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Titus Andronicus; 12. Romeo and Juliet. It can be further stated that Henry VI., Part I., had appeared before 1592; and that the first sketches of the Second and Third parts of Henry VI. had appeared in 1593 that the Merry Wives of Windsor was written in 1593, and that The Taming of the Shrew was acted at Henslow's Theatre in 1593. After 1598, we find Henry IV., Part II., printed 1600 (but believed by Halliwell to have been written before 1598); Henry V., printed 1600; Much Ado about Nothing, printed 1600; As You Like It, entered at Stationers' Hall, 1600; Twelfth Night, acted in Middle Temple Hall, 1602; Othello, acted at Harefield, July, 1602, but probably affirmed by Mr. Halliwell to have been written before 1600; Hamlet, printed 1603; Measure for Measure, acted at Whitehall, December 26, 1604; King Lear, acted at Whitehall, 1607; Troilus and Cressida acted at Court, before 1609; Pericles, printed 1609; The Tempest, acted at Whitehall, November 1, 1611; The Winter's Tale, acted at Whitehall, 5th November, 1611; Henry VIII., acted 1613. Macbeth, Cymbeline, Timon of Athens, Julius Cæsar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus, are evidently the productions of Shakspeare's mature period; but their precise dates are uncertain.
"The latter part of Shakspeare's life," writes Mr. Rowe, was spent as all men of good sense will wish theirs may be, in ease, retirement, and the conversation of his friends. His pleasurable wit and good nature engaged him in the acquaintance and entitled him to the friendship of the gentlemen of the neighbourhood. Amongst them, it is a story almost still remembered in that country, that he had a particular intimacy with Mr. Combe, an old gentleman noted thereabouts for his wealth and usury: it happened that in a pleasant conversation, amongst their common friends, Mr. Combe told Shakspeare in a laughing manner, that he fancied he intended to write his epitaph, if he happened to outlive him; and since he could not know what might be said of him when he was dead, he desired it might be done immediately; upon which Shakspeare gave him these four lines :
Ten in the hundred lies here engrav'd,
Oh! oh! quoth the devil, 'tis my John a Combe.
But the sharpness of the satire is said to have stung the man so severely that he never forgave it." Now these verses in themselves betray no asperity of feeling at all; Shakspeare's disposition, mild, gentle, and equable, seems to have even made him regard the failings of others, and even injuries done to himself, with forbearance, and in this particular instance the satire does not go beyond a jest, which certainly occasioned no lasting coolness, at all events, between the parties, for at his death in 1614, Mr. Combe left Shakspeare £5; and Shakspeare, when he himself died, bequeathed his sword to Mr. Thomas Combe.
Shakspeare died at New Place on April 23, 1616, aged fifty-two, and was buried in the chancel of Stratford church two days afterwards. His will, preserved in the Prerogative Office, London, is in the following terms, as finally corrected by him, the orthography only being here modernized :
25th day of March, in 14th year of the reign of our Lord James, now king of England, &c. A.D. 1616.
THE WILL OF WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.
In the name of God, Amen! I, William Shakspeare, of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the county of Warwick, gentleman, in perfect health and memory, God be praised, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, in manner and form following: that is to say, first, I commend my soul into the hands of God my creator, hoping and assuredly believing, through the only merit of Jesus Christ my Saviour, to be made partaker of life everlasting; and my body to the earth whereof it is made. Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Judith, one hundred and fifty pounds of lawful English money, to be paid unto her in manner and form following; that is to say, one hundred pounds in discharge of her marriage portion within one year after my decease, with consideration after the rate of two shillings in the pound for so long time as the same shall be unpaid to her after my decease, and the fifty pounds residue thereof upon her surrendering of or giving of such sufficient security as the overseers of this my will shall like of to surrender or grant all her estate and right, that shall descend or come unto her, after my decease, or that she now hath, of, in, or to one copyhold tenement, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Stratford-uponAvon aforesaid, in the said county of Warwick, being parcel, or holden of the manor of Rowington, unto my daughter Susannah Hall, and her heirs for ever. Item, I give and bequeath unto my said daughter Judith one hundred and fifty pounds more, if she or any issue of her body be living at the end of three years next ensuing the day of the date of this my, will, during which
time my executors are to pay her consideration from my decease according to the rate aforesaid; and if she die within the said term, without issue of her body, then my will is, and I do give and bequeath one hundred pounds thereof to my niece Elizabeth Hall, and the fifty pounds to be set forth by her executors during the life of my sister Joan Hart, and the use and profit thereof coming shall be paid to my said sister Joan; and after her decease the said fifty pounds shall remain amongst the children of my said sister, equally to be divided amongst them; but if my said daughter Judith be living at the end of the said three years, or any issue of her body, then my will is, and so I devise and bequeath the said hundred and fifty pounds to be set out by my executors and overseers for the best benefit of her and her issue, and the stock not to be paid unto her so long as she shall be married and covert baron; but my will is that she shall have the consideration yearly paid unto her during her life; and after her decease, the said stock and consideration to be paid to her children, if she have any, and if not, to her executors and assigns, she living the said term after my decease; provided that if such husband, as she shall at the end of the said three years be married unto, or at any time after, do sufficiently assure unto her and the issue of her body lands answerable to the portion by this my will given unto her, and to be adjudged so by my executors and overseers, then my will is, that the said 1507. shall be paid to such husband as shall make such assurance, to his own use. Item, I give and bequeath unto my said sister Joan 207., and all my wearing apparel, to be paid and delivered within one year after my decease; and I do will and devise unto her the house, with the appurtenances, in Stratford, wherein she dwelleth, for her natural life, under the yearly rent of 12d. Item, I give and bequeath unto her three sons, William Hart, (Thomas) Hart, and Michael Hart, 57. apiece, to be paid within one year after my decease. Item, I give and bequeath unto the said Elizabeth Hall all my plate, except my broad silver and gilt bowl, that I now have at the date of this my will. Item, I give and bequeath unto the poor of Stratford aforesaid,_107.; to Mr. Thomas Combe, my sword; to Thomas Russell, Esq., 57.; and to Francis Collins, of the borough of Warwick, in the county of Warwick, gentleman, 137. 6s. 8d., to be paid within one year after my decease. Item, I give and bequeath to Hamlett Sadler 26s. 8d., to buy him a ring; to William Reynolds, gent., 26s. 8d., to buy him a ring; to my godson William Walker, 20s. in gold; to Anthony Nash, gent., 26s. 8d., and to Mr. John Nash, 26s. 8d., and to my fellows John Hemynge, Richard Burbage, and Henry Candell, 26s. 8d. apiece, to buy them rings. Item, I give, will, bequeath, and devise unto my daughter Susannah Hall, for better enabling her to perform this my will, and towards the performance thereof, all that capital messuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, in Stratford aforesaid, called the New Place, wherein I now dwell, and two messuages or tenements, with the appurtenances, situate, lying, and being in Henley Street, within the borough of Stratford aforesaid, and all my barns, stables, orchards, gardens, lands, tenements, and
hereditaments whatsoever, situate, lying, and being, or to be had, received, perceived, or taken within the towns, hamlets, villages, fields, and grounds of Stratford-upon-Avon, Old Stratford, Bushopton, and Welcombe, or in any of them in the aforesaid county of Warwick. And also all that messuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, wherein one John Robinson dwelleth, situate, lying, and being in the Blackfriars, in London, near the Wardrobe; and all other my lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever, to have and to hold, all and singular, the said premises with their appurtenances, unto the said Susannah Hall, for and during the term of her natural life, and after her decease, to the first son of her body, lawfully issuing, and to the heirs males of the body of the said first son, lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to the second son of her body, lawfully issuing, and to the heirs males of the body of the said second son, lawfully issuing; and for default of such heirs, to the third son of the body of the said Susannah, lawfully issuing, and to the heirs males of the body of the said third son, lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, the same so to be and remain to the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sons of her body, lawfully issuing, one after another, and to the heirs males of the said fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sons, lawfully issuing, in such manner as it is before limited to be and remain to the first, second, and third sons of her body, and to their heirs males; and for default of such issue, the said premises to be and remain to my said niece Hall, and the heirs males of her body, lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to my daughter Judith and the heirs males of her body, lawfully issuing, and for default of such issue, to the right heirs of me the said William Shakspeare for ever. Item, I give unto my wife, my second best bed, with the furniture.f Item, I give and bequeath to my said daughter Judith, my broad silver-gilt bowl. All the rest of my goods, chattels, leases, plate, jewels, and household stuff whatsoever, after my debts and legacies are paid, and my funeral expenses discharged, I give, devise, and bequeath to my son-in-law John Hall, gent., and my daughter Susannah, his wife, whom I ordain and make executors of this last will and testament. And I do entreat and appoint the said Thomas Russell, Esq., and Francis Collins, gent., to be overseers hereof, and do revoke all former wills, and publish this to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand, the day and year first above written.
By me, WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.
This was a purchase so late as 1613. The house itself, "abutting upon a street leading down to Puddle Wharf, on the east part," is still pointed out near St. Andrew's Church.
This bequest, so far from indicating small esteem on the part of the bequeather towards its object, was the ordinary mode, on the contrary, of expressing especial affection. As to her maintenance, Shakspeare's widow was provided for by a dower, without any mention in the will.
The memorial erected over the remains of Shakspeare is a flat stone, bearing this inscription:
Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare,
And curst be he yt. moves my bones.
On the north wall of the chancel, about five feet from the floor, is erected a monument to Shakspeare, the work, before 1623, of Gerard Johnson, an eminent sculptor of that period, who has represented the bust of the poet with a cushion before him, a pen in the right hand, and the left resting upon a scroll. The bust was originally coloured, probably after life, the eyes being represented as light hazel, the hair and beard auburn, the dress a scarlet doublet, over which was a loose black gown without sleeves. In 1748 it was repainted, the old colours being faithfully imitated; but in 1793, Mr. Malone was permitted to perpetrate the monstrosity of having it all daubed over with white paint, by a common house-painter. Beneath the bust are inscribed these lines:
JUDICIO PYLIUM, GENIO SOCRATEM, ARTE MARONEM,
ÆTATIS 53, DIE 23 AP.
END OF VOL. IV.
PRINTED BY COX (BROTHERS) AND WYMAN, GREAT QUEEN STREET.