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DRAMATIC AND POETIC:
TIE TEXT FROM THE
CORRECTED COPY OF THE LATE GEORGE STEEVENS, ESQ.
GLOSSARIAL NOTES AND A SKETCHI OF THE AUTHOR'S LIFE.
SKETCH OF THE LIFE
WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE was born at Strat-||ter the performance. But in whatever situation he ford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire, on the 23d day was first employed at the theatre, he appears to of April, 1564. His family was above the vulgar have soon discovered those talents which afterwards rank. His father, John Shakspeare, was a con- made him siderable dealer in wool, and had been an officer
• Th’ applause, delight, the wonder, of our stage. of the corporation of Stratford. He was likewise a justice of the peace, and at one time a man of Some distinction he probably first acquired as considerable property. This last, however, ap-|| an actor, but no character has been discovered in pears to have been lost by some means, in the latter which he appeared to more advantage than in part of his life. His wife was the daughter and that of the Ghost in Hamlet: and the best critics heiress of Robert Arden, of Wellington, in the and inquirers into his life are of opinion, that he county of Warwick, by whom he had a family of was not eminent as an actor. In tracing the ten children.
chronology of his plays, it has been discovered,
that Romeo and Juliet, and Richard II, and III., Our illustrious poet was the eldest son, and was were printed in 1597, when he was thirty-three educated, probably, at the free-school of Stratford; || years old. There is also some reason to think that but from this he was soon removed, and placed in he commenced a dramatic writer in 1592, and the office of some country attorney. The exact Mr. Malone even places his first play, The First amount of his education has been long a subject | Part of Henry VI., in 1589. of controversy. It is generally agreed, that he did not enjoy what is usually termed a literary educa- His plays were not only popular but approved tion; but he certainly knew enough of Latin and by persons of the higher order, as we are certain French to introduce scraps of both in his plays, that he enjoyed the gracious favour of Queen without blunder or impropriety.
Elizabeth, who was very fond of the stage; the
patronage of the Earl of Southampton, to whom When about eighteen years old, he married || he dedicated some of his poeme; and of King Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than James, who wrote a very gracious letter to him hinself. His conduct soon after this marriage was with his own hand, probably in return for the comnot very correct. Being detected with a gang of|pliment Shakspeare had paid to his majesty in the deer-stealers, in robbing the park of Sir Thomas tragedy of Macbeth. It may be added, that his Lucy, of Charlecote, near Stratford, he was obli- uncommon merit, his candour, and good-nature ged to leave his family and business, and take are supposed to have procured him the admiration shelter in London.
and acquaintance of every person distinguished
|for such qualities. It is not difficult, indeed, to He was twenty-two years of age when he arrived trace, that Shakspeare was a man of humour. and in London, and is said to have made his first ac- || a social companion; and probably excelled in that quaintance in the play-house. Here his necessities species of minor wit, not ill adapted to conversaobliged him to accept the office of call-boy, or||tion, of which it could have been wished he had prompter's attendant; who is appointed to give the been more sparing in his writings. performers notice to be ready, as often as the business of the play requires their appearance on the How long he acted, has not been discovered ; stage. According to another account, far less | but he continued to write till the year 1614. During probable, his first employment was to wait at the his dramatic career, he acquired a property in the door of the play-house, and hold the horses of those theatre, which he must have disposed of when he who had no servants, that they might be ready af- )) retired, as no mention of it occurs in his will. The kertainen
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Isegi papuins mus. Clemeyi et He retirei One Teart bere his death ta' tous ratione wuct it iras been thout Pere we shoulē send Sziboclan instead of urmat at grut the history. It was buin on S Socratem Cndensatt se de schonmg ime: Hunt. Cum rourer Orser o an EDCIENI fuin. : il tuz Dauguvoud Si Host was sur, passenge. His dos sent şi se foss bere Loan in the reign Factare il and bea IE can, wo errunes deaza bas pilna a Jurc nesor i tirat Heart VIL Br his r tre 1 star this Dame Sans CUTE via vnom Inagurated to hit tider bruger's son tus mans on Quot 100 ore, vise nemt ara deck ide samb Crann de and his house by the name of toe Te more con cost since zi sbaz de vra Greut House is Stratiord A gond part of the
irang uri bu puge serve hus * state wat in possession of Edward Cops Esy!
One ana Di. 1838 and Sir Hugo Clopn. Kat in 1733. The ri,
AL 58, dat 23 Apri cima: estate had been sold out of the Ciopian isme! furabore a catury, at the time when Saakspeare We bere net sy account of the maledy winctio beszne the purctrases, who, bring repaired and at no very advanced are, coed the life and towypothed it to his own mind, changed the name to bours of this wricalled and incomparable genius Nex Piatz, wuch the mansion-bouse afterwards the only dood we have a his persca is éroen eructed, in the room of the poet's house, retained Aubrey, who sets, . He was a handsome wellfor many years. The bouse and lands belonging shaped man; and advis, verie good compens, to it continued in the possession of Shakspeare's and ch a very ready and pleasant and smoord wil' descendans to the time of the Restoration, when they were re-purchased by the Cloptoo farnils. ' His famis consisted of two daughters, and a Here, in May 1742, when Mr. Garrick, Mr. Machi son named Hammet, wbo died in 156, in the lin, and Mr. Delane, visited Stratford, they were welith rear of his age. Susannah, the eldest bospitably entertained under Shakspeare's mul daughter, and her father's favourite, was married brrry-tree, by Sir Hugh Clopton, wbo was a bar' to Dr. John Hall, a phrsician, who died Nor. rister, was kniguted by George L and died in the 1635, aged 60. Mrs. Hall died July 11, 1649, 89th fear of his age, 1751. His erecutor, about, aged 66. Ther left only one child, Elzabeth, the year 1752, sold New Place to the Rer. Mr.: born 1607-S, and married April 22, 1626, to Gestrel, a man of large fortune, who resided in it Thomas Washe, esq. who died in 1647; and afterbut a few years, in consequence of a disagreement wards to Sir John Barnard, Abington in Northwith the inhabitants of Stratford. As be resided amptonshire, but died without issue by either buspart of the year at Lichfield, he thought he was band. Judith, Shakspeare's roungest daughter, assessed too highly in the monthly rate towards thel was married to Mr. Thomas Quiney, and died uraintenance of the poor, and being opposed, be Feb. 1661-2, in her 77th year. By Mr. Quiney peevishly declared, that that house should nerer she had three sons, Shakspeare, Richard, and be assessed again; and soon afterwards pulled it Thomas, who all died unmarried. The traditional down, sold the materials, and left the town. He story of Shakspeare having been the father of Sir head sone time before cut down Shakspeare's mul. William Darenant, has been generally discredited. berry-tree, to save himself the trouble of showing it to visitors. That Shakspeare planted this tree From these imperfect notices, * which are all appears to be sufficiently authenticated. Where we have been able to collect from the labours of New Piace stood is now a garden.
his biographers and commentators, our readers
will perceive that less is known of Shakspeare During Shakspeare's abode in this house, he than of almost any writer who has been considerenjoyed the acquaintance and friendship of the gentlemen of the neighbourhood; and here he
* The first regular attempt at a life of Shakspeare
is prefixed to Mr. A. Chalmers's variorum edition, is thought to have written the play of Twelfth published in 1905, of which we have availed ourselves Night. He died on his birth-day, Tuesday, April in the above Sketch