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and anecdotes about Shakspeare. The deer stealing from the park of Sir Thomas Lucy is denied in toto. We confess we have a sneaking regard for the story, and a wish to credit it on account of Justice Shallow ; but the biographer is remorseless :

“ The tale is fabulous and rotten to its core ; yet even this does less dishonour to Shakspeare's memory than the sequel attached to it. A sort of scurrilous ron. deau, consisting of nine lines, so loath. some in its brutal stupidity, and so vulgar in its expression, that we shall not pollute our pages by transcribing it, has been imputed to Shakspeare ever since the days of the credulous Rowe. The total point of this idiot's drivel consists in calling Sir Thomas ' an asse;' and well it justifies the poet's own remark,

Let there be gall enough in thy ink, no matter though thou write with a goose pen.' Our own belief is, that these lines were a production of Charles II.'s reign, and applied to a Sir Thomas Lucy, not very far removed, if at all, from the age of him who first picked up the precious filtb : the phrase, “parliament member,' we believe to be quite unknown in the colloquial use of Elizabeth's reign.

But, that we may rid ourselves once and for ever of this outrageous calumny upon Shakspeare's memory, we shall pursue the story to its final stage. Even Malone has been thoughtless enough to accredit this closing chapter, which contains, in fact, such a superfetation of folly as the annals of buman dulness do not exceed. Let us recapitulate the points of the story. A baronet, who has no deer and no park, is supposed to persecute a poet for stealing these aerial deer out of this aerial park, both lying in nephelococcygia. The poet sleeps upon this wrong for eighteen years ; but at length, hearing that bis persecutor is dead and buried, he conceives bloody thoughts of revenge. And this revenge he purposes to execute by picking a hole in his dead enemy's coat-of-arms. Is this coat-of-arms, then, Sir Thomas Lucy's ? Why, no; Malone adinits that it is not. For the poet, suddenly recollecting that this ridicule would settle upon the son of his enemy, selects another coat-of-arms with which his enemy never had any connexion, and he spends his thunder and lightning on this irrelevant object; and, after all, the ridicule itself lies in a Welshman's mispronouncing one single heraldic term — a Welshman, who mis. pronounces all words. The last act of the poet's malice recalls to us a sort of jest-book story of an Irishıman, the vul. garity of which the reader will pardon in consideration of its relevancy. The Irishman having lost a pair of silk stock

ings, mentions to a friend that he has taken steps for recovering them by an advertisement, offering a reward to the finder. His friend objects that the cost of advertising, and the reward, would eat out the full value of the silk stockings. But to this the Irishman replies, with a knowing air, that he is not so green as to have overlooked that; and that, to keep down the reward, he bad advertised the stockings as worsted. Not at all less flagrant is the bull ascribed to Shakspeare, when he is made to punish a dead man by personalities meant for his exclusive ear, through his coat-of-arms, but at the same time, with the express purpose of blunting and defeating the edge of his own scurrility, is made to substitute for the real arms some others which had no more relation to the dead enemy than they had to the poet himself. This is the very sublime of folly, beyond which human dotage cannot advance."

A little too strongly put, Mr. De Quincey, and rather a waste of virtuous indignation. The Lucy coat of

gules three luces [i.l., pike fishes] hariant, argent." Slender says, Shallow “ may give the dozen white luces in their coat,”lusion quite obvious enough to point out the Lucy family. We do not see why the tradition of Shakspeare's deer-stealing exploit should not be, like the Minerva press novels, founded in fuct. It was natural to his situation and turn of mind, as Washington Irving remarks; and though there was no deer-park at Charlecote, there was one at Fulbroke, on the road from Stratford to Warwick. In the latter the exploit may have taken place, and Shakspeare have been brought to the hall at Charlecote for trial, before the grave and solemn Sir Thomas, “ enthroned in awful state." A beautiful spot Charlecote is,-“a goodly place," of the true Elizabethan style. The old mansion, with its red brick walls and tall chimneys, seems a fitting residence for “a gentleman born," who could write “ himself Armigero in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation.” A magnificent avenue of elms, by a pathway somewhat neglected, and overgrown with nettles, Icads to its gates, and a colony of rooks have fixed their aristocratic station among the branches. The Avon winds along under the windows, and herds of deer browse in the park. It was at sunset on a summer's day, without a cloud to mar the bright and lucid

sky, when we last strolled under the old trees, that form a complete shade, or canopy, from sun or shower. The deer were reposing in groups of thirty or forty in the hollows of the park, and under the trees; and the scene was altogether one of great woodland richness and seclusion. Who but connects it with Shakspeare? Let the wanderer here, “ Under the shade of melancholy boughs, Lose and neglect the creeping hours of

time.'

66

The hours so employed are not misspent.

We give up the story of John O'Combe, and the maledictory lines on the grave-stone in the chancel of Stratford church, to De Quincey's cordial objurgation and contempt:

“ This poet, who was a model of gracious benignity in his manners, and of whom, amidst our general ignorance, thus much is perfectly established, that the term gentle was almost as generally, and by prescriptive right, associated with his name, as the affix of venerable with Bede, or judicious with Hooker, is alleged to have insulted a friend by an imaginary epitaph, beginning oten in the hundred,' and supposing him to be damned, yet without wit enough (which surely the Stratford bellman could have furnished) for devising any, even fanci. ful, reason for such a supposition ; upon which the comment of some foolish critic is, . The sharpness of the satire is said to have stung the man so much, that he never forgave it.' We have heard of the sting in the tail atoning for the brainless head; but in this doggerel the tail is surely as stingless as the head is brainless. For, first, ten in the hundred could be no reproach in Shake speare's time, any more than to call a man three and a-half per cent in this present year 1838 ; except, indeed, amongst those foolish persons who built their morality upon the Jewish ceremonial law. Shakspeare himself took ten per cent. Secondly, it happens that Jobn Combe, so far from being the object of the poet's scurrility, or viewing the poet as an object of implacable resentment, was a Stratford friend ; that one of his family was affectionately remembered in Sbakspeare's will, by tlie bequest of his sword: and that John Combe himself recorded his perfect charity with Shak. speare by leaving him a legacy of 51. sterling. And in this lies the key to the whole story; for, thirdly, the four lines were written and printed before Shakspeare was born. The name Combe

is a common one; and some stupid fel. low, who had seen the name in Shakspeare's will, and happened also to have seen the lines in a collection of epigrams, chose to connect the cases, by attributing an identity to the two John Combes, though at war with chronology.

Finally, there is another specimen of doggerel attributed to Shakspeare, which is not equally unworthy of him, because not equally malignant, but otherwise equally below his intellect, no less than bis scholarship,-we mean the inscription on his grave-stone. This, as a sort of siste viutor appeal to future sextons, is worthy of the grave.digger, or the parish clerk, who was probably its author. Or it may have been an antique formula, like the vulgar record of ownership in books,

Anthony Timothy Dolthead's book,

God give him grace therein to look. Thus far the matter is of little importance; and it might have been supposed that malignity itself could bardly have im. puted such trash to Shakspeare. But when we find, even in this short com. pass, scarcely wider than the posey of a ring, room found for traducing the poet's memory, it becomes important to say, that the leading sentiment, the horror expressed at any disturbance offered to his bones, is not one to which Shak. speare could have attached the slightest weight, far less could have outraged the sanctities of place and subject, by affixing to any sentiment whatever (and, accord. ing to the fiction of the case, his farewell sentiment) the sanction of a curse."

We have an idea that this stone, with its alternative of a blessing or a curse, may not, after all, mark the grave of Shakspeare. It is considerably distant from the wall on which is placed his monument, leaving a blank place sufficient for two or three graves; and, in fact, in part of the intervening space the poet's widow is interred. Now, mark the inscription on the tablet of the monument :* Stay, passenger, why goest thov by so Read, if thou canst, whom enviovs death

hath plast Within this monument, Shakspeare with

whome Quick nature dide ; whose name doth

decke ys tombe Far more than cost; sieth all that he

hath writt Leaves living art, bvt page to serve his

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There is no name or initials on the conceive a cast would render visible,
grave-stone-nothing but the four but which the painter would fail to
lines of doggerel, sprawling most ir- catch, as not necessary to the ex-
regularly and inelegantly on its sur- pression of the features. Should
face. It appears much more proba- Mr. Haydon be right, the poet must
ble that the sacred ashes of the poet,

have died after a very short illness ;
like those of his friend, John Combe for the countenance is full, and
(which lie within a few feet of the healthy-looking. The face is bland
Shakspeare monument, on the same

and cheerful in expression side of the chancel), were interred

sive, and thoroughly English; the close by the wall,“ within the monu

head bald ; the mouth and nose ment,” and not at some yards dis- finely chiselled ; and the lips slightly tance, on the other side of his wife's parted, as if shewing the upper teeth. remains, which were placed there The profile, from the mouth up

years afterwards,— cutting wards, is singularly sweet and handoff, as it were, by this arrangement some; and a good view of it may be (if we believe the inscribed flag- obtained by standing on a large tomb stone to mark the poet's dust), the (conveniently situated in the chancel connexion between the monument for this purpose), and looking beand all that remained of him, mor

twixt the Corinthian pillar and the tally speaking, whom it was designed wall at the projecting features. A to commemorate. If our conjecture

second reason for believing that the be correct, and it was forced upon

Stratford bust is a good likeness, is us on the spot -- we shall have no

its close resemblance to the engraved difficulty in relieving Shakspeare frontispiece of the first folio edition of the harsh and ungraceful siste of the poet's works,—the faithfulviator appeal, which interferes with ness of which was attested by Ben the solemn sanctity of the spot - the

Jonson. The latter is a little heavier calm and beautiful resting-place of - still more earthy. We have carethe poet's remains.

fully noted both, and therefore speak

“ by the card,” though not, we conAfter life's fitful fever he sleeps well.”

fess, without something like a sigh, A word as to the bust on the

for the reality destroys part of the monument. It is a very different

romance of the Shaksperian" face work, and much less poetical or

divine,” as statuaries, painters, and etherial in expression, than the statue

poets, have loved to deem of it. The in Westminster Abbey. We have

church of Stratford, however, is holy no doubt, however, that it is the true

ground. Here, undoubtedly, the likeness. In the first place, it was

poet trod, in company with those erected shortly after his death, under

bound to him by filial and tender the eye of his nearest friends, his

ties, listening to the pealing anthem, widow and daughter, who would

and joining in the praise, or, percertainly have some pictorial resem

haps, casually recalling the chequered blance to guide the tomb-maker.”

story of his life, that, after years of Mr. Haydon, the artist (as we were

tumult, excitement, and splendour, informed by the sexton), after a care

was destined to close among the humful inspection of the bust, expressed

ble and quiet scenes of his early and himself satisfied that it was done from

obscure nativity.
a cast taken after death. There must

" We are such stuff
be certain slight marks and “ denote- As dreams are made of; and our little
ments"—such as a mole, a rise or

life
falling in of the skin—that we should Is rounded by a sleep."

TILE THREE GREAT EPOCHS; or, 1830, 1840, AND 1850.

Book I. 1830.

CHAPTER XIII.

THE PROGRESS OF REFORM.

should pass

“ GENTLEMEN !" cried Mr. Beaver, at the very top of his voice, “ if you have any regard to your own character-any desire that the Reforin-bill

any wish to vindicate the reformers of England from the calunnies with which the boroughmongers desire to overwhelm them, I implore you to keep your temper. The breath of a faction never has prevailed, and never will prevail, against the will of a united people. Put a restraint, I beseech you, upon your very natural indignation. Let that poor devil, Lord Boroughdale, go to sleep in his insignificance. What can he do, either for or against you, now? Ile may give his votehis paltry, worthless, and turn-coat vote—to deprive you of your rights, and to perpetuate all the abuses of the system which made him ; but will he ever return a member for Coketown again? (“Never! never!" shouted a thousand voices at once.) Will he ever presume to speak of you as his voters? (“Never! never!") Will he ever cajole a time-serving mayor and corporation, buying their very souls with haunches of venison, and making them sell your liberties for messes of pottage ("* Never! never! we'll have no more mayorsno more corporations!") Well, then, my good friends - my noble and right-minded Englishmen - let him alone in his insignificance! What does it signify to us that he should have changed sides over and over again? Ile was but dancing his own country-dance, let him pay the piper. But take you my advice - instead of burning Welverton Manor to the ground, and breaking the parson's windows, and the windows of such miscreants as John Bull, let us form a peaceable, yet a majestic, procession; and marching in a body to each point where our enemies happen to be, let us shew them how completely they are in our power, and how entirely it rests with ourselves to send them, and their wives, and their little ones,

to old Nick; which, by the way, would be a punishment not one whit more severe than their offences against the common rights of man deserve! But mark me, Englishmen -- freeborn and true-hearted Englishmenno violence, no outbreak, no striking of blows, till the proper time come! Keep your courage up, exercise your discipline and self-control, but go no farther as yet. The Lords must yield next session ; or if they don't, why then we shall see farther into the matter!"

So spake the editor of the Coketown Journal to an enormous assemblage of people, which, somehow or another, had contrived to come together on the evening of the very day when intelligence reached the place of the throwing ont of the Reform-bill by a majority of not less than forty-one in the Ilouse of Lords. llis appeal was responded to with deafening shouts; while mayor, aldermen, members of the common council and others, who used in former times to carry all before them, seemed of a sudden to have dropped into the list of very secondrate people. It was to no purpose that they did their best to harp upon his string. “ Ilow long have you been a Reformer ?” was the sort of poser with which each was met. 16 Who made Giles Shark a collector of customs ?" - Who got Tom Lubber his ship and his rank?" " Go home to your shambles, Cleaver, we don't want none of your blarney!" “Who got the venison and the game every year ?"

“ Och ! off-otl-off! We'll have no humbugging mayors and aldermen - no more beggarly corporations!" So spake the voice of the mighty people; till mayor, aldermen, and members of council, fairly slank away, leaving Mr. Beaver in undisputed possession of the field.

"1 say, Master Mayor,” exclaimeil John Bull, when, very much to his surprise, he met the chief magistrate hurrying to his own home through

hv-lanes and back alleys," I say, orders fully understood, Mr. Bull Master Mayor, what's wrong? llave observed that they were all dressed the anti-reformers voted you out of alike. They wore their ordinary the chair, or what else has befallen?" working clothes, their leathern aprons

* Not much more than I all along hung before them, their heads were expected, Master Bull. There's great covered with leathern caps ; they truth in the proverb, "Set a beggar had no coats on, and the shirt-sleeve on horseback,' and I fear we have was tucked up so as to expose each scarce seen the end of his gallop yet. man's arm well-nigh to the shoulder. Hle's the most impertinent scoundrel, The consequence was, such a display that fellow, that ever I encountered!" of full chests and brawny arms as * What fellow, Master Mayor ?". could not fail to inspire the looker

Oh, never you mind, Master on with a sentiment not far removed Bull! You're no reformer yet ; and, from respect. For it is quite true by my troth, if things go on at this that, in spite of the march of intellect räte, I don't think you're likely ever and all that, men do respect one to become one!"

another proportionably to the relative So saying, the mayor hurried past; amount of their physical strength. while John Bull, not without a And it is equally certain that, so long shrewd suspicion that his worship's as human nature continues to be what chagrin might be owing rather to it is, this same respect for physical some private slight-than to a public strength will, more or less, continue. wrong, went about his business, The mass moved on in perfect laughing heartily, yet nowise at ease order, but in profound silence. No as to the results. Neither was the band of music preceded it, neither sense of security restored to our friend did any individual utter a syllable. when he found himself in the main There was, too, a total absence of weastreet

of the borough suddenly pons from among the throng, for not confronted by a moving mass ; so much as a stick was wielded; but the regularity of whose formations, on and on, rank succeeding, rank, as well as the cadence of their step, the column, apparently interminable, would have done no discredit to the held its way, with a frontage just best-drilled brigade in the British sufficient to occupy the whole width army. According to the report of of the street, save only the little the Journal, which appeared next spaces on the right and left, which day, upwards of ten thousand men belonged of right on ordinary occacomposed that formidable column.

sions to foot - passengers.

Neither There was much exaggeration in this, could Mr. Bull be ignorant for a of course ; for reformers always ex- moment that, to the leaders at least, aggerate, whether the point discussed of almost every section, he was well be their own intluence, or the weak- known. For Mr. Beaver first, who ness of their rivals; but a soldier's marched between two strangers at the eve would have probably counted, head of the procession, eyed him with in rough numbers, full three thou- a peculiar expression, yet said nosand ; nor is there any reason to be- thing, except in a whisper to his comlieve that the calculation would have panions, and passed by. Then came greatly erred. Moreover, these three the leader of a division or company, thousand men were not like your whose face, though not quite so faoperatives of Birmingham, a set of miliar to Mr. Bull, was not altogether half-starved and squalid wretches, strange. lle also stared, smiled a whose physical energies are always scornful smile, and held his course. in an inverse ratio to the activity of

But the circumstance which most of their depraved and vitiated minds. all surprised the alderman was this; They were, on the contrary, for the that of the inhabitants of Coketown, most part, athletic fellows, workmen properly so-called, there were not from the surrounding mines, with fifty in all that procession. A crowd limbs that made the very earth ring of ragged rascals hung upon the rear as they trod upon it, and shoulders and about the flanks of the column; broad enough to sustain the weight but few, indeed next to none, of the of a round world. And as it a com- burghers could be said to belong mon spirit had animated them all, or that they 'acted in obedience to “ This is most extraordinary !" said

to it.

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