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'CAN it be wondered at (says Mr. Gifford) that Shakspeare should swell into twenty or even twice twenty volumes, when the latest editor (like the wind Cecias) constantly draws round him the floating errors of all his predecessors?' Upwards of twenty years ago, when the evil was not so great as it has since become, Steevens confessed that there was an 'exuberance of comment,' arising from the 'ambition in each little Hercules to set up pillars ascertaining how far he had travelled through the dreary wilds of black letter;' so that there was some danger of readers being frighted away from Shakspeare, as the soldiers of Cato deserted their comrade when he became bloated with poisoncrescens fugere cadaver.' He saw with a prophetic eye that the evil must cure itself, and that the time would arrive when some of this ivy must be removed, which only served to hide the princely trunk, and suck the verdure out of it.'
This expurgatory task has been more than once undertaken, but has never hitherto, it is believed, been executed entirely to the satisfaction of the admirers of our great Poet: and the work has even now devolved upon one who, though not wholly unprepared for it by previous studies, has perhaps manifested his presumption in undertaking it with weak and unexamined shoulders.' He does not, however, shrink from a comparison with the labours of his predecessors, but would rather solicit that equitable mode of being judged; and will patiently, and with all becoming submission to the decision of a competent tribunal, abide the result.
As a new candidate for public favour, it may be expected that the Editor should expla the ground of his pretensions. The object the of the present publication is to afford the general reader a correct edition of Shakspeare, accompanied by an abridged commentary, in which all superfluous and refuted explanations and conjectures, and all the controversies and squabbles of contending critics should be omitted; and such elucidations only of obsolete words and obscure phrases, and such critical illustrations of the text as might be deemed most generally useful be retained. To effect this it has been necessary, for the sake of compression, to condense in some cases several pages of excursive discussion into a few lines, and often to blend together the information conveyed in the notes of several commentators into one. When these explanations are mere transcripts or abridgments of the labours of his predecessors, and are unaccompanied by any observation of his own, it will of course be understood that the Editor intends to imply by silent 'acquiescence that he has nothing better to propose.' Fortune, however, seems to have been propitious to his labours, for he flatters himself that he has been enabled in many instances to present the reader with more satisfactory explanations of difficult passages, and with more exact definitions of obsolete words and phrases, than are to be found in the notes to the varíorum editions.
The causes which have operated to overwhelm the pages of Shaskpeare with superfluous notes are many; but Steevens, though eminently fitted for
the task he undertook, was chiefly instrumental in increasing the evil. He has indeed been happily designated the Puck of commentators:' he frequently wrote notes, not with the view of illustra ting the Poet, but for the purpose of misleading Malone, and of enjoying the pleasure of turning against him that playful ridicule which he knew so well how to direct. Steevens, like Malone, began his career as an Editor of Shakspeare with scrupulous attention to the old copies, but when he once came to entertain some jealousy of Malone's intrusion into his province, he all at once shifted his ground, and adopted maxims entirely opposed to those which guided his rival editor. Upon a recent perusal of a considerable portion of the correspondence between them, one letter seemed to display the circumstances which led to the interruption of their intimacy in so clear a light, and to explain the causes which have so unnecessarily swelled the comments on Shakspeare, that it has been thought not unwor thy of the reader's attention. The letter has no date:
Sir, I am at present so much harassed with private business that it is not in my power to afford you the long and regular answer which your letter deserves. Permit me, however, to desert order and propriety, replying to your last sentence first.I assure you that I only erased the word friend be cause, considering how much controversy was to follow, that distinction seemed to be out of its place, and appeared to carry with it somewhat of a burlesque air. Such was my single motive for the change, and I hope you will do me the honour to believe I had no other design in it.
'As it is some time since my opinions have had the good fortune to coincide with yours in the least matter of consequence, I begin to think so indifferently of my own judgment, that I am ready to give it up without reluctance on the present occasion.You are at liberty to leave out whatever parts of my note you please. However we may privately disagree, there is no reason why we should mako sport for the world, for such is the only effect of public controversies; neither should I have leisure at present to pursue such an undertaking. I only meant to do justice to myself; and as I had no opportunity of replying to your reiterated contradictions in their natural order, on account of your per petual additions to them; I thought myself under the necessity of observing, that I ought not to be suspected of being impotently silent in regard to objections which I had never read till it was too late for any replication on my side to be made. You rely much on the authority of an editor; but till I am convinced that volunteers are to be treated with less indulgence than other soldiers, I shall still think I have some right at least to be disgusted; especially after I had been permitted to observe that truth, not victory, was the object of our critical warfare.
'As for the note at the conclusion of The Puritan, since it gives so much offence, (an offence as undesigned as unforeseen,) I will change a part of it, and subjoin reasons for my dissent both from you
Steevens had undoubtedly, as he says of himself on
and Mr. Tyrwhitt. You cannot surely suspect me | Fallen in the plash his wickedness had made ; of having wished to commence hostilities with either of you; but you have made a very singular comBecause I have said and in some instances contested the force and promeat on this remark indeed. I could overturn some of both your arguments on priety of his own remarks when applied by Maione They are very good remarks, so far forth as they other occasions with ease, you are willing to infer to parallel passages; or, as Malone observes: that I meant all of them. Let me ask, for instance Hence his sake, what would become of his "undertakers," are his; but when used by me are good for nothing; &c. were I to advance all I could on that subject. and the disputed passages become printers' bleuI will not offend you by naming any particular posi- ders, or Hemingisms and Condelisms." tion of your own which could with success be dis- unremitted censure of the first folio copy, and supputed. I cannot, however, help adding, that had I port of the readings of the second folio, which Mafollowed every sentence of your attempt to ascer-lone treats as of no authority;-his affected conMr. Boswell has judiciously characterized Steetain the order of the plays, with a contradiction tempt for the Poems of Shakspeare, &c. sedulous and unremitted as that with which you have pursued my Observations on Shakspeare's vens :-'With great diligence, an extensive But Will and his Sonnets, you at least would not have quaintance with early literature, and a remarkably found your undertaking a very comfortable one. I was retentive memory: he was besides, as Mr. Gifford His then an editor, and indulged you with even a printed has justly observed, "a wit and a scholar." foul copy of your work, which you enlarged as long his wit and the sprightliness of his style were too as you thought fit.-The arrival of people on busi- often employed to bewilder and mislead us. ness prevents me from adding more than that I hope consciousness of his own satirical powers made to be still indulged with the correction of my own him much too fond of exercising them at the exnotes on the Yorkshire] T[ragedy]. I expect al-pense of truth and justice. He was infected to a most every one of them to be disputed, but assure lamentable degree with the jealousy of authorship; you that I will not add a single word by way of re- and while his approbation was readily bestowed ply. I have not returned you so complete an an- upon those whose competition he thought he had swer as I would have done had I been at leisure. no reason to dread, he was fretfully impatient of a would generally have enabled him to discover what You have, however, the real sentiments of your brother near the throne: his clear understanding G. STEEVENS.' most humble servant, The temper in which this letter was written is was right; but the spirit of contradiction could at obvious. Steevens was at the time assisting Ma- any time induce him to maintain what was wrong. lone in preparing his Supplement to Shakspeare, It would be impossible, indeed, to explain how any and had previously made a liberal present to him of one, possessed of his taste and discernment, could his valuable collection of old plays; he afterwards have brought himself to advocate so many indefencalled himself'a dowager editor,' and said he would sible opinions, without entering into a long and unnever more trouble hase'f about Shakspeare. This gracious history of the motives by which he was inMalone was certainly not so happily gifted; is gathered from a memorandum by Malone, but fluenced.' Steevens does in effect say in one of his letters; There adding, Nor will such assistance as I may be able though Mr. Boswell's partiality in delineating his to furnish ever go towards any future gratuitous pub-friend, presents us with the picture of an amiable seems to have been a want of grasp in his mind to lication of the same author: ingratitude and imper- and accomplished gentleman and scholar. tinence from several booksellers have been my rehis unwearied industry in his favourite pursuit had ward for conducting two laborious editions, both of make proper use of the accumulated materials which which, except a few copies, are already sold.' In another letter, in reply to a remonstrance placed within his reach: his notes on Shakspeare about the suspension of his visits to Malone, Stee-are often tediously circumlocutory and ineffectual: vens says:-'I will confess to you without reserve neither does he seem to have been deficient in that the cause why I have not made even my business jealousy of rivalship, or that pertinacious adherence submit to my desire of seeing you. I readily allow to his own opinions, which have been attributed to that any distinct and subjoined reply to my remarks his compestor. on your notes is fair; but to change (in consequence of private conversation) the notes that drew from me those remarks, is to turn my own weapons against me. Surely, therefore, it is unnecessary to let me continue building when you are previously determined to destroy my very foundations. As I observed to you yesterday, the result of this pro-panies this edition. ceeding would be, that such of my strictures as might be just on the first copies of your notes, must often prove no better than idle cavils, when applied to the second and amended editions of them. know not that any editor has insisted on the very extensive privileges which you have continued to claim. In some parts of my Dissertation on Pericles, I am almost reduced to combat with shadows. We had resolved (as I once imagined) to proceed without reserve on either side through the whole of that controversy, but finally you acquainted me with your resolution (in right of editorship) to have the last word. However, for the future, I beg I may be led to trouble you only with observations relative I had that advanto notes which are fired ones. tage over my predecessors, and you have enjoyed the same over me; but I never yet possessed the means of obviating objections before they could be effectually made,' &c.
It is supersuous here to enlarge on this topic, for the merits and defects of Johnson, Steevens, and Malone, as commentators on Shakspeare, and the characters of those who preceded them, the reader will find sketched with a masterly pen in the BioThe vindication of Shakspçare graphical Preface of Dr. Symmons, which accomfrom idle calumny and ill founded critical animadversion, could not have been placed in better hands eloquent Essay must afford pleasure to every lover than in those of the vindicator of Milton; and his of our immortal Bard. It should be observed that the Editor, in his adoption of readings, differs in opinion on some points from his able coadjutor, with whom he has not the honour of a personal acquaintance. It is to be regretted that no part of the work was communicated to Dr. Symmons until nearly the whole of the Plays were printed; or the Editor and the Public would doubtless have benefited by his animadversions and suggestions in its progress through the press. The reader will not therefore be surprised at the preliminary censure of some readings which are still retained in the text.
Dr. Johnson's far famed Preface-which has so long hung as a dead weight upon the reputation of our great Poet, and which has been justly said to Here then is the secret developed of the subse-look like 'a laborious attempt to bury the charac quent, unceasing, and unrelenting opposition with teristic merits of his author under a load of cumwhich Steevens opposed Malone's notes: their brous phraseology, and to weigh his excellencies controversies served not to make sport for the and defects in equal scales stuffed full of swelling world,' but to annoy the admirers of Shakspeare, figures and sonorous epithets,'-will, for obvious by overloading his page with frivolous contention. reasons, form no part of this publication. His brief
strictures at the end of each play have been retain> ed in compliance with custom, but not without an eccasional note of dissent. We may suppose that Johnson himself did not estimate these observations very highly, for he tells us that in the plays which are condemned there may be much to be praised, and in those which are praised much to be condemned!' Far be it from us to undervalue or speak slightingly of our great moralist; but his most strenuous admirers must acknowledge that the construction of his mind incapacitated him from forming a true judgment of the creations of one who was of imagination all compact,' no less than his physical defects prevented him from relishing the beautiful and harmonious in nature and art.
The text of the present edition is formed upon those of Steevens and Malone, occasionally compared with the early editions; and the satisfaction arising from a rejection of modern unwarranted deviations from the old copies has not unfrequently been the reward of this labour.
The preliminary remarks to each play are augmented with extracts from the more recent writers upon Shakspeare, and generally contain brief criti cal observations which are in many instances opposed to the dictum of Dr. Johnson. Some of these are extracted from the Lectures on the Drama, by the distinguished German critic, A. W. Schleghel, a writer to whom the nation is deeply indebted, for having pointed out the characteristic excellencies of the great Poet of nature, in an eloquent and philosophical spirit of criticism; which, though it may tical enthusiasm, has dealt out to Shakspeare his sometimes be thought a little tinctured with mysdue meed of praise; and has, no doubt, tended to dissipate the prejudices of some neighbouring nations who have been too long wilfully blind to his
'Quid valet ad surdas si cantet Phemius aures? Quid cæcum Thamyram picta tabella juvat?' It has been the studious endeavour of the Editor to avoid those splenetic and insulting reflections upon the errors of the commentators, where it has been his good fortune to detect them, which have been Sometimes too captiously indulged in by labourers in this field of verbal criticism. Indeed it would ill Mr. Gifford, as it appears, once proposed to fabecome him to speak contemptuously of those who, vour the public with an edition of Shakspeare: how with all their defects, have deserved the gratitude of admirably that excellent critic would have performthe age; for it is chiefly owing to the labours of Tyr-ed the task the world need not now be told. The whitt, Warton, Percy, Steevens, Farmer, and their successors, that attention has been drawn to the mine of wealth which our early literature affords; and no one will affect to deny that a recurrence to it has not been attended with beneficial effects, if it
has not raised us in the moral scale of nations.
The plan pursued in the selection, abridgment, and concentration of the notes of others, precluded the necessity of affixing the names of the commentators from whom the information was borrowed; and, excepting in a few cases of controversial discussion, and of some critical observations, authorities are not given. The very curious and valuable Illustrations of Shakspeare by Mr. Douce have been laid under frequent contribution; the obligation has not always been expressed; and it is therefore hore acknowledged with thankfulness.
It will be seen that the Editor has not thought, with some of his predecessors, that the text of Shakspeare was 'fixed' in any particular edition 'beyond the hope or probability of future amendment. He has rather coincided with the opinion of Mr. Gifford, that those would deserve well of the public who should bring back some readings which Steevens discarded, and reject others which he has adopted.'
Editor, who has been frequently indebted to the remarks on the language of our great Poet which occur in the notes to the works of Ben Jonson and Massinger, may be permitted to anticipate the public regret that these humble labours were not presented by that more skilful hand. As it is, he must console himself with having used his best endeavour to accomplish the task which he was solicited to undertake; had his power equalled his desire to render it useful and acceptable, the work would have been more worthy of the public favour, and of the Poet whom he and all unite in idolizing
The bard of every age and clime,
Of genius fruitful and of soul sublime,
And stamp'd with all the godhead in his mind;
JUVENAL, SAT. VII. Mr. Gifford's Translation.
REMARKS UPON HIS DRAMATIC WRITINGS.
tory outline, we must have recourse to the vague
WHEREVER any extraordinary display of human intellect has been made, there will human reports of unsubstantial tradition, or to the still curiosity, at one period or the other, be busy to ob- more shadowy inferences of lawless and vagabond tain some personal acquaintance with the distin-conjecture. Of this remarkable ignorance of one guished mortal whom Heaven had been pleased to of the most richly endowed with intellect of the endow with a larger portion of its own ethereal human species, who ran his mortal race in our own energy. If the favoured man walked on the high country, and who stands separated from us by no places of the world; if he were conversant with very great intervention of time, the causes may not courts; if he directed the movements of armies or be difficult to be ascertained. William Shakspeare of states, and thus held in his hand the fortunes and was an actor and a writer of plays; in neither of the lives of multitudes of his fellow-creatures, the which characters, however he might excel in them, interest, which he excites, will be immediate and could he be lifted high in the estimation of his constrong he stands on an eminence where he is the temporaries. He was honoured, indeed, with the mark of many eyes; and dark and unlettered in- friendship of nobles, and the patronage of monarchs: deed must be the age in which the incidents of his his theatre was frequented by the wits of the meeventful life will not be noted, and the record of tropolis; and he associated with the most intellecthem be preserved for the instruction or the enter- tual of his times. But the spirit of the age was tainment of unborn generations. But if his course against him; and, in opposition to it, he could not were through the vale of life: if he were unmingled become the subject of any general or comprehenwith the factions and the contests of the great: if sive interest. The nation, in short, knew little and the powers of his mind were devoted to the silent cared less about him. During his life, and for some pursuits of literature-to the converse of philo- years after his death, inferior dramatists outran him sophy and the Muse, the possessor of the ethereal in the race of popularity; and then the flood of treasure may excite little of the attention of his puritan fanaticism swept him and the stage together contemporaries; may walk quietly, with a veil into temporary oblivion. On the restoration of the over his glories, to the grave; and, in other times, monarchy and the theatre, the school of France when the expansion of his intellectual greatness perverted our taste, and it was not till the last cenhas filled the eyes of the world, it may be too late tury was somewhat advanced that William Shakto inquire for his history as a man. The bright speare arose again, as it were, from the tomb, in all track of his genius indelibly remains; but the trace his proper majesty of light. He then became the of his mortal footstep is soon obliterated for ever. subject of solicitous and learned inquiry: but inHomer is now only a name-a solitary name, which quiry was then too late; and all that it could reco assures us, that, at some unascertained period in ver, from the ravage of time, were only a few huthe annals of mankind, a mighty mind was indulged man fragments, which could scarcely be united into to a human being, and gave its wonderful produc- a man. To these causes of our personal ignorance tions to the perpetual admiration of men, as they of the great bard of England, must be added his spring in succession in the path of time. Of Homer own strange indifference to the celebrity of genius. himself we actually know nothing; and we see only When he had produced his admirable works, ignoan arm of immense power thrust forth from a mass rant or heedless of their value, he abandoned them of impenetrable darkness, and holding up the hero with perfect indifference to oblivion or to fame. It of his song to the applauses of never-dying fame. surpassed his thought that he could grow into the But it may be supposed that the revolution of, per- admiration of the world; and, without any referhaps, thirty centuries has collected the cloud which ence to the curiosity of future ages, in which he thus withdraws the father of poesy from our sight. could not conceive himself to possess an interest, Little more than two centuries has elapsed since he was contented to die in the arms of obscurity, William Shakspeare conversed with our tongue, as an unlaurelled burgher of a provincial town. and trod the selfsame soil with ourselves; and if it To this combination of causes are we to attribute were not for the records kept by our Church in its the scantiness of our materials for the Life of registers of births, marriages, and burials, we William Shakspeare. His works are in myriads of should at this moment be as personally ignorant of hands: he constitutes the delight of myriads of the "sweet swan of Avon" as we are of the old readers: his renown is coextensive with the civiminstrel and rhapsodist of Meles. That William lization of man; and, striding across the ocean Shakspeare was born in Stratford upon Avon; that from Europe, it occupies the wide region of transhe married and had three children; that he wrote atlantic empire: but he is himself only a shadow a certain number of dramas; that he died before which disappoints our grasp; an undefined form he had attained to old age, and was buried in his which is rather intimated than discovered to the native town, are positively the only facts, in the keenest searchings of our eye. Of the little howpersonal history of this extraordinary man, of which ever, questionable or certain, which can be told of we are certainly possessed; and, if we should be him, we must now proceed to make the best use in solicitous to fill up this bare and most unsatisfac- our power, to write what by courtesy may be called
his life; and we have only to lament that the result of our labour must greatly disappoint the curiosity which has been excited by the grandeur of his repu- | tation. The slight narrative of Rowe, founded on the information obtained, in the beginning of the last century, by the inquiries of Betterton, the famous actor, will necessarily supply us with the greater part of the materials with which we are to
gious faith, has recently been made the subject of controversy. According to the testimony of Rowe, grounded on the tradition of Stratford, the father of our Poet was a dealer in wool, or, in the provincial vocabulary of his country, a wool-driver; and such he has been deemed by all the biographers of his son, till the fact was thrown into doubt by the result of the inquisitiveness of Malone. Finding, in an old and obscure MS. purporting to record the proceedings of the bailiff's court in Stratford, our WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE, OF SHAKSPERE, (for John Shakspeare designated as a glover, Malone the floating orthography of the name is properly exults over the ignorance of poor Rowe, and asattached to the one or the other of these varieties,) sumes no small degree of merit to himself as the was baptized in the church of Stratford upon Avon, discoverer of a long sought and a most important as is ascertained by the parish register, on the 26th historic truth. If he had recollected the remark of of April, 1564; and he is said to have been born on the clown in the Twelfth Night, that "a sentence the 23d of the same month, the day consecrated to is but a cheverel glove to a good wit. How quickly the tutelar saint of England. His parents, John the wrong side may be turned outwards!" he would, and Mary Shakspeare, were not of equal ranks in doubtless, have pressed the observation into his serthe community; for the former was only a respect-vice, and brought it as an irresistible attestation of able tradesman, whose ancestors cannot be traced the veracity of his old MS. into gentility, whilst the latter belonged to an ancient and opulent house in the county of Warwick, being the youngest daughter of Robert Arden of Wilmecote. The family of the Ardens (or Ardernes, as it is written in all the old deeds,) was of considerable antiquity and importance, some of them having served as high sheriffs of their county, and two of them (Sir John Arden and his nephew, the grandfather of Mrs. Shakspeare,) having enjoyed each a station of honour in the personal establishment of Henry VII. The younger of these Ardens was made, by his sovereign, keeper of the park of Aldercar, and bailiff of the lordship of Codnore. He obtained, also, from the crown, a valuable grant in the lease of the manor of Yoxsal, in Staffordshire, consisting of more than 4,600 acres, at a rent of 421. Mary Arden did not come dowerless to her plebeian husband, for she brought to him a small freehold estate called Asbies, and the sum of 6l. 138. 4d. in money. The freehold consisted of a house and fifty-four acres of land; and, as far as it appears, it was the first piece of landed property which was ever possessed by the Shakspeares. Of this marriage the offspring was four sons and four daughters; of whom Joan (or, according to the orthography of that time, Jone,) and Margaret, the eldest of the children died, one in infancy and one at a somewhat more advanced age; and Gilbert, whose birth immediately succeeded to that of our Poet, is supposed by some not to have reached his maturity, and by others, to have attained to considerable longevity. Joan, the eldest of the four remaining children, and named after her deceased sister, married William Hart, a hatter in her native town; and Edmund, the youngest of the family, adopting the profession of an actor, resided in St. Saviour's parish in London; and was buried in St. Saviour's Church, on the last day of December, 1607, in his twenty-eighth year. Of Anne and Richard, whose births intervened between those of Joan and Edmund, the parish register tells the whole history, when it records that the former was buried on the 4th of April, 1579, in the eighth year of her age, and the latter on the 4th of February, 1612-13, when he had nearly completed his thirtyninth.
Whatever may have been the trade of John Shakspeare, whether that of wool-merchant or of glover, it seems, with the little fortune of his wife, to have placed him in a state of easy competence. In 1569 or 1570, in consequence partly of his alliance with the Ardens, and partly of his attainment of the prime municipal honours of his town, he obtained a concession of arms from the herald's office, a grant, which placed him and his family on the file of the gentry of England; and, in 1574, he purchased two houses, with gardens and orchards annexed to them, in Henley Street, in Stratford. But before the year 1578, his prosperity, from causes not now ascertainable, had certainly declined; for in that year, as we find from the records of his borough, he was excused, in condescension to his poverty, from the moiety of a very moderate assessment of six shillings and eight pence, made by the members of the corporation on themselves; at the same time that he was altogether exempted from his contribution to the relief of the poor. During the remaining years of his life, his fortunes appear not to have recovered themselves; for he ceased to attend the meetings of the corporation hall, where he had once presided; and, in 1586, another person was substituted as alderman in his place, in consequence of his magisterial inefficiency. He died in the September of 1601, when his illustrious son had already attained to high celebrity; and his wife, Mary Shakspeare, surviving him for seven years, deceased in the September of 1608, the burial of the former being registered on the eighth and that of the latter on the ninth of this month, in each of these respective years.
On the 30th of June, 1564, when our Poet had not yet been three months in this breathing world, his native Stratford was visited by the plague; and, during the six succeeding months, the ravaging disease is calculated to have swept to the grave more than a seventh part of the whole population of the place. But the favoured infant reposed in security in his cradle, and breathed health amid an atmosphere of pestilence. The Genius of England may be supposed to have held the arm of the destroyer, and not to have permitted it to fall on the conse crated dwelling of his and Nature's darling. The In consequence of a document, discovered in the disease, indeed, did not overstep his charmed thresyear 1770, in the house in which, if tradition is to hold; for the name of Shakspeare is not to be found be trusted, our Poet was born, some persons having in the register of deaths throughout that period of concluded that John Shakspeare was a Roman accelerated mortality. That he survived this desoCatholic, though he had risen, by the regular gra-lating calamity of his townsmen, is all that we know dation of office, to the chief dignity of the corpora- of William Shakspeare from the day of his birth tion of Stratford, that of high bailiff; and, during till he was sent, as we are informed by Rowe, to the the whole of this period, had unquestionably con- free-school of Stratford; and was stationed there formed to the rites of the Church of England. The in the course of his education, till, in consequence asserted fact seemed not to be very probable; and of the straitened circumstances of his father, he the document in question, which, drawn up in a was recalled to the paternal roof. As we are not testamentary form and regularly attested, zealously told at what age he was sent to school, we cannot professes the Roman faith of him in whose name it form any estimate of the time during which he respeaks, having been subjected to a rigid examina-mained there. But if he was placed under his tion by Malone, has been pronounced to be spurious. The trade of John Shakspeare, as well as his reli
* Act iii. sc. 1.