« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Elizabeth Hall, and the proceeds of the £50 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 £20 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 twelvepence. To her
three sons, William Hart, Hart, and Michael
which constituted the only bequest he made to his wife, and that by insertion after the will was written out.
A few additional facts respecting Shakspeare's family may be acceptable. His wife survived him seven years, and was buried between his grave and the north wall of the chancel, under a stone inlaid with brass, and inscribed thus:
"Heere lyeth interred the bodye of Anne, wife of Mr. William Shakspeare, who departed this life the sixth day of August, 1623, being of the age of sixty-seven yeares.'
It may be supposed that the poet's marriage was not productive of much domestic comfort. She did not reside with him in London; their children were born very early after their union; and we have seen how coldly she is noticed in the will The causes which led to the striking difference which Shakspeare makes in his testament between his daughters are unknown; but Susanna is, evi dently, the favourite. Judith married Thoma Quiney, a gentleman of good family, by whom she had three children, but they died young, leaving n posterity. The art of writing was not among thi lady's accomplishments, as her mark appears to deed, still extant, accompanied by the explanator appendage of "Signum Judith Shakspeare." He elder sister married Dr. Hall, a physician of consi derable reputation. After her father's death, sh resided with her husband at New Place. She be came a widow, and was honoured, for some tim with the company of Henrietta Maria, the quee of Charles I. Her only child, Elizabeth Hall, th niece mentioned in Shakspeare's will, continued reside there when she became lady Barnard. Th lady, though twice married, left no children. Sh died in 1669-70, and in her the family of our ba became extinct. Mrs. Susanna Hall died in Jul 1649, aged sixty-six; she was buried at Stratfor and the following record of her wit, piety, a humanity, was inscribed on her tomb. The lin do not now appear on the stone, but they have be preserved by Dugdale.
Hart, he gave £5 a-piece, to be paid within one year after his decease. To his grand-daughter, Elizabeth Hall, he bequeathed all his plate, the silver bowl above excepted. To the poor of Stratford he bequeathed £10; to Mr. Thomas Cole, his sword; to Thomas Russel, £5; to Francis Collins, esq. 13: 6s: 8d.; to Hamlet, (Hammet) saddler, £1: 6s: 8d. to buy a ring; and a like sum, for the same purpose, to William 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 New Place, with its appurtenances; two messuages, or tenements, with their appurtenances, situated in Henley-street; also, all his "barns, stables, orchards, gardens, lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever, situate, lying, and being, or to be had, received, perceived, or taken, within the towns, hamlets, villages, fields, and grounds of Stratford-upon-Avon, Öld Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe, or in any of them in the said county of Warwick; and also, all that messuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, wherein one John Robinson dwelleth, situated, lying, and being in the Blackfriars, London, near the Wardrobe; and all my other lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever, to have and to hold all and singular the said premises, with their appurtenances, unto the said Susanna Hall, for and during the term of her natural life; and, after her decease, to the first son of her body, lawfully issuing, and to the heirs male of her said first son, lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to the second son of her body, lawfully issuing, and to the heirs male of the said second son, lawfully issuing;" and so forth, as to third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sons of her body, and their heirs male: "and for default of such issue, the said premises to be and remain to my niece, Hall, and the heirs male of her body, lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to her daughter Judith, and the heirs male of her body, We have thus, as briefly as the importance lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to such a memoir would permit, gone over the meag the right heirs of me the said William Shakspeare." biographical remains of the noblest dramatic p To the said Susanna Hall and her husband, whom the world has ever produced. Without attempti he appointed executors of his will, under the di- to draw the character of this matchless writer, rection of Francis Collins, and Thomas Russel, have, occasionally, in the course of our narrati esqrs. he further bequeathed all the rest of his endeavoured to mark the feeling of respect a goods, chattels, leases, plate, jewels, and house-admiration by which we are influenced while c hold stuff whatsoever," after the payment of his templating the mighty performances of a mi debts, legacies, and funeral expenses; with the which, with little assistance from education, s exception of his "second-best bed, with the furniture," passed all the efforts of ancient or modern geni
"Witty above her sexe, but that's not all,
To weep with her, that wept with all:
WITHIN seven years of Shakspeare's death, a monument, executed with no mean skill, by an unknown artist, was erected to his memory in the church at Stratford-upon-Avon. 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, are the Shakspeare arms and crest, sculptured in bold relief. Beneath the bust are the following lines: "Judicio Pylium, genio Socratem, arte Maronem, Terra tegit, populus mæret, Olympus habet." "Stay, passenger, why dost thou go so fast? Read, if thou canst, whom envious death hath plac'd Within this monument; Shakspeare, with whom Quick nature dy'd; whose name doth deck the tomb Far more than cost; since all that he hath writ Leaves living art but page to serve his wit.
Obiit Ano. Dai. 1616, ætatis 53, die 23 Ap." The following particulars from Dr. Drake's work, as connected with this monument, are curious: "Notwithstanding the anathema pronounced by the bard on any disturbers of his bones, the churchwardens were so negligent, a few years ago, as to suffer the sexton, in digging the adjoining grave of Dr. Davenport, to break a large cavity into the tomb of Shakspeare! Mr.. told the writer, that he was excited by curiosity to push his head and shoulders through the cavity, that he saw the remains of the bard, and that he could easily have brought away his skull, but was deterred by the curse which the poet invoked on any one who disturbed his remains. It is well known to the generality of his admirers, that the monument of Shakspeare, at his native town of Stratford-onAvon, stood, till within a year or two, with his body resting on a cushion, and a pen in his right hand. A young man, a friend of Dr. Davenport,
Monument in Westminster Abbey.
(who is rector of the church,) spending a few days with him, visited the spot, and, in a feeling of sacrilegious folly, snatched the pen from his hand, and broke it to pieces; and a common quill is now substituted. Dr. D. nearly fainted. It is a matter of much astonishment and regret, that such liberties have been allowed to be taken with this only true relique of the bard of Albion. Some years ago, that indefatigable mountebank, Mr. Malone, caused this monument to be painted white all over; thereby effacing the different colours of the dress, &c. it had been ornamented with for above one hundred and sixty years, and might have been a copy of the apparel of Shakspeare.'
In 1740, a monument was erected to the memory of Shakspeare, at the public expense, in Westminster Abbey, ample funds having accrued from the performance of Julius Cæsar, Åpril 28, 1738, at Drury-lane Theatre. The trustees were the earl of Burlington, Dr. Richard Mead, Mr. Alexander Pope, and Mr. Charles Fleetwood. The monument was designed by Kent, and executed by Scheemakers. Shakspeare is represented in the dress of bis time, in white marble, at full length, leaning a little on his right arm, which is supported by a pedestal. At the bottom hangs a scroll, inscribed with the following lines altered from The Tempest: "The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve; And, like the baseless fabric of a vision, Leave not a wreck behind."
Above his head, behind, there is fixed a plate of curious granite marble, on which is this inscription in raised letters of brass richly gilt: Gulielmo Shakspeare anno post mortem cxxiv. amor publicus posuit.
The Shakspeare Portraits.
IT is a singular fact, that of the various Portraits | of Shakspeare, there is not one which can be relied on as genuine.
The print prefixed to the first folio, 1623, engraved by Droeshout, is an indifferent specimen of art, and notwithstanding the encomium of Ben Jonson, cannot be accepted as a likeness.
whose name must be concealed." How it escap the fire of London, in 1665, when the whole Eastcheap was consumed, was not explained; b Steevens got over this difficulty by supposing th it was removed before the fire. It is hardly cr dible that a man of Steevens's penetration shou have believed this portrait genuine, accompani as it was by so many suspicious circumstance but Boswell, in the advertisement to his edition Malone's Shakspeare, 1821, does not hesitate say, that there are not indeed wanting tho who suspect that Mr. Steevens was better a quainted with the history of its manufacture, a that there was a deeper meaning in his words, wh he tells us, he was instrumental in procuring it, th he would have wished to be generally understood It is almost needless to add, that this portrait b now few, if any proselytes.
The portrait by Marshall, prefixed to Sha
The bust at Stratford-on-Avon, is alluded to by Digges, in his verses prefixed to the first folio; but no more reliance can be placed on his judgment, than on that of Jonson, and it is quite certain that they cannot both be correct. As, however, it is generally admitted to have been executed within a few years of the poet's death, and possesses considerable expression, it has had many advocates. The Chandos portrait, in the collection of the marquis of Buckingham, at Stowe, presents a pedigree of professors up to Betterton, the actor; but beyond that, the evidence, which should establish its authenticity, is at least doubtful. No pic-speare's Poems, in 1640, is a reduced copy (wi ture has been more frequently copied. Malone one or two slight variations,) of that which accon firmly believed it to be genuine, but Steevens, who panies the first folio. It has all the stiffness was desirous of establishing the claims of a newly the rude sculpture of the period, and has some r discovered candidate, treated it with unreserved semblance to the bust at Stratford-on-Avon. ridicule, nicknaming it The Davenantico-Bettertono-Barryan-Keckian-Nicolsian - Chandosian Canvas. It has been asserted too, by its opponents, that no original painting of Shakspeare existing, sir Thomas Clarges caused this portrait to be painted from a young man who resembled him.
A portrait of Zucchero, in the possession of Cosway, the painter, having on the back the words "Guglielm: Shakspeare," and supposed to be a likeness of the bard, has had a temporary_popularity; but as it has been ascertained that Zucchero quitted England when Shakspeare was a youth, and before he had commenced his dramatic career, its claims must be rejected.
The Felton portrait, advocated by Steevens, evidently from mere whim and caprice, is perhaps the most suspicious of any. It first made its appearance by being announced for sale in the catalogue of the European Museum, in King-street, St. James's-square, 1792, wherein it was described as "A curious portrait of Shakspeare, painted in 1597." Mr. Felton gave five guineas for it, and wishing to be acquainted with its history, wrote to the conductor of the Museum, who gave an indefinite account of its being purchased out of an old house, known by the sign of the Boar in Eastcheap, the resort of Shakspeare and his friends. Two years after, this gentleman was more communicative to Steevens, than he had been to the purchaser, and added to his former account, that it was found between four and five years ago, at a broker's shop in the Minories, by a man of fashion,
The portrait, which we have adopted, is from painting by Cornelius Jansen, 1610: it has been s lected on the authority of Mr. Boaden, the auth of the Life of Kemble, and to whom the world indebted for much valuable dramatic informatio He states it to be his conviction, that it is a g nuine picture of the poet, and, fully to relied on. Steevens finding in Walpole's Ane dotes of Painting, the words 66 Jansen's fir works in England are dated about 1618," (whic by the by, is an error,) assumes that t artist did not visit this country till that perio two years after the poet's death, and consequent that if it was intended for a resemblance of Sha speare, it could not have been painted in his li time. Malone confutes this argument by statin that he himself possessed a portrait painted Jansen, dated 1611; and as it posseses all character we look for in a portrait of the gr bard, and there is undoubted proof that t painter was employed by the earl of Southampt Shakspeare's friend and companion, Mr. Boad very fairly concludes it to be extremely probab that it was painted for that nobleman.
There are, besides the above, many miscel neous portraits, of slighter pretensions, to en into the merits of which would exceed our limi but the reader, who is desirous of fully gratify. his curiosity on this head, is referred to Mr. B den's Inquiry into the Authenticity of the Portr of Shakspeare, where he will find the subj treated at length with much ability and clearnes
Chronological Order of Shakspeare's Dramas.
ON THE AUTHORITY OF MALONE, CHALMERS, AND DRAKE.
THE ensuing enumeration of Shakspeare's dramas, with the dates assigned by the most generally received authorities, is given merely as a matter of curiosity; for the learned commentators are so much at variance in their chronology, that it deserves little or no attention. Indeed, when we reflect that the first edition of our author did not appear till several years after his death, and was then published by the players, who, it can scarcely be supposed, would pay any regard to the order of time in their arrangement of the dramas, it must be obvious, that with a very few exceptions, the dates given to those compositions are purely con
jectural. A cloud rests over Shakspeare's car as an author, which is not now likely to dispersed; those who were most familiar with operations of his extraordinary genius, seem have been hardly aware that he was not fo day, but for all time;" they paid their shillings applauded his productions on the stage, perh but they had little taste or inclination to do tl justice in the closet. Shakspeare himself app to have been remarkably careless of his own fa he produced his great works without effort, bequeathed them to his country, unconsciou their merit, and reckless of their fate.
First Part of King Henry VI.
A Midsummer Night's Dream Comedy of Errors
Taming of the Shrew
Love's Labour's Lost
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Romeo and Juliet.
King Richard II.
King Richard III.
First Part of King Henry IV Second
Merchant of Venice
All's well that Ends well
King Henry V.
Much Ado about Nothing
Merry Wives of Windsor
Antony and Cleopatra
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus not acknowledged by these critics, nor indeed by any author of credit, but originally published about 1589.
Several contemporary narratives of the above event were published, and much might have been gleaned from popular conversation. In 1610, Silvester Jourdan, an eye-witness, published A discovery of the Bermudas, otherwise called Isle of Divels by sir Thomas Gates, sir George Somers, and captayne Newport, with divers others; from which we learn, that the Bermudas had never been colonised, being considered as under the influence of enchantment; though an addition to Jourdan's book gravely states, that they are not inchanted; that Sommers's ship had been split between two rocks; that during his stay on the island, several conspiracies had taken place; and that a tea monster, in shape like a man, had been seen, who was so called after the monstrous tempests that often happened at Bermuda. Stowe, in his Annals, speaking of the same shipwreck says, "Sir George Somers sitting at his stearne, seeing the ship desperate of reliefe, looking every minute when the ship would sinke, hee espied land, which, according to his and captaine Newport's opinion, they judged it should be the dreadful coast of the
Bermodes, which islands were of all nations said and supposed to be inchanted and inhabited with witches and devills, which grow by reason of accustomed monstrous thunder, storm and tempest, neere unto those islands; also for that the whole coast is so wondrous dangerous of rockes, that few can approach them, but with unspeakable hazard of shipwreck." All this might possibly have suggested to Shakspeare's teeming mind, the groundwork of his astonishing drama; but such slight materials cannot in the least affect its claim to originality.
TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA. THE plot of this play is taken from the story of Felismena in the second book of the Diana, a Spanish pastoral romance, by George of Montemayor, translated into English by Thomas Wilson.
In the romance, Felix prevails on Felismena's attendant to convey a letter to her mistress, who affects indignation, and rebukes her for presumption; but the servant readily penetrating her real sentiments, drops, as if by accident, the rejected billet in her presence. A contest follows between pride and curiosity; the latter, of course, triumphs; and Felix finds that his love is returned by Felismena. But their happiness is short; the lover's father determines he shall travel, and weary of his absence, the lady follows Felix disguised as a page. She arrives at the court to which he had repaired, and at night, hears a serenade to a lady, which proves to be given by Felix. She does not betray herself; but secure in her disguise, engages in his service, and is the bearer of letters, presents, and messages to her rival. Celia, the new flame of
Felix, becomes enamoured of his page, and dies of grief when her passion is unrequited. Felix leaves his residence in despair, the faithful Felismena attends him, and is happy enough to save his life a reconciliation ensues, and they are united. Many of these incidents are copied with circumstantial minuteness; some are altered, and others altogether omitted in Shakspeare's drama. He has also made several highly judicious additions. Valentine is a new character; Launce and his dog are entirely our author's; and, on the whole, it is surprising, that from so meagre a sketch as the romance afforded, he should be able to find materials for a play, inferior certainly to many of his own, but to few others.
MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR. THE story of this comedy is founded on a tale in Il Pecorone di Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, which no doubt reached the dramatist in a translation, probably printed in a collection of novels, bearing the whimsical title of The Fortunate, the Deceived, and the Unfortunate Lovers.
A student of Bologna asks his tutor for lessons in the science of love, and forming an attachment to a beautiful woman, reports to the pedagogue from time to time the success of his suit. These disclosures awaken the master's suspicions that no other than his own wife is the object of seduction, and he resolves to ascertain the fact. He acts accordingly, but is foiled by a heap of wet linen effectually concealing the gallant from observation. The young man, unconscious that the intrigue is with his master's wife, relates his escape, and the consolation he expects that very night in another interview. As before, he is watched by his tutor, and is scarcely allowed to enter the lady's house, when a loud knocking proclaims the approach of her husband; she admits him, and conceals her favourite by throwing the door completely back. As the master rushes in, the pupil escapes, and the wife, knowing that all is secure, catches her husband in her arms, screams violently, calls in her neighbours to witness his extravagance, and affects to believe him mad; while he cuts and stabs the linen, and talks wildly of a man concealed in his house. Search proves this false; and, in the end, he is laughed at for his folly.
Such is the novel of which Shakspeare embodied the principal features; but it will be at once perceived that the felicitous delineation of character in which it abounds is all his own. Rowe has preserved a tradition that queen Elizabeth, much delighted with Falstaff in Henry the Fourth, desired the bard to write another play, and exhibit the fat knight in love, which was done in the Merry Wives of Windsor. The first draught of this excellent comedy was written in a fortnight, but was afterwards re-touched and amplified. Ben son's Kitely seems to be the original of Ford, which it certainly preceded in point of time.
Pedro her servant is drowned, and she escapes to land on the captain's chest, which contains trea sure and rich apparel. Disguising herself as a man, she assumes the name of her brother, Silvio arrives at Constantinople, and proceeds to her lover's palace, to whom she offers herself, and is re ceived as a page. She obtains her master's con fidence, and is employed by him to carry love to kens and letters to Julina, a widow beloved, but fruitlessly, by Apolonius. The lady, though cold to her lover, falls in love with the supposed page The flight of Silla is attributed to the villanies o Pedro, and her brother vows to pursue them and punish her betrayer. He, at length, reaches Con stantinople, where he encounters Julina, who accost him as the page of Apolonius, so strong is the re semblance between the brother and sister. Silvio' curiosity is roused by being so familiarly ad dressed, and judging that she is as wealthy a beautiful, he meets her advances, and becomes ena moured of her. But reflecting afterwards on th singularity of the adventure, and that he has n doubt been mistaken for another, he resolve to quit the city and resume his search after Silla When the duke again prefers his suit, Julina tell him that she loves his page, and Apolonius, muc enraged, casts the supposed criminal into priso Jalina, anxious for the vindication of her fam claims Silvio for her husband. Apolonius, compas sionating her whom he had long tenderly loved, an disgusted at the supposed duplicity of his pag vows to put Silvio to death, unless he makes fu reparation to Julina. No longer able to dissembl Silla asks to speak in private with her accuse to whom she reveals her sex, and relates her stor Apolonius, informed of these particulars, reco nizes the daughter of his benefactor, and struc with admiration at such disinterested love, ma ries her. These events reach the ears of the re Silvio, who hastens back to Constantinople, a his marriage with Julina concludes the novel.
Here we evidently find the skeleton at least Shakspeare's truly beautiful play, in which, ho ever, there are many judicious variations from t original; and it will at once be obvious, that Agu cheek, Toby Belch, and Malvolio, who, althou they contribute little to the progress of the pl form the most prominent features of the comed are wholly the creations of our poet's fertile ima nation.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
THERE are three sources from which the plot this play might have been taken: Whetston Heptameron, 1582, 4to. his Promos and Cassand 1578, 4to. and a novel of Cinthio Geraldi's; yet is not improbable, that the general outline of t story is founded in fact, as it is told with so Jon-variations by many writers. Take the followi instances: Lipsius relates, that Charles the Bo duke of Burgundy, caused one of his nobles to put to death for transgressing in the manner t Angelo would have done; but he is first compel to marry the lady. This event was made the s ject of a French tragedy. Olivier le Dain, for wickedness surnamed the Devil, originally barber and afterwards the favourite of Louis is said, in the Memoirs of Philip de Comines, have committed a similar offence, for which suffered death. Belleforest has a tale, in whic is related, that a captain who had seduced the w of one of his soldiers, under a promise to save husband's life, exhibited him presently afterwar through the window of his apartment, suspend on a gibbet; and that his commander, the marq de Brissac, compelling him to marry the wid adjudges him to death. The striking resembla of part of this story to what Hume relates of c nel Kirke, will present itself to every reader.
THE thirty-sixth novel of the second part of Bandello's Tales bears a general resemblance to the plot of this play; but its much nearer affinity to the Historie of Apolonius and Silla, in a collection entitled Rich, his Farewell to Militarie Profession, 1583, seems to prove that it was derived from the latter source.
Duke Apolonius was wrecked at Cyprus on his return to Constantinople from a crusade. He is succoured by Pontus the governor, whose daughter, Silla, becomes enamoured of his guest, who anxious to return home, is insensible to the merits of Silla, and departs in ignorance of her attachment. This inflames her love; and trusting herself to a faithful servant, she leaves her father's court in pursuit of Apolonius. She is wrecked,