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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

FROM
THE BEQUEST OF
EVERT JANSEN WENDELL

1918

TO

THE ADMIRERS

OF

" Honie-Tong'd Shakspeare,”

AND OF THE OTHER ILLUSTRIOUS SPIRITS OF

THE GOLDEN AGE OF ENGLAND,

THESE VOLUMES,

WITH TRUE HUMBLENESS,

AND ENTIRE DEVOTEDNESS TO THE SUB' SCT,

ARE RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,

BY

THEIR FELLOW-WORSHIPPER,

AND VERY OBEDIENT SERVANT,

THE AUTHOR.

1

HERE BEGINNETH THE STORY

OF

SHAKSPEARE AND HIS FRIENDS.

SHAKSPEARE.

Soul of the age !

CHAPTER I.

play of carving, in fruits and foliage.

A large vase of living flowers, that filled With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come, the chamber with a ravishing sweetness, And let my liver rather heat with wine

stood beside the fire-dogs. One broad Than my heart cool with mortifying groans. Why should a man whose blood is warm within

casement, composed of many little panes Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster ?

let into pieces of lead, looked out upon Sleep when he wakes ?–and creep into the jaundice the river, and the centre part of it being By being peevish?

open like a door, at divers times might Th' applause, delighi,—the wonder of our stage !

be heard the mellow “ye, ho!” of the My Shakspeare, rise !

BEN JONSON. bargeman working his oar, as he piloted

his heavy craft toward the city wharves; I PRYTHEE have patience, courteous or, mayhap, softened in the distance, the reader ! the whilst I describe a certain burden of a popular ballad, sung by a chamber well worthy of most minute de- party of merry apprentices going a pleaslineation—as thou wilt see anon-from uring on the water. At one end of the its having been the retreat, or closet, or room there rested on the oak floor a large place retired from the public eye, in heavy press of dark walnut-tree wood, which the master spirit of his age, and ornamented with rude carvings of Adam the glory of all times to come, did first and Eve, and the tree of knowledge; and develop ihose right famous qualities from opposite stood an ancient bookcase, the which the world hath received such in- shelves of which supported a number of fafinite profit and delight.

I will not

mous black-letter volumes, folios and othtrouble thee with a vain show of phrases ers, cased in parchment or roan bindings. architectural, which crabbed antiquari- On several narrow, high-backed chairs, ans do much affect; for I am not learned of carved oak, might be seen different in the mystery of stone and timber; but articles of apparel--a hat on one, a cloak what true heart and simple skill can do on another, and mayhap, a rapier resting with language, will I essay, to give thee against a third. In one corner were sunan accurate conception of a place that dry swords and a matchlock; in another, hath so many admirable recommenda- divers pieces of old armor. tions to thy attention.

tankard, and the remains of the morning It was a room of no extraordinary di- repast, stood upon a large table in the mensions, yet was it not stinted to space. centre of the chamber; and near the The ceiling was of a moderate beight, window, before a smaller table covered and the sides of the chamber were of with papers, and in an antique arm-chair, oak, the panels of which were adorned sat its illustrious occupant. with a goodly show of delicate tracery, Although his hose were ungartered, like unto the folds of linen; and round and his doublet had been left unbraced, the chimney-piece was a most liberal dis- his right noble countenance and worship

An empty

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ful bearing left not the spectator opportu- | that hath just cast its skin; and," added
nity to notice the negligence of his attire. he, with more emphasis, "art as useful
His face, which was of a manly age- to any good purpose I'll be bound."
two years short of thirty-had been inost Will! Will! ihou hast a most ma-
providentially fashioned, --with a fore- lignant wit!” cried the other, as he ap-
head of marvellous capacity-eyes mild, proached his friend with mock gravity,
yet lively withal—a mouth impressed and shook him earnestly by the hand.
with a very amatory eloquence--and a “But what thinkest thou of these brave-
beard of a perfect gravity. Nor were his ries?" said he, standing as upright as he
limbs of a less favorable mould. In fact, might, spreading out his cloak, and read-
he was a man of multitudinous good justing his hai. “I fancied that we, the
graces. I would there were more such. queen's majesty's poor players, ought to
Many such there never can be, for admi- dress as becomes the queen's majesty,
rable as he was in person, he was suill and therefore have I robed myself anew.
more estimable in mind ; and the union What thinkest thou of the cock of this
of these excellences in a like liberal pro- hat? 'Tis in admirable conceit, is it
portion is of such rarity, that peradven- not?—and the feather-doth it noi hang
ture the example will last out the world. marvellously well?. Doth not this cloak

I am but a sorry limner; but had I the become me infinitely ? and the slashing
art of Master Holbein, of famous mem- of this doublet, is it not of the most super-
ory, I could not hope, in a portrait, to do lative fashion ?"
him justice; nevertheless, as what the “In truth, Dick,” remarked his com-
original haih done bath been so singu- panion, drily, as he pushed back his
larly well liked, I despair not that pos- chair to take a beiter view of his visiter,
terity will give him proper countenance. " I've seen many a jackdaw cut a finer
However, suffice it to say, he sat writing figure ?"
with a creditable diligence; ever and A plague on thy pestilent jests !” ex-
anon leaning against his seat, abstracted claimed the other with assumed indigna-
ly as it were ; and when he had suffi- tion.
cienily pondered on the matter with “But as thou askest for my opinion,”
which he was in progress, his pen re- he resumed, “I will tell thee. Didst thou
sumed its path along ihe paper with ad- wish to attire thyself as becometh the
ditional speed. Sometimes he would queen’s majesty, thou shouldst have had
smile as he wrote, as if tickled with the recourse to the queen's majesty's ward-
creations of his own fancy; and once his robe: for in honest truth, Dick, I do not
humor seemed so touched with some pal- think thy present dress would become
pable conceit, that he cast down the pen, that illustrious princess in the smallest
and throwing himself back in his chair, degree"-
did laugh right heartily. At other times, « Oh thou pernicious varlet !"
when he appeared to have written pas As for the cock of thy hat, 'tis cer-
sages of a graver purport, which gave tainly in admirable conceii, or rather, the
him more than passable satisfaction, he conceit is in it, for thy head is in it; and
took the paper in his hand, and did read I do not flatter thee when I say there is
aloud, with a rich voice and a most feli- no lack of conceit there.”
citous expression ; and of a verity, never “Perdition seize thy wit!"
was the air so filled with delectable • Thy feather doch hang marvel-
thoughts. At this time there was heard lously well-i'faith I doubt much if thou
a knocking at the door. " Come in !" wouldst hang better thyself.”
exclaimed he ; and thereupon entered “Enough, enough, Will,” eagerly ex-
one apparelled like a young gallant, with claimed his associate, putting his hands
hat and feather of a goodly fashion, a del- together, as if begging for mercy ;“ if
icate sa tịn doublet, an excellent fine ruff, thou hast any bowels of compassion,
a cloak worn daintily on the shoulder, spare me.”
and a long ra pier fastened to his side: “ And if thou wert half as well slashed
trunks prettily cut and embroidered, with as thy doublet," continued his friend, in-
silk hose and ruffled boots.

attentive to his remonstrance, I think “Ah, Dick!" said be in the chair, thou wouldst be in a much more superlalaughingly, as he recognised the good tive fashion than thou art now.". humored ' features of his visiter, and “O’my word, Will," said the other, scrutinizing his attire as he closed the laughing, as he took off his hat and fung door and was advancing into the room, himself into a chair, “ thou art all points, “ I'faith thou lookest as fine as a snaké) like a hedgehog, or like the naughty girl

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