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SHAKESPEARE


in a volume of miscellaneous verse called The Passionate Pilgrim. This was ascribed upon the title-page to Shakespeare, but probably, so far as most of its contents were concerned, without justification. The bulk of Shakespeare's sonnets remained unpublished until 1609.

About 1610 Shakespeare seems to have left London, and entered upon the definite occupation of his house at New t Place, Stratford. Here he lived the life of a retired

j:;, s gentleman, on friendly if satirical terms with the

richest of his neighbours, the Combes, and interested in local affairs, such as a bill for the improvement of the highways in 1611, or a proposed enclosure of the open fields at Welcombe in 1614, which might affect his income or his comfort. He had his garden with its mulberry-tree, and his farm in the immediate neighbourhood. His brothers Gilbert and Richard were still alive; the latter died in 1613. His sister Ioan had married William Hart, a hatter, and in 1616 was dwelling in one of his houses in Henley Street. Of his daughters, the eldest, Susanna, had married in 1607 John Hall (d. 1635), a physician of some reputation. They dwelt in Stratford, and had one child, Elizabeth, afterwards Lady Barnard (1608-1670). The younger, Judith, married Thomas Quiney, a vintner, also of Stratford, two months before her father's death. At Stratford the last few of the plays may have been written, but it is reasonable to suppose that Shakespeare's connexion with the King's company ended when the Globe was burnt down during a performance of Henry VIII. on the 29th of June 1613. Certainly his retirement did not imply an absolute break with London life. In 1613 he devised an impresa, or emblem, to be painted by Richard Burbage, and worn in the tilt on Accession day by the earl of Rutland, who had been one of the old circle of Southampton and Essex. In the same year he purchased for £140 a freehold house in the Blackfriars, near the Wardrobe. This was conveyed to trustees, apparently in order to bar the right which his widow would otherwise have had to dower. In 1615 this purchase involved Shakespeare in a lawsuit for the surrender of the title-deeds. Richard Davies, a Gloucestershire clergyman of the end of the 17th century, reports that the poet “ died a papist, ” and the statement deserves more attention than it has received from biographers. There is indeed little to corroborate it; for an alleged “ spiritual testament ” of John Shakespeare is of suspected origin, and Davies's own words suggest a late conversion rather than an hereditary faith. On the other hand, there is little to refute it beyond an entry in the accounts of Stratford corporation for drink given in 1614 to “ a preacher at the Newe Place.” Shakespeare made his will on the 25th of March 1616, apparently in some haste, as the executed deed is a draft with many Wm erasures and interlineations. There were legacies to his daughter Judith Quiney and his sister Joan Hart, and remembrances to friends both in Warwickshire and in London; but the real estate was left to his sister Susanna Hall under a strict entail which points to a desire on the part of the testator to found a family. Shakespeare's wife, for whom other provision must have been made, is only mentioned in an interlineation, by which the “ second best bed with the furniture ” was bequeathed to her. Much nonsense has been written about this, but it seems quite natural. The best bed was an important chattel, which would go with the house. The estate was after all not a large one. Aubrey's estimate of its annual value as £200 or £300 a year sounds reasonable enough, and ]0hn Ward's statement that Shakespeare spent £1000 a year must surely be an exaggeration. The sum-total of his known investments amounts to, {960. Mr Sidney Lee calculates that his theatrical income must have reached £600 a year; but it may be doubted whether this also is not a considerable overestimate. It must be remembered that the purchasing value of money in the 17th century is generally regarded as having been about eight times its present value. Shakespeare's interest in the “ houses ” of the Globe and Blackfriars probably determined on his death. A month after his will was signed, on the 23rd of April 1616, Shakespeare died, and as a tithe-owner was buried in the chancel of the parish church.” Some doggerel upon the stone that covers the grave has been assigned by local tradition to his own pen. A more elaborate monument, with a bust by the sculptor Gerard Johnson, was in due course set up on the chancel wall. Anne Shakespeare followed her husband on the 6th Death of August 1623. The family was never founded. Shakespeare's grand-daughter, Elizabeth Hall, made two childless marriages, the first with Thomas Nash of Stratford, the second with John, afterwards Sir John, Barnard of Abington Manor, Northants. His daughter Tudith Quiney had three sons, all of whom had died unmarried by 1639. There were, therefore, no direct descendants of Shakespeare in existence after Lady Barnard's death in 1670. Those of his sister, ]oan Hart, could however still be traced in 1864. 'On Lady Barnard's death the Henley Street houses passed to the Harts, in' whose family they remained until 1806. They were then sold, and in 1846 were bought for the public. They are now held with Anne Hathaway's Cottage at Shottery as the Birthplace Trust. Lady Barnard had disposed of the Blackfriars house. The rest of the property was sold under the terms of her will, and New Place passed, irst to the Cloptons who rebuilt it, and then to the Rev. Francis Gastrell, who pulled it down in 1 7 59. The site now forms a public recreation-ground, and hard by is a memorial building with a theatre in which performances of Shakespeare's plays are given annually in April. Both the Memorial and the Birthplace contain museums, in which books, documents and portraits of Shakespearian interest, together with relics of greater or less authenticity, are stored.

N0 letter or other writing in Shakespeare's hand can be proved to exist, with' the exception of three signatures upon his will, one upon a deposition (May II, 1612) in a lawsuit with which he was remotely concerned, and two upon deeds (March 10 and II, 1613) in connexion with the purchase of his Blackfriars house. A copy of Flori0's translation of Montaigne (1603) in the British Museum, a copy of the Aldine edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses (1502) in the Bodleian, and a copy of the 1612 edition of Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romaines in the Greenock Library, have all been put forward with some plausibility as bearing his autograph name or initials, and, in the third case, a marginal note by him. A passage in the manuscript of the play of Sir Thomas More has been ascribed to him (vide infra), and, if the play is his, might be in his handwriting. Aubrey records that he was “ a handsome, well-shap't man, ” and the lameness attributed to him by some writers has its origin only in a too literal interpretation of certain references to spiritual disabilities in the Sonnets. A collection of Mr William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies was printed at the press of William and Isaac Iaggard, and issued by a group of booksellers in 1623. This volume is known as the First Folio. It has Dramas dedications to the earls of Pembroke and Montgomery, and to “ the great Variety of Readers, ” both of which are signed by two of Shakespeare's “fellows ” at the Globe, John Heminge and Henry Condell, and commendatory verses by Ben Jonson, Hugh Holland, Leonard Digges and an unidentified I. M; The Droeshout engraving forms part of the title-page. The contents include, with the exception of Pericles, all of the thirty seven plays now ordinarily printed in editions of Shakespeare's works. Of these eighteen were here published for the first time. The other eighteen had already appeared in one or more separate editions, known as the Quartos. 1

The following list gives the date of the First Quarto of each such play, and also that of any later Quarto which differs materially from the First.

The Quarto Editions.

Titus Androngcus ()1594). A gllidsifmmer Night's Dream 2 H VI. 1594. 1600 .

3 H223 VI. (1595). The Merchant of Venice (1600). Richard II. (1597, 1608). Much Ado About Nothing (1600). Richard III. (ISQQQ).) Th€ M erry Wives of Windsor R d Jul't 7, 159 . 1602 .-Lgfizgf1(f(1lLb014f, S1&20.S§ 5?1598).9 glamli (16936 I§ O4).

IH IV. 1598. ing ear 1 0 .

2 H333 IV. (1600). Troilus and Cressida (1609).

Henry V. (1600). Othello (1622).