« AnteriorContinuar »
plate engraven, is evidently a juvenile portrait of King James I.” I am no judge in these matters, but only deliver an opinion, which if ill-grounded may be easily overthrown. The portrait, to me at least, has no traits of Shakspeare.
STEEVENS. 3 On his grave-stone' underneath is, Good friend, &c.] This epitaph is expressed in the following uncouth mixture of small and capital letters :
Good Frend for lesus SAKE forbeare
STEEVENS. '4 And curst be he that moves my bones. ] It is uncertain whether this epitaph was written by Shakspeare himself, or by one of his friends after his death. The imprecation contained in this last line, was perhaps suggested by an apprehension that our authour's remains might share the same fate with those of the rest of his countrymen, and be added to the immense pile of human bones deposited in the charnelhouse at Stratford. This, however, is mere conjecture; for similar execrations are found in many ancient Latin epitaphs.
Mr. Stcevens has juftly mentioned it as a fingular circumstance, that Shakspeare does not appear to have written any verses on his contemporaries, either in praise of the living, or in honour of the dead. I once imagined that he had mentioned Spenser with kindness in one of his sonnets; but have lately discovered that the fonnet to which I allude, was written by Richard Barnefield. If, however, the following epitaphs be genuine, (and indeed the latter is much in Shak speare's manner,) he in two instances overcame that modeft diffidence, which seems to have fuppofed the elogium of his humble muse of no value.
In a Manuscript volume of poems by William Herrick and others, in the hand-writing of the time of Charles I. which is among Rawlinfon's Collections in the Bodleian Library, is the following epitaph, ascribed to our poet.
A NE PIT A P H.
There was formerly a family of the surname of James at Stratford. Anne, the wise of Richard James, was buried there on the same day with our poet's widow; and Margaret, the daughter of John James, died there in April 1616.
A monumental inscription • of a better leer,” and said to be written by our author, is preferved in a collection of Epitaphs, at the end of the Visitation of Salop, taken by Sir William Dugdale in the year 1664, now remaining in the College of arms, C. 35. fol. 20; a transcript of which Sir Isaac Heard, Garter, Principal King at Arms, has obligingly transmitted
Among the monuments in Tongue Church in the county of Salop, is one erected in remembrance of Sir Thomas Stanley, knight, who died, as I imagine, about the year 1600. In the Visitation-book it is thus described by Sir William Dugdale:
ri On the north side of the chancell stands a very stately tombe, supported with Corinthian columnes. It hath two figures of men in armour, thereon lying, the one below the arches and columnes,, and the other above them, and this epitaph upon it.
• Thomas Stanley, Knight, second son of Edward Earle of Derby, Lord Stanley and Strange, descended from the famielie of the Stanleys, married Margaret Vernon, one of the daughters and co-heires of Sir George Vernon of NetherHaddon, in the county of Derby, Knight, by whom he had iffue two sons, Henry and Edward. Henry died an infant; Edward survived, to whom those lordships defcended; and married the lady Lucie Percie, second daughter of the Earl of Northumberland : by her he had issue feaven daughters. She and her foure daughters, Arabella, Marie, Alice, and Priscilla, are interred under a monument in the church of Waltham in the county of Essex. Thomas her son, died in his infancy, and is buried in the parish church of Winwich in the county of Lancaster. The other three, Petronilla, Frances, and Venesia, are yet living. These following verses were made by WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE,
the late famous tragedian.
He had three daughters,' of which two lived to be married; Judith, the elder, to one Mr. Thomas
" This stony register is for his bones,
« Written upon the west end thereof.
“ Stanley, for whom this stands, shall stand in heaven." The last line of this epitaph, though the worst, bears very strong marks of the hand of Shakspeare. The beginning of the first line, “ Aske who lyes here,” reminds us of that which we have been just examining: If any man ask, who lies in this tomb,” 6. — And in the fifth line we find a thought which our poet has also introduced in King Henry VIII:
" Ever belov'd and loving may his rule be!
Goodness and he fill up one monument !” This epitaph must have been written after the year 1600, for Venetia Stanley, who afterwards was the wife of Sir Kenelm Digby, was born in that year. With a view to afcertain its date more precisely, the churches of Great and Little Waltham have been examined for the monument said to have been erected to Lady Lucy Stanley and her four daughters, but in vain; for no trace of it remains : could the time of their respective deaths be ascertained, the registers of thofe parishes being loft.-Sir William Dugdale was born in Warwickshire, was bred at the free-school of Coventry, and in the year 1625, purchafed the manor of Blythe in that county, where he then fettled and afterwards spent a great part of his life: fo that his testimony respecting this epitaph is sufficient to ascertain its authenticity. MALONE.
s 'He had three daughters, ] In this circumstance Mr. Rowe must have been mil-informed. In the register of Stratford, no mention is made of any daughter of our author's but Sufanna and Judith. He had indeed three children ; the two
Quiney, o by whom fhe had three sons and all died already mentioned, and a son, named Hamnet, of whom Mr. Rowe takes no notice. He was a twin child, born at the same time with Judith. Hence probably the mifake. He died in the twelfth year of his age, in 1596. MALONE.
-- Judith, the elder, to one Mr. Thomas Quiney, ] This alfo is a mistake. Judith was Shakfpeare's youngest daughter. She died at Stratford-upon-Avon a few days after the had completed her seventy-seventh year, and was buried there, Feb. 9, 1661-62. She was married to Mr. Quiney, who was four years younger than herself, on the roth of February, 1615-16, and not as Mr. Weft fuppofed, in the year 1616-17. He was led into the mistake by the figures 1616 standing nearly opposite to the entry concerning her marriage; but those figures relate to the first entry in the subfequent month of April. The Register appears thus: February.
3. Francis Bushill to Isabel Whood.
5. Rich. Sandells to Joan Ballamy. 1616.
10. Tho. Queeny to Judith Shakfpere. April.-
14. Will. Borrowes to Margaret Davies. and the following entries in that and a pará of the ensuing page are of 1616; the year then beginning on the 25th of March. Whether the above 10 relates to the month of February or April, Judith was certainly married before her father's death : if it relates to February, she was married on February 10, 1615-16; if to April, on the 10th of April 1616. From Shakspeare's will it appears, that this match was a stolen one; for he fpeaks of such future “ husband as The shall be married to." It is strange that the ceremony should have been publickly cclebrated in the church of Stratford without his knowledge; and the improbability of such a circumstance might lead us to suppose that the married on the 10th of April, about a fortnight after the execution of her father's will. But the entry of the baptifm of her first child, (Nov. 23, 1616,) as well as the entry of the marriage, ascertain it to have taken place in February
Mr. Welt, without intending it, has impeached the character of this lady ; for her first child, according to his representation, muftbe supposed to have been born some months before her marriage ; lince among the baptifms I find this en
without children; and Susanna, who was his favourite, to Dr. John Hall, a physician of good reputatiori in that country.” She left one child only,
try of the christening of her eldest fon : "1616. Nov. 23, Skakspeare, filius Thomas Quiney, Geut.” and according to Mr. Weft she was not married till the following February. This Shakspeare Quiney died in his infancy at Stratford, and was buried May 8th, 1617. Judith's fecond fon, Richard, was baptized on February 9th, 1617-18. He died at Stratford in Feb. 1638-9, in the 21st year of his age, and was buried there on the 26th of that month. Her'third son, Thomas, was baptized August 29, 1619, and was buried also at Stratford, January 28, 1638-9. There had been a plague in the town in the preceding summer, that carried off about fifty persons. MALONE,
* Dr. John Hall, a physician of good reputation in that country. ) Susanna's husband, Dr. John Hall, died in Nov. 1635, and is enterred in the chancel of the church of Stratford near his wife. He was buried on the 26th of November, as appears from the Register of burials at Stratford :
“ November 26th, 1635, Johannes Hall, medicus peritiffimus."
The following is a transcript of his will extracted from the Registry of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury:
“ The last Will and Testament nuncupative of John Hall of Stratford-upon-Avon in the county of Warwick, Gent. made and declared the five and twentieth of November, 1635. Imprimis, I give unto my wife my house in London. Item, I give unto my daughter Nash my house in Acton. Item, I give unto my daughter Nash my meadow. Item, I give my goods and money unto my wife and daughter Nath, to be equally divided betwixt them. Item, concerning my study of books, I leave them, said he, to you, my son Nash, to dispose of them as you see good. As for my manufcripts, I would have given them to Mr. Boles, if he had been here ; but forafmuch as he is not here present, you may, fon Nash, buri them, or do with them what you please. Witnesses hereunto.
Simon Trapp." The teftator not having appointed any executor, adminisEration was granted to his widow, Nov. 23, 1636.