Page images

it undoubtedly was engraved from a picture, and probably a very ordinary one. There is no other way of accounting for the great difference between this print of Droefhout's, and his fpirited portraits of Fairfax and Bishop Howfon, but by fsupposing that the picture of Shakspeare from which he copied was a very coarse performance.

The next print in point of time is, according to Mr. Walpole and Mr. Granger, that executed by J. Payne, a fcholar of Simon Pass, in 1634; with a laurel-branch in the poet's left-hand. A print of Shakspeare by so excellent an engraver as Payne, would probably exhibit a more perfect representation of him than any other of those times; but I much doubt whether any fuch ever exifted. Mr. Granger, I apprehend, has erroneously attributed to Payne the head done by Marshall in 1640, (apparently from Droefhout's larger print,) which is prefixed to a spurious edition of Shakspeare's Poems published in that year. In Marshall's print the poet has a laurel branch in his left hand. Neither Mr. Walpole, nor any of the other great collectors of prints, are poffeffed of, or ever faw, any print of Shakspeare by Payne, as far as I can learn.

Two other prints only remain to be mentioned; one engraved by Vertue in 1721, for Mr. Pope's edition of our author's plays in quarto; faid to be engraved from an original picture in the poffeffion of the Earl of Oxford; and another, a mezzotinto, by Earlom, prefixed to an edition of King Lear, in 1770; faid to be done from an original by Cornelius Janfen, in the collection of Charles Jennens, Efq. but Mr. Granger juftly observes, “ as it is dated in 1610, before Janfen was in England, it is highly probable that it was not painted by him, at leaft, that he did not paint it as a portrait of Shakspeare."

Moft of the other prints of Shakspeare that have appeared, were copied from fome or other of those which I have mentioned. MALONE.

"The portrait palmed upon Mr. Pope" (I use the words of the late Mr. Oldys, in a MS. note to his copy of Langbaine,) "for an original of Shakspeare, from which he had his fine plate engraven, is evidently a juvenile portrait of King James I." I am no judge in thefe matters, but only deliver an opinion, which if ill-grounded may be easily overthrown. The portrait, to me at least, has no traits of Shakspeare. STEEVENS.

2 On his grave-ftone underneath is, Good friend, &c.] This epitaph is expreffed in the following uncouth mixture of small and capital letters:

"Good Frend for Iefus SAKE forbeare

"To diGG T-E Duft EncloAfed HERe
"Blefe be TE Man T fpares TEs Stones

"And curst be He moves my Bones." STEEVENS.

And curft be he that moves my bones.] It is uncertain whether this epitaph was written by Shakspeare himself, or by one of his friends after his death. The imprecation contained in this last line, was perhaps fuggefted by an apprehenfion that our author's remains might fhare the fame fate with those of the reft of his countrymen, and be added to the immenfe pile of human bones depofited in the charnel-houfe at Stratford. This, however, is mere conjecture; for fimilar execrations are found in many ancient Latin epitaphs.

Mr. Steevens has juftly mentioned it as a fingular circumftance, that Shakspeare does not appear to have written any verses on his contemporaries, either in praise of the living, or in honour of the dead. I once imagined that he had mentioned Spenfer with kindness in one of his Sonnets; but have lately difcovered that the Sonnet to which I allude, was written by Richard Barnefield. If, however, the following epitaphs be genuine, (and indeed the latter is much in Shakspeare's manner,) he in two inftances overcame that modeft diffidence, which feems to have fuppofed the elogium of his humble mufe of no value. In a Manuscript volume of poems by William Herrick and others, in the hand-writing of the time of Charles I. which is among Rawlinfon's Collections in the Bodleian Library, is the following epitaph, afcribed to our poet:


"When God was pleas'd, the world unwilling yet,

"Elias James to nature payd his debt,

"And here repofeth: as he liv'd, he dyde;

"The faying in him ftrongly verifide,

"Such life, fuch death: then, the known truth to tell,

"He liv'd a godly life, and dyde as well.


There was formerly a family of the furname of James at Stratford. Anne, the wife of Richard James, was buried there on the fame day with our poet's widow; and Margaret, the daughter of John James, died there in April, 1616.

A monumental infcription" of a better leer," and faid to be written by our author, is preferved in a collection of Epitaphs, at the end of the Vifitation of Salop, taken by Sir William Dugdale in the year 1664, now remaining in the College of Arms, C. 35, fol. 20; a tranfcript of which Sir Ifaac Heard, Garter, Principal King at Arms, has obligingly tranfmitted to me.

Among the monuments in Tongue church, in the county of Salop, is one erected in remembrance of Sir Thomas Stanley, Knight, who died, as I imagine, about the year 1600. In the Vifitation-book it is thus defcribed by Sir William Dugdale :

"On the north fide of the chancell stands a very stately tombe, fupported with Corinthian columnes. It hath two figures of men in armour, thereon lying, the one below the arches and columnes, and the other above them, and this epitaph upon it.'

"Thomas Stanley, Knight, fecond fon of Edward Earle of Derby, Lord Stanley and Strange, defcended from the famielie of the Stanleys, married Margaret Vernon, one of the daughters and co-heires of Sir George Vernon of Nether-Haddon, in the county of Derby, Knight, by whom he had iffue two fons, Henry and Edward. Henry died an infant; Edward furvived, to whom those lordships defcended; and married the lady Lucie Percie, fecond daughter of the Earle of Northumberland: by her he had iffue feaven daughters. She and her foure daughters, Arabella, Marie, Alice, and Prifcilla, are interred under a mo nument in the church of Waltham in the county of Effex. Thomas, her fon, died in his infancy, and is buried in the parish church of Winwich in the county of Lancafter. The other three, Petronilla, Frances, and Venefia, are yet living.

These following verfes were made by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, the late famous tragedian :

« Written upon the east end of this tombe.
"Afke who lyes here, but do not weepe;
"He is not dead, he doth but sleepe.
"This ftony regifter is for his bones,

"His fame is more perpetual than these ftones:
"And his own goodness, with himself being gone,
"Shall live, when earthly monument is none."

Written upon the weft end thereof.

"Not monumental ftone preferves our fame,
"Nor fkye-afpiring pyramids our name.
"The memory of him for whom this stands,
"Shall out-live marble, and defacers' hands.

"When all to time's consumption fhall be given,

"Stanley, for whom this ftands, shall stand in heaven.". The laft line of this epitaph, though the worst, bears very ftrong marks of the hand of Shakspeare. The beginning of the first line, "Afke who lyes here," reminds us of that which we have been juft examining: "If any man afk, who lies in this tomb," &c.—And in the fifth line we find a thought which our poet has also introduced in King Henry VIII:

"Ever belov'd and loving may his rule be!

"And, when old time fhall lead him to his grave,
Goodness and he fill up one monument !"

[ocr errors]

He had three daughters,5 of which two lived to be married; Judith, the elder, to one Mr. Thomas Quiney, by whom the had three fons, who all died

This epitaph muft have been written after the year 1600, for Venetia Stanley, who afterwards was the wife of Sir Kenelm Digby, was born in that year. With a view to afcertain its date more precifely, the churches of Great and Little Waltham have been examined for the monument faid to have been erected to Lady Lucy Stanley and her four daughters, but in vain; for no trace of it remains: nor could the time of their respective deaths be ascertained, the registers of those parishes being loft.Sir William Dugdale was born in Warwickshire, was bred at the free-fchool of Coventry, and in the year 1625 purchased the manor of Blythe in that county, where he then fettled and afterwards fpent a great part of his life: fo that his teftimony respecting this epitaph is fufficient to ascertain its authenticity.


He had three daughters,] In this circumftance Mr. Rowe muft have been mis-informed. In the Regifter of Stratford, no mention is made of any daughter of our author's but Susanna and Judith. He had indeed three children; the two already mentioned, and a fon, named Hamnet, of whom Mr. Rowe takes no notice. He was a twin child, born at the fame time with Judith. Hence probably the miftake. He died in the twelfth year of his age, in 1596. MALone.

6 Judith, the elder, to one Mr. Thomas Quiney,] This alfo is a mistake. Judith was Shakfpeare's youngest daughter. She died at Stratford-upon-Avon a few days after the had completed her seventy-feventh year, and was buried there, Feb. 9, 1661-62. She was married to Mr. Quiney, who was four years younger than herself, on the 10th of February, 1615-16, and not as Mr. Weft fuppofed, in the year 1616-17. He was led into the mistake by the figures 1616 ftanding nearly oppofite to the entry concerning her marriage; but thofe figures relate to the firft entry in the fubfequent month of April. The Register appears thus: February.



3. Francis Bufhill to Ifabel Whood.
5. Rich. Sandells to Joan Ballamy.
10. Tho. Queeny to Judith Shakspere.

14. Will. Borowes to Margaret Davies.


and all the following entries in that and a part of the ensuing page

[ocr errors]

without children; and Susanna, who was his favourite, to Dr. John Hall, a phyfician of good reputation in that country. She left one child only,

are of 1616; the year then beginning on the 25th of March. Whether the above 10 relates to the month of February or April, Judith was certainly married before her father's death; if it relates to February, fhe was married on February 10, 1615-16; if to April, on the 10th of April 1616. From Shakspeare's will it appears, that this match was a ftolen one; for he speaks of fuch future" husband as he shall be married to." It is ftrange that the ceremony fhould have been publickly celebrated in the church of Stratford without his knowledge; and the improbability of fuch a circumftance might lead us to fuppofe that the was married on the 10th of April, about a fortnight after the execution of her father's will. But the entry of the baptifm of her firft child, (Nov. 23, 1616,) as well as the entry of the marriage, afcertain it to have taken place in February.

Mr. Weft, without intending it, has impeached the character of this lady; for her first child, according to his representation, must be fupposed to have been born fome months before her marriage; fince among the Baptifms I find this entry of the chriftening of her eldeft fon: "1616. Nov. 23. Shakspeare,' filius Thomas Quiney, Gent." and according to Mr. Weft the was not married till the following February. This Shakspeare Quiney died in his infancy at Stratford, and was buried May 8th, 1617. Judith's fecond fon, Richard, was baptized on February 9th, 1617-18. He died at Stratford in Feb. 1638-9, in the 21ft year of his age, and was buried there on the 26th of that month. Her third fon, Thomas, was baptized August 29, 1619, and was buried alfo at Stratford, January 28, 1638-9. There had been a plague in the town in the preceding fummer, that carried off about fifty perfons. MALONE.

Dr. John Hall, a phyfician of good reputation in that country.] Sufanna's husband, Dr. John Hall, died in Nov. 1635, and is interred in the chancel of the church of Stratford near his wife. He was buried on the 26th of November, as appears from the Regifter of burials at Stratford :

"November 26, 1635, Johannes Hall, medicus peritiffimus." The following is a tranfcript of his will, extracted from the Registry of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury :

"The laft Will and Teftament nuncupative of John Hall of Stratford-upon-Avon in the county of Warwick, Gent. made and declared the five and twentieth of November, 1635. Im

« PreviousContinue »