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latter part of his life was spe.it in ease, retirement, gentlemen of the neighbourhood; and here he 10 and the conversation of his friends. He had accu-thought to have written the play of Twelfth Night. mulated considerable property, which Gildon (in He died on his birth-day, Tuesday, April 23, 1616, his Letters and Essays) stated to amount to 300l. when he had exactly completed his fifty-second per ann. a sum equal to 1000!. in our days. But year; and was buried on the north side of the chanMr. Malone doubts whether all his property cel, in the great church at Stratford, where a monuamounted to much more than 200l. per ann. which ment is placed in the wall, on which he is repreyet was a considerable fortune in those times; and sented under an arch, in a sitting posture, a cushion it is supposed, that he might have derived 2001. an- spread before him, with a pen in his right hand, nually from the theatre, while he continued to act, and his left rested on a scroll of paper. The following Latin distich is engraved under the cushion: Judicio Pylium, genio Socratem, urte Maronem, Terra tegit, populus mæret, Olympus habet.
He retired some years before his death to a house in Stratford, of which it has been thought important to give the history. It was built by Sir Perhaps we should read Sophoclem, instead of SoHugh Clopton, a younger brother of an ancient cratem. Underneath are the following lines: family in that neighbourhood. Sir Hugh was sheriff of London in the reign of Richard III. and lord mayor in that of Henry VII. By his will he bequeathed to his elder brother's son his manor of Clopton, &c. and his house by the name of the Great House in Stratford. A good part of the estate was in possession of Edward Clopton, Esq.! and Sir Hugh Clopton, Knt. in 1733. The principal estate had been sold out of the Clopton family for above a century, at the time when Shakspeare became the purchaser, who, having repaired and modelled it to his own mind, changed the name to New Place, which the mansion-house afterwards erected, in the room of the poet's house, retained for many years. The house and lands belonging to it continued in the possession of Shakspeare's His family consisted of two daughters, and a son descendants to the time of the Restoration, when named Hamnet, who died in 1596, in the twelfth they were re-purchased by the Clopton family. year of his age. Susannah, the eldest daughter, Here, in May, 1742, when Mr. Garrick, Mr. Mack-and her father's favourite, was married to Dr. John lin, and Mr. Delane, visited Stratford, they were Hall, a physician, who died Nov. 1635, aged €0. hospitably entertained under Shakspeare's mul- Mrs. Hall died July 11, 1619, aged 66. They left berry-trce, by Sir Hugh Clopton, who was a bar-only one child, Elizabeth, born 1607-8, and married rister, was knighted by George I. and died in the April 22, 1626, to Thomas Nashe, esq. who died in 80th year of his age, 1751. His executor, about 1647; and afterwards to Sir John Barnard, of the year 1752, sold New Place to the Rev. Mr. Abington in Northamptonshire, but died without Gastrel, a man of large fortune, who resided in it issue by either husband. Judith, Shakspeare's but a few years, in consequence of a disagreement youngest daughter, was married to Mr. Thomas with the inhabitants of Stratford. As he resided Quiney, and died Feb. 1661-2, in her 77th year. part of the year at Litchfield, he thought he was By Mr. Quincy she had three sons, Shakspeare, assessed too highly in the monthly rate towards the Richard, and Thomas, who all died unmarried. maintenance of the poor, and being opposed, he The traditional story of Shakspeare having been peevishly declared, that that house should never the father of Sir William Davenant, has been gebe assessed again; and soon afterwards pulled it nerally discredited.
down, sold the materials, and left the town. IIe From these imperfect notices, which are all had some time before cut down Shakspeare's mul-we have been able to collect from the labours of berry-tree, to save himself the trouble of showing his biographers and commentators, our readers it to visitors. That Shakspeare planted this tree will perceive that less is known of Shakspeare appears to be sufficiently authenticated. Where than of almost any writer who has been consider New Place stood is now a garden.
During Shakspeare's abode in this house, he enjoyed the acquaintance and friendship of the
Stay, passenger, why dost thou go so fast?
Obiit ano. Dai. 1616,
We have not any account of the malady whica, at no very advanced age, closed the life and labours of this unrivalled and incomparable genius. The only notice we have of his person is from Aubrey, who says, "He was a handsome wellshaped man;" and adds, "veric good company, and of a verie ready and pleasant and smooth wit.'
• Tho first regular attempt at a life of Shakspeare is pro
fixed to Mr. A. Chalmer's variorum edition, published in 1809 of which we have availed ourselves in the above Sketch
ed as an object of laudable curiosity. Nothing history. The industry of his illustrators for the could be more highly gratifying, than an account last forty years, has been such as probably never of the early studies of this wonderful man, the was surpassed in the annals of literary investigaprogress of his pen, his moral and social qualities, tion; yet so far are we from information of the his friendships, his failings, and whatever else con- conclusive or satisfactory kind, that even the order stitutes personal history. But on all these topics in which his plays are written rests principally on his contemporaries, and his immediate successors, conjecture, and of some of the plays usually printed have been equally silent; and if aught can hereaf- among his works, it is not yet determined whether ter be discovered, it must be by exploring sources he wrote the whole, or any part. We are, howwhich have hitherto escaped the anxious researches ever, indebted to the labours of his commentators, of those who have devoted their whole lives, and not only for much light thrown upon his obscuritheir most vigorous talents, to revive his memory, ties, but for a text purified from the gross blunders and illustrate his writings. of preceding transcribers and editors; and it is almost unnecessary to add, that the text of the fol
It is equally unfortunate, that we know as little lowing volumes is that of the last corrected edition of the progress of his writings, as of his personal of Johnson and Steevens.