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Item, I give unto my wife my fecond beft bed, with the furniture.9
Item, I give and bequeath to my faid daughter Judith my broad filver gilt bowl. All the rest of my goods, chattels, leafes, plate, jewels, and houfhold ftuff whatsoever, after my debts and legacies paid, and my funeral expences difcharged, I give devife, and bequeath to my fon-in-law, John Hall, gent. and my daughter Sufanna his wife, whom I ordain and make executors of this my laft will and teftament. And I do entreat and appoint the faid Thomas Ruffel, efq. and Francis Collins, gent. to be overfeers hereof. And do revoke all former wills, and publish this to be my laft will and teftament. In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand, the day and year first above written.
By me' William Shakspeare,
9 my fecond beft bed, with the furniture.] Thus Shakfpeare's original will. Mr. Theobald and the other modern editors have been more bountiful to Mrs. Shakspeare, having printed inftead of these words, " -my brown beft bed, with the furniture." MALONE.
It appears, in the original will of Shakspeare, (now in the Prerogative-Office, Doctor's Commons,) that he had forgot his wife; the legacy to her being expreffed by an interlineation, as well as thofe to Heminge, Burbage, and Condell.
The will is written on three fheets of paper, the two laft of which are undoubtedly subscribed with Shakspeare's own hand. The first indeed has his name in the margin, but it differs fome what in fpelling as well as manner, from the two fignatures that VOL. I.
Probatum fuit teftamentum fuprafcriptum apud London, coram Magiftro William Byrde, Legum Doctore, &c. vicefimo fecundo die menfis Junii, Anno Domini 1616; juramento Johannis Hall unius ex. cui, &c. de bene, &c. jurat. refervata poteftate, &c. Sufanna Hall, alt ex. &c. eam cum venerit, &c. petitur. &c.
follow. The reader will find a fac-fimile of all the three, as well as those of the witneffes, oppofite this page. STEEVENS.
The name at the top of the margin of the first sheet was probably written by the fcrivener who drew the will. This was the constant practice in Shakspeare's time. MALONE.
By me William Shakspeare.] This was the mode of our poet's time. Thus the Regifter of Stratford is figned at the bottom of each page, in the year 1616: "Per me Richard Watts, Minifter." These concluding words have hitherto been inaccurately exhibited thus: "the day and year first above-written by me, William Shakspeare." Neither the day, nor year, nor any preceding part of this will, was written by our poet. By me," &c. only means-The above is the will of me William Shakspeare. MALONE.
Fra. Collins,] See p. 157. MALONE.
Julius Shaw,] was born in Sept. 1571. He married Anne Boyes, May 5, 1594; and died at Stratford in June 1629.
John Robinfon,] John, fon of Thomas Robinson, was baptized at Stratford, Nov, 30, 1589. I know not when he died.
Hamnet Sadler.] See p. 158. MALONE.
DEDICATION OF THE PLAYERS.
MOST NOBLE AND INCOMPARABLE PAIRE OF
Earle of PEMBROKE, &c. Lord Chamberlaine to the Kings moft Excellent Majestie;
Earle of MONTGOMERY, &c. Gentleman of his Majefties Bed-chamber.
Both Knights of the Moft Noble Order of the Garter, and our fingular good LORDS.
HILST we ftudie to be thankfull in our particular, for the many favors we have received from your L. L. we are falne upon the ill fortune, to mingle two the moft diverse things that can be, feare, and rafhneffe; rafhneffe in the enterprize, and feare of the fucceffe. For, when we value the places your H. H. fuftaine, wee cannot. but know the dignity greater, than to descend to the reading of these trifles: and, while we name them trifles, we have deprived ourselves of the de
fence of our dedication. But fince your L. L. have been pleased to thinke these trifles fomething, heretofore; and have profequuted both them, and their authour living, with fo much favour; we hope that (they out-living him, and he not having the fate, common with fome, to be exequutor to his owne writings) you will ufe the fame indulgence toward them, you have done unto their parent. There is a great difference, whether any booke choose his patrones, or find them: this hath done both. For fo much were your L. L. likings of the feveral parts, when they were acted, as before they were published, the volume asked to be yours. We have but collected them, and done an office to the dead, to procure his orphanes, guardians; without ambition either of felfe-profit, or fame: onely to keepe the memory of fo worthy a friend, and fellow alive, as was our SHAKSPEARE, by humble offer of his playes, to your moft noble patronage. Wherein, as we have juftly obferved no man to come neere your L. L. but with a kind of religious addreffe, it hath bin the height of our care, who are the presenters, to make the present worthy of your H. H. by the perfection. But, there we must also crave our abilities to be confidered, my lords. We cannot goe beyond our owne powers. Country hands reach forth milke, creame, fruits, or what they have : and many nations (we have heard) that had not gummes and incenfe, obtained their requests with a leavened cake. It was no fault to approach their
6 Country hands reach forth milk, &c. and many nations— that had not gummes and incenfe, obtained their requests with a leavened cake.] This feems to have been one of the commonplaces of dedication in Shakspeare's age. We find it in Morley's Dedication of a Book of Songs to Sir Robert Cecil, 1595: "I have prefumed (fays he) to make offer of thefe fimple compofi