Зображення сторінки

in his remarks relative to the passage above quoted, he says, “ We have no proof that he did not woo the dramatic muse even so early as 1587 or 1588; and therefore till such proof shall be produced, Mr. Aubrey's assertion, founded apparently on the information of those who lived very near the time, is entitled to some weight.”

Shakspeare was interred on the second day after his death, in the chancel of Stratford church, where a monument still remains to his memory. It is constructed partly of marble and partly of stone, and consists of a half-length bust of the deceased, with a cushion before bim, placed under an ornamental canopy, between two columns of the corinthian order, supporting an entablature. Attached to the latter is the Sbakspeare arms and crest, sculptured in bold relief. Beneath the bust are the following lines:

Judicio Pylivm, genio Socratem, arte Maronem,
Terra tegit, popvlvs mæret, Olympys habet.
Stay passenger, why goest thov by so fast,
Read, if thov canst, whom enviovs death hath plast
Within this monvment, Shakspeare, with whome
Qvick natvre dide; whose name doth deck ys tombe
Far more than coste; sieth all yt he hath writt
Leaves living art bvt page to serve his witt.

Obiit Ano. Doi. 1616, ætatis 53, die 23 Ap. On a flat stone which covers our poet's grave is tbis curious inscription :

Good frend for Jesus' sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased heare;
Blese be ye. man yt spares thes stones,

And cvrst be he yt, moves my bones. The common tradition is, that the last four lines were written by Shakspeare himself; but this notion has perhaps originated solely froin the use of the word 'my," in the last line. The imprecation, says Malone, was probably suggested by an apprehension “ that our author's remains might share the same fate with those of the rest of his countrymen, and be added to the immense pile of human bones deposited in the charnel-house at Stratford.”

Mrs. Shakspeare, who survived her husband eight years, was buried between his grave and the north wall

of the chancel, under a stone inlaid with brass, and inscribed thus:

“Heere lyeth interred the bodye of Anne, wife of Mr. William Shakespeare, who depted. this life the 6th day of Avgvst, 1623, being of the age of 67 yeares.

Vbera, tv Mater, ty lac vitamq. dedisti,
Væ mihi; pro tanto mvnere saxa dabo!
Qvam Mallem, amoveat lapidem, bonys angel'ore'
Exeat vt Christi Corpys, imago tva,
Sed nil vota valent, venías cito Christe resvrget,

Clavsa licet tvmvló mater, et astra petet.” The family of Shakspeare, as already mentioned, consisted only of one son and two daughters. The son died in 1596; but both the daughters survived their father. The eldest, Susanna, married Dr. John Hall, a physician of Stratford, who is said to have obtained much repulation and practice. She brought her husband an only child, Elizabeth, who was married, first, to 'Thomas Nashe, Esq. and afterwards to Sir John Barnard of Abingdon, in Northamptonshire; but had no issue by either of them. Judith, Shakspeare's second daughter, married Thomas Quiney, a gentleman of good family, by whom she had three children; but as none of them reached their twentieth year, they left no posterity. Hence our poet's last descendant was Lady Barnard, who was buried at Abingdon, Feb. 17, 1669-70. Dr. Hall, her father, died Nov. 25, 1635, and her mother, July 11, 1649: and both were interred in Stratford church ander flat stones, bearing inscriptions to their respective memories.

Shakspeare, by his Will, yet extant in the office of the Prerogative Court, and bearing date the 25th day of March, 1616, made The following bequests:

To his daughter Judith he gave 150l. of lawful English money; one hundred to be paid in discharge of her marriage portion, within one year after his decease, and the remaining fifty upon her giving up in favour of her elder sister, Susanna Hall, all her right in a copyhold tenement and appurtenances parcel of the manor of Rowington. To the said Judith he also bequeathed 1501. more, if she or any of her issue were living three years from the date of his will; but in the

« НазадПродовжити »