Imagens das páginas

a murderer.

Nature that formed us of four elements,

Lamb says, “moves pity and terror beyond any Warring within our breasts for regiment,

scene, ancient or modern.'. It may challenge Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds :

comparison with Shakspeare's death of Richard Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend The wondrous architecture of the world,

II.; but Marlowe could not interest us in his hero And measure every wandering planet's course,

as the great dramatist does in the gentle Richard. Still climbing after knowledge infinite, And always moving as the restless spheres,

Scene from Marlowe's Edward Il.
Will us to wear ourselves, and never rest
Until we reach the ripest fruit of all.

Scene-Berkeley Castle. The King is left alone with LIGHTBORN, Marlowe came to an early and singularly unhappy Edward. Who's there? what light is that? wherefore end. He was stabbed in an affray in a tavern at com'st thou ? Deptford, and buried on the ist of June 1593, the Lightborn. To comfort you, and bring you joyful news. parish register recording that he was ‘slain by Edw. Small comfort finds poor Edward in thy looks! Francis Archer.' Marlowe had raised his poniard | Villain, I know thou com’st to murder me. against his antagonist—whom Meres and Anthony

Light. To murder you, my most gracious lord ! Wood describe as 'a serving-man, a rival of his Far is it from my heart to do you harm. lewd love'-when the other seized him by the The queen sent me to see how you were used, wrist, and turned the dagger, so that it entered And what eyes can refrain from shedding tears, Marlowe's own head, 'in such sort that, notwith- To see a king in this most piteous state. standing all the means of surgery that could be

Edw. Weep'st thou already? list a while to me, brought, he shortly after died of his wound.' And then thy heart, were it as Gurney's? is, Thus, condemned by the serious and puritanical, Or as Matrevis', 1 héwn from the Caucasus, and stained with follies, while his genius was Yet will it melt, ere I have done my

tale. rapidly maturing and developing its magnificent This dungeon where they keep me is a sink resources, Marlowe fell a victim to an obscure Wherein the filth of all the castle falls. and disgraceful brawl. The last words of Greene's Light. O villains ! address

to him a year or two before are somewhat Edw. And there, in mire and puddle, have I stood ominous : 'Refusé not (with me) till this last point. This ten days' space; and lest that I should sleep, of extremity; for little knowest thou how in the One plays continually upon a drum. end thou shalt be visited.' The warning was

They give me bread and water, being a king;

So that, for want of sleep and sustenance, Like the sad presaging raven, that tolls

My mind's distempered, and my body's numbed,

And whether I have limbs or no, I know not.
The sick man's passport in her hollow beak,
And in the shadow of the silent night

O would my blood drop out from every vein,

As doth this water from my tattered robes ! Doth shake contagion from her sable wings.

Jew of Malta.

Tell Isabel, the queen, I looked not thus,

When for her sake I ran at tilt in France, The finest compliment paid to the genius of this And there unhorsed the Duke of Cleremont. unfortunate poet, was by his contemporary and

Light. O speak no more, my lord ! this breaks my

heart. fellow-dramatist, Michael Drayton :

Lie on this bed, and rest yourself a while. Next Marlowe, bathed in the Thespian springs,

Edw. These looks of thine can harbour nought but Had in him those brave translunary things

death : That the first poets had : his raptures were

I see my tragedy written in thy brows. All air and fire, which made his verses clear ;

Yet stay a while, forbear thy bloody hand, For that fine madness still he did retain,

And let me see the stroke before it comes, Which rightly should possess a poet's brain.

That even then, when I shall lose my life,

My mind may be more steadfast on my God. The great success of Marlowe's plays, and the

Light. What means your highness to mistrust me

thus ? popularity of Alleyn, the principal actor in them,

Edw. What mean'st thou to dissemble with me thus ? must have influenced Shakspeare in no small

Light. These hands were never stained with innocent degree ; and he fortunately possessed in Burbage

blood, a tragic performer capable of embodying his finest Nor shall they now be tainted with a king's. conceptions and dividing the applause of the town. Edw. Forgive my thought, for having such a thought. Marlowe's Jew was, in a certain sense, the proto- One jewel have I left

, receive thou this. type of Shylock, and his historical plays the foun- Still fear I, and I know not what 's the cause, dation of Shakspeare's first efforts in the same But every joint shakes as I give it thee. popular walk of the drama. There could never Oh, if thou harbour'st murder in thy heart, have been any serious or continued rivalry between Let the gift change thy mind, and save thy soul. the poets, even if death had not prevented it; but Know that I am a king : Oh, at that name there may have been a short period when Shak- I feel a hell of grief

. Where is my crown? speare looked with envy and admiration on the Gone, gone; and do I still remain alive?

Light. You're overwatched, my lord ; lie down and wild, irregular, and towering genius that, 'with no

rest. middle flight,' successfully soared

Edw. But that grief keeps me waken, I should sleep ; Above the Aonian mount, while it pursued

For not these ten days have these eyelids closed.
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.

Now as I speak they fall, and yet with fear
Open again. O wherefore sitt'st thou here?

Light. If you mistrust me, I 'll be gone, my lord. Originality, that first attribute of genius, belongs, in an eminent degree, to the ill-fated Marlowe. Thou wilt return again ; and therefore stay.

Edw. No, no ; for if thou mean'st to murder me, We subjoin part of the death-scene of Edward II. in his historical drama, a scene which, Charles

1 His keepers.


Light. He sleeps.

The following is exactly like a scene from
Edw. O let me not die ; yet stay, O stay a while. Shakspeare :
Light. How now, my lord ?
Edw. Something still buzzeth in mine ears,

The Nobles Remonstrate with Edward 11.
And tells me if I sleep, I never wake;
This fear is that which makes me tremble thus.

EDWARD.-Kent.-YOUNG MORTIMER.-LANCASTER. And therefore tell me wherefore art thou come?

Young Mortimer. Nay, stay my lord : I come to bring Light. To rid thee of thy life. Matrevis, come.

you news : Edw. I am too weak and feeble to resist :

Mine uncle's taken prisoner by the Scots. Assist me, sweet God, and receive my soul.

Edward. Then ransom him.

Lancaster. 'Twas in your wars; you should ransom The following may be taken as a specimen of him. Marlowe's sonorous exaggerated style :

Y. Mor. And you shall ransom him, or else

Kent. What! Mortimer, you will not threaten him ? Description of Tamburlaine,

Edw. Quiet yourself ; you shall have the broad seal

To gather for him through the realm. Of stature tall, and straightly fashioned ;

Lanc. Your minion, Gaveston, hath taught you this. Like his desire, list upwards and divine.

Y. Mor. My lord, the family of the Mortimers
So large of limbs, his joints so strongly knit,

Are not so poor, but would they sell their land,
Such breadth of shoulders, as might mainly bear Could levy men enough to anger you.
Old Atlas burthen. 'Twixt his manly pitch

We never beg, but use such prayers as these.
A pearl more worth than all the world is placed :

Edw. Shall I still be taunted thus ? Wherein by curious sovereignty of art

Y. Mor. Nay, now you 're here alone, I'll speak my Are fixed his piercing instruments of sight :

mind. Whose fiery circles bear encompassed

Lanc. And so will I, and then, my lord, farewell. A heaven of heavenly bodies in their spheres,

Y. Mor. The idle triumphs, masques, lascivious shows, That guides his steps and actions to the throne

And prodigal gifts bestowed on Gaveston, Where Honour sits invested royally.

Have drawn thy treasury dry, and made thee weak : Pale of complexion, wrought in him with passion,

The murmuring commons, overstretched, break. Thirsting with sovereignty and love of arms.

Lanc. Look for rebellion, look to be deposed; His lofty brows in folds do figure death;

Thy garrisons are beaten out of France, And in their smoothness amity and life.

And, lame and poor, lie groaning at the gates. About them hangs a knot of amber hair,

The wild O'Neil, with swarms of Irish kernes, Wrapped in curls, as fierce Achilles' was ;

Lives uncontrolled within the English pale. On which the breath of heaven delights to play,

Unto the walls of York the Scots make road, Making it dance with wanton majesty.

And unresisted draw away rich spoils. His arms and fingers long and sinewy,

Y. Mor. The haughty Dane commands the narrow Betokening valour and excess of strength;

seas, In every part proportioned like the man

While in the harbour ride thy ships unrigged. Should make the world subdued to Tamburlaine. ...

Lanc. What foreign prince sends thee ambassadors ? The first day when he pitched down his tents,

Y. Mor. Who loves thee but a sort of flatterers ? White is their hue; and on his silver crest

Lanc. Thy gentle queen, sole sister to Valois,

Complains that thou hast left her all forlorn.
A snowy feather spangled white he bears ;
To signify the mildness of his mind,

Y. Mor. Thy court is naked, being bereft of those That, satiate with spoil, refuseth blood :

That make a king seem glorious to the world; But when Aurora mounts the second time,

I mean the Peers, whom thou shouldst dearly love : As red as scarlet is his furniture ;

Libels are cast against thee in the streetThen must his kindled wrath be quenched with blood, Ballads and rhymes made of thy overthrow. Not sparing any that can manage arms :

Lanc. The northern borderers seeing their houses

burned, But if these threats move not submission, Black are his colours, black pavilion,

Their wives and children slain, run up and down His his shield, his horse, his armour, plumes,

Cursing the name of thee and Gaveston. spear, And jetty feathers, menace death and hell ;

Y. Mor. When wert thou in the field with banners Without respect of sex, degree or age,

spread? He razeth all his foes with fire and sword.

But once; and then thy soldiers marched like players

With garish robes, not armour; and thyself Detached lines and passages in Edward 11. Bedaubed with gold, rode laughing at the rest, possess much poetical uty. Thus, in

Nodding and shaking of thy spangled crest, to Leicester, the king says :

Where women's favours hung like labels down.

Lanc. And therefore came it that the fleering Scots Leicester, if gentle words might comfort me,

To England's high disgrace have made this jig :
Thy speeches long ago had eased my sorrows; Maids of England, sore may you mourn
For kind and loving hast thou always been.

For your lemans you have lost at Bannocksbourn,
The griefs of private men are soon allayed,

With a heave and a ho.
But not of kings. The forest deer being struck, What weened the king of England
Runs to an herb that closeth up the wounds;

So soon to have won Scotland
But when the imperial lion's flesh is gored,

With a rombelow?' He rends and tears it with his wrathful paw,

Y. Mor. Wigmore shall fly to set my uncle free. And highly scorning that the lowly earth

Lanc. And when 'tis gone, our swords shall purchase Should drink his blood, mounts up to the air.

If ye be moved, revenge it if you can; Or Mortimer's device for the royal pageant :

Look next to see us with our ensigns spread.

[Exeunt nobles. A lofty cedar tree fair flourishing, On whose top branches kingly eagles perch, The works of Marlowe have been edited by the And by the bark a canker creeps me up,

Rev. Alex. Dyce (1859), and by Lieutenant-colonel And gets unto the highest bough of all.

Francis Cunningham (1869). The latter has



added some excellent illustrative and explanatory possess is a comedy called Patient Grissell, taken notes.

from Boccaccio. The humble charms of the The taste of the public for the romantic drama, heroine are thus finely described : in preference to the classical, seems now to have been confirmed. An attempt was made, towards

See where my Grissell and her father is ;

Methinks her beauty, shining through those weeds, the close of Elizabeth's reign, to revive the forms

Seems like a bright star in the sullen night. of the classic stage, by DANIEL, who wrote two

How lovely poverty dwells on her back! plays, Cleopatra and Philotas, which are smoothly

Did but the proud world note her as I do, versified, but undramatic in their character. LADÝ She would cast off rich robes, forswear rich state, PEMBROKE Co-operated in a tragedy called Antony, To clothe her in such poor habiliments. written in 1590; and SAMUEL BRANDON produced, in 1598, a tame and feeble Roman play, Virtuous

The names of Haughton, Antony Brewer, Porter, Octavia.

Smith, Hathaway-probably some relation of Shakspeare's wife-Wilson, &c. also occur as dramatic

writers. From the diary of Henslowe, it appears ANTHONY MUNDAY-HENRY CHETTLE.

that, between 1591 and 1597, upwards of a hun

dred different plays were performed by four of In the throng of dramatic authors, the names the ten or eleven theatrical companies which then of ANTHONY NUNDAY (1554-1633) and HENRY existed. Henslowe was originally a pawnbroker, CHETTLE (known as author between 1592 and who advanced money and dresses to the players, 1602) frequently occur. Munday was an author as and he ultimately possessed a large share of the early as 1579, and he was concerned in fourteen wardrobe and properties of the playhouses with plays. Francis Meres, in 1598, calls him the 'best which he was concerned. The name of Shakplotter' among the writers for the stage. One of speare does not once occur in his diary. his dramas, Sir John Oldcastle, was written in Several good dramas of this golden age have conjunction with Michael Drayton and others, and descended to us, the authors of which are unknown. was printed in 1600, with the name of Shakspeare A few of these possess merit enough to have been on the title-page. The Death of Robert, Earl of considered first sketches of Shakspeare, but this Huntington, printed in 1601, was a popular play opinion has been gradually abandoned by all but by Munday, assisted by Chettle, though some- one or two German critics. Most of them have times ascribed to Thomas Heywood. The pranks been published in Dodsley's Collection of Old of Robin Hood and Maid Marian in merry Plays. The best are

e-the Merry Devil of EdmonSherwood are thus gaily set forth :

ton, the London Prodigal, the Yorkshire Tragedy,

Lord Cromwell, the Birth of Merlin, the Collier Sport in Sherwood.

of Croydon, Mucedorus, Locrine, Arden of FeverWind once more, jolly huntsmen, all your horns,

sham, the Misfortunes of Arthur, Edward III. Whose shrill sound, with the echoing woods' assist,

&c. The most correct and regular of these anonyShall ring a sad knell for the fearful deer,

mous dramas is Arden of Feversham, a domestic Before our feathered shafts, death's winged darts, tragedy, founded on a murder which took place Bring sudden summons for their fatal ends.

in 1551. Alice, the wife of Arden, proves unfaithGive me thy hand : now God's curse on me light, ful, and joins with her paramour Mosbie, and some If I sorsake not grief in grief's despite.

assassins, in murdering her husband. Tieck has Now make a cry, and yeomen, stand ye round : translated this play into German, as a genuine I charge ye, never more let woful sound

production of Shakspeare, but the style is different. Be heard among ye ; but whatever fall,

In the earliest acknowledged works of the WarLaugh grief to scorn, and so make sorrow small. . .

wickshire bard, there is a play of wit, and of what Marian, thou seest, though courtly pleasures want,

Hallam calls ‘analogical imagery,' which is not Yet country sport in Sherwood is not scant.

seen in Arden of Feversham, though it exhibits a For the soul-ravishing delicious sound Of instrumental music, we have found

strong picture of the passions, and indicates freeThe winged quiristers, with divers notes,

dom of versification and dramatic art. We subSent from their quaint recording pretty throats,

join one touching scene between Alice and her On every branch that compasseth our bower,

paramour-a scene of mutual recrimination, guilt, Without command contenting us each hour.

and tenderness : For arras hangings and rich tapestry, We have sweet nature's best embroidery.

Scene from Arden of Fevershan.
For thy steel glass, wherein thou wont'st to look,

ALICE ARDEN. --Mosdie.
Thy crystal eyes gaze in a crystal brook.
At court, a flower or two did deck thy head,

Mosbie. How now, Alice? What! sad and passionate? Now, with whole garlands it is circled ;

Make me partaker of thy pensiveness ; For what in wealth we want, we have in flowers,

Fire divided burns with lesser force. And what we lose in halls, we find in bowers.

Alice. But I will dam that fire in my breast,

Till by the force thereof my part consume. Chettle was engaged in no less than thirty-eight

Ah, Mosbie! plays between the years 1597 and 1603, four of

Mos. Such deep pathaires, like to a cannon's burst, which have been printed. Mr Collier thinks he

Discharged against a ruinated wall, had written for the stage before 1592, when he

Breaks my relenting heart in thousand pieces.

Ungentle Alice, thy sorrow is my sore ; published Greene's posthumous work, A Groat's

Thou knowest it well, and 'tis thy policy Worth of Wit. Among his plays the names of

To forge distressful looks, to wound a breast which have descended to us, is one on the subject Where lies a heart which dies when thou art sad. of Cardinal Wolsey, which probably was the It is not love that loves to anger love. original of Shakspeare's Henry VIII. The best Al. It is not love that loves to murder love. drama of this prolific author which we now Mos. How mean you that?


Al. Thou know'st how dearly Arden loved me. Make love to you ; why, 'tis unpardonable.
Mos. And then

We beggars must not breathe where gentles are.
Al. And then—conceal the rest, for 'tis too bad, Al. Sweet Mosbie is as gentle as a king,
Lest that my words be carried to the wind,

And I too blind to judge him otherwise.
And published in the world to both our shames. Flowers sometimes spring in fallow lands,
I pray thee, Mosbie, let our spring-time wither ; Weeds in gardens, roses grow on thorns ;
Our harvest else will yield but loathsome weeds. So whatsoe'er my Mosbie's father was,
Forget, I pray thee, what has passed betwixt us : Himself is valued gentle by his worth.
For now I blush and tremble at the thoughts.

Mos. Ah, how you women can insinuate, Mos. What ! are you changed ?

And clear a trespass with your sweet set tongue. Al. Ay, to my former happy life again ;

I will forget this quarrel, gentle Alice,
From title of an odious strumpet's name

Provided I'll be tempted so no more.
To honest Arden's wife, not Ården's honest wife-
Ha, Mosbie ! 'tis thou hast rifled me of that,

Arden of Feversham was first printed in 1592. And made me slanderous to all my kin.

The Yorkshire Tragedy, another play of the same Even in my forehead is thy name engraven,

kind, but apparently more hastily written, was A mean artificer, that low-born name !

performed in 1604, and four years afterwards I was bewitched; woe-worth the hapless hour printed with Shakspeare's name. Both Dyce and And all the causes that enchanted me.

Collier, able dramatic antiquaries and students, Mos. Nay, if thou ban, let me breathe curses forth ; are inclined to the opinion that this drama conAnd if you stand so nicely at your fame,

tains passages which only Shakspeare could have Let me repent the credit I have lost. I have neglected matters of import,

written. But in lines like the following—though That would have 'stated me above thy state ;

smooth and natural, and quoted as the most For-slowed advantages, and spurned-at time;

Shakspearian in the play-we miss the music of Ay, fortune's right hand Mosbie hath forsook, the great dramatist's thoughts and numbers. It To take a wanton giglot by the left.

is, however, a forcible picture of a luckless, I left the marriage of an honest maid,

reckless gambler : Whose dowry would have weighed down all thy wealth ; Whose beauty and demeanour far exceeded thee.

Picture of a Gambler. This certain good I lost for changing bad,

What will become of us? All will away! And wrapt my credit in thy company,

My husband never ceases in expense, I was bewitched ; that is no theme of thine ;

Both to consume his credit and his house ; And thou unhallowed hast enchanted me.

And 'tis set down by Heaven's just decree, But I will break thy spells and exorcisms,

That Riot's child must needs be Beggary. And put another sight upon these eyes,

Are these the virtues that his youth did promise? That shewed my heart a raven for a dove.

Dice and voluptuous meetings, midnight revels, Thou art not fair ; I viewed thee not till now:

Taking his bed with surfeits, ill beseeming Thou art not kind ; till now I knew thee not :

The ancient honour of his house and name? And now the rain hath beaten off thy gilt,

And this not all, but that which kills me most, Thy worthless copper shews thee counterfeit.

When he recounts his losses and false fortunes, It grieves me not to see how foul thou art,

The weakness of his state, so much dejected, But mads me that ever I thought thee fair.

Not as a man repentant, but half mad. Go, get thee gone, a copesmate for thy hinds;

His fortunes cannot answer his expense. I am too good to be thy favourite.

He sits and sullenly locks up his arms, Al. Ay, now I see, and too soon find it true,

Forgetting Heaven, looks downward, which makes him Which often hath been told me by my friends,

Appear so dreadful, that he frights my heart : That Mosbie loves me not but for my wealth;

Walks heavily, as if his soul were earth; Which too incredulous I ne'er believed.

Not penitent for those his sins are past, Nay, hear me speak, Mosbie, a word or two;

But vexed his money cannot make them last.
I'll bite my tongue if I speak bitterly.

A fearful melancholy, ungodly sorrow !
Look on me, Mosbie, or else I 'll kill myself.
Nothing shall hide me from thy stormy look ;
If thou cry war, there is no peace for me.
I will do penance for offending thee ;

And burn this prayer-book, which I here use,

We have seen that Greene, Peele, and Marlowe The holy word that has converted me. See, Mosbie, I will tear away the leaves,

prepared in some degree the way for Shakspeare. And all the leaves ; and in this golden cover

They had given a more settled and scholastic form Shall thy sweet phrases and thy letters dwell,

to the drama, and assigned it a permanent place And thereon will I chiefly meditate,

in the national literature. They adorned the stage And hold no other sect but such devotion.

with more variety of character and action, with Wilt thou not look ? is all thy love o'erwhelmed ? deep passion, and true poetry. The latter, indeed, Wilt thou not hear? what malice stops thy ears? was tinged with incoherence and extravagance, but Why speak'st thou not? what silence ties thy tongue ? the sterling ore of genius was, in Marlowe at least, Thou hast been sighted as the eagle is,

abundant. Above all, they had familiarised the And heard as quickly as the fearful hare,

public ear to the use of blank verse. The last And spoke as smoothly as an orator, When I have bid thee hear, or see, or speak :

improvement was the greatest; for even the genius And art thou sensible in none of these?

of Shakspeare would have been cramped and con

fined, if it had been condemned to move only in Weigh all thy good turns with this little fault, And I deserve not Mosbie's muddy looks.

the fetters of rhyme. The quick interchange of A fence of trouble is not thickened still ;

dialogue, and the various nice shades and alternaBe clear again ; I'll ne'er more trouble thee. tions of character and feeling, could not have been Mos. O fie, no; I'm a base artificer ;

evolved in dramatic action, except in that admirMy wings are feathered for a lowly flight.

able form of verse which unites rhythmical harmony Mosbie, fie, no; not for a thousand pound

with the utmost freedom, grace, and flexibility.


When Shakspeare, therefore, appeared conspicu- ancients, shew that he was imbued with the spirit ously on the horizon, the scene may be said to and taste of classical literature, and was a happy have been prepared for his reception. The Genius student, if not a critical scholar. His mind was of the Drama had accumulated materials for the too comprehensive to degenerate into pedantry; use of the great poet, who was to extend her but when, at the age of four or five and twenty, empire over limits not yet recognised, and invest he took the field of original dramatic composition, it with a splendour which the world had never in company with the university-bred authors and seen before.

wits of his times, he soon distanced them all, in The few incidents known of Shakspeare's life correctness as well as facility, in the intellectual are chiefly derived from legal documents. The richness of his thoughts and diction, and in the fond idolatry with which he is now regarded was wide range of his acquired knowledge. It may only turned to his personal history at a late be safely assumed, therefore, that at Stratford he period, when little could be gathered even by the was a hard, though perhaps an irregular student. most enthusiastic collector. WILLIAM SHAK- The precocious maturity of Shakspeare's passions SPEARE was born at Stratford-on-Avon, in the hurried him into a premature marriage. On the county of Warwick, in April 1564. There is a 28th of November 1582, he obtained å licence at pleasant and poetical tradition, that he was born Worcester, legalising his union with Anne Hathaon the 23d of the month, the anniversary of St way, with once asking of the bans. Two of his George, the tutelar saint of England; but all we neighbours became security in the sum of £40, know with certainty is, that he was baptised on that the poet would fulfil his matrimonial engagethe 26th. His father, John Shakspeare, is traced ment, he being a minor, and unable, legally, to to a family occupying land at Snitterfield, near contract for himself. Anne Hathaway was seven Warwick. He settled in the town of Stratford, years older than her husband. She was the became a wool-comber or glover, and elevated his daughter of a 'substantial yeoman’ of the village social position by marriage with a rustic heiress, of Shottery, about a mile from Stratford. The Mary Arden, possessed of an estate worth about poet's daughter, Susanna, was christened on the £120 per annum of our present money; The 26th of May 1583, six months after the marriage. poet's father rose to be high-bailiff and chief In a year and a half, two other children, twins, alderman of Stratford ; but in 1578, he is found were born to Shakspeare, who had no family mortgaging his wife's inheritance, and, from entries afterwards. We may readily suppose that the in the town-books, is supposed to have fallen into small town of Stratford did not offer scope for the comparative poverty. William was the eldest of ambition of the poet, now arrived at early mansix surviving children, and after some education hood, and feeling the ties of a husband and a at the grammar-school, he is said to have been father. He removed to London in 1586 or 1587. brought home to assist at his father's business. It has been said that his departure was hastened There is a blank in his history for some years; by the effects of a lampoon he had written on a but doubtless he was engaged, whatever might be neighbouring squire, Sir Thomas Lucy of Charlehis circumstances or employment, in treasuring cote, in revenge for Sir Thomas prosecuting him up materials for his future poetry. The study of for deer-stealing. The story is inconsistent in its man and of nature, facts in natural history, the details. Part of it must be untrue ; it was never country, the fields, and the woods, would be recorded against him in his lifetime ; and the gleaned by familiar intercourse and observation whole may have been built upon the opening among his fellow-townsmen, and in rambling over scene in the Merry Wives of Windsor-not the beautiful valley of the Avon. It has been written till after Sir Thomas Lucy's death-in conjectured that he was some time in a lawyer's which there is some wanton wit on the armorial office, as his works abound in technical legal bearings of the Lucy family.* As an actor, Shakphrases and illustrations. This has always seemed speare is spoken favourably of by Lodge; and in to us highly probable. The London players were also then in the habit of visiting Stratford ; * Mr Washington Irving, in his Sketch-book, thus adverts to Thomas Green, an actor, was a native of the Charlecote and the deer-stealing affair:

I had a desire to see the old family seat of the Lucys at town; and Burbage, the greatest performer of Charlecote, and to ramble through the park where Shakspeare, his day-the future Richard, Hamlet, and Othello in company with some of the roysters of Stratford, committed his -was originally from Warwickshire.

youthful offence of deer-stealing. In this hare-brained exploit, we Who can

are told that he was taken prisoner, and carried to the keeper's doubt, then, that the high-bailiff's son, from the lodge, where he remained all night in doleful captivity. When years of twelve to twenty, was a frequent and brought into the presence of Sir Thomas Lucy, his treatment welcome visitant behind the scenes—that he there his spirit, as to produce a rough pasquinade, which was affixed to imbibed the tastes and feelings which coloured the park-gate at Charlecote. all his future life—and that he there felt the first him, that he applied to a lawyer at Warwick to put the severity

This flagitious attack upon the dignity of the knight so incensed stirrings of his immortal dramatic genius. We of the laws in force against the rhyming deer-stalker. Shakspeare are persuaded that he had begun to write long and a country attorney

did not wait to brave the united puissance of a knight of the shire before he left Stratford, and had most probably 'I now found myself among noble avenues of oaks and elms, sketched, if not completed, his Venus and Adonis, whose vast size bespoke the growth of centuries. and the Lucrece. The amount of his education the romantic solitudes of the adjoining park of Fulbroke, which at the grammar-school has been made a question then formed a part of the Lucy estate, that some of Shakspeare's of eager scrutiny and controversy. Ben Jonson tations of Jaques, and the enchanting woodland pictures in As says he had 'little Latin, and less Greek. This You Like It.... [The house) is a large building of brick, with is not denying that he had some. Many Latinised stone quoins, and is in the Gothic style of Queen Elizabeth's day, idioms and expressions are to be found in his having been built in the first year of her reign. The exterior

remains very nearly in its original state, and may be considered plays. The choice of two classical subjects for a fair specimen of the residence of a wealthy country gentleman his early poetry, and the numerous felicitous old se le-awith stone-shafted casements, a great bow-window of allusions in his dramas to the mythology of the heavy stone-work, and a portal with armorial bearings over it,

It was


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