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LL that is known with any degree of certainty concerning Shakspere is — that he was born at Stratford-upon-Avon--married and had children

there went to London, where he commenced actor, and wrote poems and plays returned to Stratford, made his will, died, and was buried. Such is the concise biography of our greatest poet, as given by Steevens; and although volumes have been written, more or less conjectural, on his life and times, they scarcely add a single fact to the meagre list of ordinary events he has enumerated. Slight, however, as these notices are, they invest the humble town of Stratford-on-Avon with an interest which it would not otherwise possess. It was peculiarly the home of Shakspere : here he was

here he passed his early youth; here he courted and won Anne Hathaway; here he sought that retirement which the avocations of his London career would occasionally allow him to indulge in; and here, when in riper age he had won honours and fortune in the great capital, he chose to return, and pass the latter days of a life where he had first seen the light : at Stratford he died and was buried. “ From the birthplace of Shakspere,” says Washington Irving, a few paces brought me to his grave.” All that connects itself with the personal history of “ the world's poet” at Stratford is thus almost as closely con

born;

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