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was to be buried, he makes there this extempore epitaph upon him:
'Ten in the hundred the devil allows,
But Combe will have twelve, he swears and he vows ;
Hah! quoth the devil, 'tis my John-a-Combe." "
Dr. Drake considers Aubrey's version of the event as the most probable. In some of its circumstances, Rowe's account is contradicted; for it is certain, that Shakspeare and Combe continued friends till the death of the latter; who left him £5 as a token of kind remembrance in his will; and that no feud afterwards arose between our poet and the relations of Combe, seems pretty evident from Shakspeare's having bequeathed his sword to Mr. Thomas Combe, the nephew of the usurer.
In addition to the above ludicrous verses, two epitaphs of a serious character have been ascribed to Shakspeare by Sir William Dugdale which are preserved in a collection of epitaphs at the end of the Visitation of Salop. Among the monuments in Tongue Church, in the county of Salop, is one erected in remembrance of Sir Thomas Stanly, knight, whom Malone supposes to have died about 1600. The tomb stands on the north side of the chancel, supported with Corinthian columns. It hath two figures of men in armor lying on it, one below the arches and columns, the other above them; and besides a prose inscription in front, the monument is enriched by the following verses of Shakspeare.
Written on the east end of the tomb:
"Aske who lyes here, but do not weepe;
His fame is more perpetual than these stones;
Written on the west end thereof:
"Not monumental stone preserves our fame,
The memory of him for whom this stands.
Stanley, for whom this stands, shall stand in heaven."
Besides these inscriptions for the monument of Sir Thomas Stanly, which we have the authority of Dugdale, a Warwickshire man, and who spent the greater part of his life in that county, for attributing to our author; we find another epitaph ascribed to him in a manuscript volume of poems by William Herrick, and others. The volume, which is in the handwriting of the time of Charles the First, is among Rawlinson's collections, in the Bodelain Library, and contains the following epitaph :
"When God was pleas'd, the world unwilling yet,
Elias James to Nature payd his debt,
And here reposeth: as he lived, he dyde;
The saying in him strongly verifide,—
Such life, such death: then, the known truth to tell,
He lived a godly life, and dyde as well.
There was a family of the surname of James, formerly resi dent at Stratford, to some one of whom the above verses were probably inscribed.
The life of our poet was now drawing towards its close; and he was soon to require from the hands of others those last honors to the dead, which, while alive, he had shown himself so ready to contribute. His eldest and favorite daughter, Susanna, had been married as early as 1607, to Dr. Hall, a physician of considerable skill and reputation in his profession, who resided at Stratford; and early in 1616, his youngest daughter, Judith, married Mr. Thomas Quincy, a vintner of the same place. This ceremony took place on February the 10th. On the twenty-fifth of the following month, her father made his will-being, according to his own account, in perfect health and memory-and a second month had not elapsed ere Shakspeare was no more. He died on the twenty-third of April, 1616, and on his birth-day, having completed his fifty-second year. "It is remarkable,”
says Dr. Drake, "that on the same day expired, in Spain, his great and amiable contemporary Cervantes; and the world was thus deprived, nearly at the same moment, of the two most original writers which modern Europe has produced."
Of the disease by which the life of our poet was thus suddenly terminated, we are left in perfect ignorance. His sonin-law, Dr. Hall, left for publication a manuscript collection of cases collected from not less than a thousand diseases; but the earliest case recorded is dated 1617, and thus all mention is omitted of the only one which could have secured to his work any permanent interest or value
On the second day after, his decease, the remains of Shakspeare were interred on the north side of the great church of Stratford. Here a monument, containing a bust of the poet, was erected to his memory. He is represented under an arch, in a sitting posture, a cushion spread before him, with a pen in his right hand, and his left rested on a scroll of paper. The following Latin distich is engraved under the cushion :
"Judicio Pylium, genio Socratem, arte Maronem,
Terra tegit, populus mæret, Olympus habet."
The first syllable in Socratem is here made short, which cannot be allowed. Perhaps we should read Sophoclem. Shakspeare is then appositely compared with a dramatic author among the ancients: but still it should be remembered, that the eulogium is lessened while the metre is reformed; and it is well known, that some of our early writers of Latin poetry were uncommonly negligent in their prosody, especially in proper names. The thought of this distich, as Mr. Tollet observes, might have been taken from the Faery Queene of Spenser.
To this Latin inscription on Shakspeare, should be added the lines which are found underneath it on his monument
"Stay passenger, why dost thou go so fast?
Read, if thou canst, whom envious death hath plac'd
Far more than cost; since all that he hath writ
Æt. 53, die 23 Apri."
And on his grave-stone underneath, is inscribed
"Good friend, for Jesus' sake, forbear
To dig the dust inclosed here.
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
The tomb at Stratford is not the only monumental tribute that has been raised to the honor of Shakspeare. A cenotaph was subsequently erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey, by the direction of the Earl of Burlington, Pope, Dr. Mead, and Mr. Martyn. This monument, which cost three hundred pounds, was the work of Scheemaker, after a design by Kent, and was opened in January, 1741, one hundred and twenty-five years after the death of our author. The dean and chapter of Westminster gave the ground, and the expenses of the statuary were defrayed by a benefit at each of the London theatres. The receipts of Drury Lane exceeded two hundred pounds; at Covent Garden they did not amount to more than half that sum.
Of the genius of Shakspeare it were in this place superfluous to write that task has been performed by others; and is sufficiently discussed in the discourses of Rowe, and Pope, and Johnson; but of his disposition and moral character, it may not be uninteresting to give the following passage from Dr. Drake-"To these tradition has ever borne the most uniform and favorable testimony. And, indeed, had she been silent on the subject, his own works would have whispered to us the truth; would have told us, in almost every page, of the gentleness, the benevolence, and the goodness, of his heart. For, though no one has exceeded him in painting the stronger passions of the human breast, it is evident that he delighted most in the expression of loveliness and simplicity, and was ever willing to descend from the loftiest soarings of imagination, to sport with innocence and beauty. Though 'the world of spirits and of nature,' says the admirable
Schlegel, 'had laid all their treasures at his feet: in strength a demi-god, in profundity of view a prophet, in all-seeing wisdom a protecting spirit of a higher order, he yet lowered himself to mortals, as if unconscious of his superiority, and was as open and unassuming as a child.'
"That a temper of 'this description, and combined with such talents, should be the object of sincere and ardent friendship, can excite no surprise. 'I loved the man,' says Jonson, with a noble burst of enthusiasm, and do honor his memory on this side idolatry, as much as any. He was, indeed, honest; and of an open and free nature;' and Rowe, repeating the uncontradicted rumor of times past, has told us, 'that every one, who had a true taste of merit, and could distinguish men, had generally a just value and esteem for him;' adding, 'that his exceeding candor and goodnature must certainly have inclined all the gentler part of the world to love him.'
"No greater proof, indeed, can be given of the felicity of his temper, and the sweetness of his manners, than that all who addressed him, seem to have uniformly connected his name with the epithets worthy, gentle, or beloved; nor was he backward in returning this esteem, many of his sonnets indicating the warmth with which he cherished the remembrance of his friends. Thus the thirtieth opens with the following pensive retrospect:
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night.'
"And in the thirty-first, he tenderly exclaims
'How many a holy and obsequious tear
Hath dear religious love stolen from mine eye,
"Another very fascinating feature in the character of Shakspeare, was the almost constant cheerfulness and serenity of his mind: he was 'verie good company,' says Aubrey, and of a very ready, and pleasant, and smooth witt.'. In this, as