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“ One of Shakspeare's younger brothers, who lived to a good old age, even some years, as I she was imitated by none of her children but by this Williem (the poet. ]
The father who was a very grave and discreet citizen, (yet an admirer and lover of plays and playinakers, especially Shakspeare, who' frequented his house in his journies between Warwickshire and London,) was of a melancholick dispolition, and was seldom or never seen to laugh, in which he was imitated by none of his children but by Robert his eldest son, afterwards fellow of St. John's college, and a venerable Doctor of Divinity.” Wood's Ath. Oxon, Vol. II. p. 292. edit. 1692. I will not suppose that Shakspeare could have been the father of a Doctor of Divinity who never laughed, but it was always a constant tradition in Oxford that Shakspeare was the father of Davenant the poet. And I have seen this circumstance expressly mentioned in some of Wood's papers. Wood was well qualified to know these particulars ; for he was a townsman of Oxford, where he was born 1632. Wood says, that Davenant went to school in Oxford., Ubi supr.
As to the Crown-Inn, it still remains as an inn, and is an old decayed house, but probably was once a principal inn in Oxford. It is directly in the road from Stratford to London. In a large upper room, which seems to have been a fort of Hall for entertaining a large company, or for accommodating (as was the custom) different parties at once, there was a bow-window, with three pieces of excellent painted glass, About eight years ago, I remember visiting this room, and proposing to purchase of the landlord the painted glass, which would have been a curiosity as coming from Shakspeare's inn. But going thither foon after, I found it was removed; the inn-keeper having communicated my intended bargain to the owner of the house, who began to suspect that he was pofa sessed of a curiosity too valuable to be parted with, or to remain in such a place : and I never could hear of it afterwards. If I remember right, the painted glass consisted of three armorial fhields beautifully stained.
I have said so much on this fubject, because I think that Shakspeare's old hoftelry at Oxford deserves no less respect than Chaucer's Tabarde in Southwark. T. WARTON.
: 4 One of Skakspeare's younger brothers, &c.] Mr. Oldys feems to have studied the art of " marring a plain tale in the
compute, after the restoration of King Charles II. would in his younger days come to London to visit his brother Will, as he called him, and be a spectator of him as an actor in some of his own plays.
telling of it;" for he has in this story introduced circumstances which tend to diminish, instead of adding to, its credibia lity. Male dum recitas, incipit effe tuus. From Shakspeare's not taking notice of any of his brothers or fifters in his will, except Joan Hart, I think it highly probable they were ali dead in 1616, except her, at least all those of the whole blood; though in the Register there is no entry of the burial of either his brother Gilbert, or Edmund, antecedent to the death of Shakspeare, or at any subsequent period,
The truth is, that this account of our poet's having performed the part of an old man in one of his own comedies, came originally from Mr. Thomas Jones, of Tarbick, in Worcestershire, who has been already mentioned, (fee p.6, 1.7.) and who related it from the information, not of one of Shakfpeare's brothers, but of a relation of our poet, who lived to a good old age, and who had seen him act in his youth. Mr, Jones's informer might have been Mr. Richard Quiney, who lived in London, and died at Stratford in 1656, at the age of 69; or Mr. Thomas Quiney, our poet's son-in-law, who lived, I believe, till 1663, and was twenty-seven years old when his father-in-law died; or some one of the family of Hathaway. Mr. Thomas Hathaway, I believe Shakspeare's brother-in-law, died at Stratford in 1654-5, at the age of 85,
There was a Thomas Jones an inhabitant of Stratford, who between the years 1581 and 1590 had four fons, Henry, James, Edmund, and Isaac: fome one of these, it is probable, setțled at Tarbick, and was the father of Thomas Jones, the res later of this anecdotc, who was born about the year
1613. If any of Shakspeare's brothers lived till after the Rellosation, and visited the players, why were we not informed to what player he related it, and from what player Mr. Oldys had his account? The fact, I believe, is, he had it not from a player, but from the above-mentioned Mr. Jones, who likewife communicated the stanza of the ballad on Sir Tho. ñas Lucy, which had been printed in a former page.
This custom, as his brother's fame enlarged, and his dramatick entertainments. grew the greatest support of our principal, if not of all our theatres, he continued it seems so long after his brother's death, as even to the latter end of his own life. The curiosity at this time of the most noted actors [exciting them) to learn something from him of his brother, &c. they justly held him in the highest veneration. And it may be well believed, as there was besides a kinsman and defcendant of the family, who was then a celebrated actor among them, [ Charles Hart.' See Shakspeare's Will. ] this opportunity made them greedily inquisitive into every little circumstance, more especially in his dramatick character, which his brother could relate of him. But he, it seems, was so stricken in years, and possibly his memory so weakened with infirmities, (which might make him the easier pass for a man of weak intellects,) that he could give them but little light into their enquiries; and all that could be collected from him of his brother Will in that station was, the faint, general, and almost loft ideas he had of having once seen him act a part in one of his own comedies, wherein being to perfonate a decrepit old man, he wore a long beard, and appeared so weak and drooping and unable to walk, that he was forced to be supported and carried by another person to a table, at which
Charles Hart, ] Mr. Charles Hart the player was born, I believe, about the year 1630, and died in or about 1682. If he was a grandson of Shakspeare's fifter, he was probably the fon of Michael Hart, her youngest fon, of whose marriage or death there is no account in the parish Register of Stratford, and therefore I suspect he settled in London.
he was seated among some company, who were eating, and one of them sung a song." See the character of Adam, in As you like it, Aa II. sc. ult.
“ Verses by Ben Jonson and Shakspeare, occasioned by the motto to the Globe Theatre - Totus mundus agit histrionem.
Poetical Characteristicks 8vo. MS. Vol. I. fome time in the Harleian Library; which volume was returned to its owner.
" Old Mr. Boman the player reported from Sir William Bishop, that some part of Sir John Falstaff's character was drawn from a townsinan of Stratford, who either faithlessly broke a contract, or fpitefully refused to part with some land for a valuable consideration, adjoining to Shakspeare's, in or near that town.” 1
To these anecdotes I can only add the following.
At the conclusion of the advertisement prefixed to Lintot's edition of Shakspeare's Poems, it is said, " That most learned prince and great patron of learning, King James the First, was pleased with
his own hand to write an amicable letter to Mr. Shakspeare; which letter, though now lost, rew mained long in the hands of Sir William D'Avenant, as a credible person now living can testify." Mr. Oldys, in a MS. note to his
of Fuller's Worthies, observes, that “the story came from the Duke of Buckingham, who had it from Sir William D'Avenant."
It appears from Roscius Anglicanus, (commonly called Downes the prompter's book,) 1708, that Shakspeare took the pains to instruct Joseph Taylor in the character of Hamlet, and John Lowine in that of King Henry VIII. STEEVENS.
The late Mr. Thomas Osborne, booksellet,( whose exploits are celebrated by the author of the Dunciad) being ignorant in what form or language our Paradise Lost was written, employed one of his garretteers to render it from a French translation into English prose. Left, hereafter, the compofitions of Shakspcare should be brought back into their native tongue from the version of Monsieur le Comte de Catuelan, le Tourneur, &c. it
&c. it may be necessary to observe, that all the following particulars, extracted from the preface of these gentlemen, are as little founded in truth as their descrip
which letter, though now lojt, remained long in the hands of Sir William D'Avenant, ] Dr. Farmer with great probability fupposes that this letter was written by King James in return for the compliment paid to him in Macbeth. The telater of this anecdote was Sheffield Duke of Buckingham.