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statesmen of antiquity, would have come down to us as the great Carthaginian, had his abilities and his fortunes not been surpassed by those of his son Hannibal; that Charles Martel, a born king of men, who founded a great monarchy, was father to Pepin, who, with the new-created power which he inherited, inherited also the ability to preserve, to consolidate, and extend it, and whose son was the central figure of the Middle Ages, the imperial Charlemagne ; that Henry II., great after the fashion of his time and of the Plantagenets, transmitted all his energy, his craft, and his military genius to his son Richard the Lionhearted, great also after the Plantagenet fashion, and who equalled him in most of his qualities and surpassed him in others; that strong-minded, strong-willed Henry VIII. had his strong-minded, strong-willed daughter Elizabeth by that weak coquette, Anne Boleyn; that his great Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, was son to Sir Thomas More, Justice of the King's Bench, a man “of excellent wit and judgment,” yet surpassed by his son in these points, as in others; that William, the great Prince of Orange, was succeeded by his son, Prince Maurice of Nassau, one of the two great captains of his day; that William Pitt, called “the Great Commoner," who became Earl of Chatham, had for his son the other William Pitt, the greater commoner, while Chatham's most formidable rival, Henry Fox,
who raised himself to be first Lord Holland, transmitted his talents, though not his titles or his lands, to his yet more eminent son, Charles James Fox; and that Julius Scaliger would have been the first of scholars and critics, had not the splendid abilities of his son, Joseph Scaliger, made him the second. The Mendelssohn who came between Moses the scholar and Felix the musician used smilingly to say that he was the son of the great Mendelssohn and the father of the great Mendelssohn. But this single case would prove nothing, even if it were true that the middleman had a woman of mark for his wife. Intellect, like gout, sometimes skips a generation, yet none the less follows the blood ; but sometimes it is also inherited by immediate descent. The truth is, that upon the very interesting subject of transmitted qualities in the human race, we know almost nothing. But we do know that, in Shakespeare's own words, “good wombs have borne bad sons”; and even a little observation will discover that the converse is equally true, and that mothers, as well as fathers, of vicious character or feeble intellect have had children born to them upon whose moral integrity or mental endowments they have looked with perplexity and wonder.*
* Whoever thinks this subject of sufficient interest and moment to examine it, could not fail, I am sure, to add many similar and perhaps more striking examples to those above mentioned,
Mary Arden may have been such a woman as it would please us to imagine the mother of William Shakespeare ; but the limits of our knowledge oblige us to look upon him during childhood only under the tutelage of the father, whose good sense and strong character are shown by his rapid and steady rise of fortune and his advancement among his townsmen. His son was taught, we may be sure, to fear God and honor the King,* and, in the words of the Catechism, to learn and labor truly to get his own living, and do his duty in that state of life to which it had pleased God to call him ; for that was the sum and substance of the
which have occurred to me only as I have been writing. In the brief annals of this Republic we find the two Adamses, John and John Quincy, father and son ; and Daniel Webster, the equal in intellectual capacity of any statesman of his generation, had for his sire a man of such singular ability and great force of character, that we cannot be sure that his son surpassed him, except by reason of a higher culture and a wider field of labor. From the memoir of his life by George Nesmith, we learn that he went through with honor an amount of public service rarely rendered by a single individual. He was a “Selectman” in Salisbury nine years, Town-Clerk three years, Representative four years, Senator four years, a Delegate to two State Constitutional Conventions, Elector for President when Washington was first chosen to that office, a county magistrate thirty-five years, and a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas fifteen years, which office he held at the time of his death in 1806. Judge Webster also filled several offices in the village church, was elected chairman of the town-meeting in Salisbury forty-three times ; he served in the “Old French War,” was a captain during the Revolution, and a colonel in 1784.
* “Moriamur pro rege nostro,” – - as applicable to Elizabeth of England as to Maria Theresa of Hungary.
home-teaching of our forefathers. For book instruction, there was the Free Grammar School of Stratford, well endowed by Thomas Jolyffe in the reign of Edward IV.,- forever therefore let his name be honored !- where, unless it differed from all others of its kind, he could have learned Latin and some Greek. Some English too; but not much, for English was held in scorn by the scholars of those days, and long after. The only qualifications for admission to this school were residence in the town, seven years ability to read. That the sons of the chief alderman of Stratford went there, we could hardly have entertained a doubt, even had not Betterton learned the tradition that William had been bred there for some time. The masters of the school between 1572 and 1580 were Thomas Hunt, the parson of the neighboring village of Luddington, and Thomas Jenkins. Had either the Englishman or the Welshman known when they breeched Shakespeare primus that he would have his revenge in making the one sit for his portrait as Holofernes, and the other as Sir Hugh Evans, they would doubtless have taken out their satisfaction grievously in advance upon the spot. Could any one with power of conviction upon his tongue have told them what he was whom they were flogging, they would have dropped the birch and fled the school in awe unspeakable. There is better discipline, even for a dull or a vicious boy,
than beating ; but, aside from question of the kind of training to which he was subjected, it was well perhaps for William Shakespeare that his masters knew only what he then was. Insight of the future would not always bring good fortune.
At school Shakespeare acquired some knowledge of Latin and of Greek. For not only does Ben Jonson tell us that he had a little of the former and less of the latter, but his very frequent use of Latin derivatives in their radical sense shows a somewhat thoughtful and observant study of that language ; and although he has left fewer traces of his personal feelings and experience upon his works than any modern writer, he wrote one passage bearing upon this subject, and telling a plain story. Warwick, pleading to King Henry IV. in extenuation of the fondness of Prince Hal for wild associates, says :
*My gracious lord, you look beyond him quite.
Second Part of King Henry IV., Act IV. Sc. 4. Genius does not teach facts; and every man who has himself been through the curriculum will see that the writer of that passage had surely, at least, passed through the same course before the days of expurgated classics. Jonson's phrase, “small