an al

and anecdotes about Shakspeare. The ings, mentions to a friend that he has deer-stealing from the park of Sir taken steps for recovering them by an Thomas Lucy is denied in toto. We advertisement, offering a reward to the confess we have a sneaking regard

finder. His friend objects that the cost for the story, and a wish to credit it of advertising, and the reward, would

eat out the full value of the silk stockon account of Justice Shallow ; but

ings. But to this the Irishman replies, the biographer is remorseless :

with a knowing air, that he is not so * The tale is fabulous and rotten to its

green as to have overlooked that; and core ; yet even this does less dishonour

that, to keep down the reward, he had to Shakspeare's memory than the sequel advertised the stockings as worsted. Not attached to it. A sort of scurrilous ron. at all less flagrant is the bull ascribed to deau, consisting of nine lines, so loath. Shakspeare, when he is made to punish some in its brutal stupidity, and so a dead man by personalities meant for his vulgar in its expression, that we shall exclusive ear, through his coat-of-arms, not pollute our pages by transcribing it, but at the same time, with the express has been imputed to Shakspeare ever purpose of blunting and defeating the since the days of the credulous Rowe. edge of his own scurrility, is made to The total point of this idiot's drivel con- substitute for the real arms some others sists in calling Sir Thomas ‘an asse ;' which had no more relation to the dead and well it justifies the poet's own remark, enemy than they had to the poet himself.

Let there be gall enough in thy ink, no This is the very sublime of folly, beyond matter though thou write with a goose which human dotage cannot advance." pen. Our own belief is, that these lines

A little too strongly put, Mr. De were a production of Charles II.'s reign,

Quincey, and rather a waste of virtuand applied to a Sir Thomas Lucy, not very far removed, if at all, from the age

ous indignation. The Lucy coat of of him who first picked up the precious

arms was “gules three luces [i. e., filtb: the phrase,

parliament member,' pike fishes] hariant, argent.” Slender We believe to be quite unknown in the says, Shallow “ may give the dozen colloquial use of Elizabeth's reign.

white luces in their coat,”" But, that we may rid ourselves once lusion quite obvious enough to point and for ever of this outrageous calumny out the Lucy family. We do not upon Shakspeare's memory, we shall see why the tradition of Shakspeare's pursue the story to its final stage. Even deer-stealing exploit should not be, Malone has been thoughtless enough to like the Minerva press novels, accredit this closing chapter, which contains, in fact, such a superfetation of folly

founded in fact. It was natural to

his situation and turn of mind, as as the annals of human dulness do not exceed. Let us recapitulate the points

Washington Irving remarks; and of the story. A baronet, who has no

though there was no deer-park at deer and no park, is supposed to per,

Charlecote, there was one at Fulsecute a poet for stealing these aerial broke, on the road from Stratford to deer out of this aerial park, both lying Warwick. In the latter the exploit in nephelococcygia. The poet sleeps upon may have taken place, and Shakthis wroug for eighteen years ; but at

speare have been brought to the hall length, hearing that his persecutor is at Charlecote for trial, before the dead and buried, he conceives bloody thoughts of revenge. And this revenge

grave and solemn Sir Thomas, “ enhe

throned in awful state.” A beautiful purposes to execute by picking a bole in his dead enemy's coat-of-arms. Is this

spot Charlecote is,—“a goodly place," coat-of-arms, tben, Sir Thomas Lucy's ?

of the true Elizabethan style. The Why, no ; Malone admits that it is not. old mansion, with its red brick walls For the poet, suddenly recollecting that and tall chimneys, seems a fitting rethis ridicule would settle upon the son of sidence for “a gentleman born,” who his enemy, selects another coat-of-arms could write "himself Armigero in any with which his enemy never had any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligaconnexion, and he spends his thunder tion.” A magnificent avenue of elms,

on this irrelevant object; and, after all, the ridicule itself lies in a

by a pathway somewhat neglected, Welshman's mispronouncing one single

and overgrown with nettles, leads to heraldic term — à Welshman, who mis

its gates, and a colony of rooks have pronounces all words. The last act of

fixed their aristocratic station among the poet's malice recalls to us a sort of

the branches. The Ayon winds jest-hook story of an Irishman, the vula along under the windows, and herds çarity of which the reader will pardon

of deer browse in the park. It was in consideration of its relevancy. The at sunset on a summer's day, without Irishman having lost a pair of silk stock. a cloud to mar the bright and lucid

and lightning

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


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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 · ten 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 Shakspeare'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 John 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 Shakspeare's will, by the 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 Combę

is a common one ; and somo stupid fel. low, who had seen the name in Sbak. speare'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 his 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 hardly 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, bis 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, wly goest thov by so Read, if thou canst, whom enriovs 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, byt page to serve his

witt. Obiit ano. Doi. 1616, Ætatis 53, die

25 Apg"




There is no name or initials on the grave-stone-nothing but the four lines of doggerel, sprawling most irregularly and inelegantly on its surface. It appears much more probable that the sacred ashes of the poet, like those of his friend, John Combe (which lie within a few feet of the Shakspeare monument, on the same side of the chancel), were interred close by the wall, “within the monument," and not at some yards distance, on the other side of his wife's remains, which were placed there seven years afterwards, - cutting off, as it were, by this arrangement (if we believe the inscribed flagstone to mark the poet's dust), the connexion between the monument and all that remained of him, mortally speaking, whom it was designed to commemorate. If our conjecture be correct - and it was forced upon us on the spot - we shall have no difficulty in relieving Shakspeare of the harsh and ungraceful siste riator appeal, which interferes with the solemn sanctity of the spot - the calm and beautiful resting-place of the poet's remains. " After life's fitful fever he sleeps well.”

A word as to the bust on the monument. It is a very different work, and much less poetical or etherial in expression, than the statue in Westminster Abbey. We have no doubt, however, that it is the true likeness. In the first place, it was erected shortly after his death, under the eye of his nearest friends, his widow and daughter, who would certainly have some pictorial resem. blance to guide the “ tomb-maker." Mr. Haydon, the artist (as we were informed by the sexton), after a care, ful inspection of the bust, expressed himself satisfied that it was done from a cast taken after death. There must be certain slight marks and “ denotements"-such as a mole, a rise or falling in of the skin-that we should

conceive a cast would render visible,
but which the painter would fail to
catch, as not necessary to the ex-
pression of the features. Should
Mr. Haydon be right, the poet must
have died after a very short illness ;
for the countenance is full, and
healthy-looking. The face is bland
and cheerful in expression
sive, and thoroughly English; the
head bald ; the mouth and nose
finely chiselled ; and the lips slightly
parted, as if shewing the


teeth. The profile, from the mouth upwards, is singularly sweet and handsome; and a good view of it may be obtained by standing on a large tomb (conveniently situated in the chancel for this purpose), and looking betwixt the Corinthian pillar and the wall at the projecting features. A second reason for believing that the Stratford bust is a good likeness, is its close resemblance to the engraved frontispiece of the first folio edition of the poet's works,- the faithfulness of which was attested by Ben Jonson. The latter is a little heavier - still more earthy. We have carefully noted both, and therefore speak " by the card,” though not, we confess, without something like a sigh,for the reality destroys part of the romance of the Shaksperian “face divine," as statuaries, painters, and poets, have loved to deem of it. The church of Stratford, however, is holy ground. Here, undoubtedly, the poet trod, in company with those bound to him by filial and tender ties, listening to the pealing anthem, and joining in the praise, or, perhaps, casually recalling the chequered story of his life, that, after years of tumult, excitement, and splendour, was destined to close among the humble and quiet scenes of his early and obscure nativity.

“ We are such stuff
As dreams are made of; and our little

Is rounded by a sleep.”

THE THREE GREAT EPOCHS; or, 1830, 1840, and 1850.

Book I. 1830.



“ GENTLEMEN !" cried Mr. Beaver, to old Nick; which, by the war, at the very top of his voice, “ if you would be a punishment not one whit have any regard to your own charac- more severe than their offences against ter-any desire that the Reform-bill the common rights of man deserve ! should pass — any wish to vindicate But mark me, Englishmen - freethe reformers of England from the born and true-hearted Englishmencalumnies with which the borough- no violence, no outbreak, no striking mongers desire to overwhelm them, of blows, till the proper time come! I implore you to keep your temper. Keep your courage up, exercise your The breath of a faction never has discipline and self-control, but go no prevailed, and never will prevail, farther as yet. The Lords must yield against the will of a united people. next session; or if they don't, why Put a restraint, I bescech you, upon then we shall see farther into the your very natural indignation. Let matter!" that poor devil, Lord Boroughdale, So spake the editor of the Cokego to sleep in his insignificance. town Journal to an enormous assemWhat can he do, either for or against blage of people, which, somehow or you, now ? He may give his vote- another, had contrived to come tohis paltry, worthless, and turn-coat gether on the evening of the very vote-to deprive you of your rights, day when intelligence reached the and to perpetuate all the abuses of place of the throwing out of the Rethe system which made him ; but form-bill by a majority of not less will he ever return a member for than forty

-one in the House of Lords. Coketown again? ("Never! never!" Ilis appeal was responded to with shouted a thousand voices at once.) deafening shouts; while mayor, alWill he ever presume to speak of dermen, members of the common you as his voters? (“Never! never!") council and others, who used in Will he ever cajole a time-serving former times to carry all before mayor and corporation, buying their them, seemed of a sudden to have very souls with haunches of venison, dropped into the list of very secondand making them sell your liberties rate people. It was to no purpose for messes of pottage? (“ Never! that they did their best to harp upon never! we'll have no more mayors

his string. “ How long have you no more corporations!") Well, then, been a Reformer ?" was the sort of my good friends - my noble and poser with which each was met. right-minded Englishmen - let him Ć Who made Giles Shark a collector alone in his insignificance! What of customs ?” “Who got Tom Lubdoes it signify to us that he should ber his ship and his rank ?" have changed sides over and over home to your shambles, Cleaver, we again ? He was but dancing his own don't want none of your blarney!" country-dance, let him pay the piper. “Who got the venison and the game But take you my advice - instead of every year?” “Och! off-off-off! burning Welverton Manor to the We'll have no humbugging mayors ground, and breaking the parson's and aldermen— no more beggarly windows, and the windows of such corporations !" So spake the voice of miscreants as John Bull, let us form the mighty people ; till mayor, aldera peaceable, yet a majestic, procession; men, and members of council, fairly and marching in a body to each point slank away, leaving Mr. Beaver in where our enemies happen to be, let undisputed possession of the field. us shew them how completely they “ 1 say, Master Mayor,” exclaimed are in our power, and how entirely John Bull, when, very much to his it rests with ourselves to send then, surprise, he met the chief magistrate and their wives, and their little ones, hurrying to his own home through

6 Go

by-lanes and back alleys," I say, orders fully understood, Mr. Bull Naster Mayor, what's wrong? Have 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-slecre 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. He's the most impertinent scoundrel, The consequence was, such a display that fellow, that ever I encountered!" of full chests and brawny armis 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 hy 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. wrongwent 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. Bus 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 influence, or the weak- known. For Mr. Beaver first, who ness of their rivals; but a soldier's marched between two strangers at the eye 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. He 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 if a com- burghers could be said to belong mon spirit had animated them all,

to it. or that they acted in obedience to "" This is most extraordinary!" said

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