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usually removed from the Blackfriars theatre, where they performed in the winter, to the Globe, on the Bankside, where they usually acted from the middle of April until late in the autumn. Dr. Simon Forman saw 66 Macbeth” acted “at the Globe, 1610, the 20th of April,” which, we apprehend, was soon after it opened for what we now call “ the season.”
The 25th of March, 1601, was the first day of the new legal year, for the historical year 1601 commenced on 1st January preceding. Whittington's will was no doubt drawn by a scrivener of Stratford, who observed the division of the legal year, and it was rather less than six months anterior to the death of our poet's father. Shakespeare had bought “New Place,” (the house built by the Cloptons in the reign of Henry VIII.) in or about 1597, and there his wife Anne was doubtless living in March, 1601, the date when she owed £2 to Thomas Whittington. That sum was then equal, it is supposed, to about £10 of our present money; and having some claim made upon her, which she could not discharge by instantly resorting to her husband, she perhaps supplied her immediate necessity by obtaining the money from the testator. This may have been the mode in which the “ debt". was tracted, which we may presume was fully discharged when our great dramatist made his next visit to his native town, if not before.
When Thomas Whittington died is not stated by Sir Thomas Phillipps, but probably the entry of his burial may be found in the registers of Stratford. He was “ of Shottery,” as we are told in his will, and Shottery was the place from which Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway, perhaps had originally come before she settled at Stratford, and where some members of her family had long resided. Two Hathaways, it will be seen presently, are mentioned in Whittington's will, although the circumstance does not appear to have attracted the attention it deserves. It may seem to render it likely that Anne Hathaway had come from Shottery, when we find her many
years afterwards applying to a person in that place for an advance of money, in the absence of her husband, but the two Hathaways in Whittington's will were “ of Old Stratford.”
We may presume that Shakespeare was very much occupied at the end of March, 1601, in superintending the getting up and rehearsal of a new play, for the opening of the Globe theatre in the middle of the coming month.
The two Hathaways, of whom we hear in Whittington's will, are Thomas and Margaret : the testator left 12d to «« Thomas Hathaway sonne to the late Margret Hathway” (so the name is in the last instance spelt): they are stated to be of Old Stratford, and not of Shottery, which might lead to the supposition that Anne Hathaway, the wife of Shakespeare, was also of Old Stratford: in the marriage bond of Richardson and Sandells she is stated to be “ of Stratford.” My conjecture, when I wrote the Life of Shakespeare, was that, although her family resided at Shottery, she was in some way settled at Stratford anterior to her marriage. She may, however, have been one of the Hathaways of Old Stratford, the sister of Thomas, and daughter of “the late Margret Hathway,” and therefore described in the preliminary marriage bond as “of Stratford.” Henslowe's Diary establishes that there was a Richard Hathaway, a dramatist, contemporary with Shakespeare, and there is at least nothing to show that he was not related to Shakespeare's wife : he had the same Christian name as her father.
Another circumstance in the will of Thomas Whittington merits a passing notice ; it relates to the family of Heminge, or Hemyngs, of which we conjecture that John Heminge (the joint-editor with Henry Condell of the folio of Shakespeare's Works in 1623) was a member. There is a bequest of two shillings to “ Jone Hemyngs the elder,” and of 4d to Margaret Hemyng,” (omitting the s) without stating where they resided. Now, we know that a John and a Richard Heminge were settled at Shottery anterior to the year 1567, and to this
family Jone and Margaret Hemyngs, or Hemyng, may have belonged. Of course, such small bequests as two shillings, and fourpence, were only intended by the testator as “memorials of his love." I feel very little doubt that John Heminge, the actor in Shakespeare's plays, was of this family; and that, like several other members of the company of the Lord Chamberlain's servants, he came from Stratford or its neighbourhood.
We are much indebted to Sir Thomas Phillipps for the discovery of this new fact, however minute or apparently unimportant taken by itself. We are to bear in mind (a circumstance with which I was not before acquainted) that he was the first finder at Worcester of the bond given by Richardson and Sandells anterior to the marriage of Shakespeare ; and it is to be earnestly hoped that his researches in the same and other quarters will hereafter be equally successful. His name is now indissolubly connected with the biography of our great dramatist.
J. PAYNE COLLIER.
Kensington, 10 May, 1847.
Art. XV.—Conjectures on some of the Corrupt or Obscure Pas
sages of Shakespeare.
MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.
Act V., SCENE 5.
“Enter Sir Hugh Evans, like a satyr; Mrs. QUICKLY and
PISTOL; ANNE PAGE, as the Fairy Queen, &c.
Queen. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,” &c. Thus Mr. Collier commences this scene.
- At the suggestion of the Rev. Mr. Harness,” (he says in a note) “I have no difficulty in assigning this and other speeches to the Fairy Queen, or Anne Page, so disguised: they are quite out of character with Mrs. Quickly, to whom they have hitherto been given. The prefix in the old copies [4to. 1630 and folios) is Qu. and Qui.; but it was an easy error of the press, and much more probably so, than that such a part should have been entrusted to Mrs. Quickly.”
This is very true, and Mr. Harness's conjecture is very ingenious; but in the 4tos. 1602 and 1619, the stage-direction is “ Mistresse Quickly, like the Queene of the Fayries,” and the prefixes are all Qui. Quic. or Quick. There is no authority in any copy
for the stage-direction, " Anne page as the Fairy Queen,” &c.; the 4to., 1630, and folios reading only, “ Enter Falstaff, Mistris Page, Mistris Ford, Evans, Anne page, Fairies, Page, Ford, Quickly," &c. Both Mrs. Page and Fenton, in preceding scenes, in the latest 4to., and in the folio editions, have informed us that Anne Page was to present the Fairy Queen; but we find Mrs. Quickly acting that part, both in the folios and the 4tos. The part of Queen was too prominent a one for Anne to play that night, and would have betrayed her voice to both Slender and Caius.
COMEDY OF ERRORS.
Act I., SCENE 2.
“ I to the world am like a drop of water,
“Falling to find” is a very awkward expression. I would read failing. The argument requires some word to show that the drop did not find his fellow; and it had already been said that the drop fell, by the words, “in the ocean seeks.” Now the only question is, whether the drop succeeded or failed.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
Act III., SCENE 4.
Beatrice. Heigh ho !
Enough there is, and more than enough, of contemporary literary illustration of Shakespeare ; but it is surprising that the following passage has hitherto escaped all the commentators
• Dolor intimus.
Wit's Recreations, 1640.
Although this collection of Epigrams was not published till 1640, yet its contents are both old and new. Many of them doubtless had been in vogue before the date of this play.