« PreviousContinue »
in his remarks relative to the passage above quoted, he says, “We have no proof that he did not woo the dramatic muse even so early as 1587 or 1588; and therefore till soch proof shall be produced, Mr. Aubrey's assertion, founded apparently on the information of those who lived very near the time, is entitled to some weight.”
Shakspeare was interred on the second day after his death, in the chancel of Stratford church, where a monument still remains to his memory. It is constructed partly of marble and partly of stone, and consists of a half-length bust of the deceased, with a cushion before him, placed under an ornamental canopy, between two columns of the corinthian order, supporting an entablature. Attached to the latter is the Shakspeare arms and crest, sculptured iu bold relief. Beneath the bust are the following lines:
Judicio Pylivm, genio Socratem, arte Maronem,
Obiit Ano. Doi. 1616, ætatis 53, dic 23 Ap.
Good frend for Jesus' sake forbeare
And cyrst be he yt, moves my bones.
my,” in the last line. The imprecation, says Malone, was probably suggested by an appreheusion “that oor author's remains might share the saine fate with those of the rest of his countrymen, and be added to the immense pile of human bones deposited in the charnel-house at Stratford.”
Mrs. Shakspeare, who survived her husband eight years, was buried between his grave and the north wali
of the chancel, under a stone inlaid with brass, and inscribed thus:
“Heere lyeth interred the bodye of Anne, wife of Mr. Wil. liam Shakespeare, who depted. this life the 6th day of Avgvst, 1623, being or the age of 67 yeares.
Vbera, tv Mater, tv lac vitamq. dedisti,
Clavsa licet tymvló mater, et astra petet.” The family of Sbakspeare, as already mentioned, consisted only of one son and two daughters. The son died in 1596; but both the daughters survived their father. The eldest, Susanna, married Dr. John Hall, a physician of Stratford, who is said to have obtained much reputation and practice. She brought her husband an only child, Elizabeth, who was married, first, to Thomas Nashe, Esq. and afterwards to Sir John Barnard of Abingdon, in Northamptonshire; but had no issue by either of them. Judith, Shakspeare's second daughter, married Thomas Quiney, a gentleman of good family, by whom she had three children; but as none of them reached their twentieth year, they left no posterity. Hence our poet's last descendant was Lady Barnard, who was buried at Abingdon, Feb. 17 1669-70. Dr. Hall, her father, died Nov. 25, 1635, and her mother, July 11, 1649: and both were interred in Stratford church under flat stones, bearing inscriptions to their respective memories.
Shakspeare, by his Will, yet extant in the office of the Prerogative Court, and bearing date the 25th day of March, 1616, made the following bequests:
To his daughler Judith he gave 150l. of lawful English money; one hundred to be paid in discharge of her marriage portion, within one year after his decease, and the remaining fifty upon her giving up in favour of her elder sister, Susanna Hall, all her right in a copyhold tenement and appartenances parcel of the manor of Rowington. To the said Judith he also bequeathed 1501. more, if she or any of her issue were living three years from the date of his will; but in the
eontrary event, then he directed that 1001. of the sam should be paid to his niece, Elizabeth Hall, and the proceeds of the fifty to his sister, Joan, or Jone Hart, for life, with residue to her children. He further gave to the said Judith a broad silver gilt bowl.
To his sister Joan, beside the contingent bequest above mentioned, he gave twenty pounds and all his wearing apparel; also the house in Stratford, in which she was to reside for her natural life, under the yearly rent of twelve-pence.
To her three sons, William Hart, Hart, and Michael Hart, he gave five pounds a-piece; to be paid within one year aller bis decease.
To his grand-daughter, Elizabeth Hall, he bequeathed all his plate, the silver bowl above excepted.
To the poor of Stratford he bequeathed ten pounds; to Mr. Thomas Combe, his sword; to Thomas Russel five pounds; to Francis Collins, esq. thirteen pounds six shillings and eight-pence; to Hamlet (Hamnet) Sadler twenty-six shillings and eight-pence to buy a ring; and a like sum, for the same purpose, to Williamn Reynolds, gent. Anthony Nash, gent. John Hemynge, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell, his “fellows;" also twenty shillings in gold to his godson, William Walker.
To his daughter, Susanna Hall, he bequeathed Newplace, with its appurtenances; two messuages or tenements, with their appartenances, situated in Henleystreet (represented in the accoinpauying print); also all his " barns, stables, orchards, gardens, lands, tevements, and hereditaments whatsoever, siluate, lying, and being, or to be had, received, perceived, or taken, within the towns, hamlels, villages, fields, and grounds of Stratford-upon-Avon, Old Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe, or in any of them, in the said county of Warwick; and also all that messuage or tenement, with the appartenances, wherein one Jolin Robinson dwelleth, situated, lying, and being in the Blackfriars, London, near the Wardrobe; and all my other lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever: to bave and to hold all and singular the said premises, with their appurtenances, unto the said Susanna Hall, for and
d in ions
during the term of her natural life; and after her decease, to the first son of her body lawfully issuing, and to the heirs males of the body of the said first son, Jawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to the second son of her body lawfully issuing, and to the heirs males of the body of the said second son'lawfully issuing;" and so forth, as to the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sons of her body and their heirs males: “and for default of such issue, the said preinises to be and remain to my said neice Hall, and the heirs males of her body lawfully issuing; and for defaalt of such issue, to my daughter Judith, and the heirs males of her body lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to the right heirs of me the said Williain Sbakspeare.”
To the said Susanna Hall and her husband, whom he appointed executors of his will, under the direction of Francis Collins and Thomas Russel, esqrs. he further bequeathed all the rest of his “goods, chattels, leases, plate, jewels, and household stuff whatsoever,” after the payment of his debts, legacies, and funeral expenses ; with the exception of his “ second best bed with the furniture,” which constituted the only bequest he made to his wife, and that by insertion after the will was written out.
The houses mentioned above, as being situated in Henley-street, are those represented in the annexed wood cat. According to tradition, they originally constituted a single mansion, the residence of our poet's father, and the immediate scene of bis own birth. This view was sketched by Mr. W. Alexander, in June 1807 ; hut the figures, representing the procession at the Stratford Jubilee, are inserted from a drawing made by Samuel Ireland.
New-Place, the residence of Shakspeare, was occupied after his death by Mr. and Mrs. Hall, the latter of whom survived her husband several years. During her residence in it in her widowhood, it was honoured by the temporary abode of Henrietta Maria, queen to jarles the First. On the decease of Mrs. Hall, it ame the property of her daughter, Lady Barnard,
and was sold by her surviving executor, to Edward Naslı, Esq. who bequeathed it to his daughter Mary, wife of Sir Reginald Forster. By that gentleman it was sold to Sir John Clopton, a descendant from the original proprietor and founder. Here, under a mulberry tree planted by Shakspeare's own hand, Garrick, Macklin, and Delave, were hospitably entertained, when they visited Stratford, in 1742, by Sir Hugh Clopton, barrister at law, who repaired and beautified the house, instead of (as Malone asserts) pulling it down, and building another on its site. On his death it was sold, in 1752, by his son-in-law, Henry Talbot, Esq. to the Rev. Francis Gastrell, who cut down the mulberry tree to save himself the trouble of showing it to visitors.
With a few remarks on the accompanying Portrait, we must close the present essay. This is taken from the bust of the bard in Stratford church; and that head is indubitably the most authentic and probable likeness of the poet. It was executed soon after his decease, and according to the credible tradition of the town, was copied from a cast after nature. We also kpow that Leonard Digges mentions the “Stratford monument,” in his lines prefixed to the folio edition of Sbakspeare's plays of 1623; whence it is certain, that the bust was executed within seven years of the poet's death. The common practice in that age of executing monumental busts of illustrious and eminent persons, is also in favour of this at Stratford: but we have still a better criterion, and a more forcible argament in its behalf: one that “flashes conviction” to the eye of the intelligent artist and anatomist. This is the truth of drawing with the accuracy of muscular forms, and shape of the skall which distinguishes the bust now referred to, and which are evidences of a skilful sculptor. The head is cut out of a block of stone, and was formerly coloured in imitation of nature: but Mr. Malone prerailed on the present respectable clergyman of Stratford, to have it re-painted all over with white lead, &c. By this absurd and tasteless operation, the character and expression of the features are much injured: but it is proposed to divest the head of this exterior coal, and