« AnteriorContinuar »
Theobald, Hanmer, and Warburton, whose to hold, he became the promising object of respective merits he has characterised with fraud and imposture. This, we have already candour, and with singular felicity of expression. observed, he did not wholly escape in his own Sbakspeare's works may be overloaded with time, and he had the spirit or policy to despise criticism, for what writer bas excited so much it. * It was reserved for modern impostors, curiosity, and so many opinions? but Johnson's however, to avail themselves of the obscurity in preface is an accompaniment worthy of the which his history is involved. In 1751 a book genius it celebrates.—His own edition followed was published, entitled, “ A Compendious or in 1765, and a second, in conjunction with “ briefe examination of certayne ordinary Mr. Steevens, 1773. The third edition of the “ Complaints of divers of our Countrymen in joint editors appeared in 1785, the fourth in “ those our days : which although they are in 1793, in 15 vols., and the last and most com- “some Part upjust and frivolous, yet are they plele, in 1803, in 21 volumes octavo. Mr. “ all by way of dialogue throughly debated and Malone's edition was published in 1790, in “ discussed by William Shakspeare, Gentle10 vols. crown octavo, and soon became scarce. “ man.” This had been originally published His original notes and improvements were, in 1581, but Dr. Farmer bas clearly proved however, incorporated in the editions of 1793 that W. S. gent. the only authority for attriand 1803, by Mr. Steevens. Mr. Malone's buting it lo Sbakspeare in the reprinted edition, last edition, a posthumous work, which apo meant William Stafford, gent.—Theobald, the peared in 1821, was edited by Mr. James Boswell, same accurate critic, informs us, was desirous the second son of the biographer of Johnson, of palming upon the world a play called “ Douwho appears to bave been fully in the confidence ble Falsehood," for a posthumous one of Shakof Mr. Malone. To this is prefixed a new life speare. In 1770 was reprinted at Feversham, of Shakspeare, which, although extending to an old play called “ The Tragedy of Arden of more than five hundred pages, conducts Shak- Feversham, and Black Will,” with a preface speare only to London, without giving us any attributing it to Shakspeare, without the more information of his subsequent progress smallest foundation. But these were trifles iban we bad before in the notes which Stee- compared to the atrocious attempt made in vens and Malone had formerly contributed to 1795-6, when, besides a vast mass of prose Rowe's life. Mr. Malone, after more than and verse, letters, &c., pretendedly in the twenty years' labour, bad not advanced farther, bandwriting of Shakspeare and his corresponnor did he leave any materials from wbich bis dents, an entire play, entitled Vortigern, was editor could attempt a continuation.
not only brought forward to the astonishment of To follow Mr. Malone in enumerating the the public, but actually performed on Drurycopies of Sbakspeare dispersed through England lane stage. It would be unnecessary to erwould now be impossible. In one form or patiate on the merits of this play, which Mr. other his plays have been, for the last twenty Steevens has very happily characterized as years, almost continually in the press. Nor the performance of a madman, without a lucid among the honours paid to his genius, ought interval,” or to enter more at large into the we to forget the very magnificent edition un- bistory of a fraud so recent, and so soon dertaken by Messrs. Boydell and Nicol. Still acknowledged by the authors of it. It produced, less ought it to be forgotten how much the re- however, an interesting controversy between putation of Shakspeare was revived by the Mr. Malone and Mr. George Chalmers, which, unrivalled excellence of Garrick's performance. although mixed with some unpleasant asperities, His share in directing the public taste towards was extended to inquiries into the history and the study of Shakspeare, was perhaps greater antiquities of the stage, from which future than that of any individual in his time, and historians and critics may derive considerable such was bis zeal, and such his success in this information. laudable attempt, that he may be forgiven for his injudicious alterations of some of the plays,
* Mr. Malone has given a list of 14 plays ascribed as well as for the foolish mummery of the Strat- to Shakspeare, either by the editors of the two ford jubilee.
later folios, or by the compilers of ancient cataWhen public opinion had begun to assign to logues. Of these Pericles has found advocates Shakspeare the very high rank he was destined for its admission into his works.
Vicesimo quinto die Martü,* Anno Regni Do- said county of Warwick, being parcel or holden mini Jacobi nunc Regis Angliæ, etc, decimo of the manor of Rowinglon, unto my daughter quarto, et Scotiæ quadragesimo nono. Anno Susanna Hall, and her heirs for ever. * Domini 1616.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my said In the name of God, Amen. I William daughter Judith one hundred and fifty pounds Sbakspeare, of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the more, if she, or any issue of her body, be living county of Warwick, gent., in perfect health
at the end of three years nest ensuing the day and memory (God be praised !) do make and of the date of this my will, during which time ordain this my last will and lestament in my executors to pay her consideralion from my manner and form following ; that is to say:
decease according to the rate aforesaid : and it
she die within the said term without issue of First, I commend my soul into the bands of her body, then my will is, and I do give and God my Creator, hoping, and assuredly be- bequeath one hundred pounds thereof to my lieving through the only merits of Jesus Christ niece t Elizabeth Hall, and the fifty pounds to my Saviour, to be made partaker of life ever
be set forth by my executors during the life of lasting; and my body to the earth whereof it
my sister Joan Hart, and the use and profit is made.
thereof coming, shall be paid to my said sister Item, i give and bequeath unto my daughter Joan, and after her decease the said fifty pounds Judith, one hundred and fifty pounds of lawful shall remain amongst the children of my said English money, to be paid unto her in manner sister, equally to be divided amongst them; but and form following; lbat is to say, one hundred if my said daughter Judith be living at the end pounds in discharge of her marriage portion, of the said three years, or any issue of her within one year after my decease, with consi- body, then my will is, and so I devise and deration after the rale of two shillings in the bequeath the said hundred and Gifty pounds to pound for so long time as the same shall be be set out by my executors and overseers for unpaid unto her after my decease; and the fifly the best benefit of her and her issue, and the pounds residue thereof, upon her surrendering stock not to be paid unto her so long as she of, or giving of such sufficient security as the shall be married and covert baron ; but my will overseers of this my will shall like of, to surren- is, ibat she shall have the consideralion yearly der or grant, all her estates and right that shall paid unto her during ber life, and after her descend or come unto her after my decease, or that she now hath, of, in, or to, one copybold This was found to be unnecessary, as it was lenement, with the appurtenances, lying and ascertained that the copyhold descended to the
MAbeing in Stralford-upon-Avon aforesaid, in the eldest daughter by the custom of the manor.
LONE, edit. 1821.
to my niece) Elizabeth Hall was our "Our poet's will appears to have been drawn up in poet's granddaughter. So, in Othello, Act I. sc. i. Pebruary, though not executed till the following lago says to Brabantio : “You'll have your nenonth; for. February was first written, and after-phews neigh to you;” meaning his grandchildren. Wards struck out, and Marchwritten over it. Malone. Malone.
decease the said stock and consideration to be five pounds; and to Francis Collins * of the paid to her children, if she have any, and if borough of Warwick, gent, thirteen pounds six not, to her executors or assigns, she living the shillings and eight-pence, to be paid within said term after my decease : provided that if one year after my decease. such husband as she shall at the end of the said three years be married unto, or at any [time]
Item, I give and bequeath to Hamlet (Hamafter, do sufficiently assure unto her, and the nel] Sadler f twenty-six shillings eight-pence, issue of her body, lands answerable to the to buy him a ring;
William Reynolds, genl. portion by this my will given unto her, and to twenty-six shillings eight-pence, to buy him a be adjuged so by my executors and overseers, ring; to my godson, William Walker, lwenty then my will is, that the said hundred and fifty shillings in gold; to Anthony Nash , S gent. pounds shall be paid to such husband as shall twenty six-shillings eight-pence; and to Mr. make such assurance, lo his own use.
John Nash, ** twenty-six shillings eight-pence; Item, I give and bequeath unto my said and to my fellows, John Heminge, Richard sister Joan twenty pounds, and all my wearing shillings eight-pence apiece, to buy them
Burbage, and Henry Cundell, ++ lwenly-six apparel, to be paid and delivered within one
rings. year after my decease; and I do will and devise unto her the house, with the appartenances, in Stratford, whereing she dwelleth, for her natural life, under the yearly rent of twelve- not been able to discover. I have taken the
trouble to ascertain the ages of Shakspeare's pence.
friends and relations, and the time of their deaths, Item, I give and bequeath unto her three because we are thus enabled to judge how far sons, William Hart, — Hart,* and Michael the traditions concerning him which were com
municated to Mr. Rowe in the beginning of this Hart, five pounds a piece, to be paid within
century, are worthy of credit. MALONE. one year after my decease.
to Francis Collins-] This gentleman, Item, I give and bequeath unto the said I believe, baptized at Warwick. He died Elizabeth Hall all my plate (except my broad ford, Sept. 27, 1617, on which day he died. Ma
the year after our poet, and was buried at Stratsilver and gilt bowl +), that I now have at the lone, edit. 1821. date of this my will.
+ - to Hamnet Sadler,] This gentleman was Item, 1 give and bequeath unto the poor of sodfather to Shakspeare's only son, who was called
after him. Mr. Sadler, I believe, was born about Stratford aforesaid ten pounds ; lo Mr. Thomas the year 1550, and died at Stratford-upon-Avon, in Combe $ my sword; 10 Thomas Russel, esq. October, 1624. His wife, Judith Sadler, who was
godmother to Shakspeare's youngest daughter, was
buried there, March 23, 1613-14. Our poet proHart,] It is singular that neither Shak-bably was godfather to their son William, who speare nor any of his family should have recollected
was baptized at Stratford, Feb. 5, 1597-8. MAthe Christian name of his nephew who was born at Stratford but eleven years before the making
to my godson, William Walker,] William, of his will. His Christian name was Thomas;
the son of Henry Walker, was baptized at Stratand he was baptized in that town, July 24. 1605. ford, Oct. 16, 1608. I mention this circumstance, MALONE.
because it ascertains that our author was at his + - ercept my broad silver and gilt bowl.] native town in the autumn of that year. Mr. WilThis bowl, as we afterwards find, our poet be- liam Walker was buried at Stratford, March 1, queathed to his daughter Judith.
1679-80. MALONE. - Mr. Thomas Combe.] This gentleman was
$ baptized at Stratford, Feb. 9. 1588-9, so that he
- to Anthony Nash,] He was father of
Mr. Thomas Nash, who married our poet's grandwas twenty-seven years old at the time of Shakspeare's death. He died at Stratford in July, 1657, Welcombe, where his estate lay; and was buried
daughter, Elizabeth Hall. He lived, I believe, at aged 68; and his elder brother William died at
at Stratford, Nov. 18, 1622. MALONE. the same place, Jan. 30, 1666-7, aged 80. Mr. Thomas Combe by his will, made June 20, 1656,
to Mr. John Nash,) This gentleman died directed his executors to convert all his personal at Stratford, and was buried there, Nov. 10, property into money, and to lay it out in the pur
1623. MALONE. chase of lands, to be settled on William Combe, 十十 - To my fellows,John Hemynge, Richard the eldest son of John Combe of Allchurch in Burbage, and Henry Cundell, These our poet's the county of Worcester, gent. and his heirs-male ; fellous did not very long survive him. Burbage remainder to his two brothers successively. Where, died in March, 1619; Cundell December, 1627; Therefore, out poet's sword has wandered, I have and Ileminge in October, 1623. Malone,
Ilem, I give, will, bequeath, and devise, sanna Hall, for and during the term of ber onto my daughter, Susanna Hall, for better natural life; and after her decease to the first enabling of her lo perform this my will, and son of her body lawfully issuing, and to the lowards the performance thereof, all that heirs-males of the body of the said first son capital messuage or tenement, with the appur- lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, tenances, in Stratford aforesaid, called The to the second son of her body lawfully issuing, New Place, wherein I now dwell, and two and to the heirs-males of the body of the said messuages or tenements, with the appurtenances, second son lawsully issuing; and for default of situate, lying, and being, Henley-street, such heirs, to the third son of the body of the within the borough of Stratford aforesaid ; and said Susanna lawfully issuing, and to the heirsall my barns, stables, orchards, gardens, lands, males of the body of the said third son lawfully tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever, si- issuing; and for default of such issue, the same tuate, lying, and being, or to be had, received, so to be and remain to the fourth, fifth, sixth, perceived, or taken, within the towns, hamlels, and seventh sons of her body, lawfully issuing Villages, fields, and grounds of Stratford- one after anotber, and to the beirs-males of the opon-Avon, Old Stratford, Bishopton, and bodies of the said fourth, fish, sixth, and seventh Welcombe, * or in any of them, in the said sons lawsully issuing, in such manner as it is county of Warwick; and also all that messuage before limited to be and remain to the first, or tenement, with the appurlenances, wherein second, and third sons of her body, and to their one John Robinson dwelleth, situate, lying, beirs- males; and for default of such issue, the and being, in the Blakfriars in London near said premises to be and remain to my said niece the Wardrobe ; † and all other my lands, tenc Hall, and the heirs-males of her body lawfully ments, and hereditamen's whatsoever : to have issuing; and for default of such issue, to my and to hold all and singular the said premises, daughter Judith, and the heirs-males of her with their appurtenances, unto the said Su- body lawfully issuing; and for default of such
issue, to the right heirs of me the said William
Shakspeare for ever. -OU Stratford, Bishoplon, and Welcombe.] The lands of Old Stratford, Bishopton, and Wel- Item, I give unto my wife my second best combe, here devised, were, in Shakspeare's time, bed, with the furniture.* a continuation of one large field, all in the parish of Stratford. Bishopton is two miles from Strat- Item, I give and bequeath to my said ford, and Welcombe one. For Bishoplon, Mr. daughter, Judith, my broad silver gilt bowl. Theobald erroneously printed Bushaxton, and the All the rest of my goods, chattels, leases, plate, error has been continued in all the subsequent editions. The word in Shakspeare's original will jewels, and household stuff whatsoever, after * spelt Bushopton, the vulgar pronunciation of my debts and legacies paid, and my funeral bishoptou.
expenses discharged, I give, devise, and bequeath I searched the Indexes in the Rolls Chapel from the year 1589 to 1616, with the hope of finding
to my son-in-law, John Hall, gent, and my nu enrolment of the purchase-deed of the estate daughter, Susanna, bis wife, whom I ordain bete devised by our poet, and of ascertaining its and make executors of this my last will and extent and value; but it was not enrolled during testament. And I do entreat and appoint the that period, nor could I find any inquisition taken said Thomas Russell, esq. and Francis Collins, after his death, by which its value might have
And do revoke been ascertained. I suppose it was conveyed by gent. 1o be overseers hereof. the former owner to Shakspeare, not by bargain and sale, but by a deed of feoffinent which it was bot decessary to enroll. MALONE.
my second best bed, will the furniture.) t- that messuage or tenement–in the Black-Thus Shakspeare's original will. frars in London, near the Wardrobe ;) This It appears, in the original will of Shakspeare Nes the house which was mortgaged to Henry (now in the Prerogative-office, Doctors Commons),
that he had forgot his wife; the legacy to her being By the Wardrobe is meant the King's Great expressed by an interlineation, as well as those to
a royal house, near Puddle-Wharf, Heminge, Burbage, and Cundell. purchased by King Edward the Third from sir The will is written on three sheets of paper, the Joka Beauchamp, who built it. King Richard III. last two of which are undoubtedly subscribed with was laulged in this house, in the second year of Shakspeare's own hand. The first indeed has his bus reien. See Stowe's Surrey, p. 693, edit. 1618. name in the margin, but it differs somewhat in After the fire of London this office was kept in spelling as well as manner, from the two signatures Sarog : but it is now abolished. Malone. that follow