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into our souls, with the countless changes and fluctuations, from strength to sweetness, of his charming verse, that we must learn to regard him truly. But all this eulogy would be superfluous, except for a limited class of thinkers; for Shakspere is now making his way through foreign countries and distant regions; vanquishing race after race, like the great conquerors of old; in spite of ignorance and prejudice, and imperfect teachers ; and in the midst of dim and obscure interpretations, that would check the progress of any Spirit less potent and catholic than his own!
In the summer time, when the world is cheerful and full of life, let us regale ourselves with the laughing scenes and merry songs of SHAKSPERE. In the winter evenings, when sadder thoughts come forth, let us rest upon his grave, philosophic page, and try to gather comfort as well as wisdom from the deep speculations which may be found there, At all times, let his “ Book of Miracles" be near at hand: for, be sure that the more we read therein, the greater must our reverence be. And, if any intruder should tell us that all we ponder on and admire is mere matter of imagination and fancy; is shadowy, unreal, without profit; and that the end is-nought: bid him shew you the thing that is eternal,-or any effort of the human mind that has outlasted the dreams of Poetry. Have I said that they are dreams? Alas! what is there here that is so far beyond a dream? We ourselves (so our great poet says)
" Are of such stuff
FROM THE ORIGINAL, IN THE OFFICE OF THE PREROGATIVE COURT OF CANTERBURY.
Vicesimo quinto die Martii, Anno Regni Domini nostri Jacobi nunc Regis Anglia, fc., decimo quarto,
et Scotia quadragesimo nono. Anno Domini, 1616.
In the name of God, Amen. I, William ShaksPERE, of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the
First, I commend my soul into the hands of God, my Creator, hoping, and assuredly
Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Judith, one hundred and fifty pounds of lawful English money, to be paid unto her in manner and form following; that is to say, one hundred pounds in discharge of her marriage portion within one year after
my decease, with consideration after the rate of two shillings in the pound for so long time as the same shall be unpaid unto her after my decease; and the fifty pounds residue thereof, upon her surrendering of, or giving of such sufficient security as the overseers of this my will shall like of, to surrender or grant all her estate and right that shall descend or come unto her after my decease, or that she now hath, of, in, or to, one copyhold tenement, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Stratford-upon-Avon aforesaid, in the said county of Warwick, being parcel or holden of the manor of Rowington, unto my daughter, Susanna Hall, and her heirs for ever.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my said dangliter, Judith, one hundred and fifty pounds more, if she, or any issue of her body, be living at the end of three years next ensuing the day of the date of this my will, during which time my executors to pay lier consideration from my decease, according to the rate aforesaid: and if she die within the said term without issue of her body, then my will is, and I do give and bequeath one hundred pounds thereof to my niece, Elizabeth Hall, and the fisty pounds to be set forth by my executors during the life of my sister, Joan Hart, and the use and profit thereof coming, shall be paid to my sister, Joan, and after her decease the said fifty pounds shall remain amongst the children of my said sister, equally to be divided amongst them; but if
said daughter, Judith, be living at the end of the said three years, or any issue of her body, then my will is, and so I devise and bequeath the said hundred and fifty pounds to be set out by my executors and overscers for the best benefit of her and her issue, and the stock not to be paid unto her so long as she shall be married and covert baron; but my will is that she shall have the consideration yearly paid unto her during her life; and after her decease the said stock and consideration to be paid to her children, if she have any, and if not, to
her executors or assigns, she living the said term after my decease: provided that if such husband as she shall at the end of the said three years be married unto, or at any [time] after, do sufficiently assure unto her, and the issue of her body, lands answerable to the portion by this my will given unto her, and to be adjudged so by my executors and overseers, then my will is that the said hundred and fifiy pounds shall be paid to such husband as shall make such assurance, to his own use.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my said sister, Joan, twenty pounds, and all my wearing apparel, to be paid and delivered within one year after my decease; and I do will and devise unto her the house, with the appurtenances, in Stratford, wherein she dwelleth, for her natural life, under the yearly rent of twelve pence.
Item, I give and bequeath unto her three sons, William Hart, Hart, and Michael Hart, five pounds a-piece, to be paid within one year decease,
Item, I give and bequeath unto the said Elizaheth Hall, all my plate (except my broad silver and gilt bowl), that I now have at the date of this my
will. Item, I give and bequeath unto the poor of Stratford, aforesaid, ten pounds; to Mr. Thomas Combe, my sword; to Thomas Russell, Esq., five pounds; and to Francis Collyns, of the borough of Warwick, in the county of Warwick, Gent., thirteen pounds six shillings and eightpence, to be paid within one year after
decease. Item, I give and bequeath to Hamlet (IIamnel) Sadler, twenty-six shillings eightpence, to buy him a ring; to William Reynolds, Gent., twenty-six shillings eight-pence, to buy him a ring; to my godson, William Walker, twenty shillings in gold; to Anthony Nash, Gent., twenty-six shillings eightpence; and to Mr. Jolin Naslı, twenty shillings eightpence; and to my fellows, John Hemynge, Richard Burbage, and llenry Cundell, twenty-six shillings eightpence a-piece, to buy them rings.
Item, I give, will, bequeath, and devise unto my daughter, Susanna Hall, for better enabling of her to perform this my will, and towards the performance thereof, all that capital messuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, in Stratford aforesaid, called The New Place, wherein I now dwell, and two messuages or tenements, with the appurtenances, situate, lying, and being in Henley Street, within the borough of Stratford aforesaid, and all my barns, stabies, orchards, gardens, lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever, situate, lying, and being, or to be had, received, perceived, or taken, within the towns, hamlets, villages, fields, and grounds of Stratford-upon-Avon, Old Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe, or in any of them, in the said county of Warwick; and also all that messuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, wherein one John Robinson dwelleth, situate, lying, and being in the Blackfriars in London, near the Wardrobe: and all other my lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever : to have and to hold all and singular the said premises, with their appurtenances, unto the said Susanna Hall, for and during the term of her natural life; and after her decease, to the first son of her body lawfully issuing, and to the heirs-males of the body of the said first son lawfully issuing ; and for default of such issue, to the second son of her body lawfully issuing, and to the heirsmales of the body of the said second son lawfully issuing; and for default of such heirs, to the third son of the body of the said Susanna lawfully issuing, and to the heirs-males of the body of the said third son lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, the same so to be and remain to the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sons of her body lawfully issuing, one after another; and to the heirs-males of the bodies of the said fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sons lawfully issuing, in such manner as it is before limited to be and remain to the first, second, and third sons of her body, and to their heirs-males; and for default of such issue, the said premises to be and remain to my said niece, Hall, and the heirs-males of her body lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to my daughter, Judith, and the heirs-males of her body lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to the right heirs of me the said William Shakspere for ever.
Item, I give unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture.
Item, I give and bequeath to my said daughter, Judith, iny broad silver-gilt bowl. All the rest of my goods, chattels, leases, plate, jewels, and household stuff whatsoever, after my debts and legacies paid, and my funeral expenses discharged, I give, devise, and bequeath to my son-in-law, Jolin Hall, Gent., and my daughter, Susanna, his wife, whom I ordain and make executors of this my last will and testament. And I do entreat and appoint the said Thomas Russell, Esq., and Francis Collyns, Gent., to be overseers hereof. And do revoke all former wills, and publish this to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof, I have hereunto put my hand, the day and year first above written.
Witness to the publishing hereof,
Probatum fuit testamentum suprascriptum apud London, coram Magistro William Byrde, Legem Doclore, f'e.,
ricesimo secundo die mensis Junii, Anno Domini, 1616, juramento Johannis Ilall unius er. cui. fc, de bene, 4., jurat reserrala potestate, fc, Susanna Hall, alt ex., $c , eam cum venerit, fc., petitur, fc.
ON THE ADMIRABLE DRAMATIC POET,
What needs my Shakspere for his honoured bones,
Shakspere, at length thy pious fellows give
LINES AND LIFE OF THE FAMOUS SCENIC POET,
MASTER WILLIAM SHAKSPERE.
ON THE PORTRAIT OF SHAKSPERE. Prefixed as a Frontispiece to the first edition of his works in folio, 1623.
TO THE READER.
Those hands which you so clapped, go now and wring,
You Britons brave, for done are Shakspere's days,
His days are done that made the dainty plays, Which made the globe of heaven and earth to ring: Dried is that vein, dried is the Thespian spring,
Turned all to tears; and Phæbus clouds his rays;
That corpse, that coffin, now bestick those bays, Which crowned him Poet first, then Poets' king. If tragedies might any prologue have,
All those he made would scarce make one to this; Where fame, now that he gone is to the grave
(Death's public tiring-house), the Nuntius is : For though his line of life went soon about, The life yet of his lines shall never out.
This figure that thou here seest put,