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years before his death at his native Stratford. His pleasurable wit and good-oature engaged him in the acquaintance, and entitled him to the friendship, of the gentlemen of the neighbourhood:
He died on his birth-day, the 23d of April, 1616, in the 53d year of his age, and was buried on the north side of the chancel, in the great church at Stratford, where a monument is plac'd in the wall, representing him under an arch in a fitting posture, a cushion spread before him, with a pen in his right hand, and his left rested on a scroll
' of paper. Beneath is the following infcription :
Judicio Pylium, genio Socratem, arte Maronem, Terra tegit, populus mæres, Olympus habet. Stay, paffenger, why dost thou go fo falt ? • Read if thou can'ft; whom envious Death hath plac'd • Within this monument; Shakspeare, with whom
Quick Nature dy'd, whose name doth deck the tomb, • Far more than coft ; fince all that he hath writ, Leaves living Art but page to serve his wit.
On his.grave-stone underneath is,
. And curs?d be he that moves my bones. He had three daughters, of which two lived to be married ; Judith, the elder, to one Mr. Thomas Quiney, by whom she had three fons, who all died without children ; and Sufannah, who was his favourite, to Dr. Jobn Hall, a physician of good reputation in that country. She left one child only, a daughter, who was married first to Thomas Nafb, Esq; and afterwards to Sir John Bernard, of Abington. By the former of thefe gentlemen, she had likewise a daughter, who married Sir Reginald Foster, of Warwickshire, and from her is. : lineally descended the present Nicholas Franklyn Miller, of Hide-hall, in Hertfordshire ; the only remaining defcendant of our immortal author. The character of Shakspeare, as a man, is beft feen in
his writings : but since Ben Jonson has made a fort of an efay towards it in his Discoveries, I will give it in his words.
“ I remember the players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakspeare, that in writing (whatsoever he penned) he never blotted out a line. My answer had been, Would be bad blotted a thoufand I which they thought a malevolent speech. I had not told pofterity this, but for their ignorance, who chose that circumftance to commend their friend by, wherein he most faulted ; and to justify mine. own candour ; for I loved the man, and do honour his memory, on this fide idolatry, as much as any. He was, indeed, honest, and of an open and free nature ; had an excellent fancy, brave notions, and gentle expressions ; wherein he flowed with that facility, that sometimes it was necessary he should be stoppd: Suffiaminandus erat, as Auguftus laid of Haterius. His wit was in his own power :
uld rule of it had been so too! Many times he fell into those things which could not escape laughter ; as when he said in the person of Cæfar, one speaking to him,
Cæfar thou doft me wrong," He reply'd,
Cæfar did never wrong, but with just causę ;" and such like, which were ridiculous. But he redeemed his vices with his virtues. There was ever more in him to be praised, than to be pardoned."
As an author, his character has been so often drawn by the most eninent writers of the times, that I shall only add what Dr. Young fays of him in his Conjectures on Original Composition,—“ Shakspeare mingled no water with his wine, lowered his genius by no vapid imitation. Shakspeare gave us a Sbakspeare, nor could the first in ancient fame have given us more. ShakJpeare is not their son, but brother; their equal ; and that in spite of all his faults. Think you this too bold? Consider, in those ancients, what is it the world admires ? Not the fewness of their faults, but the number and brightness of their beauties; and if ShakSpeare is their equal (as he doubtless is) in that which
in them is admired, then is Sbakspeare as great as they ; and not impotence, but some other cause must be charged with his defects. When we are setting these great men in competition, what but the coinparative size of their genius is the subject of our enquiry : and a giant loses nothing of his size, though he should chance to trip in his race.
But it is a compliment to those heroes of antiquity, to suppose Shakspeare their equal only in dramatic powers; therefore, though his faults had been greater, the scale would still turn in his favour. There is at least as much genius on the British, as on the Grecian ftage, though the former is not swept fo clean ; So clean from violations, not only of the dramatic, but moral rule ; for an honeft heathen, on reading some of our celebrated scenes, might be seriously concerned to fee that our obligations to the religion of Nature were cancelled by Chriftianity...
C Ο Ν Τ Ε Ν Τ S.
to a Daughter
10 190 Bawd
ib. 14 ib. ib. 15 ib. 192 it.
16 17, 193
171 ib. 193
18 18, 194
21 ib. 194 21 195
72 ; 23