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his dramatick entertainments grew the greatest support of our principal, if not of all our theatres, he continued it seems so long after his brother's death, as even to the latter end of his own life. The curiosity at this time of the most noted actors
exciting them to learn something from him of his brother, &c. they justly held him in the higheft veneration. And it may be well believed, as there was besides a kinsman and descendant of the family, who was then a celebrated actor among them, Charles Hart. See Shakspeare's Will.] this opportunity made them greedily inquisitive into every little circumstance, more especially in his dramatick character, which his brother could relate of him. But he, it seems, was so stricken in years, and possibly 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 station was, the faint, general, and almost lost ideas he had of having once feen him act a part in one of his own comedies, wherein being to personate a decrepit old man, he wore a long beard, and appeared so 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 grandson of Shakspeare's sister, he was probably the son of Michael Hart, her youngeft fon, of whose marriage or death there is no account in the parish Register of Stratford, and there. fore I suspect he settled in London. MALONE.
Charles Hart died in August, 1683, and was buried at Stanmore the 20th of that month. Lyfon's Environs of London, Vol. III. p. 400. REED. Vol. I.
he was feated among some company, who were eating, and one of them fung a song." See the character of Adam, in As you like it, Act II. sc. ult.
" Verses by Ben Jonson and Shakspeare, occafioned by the motto to the Globe Theatre-Totus mundus agit histrionem.
: Little, or much, of what we fee, we do ;
Poetical Characteristicks, 8vo. MS. Vol. I. some time in the Harleian Library ; which volume was returned to its owner.”
Old Mr. Bowman the player reported from Sir William Bishop, that some part of Sir John Falstaff's character was drawn from a townsman of Stratford, who either faithlessly broke a contract, or fpitefully refused to part with some land for a valuable consideration, adjoining to Shakspeare's, in or near that town.”
To these anecdotes I can only add the following.
At the conclusion of the advertisement prefixed to Lintot's edition of Shakspeare's Poems, it is said, “ That most learned prince and great patron of learning, King James the First, was pleased 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 person now living can testify."
Mr. Oldys, in a MS. note to his copy of Fuller's Worthies, obferves, that “ the story 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 Osborne, bookseller, (whose exploits are celebrated by the author of the Dunciad,) being ignorant in what form or language our Paradise Lost was written, employed one of his garretteers to render it from a French translation into English profe. Left, hereafter, the compositions of Shakspeare should be brought back into their native tongue from the version of Monsieur le Compte de Catuelan, le Tourneur, &c. it may be necessary to observe, that all the following particulars, extracted from the preface of these gentleinen, are as little founded in truth as their defcription of the ridiculous Jubilee at Stratford, which
3 which letter, though now lost, 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 say, that Shakspeare came to London without a plan, and finding himself at the door of a theatre, instinctively stopped there, and offered himself to be a holder of horses :—that he was remarkable for his excellent performance of the Ghost in Hamlet :-that he borrowed nothing from preceding writers :--that all on a sudden he left the itage, and returned without eclat into his native country :-that his monument at Stratford is of copper :--that the courtiers of James I. paid several compliments to him which are still preserved :that he relieved a widow, who, together with her numerous family, was involved in a ruinous law.. fuit :-that his editors have restored many passages in his plays, by the assistance of the manuscripts he left behind him, &c. &c. · Let me not, however, forget the justice due to these ingenious Frenchmen, whose skill and fidelity in the execution of their very difficult undertaking, is only exceeded by such a display of candour as would serve to cover the imperfections of much less elegant and judicious writers. STEEVENS.
BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES, and BURIALS, of the
Shakspeare Family; transcribed from the RegisterBooks of the Parish of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.4
TONE,5 daughter of John Shakfpere, was baptized
Sept. 15, 1558. Margaret, daughter of John Shakspere, was buried
April 30, 1563. WILLIAM, Son of John Shakspere, was baptized
April 26, 1564.6 Johanna, daughter of Richard Hathaway, otherwise
Gardiner, of Shottery," was baptized May 9, 1566.
* An inaccurate and very imperfect list of the baptisms, &c. of Shakspeare's family was transmitted by Mr. Weft about eighteen years ago to Mr. Steevens. The litt now printed I have extracted with great care from the Registers of Stratford ; and I trust, it will be found correct. MALONE.
s This lady Mr. West supposed 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 son Michael was born in the latter end of the year 1608, at which time the was above thirty-nine years old. The elder Jone would then have been near fifty. Malone. 6 He was born three days before, April 23, 1564. MALONE.
This Richard Hathaway of Shottery was probably the father to Anne Hathaway, our poet's wife. There is no entry of her baptism, the Register not commencing till 1558, two years after she was born. Thomas, the son of this Richard Hathaway,