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except Joan Hart, I think it highly probable that they were all dead in 1616, except her. The truth is, that this account came originally from Mr. Jones of Tarbrick, who related it from the information, not of one of Shakspeare's brothers, but of a relation of our poet, who lived to a good old age, and had seen him act in his youth. Mr. Jones' informer might have been Mr. Richard Quiney; and a thousand other conjectures Malone adds. Now, every word of this is hypothesis, and most unwarrantable. Oldys says nothing about Jones; why then is the story referred to him, and, if justly to him, why is not his assertion, that it was a brother of Shakspeare who saw him play Adam, to be believed? It is well ascertained that all Shakspeare's brothers and sisters were dead previous to 1616, except Joan and Gilbert. Gilbert, therefore, was the brother alluded to by Oldys. And what has Malone to say to this? Why, “I shall, in its proper place, show that the anecdote of one of Shakspeare's brothers having lived till after the restoration, is utterly impossible to be true.” (Vol. ii. p. 141. note.). It is much to be regretted, that the “proper place" never occurred for the display of his overwhelming evidence. Till it is produced, let it be remembered that, as yet, nothing whatever is known of Gilbert Shakspeare, except that Oldys "computed” his existence to have extended to a period subsequent to the restoration.
Note 0. A few additional particulars of the history of New Place will not, perhaps, be unacceptable to the reader. The house was originally built by Sir Hugh Clopton, in the time of Henry the Seventh, and was then “a fair house, built of brick and timber” (Dagdale), and continued in the Clopton family until 1563, when it was bought by William Bott, and re-sold in 1570 10 William Underhill, Esq., of whom Shakspeare purchased it'in 1597. On Shakspeare's death, New Place came to his daughter, Mrs. Hall; and then to her only child, Elizabeth Nash, afterwards Lady Barnard. In the house of Shakspeare, Mr. and Mrs. Nash enjoyed the remarkable distinction of entertaining Henrietta Maria, the wife of Charles the First, who, during the civil war in 1643, kept her court for three weeks in New Place. After Lady Barnard's death, in 1670, by a variety of changes, it reverted to the possession of the Clopton family, and Sir Hugh Clopton so completely modernized it, by internal and external alterations, as to confer on it the character of a new building altogether. In 1742, Macklin, Garrick, and Dr. Delaney, were entertained under Shakspeare's mulberry-tree by Sir Hugh. His son-in-law, Henry Talbot, Esq., sold New Place to the Rev. Francis Gastrell, vicar of Fordsham, in Cheshire. The mulberry-tree first became an object of dislike to its reverend posses-
because it subjected him to the frequent importunities of travellers, whose veneration for Shakspeare prompted them to visit it.
In an evil hour he cut it down, and hewed it to pieces for firewood. The greater part, however, was purchased by Thomas Sharp, a watchmaker in Stratford, who turned it to wonderful advantage by converting every fragment into trifling articles of utility or ornament. A disagreement between Mr. Gastrell and the overseers of the parish, respecting an assessment for the maintenance of the poor, fixed the final fate of New Place. In the heat of his anger, he declared, that that house should never be assessed again : in 1759, he pulled it down, and sold the materials. Here it is, with pleasure, added, that Mr. Gastrell left Stratford amidst the rage and execrations of the inhabitants. (Wheeler's Guide to, and History of, Stratford.)
Note P. When Shakspeare made his will, his wife was, at first, forgotten altogether, and only became entitled to her legacy under the benefit of an interlineation. To those in search of subjects for controversy, the temptation was irresistible. Malone acknowledges the bard's contempt for his wife, and, thinking it derogatory to his penetration not to be able to account for it, makes him jealous of her. Steevens, rightly enough, defends the lady, but forgetting, for once, his knowledge of his life, appears quite unconscious that husbands, as well as wives, are occasionally false. The conversion of the bequest of an inferior piece of furniture into a mark of peculiar tenderness,
"The very bed that on his bridal night
Received him to the arms of Belvidera,” is not much in the usual style of this very knowing commentator.
Note Q. Sonnets 33, 34, 35. 40 -2. 120. It is natural that love and friendship should be the subjects of Shakspeare's Sonnets; and these Sonnets contain abundant evidence of the statements in the text. Perhaps other circumstances regarding the poet remain to be discovered; but hitherto most of the endeavours to trace the mind of Shakspeare in his Sonnets have been dreams and conjectures wilder and more absurd than the fancies of Warburton. The subject of the greater number of the Sonnets was, undoubtedly, a male friend of the poet, and Shakspeare's praise of the personal beauty and accomplishments of the favoured youth are far too ardent to be pleasing 1). The hundred and twentysixth is the last stanza to the "lovely boy,” and a transition is then made to the lady whose inconstancy to Shakspeare, and attachment to his bewitching friend, have been already noticed.
1) Sonnets 18, 19, 20–32, 39. 43. 47.
MISCE L L A NEOUS PO EM S.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
VENUS AND ADONIS.
And trembling in her passion calls it balm;
Being so enraged, desire doth lend her force,
Courageously to pluck him from his horse. Vilia miretur vulgus, mihi flavus Apollo
Over one arm the lasty courser's rein,
Under the other was the tender boy,
With leaden appetite, unapt to toy:
She red and hot, as coals of glowing fire,
He red for shame, but frosty in desire.
The studded bridle on a ragged bough,
The steed is stalled up, and even now
To tie the rider she begins to prove. I know not how I shall offend, in dedicating my
Backward she push'd him, as she would be thrust, unpolished lines to your lordship; nor how the world will censure me, for choosing so strong a prop
And govern'a him in strength, though not in lust. to support so weak a burden: only if your honour so soon was she along, as he was down, seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, Each leaning on their elbows and their hips : and vow to take advantage of all idle hours, till I Now doth she stroke his cheek, now doth he frown, have honoured you with some graver labour. But And 'gins to chide, but soon she stops his lips : if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I And kissing speaks, with lustful language broken, shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and never If thou wilt chide, thy lips shall never open. after ear so barren a land, for fear it yield me still
He burns with bashful shame; she, with her tears, so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheeks: survey, and your honour to your heart's content; Then with her windy sighs and golden hairs, which I wish may always answer your own wish, To fan and blow them dry again she seeks. and the world's hopeful expectation.
He says she is immodest, blames her miss ; Your Honour's in all duty,
What follows more, she murders with a kiss.
Even as an empty eagle, sharp by fast,
Shaking her wings, devouring all in haste,
Forced to consent, but never to obey, And like a bold-faced suitor 'gins to woo him. She feedeth on the steam as on a prey, *Thrice fairer than myself!'thus she began, And calls it, heavenly moisture, air of grace; The field's chief flower! sweet above compare! Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowers, Stain to all nymphs! more lovely than a man!
So they were dew'd with such distilling showers. More white and red, than doves or roses are ! Nature, that made thee with herself at strife,
Look how a bird lies tangled in a net, Saith, that the world hath ending with thy life. So fasten'd in her arms Adonis lies: 'Vouchsafe, thon wonder! to alight thy steed,
Pure shame and awed resistance made him fret;
Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes. Avd rein his proud head to the saddle-bow;
Rain added to a river, that is rank, If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed
Perforce will force it overflow the bank. A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know.
Here come and sit, where serpent never hisses, Still she entreats, and prettily entreats ;
And being set, I'll smother thee with kisses. Por to a pretty ear she tanes her tale: And yet not cloy thy lips with loath'd satiety,
Still he is sullen, still he lowers and frets, But rather famish them amid their plenty;
'Twixt crimson shame, and anger ashy pale. Making them red and pale with fresh variety:
Being red, she loves bim best ; and being white, Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty.
Her breast is better'd with a more delight. A summer's day will seem an hour but short, Look how he can, she cannot choose bnt love ;
Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport. And by her fair immortal hand she swears,
Till he take truce with her contending tears;
Which long have rain'd, making her cheeks all wet, Witness this primrose-bank, whereon I lie,
And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt. These forceless flowers,like sturdy trees,support me: Upon this promise did he raise his chin, Two strengthless doves will draw me through the Like a dive-dapper peering through a wave,
sky, Who, being look'd on, ducks as quickly iu : From morn till night, even where I list to sport me. So offers he to give what she did crave:
Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be, But when his lips were ready for his pay,
That thou shouldst think it heavy unto thee? He winks, and turns his lips another way. 'Is thine own heart to thine own face affected ? Never did passenger, in summer's heat,
Can thy right hand seize love upon thy left? More thirst for drink, than she for this good turn, Then woo thyself, be of thyself rejected, Her help she, sees; but help she cannot get,
Steal thine own freedom, and complain of theft. She bathes in water, yet in fire must burn.
Narcissus so himself, himself forsook, "Oh pity,' 'gan she cry, 'flint-hearted boy! And died to kiss his shadow in the brook.
'Tis but a kiss I beg, why art thou coy? "Torches are made to light, jewels to wear, I have been woo’d, as I entreat thee now, Dainties to taste, fresh beauty for the use, Even by the stern and direful god of war,
Herbs for their smell, and sappy plants to bear; Whose sinewy neck in battle ne'er did bow, Things growing to themselves are growth's abuse: Who conquers where he comes in every jar: Seeds spring from seeds, and beauty breedeth Yet hath he been my captive and my slave,
beauty; And begg'd for that which thou unask'd shalt have. Thou wert begot, to get it is thy duty. 'Over my altars hath he hung his lance,
‘Upon the earth's increase why shouldst thou feed, His batter'd shield, his uncontrolled crest; Unless the earth with thy increase be fed ? And for my sake hath learn’d to sport and dance, By law of vature thou art bound to breed, To coy, to wanton, dally, smile and jest; That thine may live, when thou thyself art dead:
Scorning his churlish drum, and ensigo red, And so, in spite of death, thou dost survive,
Making my arms his field, his tent my bed. In that thy likeness still is left alive.' "Thus he, that over-ruled, I over-sway'd,
By this the love-sick queen began to sweat, Loading him prisoner in a red rose chain : For, where they lay, the shadow had forsook them; Strong temper'd steel, his stronger strengthobey'd, And Titan, tired in the mid-day heat, Yet was he servile to my coy disdaiu.
With burning eye did hotly overlook them : Oh be not proud, nor brag not of thy might, Wishing Adonis had his team to guide,
For mast'ring her, that foild the god of tight! So he were like him, and by Venus' side. "Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine, And now Adonis with a lazy spright, (Though mine be not so fair, yet they are red) And with a heavy, dark, disliking eye, The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine, His low'ring brows, o'erwhelming his fair sight, What scest thou on the ground ? Hold up thy head: Like misty vapours, when they blot the sky;
Look in mine eye-balls where thy beauty lics, Souring his cheeks, cries, 'fie, no more of love, Then why not lips on lips, since eyes on eyes ? The sun doth burn my face, I must remove.' Art thou ashamed to kiss? Then wink again,
'Ah me!' quoth Venus, ‘young, and so unkind : And I will wink, so shall the day seem night,
What bare excuses makest thou to be gone? Love keeps his revels, where there be but twain ;
I'll sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight.
Shall cool the heat of this descending sun. These blue-vein'd violets, whereon we lean,
I'll make a shadow for thee of my hairs, Never can blab, nor know not what we mean.
If they burn too, l'll quench them with my tears.
“The sun that shines from heaven shines but warm, "The tender spring, upon thy tempting lip,
And, lo, I lie between the sun and thee! Shews thee unripe; yet may'st thou well be tasted : The heat I have from thence doth little harm, Make use of time, let not advantage slip,
Thiue eyes dart forth the fire that burneth me, Beauty within itself should not be wasted.
And, were I not immortal, life were done, Fair flowers, that are not gather'd in their prime,
Between this heav'nly and this earthly sun. Rot and consume themselves in little time.
'Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel? 'Were I hard favour'd, foul, or wrinkled old, Nay more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth: Ill-natured, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice, Art thou a woman's son, and canst not feel O'er-worn, despised, rheumatic and cold, What 'tis to love, how want of love tormenteth? Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice, Oh! had thy mother born so bad a mind, Then might'st thou pause, for then I were not for She had not brought forth thee, but died unkiod. thee,
What am I, that thou shouldst contemn me thas? But, having no defects, why dost abhor me?
Or what great danger dwells upon my suit? 'Thou canst not see one wrinkle in my brow, What were thy lips the worse for one poor kiss? Mine eyes are grey, and bright, and quick in turning; Speak fair : but speak fair words, or else be mute. My beauty, as the spriog, doth yearly grow;
Give me one kiss, I'll give it thee again, My flesh is soft and plump, my marrow burning; And one for in:'rest, if thou wilt have twain. My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt, Fie, lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone,
Would in thy palm dissolve, or seem to melt. Well-painted idol, image dull and dead; 'Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear,
Statue contenting but the eye alone, Or, like a fairy, trip upon the green,
Thing like a man, but of no woman bred. Or, like a nymph, with long dishevell'd hair,
Thou art po man, though of a man's complexion, Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen.
For men will kiss even by their own direction.' Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue, Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire. And swelling passion doth provoke a pause;
Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong, He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak, Look when a painter would surpass the life,
In limning out a well-proportion'd steed, Sometimes she shakes her head, and then his hand ; His art, with nature's workmanship at strife, Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground; As if the dead the living should exceed: Sometimes her arms infold him like a band;
So did this horse excel a common one, She would, he will not in her arms be bound: In shape, in courage, colour, pace, and bone. And when from thence he struggles to be gone, Round-hoof'd, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and She locks her lily fingers one in one.
long, 'Fondling,' she saith, ‘since I have hemm'd thee Broad breast, full eyes, small head, and nostril wide, here,
High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing "Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
strong, I'll be the park, and thou shalt be my deer, Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide. Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale; Look, what a horse should have, he did not lack,
Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry, Save a proud rider on so proud a back.
Sometimes he scuds far off, and there he stares; Within this limit is relief enough,
Anon he starts at stirring of a feather: Sweet bottom grass, and high delightful plain, To bid the wind abase he now prepares, Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough, And where he run, or fly, they know not whither. To shelter thee from tempest and from rain. For throngh his mane and tail the high wind sings,
Then be my deer, since I am such a park; Fanning the hairs, which heave like feather's
No dog shall rouze thee, thongh a thousand bark.' wings. At this Adonis smiles, as in disdain,
He looks upon his love, and neighs unto her; That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple; She answers him, as if she knew his mind: Love made those hollows, if himself were slain, Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her, He might be buried in a tomb so simple: She pnts on outward strangeness, seems nokind,
Foreknowing well, if there he came to lie, Spurns at his love, and scorns the heat he feels,
Why there love lived, and there he could not die. Beating his kind embracements with her heels. These loving caves, these round enchanting pits, Then, like a melancholy malecontent, Open’d their mouths to swallow Venus' liking: He vails his tail, that like a falling plume, Being mad before, how doth she now for wits? Cool shadow to his melting buttocks lent; Struck dead at first, what needs a second striking? He stamps and bites the poor flies in his fume:
Poor queen of love, in thine own law forlorn, His love perceiving how he is enraged,
To love a cheek that smiles at thee with scorn! Grew kinder, and his fury was assuaged. Now which way shall she turn? What shall she say? His testy master goes about to take him, Her words are done, her woes the more increasing: When lo! the unback'd breeder, full of fear, The time is spent, her object will away,
Jealous of catching, swiftly doth forsake him, And from her twining arms doth urge releasing. With her the horse, and left Adonis there.
'Pity,' she cries, some favour, some remorse!' As they were mad, unto the wood they hie them, Away he springs, and hasteth to his horse.
Out-stripping crows, that strive to over-fly them. But, lo! from forth a copse that neighbours by,
All swoln with chasing, down Adonis sits, A breeding jennet, lusty, young, and proud,
Banning his boist'rous and unruly beast. Adonis' trampling courser doth espy,
And vow the happy season once more hits, And forth she rushes, snorts, and neighs aloud:
That love-sick Love, by pleading may be blest. The strong-neck'd steed, being tied unto a tree, For lovers say, the heart hath treble wrong, Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he.
When it is barr'd the aidance of the tongue. Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds, And now his woven girts he breaks asunder;
An oven that is stopp'd, or river staid, The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds,
Burneth more hotly, swelleth with more rage: Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven's thun- Free vent of words love's fire doth assuage :
So of concealed sorrow may be said; der. The iron bit he crushes 'tween his teeth,
But when the heart's attorney once is mute, Controlling what he was controlled with.
The client breaks, as desperate in his suit. His ears up-prick'd, his braided hanging mane
He sees her coming, and begins to glow, Upon his compass'd crest, now stands on end: Even as a dying coal revives with wind; His nostrils drink the air, and forth again,
And with his bonnet hides his angry brow, As from a fornace, vapours doth he send:
Looks on the dull earth with disturbed mind; His eye, which glistens scornfully like fire, Taking no notice, that she is so nigh, Shews his hot courage, and his high desire.
For all askance he holds her in his eye.
How she came stealing to the wayward boy;
But now her cheek was pale, and by and by Of the fair breeder that is standing by.
It flash'd forth fire, as lightning from the sky. What recketh he his rider's angry stir,
Now was she just before him, as he sat,
Her other teoder hand his fair cheeks feels :
His tender cheeks receive ker soft hand's print, 'You hurt my hand with wringing: let us part As apt, as new-fallen snow takes
dint. And leave this idle theme, this bootless chat; 0! what a war of looks was then between them!
Remove your siege from my unyielding heart,
To love's alarms it will not ope the gate.
Dismiss your vows, your feigu'd tears, your flattery; Her eyes woo'd still, his eyes disdain'd the wooing :
For where the heart is hard, they make no battery. And all this dumb play had his acts made plain, What! canst thou talk?' quoth she, “Hast thou a
With tears, which chorus-like, her eyes did rain. tongue? Full gently now she takes him by the hand,
0! would thou hadst pot, or I had no hearing! A lily prison'd in a jail of snow,
Thy mermaid's voice hath done me double wrong! Or ivory in an alabaster band,
I had my load before, now press'd with bearingo So white a friend engirts so white a foe!
Melodious discord! Heavenly tune harsh-soundThis beauteous combat, wilful and unwilling,
ing! Shew'd like to silver doves, that sit a billing.
Earth's deep sweet music! and heart's deep sore
wounding! Once more the engine of her thoughts began : O fairest mover on this mortal round!
' Had I no eyes, but éars, my ears would love Would thou wert, as I am, and I a man,
That inward beauty, and invisible ;
For one sweet look my help I would assure thee. Each part of me, that were but sensible,
Though neither eyes, nor ears to hear nor see, thee.'
Yet should I be in love, by touching thee. "Give me my hand,' saith he, 'why dost thou feel it?"\Say, that the sense of feeling were bereft me, "Give me thy heart,' saith she, and thou shalt have it. And that I could not see, nor hear, nor touch,
And nothing but the very smell were left me, 0! give it me, lest thy hard heart do steel it; And being steeld, soft sighs can never grave it: Yet would my love to thee be still as much : Then lore's deep groans I never shall regard,
For from the stillatory of thy face excelling Because Adonis heart hath made mine hard.
Comes breath perfumed, that breedeth love by
smelling 'For shame,' he cries, ‘let go, and let me go, My day's delight is past, my horse is gone,
“But oh! what banquet wert thou to the taste, And 'tis your fault, I am bereft him so:
Being nurse and feeder of the other four! I pray you henee, and leave me here alone. Would they not wish the feast should ever last, For all my mind, my thought, my busy care,
And bid suspicion double-lock the door; Is how to get my palfrey from the mare.'
Lest jealousy, that sour unwelcome guest,
Should by his stealing in disturb the feast.' Thus she replies: ‘Thy palfrey, as he should, Welcomes the warm approach of sweet desire:
Once more the ruby-colour'd portal open'd,
Which to his speech did honey passage yield; Affection is a coal, that must be cool'd; Else, suffer'd, it will set the heart on fire.
Like a red morn, that ever yet betoken'd, The sea hath bounds, but deep desire hath none;
Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, Therefore no marvel though thy horse be gone.
Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds,
Gust and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds. “How like a jade he stood, tied to a tree,
This ill presage advisedly she marketh, Servilely master'd with a leathern rein!
Even as the wind is hush'd before it raineth, But when he saw his love, his youth's fair fee,
Or as the wolf doth grin before he barketh, He held such petty bondage in disdain ;
Or as the berry breaks before it staineth; Throwing the base thong from his bending crest,
Or like the deadly bullet of a gun, Eofranchising his mouth, his back, his breast.
His meaniog struck her, ere his words beguo. 'Who sees his true love in her naked bed, And at his look she flatly falleth down, Teaching the sheets a whiter hue than white, For looks kill love, and love by looks reviveth: But when his glutton eye so full hath fed, A smile recures the wounding of a frown, His other agents aim at like delight?
But blessed bankrupt, that by love so thriveth! Who is so faint, that dare not be so bold The silly boy believing she is dead, To touch the fire, the weather being cold?
Claps her pale cheek, till clapping makes it red. 'Let me excuse thy courser, gentle boy,
And in amaze brake off his late intent,
Which cunning love did wittily present, Though I were dumb, yet his proceedings teach thee, Fair fall the wit, that can so well defend her: 0! learn to love, the lesson is but plain,
For on the grass she lies, as she were slain, And, once made perfect, dever lost again.' Till his breath breathed life in her again. “I know not love,' quoth hé, 'nor will I know it, He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheeks, Unless it be a boar, and then I chase it;
He bends her fingers, holds her pulses hard, 'Tis much to borrow, and I will not owe it, He chases her lips, a thousand ways he seeks My love to love is love but to disgrace it;
To mend the hurt, that his unkindness marr'd; For I have heard it is a life in death,
He kisses her, and she, by her good will, That laughs, and weeps, and all but in a breath Would never rise, so he will kiss her still. 'Who wears a garment shapeless and unfinish'd ? The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day, Who placks the bud before one leaf put forth? Her two blue windows faintly she up-heaveth ; If springing things be any jöt diminish'd,
Like the fair sun, when in his fresh array,
The colt that's back'd, and burden'd being young, And as the bright sun glorifies the sky,