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also was a Warwickshire man, this cannot be inferred with certainty. The Poet's will was first dated the 25th of January, 1616, but afterward March was substituted for January. It appears also that his will must have been drawn up before the marriage of his daughter Judith, as he speaks of her only by her maiden name. It seems not unlikely that, being in January doubtfully ill, he may have prepared the document; then, finding himself getting better, he may have over-indulged in some festivity with his friends, which brought on a fatal relapse. The Poet, it is true, begins his will by stating that he makes it “ in perfect health and memory:” this may have been mere matter of form, or such may have been really the case at the time of writing. But it would seem to have been far otherwise at the time of tne execution ; for several good judges have remarked that the Poet's signatures, of which there are three, in as many different places of the will, appear written with an infirm and unsteady hand, as if his energies were shattered by disease.
During his sickness, the Poet was most likely attended by his son-in-law. Dr. Hall was evidently a man of considerable science and skill in his profession. This appears from certain memoranda which he left, of cases that occurred in his practice. The notes were written in Latin, but were translated from his manuscript, and published by Joras Cooke in 1657, with the title of “ Select Observations on English Bodies." As Dr. Hall did not begin to make notes of his practice till 1617, he furnishes no information touching the Poet.
A copy of the will, as it has been given with great care by Mr. Halliwell from the original, may be found at the end of this Chapter; so that there is no need of presenting any analysis of its contents here. One item, however, must not pass unnoticed : “I give unto my wife the second best bed, with the furniture." As this is the only mention made of her, the circumstance was for a long time regarded as betraying a strange indifference, or something worse, on the cestator's part towards his wife. And on this has hung the main argument that the union was not a happy one. We owe to Mr. Knight an explanation of the matter ; which is so simple and decisive, that we can only wonder it was not hit upon before. Shakespeare's property was mostly freehold; and in all this the widow had what is called right of dower fully secured to her by the ordinary operation of English law. As for “ the second best bed,” it was doubtless the very thing which a loving and beloved wife would be sure to prize above any other article of furniture in the es tablishment.
In some verses by Leonard Digges, prefixed to the folio of 1523, allusion is made to Shakespeare's “Stratford mon ument;" which shows that the monument had been placed in the church before that date. It represents the Poet with a cushion before him, a pen in his right hand, and his left resting on a scroll. “The bust," says Wivell, “is fixed under an arch, between two Corinthian columns of black marble, with gilded bases and capitals, supporting the entablature ; above which, and surmounted by a death's-head, are carved his arms; on each side is a small figure in a sitting posture ; one holding in his left hand a spade, and the other, whose eyes are closed, with an inverted torch in his left hand, the right resting upon a skull, as symbols of mortality." As originally coloured, the eyes were a light hazel, the hạir auburn, the dress a scarlet doublet, and a loose black gown without sleeves thrown over it. In 1748, the colours were carefully restored; but in 1793, Malone, with strange taste, had the whole painted white by a common house-painter. Dugdale informs us that the monument was the work of Gerard Johnson, an eminent sculptor of that period. It was doubtless done at the instance and cost of Dr. Hall and his wife. A tablet below the bust has the following in scription :
“Judicio Pylum, genio Socratem, arte Maronem,
Terra legit, populus mæret, Olympus habet.
Stay, Passenger, why goest thou by so fast ?
« Obiit Anno Domini 1616,
Ætatis 53, die 23 April." As to the lines which tradition ascribes to the Poet az written for his own tomb-stone, there is very little likelihood that he had any thing to do with them. The earliest that we hear of them is in the letter, quoted in Chapter ii., note 14, written by Dowdall in 1693: “Near the wall where his monument is erected lieth a plain freestone, underneath which his body is buried, with this epitaph, made by himself a little before his death :
Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear
And curs'd he he that moves my bones!'" The writer adds, — "Not one, for fear of the curse abovesaid, dare touch his grave-stone, though his wife and daughters did earnestly desire to be laid in the same grave with him.” Such is indeed the inscription on a flat stone covering the spot where the Poet's remains are supposed to lie ; but there is no name, nor any thing whatever to identify the lines as written either by Shakespeare or for him.
The mortal remains of Anne Shakespeare were laid beside those of her husband, August 8th, 1623. A worthy memorial covers the spot, whereon we trace the fitting language of a daughter's love, paying a warm tribute to the religious character of her who was gone, and clearly inferring that she had “as much of virtue as could die.” It is a brass plate set in a stone and inscribed as follows:
“Here lieth interred the body of Anne, wife of Willianı Shakespeare, who departed this life the 6th day of August 1623, being of the age of 67 years.
“ Ubera tu, mater, tu lac, vitamque dedisti,
Væ mihi! pro tanto munere saxa dabo.
Clausa licet tumulo mater, et astra petit.” Another precious inscription in the chancel of Stratford church was partly erased many years ago to make room for one to Richard Watts, who died in 1707. Fortunately the lines had been preserved by Dugdale. Through the taste and liberality of the Rev. W. Harness, the original inscription has been recently restored, thus :
“Here lieth the body of Susanna, Wife to John Hall, Gent., the daughter of William Shakespeare, Gent. She deceased the 11th of July, Anno 1649, aged 66.
Willy above her sex, but that's not all;
To weep with her that wept for all ?
The first-born of Thomas and Judith Quiney was christened Shakespeare Quiney on the 23d of November, just
• Close beside ibis inscription is one to her husband, as follows : Heere lyerb the body of John Hall, Gent. He married Susanna the daughter and coheire of Will. Shakespeare, Gent. He dereased November 25, Anno 1635, aged 60.
“ Hallius hic situs est, medica celeberrimus arte,
Expectans regni gaudia læla Dei.
In terris omnes, sed rapit æqua dies.
Et vitæ comitem nunc quoque mortis habet.” The parish register has the following entry of burial : "1635, Nov. 26. Johannes Hall, medicus peritissimus.”
seven months after the death of his grandfather. He was bund May 8th, 1617. He was followed by two other children : Richard, baptized February 9th, 1618, and buried February 26th, 1639; and Thomas, baptized January 23d, 1620, and buried January 28th, 1639. Their mother was buried the 9th of February, 1662, having lived to the age of 77 years. The time of her husband's death is not known.
The Poet's grand-daughter, Elizabeth Hall, was married to Mr. Thomas Nash on the 26th of April, 1626, who died April 4th, 1647. On the 5th of June, 1649, she was married again to Mr. John Barnard, who was knighted after the Restoration. Lady Barnard died childless in 1670, and was buried at Abingdon with the family of Sir John. After her decease, the nearest relatives of the Poet living were the descendants of his sister, Joan Hart. At the time of her brother's death, Mrs. Hart was living in one of his Stratford houses, which, with the appurtenances, was by his will secured to her use for life at a nominal rent of 12d. Her descendants, bearing the name of Hart, have continued down to our own time, but, it is said, “not in a position we can contemplate with satisfaction."
Much discussion has been had of late as to the right way of spelling the Poet's name. The few autographs of his that are extant do not enable us to decide precisely how he wrote his name, or rather they show that he had no one constant way of writing it. But the Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were unquestionably published by his authority and under his superintendence, and in the dedications
8 The inscription to him, also in the Stratford cburch, is as fol. lows : « Heere resteth the Body of Thomas Nashe, Esq. He married Elizabeth, the daughler and beire of John Halle, Gent. Ha died Aprill 4, Anno 1647, aged 53.
“ Fata manent omnes hunc non virtute carentem,
Ut neque divitiis abstulit atra dies ;
Si peritura paras, per male parta peris!