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Betterton the player, whose zeal had induced him to visit Stratford for the sake of procuring all possible intelligence concerning a poet to whose works he might juftly think himself under the strongest obligations. Notwithstanding this affertion, in the manuscript papers of the late Mr. Oldys it is said, that one Boman (according to Chetwood, p. 143, "an actor more than half an age on the London theatres”) was unwilling to allow that his associate and contemporary Betterton had ever undertaken such a journey.” Be this matter as it will, the

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way than on foot, or on horseback, or in coaches; and coaches till after the death of Elizabeth were extremely

Many of the gentry therefore certainly went to that playhouse on horseback. See the proofs, in the Essay above referred to.

This however will not establish the tradition relative to our outhor's first employment at the playhouse, which stands on a very slender foundation, MALONE,

it is said, that one Boman - was unwilling to allow that his asociate and contemporary Betterton had ever undertaken such a journey. ] This affertion of Mr. Oldys is altogether unworthy of credit. Why any doubt should be entertained concerning Mr. Betterton's having visited Stratford, after Rowe's positive assertion that he did so, it is not easy to conceive. Mr. Rowe did not go there himself; and how could he have collected the few circumstances relative to Shakspeare and his family, which he has told, if he had not obtained information from some friend who examined the Register of the parish of Stratford, and made personal ina quiries on the subject ?

Boman,” we are told, “was unwilling to believe,” &c. But the fact disputed did not require any exercise of his belief. Mr, Boman was married to the daughter of Sir Francis Watson, Bart. the gentleman with whom Betterton joins ed in an adventure to the East Indies, whose name the wrie ter of Betterton's Life in Biographia Britannica has fo studiously concealed. By that unfortunate scheme Betterton lofa

following particulars, which I shall give in the
words of Oldys, are, for aught we know to the
contrary, as well authenticated as any of the anec-
dotes delivered down to us by Rowe.

Mr. Oldys had covered several quires of paper
with laborious collections for a regular life of our
author. From these. I have made the following
extracts, which (however trivial) contain the only
circumstances that wear the least appearance of
povelty or information; the song in p. 6, ex,
cepted.

“ If tradition may be trusted, Shakspeare often baited at the Crown Inn or Tavern in Oxford, in his journey to and from London. 'The landlady was a woman of great beauty and sprightly wit; and her husband, Mr. John Davenant, (afterwards mayor of that city,) a grave melancholy man; who, as well as his wife, used much to delight in Shakspeare's pleasant company. Their son young Will Davenant (afterwards Sir William) was then a little school-boy in the town, of about seven or eight years old, and so fond also of Shakspeare, that whenever he heard of his arrival, he would fly from school to see him, One day an old towns

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above 2000l. Dr. Ratcliffe 6oool. and Sir Francis Watson
'his whole fostune. On his death foon after the year 1692 ;
Betterton generously took his daughter under his protection,
and educated her in his house. Here Boman married her ;
from which period he continued to live in the most friend-
ly correspondence with Mr. Betterton, and must have known
whether he went to Stratford or not. MALONE.

of about seven or eight years old, j He was born at
Oxford in February, 1605-6. MALONE.

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man observing the boy running homeward almost out of breath, asked him whither he was posting in that heat and hurry. He answered, to see his god-father Shak[pcare. There's a good boy, said the other, but have a care that you don't take God's name in vain. This story Mr. Pope told me at the Earl of Oxford's table, upon occasion of some discourse which arose about Shakspeare's monument then newly erected in Westminster Abbey;

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9 Shakspeare's monument then newly erected at Weltminster-Abbey;] " This monument,” says Mr. Granger, erected in 1741, by the direction of the Earl of Burlington, Dr. Mead, Mr. Pope, and Mr. Martyn.

Mr. Fleetwood and Mr. Rich gave each of them a benefit towards it, from one of Shakspeare's own plays. It was executed by H. Shee. maker, after a design of Kent.

“ On the monument is infcribed - amor publicus pofuit. Dr. Mead objected to amor publicus, as not occurring in old claffical inscriptions; but Mr. Pope and the other gentlemen concerned insisting that it should stand, Dr. Mead yielded the point, saying,

• Omnia vincit amor, nos & cedamus amori.' " This anecdote was communicated by Dr. Lort, late Greek Professor of Cambridge, who had it from Dr. Mead himself.”

It was recorded at the time in the Gentleman's Magazine for Feb. 1741, by a writer who objects to every part of the infcription, and says it ought to have been,' "G. S. centum viginti & quatuor poft obitum annis populus plaudens [ aút favers ] posõit."

The monument was opened Jan. 29, 1741. Scheemaker is said to have got 300l. for his work. The performers at each house, much to their honour, performed gratis; and the dean and chapter of Weitminster took nothing for the ground. The money received by the performance at Drury-Lane, amounted to above 2001. the receipts at Covent-Garden to about 100l. These particulars I learn from Qldys's MS. notes on Langbaine,

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and he quoted Mr. Betterton the player for his authority. I answered, that I thought such a story might have enriched the variety of those choice fruits of observation he has presented us in his preface to the edițion he had published of our poet's works.

He replied—“There might be in the garden of mankind such plants as would seem to pride themselves more in a regular production of their own native fruits, than in having the repute of bearing a richer kind by grafting; and this was the reason he omitted it." ;

The scroll on the monument, as I learn from a letter to my father, dated June 27, 1741, remained for fume time after the monument was set up, without any infcription on it. This was a challenge to the wits of the time, which one of them accepted by writing a copy of verses, the subject of which was a conversation supposed to pass between Dr. Mead and Sir Thomas Hanmer, relative to the filling up of the scroll, I know not whether they are in print, and I do not choose to quote them all. The introductory lines, however, run thus :

" To learned Mead thus Hanmer spoke,
" Dodor, this empty seroll's a joke.
“ Something it doubtless should contain,
• Extremely short, extremely plain ;
" But wondrous deep, and wondrous pat,

" And fit for Shakspeare to point at;" &c. MALONE. At Drury-Lane was acted Julius Cæfar, 28 April 1738, when a prologue written by Benjamin Martyn, Efq, was spor ken by Mr. Quin, and an epilogue by James Noel, Esq. {poken by Mrs. Porter, Both these are printed in The General Dictionary. At Covent-Garden was acted Hamlet, 10th April 1739, when a prologue written by Mr. Thcobald, and printed in the London Magazine of that year, was spoken by Mr. Ryan. In the Newspaper of the day it was observed that this last representation was far from being numerously attended, REED,

and this was the reafon he omitted it. ] Mr. Oldys might have added, that he was the person who fuggested to

The same story, without the names of the persons, is printed among the jefts of John Taylor, the Water poet, in his works, folio, 1630, p. 184, N° 39: and, with some variations, may be found in one of Hearne's pocket books.'

Mr. Pope the fingular course which he pursued in his edi. tion of Shakspeare. “Remember,” says Oldys in a MS. note to his copy of Langbaine, Article, Shakspeare, “what I observed to my Lord Oxford for Mr. Pope's use, out of Cowa ley's preface." The observation here alluded to, I believe, is one made by Cowley in his preface, p. 53. edit. 1710, 8vo. “This has been the case with Shakspeare, Fletcher, Jonson, and many others, part of whose poems I should presume to take the boldness to prune and lop away, if the care of replanting them in print did belong to me; neither would I make any scruple to cut off from some the unnecessary young fuckers, and form others the old withered branches; for a great wit is no more tied to live in a vast volume, than in a gigantick body; on the contrary it is commonly more vigorous the less space it animates, and as Statius says of little Tydeus,

toios infusa per artus, Major in exiguo regnabat corpore virtus." Pope adopted this very unwarrantable idea; striking out from the text of his author whatever he did not like: and Cowley himself has fuffered a sort of poetical punishment for having suggested it, the learned Bishop of Worcester [ Dr. Hurd] having pruned and lopped away his beautiful luxuriances, as Pope, on Cowley's fuggeftion, did those of Shakspeare, MALONE.

The same storymay be found in one of Hearne's pocket books.) Antony Wood is the first and original author of the anecdote that Shakspeare, in his journies from Warwicka fhire to London, used to bait at the Crown-inn on the west fide of the corn market in Oxford, He says that D'Avenant the poet was born in that house in 1606. " His fa. ther (he adds) John Dayenant, was a fufficient vintner, kept the tavern now known by the sign of the Crown, and was mayor of the said city in 1621.

His mother was a very bcautiful woman, of a good wit and conversation, in which

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