Field, -whose goods John Shakespeare was employed to 
value in 1592. It is to be recollected that at the time 
" Vemis and Adonis " was sent t<i the press, while it was print- 
ing, and when it was published, the pkgue prevailed in 
London to such an excess, that it was cleemed expedient by 
the privy council to put a stop to all tlieatrical perform- 
ances'. Shakespeare seems to have availed h im self of this 
interval, in order to bring before the world a production of 
a different character to those which had been ordinarily seen 
from his pen. Until " Venus and Adonis " came out, the 
public at large could only have known him by the dramas 
he had written, or by those which, at an earlier date, he had 
altered, amended, and revived. The poem came from 
Field's press in the spring of 1593, preceded by a'dedica- 
tion to tie Earl of Soutlihamptou. Its popularity was great 
and instjmtaueousi, for a new edition of it was called fur in 
1594, a third in 1596, a fourth iu I60U, and a tifth in 16U2- : 
there may have been, and probably were, intervening mi- 
pressious, which have disappeared among the popular and 
destroyed Uterature of the time. We may conclude that 
this ailmirable and unequalled production first introduced 
its author to the notice of Lord Southampton ; and it is 
evident from the opening of the dedication, that Shake- 
speare had not taken the precaution of ascertaining, in the 
first instance, the wishes of the young nobleman on the sub- 
ject Lord Southampton was more than nine yeai-s younger 
than Shakespeare, having been born on 6th Oct 1573. 

We may be sure that the dedication of " Venus and 
Adonis " was, on every account, acceptable, and Shakespeare 
followed it up by inscribing to the same peer, but in a much 
more assured and confident strain, his " Lucrece " in the 
succeeding year. He then "dedicated his love " to his ju- 
venile patron, having " a wai'raut of his honourable dispo- 
sition " towards his " pamphlet " and huuself. " Lucrece " 
was not calculated, from its subject and the treatment of it, 
to be so popular as "Venus and Adonis," and the first 
edition having appeared from Field's press in 169-t, a re- 
print of it does not seem to have been called for until after 
the lapse of four years, and Uie tlurd edition bears the date 
of 16u0. 

It must have been about this period that the Earl of 
Southimiptou bestowed'a most extraordinary proof of his 
high-minded munificence upon the author tif " Venus and 
Adonis" and " Lucrece." It was not unusual, at that time 
and afterwards, for noblemen, and others to whom works 
were dedicated, to make presents of money to the writers 
of them ; but there is certainly uo instance upon record of 
such generous boimty, on an occasion of the kind, as that 
of which we are now to speak^ : nevertheless, we have 
every rehance upon the authenticity of the anecdote, taking 
jito uceouiit the unexampled merit of the poet, the known 
li'oerality of the nobleman, and the evidence upon which 
the story has been handed dowiu Rowe was the original 
oaiTator of it in print, and he doubtless had it, with other 
information, fi-om Betterton, who probably received it di- 
rectly from Sir WiUiam Davenant, and communicated it to 
Rowe. If it carmot be asserted that Davenant was strictly 
contemporary with Shakespeare, he was contemporary with 
Shakespeare's contemporaries, and from them he must have 
tt'tained the original information. Rowe gives the state- 
lOent in these words : — 

" There is cue instance so singular in the munificence of 

1 By the lollo\nng order, derived from the registers : — 

" That for avoyding of great concourse of people, which causeth 
increase of the infection, it were convenient that all Playes. Bear- 
baytings, Cockpitts, common Bowling-alleyes, and such like unne- 
:essarieaiseriiblies, should be suppressed during the time of infection, 
for that Infected people, after their long keeping in. and before they 
be cleared of their disease and infection, being desirous of recreation, 
use t( resort to such assemblies, where, through heate and thronge, 
ihey .nfect many sound personnes." 

In ■ronsequence of the virulence and extent of the disorder, Mich- 
aelmas lerm, 1593, was kept at St. Alban's. It was abjut this period 
thai Xaeh's "Summer's Last Will and Testament'' was acted as a 
private entertainment at Croydon. 

' Malone knew nothing of any copy of 1594. The impression of 
trfO'* was printed for W. Leake ; only a single copy of the edition has 

this patron of Shakespeare's that if I had not been assured 
that the story wns handed down by Sir William Davenant, 
who was probably very well acquainted witli his [Sliake- 
spcare's] an'airs, I should not have ventured to liave inserted ; 
tliat my liOrd Southampton at one time gave him a thousand 
pounds to enable him to go througli witli a purchase which 
he heard he had a miud to." 

No biographer of Shakespeare seems to have adverted 
to the period when it was hkely that the gift was made, in 
combination -with the nature of the purchase Lord South- 
ampton had heard our great dramatist wished to com- 
plete, or, it seems to us, they woulcl not have though* 
the tradition by any means so improbable as some hav 
held it. 

The disposition to make a worthy return for the dedica 
tioDS of " Venus and Adouis " and " Luci-ece '' would of 
coui'se be produced in the mind of Lord Southampton by the 
publication of those poems ; and we arc to recollect that it 
was precisely at the same date that the Lord Chamberlain's 
servants entered upon the project of building the Globe 
Theatre on the Bankside, not very far to the west of the 
Southwark foot of London Bridge. " Venus and Adonis " 
■n';is pubhshed in 1593 ; and it was on the 22nd Dee. in that 
year that Richard Burb.ige. the gi'eat actor, and the leader * 
of the company to which Shakespeare was attached, signed 
a bond to a carpenter of the name of Peter Street for the 
construction of the Globe. It is not too much to allow at 
least a year for its completion ; and it was during 1694, 
while the work on the Bankside was in progress, that " Lu- 
crece " came from the press. Thus we see the build- 
ing of the Globe, at the cost of the sharers in tlie Black- 
friars theatre, was coincident in pomt of time with the ap- 
pearance of the two poems dedicated to the Earl of South- 
ampton. Is it, then, too much to believe that the young 
and bountiful nobleman, having heard of this enterprise 
from the peculiar interest he is kuowu to have taken m all 
matters relating to the stage, imd havmg been incited by 
warm admiration of "Venus and Adonis" and "Lucrece," 
iu the fore-front of which he rejoiced to see his own name, 
presented Shakespeare with 1000/., to enable him to make 
good the money he was to produce, as his proportion, for 
the completion of the Globe! 

We do not mean to say that our great dramatist stood in 
need of the money, or that he could not have deposited it 
as well as the other sharers in the Blackfriars' ; but Lord 
Southampton may not have thought it uecessarv to inquire, 
whether he did or did not want it, nor to consider precisely 
what it had been customary to give ordinai-y versifiers, who 
sought the pay and patronage of the nobility. Although 
Shakespeare had not yet reached the climax of his excel- 
lence, Lord Southampton knew him to be the greatest 
dramatist this coimtry had yet produced ; he Icnew him also 
to be the writer of two poems, dedicated to himself, with 
which nothing else of the kind could bear comparison ; and 
in the exercise of his bounty he measured the poet by hia 
deserts, and " used him after his own honour and dignity." 
bv bestowing upon him a sum wortliy of his title and char- 
acter, and which his wealth probably enabled him -without 
ditficultv to art'oi'd. We do not beheve that tliere has bem 
any exaggeration in the amoimt, (although that is more pos- 
siljle, than that the whole statement shovdd have been a fic- 
tion) and Lord Soutliampton may thus hsive intended also 
to indicate his hearty good will to the new undertaking c< 
the company, and his determination to support it'. 

come down to our day : it had been entered by him as early 84 

3 The author of the present Life of Shakespeare is bound to make 
one exception, which has come particularly within his own knowl- 
edge, but of which he does not teel at liberty to say more. 

^ Neither are we to imagine that Snakespeare -would have to con- 
tribute the whole sum of lUUU/. as his contribut.on to the cost of the 
Globe ; probably much less ; but this was a consideration which, we 
may feel assured, never entered the mind of a man like Lord South- 

s Alter the Globe bad been burned down in June. 1613, it was re- 
built very much by the contributions of the king and the nobility 
Lord Southampton may have intended the KKIU/ . in pan. as a con- 
tribution to this enterprise, through the hands of an individual v'aom 
he had good leeson to distinguish from the rest of the company. 




The opccing of tlifi Globe theatre, on the Bankside, in 1595. 
Onion of Shakeapeiire's iissociates with the Lord Admiral's 
players. The theatre at Kewington Butts. Projected repair 
and enlargement of the Blacklriars theatre: opposition by 
the inliabitant.s of the preoiact. Shakespeare's rank in tlie 
company in 1596. Petition from him and seven others to 
the Privy Council, and its results. Repair of the Blackfriara 
theatre. Sliakespeare a resident in Southwark in 1596: 
proof tiiat lie was so from the papers at Dulwich College. 

We have concluded, as we tliink that we may do very fairly, 
hat the eonsti-uction of the new theatre on the Bankside, 
ubsequently known as the Globe, having been commenced 
soon after the signature of the bond of Burbage to Street, 
on 22d Dec. 159:3, was continued through the year lo9-l : 
we apprehend that it would be finished and ready for the 
reception of audiences early m the spring of 1695. It was 
a round wooden building, open to the sky, while the stage 
was protected from the weather by an overhanging roof of 
thatch. The number of jjei sons it would contain we have 
Qo means of ascertaining, but it was certainly of larger di- 
• mensions than the Rose, the Hope or the Swan, three other 
edifices of the same kind and used for the same purpose, in 
the immediate vicinity. The Blackfriars was a private 
theatre, .is it was called, entirely covered in. and of smaller 
size ; .and from thence the company, after the Globe had 
been completed, was in the habit of removing in the spring, 
perhaps ;is soon as there was any indication of the setting 
m of tine elieci I'ul weather'. 

Before the building of the Globe, for the exclusive use 
of the theatrie.-tl servants of the Lord Chamberlain, there 
can be little doiilit that they did not act all the year round 
at the Blaekfi iais : they appear to have performed some- 
times at the Curtain in Shurediteh, and Richard Burbage, 
at the time of his death, still had shares in that playhouse'^ 
Wliether they occupied it in common with any other associa- 
tion is not so clear ; but we learn from Henslowe's Diary, that 
in 1594, and perhaps at an earlier date, the company of 
which Shakespeare was a member had played at a theatre 
in Newington Butts, where the Lord Admiral's servimts 
also exhibited. At this period of our stage-history the per- 
formances usually began at three o'clock in the afternoon ; 
for the citizens transacted their business and dined early, 
and many of them afterwards walked out into the fields 
for recreation, often visiting such theatres as were open 
purposely for their reception. Henslowe's Diai'y shows that 
the Lord Chamberlain's and the Lord Admiral's servants 
had joint possession of the Newington tlieatre from 3d June 
1594, to the 15th November, 1696 ; and during that period 
various pieces were performed, wliieh in theii' titles resemble 
plays which unquestionably came from .Shakespeare's pen. 
That none of these were productions by our great dramatist, 
it is, of course, impi issible to aflirm ; but the strong proba- 
bility seems to be, that they were older dramas, of which 
be subsequently, more or less, availed himself Among 
these was a "Hamlet," acted on 11th of June, 1594: a 
"Taming of a Shrew," acted on 11th June, 1594; an " An- 
dronicus," acted on 12th June, 1594 ; a " V^enetian Comedy," 
acted on 12th Aug. 1594 ; a "Caesar and Pompey," acted 
Sth Nov. 1594: a "Second Part of Cajsar," acted 26th* 
June, 1696 ; a " Henry V_" acted on 28th Nov. 1696 ; and 
»" 'Troy," acted on the 22d June, 1596. To these we might 
add a " Palamon and Aroite," (acted on 17th Sept. 1694) if 
we suppose Shakespeare to have had any hand in writing 

" The Two Noble Kinsmen ;" and an " Antony and Valleo," 
(acted on the 20th June, 1595) as it is called in the barbaroiin 
record, which may possibly have had some connexion with 
" Antony and Cleopatra." W e have no reason to think that 
Shakespeare did not aid in these representations, although 
he was perhaps, too much engaged with the duties of au- 
thorship, at this date, to take a very busy or promineni 
part as an actor. 

The fact that the Lord Chamberlain's players acted at 
Newington until November, 1596, may appear to militate 
against our notion that the Globe was finished and ready 
for performances in the spring of 1595 ; and it is very pos- 
sible that the construction occupied more time thiui we have 
iinagmed. Malone was of opinion that the Globe might have 
been opened even in 1594^; but we postpone that event 
until the following year, because we thiuk the time too 
short, and because, unless it were entirely eiraipleted early 
in 1594, it would not be required, inasmuch as the company 
for which it was built seem to have acted at the Blackfriaif 
in the winter. Our notion is, that, even after the Globe 
was finished, the Lord Chamberlain's servants now and then 

Eerformed at Newington in the summer, because audiences, 
aving been accustomed to expect them there, assembled 
for the purpose, and the pl.ayers did not think it prudent to 
reUnquish the emolument thus to be obtained. The per- 
formances at Newington, we presume, did not however in- 
terfere with the representations at the Globe. If any mem- 
bers of the company had continued U> play at Newington 
after November 1596, we should, no doubt, have found some 
trace of it in Henslowe's Diary. 

Another reason for thinking that the Globe was opened 
in the spring of 1695 is, that very soon afterwards the 
sharers in that enterprise commenced the repair and en- 
largement of their theatre in the Blackfriars, which had 
been in constant use for twenty years. Of this proceeding 
we shall have occasion to say more presently. 

We may feel assured that the important incident of the 
opening of a new theatre on the Bankside, larger than any 
tljat then stood in that or in other parts of the town, was 
celebrated by the production of a new play. Considering 
his station and duties in the companv, and his popularity aa 
a dramatist, we may be confident also that the new play 
was written by Shakespeare. In the imperfect state of our 
information, it would be vain to speculate which of his 
dramas was brought out on the occasion ; but if the reader 
will refer t<:> our several Introductions, he will see which of 
the plays according to such evidence as we are acquainted 
with, m.ay appear in his view to have the best claim to the 
distinction. Many years ago we were strongly inclined to 
think that " Henry V." was the piece : the Globe was roimd, 
and the " wooden " is most pointedly mentioned in that 
drama ; so that at all events we are satisfied that it was 
acted in that theatre : there is also a nationality about the 
subject, and a popularity in the treatment of it, which 
would render it peculiarly appropriate ; but on farther re- 
flection and information, we are unwillingly convinced that 
" Henry V." was not written until some years afterwards. 
We frankly own, therefore, that we are not in a condition 
t*> offer an opinion upon the question, and we are disposed, 
where we can, to refrain even from conjecture, when we have 
no ground on which to rest a speculation. 

Allowing about fifteen months for the erection and com- 
pletion of the Globe, we may believe that it was in full 
operation in the spring, summer, and autumn of 1596. Ou 
the approach of cold weather, the company would of cour'se 
return to tlieir winter quartera in the Blackfriars, which 

* We know that thpy did so afterwards, and there is every reason to 
believe that such was their practice from the beginninjr. Dr. For- 
man records, in his Diary in the Ashmolean Museum, that he saw 
"Macbeth " at the Globe, on the aOth April, lUlO; "Richard II." on 
the 30th April. lliU, and "The Winter's Tale " on the 15th May, in 
the same year. See the Introductions to those several plays. 

' The same was preciselv the case with Pope, the celebrated come- 
dian, who died in Feb. I(i04. His will, dated Hi July, l(io:3, con- 
iains the following clause : " Item, I give and bequeath to the said 
Mary Clark, alias Wood, and to the said Thomas Bromley, as well all 
my part, right, title, and interest, which I have, or ought to have, 
m and to all that playhouse, with the appurtenances, called the Cur- 

tain, situate and being in Holywell, in the parish of St. Leonard's 

in Shoreditch, in the county of Middlesex ; as also my part, estate, and 
interest, which I have, or ought to have, in and to all that playhouse, 
with the appurtenances, called the Globe, in the parish of St. Sa- 
viour's, in the county of Surrey." — Chalmers' Supplemental Apolcgy 
p. 1155. 

Richard Burbage lived and died (in 1619) in Holywell-street, neal 
the Curtain theatre, as if his presence were necessary for the superin- 
tendence of the concern, although he had been an actor at the Blacn. 
friars for many years, and at the Globe ever since its erection 

* Inquiry ir'o the Authfnticity, ,Scc. p. S7 



was enclosed, lighted from within, and comparatively warm, 
rhifl theatre, as we have stated, at this date had been in 
noDstant u?e for twenty years, and early in 1 5a6 the sharers 
directed their attention to the extensive repair, enlargement, 
and, possibly, entire re construction of the building. The 
evidence that they entertained such a design is very deci- 
iiive; and we may perhaps infer, tliat the prosperity of 
their new experiment at the Globe encouraged them to 
thia outlay. On the 9th Jan. 1596 (1695, according to the 
then mode of Cidculating the year) Ivord Huusdon, who was 
Lord ChaiuberUiiu at the time, but who died about six 
looaths afterwards, wrote to Sii' William More, expressing 
& wish to take a house of him in the Blackfriars, and addiug 
that he had heard that Sir William More bad parted with 
> portion of his own rejiidence " to some th;it mean to make 
a playhouse of it'." 

The truth, no doubt, was, tluit in consequence of their in- 
creased popularity, owing, we may readily imagine, in a 
great degree to the success of the plays Shakespeare had 
produced, tlie company which had occupied the Blackfriars 
theatre found that tlieir house was too small for their andi- 
enoes, and wished to enlarge it ; but it appeai-s rather sin- 
gular that Lord Huusdon, the Lord Chimiberlain, should 
not be at all aware of the intention of the players acting un- 
der the sanction of his name and office, and should only have 
heard that some persons '' mesmt to make a playhouse " of 
part of Sir WiUiam More's residence. We have not a copy 
of the whole of Lord Huusdon's letter — only an abstract 
of it — which reads as if the I^ord Chamberhiin did not even 
know that there was any theatre at all in the Blackfriars. 
Two documents in the State Paper Office, and a third pre- 
served at Duhvich College, enable us to state distinctly 
what was the object of the actors at the Blackfriars in 1696. 
The lii'st of these is a representation from certain inhabitants 
of the precinct in which the playhouse w;t3 situated, not 
only against the completion of the work of repair and en- 
Uu'gement, then comjueuced, but against all farther per- 
formances in the theatre. 

Of this paper it is not necessary for our purpose to say 
more ; but the answer to it, on the part of the assoMiation 
of actors, is a very valuable relic, inasmuch as it gives the 
names of eight playei-s who were the proprietoi-s of the 
theatre or its appurtenances, that of Shakespeare being 
fifth in the list it will not have been forgotten, that in 
1589 no fewer than sixteen shjirers were enumerated, and [ 
that then Shakespeare's name was the twelfth ; but it did 
not by any means follow, that because thei'c were sixteen 
sharers in the receipts, they were also proprietors of the 
building, properties, or wardrobe : in 1696 it is stated that 
Thomas Pope, (from whose will we have already given an 
extract) Richard Burbiige, John Hemiugs, (properly spelt 
Heminge) Augustiuc Piiillips, William Shakespeare, Wil- 
liam Kempe, (who withdrew from the company in 1601) 
William Slye, and Nicholas Tooley, were " owners" of the 
theatre as well as sharers iu the profits arising out of the 
performances. The fact, however, seems to be that the sole 
owner of the ediUce in which plays were represented, the 

* See "The Loselev Manuscripts."' by A. J. Kempe, Esq., 8vo. 
1835, p. 49ii; a very curious and iDleresting collection of original 

' " To the right honourable the Lords of her Majesties most hon- 
urable Pnvie Counceil. 

■• The humble petition of Thomas Pope, Richard Burbage. John 
Hemings, Augustine Phillips, William Shakespeare, William Kempe, 
William Slye^ Nicholas Tooley, and others, ^ervaiints to the Right 
Honorable the Lord Charaberlaine to her .\Iajestie. 

" Sheweth most humbly, that your Petitioners are owners and 
stayers of the private house, or theatre, in the precinct and libertie of 
the filackfriers, which hath beene for many yearee used and occu- 
pied for the playing of tragedies, coramedies, histories, enterludes, 
and playes. That the same, by reason of its having beene so long 
built, hath fallen into great decay, and that besides the reparation 
thereof, it halh beene found necessarie to make the same more con- 
Tenient for the entertainment of auditones coming thereto. That 
<o this end your Petitioners have all ami eche of ttiem put down 
■omracs of money, according to their shares in the said theatre, and 
tFhich they have justly and honestly gained by the exercise of their 
qualitie of stage-players ; but that certaine persons (some of them of 
honour) inhabitants of the said precinct and libertie of the Black- 
friers have, as your Petitioners are informed, besought your honour- 
abU Lordshipps not to perraitt the said private house any longer to 

proprietor of the freehold, was Richard Burbage, who iu 
hented it from his father, and transmitted it to his sons ; but 
as a body, the parties addressing the privy coimcil (for the 
" petition " appears to have been sent thither) might in a 
certain sense call themselves owners of, as well as shard's 
iu, the Blackfriara theatre. We insert the document iu a 
note, observing merely, that like many others of a similar 
kind, it is without signatures'. 

The date of the year when this petition of the actors was 
presented to the privy council is ascertained from that of 
the remonstrance of the inhabitants which had rendered it 
necessary, viz. 1596 ; but by another paper, among the the- 
atrical reUcs of Alleyn and Henslowe at Dulwich College, 
we are enabled to show that both the remonstrance and Uit 
petition were anterior to May in that year. Ueuslow« 
(step-father to Alleyn's wife, and AUeyu's pai'tuei') seems 
always, very prudently, to have kept up a good uuderstand- 
ing with the officers of the department of the revels ; and 
on 3rd May, 1596, a person of the uame of V'eale, servant 
to Edmond Tyluey, master of the revels, wrote to Hens- 
lowe, informing him (as of course he must take an interest 
iu the result) that it had been decided by the privy council, 
tliat the Lord Chamberlain's servants should be allowed 
to complete their repairs, but not to enlarge their house in the 
Blackfriars ; the note of V^eale Vj Henslowe is on a small 
shp of paper, very clearly written ; and as it is shoit, we here 
insert It : — 

" Mr. Hinslowe. This is to enfourme you that my Mr., the 
Maister of the revellcn, hath reo. from the LI. of the counsel! 
order that the L. Chainberlen's servauntes shall not be dis 
tourbed at the Blackefryars, according with their petition in 
that betialfe, but leave shall be given unto theym to make 
good tiie decuye of the saiie House, butt not to make the 
same larger tlieti in former tyme luith bene. From thoffi-'e 
of Che Kevellcs. this 8 of msiie, 1596. '* Rich. VKAUi." 

Thus the whole transaction is made clear : the company, 
soon after the opening of the Globe, contemplated t)ie repair 
and enhtrgemeut of the Biackfriai-s theatre : the inhabitants 
of the precincts objected not only to the repair and enlarge- 
ment, but to any ch-amatic representations in tliat part of 
the town : tlie company petitioned to be allowed to catrj 
out their design, as regarded the resUiration of the editice, 
and the increase of its size ; but the privy council consented 
only that the building should be repaired. We are to con 
elude, thei'efore, that after the repaii'S were tiuished, the 
theatre would hold no more spectators than formerly ; but 
that the dilapidations of time were substantially remedied, 
we are sure from the fact, that 'Jie house continued long 
afterwards to be employed for the purpose for which it had 
been originally eonstructed^ 

What is of most unportance in this proceeding, with re- 
ference to Shakespeare, is the circumstance upon which we 
have already remarked; that whereas liis uame, ia 1689, 
stood twelfth in a list of sixteen sharei-s, iu 1596 it was ad- 
vanced to the hfth place iu an enumeration of eight persons, 
who termed themselves " owners and players of the private 
house, or theatre, in the precinct and Uberty of the Black- 

remaine open, but hereafter to be shut up and closed, to the manifeet 
and great injuria of your petitioners, who have no other mean« 
whereby to maintain their wives and families, but by tne exerc.a, 
of their qualitie as they have heretofore done. Furthermore, tha: lo 
the sumi 

miner season your Petitioners are able to playe at their neis 
built house on the Bankside calde the Globe, but that in the winlei 
they are compelled to come to the Blackfriers ; and it your honorab'* 
Lordshipps give consent unto that which is prayde against your Pe- 
titioners, thay will not onely, while the winter endures, loose tha 
meanes whereby Ihey now support them selves and their familic, 
but be unable to practise themselves m anie playes or enterludea, 
when calde upon to performe for the recreation and solace of her 
.Ma"^* and her honorable Court, as they have beene heretofore acc'is* 
toined. The humble prayer of your Petitioners therefore is, that 
your honorable Lordshipps grant permission to finish the reparations 
and alterations they have begun ; and as your Petitioners have hith- 
erto been well ordered in their behaviour, and just in their dealings, 
that your honorable Lordshipps will not inhibit them from acting at 
their above namde private house in the precinct and libertie 'if th« 
Blackfriers. and your Petitioners, as in dutie most bounden, will 
ever pray for the increasing honor and happinesse of Tour honorable 

3 The ultimate fate of this playhouse, and of otriers existing at th» 
same time, will be found stated in a subse-^uent part of oar memAii 



friare." It is not difficult to suppose that the speculation 
at the Globe bad been remarkably successful in its fii'st 
season, and that the Lord Chamberlain's servants had there- 
by been induced to expend money upon the lilackfriars, in 
order Uj render it more commodious, as well us more capa- 
cious, under Uie calculation, that the receipts at the one 
house dnring Uie winter would be greater in consequence of 
their popularity at the other duiing the summer. 

Where Shakespeare had resided from the time when he 
first came to London, until the period of which we are now 
speaking, we have no information ; but in July, 1596, he 
was living in Sonthwark, perhaps to be close to the scene of 
action, and more effectually to superintend the performances 
at the Globe, which were continued through at least seven 
mouths of the year. We know not whether he removed 
there shortly before the opening of the Globe, o'' whether 
from the tirat it had been his usual place of abode ; but 
Maloue tells us, " From a paper now before me, which for- 
merly belonged to Edward Alleyu, the player, our poet ap- 
pears to have lived in Southwark, near the Bear-gai'deu, m 
169(i'." He gives us no farther insight into the contents of 
live paper ; but he probably referred to a small slip, bor- 
lowed, with other rehcs of a Uke kind, from Dulwich Col- 
lege, many of which were returned after his death. Among 
those returned seems to have been the paper in question, 
which is valuable only because it proves distinctly, that 
our great di'aniatist was an inhabitant of Southwark very 
soon after the Globe was in operation, although it by no 
means estabUshea that he had not been resident there long 
before. We subjoin it exactly as it stands in the original : 
the hand-writing is ignorant, the spelling peculiar, and it 
was evidently merely a hasty and imperfect memorandum.— 

" luhabitimtes of Sowtherk as have complaned, this, — of 
Jully, 1596. 

Mr Markis 

Mr Tuppin 

Mr Langorth 

Wilsone the pyper 

Mr Barett 

Mr Sliaksper 



Mother Golden the baude 


Fillpott and no more, and soe well ended." 

This is the whole of the fragment, for such it appears to 
be, and wthout farther explanatiim, which we have not 
been able to find in any other diwument, in the depository 
where the above is preserved or elsewhere, it is impossible 
to understand more, than that Shakespmire and other in- 
habitants of Southwark had made some complaint iu July 
1596, which, we may guess, was hostile to the wishes of the 
writer, who congratulated himself that the matter was so 
well at an end. Some of the parties named, iucluding our 
gi-eat dramatist, continued resident in S^iuthwark long after- 
wards, as we shall have occasion iu its proper place to 
show. The writer seems to have been desirous of speaking 
dcrogat^trily of all the persons he enumerates, but still he 
designates some us " Mr. Markis, Mr. Tuppin, Mi'. Langorth, 
Mr. Barett, and Mr. Shaksper ;" but " Phelhpes^ Tomson, 
Nagges, and Fillpott," he only mentions by their surnames, 
while he adds the words " the pyper " and " the baude " aftei- 
" Wilsone" " and " Mother Golden," probably to indicate that 
any complaint from them ought ti-> have but little weight All 
tha,. we certainly collect from tlie memorandum is what Ma- 
lone gathered from it, that in July 1596, (Malone only gives 
the year, and adds " near the Bear garden," which we do not 
find 'jonfirmed by the contents of the paper) in the middle 

» "Tnquiry into the Authenticity," &c. p. 215. He seems to have 
reeervd particulars (• r his " Life of Shakespeare," which he did not 
hve to complete, and vhich was imperfectly finished by Boswell. 

3 T lis may have been Augustine PhiUippes, who belonged to the 
comp'\ny of the Lord Chamberlain's servants, and whose name stands 
fourth in the royal license of May 160.3. He died aa nearly as possi- 
b'.B two years afterwards, his will being dated on the 4th May, and 
proved on the l;ith May, lf)U5. Among other bequests to his friends 
and " fellows," he gave "a thirty-shillings piece of gold " to William 
ShakespMu^ He was k distinguish*><^ comic performer and the 

of what we have considered the second season at Ibe new 
theatre called the Globe, Shakespeare was an of 
Southwai-k. That he had removed thither fjr the sake of 
convenience, and of being nearer to the sp*,)t, is not unlikely 
but we have no evidence upon the point as there is reason 
to believe that Burbage, tlie principal actor at the (r.'obe, 
lived in Holywell Street Shoreditch, near the Cui'tait; play- 
house", such an arrangement, as regards Shakespeare and the 
Globe, seems the more probable 


Chancery suit in 1597 by John Shakespeare and his vlft to 
recover Asbyes ; their bill ; tlie answer of John Liiiubbit; 
and the replication of John and Mary Sluikespeiire. proba- 
ble result of the suit. William Shakespeare's annual visit 
to Stratford. Death of his sou Ilamiiet in l.')96. (joneral 
scarcity in England, and its effects at Stratford. The .jnan- 
tity of corn in the hands of William Shakespeare and his 
neighbours in February, 1598. Ben Jonson's " Even' Man 
in his Humour," and probable instramcnlality of Shake- 
speare in the original production of it on the stage. Ilens- 
lowe's letter respecting the death of Gabriel Speiiser. 

We have already mentioned that in 1578 John Shakespeare 
and his wife, in order to relieve themselves from pecuniary 
embarrassment, mortgaged the small estate of the latt«r, 
called Asbyes, at Wilmecote in the parish of Aston Cant- 
lowe, to Edmund Lambert, for the sum of 40/. As it con- 
sisted of neai'ly sixty acres of laud, with a dwelUug-housc, 
it miist have been woith, perhaps, three times the sum ad- 
vanced, and by the admission o£ all parties, the mortgagers 
were again to be put in possession, if they repaid the money 
borrowed on or before Michaelmas-day, 1580. According to 
the assertion of John and Mary Shakespeare, they tendered 
the iOl. on the day appointed, but it was refused, unless 
other moneys, which they owed to the mortgagee, were re- 
paid at the same time. Edmund Lambert (perhaps the 
father of Edward Lambert, whom the eldest sister of Mary 
Shakespeare had married) died in 1586, in possession of 
Asbyes, and from him it descended to his eldest son, John 
Lambert, who continued to withheld it in 1597 fi'oni tliose 
who clamied ti.> be its I'ightful owners. 

In order to recover the property, John and Mary Shake- 
speare filed a bill in chancery, on 24th Nov. 1597, against 
John Lanibei't of Baiton-on-the-Heath, in which they al- 
leged the fact of the tender and refusal of the 40/. by Ed- 
mund Lambert, who, wishing to keep the estate, no doubt 
coupled with the tcutler a condition not included iu the deed 
The advance of other moneys, the repayment of which wa« 
required by Edmund Lambert, was not denied by John and 
Mary Shakespeare, but they contended that they had done 
all the law required, to entitle them to the restoration of 
then' estate of Asbyes : in their bill they also set forth, that 
John Lambert was " of great wealth and ability, and well 
fi'iended and alUed amongst gentlemen imd freeholders of 
the coimtry, in the county of Warwick," while, on the other 
hand, they were " of small wealth, and very few friends and 
alliance in the said county." The answer of John Lambert 
merely denied that the 40/. had been tendered, in conse- 
quence of which he alleged that his father became " law 
fully and absolutely seised of the premises, iu his demess 
as of fee." To this answer John and Mary Shakespeai 
put in a repUeation, reiterating the assertion of the tendei 
and refusal of the 40/. on Michaelmas-day, 1580, and pray 
ing Lord Keeper Egerton (afterwards Baron EUesmere) U> 
decree in theu- favour accordingly. 

earliest notice we have of hira is prior to the death of Tarlton tn 

3 It is just possible that by '' Wilsone the pyper " the writei meant 
to point out '-Jack Wilson," the singer of " Sigh no more, ladies," 
in "Much ado about Nothing," who, might be, and probably was, l 
player upon some wind instrument. See also the "Memoirs of Ed. 
ward AUeyn," (printed by the Shakespeare Society) p. 15;J, (or a al 
tice of " Mr. Wilson, the singer," when he dined on one ooorjsior 
with the founder of Dulwich Colleffe. 

« Malone's Sbakspeare by BMwell, iii. p. 183. 



If anj" decree xere pronounced, it ia singular that no 
traw of it should have been preserved either in the records 
of the Court of ('hancery, or among the papers of Lord 
Ellesmere ; but such is tlie fact, and the inference is, that 
the suit was settled by the parties without proceeding to 
tliis extremity. We can have little doubt that the bill- had 
been tiled with the concurrence, and at the instance, of our 
great dramatist, who at this date was rapidly acquiring 
wealth, although his father and mother put forward in their 
bill theii" own poverty and powerlessness, c*.)mpared with 
the riches and influence of their opponent Wilham Shake- 
speare must have been aware, that during the last seven- 
teen yeare his father and mother had been deprived of their 
right to Asbyes : in all probability his money was employed 
in order to commence and prosecute the suit in Chancery : 
and unless we suppose them to have stated and re-stiited a 
deliberate falsehood, respecting the tender of the 40/., it is 
very clear that they had equity on their side. We think, 
therefore, we may conclude that John Lambert, finding 
he had no chance of success, relinquished liis claim to Asbyes, 
perhaps on the payment of the 4(J/. and of the sums wliich 
his father had required from John and Mary Shiikespeaie 
in 1580, and which in 1597 they did not dispute to have 
been due. 

Among other matters set forth by John Lambert in his 
answer is, that the Shakespeares were anxious to regain 
possession of Asbyes, because the current lease was near 
its e.xpiration, and they hoped to be able to obtain an im- 
proved rent Supposing it to have been restored to their 
hands, the fact may be that they did not let it again, but 
cultivated it themselves ; and we have at this period some 
new documeutary evidence to produce, leading to the belief 
that our poet was a land-owner, or at all events a l»md-oc- 
cupier, to some extent in the neighbourhood of Stratford- 

■ Aubrey informs us, (and there is not only no reason for 
disbeheving his statement but every ground for giving it 
credit) that William Shakespeare was " wont to go to his 
native country once a year." Without seeking for any evi- 
dence upon the question, nothing is more natural or proba- 
ble ; and when, therefore, he had acquired sufficient pro- 
perty, he might be anxious U' settle his family comfortably 
and indepeudently in Stratford. We must suppose that his 
father and mother were mainly dependent upon him, not- 
withstanding th« recovery of the small estate of the latter 
at Wilmecote ; and he may have employed his brother 
Gilbert, who was two years and a half younger than him- 
self, and perhaps accustomed to agricultural pursuits, to 
look after his farming concerns in the country, while he 
himself was absent superintending his highly profitable 
theatrical undertakings m London. In 1595, 1696,and 1597, 
our poet must have been in the receipt of a considerable 
and an increasing income : he was part proprietor of the 
Blackfriars imd the Globe theatres, both excellent specula- 
_ tions ; he was an actor, doubtless earning a good salary, in- 
dependently of the proceeds of his shares ; and he was the 
must popular and applauded dramatic poet of the day. In 
the summer he might find, or make, leisure to visit his na- 
tive town, and we may be tolerably sure that he was there 
in August 1596, when he had the misfortune to lose his 
only son Hamnet, one of the twins born early in the spring 
of 1580 . the Ixiy completed his eleventh year in February, 
1596, so that his death in August following must have been 
I very severe trial for his parents'. 

Stt)w informs us, that in 1596 the price of provisions in 
Eugland was so high, that the bushel of wheat was sold for 
six, seven, ainl eight shillings' : the dearth continued and 
increaaed thjough 1597, au i in August of that year the 
price of the bushel of wheat had risen to thirteen shillings, 
fell to ten shillings, and rose again, in the words of the old 

' The following is the form of the entiy of the burial in the regis- 
lef of the church of Stratford ; — • 

'' 159G. ^u^rust 11. HamnetJUiua tViUinm Sknkspere.^'' 

• JInnales. edit. 1615, p. 1279. 3 Ibid. p. 1304. 

♦ Malone's Shakspeajre. by Boewell, Tol. ii. p, 566. 

* In the indorsement of the document it is stated, that the Towns- 
men's malt amounted to 449 quarters and tw^ '^ strike '* or bushels, 

faithful chronicler, to " the late greatest price'." Malone 
found, and printed, a letter from Abraham Sturley, of Strat- 
ford-upon-Avou, dated 2-tth Jan., 1597-8, stating that his 
" neighbours groaned with the wants they felt through the 
dearnesa of corn', " and that malcontents in grejit numbers 
had gone to Sir Thoms Lucy and Sir Fulke Greville to 
complain of the maltsters for engrossing it Connected with 
this dearth, the Shakespeare Society has been put in pos- 
session of a document of much value as regards the bio 
giaphy of our poet, although, at first sight, it may not ap 
pear to deserve notice, it is sm-e in the end to attract. It is 
thus headed : — 

" The noate of come and malte, taken the 4th of Februarj^ 
1597, in the 40lh year of the ruiene of our most gra- 
cious Soveraigne Ladle, Queen Liizabeth, &c.^' 

and in the margin opposite the title are the words " Strat- 
forde Bunoughe, Warwieke." It was evidently prepared 
in Older to ascertain how much corn and malt there really 
was in the town ; and it is divided into two columns, one 
showing the " Townsmen's corn," and the other the " Stran- 
gers' maltV The names of the Townsmen and Strangers 
(when known) are all given, with the wards in which they 
resided, so that we are enabled by this document among 
other things, to prove in what part of Stratford the family 
of our great poet then dwelt ; it was in Chapel-street Ward, 
and it appears that at the date of the account William 
Shakespeare had ten quarters of corn in his possession. Aa 
some may be curious to see who were his immediate neigh- 
bours, and in what order the names are given, we copy tbt 
account, as far aa it relates to Chapel-street Ward, exactly 
as it stands. — 

Chappu: Street Ward. 

S Frauncia Smythe, Jun'., 8 quarters. 

5 John Coxc, 5 quarters. 

17s M'. Thomas Dyxon, 17i quarters. 

3 M^ Thomas Barbor, 8 quarters. 

5 Mychaell Hare, 5 quarters. 

6 M^ Bitieide, 6 quarters. 

6 Hugh Ayuger, 6 quarters. 

6 Thomas Budsey, 6 quarters — bareley 1 quarter. 
1. 2 str. John Kogers, 10 strikes. 

8 W°>. Emmettes, 8 quarters. 

11 M'. AspinuU, aboule 11 quarters, 

10 W». Shackespere, 10 quarters. 

7 Jul. Shawe, 7 quarters." 

We shall have occasion hereafter again to refer to this 
document upon another point, but in the mean time we may 
remark that the name of John Shakespeare is not found in 
any part of it This fact gives additional probability to the 
belief that the two old people, possibly with some of their 
children, were Uving in the house of their son William, for 
such may be the reason why we do not find John Shake 
speare mentioned in the account as the owner of any com. 
It may likewise in part explain how it happened that Wil- 
ham Shakespeare was in possession of so large a quantity : 
in proportion to the number of his family, in time of scar 
city, he would be naturally desirous to be well provided 
with the main article of subsistence ; or it is very possible 
that, as a grower of grain, he might keep some in store for 
sale to those who were in want of it. Ten quarters doe* 
not seem much more than would be needed for his owi 
consumption ; but it affords some proof of his means ana 
substance at this date, that only two persons in Chapel 
street Ward had a larger quantity in their hands. We are 
led to infer from this circumstimce that out great dramatist 
may have been a cultivator of land, and it is not uuUkely 
that the wheat in his granary had been grown on his mo- 
ther's estate of Asbyes, at Wilmecote, of which we know 

besides 9 quarters of barley — th^i^ peas, beans, and vetches to 15 
quarters, and their oats to V'i quarters. The malt, the property of 
Strangers, amounted to 24.S quarters and 5 strike, with 3 
quraters of peas. Besides matt, the Townsmen, it is said, were in' 
possession of 43 quarters and a half of " whc.l and mill-corn," and 
of 10 quraters and 6 strike of barli y ; but it seems to have been ccn- 
sideraoly more, even in Chanel-stveet Wail. 



that DO fewer than fifty, out of about sixty, acres were 

We must now return to Loudon and to theatrical affairs 
there, and iii the first place advert to a passage iu Rowe's 
Life ot Shakespeare, relating to the real or supposed com- 
niencemont of the connexion between our great dramatist 
and Ben Jonson^. Rowe tella us that " Shakespeare's ac- 
quaintance with Ben Jonson began with a remarkable piece 
of humanity and good nature. Mr. Jonson, who was at 
that time altogether uuknown to the world, had offered one 
of his plays to the players, in order to have it acted ; and 
the I ersons into whose hands it was put, after having turned 
it parelesslv and superciliously over, were just upon return- 
ing it to him with an ill-natured answer, that it would be 
of no service to their company, when Shakespeare, luckily, 
oast his eye upon it, and found something so well in it, as to 
engage him fii'st to reud it through, and afterwards to re- 
commend Mr. Jonson and his writings to the public." This 
anecdote is eutirely disbelieved by Mr. Gifford, and he rests 
his incredulity upon the supposition, that Ben Jonson's ear- 
liest known production, " Every Man iu his Humour," was 
originally acted in 1597 at a difFereut theatre, aud he pro- 
duces as evidence Heuslowe's Diary, which, he states, proves 
that the comedy came out at the Rose". 

The truth, however, is, that the play supposed, on the 
authority of Henslowe, to be Ben Jonson's comedy, is only 
called by Henslowe " Humimrs " or " Umers," as he igno- 
rantly spells it*. It is a mere speculation that this was Ben 
Jonson's play, for it may have been any other performance, 
by any other poet, in the title of which the word " Hu- 
mours " occurred ; and we have the indisputable juid une- 
quivocal testimony of Ben Jonson himself, in his own au- 
thoi-ized edition of his works in 1616, that " Every Man in 
his Humour " was not acted until 1598 : he was not satisfied 
with stating on the title-page, that it was " acted in the year 
1598 by the then Lord Chamberlain his servants," which 
might have been considered sutEcient ; but in this iustance 
(as in all others in the same volume) he informs us at the 
end that 1598 was the year in which it was first acted : — 
"This comedy was first acted in the year 1698." Are we 
prepared to disbelieve Ben Jonson's positive assertion (a 
nmn of the highest and purest notions, as regarded truth 
and integrity) for the sake of a theory founded upon the 
bare assumption, that Henslowe by " Umers " not only 
meant Ben Jonson's " Every Man in his Humour," but could 
mean nothing else ? 

Had it been brought out originally by the Lord Admi- 
ral's players at the Rose, and acted with so much success 
that it was repeated eleven times, as Heuslowe's Diary 
shows WHS the case with " Umers," there can be no appa- 
rent reason why Ben Jonson should not have said so ; and 
if he had afterwards withdrawn it on some pique, and car- 
ried it to the Lord Chamberlain's players, we can hardly 
conceive it possible that a man of Ben Jouson's temper and 
spirit would not have told us why in some other part of his 

Mr. Gifford, passing over without notice the positive state- 
ment we have quoted, respecting the first acting of " Every 
Man in his Humour" by tne Lord Chamberlain's servants 
ID 1698, proceeds to argue that Ben Jonson could stand iu 
need of no such assistance, as Shakespeare is said to have 

1 Malone'B Shakespeare, by Boswell, vol. ii, p. 25 

> For the materials of the loUowing note, which sets right an im- 
portant error relating to Ben Jonson's mother, we are indebted to Mr 
i'eter Cunningham. 

Malone and GiiTord {Ben Jonson's Works, vol. i. p. 5) both came to 
rhe conclutiion tiiat the IMrs. Margaret Jonson. mentioned in the 
'egieter of St. MarUn's in the Fielus as having been married, 17th 
November, 1575, to Mr. Thomas Fowler, was the mother of Ben Jon- 
lon, who then took a second husband. There cannot be a reasona- 
ble doubt of it," says Gilford ; but the fact is neTerthelesa certainly 
otherwise. It appears that Ben Jonson's mother was living after the 
comedy of '■ Eastward Ho I'" which gave otfence to King James, (and 
which was printed in 1605,) was brought out. — (Laing's edit, of 
* Ben Jonson's Conversations," p. 20.) It is incontestable that the 
!Wr«. Margaret Fowler, who was married in 1575, was dead before 
\.'i9-'>; for ber husband, Mr. Thomas Fowler, was then buried, and in 
the inscription upon his tomb, in the old church of St. Martin's in 
the Fields, it was stated that he survived his three wives, Ellen^ Mar- 
giaret, ael Flizabeth, who were buried ^n the same grave, 'I'he lU- 

\ afforded him, because he was " as well known, and perbap< 
j better," than Shakespeare himself. Surely, with all defer 
s ence for Mr. Gilford's undisputed acuteuess and general ao 
curacy, we may doubt how Ben Jonson could be better, ol 
even as well known as Shakespeare, wlun the latter had 
been. for twelve years connected with the stage as author 
and actor, auH had written, at the lowest calculation, twelvb 
[ dramas, while Uie former was only twentv-four years old, 
I and had produced no known phiy but " Every Man in his 
I Hunioui'.' It is also to be observed, that Hensl iwe had no 
' pecuniary ti'ansactions with Ben Jonson prior tc the month 
of August, 1598; whereas, if " Umere" hud beet; purchased 
from him, we could scarcely have failed to find some me^ 
morandum of payments, antei'ior to the production if th« 
comedy on the stage in May, 1697. 

Add to this, that nothing could be more consistent with 
the amiable and generous character of Shakespeare, than 
that he should thus have iuterested himself in favour of a 
writer who was teu years his juuioi", aud who gave such 
undoubted proofs of genius as are displayed iu " Every Man 
in his Humour." Our great dramatist, established in public 
favour by such comedies as " The Merchant of Veuice" aud 
" A Midsmnmei Night's Dream," by such a tragedy as 
" Romeo and .Juhet," and by such histories as " King John," 
" Richard H.," and " Rirhard IU.," must have felt himself 
above all rivalry, and could well afford this act of " hu- 
manity aud good-nature," as Rowe terms it, (though Mr. 
Gifford, quoting Rowe's words, accidentally omits the two 
last,) on behalf of a young, needy, and nieritoi-ious author. 
It is \a> be recollected also that Rowe, the original narrator 
of the incident, does not, as in several other cases, give it as 
if he at all doubted its correctness, but unhesitatingly and 
distinctly, "S if it were a matter well known, and entirely 
believed, at the time he wrote. 

Another circumstance may be noticed as an ineidentid 
confii'mation of Rowe's statement, with which Mr. Gifford 
could not be acquainted, because the fact has only been re- 
cently discovered. In 1598 Ben Jonson, being then only 
twenty-four years old, had a quarrel with Gabriel Spencer, 
one of Heuslowe's principal actors, in consequence of which 
they met, fought, and Spencer was killed. Hensh>we, writ- 
ing to AUeyn on the subject on the 26th September, uses 
these words: — " Smoe you were 'with me, I have lost one 
of my company, which hurteth me greatly ; that is Gabriel, 
for he is slain in Hoxton Fields by the hands of Benjamin 
Jonson. bricklayer'." Now, had Ben Jonson been at that 
date the author of the comedy called " Umers," and had it 
been his " Every man in his Humour," which was acted by 
the Lord Admiral's players eleven times, it is not very 
likely that Henslowe would have been ignorai.t who Benja- 
min Jonson was, and have spoken of him, not as one of the 
dramatists in his pay, and the author of a very successful 
comedy, but merely as "bricklayer:" he was writing also 
to his step-daughter's husband, the leading member of his 
company, to whom he would have been ready to give the 
fullest int'ormation regarding tlie disastrous affair. We only 
adduce this additional matter to show the improbability of 
the assumption, that Ben Jonson had anything to do with 
the comedy of " Umei-s," acted by Heuslowe's company in 
May, 1597 ; and the probabiUty of the position that, as Ben 
Jonson himself states, it was originally brought out in 1698 

scription (which we have seen in Strype's edit, of Stowe's Survey, 
17'iu, b. vi. p. tiO) informs us also, that Mr Thomas Fowler was "born 
at Wicam, in the county of Lancaster." and that he had been 
"Comptroller and Paymaster of the Works'" to t^ueen .Mary, and 
for the first ten years of Queen Elizabeth. The date of bis death ii 
not stated in the inscription, but by the regi^lHt of the church it ap- 
pears that he was buried on the *29th May. I.j95. The Mrs. Margaret 
Fowler, who died before 1595, could not have been the mother of 
Ben Jonson, who was living about 1094 ; and if Ben Jonson's mo- 
ther married a second time, we have yet to ascertain who was he: 
second husband- 

3 The precise form in which the entry stands in Henelowe'i ao 
count book is this : — 

" NVaye 1597. 11. It. at the comodey of Vmers." 

* Ben Jonson's Works, Bvo. 1H16, vol. i. p. 4(>. 

» See " Memoirs of Edward AUeyn," p. 51. The author of thai 
work has since seen reason to correct himself on this and several othei 



by "^ th« then Lord Chamberlain's servants." It may have i that the magistra ^s had been written to on the 28th July, 
beoQ, and probably waa. acted by them, because Shake- 1 1597, requiring that no plays should be acted during the 
speare had Idadly interposed with his associates on behalf j summer, and directing, in order to put an effectual stop to 

of the deserving and unfriended author. 


Restriction of dramatic performances in and near London in 
1597. Thoinaa Nswh and his play, *' The Isle of Dogs:" 
imprisontneiU of Nosh, and of some of the players of the 

Lord Admiral. Favour shown to the companies of the i not calculated to lessen the objections eoteitained by aoy 
Lord Chamberlain and of the Lord Admiral. Printing of , persons in authority about the Court 

such perfonnances, because " lewd matters were handled on 
stages," that the two places above named should be " plucked 
downV The magisti^ates were also enjoined to send for 
the owners of " any other common play-house " within their 
Jmisdiction, and not only to fprbid performances of every 
description, but " so to deface " all places erected fur theatn- 
cal representations, " as they might not be employed again to 
such use." This command was given just anterior to the 
production of Nash's " Isle of Dogs," which was certainly 

Shakespeare's Plays iu 1597- The liht of his known dra- 
mas, published by F. Mores in 1593. Shakespeare author- 
ized the pntitina; of none of his plays, and never corretted 
the press. Ca re i ensues-* of dra^natic authors in this respect. 
** The Pas.-*ionate Pilgrim," 1599. Shakespeafe's reputation 
as a dramatist. 

In the summer of 1597 an event occurred which seems to 
have produced for a time a serious restriction upon dramatic 
performances. The celebarted Thomas Nash, early in the 
year, had writteu a comedy which he called " The Isle of 
Dogs :" that he had pailners in the imdertaking there is no 
doubt ; aud he t^lls us, in his tract called " Lenten Stuff," 
printed in 1599. that the players, when it was acted by the 
Lord Admiral's servants m the beginning of August, 1597, 
had Uiken most un war i-an table hberties with his piece, by 

The Blackfriars, not being, according to the terms of the 
order of the privy council, "a common play-house," but 
what was called a private theatre, does not seem to hav« 
been included in the general ban ; but as we know that 
similar directions had been conveyed to the magistrates of 
the county of Surrey, it is somewhat surprising thai thay 
seem to have produced no effect upon the performances at 
the Globe or the Rose upon the Baukside. We must attri- 
bute this ciremnstance, perhaps, to the exercise of private 
influence ; and it is quite certain that the necessity of keep- 
ing some companie-s in practice, iu order that they might 
be prepared to exhibit, when required, before the Queen, 
was made the first pretext for granting exclusive " hcenses " 
to the actors of the Lord Chamberlain, and of the Lord 
Admiral We know that the Earls of Southampton aud 
making large additions, for which he ought not to have ; Rutland, about this date and shortly aftenvards, were in the 

been responsible. The exact nature of the performance is 
not known, but it was certainly satirical, no doubt personal 
and it must have had reference also to some of the polemi- 
cal and political questions of the day. The representation 
of it was forbidden by authority, and Nash, with others, 
was arrested under an order from the privy council, aud 
»ent to the Fleet prison'. Some of the oftendiug actors had 
c«eaj>ed for a time, aud the privy council, not satisfied with 
what had been aUeady done in the way of punishment, 
wrot« from Greenwich on 15th August. 1697, to certain 
magistrates, requiring them strictly to examine all the par- 
ties in custody, with a view to the discovery of others not 
yet apprehended. This important official letter, which has 
hitherto been unmentioned, we have inserted in a note from 
the registers of the privy council of that date ; and by it 
we learn, not only that Njish was the author of the *' sedi- 
tious and slanderous " comedy, but possibly himself an ac- 
tor in it, and " the m;iker of part of the said play," especi- 
ally pointed at, who was in custody^ 

Before the date of this incident the companies of various 
play-houses in the county of Middlesex, but particularly at 
the Cuiiain aud Theatre in Shoreditch had attracted atten- 
tion, and given otl'ence, by the heentious character of their 
performances ; and the registers of the privy council show 

* The circumstance was thus alluded to by Francis Meres in the 
next year : — ^" As Actaeon was wooried of hia owne hounds, so is Tom 
Nash of his He of iJotr>. Dogges were the death of Euripides ; but 
be« not disconsolate, gallant young Juvenall; Linus the sonne of 
Apollo died the same death. Yet, God forbid, that so brave a wjtte 
should so basely pen:^h : thine are but paper dogges ; neither is thy 
banishment, like Ovid's, eternally to converse with the barbarois 
G«tes : therefore, comfort thyselfe, sweete Torn, with Cicero's glori- 
ous return to R^r^.e, and with the counsel Aeneas gives to his sea- 
beaten soldiors, lib. i. Aeneid : — 

' Pluck up thmd heart, and drive from thence both feare and care 
away , 
To thinkeon this may pleasure be perhaps another day.* 

" Diirnto, e/ Vwcf rebus tercato setundts.'''' — PaUadis TamiOj 1598, 
fo. iati. 

' The rair.ut* in the registers of the privy cpuncil (pointed out to 
OS by Mr. Irf>mont is this : — 

■■ A letfjr to Richard Topclyfe, Thomas Fowler, and Ric. Skeving- 
ton, Esquiiex. Doccour Fletcher, and Mr. Wilbraham. 

'* Upcn mforma'.ian given us of a lewd plaie, that was plaied in one 
k»f the plaie howses on the Bancke side, containing very seditious 
\ni Bclaunderous matters, we8 caused some of the players to be ap- 
piehendcd and ccmytted lo pryson. whereof one of them was not only 
an actor, but a maker of parte of the said plaie. For as much as yt 
JTB thought meete that the rest of the players or actours in that mat- 
ter shai be apprehended, to receave soche punyshm^^nt as there lewdo 
aotf mutynous behavior dotii deserve ; these shall be. therefore, to ^'^• 

frequent habit of visiting the theatres* ; the Earl of Not- 
tingham also seems to have taken an unusual interest on 
various occasions in favour of the company acting under 
his name, and to the representations of these noblemen we 
are, perhaps, to attribute the exemption of the Globe and 
the Itoee from the operation of the order " to deface " all 
buildings adapted to dramatic representations in Middlesex 
and Surrey, in a manner that would render them unfit for 
any such purpose in future. We have the authority of the 
registers of the privy council, under date of 19th Feb. 1697-8, 
for stating that the companies of the Lord Chamberlain 
and of the Lord Admii'al obtained renewed permission ** to 
use and practise stage-plays," in order that they might be 
duly qualified, if called upon to perform before the Queen. 
This privilege, as regards the players of the Lord Admi- 
ral, seems the more extraordinai-y, because that was the very 
company which only in the August preceding had given such 
offence by the representation uf Nash's " Isle of Dugs," that 
its farther performance was forbidden, the author aud some 
of the players were arrested aud sent to the Fleet, and 
vigorous steps taken to secure the persons of other parties 
who for a time had made their escape. It is very likelv 
that Nash was the scape-goat on the occasion, and that the 
chief blame was thrown upon him, although, in his tract, 

quire yow to examine these of the plaiers that are comytted. whose 
names are knowne to you, Mr Topclyfe, what ii become of the reit 
of theire fellowes that either had their partes in the devysinge of that 
sedytious matter, or that were actours or plaiers in the saute, what 
copies they have given forth of the said playe, and t« whomc, and 
soch other pointes as you shall thinke meete to be deraaundeJ of 
them j wherein you shall require of them to deale trulie. as Ihey will 
looke to receave anie favour. Wee prate yow also to peruse socn pi- 
pers as were fownde in Nash his lodgings, which Ferrys, a mossen- 
ger of the Chamber, shaJl delyver unto yow, and to certytie us tb» 
examynations you take. So Ice. Greenwich, 15. Aug. 1597.'* 
Frora the Council Register. 

Eliz. No. 13. p. »4ti. 
3 We find evidence in a satinst of the time, that about l£_6 iaie 
the Theatre was abandoned, though not " plucked down." 

: -i 3ut geg yonder 

One, like the unfrequented Theatre, 
Walkes in darke silence, and vast solitude." 

Edw. Guilpins " tkialetheia," bvo. 1593. Sign. D6 

The theatre, in all probability, was not used for plays afterwards. 

* See Vol. ii. p. 132 of the '"tjidney Papers.'' wher*- Rowlanw 
White tells Sir Robert Sydney, '* My Lord Southampton and Lord 
Rutland come not to the court : the one doth but very seldom. Thev 
pass away the time is London merely in going to plays every day. 
This letter is dated 11th October, lof^, and the Q.ueen was then al 




■waAat M««E< 

•■• pH^ af aS *»« vk» vara 

liiK ftaaoSB orakMLAK in 1»9« IkoravM i 



a* Ae Ba«tit 
bare lK«a aa irtof fe Marin n t aifBliBe okare 

ifa ifnot ■mi^t 

T* lh> jaK la« ■ihaii ". ai^ fce itf 

iviiiau ivau^ vis. *^amaD and Jafie^"^ 

i IL" and " Bkkacri ID.'' m Um, md ' lowes I«- 

s l«aK' aai -^iiaBVT iT/ aart ija ism^; kaK. as «e 


fehii*ai> ■lfe»»T 
laf laaliniiMaa 
Ua^ ia a vaak kjr Fmna Xoca irti J -^j^tifc Ta- 
te s Adaaa oC lUa saaH ■ 
/<C (W8 SM.|iK:ai^kaiB5j^Tk l^O 

froaa tke paaai'. & ■ s riiiaailiJ: 
stoikioteiT ike aaooer in wkUk li:- 
ackaas W tkst penid veta aU» w 
popular pueea baa the pras» ^kot caicil Skakasp^>ar« 
kad wen a vnter Sir das lord Cbamberiain'^ serrasis ten . - 
eleTaa jrears bdc a angW plaj by kim vas ptifaEkked ; ac 
&ea ftor of te first ptmbid piaf$ vers vioKiat kis aam^ 
^ if tke kooksdkr kad ba«a ignacaas of tbe &ec or as ii 
ke eoaeidered Aat eke omkan votdd not a&ct tbe sale : am 

qiiKi as ;fa: wak of Skaike^ewe, as will be seen from 
aor eagaat lapciaK of dK ada-pagiesaf tke tTJttnnn af U$~ 
19991 anl ItOS. («• Intrvkae.*) The repoto of* SiehL 
IL'aBd *Bkkwii lU'ki lS96v k kefcre ekaCTred kftv . 
Sbakespeat^s aame on de ade-pageSk and dwT -rere iBBDeii. 
pfrkaps after Xeres kad dKOaeclr «nr;[Tn,aH thoee * kietu- 
r^" avkBB. 

I: is tmr eoanotiaa. after tke nuet maote aad paiaec. 
■■nmrnaeiuQ o^ «« be&re, ererr obi jaapreaaaa, tka. 
'"H ai l I n il ai e in Bg i mtj a ui a^honaed tke pofaaeatioo of ku 
piBja*: wedaBot eaKUvefen^Baaalet" aa iMayiHiiiu 
akka^^ tke nStimm of 1«M «as pnfaaUty mtmii\ kv 
vitk jipeM ed e Ike 
gaiUed aad f ml 1 iir niiriiw of I6CS : Skafa^nai^ ia 
kad antkaig B>d»«ikk tke oae arviA tke 
Ha Jbvad Maa aii^^lp il mI AAoaed aDpaea a< 
aeveiali of kia ytmtiit anacka to be oradited &r i 

dU apt Ikiak JtvaKfa kaa vkde to espaae tke 

(ke gceac kadf af tke pafaSewM eaaeeiwd vtil tke a^ 

aftfefafiaof I«S3. niB jiaf ifcaiaalil'i aaii " 

tokave hf^nnkaii'ii kyaaatv 

ift kraas^atkia n»r.iaip.aaiirr;»adtf tke 

' af a^ oae «C ka piaja be aaore 
BrpH,! nJij Aaa anarfai, we tsA aaaakad tkat it > 
af aa keflier atoie af tka I 

aC draaaae aaksB af ikat panad REfectooB tke < 

:jigkt ke adriiii ' li aako* aaak dMeafc^ kat aaaaa ke 
Bape af Loao^' s daaaa Aa 

■ uaLr ~ 

die rpadrt. k^—tog kaa (ikcaaaa aa 

lafejdat ^kadgaaaiaa wmar to'tkei 

Saiama rf Cir»JM» <1iil fwlwto is <to- 

*^. l-sSr- Kef^ 3F=sc i27« TsaeB, jDmecautf ia «e 
- ' "■■"-* ' -ri3.2aa _a IdDl a* -was tit^ 

- T3 >"-". 1. ZU. 


•err rr. ^^^^■- '.-ri-^-^ ^l.rl \Zi : 

fcvi i;s^* fc„j »*Hi :-i t"**^^ -^^^^ — ." ~ - "• " "' 

VCR a»K aeSoeCirelT pnBtod. km Brrw^-ait -S«< 
if laaeraec' «e is «igi»«Bf riT frn™ u« yrw* »^iii "« 
aMh«r'c i^^'-im^Kr, U. «« ikiak, ike vara if k'iiihi af n^- 
fggnfiky till erer »« ««r •taerra«i«».' 

Bmrsis; M tae iKpcmaxt fiat af nr«lT« pbj! 
W Mens, ve aaj ad^ tku al&aagh Be doer l 
Acs, Acfe OS be B* Aoabt &>t ^be tkne }wnE V. -.^\ 
TX' kkd oeea npeua^ acted kcfiiR laS: ve siaj fi,f- 
^Ht nfEr, A«t ther vete avt neerted bccaaw ux-t -rere 
Ihea vefl keors s«t to be tke sale voifc vf ^KktsTf^^^ 
9j " BoDCT IV.~ ii is iBO)^ proUUe tj>a: Iiert« :i:-c3>a«u 
lalk M£tc «f tkat * bisScej.** ' lrf»Te> Labour's "W l<£ * ba^ 
beea EB^^oeed, cuee dw tioae «f Dr. Fajaer, » be 'AIT; 
Wd tbaz eais Veil,' >Bder a digg q t t dde : oet set' 
(m biredaetMa) Aat the arigiaal aaae gina t* tL< 
vac ' Vm'e lalmw't Wea:' aad thaz, vtiea it was i^- 
wilk aMMMBE aad allinliw. ia 1C*» «r ICM, it i utc imc 
afeaaaev a^prilatiaa. 

la uumu atg Irish }^ qnealMB l e gaiJiBg &e iK«r>es: 
\A(H bf Saakefpeare ia the pMSnAn aC He wrks. vt 
mmj aioee ihe J"'!-"*— « &«ad pneMed a tfae Tear ane; 
*e appeaiaaee «rthe fist ImmAuI hj Xeres. ' In 1599 
11MT ocl aeaHeeboB «<' dhort anBeelhBBaaB poaas. icxkr 
^ ride .i - Tbe PasEaoBte F%nB f tiier ■»■<■.-« all c/ tiiesE 
a^ntej. br W. Jassard the printer, or irr W. Xtsasr uie 
kM^seUit-.'so ^ntepeare. aimme^ scok cf dim Tcre 
aatoric'siy br odier ptxss. Ia Sk UtroiaeHaa to om- 
it piii a <tf lias little -vwfc v« lore strted aH Ae kaovn 
partiedafe r^anfigg it; bat ShakeEpeare, as far as xp- 
pean fren asr endenoe tint his deseenied to is. 
took BB iMtieie o^ ifae tri^ F^aj^ ^f^ '^"^ - po^f'^ ^ 
meftr beard of ii. or if be neard at JL left i: to be cnra 
ietoetian. Bot rtiWAing it -a-c>nb -vUe to imeifae *. It 
ennes to »«'»>;>''*' vbax eertainlj «raU iMt ctbernse be 
<loiiH«d. tbe popolaritT vt Sfaikeepeare ia I5»a. asd Ibe . 
cuDoer in v^&A a iil'imiiaL ptmtor and staBoBer eadea- ] 
Tv>ared >i> lace adraacase ctf dut pojiiilaiil.i. 

V« !•. li siiiruU.'. if we rely upon sereral eoeral anib<>ri- 
ties, boT liiuc '.•■IT ^real dramatkt '«as abcal tiu^ period 
igaowa aaai admired fcr hk piam Bidiard Baiaoeid pab- 
iahad biE * Eaei>mk.a <tf WlrFeeoeia.* in 1»9& (tbe rear 
in 'vbid tbe li&v of rtrelve oi Shakefpe&r«'> {^ys iraf 
printed br Meres i aaJ f:\«n a ev>py of varies eoriuttd 
- BemembraDoe ol Eosoe £i^Iisb Fi^et^.* ve qa.-'.c :be 
:' 'Umriag noooe of Shakespeare : 

- Ar. i Sii5??r.- • - " .- -s-e;!!, ' 

"A-.^e '-^.k^i .-c _— <. .bss:*, 

Tcy ruinie iu i'&aies iBatortol b . i ; 

live e>er yoa, n least ia fiaas 1; ■ 
■Wei msy the bijdv die, ba« i 

Here Shakespeare's popolaritT. as - p)easjn£r ib^ -sr ^rii' 
is Botieed: but the proofe <.f it are sc-t derir^i tr.~ t:^ 
EUee. There las dramas irer* in daily perl.-rniaD« i>ri-^ 
cr.iTded aoSenoes, bat &aia the snoeess J bi* - Ve-:;s ioi 
Adonis '' and - Locreoe.* trfaitit had gvtoe di.'\>a?ti> 
«±t>oes. P^ec>sely to tbe same e^exl. ba: a Sili sirvx^rer 
■ataiKC , Te taay r<fer to s plsy in Thi<i b.^tb Bvc-itt^ aai 

Tt"i:^C'ii j.'Tes foaii&b, iarr . 


Seir Fiate. or, " tie crsti : - : '^ 

ShaiespeaTe in 1J*T. E- - f 

ni»'fr.-*ic ibe Ba&feode *■.■ ..;« j .•^. »:«■ ;-^r*-rT „ -. -li- 
fOe^ie. Bjrahr of the Imrd flhaiiihwriaai'ia aad la^ Aj- 
BunJ's eoeijaiBf . Or&ar m MW raafiinas ne ittaw af 
wajs «• the GMn aud Fonaas: the ai£BK>Be of ^latva 
B»«ci«aci^ aeeafanag tboae tlininnis. SSsMwrnaaa* af 

Ir --' y 

forvi. -. -- ? 

in tbsi it- 
Thif Jis^ - 
be said to : 

srei.: - 

iae iv.-- - 
ia ibe "WTfc- 

" irai^ 


■■ iit'ther 


I5s>.— &.aaa tlui i>e una cua.-^ 

J^-V -i-rr -T 

i:-T v:i. 


exeniitos. and u»e extcia?^ t>f Ilis ot^ 4juti;;£v «»■ :x:— :^ «> ;t. 
and TO e^taKiiji bs> ttmijy in siv«>f Kiinl\«T az>d opaleane 
tiisa. S5 tir as ii kD.'Tra, tJiey bad erer bef.vre eEyv^j-ed". 

> W« caaasc -voate as 1^ whhi ia jAmys sm^r9j^tir>-a^v rtrt^rs:^ 
%Mi a&sX2lT jviawid. vkaek vas t^ caa» vita a&ar tatrcessoras .-^f 
ibA' ciT X,pckB tAis acuBt H9T-vt«£ IS aa aa«xr<'|CtAaaKje -Tiis«s&. 
•ai be :«Us as of cam €i k^ ^n^As. 

t Tucue ira* 1.-^ , 

-rtf; .r 'f^'- ■"-;•* 

.r»4 ;b it ia tSM, Tarx k» riwriViw* *J » ih» 

ttBJ VT iXfcV 



We consider the point that Sbak^-^pcare bad become owner 
of New Place in or before 1597 as completely made out, as, 
at such a distance of time, and with siicn imperfect iuforma- 
tlou upon ueaily all mattere couoected with his history 
coidd be at all expected'. 

We apprehend Ukewise, as we have already remarked 
(p. xxi), the ctuitirmation of arms in 1596, obtained as 
we believe by William Shakespeare, had I'efereuce to the 
permjiueut and substactial settlement of his family in 
Stratford, and to the purchase of a residence there consistent 
with the altered circumstances of that family — altered by 
its increased wealth and consequence, owing to the success 
of our great p<;)et b<jth :i3 an actor and a dramatist. 

The removal of the Lord Admiral's players, under 
Henslowe and Alleyn, from the Rose theatre on the Bank- 
side, to the new house called the Fortune, in Goldiug-laue, 
Cripplegate, soon after the date to which we are now 
referring, may lead to the opinion that that company did 
not iiud itself equal to sustain the rivalship with the Lord 
Chambei'lain's servants, under Shakespeare and Burbage, at 
the Globe. That theati-e was opened, as we have adduced 
reasons to believe, in the spring of 1695: the Rose was a 
considerably older building, and the necessity for repairing 
it might enter into the calculation, when Henslowe and 
Alleyn thought of trying the experiment in a different part 
of the town, and on the Middlesex side of the water. Thea- 
tres being at this date merely wooden structures, and much 
frequented, they would soon fall into decay, especially in a 
marshy situation like that of the Bankside : so damp was 
the sod in the neighbourhood, that the Globe was surrounded 
by a moat to keep it dry ; and, although we do not find the 
fact any where stated, it is most likely that the Rose was 
similarly drained The Rose was in the first mstance, and 
as far back as the reign of Edward VL, a house of entertain- 
ment with that sign, and it was converted into a theatre by 
Henslowe and a grocer of the name of Cholmley about the 
year 1584 ; but it seems to have early required considerable 
reparations, and they might be again necessary prior to 

eBpecia.ll cawse. Yo" shall frende me muche in helpeing me out of 
&U the debeits I owe in London, I thanck god, and muchft quiet lo my 
inynde w^'' wolde not be indebited. I am now towards the Cowrte, 
in hope y answer for the dispatche of my Buysenes. Yo' shall 
nether loose creddytt nor monney by me, the Lorde willing:e ; & nowe 
butt pswade yo"*' setfe soe as I hope ic yo" shall nott need to feare ; 
but with all hartie thanckfuUness I wyll holde my tyrae & content 
yo*' frend, A. yf we Bargaine farther, yo" shall be the paie m' 
yo"' selfe. My tyme bidds me to haiten to an ende, & soe I comitt 
thys [to] yo*' care k. hope of yo"^ helpe. I feare I shall nott be backe 
this night from the Cowrte. haste, the Lorde be w"* yo" k. w'** us 
ill. amen. From the Bell in Carter Lane, the 2-^ October 1593. 
" Yo*" in all kyndenes. 

" Rye. QuYNBV. 

**To my Loveing pood frend 

k contryman M' W™ 

Shackespe thees." 
The deficiency as regards the direction of the letter, lamented by 
Malone, is not of so much importance, because we have proved that 
Shakespeare was resident in Soulhwark in 1590; and he probably 
was fo in 159H. because the rea^sons which we have supposed, in- 
duced him to take up his abode there would still be in operation, ia 
u mucn force as ever. 

' In the garden of this house it is believed that Shakespeare planted 
a mulberry tree, about the year 1G09 : such is the tradition, and we 
are disposed to think that it is founded in truth. In HiOfl, King 
James was anxious to introduce the mulberry {which had been ira- 
|>orted about half a century earlier) into general cultivation, and the 
records in the State Paper OHice show that in that year letters were 
writte-n upon the subject to most of the justices of peace and deputy 
I'jeutenants in the kingdom ; the plants were sold by the State at 65. 
the hundred. On the 'i'ith November, 1609. 9ii5L were paid out of the 
public purse for the planting of mulberry trees " near the palace of 
Westminster. " The mulberry tree, said to have been planted by 
Shakespeare, was in existence ap to about the year 175.5 ; and in the 
spring of 174'2. Garrick. Macklin, and Delane the actor (not Dr. 
Delany, the friend of Swift, as Mr Dyce, in his compendious Memoir. 
p. 1.x. (States,) were entertained under it by Sir Hugh Clopton. New 
rla*,e remained in possession of Shakeapeare's successors until the 
Restoration ; it was then repurchased by the Clopton family : about 
n^yi it was sold by the executor of Sir Hugh Clopton to a clergyman 
of the name of Gastrell, who, on some offence taken at the authorities 
of the borough of Stratford on the subject of rating the house, pulled 
it down, and exit down the mulberry tree. According to a letter in 
th« Annual Register of 17li0. the wood was bought by a silversmith, 
who *' made many odd things of it for the cunous." In our time we 
nave seen as many relics, said to have been formed from this one , 
roalbenTr tree, as could hardly have been furnished by all the mul- 
^rry trees in the county of Warwick. I 

1599. when Henslowe and Alleyn resolved t-o abandon 
Southwark. However, it may bo doubted whether they 
would not have continued where tlicy were, recullecting th« 
couveuient proximity of Paris Garden, (where bears, bullSf 
<tc. were baited, and in which they were also jointly inter- 
ested) but for the success of the Lord Cliamberlaiu's playei-g 
at the Globe, which had been in use fuur or tive yeara' 
Henslowe and Alleyn seem to have found, that ueitlier xhf'it 
plays nor their players could stand the competition of theii 
rivals, and they accordingly removed to a vicinity where »' 
play-house had previously existed. 

The Fortune theatre was commenced in Golding Lane. 
Cripplegate, in the year 1599. and tinished m 1 GOO, and 
thither without delay Henslowe uud Alleyn transp* rted 
their whole dramatic establishmeut, strengthened m the 
spring of 160*2 by the addition of tliat great and popular 
comic performer, William Kempe^ The association at the 
Globe was then left in ahuost undisputed possession of the 
Bankside. There were, indeed, occasional, and perhaps not 
unfrequent, performances at the Hose, (although it had been 
stipuluted with the public authorities that it should be 
pulled down, if leave were given for the construction of the 
Fortune) as well as at the Hope and the Swan, but not bv 
the regular associations which had previously occupied 
them ; and after the Fortune was opened, the speculation 
there was so profitable, tiuit the Lord Admiral's players 
had no motive for returning to their old quarters*. 

The members of the two companies belonging to the 
Lord Chamberlain and Ui the Lord Admiral appear to have 
possessed so much influence in the summer of 1600, thai 
(backed perhaps by the puritanical zeal of those who were 
unfriendly to all theatrical performauces) they obtained au 
order from the privy council, dated 2-2d June, that no other 
public play-houses should be permitted but the Globe in 
Surrey, and the Fortune in Middlesex, Nevertheless, the 
privy council registers, where this order is inserted, also 
contam distinct evidence that it was not obeyed, even in 
May 1601 ; for on tlie lOih of thatmouth the Lorda wrot« 

3 We may be disposed to a-ssign the following lines to about thii 
period, or a little earlier: they reiaie to some theatrical wager in 
which Alleyn, of the Lord Admiral's players, was, for a part not 
named, to b« matched against Kempe, of the Lord Chamberlain"! 
servants. By the words'' Will's new play," there can be little doubt 
that some work by Shakespeare was intended; and we know from 
Hey wood's •' Hierarchic of the Blessed Angels,'' lG:f.5, that Shake- 
speare was constantly familiarly called '■ Will." The document it 
preserved at Dulwich.and it was first printed in the "■ iMemoira o( 
Kdward Alleyn," p. 13. 

" Sweet Nedde. nowe wynne an other wager 

For thine old frende. and fellow stager. 

Tarlton hiraselfe thou doest excel!. 

And Bentley beate, and conquer Knell, 

And now shall Kempe orecome as well. 

The moneyes downe. the place the Hope j 

Philhppes shall hide his head and Pope. 

Feare not, the victorie is thine ; 

Thou still as macheles Ned shall shyne. 

If Roscius Richard foames and fumes. 

The Globe shall have but emptie roomes. 

If thou doest act ; and Willes newe playa 

Shall beiehearst some other daye. 

Consent, then. Nedde ; do us thjs grace : 

Thou cannot faile in anie case , 

Fcr in the triall, come what maye, 

AU sides shall brave Ned Allin saye." 
By "Roscius Richard " the writer of these lines, wno waj th« 
backer of Alleyn against Kempe. could have meant nobody but 
Richard Burbage. It will be recollected, that not very long afte: 
wards Kempe became a member of the association of which Alley 
was the leader, and quitted that to which f^hakespearp n.nd Burbag 
were attached. It is possible that this wager, and Kempe's succ*n» 
in it, led Alleyn and Henslowe to hold out inducements to him to 
join them in their undertaking at the Fortune, Upon this point, 
liowever, we have no other evidence, than the mere fact that Kemp« 
went over to the enemy. 

3 After his return from Rome, where he was seen in the autuma 
of 1601. 

* It was at the Fortune that Alleyn seems to have realized sc muck 
money in the few first years of the undertaking, that he was uble In 
Nov. 1604 to purchase the manor of Kennington for £106.') aud in int 
next year the manor of Lewisham and Dulwich for X5000. Thws* 
two sums, in money of the present day, would be equal to at least 
£'25.Wi) ; but it is to be observed that for Dulwich, Alleyn o<ily paid 
£'2000 down, while the remaining sum was left upon mortgige. In 
the commencement of the seventeenth century theatrical spei. niationa 
generally seem to have been highly lucrative. See "The Allaya 
Fapsra," (printed by the Shakespeare Society.) p xiv 



to certain raagistratos of Middlesex requiriag them to put a 
Btop to the performance of a phiy at the Curtain, ia which 
were introduced *' some geutlenieu of good desert and 
quality, that are yet alive," but sayins; nuthiD.i^ about the 
CTOsing of the house, although it was open iu detiauce »tf the 
miperative com,maud of the preceding year. We know 
also upon other testmnmy, that not ouly the Curtain, but 
theatres on the Bankside. besides the Globe, (where per- 
formances were allowed) were then in occasional use. It is 
fair to presume, therefure, that the order of the 22d June. 
1600, was never strictly enforced, and oue of the most 
remarkable circumstJinees of the times is, the little atten- 
tion, as regards theatricals, that appears to have been paid 
to the absolute authority of the eoui-t It seems exactly as 
if restrictive me:isures had been adopted in order to satisfy i 
the importunity of particular individuals, but that there was i 
DO disposition on the pai't of persons in authority to carry 
them mto execution. Such was probably the fact; for a| 
vear and a half after the order of the 22d June had been ! 
issued it was renewed, but, as far as we can leai'o, with just 
as little effect as before.' 

Besides the second edition of " Romeo and Juliet " in 
1699, (which was likely printed from a playhouse 
manuscript, being very different from the mutilated and 
mauufachired copy of 1597) five plays by our great dra- 
matist found their way to the press iu 1600. viz. ** Titus An- 
dronicus," (which as we have before remarked had probably 
been originally published in 159-i) " The Merchant of Ve- 
nice," ** A Midsummer Night's DreamV "Henry IV." part 
u^ and " Mucii Ado about Nothing." The last only was not 
mentioned by Meres in 1598 ; and as to the periods when 
we may suppose the others to have been written, we must 
refer the reader to our several Introductions, where we 
have given the existing inf<jrmatiou upon the subject " The 
Chronicle History of Henry V." also came out in the same 
year, but without the name of Shakespeare upon the title- 
page, and it is, if possible, a more imperfect and garbled 
renrto=entation of the play, as it proceeded from the author's 
pea, than the " Romeo and JuUet " of 1697. Whether any 
of the managers of theatres at this date might not eorae- 
tiiaes be concei'Uf d in selling impressions of dramas, we 
hav« no sutiieieut means of deciding ; but we do not believe 
it, and we are satistied that dramatic authoi"8 in general 
were content with disposing of their plays to the several 
companies, and looked for no emolument to be dei'ived 
from pubUeation^ We are not without something like 

Cof that actors now and then stdd their parts in plays to 
ksellcrs. and thus, by the combination of them and other 
assistance, editions of popular plays were surreptitiously 

We ought not to pass over vitbout notice a circumstance 
which happened in 1600, and is connected with the question 
of the authorized or unauthorized publication of Shake- 
speare's plays. In that year a quarto impression of a play, ; 
called " The first part of the true and honourable History 
of the Life of Sir John Oldcastle, the good Lord Cobham," 

I See "Hist. Engl, Dram. Poetry ana the Stajje." Vol. i. p. 316, 
where the particulars, which are here necessarily briefly and summa- 
rilj dismissed, are {jiven in detail. 

* The clothing of Snug the joiner in a ''iion's fell " in this play, 
Act T. bc 1, sferns to have suggested the humorous speech to King 
.aaes at Linlithgow, on :30th June Hil7, eight lines of which only 
we given in Nicholses '■ Progresses *' of that monarch. Vol. iii. p. ^.i26^ 
The whole address, of twenty-two lines, exists in the State Pajier 
office, where it was discovered by Mr. Lemon. It seems to have been 
the oiiginal MS. which was placed at the time in the hands of the 
king, and as it is & curiosity, we su bjoin it. 

'•A raoveing engine, representing a fountaine, and running wine, 
9&me to the gate of the towne, in the midst of which was a lyin, 
•.nd in the lyon a man, who delivered th:s learned speech to .lis 

"Most royal 1 sir, heere I doe you beseech, 
"Who are a lyon, to hear a lyon's speech ; 
A miracle ; for since the dayes of jfisop, 
Till ours, noe lyon yet his voice did hois-up 
To such a Majestie. Then, King of Men, 
The king of beasts speaks to thee from his denn, 
A fountaine nowe. That lyon, which was 'edd 
By Androdus through Rome, had not a head 
More rational) ;hen this, bredd in thiii nation, 
Whoe in thy presence wwbleth this or,.tion. 

came out, on the title-page of which the name of William 

Shakespeare appeared at length. We tiJid by Henslowe'e 
Diary that this drama was in fact the authorship of four 
poets, Anthony Munday, Michael Diaytou, Robert Wilson 
and Richard Hathway ; and to attribute it to Shakespeare 
was evidently a mere trick by the bookseller, T[homiia] 
P[avier], in the hope that it would be buught as his work. 
Maloue remarked upon this fraud, but he was not aware. 
when he wrote, that it had been detected and corrected at 
the time, for since liis day more than one copy of the *' KirsI 
Part, &.C. of Sir John Oldcastle " has come to light, upon 
the title-page of which no name is to be found, the lx»ok- 
seller apparently having been compelled to cancel the leaf 
containing it. From the indifference Shakespeare seems 
uniformly to have displayed on matters of the kind, we 
may, possibly, conclude that the cancel was made at the 
instiince of one of the four poets who were the real authoi*9 
of the play ; but we have no means of speaking decisively 
upon the point, and the step niay have been in some way 
connected with theobji'Ctiou taken by living members of the 
Oldcastle family to the name, which had been assigned by 
Shakespeare in the first instance to FaUtatf. 


Death of John Shakespenrein 1601. Performance of" Twelfth 
Night" iu February^ 1602. Anecdote of Siiakespeare and 
Burba<;e : Maiiiiiugham's Diary in the British Mu.seum the 
authority for it. "'Othello," acted by Burbage and others 
at the Lord Keeper's in August, 1602. Death of Elizabeth, 
and Arrival of James I. at Theobalds. Kugiisli actors in 
Scotland in 1589, and a^ain in 1599, 1600, and 1601 : larj^e 
rewards to them. Tlie frec-dom of Aberdeen conferred in 
1601 upon Laurence Fletcher, the leader of the EnglisJi 
company in Scotland. Probability that Shake^pea^e never 
was iu Scotland. 

The father of our great poet died in the autumn of 1601 
and he was buried at Stratford-upon-Avon\ He seems to 
have left no will, and if he possessed any property, iu land 
or houses, not made over to his family, we kuuw uot how it 
was divided. Of the eight children which his wife, ilai-y 
Arden, had brought him, the ff-)llowing were then alive, and 
might be present at the funeral :— William, Gilbert, Joan, 
Richard, and Edmund. The latter years of John Shake- 
speare (who, if born in 1530 as Malone supposed, was id 
his seventy-first year) were doubtless easy and comfortable, 
and the prosperity of his eldest son must have placed him 
beyond the reach of pecuniary difficulties. 

Early in the spring of 160*2, we meet with one of those 
rare &ct8 which distinctly show how uncei-tain all conjec- 
ture must be respecting the date when Shakespeare's dramas 
were originally written and produced. Malone and Tvr- 
whitt, in 1790, conjectm*ed that " Twelfth Night " had beeu 
written in 1614: in his second edition Malone altered it to 

For though he heer inclosed bee in plaister, 
When he was free he was this townes school-master 
This Well you see. is not that Areihusa, 
The Nymph of Sicile : Noe, men may carous a 
Health of the plump Lyreus, noblest grapes, 
From these faire conduits, and turne drunk like apM. 
This second spring I keep, as did that dragon 
Hesperian apples. And nowe. sir, a plague on 
This your poore towne. if to 't you bee not welcome 
But whoe cin doubt of this, when, loe I a Well coma 
Is nowe unto the gate ? I would say more, 
But words now failing, dare not, l*ast I roare 
The eight lines in Nichols's " Progresae* vf James [."are from 
Drummond'g Poem, and there can be little doubt that the whrU 
speech was from his pen. 

' It was a charge against Robert Greene, that, driven by the pres- 
sure of necessity, he had on one occa^iion raised money by making 
*' a double sale '" of his play called " Orlando Furioso," 1.594. first to 
the players and afterwards to the press. Such may have f)een the 
fact, but it was unquestionably an exception to the ord ,nary rule. 

* See the Introduction to '• Henry IV." Part I. 

* On the 8th September, as we find by the subsequent ent") 'n iha 
•jadsh register :— 

"1601. Septemb'.S, Mf. Johanes Shaksptare" 



1607, and Ohalniovs, weighing the evidence in favour of ' 
oue date and of the other, thought neither correct, and fixed 
upon lt>13\ an opinion in wliich Dr, Drake fully concurred". 
The truth is, that we have irrefi-agable evidence, from au 
eye-witness, of its existence ou 2nd February, 1602, when 
it was played at the Reader's Feast iu the Middle Temple. 
This eye-witness wa^ a barrister of the name of Mauuing- , 
nam, who left a Diary beliiud him, which has been pre* I 
Berved in the British Museum; but as we have inserted his 
ttcc<iuut of the plut iu our introduction to the comedy, (Vol. 
iii. p. 317) no more is required here, than a mere meution 
of the circumstauf^e. However, iu another part of the same 
manuscript^, he gives an anecdote of Shakespeare and Bur- j 
Itagc, which we quote, without fartlier remark than that it I 
has been supposed to depend upon the authority of Nicho- 
las Ttiuley*, but on lookiug at the original record again, we 
doubt whether it came from any such source. A " Mr. ' 
Towse " is repeatedly introduced as a person from whom 
Maimingham derived information, and that name, though 
blotted, seems to be placed at the end of the paragraph, 
certainly without the addition of any Chiistian name. Tins ; 
circumstance may make some difference as regards the au- 
thenticity of the stui-y, because we know not who Mr. 
Towse might be, while we are sure that Nichohis Tooley 
was a fellow-actor in the same company as both the indi- 
viduals to whom the story relates. At the same time it 
was, very possibly, a mere invention of the " roguish play- 
ws," originating, as was often the case, in some older joke, 
and applied to Shakespeare and Burbage, because their 
Christian names happened to be WilUam and Richa>'d^. 

Elizabeth, from the commencement of her reign, seems 
to have extended her pei'soual patronage, iis well as her 
pubhc countenance, to the dcama ; and scarcely a Cluistmas 
or a Shi'ovetide can be pointed out during the forty-five 
years she occupied the throne, when there were not dra- 
matic eutei'tainmeuts, either at Wiiitehall, Greenwich, None- 
such, Richmond, or Windsor. The latest visit she paid tt) 
any of her nobility in tiie country was to the Lord Keeper, 
Sir Thomas Egerton, at Harefield, only nine or ten months 
before ber death, and it was upon this occasit>n, in the very 
beginning of August, 1602, that "Othello"' (having been 
got up for her amusement, and the Lord Chamberlain's 

* Sapplemental Apology, &c. p. 4(i7. 

' Shafcspeare and his Times, vol. ii. p. 2G2. 
> MS. Harl. No. 535:1. 

* Hist, of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, vol. i. p. 331. I'he 
Chnsiian name is wanting in the Harl. MS. 

s See " Hist. Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage," vol. i. p. 331. 
The writer of that work thus introduces the anecdote : — " If in the 
couise of my inquiries, I have been unlucky enough (I may perhaps 
say) to hnd anything which represents our great dramatist in a less 
favourable light, as a humeii being with human infirmities, 1 may 
lament it, but I do not the/ ifore feel myself at liberty to oonceaJ and 
■uppress the fact '' The aiiecdote is this. 

"Upon a tyme when Burbage played Rich. 3, there was a citizen 
grew so farre in liking *-ith him, that before shee went from the 
play, shee appointed him to come that oight unto her, by the name 
of Rich, the 3. Shakespeare, overhearing their conclusion, went be- 
fore, wa.s entertained, and at his game ere Burbage came. Then, 
message being brought, that Rich, the 3. was at the dure, Shake- 
speare caused returns to be made, that William the Conqueror was 
before Rich, the 3. Shakespeare's name Willm." 

This story may be a piece of scandal, but there is no doubt that 
Burbage was the original Richard 111. As to the custom of ladies 
ioviting players home to supper, ses Middleton'a ''Mad World, my 
Masters,'' Act v. sc. '2. in " IJudsley's Old Plays," last edit. The 
players, in turn, somHtiines invited the ladies, as we find by Field's 
*' Amends for Ladies," Act iii. so. 4, in the supplementary volume to 
" DodsUy's Old Pliys," published in lt*29. 

* See the '' Introdi-ction '' to " Othello." Also "The Egerton Pa- 
pers." printed by tho Camden Society, 1H40. p. 343. 

' In a former note we have inserted the names of some of the 
principal characters, in plays of the time, sustained by Burbage. as 
they are given in the Epitaph upon his death, in 1619. Our readers 
Qiay like to see the manner in which these characters are spoken of 
by the contemporaneous versifier. The production opens with this 
ooupUt : — 

" Some skilful limner help me, if not so, 
Some sad tragedian to express my woe ;" 
which certainly does not promise much in the way of excellence ; 
^at the enumeration of parts is all that is valuable, and it is this : — 
" No more young Hamlet, though but scant of breath, 
Shall cry. Revenge I for his dear father's death : 
poor Romeo never more shall tears beget 
For Juliet's love, and cruel Oa'-ulet ; 

playere brought down to the liord Keeper's seat in Hert» 
fordshire" for the purpose) was represented before her. Ic 
this case, as in the preceding one respecting " Twelfth 
Nii^ht," all that we positively learn is that such drama was 
perftiimed, and we are left to infer that it was a new pla\ 
iVoni other circumstances, as wt^U as fi'otn the fact that it 
was cu8t<:)niary on such festivities to exliibit sunie drama 
that, as a novelty, was then attracting public attention. 
Hence we are led to beUeve, that "Twelfth Night" (not 
printed until it formed part of the fnlio of 1623) was writ- 
ten at the end of 16U0, or in the beginning of 1601 ; aiid 
that " Othello" (first published in 4to, 1622,) came from the 
author's pen about a year afterwards. ^ 

In the memoranilum ascertaining the performance of 
" Othello " at Harefield, the company by which it was re- 
presented is called '* Burbages Players," that designation 
arising out of the fact, that he was looked upon as the 
leader of the association : he was certainly its most cele- 
brated actor, and we find from other sources that he wji^ 
the representative of " the Moor of Venice''." Whether 
Shakespeare had any and what part in the tragedy, either 
then or upon other occasions, is not known ; but we do not 
think any argument, oue way or the other, is tt> be drawn 
from the fact that the C(.iiiipany. when at Harefield, does 
not seem to have been under his immediate government 
Whether he was or was not one of the "playera** in 
"Othello," in August 1602, there can be httle doubt that aa 
an actor, and moreover as one '* exeelU-nt in his quality," be 
must have been often seen and apjilauded by Elizabeth 
Chettle informs us after her death, iu a passage already 
quoted, that she had "opened her royal ear to his laye;" 
but this was obviously in his capacity of dramatist, and we 
have no direct evidence to establish that Shakespeare bad 
ever pei'formed at Court*. 

James I. reached Theobalds, in his journey from Edin- 
burgh to London, on the 7th May, IfJOS Before he quitted 
his own capital he had had various opportunities of wit- 
nessing the performances of English actors ; and it is an in- 
teresting, but at the same time a difiieult question, whether 
Shakespeare had evei* appeared before him, or, in other 
words, whether our great dramatist hud ever visited Scot- 
land ) We have certainly no affii-mative testunony upon 

Harry shall not be seen as King or Prince, 

They died with thee, dear Dick, — 

Not to revive again. Jeronimo 

Shall cease to mourn his snn Horatio. 

They cannot call thee from thy naked bed 

By horrid outcry ;#and Antonio's dead. 

Edward shall lack a representative ; 

And Crookback, as befits, shall cease to live. 

Tyrant Macbeth, with unwasih'd bloody hand, 

We vainly wow may hope to understand. 

Brutus and Marcius henceforth must be dumb. 

For ne'er thy like upon our atage shall come, 

To charm the faculty of ears and eyes, 

Unless we could command the dead to rise 

Vindex is gone, and what a loss was he I 

Frankford. Brachiano, and iMalevoie. 

Heart-broke Philabter, and Amintas too, 

Are lost fur ever, with the red-liair"d Jew, 

Which sought the bankrupt Merchant's pound of fleahf 

By woman-lawyer caught in his own mesh • • • 

And his whole action he would change with eatm 

From ancient Lear to youthful Pericles. 

But let me not forget one chiefest part 

"Wherein. beyond tlie rest, he mov'd the heart ; 

The grieved Moor, made jealous by a stave, 

Who sent his wife to fill a tuneless grave, 

Then slew himself upon the bloody bed. 

All tnese. and many more, with him are dead.'' ice 
The MS from which the above lines are cojiied seems, at least in oa« 
place, defective, but it might be cured by the addition of the word*. 
"and not long since " 

** A liallad was published on the death of Elizabeth, in the com* 
mencement of which Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Thomas Greene," 
author of " A Poet's Vision and a Prince's Glorie,'' 4to. lliO'i ■^v^n 
called upon to contribute some verses in honour of the late C^ueeu . 
" You poets all, brave Shakespeare, Johnson, Greene, 

Bestow your time to write for England's Queene," &a 
Excepting for this notice of " brave Shakespeare," the prcduciion 
is utterly contemptible, and must have been the work of some of the 
" goblins and underelves '' of poetry, who, according to a poem in H 
Chettle's " England's Mourning Garment." had put forth upon the 
occasion " rude rhimes, and metres reasoulesa." 



the p.iint. bejond what maybe derived fiom some passages I 
in " Macbeth," descriptive of particular localities, with ■ 
which passages our readera must be familiar: there is, 
howevtr, ample room for conjeetiire ; and although, on the 
whole, we are inclined to think that he was never north of 
the Tweed, it is indisputable that the company to which he I 
belonged, or a part of it, had performed in Edinburgh and ; 
Aberdeen, and doubtless in some intermediate places. We 
will bri*fly state the existing proofs of this fact | 

The year 1699 has been commonly supposed the earliest 
date at which an association of Euglisb actors was in Scot- ' 
land ; but it can be shown beyond contradiction that " her 
Majesty's players," meaning those of Queen Elizabeth, were 
in Edinburgh ten years earlier'. In 1589, Ashby, the am- 
bassador extraordinary from England to James VI. of 
Scotland, thus writes fo Lord Burghley, under date of the 
I2d October:— 

" M.v Lord Bothw[eU] begins to shew himself willing and 
ready to do Jier Mujcsty any service, and desires hereafter to 
be thought of as he shjiil fleserve : he slieweth great kindness 
to our nation, using her Mnjcstiea Flayers and Oanoniers with 
all courtesies." 

In 1589, the date of Ashby's dispatch, Shakespeare had 
quitted Stratford about three years, and the question is, 
what company was intended to be designated as " her Ma- 
jesty's players." It is an admitted fact, that in 1583 the 
Queen selected twelve leading performers from the theatr 
rical servants of some of her nobility, and they were after- 
wards called " her Majesty's players ;" and we also now 
know, that in 1590 the Queen had two companies acting 
under her name' : in the autunm of the precedmg year, it is 
likely that one of these associations had been sent to the 
Scottish capital for the amusement of the young king, and 
the company formed in 1683 may have been divided into 
two bodies for this express purpose. Sir John Sinclair, in 
his " Statistical Account of Scotland," established that a 
K>dy of comedians was in Perth in June, 1589 ; and sil- 
though we are without evidence tliat they were English 
players, we may fairly enough assume that they were the 
same company spoken of by Ashby, as having been used 
oouileously by Lord Bothwell in the October following. 
We have no means of ascertainiug the names of any of the 
players, nor indeed, excepting the leaders Laneham and 
Dutton, can we state who were the members of the Queen's 
two companies in 1690. Shakespeare might be one of 
them ; but if he were, he might not belong t<i that division 
of the company which was dispatched to Scotland. 

It is not at all improbable that English actors, having 
found their way north of the Tweed in 1589, would speedily 
repeat their visit ; but the next we hear of them is, not until 
after a long interval, in the autumn of 1599. The pubUc 
records of Scotland show that in October, 1599, (exactly the 
suJue season as that in which, ten years earlier, they are 
spoken of by Ashby) 43/. 6s. %d. were delivered to "his 
Uighness' self," to be given to " the English comedians :" in 
the next month they were paid 41/. 12s. at various times. 
In December they received no less than 333/. 6s. 8<i ; in 
April, 1600, 10/.; and in December, 1601, the royal bounty 
ariounted to 400/.* 

Thus we see, that English players were in Scotland from 
Oct«.)ber, 1599, to December, 1601. a period of more than 
two years ; but still we are without a particle of proof that 
Shakespeare was one of the association. We cannot, how- 
tver, entertain a doubt that Laurence Fletcher, (whose 
name, we shall see presently, stands first in the patent 
granted by King James <in his arrival in London) was the 

leader of the assooiation wliich performiid in Edinburgh osa 
elsewhere, because it appears from the registers of the town 
council of Aberdeen, that on the 9th October, 1601, the 
English players received 32 marks as a gratuity, and that 
on 22d October the freedom of the city was conferred npon 
Laurence Fletcher, who is especially styled " comedian to 
his Majesty." The company had arrived in Aberdeen, and 
had been received by the public authorities, imder the sanO' 
tion of a special letter from James VI. ; and, although they 
were in fact the players of the Queen of Engl.ond, they 
might on this account be deemed and treated as the playen 
of the King of Scotland. 

Our chief reason ior tliinking it unlikely that Sbakespear* 
would have accompanied his fellows to Scotland, at all 
events between October, 1599, and December, 1601, is that, 
as the principal writer for the company to which he wa» 
attached, he could not well have been spared, and because 
we have good ground for beUeving that about that pencd 
he must have been unusually busy in the composition of 
plays. No fewer than five dramas seem, as far as evidence, 
positive or conjectural, can be obtamed, to belong to the 
mterval between 1598 and 1602 ; and the proof appears to 
us tolerably conclusive, that " Henry V.,"_" Twelfth Night," 
and " Hamlet," were written respectively in 1599, 1600, and 
1601. Besides, as far as we are able to decide such a point, 
the company to which our great dramatist belonged con- 
tinued to perform in London ; for although a detachment 
under Lam'ence Fletcher may have been sent to Scotland, 
the main body of the association called the Lord Chamber- 
lain's players exhibitad at court at the usual seasons in 
1599, 1600, and 1601'. Therefore, if Shakespeare visited 
Scotland at aU, we think it must have been at an earlier 
period, and there was undoubtedly ample time between the 
years 1589 and 1599 for him to "have done so. Neverthe- 
less, we have no tidmgs that any English actors were in any 
part of Scotland during those ten years. 

» Between September. 15-^9, and September. ISDO. Queen Eliza- 
beth had sent, as a present to the young King of Scotland on his 
marriage, a gplendid mask, with ail the necessary appurtenances, 
and we find it charged for in the accounts of the department of the 
revels for that period. See "Hist, of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the 
8l»ge,'- vol. i. p. 271). It is tnoi^t lifcely that the actors from London 
accompanied this gift. 

■ From MS. Harl. 4li47. being copies of despatches from Mr. A^hby 
to dtlferent members of the Council in London. We are indebted to 
Ml. N. Hill for directing our attention to this curious notice. 

• See Mr P. Cunningham's " Extracts from the Revels' Accounts," 
'printed for the Shaiiespeare Society.) p- xxxii. 


Proclamation by .lames 1. against plays on Sunday. Renewaj 
of theatrical performances in Loudon. Patent of May 17tli, 
1603, to Laurence Fletcher, William Shakespeare, and 
others. Koyal patronage of three companies of actors. 
Shakespeare's additional purchases in Strntfoni-upon-Avon. 
Shukespearo in Loudon iu tlie autumn of 1603: and a can- 
didate for the office of Master of the Queen's Revels. Cha- 
racters Shakespeare is known to have performed. His 
retirement from the stage, as an actor, after April 9th, 1604. 

Before he even set foot in London, James L thought it ne- 
cessary to put a stop to dramatic performances on Sunday 
This fact has never been mentioned, because the proclama- 
tion he issued at Theobalds on 7th May, containing the para- 
graph for this purpose, has only recently come to light 
There had been a long pending struggle between the 
Puritans and the pUyevs upon this point, and each party 
seemed bv turns to gain the victory; for various ordere 
were, from time to tune, issued from authority, forbidding 
exhibitions of the kind on the S.abbath, and those orders had 
been uniformly more or less contravened. We may sup- 
p,ise, that strong remonstrances having been made to the 
King by some of those who attended him from Scotland, a 
clause with this special object was appended to a proelaina- 
tion directed against monopohes and legal extort;. iTis. The 
mere circumstance of the company hi which this paragraph, 

* For these particulars of payments, and some other points con- 
neoted with them, w« are indebted to Mr. Laing, of tJinburgh, who 
has made extensive and valuable collections for a history of the Stage 
in Scotland. , . . , . 

I » The accounts of the revels' department at this period are not so 
i complete as usual, and in Mr P. Cunningham s book we find no de. 
t.ails of any kind between 15t<7 and ItiOl. The interval was a penod 
of the greatest possible intere^t, as regards the performance ol the pro- 
dnctions of Shakespeare, and we earnestly hjpe that the mieiml 

accounts may yet be recovered. 



a^ainet dramatic performances on Sunday, is found, seems 
to prove timt it was an after-thought, and that it was in- 
serted, booause liis courtiers had urged that James ought 
not even to enter his new capital, imtil public steps hud 
been taken to put an^end to the prtifanation'. 

The King, having issued tliis command, amved at the 
Charter-house on the same day, and all the tlieatricid com- 
panies, which had teiuporarily suspended their performances, 
began to act again on the 9th May^ Permission U> this 
iffeet was given by James I., and conimuuicatcd through 
ihe ordinary chiuiuel to the players, whu sotm fouud reason 
to rejoice in the accession of the new sovereign ; for ten 
days after he reached London he took the Lord Chambei"- 
lain's players into his pay and patronage, calling them " the 
Kini^'s servants," a title they always after-wards enjoyed. 
For iLis purpose he issued a warrant, under the privy seal, 
for making out a patent under the great seal^, authorizing 
the nine foUuwiug actors, and others, Uj perform in his name, 
not only at the GU»be on the Bankside, but in any pail of 
the kingdom ; viz. Laurence Fleteher, William Shakespeare, 
Richard Burbage, Augustine Phillippes, John Hemiuge, 
Henry Condell, William Sly, Robert Armyn, and Richard 

We miss from this list the names of Thomas Pope, Wil- 
ham Kempe, and Nicholas Tooley, who had belonged to the 
company in 1596; and instead of them we have Laurence 
Fletcher, Henry Condell, and Robert Amiyn, with the ad- 
(htion of Richard Cowley. Pope had been an actor in 1689, 
and perhaps in May, 16U3, was an old man, for he died in 
the February following, Kempe had joined the Lord Ad- 
miral's players soon after the opening of the Fortune, on his 
retuili from the Continent, for we find him in Henslowe's 
pay in 16U2. Nichohis Tooley had also perhaps withdrawn 
trom the association at this date, or his name would hardly 

* The paragraph is in these terms, and we quote them because they 
liave not been noticed by any historian of our stage. 

'■And for that we are informed, that there hath been heretofore 
great neglect in this kingdome of keeping the Sabbath day ; for the 
better observing of the same and avoyding all impious proplianation, 
We do straightly charge and comniaund that no Ueare-bayting. Bul- 
bayting. Enterludes, common Playes, or tither like disordered or un- 
lawful exercises, or pastimes, be frequented, kept, or used at any time 
hereafter upon the Sabbath day. 

Oiven at our Court at Theobalds, the 7 day of May, in the 
first yeare of our Reigne." 

' This fact we have upon the authority of Henslowe's Diary. See 
the Hist. Engl. Dram- Poetry and the Stage, vol. i. p. 34tj. 

' It runs verbatim et literatim thus : — 

By Tue King. 

" Right •rusty and welbeloved Counsellor, we greete you well, and 
will and commaund you, that under our privie Seale in your custody 
for the time being, you cause our letters to be derected to the keeper 
of our greate seale of England, commaunding him under our said 
greate Seale, he cause our letters to be made patents in forme follow- 
ing. James, by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, Fraunce, 
and Irland, defender of the faith, &c. To all Justices. Maiors, Sheriff's, 
Constables, Headboroughes, and other our officers and loving subjects 
greeting. Know ye, that we of our speciall grace, ceriame know- 
ledge, and meere motion have licenced and authorized, and by these 
presentes doe licence and authorize, these our servants. Lawrence 
Fletcher, William Shakespeare, Richard Burbage, Augustine Phil- 
lippes, Jolin Hemmings, Henrie Condell, William Sly, Robert Armyn, 
Richard Cowiye, and the rest of their a-^sociats, freely to use Sc exer- 
eije the aste and faculty of playing Comedies, Tragedies. HistorieB, 
Enterludes, Moralls, Pastoralls, Stage plaies, and s"ch other like, as 
that thei have already studied or hereafter shall use or studic. aswell 
for the recreation of our loving subjects, as for our solace and piea- 
sare, when we shall thinke good to see them, dunng our pleasure. 
And tka said Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, Enterludes, Moralls, 
Pastoral. 3, Stage plaies, and such like, to shew !c exercise publiquely 
to their best commoditie, when the infection of the plague shall de- 
crease, as well within theire now usuall howse called the Globe, 
within our county of Surrey, as also within anie towne halls, or mout 
halls, or other convenient places within the liberties k (Veedome of 
my other citie, universitie, townp, or borough whatsoever within our 
said realmes and dominions. Willing and commaunding you, and 
every of you, as you tender onr pleasure, not only to permit and suffer 
them heerin, without any your letts, hinderances, or molestations, 
during our said pleasure, but also to be ayding or assisting to them, 
yf any wrong be to them offered. And to allowe them such former 
courtesies, aj bathe bene given to men of their place and qualitie : 
and also what further favour you shall shew to these our ser\'ants for 
our s ike, we shall take kindly at your hands. And these our letters 
ihall be your sufficient warrant and difi;cha,rge in this behalfe. Given 
ander our Signet at our mannor of Greenewiche. the seaventeenth 
4ay of May in the first yere of our raigne of England, France, and 
Ireland, Ac. of Scotland the six k thirtieth. Ex per Lake." 

have been omitted in the patent, as an estabhsheti aator 
and a man of some property and influence ; but he, as weU 
as Kempe, not lonjj subsequently rejoined the association 
with which they had been so long conueetcd. 

We may assume, pei'haps, in the absence of any direct 
testimony, that Laurence Fletcher did not acquire liis prtm- 
inence in the company by any remarkable excellence as ac 
actor. He had been in Scotland, and had perftirmed with 
his associates before James in 1599, 16U0, and 1601, and in 
the latter year he bad been registered as " his Majesty 'e 
Comedian" at Aberdeen. He might, thciefore, have been a 
favourite with the King, and being also a considerable sharer 
in the association, he perhaps owed his place in the pateul 
of ilay, 1603, to that circumstance*. The name of bbake 
speare ct^mes next, and as author, actor, and sharer, w« 
cannot be surprised at the situation he occupies. His pro- 
gress upwarJ, in eonnoxiou with the profession, had been 
gradual and uniform : in 1689 he was twelfth in a company 
of sixteen members: in 1596 he was tifth in a company <»f 
eight members; and in 1603 he was second in a company 
of nine members. 

The degree of encouragement and favour extended to ac- 
tors by James I. in the very commencement of liis reign is 
remarkable. Not only did he take the Lord Chamberlain e 
players unto his own service, but the Queen adopted the 
company which had acted under the name of the Earl of 
\y^oreester, of which the celebrated dramatist, Thomas Hey- 
Wood, was then one ; and the Prinee of Wales that of the 
Lord Admiral, at the head of which was Edward Alleyn, 
the founder of Dulwich College. These three royal asso- 
ciations, as they may be termed, were independent of others 
under the patronage of individual noblemen^ 

The poUcy of this course at such a time is evident, and 
James L seems to have been impressed with the truth of 

The patent under the great seal, made out in consequence of this 
warrant, bears date two days afterwards. 

* Nothing seems to be known of the birth or origin of Laurence 
Fletcher, (who died in September, 16Ud,) but we may suapect that he 
was an elder brother ol John Fletcher, the dramatist, ^ishop Fletcher, 
the father, died on IS June, loilii, having made his will in October, 
15114, before he was translated from Worcester to London. This doc- 
ument seems never to have been examined, but it appears from it. ai 
Mr. P. Cunningham informs us, that he had no tewer than nine 
children, although he only mentions iiis sons Nathaniel and John by 
name. He died poor, and among the Lansdowne Mti6. is one, enti- 
tled "'Reasons to move her Majesty to some commiseration towarde 
the orphans of the late Hishop of London, Dr. Fletcher :" this la 
printed in Birch's '• Memoirs." He incurred the lasting displeasure 
of Q.ueen Elizabeth by marrying, for his second wi.fe, Lady Bakei 
of Kent, a woman of more than questionable character, if we may 
believe general report, and a satirical poem of the time, handed dcA e 
only in manuscript, which begins thus : — ; 

*'The pride of prelacy, which now long since 
Was banish'd with tlie Pope, is sayd of late 
To have arrived at Bristowe, and from thence 
3y Worcester into London brought his state." 
It afterwards goe« on thus : — 

*'The Romaine Tarquin, in his folly blind. 
Of faire chaste Lucreoe did a Lais make ; 
But owr proud Tarquin beares a braver mind, 
And of a LaiF doth a Lucrece make." 
We cannot venture to quote the coarse epithets liberally bestowed 
upon Lady Baker, but the poem ends with these lineo : — 
" But yet, if any will the reason find. 

Why he that look'd as lofty aj a steeple, 
Should be eo base as for to come behind, 

And take the leavings of the common people, 
'T is playne ; lor in processions, you know, 
The priest must after all the people goe." 

We ought to have mentioned that the poem is headed " Bishop 
Fletcher and my Lady Baker." The Bishop had buried his first 
wife, Elizabeth, at Chelsea Church in December, 159-J. Nathaniel 
Fletcher, mentioned above as included with his brother John in hit 
father's will, is spoken of on a preceding page as "servant" lo Mrs 
White; but who Mrs. White might be, or what was the preciw 
nature of '' Nat. Fletcher's" servitude, we have no information. 

* However, an Act of Parliament was very soon passed (I Jac. L r,. 
7,) to expose strolling actors, although protected by the authority of 
a peer, to the penaltie* of '.iO Eliz. c. 4. Itseems to have been founi! 
that the evil had increased to an excess which required this degre* 
of correction ; and Sir Edward Coke in his Charge to the Grand Ji.ry 
at Norwich in 1607, (when at was printed) observes, ''The ahu^e of 
Btage-players, wherewith I find the country much trouMed, m.'iy 
easily be reformed, they having no commission to p)ii.y ir any p'at* 
without leave ; and therefore by your wilUigness if thry be not eu 
tertained, you may iK>oo be nd '.f them." 



the pasBape in " Hamlet," (brought out, as we apprehend, 
»ery shortly before he came to the throne) where it is said 
jf these " abstracts and brief chronicles of the time," that 
it is " better to have a bad epitiiph, than their ill report while 
you hve.* James made himself sure of their good report ; 
and an epigram, attribute.) t<j Shakespeai-e, has descended 
to us, which doubtless was mteuded in some sort as a grate- 
ful return for the royal countenance bestowed upon the 
itage, and upon those who were connected with it. We 
copy it from a coeval manuscript in our possession, which 
jeems to have belonged to a cuiious accumulator of mat- 
ters of the kind, and which also contjiins an unknown pro- 
duction by Dekker, as well as various other pieces by dra- 
matists and poets of the time. The lines are entitled, 


'* Crowns have their compiiss, Ieii<;tli of days their date, 
Triumphs their tomb, felicity her fate ; 
Of nought hut eartli onn earth miike us partaker, 
But knowledge makes a king moat like his Maker." 

We have seen these lines in more than one other old 
manuscript, and as they were constantly attributed to 
Shakespeare, and in the form in which we have given them 
above, are in no respect unworthy of his pen, we have little 
i<tubt of their authenticity'. 

Having established his family in " the great house " called 
" New Place " in his native town in 1597, by the purchase 
of it from Hercules Underbill, Shakespeare seems to have 
contemplated considerable additions to his property there. 
In May, 1602, he bud out £320 upon 107 acres of land, 
which he bought of William and Jolin Combe', and attached 
it to his dwerijng. The original indenture and its counter- 
part are hi existence, bearing date Ist May, 1602, but to 
neither of them is the signature of the poet affixed ; aad it 
seems that he being absent, his bi'other G ilbert was his im- 
mediate agent in the transaction, and to Gilbert Shakespeare 
the property was delivered to the use of WilUam Shake- 
speare. In the autumn of the same year he became the 
owner of a copyhold tenement (called a cotagium in the 
iustrmnent) in Walker's Street, alias Dead Lane, Stratford, 
surrendered to him by Walter Getley*. In November of 
the next year he gave Hercules Underbill £60 for a mes- 
suage, barn, granary, garden, and orchard close to or in Strat- 
ford ; but in the original fine, preserved in the Chapter House, 
Westminster, the precise situation is not mentioned. In 
1603, therefore, Shakespeare's property, in or near Strat- 
ford-upon-Avon, besides wliat he might have bought of, or 
inherited from, his father, consisted of New Place, with 107 
acres of land attached to it, a tenement in Walker's Street, 
and the additional messuage, which he had recently pur- 
chased from Underbill. 

Whether our great dramatist was in London at the period 
when the new king ascended the throne, we have no means 
of knowing, but that he was so in the following autumn we 
have pdsitive proof ; for iu a letter written by Mrs. AUeyn, 
(the wife of Edward AUeyn, the actor) tt> her husband, 
then m the ooimtry, dated 20th October, 1603, she tells liim 
that she had seen " Mr. Shakespeare of the Globe " in 
Southwark*. At this date, aeeordmg to the same authority, 

* Boflwell appears to have had a manuscript copy of this epigram, 
knt the general position in the lajst line wiu made to have a particu- 
Itr application oy the change of "a" to tke. See Shakspeare by 
Bo«well, vol. li. p. 4':'l. There were other variations for the worse in 
Boswell's copy, but that which we have noticed completely altered 
the character of the production, and reduced it from a great general 
truth to a mere piece of personal tlattery — " But knowledge makes 
thf. king most like his Maker." 

2 Much ha£ been said in all the Lives of our poet, from the time 
of Aubrey (who first gives the story) to our own. respecting a satirical 
•pitaph upon a person of the name of John a Combe, supposed to 
have been made extempore by Shakespeare : Aubrey words it thus : — 
*'Ten in the hundred the devil allows. 
But Combe will have twelve, he swears and he vows. 
If any one ask. Who lies in this tomb ? 
Ho! ,^uoth the devil, 'tis my John a Combe." 
Rowe changes the terms a little, but thp point is the same, and in 
Brathwaite's " Remains," 1018, we have another version of the lines, 
where they are given 3s having been written by that author "upon 
one John Combe, of Stratford-upon-Avon, a notable usurer." We 
irfl by no means satisiied that they were originally penned by Brath- 

most of the companies of players who had left London for 
the provinces, on account of the prevalence of the plasiie, 
and the consequent cessation of dramatic performances, had 
returned to the metropohs; and it is not at all unlikely that 
Shakespeare was one of those who had returned, having 
taken the opportunity of visiting his family at Stratford- 

Under Elizabeth the Children of the Chapel (originally 
the choir-boys of the royal establishment) had become an 
acknowledged company of players, and these, besides her 
association of adult performers. Queen Anne took under 
her immediate patrouage, with the style of the Children of 
her Majesty's Revels, requiring that the pieces they pro- 
posed to represent should first be submitted to, and hav* 
the approval of, the celebrated poet Samuel Daniel Th« 
instrument of their appointment bears date 30th January, 
1603— i ; and from a letter from Daniel to his patron, Sii 
Thomas Egerton, preserved among his papers, we may per- 
haps ccmclude that Shakespeare, as well as Michael Dray- 
ton, bad been candidates for the post of master of the 
Queen's revels : be says in it, " I cannot but know, that I 
am lesse deserving than some that sued by other of the no- 
bility imto her Majestic for this roome ;" and, after inti'o- 
ducing the name of " his good friend,*' Drayton, he adds th* 
following, which, we apprehend, refers with sufficient dis 
tinctuess to Shakespeare : — " It seemeth Xo myne humble 
judgement that one who is the authour of playes, now day lie 
preseuted on the pubhe stages of London, and the possessor 
of no small gaines, and moreover him selfe an actor in the 
Kinges companie of comedians, could not with reason pre- 
tend to be Master of the Queene's Majesties Revells, for as 
much as he wold sometimes be asked to approve and allow 
of his own writings." 

Tills objection would have applied with equal force to 
Drayton, had we not every reason to believe that before 
this date he had ceased to be a dramatic author. He had 
been a writer for Henslowe and Alleyn's company duiing 
sevei'al years, first at the Rose, and afterwards at the For- 
tune ; but he seems to have reUnquished that species of 
composition about a year prior to the demise of Elizabeth, 
the last piece iu which he was concerned, of which we have 
any intelligence, being noticed by Henslowe under date of 
May, 1 502 : this play was called " The Harpies," and he 
was assisted in it by Dekker, Middleton, Webster, and 

It is highly probable that Shakespeare was a suitor for 
this office, in contemplation of a speedy retirement as an 
actor. We have already spoken of the presumed excel- 
lence of liis personations on the stage, and to the tradition 
that he was the original player of the part of the Ghost in 
" Hamlet." Another character he is said to have sustained 
is Adam, in " As you like it;" and his brother Gilbert, (who 
in 1602 had received, on behalf William Shakespeare, the 
107 acres of land purchased from Wilham and John Combe) 
who probably survived the Restoration, is supposed to have 
been the author of this tradition'. He had acted also in 
Ben Jonson's " Every Man in his Humour," in 1598, after 
(as we believe) introducing it to the company ; and he is 
supposed to have written part of, as well as known to have 

waite. from being imputed to him in that volurne, and by a passagt 
in '-Alaroccus Extaticus," a tract printed as ear^ as l.'iil^, it is very 
evident that the connexion between the Devil and John a Combe, or 
John of Comber (as he is there called) was much older ; — " So hee haj 
had his rent at the daie, the deviil and John of Comber should not 
have fetcht Kate L. to Bridewell." There is no ground forsuppo^lnjj 
that Shakespeare was ever on bad terms with any of the Combes, 
and in his will he expressly left his sword to Mr Thomas Combe. 
In a MS. of that time, now before us, we find the following givoa 
as an epitaph upon Sir William Stone : — 

" Heer ten in the hundred lies dead and ingraved : 
But a hundred to ten his soul is not saved." 
And the couplet is printed in no very different form in " The Mon 
the Merrier, by H. P., ilillM. as well as in Camden's " Remains." 

3 A coeval copy of the court-roll is in the hands of the Shakespeare 
Society. Malone had seen it, and put his initials upon it. No doubt 
it was his intention to have used it in his unfinished Life of Shake- 

* See the " Memoirs of Edward AUeyn," printed for the Shak» 

speare Society, p. ti'.i. 

* See the Introduction to " As you likft it." 



performed in, the same author's " Sejanus," in 1 603'. This is 
tie last we hear of him upon the stage, but that he continued 
d member of the company until April 9, 1604, we have 
the evidence of a document preserved at Dulwieh College, 
where the mmies of the King's players are enumerated in 
the following order: — Bui-bage, Shakespeare, Fletcher, 
I'hillips, Coudell, Heraiuge, Armyn, Sly, Cowley, Ostler, 
and Day. If Shsikespeare had not theu actually ceased to 
perform, we ueed not hesitate in deciding that he quitted 
that department of the profession very shortly afterwards. 


'mmediate consequences of Shakespeare's retirement. Of- 
fences given by tlie company to tlie court, and to private 
iiiilividiials. " Gowry's Conspiracy:" " Biron's Conspi- 
racy" and "Tragedy." Suspension of tlieatrical perform- 
ances. Purchase of a lease of the tithes of Stratford, &c. , 
by Sliukespeare. "Hamlet" printed in 1603 and 1604. 
" Henry VIII." "Macbeth." Supposed autograph letter 
of King James to Shakespeare. Susanna Shakespeare and 
Johii Hall married in 1607. Death of Edmund Shake- 
speare in the same year. Death of Mary Shakespeare in 
1608. Shakespeare's great popularity : rated to the poor 
of Southwark. 

No sooner had our great dramatist ceased to take part m 
the pubUc performances of the King's players, than the 
company appears to have thrown oif the restraint by which 
it had been usually coutrolled ever since ita formation, and 
to have produced plays which were objectionable to the 
court, as well as offensive to private persons. Shakespeai'C, 
from his abilities, station, and experience, must have pos- 
sesHcd great influence with the body at large, aud due de- 
ference, we may readily beUeve, was shown to his know- 
ledge and judgment in the selection ana acceptance of 
plays sent in for approbation by authors of the time. The 
contrast between the eouduct of the association immediately 
before, and immediately after his retirement, would lead us 
to conclude, not only that he was a man of prudence and 
discretion, but that the exercise of these qualities had in 
many instances kept his fellows from incurring the displea- 
sure of persons in power, aud from exciting the animosity 
of particular individuals. We suppose Shakespeare to have 
ceased to act in the summer of 1604, and in the winter of 
that very year we find the King's players giving otfence to 
" some great counsellors " by perfomimg a play upon the 
subject of Gowry's conspiracy. This fact we have upon 
the evidence of one of Sir R. Wiuwood's correspondents, 
John Chamberlaine, who, in a letter dated 18th December 
1604, uses these expressions: — "The tragedy of Gowry, 
with all action and actors, hath been twice represented by 
the King's players, with exceeding concourse of all sorts of 
people ; but whether the matter or manner be not well 
handled, or that it be thought unfit that princes should be 
played on the stage in theii' lifetime, I hear that some great 
counsellors are much displeased with it, and so, it is thought, 
it shall be forbiddca" Whether it was so forbidden we do 

1 From lines preceding it in the 4to, 160.'), Tve know that it was 
t-ought out at the Iflobe, and Ben Jonson admits that it was ill re^ 
ceiveo by the audience. 

2 We may here notice two productions by this great and various 
author, one ot which is mentioned by Ant. Wood (Ath. Oxon. edit. 
Bliss, vol. ii. p. o75), and the other by Warton {Hist. Engl. I'oetr. 
vol. iv. p. 276, edit, ^vo), on the authority merely of the stationers' 
registers; but none of our literary antiquaries seem to have been able 
to meet with them. They are both in existence. The first is a de 
fence of liis " Andromeda Liberata.'' 1614, which he wrote in cele 
bration of the marriage of the Earl of Somerset and the Countess of 
Kssex, which Chapman lells us had been " most maliciously misin 
terpreted :"' it is called •' A free and oflenceless Justification '■ of hi; 
poem, and it was printed in 1614. It is chiefly in prose, but at 
the end is a dialogue in rhyme, between Pherae and Theodines, the 
la-st being meant for Chapman : Wood only supposes that Chapman 
wrote It. but if he could have read it he would have entertained no 
toubl. It appears that Somerset himself had conceived that "An- 
dromeda Liberata " was a covert attack upon him, and from this no- 
tion Chapman was anxious to relieve himself. The poetical dialogue 
U thm opened by Pheme, aud sufficiently explains the object of th« 

not hear upon the same or any other authority, but no such 
drama has come down to us. 

In the next year (at what particular part of it is not 
stated) Sir Leonard Hahday, tljen Loi-d Mayor of Loudoc 
backed no doubt by his bi'ethren of the corporation, made 
a complaint against the same company, " that Kempe. (who 
at this date had rejoined the association) Armyn, aud others, 
players at the Blackfiiars, have again not forborne to bring 
upon their stage one or more of the worshipful aldermen 
of tlie city of Loudon, to their great scaudal and the lessen- 
ing of their authority," and the iutcT'position of the privy 
council to prevent the abuse was therefore solicited. What 
was done in consequence, if anything were done does not 
appear in any extant document. 

in the spring of the next year a still graver charge wa 
brought against the body of actors of whiun Shakespeare 
uutil very recently, had been one ; and it originated in no 
less a person than the French ambassador. George Chap- 
man'^ had written two plays upon the history aud execution 
of the Duke of Biron. coutainiug, in the shape in which they 
were originally produced on the starve such matter that M 
Beaumont, the representative of the King of P^-ance in 
London, thought it necessai-y to remonstrate against the re- 
petition, aud the performance of it was prohibited : as soon, 
however, as the court had quitted London, the King's play- 
ers persisted in acting it ; in cousequeuce of which three 
of the players were arrested, (theii' names are not given) 
but the author made his escape. These two dr;uua3"were 
printed in 1608, and again in 1625 ; and looking through 
them, we are at a loss to discover anytliiug, beyond the his- 
torical incidents, which could have given oifeuce ; but the 
truth certainly is, that all the objectionable portions were 
omitted ih the press : there can be no doubt, on the author- 
ity of the despatch from the French ambassador to his 
court, that one of the dramas originally contained a seeue 
in which the Queen of France and Mademoiselle Verneuil 
were introduced, the former, after having abused her, giving 
the latter a box on the ear. 

This information was conveyed to Paris under the date 
of the 5th April, 1606 ; and the French ambassador, appa- 
rently in order to make his court acquainted with the law- 
less character of dramatic performances at that date in 
England, adds a very singnlai' paragraph, proving that the 
King's players, only a few days before they had brought the 
Queen of France upon the stage, had not hesitated to intro- 
duce upon the same boards their own reigning sovereign in 
a most imseemly manner, making hiin swear violently, and 
beat a gentleman for interfermg with his known propensity 
for the chase. This course indicates a most extraordinary 
degree of boldness ou the part of the players ; but, never- 
theless, thoy were not prohibited from acting, until M. 
Beaumont had directed the attention of the public authori- 
ties to the insult offered to the Queen of France : then, an 
order was issued putting a sti.)p to the acting of all plays 
in London ; but, according to the same authority, the com- 
panies had clubbed their money, and, attacking James L on 
his weak side, had offered a large sum to be allowed to 
continue their performances. The French ambassador him- 
self apprehended that the appeiJ to the King's pecuniary 

" Ho. you ' Theodines ' you must not dreame 
Y'are thus dismist in peace : seas too extreame 
Your song hath stir'd up to be calm'd so soone : 
Nay, in your haven you shipwracke : y'are undoajl. 
Your Perseus is displeasM. and sleighteth now 
Your work as idle, and as servile yow. 
The peoples god-voice hath exclaimM away 
Your mistie clouds; and he sees, cleare asday, 
Y'ave made him scandal'd for anothers wrong. 
Wishing unpubl eht your unpopular song." 
The otker production, ol vhich our knowledge lias aiso hltherti] 
been derived from the sta* oners' registers, is called '' retrarch'l 
Seven Penitentiall Psalms, paraphra-slically translated," lAilh other 
poems of a miscellaneous kind at the end : it was printed m small 
&V0, in 1612, dedicated to Sir Kdward Phillips, Master of the Rolls, 
where Chapman speaks of his yet unfinished translation of Homer, 
which, he adds, the Prince of Wales had commanded him to com- 
plete. The editor of the present work has a copy of Chapman'ii 
Memorable Masque " on the marriage of the Palsgiave and PrinceH 
Elizabeth, corrected by Chapman in his owh hand ; but the erron 
are few, and not very important. I: shows the palieat accuracy of 
the accomplished writer 



vnnts would be effectuij, and that permission, under certain 
restrictions, would not long be withheld'. 

Whatever emoluments Shakespeare had derived from the 
Biaekfriars or the Globe theatres, as lui aetor merely, we 
may be tolerably eei'taiu he relinquished when he ceased 
to perform. He would thus be able tu devote more of his 
tin\e to dnunatic composition, and, as be continued a sharer 
in the two undertakings, perhaps his income on the whole 
wajj not much lessened. Certain it is, that in 16U6 he was 
in possession of a considerable sum, which he was anxious 
to mvest advantageouslv in property in or near the place 
uf his birtli. Whatever may have been the circumstances 
under wliich he quitted Stratford, he always seems to have 
contemplated a permanent return thitlier, and kept his eyes 
eoustautiy turned in the direction of iiis birth-place. As 
long before as January, 15ys, he had been advised '"to deal 
iu the matter of tithes " of Stratford'^ ; but perhaps at that 
date, havmg recently purchased New i'lace. he Wiis not in 
suliicieut funds for the purpose, or po.ssibly the party in 
possession of the lease of the tithes, though not unwilling 
to dispose of it, requii'cd more than it was deemed wo!*th. 
^.t all events, nothing was done on the subject for more than 
six years; but on the '2ith July, 16U5, we find William 
Shakespeare, who is described as •' of Stratford-upon-Avon, 
gentleman," executing im mdenture for the purchase of the 
unexpired term of a long lease of tlie great tithes of "corn, 
grain, blade, and hay." and of the small tithes of " wool, 
himb, and other small and privy tithes, herbage, oblations," 
Ac. in Sti'atfoid, uld Stratford, Bishopton, and Weleombo, 
in the county of Waiwick. The vendor was Raphe Hu- 
baud. of Ippesley, Esquire ; and from the draft of the deed, 
now before us', we learu that the original lease, dated as far 
back as IStSg, was " for four score and twelve years ;'' so 
that iu Itiuo it had still twenty-six yeai-s to run, and for 
this our great dramatist agreed t« pay 440/ : by the receipt, 
contained iu the same deed, it appears that he paid the 
whole of the money before it was executed by the parties. 
He might very fitly be described aa of Stratford-upon- 
Avon, because he had there not only a substantial, settled 
residence for his family, but he was the owner of consider- 
able property, both iu hiud and houses, in the town and 
neighbourhood ; and he had been before so described iu 
16u2, when he bought the 107 acres of William and John 
Combe, which he imuexed to his dwelling of New Place. 

A spurious edition of " Hamlet " haviug been published 
in 1 603', a more authentic copy came out in the next year, 
I'ontjiiuing much that had been omitted, and more that had 
been grossly disfigured and misrepresented. We do not 
beUeve that Shivkespeare, individually, had anytliing to do 
with this second and more correct impression, and we doubt 
much whether it was authorized by the company, which 
eeems at all times to have done its utmost to prevent the 

* We derive these very curious and novel particulars from M. Von 
Riuin*^r's ■■ Hi.story of the tfixleenlh and Seventeenth Centuries," 
transiited by I*ord Francis Egerton, vol. u. p. 219. The terms are 
worth quoting. 

"April 5, 1003. I cansed certain players to be forbid from acting 
the History of the Duke of Biron ; when, however, they saw that 
the whole court had left town, they persisted in acting it ; nay. they 
brought upon the atage the l^ueen ol France and Mademoiselle Ver- 
neuil. The loriner, having lirst accosted the latter with very hard 
words, gave her a box on the ear. At ray suit tliree of them were 
airesled ; but the principal person, the author, escaped. 

" One or two days before, they had brought forward their own 
King and all his favorites in a very strange fashion : they made him 
•.ur»e and swear because he had been robbed of a bird, and beat a 
gentleman because he had called olf the hounds from the scent. 
They represent him as drunlt at least once a-day, &c. 

■' He has upon this made order, that no play shall be henceforth 
acted in Lonoon ; ^ir the repeal of which order they have already 
offered llHi.uiJll livres. Perhaps ine permission will be again granted. 
but upon condition that they represent no recent history, nor speak 
y{ the present time '' 

' In a letter from a resident in Stratford of the name of Abraham 
Bturley. It was originally published by Boswell (vol. ii. p. aliO) at 
lADgth, but the only part which relates to Shakespeare runs thus: 
we have not thought it necessary to preserve the uncouth abbrevia- 
tioiu of the original. 

" This is one special remembrance of your father's motion. It 
Memeth by him that our countnman, Mr. Shakespeare, is willing to 
Jisbure* some money upon some od yardeland or other at Shottery, 
•H near ab"Ut us ; he thinketh it a very fitt patteme to move him to 

appearance of plays in print, lest to a certain extent th« 
public curiosity should thereby be satisfied. 

The point is, of course, hable to dispute, but wn have 
little doubt that "Henry Vlll." was represeuted veiy Boon 
after the accession of James I., to whom and to whose family 
it contains a highly complimentary aUusiou ; and " Mac- 
beth," having been written in 1W)5, we suppose to have 
been produced at the Globe iu the spring of 1606. Al- 
though it related to Scottish annals, it was not like the 
piay of Gowry's Conspii'acy " (mentioned by Chamberlaine 
at the close of 1603), founded, to use Von Haumer's words, 
upon " recent hist<iry ;" and instead of running the slighte' t 
nsk of giving offence, many of the sentimeuts and allusimn 
it contained, especially that to the " two-fold balls and treH 
sceptres," in Act iv. scene 1, must have been highly accept 
able to the King. It has been supposed, upon the authority 
of Sheffield Duke of Buckingham, that King James with 
his own hand wrote a letter to Shakespeare in return for 
the comphment paid to him in " Macbeth :" the Duke of 
Buckingham is said to have had Davenant's evidence for 
tnis anecdote, which was first told in print iu the advertise- 
ment to Lintot's edition of Shakespeare's Poems m 1710'. 
Rowe says uothiug of it m his "Life," either iu 1709 or 1714, 
so that, at all events, he did not adopt it; and it seems very 
improbable that James I. should have so far condescended, 
and veiy probable that the writer of Lintot's advertisement 
should not have been very scrupulous. We may conjec- 
ture, that a privy seal under the sign manual, (then the usual 
form of proceeding) granting to the King's players some 
exti'aordmary reward on the occasion, has been misrepre- 
sented as a private letter from the KJug to the dramatist 

Maloue speculated tliat " Macbeth " had been played be- 
fore King James and the King of Denmark, (who arrived 
in England on Bth July, 160B) but we have not a particle 
of testimony to establish that a tragedy relating U) the as- 
sassination of a monarch by an ambitious vassal was ever 
represented at court : we should be surpi-ised to discover 
any pi'oof of the kind, because such incidents seem usually 
to have been carefully avoided. 

The eldest daughter of William and Anne Shakespeare, 
Susanna, haviug been born iu M.ay, 1583, was rather more 
than twenty-four years old when she was married, on 5th 
June, 1607, to Mr. John Hall, of Stratford, who is styled 
" gentleman " iu the register'^, but he was a professor of 
medicine, and subsequently practised as a physician. There 
appeal's to have been no reason on any side for opposing 
the match, and we may conjecture that the ceremony waa 
performed in the presence of our great dramatist, during 
one of his summer excursions to his native town. About six 
months afterwards he lost his brother Edmund'', and hia 
mother in the autucan of the succeeding year. 

There is no doubt that Edmund Shakespeare, who was 

deale in the matter of our tithes. By the Instructions you can give 
him theareof, and by the frendes he can make therefore, we thinke n 
a faire marke for him to shoote at, and not unpossible to hitt. It ob- 
tained would advance him in de.^de. and would do us much good'." 
The terms of this letter prove that Shakespeare's townsmen were of 
opinion that he was desirous of advancing himself among the in- 
habitants of Stratford. 

'^ It IS about to be printed entire by the Shakespeare Society, to the 
council of which it has been handed over by the owner for the 

■1 The only copy of this impression is in the library of his Grao 
the Duke of Devonshire, and we have employed it to a certain exten 
in settling and explaining me text of the tragedy. See the Intitt 
duction to •' Hamlet." i 

^ That the story came through the Duke of Buckingham, from Da- 
venant, seems to have been a conjectural add ticn byOldys: the 
words in Lintot's advertiseinen; are — '^ That most learned 
Prince, and great patron of learning. King James the First, was 
pleased with his own hand to write an amicable letter to Mr. Shake- 
speare ; which letter, though now lost, remained long in the hands 
of Sir "William Davenant, as a credible person now living can tes- 
tify." Dr. Farmer was the first to give currency to the notion, that 
the compliment to^the Stuart family in " Macbeth " was the occasion 
of the letter. 

6 The terms are these ; — 
"1607. Junil 5, John Hall gentlema & Susanna Shaxspere." 

■1 He was buried at St. Saviou-'s, Southwark, in the immodiati' 
vicinity of the Globe theatre ; the .egistration being in the frdluwin^ 
form, specifying, rather unusually, the occupation of the de leased. 
1 " 1607, Jec..31, Edmund Shakespeare, a player ' 



not twenty -eiffht at the time of his death, had embraced the 
profession of a player, having perhaps followed the fortunes 
of his brother William, and attached himself to the same 
company. We, howeyer, never meet with his name in any 
list of the associations of the time, nor is he mentioned as an 
actor among the characters of any old play with which we 
are acquainted. We may presume, therefore, that he attain- 
ed no eminence ; perhaps his principal employment might 
be under his brother in the management of his theati'ical 
concerns, while he only took inferior parts when the assistanee 
of a larger number of peiformers than usual was necessary. 

Mary Shakespeare survived her son Edmund about eight 
months, and was buried at Stratford on the 9th Sept. 1B08'. 
There are few points of his life which can be stated with 
more confidence than that our great di'amatist attended the 
funeral of his mother: filial piety and duty would of courae 
impel him to visit Stratford on the occasion, and in proof 
that he did so, we may mention that on the 16th of the 
next mouth he stood godfather there to a boy of the name 
of William Walker. Shakespeare's mother had probably 
resided at New Place, the house of her son ; from whence, 
we may presume also, the body of her husband had been 
carried to the grave seven -years before. If she were of 
full age when she was married to John Shakespeare in 
1567, she was about 72 years old at the time of her decease. 

The reputation of our poet as a dramatist seems at this 
period t/) have been at its height. His "King Lear" was 
printed three times for the same bookseller in 1608 ; and in 
oi-der perhaps to increase its sale, (as well as to secure the 
purchaser against the old " King Leir," a play upon the 
same story, being given to him instead) the name of " M. 
William Shakespeare" was placed veiy conspicuously, and 
most unusually, at the top of the title-page. The same ob- 
servation will in part apply to " Pericles," which came out 
in 1609, with the name of the author rendered particularly 
obvious, although in the ordinai'y place. " Troilus and 
Cressida," which was published in the same year, also has 
the name of the author very distinctly legible, but in a some- 
what smaller type. In both the latter cases, it would like- 
wise seem, that there were plays by older or rival drama- 
tists upon the same incidents. The most noticeable proof 
of the advantage which a bookseller conceived he should 
derive from the announcement that the work he published 
was by our poet, is afforded by the title-page of the collec- 
tion of his dispersed sonnets, which was ushered into the 
world as " Shaliespeare's Sonnets," in very large capitals, as 
if that mere fact would be held a sufficient recommendation. 

In a former part of our memoir (p. xxv.) we have alluded 
to the circumstance, that in 1609 Sliakespeare was rated to 
the poor of the Liberty of the Clink in a sum which might 
possibly indicate that he was the occupant of a commodious 
dwelhng-house in Southwark. The fact that our great 
dramatist paid six-pence a week to the poor there, (as high 
a sum as anybody in that immediate vicinity was jissessed 
at) is stated in the account of the Life of Edward Alleyn, 
pi'inted by the Shakespeare Society, (p. 90) and there it is 
too hastily inferred that he was rated at this sum upon a 

1 The following is a copy of the repister. 

"160», Septemb. 9. Mayry yhaxsperc. Wydowe." 
3 The account (preserved at Dutwich College) does not state that 
he 'lartiea enumerated (co«isisting of 57 persons) were rated to the 
»w. for dwelling-houses, but merely that they were rated and as- 
iessed to a weekly payment towards the relief of the poor, some for 
dwelling-houses, and others perhaps in respect to different kinds of 
property : it is thus entitled ■ — 

■' A breif noat taken out of the poores hooke, eontaynin^ the names 
of all thenhabitantes of this Liberty, which are rated and assessed to 
a weBkely paiment towardes the relief of the poore. As it slandes 
now encreased, this Gtli day of ApriU, 10(19. Delivered up to Phillip 
Henslowe, Esquior, churchwarden, by Francis Carter, one of the 
ovreseers of the same Liberty." It commences with these names : — 
Phillip Henslowe, esquior, assessed at weekely . . vjJ 

Ed. Alleyn, assessed at weekely vj"! 

The Ladye Buckley, weekly iiijd 

The account is in three divisions; and in the first, besides the above 
we find the names of 

Mr. Lingworthe iij"* 

Mr. Benfield iii'J 

Mr. Griffin ... ij'i 

Mr. Toppin i^ 

Mi Louens [t. e. Lowin] . . . . g< 

dwelling-house occupied by himself Tliis is very possibly 
the fact ; but, on the other hand, the truth may be, that h« 
paid the rate not for any habitation, good or bad, large ot 
small, but in respect of his theatrical property in the Globe, 
which was situated in the same district'. The parish reg- 
ister of St. Saviour's establishes, that in 1601 tiie church- 
wardens had been instructed by the vestry " U:t talk with 
the players " respecting the payment of tithes and jontribn- 
tions to the maintenance of the ptior; and it is not very un- 
likely that some arrangement was made under which the 
sharers in the Globe, and Shakespeare as one of them, would 
be assessed. As a confirmatory circumstance we may add, 
that when Henslowe and Alleyn were about to build th« 
Fortune play-house, in 1599-1600, the inhabitants of the 
Lordship of Finsbury, in the parish of Cripplegate, peti 
tioned the privy council in favour of the unilertaking one 
of their reasons being. Unit " the erectors were contented to 
give a very liberal portion of money weekly towards the 
relief of the poor." Pei-haps the parties inter'ested in the 
Globe were contented to come to similar terms, and the 
parish to accept the money weekly from the various indi- 
viduals. Henslowe, Alleyn, Lowiu, Town, Juby, <tc., who 
were either sharers, or actors and sharers, in that or other 
theatres in the same neighbourhood, contributed in different 
proportions for the same purpose, the largest amoimt being 
six-pence per week, which was paid by Shakespeare, Hens- 
lowe, and Alleyn^ 

The oidinary inhabitants included in the same list, doubt- 
less, paid Sor their dwellings, accoriling to their several 
rents, and such may have been the case with Shakespeare 
all we contend for is, that we ought not to conclude at once, 
tliat Shakespeare was the tenant of a house in the Liberty 
of the Clink, merely from the circumstance that he was 
rated to the poor. It is not unhkely that he was the oecu 
pier of a substantial dwelling-house in the immediate neigh 
boui-hood of the Globe, where his presence and assistanee 
would of^en be required ; and the amtiuut of his income al 
this period would warrant such an expenditure, although we 
have no reason for thinking that such a house would be 
needed for his wife and family, because the existing evi- 
dence is opposed to the notion that they ever resided with 
hini in London. 


Attempt of the Lord Mayor and aldermen in 1603 to expel tho 
King's players from tlie Blackfriars, and its failure. Necro- 
tiation by the corporation to purchase the theatre aud its 
appurtenances : interest and property of Slm'tcspeare and 
other sharers. The income of Kicliard Burbage at his 
death. Diary of the Kev. J. Ward, Vicnr of Stratford, and 
his statement regiirdiiig Shakespeare's expenditure. Copy 
of a letter from Lord Soutliainpton on behulf of Shakespeare 
and Bnrhage. Probable decision of Lord Climieellor Elles- 
mere in favour of tho company at the Blackfriars theatre. 

We have referred to the probable amount of the income of 
rour great di'amatist in 1609, and within the last ten years a 

Francis Carter ijd 

Gilbert Catherens ijd 

and twenty-one others. The next division includes a list of nineteen 
names, and at the head of it we find, 

Mr. Shakespeare vj«) 

Mr. Edw. Collins ... . . . . vj"! 

John Burret Tjd 

and all the rest pay a rate of either 2J>1 or li'', including the following 
actors ; 

Mr, Toune ij" ob. 

Mr. Jubye j<» oh. 

Richard Hunt . . . j<J ob. 

Simon Bird jd ob 

The third division consists of seven persons who only paid one penny 
per week, and among them we perceive the name of no individual 
who. according to other evidence, appears to have 'oeen in any wav 
concerned with theatres: Malone (see his "Inquiry," p. 21.5,) had 
seen this document, but he mis-states that it belongs to the year IGU,*^ 
and not l(i09. 

3 John Korthbrooke, in his Treatise against Plays, Players, kc, 
(.Shakespeare Society's reprint, p. llili.) informs us that in 1577 peop.'e 
contributed weekly to tne support of the poor "according to then 
ability, some a penny, some-two-pence, anolhar f-ur-pence, and Ibt 
best commonly giveth but six-pence.'' 



document fca< been discovered, which enables us to foim 
tome judgment, thoijfjh not perhaps an accurate estimate, 
uf the sum he annually derived from the private theatre in 
the Plackfnars. 

From the outset of the undertaking, the Lord Mayor and 
aldermen of Loudon had been hostile to the establishment 
of players within this precinct, so near to the boundaries, 
but beyond the juristliotion of the corporation ; and, as we 
have already shown, they liad made several fruitless efforts 
to dislodge "them. Tlie attempt was renewed in 1608, when 
Sir Henry Monti^, the Attorney General of the day, gave 
on opinion in favour of the claim of the citizens to exercise 
their mimicipiJ powers within the precinct of the late dis- 
solved monastery of the Blackfriars. The question seems 
m some shape to have been brought before Baron EUes- 
mere, then Lord Chancellor of England, who required IVom 
the Loi'd Maj-or and his brethren proofs that they had ex- 
ercised any authority in the disputed liberty. The distin- 
guished lawyers of the d^y retained by tlie city were imme- 
diateiy employed iu searching for records apphcable to the 
point at issue ; but as far as we can judge, no such proofs, 
us were thought necessary by the highest legal authority 
of the time, and applicable to any recent period, were forth- 
coming. Lord Euesmere, therefore, we may conclude, was 
opposed to the claim of the city. 

Failing iu this endeavour to expel the King's players from 
their hold by force of law, the ci->rporation appears to have 
taken a milder course, and negotiated with the playei'S for 
the purchase of the Blackfriars theatre, with all its proper- 
ties and appurteuances. To tliis negotiation we are proba- 
bly indebted for a paper, which shows with great exactness 
and particularity the amount of interest then claimed by 
each sharer, those sharers being Richard Burbage, Laurence 
Fletcher', WilUam Shakespeare, John Heminge, Henry 
Condell, Joseph Taylor, and John Lowin, with four other 
pereons not named, each the owner of hjilf a share. 

We have inserted the document entire in a note', and 
hence we find that Richard Burbage was the owner of the 
freehold or fee, (which he uv doubt inherited from his 
father) as well as the owner of four shares, the value of all 
which, tjiken together, he rated at 193,"!/. 6*. 8c?. Laurence 
Fletcher (if it be he, for the Christian name is written 
" Laz,") was proprietor of three shares, for which he claimed 
700/. Shakespeare was proprietor of the wardrobe and 
oropcrties of the theatre, estimated at 500/., as well as of 
''our shares, valued, Uke those of Burbage and Fletcher, at 
*3/. 6.<i. Sd. each, or 933/. Bs. 8(/., at seveu years' purchase : 
nts whole demand was 1433/. 6s. Sd., or 500/. less than that 
nf Burbage, in as much as the fee was considered worth 
1000/., Tshile Shakespeare's wardrobe and properties were 
valued at 500/. According to the* same calculation, Hem- 
faige and Condell each requii'ed 466/. 13.«. id. for their two 
shares, and "Taylor 350/. for his share and a half while the 
four unnamed half sharers put ui their claim to be compen- 
8ate<l at the same rate, 466/. 13s. id. This mode of esti- 
mating the Blackfriars tbeati-e made the value of it 6166/. 
13*. 4(i., and to this sum was to be added remuneration to 
the hired men of the eomp:my, who were not sharers, as 

' These traneactions most probably occurred before Sejitember, 
lt>08, because Laurence Fletcher died in that month. However, it is 
not quite certain that the "Laz. Fletcher," mentioned in the docu- 
ment, wai Laurence Fletcher : we know cf no person named Lazarus 
Fletcher, though he may have been the personal representative of 
Laurence Fletcher. 

* It is thus headed — 
**For avoiding of the Playhouse in the Precinct of the Btacke Friers. 

£. >. d. 

Imp. Richard Burbidge oweth the Fee, and is alsoe a 
sharer therein. H.s interest he rateth at the grosse 
summe of lOUO/, for the Fee. and for his foure shares 
in the tumme of 9y3/. (is. ad laT! 8 S 

Item. Laz. Fletcheroweth three shares, which he rateth 
at 700/., that is, at seven yeares purchase for each 
share, or 3."i/. G.«. Sti., one yeare with another lUQ 

lltrm. W. Shakespeare asketh for the wardrobe and 
properties of the s-ame playhouse 500t., and for his 
4 shares, the same as his fellowea, Burbidge and 
Fletcher; viz. !W3/. lis. bii Ur)3 6 S 

Item. Heminfre and Condell eche '2 shares . . . 9.'i3 6 8 

ftem. Joseph Taylor 1 share and an half* . , 35U U 

well as to the widows aud orphans of deceased ac'-oiw: tha 
purchase money of the whole property was thus mised to 
at least 7000/. 

Each share, out of the twenty int<i which the receipts o( 
the theatre were divided, vielded, as was alleged, an annual 
profit of 33/. 6«. 8'/. ; and Shakespeare, owning four of these 
shares, his annual income, fi-om them only, "was 133/. o--*. Sd : 
he was besides proprietor of the wardrobe aud properties, 
stated Ui be worth 600/. : these, we may conclude, he lent 
t<i the company for a certain consideration, ami, reckoning 
wear and tear, ten per cent, seems a very low rate of pay- 
ment; we will take it, however, at that sum, which would 
add 50/. a year to the 133/, 6.<. Sd. already mentioned, making 
tfigether 183/. 6.i. Sd., besides what our gi-eat dramatist must 
have gained by the profits of his pen, upon which we havt 
no data for forming any thing like an accurate estimate 
Without including anv thing on this accou-nt, and supposing 
only that the Globe was as profitable for a summer theatre 
as the Blackfiiars was for a winter theatre, it is evident 
that Shakespeare's income could hardly have been less than 
366/. 13.«. 4(/. Taking every known source of emolument 
into view, wo consider 400/. a year the very lowest amount 
at which his income can bo reckoned in 1608. 

The document upon which this cjilculution is founded i» 
preserved among the papers of Lord EUesmere, but a re 
markable incidental confirmation of it has still more recently 
been brought to light in the State-paper office. Sir Dudley 
Carlti-)U was ambassador at the Hague in 1619, and John 
Chamberlaiuc, writing to him on 19th of March in that 
year, and mentioning the death of Queeu Auue, states tlial 
" the funei-al is put off to the •29th of the next month, to tht 
great hinderance of our playeis, which are forbidden to )ila) 
so long as her body is above ground: one speeiall mat 
among them, Burbage, is lately dead, and hath left, they 
say, better than 300/. land'." 

Biirb;ige was interred at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, on 
16th March, 1619, three days anterior U) the date of Cham- 
berlaine's letter', having made his nuncupative will four 
days before his burial ; in it he said nothing about tl"* 
amount of his pi-operty, but merely left his wife Winifrt..' 
his sole executrix. There can be no doubt, however, that 
the correspondent of Sir Dudley Carlton was correct in his 
inft)rmation, and that Burbage died worth " better than " 
300/. a year in land, besides his "goods and chattels:" 300/. 
a year at that date was about 15O0/. of our present money, 
auti we have every reason to suppose that Shakcsjjeare was 
quite in as good, if not iu better cireumstanees. Until the 
letter of Chamberlaiuc w;is found" we had not the slightest 
knowledge of the amount of property Burbage had accu- 
mulated, he having been during his whole life merely ar 
aetor, and not combining in his own person the profits of a 
most successful dramatic author with those of a performer 
Nevertheless, it must not be forgotten, that allliough Shake- 
speare continued a large sharer with the leading membei? 
of the company in 1608, he retired from the stage about 
four years before ; aud having ceased to act, but still re- 
taining his shares in the profits of the theat:es with which 
he was connected, it is impossible to say what arrangement 

ftcm. Lowing also one share and an halfe . . 35U 

tlem. Foure more playeres with one halfe share to echo 
of them <«! 13 4 

Summa totalis . nlli6 13 4 
Moreover, the hired men of the Corapanie demaund some rccompence 
tor their great tosse, and the Widowes and (irphanes of Players, who 
are paide by the Sharers at divers rates and proportions, so as in the 
whole it will cost the Lo. Mayor and the Citizens at leaat 70UW.'" 

3 This new and valuable piece of information was pointed out ta 
us by Mr. Lemon, who has been as indefatigable in his researches a« 
liberal in the communication of the results of them. 

* The passage above quoted renders Middlelon's epigram on the 
death of Burbage (Works by Dyce, vol v, p. 503) quite clear: — 
'" A3lronomer.s and star-gazers this year 
Write but of four eclipses ; five appear. 
Ileath interposing Burbage, and rhe.r staying, 
Halh made a visible eclipse of playing.'" 
It has been conjectured that "their staying"' relerrea to a temporary 
suspension of plays in consequence of the death of Burb.agi* ; bst tbjt 
Stan was the prohibition of acting until after the funeraj of Qu#0ti^ 



be may have mnde witl the rest of tlio compauy for the 
rc'ular eoutiibutiou of dramas, in lieu perhaps of his own 
personal exertions. 

la a work published a few years ago, containing extracts 
fidiii the Uiiiry of the Rev. John Ward, who was .vicar of 
Sti'atford-upiiU-Avon, and whose niemorauda extend from 
1648 to 1619', it. is stated that Shakespeare "in his elder 
days hved at Stratford, and supphed the stage with two 
phiys every year, and for it had an allowance so large, 
Le spent at the rate of 1000^. a year, as I have heard." We 
only adduce this passage to show what the opinion was as 
to Shakespeare's circumstances sh<irtly after the Restora- 
tion''. We take it for granted that the sum of 1000/. (equal 
to nearly 5O00/. now) is a considerable exixggeration, but it 
itay warraut the belief that Shakespeare lived in good style 
and port, late in life, in his native town. It is very possible, 
too, though we think not probable, that after he retired to 
Stratford he continued to write, but it is utterly incredible 
that subsequent to his retirement he " supphed the stage 
with two plays every year." He might not be able at once 
to reliuquish Ids old and confirmed habits of composition; 
but such other evideace as we possess is opposed to Ward's 
statement, to which he himself appends the cautionary 
words, " as I have heard." Of course he could have known 
nothing but by hearsay forty-six years after our poet's de- 
cease. He might, however, easily have known inhabitants 
of Stratford who well recollected Shakespeare, and, consid- 
ering the opportunities he possessed, it strikes us as very 
singular that he collected so httle information. 

We have already adverted to the bounty of the Earl of 
Southampton to Shakespeare, which we have supposed to 
have been consequent upon the dedicatioa of " Venus and 
Adonis," and " Lucrece," to that nobleman, and coincident 
in pomt of date with the buildiug of the Globe Theatre. 
Another document has been handed down to us among the 
papers of Lord EUesmere, which proves the strong interest 
Lord Southamjjtou still took, about fifteen years afterwards, 
in Shakespeare's affairs, and in the jjrospeiity of the com- 
pany to which he was attached : it has distinct reference 
also to the pending and unequal struggle between the cor- 
poration of Loudon and the players at the Blackfriars, of 
which we have already spoken. It is the copy of a letter 
subscribed H. S. (the initials of the Earl) to some nobleman 
in favour of our great dramatist, and of the chief performer 
in many of his plays, Richard Burbage ; and recollecting 
what Lord Southampton had before done for Shakespeare, 
and the manner in which from the first he had patronized 
our stage and drama, it seems to us the most natural thiug 
in the world for him to write a letter personally on behalf 
of parties who had so many public and private claims. We 
may conclude that the original was not addressed to Lord 
EUesmere, or it would have been found in the depository 
\ of his papers, and not merely a transcript of it ; but a copy 
of it may have been furnished to the Lord Chancellor, in 
order to give him some information respecting the charac- 
tcre of the parties upon whose cause he was called upc >u to 
decide. Loud EUesmere stood high in the confidence of his 

1 Diary of the Rev. John Ward, &.C. Arranged by Charles Severn, 
M.D. London, 8vo, ISJl). 

* Mr Ward was appointed to the vicarage of Stratford-upon-Avon 
ii iri«-2 

The copy was made upon half a sheet of paper, and without ad- 
■iresB : it runs as follows : — 

" My vene honored Lord. The manie goou oifices I haue receiued 
»T your Lordship's hands, which ought to make me backward in asking 
funUer favors, onely iinbouldeneth n^e to re-iuiie more in the aame 
Cinde. Your Lordship will be waiiiea nowo nereaftar you graunt 
fcnie sute, seeing it draweth on more and greater demauii Is. This 
which now presseth is to request vour Lordship, in all you can, to be 
pood to the poore plavers of the Black Fryers, who call them selves by 
authontie the servaiiotsof hie Majestic, and aske for the protection 
of their most gracious Maister and Sovereigne in this the tyme of their 
troble. Thev are threatened by the Lord .Mayor and Aldermen of 
London, never friendly to their calling, with the distruction ot their 
Dieanesof livelihood, by the pulling downe of their plaieliou.-^e. which 

a priuate theatre, and hath neuer giuen occasion of anger by anie 
iisordeio. These bearers are two of the chiefe of the companie ; one 
>1 them by name Richard Burbidge. who huinblie sueth for your 
Lordship's kinde heipe, for that he is a man famous as our English 
Roscius, one who fiit"th the action to the word, and the word to the 
ution most ai!iuir£.oiv Bv the exeicise oi his qualilye, industry. 

sovereign ; he had many important public duties to discharg* 
besides those belonging ti^ his great office ; and notwith 
standing he had shown himself at all times a liberal patron 
of letters, and had had many works of value dedieat<-d to 
him, we may readily imagine, that although he must have 
heard of Shakespeare and Buibage, he was in 'ome degree 
of ignorance as to their individual deserts, whien ihis com 
munication was mtended to remove. That it was not sent 
to him by Lord Southampton, who probably was acquainted 
with him, may afford a proof of the delioaey of the Earl's 
mind, who would not seem directly to interpose while a 
question of the sort was pending before a judge, (thiiui;h 
possibly not in his judicial capacity) the hist*)ry of wlioee 
life estabUshes that where the exercise of his high fuuetioM 
was involved he was equally deaf to pubUe and to piivat* 

We have introduced an exact copy of the document in a 
note^ and it will be observed that it is without date ; but 
tlie subject of it shows beyond displite that it belongs to this 
period, while the lord mayor and aldermen were endeavour 
ing to expel the players from a situation where they had 
been ucinterruptedly established for iiKire tliau thirty years 
There can be no doubt that the object the players had ir 
view was attained, because we know that the lord mayor 
and his brethren were not allowed, until many years after 
wards, to exercise any authority within the precinct and 
Uberty of the Blackfriars, and that the King's servants con- 
tinued to occupy the theatre long after the death of Shake- 


Warrant to Daborne, Shakespeare, Field, and Kirklinm, tot 
the Children of the Queen s Revels, in Jan. 1610. Popu- 
larity of juvenile companies of actors. Stay of Daborne's 
warrant, and the reai^ons for it. Piiiys iiiteiKlcii to b« acted 
by the Children of the QneenV Kevelw. Shakespearc'B 
drauins between 1609 and 1612. His retirement to Stratford, 
and disposal of liis property in the Blackfriars and Ukbe 
theatres. Alleyn's purchases in Bliiekfriars in 1612. Sh/>«o 
speiire's purchase of a house in Blackfriars from Heiir\ 
\Valker in 1618, and the possible cause of it exrlained 
Sliakespeare described as ol Stratford- iipon-A von. 

There is reason for believing that the important questicc 
of jurisdiction had been decided in favour of the King'j 
players before January, 1609-10, because we have an m- 
strument of that date authorizing a juveuile company f<! 
exhibit at Blackfriars, as well as the association which haii 
been in possession of the theatre ever since its original con- 
struction. One circumstance connected with this document 
to which we shall presently advert, may however appeal 
to cast a doubt upon the point, whether it had yet bef o 
finally determined that the corporation of London was h) 
law excluded from the precinct of the Blackfriars. 

It is a fact, of which it may be said we have conclusive 
proof, that almost from the first, if uot from the first, ilit 

and good behaviour, he hath be come pos-sessed of the Blacke Fryen 
playhouse, which hath bene imployed for playes silliL-iice it wiu 
ouilded by his Father, now nere 51) yeres aggne The other is a mac 
no whitt lesse deserving favor, and my especiall friend?, till of lat( 
an actor of good account in the companie, now a -sharer in the s.\mt, 
and writer of some of our best English playes. which, as your Lord- 
ship knoweth, were most singularly liked of t^uene Eluabeth. whi'i 
the companie was called uppon to perforine oct'ore her .Maiestie v 
Court at Christmas and Shrovetide His must gracious Maiestie Kin j 
James alsoe. sence his coming to the crowne. hath extended hii roya, 
favour to the companie in divers wares and at sundrie tyraes Thii 
other hath to name William Shakespeare, and they are both of on< 
countie, and indeede allmostof one lowne : both are right famous if 
their qualityes. theugh it longeth not of your Lo. grauitie and wise- 
dome to resort vnto the places where they are wont to delight thi 
publique eare Their trust and sute nowe is not to bee molested ii 
their way of life, whereby they maintaine fliem selves and llwi: 
wives and families, (being both married and of good reputation) aj 
well as the widows and orphanea of some of their dead fellows. 
" Your Lo most bounden at com 
"Copiavera." "H.3.'" 

Lord .Southampton was clearly mistaken when he stated ttial tJii 
B.ackfriars theatre had been built nearly fifty years in 1608 A b*" 
been buiit about thirty-three years 



Blaokfriai e theatre had been in the joint possession of the I 
Lord Chamberlain's servants and of a juvenile company | 
called tilt Children of the Chapel : they were also known as i 
" her Majesty's Children," and " the Cliildren of the Black- 
friars ," and it is Bot to be sujiposed that they employed 
the theati'e on alternate days with their older competitors, [ 
but that, when the Lord Chamberlain's servants acted else- 1 
where in the summer, the Cliildren of the Chapel com- 1 
menced their performances at the Blackfriars.' After the 
openiiig of the Globe in 1595, we may presume that the 
Lord Clmmberlain's servants usually left the Blackfriars 
theatre to be occupied by the Children of the Chapel during 
the seven months from April to October. 

The success of the juvenile companies in the commence- 
ment of the reign of James L, and even at the hitter end 
of that of Elizabeth, was great ; and we find Shakespeare 
alluding tc it in veiy pointed terms in a well-known passage 
ia " Hamlet," which we suppose to have been written in the 
winter of 1601, or in the spring of 1602. They seem to 
have gone on increasing in popularity, and vei'y soon after 
James I. ascended the throne, Queen Anne t+)ok a company, 
called " the Children of the Queen's Revels," under her 
immediate patronage. There is no reason to doubt that 
they continued to perform at Blackfriars, and in the very 
commencement of the year 1610 we find that Shiikespeare 
either was, or intended to be, connected with them. At this 
period he probably contemplated an early retirement from 
the metivppohs, and might wish to avail himself, for a short 
period, of this new opportunity of profitable employment. 

Robert Dab irne, the author of two di'amas that have been 
printed, and of several others that have been lost,'^ seems to 
nave been a man of good family, and of some interest at court ; 
and in Jimuary 10O9-10, he was able to procure a royal 
grant, authorizing him and others to provide and educate a 
number of young actors, to be called " the Children of the 
Queen's Revels." As we have observed, this was not a new 
association, because it had existed under that appellation, and 
under those of " the Children of the Chapel " and " the Chil- 
dren of the Bhickfriars," from near the beginning of the reign 
of Elizabetli. Daborne, in 1609-10, was placed at the head 
of it, and not, perhaps, having sufficient means or funds of his 
own, he had, as was not unusual, partners in the undertak- 
ing : those partners were William Shakespeare, Nathaniel 
Field, (the celebrated actor, and very clever author) and 
Edward Kirkham, who had previously enjoyed a privilege 
of the same kind'. A memorandum of the warrant to 
" Daborne and others," not there named, is inserted in the 
*■ Entrj' Book of Patents and Warrants for Patents," kept 
by a person of the name of Tuthill, who was employed by 
Lord EUesmere for the purpose, and which book is pre- 
served amoug the papers himded down by his lordship to 
his successors. In the same depository we also find a draft 
of the warrant itselt under which Daborne and his partners, 
therein named, viz. Shakespeare, Field, and Kirkham, were 

> See Hist. E ngl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, vol. iii. p. 275. -where 
«nch IS conjectired to h.'\'' been the arrangement. 

» '_' The Christian nirnej Turlt." luia, and " The Poor Man's Com- 
fort,'' 16.55. In ■' The Alleyn Papers," (printed by the Shatcespeare 
Society,) may be seen much correspondence between Daborne and 
Henslowe respecting plays he was then writing for the Fortune the- 
fctre. By a letter from hira, dated '2nd August, 1()14, it appears that 
Lori Wiiloughby had sent for him, and it is most lilcely that Da- 
borne went to Ireland under this nobleman's patronage. It is certain I 
that, been regularly educated, he went into the Church, and j 
had a living at or near Waterlord, where, in ItilS, he preached a 
•ermon which is extant. While writing for Henslowe he was in | 
gnsat poverty, having sold most of the property he had with his wife. 
We have no information as to the precise time of his death, but his \ 
*' Poor .Man's Comfort" was certainly a posthumous production : he 
had sold it to one of the companies of the day before he took holy 
orders, and. like various other plays, after long remaining in manu- 
script, it wajj published. His lost plays, some of which he wrote in 
aonjunction with other dramatists, appear from " The AUeyn Papers " 
to have been — 1. Machiavel and the Devil; 2. The Arraignment of 
London ; 3. The Bellman of London ; 4. The Owl ; 5. The Bhe Saint ; 
buides others the titles of which are not given. 

' He wa« one of the masters of the Children of the Queen's Revels 
IB 160;M. See Hist, of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stags, vol. i. 

f ;i52. 

* It runs thus : — 

"Rifiht trusty and welbeloved, &c.. James, Sec. To all Mayors 
Bhenls, Justices of the Peace, ^c. Whereas the Queene, otu dearest 

to proceed' ; and it is a circumstance deserving notice, that 
" tlie Children of the Queen's Revels " were thereby 
licensed not only to act " tragedies, comedies," &e. in the 
Blackfriars theatre, but " elsewhere within the realm of 
England ;" so Uiat even places where the city authoritiea 
had indisputably a right to exercise jm-isdictiou were not 

It will be recollected that this had been a point in dis- 
pute in 1574, and that the words "as well within our city 
of Loudon " were on this account excluded from the patent 
granted by EUzabeth to tlie players of Lord Leicester, 
though found in the privy seal dated three days earlier* 
For the same reason, probably, they are not contained ia 
the patent of James I. to Fletcher, Shakespeare, and othe:H 
in 1603. We may be satisfied that the warrant of 1609-10 
to Daboi-ne and his partners was not carried into effect, aifa 
possibly on that account : although it may have been decided 
at this dale that the lord mayor and aldermen had no power 
forcibly to exclude the actors from the Blackfriars, it may 
have been held inexpedient to go the lenirth of authurizing 
a young company U> act within the very Doundaries of the 
city. So far the corporation may have prevailed, and this 
may be the cause why we never hear of any 8t«ps having 
been taken under the warrant of 1609-10. The word 
" stayed " is added at the conclusion of the draft, as if some 
good ground had been discovered for delaying, if not for 
entirely withholding it Perhaps even the question of juris- 
diction had not been completely settled, and it may have 
been thought useless to concede a privilege which, after all, 
by the operation of the law in favour of the claim of the 
city, might turn out to be of no value, because it could no' 
be acted upon. Certain it is, that the new scheme seemi 
to have been entirely abandoned ; and whatever Shake 
spe.arc may have intended when he became connected with 
it, he continued, as long as he remained in Loudon, and as 
far as any evidence enables us to judge, to writ* only for 
the company of the King's playei-s, who persevered in their 
performances at the Blackfriars m the winter, and at the 
Globe in the summer. 

It will be seen that to the draft in favour of " Daborne 
and others," as directors of the performances of the Children 
of the Queen's Revels, a list is appended, apparently of 
dramatic performances in representing which the juvenile 
company was to be employed. Some of these may be con- 
sidered, known and estabUshed performances, such as " An- 
tonio," which perhaps was int-ended for the " Antonio and 
Mellida" of MarsUm, printed in 1602; " Grisell," for the 
" Patient Grisell " of Dekker, Chettle, and Haughton, printed 
in 16U3; and " K. Edw. 2.," for Marlowe's "Edward II.," 
printed in 1598. Of others we have no information from 
any quarter, and only two remind us at all of Shakespeare : 
" Kiusmen," may mean " The two Noble Kinsmen," iu writ- 
ing which, some suppose our great dramatist to have been 
ooucei-ned ; and " Taming of S," is possibly to be taken for 

wife, hath for her pleasure and recreation appointed her servannts 
Robert Daiborne, &c. to provide and bring upp a convenient nomber 
of children, who shall be called the Children of her Majesties Revell., 
knowe ye that we have appointed and authorized, and by these pre- 
sents doe appoint and authorize the said Robert Daiborne, William 
Shakespeare, Nathaniel Finld. and Edward Kirkham, from time to 
time to provide and bring upp a convenient nomber of children, and 
them to instruct and exercise in the quality of playing 'I'ragedies 
Comedies, kc, by the name of the Children of the Revelis to th 
Queene. within the Blackfryers, in our Citie of London, or els whe» 
within our realm of England. Wherefore we will and coinman 
you, and everie of you, to permitt her said servaunts to keepe a con- 
venient nomber of children, by the name of the Children of the 
Revells to the Queene. and them to exercise in the qualitie of play- 
ing according to her royal pleasure. Provided alwaies, that no ptayes 
&c. shall be by them presented, but such playes, &.C. as have received 
the approbation and allowance of our Maister of the Revells for the 
tyme being. And these our Ires, shall be your sufficient -warrant a 
this behalfe. In witnesse whereof, kc., 4'" die Janij. l(iU9. 
" Proud Povertie. Engl. Tragedie. 

Widow's Mite. False Friends. 

Antonio. Hate and Love. 

Kinsmen. Taming il S. 

Triumph of Truth. K. Edw. 2. 

Touchstone. Mi ror of Lif« 

Grisell, ^ 

» Ueo Hist. Engl Dram Poetry and the SUge, vol i. p. (U. 



• The Taming of lie Shrew," or for the older pUy, with 
nearly the bame title, upon which it waa founded. i 

" Troilus and Cressidii " and " Pericles " were printed in | 
1609, and ^oour mind there seems but little doubt that they I 
had been written and prepared for the sta^e only a short 
time before they came from the press. With the single 
exception of "Othello," which eame out in 4to in 1622, no 
other new drama by Shakespeare appeared in a printed 
form between 1609 and the date of the publication of the 
folio in 1623'. We need not here discuss what plays, first 
found in that volume, were penned by our great dramatist 
after 1609, because we have separately considered the 
elaims of each in our preliminary Introductitjus. " Timon 
of Athens," " Coriolanus," " Antony and Cleopatra," " Cym- 
beline," "The Winter's Tale," and' "The Tempest," seem to 
belong to a late period of our poet's theatrical career, and 
some of them were doubtless wj-itten between 16U9 and the 
period, whatever that period might be, when he entirely 
relinquished di'amatic composition. 

Between January 1609-10, when Shakespeare was one 
of the parties to whom the warrant for the Children of the 
Queen's Revels was conceded, and the year 1612, when it 
has been reasonably supposed that he quitted London to 
take up his permanent residence at Stratford, we are in 
possession of no facts connected with his personal history', 
ft would seem both natural and prudeut that, before he 
withdrew from the metropolis, he should dispose of his 
theatrical property, which must necessarily be of fluctuating 
and uncertain value, depending much upon the presence 
and activity of the owner for its profitable management, 
hi his will (uuhke some of his contemporaries who expired 
in London) he says nothing of any such property, and v/a 
are left to infer that he did not die in possession of it, 
having disposed of it before he finally retired to Stratford. 

It is to be recollected also that the species of iisterest he 
had in the Blaekfriars theatre, mdependently of his shares 
in the receipts, was pecuharly pei-ishable : it consisted of the 
wardrobe and properties, which in 1608, when the city 
luthorities contemplated the purchase of the whole estab- 
lishment, were valued at 600/.; and we may feel assuied 
that he would sell them to the company which had had tlie 
constant use of them, and doubtless had paid an annual 
c^onsideration to the owner. The fee, or freehold, of the 
house and ground was in the hands of Richard Burbage, 
and from him it descended to his two sons : that was a per- 
manent and substantial possession, very dilfereut in its 
character and dui-ability ^'om the dresses and machinery 
which belonged to Shakespeare. The mere circmnstance 
of the nature of Shakespeare's property in the Blackfiiars 
eeems to authorize the conclusion, that he sold it before he 
retired to the place of his birth, where he meant to spend 
the rest of his days with his family, in the tranquil enjoy- 
ment of the independence he had secured by the exertions 
of tive and twenty years. Supposing him to have begun 
his theatrical career at the end of 1586, as we have ima- 
gined, the quarter of a century would be completed by the 

» One copy of the folio is known with the date of 1622 upon the 
title-page. The volume was entered at Stationers' Hall on the Hth 
Nov. 1112.3, as if it had not been published until late in that year, 
unless we suppose the entry made by Blouiit and Jaggard some time 
after publication, in order to secure their right to the plays first 
printed there, which they thought might be invaded. 

» We ought, perhaps to except a writ issued by the borough court 
In June llilU, at the suit of Shakespeare, for the recovery of a small 
ram. A similar occurrence had taken place in 1604, when our poet 
Bou'^ht to recover 1^ I5j. (id. from a person of the name of Rogers, for 
corn sold to him. These facts are ascertained from the existing 
records of Stratford. 

3 See the '* Memoirs of Edward Alleyn,"' p. 10.5, where a conjecture 
18 hastily hazarded that it might be Shake.ipeare'8 interest in the 
Blaekfriars theatre. Upon this question we agree with Mr. Knight 
in ■' Shakspere, a Biography," prefixed to his pictorial edition of the 
Foets works. 

• It is in the following form, upon & small damp-injured piece of 
paper, and obviously a mere memorandum. 
"April 1614, 
" Money paid by me E . A. for the Blaekftyen . 160|. 
More for the Blackfryeis . ... 12a^| 

More again for the Leaase ..... 310' 
The writinges lar the same and other small chugei 3" 6* 8^ 

close of 1612, and for aught we know, tliAt might be th« 
period Shakespeare had in his miud fixed upou for the t«r 
mination of his toils and an.vieties. 

It has been luiccitaiued that Edward Alleyn, the actor 
founder of the college of "God's Gift" at Diilwich, pur- 
chased property in the Blackfiiars in April 1612", and al 
though it may possibly have been theatrical, there seemr 
sufficient reason to believe that it was not, but tliat it con 
sisted of certain leasehold houses, for which according to 
his own account-book, he paid a quarterly rent of 40/. The 
brief memorandum upon this point, preserved at Dulwieh, 
certainly relates to any thing rather than to th> species of 
iuteiest which Shakespeare indisputably had in the ward- 
robe and properties of the Blaekfriars theatre' : the termt 
Alleyn uses would applv only ti^ tenements or ground, and 
as Burbage valued his freehold of the theatre at lOOO/, w« 
need not hesitate in deciding that the lease Alleyn pur- 
chased for 599/. 6.«. 8<i was not a lease of the play-house. 
We shall see presently that Shakespeare himself, tliousfh 
under some peculiar circumstances, became the owner of a 
dwelhug-house in the Blaekfriars, unconnected with jiie 
theatre, very soon after he had taken up his abode at Strat- 
ford, and Alleyn probably had made a sunilar, but a larger 
investment in the same neighbourhood in 1612. Whatevei. 
in fact, became of Shakespeare's interest in the Blackfriais 
theatre, both as a sharer and as the owner of the wardroLe 
and properties, we need not hesitate in concluding that in 
the then prosperous state of theatrical affairs in the metro- 
jKilis, he was easily able to procure a purchaser. 

He must also have had a eonsideiabie stake in the Globe, 
but whether he was also the owner of rtie same species of 
property there, as at the Blaekfriars, we can only speculate. 
We should think it highly probable that, as far as the mere 
wardrobe was eoucerued, the same dresses were made to 
serve for both theatres, and that when the summer seasou 
commenced on the Bankside, the necessary ajiparel was 
conveyed across the water from tlie Blaekfriars, and re- 
mained there until the company returned Vj their wintei 
quarters. There is no hint in anv existing document what 
became of our great dramatist's interest in the Globe ; but 
here again we need not doubt, fi'oiu the profit that had 
always attended the undertaking, that he could have had no 
dilfieulty in finding parties to take it off his hands. Burbaije 
we know was rich, for he died in 1619^ worth SOOl. a year 
in land, besides his personal property, and he and others 
would have been glad to add to their capital, so advantage- 
ously employed, by purchasing Shakespeare's interest 

It is possible, as we have said, that Shakespeare conti- 
nued to employ his pen for the stage after his retirement 
to Stratford, and the buyers of his shares might even make 
it a condition that he should do so for a time; but we much 
doubt whether, with his long experience of the necessity of 
personal superintendence, he would have continued a share- 
holder in any concern of the kind over which he had no 
control. During the whole of his fife in connexion \vith th^ 
stage, even after he quitted it as an actor, he seems to hav j 

If this paper had any relation at all to the theatre in the Blackfria-w, 
it is very evident that t^hakespeare could tiMither grant nor sell a 
lease ; and it is quite clear that Burbage did not, because he remained 
in possession of the playhouse at the time of his death : his sons en- 
joyed it afterwards : and Alleyn continued to pay 40/. a quarter for 
the property he held until his decease in 1620. 

* We have already inserted an extract from an epitaph upon Bur- 
bage, in which the writer enumerates manyof the characters he sus- 
tained. The following lines in Sloaue MS. No. 17b6, (pointed out 
to us by Mr. Bruce) are just worth preserving on account of the ami* 
nencB of the man to whom they relate. 

"An Epitaph on Mr. Richard Burbage. the Player. 
" This life's a play, scean'd out by nature's art, 

Where every man has his allotted parte. 

This man hath now, as many men can tell. 

Ended his part, and he hath acted well. 

The play now ended, thinke his grave to bo« 

The retiring house of his sad tragedie; 

Where to give his farno this be not afraid : — 

Here lies the best Tragedian ever play'd." 
From hence we might infer, against other authorities, hat irhat 
was called the " tiring room " in theatres, was ^o called becau-ie the 
actors retired to it, and not attir<-d in it. ft most likely anewere* 
both purposes, but we sometimes find it called ' the attiring room" 
by authors of the time. 



been obliged to reside in London, apart from his family, for 
the purpose of watching over his int-rests in the two thea- 
tres to which he belonged : had he been merely an author, 
after he ceased to be an actor, he might have composed his 
ji'amas as well at Stratford as in London, visiting the me- 
tropolis only while a new play was in rehearsal and pre- 
paration; but such was clearly not the case, and we may 
be coniideDt that when he retired to a place so distant 
from the scene of his triumphs, he did not allow his mind 
to be encumbered by tlie continuance of professional 

It may seem difficult to reconcile with this consideration 
the undoubted fact, that in the spring of 1613 Shakespeare 
purchased a house, and a small piece of ground attached to 
it, not far from the Blaekfriars theatre, in which we believe 
hini to have disposed of his concern in the preceding year. 
The documents relating t<i this transaction have come down 
to us, and the indenture assigning the property from Henry 
Walker, " citizen of London and minstrel of London," t» 
William Shaki'.speare, " of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the 
county of Warwick, gentleman," bears date 10th March, 
1612-13': the consideration money was 140/.; the house 
was filiated " within the precinct, circuit, and compass of 
the late Blaekfriars," and we are farther informed that it 
stood " right against his Majesty's Wardrobe." It appeai-s 
to have been merely a dwelling-house with a small yard, 
and not in any way connected with the theatre, which was 
ic some diftiince from the royal wardrobe, although John 
Heminge, tlie act< ir, was, with Shakespeare, a party to the 
deed, as well as William Johnson, vintner, and John Jack- 
son, gentleman. 

Shakespeare may have made this purchase as an accom- 
modation in some way to his " friend and fellow" Heminge, 
and the two other persons named; and it is to be re- 
marked that, on the day after the date of the conveyance, 
Shakespeare mortgaged the house to Henry Walker, the 
vendor, for GO/., having paid down only 80/. on the luth 
March. It is very possible that our poet advanced the 80/. 
to Heminge, J(>husv>n, and Jackson, expecting that they 
would repay him, and furnish the remaining 6U/. before the 
29th September, 1613, the time stipulated in the mortgage 
deed ; but as they did not do so, but left it to hun. the 
house of coui-se continued the property of Shakespeare, and 
after his death it was necessarily surrendered to the uses 
of his will by Heminge, Johnson, and Jackson'. 

Such may have been the nature of the transaction ; and 
If it were, it will account for the apparent (and, we have no 
doubt, only apparent) want of means on the part of Shake- 
epearc to pay down the whole of the purchase-money in the 
first instance : he only agreed to lend 80/, leaving the par- 
ties whom be assi-sted to provide the rest, and by repaying 
him what he had advanced (if they had done so) to entitle 
themselves to the house in question. I 

Shakespeare must have been in London when he put his 
signature to the conveyance ; but we are to recollect, that 
the circumstance of his being described in it as " of Strat- 
foid-upon-Avon" is by no means decisive of the fact, that 
his usual place of abode in the spring of 1613 was liis 
native town : he had a similar description in the deeds by 
which he purchased 107 acres of land fi-om John and Wil- 
liam Combe in 1602, and a lease of a moiety of the tithes 
from P-ivhe Huband in 1606, although it is indisput<ible 
th^t at those periods he was generally resident in London. 
From these facts it seems likely that our great dramatist 

1 It was Bold by auction by Messra. Evans, of Pall Mall, in 1S41, 
for 162^ 15s. The autograpl^ of our poet was appended to it. in the 
ubua. manner. In the next year the instrument was again brought 
to the hamnuT '.f the same partii .-, when it produced nearly the sum 
for which it haa been sold in l^.L. The autograph of Shakespeare, 
on the fly-leaf of Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essays, folio. 
Uto;). Iwhicli we feel satisfied is genuine) had been previously sold 
5v auction for idW., and it is now deposited in the British Museum. 
We have a copy of the same book, but it has only upon the title- 
page the comparatively worthless signature of the reigning 

3 By his will he left this house, occupied by & penon of the name 
•f loha Robinson, to his daughter Susanna 

pi-eferred to be cmlled " of Sti-atfoid-upon-Avon," contem- 
plating, as he prob.tbly did through the whole of his theo- 
trical life, a retuiD thither as soon as his circumst.'mccs 
would enable him to do so with comfort and indcpendc:iee. 
We are thoroughly convinced, however, that, anterior tc 
March, 1613, Shakespeare had taken up hisNpermancnt re- 
sidence with his family at Stratford. 


Members of the Shakespeare family at Stratford in 161^. 
Joan Shakespeare and William Hart: their marriage and 
fuMiily. William Shakespeare's chancery suit rcsfiecting 
the tithes of Stratford ; and the income lie derived from 
the lease. The Globe burnt in 1618 : its reconstrucUon. 
Destructive fire at Stratford in 1614. ShnUesiieiirc's visit 
to Ixindon afterwards. Proposed inclosnrc of Welcombe 
fields. Alluaiun to Shakespeare in the historical poem of 
'■ The Ghost of Richard the Third," publislied in 1614. 

The immediate members of the Shakespeare family re- 
sident at this date in Stratford were comparatively few. 
Richard Shakespeare had died at the age of forty", only 
aUiut a month before WilUam Shakespeare signed the 
deed for the purchase of the house in Blaekfriars. Since 
tlie death of Edmund, Richard had been our poet's youngest 
brother, but regarding his way of life at Stratford we have 
no information. Gilbert Shakespeare, born two years and 
a half aft«r William, was also probably at this time an iii- 
habitant of the borough, or its immeciiate neighbourhood. 
and perhaps married, for in the register, under date of 3rd 
Februai-y, 1611-12, we read an account of the buiial of 
" Oilherlua Shakspeare, adolescens," who miglit be liis soa 
Joan Shakespeare, who was five years yomiger than her 
brother WilUam, had been married at about the age of 
thirty to William Hart, a hatter, in Stratford ; but as the 
ceremony was not performed in that parish, it does not ap- 
pear in the register. Their first child, William, was bap- 
tized on 28th August, 1600, and they afterwards chil- 
dren of tlie names of Mary, Thomas, and Michael, born re- 
spectively in 1603', 1605, and 1608'. Our poet's eldest 
daughter, Susanna, who, as we have elsewhere stated, was 
married to Mr. John, afterwards Dr. HaU, m June, 1607, 
produced a daughter who was baptized Elizabeth on 21st 
February, 1607-8 ; sii that Shakespeare was a grandfather 
before he had reached his forty-fiftb year ; but Mrs. HaU 
had no fai ther increase of family. 

By whom New Place, otherwise called "the great 
hous'e." was mhabited at this period, we can only conjecture. 
That Shakespeare's wife and his youngest daughter Judith 
(who completed her twenty-eightli year in February, 1612,) 
resided in it, we cannot doubt; but as it would be much 
more than they would require, even after they were per- 
manently joined by our great dramatist on his retirement 
from Loudon, we may perhaps conclude that Mr. and Mrs. 
Hall were joint occupiers of it, and aided in keeping up 
the vivacity of the family circle. Shakespeitie himself 
only completed his forty-eighth year in April, 1612, and 
every tratUtion and circumstance of liis hfe tends to estab- 
lish not only the gentleness and kindness, but the habitual 
cheerfulness of his disposition. 

Nevei-theless, although we suppose him to have sepa- 
rated himself fi-om the labouis and anxieties attendant 

' The register of Stratford merely contains the following among 
the deaths in the parish : — 

'• I61'2. Feb. 4 Rich. Shakspeaie. ' 

♦ It appears by the resister that Mary Hart died in 1607. When 
Shakesneaie made his will, a blank wa- left lor the nimc of his no 
phew Thomas Hart, as if he had not recollected it ; but perhaps it 
was merely the omission of the scrivener. The Harts lived in a 
house belonging to Shakespeare. „, , „ ,. i i . j 

5 It has been generally stated that Charles Halt, the oelul-rated 
actor after the Restoration, was the grand-nephew of Shakesjeare, 
son to the eldest son of Shakespeare's sister Joan, but we are wl hout 
positive evidence upon the point. In liiii a person of the name ol 
Hart kept a house of entertainment close to the Fortune theatre, ana 
he may have been the son of Shakespeare's sister Joan, and thn 
father o' Charles Hart the actor, who died about ItiTS 



npoD his theatrical concerna, he was not "without his an- 
tkjyanees, thuU{;h of a different kind. We refer to a chan- 
cery suit in which he seems to have been involved by the 
purchase, in 1606, of the remaining term of a lease of jmrtof 
the tithes of Stratford. It appears that a rent of 27/. 13.s. 4rd. 
had been reserved, which was to be paid by certain lessees 
under peril of foi-feiture, but that some of the pai-ties, disre- 
gardiuj; the consequences, had refused to contribute their pro- 
portions ; add Rielmrd Lime, of Awston, Esquire, Thomas 
Greene, of Stratford-upon-Avon, Esquire, and William 
Shakespeare, "of Stratford-upon-Avon, gentleman," were 
under the necessity of filing a bill before Lord Ellesmere, to 
■compel all the persons deriving estates under the dissolved 
college of Stratford to pay their shares. What was the 
issue of the suit is not any where stated ; and the culy im- 
portant point in the draft of the bill, in the hands of the 
Shakespeare Society, is, that our great dramatist therein 
stated the value of his " moiety" of the tithes to be 60/. per 

In the summer of 1613 a calamity happened which we 
do not believe affected oiu- author's inimeifiate interests, on 
account of the strong probability that he had taken eare to 
divest himself of all theatrical property before he finallv 
took up his residence in liis birth-place. The Globe, which 
had been in use for about eighteen years, was burned down 
on 29th June, 1613, in consequence of the thatch, with 
which it was partially covered, catching fire from the dis- 
charge of some theatrical artillery^ It is doubtful what 
play was then in a course of representtition : Sir Henry 
WotUm gives it the title of " All is True," and calls it " a 
new play ;" while Howes, in his continuation of Stowe's 
Annales, distinctly states that it was " Henry the Eighth^" 
It is very possible that both may be right, and that Shake- 
speare's historical drama was that night revived under a 
new name, and therefore mistakenly called '* a new play" 
by Sir Heni-y Wottou, although it had been nearly ten 
years on the stage. The Globe was rebuilt in the next 
year, as we are Und on wliat may be considered good autho- 
rity, at the cost of King James and of many noblemen and 
gentlemen, who seem to have contributed sums of money 
for the purpose. If James I. lent any pecuniary aid on the 
occasion, it affords another out of many proofs of his dis- 
position tq encourage the drama, and to assist the players 
who acted under the royal uame^. Although Shakespeare 
might not be in any way pecuniarily affected by the event, 
we may be sure that he would not be backward in using 
his influence, and perhaps in rendering assistance by a gift 
of money, for the reconstruction of a playhouse in which he 

1 John Taylor, the water-poet, was a spectator of the calamity, 
(perhaps in his own wherry) and thus celebrated it in an epigram. 
which he printed in 1614 in his " Nipping and Snipping of Abuses," 
&e. 4to. 

"Upon the Burning of the Globe. 
"Aspiring Phaeton, with pride inspirde. 
Misguiding Phcebus carre, the worlds he firde ; 
But Ovid did with fiction serve his turne. 
And I in action saw the Globe to burne." 

3 See "Hist, of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage," vol. i. p. 
3S6, and vol. iii. p. '298. 

' This fact, with several other new and curious particulars respect- 
ng the fate of the BlacklViars theatre, the Whitefriars (called the 
Salisbury Court) theatre, the Phcenix, the Fortune, and the Hope 
\which was also at times used for bear-baiting) is contained in some 
Bianuscript notes to a copy of Stowe's ^'innales^ by Howes, folio, 1631, 
in the possession of Mr. Pickering; they appear to have been made 
just after the last event mentioned in them. The burning of the 
Globe is there erroneously fixed in 1612. When, too, it is said that 
the Hope was built in lOlO, the meaning must be that it was then 
reconstructed, so as to be adapted to both purposes, stage-plays and 
bear-baiting. The memoranda are thus headed: "A note of such 
passages as have beene omitted, and as I have aeene, since the print- 
ing of Stowe's Survey of London in 4to, 1618, and this Chronicle at 
'.arge. 1631." 

" Play Houses. — The Globe play house, on the Bank side in 
Southwarke. was burnt downe to the ground in the yeare 1612. And 
new built up againe in the yeare I6l3, at the great charge of King 
Tames, and many noble men. and others. And now pulled downe to 
the ground by Sir !\Tathew Brand on Munday, the 15 of April, 1644, 
to make tenements in the rnme of it. 

"The Black Friers play house, in Black Friers London, which had 
Btood miny yeares, was pulled down to the ground on Munday, the 
6 day of August, 1655, and tenements built in thR roome. 

had often acted, from which he had derived so much prcfit, 
imd in the continuance of the performances at which so 
many of his friends and fellows were deeply interested 

He must himself have hud an escape from a similar dis 
aster at Stratford in the very next year. Fires had broke* 
out in the borough in 1694 and 1596, which had destroyed 
many of the houses, then built of wood, or of materials not 
calculated \fd resist combustion ; but that wliich occurred on 
the 9th July, 1614, seems to have done more damage than 
both its predecessors. At the instance of vai-ious gentlemen 
in the neighbourhood, including Sir Fulk Greville, Sir Rich* 
ard Verney, and Sir Thomas Lucy, King James issued a 
proclamation, or brief, dated 11th May, 1615, in favour of 
the inhabitants of Stratford, authorizing the collection uf 
donations in the diflerent churches of the kiugdom for the 
restoration of the town ; and alleging that within two houra 
the fire had consumed *' fifty-four dwelling-houses, many of 
them being very fair houses, besides barns, stables, and 
other houses of office, together also with great store of cora, 
hay, straw, wood, and timber." The amount of loss is stated, 
on the same authority, to be "eight thousand pounds and 
upwards*." "What was the issue of this charitable appeal 
to the whole kingdom, we know not. 

It is very certain that tlie dwelling of our great drama 
tist, called New Place, escaped the conflagration, and hia 
property, as far as we can judge, seems to have been siru- 
atea in a part of the town which fortunately did not suifer 
from the ravages of the fire. 

The name of Shakespeare is not found among those of 
inhabitants whose certihcate was stated t^ be the immediate 
ground for issuing the royal brief, but it is not at all un- 
likely tliat he was instrumental in obtaining it. We are 
sure that he was in London in November following the fire*' 
and possibly was taking some steps in favour of his feUt>w- 
townsmen. However, his principal business seems to hav*> 
related to the projected inclosure of certain common lands 
in the neighbourhood of Stratford in which he had an in- 
terest. Some inquiiies as to the rights of various parties 
were instituted in September, 1614, as we gather from a 
document yet preserved, and which is now before us. The 
individuals whose claims are set out are, " Mr. Shakespeare," 
Thomas Pai'ker, Mr. Lane. Sir Francis Smith. Mace, Arthur 
Cawdrey, and "Mr. "Wright, vicar of Bishopton." All that 
it is necessary to quote is the following, which refei-s to 
Shakespeare, and wiiich, hke the rest, is placed under the 
head of " Auncient Freeholders in the fields ».>f Old Strat- 
ford and Welcome." 

'' Mr. Shakspeare, 4 rd land^: noe common, nor ground 

" The play house in Salisbury Court, in Fleete streete, was pulled 
down by a company of souldiers, set on by the Sectaries of these sad 
times, on Saturday, the 24th day of March, l(i49. 

"The Phenix. in Druery Lane, was pulled down also this day, 
being Saturday the 24th of March, 1649. by the same souldiers. 

" The Fortune play house, between White Crosse streete and Geld- 
ing Lane, was burned down to the ground in the year 1618. And 
built againe, with bricke worke on the outride, in the year 1(>2"2 ; and 
now puUd downe on the inside by these souldiers, this 1(349. 

'■ The Hope, on the Banke side in Southwarke, commonly called 
the Beare tiarden : a play house for stage playes on Mundays, Wed- 
nesdayes, Fridayjes, and Saterdayes ; and for the baiting of the beares 
on Tuesdays and Thursdayes — the stage being made to take up and 
downe when they please. It was built in the year IGIO; and now 
pulled downe to make tenements by Thomas Walker, a peticoat* 
maker in Cannon Streete, on Tuesday the 25 day of March, lOoti. 
Seven of Mr. Godfries beares, by the command of Thomas Piide, then 
hie Sherefe of Surry, were shot to death on Saturday, the 9 day of 
February, 165.5, by a company of souldiers." 

* We take these particulars from a copy of the document "printed 
by Thomas Purfoot," who then had a patent for all proclamations, 
he. It has the royal arms, and tlie initials I. R. at the top of it aa 
usual. It is in the possession of the Shakesponre Society. 

* The name of his friend William Combr; is found among the " es< 
quires'' enumerated in the body of the instrument. 

* This fact appears in a lettnr, written by Thomas Greene, on IVtb 
November, UU4, in which he tells some person in Stratford that h« 
had bepu to see '■ his cousin Shakespeare," who had reached town the 
day before. 

T Malone informs us, without mentioning his authority, that " in 
the fields of Old Stratford, where our poet's estate lay. a yard land 
contained only about twenty-seven acres." but that it varied mu^h 
indifferent places: he derives the term from the Saxon i^j/rrf land, 
virfftita terrtp. — Shakspeare, by Boswell, vol. i- p. 25. Aceording 
to the same authority, a yard land in WiimfCote consisted of mcr< 
tlian fifty acres. 



M/ond Gospell bushe : noe ground in Siindfield, nor none in 
Blow lliil Held beyond Bishopton, nor none in the enclosures 
beyond Bishopton." 

The date of this paper is 5th September, 1614, and, as 
we have said, we may presume that it was chiefly upon this 
business diat Shaliespeare came to Loudon ou tlie 16th No- 
vember. It should appear that Thomas Greene, of Strat- 
ford, was officially opposlui;; the iiiclosure ou the part of the 
corporation ; and it is probable that Shakespeafe's wishes 
were accordant with those of the majority of the inhabi- 
tixuts : however this might be, (aud it is liable to dispute 
which pai'ty Shakespeare favoured) the members of the mu- 
nicipal body of the borough were nearly unanimous, and, as 
far as we can learn from the imperfect particulars remain- 
iug upon this subject* they wished our poet to use his influence 
to i-esist the project, wljich seems to have been supported 
by Mr. Arthur iiainwaimt;, then resident in the family of 
Lord Elle^mere as audit(jr of his domestic expenditure. 

It is very likely that Shakespeare saw Maiuwaring ; and, 
as it was only five or six years since his name had been es- 
pecially brought under tiie notice of the Lord Chancellor, 
m relation to "the claim of the city authorities to jurisdiction 
in the Blackfriars, it is not impossible that Shakespeare 
may have had an interview with Lord EUesmere, who 
seems at all times to have been of a very accessible and 
kindly disposition. Greene was in Loudon on the nth No- 
vember, and sent to Stratford a short account of his pro- 
ceedings on the question of the inclosure, in ■which he men- 
tioned that he had seen Shakespeare ainl Mr. Hall (proba- 
bly meaning Shakespeare's son-in-law) on the preceding 
day, who ti)ld him that they thought nothing would be 
done'. Greene returned to Stratford soon afterwards, and 
having left our poet in London, at the instance of the cor- 
poration, he subsequently wrote two letters, one to Shake- 
speare, and the other to Maiuwaring, (the latter only has 
been preserved) sattiug forth in strong terms the injury the 
inclosure would do to Stratiord, and the heavy loss the in- 
habitants luul not long before sustained from the fire. A 
petition was also prepared and presented to the privy 
council, and we may gather that the opposition was eff'ect- 
ual, because nothing was done in the business: the common 
fields of Welcombe, which it had been intended to inclose, 
remained open for pasture as before. 

How soon after the matter I'elating to the inclosure had 
been settled Shakespeare returned to Stratford, — how long 
he remaiued there, or whether he ever came to London 
o^in, — we are without information. He was very possibly 
in the metropohs at the time when a narrative poem, 
founded in part upon his historical play of " Richard III.," 
was published, and which until now has escaped observa- 
tion, althougli it contains the clearest allusion, not indeed by 
name, to our author and to his tragedy. It is called " The 
Ghiet of Richard the Third," aud it bears date in 1614; 
but the writer, C. B.. only gives his initials''. We know of 
no poet of that day to wh<im they would apply, excepting 
Charles Best, who has several pieces in Davison's " Poetical 
Rhapsody," 1602, but he has left nothing behind him to m- 

1 The memoranclum of the contents of his letter (to which we have 
already referred on p Ixii.) is in these terms, avoiding abbreviations ; — 

*' Jovis, 17 No. INIy cosen Shai^espeare comyng yesterday. I went 
to see him. how he did. He told me that they a-ssured hira tliey ment 
10 inclose no further than to Gospel bush, and so npp straight Oeaving 
«it part of the Dyngies to the field) to the gate in Cloplon hedg, and 
take in Salisburys peece ; and that they mean in Aprill to survey the 
land, and then to gyve satisfaction, and not before ; and he and Mr. 
HiU say they thinlt there will be nolhyng done at all." 

In what way, or in what degree, Shakespeare and Greene were re- 
lated, so that the latt'r should call the former his "cousin," must 
remain a matter of speculation ; but it will be recollected that the 
pariah register of Stratford shows that *' Thomas Greene, alias Shake- 
ipeare,'' was buried on 6th IVlarch. l.')-^9-lH). Whether Thomas 
breene, the solicitor, was any relation to Thomas Greene, the actor, 
we have no means of ascertaining. 

'■' And these not on the title-page, but at the end of the prefatory 
matter ; the whole title runs thus :— 

''The Ghost of Richard the Third. Expressing himseife in these 
Ihiee Parts. 1 His Character, '.i His Legend. 3. His Tragedie. 
Containing moio of him than hath been heretofore shewed, either in 
Chronicles, Plaves, or Poems. Laurea DestditR prabetur vntla. 
Printed bv G. Eid : for L Lisle ; and are to be soUi in Paules Churcb- 
tud, a. the signe of the Tygers head. 1614 " 4to 

dicate that he w. uld be capable of a work of such powei 
and variety. It is dividea mto three portions, the " Cha- 
racter," the "Legend," and Uie "Tragedy" of Richard IIL 
and the second part opens with the following sfcinzas, which 
show the high estimate the writer had foi-med of the genius 
of Shakespeare: they are extremely interesting as a eon 
temporaueous tribute. Richard, narrating his own history 
thus speaks : — 
" To him thnt impt my fame with Clio's quill, 

Whose mngick rais'd me from Oblivion's den, 

That writ my stoi-ie ou the Muses hill. 

And with my. actions dignified his pen ; 

He that from Helicon sends many a rill, 

Whose nectared veines are druiike by thirstie men ; 
CrownVl be his stile with fame, his head with hayes, 
Aud uone dcti-act, but gratulate liis praise. 

" Yet if his scoenes have not engrost all grace, 
Tlie much fnni'd action could'extend on stage ; 
If Time or Memory have left a place 
For me to fill, I'eiiforme this ignorant age, 
To that intent I sliew my horrid face. 
Imprest with feure ami characters of rage : 
Nor wits nor chronicles could ere coiitaine 
The liell-deepe reaches of my soundlesse briiine.'." 

The above is the last extant panegyric upon Shake- 
speare during his lifetime, and it exceeds, in point of fervour 
and zeal, if not in judicious criticism, any tliat liad gone be- 
fore it ; for Richard tells the reader, that the writer of the 
scenes in which he had figured on the stage had imped 
his fame witli the quill of the historic muse, and that, by 
the magic of vei-se, he who had written so much and so 
finelv, had raised him from oblivion. That C. B. was an 
author of distinction, aud well known to some of the greatest 
poets of the day, we have upon tlieir own evidence, fiom 
the terms they use in their commendatory poems, sub- 
scribed by no less names than those of Ben Jonson', George 
Chapman, William Bi-owne, Robei't Daborne, ahd George 
Wither. The author professes to follow no particular 
original, whether in prose or vei'se, narrative or dramatic, 
in " chronicles, plays, or poems," but to adopt the incidents 
as they had been handed down on various authorities. As 
we have stated, his work is one of great excellence, btit it 
would be gouig too much out of our way to enter here into 
any farther examination of it. 


Shakespeare's return to Stratford. Murringe of his daughter 
Judith to Thomas Quinev in February, 1616. Shiike- 
spi'ai-e's will prepared in January, but dated March, 1616. 
His last illness: iitteiided by Dr. Hall, his son-in-law. 
Uncertainty as to the nature of Shakespeare's fatal malady. 
His birtli-day and death-day the same. Entry of ids burial 
in the register at Stratford. His will, and circumstances to 
jirove that it vt as prepared two months before it was execut- 
ed. His bequest to his wife, and provision for her by dower. 

The autumn seems to have been a very usual time for 
publishing new books, and Shakespeare having been in 

It is about to be reprinted by the Shakespeare Society, and on every 
account it well merits the distinction. 

3 We may suspect, in the last line but one, that the word " wit»" 
has been misprinted for acts. The stanza which follows the above 
refers to another play, founded on a distinct portion of the same his- 
tory, and relating especially to Jaue Shore : — 

"And what a peece of justice did I shew 
On mistresse .Shore, when (with a fained hate 
To unchast life) 1 forced her to goe 
Barefoote on pennance, with dejected state. 
But now her fame by a vile play doth grow. 
Whose fate the women do commisserate,'' Sec. 
The allusion may here be to Heywood's historical drama of "Ed 
ward IV." (reprinted by the Shakespeare Society), in which Shore'i 
wife is introduced ; or it may be to a different drama upon the events 
of her life, which, it is known on various authorities, had been 
brought upon the stage. 

* h appears from Henslowe's Diary, that in June, 1611'J, Ben Jon- 
son was himself writing a historical play, called " Richard Crook 
back," for the Lord Admiral's players at the Fortune. We have no 
evidence that it was ever completed or represented. Ben Jonaon i 
testimony in favoor of the poem of C. B. is coinpre.-jsed into a fen 



[Aindon in Ihe middle of November, 1614, as we have re- 
marked, he WHS perhaps there when " The Ghost of Rich- 
ard the Tliiid ' came out, and, like Ben Jonson, Chapman, 
and others, mi£;ht be acquainted with the author. He pro- 
bably returned home before the winter, and passed the 
rest of his days in tranquil retirement, and in the enjoyment 
of the society of his friends, whether residing in the country, 
or occasionally visiting bim fi'om the metropolis. " The 
latter part of his life," says Kowe, "was spent, as all men 
■of good seose will wish theirs may be, iu ease, retirement, 
and the society of his friends ;" and he adds what cannot be 
doubted, that " his pleasurable wit and- good-nature en- 
gaged him in the acquaintanoe, and entitled him to the 
friendship of the gentlemen of tlie neiglibnnrhood." He 
must have been of a lively and companionable disposition ; 
and his long residence in London, amid the bustling and 
varied scenes connected with his public life, independently 
of his natural powers of conversation, could not fail to ren- 
der his society most agreeable and d*8ir'able. We can 
readily believe that when any of his old associates of the 
stage, whether authors or actors, came to Sti'atfoid, they 
fjund a hearty welcome and free entertainment at liis 
house : and that he would be the last man, in his p]\)s- 
perity, to treat with slight or inditference those with whom, 
m tlie eailier |)art of his career, he had been on terms of 
familiar intercourse. It could not be in Shakespeare's na- 
ture to disregard the claims of ancient friendship, especially 
if it approached him in a garb of comparative poverty. 

One of the very latest acts of his life was bestowing the 
hand of his daughter Judith upon Thomas Quiney, a vintner 
and wine-mei-ehant of Stratford, the son of Richard Quiney. 
She must have been fcui' years older than her husband, 
having, as already stated, been born on 2nd P'ebruary, 1585, 
while he was not born until 26th February, 1589: he was 
oonsequently twenty-seven yeais old, a.nd she thiity-one, at 
the time of their marriage in February, 1616' ; and Shake- 
speare thus became father-in-law to the son of the friend 
who, eigliteen years before, had borrowed of him SO/., and 
who had died on 31st May, 1602, while he was bailiff of 
Sti-atford. As there was a difference of four yeai'S in the 
ages of Judith Shakespeare and her husband, we ought 
pei'haps to receive tliat fact as some testimony, that our 
great di'amatist did not see sufficient evil in such dispropor- 
tion to induce liim to oppose the union. 

His will had been prepai-ed as long before its actual date 
as 25th January, 1616-16, and this fact is apparent on the 
face of it: it originally began " Vicesittiu qninto die 
Jammrij" (aot Fihnuirij, as Malone ei'roneously read it) 
but the word Jon'tarij wa-^ subsequently struck through 
witli a pen, and Martij substituted by interlineation. Pos- 
sibly it was not thought necessary to alter vicexijito gtiinto, 
or the 25th Mai-eh might be the very day the will was exe- 
cuted : if it were, the signatures of the testator, upon each 
of the three sheeta of paper of which the will consists, beat 
evidence (from the want of firmness in the writing) that he 
was at that time suffering under sickness. It opens, it is 
Irue, by stating that he was " in perfect health and me- 
mory," and such was doubtless the case when the instru- 
ment was prepared in Jimuary, but the execution of it 

1 The registration in the books of Stratford church is this : 
'*161.'i-16 Feabruary 10. Tho Queeny tow Judith Shalvspere." 
The fruits of this marriafia were three .sons; viz. Shaltespeare, 
baptized 'A3rd November, 1016, and buried May Slh. 1617; Richard, 
baptized 9th February, 1017-18. and buried 2(ith February, Ki-M-Q ; 
and Thomas, baptized '2.3rd January. IGI9-'20. and buried 2Sth 
January, U53S-9. Judith C-iuiney, their mother, did not die until 
after the Restoration, and was buried Dili February, 16()l-2. The 
Stratford recisters contain no entry of the burial of Thomas Quiney, 
ner husband, and it is very possible, therefore, that he died and was 
buried in London. 

3 The Rev, John Ward^s Diary, to which we have before referred, 
contains the foilowinc undated paragraph : — 

" Shakespeare, Drayton, and Bca Jonson, had a merie meeting, 
and, itt seems, drank too hard, for Shakespear died of a fevoilr there 

Wliat credit may be due to this statement, preceded as it iB by the 
words ■' it seems.' implying a doubt on the subject in the writer's 
mind, we irMst leave the reader to determine. That Shakespeare 
was of sober, tliouch of companionable habits, we are thoroughly 
loB'inced . he could not have written seven-and-thirty plays (not 
Wfk oing alterations and additions now lost) in tive-and-twenty 

might he deferred until he was attacked by serious indi* 
position, and then the date of the month only might be 
altered, leaving the assertion as to health and memory aa 
it had originally stood. What was the natui'e of Shake 
speare's fatal illness we have no satisfactory means of 
knowing", but it was probably not of long duration ; and if 
when he subscribed his will he had really been in health 
we are persuaded that at the age of only fifty -two he would 
have signed his name with greater steadiness and distinct 
ness. All three signatures are more or less infirm and ille- 
gible, especially the two first, but he seems to have made 
an effort to wiite his best when he affixed b(jth his names 
at length at the end, " By me William Shakspeare." 

We hardly need entertain a doubt that he was nttendeil 
in his last illness by his son-in-law. Dr. Hall, who had then 
been mari'iedto Susanna Shakesjjeare nioi-ethan eight years: 
we have expressed our opinion that Di-. and Mrs. Hall lived 
in the same house with our poet, and it is to be recollected 
that in his will he leaves New Place to his daughter Susan- 
na. Hall must have been a man of c«>nsidei'able science for 
the time at which he practised, and he has left behind him 
proofs of his knowledge and sliill in a number of cases 
which had come under his own eye, and which he desci'ibed 
in Latin : these were afterwards translated from his manu- 
script^ and published in 1657 by Jonas Cooke, with the title 
of " Select Observations on English Bodies^" but the case 
of Dr. Hail's father-in-law is not found there, because, un- 
foi'tunately the "observations" only begin in 1617. One of 
the earliest of them shows that an epidemic, called the " new 
fever," then prevailed in Stratford and "invaded many." 
Possibly Shakespeaie was one of these ; though, had such 
been the fact, it is not unlikely that, when speaking of " the 
Lady Beaufou" who suffered under it on July 1st. 1617, Dr. 
Hall would have referred back to the earlier instjiuee of his 
father-in-law*. He does advert to a tertian ague of which, 
at a period not mentioned, he had cured Michael Drayton, 
(•' an excellent poet," as Hall terms him) when he was, per- 
haps, on a visit to Shakespeare. However, Dravton, as for- 
merly remarked, was a native of Warwickshire, and Dr. 
Hall may have been called iu to attend him elsewhere. 

We are left, therefore, in utter uneei-tjnnty as Ui the im- 
mediate cause of the death of Shjikespeare at an age when 
he would be iu full possession of his faculties, and when iu 
the ordinary course of nature he might have LHed many 
years in the enjoyment of the society of his family and 
fiiends, in that grateful and easy retirement, which had been 
cained by his genius and industry, and to obtain wliieh had 
appai'cntly been the main object of many years of toil, 
anxiety, and deprivation. 

Whatever doubt may prevail as to the day. of the birth 
of Shakespeare, none can well exist as to the day of his 
death. The inscription on his monument in Stratford church 
tells us, 

"Obfit Anno Domini 1616. 
u£tatis 68. die 23 Apr." 

And it is remarkable that he was bora and died on the same 
day of tlie same month, supposing him, as we have every 
reason to believe, to have first seen the light on the 23d 

years had he been otherwise; and we are sure also, that if Drayton 
and Ben Jonson visited him at Stratford, he would give them a free 
and hearty welcome. We have no reason to think that Draytoa 
was at all given to intoxication, although it is certain that Ben Jon» 
son was a iiountiful liver. 

^ For a copy of this curious and interesting work, we gladly express 
our obligations to Mr. William Fricker. of Hyde, near Manchester. 

• He several times speaks of sicknesses in his own family, and of the 
manner in which he had removed them : a ca^e of his own. in which 
he mentions his age, accords with the statement in his inscription, 
and ascertains that he was thirty-two when he married Susanna 
Shakespeare in 1007. "Mrs. Hall, of Stratford, my wife," is more 
than once introduced in tlie course of the volimie, as we'l a* "Eliz- 
abeth Hall, my only daughter."' Mrs. Susanna Hall died in 1040, 
aged 00, and was buried at Stratford. Elizabeth Hall, her daughter 
by Dr. Hall, (baptized on the 'Jlst Feb. lOO?--^.! and grand-daughter 
to our poet, was married on the S-Jd April. lO'JO, to Mr. Thomas Nash, 
(who died in 1047) and on 5th June, 1041). to Mr. John Bernard, --f 
Abingdon, who waa knighted after the Restoration. Lady Bernard 
died childless in 1079, and was buried, not at Stratford with her owe 
family, but at Abingdon with that of her second husband. She wai 
the last of the lineal descendants of William Shako'ipear* 



April, 156'!. It -waa most usual about that period to men- 
tiou the day of death in in^cnptious upon tomb-stones, tub- 
lets, and monuments; and suoh was the case with other 
members of the Shakespeare family. We are thus informed 
that his wife, Auue Shakespeare, " departed this life the 6th 
day of Augu. 1623*:" Dr. Hall "deceased Nove. 25. A". 
1635' :" Thomas Nash, who married Hall's daughter, *' died 
April 4, A. 1647^:" Susanna Hall " deceased the llth of 
July, A**. 1649*." Therefore, although the Latin iuscriptittn 
ou the monument of our great dramatist may, from its form 
jtnd punctuatiou, appear not so decisive as those we have 
iiuoted in English, there is ir. fact uo ground for disputiug 
that he died on 23d April, 1616. It is quit« certain from 
the register of Stratfoi'd that he was interred on tlie 25th 
April, and the record of that event is placed among the 
burials in tlie following manner: 

" 1616. April 25, Will' Sha.'kspere, Gent." 

Whether from the frequent prevalence of infectious dis- 
ordera, or from any other cause, the custom of keeping the 
bodies of relatives unburied. for a week or more after death, 
eeeuis comparatively of modem origin ; and we may illus- 
trate this point also by reference to facts regarding some cf 
the members of the Shakespeare family. Anne Shake- 
speare was buried two days after she died. viz. on the 8th 
Aug., 1623* : Dr. Hall and Thomas Nash were buried on the 
day after they died" ; and although it is true that there was 
an interval of five days between the death and burial of 
Mrs. Hall, in 1649, it is very possible that her corpse was 
conveyed from some distance, to be interred among her re- 
lations at Stratfurd\ Nothing would be easier than to ac- 
cumulate instimces to prove that in the time of Shakespeare, 
as well as before and afterwards, the custom was to bury 
persons vei"y shortly subsequent ttt their decease. In the 
case of our poet, concluding that he expired on the 23d 
April, there was. as in the instance of his wife, an interval 
of two days before his interment 

Into the particular provisions of his will we need not en- 
ter at all at large, because we have printed it at the end of 
the present memoir ft-om tlie original, as it was filed in the 
Prerogative Cou^t^ probate having been gi'auted on the 22d 
June following the date of it His daughter Judith is there 
only called by her Christijm name, although she had been 

' The inscription, upon a brass plate, let into a stone, is in these 
terms: — We have to thank Mr. Bruce for the use of his copies of them, 
with which we have compared our own. 

•* Heere lyeth interred the Body of Anne, Wife of William Shake- 
•peare. who departed this life the 6th day of Augu. 16'23. being of 
«je ape of 67 yeares. 

Uhera. tu mater, tu lac, vitamq ; dedisti, 

Veb mihi : pro tanto munere saxa dabo. 
Qaam mallem amoveat lapidem bonHs angel' ore' 

Exeat ut Christi corpus imago tua. 
Sed nil vota valent. venias cito Christe resurget 
Clausa licet tuninlo mater, et astra petit." 

* The fotlowiiifif is the inscription commemorating him. 

" Heere lyeth the Body of lohn Hall. Gent : H«e marr : Susanna 
f ■ daughter and coheire of Will : Shakespeare, Gent. Hee deceased 
Nove. 25. A". KVlo, aged GO. 

Hallius hic situs est, medica celeberrimus arte, 

Expeclans regni gaudia Isla Dei. 
Dignus erat meritis, qui Nestora vinceret amnis, 

In terris omnes, sed rapit EEqua dies. 
Ne tumulo quid desit, adest fidissima conjnx, 
Et viUB comitem nunc quoq ; mortis habet," 

* His inscription, in several places difficult to be deciphered, is 
tbis ;— 

*• Heere resteth y* Body of Thomas Nashe. Esq. He mar. Fliza- 
beth the dang, and heire of John Halle, Gent. He died Api-U 4. 
A 1617, Aged 53. 

Kata manent omnes hunc non Tirtute carentem, 

Ut neque divitiis abstulit atra dies ; 
Abstulit. at referet lux ultima: siste. viator, 
Si peritura paras per male parta oeris." 

* The inscription to her runs thus : 

' Heere lyeth v body of Sueanna, Wife to Tohn Hall. Gent : yo 
iaaghter of William Shakespeare, Gent. Shee deceased y" llih of 
(u!y. A«>.Hi49. aged liG." 

t)ugdale has handpd do*n the following verses upon her, which 
were originally enjiraved on the stcne, but are not now to be fiund, 
»alf of it having been cut away to make nxtm for an inscription tc 
RjaKoii Walts, who I'ied in 1707. 

married to Thomas Quiney considerably more than a month 
anterior to the actual date of the will, and although his eld- 
est daughter Susanna is mentioned by her husband's patro 
nymic. It seems evident, from the tenor of the whole in 
strument, that when it was prepared Judith was not mar 
ried", although her speedy union with Thomas Quiney wat 
contemplated: the attorney or scrivener, who drew it, had 
first written " son and daughter," (meaning Judith and her 
intended husband) but erased the words " son and" aft^er- 
wards, asthe parties were not yet married, and were nnt 
" son and daughter" to the testator. It is true that Ttomaa 
Quiney would not have been Shakespeare's son, only lus 
son-in-law ; but the degrees of consanG:uinity were not at 
that time strictly marked and attended to, and in the same 
will Elizabeth Hall is called the testator's "niece," "whfn 
she was, in fact, his granddaughter. 

13ie bequest which has attracted most attention is an it^- 
terUneation in the following words, " Itm I gyve unto my 
wief my second be«t bed with the furniture." Upon tliis 
passage has been ft>unded, by Malone and others, a charge 
against Shakespeare, that he only remembered his wife as 
an aftertliought, and then merely gave her " an old bed." 
As to the last part of the accusation, it may be answered, 
that the " second best bed" was probably that in which the 
husband and wife had slept, when he was in Stratford ear- 
lier in life, and every night since his I'etiremeut from the 
metropolis : the best bed was doubtless reserved for visitors : 
if, therefore, he were to leave his wife any express legacy 
of the kind, it was most natural and considerate that b« 
should give her that piece of furniture, which for many years 
they had jointly occupied. With regard to the second part 
of the charge, our great dramatist has of late years been re- 
lieved from the stigma, thus attempted to be thrown upon 
him, by the mere remark, that Shakespeare's property be- 
ing principally freehold, the widow by the ordinary opera- 
tion of the law of England would be entitled to, what is le- 
gally known by the term, duwer."* It is extraoi'dmary that 
this explanation should never have occurred to Malone, who 
was educated to the legal profession; but that many others 
should have followed him in his unjust imputation is not 
remarkable, recollecting how pi-one most of Shakespeare's 
biographers have been to repeat errors, rather than take Ae 
trouble to inquire for themselves, to sift out truth, and to 
balance probabilities. 

Witty above her sexe, but that's not all ; 
Wise to salvation was good Mistress Hall. 
Something of Shakespeare was in that, but this 
Wholy of him with whom she's now in blisse. 

Then, passenger, hast ne're a teare 

To weepe with her that wept for all ? 
That wept, yet set her selfe to cheere 

Them up with comforts cordiall. 
Her love shall live, her meicy spread, 
When thou hast ne're a teare to shed." 
The register informs us that she was buried on the 16th July, IMfl, 
' The following is copied from the register . — 

" 160.3, August 8. Mrs. Shakspeare." 

• Their registrations of burial are in these terms : — 

"lfi35. Nov. -26. Johannes Hall, KJedicus peTttissimus." 
" 1647 Apnll 5. Thomas Nash, Gent,'' 
' The register contains as follows : — 

"1649. July 16. Mrs. Susanna Hall, widow " 
9 We are indebted to Sir F. Madden, Keeper of the MSS ia the 
British Museum, for the use of a most exact collation of Shakespeare 'i 
will; in addition tc which we have seveial times gone over every 
line and word of it. We have printed it as nearly as passibl* u it 
appears in the original. 

* Another trifling circumstance leading to the conclusion that tho 
will was prepared in January, though not executed until March, ie 
that Shakespeare's sister is called Jone Hart, and not Jone Hart,ir/dMr. 
Her husband had died a few days before Shakespeare, and he was 
buried ou 17 April, lOlG, as "Will Hart, hatter.' She was buried 
on 4 Nov. 1646. Both entries are contained in the parish registers oj 

>" This vindication of Shakespeare's memory from the supposed ne- 
glect of his wife we owe to Mr. Knight, in his '• Pictorial Shak- 
spcre." See the Postscript to •' Twelfth Night." When the expla- 
nation is once given, it seems so easy, that we wonder it was never 
before mentioned ; but like many discoveries of difTerint kinds, it i» 
not less simple than important, and it is jr^t that Mr. Knight Bhoald 
have full credit for it. 




Monnment to Shnkesreare at Stratford-upon-Avon erected 
before 1623; probaoly under the supennteiideuce of Dr. 
Hall, and Shakespeare's daughter Snsanna. Ditference 
between tho bnst on the monument and the portrait on the 
title-page of the folio of 1623. Ben Jonson's testimony in 
favour of the likeness of the latter. Shakespeare's personal 
appenrunco. His social and convivial qualities. " Wit- 
oombals" mentioned by Fuller in his '' Worthie.s." Epi- 
taphs upon Sir Thomius Stanley and Elias James. Con- 
olusion. HalUim's character o£ Shakespeare. 

A MONTTMENT to Shakespeare was erected anterior to the 
publication of the folio edition of his " Comedies, Histories, 
and Tragedies" in 1623, because it is thus distinctly men- 
tionf»d by Leonard Digges, in the earliest copy of commen- 
datory verses prefixed to that volume, which he states shall 
outlive the poet's tomb: — 

" when that stone is rent, 

And time dissolves thy Stratford Monument, 
Here we alive shall view thee still." 

This ie the most ancient notice of it ; but how long before 
162S it had been placed in the church of Stratford-upon- 
Avon, we have no means of deciding. It represents the 
poet sitting under ati arch, with a cushion before him, a pen 
iu his right hand, and his left resting upon a sheet of paper: 
it has been the opinion of the best judges that it was cut by 
an English sculptor, (perhaps Thomas Stanton) and we may 
conclude, without much hesitation, that the artist was em- 
ployed by Dr. Llall and his wife, and that the resemblance 
was as faithful as a bust, not modelled from the life, but 
probably, umler living instructions, from some picture or 
cast, coidd be expected to be. Sha'kespeare is there con- 
siderably fuller iu the face, than iu tlie engraving on the 
title-page of the folio of 1623, which must have been made 
from a different original It seems not unlikely that after 
he separated himself fiom the business and anxiety of a 
professional hfe, and withdrew to the permanent inhaling 
of his native air, he became more robust, and the half- 
length upon hh monument conveys the notion of a cheerful, 
good-tempered, and somewhat jovial man. The expression, 
we apprehend, is less intellectual than it must have been in 
I'eality, and the forehead, though lofty and expansive, is not 
strongly marked with thought : on the whole, it has rather 
a look of gaiety and good humour than of thought and re- 
tleetion, and the lips ai'e full, and apparently in the act of 
giving utterance to some amiable pleasantry. 

On a tablet below the bust are placed the followiDg 
inscriptions, which we give literally : — 

" Ivdicio Pyiivm, geuio Socrateni, arte Maronem, 

Terra tegit, popvlvs mffiret, Olympvs habet. 
Stay, Passenger, why goest thov by so fa-t 1 
Read, if thov canst, whom enviovs Death hath plast 
Witliin this monvment : Shakspeare; with whouie 
Quick natvre dide: whose name doth deck y* Tombe 
Far more then cost ; sieth all y' he hath writt 
Leaves living art bvt ptxge to serve his witt 

Oljiit lino Do'. 1616. 
iEtatis. 58. die 23 Ap'." 
On a flat grave stone in front of the monument, and not 
fei from the wall against which it is fixed, we read these 
lines ; and Southwell's correspondent (whose letter was 
printed in 1838, from the original manuscript dated 1693) 
mforms us, speaking of course from tradition, that they 
were written by Shakespeare himself: — 

'* Good frend, for lesvs sake forbear© 
To digg the dvst encloased heare : 

' It was originally, like many other monuments of the time, and 
mme in Stratford church, coloured after the life, and 8o it continued 
until Malone, in his mistaken zeal for classical taste and severity, 
and forgetting the practice ot the |)eriod at which the work was pro- 
duoed. had it painted one uniform stone-colour. He thus exposed 
Himself to much not unmerited ridicule. It was afterwards tound 
impoKsible to restore the oliginal colours. 

* Besides, we may suppose that Jonson would be careful how he 
tpplauded th» likeness, when there must have been so many persons 

Blest be y* man y* spares thes stones. 
And cvrst be he y' moves my bones." 

The half-length on the title-page of the folio of 1628i 
engraved by Martin Droeshout, has certainly an expression 
of greater gravity than the bust on Shakespeare's monu- 
ment; and, making some allowances, we can conceive the 
original of that resemblance more capable of producing the 
mighty works Shakespeare has left beliind him, than the 
original of the bust: at all events, the fii'st rather looks like 
the author of " Lear " and " Macbeth," and the last Hke the 
author of " Much Ado about Nothing" and "The Merry 
Wives of Windsor:" the one may be said to represent 
Shakespeare dm'ing his later years at Stratford, happy in 
the intercourse of his family and friends and tlie cheerful 
companion of his neighbours and townsmen ; and the other, 
Shakespeare in London, revolving the great works he liad 
written or projected, and with his mind somewhat burdened 
by the cares of his professional life. The last, therefore, 
is obviously the likeness which ought to accompany bis 
phtys, and which his " friends and fellows," Heminge and 
Condell, preferred to the head upon the " Stratford Monu- 
ment," of the erection of which they must have been aware. 

There is one point in which both the engraving and the 
bust in a degree concur, — we mean in the length of th« 
upper lip, although the peculiarity seems exaggerated in the 
bust. We have no such testimony in favour of the truth 
of the resemblance of the bust' as the engraving, opposite 
to which are the following lines, subscribed witli the initials 
of Ben Jonson, and doubtless from his pen. Let the reader 
bear iu mind that Ben Jonson was not a man who could be 
hired to commend, and that, taking it for gr-anted he was 
sincere in his praise, he had liie most unquestionable means 
of forming a judgment upon the subject of the likeness be- 
tween the living man and tlie deatl representation^ Wo 
give Ben Jonson's testimonial exactly as it stands in ths 
folio of 1623, for it afterwards went through various litcr^ 


*' This Figure, that thou here peest put, 

It was for gentle Shake^^peare cut; 

Wherein tiie Grauer a strife 

With Nature, to out-doo the life ; 

0, could he but haue drawne his wit 

As well in brasse, as he hath hit 

His face; the Print would then surpasse 

All, that was euer writ in braise. 

But, since he cannot^ Eeader,looke 

Not on his Picture, out his Booke. 

B. I." 
With this evidence before us, we have not hesitated in 
having an exact copy of Droeshotit's engraving executed 
for the present edition of the Works of Skakespeare. It is, 
we believe, the first time it has ever been selected for the 
purpose since the appearance of the folio of 1623; and, 
although it may not be recommended by the appearance 
of so high a style of art as some other imputed resem- 
blances, there is certainlv not one which has such tm- 
doubted claims to our notice on the grounds of fidelity and 

The fact that Droeshout was required to employ his skill 
upon a bad jjicture may tend to confirm our reliance upon 
the likeness : had there been so many pictui-es of Shake- 
speare as some have contended, but as we are far from 
beheving, Heminge and G<indell, when they were seeking 
for an appropriate ornament for the title-page of their folio, 
would hardly have chosen one which was an unskilful paint- 
ing, if it had not been a striking resemblance. If only half 
the pictures said, within the last century, to represent 
Shakespeare, were in fact from the hfe, the poet must have 

living, who could have contradicted him, had the praise not been 
deserved. Jonson does not speak of the painter, but of the " graver," 
who we are inclined to think did full justice to the picture placed in 
his hands Droeshout was a man of considerable eminence in hil 
branch of art, and has left behind him uniloubled proofs of his skill 
— some of them so much superior to the head of Shakespeare in the 
folio of lG'i:f, as to lead to the conviction, that the picture from whion 
he worked waa a very coarse specimen of art. 




a vast stock of patience, if not a larger share of 
vanity, when he devoted so much time to sitting to the 
artisU of the day ; and the player-editors could have found 
00 difficulty in procuring a picture, which had better pre- 
teusious to then' approval. To us, therefore, the very de- 
fects of the engraviug, which accompanies the folio of 1623, 
are a recoirmiendation, since they serve to show that it waa 
both genuine and faithful. 

Aubrey is the only authority, beyond the inferences that 
may be urawn from the porti-aits, fur the personal appear- 
anoe of Shakespeare ; and he sums up our great poet's phy- 
sical and moral endowments in two lines ; — " He was a 
handsome well-shaped man, very good company, and of a 
very ready, and pleasant, and smooth wit^" We have every 
reason to suppose that this is a correct description of his 
personal appearance, but we are unable to add to it from 
any other source, unless indeed we were to rely upon a few 
equivocal passages m the " Sonnets." Upon this authority 
it has been supposed by some that he was lauie, and cer- 
tainly the 87th and 89th Sonnets, without allowing for a 
figurative mode of expression, might be taken to unport as 
much. If we were to consider tlie words literally, we 
should imagine that some accident had befallen him, which 
rendered it impossible that he should continue on the stage, 
ami hence we could easily account for his early retirement 
from it. We know that such was the case with one of his 
moat fimious predecessors, Christopher Marlowe', but we 
have no sufHciont reason for believing it was the fact as re- 
gards Shakespeare: he is evidently speaking metaphori- 
«ally in both places, where *' lame " and " lanieness " occur. 

His social qualities, his good temper, hilarity, vivacity, 
and what Aubrey calls his " very ready, and pleasant, and 
smooth wit," (in imr author's own words, " pleasant without 
scurrility, witty without affectation,") cannot be doubted, 
since, besides what may be gathered from his works, we 
have it from various quarters ; and although nothing vei-y 
good of this kind may have descended to us, we have suffi- 
cient to show that he must have been a most welcome 
visitor in all companies. The epithet " gentle " has been 
frequently applied to him, twice by Ben Jonson, (in his 
lines before the engraving, aud in his laudatory verses pre- 
fixed to the plays in the folio of 1623) and if it be not to be 
understood precisely in its modern acceptation, we may be 
sure that one distinguishiug feature in his character was gen- 
eral kindliness : he may have been " sharp and sententious," 
but never needlessly bitter or ill-natured : his wit had no 
malice for an ingredient Fuller speaks of the " wit-combats " 
between Shakespeare and Ben Jonson at the convivial 
meetings at the Mermaid club, established by Sir Walter 
Raleigh' ; and he adds, •' which two I behold like a Spanish 
great galleon and an English man-of-war : Master Jonson, 
like the former, was built far higher in learning ; solid, but 
slow in his performances : Shakespeare, with the English 
man-of-war, lesser in bulk, but lighter in sailing, could turn 
with all tides, tack about, and take advantage of all winds 

' See the extract from a ballad on Marlowe (p. ixii.). This cir- 
eumstance, had he known it, would materially have aided the rat^ 
dam sceptick, who argued that Shakespeare and Marlowe were one 
knd the same. 

' GifTord (Ben Jonson's Works, vol. I. p. Ixv.) fixes the date of the 
Mtabliahment of this club, at the Mermaid in Friday Street, about 
l'iO;J, and he adds that '* here for many years Ben Jonson repaired 
with Shakespeare, Beaumont, Fletcher, Selden, Cotton, Carew, Mar- 
tin, Donne, and many others, whose names, even at this distant 
p«riod, call up a mingled feeling of reverence and respect." Of what 
passed at these many assemblies Beaumont thus speaks, addressing 
Ben lonson : — 

— ^— — "What things have we seen 
Done at the Mermaid ! heard words that have been 
So nimble, and so full of subtle flame. 
As if that every one from whom they came 
Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest." 
The .Mitre, in Fleet Street, seems to have been another tavern where 
Iho wits and poets of the day hilariously assembled. 
' Worthies. Part iii. p. 1-26, folio edit. 

* Fuller has another simile, on the same page, respecting Shake- 
epear« and his acquirements, which is worth quoting. " He waa an 
eminent instance of the truth of that rule, I' ■nation fit^sed vascitiir ; 
one is not made, but born a poet. Indeed his learning was very little, 
■o that as Cornish diamonds are not polished by anyTapidajry, but are 

by the quickness of his wit and invention'." The simile ia 
well chosen, and it came fi-om a writer who seldom sail 
anything ill'. Connected with Ben .lonson's solidity and 
shiwness is a witticism between him and Shakespeare, said 
to have passed at a tavera Oue of the Ashmolean manu 
scripts (No. 38) contains the following: — 

" Mr. Ben Johnson and Mr. Wm. Shakespeare being 
merrie at a tavern, Mr. Jonson begins this for hjs epitaph, 

Here lies Ben Jonson 
Who was once one : 

he gives it to Mr. Shakespeare to make np, who presentlj 


That, while he liv'd, was a «?omi thing, 
And now, being dead, is ?to-thiug." 

It is certainly not of much value, but there is a great 
difference between the estimate of an extempore joke 
at the moment of delivery, and the opinion we may 
form of it long afterwards, when it has been put upon 
paper, and transmitted to posterity under such names 
as those of Shakespeare and Jonson. The same ex- 
cuse, if required, may be made for two other pieces of 
unpretending pleasantly between the same parties, which 
we subjoin in a note, because they relate to such men, 
and have been handed down to us upon something like 

Of a different character is a production preserved by 
Dugdale, at the end of his 'Visitation of Salop, in the 
Heralds' College : it is an epitaph inscribed upon the tomb 
of Sir Thomas Stanley, in Tongue church ; and Dugdale, 
whose testimony is unimpeachable, distinctly states that 
" the following verses were made by William Shakespeare, 
the late famous tragedian." 

" Written upon the east end of the tomb. 

" Ask who lies here, but do not weep ; 
He is not dead, he doth but sleep. 
This stony register is for his bones ; 
His fame is more perpetual than these stones : 
And his own goodness, with himself being gone, 
Shall live when earthly monument is none. 

" Written on the west end thereof. 
" Not monumental stone preserves our fame, 
Nor sky-aspiring pyramids our name. 
The memory of him for whom tliis stands 
Shall out-live marble and defncers' hands. 
When all to time's consumption shall he given, 
Stanley, for whom this stands, shall stand in heaven." 

With Malone and others, who have quoted them, we 
feel satisfied of the authenticity of these verses, though we 
may not perhaps think, as he did, that the last line bears 

pointed and smooth even as they are taken out of the earth, so nature 
itself was all the art which was used upon him." Of course Fuller 
is here only referring to Sli.ikespeare's classical acquirements: hie 
"learning "of a different kind, perhaps, exceeded that of all the 
ancients put together. 

* •' Shakespeare was god-father to one of Ben Jonson's children 
and after the christening, being in a deepe study. Jonson came to 
cheere him up. and askt him why he was so melancholy? — 'No 
faith, Ben, (sayes he) not I ; but T have been considering a greet 
while what should be the fittest gift for me to bestow upon my god- 
child, and 1 have resolv'd at last.' — ' I pr'ythee what ?' says he. 
' I 'faith, Ben, I'll e'en give him a douzen of Latten spoones, and 
thou shalt translate them.' " 

Of course the joke depends upon the pun between Latin, and the 
mixed metal called !allen. The above is from a MS. of Sir X. 
L'Estrange, who quotes the authority of Dr. Donne. It is inserted in 
Mr. Thoms's amusing volume, printed for the Camden Society, 
under the title of -'Anecdotes and Traditions." p. 2. "The next ii 
from a MS. called " Poetical Characteristics," formerly in the H-. 
leian Collection : — 

'• "Verses by Ben Jonson and Shakespeare, occasioned bj the motto 
to the Globe theatre — Totus muTtiiiis afrit Itistrinvrm. 

■^Jonson. If but stage-actors all the world displays. 

Where shall we find spectators of their play^* 
" Shakespeare. Little, or much of what we see, we do; 
We are both actors and sfiectators too." 



such " Btrong marks of the hand of Shakespeare'." The 
ooiocidence betweea the line 

" Nor sky -aspiring pyramids our name," 

and the passage in Milton's Epitaph upon Shakespeare, 
prefixed t<5 the folio of 1682, 

" Or tliat his hallow'd relics should be hid 
Under a star-vpointing pyramid," 

seems, as far as we recollect, to have escaped notice. 

We have thus brought into a consecutive narrative (with 
as little interruption of its thread as, under the circum- 
stances, and with such disjointed materials, seemed to us 
possible) the particulai's respecting tile life of the " myriad- 
minded Shakespeare'." with which our predecessors were 
acquainted, or which, from vanous sources, we have been 
able, duriug a long series of years, to collect. Yet, after all, 
comparing what we really know of our great dramatist 
with what we might possibly have known, we cannot but be 
aware how little has been accomplished " Of William 
Shakespeare," says one of our greatest living authors of 

* The following reaches us in a more questionable shape : it is 
from a MS. of the time of Charles I., preser/ed in the Bodleian Li- 
brary, which contjiins also poems by Herrick and others. 


"When God was pleas'd, the world unwilling yet, 
Elias James to nature paid his debt, 
And here reposelh. As he lived he died. 
The saying in him strongly verified. 
Ench life, such death : then, the known truth to tell. 
He liv'd a godly life, and died a£ well. 

"Wm Shakespeare." 

our greatest dead one, "whom, through the mouths of 
those whom he has inspired to body foith the modificationa 
of his immense mind, we seem to know better than any 
human writer, it may be truly said that we scarcely know 
anything. We see him, so far as we do see him, not in 
himself, but in a reilex image from the objectivity in which 
he is manifested : he is Falstaff, and Mercutio, and Mai 
volio, and Jaques, and Portia, and Imogen, and Lear, and 
Othello ; but to us he is scarcely a determined person, a sub- 
stantial reality of past time, the man Shakespeare'." We 
cannot flatter ourselves that we have done much to bring the 
reader better acquainted with " the man Shakespeare," 
but if we have done anything we shall be content ; and, in- 
stead of attempting any character of our own, we will subjoin 
one. in the words of the distinguished wiiter we have abov* 
quoted', as brief in its form as it is comprehensive in its mat- 
ter : — " The name of Shakespeare is the greatest in our 
literature, — it is the greatest in all literature. No man ever 
came near to him in the creative powers of the mind ; no 
man had ever such strength at once, and such variety of 

If the details of his life be imperfect, the history of hit 
mind is complete ; and we leave the reader to tuni fi'om tb« 
contemplation of " the man Shakespeare" to the etady of 


' Coleridge's Table Talk, vol. ii. p. .'SOI .—Ml. Hallam in his " In- 
troduction to the Literature of Europe," vol. iii. p. 89. edit. 1843| 
somewhat less literally translates the Greek epithet, uvpiovovs. 
" thousand-souled." 

> Hallam 's" latrodaction to the Literature of Europe," vol. ii. 7.I76 

« Ibid. vol. iii. p. 89. 


Vicesimo Quinto Die Martij' Anno Regni Domini 
nostri Jacob! nunc Eex Anglic <fee. Decimo quarto 
A Scotie xlix° Annoq; Domini 1616. 

T. W"! Shackspeare 

In the name of god Amen I William Shackspeare 
of Sti-atford vpon Avon in the countde of warr gent in per- 
fect health &. memorie god be praysed doe make <t Ordayne 
this my last will *fe testament in manner <fe forme followeing 
That ys to saye Fu-st I Comend my Soule into the handes 
of god my Creator hoping & assuredlie beleeving through 
thonelie merites of Jesus Christe my Saviour to be made 
partaker of lyfe everlastinge And my bodye to tlie Earth 
whereof yt ys made Item I Gyve & bequeath vnto my 
Daughter' Judyth Oue hundred i Fyftie poundes of law- 
full English money to be paied vnto hei' in manner & forme 
followeing That ys to saye One hundred pounds in discharge 
of her marriage porcion* within one yeare after my deceas 
with consideracion after the Rate of twoe ShiUinges in the 
pound for soe long tyme as the same shalbe vnpaied vnto 
per after ray deceas & the Fyftie poundes Residewe thereof 
vpon her Surrendring of or gyving of such sufficient Secu- 
ritie as the overseers of this my Will shall like of to Sur- 
render or graunte All her estate & Right that shall discend 
or come vnto her after my deceas or that 'shee" nowe hath 
of in or to one Copiehold tenemente with thappurtenances 
lyeing A being in Stratford vpon Avon aforesaied in the 

> The following is from an exact transcript of the org:nai Will 
Jepoiited in the Prerogative office, London, the only difference being 
that we have not thought it necessary to give the legal contractions 
rf the scrivener ; in all other respects, even to the mise.iiployment 
uL capital letters, and the omission of points our copy is most faithful. 

■ The word " Martii" is interlined above " January,'' which is 
itrtck through with the pen. Malone (Shaksp. by Boswell, vol. i. 
p. 601.) states that the word struck through is Fcbruarij^ bat *bia it 
ft mistake. 

eaied countie of warr being parcell or holden of the man- 
nour of Rowington vnto my Daughter Susanna Hall A her 
heires for ever Item I Gyve <St bequeath vnto my eaied 
Daughter Judith One hundred and Fyftie Poundes more if 
shee or Anie issue of her bodie be Lyvinge att thend of 
three yeares next ensueing the Daie of the Date of this my 
Will during which tyme my executours to paie her eonsiu- 
eracion from my deceas according to the Rate aforesaied 
And if she dye within the saied terme without issue of her 
bodye then my will ys A I Doe gyve A bequeath One Hun- 
dred Poundes thereof to my Neece Elizabeth Hall A the 
Fiftie Poimdes to be sett fourth by my executours during the 
lief of my Sister Johane Harte A the vse and pioffitt there- 
of Cominge shalbe payed to my saied Sister lone A after 
her deceas the saied 1'' shall Remaine Amongst the children 
of my saied Sister Equallie to be Devided Amongst them 
But if my saied Daughter Judith be lyving att thend of the 
saied three Yeares or anie yssue of her bodye then my will 
y s A soe I Devise A bequeath the saied Hundred and Fyftie 
Poundes to be sett out by my executours A overseers' for the 
best benefitt of her A her issue A the stock' not to be' paied 
vnto her soe long as she shalbe marryed A Covert Baron" 
but my will ys that she shall have the consideracion yearlie 
paied vnto her during her lief A after her deceas the saied 
stock and consideracion to bee paied to her children if sbe 
have Anie A if not to her exeentours or assignes she lyving 
the saied terme after my deceas Provided that if such hua 

3 Before " Daughter" tonne and was originally written, Vat stmoh 
through with the pen. 

* The words "in discharge of her marriage porcion" are interlined. 

* The word "of is interlined 

• The words " that shee" are interlined. 

^ The words " by my executours and overseers" are interlined. 
e The words " the stock" are interlined. 

• The words " to be" are interlined. 
>• After " Baron" the words *' by my exeontonn fr tfreneer*'' v* 

•rased -with the pen. 



t> fkd as she shall att thend of the saied three yeares be mar- 
ryed Tnto or attaine after doe sufficientlie Assure vnto her 
ft thissue of her bodie landes Answereable to the porcion 
Iry this my "will gyvea vnto her <it to be udiudged soe by my 
executom's &■ overseers theu my will ys that the saied CI'' 
shalbe paied to such husbond as shall make such assui'ance 
to his owne vse Item I gyve 6l bequeath vuto my saied sis- 
ter lone xx" & all my wearing Apparrell to be paied <fe de- 
liuered within one yeare after ray Deeeas And I doe will 
it devise vnto her the house' with thappurtenaiices in Sti'at- 
fi>rd wherein she dwelleth for her natural lief vnder the 
yearUe Rent of xii'' Item I gyve <t bequeath" vnto her 
three sonns William Harte Hart <fe Michaell Harte 

Fyve Poundes A peece to be paied within one Yeare after 
my deeeas' her Item I gyve <fc bequeath imto the saied 
Elizabeth Hall* All my Plate (except my brod silver it gilt 
bole') that I now have att the Date of this my will Item I 
gyve lis bequeath vnto the Poore of Stratford aforesaied tenn 
poundes to Mr ITiomas Combe my Sword to Tliomas Rus- 
sell Esquier Fyve poimdes & to Frauncis Collins of the Bo- 
rough of wan' in the countie of warr geutleman thirteene 
poundes Sixe shillinges <fe Eight pence to be paied within 
one Teare after my Deeeas Item I gyve & bequeath to 
Hamlett Sadler' xxvi' viij' to buy him A Riuge to William 
Raynoldes irent xxvj^ viij'^ to buy him a Riuge^ to my godson 
William Walker xx" in gold to Anthonye Nashe gent xxvj> 
viiji' i& to Mr John Nashe xxvj' viij^° <& to my Fellowes John 
HemjTiges Richard Burba^e <fe Henry Cundcll xxvj' viij'' 
Apeece to buy them Ringes' Item I Gyve will bequeath & 
devise vnto my Daughter Susanna Hall foi- better enabling 
of hert<i pel forme this my will & towardes the performans 
thereof "AH that Capitall messuage or tenemeute with thap- 
purtonances in Stratford aforesaid" Called the new place 
wherein I nowe Dwell A two Messuages or tenemeuteswith 
thappurtenances scituat lyeing <t being in Henley streete 
within the borough of Stratford afoi-esaied And all my 
barnes stables Orehardes gardens laudes tenementes & here- 
ditamentes whatsoeuer scituat lyeing <fe being or to be had 
Receyved pcrceyved or taken withiu the towues Hamletes 
-ViUiiges Fieldes <fe groundes of Stiatford vpou Avon Old- 
8tratii<rd Bushopton tfe Welcombe or in aiiie of them in the 
said countie of warr And alsoe AU that messuage or tene- 
mente with thappurtenances wherein One John Robinson 
dwelleth scituat lyeing i being in the biackfriers in London 
uere the Wai-drobe & aU other ni)' landes tenementes <k 
bereditamentes whatsoeuer To have <t to hold All & singu- 
ler the saied premisses with their appurtenances vnto the 

* The words " the house" are interlined. 

' The first sheet ends with the word " bequeath," and the testator's 
•ignature is tn the margin opposite. 

' Aiter "deeeas" follow these words, struck throtijjh with the pen, 
** to be sett out for her within one yeare after my deeeas by my execu- 
toun with thadvise and direccions of my overseers for her best profitt 
TBtill her manage and then the same with the increase thereof to be 
paied vnto :" the erasure ought also to have included the word " her," 
which follows "vnto." 

* The words "the saied Elizabeth Hall" are interlined above A«r, 
which is struck through with the pen. 

This parenthesis is an interlineation. 

'" Hamlet Sadler" is an interlineation above Mr. Riekard Tyler 
tAfUer, which is erased. 

'Tke words " to William Raynoldes geotUaian xxvi' viii* t« buy 
lim A Hinge" are interlined. 

saied Susanna Hall for it during the tei-me of her naturall 
lief ife after her deeeas to the first sonne of her bodic law- 
fuUie yssueing A to the heires Males of the bodie of the saied 
first Sonne lawfullie yssueing *fe for defalt of such issue to 
the second Sonne of her bodie lawfullie issueiuge di to the 
hehes males of the bodie of the saied Second Sonne lawful- 
he yssueinge and for defalt of such heires to the third Sonne 
of the btpdie of the saied Susanna Lawfullie yssuciug <fe of 
the heires males of the bodie of the saied third snnue law- 
fuUie yssueing And for defalt of such issue the same soe to 
be (t Remaiue to the Fourth'" Fyfthsixteit Seaventb sonnes 
of her bodie lawfullie issueing one after Another A to the 
heii-es" Males of the bodies of the saied Fourth fifth Sixte 
and Seaventh somies lawfuUie yssueing in such manner as 
yt ys before Lymitted to be A Remaine to the first second 
& third Sonns of her bodie A to their heires Males And for 
defalt of such issue the saied premisses to be A Remaine to 
my saved Neece Hall A the heires Males of her bodie law- 
fullie yssueing A for defalt of such issue to my Daughter 
Judith A the heires Males of her body lawfullte issueinge 
And for defalt of such issue to the Right heii'es of 
me the saied William Sbackspeare for ever Item I gyve 
vnto my wief my second best bed with the furniture" Item 
I gyve A bequeath to my saied Daughter Juchth my broad 
silver gilt bole AU the I'est of my goodes Chattel Leases 
plate Jewels A household stuffe whatsoeuer after my Dettes 
and Legasies paied A my funerall expences discharged I 
gyve devise and bequeath to my Sonne in Lawe John Hall 
gent A ray Daughter Susanna his wief whom 1 ordaine A 
make executoure of this my Last will and testament And I 
doe intreat A Appomt the saied'* Thomas Russell Esquier A 
Fraimcis Collins gent to be overseers hereof Ami doe Re- 
voke AU former wills A pubhshethis to be my last wiU and 
testameut In Witness whereof I have herevnto put my 
hand'' the Daie A Yeare first aboue written. 

" By me WilUam Shakspeare. 

Witues to the publishing 
hereof Era : CoUyns 
Julyus Shawe 
Jolin Robinson 
Hamnet Sadler 
Robert Wbattoott 

Probatima cora Magr. Willim 
Byrde DcorS Comiss. Ac. xx''" di<i 
mensis Jtmij Anno Dni 1616 
Juram'o Johannis Hall vnius 
ex Ac Cui Ac De beue Ac Jurat 
Resvat ptate Ac. Susanne Hall 
alt ex Ac cQ veflit Ac petitur 

(Inv' ex') 

* After " xxvj* viijd" tn gotd was originally written, but erased 
with the pen. 

» The words " &, to ray Fellowes John Hemynges Richard Bur- 
bage and Henry Cundell xxvj" viij-i to buy them Ringes" are inter- 

10 The words " for better enabling of her to performe this my will 
& towardes the performans thereof are interlined. 

11 The words " in Stratford aforesaid" are interlined. 

15 After " Fourth" the word sontu was first written, but erased with 
the pen. 

1' The second sheet ends with the word " heires," and the stgna- 
ture of the testator is at the bottom of it 

1* The words " Item I gyve vnto my wief ray second best bed with 
the furniture" are interlined, 

!• The words " the saied" are interlined. 

>* The word ' hand" is lutetUaed above scale, which is enued will: 
tba p«o. 



(•' 'Flie Tempest " waa first printed in the folio edition 
of " Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and 
Tragedies," bearing date in 1628, where it stands first, and 
ocoupies nineteen pages, viz. from p. 1, to p. 19 inclusive. 
It fills the same place in the folios of 1682, 1664, and 1685.] 

A MATERIAL fact, in reference to the date of the first pro- 
'liiction of " The Tempest," has only been recently ascer- 
tained : we allude to the notice of the performance of it, before 
King James, on Nov. 1st, 1611,' which is contained in the 
" Extracts from the Accounts of the Revels at Court," edited 
by Mr. P. Cunningham for the Shakespeare Society, p. 211: 
the memorandum is in the following form: 

" Hallomas nyght was presented att Whithall before the 
Kinges Majestie a play called the Tempest." 

In the margin is inserted the additional circumstance, that 
the perfortnance was " by the King's Players ;" and there can 
oe no reiisrmable doubt that it was Shakespeare's drama, 
which had been written for that company. When it had been 
so written, is still a point of difficulty; but the probability, 
we think, is that it wiis selected by the Master of the Revels, 
for representation at Court in 1611, on account of ita novelty 
and popularity on the public stage. Eleven other dramas, 
as appears by the same document, were exhibited between 
;")ct. 81, 1611," find the same day in the next year; and it is 
remarkable that ten of these (as far as we possess any uifor- 
niHtion respecting tliem) were comparatively new plays, and 
with regard to the eleventh, it was not more than three years 
old.' We may, perhaps, be warranted in inferring, therefore, 
th<it " The Tempest" was also not then an old play. 

It seems to us, likewise, that the internal evidence, derived 
from style and lanffuage, clearly indicates that it waa a late 
production, and that it belongs to about the same period of 
our great dramatist's literary history a-s his " Winter's Tale," 
which was also chosen for a Court-play, and represented at 
Whitehall only four days after " The Tempest" had been ex- 
hibited. In point of construction, it must be admitted at once 
that there la the most obvious dissimilarity, inasmuch as 
" The Winter's Tale" is a piece in which the unities are ut- 
terly disregarded, while in " The Tempest " they are strictly 
observed. It is only in the involved and parenthetical cha- 
racter of some of the speeches, and in psychological resem- 
blances, that we would institute a comparison between " The 
Fempest " and the " Winter's Tale," and would infer from 
*hence that they belong to about the same period. 

Without here adverting to the real or supposed origin of 
the story, or to temporary incidents which may have sug- 
gested any part of the plot, we may remark that there is one 
piece of external evidence which strongly tends to confirm 
the opinion that "The Tempest" waa composed not very 
long before t?en Jonson wrote one of his comedies : we allude 
to Ilia " Bartholomew Fair," and to a passage in " the Induc- 
tion," fretiuently mentioned, and which we concur in think- 
ing was intended as a hit not only at '* The Tempest,' but at 
"The Winter's Tale." Ben Jonaon's "Bartholomew Fair," 
was acted in 1614, and written perhaps in the preceding year,* 
during the popularity of Shakespeare's two plays ; and there 

' The earliest date hitherto diBcorered for the nerformanoe of 
*T1>0 Tempest" was the beginning of the year 1013/' which Malone 
established from Vertue's MSS. : it was then acted by " the King's 
Coniijauy, before Prince Charles, the Princess Elizabeth, and the 
Prince Palatine," but where, is not stated. 

"See note 2 to the Introduction to " The Winter's Talo." The 
particular play to which we refer is entitled in the Revels' Account 
^' Lucrecia," which may have been either T. Heywood's " Rape of 
LucrecB," first printed in 1608, or a different tragedy on the same 

' See " AJlejTl I'apera," printed by the Shakespeare Society, p. 67, 
•here Dab >rne, under date of Nov. 13tli, 1613, speaks of " Jonson's 
may " as then about to he performed. Possibly it was deferred for 
a 4hnrt time, as the title-pago states tliat it was acted in 1614. It 
may have been written in 1612, for performance in 1613. 


we find the following words, which we reprint, for the flr« 
time, exactly as they stand in the orig^al edition, whcte 
Italic type seems to have been used to make the allusioui 
more distinct and obvious: — "If there bee never a SertarUf 
monster i' the Fa^'€y who can helpe it, he saves; nor a ne*. 
ot Antiques t Hee is loth to make Nature afraid in h\3 P!nye»- 
like those that beget TnUs, Tempests, and such like Drout- 
ries.''^ The words " servant'-monster," " antiques," " Tales," 
" Tempests," and " drolleries," which last Shakespeare him- 
self employs in " The Tempest," (Act ill. sc. 3.) seem bo ap- 
plicable, that they can hardly relate to any thing else. 

It may be urged, however, that what was represented al 
Court in 1611 was only a revival of an older play, acted beforo 
1596, and such may have been the case : we do not, however . 
think it probable, for several reasons. One of these is an 
apparently trifling circumstance, pointed out by Farmer; viz.' 
that in "The Merchant of Venice," written before 1598, the 
name of Stephano is invariably prononnced with the accent 
on the second syllable, while in " The Tempest," the proper 
pronunciation ia aa constantly required by the verse. It 
seems certain, therefore, that Shakespeare found his error in 
the interval, and he may have learnt it from Ben Jonson's 
" Every Man in his Humour," in which Shakespeare per- 
formed, and in the original list of cliaracters to which, in the 
edition of 1601, the names not only of Stephano, but of Pros- 
pero occur. 

Another circumstance shows, we think almost decisively, 
that "The Tempest" was not written until after 1608^ when 
the translation of Montaigne's Essays, by Florio, made its first 
appearance in print. In Act II. sc. 1, is a passage so closely 
copied from Florio's version, as to leave no doubt of identity .» 
If it be said that these lines may have been an insertion eub- 
sequent to the originul production of the play, we answer, 
that the passage is not such as could have been introduced, 
like some others, to answer a temporary or complimentary 
purpose, and that it ia given as a necessary and continuoiu 
portion of the dialogue. 

The Rev. Mr. Hunter, in hia very ingenious and elaborate 
" Disquisition on the Tempest," lias referred to this and to 
other points, with a view of proving that every body has 
hitherto been mistaken, and that this play instead of being 
one of his latest, was one of Shakespeare's earliest works. 
With regard to the point derived from Montaigne's Essays 
by Florio, 1603, he has contended, that if the particular easay 
were not separately printed before, (of which we have not the 
slightest hint) Shakespeare may have seen the translation in 
manuscript; but unless he so saw it in print or manuscript 
as early as 1595, nothing is established in favour of Mr. Hun- 
ter's argument ; and surely when other circumstances show 
that "The Tempest" waa not written till 1610,' we need not 
hesitate long in deciding that our great dramatist went to no 
manuscript authority, but took the passage almost verbatim, 
as he found it in the complete edition. In the same way 
^ Mr. Hunter has argued, that " The Tempest" was not omitted 
! by Meres in his list in 1598, but that it ia found there under 
its second title, of " Love's Labours Won;" but this is little 
better than a gratuitoua assumption, even supposing we were 
to admit that "All's well that ends Well" ia not the play in- 
tended by Meres." Our notion is, that "All 's well that ends 
Well" waa originally called " Love's Labours Won," and 

* Malone (Shaksp. by BoswelL vol. xv. p. 78.) quotes this impor- 
tant passage from Florio's translation of Montaigne with a singulai 
degree of incorrectness : with many minor variations he substitute* 
partitions for " dividences." and omits the words " no manuring of 
lands " altogether. This is a case in wliich verbal, and even literal, 
accuracy is important 

» In the Introduction to" The Winter's Tale," we have assign- 
ed a reason, founded upon a passage in R- Greene's " Pandosto.** 
for believing that " The Tempest " was anterior in composition to 
that play. 

'Mr. Hunter contends that in " The Tempest " " love's labours " 
are "won ;" but such is the case with every play in which the issue 
is successful passion, after difficulties and disappointments tin" The 
Tempest" they are fewer than in most other playo, since from 
first to lost the love of Ferdinand and Miranda ia prosperous. At 



ihat it was revived, witt some other changes, under a new 
lame in 1605 or 1606. 

Neither can we agree with Mr. Hunter in thinking that he 
Bos established, that nothing waa suggested to Sliakespeare 
DV the storm, in July 1609, which dispersed the fleet under 
sir George Somers and Sir Thomas Gates, of which an ac- 
c<-'unt was published by a person of the name of Jourdun in 
the following year. This point was, to our mind, satisfacto- 
rily made outoy Malone, and the mention of " the still-vcx'd 
Be'rmoothes" by Shakespeare seems directly to connect the 
drama with Jourdan's " Discovery of the Bermudas, oiher- 
♦ise ciill&d the Isle of Devils," printed in 1610. We are told 
at the end of the play, in the folio of 1623, that the scene is 
laid " in an uninhabited island," and Mr. Hunter ha» con- 
tended that this island was Lampedusa, which unquestioniibly 
lies in the track wl]ich the ships in "The Tempest ' would 
lake. Our olijection to this theory is two-fold : ftrst, we can- 
not persuade ourselves, that Shakespeare had any particular 
island in his mind; and secondly, if he had meant to lay his 
scene in Lauipedusa, he could hardly have failed to introduce 
it« name in some part of his performance : in consequence of 
the deliciency of scenery, «fec,, it was the constant custom 
with our early dramatists to nieutioa distinctly, and often 
more than once, where the action was supposed to take place. 
As a minor point, we may add, tliat we know of no extant 
English authority to which he could have gone for informa- 
tion, and we do not suppose that he consulted the Turco 
GraciiB of Crusius, the only older authority quoted by Mr. 

No novel, in y.rose or verse, to which Shakespeare resorted 
for the incidents of " The Tempest" has yet been discovered ; 
4tid although Collins, late in his brief career, mentioned to 
T. Worton that he had seen such a tale, it ha.« never come to 
light, and we apprehend that he must have been mistaken. 
We have turned over the pages of, we believe, every Italian 
novelist, anterior to the age of Shakespeare, in hopes of find- 
ing some story containing traces of the incidents of "The 
Tempest," but without success. Tlie ballad entitled " The 
Inohanted Island," printed in "Farther Particulars regarding 
Sluikespeare and his Works," is a more modern production 
Mian the play, from which it varies in the names, as well as in 
.^iUie points of the story, as if for the purpose of coticealing 
its t-^nnectiun with a production which was popular on the 
stiige. Utir opinion decidedly is, that it was founded upon 
"The Tempest," and not upon any ancient narrative towhich 
Sliakespeare also might have been indebted. It may be re- 
inarkcff, that here also no locality is given to the island : on 
the contrary, we are told, if it ever had any existence but in 
the imagination of the poet, that it had disappeared: — 

" From that daie forth the Isle has traene 
By wandering sailors never seene : 

Some say 't is buryed deepe 
Beneath the sea, which breakes and rores 
Above its savage rock^' shores. 

Nor ere is knowne to sleepe." 

Mr. Thoms has pointed out some resemblances in the inci- 
dents of an early German play, entitled Die Schom Sidea^ and 
" The Tempest :" his theory'is, that a drama upon a similar 
story was at an early date performed in Germany, and that 
if it were not token trom Shakespeare's play, it was perhaps 
derived from the same unknown source. Mr. Thoms is 
preparing a translation of it for the Shakespeare Society, and 
we shall then be better able to form an opinion, as to the real 
or supposed connection between the two. 

When Coleridge tells us (Lit. Rem. ii. p. 94.) that " ' The 
Tempest' is a specimen of the purely romantic Drama," he 
of course refers to the nature of the plot and personages : in 
oi;e sense of the words, it is not a " romantic drama,^' inas- 
much as there are few plays, ancient or modern, in which the 
unities are more exactly observed ; the whole of the events 
occupy only a few hours. At the same time it is perfectly 
truo, as the same enlightened and fanciful commentator adds, 
" It ia a species of drama, which owes no allegiance to time 
or space, and in which, therefore, errors of chronology and 
geography — no mortal sins in any sj^cies — are venial fault.s, 
and count for nothing ; it addresses itself entirely to the 
imaginative faculty." This opinion was delivered in 1818; 
and three years earlier Coleridge had spoken of " The Tem- 
pest," as certainly one of Shakespeare's latest works, judg- 
ni2 from the language only : Schlegel was of the same opinion, 
without, however, assigning any distinct reason, and insti- 
tuted a comparison between "The Tempest" and " Midsum- 
mer Night's Dream," adding, "The preponderance of thought 

' The Tempest,' exhibited in its profonnd and original cha- 
racterisation, strikes us at once ; but we must also admire the 
deep sense of the art (tie/sinnige KunM) which is apparent in 
the structure of the whole, in the wise economy of its means, 
and in the skill with which the scaffolding is raised tosustain 
the marvellous acrhol structure." Uebtr Dram. Kunst imd 
Lilt. Vol. iii. p. 128. edit. 1817. 



[" The Two Gentlemen of Verona" was first printed in the 
folio of 1623, where it occupies nineteen pages, viz. free, p 
20 to p. 38, inclusive, in the division of " Comedies." It la 
there divided into Acts and Scenes. It also stands seoood 
in the later fohos.] 

Tub only ascertained fact with which we are acquainted, in 
reference to " The Two Gentlemen of Verona," is, that it is 
included in the list of Shakespeare's Plays which Francis 
Meres furnished in his Palladia Tamia, 1598. It comes first 
in that enumeration, and although this is a very slight cir- 
cumstance, it may aiford some confirmation to the opinion, 
founded upon internal evidence of plot, style, and characters, 
that it was one of the earliest, if not the very earliest of Shake- 
speare's original dramatic compositions. It is the second play 
in the folia of 1623, where it first appeared, but that is no 
criterion of the period at whicli it was originally written. 

It would, we think, be idle to attempt to fix upon any par- 
ticular year : it is unquestionably the work of a young and 
unpractised dramatist, and the conclusion is especially inar- 
tificial and abrupt. It may have been written by our greiU 
dramatist very soon after he joined a theati-ical company ; and 
at all events we do not think it likely that it was comjjosed 
subsequently to 1591. We should be inclined to place it, as 
indeed it stands in the work of Meres, imuiediately before 
" Love's Labour 's Lost." Meres calls it the " Gentlemen of 
Verona." Malone, judging from two passages in the comedy, 
first argued that it was produced in 1595, but he afterwards 
adopted 1591 as the more probable date. The quotations to 
which he refers, in truth, prove nothing, either as regards 
1595 or 1591. 

If "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" were not the offspring 
merely of the author's invention, we have yet to discover the 
source of its plot. Points of resemblance have been dwelt 
upon in connection with Sir Philip Sidney's " Arcadia," 1590, 
and the " Diana " of Monteniayor, which was nut translated 
into English by B. Yonge until 1598 ; but the incidents, com- 
mon to the drama and to these two works. S.K only such as 
might be found in other romances, or would present thern- 
selves spontaneously to the mind of a young poet; the one is 
the command of banditti by Valentine; and the other the 
assumption of male attire by Julia, for a purpose nearly simi- 
lar to that of Viola in " Twelfth Night." Extracts from the 

Arcadia" and the "Diana" are to be found in "Shake- 
speare's Library," vol. ii. The notion of some critics, that 
" The Two Geiitlemen of Verona" contains few or no marks 
of Shakespeare's hand, is a strong proof of their incompetence 
to form a judgment. 


[" A Most pleasaunt and excellent conceited Coniedie, of Syi 
lohn Falstafi'e, and the merrie Wiues of Windsor. Entcr- 
mixed with sundrie variable and pleasing humors, of Syr 
Hugh the Welch knight, lustice Shallow, and his wise Cousin 
M.§lender. With the swaggering vaine of AuncientPistoll, 
and Corporal Nvm. By 'W'llliam Shakespeare. As it hath 
bene diuers tirnes Acted bv the right Honorable my Lord 
Chamberlaines seraants. fioth before her Maicstie, and 
elsewhere, jxindon Printed by T. C. for Arthur Johnson, 
and are to be sold at his shop in Powles Chureh-yard, at the 
signe of the Flower de Leuse and the Crowue. 1602." 4to 
27 leaves. 

" A Most pleasant and excellent conceited Comedy, of Sir 
lohn Falstaffe, and the Merry Wiues of Windsor. With the 
swaggering vaine of Ancient Pistoll, and Corporall Nym. 
Written bv W. Shakspeare. Printed for Arthur JohnsoL, 
1619." 4to. 28 leaves. 

ill events --The Temppsl" wasplaved at Court under that title in " Everv Man in his Humour;" but while we admit the acuteness 
Kill .iihI Itii;!, Mr Hunter also endeavours to establish that Ben we cnniiol by any means allow the conclusiveness, of Mr. Uunlei s 
Jontion alluded to "The Tempest" in 1596, in the Prologue to reasoning. 



The 4to. of 1630, was " printed by T. H. for E. Meighen." &c. 
In the folio,1623, "The Merry Wines of Windsor" oc- 
cupies twenty-two pages, viz. from p. 39 to p. 60 inclusive, 
in the division of " Comedies." It also stands third in the 
three later foUos.] 

This comedy was printed for the first time in a perfect 
Btiite in tlio folio of 1623: it had come out in an imperfect 
otnte in 1602, and again in 1619, in both instances for a bools- 
pcllor of the name of Arthur Johnson : Arthur Johnson ac- 
quired tlie right to publish it from John Busby, and the 
•jni/iniil entry, and the assii^jnnieiit of tlie play, run thus in 
the Kogisters of tlie Stationers' Company. 

" ]8 Jan. 1601. Juhn Busby] An excellent and pleasant 
conceited commedie of Sir John Faulstof, and the 
Merry wyves of Windesor 

" Arth. Johnson] By assignment from Jno. Busbye 
a B. An excellent and ple.isant conceited comedie 
of Sir John Faulstafe, and the mery wyves of Wind- 
January 1601, according to our present mode of reckoning 
the year,' was January 1602, and the "most pleasaunt and 
excellent cona-ited oomedie of Syr Jo)m FalstaCfc, and the 
merric Wives of Windsor," (tlie title-page following the de- 
scription in the ^ntry) appeared in quarto with the date 
of 1602. It has been the custom to look upon this edition us 
tlie first sketch of the drama, which Shakespeare afterwards 
enlarged and improved to the form in whicli it appears in the 
folio of 1623. After the most minute examination, we are 
not of that iipinion : it has been universally admitted that the 
4to. of 1602 was piratical ; and our conviction is that, like the 
first edition of " Henry V." in 1600, it was made up, for the 
purpose of sale, partly from notes taken at the theatre, and 
partly from memory, without even the assistahca of any of the 
parts as delivered out by the copyist of the theatre to the 
actors. It is to be observed, that John Busby, wlio assigned 
"The Merry Wives of Windsor" to Arthur Johnson in 1602, 
wa-s the same bookseller who, two years before, had joined in 
tlie publication of the undoubtedly surreptitious " Henry V." 
An exact reprint of the 4to. of 1602 has recently been made 
by the Shakespeare Society, under the care of Mr. J. O. Hal- 
liwe'i ■, and any person possessing it may easily institute a 
comparison between that very hasty and mangleii outline, and 
the complete and authorized comedy in the folio of 1623, 
printed from the play-house manuscript in the hands of He- 
mjnge and Condell : on this comparison we rely for evidence 
to establish the position, that the 4to. of 1602 was not only 
published without the consent of the author, or of the com- 
pany for which it was written, but that it was fraudulently 
made up by some person or persons who attended at the 
theatre tor the purpose. It will be found that there is no va- 
riation in the progress of the plot, and that although one or 
two transpositions may be pointed out, of most of the speeches, 
necessary to the conduct and development of the story, there 
is some germ or fragment: all are made to look like prose or 
verse, apparently at the mere caprice of the writer, and the 
edition is wretchedly printed in a large type, as if the object 
had been to bring it out with speed, in order to take advan- 
tage of a temporary interest, 

T'hat temporary interest perhaps arose more immediately 
out the representation of the comedy before Queen Elizabeth, 
daring the Christinas hnlidays preceding the date of the entry 
in the Stationers' Registers: the tille-page states, that it had 
been acted " by the £ord Chamberlain s servants " before the 
Queen "and elsewhere:" "elsewhere," was perhaps at the 
Globe on the Bankf-ide, and we may suppose, that it had been 
brought out in the commencement of the summer season of 
1900, before the death of Sir Thoma-s Lucy. If the " dozen 
white luces" in the first scene were meant to ridicule him, 
Shakespeare would certainly not have introduced the allusion 
tttlrtr the death of the object of it. That it continued a fa- 
vourite play we can readily believe, and we learn that it was 
acted before James I., not long after he came to the throne : 
the following memorandum is contained in the accounts of 
ihe " Revels at Court" in the latter end of 1604. 

" By his Maiestie's plaiers. The Sunday foUowinge A 
"Plav of the Merry Wines of Winsor>." 
This reiiresentation occurred on " the Sunday following " 
Nov. Ist, 1604. 

What has led some to imagine that the surreptitious im- 
pression of 1602 was the comedy as it first came from the 
hands of Shakespeare, is a tradition respecting the rapidity 
with which it was composed. This tradition, when traced 
to itB source, can be earned back no farther than 1702: John 

• Bee Mr. Peter CunninKham's " Extracts from llie Accounts of 
Iho RoveU at Court," (printed for the Shakes)!. Society) p. 30:J. We 

Dennis in that year printed his "Comical Gallant, ' foundxi 
upon the "Merry Wives of Windsor," and in the dedicatijji 
he states, that " the comedy was written at the conunand ol 
Queen Elizabeth, and by her direction ; and she was so eager 
to see it acted, that she commanded it to be finished in four- 
teen days." Dennis gives no authority for any part of this 
assertion, but because he knew Dryden, it is supposed to have 
come from him; and because Dryden was acquainted with 
Davenant, it hius been conjectured that the latter might have 
communicated it to the former. "U'e own that we place little 
or no reliance on the story, especially recollecting that Den- 
nis had to make out a case in favour of iiis alterations, by 
showing that Shakespeare had composed the comedy in an 
incredibly short period, and consequently that it was capable 
of improvement. The assertion by Dennis w^ivs repeated by 
Gildon, Pope, Theobald, &c., and hence it has ootained a 
degree of currency and credit to wliich it seems by no nieana 

It has been a disputed question in what part of the serieis 
of dramas in which Falstaff is introduced, " The Merrj 
Wives of Windsor" ought to be read: Johnson thought it 
came in between " Henry IV." part ii. and " Henry V. , ' Ma- 
lone, on the other liand, anrued that it should be placed be- 
tween the two parts of " Henry IV. ;" but the truth is, that 
almost insuperable difficulties present themselves to either 
hypothesis, and we doubt much whether the one or the other 
is well founded. Shakespeare, having for some reason been 
induced to represent Falstaff in love, considered by what 

gersons he might bo immediately surrounded, and Bardolph, 
istol, Nvni, and Mrs. Quickly, naturally presented them- 
selves to Ids mind: he was aware that the audience, witii 
whom they had been favourite characters, would expect them 
still to be" Falstaff 'a companions; and though Shakespeare 
hail in fact hanged two of them in " Henry V.," and Mrs. 
Quickly had died, he might trust to the forgetfulness of those 
before whom the comedy was to be represented, and care 
little for the consideration, since so eagerly debated, in what 
part of the series " The Merry Wives of Windsor" ought to 
te read : Shakespeare might sit down to write the comedy 
without refiecting upon the manner in which he had previ- 
ously disposed of some of the characters he was about to in- 
troduce. Any other mode of solving the modern difficulty 
seems unsatisfactory, and we do not believe that it ever pre- 
sented itself to the nnnd of our great dramatist. 

The earliest notice of any of the persons in "The Merry 
Wives of Windsor" is contained in Dckker's jilay called 
"Satiromastix," 1602, where one of the characters obser\'es, 
" We must have false fires to amaze these spanirle-babies, 
these true heirs of master Justice Shallow." This allusion 
must have been made soon after Sliakesjieare's comedy had 
appeared, unless, indeed, it were to the Justice Shallow of 
" Henry IV." part ii. 

With regard to the supposed sources of the plot, they have 
all been collected by Mr. ilalliwell in the appendix to his re- 
print of the imperfect edition of " The Merry Wives of Wind- 
sor," in 1602: the tale of "The Two Lovers of Pisa," the 
only known English version of the time, is also contained in 
"Shakespeare's Library," Vol. ii.; but our opinion is, th.'it 
the true original of the story (if Shakespeare did not himself 
invent the incidents) has not come down to ub. 


["Measure for Measure" was first printed in the folio of 
" Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tra- 
gedies," 1623, where it occupies twenty-four pages, viz., 
from p. 61 to p. S4, incUisive, in the division of "Come- 
dies." It was, of course, reprinted in the later folios of 
1632, 1664, and 1685.] 

In the " History of English Dramatic Poetry," III. «8, it ik 
remarked, that " although it seems clear that Shakespeare 
kept Whetstone's 'Promos and Cassandra' in his eye, whilo 
writing 'Measure for Measure,' it is probable that he aloo 
made use of some other dramatic composition or novel, iu 
which the same story was treated." I was led to form this 
opinion from the constant habit of dramatists of that period 
to employ the productions of their predecessors, and from the 
extreme likelihood, that when our old play-writers were hunt- 
ing in all directions for stories wliich they could convert to 
their purpose, they would not have passed over the novel by 
Giralcfi Cinthio, which had not only been translated, but 

had no previous extrinsic knowledge of any early performance of 
■'The Mjerry Wives of Windsor " 



actually cnnverted into ft drama nearly n quarter of a century 
before the deiith of Elizabeth. Whetntoiie's "Promos and 
CaSHandra/' a play in two parts was printed in 1578, though, 
ae far aa we know, never acted, uud iie f^ubsequently intro- 
duced a translation of the novel (wliich he admitted to be its 
origin), in liis " Heptameron of Civil Discourses." 4lo. 1582'. 
No plavB, liowever, excepting " Promos and Ca-ssandra," and 
" Measure fur Measure," founded on the same incident.s, have 
reached our day, and Whetstone's is the only existing ancient 
version of the Italian novel. 

Th* Title of Cinthio's novel, the fifth of the eighth Decad 
of hill Uerotommithiy gives a sufficient account of tlie progress 
ot'th« Btory us he relates it, and will show its connexion with 
6huk«8peare's play: — *'Juriste e mandate da Maisimiano, 
Imperadore, in Ispruchi, ove fi prendere un giovane, viola- 
tore di una vergine, e condannalo a mortc : la sorella cerca di 
lihorarlo: Juriste da speranza aha donna di pigliurla per mog- 
lie, di darle libero il fratello: ella con lui si gince, e la notte 
istessa Juriste ta tagliur al giovane la testa, e la manda alia 
ttorelia. Ella ne fa querela all' Imperadore, il quale f^ sposare 
ad rluriste ladoima : posoia lo f^ dare ad essere ucciso. La don- 
na lo libirra, e con lui si vive amorevulissinuunente." — Whet- 
stone adupts these incidents pretty exactly in his "Promos 
rtnd Cassandra;'* but Shakespeare varies from them chiefly 
by tlie inlrnduction of Mariana, and by the final union be- 
tween the Duke and Isabella. Whetstone lays his scene at 
Julio in Hungary, whither Corvinus, the King, makes a pro- 
jfreas to ascertain the truth of certain charges against Promos : 
Shakeapciire lays his scene in Vienna, and represents the 
Dake as retiring from public view, and placing his power in 
the hands of two deputies. Shakespeare was not indebted to 
Whetstone for a single thought, nor for a casual expression, 
exceptintr as far as similarity of situation may be saia to have 
necessarily occasioned corresponding states of feelinsr, and 
employment of lanurinige. In Wlietstone's " nej>tameron," 
tlie name of the lady who narrates the stury of '* Pronu>s and 
Cassandra," is Isabella, and hence possibly Shakespeare miglit 
have adopted it. 

Ab to the date when " Measure for Measure " was written, 
we have no positive information, but we now know that it 
Wfts acted at Court on St. Stephen's niglit, (26 Dec.) 1604. 
This fact is stated in Edmntid Tylney's account of tlie ex- 
l>enKes of ihe revels from the end of Oct. 1604, till the same 
date in 1605, preserved in the Audit Office: tlie original 
memorandum of tlie master of the revels runs literatim^ as 
follows: — 

"By his Ma""Plaiers. On St. Stivens night in the Hall, a 
Play caled Mesur for Mesur." 

In the column of the account headed "The Poets which 
'mayd the Plaies," we find the name of "Shaxberd" entered, 
which was the mode in which the ignorant scribe, who pre- 
pared tJiG account, spelt the name of our great dramatist. 
Malone conjectured fi-om certain allusions (such as to "the 
war" with Spain, "the sweat," meaning the plaguo, &c.), 
that " Measure for Measure " was written in 1603 ; and if we 
suppose it to have been selected for performance at Court on 
li6tli Dec. 1604, on account of its popularity at the theatre 
lifter its production, his supposition will receive some confir- 
mation. However, su*ch could not have been the case with 
" the Comedy of Errors," and " Love's Labours Lost," which 
were written before 1598, and which were also performed at 
Christmas and Twelfth-tide, 1604^5. Tyt-whitt was at one 
lime of opinion, from the pnssage in A. II. sc. 4. — 

" As these black ma.'^ks 
Proclaim an enshieki beauty ten times louder 
Than beauty could displayed," 

that this drama " was written to be acted at Court, as Shake- 
sjreare would hardly have been guilty of such an indecorum 
to flatter a common audience." He was afterwards disposed 
to retract tiiis notion; but it is supported by the quotation 
b'-n the Kevels' accounts, unless we imagine," as is not at all 
iuipcdsible, that the lines respecting "black masks" and 
some others (to use Tyrwhitt's wordsT, " of partieuiar flattery 
.0 James," were inserted after it was known that the play, on 
nccount of its popularity, had been chosen for performance 
before the king. One of these passages seems to have been 
the followinsr, which may have nad reference to the crowds 
itt-endine tlie arrival of James I. in London, not very long 
before " Mensure for Measure" was acted at Whitehall*:— 

■ — •' and pven so 

The treneral, subject to a wcll-wisliVl King, 
Quit their ()wn part, and in obeequious fondness 
Crowd to his presence, where their untaught -Jve 
Must needs appear offence." 

> Whetstone's "Heptameron" is not paged, but "the rare His- 
lone ol Promos and Cassaadra." commenceB on Sign. N ij 6 

Steevena quotes a passage from "a True Narration of Ihv 
Entertainment " of the King on his way from Edinburgh to 
London, printed in 1603, where it is said, "he was faine to 
publish au inhibition against the inordinate and dayly accesse 
of people comming." Taken with the context, tlie line^ 
above quoted read like an insertion. 

We may, therefore, arrive pretty safely at the conclusion^ 
that " Measure for Measure" was written either at the close 
of 1603, or in the beginning of 1604. 

*' Measure fur Measure was first printed in the folio ot 
1623; and exactly fifty years afterwards wa8 published Sir 
William Davcnant's " Law against Lovers," lonnded upon 
it, and " Much ado about Not:Jnng." With some ingenuity 
in the combination of the plots, he contrived to avail l\ims*::f 
largely, and lor his purpose judiciously, of the muteriul 
Shakespeare furuishea. 

Of " Measure for Measure," Coleridge obserxes in his 
"Literary Remains," ii. 122: "This play, which is ^llake- 
speare's throughout, is to me the most painful, say rather, 
the only painful part of his genuine works. Tlie comic anj 
tragic parts equally border on the ^icrijrtdi/ — the one boinir 
disgusting, the other horrible; and the pardon and marriage 
of Angelo not merely baffles the strong indignant claim of 
justice (for cruelty, with lust and damnable baseness, cannot 
be forgiven, because we cannot conceive them as being mo- 
rally repente-.l of), but it is likewise degrading to the charac- 
ter of woman." In the course of Lectures on Shakespeare 
delivered in the year 1818, Coleridge poiiited especially to the 
artifice of Isabella, and her seeming consent to the suit of 
Angelo, aa the circumstances which tended to lower the 
character of the female sex. He then called " Monsure for 
Measure" only the "least agreeable" of Shakespeare's 


"The Comedie of Errors" was first printed in the folio of 1623, 
where it occupies sixteen pages, viz. from p. 85 to p. 100 
inclusive, in the division of " Comedies." It was re-printed 
in the three subsequent impressions of the same volume. 

Wk have distinct evidence of the existence of an old play 
called " The Historic of Error," which was acted at Hampton 
Court on new-year's night, 1576-7. Tiie same play, in all 
probability, was repeated ut Windsor on twelfth night, 1582-8. 
though, in the accounts of the Master of the Revels, it is called 
" The liistorie of FeiTar." Boswell (Mai. Shakesp. Hi. 400. t 
not very hiippily coniectured. that this "Historic of Ecrrai "' 
was some piece i>y 6eorge Ferrara, as if it had been nanied 
after its author, who had been dead some years : the fact, no 
doubt, is, that the clerk who prepared the account merely 
wrote the title by his ear. Thus we see that, shortly before 
Shakespeare is supposed to have come to London, a play was 
in course of performance upon which his own "Comedy of 
Errors" might be founded. "The Historic of Error" was, 
probably, an early adaptation of tlie Menaclimi of Plautus, 
of which a free translation was published in 1596, under the 
following title: — 

" A pleasant and fine Conceited Comeedie, taken out of 
the most excellent wittie Poet Plautus : Chosen pnrnosoly 
from out the rest, as least harmefull, and yet most deligntfulL 
Written in Engli^^h by W. W. — London, Printed by Tho. 
Creede. and arc to be sold by William Barley, at his shop in 
Gratious shecte. 1595." 4to. 

The title-patre, therefore, does not (as we miffht be led to 
supjinse from Stcevens's reprint in the "Six Old Plays") men- 
tion the Men(Bchmi by name, but we learn it from the com- 
mencement of the piece itself. 

Rilson was of opinion, "that Shakespeare was not under 
the slightest obligation" to the translation of the AItnarh?ni^ 
by W. W., supposed, by Ant. Wood f Ath. O.xon. by Blib**, 
I. 766.), to be W. Warner: and most likely Ritann was ricrht,, 
not from want of resemblance, but "-The Comedy of 
Errors" was, in nil probability, anterior in poi-nt of date, ai.i 
because Shakespeare may have availed himself of the old 
drama which, as has been noticed, was performed at court in 
1576-7. and in 1582-3. That court-drama, we mayinfer, had 
its origin in Plautus; and it was, perhaps, the popularity of 
Shakespeare's " Comedy of Errors " which induced Creede 
to print Warner's versnm of tlie Mfndchmi in 1595. There 
are various points of likeness between V\' arniir'' ^ Mentxchmi 
and Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors;" but those points 
we may suppose to have been derived intermediately through 
the court-drama, and not directly from Plautus'. Sir W. 

1 In Act T. and Act II. of " The Comedy of Errors,'' in the folio if 
162^ Antipholus of Syracuse is twice callpd Erotes and Frrotit, whicli 



Blackstone cntertnine<l tl.e belief, from tlio "long hobbling 
verse- ""u tl.e " of Errors," tliut it w,ts "among 
b" .kcspeare'H more e.rly proonctions :" th.s m plausible but 
we imaline, from their /enaral dissimilanty to the style ot our 
TerSmt St. that these '^ long hobbling verses " formed a 
P ion of the old court-drama, of which Shakespeare made 
as much use ,is answered Ins purpose: they are q»■t^ ■> " « 
style of plavs anterior to the time of Shakespeare, and it is 
eisy toMlstinguish such portions of the comedy as he must 

'" Tbc"Ja'liest notice we have of " The Comedy of Errors," is 
bv MiTOs in his PalladU Tamin, 1S98, whore he gives i to 
8 lakes .:'«:" under the name of ''Errors'." How ■nucl, betore 
khat time it had been written and produced ,<>">',',« ^'f «• J« 
MU onlv speculate. Malone refers to a part of tlio dialogue 
in Act III so 2 where Dromio of Syracuse is conversing with 
h 9 master aboit the " kitcben wench " who insisted upon 
nnkiVig love to him, and who was so tat and round-" spher- 
ical like a globe "-that Dromio " could find out countries in 

" Dro. i h^Z foXld ; arm'd and reverted, ■n;.ki„g war ag^in.t 
h^r heir." , j ii ^ 

It is supposed that an enuivoque was intended on the word 
■■heir" (wfiich is printed tn the folio of 1628 "," at tl at 
period an unusual way of spelling^" lunr") and that Shake- 
Leare alluded to the civil war in>ra,ice, which begin in the 
„ iddle of 1589, and did not terminate until the close ot 1593 
This notion seems well-founded, tor otlierwise there won d 

be no joke in the reply; and >' "f" ■■; ' P^"^' .'v 1L^' to 
the time when we may believe " The Comedy of Errors o 
have been written. But here we have a range of tour yea s 
and a half, and we can arrive at no nearer appro.vimat on to 
a precise date. As a mere conjecture it may be stated that 
Shakespeare would not have inserted the allusion to the hos- 
Tility bitwcen France and her " heir," after the war had been 
so long carried on, that interest in, or attention to it in this 
country would have been relaxed. 

Another question by Antipholus, and the answer of Dromio 
immediately preceding wliat is above quoted, is remarkable 
on a different account: — 

Ant. S. Where Scotland ? , . , , ^ ,v,= 

• Dro. S. 1 found it by the barrenness; bird, in the pilm of the 


in two persons, yet these are mere individual accidonta, canu 
ludmtU ,Mtwm, and tlie ■verum will not cvcuse the «'"■':"' 
mile. But farce dares add the two Dromios, and is^justifiod 
in so doing by the laws of its end and constitution. 

"From this passage," (says Malone) " we may learn that 
tills comedy was not revived after the accession of the Scot- 
tisli monarch to the English throne; otherwise "t would pro- 
bably have been struck out by the Master of the Revels. 
However, we are now ceriain (a curious fact hitherto un- 
knuwii) that "The Comedv of Errors" was represented at 
Whitehall on the 28ih December, UM. In the account of 
the Master of the Kevcis of the expenses of his departmcnS 
from the end of October 1604, to Shrove Tuesday, 161)5, pre- 
served in the Audit Office, we read the snlwequent entry :-- 

"Bv his Ma'" riaiers. On Inosents ^lght, the plate ot 
Errors," the name of Shaxberd, or Shakespeare being in- 
serted in the margin a.s "the Poet which mayd the Plaie.^^ 
" The Comedy of Errors " was, therefore, not only revived, 
Sut represented at-coiirt very soon after James I. canie to the 
Ai-own: we mav be confident, however, that the question and 
answer respecting Scotland were not repeated on tlie occasion, 
though retained in the MS. used by the actor-editora for the 

"^"in MrLectures on Shakespeare in 1818, Coleridge passed 
over "Tlie Comedy ot Errors" without anj;^ particular or 
separate observation; Imt in his " Liteiwy Remains we 
find it twice mentioned (vol. ii. 90 and lU), in nuicli the same 
terms. " Shakespeare," he observes, " has in this piece 
presented us with a legitimate farce, in exactest consonance 
with the philosopVical principles and character of tarce, as 
distinguished from comedy and enterUnninents. A proper 
farce 's mainly <Iistiiiguished from comedy by the license 
allow k'., and even required, in the fable, in order to produce 
ilrange and hmghable situations. The story need not be 
probidile ; it is enough that it is poss^ble. A comedy would 
Jcarcely n!llow even the two Antipholuses ; because although 
there have been instances of almost undistiiiguishable likeness 

i. oonJMtured w b« > corruption of erraticu!. AntiplioUis of Bpnesus 
•" the Slime wav, is once called S.r.p(..Mm.spr,nted, perhaps for 
«rr,p(»..; but in the I.i5t three acts they are distmguisbed as An- 
tiphrtus ofSyracusia," and '-Antipholus of Ephesus " The epitl ,u 
Jerralirus and surrrplus were not obtained by bhakespeare from 
Wirner, but possibly from the old court drama. . 

• The 11« supplird bv Meres is of twelve plays; and if anything i. 
U) be gathered from the circjmstanc*, he places "Errors" wcond. 
' Gentlemen of Verona ' coming before it. 


1" Much adoe about Nothing. As it hath been stindrie tiine« 
publikely acted by the right honourable, the Lord Lliam- 
herlaine his seruants. \V'^ritten by Williani bhakespeare.- 
Loudon Printed by V. S. for Andrew W ise, and A\ ilham 
Aspley. 1600." «o.. 36 leaves. „ „ f ,;„ 

It is alsJ printed in th5 division of " Oomedi<!s ,m the fiho 
1623 where it occupies twenty-one pages, viz., troni p 101, 
to p. 121, inclusive. It was reprinted in the other lohos.] 
We have no information respecting " Much Ado aboBt 
Nothiii>r" anterior to the appear.ance of the *to. ediliuii m 
1600, excepting that it was entered foi; pub.icution on the 
books of tW Stationers' Company, on the 28d of August in 
that year, in the following raanner:— 
■' ' "23 Aug. 1600. 

And. Wise Wm. Aspley] Two books, the one called Much e 
adoe about Notliinge, and the other 1 he Second i arte 
of the Historv of King Henry the iiiitli, with the Hujnors 
of Sir John Fallstatt'; wryttcn by Mr. Shakespeare. ^ 
There is another memorandum in the same register beantig 
date on the " 4th August," without the year, which runs Id 
these terms:-" As you like yt, a book H<;;"-v tl>e «ift, a 
book Everyman in his humor, a book. The Comcdie of 
Much Adoe about Nothinge, a book." Opposite the titles 
of those plavs are added the words, "to be stated 1 ns 
last entry, there is little doubt, belongs to the year 16i 0. lor 
such is the date immediately preceding it; and, as Midone 
observes, the clerk seeing 1600 just above Ins P^;,"- »;''<=» "^ 
inserted the notice for staying the publication ot .Much Ado 
about Nothing" and the two other plays, did not think it 
necessary to repeat the figf.res. The caveat ol the 4th Aiigtjst 
against the publication had most likely been withdrawn by 
the 2Srd of tlie same month. The obiect ot the '' stay was 
probably to prevent the publication of " IJcnry \ ., . Every 
kan ill his liumour," and " Much Ado about Nothing," by 
anv other booksellers than Wise and Asjiley. 

The4to of "Much Ado about Nothing," which came out 
in 1600, (and we know of no other impression in that lorm) 
is a well-printed work for the time, and the type is unusua y 
o-ood. It contains no hint from which we can at all distinctly 
hifcr the date of its compositions but Malone supposed that 
it wius written early in the year in which it c.une ff'.m the 
press. Considering, however, that the comedy would have • 
be got up, acted, and become popular, before it wius nub- 
lisherl, or entered for publication, the time of its coinposit.oi. 
bv Shakespeare may reasonably be carried back as far as «'« 
autumn of 1599. That it was popular we on hardly doubt 
and the extracts from the Stationers' Registers seem to show 
that apprehensions were felt, lest rival booksellers shoult^ 
procure it to be printed. ,.,/.•! ■ \.- 

^ It is not included by Meres in the list l'e/»""sbe.s in his 
PttUadis Tamui, 1598; and " Englami's Parnassus, 1600, 
contains no quotation from it. If any conclusion coud bo 
drawn from this fact, it might be, that it was written subse- 
quent to the appearance of one work, and prior to the publi- 
cation of the other. Respecting an early performance of il at 
Court, Steevens supplies us with the snbseouent intormation . 
—"'Much Ado about Nothing' (as I understand froiii one 
of Mr Vertue's MSS.) formerly passed under the title ot 
'Benedick and Beatrix.' Heminge, the player, received on 
the 20th Mav, 1618, the sum of MiO, and £20 more as hie 
Majesty's gratuity, for exlii biting six |4aysal Hampton Court, 
anion"' which wais this comedy." Tlie change ot title, if ■•- 
deed it were made, could only have been temporary. lh« 
divisions of Acts (Scenes are not marked) were first matle in 

" . — '»^' - -J-.-.-..: — ..♦• "Much Ado about 

idents of another of 

the folio of 1628. The adaptation of 
Nothing," coupled with the oiiiet mcide...- _ - - 
Shakespeare's jramas, (see the " Introduction to ««««,'■■;» 
for Measure,") bv Sir William Daveiiunt, was first printed m 
the edition of his works in 1673. 
The serious portion of tlie plot of " Much Ado aboul 

' Chalmers (Suppl. Apol. 331.) conjectures that when Beatricj 807., 
"Yes you had n?isty victuals, and he hath holp to e,a ,l," Shake- 
speare meant a sarcasm upon the manner ,n which ,»>'« '\7r ""'''I 
the Earl of Essex had been supplied with bad provisions during the 
?,sh compaiKn. Most readers will consider Ihis an nverslramod .pe^ 
nlation, although, in point of d»te, ,t accords pre ty accuratdv will, 
"he tune when " Much Ado ab.iut Nrthiiig " may h»ve S-er, 


Nothinjr," which relates to Hero, Clnndio, and " John the 
linstaril, is extremely similar to the story of Ariodante and 
Ocne-ira, in Ariosto's" Orlando Furioso," B. v. It was iepa- 
ratelj versified in English by Peter Beverley, in imitation 
of A"ithur Broolje's Kbmeus and Juliet," 1S62, and of Ber- 
nard Garter's "Two English Lovers," 1568; and it was 
printed by Thomas East, without date, two or three years 
»ftcr those poems had appeared. It was licensed for the press 
in 1565; and Warton informs us (Hist. Engl. Poetryj iv. 810, 
edit. 1S24) that it was reprinted in :600, the year ni which 
"Much Alio about Nothing" came from the press. This 
fiiet is important, because either Shakespeare s attention 
might be directed to the story by the circumstance, or (which 
Bceins more probable) Beverley's poem might then be repub- 
Uuhed, in consequence of its connexion in point ot story with 
hftkespeare's coniedy. 

Sir John HarinL'ton's translation of the whole " Orlando 
Furioso" was originally published in 1591, but there is no 
special indication in " Much Ado about Nothing " that Shake- 
speare availed himself of it. In a note at the eiid of the canto 
occupied by Ariodante and Geneura, Sir John Harington 
added this sentence : — " Howsoever it was, surely the tale is 
a pretty comical matter, and hath been written in English 
verse some few years past (learnedly and with good grace), 
though in verse of another kind by M. George Turbervil." 
Ifthis note be correct, and Harington did not confound Tuber- 
ville with Beverley, the translation by the former has been 
lost Spenser's version of the same incidents, for they are 
evidently borrowed trom Ariosto, in B. II. c. 4, of his 
" FaerieQueene," was printed in 1590 ; but Shakespeare is not 
to be traced to this source. In Ariosto and in Spenser the 
rival of Ariodante has himself the interview with the female 
attendant on Geneura; while in Shakespeare " John the Ba.'^ 
tard " employs a creature of his own for tlie purpose. Shake- 
speare's plot may, therefore, liave had an entirely different 
origin, possibly some translation, not now extant, of Bandello's 
twer.ty-second novel, in vol. i. of the Lucca edition, 4to. 1554, 
which is entitled, " Como il S. Timbreo di Cardona, esscndo 
col Re Picro d'Aragona in Messina, s'innamora di Fenioia Lio- 
nata; e i varii fortunevoli accidenti, che avvennero prima die 
per moglie la prendesse." It is rendered the more likely that 
Shakespeare employed a lost version of this novel by the c 
cumsiance, that m Italian the incident in which she, who may 
be called tlie false Hero, is concerned, is conducted much in 
the same way as in Shakespeare. Moreover, Bandollo lays 
his scene in Messina ; the father of the lady is n.anied Lionato ; 
and Don Pedro, or I'icro, of Arragon, is the friend of the 
lover who is duped by his rival. 

Nobody has observed upon the important fact, in connexion 
with "Much Ado about Nothing," that a "History of Ario- 
d.anto and Geneuora" was played before Queen Elizabeth, by 
"Mulcaster's children," in 1582-8. How far Shakespeare 
might be indebted to tliis production we cannot at all deter- 
mine ; but it is certain that tlie serious incidents he employed 
in his comedy had at an early date formed tlie subject of a 
iramatic representation'. 

In the ensuing text the 4to, 1600, has been followed, with 
due notice of any variations in the folio of 1623. Tlie first 
impression contains several passages not inserted in the re- 
print (for such it undoubtedly was) under the eai'e of Hemingo 
and Ccnd^'l, and the text of the 4to is to be preferred in 
near"./ aj iiistiinces of variation. 


["A plea«ant Conceited Comedie called, Iioues labors lost. As 
it was presented before her Highiies this last Christmas. 
Newlv corrected and augmented Bv W. Shakespere. Im- 
printi.'. at London by W.AV. for Cutbert Burby. 1598." 4to, 
38 leaves. 

'r the folio, 1023, " Love's Labour 's Lost" occupies 23! 

p. 44, '.nclusive. It was reprinted in 1681, 4lo; "by W. S., 

for JohnSniethw''eke;" and the title-page states that it wa« 
published " as it was acted by his Majesties Scruants at 
the Blacke-Friers and the Globe." It is merely a copy from 
the folio, 1628, with the addition of some errors of the 

There is a general concurrence of opinion that " Love's 
Labour 's Lost '' was one of Shakespeare's earliest productions 
for the stage. In his course of Lectures delivered in 1818 
Coleridge was so convinced upon this point, that he said 
" the internal evidence was indisputable;" and in his " Lit* 
rary Remains," II. 102, we find him using these expressions; 
— '"'The characters in this play are citlior impersonated otft 
of Shakespeare's own multitorinity, by imaginative self-posi- 
tion, or out of such as a country town and a school-boy's ob- 
servation might supply'." The only ohieotion to this theory 
is, that at the time " Love's Labour 's Lost " was composed, 
the author seems to have been acquainted in some degree 
with the nature of the Italian comic performances; but this 
acquaintance he might have acquired comparatively early in 
life. The character of Arinado is that of a Spanish braggart, 
very much such a personage as was common on tlie Italian 
stage, and figures in GV Inganruiti, (which, as the Rev. Jo- 
sepli Hunter was the first to point out, Shakespeare saw before 
he wrote his "Twelfth Night,") un.ler the name of Giglio : 
in the same comedy we have M. Piero Pedantf, a not unusual 
character in pieces'of that description. Holofcrnes is repeat- 
edly called "the Pedant" in the old copies of "Love's La- 
bour 's Lost^" while Armado is more frequently introduced 
as " the Braggart " by his name. Steevens, after stating 
that he had not been able to discover any novel from which 
this coniedy had been derived, adds that " the story has most 
of the features of an ancient romance:" but it is not at all 
impossible that Shakespeare found some corresponding inci- 
dents in an Italian play. However, after a long search, i 
have not met with any such production, although, if used by 
Shakespeare, it most likely came into this country in a printed 

The question whether Shakespeare visited Italy, and at 
what period of his life, cannot properly be considered here; 
but it is a very important point in relation both to his bio- 
graphy and works. It was certainly a very geuer;J custom 
for our poets to travel thither towards the close of the reign 
of Elizabeth, and various instances of the kind are on record. 
Robert Greene tells us in his "Repentance," 1592, that he 
had been in Italy and Spain : Thomas Nash, about the same 
date, mentions what he had seen in France and Italy; and 
Daniel has several early sonnets on his '-'going to Italy," and 
on his residence there. Some of our mo-t celebrated actors 
of that time .also made jonrneys across the Alps; and Mr. Ilal- 
Hwell, in the notes to his "Coventry Mysteries," pirinted for 
the Shakespeare Society, has shown that Kemp, the comedian, 
who, as we have seen, performed Dogberry in " Much Ado 
about Nothing," was in Rome in 1601. 

It is vain to attempt to fix with any degree of precision 
the date when " 1-ove's Labour 's Lost " came from the 
author's pen. It is very certain that Biron and Rosaline are 
eariv sketches of two cliuracters to which Shakespeare subse- 
quently gave greater force and effect — Benedick and Beatrice; 
but th'isonlv "shows, what cannot he doubted, that " Lc 'e's 
Labour's Lost" was interior in composition to "Much Ado 
about Nothing." " Love's Labour 's Lost " was first printed, 
as far as we now know, in 1598, 4to, and then it professed on 
the title-paire to have been " newly corrected and augmented:' 
we are likewise there told that it was presented before Queen 
Elizabeth " this la-st Christmas." It was not uncommon for 
dramatists to revise and add to their plays when they were 
selected for exhibition at court, and such may have been the 
case with " Love's Labour 's Lost." " The last Christnia.s" 
probably meant Christmas, 1598 ; for the year at this period 
did not end until 25th March. It seems likely that the com- 
edv had been written six or even eiuht years before, that :i 

' Thomas J-wlan's " Royal Arllor of Loyal Poesie." 8vo. 16G4. con- 
tains an iU-viitten lialLiJ. called "The Revolution, a Icve-story,'' 
fpunded upon tliK serious portion o*" " Much Ado about Nothinf; " 

■ Farther or. this great psychological critic ooserres : — "If this 
juvenile drama had been the only one extant of our Shakespeare, and 
tt\ possessf d the tradition only of his riper works, or accounts of them 
tc writers who had not even mentioned this play, how many of Shake- 
Ipeare's characteristic features might we not still have discovered in 
'Love's I.jfcour's Lost,' though as in a portrait taken of him in his 
boyhood I I can never sufficiently admire the wonderful activity of 
Ihougfit throughout the whole of the first scene of the play, rendered 
natural, as it is, by the choice of tlie characters and the whimsical 
detenniuaiun on which the drama is founded — a whimsical determina- 
tion, yet no: altogether so vary improbable to those who are 

pages, in the division of " Comedies," viz., from p. 122 to was revived in 1598, with certain corrections imd augments' 

conversant in the nistory of the middle ages, with their Courts of 
Love, and all that lighter drapery of chlrajry, which engaged even 
mighty kings, with a sort of serio-comic interest, and may well be 
supposed to have occupied more completely the smaller princes, at a 
time when the noble's or prince's court contai:ied ine only theatre of 
the domain or principality." 

3 It was asserted by Warburton. that in the character of H.-'lciernes 
Shakespeare intended to ridicule Plorio, and that our creat poet h«re 
condescended to personal satire. The only apparent offence by Flono 
was a passage in his "Second Fruits," 1.591, where he complained of 
the want of decorum in English dra'natic representations. The pro- 
vocation was evidently insufficient and we loay safely dism'BS the 
whole conjecture as unfounded. 



lions for performunce before the Queen ; and this circnm- 
RUmcc may have led to itt* pubiication immediately afterwards. 
Tlie evidence derived from pussii^ea and alluniona in the 
piece, to which Mulone refers in hia ''Chronological Order," 
IB clearly uf little value, and he does not himself place much 
confidenoo in it. ''Love Labour Lost" is mentioned by 
Meres in 1599, and in the same year came out a poem by 
K[obert] T[ofte] entitled " Albu^" in tlie commencement of 
one of the stanzas of which this comedy is introduced b} 
name : — 

" Love's Labour Lost I once did see, a play 
Ycleped 50." 

Tliia does not read as if the writer intended to say that he had 
seen it recently. There ta a coincidence in Act III, sc. 1, 
which requires notice; Costard there jokes upon the difference 
between "remuneration "and "g'uerdon ;"and Steevens con- 
tended that Shakespeare was " certainly indebted for his vein 
of jocularity " in this instance to a tract by I[ervase] M[ark- 
ham], called, " A Healtli to the Gentlemanly Profession of 
Servint; Men," which Dr. Farmer informed him was pub- 
lished in 1573. Tlie fact, however, is, that this tract dia not 
appear until 1598, the year in wliich^' Love's Labour's Lost" 
came from the pre.'^s. It was, possibly, a current jest, and it 
will be found quoted correctly from the original, and not ae 
Steevens inserted it, in a note upon the passage. 

It is capable of proof that the play, as it stands in the folio 
of 1628, was reprinted from the 4lo. of 1598, as it adopts 
variqns errors of the press, which could not have found their 
way into the folio, had it been taken from a distinct manu- 
script. There are, liowevcr, variations, which mi»ht show that 
the player-editors of the folio resorted occasionally to some 
authority besides the 4to. These differences arc pointed out 
in the notes. The 4to. has no divisions into Acts and Scenes ; 
and the folio only distintrnishes the Acts, but with considera- 
ble inequality : thus the third Act only occupies about a page 
and a half, while the fifth Act (misprinted Actiis Quartus) 
fills nine pages. Nevertheless, it would have been taking too 
great a liberty to alter tlie arrangement in this respect, al- 
though, as the reader will perceive, it might be improved 
without much difficulty. 

There is no entry of " Love's Labour's Lost" at Stationers' 
Hall, until 22d Jan. 1606-7, when it was transferred by Burby 
(the publisher of it in 1598) to Ling, who perhaps contem- 
[)latca a new edition. If it were printed in 1606 or 1607, no 
such impression has come down to us. Its next appearance 
was in the folio, 1623; but another 4tn, of no authority, was 
published in 1631, the year before the date of the second 


["A Midsommer nights dreame. As it hath beene sundry 
times publickely acted, by the Right honourable, the Lord 
Chamberlaine his seruants. Written by William Shake- 
speare. Imprinted at London, for Thomas Fisher, and are 
to be soulde at his ehoppe, at the Signe of the White Hart, 
in Fleetestreete, 1600.'' 32 leaves. 
"A Midsommer night's dreame. As it hath beene sundry 
times publikely acted, by the Right honourable, the Lord 
Chamberlaine his seniants. Written by William Shake- 
speare. Printed by James Roberts, 1600." 82 leaves. 
la the folio, 1628, it occupies 18 pages, viz., from p. 145 to 
162 inclusive, in the division of "Comedies." It is of 
course, like the other plays, inserted in the later folios.] 
Tnrs drama, which on the title-pages of the earliest impres- 
sions is not called come.iy, history, nor tragedy, but which is 
included by the player-editors of the first folio among the 
"comedies" of Shakespeare, was twice printed in 1600, '*for 
Thomas Fisher" and " by James Roberts," Fisher was a 
bookseller, and employed some unnamed printer ; but Roberts 
was a printer as well as a bookseller. The only entry of it at 
Btationers' Hall is to Fisher, and it rnns as follows: — 

"8 Oct. 1600. Tho. Fyslier] A booke called a Mydsomer 
nights Dreame." 

I 8vo. 1841, p. G. The following are the terms Forman employs, 
and they are subjoined, that the reader may compare them with the 
passage in "'s Dream," A. ii. sc 1. "Ther was 
moch 5icknes but lyttle death, moch fruit, and many plombs of all 
sorts this yeare and sm.ill nuts, but fewe walnuts. This inonethes 
of June and July were ■?ery wet and wonderful cold like winter, that 
th* 10 dae of Jutii many did syt by the Iyer, yt was so cold ; and soe 
Was y* in Maye and June ; and scarce too fair dais together all that 
tyme, but yt raynec every dav more or lesse. Yf yt did not raine, 
then was yt cold and cloudye. Mani murders were done this quarter. 
The"e were many great fludes this sommer, and about Michelmas, 
tho-'^-e tVe abundaunce of raine that fell sodeinlv. the brige of 

There is no memorandum regarding the impression ly Ro- 
berts, which perhaps was unauthorized, although Hem n go 
and Condell followed his text when they included " Midsum- 
mer-Night's Dream" in the folio of 1623. In some instauoee 
the folio adopts tlie evident misprints of Roberts, while such 
improvements as it makes are not obtained from Fisher's 
more accurate copy: both the errors and emendations, if not 
merely trifling, are pointed out in our notes. The chief dilfer- 
ence between the two quartos and the fnlio is, that in the 
latter the Act-*, but not the Scenes, are distinguished. 

We know from the PalUidU lamia of Meres, that " Mi-i- 
summer Night's Dream" was in existence at least two yearp 
before it came from the press. On the question when it waa 
written, two pieces of internal evidence nave been especially 
noticed. Mr. Halliwell, in his " Introduction to a Midsum- 
mer-Night's Dreum " has produced a passage from the Diary 
of Dr. Simon Forman, which in some points tallies with the 
description of the state of the weather, and the condition ot 
the country given by the Fairy Queen. » Tlie memorandun 
in Forman's Diary relates to the year 1594, and Stowe's Chro 
nicle may bo quoted to the same eft'ect. 

The other supposed temporary allusion occurs in Act v 
sc. 1. and is contained in the lines, — 

"The thrice three Muses mourning for the death 
Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary," 

which some have imagined to refer to the death of Spenser 
If so, it tnust have been an in.sertion in the drama subsequent 
to its first production, because Spenser was not dead in 1598, 
when *' Midsummer-Night's Dream" was mentioned by 
Meres. It is very doubtful whetlier any particular reference 
were intended by Shakespeare, who, perhaps, only meant to 
advert in strong terms to the general neglect of learning. • T. 
Warton cjirriea the question back to shortly sub.sequent to 
the year 1591, when Spenser's "Tears of the Mu>es " was 
printed, which, from the time of Rowe to that of Matone, wiw 
supposed to contain passages highly laudatory of Shakespeare. 
There is a slight coincidence of expression between Spenser 
and Shakespeare, in the poem of the one, and in the drama 
of the other, wliich deserves remark : Spenser says, — 

''Our pleasant Willy, ah, is dead of late. 
And one of Shakespeare's lines is, — 

"Of learning, late deceased in beggary." 

Yet it is quite clear, from a subsequent stanza in ** The Tears 
of the Muses," that Spenser did not refer to the natural death 
of " Willy," whoever he were, but merely that he *' rather 
chose to sit in idle cell," than write in such unfavourable 
times. In the same manner, Shake-^peare might not mean 
that Spenser (if the allusion indeed be to him) was actually 
** deceased," but merely, as Spenser expresses it in his '• Colin 
Clout," that he was " dead in dole." The allusion to Queen 
Elizabeth as the " fair vestal, throned by the west," in A. ii. 
sc. 1, affords no note of time. 

It seems highly probable that "A Midsummer-Night's 
Dream " was not written before the autumn of 1594, and if the 
speech of Titania in A. ii. sc. 1, were intended to describe the 
real state of the kingdom, from the extraordinary wetness of 
the season, we may infer that the drama came irom the pen 
of Shakespeare at the close of 1594, or iu the beginning of 

"The Knight's Tale'* of Chaucer, and the same poet'e 
" Tysbe of Babylone," together with Arthur Golding's trans- 
lation of the story of Pyramus and Thisbe from Ovid, are the 
only sources yet pointed out of the plots introduced and em- 
ployed by Shakespeare. Oberon, Titania, and Robin Good- 
fellow, or Puck, are mentioned, as belonging to the fairy 
mythology, by many authors of the time. The Percy Society 
not long since reprinted a tract called " Robin Good-fellow 
his Mad Pranks and Merry Jests," from an edition in 1628 
but there is little doubt that it originally came out at leas 
forty years earlier^: together with a ballad inserted in th 
Introduction to tliat reprint, it shows how Shukespear« 
availed himself of existing popular superstitinns. In "■ Percv's 
Reliques" (HI. 254, edit. 1812,) is a biJlad entitled "The 

Ware was broken downe, and at Stratford Bowe, the water was nevet 
seen so byg as yt was : and in the lat ere end of October, the waten 
burst downe the bridge at Cambiidgp In Barkshire were many gret 
waters, wherewith was moch harm sodenly." MS. Ashm. liol, 
fol. iU5. 

3 A wood-cut ia on the title-page, intended to represent Robin 
Goodfellow : he is like a Satyr, with hoofs and horns, and a broom 
over his shoulder. Sir Hugh Evans, in " The .Merry Wivea of Wind- 
sor," was no doubt thus dressed, when he represented I'uck, or Kobio 
Goodfellow. A copy of the wood-cut may be seen in "^ The Bridga- 
watur Library Catalogue," 4to, 1837, p. 258. 



attribute<l to Bon Jou- ' and tlmt of the caskets is cbap. xcix, of the same colleefion. 
The /*fmra«^ of Ser Giovarmi riorentino also contains a novel 

Merry fTaulis of Kobin Good-ftllow, 

Boiu <lf which I liave a version in a MS. pf the tjmo : it is the . ^, ,. , ^„ • „ ■ 

inoM curious, because it has tlie initials B. J. at the end. It . very similar to that ot " Tlie ML-rohant of Venice, witii re^ 
coufai'is some; variations and an additional stanza, which/ spect to the bond, the disguise and agency of Portia, and the 
cciisiderintr tlie siibieot of the poem, it may be worth while \ gift of the ring. This narrative (Giorn. ly. no?). 1) was wr»t- 

btre to subjoin : 

'* Wlicn a^ my fellow elfes an^ I 
In circled ring do trip around 
If that our sports by any eye 
Do happen to be seen or found 
If that they 
*io words do say. 
But mum continue as uiej go, 
Eax:h night I do 
Put groat in shoe 
And wind out laughing, ho. ho. no " 

Tne incidents connected with the life of Robin Good-follow 
WW^ T3 doubt, worked up by difl'erent dramatists in diffor- 
ant ways- and iu " Henslowe's Diary" are inserted two 
e«itrie8 of money paid to ilenry Chettle for a play he wa.s 
writing ill Sept. 1602, under the title of "Eobin Good-feilow." 

Tbercia everj' reason to believe thai, " Midsummer-Night's 
Di^im " was popular: ill 1622, the year before it was re- 
firiuted ill tlie first folio, it is lluis mentioned by Taylor, the 
water-poet, iu his "Sir Gregory Nonsense :" — " I say, as it In 
appJauafully written, iuid commended to posterity, in tlui 
KlKlsummtT-Niglit'B Bream: — if we offeno, it is with oitTi 
good will: we came with no intent but to olTeiid, and show 
our simple skill.'"— (See A. v. sc. 1.) 

ten as early as the year 1378, but not jiriiited in Italy until 
1554; and it is remarkable that the scene of certain runiantic 
adventures, in which the hero was engaged, is there laid hi 
the dwelling of a lady at Belmont. These adventures seem 
afterwards to have been changed, in some English version, 
for the incidents of the caskets. In Boccaccio's Decameron 
(G-iiyrn. x., nm. 1) a choice of caskets is introduced, but it 
does not in other respects resemble the choice as we find it 
in Shakespeare : while the latter, even to the inscriptions, is 
extremely like the history in tlie Geeta Rmrmnormn. 

Tlie earliest notice in English, with a date, of any oircvuB- 
stances connected with the bond and its forfeiture, L- ;on- 
taiiied in "The Orator: handling a Hundred severv^ Dis- 
courses," a translation from the French of Alexander Silvaynj 
by Anthonv Mtuiday, who published it under the name ot 
Lazarus Plot, iu 1596, 4lo. There, with the he.-id of " Deelu- 
mation 95," we find one " Of a Jew, who would for his debt 
have a pound of flesh of a Christian;" and it is followed by 
"The Christian's Answer," but nothing is said of the inci- 
dents, out of which these " declnmations " arose. Of the old 
ballad of "The Crueltie of Gernutus, a Jewe," in "Percy's 
Reliques," 1. 22S (edit. 1812) no dated edition is known ; but 

.^» ..,.1* _n .^ . 1 .-. -c oMI 1..^ i.,/^K».ii'1 t r\ nirvaa ti'ltll Al' il rt fill /'* OK*if»I'- 

; . , ,,v, , . ,, , , „v, ,1 I vations on the Faerie Queene," I."l28,)lhat it was not found- 

It appears bv a MS. preserved in the Liorarj at Lambeth ^ Shakesi^are's play, and was anterior to it: it might 

ilace, that " M.dsummer-^.ght s Dream 'was represented ^^^ \^ ^^..^ ^^^^^ ^,^ K^^^j j„,„,^ „,. ., t,,^ j,„,^„ ,„e,itioiied 

Palace, . 

at the house of John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, on 27tl 
Sept. 1631. Ilist. of Eug. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, ii. 26 


1 origiu 
by Gosson." " Henslowe's Diary," under date of 25tli Atig._ 
1594, Contains an entry relating to the jjerforniancc of "The 
Venetian Comedy," which Malone conjectured might moan 
" The Merchant of Venice ;" and it is a circumstance not to 
be passed over, that in 1594 the coinpan.y of actors to wliicli 
Shakespeare was attached was playing at the theatre iu Ne_w- 

I" The excellent History of the Merchant of Venice. With 

the extreme cruelty ot Shylocke the lew towards the saide ; ingion butts, in conjunction, as' far as we can now learn, with 
Merchant, in cutting a iust pound of his flesh. And the the company of whiieh Henslowe was chief manager. 

obtaining of Portia, by the cliovse of three caskets. Written 
by W. Shakespeare. Printed' by J. Roberts, 1600." 4to, 
40 leaves. 

" The most excellent Historie of the Merchant of Venice. 
With the cxtreame crueltie of Shylocke the lewe towards 
the sayd Mei cliant, in cutting a iust pound of his flesh : and 
the obtayning of Portia by the chojsc f»f three chests. As 
it hath beene diners times acted by the Lord Chamberlaine 
his Seruants. Written by William Shakespeare. At Lon- 
don, Printed by I. R., for" Thomas Heyes, and are to be sold 
in Paules Church-yard, at the signe of the Greene Dragon, 
1600." 4lo, 83 leaves. 

It is also printed in the folio, 1623, where it occupies 22 pages, 
viz., from p. 163 to p. 184, inclusive, in the division of " Co- 
medies." Besides its appearance in the later folios, the Mer- 
chant of Venice was republished in 4to, in 1637 and 1652.] 
The two plots of " The Merchant of Venice " are found as 



has been 

of our popular literatm-e. Vf hether the separate incidents, ! >« *^'vour of the last ol whom we meet with another entry in 

relating to the bond and to the caskets, were ever combined ', "'^ Stationers' books, without any proviso, dated,-- 

in the same novel, at ail as Shakespeare combined them in 

his drama, cannot of course be determined. Steevens asserts 

broadly, that "a play comprebeiiding the distinct plots of 

Bhakespcarc's Merchant of Venice had been exhibited long 

before lie commenced a writer;" and the evidence iie adduces 

Meres' has " The Merchant of Venice " in his list, which 
was puhlished in 1598, and we have no means of knowing 
how long prior to that date it was written. If it were " The 
Venetian Comedy " of Henslowe, it was in a ci>urse of per- 
formance in August, 1594. The earliest entry regarding " The 
Merchant of Venice " in the Stationers' Register is curious, 
Irom its particularity : — 
"22 July, 1598, James Eobertes.] A booke of the Mar- 
cbaunt of Venycc, or otherwise called the Jewe of Ve- 
nyse. Provided that yt bee not prynted by the said 
Jiimea Robertes, or a'nye other whatsoever, without 
lycence first had from the right honourable the Lord 
Shakespeare was one of the players of the Lord Chamber- 
lain, and the object seems to have been to prevent the pub- 

lication of the play without the consent of the company, to ba 

28 Oct., 1600, Tho. Haies.] The booke of the Merohartt 
of Vcnyce." 
Bv this time the "licence" of the Lord Chamberlain for 
prin'ting the play probably been obtaine>t. At the bottom 
of the title-page'of Roberts's edition of 1600, no place is stated 
IS a pa.ssage from Gosson's "School of Abuse," 1579, where , where it was to be purchased: it is merely, "Printed by J. 
hj especially praises two plavs " showiie at the Bull," one i Roberts, 1600 ;" while the imprint to the edition of Heye» 
calsd " The Jew," and the o'ther " Ptolonie :" of the former ! informs us that it was " printed by I. R.," and that it wa 
fissson states, that it "represented the greedinesse of worldly I " to be sohl in Pauls Church-yard," &c. I. R., the print* 
diusers, and bloody min.ts of usurers."' (Shakespeare Socie- ! of the edition of Heyes, was, most likely, J. Roberts ; bul it 
ly's Reprint, p. 80.) The terms, " worldly chusers," may I is entirely a distinct impression to that which appeared in the 
certainly have reference to the choice of the" caskets ; and the ! same year with the name of Roberts. The edition of Roberts 
conduct of Shylock mav very well be intended bv tlie words, I is, on the whole, to be preferred to that of Heyes ; but the 
" minds of usurers." It is possible, therefore, that a' editors of the folio of 1623 indisputably employed that of 
theatrical pertbrnianoe should have existed, anterior to the , Heyes, adopting various misprints, but inserting also several 
tii.ieof Shakespeare, in whicli the separate plots were united: ! improvements of the icKt. These are pointed out in our 
and it is not unlikely that some uovel had been published , notes in the course of the play. The similarity between the 
which gave the same incidents in a narrative form. " On the , names of Salanio, Salarino, and Salcrio, in the llramatis Pfi- 
whole," says the learned and judicious Tyrwhitt, " I am in- , snna, has led to some confusion of the speakers in all the 
dined to suspect that Shakespeare followed some hitherto | copies, quarto and folio, which it has not always been found 
unknown novelist, who had saved him the trouble of working easy to set rieht. 

np the two stories into one." I " The Merchant of Venice" was performed before James I., 

Both stories are found separately in the Latin fr'fsto .flowM- ' on Shrove-Sunday, and again on Shrove-Tucsday, 1606: 

w>rum, with considorable variations : that of the bond is ' hence wc have a right to infer that it gave great Siitisfaction 

(ihap. xlviii. of MS. Harl. 2270, as referred to by Tyrwhitt ; ; at court. The fact is thus recorded in the c ligiiial iiecoun» 


mTRODiTcnoN ro the plays. 

cf expenses, niude out )ty tlie Master of the Revelrt, and still 
picserved in tiie Audit Officft : — 

" l{y His Ma'" I'laiers. On Shrovsunday a play of the 

Marclmnt of Venis." 
" J!y hie Mil'" Players. On Shrovtu»diiy ft play canled 

the Martchant of Venis againe, commanded by the 

King8 Ma"'." 
The name of Shaxbcrd, for Shakesjioare, a8 "the poet 
which made the play," i» added in the marjriii opposite both 
tneso entries. Notwithstanding the popularity of this drama 
before the closing of the theatres in 1642, it seems to have 
been so much forgotten soon after the Restoration, that in 
1664, Thomas Jordan made a ballad out of the story of it in 
hi.s "Royal Arbor of Loyal Poesie," and thought himself at 
liberty to pervert the original, by malting the Jew's daughter 
the principal instrument of punishing her own father : at 
the trial, she takes the office which Shakespeare assigns to 


"*Afa You Like It" was firpt printed in tlic folio of 1623, where 
*t occupies tweuty-threo pages, viz. from p. 185 to p. 207 
inclusive, in the division of ■■' Comedies." It preserved its 
place ill the three subsequent imprefsious of that volume 
in 1632, 1664, and 1685.] 

" As You Like It " ifl not only founded upon, but in Home 
;)0irt9 very closely copied from, a novel by Thomas Lodge, 
jnder thetitle of " Eosalynde : Euphues Golden Leg:acie," 
which was originally printed in 4to, 1590, a second time in 
1592, and a third edition came out in 159S. We have no in- 
telligence of any re-imnresriion of it between 1592 and 1598. 
This third edition perliaps iippeared e:irly in 1598; and we 
are disposed to thiuK, that the re-publiciition of no popular a 
work directed Shakespeare's attention to it. If so, *' As You 
Like It " may have been written in the summer of 1598, and 
firt4t acted in the winter of the same, or in the spring of the 
following year.i 

The only entry in the register;* of the Stationers* Company 
relating to *' As You liike It," is confirmatory of this suppo- 
sition. It hns been already referred to in the " Introduction" 
»o " Much Ado about Nothing" and it will be well to insert 
It here, precisely in the manner in which it stands in the 
original record : — 

" 4 August. 

" Ah you like yt, a book. Henry the fflft, a book. Every 
man in his humor, a book. The Commedie of Much 
adoo about nothinge, a book." 

Opposite this memorandum are added the words ''To be 
staied." It will be remarked, that there is an important de- 
» ficiency in the entry, as reirards the purpose to which we 
wish to apply it: — the date of the year is not given ; but Ma- 
lone conjectured, and in that conjecture I have expressed con- 
currence, that the clerk who wrote tiie titles of the four plays, 
with the date of " 4 August/' did not think it necessary there 
to repeat the year 1600, as it was found in the memorandum 
immediately preceding that we have above quoted. Sliake- 
Bpeare^s '^ Henry the Fifth," and **Much Ado about Notliingj'^ 
were both printed in 1600, and Ben Jonson's *' Every Man in 
hia Humour" in the year following; though Gillbr'd, in his 
edition of that poet's works (vol. i. p. 2), by a strange error, 
states, that the tirst impression was in 1603. The " stay," as 
regards '' Henry the Fifth," " Every Man in his Humour," and 
** Much Ado about Nothing," was doubtless soon removed; 
for *' Henry the Fifth" vvns entered again tor publication on 
the 14th August; and, as has been already shown, Wise and 
Aspiey look the sauK) course with *' Much Ado about No- 
thing" on the 23rd August. There is no known edition of 
-'As You Like It" prior to its appearance in the folio of 
'»J23, (where it is divided into Scenes, as well as Acts) and 
«e may pos.sibly assume that the " stay" was not, for some 
anexplained and uncertain reason, removed as to that comedy. 

Malone relied upon a piece of internal evidence, which, if 
examined, seems to bo of no value in settling the question 
when '* As You Like It" was fir.'^t written. The following 
words are pnt into the mouth of Rosalind :^" I weep for 
nothing, like Diana in the fountain" (A. iv. sc. 1), which 
Malone supposed to refer to an alabaster fisruro of Diana on 
tho east of Cheapaide, which, according to Stowe's " Survey 
of London," was set up in 1598, and was in decay in 1603. 
This ti^ure of Diana did not "weep;" for Stowe expressly 
Ufttes tnat; the water came " prilling from lier naked breast.*' 
Therefore, this passage proves notiiing as far as respects the 

1 If w« RiipPOB* that the third edition of Lodge's " Rofialynde" was ' one of tne earlier impresaions in 1590 or 1502. it would show tha *' Ai 
«c8fiion»d oy tti? |)opuiari'y of Snaceapeare's comedy, founded upon ■ You Like It" was acted in 1593, and m ^rht have been written io 59? 

date of " As You Like It." Shakespeare probably intended 
to make no allusion to any particiihir fountain. 

It is not to be forgotten, in deciding upon the probable dat« 
of " As You Like It, "that Mercs makes no mention of it in 
liis Palladia Tamia^ 1598 ; and as it was entered at Stationers* 
Hall on the 4th August [1600], we may conclude that it wa« 
written and acted in that interval. In A. iii. sc. 5, a line from 
the first Sestiud of Marlowe's '* Hero and Leander " is quoted : 
and as that poem was first printed in 1598, "As You Like It 
may not have been written until after it appeared. 

There is no doubt that Lodge, when composing his " RoBa- 
lynde : Euphues Golden Legacie," which he did, as he in- 
forms us, while on a voyage with Captain Clarke, " to the isl- 
ands of Terceras and the Canaries," had eitlicr " The Coke'fl 
Tale of Gamelyn" (falsely attributed to Chaucer, as Tyrwliiti 
contends in his lutrod. to the Cant. Tales, I. clxxxiii. Edit 
1880.) strongly in his recollection, or, which does not seera 
very probable in such a situation, with a manuscript of it 
actually before him. It was not printed until more than a 
century afterwards. According to Farmer, Shakespeare 
looked no farther than Lodere's novel, which he followed in 
'* As You Like It" quite as closely ns he did Greene's '* Pan- 
dosto" in the ** Winter's Tale." There are one or two coin- 
cidences of expression between "As You Like It" and "Tlie 
Coke's Tale of Gamelyn," but not perhaps more than might 
be accidental, and the opinion of Farmer appears to be suffi- 
ciently borne out. Lodge's " Rosalynde " has been recently 
printe'd as part of "Shakespeare's Library," and it will be 
easy, therefore, for the reader to trace the particular resem- 
blances between it and " As You Like It." 

In his Lectures in 1818, Coleridge eloquently and justly 
praised the pastoral beauty and simplicity of " As You Like 
It;" but he did not attempt to compare it with Lodge's " Ro- 
salynde," where the descriptions of persons and of scenery 
are comparatively forced ana artificial : — " Shakespeare," said 
Coleridge, " never gives a description of rustic scenery merely 
for its own sake, or to show how well he can paint natural 
objects: he is never tedious or elaborate, but while he now 
and then displays marvellous accuracy and minuteness of 
knowledge, he usually only touches upon the larger featurea 
and broader characteristics, leaving the fillings up to the ima- 
gination. Thus in ' As You Like It' he describes an oak of 
many centuries growth in a single line : — 

' Under an oak whose antique root peeps ont.* 
Other and inferior writers would have dwelt on this descrip- 
tion, and worked it out with all the pettiness and imperti- 
nence of detail. In Shakespeare the ' antique root ' furuishea 
the whole picture." 

These expressions are copied from notes made at the time; 
and they partially, though imperfectly, supply an obvioup 
deficiency of treneral criticism in vol. 11. p. 115, of Coleridge'ft 
" Literary Remains." 

Adam Spencer is a character in " The Coke's Tale of Game- 
lyn," and in Lodge's " Rosalvnde:" and a great additional in- 
terest attaches to it, because it is supposed, with some appear- 
ance of truth, that the part was originally sustained by Shake 
speare himself. Wc have this statement on the authority of 
Oldys's MSS. : he is said to hhve derived it, intermediately of 
course, from Gilbert Shakespeare, who survived the Reslora- 
tion, and who had a faint recollection of having seen his bro- 
ther William 'Mn one of Ids own comedies, wherein, being to 
personate a decrepit old man, he wore a long buard, and ap- 
peared so weak and drooninir. and unable to walk, that he 
was forced to be supported, and carried by anotlier person to 
a tiible, at which ho was seated among some company, who 
were eating, and one of them sung a soner." This descriptioD 
very exactly tallies with " As You Like It," A. ii. sc. 7. 

Shakespeare found no prototypes in Lodge, nor in any 
other work yet discovered, for the characters of Jaques, 
Touchstone, and Audrey. On the admirable manner ir. wliich 
he has made them part of the staple of his story, and on the 
importance of these additions, it is needless to enlarge. It is 
rather singular, that Shakespeare should have introduced twc 
cliaracters of the name of Jaques into the same play; but in the 
old impressions, Jaques de Bois, in the prefixes to hisspeechoB, 
is merely called the " Second Brother." 


[" The Taming of the Slirew" was first printed in the folio of 
1623, where it occupies twenty-two patres, viz. from p. 20f 
to page 229 inclusive, in the division of "Comedies." It 
was reprinted in the three later folios.] 



„„der the title of " Tl'e.T^Mm.^ of a^ -e-^ T»^^ "'^^ 

at tl>e KoyuU Ex'elK.nge. 1594.^ 4to .^ .^ 

It was reprinted '" ^S?^' "^g^^erton. The impression of 

r^r,fr^c:;i.t.^"^b/steev:nsf(s"i°a the eollec^ion of the 


^^rj.^& J'r;:^annL of .. Si..w.. When 

Wi ilum Sh.kspeeve-s Con,edye., H-^°";„!' "";^,. ^"^.fd "o 

Ui error. The greut probability is, t bat """'^^^f^j'^g 

'"Thfr'e''cr,ttpri„tof "The Pleasant Cornedy of Patient 
( Ji-ill " bv Delfker, Cbefle, and Hangbton from the edi ion 
ofTe. 8 tends to throw licrht on this point. H''"''""^ *^'^mry 
e. tab islies, that the three dramatists above named ™re «nt 

Ulition, possibly, with some other drama ist, who wrote trie 
;^,\onH'»^,ieh ari'admitted not to be '" '^hakespeare s nnin^e 
trcdnced his "Taming of the Shrew" soon atter i a"em 
Lriss 11" had been brought nnon the stage, a»d « » 'O--^ »f 
onnnterpart to it ; and that Deker followed np the ■^"Ti' " 
fhe summer of lf.02 bv his " Medicine for a eiirst \V ife, _ ha\- 
Z berinei.ed by the success f Shakespeare s"Ta,„,ne of 
the Shrew " at a rival theatre. At this time the old laming 
of a Shrew" had been laid by a.s a public P^;f'>™kker took 
Shakespeare havine very nearly adopted its W.'^- l^f';'^^ [^f^ 
a different one, in accordance with the expression he had used 
two or three vcars before in " Patient GnssiU". 
The sileiioi of Mercs in 1598 regarding any such play by 

Shakespeare is also important : had it then been Y""™' ^' 
?oiId?rreelvh»ve faUed to mention it; so that we ha « 
^troiK' neirat ve evidence of its non-existence before^ tin. 
amielra c; of Palladia T«mia. When Sir Jcdiii If '.S'-or. 
hrii s " Met morphosis of Aiax," 159«, says, " K^"'' <>''l»;°»'^« 
of 'Tamine a Shrew,' whicli hath made a n iint>er of us. so 
i perfJc h"^ now evc^y one can rule a shr.w in "";-nn.ry 
Tave he that hath her," he meant the 'I'l " f""" "« ,°*4 
Shrew," reprinted in the same year. In ' 'f A''^ ,.;;i'^,,"°;,* 
not oiilv the comedy in which Petiuchio ai d J^^" ';['"<=» * 
chieflv en"a<»ed, but the Induction, wiich is "T'";'' ^ .^ '° 
'be cfose^for Sly and the Tapster conclude the piece, as .ue, 

menls," was the smirce of the many imm.t.ons which Imv e 
h H^ \n'?du'ir»\rte1[r,?,\hat rnTtli'e'tt^or 
f^^^r^^^o'll ?:ies bv Kichard Edwards dated 

some miw unknow*,, iianslation of Nott. vin. tab. 2, ot the 

'^::t^uTS'^, fVeelv tnmslated by G....yne 
rbef ™ IS^ when it was acted at Grey's Inn under the titk' 
of "The Si. -poses,'- seems to have afforded Shakespeare part 
of his nlot it relates to the manner in which Lucentio and 
Tra^io pa s off the Pedant as Vincentio, which is not found 
iraino pass ™ "'« Shrew." In the list of persons pre- 

notice has ,heen 'ake, t emu t ^^^^ ^„^^,^„,i,, ,ense 
nwhFch i 'is emtioyei bv Gascoyne, and in reference to that 
nan of the s?or?which had lieen derived from' his Irunslation. 
Fo,l lit e Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew ■' w;as known 

X Sld'^rof a'en^mwl'^iilT ien r;siding in Lincoln- 


r" All's Well that Ends Well" was first printed in the tol.o 

^ f ^rintsCrrs:^;Srppf:VFf ■ ""^ 

[be same space ;nd place in the three later folios ] 

w^rc'^^^i'" ^;^:^J^ H w"ri?;Siyi eo 

PajUdit Tamia ,viendee au opinion which he firsi 

out very c early '™° ^''Xf^^T ^et „t a later date, ad^e* 
of expression; and Protestor l>ecK.^ disposed to a^r.e 

\\ el that ••'""■:""', - f draught of the play, we do not 
explain, are re^^''^^ "/ 'J;«^ ehfeflv „ b" discovered in that [*r- 

llZ^Av^^- There ean\e little doubt, howev.. 

Malon. wa, mistaken when h. l^»,ak».ps.™ by B.^U^ .:^;^:^Tr^^S^^^ ^^:i^^^^ 

101 of Shakespeare's " Taming of tke fchre-ar, but ol the oia i a , . ^ l^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ tragedy 
•ns of a Shrew " 



-All 8 «eii ;"'"/■,'"„ ,„o'„ contains ind cations of the 
^^^ J?^:.:^;;:.;^.^^'„s of h. CO.. 

traduction to " i he lemptst, ""'"'^ '™ ,„,, Mr Hunter 

ussisnini? that play to tU vear 1610, or 61 . ,/l'^: ,'^";^.'',l 

.1, ,f "Tiip Ti>miiest ' even more than An s vi en 

..rgnes that The Ij-'^'P;- '' , ^ ,i„„ificant name of " Love 

':■[;".:;:; Sn'- and a" itSVnhont 1605 or 1606, when the 

taurraud'^'eTTsotsr^he'cntry runs in these terms :- 
"Betwin Newers Day and Twelfe Day, a piny of Love» 
Labours Lost." 
The name of the author, and of the company hv w'wm t e 

'" nraSct on- .n poSly Shakespeare altered Us, 

^' Tr IS ;ev-^fTh:i;:nS^r'£:^^x :^m 

reSrt'krr'Vhrdifflrend'i;; the titles, a. we find them m 

"^^'hri^!:?.n"n?^ tne q-st-ot..wnetner ShaUe- 
SDCare understood Italian, of vvhicli, we tlnnk, 1'"'"/' ' '^t 
'ca^Te entertained, we need n'>^ '^-VPl^J'^l'^lZtl l^!l 

■; sVdi faTia l^una flsto a: dumanda per nKn-ito Beltrumo 
• d! RossiJlim e ■ i q le contra sua voglia sposatala, a F.renze 
B ne vf P^ isdc^.o; dove vaghejreiando una l^'"vane, m 
r^r^o.^di lei Gialietta giacque con lui, e hebbene due ii.r.; - 
^iTporc^^ poi hav'utala eara per mog >e a 'C- 1 he 
Tfnirlwh version bv Pa uter maybe read m bhaKespeare s 
Lbr^-v-^rnd beL it will appear, that the poet «^is only 
■ SL' tn Rocciceio for the mere outline of ins plot, as re- 
I'Lrds I eena Bert an the Widow, and Diana All that 
feon- to tl e characters of the Countess, the Clown, and 
IVroS nd be comic business in wliich the last is engaged 
ware >^'f ras we now know, the invention ot Shakespeare. 
The mdv names Boccaccio (ami after bim Painter) gives are 

1 The two passages ran as follows :— 

. . '■ We must away ; 

Our wacffon is prepar'd, and time revive.^ us ; 

All's weU that'enls well; suU the fine s the crown. ^^ ^ 

" All 's well that ends well ft I. ^_ 

Though .ime seem so adverse, and mesns unfit. 

« H„„..r Tinnts ■' All 's well that ends . ell " i» Italic and with 

towardo the end of the drama, by the dupreity, und ever 
fSiood he makes him display: Coleridge (I-''- ;<"■': "-if '' 
was ottended by the fact, that in A. iii. sc. 5, »« ^ », Slmk» 
si.eare'8 loveliest character," speaks that which is uiitrna 
XerSie appearance of necessity ; but Bertram is comic ed 
"v t he Khie !.f telling a deliberate untrn.h and of ^er^mUn, 
ii", it in the face of the wliole court ot !• ran X. In lio^^^f""" 
"he winding up of the story occurs at KousiUon, as m bhaku 

to iin 


nemainiei» aiu lhuo,- .^ : , u a- 

ipose a wife upon her ro uctan "'?°""Ji' -K naa Well ' 
blance to the same incident in '■ All 's W ell that Knaa w eu 


is only general. 


f" Twelfe Ni-ht, Or what yon Will," was first printed ill tlie 
^ t^ro of 1628, where it occupies twenty-one pages; viz tron 
n 055 to 275 inclusive, in the diviMon ot "Comedies, 
l 27C having been left blank, and unpaged. It appears in 
he same form in the three later tohos.] 
We have no record of the pcrlbrmance of "Twelfth-Niglit" 
at court cor is there anv nicntion of it in the books at Sta- 
at couii, oor s ^, ■ u s 1623, when it was registered 
l\"Blm d J ^^-ru^^ t" be included in the first 

h lio of '' M William' Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories 
1 Tr.,<,P,i;es " It appeared originallv in that volume, under 
?,''f I^nlle tme, '''r'Sh-Niga or'What You Will," with 

"^Vttmllot'S^^^nSwUh precision when it was flr^ 
n L uiMui.i ^.v. . I _! J) (, ce cbration ot 

ThcTkd^rVV^a^rrt uirMUMirTcmple on Feb. 2 1602, 
according o our modern computation of the year. The tact 
S perinuance we have on tl'^-J-Hi' -'^y^T'- j^^ ^ 
who seems to h.ave been a barrister, and u 1 o^e Uiary, in m» 
own baml-writinL', is preserved in the British Museum {Han 
MRS. 5353). The nieniorandiim runs, literatim, as "Ho^;* - 
- Febv 2, 1601121. At our feast we had a play called 
Twelve-Night or What Yo-. Will, much like the comedy of 
eiTorrorMcicehmi in Plautus, but most like and neereto 
Ui Tn Xn called Inoa.mU. A irood ,, in it to make 
tf steward believe his ladv widduwe was in love wit . him, 
bvcounterfavtim. a letter, ai from bis lady, in gencrail 
tdl-meCwl a "slice liked best in him, and prescribing his 
le tires biscribing his apparaile, Ac. and then when he 
faine to practise, nraking hbn beleeve they tooke him to be 

""Tlii's remarkable entry wivs pointed o"t,in the "H-|sto,7 of 

Fnclish Dramatic Poctrv and the Stage, vol. . p..".^;- »\o, 

mi and tie Kev. Joseph Hunter, in his " Disquisition on 

The Tempest," 8vo, 1839, has ascertained t liat it was made 

bv a Pe son of the name if Mannim-lr.uii It puts an ciid to 

tlm con ec ire of Malone, that ■' Twelf.h-Nigl.t " wn ten 

n 1607 m.d to the less probable specu ation ot Tvrwhitt, tha 

"was not produced until 1614. Even if it shonld be objected 

hat we lave no evidence to show that tl"*Cc.,n,d.v wxs eo 1- 

no'od shortU prior to its representation at the Middle Tem- 

?,°e 1, rbe Answered, that it is eapab e of proot that it was 

Tit e, posterior to the publication of *'"= ''■""''''";"^:," ,^' " 

sel ten's " Disconrs of Voyages into the Eas »"d.We«' '"^ 

dw's" In A ii. sc. 2. Maria says of Malvoho :-" He does 

smU; his ace into more lines than arc in the new map, wi K 

? e am^mentation of the Indies." When Malone prepared 

his''Cl^oiologioal Or,ler"he had ' not^ been able to leara 

U c diae of the map here alluded to," hut Lmschoten'a Dis- 

onrs of Voyages 'f was published in fdio in English 11: :.W8. 

W n liatvSnme is inserted "the new inap with the ang 

mentation of the Indies." Meres takes no notice c.t Twelfth 

way. According to my supposition, these f.^'^^l'^luZf,, "w^e" 

?-;;:rS ^^^i^^£r7l ::f.-i^^^s::?'ier:"' 

dat s tie drd cat'ii of his " second tome " " F-^'ny _,»>.. hov.« 
i besides the Towie of Lo.don, the lu,, of November. l.'.7. 



Night" in his list, published in the same yenr, and we may 
oonelnde tln.t tliaCnmedy was not then in existence. The 
words " new map," employed by Shakespeare, may be 
thouffht to show tliat Linschoten's " Disconrs " had not made 
Its appearance long bafore " T\velfth-Ni?ht " was produced; 
out on the whole, we are inclined to fix the period of its com- 
position at the end of 1600, or in the beginning of 1601 : it 
might be acted at the Globe in the summer of the same year, 
and from thence transferred to the Middle Temple about six 
uiontlis afterwards, on account of its continued i>opul!irity. 

Several originals of "Twelfth-Night," in English, Flench, 
and Italian, have been pointed out, nearly all of them dis- 
covered within the present century, and to these we shall now 

A voluminous and various author of the name of Barnabe 
liich, who had been brought up a soldier, published a volume, 
which he called •' Rich his Farewell to Military Profession," 
without date, but between the years 1578 and 1581: a re- 
impression of it appeared in 1606, and it contains a novel 
entitled " Apoloni'us and Silln," which has many points of 
resemblance to Shakespeare's comedy. To tliis production 
more particular reference is not necessary, as it forms part 
of the publication called " Shakespeare's" Library." If our 
great dramatist at all availed hiniself of its incident.s, he must 
of course have used an earlier edition than tliat of 1606. One 
minute circumstance in relation to it may deserve notice. 
Manningham in his Diary calls Olivia a " widow," and in 
Rich's novel the lady Julina, who answers to Olivia, is a 
widow, but in Shakespeare she never had been married. It 
'•■< possible that in the form in which the comedy was per- 
fcinned on Feb. 2, 1601-2, she wa.s a widow, and that the 
"iuthor subsequently made the change ; but it is more likely, 
Bs Olivia must have been in mourning for the loss of lier 
brother, that Manningham mistook her condition, and con- 
cluded hastily tliat she lamented the loss of her husband. 

Rich furiii>hes us with the title of no work to which he was 
nidcbted ; but we may conclude that, either immediately or 
intermediately, he derived his chief materials from the Italian 
tf BandcUo, or from the French of Belleforest. In Bandello 
it forms the thirty-sixth novel of the Seccmda Parte, in the 
I.ucca edit. 1554. 4to, where it bears the subsequent title; — 
"Nicuola, innamorata di Lattantio, va 4 servirlo vestita da 
puggio ; e dope moiti casi seco si inarita : e cio che ad un 
6U0 fratello avvenne." In the collection by Belleforest, 
printed at Paris in 1572, 12mo, it is lieaded .as follows: — 
"Comme une fille Roinaine, se vestant en page, servist long 
teinps un sien amy sans estre cogneue, et depuis I'eust a 
mary, avec autres divers discours." Altliougn Belleforest 
inserts no names in his title, he adopts tliose of Bandello, but 
abridges or omits many of the speecnes and some portions of 
Uie narnitive : what in Bandello occupies several pages is some- 
times included by Belleforest in a single paragraph. We quote 
tl»« subsequent passage, because it will more exactly show the 
degree of connexion between " Twelfth-Night" and the old 
French version : it is where Nicuola, the Viola of Shakespeare, 
di.-*guised as a page, and under the name of Romule, lies an 
interview with Oatelle, the Olivia of " Twelfth-Night," on 
behalf of Lattance, who answers to the Duke. 

" Mais Catelle, qui avoit plus I'oeil sur I'orateur et sur la 
[ULive beaut6, que I'oreille aux paroles venant d'ailleurs, estoit 
an une estrange peine, et volontiera se fut jettee a son col 
pour le baiser tout a son aise: mais la honte la retint pour un 
temps: a la fin n'en pouvant plus, et vaincue de ceste impa- 
tience d'amour, et se trouvant favoris^e de la commodity, ne 
Kjeut de tant se eominander, que I'embrassnnt fort estroite- 
nient elle ne le baisast d'une douxaine de fois, et ce avec telle 
'ftsoivit^ et gestes etfrontez, que Romule s'appareeut bien que 
oette-cy avait i)lus chere son accointance que les ambassades 
Je celuy qui la courtisoit. A ceste cause luy dit, Je vous 
fcie, madanic, me faire taut de bien que me aonnant cong^, 
j'nye de vous quelque gracieuse responce, nvec laquelle je 
priL*se faire content et joyeux mon seigneur, lequel est en 
boucy at tourment continuel pour ne s^avoir votre volenti 
vers luy, et s'il a rien acquis en vos bonnes graces. Catelle, 
hamant de plus en pjus le venin d'amour par les yeux, luy 
Bembloit que Romiile devint de fois k autre plus bean." 

Upon the novel by Bandello two Italian plays were com- 
osed, which were printed, and have come down to our time. 
The title of one of these is given by Manningham, where he 
sj\V8 that Shakespeare's " Twelfth-Night" was *' most like 
and neere to that in Italian called fnt/anni.''^ It was first 
jcted in 1547, and the earliest edition of it, with which I am 
acquainted, did not appear until 1582, when it bore the title 
uf Gf Inganni Comtdia del Siimnr N. S. The other Italian 
tlrftma, founded upon Bandello's novel, bears a somewhat 
uiiailar title : — OV IngannaU Cojnmedia degf Accademici /n- 



tronati di Si^na, which ^^as several times printed; last, per- 
haps, in the collection Ddk Cnmmtdi* degV Accademici Intro- 
nati di Siena, 1611, 12mo. AVliether onr great dramatist saw 
cither of these pieces before he wrote liis " Twelfili-Night " 
may admit of doubt; but looking at the terms Manningham 
employs, it might seem as if it were a matter understood, ut 
the tirne " Twelfth-Night " was acted at the Temple on Feb. 
2, 1602, that it was founded upon the Inganni. There is no 
indication in the MS. Diary that the writer of it was versed 
in Italian literature, and GV Inganni might at that day be a 
known comedy of which it was believed Shakespeare had 
availed himself. An analysis of it is given in a Binall tracL 
called " Farther Particulars of Shakespeare and his Works,'* 
8vo, 1689, but as only fifty copies of it were printed, it ma; 
be necessary here to enter into some few details of its plot, 
conduct, and characters. The " Argument," or explana'.ory 
Prologue, which precedes the first scene, will show that the 
author of GP Inganni did not adhere to Bandello by any 
means closely, and that he adopted entirely different names 
for his personages. 

" Anselmo, a Genoese merchant who traded to the Levant, 
having left his wife in Genoa great with child, had two chil- 
dren by her, one a boy called Fortunato, and the other a 
girl natned Gineura. After he had borne for four years the 
desire of seeing his wife and family, he returned home to 
them, and wishing to depart again, he took them with him ; 
and when they were embarked on board the vessel, he dressed 
them both in short clothes for greater eoiwenience, so that the 
girl looked like a boy. And on the voyage to Soria he was 
taken by Corsairs and carried into Natolia, where he re- 
mained in slavery for fourteen years. His children had n 
different fortune'; for the boy was several times sold, but 
finally here in tliis city, which, on this occasion, shall be Na- 
ples : and he now serves Dorotea, a courtesan, who lives there 
at that little door. The mother and Gineura, after various 
accidents, were bought by M. Mi-ssimo Caraccioli, who lives 
where vou see this door;' but by the advice of the mother, 
who has been dead six years, Gineura has changed her name 
and caused herself to be called Ruberto ; and, as her mother 
while living persu.adcd her, alw.ays gave lierself out to be a 
boy, thinking in this way that she should be better able tc 
preser\'^ her chastity. Fortunato find Ruberto, by the infor- 
mation of their mother, know themselves to be brother and 
sister. M. Massimo has a son, whom they call Gostanzo, and 
a daughter named Portia. Gostanzo is in love with Dorotea, 
the courtesan to whom Fortunato is servant. Portia, his 
sister, is in love with Ruberto, notwithstanding she is a girl, 
because she has always been thought a man. Ruberto, the 
girl, not knowing how to satisfy the desires of Portia, who 
constantly importunes her, has sometimes at night conveyed 
her brother into the house in her place: he has got Portia with 
child, and she is now every hour expecting to be brought to 
bed. On the other hand, Ruberto, as a girl and in love with 
her young master Gostanzo, has double suffering — one from 
the passion which torments her, and the other from the fear 
lest the pregnancy of Portia should be discovered. Massimo, 
the father of Portia and Gostanzo, is aware of the condition 
of h4s daughter, and has sent to Genoa to inquire into the 
parentage of Ruberto. in order that if he find him ignoble, 
and unworthy to be the husband of his daughter, whom he 
believes to be with child by him, he may have him killed. 
But, bv what I have heard, the father of the twins, who has 
escaped from the hands of the Turks, ought this day to_ be 
returned with the messenger, and I think that every thing 
will be accommodated." 

In this play, therefore, Portia, who is the Olivia of Shake- 
speare, is not stated to be a widow, and our great dramatist 
avoided the needless indelicacy of representing her to bo with 
child. In GV Inaanni, Gineura (i. e. Viola.) as will have 
been seen from the " Argument," is not pagetotlie man with 
whom she is in love, but to Portia: while Gostan/.o, whose 
affection Gineura is anxious to obtain, is brother to her mis- 
tress. This of course makes an important ditference in tb« 
relative situations of the parties, because Gineura, disguised 
aa Ruberto, is not employed to carry letters and messages 
between the characters who represent the Duke and Olivia. 
Gostanzo being in love with a courtesan, named Dorotea, in 
the first Act, Gineura endeavours to dissuade him from his 
lawless passion, in a manner that distantly, and on'/ lis- 
tantly, reminds us of Shakespeare. Ruberto {i. e. Ginetra) 
tells 'Gostanzo to find some object worthy of his affection:- 

i " Goatanzo. And where fihall I find her' 

! Ruberto. I know one who is more Itst for love of you, lh£Ji yon Wf 
for this carrion. 
Gnsfnnzn. }s she fair? 
I RttJierlo InditTerentJv 



Gottanzo. Where s she ? 

Ruberto. Not far from you. ,,,... u i, 

Goltanza. And will she be content that I should lie with her. 

Ruberlo. If God wills that you should do it. 

(roatanzo. How shall 1 get to her? 

RvbtTto. As you would come to me. 

Oostatizo. How do you know that she loves me? 

Rubtno. Because she often talks to me of her love 

Gostanzc Do I know her? 

Ruberto. As well as you know me 

Gnslanzo. Is she young? 

Ruberto. Of my afre. 

(iostanzo. And loves me? 

Ruberto. Adores you. 

(iostanzo. Have I ever seen her ? 

Ruberto. As often as you have seen me. 

Goslanzo Why does she not discover herself to me ? 

Ruberto. Because she sees you the slave of another woman " 

The resemblance between Giiieura iind her brotlier Forta- 
iato is 80 great, tliat Portia has niiatakcn tlie one for the 
other, and in the end, like Sebastian and Olivia, tliey are 
united: while Gostunzo, being cured of his passion fiir Doro- 
tea, and grateful for the persevering and disinterested affec- 
tion of Gineura, is married to her. Our great dramatist lius 
given an iictnul, as well as an intellectual elevation to the whole 
subject, by the manner in which he hits treated it; and lias 
oonvertcil what may, in most respects, be considered a low 
eoinedy into a fine romantic drama. 

So much for 01' Inganni, a]id it now remains to speak of 
GV InyannuU, a comedy to which, in relation to "Twelfth- 
Night," attention was flrstdirected by the Kev. Joseph Hunter 
in his " Disquisition on Shakespeare's Tempest," p. 78. GV 
[n/iaiinnti fjlous B;mdello's novel with more exactness than 
GV Ingtiimi, though both change the names of the parties; 
and here we have the iniportant fcalure that the heroine, 
called Lelia, (disguised as Fabio) is page to Flamminio, with 
whom she is in love, but who is in love with a lady named 
Isabella. Lelia, as in Shakespeare, is employed by Flammi- 
nio to forward his suit with Isabella. What succeeds is p:irt 
of the Dialogue between Lelia, in her male attire, and Flam- 
minio : — 

" Lelia. Do as I advise. Abandon Isabella, and love one who loves 
you in return. You may not find her as beautiful ; but, t^l me, is 
there nobody else whom you can love, and who loves you ? 

Flammimo. There was a young lady named Lelia, whom, I was a 
thousand times about to tell you, you are much like. She was thought 
the fairest, the cleverest, and the most courteous damsel of this coun- 
try. I will show you heroneof these days, for I formerly looked upon 
ner with some regard. She was then rich and about the court, and I 
continued in love with her for nearly a year, during which time she 
showed rno much favour. Afterwards she went to Mirandola, and it 
was my fate to fall in love with Isabella, who has been as cruel to 
me as Lelia was kind. 

Lelia. Then you deserve the treatment you have received. Since 
you slifhtod her who loved you, you ought to be slighted in return 
by others. 

Flamminio. What do you say? 

Lelia. If this poor girl were your first love, and still loves you more 
than ever, why did you abandon her for Isabella? I know not who 
could pardon that offence Ah' signer Flamminio, you did her 
grievous wrong. 

Flamminio. You are only a boy, Fabio, and know not the power 
of love. I tell you that I cannot help loving Isabella: I adore her, 
laor do I wieh to think of any other woman." 

Elsewhere the resemblance between " Twelfth-Night " and 
GV Ingunmiti, in point of situation is quite as strong, but 
there the likeness ends, for in the dialogue we can trace no 
connexion between the two. The author of the Italian com- 
edy has obviously founded himself entirely uponBandello's 
novel, of which there might be some translation in the time 
of Shakespeare more nearly approaching the original, than 
the version which Rich puhlislied before our great drannitist 
fisit«d the metropolis. Whether any such literal translation 
aad or had not been made, Sha*kespeare may have L'one to 
*e Italian story, and Le NitveUe di Banddlo were very well 
known in England as early as about the middle of the six- 
eenth century. If Shakespeare had followed Rich wc should 
probably have discovered some verbal trace of his obligation, 
as in the cases where he followed Painter's " Palace of Plea- 
sure," or, still more strikingly, where ho availed himself of 
ihe works of Gioene and Lodge. In GV Ingannati we find 

t From thv Introduction to the same work, we find that "The 
Winter's Talt " was also represented at court on Easter Tuesday, 

3 The expenses of eleven other plays are included in the same ac- 
eoant, viz, 'The Tempest," " King and no King," "The City Gal- 
.ant," "The Almanack," "The Twins' Tragedy," "Cupid's Re- 
»enge,'' "The Silver Age," "luoretia," "The Nobleman," " Hy 

nothing but incident in common with " Twelfth-Night." 
Tlie vast inferiority of the former to the latter in language and 
sentiment may be seen in every page, in every lino. Th« 
mistake of the brother for the si^ter, oy Isabella, is the same 
in both, and it terminates in a somewhat similar manner, fot 
the female attendant of the lady, meeting Fabricio (who is 
dressed, like his sister Lelia, in white) in the street, conduela 
him to her mistress, who receives him with open arms 
Flamminio and Lelia are of course united at the end of tlu 

The likeness between OV InganTiAix i.nd " Twelfth-Night" 
is certainly in some points of the story, stronger than that 
between GV Inganni and Shakespeare's drama; but to ne'tber 
can we say, with any degree of certainty, that our great .Ya- 
inatist resorted, although he had perhaps read both, when h* 
was considering the best mode of adapting to the stage th« 
incidents of Baiidello's novel. There is no liint, in any source 
yet discovered, for the smallest portion of the comic business 
of " Twelfth-Night." In both the Italian dramas it is of the 
most homely and vulgar materials, by the intervention of em- 
pirics, braggarts, pedants, and servants, who deal in the 
C'larsest jokes, and are guilty of the grossest buffoonery. 
Shakespeare shows his inhnite superiority in each depart- 
ment: in the more serious portion of his drama he employed 
the incidents furnished by ]iredeoessor8 as the mere sciifl'old- 
iiig for the erection of his own beautiful edifice; and for th« 
comic scenes, combining so admirably with, and assisting so 
importantly in the progress of the main plot, he seems, as 
usual, to have drawn merely upon his own interminable re- 

It was an opinion, confidently stated by Coleridge in bib 
lectures in 1818, that the passage in Act ii. so. 4, beginning 
"Too old, by heaven : let still the woman take 
An elder than herself." 5cc. 
had a direct application to the circumstances of his own mar- 
riage with Anno Hathaway, who was so much .senior to the 
poet. Stime of Shakespeare's biographers liad previously 
enforced this notion, and others have since followed it up; 
but Coleridge took the opportunity of enlarging eloquently on. 
the manner in which young poets have frequently connected 
themselves with women of very ordinary personal and mental 
attractions, the imagination supplying all deliciencies, clothing 
the object of affection with grace and beauty, and frrnishing 
her with every accomplishment. 


["The Winter's Tnle" was first printed in folio in 162S, 
wliere it occupies twenty-seven piio-es, from p. 277 to 303, 
and is the lik^t in tlie division of "Comedies. The back 
of p. 803 is left blank and unpaged. The hiter folios adopt 
the Miume arrangement.] 

LiTTLK doubt can be entertained, that " The Winter's Tale " 
was produced at the Globe, very soon after that theatre had 
been opened for what miirht be calletl tlie summer season in 
1611.* In the winter, as has been well a.-^certained, the knig'a 
players performed at "the private house in Black-friars," 
and they usunlly removed to the Globe, which was open to 
the sky, late in tlie spring. 

Three pieces of evidence tend to the conclusion, that "The 
Winter's Tale" was brought out early in 1611: the first of 
these hius never until now been adduced, and it consists of 
the followintf entry in the account of the Master of the Kevels, 
Sir Georee Buc, from the 31st of October, 1611, to the same 
day, 1612:— 

" The 5th of November : A play called the winters 
nightes Tayle." 
No author's name is mentic-ned, but the piece was represented 
at Whitehall, by "the king's player"^" as we find stated iu 
the margin, and there c^n be no hesitation in deciding t tat 
" The Winter's Nifrht's Tayle" was Shakespeare's " Wint- r'» 
Tale." The fact of its performance has been established jy 
Mr. Peter Cunningham, in his valuable work, entitled, " Ex- 
trao^.s from the Accounts of the Revels at Court," 8vo, 1842. 
printed for the Shakespeare Society*. "The Winter's Tale" 
was probably selected on account of its novelty and popu- 
larity 3. 

never came from the preBS. " The Nobl'^man." by Cyril Tournetii^ 
was entered at Stationers' Hall for publiratitn on 15th FebruarVi 
1611 " Lucretia " may have been a different play from Heywoodj 
" Rape of Lucrece," which beaxR date inl6(H: if so, there is no ea- 
ception, and all fhat came from the press at any perioiJ were printei' 
subsequently to 1611-12, the earliest in 16K3, and the latest in !655 
Hence a strong' inference may be dra-wn. that thoy were all drama* 
men's Holiday " and "' 'fhe Maid's Trai^edy." At moRt. only one of | which had been recommended for court performance by their novelt) 
hen had beei printed before they were thus acte ' and some of them and popularity. 




The second piece of evidence on tliis point has also recent- • great dramatist follows Greene's story very closelv 

hromne to hght^ It is coutiuned in a MS. Diary, or Note- : be seen by Home of the notes in the course of tl,..-, .,.„ 

boek kep by l)r b.mon Forman, (MSS A,hm. 208.) in , by the recent republication of " Pando.sto •Mro.i he miow 
wl.icl,, under date ot the loth May, 16U, ho states that he copy of 1688, in '• Shakespeare's Library." There is ho^ 


■ play, and 

»avf "The Winters Tale "at the Globe Theatre : this was the 
May preceding the representation of it ut Court on the 6th 
November. He gives the following brief account of the plot, 
.vhich ingeniously includes all the main incidents:— 

" Observe there how Leontes, kingof Sicilia, was overcome 
with jealousy of his wife with the kingof Bohemia, his friend 
tliat came to see him; and how he contrived his death, and 
would have had iiis cup-Bearer to have poisoned [himl, who 
gBve the king of Bohemia warning thereol', and fled with liim 
to Bohemia. Remember, also, how he sent to the oracle of 
Apollo, and the answer of Apollo that she wa.s guiltless and 
that the king was jealous. &c.; and how, except the child was 
found again that was lost, the king should die without issue; 
tor the child was carried into Bohemia, and there laid in a 
forest, and brought up by a shepherd ; and the king of Bohe- 
mia s son married that wench, and how thev fled into Sicilia 
to Leontes; and the shepherd having showed the letter of the 
nobleman whom Leontes sent, it was that child, and [by] the 
jewels found about her, she was known to be Leontes' daugh- 
ter, and was then sixteen years old. Eetnoniber, also, the 
ro^ue that came in all tattered, like Coll I'ipci, and how he 
feigned him sick, and to have been robbed of all he had ; and 
how he cozened the poor man of all his money, and after 
came to the sheeii-sheer with a pedlar's packe, and there 
coiscned them again of all their money. And how he changed 
apparel with the king of Bohemia's son, and then how" he 
turned courtier, <S;e. Beware of trusting feigned beggars or 
fawnnig fellows." 

We have reason to think that " The Winter's Tale " was in 
Its first run on the loth May, 1611, and that ihu Globe Thea- 
tre liad not then been long opened for the season. 
I The oi)iiiion that the play was then a novelty, is strongly 
I confirmed by the third piece of evidence, which Malone dis- 
covered late 111 lite, and which induced him to relinquish his 
earlier opinion, tliat "The Winter's Tale" was written in 
1604. He found a memorandum in the office-book of Sir 
Henry Herbert, Master of the Revel.s, dated the 19th Au^-ust 
1628, in whicli it was stated that " The Winter's Tale,"''was 
an old play formerly allowed of by Sir George Buc." Sir 
George Buc was Master of the Kevels from October, 1610 
until May 1622. Sir George Buc must, therefore, liave 
icensed "The Winter's Tale" between October, 1610, when 
he was apiiointed to his office, and May, 1611, wlien Forman 
saw It at the Globe. 

It might have been composed by Shakespeare in the autumn 
and winter of 1610-11, with a view to ita production on tlie 
tlauk-sidc, as soon as the usual performances bv the King's 
players commenced there. Sir Hcnr Herbert' informs us, 
tliat when he gave permission to revive " The Winter's Tale '' 
in August 1623, "the allowed book" (that to which Sir 
George liuc had appended his signature) " was missing." It 
had no duiibt been destroyed when the Globe Theatre was 
consumed by fire on 29th June, 161S. 

V\e have seen that "The Tempest" and "The AVinter's 
lale were both acted at Whileliall, and included in Sir 
ueorge Bue s account of the expenses of the Kevels from 
October, lt,ll, to October, 1612'. How much older "The 
lempest might be than " The Winter's Tale," we liave no 
means of determining ; but there is a circumstance which 
shows that the composition of " The Tempest " was anterior 
t« t lat ot "The W inter's Tale:" and this brings us to speak 
or tile novel upon which the latter is founded. 
. II 1 tfj!'' "J* "'^ >■'''"■ ^^^^' Robert Greene printed a tract 
oilled '• i andoste: The Triumph of Time," better known as 
ihe History of Dora.stua and Fawnia," the title it bore in 
•o;..e cj the later copies. As far as we now know, it was not 
^printed until 1607, and a third impression appeared in 1609: 
»„'|^J'k''Ji ? S',"",' ""■<>»?>■ many editions'; feut it seems not 
!ln f ^ ," ''■'-.'kespeare was directed to it, as a proper sub- 
ject tor dramatic representation, by the third impression 
which came out the year before we suppose him to hi 
monoed writing his " Winter's Tale'."^^ In many rest 

ive com- 
peets our 


»«» bo?'»Tf ?'' "'^' '■ T*" Tempest- and - The 'Winter's Tale " 
re^W.h. .,1 A '!"")■ " ""' re"»<l, and that Ihey misht belong to 
^.^^ Ir. ™f''''""'f ='""r"*'t'°"- seems to CIV, ... -i5 . 

piobability to the opir" " " 
'O'lowinff passage in th 

ninb.Kiiif..r "11 ■"'■ ^""'1'"='^'"". »eem8 10 give great additional 

E;°™.'!'il.'i."l^''P','"'',"■,""" Ben JonBon alluued to them in the 

wisMt.d in hTj ,-,-'';^""'<""° his "Bartholomew Fair." Which 
Kpulti tai^nr '"Tf ,l! ^'■^'^^^P^are's two plays were still high in 
^i^".t°",- 'f "'?'■■= fce "e'er a Serra^l-rnonsur V the >air. 

says ? nor a nest of Aniicks ? He is loth to make 

who can help it, he 

^BT ...nd^^ iTo/.Vr.^." The Italic type anS the capitals L ai 

'■n . Works, Vo>. ,v. j,. J,0) could not be brousht to acknowledge 

ever, one remarkable variation, which it is necessary to point 
out. Greene says : — 

" The guard "left her " (the Queen) " in this perplexitio, 
and carried the child to the king, who, quite devoide of pity 
commanded that without delay it should be put in the boat, 
Jiaviiig neither sail nor rudder to guide it, and so to be ear- 
ned into the midst of Ihe sea, and there left to the wind and 
wave, as file destinies to appoint." 

The child thus " left to the wind^and wave" is the Perdita 
of Shakespeare, wlio describes the way in which the infant 
wa-s exposed very dilferently, and probably for this reason:— 
that in " The Tempest " he had previously (perhaps not lone 
before) represented Prospero and Miranda turned adrift at 
sea m the same manner as Greene had stated his heroine to 
have been disposed of When, therefore, Shakespeare came 
to write "The Winter's Tale," instead of following Greene, 
as he had usually done in other minor circumstances, lie 
varied from the original narrative, in order to avoid an objec- 
tionable similarity of incident in his two dramas. It is true 
tiiat in the conclusion Shakespeare has also made important 
and most judicious changes in the story; since notliin.)' could 
well be more revoking than for Pandosto (who nnsvvers to 
Leontes) first to fall dotingly in love with his own daughter 
and afterwards to commit suicide. The termination to whicli 
our great dramatist brings the incidents is at once striking 
natural, and beautiful, and is an equal triumph of judgment 
and power. 

It is, perha™, singular that Malone, who observed upon 
the "involved parenthetical sentences" prevailing in "The 
Winter's Tale," did not in that very peculiarity find a proof 
that It must have been one of Shakespeare's later productions. 
In the Stationers' Registers there is no earlier entry of it than 
that of Nov. 8, 1623, when the publication of the first folio 
was contemplated by Blount and Jaggard : it originally ap- 
peared in that volume, wheie it is reguhulv divided into Acts 
and Scenes: the " Wynter's Nighte's Pastime," noticed in 
the registers under date of May 22, 1594, must have been a 
diflerent work. If any proof of the kind v\ere wanted, wo 
learn from two lines in " Dido, Queen of Cuithage," by Mar- 
lowe and Nash, 1594, 4to, that "a winter's tale" was a then 
current phrase: — 

" Who would not nndergoe ail kinde of toyle 
To be well stor'd with such a winler's tale?" Sign. D. 3 b. 

In representing Bohemia to be a maritime country, Shake- 
speare adopted the popular notion, as it had been encouraged 
since 1588 by Greene's " Pandosto." With regar« to the pre- 
vailing ignorance of geography, the subsequent passage from 
John Taylor's "Travels to Prague in Bohemia," a journey per- 
formed bv him in 1620, shows that the satiricalwriter did not 
consider it strange that an alderman of London wa.s not aware 

that a fleet of ships could not arrive at a port of Bohemia: 

" 1 am no sooner cased of him, but Gregory Gandergoose,im 
Alderinaii of Gotham, catches me by the gull, demanding if 
Bohemia be a great town, and whether there be any meat in 
it, and whether the last fleet of ships be arrived there." It 
is to be observed, that Shakespeare reverses the scene of 
" Pandosto," and represents as passing in Sicily, what Greene 
had made to occur in Bohemia. In several places he more 
verbally followed Greene in this play than he did even Lodiro 
in " As You Like it;" but the general variations are greater 
from " Pandosto " than from " Eosalynde." Shakespeare 
does not adopt one of the appellations given by Greene • and 
it may be noticed that, just anterior to the tiiiie of our 'poet 
the name he assigns to the Queen of Leontes had been em- 
ployed as that of a male character: it. "The rare Triumphs 
of Love and Fortune," acted at court in 1681-2, and printed 
in 1589, Hermione is the lover of the heroine. 

_" The idea of this delightful drama " (says Coleridge in his 
Lit. Rem. vol. ii. p. 260) is a genuine jealousy of disposition, 
and it should be immediately followed by 'the perusal ai 
'Othello,' which is the direct contrast of it in every particu- 

that the words " Servant-monster," " Anticks," " Tales," and "Tem- 
pests," applied to Shakespeare, but with our present infonnation the 
fact seems hardly disputable. 

' How long it continued popular, may be judged from the fact that 
it was printed as a chap-book as recently as the year 1735, when il 
was called " The Fortunate Lovers ; or the History of Dorasfjs, Frino« 
of Sicily, and of Fawnia, only daughter and heir to the King of Bo- 
hemia," l'2mo. 

= In a note upon a passage in Act ill. so 2. a reason is assigned foi 
thinking that Shakespeare did not employ the first edition of S ruene'i 
novel, but in all probabiUl v thst of 1600. 



kr. For jealousy is a vice of tlie mind, a culpable tendency 
of temper, liavinjj certain well kjiown ajid well definci effecui 
•nd ooiieomitanta, all of which arc vixiblo in Loonies, and I 
boldly say, not one of which marks itn presence in Othello : — 
»ach 08, first, lui excitability by the inadequate 0an^e9, 
ftud an et4rernesfi to snaleh at proofc; secondly, a trro^sness 
of conception, and a disposition to defrrado the object of the 
paHsion by sensual fancies and images; thirdly, a sense of 
e)iame of his own feeihigs exhibited in a solitary moodiness 
of humour, and yet from the violence of the passion forced to 
■twr itself, and therefore oatching occasions to ease the mind 
by ambigniiics, and equivocpies, by talkinf; to those who can- 
not, and who are known not to bo able to undersiaiid what 
is eaid to them ; in short, by soliloquy in the form of dialogue, 
iMid hcnoc a confused, broken, and fnii'inentary manner ; 
fourthly, a dread of vulgar ridicule, as distinct from a high 
sense of honour, or a tnisLiken sense of duty : and lastly, and 
niimediat*?ly consequent ou tnus, a spirit of selfish vimiictive- 

In )iij< lectures in ISIS, Coleridge dwelt on tne '• not easily 
joiJons" fnuncof Othello's mind, and on the art of the (rre.iit 
noot in working mxin his goneroxm and mTsiispectmg nature : 
lie contrwted the oharaolera of Othello and Lcontes in this 
respect, the latter from predisposition requiring no such ma- 
lignant instigator as lago. 




f*'Tlie Life hikI Deatli of Kinjr John" wua first printed in the 
folio of l(i:^3, wliere it occupies twcntv-two piures ; viz, from 

E. 1 to p. 22 iiicUisive, u new pagination besinning^ with the 
Histories." It oocupie:;* the same pluce and the same 
Hpnce ill the re-iinpressioiis of 1632, 1664, and 1685.] 
"Kino John," the e^irliest of Shal^esiieare's '* Histories" 
in the folio of 1623. (where tliey are urranered accordinij tothe 
reigns of tlie dittVrent monarclis) first appeared in that vol- 
ume/ and the Retristers of the Stationers' Cotnpnny have 
Bearched in vain for any entry regarding it: it i^ not enume- 
rated by Blount and Jaggard on the 8tli Nov. 1628, wlien 
Ihev inserted a li^t of the jiieces, '* not formerly entered to 
other men." about to he included in their folio : hence an in- 
ference might be drawn that there had been some previous 
entry of '* King John " " to otlier men," and, perhaps, even 
that the play liad been already published^. 

It seems indisputable that Shakespeare's '* King John "was 
founded upon an older play, tliree times printed anterior to 
the publication of tlie folio of 1623: "The first and second 
part of the troublesome Reign of John, King of England," 
came from Hie press in 1591, 1611, and 1622.' Malone, and 
others who have adverted to this production, have obviously 
not had the several impressions before them. The earliest 
oopv, that of 1591, has no name on the title-nage: that of 1611 
has"*' W. Sh." to indicate the author, and that of 1622, " W. 
Shakespeare," the sur-name only at length.* Steevens once 
thougiit that the ascription of it to Shakespeare by fraudulent 
booksellers, wlio wished it to bo taken for his popular work, 
was correct, but lie subsequently abandoned this untenable 
opinion. Pope attributed it jointly to Shakespeare and Wil- 
liam Rowley ; and Farmer " made no doubt that Rowley wrote 
tho first King John." There is, however, reo-son to believe 
that Rowley was not an author at so early a date : his first 
extant printed work was a play, in writing wliieh he aided 
John Day and George Wilkins, called '* The Travels of three 
English Rroliiers," 1607. In 1591, he must have been very 
young; but we are not therefore to conclude decisively that 
a'xA mime is not, at any period and in any way, to he connect- 
*d with a drnma on the incidents of the reign of King Joiin ; 
lb • the tradition of Rope's time may have been founded upon 

' Tl pD/T-irts to be diviiled into acts and scenes, bat very irregularly : 
thus wttiT is called Artus Serundus fills no more than about half a 
p%f;Q. a.Tii Arms Qiiartus is twice repeated. The later folios adopt 
this ilefective arrangement, exceptinR that in that of 163'! Artus 
Quintus i» made to precede Actus Qunrtun. 

* On the '2flth Nov. I6I4. " a booke called the Historie of George 
Lord Faulconbridge, ba.itard son of Richard Cordelion," wa.s entered 
>n the Stationers' Registers, but this was evidently the prose romance 
af which an edition jn 1610, 4to. is extant. Going back to IS-'jS. it 
appears that a book, called " Cur de Lion," was entered on the Sta- 
tioners* Register of that year. 

* *' It was written, I believe (sayn Malone), by Robert Greene, or 
Georgfe Pe<^le." but he produces nothing in support of his opinion 
The mention of '' the Scythian Taniberlaine," in the I'rologue to the 
edition of the old " King John," in 1591, might lead ub to suppose 
that it was the production of Marlowe, who did not die until 1503; 
but the ctyle of the two parts is evidently dilierent : rhyinine couplets 
are much more atundant in the tirst than in the second, and there ts 
reason to beUere, according to the frequent custom of that age, that 

the fact! that, at some later date, he was inatrumenW in a re- 
vival of the old "King Julin." 

How long the old '* King John" had been in possession ol 
the stage prior to 1591, when it was originally printed, we 
have no precise information*, but Shakespeare found it there, 
and took the course u.snai with dramatists of the lime*, by 
applying to liis own purf)08e8 as niueli of it as he tliougl I 
wonid bo advantageous. He converted the " two par^s " into 
one drama, and in manv of its main feature.'* followed the 
story, not as he knew it in history, but as it was fixed in po- 
pular belief. In some particulars he much improved upon the 
conduct of the incidents : tor instance, in tlie first act of the 
old '' King John," Lady Falconbridgc is, needlessly aiid ob- 
jectionably, made a spectator of the scene in whicli the bas- 
tardy of her son PhiUp is discussed before King John and his 
motncr. Another amendment of the original is the ahsenee 
of Constance from the stage when the marriage between 
I.ewift and Blanch is debated and determined. A third ma- 
terial variation ought not to be passed over without remark. 
Although Shakespeare, like the author or authors of the old 
'* King John," emplo^-s the Bastard forcibly to raise money 
from the monastenee in England, he avoids the scenes of ex- 
tortion and ribaldry of the elder jJay, in which the monku 
and nuns are turned into ridicule, and the indecency and 
lioentionsnesH of thoir lives exposed. Supposing the old 
** King John " to hir\'c been brought upon tlie stage not long 
aft-er the defeat of t;he Spanish Armada in 1588, when tlie 
hatred of the Roman Catliolios was at its lieight, suoh an ex- 
hibition miwt have been extremely grntifying- to tlie taste of 
vulgar audiences. Shakespeare might justly hold hi contempt 
such a mode of securing applause; or, possibly, his own re- 
ligions tenets {a point which is c<insideied at length, with 
the addition of some new information, in the biography of 
the poet) might induce him to toucli lightly upon suen mat- 
ters. Certain it is, that the elder drama contains much coarse 
abuse of the Roman Catholics, an«l violent invective against 
the ambition of the pontiff, little of which is found in Sliake- 
ppeare. It is, however, easy to discover reasons why he 
would refuse to pander to popnlar prejudice, without Mip 

S:^sing him to feel direct sympathy with the enemies of the 

Some of tho principal incidenl.s of the reign of John had 
been converted into a drama, with the purpose of promoting 
the Reformation, very early in the reign of Elizabeth, if not 
in that of Edward VI. We refer to the play of " Kynga 
Johan," by Bishop Bale, which, like the olcl '* King John," 
is in two parts, though we can trace no other particular re- 
semblance. It was printed by the Camden Society, from the 
author's original MS. (in the' library of the duke'of Devon- 
shire) in 1838, and is a specimen of the mixture of allegory 
and history in the same play, perhaps unexampled. As it 
was, doubtless, unknown both to the author or authors of tlie 
old *'King John," as well as to Shakespeare, it requires no 
farther notice here, than to show at how early a date that por- 
tion of our annals had been brought upon the stage. 

Upon the question, when " King John " was written by 
Shakespeare, we have no knowledge beyond the fact that 
Francis Meres introduces it into his list in"l598. Malone spe 
culat«d that it w;us composed in 1596, but he does not place 
reliance upon the internal evidence he himself adduces, which 
certainly is of a more than usually vague character. Chalmers, 
ou the other hand, would assign the play to 1598, but tlie 
chance seems to be, tiiat it was written a short time before it 
was spoken of by Meres: we should be disposed to sissign it 
to a date betweeu 1596 and 1598, when the old " King John," 
which was probably in'a course of representntion in 1591, had 
gone a little out of recollection, and when Meres would have 
had time to become acquainted with Shakespeare's dn*ma, 
from ita popularity either at the Globe or Blackfriars' The- 

mere tnan one dramatist was concerned in the composition of thj 

♦ The edition of 1591 was printed for Sampson Clarke : Ihatof llMl 
by Valentinfl Simmcs. for John Helme ; and that of 302J, by Aag.' 
Mathews, for Thomas Pewe. 

6 The edition of l.'iSl is preceded by a Prologue, omitted in tho twc 
later impressions, which makes it quite clear that the old "King 
John." was posterior to Marlowe's " Tamberlaine :" it begins. 

" Yon that with fripndly grace of smoothed brow, 
Have entertained the Scythian Tamberlaine," kc 
In the Hist, of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, vol. iii. p 11'2. 
reasons ore assigned (or believing that Marlowe's " Tamberlaine ■• wa» 
acted about 1587 

' in Henstowe 8 MS. Diary, under the date of May. ir.tJS, we meet 
with an entry of a plav by Robert Wilson. Henrv Chettle. Anthony 
Munday, and Mich.ael Drayion. entitled '-The Funerals of Richard 
Cordelion." It possibly had no connexion with the portion of h'.s1or> 
to which Shakespeare • play and the old " King John "' lelate. 


XL in 


I "The Tragedie of Kinsr Eichard the necond. As it hath 
beene piiblikely acted by the right Honourable the Lorde 
Cliamberlaine I'.is Seniaiits. London Printed by Valentine 
Siinines for Androw Wise, and are to be sold at his shop 
in Panles church yard at the signe of the Angel. 1597. ' 
4to. 37 leaves. . 

" The Tragedie of Kin? Eichard the second. As it hath beene 
poblikely acted by the Eight Honoarable the Lord Cham- 
berlaine his seruauts. By William Shake-speare. London 
I'rinted by Valentine Simmes for Andrew Wise, and are 
to be sold "at his shop in Paules churchyard at the signe of 
the Angel. 1598." 4to. 86 leaves. 
"Tlin Tragedie of King Kiclmrd the Second: with new_(id- 
ditions of the Parliament Sceane, and the deposing of King 
Eichard. As it hiith been lately acted by the Kinges Ma- 
iesties seruantes, at the Globe. By William Shake speare. 
At London, Printed by W. W. for Mathew I,aw, and are 
to be sold at his shop in Paule's churchyard, at the signe 
oftheFoxe. 1608." 4to. 39 leaves. 
"The Tragedie of King Eichard the Second: with new ad- 
ditions of tUe Parliament Sceane, and tlie deposing of King 
Richard. As it liath been lately acted by the Kinges Mn- 
iosties eernants. at the Globe. By William Shuke-speare. 
At London, Printed for Matliew Law, and are to be sold 
at his shop in Paules Church-yard, at the signe of the Foxe. 
1615." 4to. 39 leaves. 
In the folio of 1623, " The life and death of King Eichard the 
Second" occupies twenty-three pages, viz. from p. 23 to 
p. 45, iiiClnsive. The three other folios reprint it in the 
same form, and in all it is divided iuto Acts and Scenes.] 
Above we have given the titles of four quarto editions of 
" King Eichard II.," which preceded the publicaion of the 
folio of 1623, ard which were all published during the life- 
time of Shakespeare: they brar date respectively in 1597, 
1598, 1608. and 1615. It will be observed that the title of 
the edition of 1608 states that it contains " new additions 
■)f the Parliament Scene, and the deposing of King Eichard." 
The Duke of Devonshire is in possession of an uniga-e copy, 
dated 1608, the title of which merely follows the wording of 
the preceding impression of 1598, omitting any notice of 
" new additions, '^ though containing the whole of them'. 
The name of our great dramatist first appears in connection 
with this historical play in 1598, as if Simmes the printer, and 
Wise the stationer, when they printed and published their 
edition of 1697, did not know, or were not authorized to state, 
that Shakespeare was the writer of it. Precisely the same 
was the case with "King Eichard III.," printed and pub- 
lished by the same parties in the same year, and of which 
also a second edition appeared in 1598, with the name of the 

We will first speak regarding the date of the original pro- 
duction of " Eicliard II.," and then of the period when it is 
likely that the " new additions" were inserted. 

It wa.s entered on the Stationers' EegLster in 1597. in the 
following manner; — ■ 

" 29 Aug. 1597. 
Andrew Wise.] The Tragedye of Richard the Seoonde." 
This memorandum was made anterior, but perhaps onl.v 
shortly anterior, to the actual publication of " Kichard II.," 
and it forms the earliest notice of it.s existence. Malone sup- 
poses that it was written in 1593, but he does not produce a 
single fact or argument to establish his position ; nor perhaps 
could any be adduced beyond the circumstance, that having 
assigned the ''Comedy of Errors" to 1592, and " Love's La- 
bour's Lost" to 1594, he had left an interval between those 
years in which he could place not only " Richard II." but 
"Eichard III." In fact, we can arrive at no nearer approx- 
imation ; although Chalmers, in his " Supplemental Apology," 
contended that a note of time was to he found in the allusions 
in the first and second Acts to the disturbance.s in Ireland. 
It is quite certain that the rebellion in that country wa** re- 
newed in 1594, and proclaimed in 1595 : but it is far from 

1 There is (mother circurastance belonging to the title-page of the 
Dtlke of Devcnehire's copy which deserves notice : it states that the 
play was printed " as it hath been publikely acted by the Right Ho- 
nourable the Lord Chamberlaine, his seruantes." I'he company to 
which Shakespeare belonged -were not called the servants of the Lord 
Chamberlain after James I. came to the throne, but " the King's 
Majesty's servants," aa in the title-page of the other copy of 1G1I8. 
This fact misht give rise to the supposition, that it had been intended 
to neprint an edition of Richard U., including "the Parliament 
scene." but not mentioning it, before the death of Elizabeth; but 
liiat fur some reason it was postponed for about five years. 

3 There might be many reasons why the exhibition of the deposing 
of Richard If would be objectionable to Elizabeth, espeoiallr after 

clear that any reference to it was intenaed by Shakespeare 
Where the matter is so extremely d'^uhtful, we shall :iot at- 
tempt to fix on any particular vear. If any argument, one 
n-ay or the other, could be founcled upon the publication of 
Daniel's " Civil Wars," in 1595, it would show that that poet 
had made alterations in subsequent editions of his poem, in 
order, perhaps, to fall in more with tlje popular notions re- 
garding the history of the time, as produced by the sucoe.s8 
of the plav of our greai dramatist. Meres mentions " EichartI 
the 2" ill 1598. 

Eespecting the " new additions " of " the deposing of Kin J 
Richard " we have some evidence, the existence of which waa 
not known in the time of Malone, who conjectured that thin 
scene had originally formed part of Shakespeare's play, ard 
was "suppressed in the printed copy of 1597, from the fear 
of offending Elizabeth," and not j.ubli.sned, with the rest, 
until ISOS'.^Such may have been the case, but we now know 
that there were two separate plays upon the events of th 
reign of Eichard II., and the deposition seems tu have formed 
a portion of both. On the 80th Aprl, 1611, Dr. Simon For- 
man saw " Richard 2," as he expressly calls it, at the Globe 
Theatre, for which Shakespeare was a writer, at which he had 
been an actor, and in the receipts of which he was interested. 
In his oritrinal Diary, (MS. Ashm. 208,) preserved in the 
Bodleian Library, Forman inserts the following account of, 
and observations upon, the plot of the " Eicliiird II.," he 
having been present at the representation ; — 

"Eemember therein how Jack Straw, by his overmuch 
boldness, not being politic, nor suspecting any thing, was 
suddenly, at Smithfield Bars, stabbed by Walworth, the 
Mavor of London ; and so he and his whole army was over- 
thrown. Therefore, in such case, or the like, never admit 
any party without a bar between, for a man cannot be too 
wise, nor keep himself too safe. Also, remember how the 
Duke of Glouster, the Earl of Arundel, Oxfonl, and others, 
crossing the King in his humour about the Duke of Erland 
(Ireland) and Bushv, were glad to fly and raise a host of men ; 
and being in his castle, how the Duke of Erland caine by 

night to betray him, with 800 men ; but, ha»'ing privy warning 
thereof, kept his gates fast, and would not suHVr the enemy 
to enter, which went back again with a fly in his ear, and 
after was slain by the Earl of Arundel in the battle. Eemem- 
ber, also, when the Duke (i. e. of Gloucester) and A rnndel came 
to London with their armv. King Eichard came forth to them, 
and met them, and gave them fair words, and promised thei;i 
pardon, and that all should be well, if they would discliarge 
their armv ; upon whose promises and fair speeches they did 
it : and after, the King bid them all to a banquet, and so be- 
trayed them, and cui off their heads, &c., because they had 
not his pardon under his hand and seal before, but his word. 
Remember therein, also, how the Duke of Lanccvster privily 
contrived all villainy to set them all together by the ears, and 
to make the nobility to envy the King, and mislike him and 
his government; bv which means he made his own son king, 
which was Henry "Bolinsbroke. Eemember, also, how the 
Duke of Lancaster a.sked a man whether himself should 
ever be king ; and he told him no, but his son should be a 
king: and when he had told him, he hanged him up for his 
labour, because he should not bruit abroad, or speak thereof 
to others. This was a policy in the Commonwealth's opinion, 
but I say it was a villain's part, and a Judas' kiss, to hang 
the man for telling him the truth. Beware by this example 
of noblemen and their tair words, and say little to them, lest 
they do the like to thee for thy good will. ' 

■The quotation was first published in " New Particulars re- 
garding Shakespeare and his Works," 8vo, 1836, where it 
wa.s sug''ested that this " Eichard II." might be the play 
which Sir Gillv Merrick and others are known to nave pro- 
cured to be acted the afternoon before the insurrection 
headed bv the Earls of Essex and Southampton, m 1601: 
(Bacon's Works by Mallet, iv. 320) but in a letter, published 
in a note to the same tract, Mr. Amyot argued, that " the 
deposing of King Eichard " probably formed no part ot the 
play Fofman saw, and that it might actually be another, and 

the insurrection of Lords Essex and Southampton. Thorpe's Custu- 
maU Roffente, p. 89, contains an account of an interview etweeo 
Lambarde (when he presented his pandect ot the records of the Tower) 
and Elizabeth, shortlv subsequent to that event, in which she ob 
served. " 1 am Richard the Second, know you not that? L>»ml:ardo 
replied, " Such a wicked imagination was determined and attempted 
by a most tlnkind gentl-man, the most adorned creature mat evei 
your Maiestie made." "He (said the Queen) that «■■■ forgUj God 
will alsoe forgett his benefactors," The publication of tha odition 
of 1608, without the mention on the title-page of ' the 1 arliamenl 
.Scene, and the deposing of King Richard, ' might have been cob 
' templated about tiiis date. 



■ lost play by Slinlicspeare, intended as ft " first purl " to his 
extant draninon tlie later portion of tlie rcipn of tlmt monnrch. 
It is also true tlmt Foirniin savs notlLinp: of the formal depo- 
tition of Kioliard II. ; but he tells us that in the course of the 
drama the Duke of Lanciister "made his own son King," luid 
he could not do so witiiout Bomething like a deposition ex- 
libitod or narmled. It is also to he observed, that if For- 
man's account be at all correct, Shakespeare could never have 
exhibited the characters of the King and of Gaunt so incon- 
sistently ill two jiarts of the same jiiav. The Richard and 
the Gaunt of Fonnan, with their treiK-hcry and cruelty, are 
totally unlike the Richard and Gaunt of Shakesncare. For 
these reasons we may, perhaps, arrive at the conclusion, that 
it was a distinct drama, and not by Sliakespcare. We may 
presume, also, that it was the very iiioce which Sir Gilly 
Merrick procured to be represented, and for the performance 
of which, accordins to a passage in the arraignment of Cuffe 
and Merrick, the hilter paid forty shillings additional, because 
it was an old play, and not likely to attract an audience. 

The very d.:scr\ption of the plot given by Forman reads as 
if it were an old play, with the usual quantity of blood and 
treachery. IIoiv it came to bo popular enough, in 1611, to bo 
performed at the Globe must be matter of mere sneculation : 
perhaps the revival of it by the parly of the Earls of Essex 
and Southampton had recijled public attention to it, and im- 
provemenls might have been made which would render it a 
favourite in 1611, though it had been neglected in 1601. 

Out of tliese improvements, and out of this renewed popu- 
larity, may, jiossibly, have grown the " new additions," which 
were first printed" with the impression of Shakespeare's 
" Richard II." in ICOS', and which solely relate to the deposing 
of the KinL'. On the other hand, if these " new additions," 
as they were termed in 1608, were only a suppressed ])art of the 
original play, there seems no sufficient ground for concluding 
that it wius 'not Shakespearo's drama which was acted at the 
instance of Sir Gilly Merrick in 1601. If it were written in 
1593, as Malone imagined, or even in 1596, according to the 
speculation of Chalmers, it might be called an old piny in 1601, 
Considering the rapidity with which dramas were often writ- 
ten and brought oltt at the period of which we are speaking. 
If neither Slmkespeiire's play, nor that described by Forman, 
were the pieces selected by Sir Gilly Merrick, there must 
have been three distinct plays, in the possession of the com- 

Siiny acting at the Globe, upon the events of the reign of 
;ichard II. 

For the incidents of this "most admirable of all Shake- 
speare's purely historical plays," as Coleridge calls it, (Lit. 
Rem. ii. 164,1 "our great poet appears to have gone no farther 
than Holinshed, who was himself indebted to Hall and Fabian. 
However, Shakespeare has nowhere felt himself bound to ad- 
here to chronology when it better answered his purpose to 
desert it. Thus, the Prince of Wales, afterwards Henry V., 
is spoken of in Act v. sc. 8, as frequenting taverns and stews, 
when he was in fact only twelve years old. Marstou, in a 
short address before his " Wonder of Women," 1606, aiming 
a blow at Ben Jonson, puts the duty of a dramatic author 
in this respect upon its true footing, when he says, " I have 
not laboured to tie myself to relate anything as a historian, 
but to enlarge everything a.s a poet ;" and what we have just 
referred to in this play is exactly one of those anachronisms 
which, in the words' of Schlegel, Shakesj'care committed 
" purposely and most deliberately'." His design, of course, 
w:us in this instance to link together " Richard II." and tlie 
first part of " Henry IV." 

Of the four quarto editions of "Richard II." the most valu- 
able, for its readings and general accuracy beyond all dispute, 
is the impression of 1597. The other three quartos were, 
more or less, printed from it. and the folio of \&2A seems to 
have taken the latest, that of 1615, as the f.)undation of its 
text ; but, from a few words found only in the folio, it may 
Beem that the player-editors referred also to some extrinsic 
authority. It is quite certain, however, that the folio copied 
obvious and indisputable blunders from the quarto of 1615. 
There are no fewer than eight places where the folio omits 
passages inserted in the quartos, in one instance to the de- 
Btrnction of the continuitv of the sense, and in most to the 
detriment of the play. Ilence not only the expediency, but 
the absolute necessity of referring to the (juarto copies, from 
which we have restored all the missing lines, and have dis- 
tinguished them by placing them between brackets. 

* It miy perhaps be inferred that there wa« an intention to publish 
the " hifitory," with theee " new a*lditions," in 1603 ; at all events, in 
that Tear the riclit in "Richard II." "Richard III." and " Henry IV " 
part 1. wae transferred to Matthew Law, in whose name the plays 
earn* out when the next editions of them appeared. The entry re- 
sating tt vhem in the boolu of the Btationera' Company runs 
thw - 


["The History of Henrie the Fovrth ; With the battell a. 
Shrewsburie, betweene the King and Lord Henry Per«y. 
surnamed Henrie Hotspur of the North. With the humor- 
ous conceits of Sir lolin Falstalffe. At London, priijted by 
P. S. for Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paules Churchyard, a* 
the signe of the Angell. 1598." 4to. 40 leaves. 
"The History of Henry the Fovrth; With the battell a* 
Shrewsburie, betweene the King and Lord Henry Percy, 
surnamed Henry Hotspur of the North. With the humor- 
ous eonceit.s of Sir John Falstalft'e. Newly corrected by 
W. Shake-spcaro. At London, Printed by S. S. for Andrew 
Wise, dwelling in Panics Churchyard, at the eigne of the 
Angell. 1.599.'' 4to. 40 leaves. 
" The History of Henrie the Fourth, With the battell at 
Shrewsburie, betweene the King, and Lord Henry Percj, 
surnamed Henry Hotspur of the North. With the humor- 
ous coneeit-H of Sir lohn Falstalft'e. Newly corrected by 
W. Shake-spearc. London Printed by Valentine Simmes, 
for Mathew Law, and are to be solde at his shop in Panics 
Churchvard, at the signe of the Fox. 1604." 4to. 40 leaves. 
"The History of Henry the fourth. With Uie battell of 
Shrewseburie, betweene the King, and Lord Henry Percy, 
surnamed Henry Hotspur of the North. With the humor- 
ous conceites of Sir lohn Falstalffe. Newly corrected by 
W. Shake-speare. London, Printed for Mathew Law, and 
are to be sold at his shop in Paules Churchyard, neere nntc 
S. Angustines gate, at the signe of the Foxe. 1608." 4to. 
40 leaves. 
The 4to edition of 161 3 also consists of 40 leaves: and the only 
differences between its title-page and that of 1608 are the 
date, and the statement that it was " Printed by W. W." 
In the folio of 1623, "The First Part of Henry the Fourth, 
with the Life and Death of Henry Sirnamed Hot-spvrre,'' 
occupies twenty-six pages, viz. from p. 46 to p. 73 inclusive. 
In the later folios it is reprinted in the same form.] 
At the time when .Shakespeare selected the portion of his- 
tory included in the following play, as a fit subject for drama- 
tic representation, the stnee was in possession of an old plaVj 
entitled, "The Famous Victories of Henry the Fitlh," or 
which three early impressions, one printed in 1698, and two 
others without date, have come down to us ; a copy of one 
edition without date is in the Collection of the Duke of 
Devonshire; and, judging from the type and other circum- 
Btanees, we may conclude that it was anterior to the impression 
of 1598, and that it made its appearance shortly after 1594, on 
the 14th of May of which year it was entered on the Station- 
ers' Registers. Richard Tarlton, who died in 1588, was an 
actor in that piece, but how long before 1588 it had been pro- 
duced, we have no means of ascertaining. It is, in fact,_in 
prose, although many portions of it are printed to look like 
verse, because, at the date when it first came from the press, 
blank-verse had become popular on the stage, and the book- 
seller probably was desirous of giving the old jilay a modern 
appearance. Our most ancient public drania,s were composed 
in rhyme : to rhyme seems to have suocceded prose ; and 
prose, aliout the date when Shakespeare is believed to have 
originally ootne to London, was displaced by blank-verse, in- 
ter7nixed with couplets and stanzas. " The Famous Victoriei 
of Henry the Fifth" seems to belong to the middle period ; 
and as Stephen Gosson, in his " School of Abuse," 1679, leads 
us to snyipose that at that time prose was not v"ry usual in 
theatrical performances, it siay be conjectured that "The 
Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth" was not written until 
after 1580. 

That ft play upon the events of the reign of Henry V. wag 
upon the stage in l.'>92, we have the indisputable evidence of 
Thomas N«54i, in his notorious work, " Pierce Penniless, hia 
Supplication," which went through three editions in the sainii 
year: we qnote from tho first, (Sign. H 2.) where he says, 
" What a glorious thing it is to have Henry the Fifl;h repre- 
sented on the Stage, leading the French King prisoner, and 
forcing hrm and tlie Dolphin to sweare fealtie." We know 
also that a drama, called "Harry the V.," was performed by 
Henslowe's Company on the 28ih Novemlier, 1595, and it ap- 
pears likely that it was a revival of " The Famous Victories," 
with some important additions, which gave it the attraetion 
of a new play ; for the receipts (as we find by Henslowe's 

"27 June 1603 
" Matth. Lawc] in full Courte, iij Enterludes or playes. Th« 
first of Rich.wd the 3d. The second of Richard the 2d 
The third of Henry the 4, the first pte. all Kings." 
* " Ich unternehme dajzuthun, dass Shakespeare's AnachronismeD 
mehrenthpils petlissentlich und mit gro-ssem Bodacht angebrach; 
Bind." — Ueber drainatische Kunst aui Litteratur, vi I. ii 43 




DUrr) were of such an ninount as was generally only pro- 
duee'd by a first repre-ientntion. Out of this circumstance 
may hive iirisen the puhlicalion of llie early undated edition 
in the posse>'sion of the Duke of Devonsiiire. The reproduc- 
tion of " Tiie Famous Victories'' by a rival company, and tlie 
appearance of it from the press, possibly led Shakespeare to 
o-msider in what way, and with what improvements, he could 
avail himself of some of the snme incidents for the theatre to 
which he bclonped. This event would at once make the sub- 
lect popular, and hence, perhaps, the re-impression of " The 
'amous Victories of Henry the Fifth" iu 1598'. The year 
1596 mav possiblv have been the date when Shakespeare wrote 
his " Henry IV." Part i. 

It is to be observed, that the incidents which are summarily 
dieniissed in one old play, are extended by our jrreat dramatist 
over three — the two parts of " Henry IV." and " Henry V." 
It is impossible to institute any parallel between "The Fa- 
mous Victories" and Shakespeare's dramas ; for, besides that 
the former has reached us evidently in an imperfect shape, the 
immeiusurahle superiority of the hitter is such, as to render 
any attempt to trace resemblance rather a matter of contrast 
than comparison. Who might be the writer of "The Famous 
Victories," it would be idle to speculate ; but-it is decidedly 
inferior to most of the extant works of Marlowe, Greene, 
Peele, Kyd, Lodiie, or any other of the more celebrated pre- 
decessors of Shakespeare. 

Sir John Oldcastle is one of the persons in "The Famous 
Victories;" and no doubt can be entertained that the charac- 
ter of Sir John Falstatf, in the first part of Shakesjieare's 
"Henry IV.," was originally called Sir John Oldca.stle. If any 
hesitation could formerly have been felt upon this point, it 
must have been recently entirely removed by Mr. Halli\^e!^s 
very curious and interesting tract, " On the character of Sir 
Jolin Falstaff, as oriL'inally exiiibited by Shakespeare," 12mo. 
1841. How the identity of Oldcastle and Falstaff could ever 
have been questioned after the discovery of the following 
passage in a play by Nathaniel Field, called, " AmendB tor 
Ladies." 1618, itis difficult to comprehend : the lines seera to 
ns decisive : — 

"Did you never see 
The play where the fat knight, hight Oldcastle, 
Dill tell you truly what this honour was ?" 
This can allude to nothing but to Fnlstaff's speech in Act v. 
Bc. 2, of the ensuing play ; and it would also show (as Mr. 
Halliwell points out) that Falstaff sometimes " retained the 
name of Oldcastle after the author had altered it to that of 
Fal.stati^." This fact is remarkable, recollecting that " Amends 
for Ladies" could hardly have been written before 1611, that 
prior to that date no fewer than four editions of " Henry IV." 
Part i., had been printed, on the title-pages of which Falstaff 
was prominently introduced, aiid that he was called by no 
other name from the beirinning to the end of that drama. 
The case is somewhat different with respect to Shakespeare's 
" Henry tV." Part ii., which contains a singular confirmatory 
piece of evidence that Falstaff was still called Oldcastle after 
that continuation of the " history" had been written and per- 
formed. In Acti. se. 2 of the drama. Old. is given as the pre- 
fix to one of Falstaff 's speeches. The error is met with in no 
other part of the play,and when the MS. for the quarto, 1600, 
W(W corrected fur the press, this single passage escaped obser- 
vation, and the ancient reading was preserved until it wa.s 
expunged iu the folio of 1623. Malone and Steevena, in op- 
position to Theobald, areue that Old. was not meant for Old- 
castle, but was the commencement of the name of some actor : 
none such belonged to Shakespeare's company, and the pro- 
bability is all in favour of Theobald's supposition. 

This change must have been made by Shakespeare anterior 
to the spring of 1598, because we then meet with the subse- 
qaent eiitry in the Stationers' Registers, relating to the earliest 
•dition of ' Ilenrv IV." Part i. 
" 25 Feb. 1597. 
Andrew Wisse] A booke intitled the Historye of 
Henry the iiii"'. with his battaile of Shrewsburye 
against Henry Hottspurre of the Northe with the 
conceiptcd Mirth of Sir John Falstaffe'." 

1 The third edition of "The Famous Victones" was printed after 
James I. came to the throne : it ha--* no date, bnt it states on the title- 
paee that " it was acted by the Kind's Majesty's servants." This 
assertion was probably untrue, the object of the itationer being to 
induce buyers to believe that it was the same play as PhakeRpeare's 
work, which was certainly jierformed by '• the King's Majesty's ser- 
vants." From this impression Steevens reprinted it in the '■ Six Old 
P:ays." 8vo. 1779. 

* The same conclusion mav perhaps be drawn from the mention of 
"fat Sir John Oldcastle." in " The Meeting of Gallants at an Ordi- 
Baiie." IGIM. 4to, a traci recently reprinted, under the editorial care 
'►f Mr. Halliwell, for the Percy Society 

As the year did not then end until the 25th March, the 25th 
February, 1597, was of course the 25th February, 1598; and 
pursuant to the above entry, Andrew Wise published the 
first edition of " The History of Henry IV." with the date of 
1598 : we may infer, therefore, that it was ready, or nearly 
ready, to be issued at the time the memorandum was made at 
Stationers' Hall : on the title-page, " the hun.orous conceits 
of Sir John Falstalffe" are made peculiarly obvious. It is 
certain, then, that before the play was printed, the name of 
Oldcastle had been altered to that of Falstaff. The reason for 
the change is a.sserted to have been, that some descendarli 
of "Sir John Oldca.stie, the good Lord Cobham," (as he id 
Ciilled upon the title-page of a play which relates to his hit- 
tory, printed in 1600*,) remonstrated against the ridicule 
thrown upon the character of the p'rotestant martyr, by th« 
introduction into Shakespeare's drama of a person bearing tlt# 
same name. Such, unquestionably, may have been thecjise, 
but it is possible also that Shakesj>eare, finding that his play, 
and his Sir John Oldcastle were often confounded with " The 
Famous Victories" and with Sir John Oldca.stie of that drama, 
made the change with a view that they should be dis- 
tinguished. That he did not quite succeed, is evident fn-in 
the quotation we have made from Field's "Amends tor 

Kespecting the manner in which Falstaff was attired on the 
stiige in the time of Shakespeare, we meet with a curioim 
passage in a Inanuscript, the handwriting of Inigo Jones, the 
property of the Duke of Devonshire. 'The Surveyor of the 
Works, describing the dress of a person who was to figure in 
one of the court masques, early in the reign of James L, says, 
that he is to be dressed " like a Sir John Falstaff, in a robe 
of russet, quite low, with a great belly, like a swollen man, 
Ions mou.stachios, the shoes short, and out of them great toes, 
like naked feet: buskins, to show a great swollen leg." Wo 
are, perhaps, only to understand from this description, that 
the appearance of the character was to bear a general resem- 
blance to tliat of Sir John Falstaff", as exhibited oii the stage 
at the Globe or Blackfiiars' Theiitres. 

Although we arc without any contemporaneons notices of 
the performance of Shakespeare's "Henry IV." Part i., there 
cannot be a doubt that it was extraordinarily popular. It 
went through five distinct impressions in 4to, in 1.598, 1599, 
1604, 1608, and 1618, before it was printed in the first folio. 
There was also an edition in 1689, which deserves notice, be- 
cause it was not a reprint of the ]>lay as it had appeared either 
in the first or second folios, but of the 4to. of 1618, that text 
being for some reason preferred. Meres introduces " Henry 
the IVth" into his list iu 1598, and we need feel little doubt 
that he alluded to Part i., because, on the preceding page, 
(fo. 281, b) he makes a quotation from one of Falstaft''8 
speeches, — " tliere is nothing hut roguery in villainous man," 
— though without acknowledging the source from which it 
was taken. We may be toleraTily sure, however, that " Henry 
IV." Part ii., had then been produced by Shakespeare, but it 
is not distinguished by Meres, and he also makes no men- 
tion of " Henry V.," the events of whose reign, to his mar- 
riaire with Catherine of France, were included iu the old p!aj 
of " The Famous Victories." 

With rcffard to the te.xt of this play, it is unquestionably 
found in its purest state in the earliest 4to. of 1598, and to 
tliat we have mainly adhered, assigning reasons in our notes 
when we have varie'd from it. The editors of the folio, 1628, 
copied implicitlv tlie4t«. impression nearest to their own day, 
that of 1613, adopting many of its defijcts, and, as far as we 
can iudge, resorting to no MS. authority, nor to the previous 
quartos of 1598, 1599, 1604. and 1608. decided errors, 
made in reprint of 1599, were repeated and multiplied in the 
subsequent quarto impressions, and from thence found their 
way into the folio. Kear the end of Act i. we meet with a 
curious proof of what we have advanced : we there find a line, 
thus distinctly printed in the 4to, 1598 : — 

** I 'le steale to Glendower and Lo: Mortimer :" 

that is, " I '11 steal to Glendower and Lnrd Mortimer," Lm 
being a common abbreviation of " Lord ;" out the eomposi- 

' There is another entrv. under date 27th June. Ifi03, by which 
" Henrr the 4 the first pte." seems to have been iransferred by Wis« 
to Law. for whom the edition of 1004 was in fact pnnted. 

* Mr. Halliwell does not seera to have been aware, when speakinff 
of •• The First part of the true and honorable History of the Life el 
Sir John Oldcastle. the good Lord Cobham," a pla?)' attributed to 
Shakespeare on the title-page of most of the copies printed in KKIO, 
that two other copies of it have recently been discovered, have 
no author's name. Hence it might be inferred, that the original 
title-page was cancelled at the instance of our grfat diamfiti«t, and 
another substituted. 



tor of the 4to, 1B99, strangely misunderstanding it, printed it 
Ha follows ; — 

" lie 8teal« to Olendowor and loo Mortimer ;" 
(m if Lo: of llic 4to, 1598, were to be tuken us tlie intorjcction, 
o' then nsuiillv printed loe, and so the blunder was followed 
n the subsequent quartos, including that oflOlS, from whence 
t was transferred, literatim, to the folio, 1623. The error is 
repealed in llie folio, 1682; but Norton, tlie printer of the 4to, 
1839, wlio, as has been remarked, did not ailopt the text of 
either of the folios, saw that there must be a hlunder in the 
line, and althoniih he did not know exactly how to set it right, 
e at least made sense of it, by giving it, 

" 1 '11 steal to Glendower and lo Mortimer." 
We onlv adduce this instance as one proof, out of many 
which mi»ht be brought forward, to establish the superiority 
of the te.\t of the 4lo. of 1593, to any of the subsequent re- 
ii ipressiona. 


" The Second part of Henrie the fourth, continuing to his 
death, and ooronation of Henrie the tift. With the humours 
of Sir lohii Falstaffe, and swaggering Pistoll. As it liath 
been snndrie times publikely acted by the right honourable, 
the Lord Chamherlainc his seruants. Written by " i lani 
Shakespeare. London Printed by V. S. for Andrew Wise, 
and William Asplev. 1600." 4to. 43 leaves. , . 

Other copies of the same edition, in quarto, not containing 

Sign. K 5 and E 6, have only 41 leaves. 
In the folio, 1623. "The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, 
containing his Death : and the Coronation ot Kine Henry 
the Fift," occupies twenty-nine pages in the division ot 
" Histories, " viz. from p. 74 to p. 102 inclusive, the last 
two not bein? numbered. Pages 89 and 90, by an error of 
the press, are numbered 91 and 92. In the reprint ot the 
folio, 1632, this mist.ake is repeated. In the two later folios 
the pagination continued from the beginning to the end ol 
the volume. 

We mav state with more certainty than usual, that " Henry 
IV " Part ii. war. written before the 2.ith Feb. 1698. In the 
prehminarv notice of " Henry IV. " Part i. it is mentioned. 
That Act ii'.so. 2, of the " liislorv " before us contains a piece 
of evidence that Falstaff was still called Oldcastle wlien it was 
written ; viz. that the prefix of Old. is retained m the quarto, 
1600, before a siieeeh which belongs to Falstaff, and which 
is assic-ned to him in the folio of 1628. Now, we kiiow that 
the name of OMciuHtle was changed to that of Falstaff anterior 
to the entry of " Henrv IV. " Part i. in the books of the Sta- 
tioners' Co'mpanv on the 25tli Feb. 1597-8. This circumstance 
overturns Malone's theory, that " Henry IV. " Part ii. wius 
not written until 1599. It requires no proof it was pro- 
duced after " Kichard II." because that play is quoted in it. 

The memorandum in the Stationers' Registers, prior to the 
publication of the following play, is inserted literatim in Vol. 
li. p. 183 : it bears date on 28d Aug. 1600, and it was made 
by Andrew Wise and William Aspley, %vho brought out 
" The Si-conde Parte of the History ot Kinge Henry the iiii", 
4to, in that year. „„ ... ,_„„ 

There was only one edition of " Henry I\ . " Part ii. m 1600, 
but some copies vary importantly. The play was evidently 
produced from tlie jiress in haste ; and besides other large 
omissions, a whole scene, forming the commencement of Act 
"i -was left out. Most of the copies are without these pages 
but they are found in those of the Duke of Devonshire and 
Malono. Tim stationer must have discovered the error alter 
the publication, and sheet K was accordingly reprinted, in 
order to supplv the defect. 

Th5 f 'lio 1623 was taken from a complete copy of the edi- 
tion of 1600 ; and, moreover, the actcjr-editors, probably from 
a play-house mamiscript in their hands, furnished many other 
linea'wanting in the quarto. On the other hand, the quarto, 
1600, contains several passajes not found in the tolio, 1623. 
Our text includes both, (properly distinguished in the notes) 
■.n order that no syllable which came from the pen of Shake- 
speare may be lost. Even if we suppose our great dramatist 
to have himself rejected certain portions, preserved m the 
quarto, the exclusion of them by a modern editor would be 
niipardonable, as they form part of the history of the poet s 


Pistoll. As it hath Dene sundry times playd by the Eight 
honorable the Lord Chamherlainc his seruants. London 
Printed by Thomas Creedc. for Tho. MilliiiKton, and lohn 
Bunby. And are to be sold at his house in Carter Lane, 
next the Powle head. 1600. 4to. 27 leaves. 
' The Chronicle History of Henry the htV, W ith his battel, 
fought at Agin Court in France. Together wilh Aunlient 
Pisfoll. As it hath bene sundry times plnyd by the Kitfht 
honorable the Lord Chaniberlaine his seruants. Lomion 
Printed by Thomas Creedc, for Thomas Pauier, and arc to 
be sold at his shop in Cornhill, at tho signe of the Cat and 
Parrets, neare the Exchange. 1602. " 4to. 26 leaves 
"The Chronicle History of Henry the hll, with his battel! 
fought at Agin Court in France. Together with ancient 
Pistoll. As it hath bene sundry times playd by the Kiglil, 
Honourable the Lord Chamherlainc his Seruants. Printed 
forT P. 1608." 4to. 27 leaves. 
" The Life of Henry the Fift. " in the folio of 1623, occiipie« 
twenty-seven pages, viz. from p. 69 to p. 95 mclnsive The 
pagination from " Henry IV. '' Part ii. to " Henry V. '' is 
not continued, but a new series begins with " Henry \ . 
on p. 69, and is regularly followed to the end of the " His- 
tories. " The folio, 1632, adopts this error, but it is avoided 
in the two later folio imjiresaions. 

It is a circumstance deserving remark, that not one of the 
title-pages of the quarto editions of " Henry V. " attributes 
tho authorship of the play to Shakespeare. It wa-s printed 
three several times during the life of the poet, hut in no in- 
stance with his name. The fact, no doubt, is, that there never 
was an authorized edition of " Henry V. " until it appeared 
in the folio of 1623, and that the quarto impressions were 
surreptitious, and wore published without the consent of the 
author, or of the company to wliich he was attached. They 
came out in 1600, 1602, and 1608, the one being merely a re- 
print of the other; and, considering the iniperfectncss and 
deficiency of the text in the quarto of 1600, it is perhaps 
strange that no improvements were made in the subsequent 
impressions. The drama must have enjoyed great popularity ; 
it must have been played over and over again at the theatre, 
and yet the public interest, as far as perusal is concerned, 
would seem to have been satisfied with a brief, rude, and mu- 
tilated representation of the performance. The quartos con 
be looked upon in no other light than as fragments of the 
original play, printed in haste for the satistaction of public 
curiosity. , • , <■ 

The quar os bear strong external and internal evidence ot 
fraud: the eariiest of them was not published by a bookseller 
or booksellers bv whom Shakespeare's genuine dramas were 
issued ; and the second and third came from the hands ol 
Thomas Pavicr, who was instrumental in giving to the wo"d 
some pieces, with the composition of which Shakespeare bad 
no concern, though ascribed to him on the title-page. The 
internal evidence shows that the edition was made np, not 
from anv authentic manuscript, nor even from any combina- 
tion of the separate parts delivered out to the actors by the 
copyist of the theatre, but from what could be taken down m 
short-hand, or could be remembered, while the performnnoo 
was taking place. It is true that the quarto impressions con- 
tain not the slightest hint of the Chorusses, nor of whole 
scenes, and long speeches, found in the folio of 1628: niid 
the inference seems to he that "Henry V." was onginally 
produced by Shakespeare in a comparatively incomiilete state, 
and that large portions contained in the folio, and of which 
no trace can bo pointed out in the quartos, were added at a 
subsequent date, to give greater novelty and attraction to the 
drama. Such, we know, was a very common course with all 
our early stage-poets. A pliiv culled " Henry V. " was repre- 
sented at Court on the 7th Jan. 1605, as we learn from 'The 
Extracts from the Accounts of the Revels, " edited by Mr. 
P. Cunningham, and printed by the Shakespeare Society 
p. 204 ; and these important additions may have been inserted 
for that occasion. The entry runs, literatim, as follows :— 
" On the 7 of January was played the play ot Henry 
tho fift." ^ , , . ,, 

In the margin we are informed that it was acted by his Ma- 
iesty's players, but the name of the author is not in this in- 
stance given, although "Shaxberd" is placed opposite tne 
title of "Measure for Measure," stated to have oeeii exhi- 
bited on a preceding night. The fact that the actors belonged 
to Shakespeare's company renders it most probable that his 
play was performed on the occasion ; but it is to be recollected 
also, that the old play of " The Famous Victories of Henry 
the Fifth" purports on the title-page to have been " acted hj 
the King's Majesty's servants, " even at so late a date as 161T, 
when the last edition of it made its appearance. Noverthe 

•The Cronicle History of Henry the flft, With his battell «.,o.... . ,•--.•;■;. '.' , ,,, ,, .>,„ <iti.„„ 

fought at Agin Court in France. Togither with Auntient leas, we may perhaps take it for granted, that tne uenry 



tho fift, '* pliiyed at Whitehall by the kinff's servants, on 7th 
Jan. 1605. was Shakespeare's Jiisiorieal drama: and it may 
not be too much to presume, that most of tlie additions (Cho- 
rUBses excepted) included in tlie tVtlio of 1623, were written in 
consequence of the selection of " Keiiry V. " by the Master 
of the Revels tor representation before James I. 

Our opinion, then, is tliat Shakespeaie did not orighially 
write his *' Henry V. " by any means as we find it in the folio 
of 1623, and that it was first prnilnced without various scenes 
and speechee subsequently written and introduced: we are 
perfectly coiivinced that tlie three quarto editions of 1600, 
1602, and 1608 do not at all contain the plav as it was acted 
in the first instance; but were hastily made up from notes 
taken at the theatre durine tho performance, subsequently 
patched toeether. Now and then we meet with a few con- 
secutive lines, similar to the authentic copy, but in general 
the text ie miserably mauijled and disfigured. ^Ve niierht find 
iifOvifs in ^^upport of our position in every part of the play, 
out as in his "-Twenty quartos" Steevens has reprinted that 
of 160S, it will be needless to select more than a single speci- 
men. We give the text iis we find it, literatim, in the quarto, 
1600, from the copy in the Library of the Duke of Devon- 
shire : our sxtract is from Act i. sc. 2, the speech of the King, 
just before the French Ambassadors are called in : — 
" Call in the messenper sent from the Dolphin, 

And by your &i(i, tha noble sinewes of our land 

France being: ours, weele bring it to our awe, 

Or break it all in pieces : 

Eyther our Chronicles shal with full mouth speak 

Freely of our acts, 

Or else like toonplesse mutes 

Not worshipt with a paper epitaph." 
Such is the speech as it is abridged and corrupted in the 
quarto, 1600: the correct text, as contained in the folio of 
•1623, may be found in this edition. 

It not unfrequently happened that the person who took 
down the lines as the actors delivered them, for the purpose 
of publishing tlie quarto, 1600, misheard what was said, and 
used wrong words which in sound nearly resembled the right : 
thus, earlier in the same scene, the Arclibishop of Canterbury 
says, according to the folio, 1623, 

*' They of those IMarchea, gracious sovereign. 

Shall be a wall sufficient to defend 

Our inland frcm the pilfering borderers." 
In the quarto, 1600, the materials for which were probably 
surreptitiously obtained at the theatre, the passage is thus 
given : — 

"The Marches, gracious soreraigne, shalbe sufficient 

To guard your England from the pilfering borderers." 

We might multiply instances of the same kind, hut we do 
not think there can be any reasonable doubt upon the point. 

The quartos, as we have stated, contain no bint of the 
Chorusses, but a passage in that which precedes Act v. cer- 
tainly relates to the expedition of the Karl of Essex to Ireland, 
between the 15th April and the 28th Sept. 1599, and ur at 
have been written during his absence : — 

"As, by a lower but loving likelihood, 
"Were now the general of our gracious empress 
(As in good time he may) from Ireland coming, 
Bringing rebellion broached on his sword, 
How many would the peaceful city quit 
To welcome him." 
The above l*nes were, therefore, composed between the 15th 
April and the 2Sth Sept. 1599, and most likely the Chorusses 
formed pnrt of the niece as originally acted, although the 
Bhort-hand writer did not think it a necessary portion of the 
performance to be included in the earliest quarto, 1600, which 
was to be brought on with great speed ; and perhaps the 
length of these and other recitations might somewhat baffle 
his skill. Upon this supposition, the question when Shake- 
speare wrote his " Henry V. " is brought to a narrow point; 
and confirmed as it is by the omission of all mention of the 
play by Meres, tn his Palladia Tamm, 1598, we need fee! lit- 
tle doubt that his first sketch came from the pen of Shake- 
speare, for performance at the Globe theatre, early in the 
Kumraer of 1599. The enlarged 'inima, as it stands in the 
iblio of 1623, we are disposecf to believe was not put into the 
complete shape in which it has there come down to us, until 
shortly before the date when it was played at Court. 


^ The first Part of Henry the Sixt " was printed originally in 
the folic of 1623, where it occupies twenty-four pages ; viz. 
from p. 96 to p. 119 inclusive, in the division of " His- 
torie.<». " It was reprinted in the folios 1632, 1664, and 1685. 

This historical drama is first found in tho folic of 1628: no 
earlier edition of it in any shape, or in any degree of impet- 
fectness, has been discovered. Of tlie second and third parts 
of " Henry VI., " copies in qn:trto, under different titles, 
lengthened in some speeches, and ahhrcviated in others, arc 
extant ; but the first part of " Henry VI. " afipeaved originally 
in the collected edition of '* Mr. William Sliakespeare'a Come- 
dies, Histories, and Tragedies, " put forth under the care of 
his fellow-actors, Heniinge and Condell. 

This single fact is sufficient, in our mind, to establish 
Shakesjieare's claim to the authorship of it, even were we to 
take Malone's assertion for granted (whicli we are by no 
means inclined to do) that the internal evidence is all opposed 
to that claim. When Heminge and Condell published the 
folio of 1623, many of Shakespeare's contemporaries, anthorpj 
actors, and aiiditon*, were alive ; a!id the player-editors, if they 
would have been guilty of the dishonesty, would hardly have 
committed the folly ot inserting a play in their volume which 
was not his production, and pernaps wcil known to have 
been the work of some rival dramatist. If we imagine the fre- 
quenters of theatres to have been comparatively iyrnorant upoa 
such a point, living authora and living actors must have been 
aware of the truth, and in the face ofthese Heminge and CondoU 
would not have ventured to appropriate to Shakespeare whai 
had really come from the pen of another. That tricks of the 
kind were sometimes played by fraudulent booksellers, in 
publishing single plays, is certa'inly true ; but Heniifigeimd 
Condell were actors of repute, and men of character: they 
were presenting to the world, in an important volume, scat- 
tered performances, in order to " keep the memory of »<j 
worthy a friend and fellow alive, as was our Shakespeare, " 
and we cannot believe that they would have incUuled an> 
drama to which he had no title. In all probability they liad 
acted with Shakespeare in the first part of "Henry VJ. :" 
they had received his instructions and directions from t'uie 
to time with reference to the performance of it, and they must 
almost necessarily have been acquainted with the real state 
of the property in it. 

Our opinion is therefore directly adverse to that of Malone, 
who, having been " long struck with the many evident 
Shakesjitareanisms in these plays, " afterwards came to the 
conciu8ion that he had been entirely mistaken, and that none 
of tiiese peculiarities were to be trnced in tlie first part of 
"Henry Vl. : " "1 am, therefore (he added), decisively of 
opinion, that this play was not written by Shakespeare." To 
support this notion, he published a "Dissertation on the 
Three Parts of King Henry VI.," in which he argued that 
the first part was not only not the authorship of Sh;i1cespeftre, 
but that it was not written by the same jiersons who liaci 
composed the second and third parts of "Henry VI." 

With reference to the question, how far and at what time 
Shakespeare became connected with the plays, known as tha 
three parts of *' Henry VI.," it is necessary to observe, that 
it was very usual in the time of our great dramatist, lor one 
poet to take up the production of another, and, by making 
additions to and improvements in it, to appropriate it to his 
own use, or to the use of the theatre to which he belonged. 
This practice applied to the works of living as well as of dead 
poets, and it has been conjectured that when Kobert Gieene, 
m Ids " Groatsworth of Wit," 1592, spoke of Shakespeare, its 
"the only Shake-scene in a country," and as "an upstart 
crow beautified with our feathers," he alluded chiefly to the 
manner in which Shakespeare had employed certain dramas, 
by Greene and others, as the foundation of his three parts of 
" Henry VI." These certain dramas were some undiscover«d 
original of the first part of " Henry VI. ; " the first part of 
" The Contention betwixt the Two Famous Honses of York 
and Lancaster," 1600; and " The True Tragedy of Richard 
Duke of York,'' 1595. It was by making additions, altera" 
tiona, and improvements in these three pieces, that Shake- 
speare's name became associated with them as their author, 
and hence the player-editors felt themselves justified in in- 
serting them among his other works in the folia of 1623. 

There are two other theories respecting the alder plays we 
have mentioned, neither of them, as it seems to us, supported 
by sufficient testimony. One of them is, that the first part 
of "Henry VI.," as it is contained in the folio of 1623, tho 
first part of the " Contention," 1594, and the " True Tra- 
gedy, " 1595, were in fact nroductions by Shakespeare him- 
self, which he subsequently enlarged and corrected: the 
other theory is, that the two latter were early editions of the 
same dramas that we find in the folio, and that the imp«r- 
fections or variations in the quarto impresSions are to be ac- 
counted for by tho surreptitious manner in which the manu- 
script, from which they were printed, was obtained by the 
booksellers. In support of the first of these opinions, little 



(letter thim conjeotnre ciin be produced, contradioled by fhe 
txprtesionu ol' Grueiiu in 1692, n» I'ar as those expressiniis 
• pply to these pinys ; Hiid wiili rej^nrd to the second opinion, 
ii\ some pliicoa the quiirto editions ol' the first part of the 
•■ Contention" and tlie " True Triij;edy" are t'nller, by many 
lines, than the copy in the fulio, 1823, wliicli would liardly 
have been the case, had tlie diiilojrne been taken down in 
short-hand, and correctcti t>y memory : in llie next place, the 
Hl^eeolios have Buoh a decree ot' completeness and retrnlarity 
as to render it very imjrobable tliat liiey were obtained by so 
nneerlain and imperrett an expetlienL. We think it most 
likely that tlie first part of " Henry VI." was founded upon a 
previous play, although none such has been brouglit to light : 
and that the materiak for the second and third parts of 
" Henry VI." were mainly derived from the older dninas of 
the first part of "The Contention betwixt the Two Famous 
Houses of York and Lancaster," and "The True Tragedy of 
Kichar<l Duke of York." 

Altlionuli no euch drama has come down to us, we know, 
on the authoritv of llenslowe's IHary, that there was a play 
(Mlled " Harey'the VI." acted on 3d March, 1591-2, and so 
popular as to have been repeated twelve times. This was, 
perhaps, the piece which Shakespeare subsequently altered 
and improved, and to which Nash alludes in his " Pierce 
I'ennile.'.s," 1592 (sign. H. 2.), where he speaks of " brave 
Talbot" having been made "to triumph again on the stage," 
after Iniviiig been two himdred years in nis tomb. Malone 
(Shakespeare, by Boawell, vol. lii. p. 298.) concludes deci- 
sivelv in the affirmative on both these points, forgettiitg, 
Lowcver, that the " Ilarey the VI." acted by llenslowe's com- 
pany, might possibly be a play got up and represented in con- 
»equence of tlie success of the drama in the authorship of 
.vhich Shakespeare was concerned. 

If our great dramatist Ibundeil his first part of " Henry VI." 
opon tlie play produced by lienslowe's company, of course, it 
eould not have been written until after March, i.Stt2 ; but with 
regard to the precise date of its composition we must remain 
in uncertainty. Malonc's later notion wius, as we have already 
observed, that Shakespeare's hand was not to be traced in 
any part of it ; but Steovens called attention to several re- 
markable coincidences of expression, and passages might be 
pointed out sp much in tlie spirit and character of Shake- 
speare, that we cannot conceive them toliavc come from any 
otJier pen. Coleridge has instanced the opening of the play 
as nnliko Shakespeare's metre (I>t. Remains, vol. ii. p. 1S4.) ; 
he was unquestionably right ; but he did not advert to the 
fact, of which there is the strongest presumptive evidence, 
that more than one author was eng.aged on the work. ^ The 
very diseord.ince of style forms part of the proof; and in his 
lectures in 1815, Coleridge adduced many lines which ho bo- 
libved must have been written by Shakespeare. 

wished to have it believed, that the old jilay was tlie prodiio- 
tion of our great dramatist. 

Shakespeare's property, according to <iur present notions 
was only in the addition's and improvements he introdnecH. 
which are included in the folio of 1623. In Act iv. se. 1, .» 
a lino necessarily taken from " the first part of the Conten- 
tion," as the sense, without it, is incomplete ; but the old 
plav has manv passages which Shakespeaie rejected, and the 
murder of Duke Humphrey is somewhat ditl'crently manaired. 
In general, however, Shakespeare adopted the whole ooiid'Ki 
of the story, and did not think it necessary to correct tho '>b 
vious historical errors of the original. 

It is impossible to assign a date tc this play excepting bj 
conjecture. Its sMccess, jierhaps, led to the entry at Station- 
ers' Hall of the older piay in March, 1533, and to its appear 
auce from the press in 1J594. 


"The second Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the 

Good Duke Hvmfrey," wiis first printed in the folio of 1628, 

where it occupies twenty-seven pages; viz. from p. 120 to 

p. 146 inclusive, in the division of" Histories." It fills the 

same place ;n tho subsequent folio impressions. 

The "history" is an alteration of a play printed in l.'i94, 

under the follovving title: " The First part of tlie Contention 

betwixt the two famous houses of YoiUe and Lancister, with 

the death of the good Duke Humphrev: And the banishinciit 

and death of tho Duke of Sutl'oike, aiid the Tragical! end of 

the pn.ud Cardinal! of Winchester, with the notable Rebellion 

of laekeCade: And the Duke of Yorkes first claime tiiito the 

Crowne. London Piinted by Tliomius Creed, for Thomas 

Millington, and are to be sold at his shop under Saint Peter's 

C|--jrch in Cornwall. 1594." By whom it was written we 

have no information ; but it was'eiitercd on the Stationers' 

Keg-isters on the 12th March, l.V,)3. Millington published a 

second edition of it in 1600 : on the 19tli April, 1602, it 

assigne<l by Millington to Tho. Pavier, and we hear of it 

again, in the Stationers' Register, merely as " Yorke and 

Ijuica.ster," on the Sth N'ovcmber, 1630. 

Tho name of Shakespeare was not connected with "the 
flret part of tho Contention," until about the year 1619, when 
T. P. (Thomas Pavier) printed a new edition of the first, and 
what he colled " the second, part" of the same play, with the 
name of " William Shakspeare, Gent." upon the genaral title- 
pftge. The object of Pavier was no doubt fraudulent : he 

' Chettle acknovled^eB the imnonant share he had in the publica- 
tion ol "The Groitaworth of Wit." in his "Kind-heart's Dream,'' 
fl-hK-h wna printe'* at the cIobc of 159*J, or in the beginning of 15!l3. 
£«e thd excellen. re7)rint of thin very curious and intenstini; tract 


"The third Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the 

Duke ofY'orke," was first printed in the folio of 162B, where 

it occupies twenty-six p.ages, in the division of " Histories, ' 

viz. from p. 147 to p. 172, inclusive, pages 165 and 166 being 

misprinted 167 and 168, so that these numbers are twice 

inserted. The error is corrected in the folio, 1682. The 

play is also contained in the folios of 1664 and 1685. 

None of the commentators ever saw the first edition of the 

drama upon which, we may presume, Shakespeare founded 

his third part of " Henrv Vl'. :" it bears the following title :— 

"The true Tragedie of feichard Dukeof Yorke, and the death 

of the good King Henrie the Sixt, with tlie whole contention 

betweene the two houses Lancaster and Y'orkc, as it wa» snn- 

drie times acted by the Right Honourable the Earle of Pem-* 

brooke his seruants. Printed at London by P. S. for Tlionins 

Millington, and are to be sold at his slioppe under Saint 

Peters Church in Cornwal. 1595." Bvo. This play, like " the 

First Part ef the Contention," was reprinted for the same 

bookseller in 1600, 4to. About the year 1619 a re-impr'«sion 

of both plays was published by T. P. ; and the name of 

Shakespeare, as has been already observed in our Introdui'- 

tion to " Henry VI." part ii., first appears in oonncctiou with 

these " histories" in tliat edition. 

Believing that Sliakesfieare was not the writer of " The 
First Part of the Contention," 1594, nor of '■ The True Tra- 
gedy of Richard Duke of Y'ork, 1.^95, and that Malone estab- 
lished his position, that Shakespeare only enlarged and altered 
them, it becomes a question bv whom they were produced, 
('hahiiers, who possessed the only known copy of " T'he True 
Tragedy," 1.595, without scruple a.ssigned that piece ; :i Chris- 
topher Marlowe. Although tnere is no ground whatever for 
giving it to Marlowe, there is some reason for supposing tha' 
it came from the pen of Robert Greene. 

In the Introduction to " Henry VI." part i., we alladcd, as 
far as was there necessary, to the langii.agc of Greene, when 
speakine of Shnkespeare'in his "Groatsworth of Wit," 1592. 
Thi> tract was not published until after the death of its author 
ill Sept. 1592, when it appeared under the editorship of Henry 
Chettle'; and what follows is the whole that relates to our 
great dramatist : — " Y'cs, trust them not; for there is an up- 
start crow beautified with our feathers, that with his tigtr^e 
hearty wrapped in a player^s liid^^ supposes he is as well able 
to bombast out a blank verse as the host of you ; and being 
an absolute Johannes Factotum, is in his own conceit th«i 
only Shakeseene in a countrey." (Dyee's Edit, of Greene's 
Works, I. Ixxxi.) In this extract, although Greene talks of 
"an upstart crow beautified with our feathers," he seems to 
have referred principally to his own workp, and to the maniiei 
I in which Sliakespeare had availed himself of them. Thi"* 
opinion is somewhat confirmed by two lines in a tract called 
" Greene's Funerals," by R. B., 1594, where the writer is 
adverting to the obligations of other authors to Greene: — 

*' Nav more, the men that eo eclipa'd his fame 
Pvrloin'd hix plumes — can they deny the same?" 

Hero R. K. nearly adopts Greene's words, " beautijifd wit 
ovr ff-athi-n^^''^ and applies to him individually what Greene 
perhaps t^ avoid the charge of egotism and vanity, had stated 
more generally. It may be mentioned, also, as a confiriiiatorj 
circumstance, that the words " tiger's heart, wrapp'd m a 
player's hide," in our extract from the " Groatsworth of 
Wit," are a repetition, with the omission of .an interjection and 

made for the Percy Society, under the editorial cere ol Mr Rimbanlt 
In his address to the " Gentlemen Readers." Chettle apcloeizes to 
Shakespeare (not by name) for having been inatrumentB.! in ttte pub- 
lication of Greene's attack upon him. 



ihe change of a wo-d, of a line in '* The True Tragedy," 1595, 

"0 ! tiger's heart, wrapp'd in a ■woman's hide.'' 
Thas Greene, when charging Shakespeare with Jiaviug ap- 
propriated Ilia plavs, parodies a line of his own, as if to show 
the particular produotiona to wliich he alluded*. 

Another fict tends to the same cqncluaion: it is a striking 
coii:cidence between a passage in " The True Tragedy" and 
M>me lines in one of Greene s acknowledged dramas, '* Al- 
rhonsus. King of Arragon," printed, in 1599, hy Thomas 
Creed, the same printer who, in 15*>4, had produced from his 
press an edition of "■The First Part of the Contention." In 
** Alphonsus" the hero kills Flaminius, his enemy, and thus 
Addresses tlie dying man :— 

" Go, pack thee hence unto the Stygian lake, 
And make report unto thy traitorous sire, 
How well thou hast enjoy'd the diadem, 
Which he by treason set upon thy head : 
And if he nskthte who did send thee down. 
Alphonsus say, who now must wear thy crown." 

In "The True Tragedy," 1595, Richard, while stabbing 
Henry VI. a second time, exclaims, 

" If any spark of life remain in thee, 
Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither." 

Shakespeare, when altering *' Tiie True Tragedy" for his 
own theatre, (fur, as originally composed, it had been played 
by the Earl of Pembroke's servants, for whom Greene was in 
the habit of writing) adopted the line, 

*'0 tiger's heart, wrapp'd in a woman's hide,'* 
without the change of a letter, and the couplet last quoted 
with only a very slight variation ; 

" If any spark of life be yet remaining^ 
Down, down to hell ; and say I sent thee thither.'' 

As in "Henry VI." part ii., Shakespeare availed himself 
of "The First Part of the Contention,'' 1594, so in "Henry 
VI." part iii., he applied to his own purposes much of "The 
True Tragedy of Kichard Duke of York," 1595. He made, 
however, considerable omissions, as well as large additions, 
and in the last two Acts he sometimes varied materially from 
the oondnet of the story as he found it in the older play. One 
improvement may be noticed, as it shows the extreme simpli- 
city of our st:xge iust before what we may consider ShaKc- 
speare's time; ana it is to be ascertained by comparing two 
scenes of his " Henry VI." part iii., (Act iv. sc. 2 and 3) with 
a portion of " The True Tragedy." In the older play, War- 
wick, Oxford, and Clarence, aided by a party of soldiers, 
standins: on one part of the sta^e, concert a plan for surpris- 
ing Edward IV. in his tent on another part of the stage. 
Having rcj^nlved upon the enterprise, they merely cross the 
boards of Edward's encampment, the audience being required 
to suppose that the assailing party had travelled fVom their 
own quarters in order to arrive at Edward's tent. Shake- 
speare showed his superior judgment by ehang-ing the place, 
and by interposing a dialogue between the Watchmen, who 
guard the King's tent. Robert Greene, in his "Pinner of 
Wakefield," (See *' Hist, of Enffl. Dram. Poetry and the 
Stage," vol. iii. p. 368.) relied on the imag-ination o^his audi- 
tors, exactly in the same way as the author of "The True 

It is tfl be observed of ** Henry VI." part iii., as was re- 
marked in the Introduction to the second part of t!ie same 
p'''y, that a line, necessary to the sense, was omitted in the 
fnlio, 1623, and has been introduced into our text from "The 
True Tragedy," 1595. It occurs in Act ii. sc. 6, and it was, 
probably, accidentiiUy omitted by the copyist of the manu- 
script from which Shakespeare's "liistory," as it appears in 
Ih* folio, was printed. ' 



'*The Tragedy nf King Richard the third. Containing, His 
treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence : the pittie- 
fnll murthef ofhis innocent nephewes : his tyrannicall vsur- 

» Tri«re is a infling fact conn«'''ted with "Henrv VT." part i, a no- 
ticti of which oiJ(];ht not to be oni iied, when consulering; the question 
of the authorship of some yet uiiJiscovered original, upon which that 
(tlay might be founded. In Act v. sc. 3, these two lines occur ; — 
'* Sho 's beautiful, and therefore to be woo'd ; 
She is a woman, therefore to be won." 
The last of these lines is inserted in Greene's " Planetomachia," 
pnnted as ea/.y as 1585. In "The First Part of the Contention'' a 

S irate is mentioned, who is introduced into another of Greene's pro- 

^ Bv the title-pajtes of the four earliest editions on the opposite leaf. 
It will be Been, tha*. It was profeised by Andrew Wise, that the play 
:n ion, had been " newly augmented," although it was in fact 

pation : with the whole course ofhis detested life, ana 
most dcserued death. As it hath beene lately Acted by the 
Eight honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his seruunts. At 
London, Printed by Valentine Sims, Ibr Andrew Wise, 
dwelling in Paules Church-yard, at the bigne of the Aiigell, 
1597." 410. 47 leaves. 

"The Tragedie of King Eichard the third. Conteining 
his treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence : the 
pitiful murther of his innocent Nephewes: liis tyrannicall 
vsurpation : with the whole course of liis detested life, an 
most deserued death. As it hath beene lately Aoted by th 
Kigl>t lionourable the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. By 
William Shake-speare. London Printed by Thomas Creede, 
for Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paules Church-yard, at the 
signe of the Angell. 1598.^' 4to. 47 leaves. 

"The Tragedie of King Richard the third. Contoming hia 
treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence : the pittifull 
murther of his inndtent Nephewes : his tyrannical; Tsnrpa- 
tion : with the whole course of his detested life, and most 
deserued death. As it hath bene lately Acted by the Right 
Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. Newly 
augmented. By William Shakesjteare, London Printed bj 
Thomas Creese, for Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paolea 
Church-yard, at the signe of the Angell. 1602." 4to. 4fl 

" The Tragedie of King Richard 'the third. Conteining hie 
treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence : thepittifall 
murther of his innocent Nephewes : his tyrannicall vsurpa- 
' tion : with the whole course ofhis detested life, and most 
deserued death. As it hath bin lately Acted by the Right 
Honourable the Lord Cliamberlaine his seruants. Newly 
augmented, by M'illiam Shake-speare. London, Printed 
by Tliomas Creede, and are to be sold b_v Matthew Lawe, 
dwelling in Paules Church-yard, at the signe of the Foxe, 
near S. Austins gate, 1605." 4to. 46 leaves. 

In the folio of 1623, " The Tragedy of Richard the Third : 
with the Landing of the Earle of Richmond, and the Bat^ 
tell at Bosworth Field," occupies thirty-two piiges ; vii. 
from p. 178 to p. 204 inclusive. There is no material varia- 
tion in the later folios. 

The popularity of Shakespeare's " Richard the Third" must 
have been great, judging only from tlie various quarto editions 
which preceded the publication of it in the folio of 1628. It 
onginally came out in 1597, without the name of the author : 
it was reprinted in 1598, with "by William Shake-speare" 
on the title-page, and again in 1602^,011 three impressiontt 
having been made for the same bookseller, Andrew Wise. 
On the 27th June, 1603. it was assitrned to Mathew Lawp, ns 
appears by an entry in the Stationers' Reiristcrs ; accordinply. 
he published the fourth edition of it with the date of 1605 : 
the fifth edition was printed for the same bookseller in 1613^. 
This Pcems to have been the last time it came out in quarto, 
anterior to its appearance in the first folio*; but after that 
date, three other quarto impressions are known, viz. in 1624, 
1629, and 1634, and it is remarkable that these were all mere 
reprints of the earlier quartos, not one of them including any 
of the passages which the player editors of the folio first in- 
serted in their volume. This fact might show that the pub- 
lishers of the later quartos did not know that there were any 
material variations between the earlier quartos and the folio, 
that they did not think them of importance, or that the pro- 
jectors of the folio were considered to have some species of 
copyright in the additions. These additions, extending in 
one instance to more than fifty lines, are pointed out in onr 
notes. It will also be found that more than one speech in 
the folio is unintelligible without aid from the quartos; and 
for some other characteristic omissions, particularly for one 
in Act iv. sc. 2, it is not possible to account. 

With respect to the additions in the folio of 1623, we have 
no means of ascertaining whether they formed part of the 
original play. Stevens was of opinion that the quarto, 1597, 
contained a better text than the folio : eueh Vs not our 
opinion; for though the quarto sets right ttveral doubtful 
matters, it is not well printed, even for a production of that 

a reprint of the previous impressions of 1.'j9" and I.'jQS, for the same 
bookseller. It is possible that the augmentations observable in the 
folio of lti'2-1 were made shortly before \GV'2. and that Wise wished it 
to be thought, that his edition of that year contained them. The 
quarto reprints, subsequent to that of 160"2, all purport to have oeen 
"newly augmented." 

3 Malone givee the date 1612, and in his copy at Oxford the la*; 
figure is blurred. The title-page in no rcBpect differs from that of 
1605. excepting that the play is said to have been "acted by th« 
King's Majesty's £er\ants." The^ were not so called, until aftei 
.May, i6t)3. 

* An impression in 1622 is mentioned in some Hits, :nt the exiit 
ence of a copy of that date is doubtful. 


Jaj, mill benrs ini>rk» of havinff been brought out in haste, 
\nd from an imperfect manuscript. Tlie copy of the *' his- 
tory" in tlie folio of 1628 was in some places a reprint of the 
quarto, 1602, as several obvious errors of the press are re- 
peated, ri(/ht for " ti?lit," lielpi for " helms," cfec. For the ad- 
ditions, u manuscript was no doubt employed ; atid the va- 
riations in some scenes, particuhirly near the middle of tlie 
play, are so numerous, and the corrections so frequent, that 
It is probable a transcript belonging to the theatre was there 
consulted. Our text is that of the folio, with due notice of 
alt the chief variations. 

The earliest entry in the Stationers' Re^sters relating to 
Shakespeare's " Richard the Third," is in these terms : — 

" 20 Oct. 1597 

Audrcw Wise] Tlie Tragodie of Kinge Richard the Third, 
with the death of the Duke of Clarence." 
This memorandum, probably, immediately preceded the 
publication of the ouarto, 1597. The*only other entry relat- 
ing to " Richard tlie Third " we have already mentioned, 
aud the exact words of it may be seen in a note to our Intro- 
duction to *' Richard the Second." 

It is certain that there was a historical drama upon some 
f the events of the reign of Richard Til. anterior to that of 
Shakespeare. T. Warton quoted Sir John Harington's 
" Apnlogie for Poetry," prefixed to his translation of Ariosto 
in 1.591, respecting a tragedy of " Richard the Third," acted 
at St. John's, Cambridge, which would '* have moved Pha- 
laris, the tyrant, and terrified all tyrannous-minded men ;" 
and Stcevens adduced Heywood's " Apology for Actors'," 
1612, to the .sairuB etFect, without apparently being aware that 
Heywood was professedly only repeating the words of Har- 
ington. Biith those authors, however, referred to a Latin 
drama on the story of Richard III., written by Dr. Legge, 
and acted at Cambridire before 1588. Steevcna followed up 
his quotation from Heywood by the copy of an entry in the 
Stationers' Registers, dated June 19, 1594, relating to an 
English play on the same subject. When Stcevens wrote, 
and for many years afterwards, it was not known that such a 
drama had ever been printed ; but in 1821 Boswell reprinted 
a large fragment of it (with many errors) from a copy want- 
ing the commencement. A perfect copy of this very rare 
play is in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire, and from 
it we transcribe the following title-page : — • 

" Tlia true Tragedie of Richard the third : Wherein is 
showne the death of Edward the fonrth, with the smothering 
of the two yoong Princes in the Tower : With a lamentable 
ende of Shore's wife, an example for all wicked women. 
And liistlv, the coniunction and ioyning of the two noble 
Houses, Lancaster and Yorke. As it was playd by the 
Quecnes Maiesties Players. London Printed by Thomas 
Creede, and are to be sold by William Barley, at his shop in 
Newgate Market, neare Christ Church doore. 1594." 

This title-page so nearly corresponds with the entry in the 
Stationers' Registers', as to leave no doubt that the latter re- 
ferred to the former. The piece itself, as a literary composi 
tion, deserves little remark, but as a drama it possesses se- 
veral peculiar features. It is in some respects unlike any 
relic of the kind, and wa-s evidently written several years 
before it came from Creede's press. It opens with a singular 
dialogue between Truth and Poetry ; — 

" Poelri€ Tnith, -well met. 

" Truth. ThanhM, Poetne ; what makes thou upon a stage ? 

" Poef. Shado-wea. 

" Truth. Then, will I adde bodies to the shadowes. 
Therefore depart, and give Truth leave 
To shew her pageant. 

" Poet. Why, will Truth be a Player? 

*' Truth. No ; but Tragedia like for to present 
A Ttagedie irf England done but late. 
That will revive the hearts of drooping mindea. 

" Poet. Whereof? 

" Truth. Miirry, thus." ^ 

Hence Tnitli proceeds with a sort of argument of the play; 
bat before the Induction begins, the ghost of George, Duke 
of Cliirence, had passed over the stage, delivering two lines 
as In went, wliion we give precisely as in the original copy 
noTf before us : — 

" CreSM eruor sanguinis, satietur sanguine eresse, 
Quod spero seitio. O seitio, scitio, vendicta!^^ 
The drama itself afterwards opens with a scene represent- 

t Stevene calls it " The Actors' Vindication," aa indeed it was enti- 

.led when it was republished (with alterations and insertions) by 

Cartwright the Comedian, without date, but during the Civil Wars. 

Bee the reprint of this tract by the Shakespeare Society, the teit being 

teken from the first impression. 

* It is as fo'lows, being rather unusually particular: — 

Tho, Oreede] An Enterlude entitled the Tragedie of Richard 

the Third, wherein ■■ showen the Death of Kdward the Fourthe. 

ng the death of Edward IV., and the whole story is thenc«- 
forward most inartificially and clumsily conducted, with « 
total disregard of dates, facts, and places, by characters iro- 
pcrfcctly drawn and ill sustained. Shore's wile plays a con- 
spicuous part; and the tragedy does not finish with the 
battle of Bosworth Field, but is carried on subsequently, 
although the plot is clearly at an end. The conclu.sion is 
quite as remarkable as the eommencemcnt. After the death 
of Richard, Report (a personification like some of those in the 
old Moralities) enters, and holds a dialogue with a Page, to 
inform the audience of certain matters not exhibited; and 
after a long scene between RichmontI, the Queen mother, 
Princess Elizabeth, &c., two Messengers enter, and, mixing 
with the personages of the play, detail tho succession of 
events and of monarchs from the death of Richard until the 
accession of Elizabeth. The Queen mother then comes for- 
ward, and pronounces an elaborate panegyric upon Elizabeth, 
ending with these lines: — 

"For which, if ere her life be taen away, 
God grant her soule may live m heaven for aye ; 
For i? her Graces dayes be brought to end. 
Your hope is gone, on whom did peace depend." 

As in this sort of epilogue no allusion is made to tho 
Spanish Armiida, though other public events of less promi- 
nence are touched ujion, we may perhaps infer that the 
drama was written before the year 1588. 

The .style in wliich it is composed also deserves observation : 
it is partly in prose, partly in heavy blank-verse, (such as 
was penned before Marlowe had introduced bis improve 
ments, and Shakespeare had adopted and advanced them) 
partly in ten-syllable rhyming couplets, and stanzas, and 
partly in the long fourteen-syTlable metre, which seems to 
nave been popular even before prose was employed upon our 
stage. In every point of view it may be a.sserted, that few 
more curious dramatic relics exist in our language. It is per- 
haps the most ancient printed specimen of composition for a 
public theatre, of which the subjeot woa derived from Eng- 
lish history. 

Boswell asserts that " The True Tragedy of Richard the 
Third " had " evidently been used and read by Shakespeare," 
but we cannot trace any resemblances, but such as were pro- 
bably purely accidental, and are merelv trivial. Two persons 
could hardly take un tlie same period of our annals, as tho 
ground-work of a arama, without some coincidences ; but 
there is no point, either in the conduct of tho plot or in the 
language in which it is clothed, where our ^reat dramatist 
does not show his measureless superiority. The portion of 
the story in which the two plays make the nearest approach 
to each other, is just before the murder of the princes, where 
Richard strangely takes a page into his confidence respecting 
the fittest agent for the purpose. 

It is not to be concluded, because the title-page of "Tlio 
True Tragedy of Richard the Third " expresses that it was 
acted " by the Queen's Majesty's Players," that it was the 
association to which Shakespeare belonged, and which be- 
came "the King's Players'' after James I. a.«cended the 
throne. In 1583, the Queen selected a company from the 
theatrical servants of several of her nobility ; (Hist, of Engl. 
Dram. Poetry and the Stage, vol. i. 2.54;) and in 1.590 there 
were two companies, culled " her Majesty's Players," one 
under the management of Laneham, and the other of Lau- 
rence Dutton'. By one of these companies " Tlie Trne Tra- 
gedy of Riobard the Third" must have been performed. 
Until the death of Elizabeth, the association to which Shake 
speare was attached was usually called " the Lord Chamber- 
lain's Servants." 

In the " Memoirs of Edward Alleyn,'' p. 121, it is sho\vn 
that Henslowe's company, subsequent to 1599, was either in 
possession of a play npon the story of Richard HI., or that 
some of the poets he employed were engaged upon suth a 
drama. From the sketch of five scenes, there inserted, we 
mav judge that it was a distinct performance from " The 
True' Tragedy of Richard the Third." B> in entry in Hen- 
slowe's Diary, dated 22d June, 1602, we learn that Ben Jon- 
son received 10?. in earnest of n play calh'd " Richard Croolc- 
back," and for certain additions he was to make to Kyd'a 
Spanish Tragedy. Considering the success of Shakespeare's 
" Richard the Third," and the active contention, nf certain 
periods, between the company to which Shakespeare be- 

with the Smothering* of the twoo Princes in the Tower, with 
a lamentable End of Shores wife, and the conjunction of ihfl 
twoo Houses of Lancaster .md York. 
3 This new fact in the history of our early drama and theatres, w« 
owe to Mr. Peter Cunningham, who e.stablishes it beyond contradic- 
tion, in his interesting and important volume of ;■ Kxtracts from the 
Accounts of the Revels at Court," printed for the Shakespeare Sr 
ciety. tntrod. p xxxii 



longed, and that uuder the management of Henslowe, it 
niiiy be lonked upon as singular, thai tlie latter should have 
been without u drama on tliat portion of Knglisli history 
3utU after loyy; and it is certainly not less singular, that as 
.ato as 1602 Ben Joiison should have been occupied in writ- 
ing a new play upon the subject. Possibly, about that date 
rih'akesp-jare's " Kioliard the Third" had been revived with 
ihe addition?^; and hence the employment of Jonson on a 
rival drama, and the publication of the third edition of Sliake- 
tpeare''8 tragedy after an interval of four years. 

Malore was of opinion tliat Shakespeare wrot« "Richard 
Ui6 Third " in 1593j but did not adduce a narticle of evidence, 
and none in fact exists. We should be disposed to place it 
ioaiewhat nearer the time of publication. 



"The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight," 
was first printed in the folio of 1628, where it occupies 
twenty-ciglit pages ; viz. from p. 205 to P- 282, inclusive. 
It is the fast pliiy in the division of " Histories." It fills 
the same place in the later impressions in the same form. 

The principal question, in relation to Shakespeare's 
*' Henry the Eighth," is, when it was written. Wc arc satis- 
fied, both by the internal and external evidence, that it 
catne from the poet's pen after James I. liad ascended the 

Independently of the whole character of the drama, wliich 
was little calculated to please Elizabeth, it seems to us that 
Cranmer's prophecy, in Act v. sc. 4, is quite decisive. There 
tlie poet first speaks of Elizabeth, and of the advantages de- 
rived from her rule, and then proceeds in the clearest 
manner to notice her successor : — 

" Njr shall this peace sleep with her : but as when 
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phcenjx, 
Her ashes new create another heir, 
As preat in estimation as herself; 
So shall filie leave her blessedness to one 
("When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness) 
Who from the sacred ashes of her honour 
Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was, 
And to stand fix'd." 

Ingenuity cannot pervert these lines to any other meaning ; 
but it has been said that they, and some others which follow 
them, were a Hubsequent introduction; and, moreover, that 
they were tlie work of Ben Jonson, on &ome revival of the 
play in the reign of James I. There does not e.xJst the 
elightost evidence to establish either proposition. Any per- 
son, j-eading the whole of Cranmer's speecn at the christenmg, 
can liardly fail to perceive such an entireness and sequence 
of thoughts and words in it, as to make it very uulikely 
that it was not dictated by the some intellect, and written 
by the same pen.* Malone and otliers made up their minds 
that " Henry the Eighth " was produced before the deat^i of 
Elizabeth; and finding the passage we have quoted directly 
in the teeth of this supposition, they charged it as a subse- 
quent addition, fixed the authorsliip of it upon a diflerent 
poet, and printed it within brackets. 

As to externa! evidence, there is one fact whicli has never 
liad snfticient importjince given to it. Wo allude to the fol- 
lowing niemoranduui in the Registers of the Stationers' 
Company :— 

"19 Feb. 1604 

" Nath. Butter] Yf he get ffood allowance for the En- 

t«rlude of K. Henry 8th before he begyn to print it; 

and then procure the wardens hands to yt for the 

entrance of yt : he is to have the same for his copy." 

Clnilmers asserted, without qualification, that tliia entry 
referred to a contemporaneous play by Samuel Rowley, under 
the title of "When you see me you know me," 1605; but 
the " enterlttde " is exfiressly called in the entry " K. Henrv 
8th," and we feel no hesitation in concludinsr tliat it referred 
to Shakespeare's drama, which had probably been brou-rlit 
out at the Globe Th iatre in the summer of lfl04. The me- 
morandum, judging from its terms, seems to have been made, 
not at the instance of Nathaniel Butter, the bookseller, but 
of tlie company to which Shakespeare belonged, and in order 
to prevent a surrep''tious publication of the play. The 
"12 Feb. 1604," was, of course, according to our "present 
reckoning the 12 Feb. 1605, and at that date Butter had not 
begun to print "Henry the Eighth." No edition of it is 

known before it appeared in the folio of 1623, and we may 
infer that Butter failed in getting "good allowance" with 
" the wardens' hands to it." 

The Globe Theatre was destroyed on 29th June, 1618, the 
thatch with which it was covered having been fired by tb« 
discharge of some small pieces of ordnance. ^Ilist. cvf Engl. 
Dram. Foetry and the Stage, vol. iii. p. 29S.) It has been 
stated by Howes, in bis continuation of Stowe's Clironicle, 
that the play then in a course of represejitation was " Henry 
tlie Eighth;" but Sir Henry Wolton, who is very particular 
in his description of the calamity, asserts that .the play was 
called " All is True." There is little doubt that he is right, 
because a ballad, printed on the occasion, has the burden of 
"All is True'' at the end of every stanza. The qurstioa 
then is, whether this wa.H Shakespeare's " Henry the Ei^i h'' 
under a diflferent title, or a different play? Sir Henry \\ otr- 
ton informs us in terms that it was "a new play," and as he 
was right in the title, we may have the more faith in his 
statement respecting the novelty of the performance. 

In the instance of "Henry the Eighth," as of many other 
works by our great dramatist, there is ground for believing 
that there existed a preceding play on the same story. Hen- 
slowe's Diiiry aff"ords us some curious and important evi- 
dence on this point, unknown to Malone. Accxjrding to this 
authority two plays were written in the year 1601 for the 
Earl of Nottingham's players, on the events of the life of 
Cardinal Wolsey, including necessarily some of the chief in- 
cidents of the reign of Henry VIII. These plays consisted 
of a first and second part, the one called *'The Rising of 
Cardinal Wolsey," and the other, "Cardinal Wolsey." We 
collect that the last was produced first, and the success it met 
with on the stage was perhaps the occasion of the second 
drama, containing, in fact, the commencement of the story. 
Of this course of proceeding Henslowe's Diary furnishes 
several other examples. 

The earliest entry relating to " Cardinal Wolsey," {llie 
second play in the order of the incidents, though the earliest 
in point ot proHuction) is dated 5th June, 1601. when Henry 
Cliettlo was paid 20*. "for writing the book of Cardinal 
Wolsey." On the 14th July he was paid 40s. more on the 
same account, and in the whole, between 5th June and l7th 
July, he was paid 5^., as large a sum as he usually obtained 
for a new play. 

We have no positive testimony of the success of " Cardi- 
nal Wolsey," of which Chettle was the sole author ; but we 
are led to infer it, because very soon afterwards we find no 
fewer than four poets engaged upon the production of the 
drama under the title of ''The Rising of Cardinal Wolsey," 
which, doubtless, related to his early life, luid to his gradual 
advance in the favour of Henry VIll. These four poets were 
Drayton, Chettle, Munday, and Wentworlh Smith; and so 
many pens, we may conjecture, were employed, that the play 
might be brought out with all dispatch, in order to follow up 
the popularity of what may be looked upon as tiie second 
part of the same " history." Another memorandum in Hen- 
slowe's Diary tends to the same conclusion, for it appeitrs 
that the play was licensed piece-meal by the Master of the 
Revels, that it might be put into rehearsal as it proceeded, 
and represented immediately after it was finished. 

A farther point established by the same authority is, that 
Henslowe expended an unusual amount in getting up the 
drama. On the 10th Aug. 1601, he paid no less than 2ll. for 
'* velvet, sattin, and tafieui" for the dresses, a sum equal now 
to about 100^. Upon the costumes only, in the whole, 
considerably more tlian 2002. were laid out^ reckoning the 
viilue of money in 1601 at about five times its valt«e at 

We may conclude with tolerable certainty that Shakespear** 
wrote " flenry the Eighth" in the winter of 1603-4, and 
that it was first acted at the Globe soon after the commence- 
ment of the season there, which seems to have begun t^^ 
wards the close of April, as soon as a tlieatre open to the 
weather could be conveniently employed. The coronation 
procession of Anne Bullen forms a prominent feature in the 
drama; and as the coronation of James I. and Anne of Den- 
f mark took place on the 24th July, 1603, we mav not unrea- 
I sonably suppose that the audiences at the Globe were in- 
; tended to be reminded of that event, and that the show, dc- 
I tailed with such unusual minuteness in the folio of 1623, win; 
' meant as a remote imitation of its splendour. The opinion, 
I that Shakespeare's " Henry the Eighth " was undoubtedly 
i written after the accession of James I., was expressed and 
I printed by us nearly twenty years ago. The words "aged 
' princess," (no part of the imputed addition by Ben Jonson) 
I would never have been used oy Shakespeare during thfi Uf« 
' of Elizabeth. 



mflvle from the Fr3ncli of Amiot, Bishop of Anxerrc, and np- 
pearfl to Imve been very popular: thonL'ii published at ii high 
price (equal to nboiit 5/. of our present nK)nev\ it was 
Beveral tiinea reprinted; and we nmy, perliups, presume that 
our tjreut drammist made use of nii impresaion nearer his own 
time, possibly that of loSft. In nmuy of the [irincipal 
i^peeclios ho has followed this auiliciriiy witli verbal exact- 
ness; and lie was indebted to it tor tlic wliolo conduct of Ids 
plot. The action occupies le^s than four years, tbr it com- 
meneea subsequent to tiie retirement of tlie people to Moms 
Bacer in 262, at\er the foundation of Koine, and terminates 
with the death of CorioUmus in A. U. C, 268. 

"The Tragedy of Coriolanns" originally appeared in tlie 
folio of 1623, wliere it is divided into acts but n<>t into scenes; 
and it was registered at Stationern' Hall by Blount and Jag- 
gard on the 8th of November of that year, as one of the 
"copies" which had not been "entered to other men." 
Hence we infer that there had been no previous edition of it 
ir) quarto. Malone supposed that " Coriolauus " was written 
in 1610; but wc are destitute of all evidence on the point, 
beyond what may be derived from the style of cuuiposition : 
this would certainly induce us to tix it somewliat hitc in the 
oiireer of our great dramatist. 

It is on the whole well printed for the time in the folio of 
1623; but in Act ii. sc. 3, eitlier the transcriber of tlie ntanu- 
script or the compositor must have omitted a line, which 
I'ope supplied from conjecture (with the aid of North's 
Plutarcli), and which has ever since been received into ilie 
text, because it is absolufely necessary to tliK intelligibility 
of the passage. For the sake of greater distinction, we have 
printed the line within brackets, besides pointing out the 
circumstance in a note. 


The most lamentable Romaine Tr£^edie of Titus Andronicus. 
Ah it hatli sundry limes beene playde by the Right Honour- 
able the Eiirle of Pembrooke, tne Earle of Darbie, the Earle 
of Sussex, and the Lorde Chamberlaine theyr Seruants. At 
London, Printed by I. E. for Kdward White, and are tobee 
solde at his alioppe, at the little North doore of Puulcs, at 
the ftigne of the Gun. 1600. 4to. 40 leaves. 
The most lamentable Tragedie of Titua Andronicup. As it 
hath sundry times beene plaide by the Kins"s Maiesties 
Seruants. London, Printed for Eedward White, and iireto 
bewolde at his shojipe, nere the little North dore of Pauls, 
At the sit^neof the Gun. 1611. 4to. 40 leaves. 
In the folio of 1623, " The Lamentable Tntgedy of Titus An- 
dronicus" occupies twenty-two pages, in the division of 
"Traerediea," viz. from p. 31 to p, 52 inclusive. The three 
later folios, of course, insert it in tne same part of the volume. 
We feel no hesitation in assigning " Titus Andronicus" to 
8ha]^£:»peare. Whether he may lay claim to it as the author 
of the entire tragedy, or only in a qualified sense, as having 
made additions to, and improvements in it, is a different and 
a more difficult question. 

We find it£rivon to him by his contemporary, Francis Meres, 
in liiN Pallodi(t 'J'amiaj 1598, where lie mentions " Titus An- 
dronicus" in immediate connection with "Richard II.," 
" Richard III.," " Henry IV.," " Kinar .lohn," and " Romeo 
and Juliet." It was also inserted in tlie folio of 1623 by 
Shakciipeiire's fellow-actors, Heminge and Coudeli, and they 

f lace it between "Coriolanus" and "Romeo and Juliet." 
lad it not been by our great dramatist, Meres, who was well 
acquainted with the literature of his time, would not have 
attributed it to him; and the player-editors, who had been 
Shakespeare's " fellows and friends," and were men of char- 
acter and experience, would not have included it in their vol- 
ume. These two facts are, in our view, sufficient^. 

It was, undoubtedly, one of his earliest, if not his very 
earliest dramatic production. We are not to suppose that at 
the time he first joined a theatrical company in London, when 
he might not be more than twenty-two or twenty-three years 
old, his style wiis as formed and as matured as it afterwards 
t)«canie : all arc aware that there is a most marked distinction 
i»etween his mode of composition early and late in life ; nsex- 
rihiled, for instance, in" J jove's Labour's Lost," and in "The 
Winter's Ta-e ;" and we apprehend that " Titus Anilronicus" 
twlongs to a period even anterior to the former. Supposing 
" Titus Andronicus" to have been written about 158S, we are 

' W» consider Ravenscroft's testimony, in his alteration of "Titua 
Vndronious," (acted about 1678, and printed nine years afterwardjs) 
■if very little value : in his suppressed rpilotiuc he a-^serted it to be the 
anquei-tionable work of Shakespeare, while in his preface to the 
printed copy in I0a7, he mentions it as a stage-tradition, that Shake- 

to recollect that our dramatic poets wore then only beginning 
to throw otf the shackles of rhyme, and their versification par- 
took of the weight and monntony which were the usual accom- 
paniments of couplfts. "Titus Anironicus" is to be read 
under this impression, and many p:t»»sagefl will then be found 
in it which, we think, are remarkablt! indi(?ations of ^klll and 
power in an unpractised dramatist: as a poetical production 
It has not hitherto had justice done to it, on aeeount. partly, 
of the revolting nature of the plot. Compared with the ver- 
sifie;ition of Greene, Peele, or Loijire, the lines in " Titus An- 
dronicus" will be found to run with ease and variety, and 
iheyare scarcely inferior to the later and better productions 
of Marlowe. Neither is internal evidence wiiolly wanting, foi 
words and phrases employed by Shakespeare in his other 
works may he pointed out ; and in Act iii. sc. 1, we meet a !o- 
markable expression, which is also contained in " Venus aiid 

With reference to the general complexity of the drama, and 
the character of the plot, it must also be borne in mind that 
it was produced at a time, when scenes of horror were especi- 
ally welcome to public audiences, and when pieces were actu- 
ally recommended to their admiration in consequence of the 
blood and slaughter with which they aliounded. Shukes|)eare, 
perhaps, took up the subject on this account, and he worked 
It out hi such a way aH, prior to the introduction and forma- 
tion of a purer taste, would best gratify those for whose 
amui^ement it was intended. 

The oldest known edition of "Titus Andronicus" bear* 
date in 1600 : two copies of it are extant, the one in the collec- 
tion of Lord Francis Kijerion, now before us, and the otlier 
in the Signet Library at Edinburgh. This second copy wad 
not discovered until very recently, and we feel convinced that 
a Tnore ancient impression will some time or otlier again be 
brought to light. That it once existed, we have the testimony 
of Langbaiue, in bis " Account of EuLdish Dramatic Poets," 
8 vo. 1691, where he tells us that the play was "first printed 
4to. Lond. 1594." Consistently with this assertion we tmd the 
following entry in the Registers of the Stationers' Company : — 

"6 Feb. 1693 
John Dantftr] A booke entitled a noble Roman Historye of 
Tytus Andronicus." 

The Stationers' books contain several subsequent memo- 
randa respecting "Titus Aiidronicus," bearintr date ]9li' 
Anril, 1602, 14th Dec. 1624, and 8lh Nov. 1G30; but noiiw 
which seems to have relation to the editions of 1600 an* 
1611. No quarto impressions of a subsequent date are known, 
and the tragedy next apfteared in the folio of 1623. The folic 
was printed from the quarto of 1611, but with the addition 
of a short scene in the third Act, which otherwise, according 
to the divisions theie adopted, would have consisted of only 
one scene. 

The wording of the title-page of the edition of 1600 is re- 
markable, although it has hitherto been passed over without 
due notice : it professes that the drama liad been played not 
only by " the Lord Chamberlain's servunts," of wliom Shake- 
speare was one, but by the theatrical servants of the Karl of 
Pembroke, the Earl oi* Derby, and the Earl of Su-->sex. The 
performance of Shakespeare's plays seems alnnst uniformly 
to have heen confined to the comjiany to which he V)elonged ; 
but we know from Henslowe's Diary that betw 'en 3rd June, 
1594, and 15th Nov, 1596, the Lord Chamberla'n's servanti 
were acting in apparent conjunction with thos^e of the Lord 
Admiral' : one of the plays, enumerated by Henslowe a.s hav 
ing been acted in this interval, is " Tiuis Andronlens," which 
circumstance he records under date of 12th June, 1594. This 
may have been the very play Shakespeare had written, and 
which having been thus represented by several companies, 
although the Eiirl of Nottingham's servants was not one of 
them, the fact was stated on the title-page of the earliest ex- 
tant impression. It is to be observed, however, tluit Ilenslowe 
has an entry of the performance of " Titus Andronicus" oi» 
tlie 23rd Jan. 1593-4, when it appears to liavc been a new 
play. The "Titus Andronicus," tnerefore, acted on TJth June, 
1594, may have been a repetition of a drama, which possibly 
had been got up for Henslowe, in consequence of the success 
of a tragedy upon the same story, the )>roperty of a rival 
company. There can be little doubt that Shakespeare's "Ti- 
tus Andronicus" v/ns written several years earlier. 

It is very possible that Shakespeare's " Titus Andronicus" 
was founded upon some anterior dramatic performance, but 
on this point we have no evidence beyond what may bo col 

Bpeare only gave " some master-touches to one pv two ot the principal 

a Pee " The Memoirs of Edward AUevn," pnl lished by the i^hake- 
speare Sof^iety, p. 'i'2. The theatre the l-ord Chamberlain's and the 
Lord Admiral's players jointly occupied, was thai at Newington Butis 



eilcd from tlie piece itself, in certain real or supposed dissimi- 
larities of composition. 

Wtien Dnnter entered tlie " noble Roman History of Titus 
Audrouicus" iu 1S93, he coupled with it " the ballad thereof," 
which probably is the same printed in Percy's "Keliqiies," 
I'd. i. p. 241, )Ait. 1812. A play called " Andronicus" is men- 
tit)ned by Be.i Jonson in the Induction to his '^ Bartholomew 
Fair," (played first in 1614,) as apiece of twenty-five or thirty 
years standing. Tliis may have been Shakespeare's trao:edy, 
that acted by Henslowe's company, or a drama wliich liad 
served as a foundation of both. Tlie oldest notice of " Titus 
Andronicus" (e.Koeptinir that by Meres) is contained in a tract 
called " Father Hubbard's Tales, or The Ant and the Ni^ht- 
iiis;ale,"4to, 1604, imputed to Thomas Middleton, where (Sign. 
E. 8) the author speaks of the " lamentable action of one arm, 
like old Titus Andronicus." The loss of his liand by the 
hero wend no doubt form an ineideut in every drama written 
upon the subject. 


An excellent conceited Tragedie of Romeo and luliet. As it 
hiith been often (with great applause) plaid publiqucly, by 
the right Hononnihle tlie L. of Hunsdon hi.s Seruants. Lou- 
don, Printed by lohn Banter. ISST. 4to. 89 leaves. 
The most excellent and Uimontable Tragedie. of Romeo and 
hiliet. Newly corrected, autrniented, and amended : As it 
liath bene sundry times publiquely acted, by the right Hon- 
ourable the Lord Clnunberlaine his Seruants. London 
Printed by Thomas Creede, for Cuthbert Burby, and are to 
be sold at his shop neare the Exchange. 1599. 4to. 46 leaves. 
The most excellent and I^amentable Tragedie, of Romeo and 
Juliet. As it hath beene sundrie times nubliquely Acted, 
by the Kings Maiestles Seruants at the Globe. Newly oor- 
rected, augmented and amended ; London Printed tor lohn 
Smethwiok,^and are tube sold at his Shop in Saint Dnn- 
Btanes Church-yard, in Fleetestreete vuder the Dyall. 1609. 
4to. 46 leaves. 
In the filioof 162? "The Tragedie of Romeo and luliet" 
occupies twenty-tlve pagCE, viz. from p. ."iS to p. 79, inclu- 
sive, in the division of " Tragedies.'' It fills the siune space 
m the folios of 1632, 1664, and 168.5. 

It is certain tliat ihere was an English play upon toe siory 
of Romeo and .luliet before the year 1562 ; aiid the fact estab- 
lishes that, even at that early date, our dramatists resorted to 
Italian novels, or trunslations of them, for the subjects of their 
productions. It is the most ancient piece of evidence of tlie 
kind yet discovered, and it is given by Artlinr Brooke, who 
tn that year published a narrative poem, called " The Tragicall 
Historye of Romeus and Juliet." At the close of his address 
" to the Reader" he observes :— " Though I saw the same argu- 
ment lately set forth onstage with more commendation than I 
Can look for (being there mucli better set forth, than I have, or 
cjin do), yet the same matter, penned as it is, may serve the 
like good effect." (Hist, of Englisli Dramatic Poetry and the 
Stage, vol. ii. p. 416.] Thus we see also, tiiat the play had 
been received " with commendation," and that Brooke' him- 
self, unquestionably a competent judge, admits its excellence. 
We can scarcely suppose that no other drama would be 
founded upon the same interesting incidents between l.i62 
and the date when Shakespeare wrote his tragedy, a period 
of, prob.ably, more than thirty years; bnt no hint 'of the kiod 
is given in any record, and certainly no snch work, either man- 
nscript or printed, baa come down to ns. Of the extreme pop- 
ularity of the story we have abundant proof, and of a remote 
date. It was included by William Paynter in the*' second 
tome" of his " Palace of Pleasure," the dedication of which 
he dates 4th Nov. 1667 : and in old writers we find frequent 
mention of the hero and heroine. Tiiomas Dalapeend gives 
the following brief " argument" in his " l'lea.<iant Fable ol 
Hermaphroditus and Salmacis," 1565 : — " A noble mayden of 
the eytye of Verona, in Italye, whyche loved Romeus, eldest 
Aonne of the Lorde Montesche, and beinge pryvelye maryed 
logyther, he at last poysoned hym selfe for love of 'her : she, 
for sorowe of his deatiie. slewe her selfe in the same tonibe 
with hys dagger." B. Rich, in his "Dialogue Iretwene Mer- 
cury and a SoulHier," 1574, says that " thepittifull history of 
Romeus and Julietta," was so well known as to be represented 
on tajiestry. It is again alluded to in "The Gorgeous Gal- 
lery of Gallant Inventions," 1578; and in "A Foore Knight 
His Palace of Private Pleasure," 1579. Austin Saker's " Nar- 
honus," 1580, contains the subsequent passage : — " Had Ro- 
meus bewrayed his mariage at the first, and manifested the 
hitent of his meaning, he had done very wisely, and gotten 
licence for the lives of two faithful friends." A'f>er this date 
the mention of tht story becomos evoL more frequent, and 

sometimes more particular ; and our inference is, that it owed 
part of its popularity, not merely to printed narratives In 
prose or %'erse, nor to the play spoken of by Brooke in 1662, 
but to subsequent dramatic representations, perhaps, more or 
less founded upon that early drama. 

How fur Shakespeare might be indebted to any sucli pro- 
duction we have no meansof deciding ; but Malone, Steeveiis, 
and others have gone upon the supposition, that Shakexpeare 
was only under obligations either to Brooke's poem, or to 
Paynfer's novel ; and least of all do tliey seem to have con- 
templated the possibility, that he might have obtained assist 
ance from some foreign source. 

Arthur Brooke avowed that he derived his materials from 
Bandello (Part ii. Nov. 9), la ffm-tvnata morU di (foe in/d^ 
cistimi Amanti, Ac. ; and Paynter very literally translated 
Boisteau's HUtoire de dfux Amans, d-c, in the collection of 
Hisloires Tragiquee, published by Belle-forest. Both Brooke's 
poem and Paynter's prose version have recently been reprint- 
ed in a work called " Shakespeare's Library," where the an- 
tiquity of the story is considered. Steeveiis was disposed to 
think that our great dramatist had obtained more from Payn- 
ter than from Brooke, while Malone supported, and we think, 
established, a contrary opinion. He examined a number of 
minute points of resemblance; but, surely, no doubt can be 
entertained by those who only compare the following short 

Sassage from a speech of FriarLaurence with tliree lines from 
rooke'a " Romeus and Juliet." 

" Art thou a man ? Thy form cries out thou art ; 
Thy tears are womanish ; thy wild acts denote 
The unreasonable fury of a beast.'* — (Act iii. sc. 3.) 

This, as will be seen from what is subjoined, is almost ver- 
bally fnmi Brooke's poem : — 

" Art thou," quoth he, " a man ? thy shape saith so thou art ; 
Thy crying and thy weeping' eyes denote a woman's heart • • 
If thou a man or woman wert, or els a brutish beast." 

(Sakesp. Lib. part vii. p. 43.) 

Shakespeare's " Romeo and Juliet" originally came out, but 
in an imperfect manner, in 1597, quarto. This edition is in 
two different types, and was probably executed in haste Ijy 
two different printers. It has generally been treated as an 
aiithorized impression from an authentic manuscript. Such, 
after the mo.-,t careful examination, is not our opinion. We 
think that the manuscript used by the printer or priuters (no 
'ot»okselier'8 or stationer's name is placed at the bottom of the 
title-pagej was made up, partly from poitions of the play as 
it was acted, but unauly obtained, and partly from notes taken 
at the theatre during representation. Our principal ground 
for this notion is, that there is such great inequality in differ- 
ent scenes and speeches, and in some places precisely that 
degree and kind of imperfcctness, which would belong to 
manuscript prepared from defective short-hand noles. A« 
Steeveiis printed the first and the third edition of "Romeo 
and Juliet" in his "Twenty Quartos," a comparison, to te.'-l 
the truth of our remark, may be readily made. We do not 
of course go the length of contending that Shakespeare did 
not alter and improve the play, subsequent to its earliest pro- 
duction on the stage, but merely that the quarto, 1697, does 
not contain the tragedy a;; it was originally represented. The 
second edition was printed in 1599, and it professes to have 
been " newly corrected, augmented, and amended ;" the third 
dated edition appeared in 1609 ; but some copies without a 
date are known, which most likely were posterior to 1609, but 
anterior to the appearance of the folio in 1623. The quarto, 
1687, is of no authority. 

The quarto, 1609, was printed from the edition which came 
out ten years earlier ; and the repetition, in the folio of 1623, 
of some decided errors of the press, shows that it was a re- 
print of the quarto, 1609. It is remarkable, that although 
every early quarto imi^ression contains a Prologue, it was not 
transferred to the folio. The quarto, 1697, has lines not in 
the quartcis, 1599, 1609, nor in the folio: and thefilio, reprint- 
ing tlie quarto, 1609, besides ordinary errors, makes several 
important omissions. Our text is tliat of the quarto, l.>9?, 
compared, of course, with the quarto, 1609, and with the folio 
of 1623, and in some p'laces importantly assisted by the quarto 
of 1697. Of the value of this assistance, as regards particu- 
lar words, we will only give a single instance, out of many, 
from Act iii. ac. 1, where Benvolio, in reference to the confliol 
between Mcrcutio and Tybalt, says of Romeo, 

" His agilt arm beats down their fatal points." 
The quartos, 1599 and 1609, and the folio of 1628, absurdly 
read ''■ afied arm :" and the editor of the folio of 1632 substi- 
tuted ^^ able arm:" the true word, for wliich no substitntfl 
equally good could be found, is only in the quarto, 1.597. 

It will be observed that on the title-page of the onarto, 
1597, it is stated that "Borneo a'.i Juliet" was actul by the 



players of Lord llun^don ; and hence Miilone Rrgned that it 
niuat hrtve been first pert'nrnicd and printed between July, 
159$, and Anril, 1597. Tlie coinpjiny to which Shiikespeare 
van attachea called themselves " the servants of the Lord 
Chamberhiin." Henry Lord Hunwdon died Lord Chimiber- 
liiin on 22nd July, 15lt*6, and his sou George succeeded to the 
title, but not to the office, wiiich, in August, was conferred 
upon Lord Cobliam. Lord Cobham filled it until his deiith 
ui March subsequent to his appointment, very soon after 
wliich event George Lord Ilunsdon was niiide Lord Oluun- 
l»erhiin. It seems that the theatrical servants of Henry Lord 
Hunsdon, Lord Chamberlain, did not. on hi.s decease, truns- 
I'er their services to his successor in office. Lord Cobham. but 
Vf his successor in title, George Lord Hunsdon, an<l called 
rhemselves the servants of that nobleman in the interval be- 
U'een the death of his fatiier on 22nd July, 1596, aiul 17th 
April, 15i^, when ho himself became Lord Chamberlain. 
MiJone concludes that in this interval, while those players 
who had been the servants of the Lord Chamberlain called 
•homselvea the Bervants of Lord Hunsdon, "Romeo and 
Juliet " was first performed and printed ; and that, in conse- 
quence, the title-page of the first edition states, that it had 
Iweii played by "the L. of Hunsdon his servants." 

The answer that may be made to this argument is, that 
though the tragfdy was printed in 1597, as it had been acted 
by L'Td Hunsdon's servants, it does not follow that it might 
not have been played some years before by the same actors, 
when calling themselvce the Lord Chamberlain's servants. 
This is true ; and it is not to be disputed that there is an nllu- 
siun in one of the speeches of tlie Nurse (Act i. sc. 3) to an 
earthquake whlcli, she stales, had occurred eleven years 
before : — 

^ But as I said. 

It is remarkable that in no edition of " Romeo and Jnl!*t.** 
printed anterior to the publication of the folio of 1623, do wfl 
find Shakespeare's name upon the title-page. Yet Mercs, iu 
his Palladis 7'amia, had distinctly assigned it to >iim in 1598: 
and although the name of the author might be j-urposcly left 
out in the inincrfccL copy of 1597, there would seem to be nc 
reason, especially after the announcement by Meres, for uot 
inserting it in the " corrected, augmented, and amended'* 
edition of 1599. But it is wanting even in tlie impression ot 
16U9, although Shakespeare's popularity must then liave been 
at its height. "King Lear, in 1608, had been somewhat 
ostentatiously called " M. William Shake-speare, his, &c. Life 
and Death of King Lear;" and liis Sonnets, in 1609, were 
recommended to purchasers, as " Shake-speare's Sonnetf." 
in unUBually large characters on the title-page. 

On Lammas eve at night shall she be fourteen ; 
That shall she, maxry ; 1 remember it well. 
'T is since the tiarthquake now eleven years ; 
And she was wean'd." 

It has been supposed that this passage refers to the earth- 
quake of 1580, and, consequentJy, that the play was written 
in 1591. However, those who read the whole speech of the 
Nurse cannot fail to remark such discrepancies in it as to 
render it impossible to arrive at any definite conclusion, even 
if we suppose that Shakespeare intended a reference to a par- 
ticular earthquake in England. First, the Nurse tells us, that 
Juliet was in a course of being weaned ; then, that she could 
Htinid alone ; and, thirdly, that she could run alone. U wonid 
have been rather extraordinary if she could not, for even 
aooording to the Nurse's own calculation the child wiis vt-ry 
•nearly three years old. No fair inference can, therefore, he 
JrawQ from the expression, " 'T is since the earthouake now 
eleven years," and wo coincide witli Malone that the tragedy 
was probably written towards the close of 1596^ 

Another trifling circumstance may lead to the belief that 
** Romeo and Juliet " was not written, at all events, until after 
1594. In Act ii. (not Act iii., as Malone state«^ there is an 
ftllusion, in the words of Mercutio— " a gentleman of the very 
first house — of the first and second cause,'''* — to a work on 
duelling, called " Vinoentio Saviolo his Practise." That hook 
was first j)rinted in 1594, and again in 1595, and the issue of 
the second impression might call Shakespeare's attention to 
it just betbre he began " Komeo and Juliet." We have 
already seen "Vinoentio Saviolo his Practise" more particu- 
larly referred to in "As You Like It." We place little 
reliance upon the allusion in "Romeo and Juliet," because 
" the first and second cause" are also mentioned in " Lnve's 
Labour's Lost," though tho'passage may, like some others, 
have been an insertion just prior to Christmas, 1598. 

Malone hastily concluded from a reference in Marston's 
ftstires, that Shakespeare's " Romeo and Juliet " was acted at 
'he Curtain Theatre, in Shoreditch ; but we can' be by no 
.7iean3 sure that Marston, by the terms "Curtain planditiea," 
did not mean applauses at any theatre, for all had " curtains," 
r.nd we have r.o trace that any other of our great dramatist's 
playe was acted at the Curtain. The subject must been 
& favourite with the public, and it is more than probable that 
rival companies had contemnoraneous plays upon the same 
Btory. (See the Memoirs of Edward Alleyn, p. 19.) To some 

Biece formed upon the Siune incidents, and represented at the 
urtain Thentre, Marston may have referred. 

* The Reiristers of the Stationers' Company throw little light u])on 
Uie question when "Romeo and Juiiet" was first written On 5 
A05. ITiOr*, Kdward White entered "A newe ballad of Romeo and 
Juliett," which may possibly have been the tragedy, printed (without 
a Vookseller's name) in 1597, though called only a bnUnd. On 22 Jan. 
U>n6 -7, " R-iin«o and Juliet " (togetber with " Lovf's I*abour 's Ln^^t " 


" The Life of Tymon of Athens " first appeared in the folio 
of 1628, where it occupies, in the division of " Tnif/edies," 
twenty-one paKes, numbered from p. 80 to p. 9S inclusive ; 
but pp. 81 and 82, by an error, are repeated. Page 98 is 
followed bya leaf, headed, "The Actors' Names," and the 
list of characters tills the whole page : the back of it is left 
blank. The drama bears the same title in the later folios. 
Shasespearb is supposed not to have written '^Tinion oi 
Athens" until late in his theatrical career, and Malone bus 
fixed upon 1810 as the probable date when it came from his 
pen. We know of no extrinsic evidence to confirm or contra- 
dict this opinion. The tragedy was printed in 1623, in the 
foiio edited by Heminge and Condell ; and having been 
inserted in the Registers of the Stationers' Company as a {iljiy 
" not formerly entered to other men,'^ we may infer tlmt it 
had not previously come from the press. The vei-sifio»lioti is 
remarkably loose and irregular, but it is made to appear more 
so by the manner in which it was originally 'printed. The 
object, especially near the close, seems to have been to make 
the drama occupy as much space as could be conveniently 
filled : consequently, many of tlie lines are arbitrarily divided 
into two : the drama extends to p. 9S in the folio, in the divi- 
sion of " Tragedies ;" what would have been p. 99, if it h:i i 
been figured, contains a list of the cliaracters, and what wouM 
have been p. 100 is entirely blank : the next leaf, being tha 
first page ot " Julius CaBsar," is numbered 109. It is pos>ible 
that another printer began wiih " Julins Caesar," and that a 
miscalculation was made as to the spsice which would be occu- 

Sied by " Coriolanus," "Titus Andronicns," "Romeo and 
uliet," and " Timon of Athens." The interval between 
what would have been p. 100 of the folio of 1623, and p. 109, 
which immediately follows it, may at all events be in this way 

There is an apparent want of finish about some portions of 
"Timon of Athens," wliile others are elaborately wrought. 
In his Lectures in 1815, Coleridge dwelt upon this discordance 
of style at considerable length, but we find no trace of it in 
the published fragments of his Lectures in 1818. Coleridge 
said, in 1815, that he saw the same vigorous hand at work 
throughout, and gave no countenance to the notion, that any 
parts of a previously existing play had been retained in 
"Timon of Athens," as it had come down to us. It was 
Shakespeare's throughout; ana, as originally written, he 
apprehended that it was one of the author's most compli-te 
performances; the players, however, he felt convinced, had 
done the poet much injustice ; and he especially instanced (as 
indeed ho did in 1818) the clumsy, " clap-trap " blow at tliu 
Puritans in Act iii. so. 3, as an interpolation oy the actor ol 
the part of TimonV servant. Coleridge accounted for the 
ruggedness and inequality of the versification upon the same 
principle, and he was persuaded that only a corrupt and im- 
perfect copy had come to the hands of tlie player- editors o* 
the folio of 1623. Why the manuscript of "Timon of Athen" '* 
should have been more mutilated, than that from which other 
dramas were printed for the first time in the same v'olum'^, 
was a question into which he did not enter. His admiratiuu 
of some parts of the tragedy was unbounded ; but he main- 
tained that it was, on the whole, a painful and disagreeable 
production, because it gave only a disadvantageous picture of 
human nature, very inconsistent with what, he nrmly be- 
lieved, was our great poet's real view of the characters of his 

and "The Taming of a Shrew") was entered to "Mr. Linffe," with 
consent ot ' Mr Burby " On 19 Nov. 1GU7, John Smythick entered 
"Hamlet," "The Taming of a Shrew," "Romeo and JuUei," and 
" Love's Labour's Lost,"ai having derived h;s pT-nperty in tbem fn»iB 

i:tirrRODUCTioN to the plays. 


fellow creatures. He said that the whole piece was a bitter | 
dramatic satire, — a species of writinisr in which Sh:ikef*peare| 
had sbo« ^, as in all oiher kinds, that he could reach the very ; 
higliest point of excellence. Coleridge could not help sub- , 
pecting that the subject might have been taknu up under Homo 
temporary feeling of vexation and disappointment. 

How far this notion is well founded can of courRe be matter 
of mere speculation j but a whole play could hardly be com- 
po-cd under a transient tit of irritation, and to us it aeems 
more likely, that in this instance, as in others, Shakespeare 
adopted the story because he thought he could make it 
acceptable as a dramatic representation. We agree with 
Farmer in thinking that there probably existed some earlier 
popular play of which Timon was the hero. The novels in 
f^aynter's " Palace of Pleasure " were the common property 
of the poets of the dav \ and " the strange and beastly nature 
of Timon of Athens is inserted in the first volume of that 
ooliection, which came out before 1567. Paynter professes to 
have derived hif* brief materials from the life of MarcAntcny, 
in Plutarch ; but Sir Thomas North's translation having ninde 
iia appearance iu 1579, ail the circumstances may have been 
familiar to most readers. True it is, that Shakespeare does 
not appear to have followed these authorities at all closely, 
and there may have been some version of Lucian then current 
with which wo are now unacquainted. To these sources 
dramatists preceding S'-.nkespeare may have resorted; and 
we find Timon so otieT mentioned by writers of the period, 
that his habits and dlsp'flitiun, perhaps, had also been miule 
known through the meilium of tlie stage. Shakespeare him- 
pelf introduces Timou into "Love's Labour's Lost," which, 
in its original shape, nmst certainly have been one of 
our great dramatist's earlv plays. In Edward Guilpin's 
«)llection of Epigrams and Satires, published, under the title 
of **Skiii!etheia,*' iu 1598, we meet with the following line, 
(Epigr. 52.) which seems to refer to some scene iu which 
Timon had been represented : — 

*' Like hate-man Timon in his cell he sits :" 
And in the anonymous play of " Jack Drum's Entertainment," 
printed in 1601, one of the characters uses these expressions : — 

"But if all the brewers' jadps in the town can drag me from the 
fore of mvself, they shall do more than e'er the seven wise men of 
Greece could. Com.e, come ; now PU be as sociable aa Tiraon of 

We know also that there existed about that date a play 
upon the subject of Timon of Athena. The original manu- 
Boript of it is in the library of the Kev. Alex:ander Dyce, who 
has recently superintended an impression of it for the Shake- 
speare Snciety. He gives it as his opinion, that it wiia 
" intended for the amusement of an academic audience," and 
although the epilogue may be considered rather of a contrary 
complexion, the learned editor is probably ricrht: it is, how- 
ever, nearly certain that it was acted ; and although it will not 
bear a moment's comparison with Shakespeare's *' Timon of 
Athens," similar incidents and persons are contained in botli. 
Thus, Timon is in the commencement rich, bountiful, and 
devoured by flatterers : he becomes poor, and is at once 
deserted by all but his faithful steward ; — but before he aban- 
dons Athens in disgust, he invites his parasites to a last 
banquet, where he gives them stones painted to reseinblo 
artichokes, which he flings at them as he drives them out of 
his hall. Shakespeare represents Timon as regaling his guests 
with warm water ; but it is very remarkable, that at the end 
of Ills mock-banquet scene, after the hero has quitted tlie 
stage, leaving certain lords behind him, upon whom he hud 
thrown the warm -\*ater, ihe following dialogue occurs : — 
'*! Lord. Let's make no stay. 

2 Loril. Lord Timon 's mad. 

3 Lord. 1 feel 't upon my bones. 

4 Lord. One day he gives us diamonds, next day stones.''^ 

Shakespeare's Timon had cast no " stones '' at his guests, and 
the above extract reads exdotly as if it had formed part of 
S')me play in which stones (as in tlie " Timon " edited by the 
Uev. A, Dyce) hid been employed instead of warm water. 
Unless stones had been thrown, there could, as Steevens 
observes, be no propriety in the mentiouof them oy the fourth 
Lord; and though Shakespeare may not have seen the aca- 
Jemic play to which wc have alluued, a fragment may bv 
accident have found its way into his *' Timon of Athens,*' 
which belontred to some other drama, where the banqnet- 
Bcene was difl'erently conducted. It is just possible that nnr 

great dramatist, at some subsequent date, altered his original 
raught. and by oversight lef^ in the rhyming couplet with 
which the third Act concludes. "We need not advert to other 
^semblances between the academic play and '* Timon of 
Athens," becaus* by the liberality of the possessor of the man- 
uscript, it may bf :»ow said to have become public property. 


["The Tragedio of Julius Casar " was first printed in ths 
foliooflf>23, where it occnpieslwenty-two pages; viz. from 
n. 109 to p. 180 inclusive, m the division of *' Tragedies." 
The Acts, but not the Scenes, are distinguished ; and it 
appeared in the same manner in the three later folios.] 

No early quarto edition of *' Julius Caesar " is known, and 

there is reason to believe that it never appeared in that form. 

The manuscript originally used for the folio of 1623 mnev; 

have been extremely perfect, and free from corruptions, for 

there is, perhaps, no drama iu the volume more accurately 


Malone and others have arrived at the conclusion that 

*' Julius CflBsar" could not have been wriften before 1607. 

We think there is good ground for believing that it was acted 

before 1603. 

We found this opinion upon some circumstances connected 

with the publication of Drayton's "Barons' Wars," and the 

resemblance between a stanza there found, and a passage in 

'* Julius Caesar," both of which it will be necessary to quote. 

In Act V. flc. 6, Antony gives the following character oi 

Brutus : — 

** His life was pentle ; and the elements 
So mix'd in him, that Na'ure might stand up 
And say to all the world. This was a tnan.^'' 

In Drayton's " Barons' Wars," book iii. edit. 8vo., 1608, we 
meet with the subsequent stanza. The author is speaking of 
Mortimer: — 

" Such one he was, of him we boldly say. 
In whose rich soul all sovereign powers did suit, 
In whom in peace fA' elements all lay 
So miz^it, as none could sovereignty impute ; 
As all did govern, yet all did obey : 
His lively temper was so absolute. 

That 't seem'd, when heaven hia model first hegan. 
In him it shew'd perfection in a man." 

Italic type is hardly necessary to establish that one poet 
must have availed himself, not only of the thought, but of the 
very words of the other. The question is, was Shakespeare 
indebted to Drayton, or Drayton to Shakespeare ? We shell 
not enter into general probabilities, founded upon the original 
and exhaustless stores of the mind of our great dramatist, but 
advert to a few dates, which, we think, warrant the conclu- 
sion that Drayton, having heard "Julius Csesar " at tho 
theatre, or seen it in manuscript before 1603, applied to hia 
own purpose, perhaps unconsciously, what, in fact, belonged 
to another poet. 

Drayton's '* Barons' Wars " first appeared in 1596, quarto, 
under the title of " Mortimeriados.'' Malone had a copy 
without date, and he and Steevens imagined that the poem 
had origimiUy been printed in 1508. In the quarto of 1596, 
and in the undated edition, it is not divided into books, and 
is in seven-line stanzas: and what is there said of Moitimer 
bears no likeness whatever to Shakespeare's expressions in 
" Julius ''aesar." Drayton afterwards changed the title from 
*' Mortimeriados " to "The Barons' WHr^," and re-modelled 
the whole historical poem, altering the stanza from the 
English ballad form to the Italian ottava 'rima. This course 
he took hef>re 1608, when it came out in octavo, with the 
stanza first quoted, which contains so marked a similarity to 
the lilies from " Julius C«esar." AVe appre-hend that he did 
so because he had heard or seen Shakespeare's tragedy before 
1603; and we think that strong presumptive proof that he 
was the borrower, and not Shakespeare, is derived from the 
fact, that in the subnequent impressions of "The Barons* 
Wars," in 1605, 1608. 1610, and 1613, the stanza remained 
precisely as in the edition of 1603; but that in 1619, after 
Shakespeare's death and before " Juliut* Caesar" tvas printed, 
Drayton made even a nearer approach to the words of his 
original, thus : — 

*' He wa? a man, then boldly dare to say, 

In whose rich soul the virtues well did suit; 

ill whom su mix^d the elements did lay, 

That none to one could sovereignty impute; 

As all did govern, so did tJll obey : 
He of a tfimper was so ahsolute, 

Aa that it seem'd, when Nature him began, 

She meant to show all that might be in man.'" 

Wfa have been thus particular, because the point is obvi- 
ously of importance, as rt^gards the date when " Julius Ctesar " 
was brought upon the stage. Malone seems to have tliought 
that " The Barons' Wars " continued under its original name 
and in its first shape until the edilion of 1608, and concluded 
that the resemblance to Shakespeare wiis first to be traced ir 



tliat impression. IIo nnd not consultetl the copies of 1603, or 
1605 (wliioli were not in hi» possession), for if lie liail l(iol;cd 
at tiieni he must liiive seen tlnit Drayton Imd copied " Julius 
C«eaar"iia early b» 1603, and, consequently, unless Shal;c- 
speare imitated Drayton, that tliat tragedy must tiien liuve 
been in existence. , That Drayton had not remodelled liis 
" Mortimeriados " as late us 1602, we patlier from the circum- 
Btnnce, tiiat iie reprinted his poems iti that year without *' The 
Barons' Wars " in any form or under any title. 

Anotlier sligiitcircumstance^miiflit be adduced to show that 
"Julius Csesar" was even an oidv>r triiisredy than " Hamlet." 
In the latter (Act iii. sc. 2) it is sL'd that Julius Ceesar was 
* killed in the Capitol :" in Shakespeare's drama such is the 
representation, although contrary to tlie truth of history. 
This sesnis to have been the popular notion, and wc find il 
confirmed in Sir Edward Dyer's " Prayse of Nothing," ISS-i, 
quarto, a tract unknown to every hibiiograplier, where these 
words occur: " Thy stately Ca'pitol (proud Konie) had not 
beheld the bloody fall of pacified Coesar, if nothing had accom- 
panied him." Robert Greene, asrraduateof both Universities, 
makes the same statement, and Shakespeare may have fol- 
lowed Bome older play, whei-e the assassination scene wits laid 
in the Capitol : Chaucer had so spoken of it in his " Monk's 
Tale." It is not, liovvever, likely that Dr. Eedes, wlio wrote 
a Latin acjideinicul play on the story, acted at Oxford in 1582, 
Bliould have committed the error. 

Shakespeare appears to have derived nearly all his materials 
from Plutarch, as translated by Sir Thomas North, and first 
published in 1579'. At the same time, it is not unlikely that 
tiiere was a preceding play, and our reason for thinking so 
is assigned in a note in Act iii. sc i. It is a new fact, ascer- 
tained from an entry in Henslowe's Diary dated 22n<l May, 
1602, that Antliony Mnnday, Michael Drayton, John Webste'r, 
Tlioina.s Middleton, and other poets, were engaged upon a 
tragedy entitled " Cffisar's Fall." The probability is, that 
these dramatists ttnited their exertions, in order without 
delay to bring out a traaredy on the same subject as tiiat of 
Shakespeare, which, perhaps, was then performing at the 
Globe Theatre with success. Malone states, that there is no 
proof that any contemporary writer " had presumed to new- 
model a story that had already employed the pen of Shake- 
speare." He forgot that Ben Jonson was engaged upon a 
;' Richard Orookbaok " in 1602 ; and he omitted, when exam- 
ining Henslowe's Diary, to observe, that in the same year 
four distinguished dramatists, and "other poets," were 
employed upon " Caesar's Fall." 

From Vertue's manuscripts we learn tliat a play, called 
" Caesar's Tragedy," was acted at Court iu 161S, which might 
be the production of Lord Stirliiiir, ShaUespeare'e drama, that 
written by Munday, Drayton, Webster, Middleton, and others, 
or a play ]>riiited in 1607, under the title of " The Tragedy of 
Caesar and Pompey, or CsBsar's Revenge." Mr. Peter Cun- 
ningham, in his "Revels' Accounts," (Introd. p. xxv.) has 
shown that a dramatic piece, with the title of " The Tragedy 
of Cfflsar," was exhibited at Court on Jan. 81, 1686-7. 


['* The Tnigedie of Macbeth " was first printed in the folio of 
1628, where it occuj^ies twenty-one pa^ea ; viz, from p. 131 
to p. 151 incluftive, in the division of " Trafredies." The 
Acts and Scenes are regularly marked there, as well as in 
the later folios.] 

Vhk only ascertained fact respecting the performance of 
'* Macboth," in the lifetime of ita author, is that it was repre- 
isented at the Globe Theatre on the 20th of April, 1610. 
Whether it wa*^ then a new play, it is impossible to decide; 
but we are inclined to think that it was not, and that Malone 
was rifrht in his conjectnro, that it was first acted about the 
year 1606. The subsequent account of the plot is derived 
from Dr. Simon Forman''s manuscript Diary, preserved in tlie 
Ashmolean Museum, from which it appears, that he saw 
" Macbeth" played at the Globe on the day we have stated : — 

" In Macbeth, at the Globe, 1 Gl 0, the 20th of April, Saturdp.y, there 
was to be observed, first, how Macbeth and Banquo, two noblemen of 
Scotland, ridinfj through a wood, there stood before them three women 
Fairies, or Nymphs, and saluted Macbeth, saying three times unto 
him, Hail, Macbeth, King of Coder, for thou shall be a King, but 
ehalt beget no Kings. &c. Then, said Banquo, What ! all to Macbeth, 
and nothing to me? Yes, said the Nymphs, Hail to lliee, Banquo : 
thon shalt beget Kings, yet be no King.' And so they departed, ana 
came to the Court of Scotland, to Duncan, King of Scots, and it was 

* Lord Stirling j)ublished a tragedy under the title of "Julius 
Cmsar." in 11)04: the respmblances aje by no meane numerous or 
obvious, and probably not more than may be accounted for by the 
tact, that lw3 wiiters were treating the 8am« lubject. The popularity 

in the days of Edward the Conf»Bor. And Dancsn bad thevi ootk 
kindly welcome, and made Macbeth forth wi^i Prince of Northumbar 
land ; and sent him home to his own Caslle, and appoin ed Macbett 
to provide for him, for he would sup with him tht< next i'^y at night, 
and did so. 

'• And Macbeth contrived to kill Duncan, and through the persuft 
sion of his wife did that night murder the iting in his own Cwtle. 
being his guest. And there were many pn-digiesseen that night and 
the day before. And when Macbeth had murdered the King, th« 
blood on hia hands could not be washed off by any means, nor frcm 
his wife's hands, which handled the bloody da{;gers in hiding them. 
by which means they became both much amazed and atfronted. 

"The murder being known. Dtincan's two sons fied, the one to 
England, the [other to] "Wales, to save themselves ; they, being fled, 
^^ere supposed guilty of the murder of their father, which ww 
nothing so. 

'• Then was Macbeth crowned King, and then he for fear of Banquo, 
his old companion, that he should beget kings but be no king himwlf, 
he contriveu the death of Banquo, and caused him to be murdered ob 
tr.e way that he rode. The night, being at supper with his noble- 
men, whom he had bid to a feast, (to the which al.«o Banquo should 
have come.) he began to speak of noble Banquo, and to wish that lie 
were there. And as he thus did, standing up to drink a caxoute to 
him, the ghost of Banquo came, and sat down in his chair behind 
him. And he, turning about to sit down again, saw the ghoet ot 
Banquo, which fronted him. so that he fell in a great passion of feaj 
and fury, uttering many words about his murder, by which, whes 
they heard that Banquo was murdered, they suspected Macbeth. 

"Then Macduff fled to England to the King's son, and so they 
raised an army and came to Scotland, and at Dunston Anyse over- 
threw Macbeth. In the mean time, while I\lacdutf was in England, 
Macbeth slew Macduflf's wife and cliildren, andafter, in the battle 
Macduff slew Macbeth. 

'' Observe, also, how Macbeth's Queen did rise in the night in he- 
sleep, and walk, and talked and confessed all, and the Doctor noted 
her words." 

Onr principal reason for thinking that ** Macbeth " had 
been orifjinally represented at four years before 1610, i» 
the striking allusion, in Act iv. bc. 1, to tlie union of the three 
kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, in the hands of 
James I. That monarch ascended the throne in March, 
1602-8, and the words, 

" Some I see. 
That two-fold balls and treble sceptres carry," 

would have had little point, if we suppose them to liavo been' 
delivered after the king who bore the balls and sceptres had 
been more than seven years on tlie thronA. James was pro- 
claimed kin? of Great Britain and lieland on tlie 24t,h cf 
October, 1604, and we may perhaps conclude that Shakespeare 
wrote " Miicbeth " in the year 1605, and tliat it was first acted 
at the Globe, when it was opened fur the summer season, iu 
the spring of 1606. 

Malone elaborately supports liis opinion, that ** Macbeth " 
was produced in 1606, by two allusions in the speech of the 
Porter, Act li. ac. 8, to the cheiipness of corn, ana to the doe- 
trino of equivocation, which had been supported by Robert 
Garnet, wlio was executed on the Sd of May, 1606. M'e are 
generally disposed to place little confidence in such paasno-es, 
not only because they are frequently (.tbscure in tlieir applica- 
tion, but because they may have been introduced at any 
subsequent period, either by the author or actor, with the 
purpose of exciting the applause of the iiudience, by reference 
to some circumstance then attracting public attention. W'e 
know that dramutists were in the constant habit of making 
additions and alterations, and that comic performers had the 
vice of delivering " more than was set down for them." Tiie 
siieech of tlie Porter, in which tlie two ^uppoaed temporary 
allusions are contained, is exnctly of the kind which tlie per- 
former of the part might be inelined to enlarge, nnd so 
strongly was Coleridge convinced tiiat it wns an interpoinlioH 
by the player, that he boldly ** nledgod himself to demonstmie 
it." (Lit. Rem. vol. ii. p. 285.) This notion was not new to 
him in 1818 ; for three years earlier he had publicly declined 
it in a lecture devoted to '* Macbeth," although lie admitted 
that there was something of Shakespeare in '* the primrose 
way to the everlasting bonfire." It may be doubted whether 
he would have made this concession, if lie had not recollected 
** the primrose path of dalliance " in *' Hamlet." 

Shakespeare, doubtless, derived all the materials he required 
from Holinshed, without resorting to Boel hius, or to any othei 
authority. Steevens continued to maintain, thatShakespour* 
was indebted, in some degree, to Middlcton's *' Witch^' foi 
the preternatural portion of" Macbeth ;" but Malone, who at 
first entertftined the same view of the suhieet. ultimately 
abandoned it, and became convinced that *'Tne Witch " wȣ 
ft play written subsequently to the production of*' Maubeth." 

. of Shakespeare's tragedy about 1603 may have led to the printing o. by Lord Sterling in 16U4, and on thi» account the date is cf con 
sequence. Malone appears to have known of no edition ol Lord 
Stirling's "Julius Citsar" until 1607 



Those i» ho read the two will, perhnps, wonder how a doubt 
es^^uld have been entertained. " Tlie Witch," in all proba- 
bility, was not written until about 1613; and what must 
Shfpriae every body is, that a poet ot'Middleton'ft rank could 
*o aegrnde the awful laeine;.^ of Shakeapeare'8 invention ; for 
tlthough, as Lamb observer, ** the power of Middleton's 
witches is in some measure over the mind," (Specimens of 
KnsrI. Dram. Poets, p. 174,) they are of a degenerate race, as 
if, Shakespeare having* created Ihem, no other mind was 
satfioiently gifted even to continue their existence. 

Whether Shakespeare obtained his knowlcdcje regarding 
tliese agents, nnd of tiie locality he supposes them to have 
frtquented, from actual observation, is a point we have con- 
sidered in tlie Biography of the poet. The existing evidence 
on the question is there cnllected, and wo have shown, that 
ten years before t^ae date liitherto a^^igned to that circum- 
stance, a company called *' the Queen's Players " had visited 
Edinburgh. This fact is quite new in the history of the 
uitroduction of English theatrical performances into Scotland. 
That the Queen's comedians were north of the Tweed in 1599, 
on the invitation of James VI., we have distinct evidence: 
we know also that they were in Aberdeen in 1601, when the 
freedom of the city wan presented to Laurence Fletcher (the 
first name in the patent of 1608) ; but to establisii that they 
were in Edinburgh in 1539 gives much more latitude for 
speculation on the question, whether Shakespeare, in the 
interval of about fourteen years before James L ascended the 
throne of England, had at any time accompanied his fellow- 
actors to Scotland. 

At whatever date we suppose Shakespeare to have written 
*' Macbeth,'' we may perhaps infer, from a passage in Kemp's 
'* Nine Days' Wonder," 1600, that there existed a ballad upon 
tiie story, which may have been older than the tragedy : such 
is the opinion of the Rev. Mr. Dyce, in his notes to the reprint 
of this tract by the Camden Society, p. 34. The point, how- 
ever, is doubtful, and it is obvious that Kemp did not mean 
to be very intelligible : his other allusions to ballad-makers of 
his time are purposely obscure. 

*' Macbeth " was inserted by the player-editors in the folio 
of 1623 ; and, as in other similar cases, we may presume that 
it had not come from the press at an earlier date, because in 
the books of the Stationers' Company it is registered by 
Blount and Jaggard, on the 8th of November, 1623, as one of 
tlie nlavs " not formerly entered to other men." It has been 
handed down in an unusually complete state, for not only are 
the divisions of the acts pointed out, but the subdivisions of 
the scenes carefully and accurately noted. 


I The Tragicall Historic of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke By 
William Shake-apeare. As it hath beene diuerse times 
acted by his Highnesse seruant-s in the Cittie of London : 
as also in the two Vniuersities of Cambridge and Oxford, 
and else-where. At Loudon printed for N. L. and lolin 
Trundell. 1608. 4to. 33 leaves. 

The Tragicall Hi»torie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke. By 
William Siiakespearc. Newly imprinted and enlarged to 
almost T»s much againo as it was, accordin^to the true and 
perfect Coppie. At London, Printed by I.R. for N. L. and 
are to be sold at his shoppe vnder Saint Dunstons Church 
in Fleetstreet. 1604. 4to. 51 leaves. 

The title-page of the edition of 1605 does not differ in the most 
minute parLieular from that of 1604. 

Hie Tnigedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke. By William 
Shakespeare. Newly imprinted and enlarged to almost as 
much againe as it was, according to the true and perfect 
Coppy. At London, Printed for lohn Smethwicke and are 
to De sold at his shoppe in Saint Dunstons Church yeard in 
Fleetstreet. Vnder the Diall. 1611. 4to. 51 leaves. 

The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke. Newly Im- 

Brinted and inlarged, according to the true and perfect 
opy lastly Printed. By William Shakespeare. London. 
Printed by W. S. for lohu Smethwicke, uud are to be sold 
at his Shop in Saint Dunstana Church-yard in Fleetstreet : 
Vnder the Diall. 4to. 51 leaves. 

1 r>r. Farmer had an imperfect copy of it. but it is preserved entire 
ationg Capell's books in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, 
Ani was printed in KilH, by Richard Bradocke, for Thomas Pavier. 
*' There can be little doubt that it had originally come from the press 
considerably before the commencement of the seventeenth century, 
although tlTe multiplicity of readers of pr^Jactions of the kind, and 
the careles^eness with which Kuch bocks wer« regarded after perusal, 
has led to the destruction, as far as can now be ascertained, of every 
•arijfei copy." — Introduction to Part IV, of '■ Shake?j>eare's Library. ' 

This undated edition was probably printed in 1607, as it wot 
entered at Stationers' Hall on Nov. 19, in that year. Au 
impression, by R. Young:, in 4to, 1637, has also John Smeth- 
wicke at the bottom of tiie title-pa^e. 

In the folio of 162S, ''The Tnigedio of Hamlet, Prince of 
Denmarke," occupies thirty-one pitges, in the division of 
•'Tragedies;" viz. from p. 152 to p. 280, inclusive, there 
beinjET a mistake of 100 pages between p. 166 and what 
ought to have been p. 157. J 

The story upon which, there is reason to believe, Shakespeai-o 
founded nis tragedy of *' Hatnlet," has recently been reprinted, 
from the only known perfect copy^, as part of a worK called 
*'• Shakespeare's Library;'" and there is, perhaps, nothinii 
more remarkable than the manner in which our threat drauifc 
tist wrought these barbarous, uncouth, and scanty materiala 
into the magnificent structure he left behind him. A com- 
parison of " The Historie of Hamblet," as it was translated at 
an early date from the French of Belleforest^, with " The 
Tragedy of Hamlet," is calculated to give us the most exalted 
notion of, and profound reverence for, the genius of Shake- 
speare : his vast superiority to Green and Lodge was obvioos 
in "The Winter's Tale," and "As You Like It;" but the 
novels of '* Pandoato " and " Rosalyncle," as narratives, were 
perhaps as far above "The Hi^^lofie of Hamblet," us "The 
W'intcr's Tale " and "As You Like It " were above the origi- 
nals from which their main incidents were derived. Nothing, 
in point of fact, can be much more worthless, in story ano 
Btyle, than the production to which it is supposed Shakespeare 
was indebted for the foundation of his " Hamlet." 

There is, however, some ground finr thinking, that ft lost 
play upon similar incidents preceded the work of Shake- 
speare : how far that lost play might be an improvement upon 
the old translated " Historic^' we have no means of decidmg, 
nor to -wAuii extent Shakespeare availed himself of such im- 
provement. A drama, of which Hamlet Was the hero, was 
certainly in being prior to the year 1587, (in all probability 
too early a date for Shakespeare to have been the writer of it) 
for we find it thus alluded to by Thomas Nash, in his pre- 
liminary epistle to the "Itenaphon" of Robert Greene, 
published m that year^ : — "Yet English Seneca, read by 
candle-light, yeelds many good sentences, as bhod is a beggar^ 
and so forth ; and if you entreat him fair in a frosty morning, 
he will afford you whole Hainkts^ I should say handfule, of 
tragical speeches." The writer is referring to play-poetB and 
their productions at that period, and he seems to' have gone 
out ot his way, in order to introduce the very name of the 
performance against wliich he was directing ridicule. Another 
I)iece of evidence, to the same effect, but of a more question- 
able kind, is to be found in Henslowe's Diary, under the date 
of June 9th, 1594, when a " Ilamlct " was represented at the 
theatre at Newington Butts : that it was then an old play is 
ascertained from the absence of the mark, which the old 
manager usually prefixed to first performances, and from the 
fact that his share of the receipts was only nine shillings. At 
that date, however, the company to which Shakespeare be- 
longed was in joint occupation of the same theatre, and it is 
certainly possible, though improbable, that the drama repre- 
sented on June 9th, 1594, was Shakespeare's " Hamlet." 

Wo feel confident, ho%vever, that the " Hamlet " which has 
come down to us in at least six quarto impressions, in the 
folio of 1623, and in the later impressions in that form, was 
not written until the winter of 1601, or the spring of 1602. 

Mitlone, Steevens, and the other commentators, were ac- 
quainted with no edition of the tragedy anterior to the quarto 
of 1604, which professes to be " enlarged to almost as much 
again as it was r' they, therefore, reasonably suspected that 
it had been printed be'ftire ; and within the last twenty v-Hira 
a single copy of an edition in 1608 has been discovered. I^hia, 
in fact, seems to have fcipen the abbreviated and imperfect 
edition, consisting of only about half as much as the impres- 
sion of 1604. It belongs to the Duke of Devonshire, ana, by 
the favour of his Grace, is now before us. From whose press 
it came we have no information, but it professed to be 
" printed for N. L. and luhn Trundell." The edition of the 
following year was printed by I. R. for N. L. only ; and why 
Trundell ceased to have any interest in the publication we 
know not. N. L. was Nicholas Ling; and I. R., the printer 

* Belleforest derived his itnowledge of the incidents from the History 
of Denmark, by Saxo Grammaticus. first printed in 1514. 

3 We give the date of I5d7 on the excellent authority of the Rev 
A. Dyce, ((ireene's Works, vol, i. pp. xxxvii. and ciii.) We havp 
never been able to meet with any impression earlier than that of 
1589. Sir Efjerton Brydges reprinted the tract Ijora the edition a 
1616, (when its name had heen changed to ^* Greenes Arcadia ") ii 
" Archaica," vol. i. 



o** the edition of 1604, was, no donbt, James RobertH, who, 
twt' years before, hnfl made the following eutry in the 
Eeffisters of the Stntioners' Company : — 

'*26 July 1602. 
James Roberts] A booke, The Revenge of Hnmlettprinoe 

of Denmiirke, a8 yt was intelie acted by ihe Lord 

Chamberliiyn his sorvantes." 
'* The words. " as it was lately acted," are important upon 
'Jie qnestion 9f date, and the entry farther proves, that the 
tnigtsdy had been performed by the company to whicli Shake- 
rtpeare helonored. In the t^prine of 1603 " the Lord Chamber- 
lain's servants" becitmc the King's players; and on tlie 
Mtle-page of the qnarto of 1608 it is assorted that it had been 
acted ** by his Highness' servants." On the title-puge of the 
quarto of 1604 we are not informed tliat the tragedy had been 
* acted by any company. 

Thus we see, tlmt in July, 1602. there was an intention to 
print and publisii a play called *'The Revenue of Hamlet, 
Prince of Dnimurk ;" imd this intention, we may fairly con- 
clude, arose out of the popularity of the piece, as it was th^n 
(iGted by '* the Lord Chamberlain's servimts," who, in May 
'Mlowing, obtainefi the title of " the*King'H players." The 
nbject of Roberts in making the entry already quoted, was 
to secure it to him.sclf, being, no doubt, aware that other 
printers and booksellers would endeavor to anticipate him. 
It seems urobable, that he was unable to obtain such a copy 
of " Hamlet" a-^ he would put hia name to ; bnt some inferior 
liiid nameless printer, who was not so scrupulous, having 
Mirreptitiously secured a manuscript of the play, however 
imperfect, which would answer tlie purpose, and gratify public 
cariosity, the edition bearing date in l'*^!^ was pnhlisheri. 
Such, we have little doubt, was the origin of the impression 
of which only a single copy n as reached our day, and of which, 

Srobably, but a few were sold, as its worthlessness was soon 
iscovefed, and it was quickly entirely superseded by the 
enlarged impression of 1604. 

As an accurate reprint was made in 1825 of " The Traelcall 
Elistorie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke," 1608, it will he 
unnecessary to go in detail into proofs to establish, as we 
could do without much difficulty, the following points : — 
1. That great part of the play, lus it there stands, was taken 
down in short-hand. 2. That ■tt>Jiere mechanical skill failed 
the short-hand writer, he either filled up the blanks from 
memory, or employed an inferior writer to assist him. 3. That 
although some of the scenes were carelessly transposed, and 
others entirely omitted, in the edition of 1603, the drama, as 
it was acted while the short-hand writer was employed in 
taking it down, was, in all its main features, the same as the 
more perfect copy of the tragedy printed with the date of 
1604, It is true, that in the edition of 1603, Polonius is called 
Corambis, and his servant, Montano, and we may not be able 
fo determine why these changes were made in the inirnedi- 
sitely subsequent impression ; but we may perhaps conjecture 
that thoy were names in the older play on tlie ?ame sttyrj-, 
or names which Shakespeare at first introduced, and subse- 
quently thought fit to reject. We know that Ben Jonson 
i;luitiged the whole dramatis personm of liis ** Every Man in 
las Humour." 

Rut although we entirely reject the quarto of 1608, as an 
authentic " Hamlet," it is of high value in enablinc- us to 
settle the text of various important passages. It proves, 
htfsides, that certain portions of the pUiv, as it appears in the 
folio of 1623, which do not form part of the quarto of 1604, 
w*-re originally acted, and were not, as has been hitherto 
inmgined, subsequent introductions. We have pointed odt 
' these and other peculiarities so fully in our notes, that wo 
need not dwell upon them here; but we may mention, that 
in Act iii. sc. 4, the qnarto of 1603 explains a curious point 
of etagc-bnsiness, which puzzled nil the commentators. Just 
us the Ghost is departing from tlie Queen's closet, Hamlet 

" Look, how it steals away ! 
My father, in his habit ag he lived !" 

Malone, Steevens, and Monck Mason argue the question 
'whether in this scene, the Ghost, as in former scenes, ought 
to wear armour, or to be dressed in ** his own familiar habit ;" 
and they conclude, either that Shakespeare had ** forgotten 
nimself," or h:id meant " to vary the dress of the Ghost at 
Ibis his last appearance." The quarto of 1603, shows exactly 
how the poet's intention was carried into effect, for there we 
meet with the stafre-direction, "Enter the Ghost in his night- 
gown ;" and such was unquestionably the appearance of the 
performer of the part when the short-hand writer saw the 
tragedy, witl^ a view to the speedy publication of a fnudulent 
impresHion. "My father, in M^ habit as he lived." are the 
words he recorded from the mouth of the actor of Hamlet. 

The impression of 1604 being intended to supersede that 
of 1608, which gave a most mangled and imperfect notion o 
the drama in its true state, we may perhaps presume that tha 
quarto of 1604 was, at least, as authentic a copy of" Hamlet" 
as the editions of any of Shakespeare's plays that came from 
the press during ins lifetime. It contains various paseagee, 
some of them of great intportance to the conduct and character 
of the hero, not to be found in the folio of 1623; vihUe the 
folio includes other passages wh.'ch are left out in the qnarto 
of 1604 ; although, as before remarked, we liave the evidence 
of the quarto of 1603, that they were originally acted. Tin 
riifferent quarto impressions were printed from each other 
and even that of 1637, though it makes some verbal change*, 
contains no distinct indication that the printer had rcsortbd 
to til© folios. 

The three later folios, in this instance as in others, wert- 
printed from the immediately preceding edition in the same 
form ; but we are inclined to think, that if " Ilnndet," in the 
fulio of 1623, were not composed from some now unknown 
qnarto, it was derived from a manuscript obtained by Hem- 
inge and Condell from the theatre. The Acts and Scenes 
are, however, marked only in the first and second Acts, after 
which no divisions of the kind are noticed ; and where Act iii. 
commences is merely matter of modern conjecture. Some 
large portions of the play appear to have been omitted for 
the salve of shortening the performance ; and any editor who 
should content himself with reprinting the folio, without large 
additions from the quartos, would present but an imperfect 
notion of the drama as it came from the hand of the poet. 
Tiie text of "Hamlet" is, in fact, only to be obtained from 
a comparison of the editions in quarto and folio, but the mis- 
prints in the latter are quite as numerous and glaring as in 
the tbrmer. In various nistances we have been able to correct 
the one by the other, and it is in this respect chiefly that the 
quarto of 1603 is of intrinsic value. 

Coleridge, after vindicating himself from the accusation 
that he had derived his ideas of Hamlet from Schlegel, (and 
we heard him broach tliem some years before the Lectures, 
Vebej' Dramatische Kunst und LUieratnr, were published,) 
thus, in a few sentences, sums up the character of Hamlet : — 
" In Hamlet, Shakespeare seems to have wished to exemplify 
the moral necessity of a due balance between our attention 
to the objects of our senses, and our meditation on the work- 
ings of our mind, — an equilibrium between the real and 
the imaginary worlds. In Hamlet this balance is disturiied ; 
his thoughts and the images of his fancy are fur more vivid 
than his actual f»erceDtions ; and his very perceptions, in- 
stantly passing through tlie medium of his contemplations, 
acquire, as thoy pass, a form and a color not naturally tlieir 
own. Hence we ^ee a great, an almost enormous, intellectual 
activity, and a proportionate aversion to real action conse- 
quent upon it, with all its symptoms and accompanying 
qualities. This character Shakespeare places in circumstances 
under which it is obliged to act on the spur of tlie moment. 
Hamlet is brave, and careless of death; but he vacillates 
from sensibility, and procrastinates from thought, and loses 
the power of action in the energy of resolve." (Lit. Rem. 
vol. ii. p. 205.) 

It has generally been supposed that Joseph Taylor waa 
the original actor of Hamlet — and Wright, in his "Historia 
Histriohica," 1699, certainly speaks of him as Kaving per- 
formed the part. This, however, must have been after the 
death of Richard Burbage, which happened precisely eighty 
years before Wriirht published his tract. We know, from 
the manuscript Elegy upon Burbage, sold among Heber's 
books, that he was the earliest representative of Hamlet j 
and there the circumstance of his being "fat and scant ot 
breath," in the fencing scene, is noticed in the very words 
of Shakespeare. Taylor did not belong to the company for 
which Shakspeare wrote at the date when "Hamlet" was 


M. William Shak-sneare : Hia True Chionicle Hietorio of th 
life and death of King Lear and his three Daughters. With 
the vnfortunate life of Edtrjir, *onne and hiiire to the Karle 
of Gloster, and hit* sullen and assumed hntnour of Tom ot 
Bedlam. As it waa played before the Kings Maiestie a 
Wliitehall vpon S. Stephana night in Christmas Hollidaycs. 
By ids Maiesties sernants playing vsually at the Gloabe on 
the Bancke-sido. London, Printed for Nathaniel Butter 
and are to be sold at his shop in Paul's Church-yard, at the 
signe of the Pide Bull neere St. Austin's Gate. 1608. 4to 
41 leaves. 




I. Williiim Shnke-sneare, Hi» True Chronicle HiBtory nf tlie 
life niiii dentil or King Lear, and liis three Dnnphtero. 
With the viifortunate lite of Kdjar, soniic and lieire to the 
Kurle of Glocester, and his siillen and assumed humour of 
Tom of Bedlam. As it was plaid before tlie Kin^s Muicsty 
Kt White-Ilall, vppou S. Stephens night, in Cliristmas Hol- 
lidnies. Bv his Maiesties Seninnta, jjlayinj vsually at the 
Globe on the Banck-side. Printed for Nathaniel Butter. 
1608. 4to. 44 leaves. 
The tille-pajre of a third impression in 1608 corresponds with 

that last above given, 
in the folio of 1623, " The Tra?edie of Kiu? Lear" occupies 
twenty seven p;iires, in the division of " Tragedies ;" viz. 
from p. 288 to p.'809, inclusive. The last paffc but one, by 
an error, is numbered 88, instead of 308. In the first, as 
well as in the f -lios of 1632, 1664, and 1685, the Acta and 
Scene's are re;^ularly marked.] 
The most remarkable circumstance connected with the early 
publication of " King Loar " is, that the same stationer pub- 
lished three quarto impressions of it in 1608, that stationer 
being » person who had not put forth any di the authentic 
(a,s tar as Ihey can deserve to be so considered) editions of 
Shakespeare's plays. After it had been thus thrice printed 
(for they were not merely re-issues with fresh title-pages) in 
tile same year, the traeedy was not again printed until it 
appeared in the folio of 1623. Why it was never republished 
ill quarto, in the interval, must be "matter of speculation, but 
such was not an unusual occurrence with the works of our 
groat dranuitist : his '• Midsummer Night's Dream," " Mer- 
cliHiit of Venice," and " Troilus and Cressida " w ere each 
twice printed, tlie two first in 1600, and the last in 1609, and 
Miey vvere not again seen in type until they were inserted in 
tlic folio of 1628: there also no second qiiarto edition of 
'• Mach ftdi) about Nothing," nor of " Love's Labour 's Lost." 
The extreme popularity of "King Lear" seems proved by 
the mere fact that tlie public demand for it, in the first year 
of its publication, could not bo satisfied without three distinct 

It will be seen by the exact copies of tlie title-pages which 
we have inserted on the opposite leaf, thr.t allliough Nathaniel 
Butter was the publisher of the three quarto editions, he only 
put his address on the title-page of one of them. It is per- 
haps impossible now to ascertain on what account the dilfer- 
enee was made ; but it is to be observed that " Printed by J. 
Roberts," without any address, is found at the bottom of the 
title-pages of some of the copies of "The Merchant of 
Venice" and "Midsummer Night's Dream" in 1600. A 
more remarkable circumstance, in relation to the title-pages 
of " King Lear," is, that the name of William Sliakespeure is 
male so obvious at the top of them, the type being larger 
than that used for any other part of the work : moreover, we 
have it again at the head of the leaf on which the trntredy 
commences, " M. William Shake-speare, his History of King 
IjCar." This peculiarity has never attracted sufficient atten- 
limi, and it belongs not only to no other of Shakespeare's 
plavs, but to no other production of any kind of that period 
which wo recollect. It was clearly intended to enable nur- 
diasers to make sure that they were buying the drama which 
" M. William Shakespeare" had written upon the story of 
King Lear. 

The cause of it is, perhaps, to be found in the fact, that 
there was another contemporary dr.ama upon the same sub- 
ject, and with very nearly the same names to the principal 
characters, which was not by Shakespeare, but which the 
publisher proliably had endeavored to pass off as his work. 
An edition of this play was printed in 1605, under the follow- 
ing title :— " The True Chronicle History of King Leir and his 
three Daughters, GonoriU, Eagan, and Cordelia. As it hath 
e divers and sundry times lately acted." It was printed, 
Simon Stafford, for John Wright; and we agree with 
one in thinking that this impression was put forth in 
consequence of tlie popularity of Shakespeare's " King Lear," 
which was then in a course of successful performance at the 
Crlobe theatre. That this edition of " The True Chronicle 
History of King Leir" was a re-inipression we have little 
dr.ulit, because it was entered at Stationers' Hall for publica- 
tion as early as 14tli May, l.*)94: it was entered again on Bth 
May, 1605, anterior to the apiiearance of the impression with 
that date, the title-page of which we liave above quoted. 

We may presume that in 160.5 no bookseller was able to 
obtain from the King's Players a copy of Shakespeare's "King 
l.ear ;" for there is perhaps no point in our early stage-history 
more cleai, than tliat the different companies took every pre- 
caution in "irdcr to prevent the publication of plays belonging 
to thom. Jowever, in the autumn of 1607, Niitliaoiel Bntter 
had in some way possessed him oi a manuscript of " King 

Lear," and on the 26th November he procured fne followina 
unusually minute memorandum to he made in the Suitionerp 
Registers : — 

" 26 Nov. 1607. 
Na. Butter and Jo. Busby] Entered for!. Copi« 
under t' hands of Sir Geo. Bueke, Kt. and the War- 
dens, a booke called Mr. Willm Shakespeare, hie 
Historye of Kinge Lear, as yt was played before th« 
King's Majestic at Whitehall, upon St. Stephen's 
niglit at Christmas last, by his Maiesties .Servants 
playing usually at the Globe on the Bank-side." 
This entry c>tablishes that Slndiespeare's " King Lear " had 
been played at Court on the 26th December, 1606, and nol 
on the 26th December, 1607, as we might infer from tlie title 
pages of the three editions of 1608. 

The memorandum we have just inserted would lead us to 
believe that John Busby was the printer of "King Lear," 
although his name does not otherwise at all appear in eonneo 
tion with it. The differences between the quartos are seklou 
more than verbal, but they arc sometimes important : after a 
very patient comparison, we may state, that the quartos wiili- 
out the publisher's address are more accurate than that with 
his address ; and we presume that the latter was first issued. 
It would seem that tne folio of 1623 was composed from a 
manuscript, which had been much, and not very judiciotisly, 
abridged for the purposes of the theatre ; and although it 
contafns some additions, not in any of the quartos, there are, 
perhaps, few quartos of any of Shakespeare's plays more 
valuable for the quantity of matter they contain, of which 
there is no trace in the folio. 

We have said that we agree with Malone in opinion, tha' 
" King Lear" was brought out at the Globe Theatre in the 
spring of 1605, according to our present mode of computing 
the year. We may decide with cert.iinty that it was not 
written until after the appearance of Harsnet's " Discovery 
of Popish Impostors" in 1608, because from it, a.s Steevens 
established, are taken the names of various fiends mentioned 
by Edgar in the course of his scenes of pretended madness. 

As we find a " King Leir " entered on the Stationers' books 
in 1594, we can have no hesitation in arriving at the conclu- 

we have sujiposed) experiencing a run of popularity at tiie 
Globe, was considerably anterior in point of date. There is 
little doubt that Sliakespeare was acquainteVl with it, and 
probably adopted from it at least that part of the conduct of 
his story n-hich relates to the faithful Kent. There are otlier 
general, but few particular resemblances; for both the chief 
materials were evulently derived froni Holinshed, but Shake- 
speare varied from all authorities in his catastrophe: he 
seems to have thought, that to abandon the course of the 
ordinary and popular narrative, would heighten and improve 
the effect of his drama, and give a novelty to its termination. 
The story of Lear and liis daughters is briefly told by Spen- 
ser in B. ii. c. 10, of his " Fairie Queene," and thence it haa 
been thought that Shakespeare obtained the name of Cor- 
delia, till then usually called Cordelia. That portion of tlie 
plot which relates to the Earl of Gloster, he, may have pro- 
cured from Sir Pliilip Sidney's " Arcadia," first printed in 
1.590, 4to. B. ii. e. 10, of that romance is thus lieaded : — . 
"The pitifuU state ami storie of the Paphnlgoninn nnkinde 
King, and his kind son." An early ballad on King Lear was 
also published (see Percy's Keliques, vol. ii. p. 249 ; edit. 
1812), but no copy with a date has come down to us ; although 
it emjiloys the older names of some of the characters, it adopts 
that of Cordelia; and there are several circumstances, besides 
a more modern style of composition, whicli lead us to the 
belief that it was written posterior to the production of Shakft- 
speare's Tragedy. 


[" The Tragoedy of Othello, The Moore of Venice. As it haca 
beeiio diuerse times acted at the Globe, and at the Black- 
Friers, by his Maie.sties Seruants. Written by William 
Shakespeare. London, Printed by N. O. for Thomas 
Walldev, and are to be sold at his shop, at the Eagle and 
Child, in Brittans Bursse. 1622." 4to. 48 leaves, irregu- 
larlv paged. 

" The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice." occnpiea 
thirty pages in the folio of 1623 ; viz. from p. 810 to p. 889 
inclusive, in the division of " Tragedies :" it is there, as in 
the three later folios, divided into Acts and Scenes, and o-' 

I the last page is a list of the characters, headed, " The Namoe 

I of the Actors." 



Bt the subsequent extract from " The Efterton Pnpors," I 
printed by the Camden Society, (p. 843) it nppeara thiit 
" Othello " was actca fbr the entertainment of Queen Eliza- 
Detli, at tlie residence of Lord Ellesmcre (then Sir Thont:iH 
Ejrerton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal) at Haretield, in tlie 
liiiffinning of An!:ru8t, 1602 ; — 

'•|5 August 1602. Rewarda to the Vaulterx, player*, and 
Janncers. Of this x" to Burbidge's players for Othello, 
Ixiiii" xviiii" x*." 

The pan of the memorandum which relates to " Othello " 
m interlined, as if added afterwards; but thus we find de- 
cisively, thai this tragedy was in being in the summer of 
1602 ; "and the probability is, that it was selected for perform- 
ance because it was a new )ilay, having been brought out at 
tlio Globe theatre in the spnng of that year.' 

The incidents, with some variation, are to be found in 
Cintliio's ireCiitommithi^ where the novel is the seventh of the 
third D(*cad, and it bears the following explanatory title in the 
Monte Regale erlition of l.'iGS : — " Un Cupitano Moro piglia 
per mogliera una cittadina Venetiana : un suo Alfieri racousa 
di adulterio al marito ; cerca che TAlfieri ucoida colui oh'egli 
credea I'adultero : il Capitano uccide la moglie, d accusato 
dallo Alfieri, non confessa il Moro, ma essendovi chiarl iuditii 
i bandito ; et lo sceler.ato Alfieri, credendo nuoeero ad altri, 
prooaccia a se lu morte miseramente." This novel was early 
translated into French, and in all probability into En'jrlish, 
hut no such version h:us descended to us. Onr great drama- 
tist may indeed have read the story in the original language ; 
and it is highly probable that he waa sufficiently acquainted 
with Italian for the purpose. Hence he took only the name 
of Desdemona. 

We have seen, by the qnotation from "The Egerton 
Papers," that the company by which " Othello " was per- 
formed at Harefield was called " Burbidge's players ;" and 
there can be no doubt that ho was the leading actor of the 
company, and thereby in the account gave his name to the 
association, though properly denominated the Lord Chamber- 
lain's Servants. Richard Burbage was the original actor of 
the part of Otlwllo, as we learn from an elegy upon his death, 
<*mong the late Mr. Heber's manuscripts. To the snnte fact 
we may quote the concluding stanza of a ballad, on the inci- 
dents of "Othello," written after the death of Burbage, which 
nas also come down to us in manuscript : — 

*' Dick Burbage, that most famous man, 

That actor without peer, 
With this same part his course began, 

And kept it many a year. 
Shakespeare was fortunate, I trow, 

That euch an actor had : 
If we had but his equal now. 

For one I should be glad." 

The writer spoke at random, when he asserted that Burbage 
oesran his career with Othello, for we have evidence to show 
that he was an .actor of high celebrity, many years before 
Shakespeare's " Othello " was written, and we have no proof 
that there was any older play upon the same subject. 

There are two quarto editions of "Othello," one bearing 
date in 1622, the year before the first folio of " Mr. William 
Bhakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies " appeared, 
and tlie other printed in 1630. An exact copy of the titlo-puge 
of the quarto of 1 622, will be found in the usual place, and 
that published in 1680 differs only in the imprint, which is 
" by A. M. for Richard Hawkins," &c. We have had fre- 
quent occasion in our notes to refer to this impression, which 
has, indeed, been mentioned by the commentators, but nothing 
like sutficient attention has been paid to it. Malone suniuia- 
rily dismissed it as " an edition of no authority," bnt it is 
very clear that he had never sufficiently examined it. It was 
nnquestionably [iriiitfld from a manuscript different from that 
-i.^ed tor the quarto of 1622, or for the folio of 1628; and it 
oresents a number of \arious readings, some of which sineu- 
arly illustrate the original text of " Othello." Of this fact it 
may be fit here to supply some proof. 

In Act iii. sc. 8, a passage occurs in the folio of 1623, which 
is not eontained in the quarto of 1622, and which runs thus 
jnperfeotl^ il the folio : — 

must be wrong, the compositor of the folio having caught 
" keeps " from the later portion of the same line. In Pope's 
edition, " feels " waa substituted for icf^^ps, and the word baa 
Hince usually continued in the text, with Mitlone's .-.ote, "tlie 
correction was nnide by Mr. Pope." The truth is. that Pope 
was right in his conjecture as to the misprinted word, for in 
the quarto of 1630, which Malone could not have consulted, 
but which he nevertheless pronounced " of no authority," the 
passage stands thus ; — 

' Like to the Pontick sea. 

Whose icy current, and compulsive coura« 
Ne'er_/etf^5 retiring ebb," Ac. 

If Malone had looked at the quarto of 1630, he would hav* 
seen that Pope had been anticipated in his proposed emen- 
dation about a hundred years ; and that in the mannscript 
fiotn which the quarto of 1630 was printed, the true word 
was " feels," ana not Iceeps^ as it was misprinted in the folio 
of 1623. We will take an instance, only six lines earlier in 
the same scene, to show the value of the quarto of 1680, in 
supporting the quarto of 1622, and in correcting the folio o( 
1623. Othello exclaims, as wo find the words in the folio, 

"Arise, black vengeance, from the hollow hetlj''^ 

a lino which has been generally thus printed, adopting the 
text of the quarto of 1622 :— 

"Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell ;" 

and these are exactly the words in the quarto of 1680, although 
it can be established that it was printed, not from the quarto 
of 1622, nor from the folio of 1628. but from a manuscript 
which in many places differed materially from both, and in 
some few supplied a text inferior to both. It is not necessarj' 
to pursue tins point farther, especially as our brief notes 
abundantly establish that the quarto of 1630, instead of being 
"of no authority," is of great value, witli reference to the 
true reading of some important passages. 

Walkley, the publisher of the quarto of 1622, thus entered 
that edition on the Stationers' Registers, shortly previous to 
its appearance ; — 

"6 Oct. 1621. 

Tho. Wulkley] Entered for his, to wit, under the 
handea of .Sir George Buck and of the Wardens: 
The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice." 
It is perhaps not too much to presume, that this impression, 
though dated 1622, had come out at the close of 1621; and 
that Tt preceded the folio of 1623 is very obvious, from the 
fact, that "Othello" was not included in their list by Blunt 
and Jaggard, the publishers of the folio of 1623, beamso they 
were aware that it had already been printed, and that it had 
been entered as the property of another bookseller. The 
quarto of 1622 was preceded by the following address: — 

" The Stationer to the Reader. 

"To set forth a book without an epistle were like to the 
old English proverb, ' A blue coat without a badge ;' and 
the author being dead, I thought good to take that piece of 
work upon me. To commend it I will not — for that which 
is good, I hope every man will commend without entreaty ; 
and I am the bolder," because the author's name is sufficient 
to vent his work. Thus leaving every one to the liberty of 
judgment, I have ventured to print this play, and leave it 
to the general censure. Yours, Thomas Walkley." 

The publishers of the folio of 1623, perhaps purcliased 
Walkley's ii;terest in "Othello." 

-" Like to the Pontick sea. 

Whose icy current and eompulsive conrse 
Ne'er keepe retiring ebb. but keeps due on 
To the Propontick and the Hellespont," &o. 

It will not be disputed that " Ne'er keeps retiring ebb " 

* It appears from Mr. P. Cunningham's "Extracts from the 
AocouBlaof the Revels at Court," (printed for the Shakespeare Society) 
p. *(t3, that a play, called "The Moor of Venis," no doubt. '' Othello." 
WW actrd at Whituhall on Nov. 1. 1604. The tragedy seems to have 


["The Tragedie of Anthonieand Cleopatra" occnpies twenty- 
nine pages in the folio of 1623 ; viz. from p. 840 to p. 86& 
inclusive, in the division of "Tragedies.'' Although at 
the beginning it has Adita Primus. Scana Prima, it is 
not divided into acts and scenes, nor is the defect cnred 
in any of the subsequent folio impressions of 1632, 1664, 
and 1685. They are all without any list of charnctera.'l 
Wk are without any record that "Antony and Cleopatra" 
was ever performed, ; and when in Act ». sc. 2, the lieroino 
anticipates that " some squeakioL' Cleopatra" will " boy hei 
greatness" on the stage, Shakespeare seems to hint that n»» 
young male performer would be able to sustain the part 
without exciting ridicule. However, the same remark will, 

been always so popular as to remain what is tewned " a stock piece ; 
and it was performed again before King Charles and his 1^'ieen a( 
Hampton Court on Deo. 8, 1636. Ibid. Introd. p. xxv 



more or less, apply to many of his other female characters ; 
and the wonder, of coarse, is, how so much delicacy, tender- 
ness, and beauty could be infused into parts which the poet 
knew must be represented by beardless and crack-voiced 

IChe period of the year at which " Antony and Cleopatra " 
was entered on the Stationers' Registers might lend to the 
inference, that, having been written late in 1607, it was 
!>rousht out at the Globe in the spring of 1608, and that Ed- 
ward Blunt (one of the publishers of the folio of 1628) thus 
put in his claim to the publication of the tragedy, if he could 
procure a manuscript of it. The memorandum bears date 
on the 20th May, 160S, and the piece is stated to be " a book" 
oaiied "Anthony and Cleopatra." Perhaps Blnnt was un- 
able to obtain a copy of it, and, as far as we now know, it 
was printed for the first time in the folio of 1623. 

It does not appear that there was any preceding drama on 
the Btory, with the exception of the " Cleopatra " of Samuel 
Daniel, originally published in 1594, to wliich Shakespeare 
was clearly under no obligation. Any slight resemblance 
between tlie two is to be accounted for by the fact, that both 
poets resorted to the same authority for their materials — Plu- 
tarch — whose " Lives " had been translated by Sir T. North 
m 1579. The minuteness with which Shakespeare adhered 
to history is more remarkable in this drama than in any other ; 
and sometimes the most trifling circumstances are artfully, 
but still most naturally, interwoven. Shakespeare's use of 
history in " Antony and Cleopatra " may be contrasted with 
Ben Jonson's subjection to it m " Sejanns." 

'■Of all Shakespeare's historical plays (says Coleridge) 
' Antony and Cleopatra ' is by fer the most wonderful. There 
is not one in which he has followed history so minutely, and 
yet there are few in which he impresses the notion of angelic 
strength so much — perhaps none in which he impresses it 
more strongly. This is greatly owing to the manner in which 
the fiery force is sustained throughout, and to the numerous 
momentary flashes of nature, counteracting the histoiic ab- 
etraction." (Lit. Rem. vol. ii. p. 148.) 


["The Tragodie of Cyinbeline" was first printed in the folio 
of 1623, where it stands last in the division of "Trage- 
dies," and occupies thirty-one pages ; viz. from p. 869 to 
p. 899, misprinted p. 993. There is another error in the 

pagination, as p. 879 is numbered p. 
are corrected in the three later folios.] 

These errors 

Tbk materials in Holinshed for the historical portion of " Cyin- 
beline " are so imperfect and scanty, that a belief may be 
entertained that Shakespeare resorted to some other more 
tertile source, which the most diligent inquiries h:ive yet 
failed to discover. The names of Cymbeline and of his sons, 
Guiderius and Arviragus, occur in the old Chroifiele, and 
there we hear of the tribute demanded by the Roman em- 
peror, but nothing is said of the stealing of the two young 
princes, nor of their residence with Bellarius among the 
mountains, and final restoration to their father. 

All that relates to Posthumus, Imogenj and lachimo is 
merely fabulous, and some of the chief incidents of this part 
of the plot are to be found in French, Italian, and English. 
We will speak of then separately. 

They had been employed for a dramatic purpose in France 
Bt an early date, in a Miracle-play, printed in 1SS9 by Messrs. 
Monnierqu^ and Michel, in their Thmire Francois ou Moyen- 
agt, from a mantisciipt in the Bibliotheque du Roi. In that 
piece, mixed up with many romantic circumstances, we find 
the wager on the chastity of the heroine, her flight in the 
disguise of a page, the proof of her innocence, and her final 
restoration to her husBand. There also we meet with two 
circumstances, introduced into Shakespeare's " Cymbeline," 
bnt not contained in any other version of the story with 
which we are acquainted": we allude to the boast of Beren- 
gier (the lachimo of the French Drama), that if he were allow- 
ed the ipportunity of speaking to the heroine but twice, he 
should De able to accomplish his design : lachimo (Act i. 
PC. 5) makes the same declaration. Again, in the French 
Miracle-play, Berengier takes exactly Shakespeare's mode 
of assailing the virtue of Imogen, by exciting her anger and 
iealonsy by pretending that her husband, in Rome, nad set 
her the example of infidelity. Incidents somewhat similar 
are nanated in the French romances of La Violette, and Flore 
tt Jehanne : in the latter, the villain, being secretly admitted 
by an old woman into the bed-room of the heroine, has the 
means of ascertaining a particular mark npon her person 
vhile she is bathi'ig. 


The novel by Boccaccio has many corresponding features 
it is the ninth of Giornata 11.^ aud bears tiie following' title'. 
"Bernabo da Genova, da Ambrogiuolo iugannato, perde L 
8U0, e comanda cho la moglie innocente sia uccisa. Ella 
scainpa, et iu habito di huomo serve il Soldano; ritrova Piu- 
gannatore, e Bernabo conduce in Aleseandria, dove I'ingan- 
natore panito, ripreso habito feminile col marito ricclii si 
tornano a Genova." This tale includes one circumstance 
only found there and in Shakespeare's play : we allude to 
the mole wliich lachimo saw on the breast of Imogen, The 
pttrtJes are all merchants in Boccaccio, excepting towards the 
ciobo of his novel, where the Soldan is inlroduced : the vil- 
uun, instead of being forgiven, is punished by being anointed 
with honey, and exposed in the sun to flies, wasps, and ino&- 
quitoes, which eat the flesh from his bones, 

A modification of this production seems to have found it» 
way into our language at the commencement of the seven 
teenth century. Steevens states that it was printed in 16GS, 
and again in 1620, in a tract called *' M^'estward for Smelts.'* 
If there be no error as to the date, the edition of 1603 haa 
been lost, for no copy of that year now seems to exist in any 
public or private collection. Mr. Halliwell, in his reprint of 
The First Sketch of " The Merry Wives of Windsor." (f.-w 
the Shakespeare Society) p. 185, has expressed his opiniou 
tliat Steevens must have oeen mistaken, and that "West- 
ward for Smelts" was not published until 1620: only one 
copy even of this impressio'n is knowni ; and if, in fact, it 
were not, as Steevens Supposes, a reprint, of course Shake- 
speare could not have resorted to it: however, he might, 
without much diflBculty, have grone to the original; or soma 
version may then have been in existence, of which he availed 
himself, but which has not come down to our day. The inci- 
dents in " Westward for Smelts" are completely anglicised, 
and the scene is laid in this country in the reigns of I^enry VL 
aud Edward IV. In the French and Italian versions, lachimo 
(or the person answering to him) is conveyed to ImogenS 
chamber in a chest, but jn '* Westward for Smelts," where 
the tale is in other respects vulgarised, he conceals himself 
under her bed. 

Some German critics, whose opinions are often entitled to 
the most respectful consideration, have supposed that ''Cym- 
beline " was written in 1614 or 1615, hot adverting to the 
circumstance that Shakespeare had then relinquished all con- 
nection with the stage, and had retired from the metropolis. 
Maione thought that 1609 was the year which could be most 
probably fi.xed upon ; and although we do not adopt his rea- 
soning upon the point, we are strongly inclined to believe 
that thiji drama was not, at all events, written at an earUer 
period. Forman, the astrologer^ was present when " Cymbe- 
line " was acted — most likely, in 1610 or 1611 — but he does 
not in his Diary insert the date when, nor the theatre where, 
he saw it. His brief account of the plot, iu his "Booke of 
Plaies and Notes thereof" (MS. Aahmol. No. 208), is in the 
following terms: — 

"Remember, also, the story of Cymbeline, king of England in 
Lucius' time : how Lucius came from Octavins Caesar for tribute, 
and being denied, after sent Lucius with a great army of soldiers, 
■who landed at Milford Haven, anJ after were vanquished by Cymbe- 
line, and Lucius taken prisoner; and all by means of three outlaws, 
of the which two of them were the sons of Cymbeline, stolen from 
him when they were but two years old, by an old man whom Cym- 
beline banished; and he kept them as his own sons twenty years 
with him in a cave. And how one of them slew Cloten, that wa* 
the queen's son, going to Milford Haven to seek the love of Imogen 
the King's daughter, whom he had banished also for loving hi 

"And how the Italian that came from her love conveyed himself 
into a chest, and said it was a chest of plate, sent from her love and 
others to be presented to the king. Ana in the deepest of the night, 
she being asieep, he opened the chest and came forth of it, and view- 
ed her in her bed, and the mirks of her body, and took away her 
bracelet, and after accused her of adultery to her love. ifcc. And in 
the end, how he came with the Romans into England, and wai 
taken prisoner, and after revealed to Imogen, who had turned herself 
into man's apparel, and fled to meet her love at Milford Haven ; and 
chanced to fall on the cave in the woods where her two brothen 
were: and how by eating a sleeping dram they thought she had 
been dead, and laid her in the woods, and the body of Cloten by hftr. 
in her love's apparel that he left behind him, and how she was foand 
by Lucius," !co. 

We have certainly no right to condodo that ** Cymbeline " 
was a new piece when Forman witnessed the pertbrmance of 
it ; but various critics have concurred in the opinion (which 
we ourselves entertain) that in style and versification it re- 
sembles " The Winter's Tale,'^ and that the two dramas 
belong to about the same period of the poet's life. Formac 

» Among Capell's books, which he gave to Trinity CoUegft, Cam 
bridge, ana which are there preserved with cawiprrporticnat* to theu 



eaw ■' The Winter's Tale " on nUi Muy, 1611, and, perhaps, 
he BBW "Cvmhelino" at the Globe in the spring oi the prc- 
cedinff year'. However, upon this point, we hiwe no evidence 
to emde us, heyond the more mention of the play and its 
inofdents in Forman's Dinry. That it was noted at court at 
an early date is more than iirohnble, but we are ivithout any 
record of such an event until Ut January, 168S (Vide Ihat. 
of Engl. Dram, poetry and the Stage, vol. ii. p. 57); under 
which date Sir Henrv Herbert, the Master of the Bevels, 
-egisterB that it was performed by the King's P avers, and 
•Jiat it was " well liked bv the King." The particular allusion 
in Act ii. sc. 4, to " proud Cleopatra " on the Cydnus, which 
"swell'd above his banks," might lead us to think tbat 
" Antony and Cleopatra " had preceded " Cymbeline. 

It is the last of tlie " Tragedies* " in the folio of 1623, and 
we have reason tty suppose that it had not been printed at any 
earlier date. The divisions of aot-s and scenes are throughout 
regularly marked. 


[<• The late. And much admired Play, called Pericles, Prince 
of Tyre. With the true Relation of the whole Historic, 
adue'ntures, and fortunes of the said Prince: As also, Ihe 
no lesse strange, and worthy accidents, in the Birth and 
Life, of his Danghter Mariunii. As it hath been diners and 
aundry times acted by his Maiesties Scruiints, at the (jlobe 
on the Banck-side. By William Shakespeare. Imprinted 
at London for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold at the signe 
of the Suiuie in Pater-noster row, &o. 1609. 4to. 86 

"The late. And mnch admired Play, called Pericles, Prince 
of Tyre. With the true Relation of the whole History, 
aduenturos, and fortunes of the saide Prince. Written by 
W. Shakc.'^peare. Printed for T. P. 1619." 4to. 84 leaves. 
" The late. And much admired Play, called Penoles, Prmce 
of Tyre. With the true Relation of the whole History, 
aduentures, and fortunes of the sayd Prince : ""''en by 
Will. Shakespeare : London, Printed by 1. ^ . for K. JJ- and 
are to be sould at his shop in Cheapside, at the signo ol the 
Bible. 1680." 4to. 84 leaves. 
In the folio of 1664, the following is the heading of the page 
on which the play begins : " The much admired Play, 
called, ]'ericles. Prince of Tyre. With the true Relation 
of the whole History, Adventures, and Fortunes of the said 
Prince. Written by W. Shakespeare, and published in Ins 
life time." It occupies tweuty-pages ; viz. from p. 1 to p. 
20 inclusive, a new pagination of the volume commencing 
with " Pericles." It is there divided into Acts, but irregu- 
larly, and the Scenes are not marked.] 
The first question to be settled in relation to "Pericles," is 
its title to a place among the collected works of Shakespeare. 
There is so marked a^character about every thing that pro- 
ceeded from the pen of our grwt dramatist,— his mode ot 
thought, and his style of e.vpression, are so unlike those ot 
any of his contemporaries, that they can never be niistakcn. 
They are clearly visible in all the later portion of the play ; 
and BO indisputable docs this fact appear to us, that, we con- 
fidently assert, however strong may be the external evidence 
to the same point, the internal evidence is infinitely stronger : 
to those who h.ave studied his works it will seem incontro- 
vertible. As we do not rely merely upon particular expres- 
sions, nor upon separate passages, but upon the general 
complexion of whole scenes and acts, it is obvious, that we 
cannot here enter into proofs, which would require the re- 
inipijssion of many of the succeeding pages. . ■ ■ 

A- 1 opinion has long prevailed, and we have no doubt it is 
well founded, that two hands are to be traced in the composi- 
tion of " Pei-icles." The larger part of the first three Acts 
were in all probabilitv the work of an inferior dramatist: to 
these Shakespeare added comparatively little ; but he found 
it necessary, as the story advanced and as the interest in- 
creased, to insert more of his own composition. His hand 
begins to be distinctly seen in the third Act, and afterwards 

we feel persuaded that we conld extract nearly every line that 
wa-s not dictated by his great intellect. We apprehend that 
Shakespeare found a drama on the story in the possession of 
one of the companies performing in London, and that, m 
accordance with the ordinary practice of the time, he made 
additions to and improvenients in it, and procured it to be 
represented at the Globe theatre'. Who might te the author 
of the original piece, it would be in viiiii to conjectnre. 
Although we have no decisive proof that Shakespeare eve) 
worked in immediate concert with any of his contemporaries, 
it was the custom with nearly all the driinuitists of his day^, 
and it is not impossible that such was the case with " Pericles." 
The circumstance that it was a .ioint production, may riirtly 
account for the non-appearance of " Pericles " in the folio of 
1628. Ben Jonson, when printing the volume of his W'orks, 
in 1616 excluded for this reason " The Case is Altered," and 
"Eastward Hoi" in the composition of which he had beep 
engaged with others; and when the player-editors of the folio 
of 1628 were collecting their materials, they perhaps omitted 
" Pericles" because some living author might have an interest 
in it. Of course we only advance this point as a mere specu- 
lation' and the fact that the publishers of the folio ot 1628 
conid not purchase the right of the bookseller, who had then 
the property in " Pericles," may have been the real cause of 
its non-insertion. , ., ^ .u 

The Registers of the Stationers' Company show that on the 
20th May, 1608, Edward Blount (one of the proprietors of the 
folio of 1628) entered "The booke of Pericles, Prynce of 
Tvre " with one of the undoubted works of Shakespeare, 
"Antony and Cleopatra." Nevertheless, " Pericles " was not 
published bv Blount, but by Gosson in the following year ; 
and we may infer, either that Blount sold his interest to 
Gosson, or that Gosson anticipated Blount in procuring a 
manuscript of the plav. Gosson may have subsequently 
parted with " Pericles " to Thomas Pavier, and hence the 
re-impression by the latter in 1619. .... 

Having thus spoken of the internal evidence of authorship, 
and of the possible reasoD why " Pericles " was not included 
in the folio of 1623, we will now advert briefly to the external 
evidence, that it was the work of our great dramatist. In 
the first place it was printed in 1609, with his name at lull 
length^ and rendered nnusuiilly obvious, on the title-page. 
The answer, of course, may be that this wsis a fraud, and that 

1 By a list ot theatrical ajipaiel, formerly belonging to AUeyn, and 
i.icsenrei at Dulwich CoUepe, it appeajs Ibat he had proba,bIy acted 
in a. pUy called " Pericles." See ■■ Memoirs of Edward AUeyn, 
printed for the Shakespeare Society, p. 21. This might be the play 
which Shakespeare altered and improved. 

^ It seems that '' Pericle.=! " was reprinted under the same circum- 
stances in 1611. I have neyer been able to meet with a copy of this 
edrion, and doubted 
to me, in asale catak „ 

for a. S." This fact would show, that Shakespeare 
iiiiict the reiterated assertion that he wa- the author of the play 

it had been previously committed in the cases of the first part 
of "Sir John Oldcastle," 1600, and of "The Yorkshire 
Trao-edy," 1608. It is undoubtedly true, that Shakespeare's 
name is upon those title-pages ; but we know, with regard to 
"Sir John Oldcastle," that the original title-page, stating it 
to have been "Written by William Shakespeare" was can- 
celled, no doubt at the instance of the author to whom it was 
falsely imputed ; and as to " The Yorkshire Tragedy," many 
persons have entertained the belief, in which we join, that 
Shakespeare had a share in its composition. We are not to 
forget tbiU, in the year preceding, Nathaniel Butter had made 
very prominent use of Shakespeare's name, for the sale of 
three impressions of " King Lear ;" and that in the very year 
when " Pericles" came out, Thorpe had printed a collection 
of scattered poems, recommending them to notice ip ^'"7 
large capiUils, by stating emphatically that they were Shake- 
spe^are's Sonnets." . .. j ,i, , 

Conflrmatorv of what precedes, it may be mentioned, that 
previously to the insertion of " Pericles " in the folio ol 1664, 
It had been imputed to Shakespeare hj S. Shepherd, in his 
" Times displayed in Six Sestiads," 1646 ; and in lines by J. 
Tatham, prefixed to R. Brome's "Jovial Crew," 1652. 
Dryden gave it to Shakespeare in 1675, in the Prologue to 0. 
Davenant's "Circe." Thus, as far as stiige tradition is of 
value, it is uniformly in favoar of our position; and it le 
moreover to be observed, that until comparatively modern 
times it has never been contradicted. 

The incidents of " Pericles " are found in Lawrence rwme a 
translation from the GestJi Romanorum, first published in 
1.578, under the title of "The Patterne of Painfull Adven- 
tures," in which the three chief characters are not named a« 
in Shakespeare, but are called ApoUonins, Lucina, and 
Tharsia'. This novel was several times reprinted, and an 

> The novel is contained in a work called " Shakespeare's Library," 
as well as Sower's poetical version of the same incidents, extracwd 
from his Con/e.wio Ammtis Hence the propriety of rnakinE Gowel 
the speaker of the various interiocutions in " Pericles." The onfin 
ot the story, as we find it in the Uesia Romanorum, is a matter ol 
dispute : Belleforest asserts that the version In his Hiiloms Zio- 
es was from a manuscript liri du Grec. Not long since, .Mr. 
lo Saiton narrative of the same incidents ; and 


act would show, that Shakespeare did not then con- | century.-"' Shakespeare s Library, part v. p. ii. 
.ted assertion that he wa- the author of the play. 1 



edition of it came out in 1607, which perhaps was the year 
in which '* Pericles " was firnt renresented '' at the Globe on 
;he Bank-side," as is stated on tue title-page of the earhest 
edition in 1609. The drama aeeros to have been extremely 
popular, but the usual difficulty beinff experienced by book- 
bellers in obtaining a copy of it, Natlianiel Butter probably 
employed some person to attend the performance at the 
theatre, and with the aid of notea there taken, and of Twiners 
version of the story, (which, as we remarked, had just before 
been reprinted) to compose a novel out of the incidents of the 
play under the following title : " The Painfull Adventures of 
Pericles Prince of Tyre. Being the true History of the Play 
of Pericles, as it was lately presented by the worthy and 
ancient Poet lohn Gower. At London. Printed by T. P. for 
Nat. Butter. 1603." It has also a wood-cut of Gower, no 
doubt, in the costume he wore at the Globe, 

This publication is valuable, not merely because it is the 
only known specimen of the kind of that date in our language, 
but because though in prose, (with the exception of a song) 
it gives some of the speeches more at length, than in the play 
as it has come down to us, and explains several obscure and 
disputed passages. For this latter purpose it will be seen 
that we have availed ourselves of it in our notes ; but it will 
not be out of place here to speak of the strong presumptive 
evidence it affords, that the drama has not reached us by any 
means in the shape in which it was originally represented. 
The sub.'iequent is given, in the novel of 160S, as tlie speech 
of Marina, when she is visited in the brothel by Lysimachus, 
the governor of Mitylene, whom, by her virtue, beauty, and 
eloquence, she diverts from the purpose for wliich he came. 

" If as you Bay, my lord, you are the governor, let not your authority, 
which should teach you to rule others, be the means to make you 
misgovern yourself. If the eminence of your place came unto you by 
descent, and the royalty of your blood, let not your life prove your 
birth bastard : if it were thrown upon you by opinion, make good 
that opinion was the cause to make you great. What reason is tnere 
in your justice, who hath power over all, to undo any ? If you take 
from me mine honour, you are like him that makes a gap into for- 
bidden ground, after whom many enter, and you are guilty of all 
theii evils My life is yet unspotted, my chastity unstained in 
thought : then, if your violence deface this building, the workman- 
ehip of heaven, made up for good, and not to be the exercise of sin's 
intemperance, you do kill your own honour, abuse your own justice, 
and impoverish me." 

Of this speech in the printed play we only meet with the 
following emphatic germ : — 

*' If you were born to honourj show it now : 
If put upon you. make the judgment good, 
That thought you worthy of it.** — (A. iv. sc. 6.) 

It will hardly be required of us to argue, that the powerful 
address, copied from the novel founded upon *' Pericles," 
Otjuld not be the mere enlargement of a short-hand writer, 
who had taken notes at the theatre, who from the very diffi- 
culty of the operation, and from the haste with which he 
must afterwards have compounded the history, would be 
muoh more likely to abridge than to expand. In some parts 
of the novel it is evident that the prose, there used, was made 
up from the blank-verse composition of the drama, as acted 
fit the Globe. In the latter we meet with no passaee similar 
M> what succeeds, but still the ease with which it may be 
» converted into blank-verse renders it almost '^rtain'that 

it was 60 originally. Pericles tellb Simonides, in the ro»ot 

" Hi8 blood was yet untainted, but with the heat got by tke ^rrosg 
the king bad ofi'ered him, and that he boldly durst and did dofy n;a> 
self, his subjects, and the proudest danger that eithe? .fT&.n»f « 
treason could inflict upon him." 

To leave out only two or three expletives renders tts sen- 
tence perfect dramatic blank-verse: — 

" His blood was yet untainted, but with heat 
Got by the wrong the king had offer'd him ; 
And that he boldly durst and did defy him. 
His subjects, and the proudest dancer that 
Or tyranny or treason could inflict?' 

Many other passages to the same end mi^ht be prodnwd 
from the novel of which there is no trace in the play. We 
shall not, however, dwell farther upon the point, than to men- 
tion a peculiarly Shakespearean expression, which o:curs iu 
the novel, and is omitted in the drama. Lyohorida brings 
the new-born infant to Pericles, who in the pnnted rlav 
(Act iii. sc. 1) says to it, 

'* thou'rt the rudeliest welcome to this world 

That e'er was prince's child, Happy what follows ! 

Thou hast as chiding a nativity, 

As fire, air, water, earth, and heaven can make.'' 

In the novel founded upon the play, the speech is thus 
given, and we have printed the expression, which, we think, 
must have come from the pen of Shake ipeare, iu italic type: 

" Poor inch of nature.' {quoth he) thou art as rudely welcome to 
the world, as ever princess' babe was, and hast as chiding a nativity 
as fire, air, earth and water can aflTord thee." 

The existence of such a singular production was not known 
to any of the commentotors ; but several copies of it have 
been preserved, and one of them was sold in the library of 
the late Mr. Heber. 

It will have been remarked, that the novel printed in 1G03 
states that "Pericles" had been " ^^^y presented," and on 
the title-page of the edition of the play in 1609 it is termed 
"the late and much-admired Play called Pericles:" it is, 
besides, spoken of as "a new play," in a poetical tract ealled 
"Pimlico or Run Red-cap," printed in 1609. Another piece, 
called "Shore," is mentioned in "Pimlico," under exactly 
similar circumstances: there was an older drama upon the 
story of Jane Shore, and this, like "Pericles," haa, in all 
probability, about the same date been revived at one of the 
theatres, with additions. 

"Pericles" was five times printed before it was inserted 
in the fulio of 1664, viz. in 1609, 1611, 1619, 1630, and 1685. 
The folio seems to have been copied from the last of these, 
with a multiplication of errors, but with some correelions. 
The first edition of 1609 was obviously brought out in haste, 
and there are many corruptif>ns in it; but n^iore pains were 
taken with it than Malone, Steevens, and others imagined' 
they never compared different copies of the same edition, or 
they would have seen that the impressions vary importantly, 
and that several mistakes, discovered as the play went through 
the press, were carefully set right : these will be found point- 
ed out in our notes. The commentators dwelt upon the 
blunders of the old copies, in order to warrant their own 
extraordinary innovations; but wherever we couid do so. 
with due regard to tho sense of the author we hr'^t ref-tored 
the f^xt to that of the earliest impression. 



.■U.0N3O; King of Naples 

Sebastian, his Brother. 

Prospero, the right Duke of Milan. 

A.NTONIO, his Brother, the usurping Duke of 

Ferdinand, Son to the King of Naples. 
GoNZAi.o, an honest old Counsellor. 

^■""*''' I Lords. 


Caliban, a savage and deformed Slave. 
Trincdlo, a Jester. 

SCENE, a Ship at Sea;' 

Stephano, a drunken Butler. 

Master of a Ship, Boatswain, Mariners. 

Miranda, Daughter to Prospero. 

Ariel, an airy Spirit. 



Juno, |- Spirits. 



Other Spirits attending on Prospero. 
afterwards an uninhabited Island. 


SCENE I.— On a Ship at Sea. 

A tejnpestuous noise of Thunder and Lightning heard." 

Kn'er a Ship-master and a Boatswain^ as on ship-board, 

shaking off wet.' 

Master. Boatswain ! 

Boats. Here, master : what cheer? 

Mast. Good. Speak to the mariners : fall to't yarely,* 
• ir we run ourselves aground : bestir, bestir. \^Exif. 
Enter Mariners. 

HiMts. Heigh, my hearts ! cheerly, cheerly, my 
hearts! yare. yare. Take in the topsail; tend to the 
m!>«ter's whistle. — Blow, till thou burst thy wind, if 
room enough ! 

Enter Alonzo, Sebastian, Antonio, Ferdinand, Gon- 
ZALO, and Others, from the Cabin.' 

Alon. Good boatswain, have a° care. Where's the 
master ? Play the men. 

Boats, i pray now, keep below. 

Ant. Where is the master, boatswain ? 

Boats. Do you not hear him ? You mar our labour. 
Keep your cabins: you do assist the storm. 

Gon. Niiy, good, be patient. 

Boats. When the sea is. Hence ! What care these 
roarers for the name of king? To cabin: silence! 
trouble us not. 

Gon. Good; yet remember whom thou hast aboard. 

Boats. None that I more love than myself. You 
re a counsellor : if you can command tliese elements 
silence, and work the peace of the present, we will 
.lot hand a rope more ; use your authority : if you 
c.umot, give thanks you have lived so long, and make 
yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the 
hour, if it so hap. Cheerly, good hearts ! — Out of our 
way, I nay. , [Exit. 

&jn. I have great comfort from this fellow : me- 
Ihinks, he hath no drowTiing mark upon hira ; his com- 
plej'on is perfect gallows. Stand tost, good fate, to 

his hanging: make the rope of his destiny oar cable, 

for our own doth little advantage. If he bo not boru 

to be hanged, our case is miserable. [Exeunt. 

Re-enter Boatswain. 

Boats. Down with the top-mast : yare ; lower, lower 
Bring her to try with main-course. [A cry within.] 
A plague upon this howling ! they are louder than th 
weather, or our office. — 

Re-enter Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo. 
Yet again ! what do you here ? Shall we give o'er, and 
drown ? Have you a mind to sink ? 

Seb. A pox o' your throat, you bawling, blasphemouB, 
incharitable dog ! 

Boats. Work you, then. 

Ant. Hang, cur, hang ! you whoreson, insolent noise- 
maker, we are less afraid to be drowned than thou art. 

Gon. I'll warrant him for drowning ; though the 
ship were no stronger than a nutshell, and as leaky as 
an unstanched wench. 

Boats. Lay her a-hold, a-hold. Set her two courses : 
off to sea again ; lay her off. 

Enter Mariners, mt. 

Mar. All lost ! to prayers, to prayers ! all lost ! [Ex. 

Boats. What ! must our mouths be cold ? [them. 

Gon. The king and prince at prayers ! let us assirt 
For our case is as theirs. 

Seb. I am out of patience. 

Ant. We are merely' cheated of our lives by drunk 
This wide-cliapp'd rascal, — would, thou might' st li 

The washing of ten tides ! 

Gon. He'll be hanged yet. 

Though every drop of water swear against it, 
And gape at wid'st to glut him. [A confused noise 

within.] Mercy on us ! — 
We split, we split — Farewell, my wife and children ! — 
Farewell, brother ! — We split, we split, we split ! — 

' Former editions : the sea with ft ship. ■ heard : not in t e. 
t f. .'. * » : not m t e. ' Aosotutelf. 

' ft« on ship-tMard, etc. : not in f. e. * yitnblp. * from the cabin ; ni^t 




Ant Let's all sink with the king. [Exit. 

Si'b. Lot's take leave of him. [&i<. 

G(m. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea 
!br an acre of barren ground ; long heath, brown furze, 
any thin§. The wills above be done ! but I would 
fain die a dry death. [Exit. 

SCENE IL— The Island: before the cell of Prospbro. 
Enter Prospero and Miranda. 

Mira. If by your art, my dearest father, you have 
Put the -n-ild waters in this roar, allay them. 
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch, 
But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's heat,' 
Dashes the tire out. ! I have sufl'er'd 
With those that I saw suffer : a brave vessel. 
Who had no doubt some noble creatures' in her, 
Dash'd all to pieces. O ! the cry did kjiock 
Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd. 
Had I been any god of power, I would 
Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e'er 
It should the good ship so have swallow'd, and 
The fraughting souls within her. 

Pro. Be collected: 

No more amazement. Tell your piteous heart, 
There's no harm done. 

Mira. 0, woe the day ! 

Pro. No liajm. 

[ have done nothing but in care of thee, 
(Of thee, my dear one ! thee, my daughter !) who 
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing 
Of whence I am ; nor that I am more better 
Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell, 
And thy no greater father. 

Mira. More to know 

Did never meddle with my thoughts. 

Pro. 'Tis time 

1 should inform thee farther. Lend thy hand, 
And pluck my magic garment from me. — So : 

[Lays doiim his robe.^ 
Lie there my art. — ^^Vipe thou thine eyes ; have comfort. 
The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'd 
The very virtue of compassion in thee, 
I have with such prevision' in mine art 
So safely order'd, that there is no soul — 
No, not so much perdition as an hair. 
Betid to any creature in the vessel 
Which thou heard'st cry, wluch thou saw'st sink. Sit 

For thou must now know farther. 

Mira. You have often 

Begun to tell me what I am; but stopp'd. 
And left me to a bootless inquisition. 
Concluding, " Stay, not yet." 

Pro. The hour's now come. 

The very minute bids thee ope thine ear ; 
Obey, and be attentive. Canst thou remember 
A time before we came unto this cell ? [Sits down.'' 
I do not think thou canst, for then thou wast not 
Out three years old. 

Mira. Certainly, sir, I can. 

Pre By what ? by any other house, or person ? 
Of any thing the image tell me, that 
Hath kept with thy remembrance. 

Mira. 'Tis far off; 

And rather like a dream, than an assurance 
That my remembrance warrants. Had I not 
Four or five women once, that tended me ? 

Pro. Thou hadst, and more, Miranda. But how is it, 

That this lives in thy mind ? 'What seest thou else 
In the dark backward and abysm of time '! 
If thou remeniber'st aught, ere thou cam'st here, 
How thou cam'st here, thou niay'st. 

Mira. But that I do not 

Pro. Twelve year since, Miranda, twelve year since 
Thy father was the duke of Milan, and 
A prince of power. 

Mira. Sir, are not you my father? 

Pro. Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and 
She said — tliou wast my daughter ; and thy father 
■Was duke of Milan, thou' his only heir 
And princess, no worse issued. 

Mira. 0, the heavens ! 

What foul play had we, that we came from thence ? 
Or blessed was't, we did ? 

Pro. Both, both, my girl : 

By foul play, as thou say'st, were we heav'd thence ; 
But blessedly holp hither. 

Mira. O ! my heart bleeds 

To think o' the teen' that I have turn'd you to, 
Which is from my remembrance. Please you, farther 

Pro. My brother, and thy uncle, call'd Antonio, — 
I pray thee, mark me, — that a brother should 
Be so perfidious ! — he whom, next thyself. 
Of all the world I lov'd, and to him put 
The manage of my state ; as, at that time, "• 

Through all the signinries it was the first, 
(And Prospero the prime duke, being so reputed 
In dignity) and, for the liberal arts. 
Without a parallel : those being ail my study. 
The government I cast upon my brother. 
And to my state grew stranger, being transported 
And rapt in secret studies. Thy false imcle — 
Dost thou attend me? 

Mira. Sir, most heedfully. 

Pro. Being once perfected how to grant suite, 
How to deny them, whom t' advance, and whom 
To trash' for over-topping, new created 
The creatures that were mine, I say, or ehang'd tbeui, 
Or else new form'd them ; having both the key 
Of officer and office, set all hearts i' the state 
To what (luie pleas'd his ear ; that now he was 
The ivy, which had hid my princely trunk. 
And suck'd my verdure out ou't. Thou attend'st not 

Mira. good sir ! I do. 

Pro. I pray thee, mark me. 

I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated 
To closeness, and the bettering of my mind 
With that, which but by being so retired 
O'er-priz'd all popular rate, in my false brother 
Awak'd an evil nature : and my trust, 
Like a good parent, did beget of him 
A falsehood, in its contrarj' as great 
As my trust was ; which had, indeed, no limit, 
A confidence sans bound. He being thus loaded,* 
Not only with what my revenue yielded. 
But what my power might else exact, — like one. 
Who having to untruth.'" by telling of it. 
Made such a sinner of his memory, 
To credit his o-wn lie, — he did believe 
He was indeed the duke ; out o' the substitution, 
And executing th' outward face of royalty, 
With all prerogative : — hence his ambition 
Growing — Dost thou hear ? 

Mira. Your tale, sir, would cure deafneiiB. 

Pro. To have no screen between this part he play'd 
And him he play'd it for, he needs will be 

* «heek : in f. e. > creature : in f. e. ^ mantle : in f. e. * provision : in f. e. * Not in f. e. 
»e terra, sitfnirying to l»eat back. S<)6 Othello, II., 1 « lorded : id f. e. >* unto truth : in f e 

•llnd:inf. e. '' Troublt. • A limit- 

SCE»fE n. 


Absolute Milan. Me, poor man ! — my library- 
Was dukedom large enough : of temporal royalties 
He thinks me now incapable ; confederates 
(So dry he was for sway) with the king of Naples, 
To give him amiual tribute, do him homage, 
Subject his coronet to his crovni, and bend 
The dukedom, yet unbow'd, (alas, poor Milan !) 
To most ignoble stooping. 

3Iira. the heavens ! 

Pro. Mark his condition, and th' event ; then tell me, 
If this might be a brother. 

Mira. I should sin 

To think but nobly of my grandmother : 
Good wombs have borne bad sons. 

Pro Now the condition. 

This king of Naples, being an enemy 
To me inveterate, hearkens my brother's suit ; 
Which was, that he in lieu o' the premises, — 
Of homage, and I know not how much tribute, — 
Should presently extirpate me and mine 
Out of the dukedom, and confer fair Milan, 
With all the honours, on my brother : whereon, 
A treacherous army levied, one midnight, 
Fated to the practise,' did Antonio open 
The gates of Milan ; and, i' the dead of darkness, 
The ministers for the purpose hurried thence 
Me, and thy crjnng self. 

Mira. Alack, for pity ! 

I, not rememh'ring how I cried out then, 
Will cry it o'er again : it is a hint, 
That wrings mine eyes to 't. 

Pro. Hear a little farther. 

And then I'll bring thee to the present business 
Which now 's upon 's ; without the which this story 
Were most impertinent. 

Mira. Wherefore did they not 

That hour destroy us ? 

Pro. Well demanded, wench : 

My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not, 
So dear the love my people bore me. nor set 
A mark so bloody on the business ; but 
With colours fairer painted their foul ends. 
In few, they hurried us aboard a bark. 
Bore us some leagues to sea, where they prepar'd 
A rotten carcass of a boat,' not rigg'd. 
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast ; the very rats 
Instinctively had' quit it : there they hoist us, 
To cry to the sea that roar'd to us ; to sigh 
To the winds, whose pity, sighing back again, 
Did us but loving wrong. 

Mira. Alack ! what trouble 

Was I then to you . 

Pro. O ! a cherubim 

Thou wast, that did preserve me. Thou iidst smile, 
Infused with a fortitude from heaven, 
When I have deck'd the sea with drops full salt, 
Under my burden groan'd ; which rais'd in me 
An undergoing stomach, to bear up 
Against what should ensue. 

Mira. How came we ashore? 

Pre. By Providence divine. 
Some food we had, and some fresh water, that 
A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo, 
Out of his charity, (who being then appointed 
Master of this design) did give us ; with 
Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries, 
Which since have steaded much : so. of his gentleness. 
Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me, 
From my own library, with volumes that 

I prize above my diikedom. 

Mira. Would I might 

But ever see that man ! 

Pro. Now I arise . — [Puts on his robe again ' 

Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow. 
Here in this island we arriv'd ; and here 
Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee more profit 
Than other princes' can. that have more time 
For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful. 

Mira. Heavens thank you for 't ! And now, I pray 
you, sir, 
For still 'tis heating in my mind, your reason 
For raising this sea-storm ? 

Pro. Know thus far forth. — 

I By accident most strange, bountiful fortune, 
Now my dear lady,, hath mine enemies 
Brought to this shore : and by my prescience 
I find my zenith doth depend upon 
A most auspicious star, whose influence 
If now I court not, hut omit, my fortunes 
Will ever after droop. Here cease more questions. 
Thou art inclined to sleep ; 'tis a good dulness. 
And give it way : — I know thou canst not choose. — 

[Miranda sleeps. 
Come away, servant, come ! I am ready now. 
Approach, my Ariel : come ! 

Enter Ariel. 

Ari. All hail, great master : grave sir, hail. I come 
To answer thy best pleasure ; be 't to fly. 
To sv\-im, to dive into the fire, to ride 
On the eurl'd clouds : to thy strong bidding task 
Ariel, and all his quality. 

Pro. Hast thou, spirit, 

Perform'd to point the tempest that I bade thee? 

Ari. To every article. 
I boarded the king's ship ; now on the beak, 
Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin, 
I flam'd amazement; sometimes. I 'd divide. 
And burn in many places ; on tlie topmast, 
The yards and bo<\-sprit, would I flame distinctly. 
Then meet, and join. Jove's lightnings, the precursors 
O' the dreadful thunder-claps, more momentary 
And sight-outrunning were not : the fire, and cracki 
Of sulphurous roaring the most mighty Neptune 
Seem to besiege, and make his bold waves tremble, 
Yea, his dread trident shake. 

Pro. My brave spirit ! 

Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil 
Would not infect his reason ? 

Ari. Not a soul 

But felt a fever of the mad, and play'd 
Some tricks of desperation. All, but mariners, 
Plung'd in the foaming brine, and quit the vessel, 
Then all a-fire with me : the king's son, Ferdinand, 
With hair up-staring (then like reeds, not hair) 
Was the first man that leap'd ; cried, " Hell is emptj 
And all the devils are here." 

Pro. Why, that's my spirit! 

But was not this nigh shore ? 

Ari. Close by, my master. 

Pro. But are they, Ariel, safe ? 

An. Not a hair perish d ; 

On their sustaining garments not a blemish, 
But fresher than before : and, as thou bad'st me. 
In troops I have dispers'd them 'bout the isle. 
The king's son have I landed by himself, 
Whom I left cooling of the air with sighs 
In an odd angle of the isle, and sitting. 
His arms in this sad knot. 

'purpote : in f. e. * butt : in f e ' have : in f. e * This direction is not in f. e • princesB ■ in f e. 



Pro. Of the king's ship 

The mariners, say, how thou hast dispos'd, 
And all the rest o' the fleet? 

An. Safely in harbour 

[s the king's ship : in the deep nook, where once 
Tliou call'dst me up at midnight to fetch dew 
From the still-vex'd Bcrmoothes, there she's hid : 
The mariners all under hatches stow'd ; 
Whom, with a charm joined to their suffer'd labour, 
i have left asleep : and for the rest o' the fleet 
Which I dispers'd, they all have met again. 
And all' upoh the Mediterranean float," 
Bound sadly home for Naples, 
Supposing that they saw the king's ship -WTeek'd, 
And his great person perish. 

Pro. Ariel^ thy charge 

Exactly is perform'd ; but there's more work. 
What is the time o' the day? 

Ari. Past the mid season. 

Pro. At least two glasses. The time 'twixt six and now 
Must by us both be spent most preciously. 

Ari. Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me pains. 
Let me remember thee what thou hast promis'd, 
Which is not yet perform'd me. 

Pro. How now ! moody ? 

What is 't thou canst demand ? 

Ari. My liberty. 

Pro. Before the time be out ? no more. 

Ari. I prithee 

Remember, I have done thee worthy service ; 
Told thee no lies, made thee no mistakings, serv'd 
Without or grudge, or grumblings. Thou didst promise 
To bate me a full year. 

Pro. Dost thou forget 

From what a torment I did free thee ? 

An. No. 

Pro. Thou dost ; and think'st it much, to tread the ooze 
Of the salt deep, 

To run upon the sharp wind of the north. 
To do me business in the veins o' th^ earth. 
When it is bak'd with frost. 

Ari. I do not, sir. 

Pro. Thou liest, malignant thing ! Hast thou forgot 
The foul witch Sycorax, who, with age and envy. 
Was grown into a hoop? hast thou forgot her? 

Aii No, sir. 

Pro. Thou hast. Where was she born? 

speak ; tell me. 

Ari. Sir, in Argier. 

Pro. ! was she so ? I must, 
Once in a month, recount what thou hast been. 
Which thou forget'st. This damn'd witch. Sycorax, 
For mischiefs manifold, and sorceries terrible 
To enter human hearing, from Argier, 
Thou knoVst, was banish'd : for one thing she did. 
They would not take her life. Is not this true ? 

Ari. Ay, sir. 

Pro. This blue-eyed hag was hither brought \\\\\\ 
And here was left by the sailors: thou, my slave 
As thou report'st thyself, wast then her servant : 
And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate 
To act her earthy and abhorr'd commands, * 

Refusing her grand bests, she did confine thee, 
8y help of her more potent ministers, 
And in her most unmitigable rage, 
Into a cloven pine ; within which rift 
(mpnson'd, thou didst painfully remain 
A dozen years ; within which space she died. 

And left thee there, where thou didst vent thy groans 

As fast as mill-wheels strike. Then was this island 

(Save for a' son that she did litter here, 

A freckled whelp, hag-born) not honour'd with 

A human shape. 

Ari. Yes; Caliban, her son. 

Pro. Dull thing, I say so; he, that Caliban, 
Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know'et 
What torment I did find thee in : thy groans 
Did make wolves howl, and penetrate the breasts 
Of ever-angry bears. It was a torment 
To lay upon the damn'd, which Sycorax 
Could not again undo : It was mine art. 
When I arrived and heard thee, that made gape 
The pine, and let thee out, 

Ari. I thank thee, master. 

Pro. If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak, 
And peg thee in his knotty entrails, till 
Thou hast howl'd away twelve vrinters, 

Ari. Pardon, master : 

I will be correspondent to command. 
And do my spriting gently. 

Pro. Do so, and after two dayi 

I will discharge thee. 

Ari. That's my noble master ! 

What shall I do? say what? what shall I do ? 

Pro. Go, make thyself a like nymph' o' the sea : be 
To no sight but thine and mine ; invisible 
To every eyeball, else. -Go, take this shape. 
And hither come in't; go; hence, with diligence, 

[Exit Ariel. 
Awake, dear heart, awake ! thou hast slept well ; 
Awake ! 

Mira. The strangeness of your story put [ Wakinf^' 
Heaviness in me. 

Pro. Shake it off. Come on : 

We'll visit Caliban, my slave, who never 
Yields us kind answer. 

Mira. ''Tis a villain, sir, 

I do not love to look on, ' 

Pro. But, as 'tis. 

We cannot miss him : he does make our fire, 
Fetch in our wood, and serves in offices 
That profit us. — What ho ! slave ! Caliban ! 
Thou earth, thou ! speak, 

CaJ. [ Withiix] There's wood enough within. 

Pro. Come forth, I say ; there's other business for thee 
Come, thou tortoise ! when ? 

Re-enter Ariel, like a water-nymph. 
Fine apparition ! My quaint Ariel, 
Hark in thine ear, 

Ari. My lord, it shall be done. [Exil 

Pro. Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil himdel. 
Upon thy wicked dam, come forth ! 
Enter Caliban. 

Cal. As wicked dew, as e'er my mother brush'd 
With raven's feather from unwholesome fen, 
Drop on you both ! a soutli-west blow on ye, 
And blister you all o'er! 

Pro. For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps 
Side-stitehes that shall pen thy breath up ; urchins 
Shall, for that vast of night that they may work. 
All exercise on thee : thou shalt be pineh'd 
As thick as honey-combs,' each pinch more stinging 
Than bees that made 'em, 

Cal. I must eat my dinner. 

This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother. 
Which thou tak'st from me. When thou cam'st here first 

' are : 'n f e « Bote : m f. e. ' the : in f. 8. • like a : in f. e. » Not in f e ' honev.nomb ■ >n f. o. 



Thou strok'dst nie, and mad'st much of me ; would'st 

give me 
Water witli berries in 't ; and teach me how 
To name the bigger light, and how the less, 
Tliat burn by day and night : and then I lov'd the«, 
And show'd thee all the qualities o' th' isle, 
The fresh springs, brine pits, barren place, and fertile. 
Cursed be 1 that did so ! — All the charms 
Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you ; 
For I am all the subjects that yovi have, 
Which first was mine own king : and here you sty me, 
In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me 
The rest o' th' island. 

Pro, Thou most lying slave, 

Whom stripes may move, not kindness, I have us'd thee. 
Filth as thou art. with human care: and lodg'd thee 
In mine own cell, till thou didst seek to violate 
The honour of my child. 

Cal. O ho ! O ho ! — would it had been done ! 
Thou didst prevent me ; I had peopled else 
This isle with Calibans. 

Pro. Abhorred slave. 

Which any print of goodness will not take, 
Being capable of all ill ! I pitied thee. 
Took pains to make thee speak, t.aught thee each hour 
One thing or other : when thou didst not. savage, 
Know thine ovni meaning, but would'st gabble like 
A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy purposes 
With words that made them known : but thy vile race. 
Though thou didst learn, had that in't which good natures 
Could not abide to be with : therefore wast thou 
Deservedly confin'd into this rock. 
Who hadst deserv'd more than a prison. 

Cal. You taught me language : and my profit on"t 
ts, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you, 
For learning me your language ! 

Pro. Hag-seed, hence ! 

Fetch us in fuel ; and be quick, thou'rt best. 
To answer other business. Shrug'st thou, malice ? 
If thou neglect'st. or dost unwillingly 
What I command, I'll rack thee with old cramps ; 
Fill all thy bones with aches : make thee roar, 
That beasts shall tremble at thy din. 

Cal. No, pray thee ! — 

I must obey; his art is of such power, [Aside. 

It would control my dam's god, Setebos, 
And make a vassal of him. 

Pro. So, slave : hence ! [£a;t( Caliban. 

Re-enter Ariel, invisible., playing and singiiig ; Ferdi- 
nand following.' 
Ariel's Song. 
Come iinto these yellow .latids, 

And then take hands : 
Court'.iied when you have, and kiss'd 

The wild leaves whitt, 
Foot it feathj here and there ;' 
Arid, sweet sprites, the burden bear 

Hark, hark ! 
Burden. Bow, wow. [Dispersedly. 

The watch dogs bark : 
Burden. Bow, wow. 

Hark, hark ! I hear 
The strain of strutting chanticlere 
Cry, cock-a-doodle-doo. [earth? — 

Fer. Where should this music be ? i' th' air, or th' 
ft sounds no more : — and sure, it waits upon 
Some god o th island. Sitting on a bank. 

Weeping again the king my father's wTeck, 
This music crept by me upon the waters. 
Allaying both their fury, and my passion, 
With its sweet air : thence I have follow'd it, 
Or it hath drawn me rather : — but 'tis gone.- 
No. it begins again. 

Ariel sings. 
Full fathom five thy father lies ; 
Of his bones are coral nuide ; 
Those are pearls that were his eyes : 

Nothing of him that doth fade. 
But doth suffer a sea-change 
Into something rich and strange. 
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell : 

[Burden : ding-don^ 
Hark .' now I hear them, — ding-dong. bell. 

Fer Tlie ditty does remember my drownd father.— 
This is no mortal business, nor no sound 
That the earth owes^ — I liear it now above me. 

[Music above. 

Pro. The fringed curtains of thine eye advance 
And say, what thou seest yond'. 

Mira. What is 't? a spirit' 

Lord, how it looks about ! Believe me, sir, 
It carries a brave form : — but 'tis a spirit. 

Pro. No, wench : it eats, and sleeps, and hath such 
As we have; such. This gallant, which thou seest. 
Was in the wreck ; and but he's something stain'd 
With grief, that's beauty's canker, thou might'st call him 
A goodly person. He hath lost his fellows, 
And strays about to find 'em. 

Mira. I might call him 

A thing divine, for nothing natural 
I ever saw so noble. 

Pro. It goes on, I see, [Aside, 

As my soul prompts it: — Spirit, fine spirit ! I'll free thet 
Within two days for this. 

Fer. Most sure, the goddess [Seeing her' 

On whom these airs attend ! — Vouchsafe, my prayer 
May know if you remain upon this island, [Kneek 
And that you will some good instruction give, 
How I may bear me here : my prime request, 
Which I do last pronounce, is, you wonder ! 
If you be maid, or no ? 

Mira. No wonder, sir ; 

But. certainly a maid. 

Fer. My language ! heavens ! — Rises 

I am the best of them that speak this speech, 
Were I but where 'tis spoken. 

Pro. How ! the best ? 

What wert thou, if the king of Naples heard thee '' 

Fer. A single thing, as I am now, that wonders 
To liear thee speak of Naples. He does hear me, 
And that he does I weep ; myself am Naples ; 
Who with mine eyes, ne'er .since at ebb, beheld 
The king, my father, wreck'd. 

Mira. Alack, for mercy ! 

Fer. Yes, faith, and all his lords ; the duke of Milan, 
And his brave son, being twain. 

Pro. The duke of Milan, 

And his more braver daughter, could control thee, 
If now 'twere fit to do't. — [Aside.] At the first sight 
They have chang"d eyes : — ilelicate Ariel, 
I'll set thee free for this ! — [To him.] A word, good sir . 
I fear, you have done yourself some wrong: a word 

Mira. Why speaks my father so ungently? Thif 

If. ( 

t>f the 

• Not in f e 

\. lave "him." 'The old copiAs read: "Foot it fealti/ here atirt t/iere, anj sreee: tprilcs brar Ikt liuriUn." The iMF. snnotatoi 
fo io of 1632, anticipated later jriticfl in altering the paseage as it stands in the text. 'Owis * Not in f e "Not m f. f 
n f e Not in f. 6 


ACT n 

la the third man that e'er 1 saw ; tlie first 
Thai, e'er 1 sigh'd tor. Pity move my father 
To be inclin'd my way ! 

Fer. O ! if a virgin, 

And your afTection not gone fortli, I'll make you 
The queen of Naples. 

Pro. Soft, sir: one word more. — 

[Aside.] They are both in cither's powers : but this 

swift business 
I must uneasy make, lest too light winning 
Make the prize light. — [To him.\ One word more: I 

charge thee, 
That thou attend me. Thou dost here usurp 
The name thou ow'st not ; and hast put thyself 
Upon this island as a spy, to win it 
From me, the lord on 't. 

Fer. No, as I am a man. 

Mira. There's nothing ill can dwell in such a temple : 
If the ill spirit have so fair a house, 
Good things will strive to dwell with't. 

Pro. Follow me. — [To Ferd. 

Speak not you for him ; he's a traitor. — Come. 
I'll manacle thy neck and feet together; 
Sea- water shalt thou drink, thy food shall be 
The fresh-brook muscles, wither'd roots, and huslts 
Wherein the acorn cradled. Follow. 

Fer. No ; 

I will resist such entertaimnent, till 
Mine enemy has more power. 

[He draws., and is charmed from moving. 

Mira. 0, dear father ! 

Make not too rash a trial of him, for 
He's gentle, and not fearful. 

Pro. What! I say: 

My foot my tutor ? — Put thy sword up, traitor ; 
Whomak'st a show, but dar'st not strike, thy conscience 
Is so possess'd with guilt : Come from thy ward, 
For I can here disarm thee with this stick, 
And make thy weapon drop. 

Mira. Beseech you, father ! 

Pro. Hence ! hang not on my garments. 

Mira. Sir, have pity 

I'll be his surety. 

Pro. Silence ! one word more 

Shall maje me chide thee, if not hate thee. What ! 
An advocate for an impostor? hush ! 
Thou tliink'st there are no more such shapes as he. 
Having seen but him and Caliban : foolish wench ! 
To the most of men this is a Caliban, 
And they to him are angels. 

Mira. My affections 

Are tlien most humble : I have no ambition 
To see a goodlier man. 

Pro. Come on : obey : [To Ferd 

Thy nerves are in their infancy again, 
And have no vigour in them. 

Fer. So they are : 

My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound up. 
My father's loss, the weakness which I feel, 
The wreck of all my friends, nor this man's threats, 
To whom I am subflued, are but light to me. 
Might I but through my prison once a day 
Behold this maid : all corners else o' th' earth 
Let liberty make use of; space enough 
Have I in such a prison. 

Pro. It works. — Come on. — 

Thou hast done well, fine Ariel ! — Follow me. — 

[To Ferd. and Mm 
Hark, what thou else shalt do me. [To Ariel 

Mira. Be of comfort. 

My father's of a better nature, sir, 
Than he appears by speech : this is unwonted, 
Which now came from him. 

Pro. Thou shalt be aa free 

As mountain winds : but then, exactly do 
All points of my command. 

Ari. To the syllable. 

Pro. Come, follow. — Speak not for him. [Exeunt 


SCENE I.— Another part of the Island. 

Enter Alonso, Sebastian. Antonio, Gonzalo, 

Adrian, Francisco «)«/ Others. 

Gorn. Beseech you, sir, be merry: ygu have cause 
(So have we all) of joy, for our escape 
Is much beyond our loss. Our hint of woe 
Is common : every day, some sailor's wife. 
The master' of some merchant, and the merchant, 
Have just our theme of woe ; but for the miracle, 
I mean our preservation, few in millions 
Can speak like us : then, wisely, good sir, weigh 
Our sorrow with our comfort. 

Aloni. Pr'ythee, peace 

Seh. He receives comfort like cold porridge. 

Ant. The visitor will not give him o'er so. 

Seb. Look; he's winding up the watch of his wit: 
l.y and by it will strike. 

Gm. Sir,— 

Seb. One: — tell. 

Gon. When every grief is entertain'd, that's ofTer'd, 
Comes to the entertainer — 

Seb. A dollar. 

Gon. Dolour comes to him, indeed : you have spoken 
truer than you purposed. 

Seb. You have taken it wiselier than I meant you 

Gon. Therefore, my lord. 

Ant. Fie, what a spendthrift is he of his tongue ' 

Almi. I pr'ythee, spare. 

Gon. Well, I have done. But yet — 

Seh. He will be talking. 

Ant. Which, or» he or Adrian, for a good wager, 
first begins to crow? 

Seh. The old cock. 

Ant. The cocUrel. 

Seh. Done. The wager? 

Arit. A laughter. 

Seh. A match. 

Adr. Though this island seem to be desert, — 

Seh. Ha, ha, ha ! 

Ant. So, you're paid. 

Adr. Uninhabitable, and almost inaccessible, — 

Seb. Yet— 

Adr. Yet— 

Ant. He could not miss it. 

Adr. It must needs be of subtle., tender, and delioatt 

Ant. Temperance was a delicate wench. 

masters : m f. e • jf them : m f. e. KniKht's edition reads, "of them.' 



Fran. Sir, he may live. 

I saw him beat the surges under him. 
And ride upon their backs : he trod the water, 
Whose enmity he flung aside, and breasted 
The surge most swoln that met him : his bold head 
'Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oar'd 
Himself with his good arms in lusty stroke 
To the shore, that o'er his wave-worn basis boVd, 
As stooping to relieve him. I not doubt, 
He came alive to land. 

Alon. No, no ; he's gone. 

Seb. Sir, you may thank yourself for this great loss 
That would not bless our Europe with yoiir daugUt«t 
But rather lose her to an African ; 
Where she, at least, is banish'd from your eye, 
Who hath cause to wet the grief on 't. 

Alon. Pr'ythee, peace. 

Scb. You were kneel'd to, and importun'd otherwise 
By all of us ; and the fair soul herself 
Weigh'd between lothness and obedience, as' 
Which end o' the beam should' bow. We have losi 

your son, 
I fear, for ever : Milan and Naples have 
More widows in them, of this business' makmg, 
Than we bring men to comfort them : the fault 'b 
Your own. 

Alon. So is the dearest of the loss. 
Gon. My lord Sebastian 

The truth you speak doth lack some gentleness, 
A»d time to speak it in : you rub the sore. 
When vou should bring the plaster. 

Seb. ' Very well. 

Ant. And most chirurgeonly. 
Gon. It is foul weather in us all, good sir, 
When you are cloudy. 

Seb. . Foul weather? 

Ant. Very foul. 

Gon. Had I plantation of this isle, my lord, — 
Ant. He'd sow 't with neddle-seed. 
Seb. Or docks, or malloN»"s 

Gon. And were the king on't, what would I do? 
Seb. 'Scape being drunk, for want of wine. 
Gon. V the commonwealth I would by contraries 
Execute all things, for no kind of traffic 
Would I admit;' no name of magistrate; 
Letters should not be known ; riches, poverty, 
And use of service, none ; contract, succession, 
Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none; 
No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil : 
No occupation, all men idle, all : 
And women, too, but innocent and pure. 
No sovereignty : — 

Scb. Yet he would be king on't. 
Ant. The latter end of this commonwealth forgets 
the beginning. 

Gon. All things in common nature should produoe, 
Without sweat or endeavour: treason, felony. 
Sword, pike, knife, g\in, or need of any engine, 
Would I not have ; but nature should bring forth, 
Of its own kind, all foisson,' all abundance, 
To feed my innocent people. 

Scb. No marrying 'mong his subjects? 
Ant. None, man ; all idle ; whores, and knaves. 
Gon. I would with such perfection govern, sir. 
To excel the golden age. 
I Seb. 'Save his majesty ! 

' Juiey. > Slight shade of color. ' at ; in f e. « She'd : in f. e. • It is a nation, would I answer Plato, that hath no kinde of traffike, 
no knowledge of Letters, no intelligence of numbers, no name of magistrate, nor of politike superioritie ; no use of service, of riches, 
or of povertie ; no contracts, no successions, no dividences, no occupation Init idle ; no respect of kinred. tint common, no apparel hul 
nalurall, no manuring of lands, no use of wme. come, or mettle. The very that import lying, falshood, treason. Jissiminations oovet- 
QUsneR, envio. detraotion, and pa.-don, were never heard of amongst them — MontaiRne, Fiorio $ translation^ 1G03. • Plenty. 

Seb. Ay, and a subtle, as he most learnedly delivered. 
Adr. The air breathes upon us here most sweetly. 
Seb As if it had lungs, and rotten ones. 
Ant. Or as 'twere perfumed by a fen. 
So/i,. Here is every thing advantageous to life. 
.4nt. True ; save means to live. 
SV6. Of that there's none, or little. 
(JoH. How lush' and lusty ine grass looks ! how green ! 
Ant. The ground, indeed, is tawny. 
Seb. With an eye^ of green in 't. 
-int. He misses not much. 

Seb. No ; he doth but mistake the truth totally. 
Gem. But the rarity of it is, which is indeed almost 
.^fond credit — 
Seb. As many vouch'd rarities are. 
Gon. That our garments, being, as they were, 
drenched in the sea, hold, notwithstanding, their fresh- 
ness, and glosses ; being rather new dyed, than stain'd 
with salt water. 

Ant. If but one of his pockets could speak, would it 
noi say, he lies ? 

Seb. Ay, or very falsely pocket up his report. 

Gon. Methinks, our garments are now as fresh as 

when we put them on first in Afric, at the marriage of 

the king's fair daughter Clanbel to the king of Tunis. 

Seb. 'Twas a sweet marriage, and we prosper well 

in our return. 

Adr. Tunis was never graced before with such a 
paragon to their queen. 

Gon. Not since widow Dido's time. 
Ant. Widow? a pox o' that ! How came that widow 
in? Widow Dido ! 

Seb. What if he had said, widower iEneas too? good 
lord, how you take it I 

Adr. Widow Dido, said you ! you make me study of 
that: she was of Cartilage, not of Tunis. 
Gon. This Tunis, sir, was Carthage. 
Adr. Carthage? 
Gon. I assure you, Carthage. 
Ant. His word is more than the miraculous harp. 
Seb. He hath rais'd the wall, and houses too. 
Ant. What impossible matter will he make easy next ? 
Seb. I think he will carry this island home in his 
pocket, and give it his son for an apple. 

Ant. And sowing the kernels of it in the sea, bring 
forth more islands. 
Gon. Ay? 

Ant. Why, in good time. 

Gon. Sir, we were talking, that our garments seem 
now as fresli, as when we were at Tunis at the mar- 
riage of your daughter, who is now queen. 
Ant. And the rarest that e'er came there. 
Seb. Bate, I beseech you, widow Dido. 
Ant. O ! widow Dido ; ay, widow Dido. 
Gon. Is not, sir, my doublet as fresh as the first day 
1 wore it ? I mean, in a sort. 

Ant. That sort was well fish'd for. 
Go7i. When I wore it at your daughter's marriage? 
Aloti. You cram tliese words into mine cars, against 
he stomach of my sense. Would I had never 
Married my daughter tliere ! for. coming thence, 
My son is lost ; and. in my rate, she too. 
Who is so far from Italy remov'd, 
I ne'er again shall see her. thou, mine heir 
Of Naples and of Milan ! what strange fish 
Hath made his meal on thee ? 



ACT a. 

Ant. Long live Gonzalo ! 

Gon. And, do you mark me, sir? — 

Alon. Pr'ylhee, no more : thou dost talk nothing to 

Gon. I do well believe your highness ; and did it to 
minister occasion to these gentlemen, wlio are of such 
sensible and nimble lungs, that they always use to 
laugh at nothing. 

Ant. 'Twas you we laugh'd at. 

Gon. Who, in this kind of merry fooling, am nothing 
10 you : so you may continue, and laugh at nothing 

Ant. What a blow was there given ! 

Seb. An it had not fallen flat-long. 

Gon. You are gentlemen of brave mettle : you would 
lift the moon out of her sphere, if she would continue 
in it five weeks without changing. 

Enter Ariel above,^ invisible, playing solemn music. 

Seb. We would so, and then go a bat-fowling. 

Ant. Nay, good my lord, be not angry. 

Gon. No, I warrant you ; I will not adventure my 
discretion so weakly. Will you laugh me asleep, for 
I am very heavy? 

Ant. Go sleep, and hear us. 

[All sleep but Alon. Seb. aiid Ant. 

Alon. What ! all so soon asleep? I wish mine eyes 
Would, with themselves, shut up my thoughts : I find, 
They are inclined to do so. 

Seb. Please you, sir, 

Do not omit the heavy offer of it : 
It seldom visits sorrow ; when it doth. 
It is a comforter. 

Ant. We two, my lord, 

Will guard your person while you take your rest, 
And watch your safety. 

Alon. Thank you. Wondrous heavy. — [A.hOS. sleeps.' 

Seb. What a strange drowsiness possesses them ! 

Ant. It is the quality of the climate. 

Seb. Why 

Doth it not, then, our eye-lids sink ? I find not 
Myself disposed to sleep. 

Ant. Nor I : my spirits are nimble. 

They fell together all, as by consent ; 
They dropp'd, as by a tliuuder-stroke. What might. 
Worthy Sebastian ? — O ! what might ? — No more : — 
And yet, methinks, I see it in thy face. 
What thou should'st be. Th' occasion speaks thee, and 
My strong imagination sees a crown 
Dropping upon thy head. 

Seb. What ! art thou waking ? 

Ant. Do you not hear me speak ? 

Seb. I do ; and, surely. 

It is a sleepy language, and thou speak'st 
Out of thy sleep. What is it thou didst say? 
This is a strange repose, to be asleep 
With eyes wide open ; standing, speaking, moving. 
And yet so fast asleep. 

Ant Noble Sebastian, 

Thou let'st thy fortune sleep — die rather ; wink'st 
Whiles thou art walcing. 

Seb. Thou dost snore distinctly : 

There's meaning in thy snores. 

Ant. I am more serious than my custom : you 
Must be so too, if heed me ; which to do, 
T'ebles thee o'er. 

Seb. Well ; I am standing water. 

Ant. I'll teach you how to flow. 

Seb. Do so : to ebb 

Hereditary sloth instructs me. 

Ant. O ! 

If you but knew, how you the purpose cherish, 
Whiles thus you mock it ! how, in stripping it, 
You more invest it ! Ebbing men. indeed, 
Most often do so near tlie bottom run 
By Dieir own fear, or sloth. 

Seb. Pr'ythee, say on. 

The setting of thine eye, and cheek, proclaim 
A matter Irora thee ; and a birth, indeed. 
Which throes thee much to yield. 

Ant. Thus, sir. 

Although this lord of weak remembrance, this 
(Who shall be of as little memory. 
When he is earth'd) hath here almost persuaded 
(For he's a spirit of persuasion, only 
Professes to persuade) the king, his son 's alive, 
'Tis as impossible that he's undrown'd, 
As he that sleeps here, swims. 

Seb. I liave no liope 
That he 's undrown'd. 

Ant. O ! out of that no hope, 

Wliat great hope have you ! no hope, that way, is 
Another way so high a hope, that even 
Ambition cannot pierce a wink beyond, 
But doubts discovery there. Will you grant, with ine 
That Ferdinand is drown'd ? 

Seb. He's gone. 

Ant. Then, tell me. 

Who's the next heir of Naples? 

Seb. Claribel. 

Ant. She that is queen of Tunis ; she that dwells 
Ten leagues beyond man's life ; she that from Naples 
Can have no note, unless the sun were post, 
(The man i' the moon 's too slow) till new-bom chins 
Be rough and razorable ; she, for' whom 
We all were sea-swallow'd, though some cast again ; 
And by that destiny to perform an act 
Whereof what's past is prologue, what's* to come. 
In yours and my discharge. 

Seb. What siafT is this ! — How say you ? 

'Tis true, my brother's daughter 's queen of Tunis ; 
So is she heir of Naples ; 'twixt which regions 
There is some space. 

A7it. A space whose every cubit 

Seems to cry out, " How shall that Claribel 
Measure us back to Naples?" — Keep in Tunis, 
And let Sebastian wake ! — Say, this were death 
That now hath seized them ; why, they were no worse 
Than now they are. There be. that can rule Naples 
As well as he that sleeps ; lords that can prate 
As amply, and unnecessarily, 
As this Gonzalo : I myself could make 
A chough of as deep chat. 0, that you bore 
The mind that I do ! what a sleep were thiii 
For your advancement ! Do you understand me ? 

Seb. Methinks, I do. 
Ant. And how does your content 

Tender your own good fortune ? 

Seb. I remember, 

You did supplant your brother Prospero. 

Ant. True : 

And look how well my garments sit upon me ; 
Much feater than before. My brother's servants 
Were then my fellows, now tliey are my men. 

Seb. But, for your conscience — 

Ant. Ay, sir : where lies that ? if it were a kyt(« 
'Twould put me to my slipper ; but I feel not 
This deity in my bosom : twenty consciences. 
That stand 'twixt me and Milan, candied be they, 

' Not in f. e. > Exii Ariel : in f. e • ftom : in f. e • what : in f. e 

t-CENTI n. 



And melt, ere tliey molest ! Here lies your brother, 
\o better than the earth he lies upon, 
If he were that which now he's like, that's dead. 
Whom I, with this obedient sleel, three inches of it, 
Can lay to bed for ever ; whiles you, doing thus. 
To the perpetual \\-iiik for aye might put 
This ancient morsel, this Sir Prudence, who 
Sliould not upbraid our course : for all the rest, 
They'll take suggestion as a cat laps milk; 
They'll tell the clock to any business that 
We say befits the hour. 

Seb. Thy case, dear friend, 

Shall be my precedent : as thou got'st Milan, 
I'll come by Naples. Draw thy sword : one stroke 
Shall free thee from the tribute which thou pay'st, 
Aud I, the king, shall love thee. 

Ant. Draw together ; 

And when I rear my hand, do you the like. 
To fall it on Gonz.alo. 

Seb. ! but one word. [They converse apart. 

Music. Ariel descends invisible.' 
Ari. My master tlirough his art foresees the danger 
That you, his friend, are in ; and sends me forth 
(For else his project dies) to keep them liinng. 

[Sings in Gonzalo's ear. 
While yaii. here do snoring lie, 
Open-eyed conspiracy 

His time doth take. 
If of life you keep a care, 
Shake off slumber, and beware : 
Au'ake ! Aicake ! 
Ant. Then, let us both be .sudden. 
Gon. Now, good angels, preserve the king ! 

[They wake. 
Aton. 'Why. how now, ho ! awake ! Why are you 
Wherefore thus' ghastly looking ? 

Gon. What's the matter ? 

Seb. 'Whiles we stood here securing your repose. 
Even now, we heard a hollow burst of bellowing. 
Like bulls, or rather lions : did it not wake you? 
It struck mine oar most terribly. 

Alon. I heard nothing. 

Ant. O ! 'twas a din to fright a monster's ear. 
To make an earthquake : sure, it was the roar 
Of a whole herd of lions. 

Alon. Heard you this, Gonzalo? 

Gon. Upon mine honour, sir, I heard a humming, 
And that a strange one too, which did awake me. 
I shak'd you. sir, and cry'd : as mine eyes open'd, 
I saw their weapons drawn. — There was a noise, 
That's verity :' 'tis best we stand upon our guard, 
Or that we quit this place. Let's draw our weapons. 
Alon. Lead off this ground, and let's make farther 
For my poor son. 

Gon. Heavens keep him from these beasts. 
For he is, sure, i' the island. 

Aion. Lead away. [Exeunt 

Ari. Prospero, my lord, shall know what I have done : 

So, king, go safely on to seek thy son. [E.rit. 

SCENE II.— Another part of the Island. 

Enter Caliban, with a burden of tsood. 

A noise of thiitider heard. 

Cal. All the infections that the sun sucks up 

From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him 

By ineh-meal a disease ! His spirits hear me. 

And yet I needs must curse ; but they'll not' pinch, 
Fright me with urchin shows, pitch iiie i' the mire. 
Nor lead me, like a fire-brand, in the dark 
Out of my way, unless he bid "em ; but 
For every trifle are they set upon me : 
Sometime like apes, that moe and chatter at me. 
And after, bite me : then like hedge-hogs, which 
Lie tumbling in my bare-foot way, and mount 
Their pricks at ray foot-fall : sometime am I 
All wound with adders, who with cloven tongues 
Do hiss me into madness. — Lo, now ! lo ! 

Enter Trinculo. 
Here comes a spirit of his, and to torment me 
For bringing wood in slowly: I'll fall flat; 
Perchance, he will not mind me. 

Triti. Here's neither bush nor shrub to bear ofl' any 
weather at all. and another storm brewing; I hear il 
sing i' the wind : yond' same black cloud, yond' hwse 
one. looks like a foul bombard* that would shed his 
liquor. If it should thunder, as it did before, I know 
not where to hide my head : yond' same cloud cannot 
choose but fall by pailfuls, — What have we here'' 
[Seeing Caliian.'] a man or a fish? Dead or alive? 
A fish: he smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish- 
like smell; a kind of, not of the newest, Poor-.lohn. 
A strange fish ! Were I in England now, (as once I 
was) and had but this fish painted, not a holiday 
fool there but would give a piece of silver : there 
would this monsler make a man : any strange beast 
there makes a man. 'Wlien they will not give a doit 
to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see 
a dead Indian. Legg'd like a man ! and his fins like 
arms ! Warm, o' my troth ! I do now let loose my 
opinion, hold it no longer ; this is no fish, but an 
islander, that hath lately suff'ered by a thunder-boll 
[Thunder.] Alas ! the storm is come again : my hesi 
way is to creep under his gaberdine ; there is no other 
shelter hereabout : misery acquaints a man with strange 
bedfellows. I wll here shroud, till the drench' of the 
storm be past. 

Enter Stephano, singing ; a bottle in his hand. 

Ste. I slutll no more to sea. to sea, 

Here shall I die a-shore. — 
This is a very scurvy tune to sing at a man's funeral. 
Well, here's my comfort. [Drinks 

The mtvster, the .vi'abber, the boatswain, and I, 
The gtinner, and his mate, 

Lov'd Mall. Meg, and Marian, and Margery, 
But nont of us car'd for Kate ; 
For she had a tongue with a tang, 
Would cry to a sailor, Go, hang : 

She lov'd not the savour of tar, nor of pitch, 

Yet a tailor might scratch her where-e'er she did itch . 
Then, to sea, boys, arul let her go hang. 
This is a scurvy tune too ; but here's my comfort. [Drinks. 

Cal. Do not torment me : ! 

Ste. What's the matter? Have we de^-ils here' 
Do you put tricks upon us with savages, and men ol 
Inde? Ha! I have not 'scap'd drowning, to be afeard 
BOW of your four legs ; for it hath been said, as proper 
a man as ever went on four legs cannot make him give 
ground, and it shall be said so again, while Stephano 
breathes at nostrils. 

Cal. The spirit torments me : ! 

Ste. This is some monster of the isle, with four legs, 
who hath got, as I take it, an ague. 'Where the deini 
should he learn our language? I will give him some 
relief, if it be but for that : if I can recover him, and keer 

* Mtisie. Re-enter Ari^i^, invisibU: in t.G. 'this: in f. e 3 ColUer'B ed,, 1S44, reftds, " verily "—most of the other editions, "verity '' 
llnthetext *nor:inl'.o ^ The name otalarge vessel to contain drir>b tip well asof a oiaoe •^fartitlary. •Notnfo dregs - id f e 



Acrr in. 

hira tame, and get to Naples with him, he's a present 
for any emperor that ever trod on neat's-leather. 

Cal. Do not torment me, pr'jthee: I'll bring my 
wood home faster. 

Ste. He's in his fit now, and docs not talk after the 
wisest. He shall taste of my bottle : if he have never 
drunk wine afore, it will go near to remove his fit. If 
I ean recover him, and keep him tame, I will not take 
too much for him : he shall pay for him that hath him, 
und that soundly. 

Cal. Thou dost me yet but little hurt; thou wilt 
anon, I know it by thy trembling : now Prosper works 
upon thee. 

Ste. Come on your ways : open your mouth ; here is 

hat which will give language to you, cat. Open your 

mouth: this will shake your shaking, I can tell you. 

and that soundly : you cannot tell who 's your friend : 

opeu your ch-.ijis again. [Caliban drinks.^ 

Trin. I should linow that voice. It should be — but 
he is drowned, and these are devils. 0, defend me ! — 

Ste. Four legs, and two voices ! a most delicate 
monster. His forward voice, now, is to speak well of 
his friend ; his backward voice is to utter foul speeches, 
and to detract. If all the wine in my bottle will re- 
cover him, I will help his ague. Come, — Amen! I 
will pour some in thy other mouth. 

Trin. Stephano ! 

Ste. Doth thy other mouth call me ? Mercy ! 
rnercy ! This is a devil, and no monster : I will leave 
him ; I have no long spoon. 

Trin. Stephano ! — if thou beest Stephano, touch me, 
and speak to me, for I am Trinculo : — be not afeard, — 
thy good friend Trinculo. 

Ste. If thou beest Trinculo, come forth. I'll pull 
thee by the lesser legs : if any be Trinculo's legs, these 
are they. Thou art very Trinculo, indeed ! How 
cam'st thou to be the siege" of this moon-calf? Can he 
vent Trinculos ? 

Trin. I took him to be killed with a thunder-stroke. 
— But art thou not drowned, Stephano ? I hope now, 
thou art not drowned. Is the storm overblown? I 
hid me under the dead moon-calf's gaberdine for fear 
of the storm. And art thou living, Stephano ? 
Stephano ! two Neapolitans 'scaped ? 

Ste. Pr'ythee, do not turn me about : my stomach is 
not constant. 

Cal. These be fine things, an if they be not sprites. 
That's a brave god, and bears celestial liquor : 
I will kneel to him. 

Ste. How didst thou 'scape ? How cam'st thou 
hither? swear by this bottle, how thou cam'st hither. 
I escaped upon a butt of sack, which the sailors heaved 
over-board, by this bottle ! which I made of the bark 
of a tree, with mine own hands, since I was cast 

Cal. I'll swear, upon that bottle, to be thy true 
abject, for the liquor is not earthly. [Kneels.' 

Ste. Here : swear, then, how thou escap'dst. 

Trin. Swam a-shore, man, like a duck. I can swim 
like a duck, I'll be sworn. 

Sle. Here, kiss the book. Though thou canst swim 
like a duck, thou art made like a goose. 

Trin. O Stephano ! hast any more of this? 

Ste. The whole butt, man : my cellar is in a rock by 
the sea-side, where my wine is hid. How now, moon- 
calf ! how does thine ague ? 

Cal. Hast thou not dropped from heaven ? 

Ste. Out o' the moon, I do assure thee : I was the 
man in the moon, when time was. 

Cal. I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee ; my 
mistress showed me thee, and thy dog, and thy bush. 

Ste. Come, swear to that ; kiss the book : I will fiu 
nish it anon with new contents. Swear. 

Trin. By this good light, this is a very shallow mon- 
ster : — I afeard of him ? — a very weak monster. — The 
man i' the moon ! — a most poor credulous monster. — 
Well drawn, monster, in good sooth. 

Cal. I'll show thee every fertile inch o' the island ; 
and I will kiss thy foot. I pr'ythee, be my god. 

Trin. By this light, a most perfidious and drunken 
monster : when his god's asleep, he'll rob his bottle. 

Cal. I'll kiss thy foot : I'll swear myself thy subject. 

Ste. Come on, then ; down and swear. 

[Caliban lies down.* 

Trin. I shall laugh myself to death at this puppy- 
headed monster. A most scurvy monster : I could find 
in my heart to beat him, — 

Ste. Come, kiss. 

Trin. — But that the poor monster's in drink. An 
abominable monster ! 

Cal. I'll show thee the best springs ; I'll pluck thee 
berries ; 
I'll fish for thee, and get thee wood enough. 
A plague upon the t>Tant that I serve ! 
I'll bear him no more sticks, but follow thee, 
Thou wondrous man. 

Trin. A most ridiculous monster, to make a wonder 
of a poor drunkard ! 

Cal. I pr'ythee, let me bring thee where crabs grow; 
And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts ; 
Show thee a jay's nest, and instruct thee how 
To snare the nimble marmozet : I'll bring thee 
To clustering filberds, and sometimes I'll get thee 
Young scamels from the rock : 'Wilt thou go ■with me ? 

Ste. I pr'ythee now, lead the way, without any more 
talking. — Trinculo, the king and all our company else 
being dro^wned, we will inherit here. — Here ; bear my 
bottle. — Fellow Trinculo, we'll fill him by and by again 

Cal. Farewell, master ; farewell, farewell. 

[Sings drunkenly 

Trin. A howling monster ; a drunken monster. 

Cal. No more dains Til make for fish; 
Nor fetch in firing 
At requiring, 
Nor scrape trencher,^ nor wash dish j 
'Ban 'Ban, Ca — Caliban, 
Has a new master — Get a new man. 
Freedom, hey-day ! hey-day, freedom ! freedom ! hey 
day, freedom ! 

Ste. brave monster ! lead the way. [ExeiMl 


SCENE I.— Before Prospero's Cell. 
Enter Ferdinand, bearing a log. 
Fer There be some sports are painful, and their 

Delight in them sets ofl^: some kinds of baseness 
Are nobly undergone ; and most poor matters 
Point to rich ends. This ray mean task 
Would be as heavy to me, as odious ; but 

1 Not fin f. e ' mat. ' Not m f. e • Not in f. e. • Irencherine : in f. e 

SCRNE tl. 



Tne mistress which I sene quickens what 's dead. 

A ad makes my labours pleasures : O ! she is 

Ten times more gentle than her father 's crabbed ; 

And he 's composed of harshness. I must remove 

Some thousands of these logs, and pile them up, 

t'pou a sore injunction : my sweet mistress 

Weeps when she sees me work ; and says, such baseness 

Had never like executor. I forget : 

But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours ; 

Most busy, blest' when I do it. 

Enter Miranda ; and Prospero behind.' 

Mira. Alas ! now, pray you, 

Work not so hard : I would, the lightning had 
Burnt up those logs that you are enjoind to pile. 
Pray, set it down, and rest you : when this hums, 
"Twill weep for having wearied you. My father 
Is hard at study; pra) now rest yourself: 
He s safe for these three hours. 

Fer. 0, most dear mistress ! 

The sun will set, before I shall discharge 
What I must strive to do. 

Mira. If you'll sit down, 

111 bear your logs the while. Pray, give me that : 
I'll carry it to the pile. 

Fer. No, precious creature : 

I liad rather crack my sinews, break my back, 
Tlian you should such dishonour undergo. 
While I sit lazy by. 

Mija. It would become me 

A.s well as it does you ; and I should do it 
With much more ease, for my good will is to it, 
And yours it is against. 

Pro. Poor worm ! thou art Infected : 

ThiS visitation shows it. [Aside.^ 

Mira. You look wearily. 

Fer. No, noble mistress ; 't is fresh morning with me. 
When you are by at night. I do beseech you, 
Ohiefly that I might set it in my prayers. 
What is your name ? 

Mira. Miranda. — my father ! 

I have broke your hest to say so. [To herself.* 

Fer. Admir'd Miranda ! 

Indeed, the top of admiration ; worth 
What 's dearest to the world ! Full many a lady 
r have ey'd with best regard ; and many a time 
The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage 
Brought my too diligent ear : for several virtues 
Have I lik'd several women ; never any 
With so full soul, but some defect in her 
Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow'd, 
And put it to the foil : but you, O you ! 
So perfect, and so peerless, are created 
Of every creature's best. 

Mira. I do not k-now 

One of my sex ; no woman's face remember, 
Save, from my glass, mine own ; nor have I seen 
More that I may call men, than you, good friend. 
And my dear father. How features are abroad, 
1 am skill-less of ; but, by my modesty, 
'The jewel in my dower) I would not wish 
Any companion in the world but you ; 
\or can imagination form a shape. 
Besides yourself, to like of. But I prattle 
S-.mething too wildly, and my father's precepts 
i therein do forget. 

Fer. I am, in my condition, 

A prince, Miranda ; I do think, a king ; 
|I would, not so !) and would no more endure 
This wooden slavery, than to suffer 

The flesh-fly blow my mouth. Hear my bouI speak : 

The very instant that I saw you, did 

My heart liy to your service ; there resides, 

To make me slave to it ; and for your sake. 

Am I this patient log-man. 

Mira. Do you love me ? 

Fer. O heaven ! earth ! bear witness to tnis Bound 
And crown what I profess with kind event, 
If I speak true : if hollowly, invert 
What best is boded me to mischief ! I, 
Beyond all limit of aught' else i' the world, 
Do love, prize, honour you. 

Mira. I am a fool, 

To weep at what I am glad of. 

Pro. Fair encounter 

Of two most rare affections ! Heavens rain grace 
On that which breeds between them ! [Aside.' 

Fer. Wlierefore weep you ? 

Mira. At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer 
What I desire to give ; and much less take. 
What I shall die to want. But this is trifling ; 
And all the more H seeks to hide itself, 
The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning, 
And prompt me, plain and holy innocence ! 
I am your wife, if you will marry me ; 
If not, I'll die your maid : to be your fellow 
You may deny me ; but I'll be your servant. 
Whether you will or no. 

Fer. My mistress, dearest. 

And I thus humble ever. [Kneels.' 

Mira. My husband then ? 

Fer. Ay, with a heart as willing [JJisss." 

As bondage e'er of freedom : here 's my hand. 

Mira. And mine, with my heart in 't : and now 
Till half an hour hence. 

Fer. A thousand thousand ! [Exeunt Fer. and MiR. 

Pro. So glad of this as they, I cannot be. 
Who are surpris'd with all : hut my rejoicing 
At nothing can be more. I'll to my book; 
For yet, ere supper time, must I perform 
Much business appertaining. [Exit. 

SCENE II.— Another part of the Island. 

Enter Stephano and Trinculo ; Caliban following 

vAth a bottle 

Ste. Tell not me ; — when the butt is out, we will 
drink water ; not a drop before : therefore bear up, and 
board 'em. Servant-monster, drinlc to me. 

Trin. Seri'ant-monster ? the folly of this island ! 
They say, there 's but five upon this isle : we are three 
of them ; if the other two be brained like us, the state 

Ste. Drink, servant-monster, when 1 bid thee: thy 
eyes are almost set in thy head. 

Trin. Where should they be set else ? he were s 
brave monster indeed, if they were set in his tail. 

Ste. My man-monster hath drownied his tongue in 
sack : for my part, the sea cannot drowni me : I swam, 
ere I could recover the shore, five-and-thirty leagues, 
off and on, by this light. Thou shalt be my lieutenant, 
monster, or my standard. 

Trin. Your lieutenant, if you list ; he 's no ftandard. 

Ste. We'll not run, monsieur monster. 

Trin. Nor go neither ; but you'll lie, like dogs, and 
yet say nothing neither. 

Ste. Moon-calf, speak once in thy life, if thou beesi 
a good moon-calf. 

Cal. How does thy honour ? Let me lick th" ahoo 

< '.oast ; in t < 

^ It a diatanct : in f. e. ' Not in f, e. * Not m f. e. • what elM : in f e. • t 8 ifo* in f. a. 




I'll not serve him, he is not valiant. 

Trin. Thou licst, most ignorant niorlster : I am in 
ease to justle a constable. Why. thou debauched fish 
thou, was there ever man a coward, that hatli drunk 
so much sack as I to-day ? Wilt thou tell a monstrous 
lie, being but half a fish, and half a monster ? 

Cal. Lo, how he mocks me ! wilt thou let him, my 

Trin. Lord, quoth he ! — that a monster should be 
such a natural ! 

Cal. Lo, lo, again ! bite him to death, I pr'ythee. 

Ste. Trinculo, keep a good tongue in your head : if 
you prove a mutineer, the next tree — The poor mon- 
ster 's my subject, and he shall not sufier indignity. 

Cal. I thank my noble lord. Wilt thou be pleas'd 
to hearken once again to the suit I made to thee ? 

Ste. Marry will I : kneel and repeat it : I will stand, 
and 80 shall Trinculo. [Caliban kneels.^ 

Enter AriBl, invuible. 

Cal. As I told thee before, I am subject to a tyrant ; 
a sorcerer, that by his cunning hath cheated me of the 

Ari. Thou liest. 

Cal. Thou liest, thou jesting monkey, thou : 

( would, ray valiant master would destroy thee : 
I do not lie. 

Ste. Trinculo, if you trouble him any more in his 
tale, by this hand, I \v\\\ supplant some of your teeth. 

Trin. Why, I said nothing. [ceed. 

Sle. Mum then, and no more. — [To Caliban.] Pro- 

Cal. I say by sorcery he got this isle : 
?rom me he got it : if thy greatness will, 
Sevenge it on him — ^for, I know, thou dar'st ; 
8ut this thing dare not. 

Ste. That 's most cert,ain. 

Cal. Thou shall be lord of it, and I'll serve thee. 

Ste. How, now, shall this be compassed ? Canst 
Ihou bring me to the party ? 

Cal. Yea, yea, my lord : I'll yield him thee asleep. 
VVhere thou may'st knock a nail into his head. 

Ari. Thou liest; thou canst not. 

Cal. What a pied' niimy 's this ! Thou scurvy patch ! 
I do beseech thy greatness, give him blows. 
A.nd take his bottle from him : when tliat 's gone, 
He shall drink nought but brine ; for I'll not show him 
Where the quick freshes are. 

Sle. Trinculo, ran into no farther danger : interrupt 
the monster one word farther, and, by this liand, I'll 
turn my mercy out of doors, and make a stock-fish of 

Trin. Why, what did 1 ? I did nothing. I'll go 
farther oflT. 

Ste. Didst thon not say, he lied ? 

Ari. Thou liest. 

Ste. Do I so ? take thou that. [Strikes him.] As 
yon like this, give me the lie another time. 

Trin. I did not give the lie. Out o" your wits, and 
ncaring too ? A pox o' your bottle ! this can sack, and 
drinking do. A murrain on your monster, and the 
devil take your fingers ! 

Cal. Ha, ha, ha! 

Ste. Now, forward with your tale. Pr"ythee stand 
farther off. 

Cal. Beat him enough : after a little time, 
I'll beat him too. 

Ste. Stand farther. Come, proceed. 

Cal. Why, as I told thee, 'tis a custom with him 
[' the afternoon to sleep : then thou may'st brain him, 

Having first seiz'd his books : or with a log 

Batter his skull, or paunch him with a stake. 

Or cut liis wezand with thy knife. Remember, 

First to possess his books ; for without them 

He 's but a sot, as I am, nor hath not 

One spirit to command : they all do hate him. 

As rootedly as I. Burn but his books ; 

He has brave utensils, (for so he calls them) 

Which, when he has a house, he'll deck withal : 

And that most deeply to consider is 

The beauty of his daughter ; he himself 

Calls her a nonpareil : I never saw a woman, 

But only Sycorax my dam. and she; 

But she as far surpasseth Sycorax, 

As great'st does least. 

Sle. Is it so brave a lass ? 

Cal. Ay, lord ; she will become thy bed, I warrant 
And bring thee forth brave brood. 

Sle. Monster, I ■will kill this man : his daughter and 
I ■nill he king and queen ; (save our graces !) and 
Trinculo and thyself shall be viceroys. Dost thoo 
like the plot, Trinculo ? 

Trin. Excellent. 

Sle. Give me thy hand : I am sorry I beat thee ; bnt, 
while thou livest, keep a good tongue in thy head. 

Cal. Within this half hour will he be asleep ; 
Wilt thou destroy him then ? 

Sle. Ay, on mine honour. 

Ari, This will I tell my master. 

Cal. Thou mak'st me merry : I am full of pleasure. 
Let us be jocund : will you troll the catch 
You taught me but while-ere? 

Sts. At thy request, monster, I will do reason, any 

reason. Come on, Trinculo, let us sing. [Singi 

Flout 'em, and scout 'em; and scout 'em, and 

flout 'em .- 
Thought is free. 

Cal. That 's not the tune. 

[Ariel plays a tune on a Tabor and Pipe. 

Ste. What is this same ? 

Trin. This is the tune of our catch, played- by the 
picture of No-body. 

Ste. If thou beest a man, show thyself in thy like- 
ness : if thou beest a devil, take 't as thou list. 

Trin. O, forgive me my sins ! 

Ste. He that dies, pays all debts : I defy thee. — 
Mercy upon us ! 

Cal. Art thou afeard ? 

Sle. No. monster, not I. 

Cal. Be not afeard: the isle is full of noises. 
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt 

Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments 
Will hum about mine ears ; and sometimes' voices, 
That, if I then had wak'd after long sleep. 
Will make me sleep again : and then, in dreaming, 
The clouds, methought, would open, and show riches 
Ready to drop upon me, that when I wak'd 
I cry'd to dream again. 

Ste. This will prove a brave kingdom to me, where 
I shall have my music for nothing. 

Cal. When Prospero is destroyed. 

Ste. That shall be by and by : I remember the st«r>'. 

Trin. The sound is going away : let's follow it, and 
after do our work. 

Sle. Lead, monster ; we'll follow. — I would, I could 
see this laborer : he lays it on. 

Trin. Wilt come? I'll follow, Stephano. \Exeun: 

' Not in f. e. 
be *rufl attired 

' Dressed in motley, — this expression and ' 
' noraetime ; in f e 

patch" were epithetR odsn applied to foola Trinculo. aa " a jestert" vould 

(JOHNE m. 



SCENE III— Another part of the Island. 

Rnfer Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio. Gonzalo, 
Adrian. Francisco, and Others. 

Gim. By'r la'kin.' I can go no farther, sir ; 
My old bones ake: here's a maze trod, indeed, 
Through forth-rights, and meanderi ! by yotir patience, 
I needs must rest »ie. 

Alon. Old lord. I cannot blame thee. 

Who am myself attach'd with weariness. 
To the dulling of my spirits : sit down, and rent. 
Even here I will p>|t off my hope, and keep it 
No longer for my flatterer : he is drown'd. 
Whom thus we stray to find ; and the sea mocks 
Our frustrate search on land. Well, let him 50. 

Ant. 1 am right glad that he 's so out of hope. 

[Aside to Skbastian. 
Do not. for one repulse, forego the purpose 
That you resolv'd to effect. 

.S>A. The next advantasic 

Will we take thoroughly. 

.int. Let it bo to-night ; 

F"or, now they are opprcss'd with travel, they 
Will not, nor cannot, use such vigilance. 
As when they are fresh. 

Seb. I say, to-night: no more. 

( Snlemn and strange music ; and 1'rospero nhnn'e. invis- 

ihle. Enter several strange Shapes, bringing in a 

hanquet : they dance about it with gentle actions of 

.■salutations ; ami, inviting the King, fyc. to eal. they 


Alon. What harmony is this? my good friends, hark ! 

Gon. Marvellous sweet music ! 

Alon. Give us kind keepers, heavens ! What were 
these f 

Seb. A living drollery. Now I will believe 
That there are unicorns ; that in Arabia 
There is one tree, the phcenix' throne ; one phoenix 
At this hour reigning there. 

Ant. I'll believe both : 

And what does else want credit, come to me 
And I'll be sworn 'tis true : travellers ne'er did lie, 
Though fools at home condemn them. 

Gon. If in Naples 

I should report this now, would they believe me ? 
If I should say, I saw such islanders, 
(For, certes, these are people of the island) 
Who, though they are of monstrous shape, yet, note, 
Their manners are more gentle, kind, than of 
Our human generation you shall find 
Many, nay, almost any. 

Pro. [Aside.] Honest lord, 

Thou hast said well ; for some of you there present, 
Are worse than devils. 

.i!on. I cannot too much muse, fing 

Jueh shapes, such gestures,' and such sounds,' express- 
.\lthough they want the use of tongue) a kind 
Of excellent dumb discourse. 

Pro. [Aside.] Praise in departing, 

Fran. They vanish'd strangely. 

■SVi. No matter, since 

They have left their viands behind, for we have sto- 
machs. — 
Will 't please you taste of what is here? 

Alon. Not I. 

Gon. Faith, sir, you need not fear. When we were 

Who would believe that there were mountaineers 
Dew-lapp'd like bulls, who,se throats had hanging a' 

Wallets of flesh? or that there were such men. 
Whose head.' stood in their breasts ? which now, we find, 
Each putter-out of five for one* will bring .iii 
Good warrant of. 

Alon. I will stand to, and feed, 

Although my last : no matter, since 1 feel 
The best is past. — Brother, my lord the duke. 
Stand to, and do as we. 
Thunder and lightning. Enter Ariel, tike a harpy, 

claps his wings upon the table, and, with a (fiiaitU 

device, the banquet vanishes. 

Ari. You are three men of sin, whom destiny 
(That hatli to instrument tliis lower world, 
And what is iu"t) the never-surfeited sea 
Hath caused to belch up, and on this island 
Where man doth not inhabit; you 'mongst men 
Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad :' 
And even with such like valour men hang and drown 
Their proper selves. You fools ! I and my fellows 
Arc ministers of fate : the elements, 

[Alon., See., ^c., draw their Swords.' 
Of whom your swords are temper'd, may as well 
Wound the loud winds, or with bemoek'd-at stabs 
Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish 
One dowle' that s in my plume: my fellow-ministei 
Are like invulnerable. If you could hurt. 
Your swords are now too massy for your strengths. 
And will not be uplifted. But, remember, 
(For that's my business to you) that you three 
From Milan did supplant good Prosporo ; 
Expos'd unto the sea (which hath requit it) 
Him, and his innocent child : for which foul deed 
The powers, delaying not forgetting, have 
Incens'd the seas and shorot-, yea, all tlie creatures. 
Against your peace. Thee, of thy son, Alonso, 
They have bereft ; and do pronounce by me. 
Lingering perdition (worse than any death 
Can be at once) shall step by step attend 
You, and your ways ; whose wraths to guard you froni 
(Which here, in this most desolate isle, else falls 
Upon your heads) is nothing, but heart's sorrow, 
And a clear life ensuing. 
He vanishes in thniuler : then, to soft rmisic, enter the 

Shapes again, anil dance with mocks and mowes, ami 

carry out the table. 

Pro. \ Above.'] Bravely the figure of this harpy hart 
Perform'd, my Ariel ; a grace it had, devouring. 
Of my instruction hast thou nothing 'bated, 
In what thou hadst to say : so, with good life 
And observation strange, my meaner ministers 
Their several kinds have done. My high charms work 
And these, mine enemies, are all knit up 
In their distractions : they now arc in my power ; 
And in these fits I leave them, while I visit 
Young Ferdinand, (whom they suppose is drown'd) 
And his and my lov'd darling. [Exit Prospeho, 

Gon. V the name of something holy, sir, why stand you 
In this strange stare ? 

Alon. O, it is monstrous ! monsiroun ! 

Methought, the billows spoke, and told me of it; 
The winds did sing it to me ; and the thunder, 
That deep and dreadful organ-pipe, pronounc'd 
The name of Prosper : it did base my trespass. 

* By our lady-Kin. ' (jesture : in f. e. ' sound ; in f. e, 'A custom of old travellers to put out & sum of money at interest, at the 
-^wt^et of a journey, for which they received at the rate of five to one. if they return<>d. • f e. insert here this direction : Steitu 
Al ^»N , Sjib., ^c . draw theit Steoras. • Omitted in f e ^ A f^at/ur or particle of down • Aside : in f. » 




Therefore my son i' the ooze is hedded ; and 
''11 Be(ik him deeper than e'er plummet sounded, 
.■Vnd with him there lie mudded. [Exit. 

Scb. But one fiend at a time, 

I'll fight their legions o'er 

Ant. I'll be thy second. [Exeunt Seb. and Ant. 

Gon. All three of them are desperate • their great guilt, 

Like poison given to work a great time after. 
Now 'gins to bite the spirits. — I do beseech you, 
That are of suppler joints, follow them swiftly. 
And hinder them from what this ecstasy 
May now provoke them to. 

Adr Follow. I pray you. >Exeuni 


SCENE I.— Before Prospero's Cell. 
Enter Prospero, Ferdinand, and Miranda. 

Pro. If I have too austerely punish'd you, 
¥ lur compensation makes amends ; for I 
Have given you here a thread' of mine own life, 
Or that for which I live : whom once again 
I tender to thy hand. All thy vexations 
Were but my trials of thy love, and thou 
Hast strangely stood the test : here, afore Heaven, 
I ratify this my rich gift ! O Ferdinand ! 
Do not smile at me that I boast her off. 
For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise. 
And make it halt behind her. 

Per. I do believe it, 

Against an oracle. 

Pro. Then, as my gift, and thine own acquisition 
Worthily purchas'd, take my daughter: but 
If thou dost break her virgin knot before 
All sanctimonious ceremonies may. 
With full and holy rite, be minister'd, 
No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall 
To make this contract grow ; but barren hate. 
Sour-eyed disdain, and discord, shall bestrew 
The union of your bed with weeds so loathly. 
That you shall hate it both : therefore, take heed. 
As Hymen's lamps shall light you. 

Per. As I hope 

For quiet days, fair issue, and long life, 
With such love as 'tis now, the murkiest den. 
The most opportune place, the strong'st suggestion 
Our worscr genius can, shall never melt 
Mine honour into lust, to take away 
The edge of that day's celebration, 
When I shall think, or Phoebus' steeds are founder'd, 
Or night kept chain'd below. 

Pro. Fairly spoke. 

Sit then and talk with her; she is thine own. — 
What, Ariel ! my industrious servant Ariel ! 
Enter Ariel. 

Ari. What would my potent ma,ster? here I am. 

Pro. Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service 
Did worthily perform, and I must use you 
In such another trick. Go, bring the rabble. 
O'er whom I give thee power, here, to this place : 
Incite them to quick motion ; for I must 
Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple 
Some vanity of mine art ; it is my promise, 
And they expect it from me. 

Ari. Presently ? 

Pro. Ay, with a twink. 

Ari. Before you can say, " Come," and " go," 
And breathe twice; and cry, "so so ;' 
Each one, tripping on his toe, 
Will be here with mop and mow. 
Do you love me, master? no? 

> third : in f. e ^Surplusage. 'pertly — guicklji, sicilfully. • CooMe g-raj.?, used Bometimos for covering farm-buildings. ' pion— 
jt dig • twilled : in f. e. ' broom : in f. e ^ This direction is omitted in most modern editions ; " slowly" is added in tlie MS , 1632 

Pro. Dearly, my delicate Ariel Do not approncb 
Till thou dost hear me call. 

Ari. Well I conceive. [Exit 

Pro. Look, thou be true. Do not give dalliance 
Too much the rein : the strongest oaths are straw 
To the fire i' the blood. Be more abstemious, 
Or else, good night, your vow. 

Per. I warrant you, «ir_ 

The white-cold virgin snow upon my heart 
Abates the ardour of my liver. 

Pro. Well.— 

Now come, my Ariel ! bring a corollary,' 
Rather than want a spirit : appear, and pertly.' — 
No tongue all eyes : be silent, [Soft nmsic. 

A Masque. Enter Iris. 

Iris. Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas 
Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, ,Tnd peas: 
Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep, 
And flat meads thatch'd with stover,* them to keep : 
Thy banks with pioned' and tilled" brims. 
Which spongy April at thy best betrims. 
To make cold nymphs chaste crowns ; and thy brown' 

Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves. 
Being lass-lorn ; thy pole-elipt vineyard ; 
And thy sea-marge, steril, and rocky-hard. 
Where thou thyself dost air; the queen o' the sky, 
Whose watery arch and messenger am I, 
Bids thee leave these, and with her sovereign grace. 
Here on this grass-plot, in this very place, 

[Juno descends slmrly' 
To come and sport. Her peacocks fly amain : 
Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain. 
Enter Ceres. 

Cer. Hail, many-colour'd messenger, that ne'er 
Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter ; 
Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers 
Ditfusest honey-drops, refreshing showers; 
And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown 
My bosky acres, and my unshrubb'd down, 
Rich scarf to my proud earth ; why hath thy qaeen 
Summon'd me hither, to this short-graz'd green ? 

Iris. A contract of true love to celebrate, 
And some donation freely to estate 
On the bless'd lovers. 

Cer. Tell me, heavenly bow. 

If Venus, or her son, as thou dost know, 
Do now attend the queen? since they did plot 
The means that dusky Dis my daughter got, 
Her and her blind boy's seandal'd company 
I have forsworn. 

Iris. Of her society 

Be not afraid : I met her deity 
Cutting the clouds towards Paphos, and her son 
Dove-dravra with her. Here thought they to have done 
Some wanton charm upon this man and maid. 




Whose vows are. that no bed-right shall he paid 

Till Hymen's torch be lighted ; but in vain : 

Mars' hot minion is return'd again ; 

Her waspish-headed son has broke his arrows, 

Swears he will shoot no more, but play witli sparrows, 

And be a boy right out. 

Cer. Highest queen of state, 

Great Juno comes ; I know her by her gait. 
Enlcr Juno. 

Jun. How does my bounteous sister ? Go with me, 
To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be, 
And honour'd in their issue. 


Juno Nonoui , nches, marriage, blessing, 
Long continuance, and increasing, 
Hourly joys be still upon you ! 
Juno sings- her blessings on you} 
Earth's increase, foison plenty, 
Barns, and garners never empty ; 
Vines, with dust' ring bunches groiving ; 
Plants, with goodly burden bowing ; 
Rain' come to you. at tlie farthest, 
In the very end of liarvest ! 
Scarcity and want shall shun you ; 
Ceres' blessing so is on you. 
Per. This is a most majestic vision, and 
Harmonious charmingly. May I be bold 
To think these spirits ? 

Pio. Spirits, which by mine art 

I have from their confines call'd to enact 
My present fancies. 

Fer. Let me live here ever : 

So rare a wonder'd father, and a wife,' 
Makes this place Paradise. 
[Juno and Cereg whisper, and send Iris on employment. 
Pro. Sweet now, silence ! 
Juno and Ceres whisper seriously ; 
There's something else to do. Hush, and be mute. 
Or else our spell is marr'd. 

Iris. You nymphs, call'd Naiads, of the winding 
With your sedge* cro-mis, and ever harmless looks, 
Leave your crisp channels, and on this green land 
Answer vour summons : Juno does command. 
Come, temperate nyinph.s, and help to celebrate 
A contract of true love : be not too late. 

Enter certain Nymphs. 
You sun-burn'd sicklemen, of August weary, 
Come hitlier from the furrow, and be merry. 
Make holy-day : your rye-straw hats put on. 
And these fresh nymphs encounter every one 
In country footing. 

Enter certain Reapers, properly habited: they join with 
the Nymphs in a graceful dance ; towards the end where- 
of Pros, starts suddenly, and speaks ; after which, to a 
strange, hollow, and confused noise, they heavily vanish. 
Pro. [Aside.] I had forgot that foul conspiracy 
Of the beast Caliban, a,nd his confederates. 
Against my life ; the minute of their plot 
(s almost come. — [To the Spirits.] Well done. — 
Avoid ; — no more. 
Fer. This is strange : your father's in some passion 
That works him strongly. 

Mira. Never till this day, 

Saw I him touch'd ■with anger so distemper'd. 
Pro. You do look, my son, in a mov'd sort, 
As if you were dismay'd : be cheerful, sir. 
Our levels now are ended. These our actors, 

As I foretold you, were all spirits, and 
Are melted into air, into thin air 
Aiid,J ike the basele ss fabric of this visio n. 
The cloud-capp'd t owers, the gor geoug_iialai 

The joleiTiii~teiT ipIes, the gre at g lobe^itself^ 

Yeajalljwhieh iHnJieiTt,^ shaUjlissolvfe.. 

A ndTTIke t his insubstantial pageanH'aded,_ 

L eave not a~ra ck^T)ejjmd, ~We, are such Kbiff. 

.Ai"dreams are inade j3ii,_and our little life 

js rou nded with jtjleeE^^^^Sir,Tanrv"ex'^ : 

Bear with my weak^less ; my old brain is troubled : 

Be not disturb'd with my infirmity. 

If you be pleas'd retire into my cell, 

And tliere repose : a turn or two I'll walk. 

To still my beating mind. 

Fer. Mira. We wish your peace. \Eoceunl 

Pro. Come with a thought! — I thank thee. — Ariel 
come ! 

Enter Ariel. 

Ari. Thy thoughts I cleave to. What 's thy pleasure ' 

Pro. Spirit, 

We must prepare to meet wdth Caliban. 

Ari. Ay, my commander : when I presented Ceros. 
I thought to have told thee of it; but I fear'd 
Lest I might anger thee. 

Pro. Say again, where didst thou#leave these varlets ? 

Ari. I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking 
So full of valour, that they smote the air 
For breathing in their faces ; beat the ground 
For kissing of their feet, yet always bending 
Towards their project. Then I beat my tabor. 
At which, like unljack'd colts, they prick'd their ears, 
Advanc'd their eye-lids, lifted up their noses. 
As they smelt music : so I charin'd their ears, 
That, calf-like, they my lowing follow'd, through 
Tooth'd briers, sharp furzes, pricking gorse, and thoruj 
Which enter'd their frail skins :' at last I left them 
V the filthy mantled pool beyond your cell. 
There dancing up to the chins, that the foul lake 
O'erstiuik their feet. 

Pro. This was well done, my bird, 

Thy shape invisible retain thou still : 
The trumpery in my house, go, bring it hither. 
For stale" to catch these thieves. 

Ari. I go, I go. [Exit 

Pro. A devil; a born devil, on whose nature 
Nurture never can stick ; on whom my pains, 
Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost ; 
And as with age his body uglier grows. 
So his mind cankers. I will plague them all. 

Re-enter Ariel, loaden with glistering apparel, i(c. 
Even to roaring. — Come, hang them on this line. 

Ariel hangs them on the line, and with Prospero 
remains unseen.' 

Enter Caliban, Stephano, aiul Trinculo, all wet. 

Cal. Pray you, nead softly, that the blind mole ma 
Hear a foot fall : we now are near his cell. 

Ste. Monster, your fairy, which, you say, is a harm 
less fairy, has done little better than played the jack' 
with us. 

Trin. Monster, I do smell all horse-pii>s, at which 
my nose is in great indignation. 

Ste. So is mine. Do you hear, monster? If I should 
take a displeasure against you ; look you, — 

Trin. Thou wert but a lost monster. 

Cal. Good my lord, give me thy favour stiU. 
Be patient, for the prize I'll bring thee to 

* Ib f. e. the remainder of the song is given to Ceres. a Spring : m f. e ^ wise : in f. e * sedg'd : m (. e. * A vapor, (rom rut* 
« fihini : in f. 6 "^ A dtcoy * f. e. have onlv the direction, Probpbro and ARtsL remain unietn. ' Jack o' lantern. 



ACT y. 

Sliall hood-wink this mischance: therefore, speak softly; 
All 's hush'd as midnight yet. 

Trin. Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool, — 

Ste. There is not only disgrace and dishonour in 
that, monster, but an infinite loss. 

Trin. That's more to me than my -wetting: yet this 
i« your harmless fairy, monster. 

Ste. I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o'er ears 
tor my labour. 

Cat. Pr'ythee, my king, be quiet. Seest thou here ? 
This is the mouth o' the cell : no noise, and enter : 
Do that good mischiet, which may make this island 
Thine own for ever, and I, thy Caliban, 
For aye thy foot-licker. 

Ste. Give me thy hand. I do begin to liave bloody 

Trin. king Stephano ! peer ! O worthy Ste- 
phano ! look, what a wardrobe here is for thee ! 

[Seeing the apparel.' 

Cat. Let it alone, thou fool : it is but trash. 

Trin. 0, ho, monster ! we know what belongs to a 
'Vilipery.'— O king Stephano ! 

Ste. Put off that gown, Trinculo: by this hand, I'll 
have that gown. 

Trin. Thy grace shall have it. 

Cat. The dropsy dt-own this fool ! what do you mean, 
To doat thus on such luggage ? Let 't alone. 
And do the murder first : if he awake. 
From toe to crown he'll fill our skins with pinches ; 
Make us strange stuff. 

Ste. Be you quiet, monster. — Mistress line, is not 
this my jerkin y Now is the jerkin under the line: 
now, jerkin, you are like to lose your hair, and prove 
a bald jerkin. 

Trin. Do, do : we steal by line and level, and 't like 
your grace. 

Ste. 1 thank thee for tliat jest; here's a garment 
for 't : wit sliall not go unrewarded, while I am king of 
this country. '' Steal by line and level," is an excel- 
lent pass of pate ; there 's another garment for 't. 

I'rin. Monster, come ; put some lime upon your 
fingers, and away with the rest. 

Cat. I will have none on 't: we shall lose our time. 
And all be turn'd to barnacles, or to apes 
With foreheads villainous low. 

Ste. Monster, lay to your fingers : help to bear thii 
away where my hogshead of wine is, or I'll turn you 
out of my kingdom. Go to ; carry this. 

Trin. And this. 

Ste. Ay, and this. 
[A noise of hunters heard. Enter divers Spirits, in 

shape of hounds, and hunt them about ; Prospero 

a)ui Ariel setting them on.] 

Pro. Hey, Mountain, hey ! 

Ari. Silver ! there it goes. Silver ! 

Pro. Fury, Fury ! there, 'Tyrant, there ! hark, hark ! 
[Cal., Ste., and Trin. are driven out. 
Go, charge my goblins that they grind their joints 
With dry convulsions ; shorten up their sinews 
With aged cramps, and more pinch-spotted make them, 
Than pard, or cat o' mountain. [Cries and roaring ' 

Ari. Hark ! they roar. 

Pro. Let them be hunted soundly. At this hour 
Lie at my mercy all mine enemies : 
Shortly shall all my labours end, and thou 
Shalt have the air at freedom : for a little, 
Follow, and do me service. [Extunt 


SCENE I.— Before the Cell of Prospero. 
Enter Prospero in his magic robes ; and Ariel. 

Pro. Now does my project gather to a head : 
My charms crack not, my spirits obey, and time 
'Joes upright with his carriage. How's tlie day? 

.iri. On the sixth hour ; at which time, my lord, 
Voii said our work should cease. 

Pro. I did say so. 

When first I rais'd the tempest. Say, my spirit. 
How fares the king and 's followers? 

Ari. Confin'd together 

In the same fashion as you gave in charge : 
Just as you left them : all prisoners, sir. 
In the ?tne*-grove which weather-fends your cell; 
They cannot budge till your release. The king. 
His brother, and yours, abide all three distracted, 
And the remainder mourning over tliem, 
Bnm-full of sorrow, and dismay; btit chiefly 
Him that you term'd, sir, the good old lord, Gonzalo: 
His tears run down his beard, like winter's drops 
From eaves of reeds. Your charm so strongly works 

"I'hat if you now beheld them, your affections 
Would become tender. 

Pro. Dost thou think so, spirit? 

.iri. Mine would, sir, were I human. 

Pro. And mine shall. 

Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling 
or their afflictions, and shall not myselt. 

One of their kind, that relish all as sharply, 

Passion as they, be kindlier mov'd than thou art? 

Tho' with their high wrongs I am struck to the quick. 

Yet, with my nobler reason, 'gainst my fury 

Do I take part. The rarer action is 

In virtue, than in vengeance : they being penitent, 

The sole drift of my purpose doth extend 

Not a frown farther. Go; release them, Ariel. 

My charms I '11 break, their senses I '11 restore. 

And they shall be themselves. 

Ari. I'll fetch them, sir [Exit 

Pro. Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and 
groves ; 
And ye, that on the sands with printless foot 
Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him, 
When he comes back ; you demy-puppets, that 
By moonshine do the green-sward' ringlets make, 
Whereof the ewe not bites ; and you, whose pastime 
Is to make midnight mushrooms ; that rejoice 
To hear the solemn curfew ; by whose aid 
(Weak masters though ye be) I have be-dimm'd 
The noontide sun, call'd forth the mutinous winds, 
And 'twixt the green sea and the azur'd vault 
Set roaring war : to the dread rattling thunder 
Have I given fire, and rifted Jove's stout oak 
With his own bolt : the strong-bas'd promontory 
Have I made shake ; and by the spiws pluck'd up 
The pine and cedar : graves, at my conunand. 
Have waked their sleepers ; oped, and let them forfti 
By my so potent art. But this rough magio 

1 Not in f e. 'An old clo^ nhop. ' Not in f e. • The old wor'' for lim-i > ^rpcn-sfmr ; in f. e 

«CKNE 1. 



I here abjure : and. wlien I have requir'd 
Si'ine heavenly music, (which even now I do) 
To work mine end upon their senses, that 
Tliis airy eharm is lor, I'll break my staff, 
Bury it certain fatlioms in the earth, 
And, deeper than did ever plummet sound, 
I U drown my book. [Solemn viusic. 

Re-enter Ariel: after him Ai.onso, vlth a frantic 
gesture, attended by Goszalo; Sebastian and An- 
tonio in like manner, attended by Adrian and 
Francisco : Ihey all enter the eircle which Prospero 
had made, and there stand charmed ; which Prospero 
observing, speaks. 
A solemn air, and the best comforter 
To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains, 
Now useless, boil'd within thy Bkull ! There stand. 
For you are spell-stopp'd. — 
Noble' Gonzalo, honourable man. 
Mine eyes, even sociable to the flow' of thine, 
Fall fellowly drops. — Tlie charm dissolves apace; 
And as the morning steals upon the night, 
.Melting the darkness, so their rising senses 
Begin to chase the ignorant fumes that mantle 
rtieir clearer reason. — good Gonzalo ! 
.My true preserver, and a loyal servant^ 
To him thou follow'st, I will pay thy graces 
Home, both in word and deed. — .Most cruelly 
Didst thou, Alonso, use me and my daughter: 
Thy brother was a furtherer in the act : — 
Tliou'rtpinch'd lor 't now, Sebastian. — Pleshand blood, 
Voii brother mine, that ent.crt.ain'd ambition, 
Kxpell'd remorse and nature: who. with Sebastian. 
(Whose inward pinches therefore are most strong) 
Would here have kilTd your king: [ do forgive thee, 
(fimatural though thou art. — Their understanding 
Begins to swell, and the approaching tide 
Will shortly fill the reasonable shores, 
That now lie foul and muddy. Not one of them. 
That yet looks on me, e'er' would know me. — Ariel. 
F-ti'li me the hat and rapier in my cell ; [Exit Ariki.. 
1 will dis-case me, and myself present, 
A.-i 1 was sometime Milan. — Quickly, spirit; 
Thou shalt ere long be free. 

.Ariel re-enters singing, and helps to attire Prospero. 
Ari. Where the bee .•iucks, there .nick I ; 
In a cou-slip\s belt I lie : 
There I couch. When oirls do cry, 
On the bat's back Idofiy. 
After summer, merrily: 
Merrily, merrily, sltall I live now. 
Under the blo.'<som that hangs 07i the bough. 
Pro. Why. that 's my dainty Ariel ! I shall miss thee : 
But yet thou shalt have freedom :-^so, so, se. — 
To the king's ship, invisible as thou art : 
There shalt thou find the mariners asleep 
Under the hatches: the master, and the boatswain. 
Being awake, enforce them to this place, 
And presently, I prSi.hee. 

Ari. I drink the air before in>'. and return 
fir e'er your pulse twice beat. [Exit Ariel. 

^0)1. All torment, trouble, wonder, and amazement 
Inhabit here : some heavenly power guide us 
Out of this fearful country ! 

Pro. [Attired as Duke.^] Behold, sir king, 
The wronged duke of Milan. Prospero. 
For more assurance that a living prince 
Doi-a now speak to thee, I einbraeo thy body ; 
.\nd to thee, and thy company, I bid 
\ hearty welcome. 

' Holy : 

if. e. 

* shoir : in £ *. ' iir : m f. e. * or : in f. e. 

Alon. Whe'r thou beest he, or no. 

Or some enchanted devil* to abuse me. 
As late I have been, 1 not know : thy pulse 
Beats as of flesh and blood ; and, since I saw thee. 
Th' affliction of my mind amends, with which, 
I fear, a madness held me. This must crave 
(An if this be at all) a most strange story. 
Thy dukedom I resign ; and do entreat 
Thou pardon me thy wrongs. — But how should Prospero 
j Be living, and be here ? 

Pro. First, noble friend, 

Let me embrace thine age, whose honour cannot 
Be mcasur'd, or co\ifin'd. 

Gon. Whether this be, 

Or be not, I '11 not swear. 

Pro. You do yet taste 

Some subtleties o' the isle, that will not let you 
Believe things certain. — Welcome, my friends all. — 
But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded, 

[Aside to Seb. and Ant 
I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you, 
And justify you traitors : at this time 
I will tell no tales. 

Seb. [Aside.] The devil speaks in him. 

Pro. No.- 

For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother 
Would even infect my mouth. I do forgive 
Thy rankest faults' ; all of them ; and require 
My dukedom of thee, whi