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his dramatick entertainments grew the greatest fupport of our principal, if not of all our theatres, he continued it feems fo long after his brother's death, as even to the latter end' of his own life. The curiofity at this time of the most noted actors [exciting them] to learn fomething from him of his brother, &c. they juftly held him in the highest veneration. And it may be well believed, as there was befides a kinfman and defcendant of the family, who was then a celebrated actor among them, [Charles Hart. See Shakspeare's Will.] this opportunity made them greedily inquifitive into every little circumftance, more especially in his dramatick character, which his brother could relate of him. But he, it seems, was fo ftricken in years, and poffibly his memory fo weakened with infirmities, (which might make him the easier pafs for a man of weak intellects,) that he could give them but little light into their enquiries; and all that could be recollected from him of his brother Will. in that ftation was, the faint, general, and almost loft ideas he had of having once feen 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 fo weak and drooping and unable to walk, that he was forced to be supported and carried by another person to a table, at which
2 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 grandfon of Shakspeare's fifter, he was probably the fon of Michael Hart, her youngeft fon, of whose marriage or death there is no account in the parish Register of Stratford, and therefore I fufpect he fettled in London. MALONE.
Charles Hart died in Auguft, 1683, and was buried at Stanmore the 20th of that month. Lyfon's Environs of London, Vol. III. p. 400. REED.
he was feated among fome company, who were eating, and one of them fung a fong." See the character of Adam, in As you like it, Act II. fc.
"Verfes by Ben Jonfon and Shakspeare, occafioned by the motto to the Globe Theatre-Totus mundus agit hiftrionem.
If, but ftage actors, all the world displays,
Little, or much, of what we fee, we do
Poetical Characteristicks, 8vo. MS. Vol. I. fome time in the Harleian Library; which volume was returned to its owner."
"Old Mr. Bowman the player reported from Sir William Bishop, that fome part of Sir John Falftaff's character was drawn from a townsman of Stratford, who either faithlefsly broke a contract, or fpitefully refufed to part with fome land for a valuable confideration, adjoining to Shakspeare's, in or near that town."
To these anecdotes I can only add the following.
At the conclufion of the advertisement prefixed to Lintot's edition of Shakspeare's Poems, it is faid, "That most learned prince and great patron of learning, King James the First, was pleafed with
his own hand to write an amicable letter to Mr. Shakspeare; which letter, though now loft, remained long in the hands of Sir William D'Avenant,3 as a credible perfon now living can teftify."
Mr. Oldys, in a MS. note to his copy of Fuller's Worthies, obferves, that "the ftory came from the Duke of Buckingham, who had it from Sir William D'Avenant."
It appears from Rofcius 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 Ofborne, bookfeller, (whose exploits are celebrated by the author of the Dunciad,) being ignorant in what form or language our Para dife Loft was written, employed one of his garretteers to render it from a French tranflation into English profe. Left, hereafter, the compofitions of Shakspeare fhould be brought back into their native tongue from the verfion of Monfieur le Compte de Catuelan, le Tourneur, &c. it may be neceffary to observe, that all the following particulars, extracted from the preface of thefe gentlemen, are as little founded in truth as their defcription of the ridiculous Jubilee at Stratford, which
which letter, though now loft, remained long in the hands of Sir William D'Avenant,] Dr. Farmer with great probability supposes that this letter was written by King James in return for the compliment paid to him in Macbeth. The relater of this anecdote was Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham.
they have been taught to represent as an affair of general approbation and national concern.
They fay, that Shakspeare came to London without a plan, and finding himself at the door of a theatre, inftinctively ftopped there, and offered himself to be a holder of horfes :-that he was remarkable for his excellent performance of the Ghoft in Hamlet :-that he borrowed nothing from preceding writers :-that all on a fudden he left the ftage, and returned without eclat into his native country that his monument at Stratford is of copper-that the courtiers of James I. paid feveral compliments to him which are still preserved:that he relieved a widow, who, together with her numerous family, was involved in a ruinous lawfuit:-that his editors have restored many paffages in his plays, by the affiftance of the manuscripts he left behind him, &c. &c.
Let me not, however, forget the juftice due to these ingenious Frenchmen, whose skill and fidelity in the execution of their very difficult undertaking, is only exceeded by fuch a difplay of candour as would ferve to cover the imperfections of much lefs elegant and judicious writers. STEEVENS.
BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES, and BURIALS, of the Shakspeare Family; tranfcribed from the RegifterBooks of the Parish of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.4
JONE,5 daughter of John Shakspere, was baptized Sept. 15, 1558.
Margaret, daughter of John Shakspere, was buried April 30, 1563.
WILLIAM, Son of John Shakfpere, was baptized April 26, 1564.6
Johanna, daughter of Richard Hathaway, otherwise Gardiner, of Shottery," was baptized May 9, 1566.
4 An inaccurate and very imperfect lift of the baptifms, &c. of Shakspeare's family was tranfmitted by Mr. Weft about eighteen years ago to Mr. Steevens. The lift now printed I have extracted with great care from the Registers of Stratford; and I truft, it will be found correct. MALONE.
5 This lady Mr. Weft fuppofed to have married the ancestor of the Harts of Stratford; but he was certainly mistaken. She died probably in her infancy. The wife of Mr. Hart was undoubtedly the Second Jone, mentioned below. Her fon Michael was born in the latter end of the year 1608, at which time she was above thirty-nine years old. The elder Jone would then have been near fifty. MALONE.
• He was born three days before, April 23, 1564. Malone.
7 This Richard Hathaway of Shottery was probably the father to Anne Hathaway, our poet's wife. There is no entry of her baptifm, the Regifter not commencing till 1558, two years after the was born. Thomas, the son of this Richard Hathaway,