and though the art of the poet has fereened King Henry from any grofs imputation of injustice, yet one is inclined to with, the Queen had met with a fortune more worthy of her birth and virtue. Nor are the manners, proper to the perfons represented, lefs jufly obferved in thofe characters taken from the Roman history; and of this, the fiercenefs and impatience of Coriolanus, his courage and difdain of the common people, the virtue and philofophical temper of Brutus, and the irregu lar greatness of mind in M. Antony, are beautiful proofs. For the two laft efpecially, you find them exactly as they are defcribed by Plutarch, from whom certainly Shakspeare copied them. He has indeed followed his original pretty close, and taken in feveral little incidents that might have been fpared in a play. But, as I hinted before, his defign feems most commonly rather to defcribe those great men in the several fortunes and accidents of their lives, than to take any fingle great action, and form his work fimply upon that. However, there are fome of his pieces where the fable is founded upon one action only. Such are more especially, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Othello. The defign in Romeo and Juliet is plainly the punishment of their two families, for the unreasonable feuds and animofities that had been so long kept up between them, and occafioned the effufion of so much blood. In the management of this ftory, he has fhewn fomething wonderfully tender and paffionate in the love-part, and very pitiful in the diftrefs. Hamlet is founded on much the fame tale with the Electra of Sophocles. In each of them a young prince is engaged to revenge the death of his father, their mothers are equally guilty, are both concerned in the murder of their hufbands, and are afterwards married to the murderers. There is in the first part of the Greek tragedy fomething very moving in the grief of Electra; but, as Mr. Dacier has obferved, there is fomething very unnatural and fhocking in the manners he has given that Princess and Oreftes in the latter part. Oreftes imbrues his hands in the blood of his own mother; and that barbarous action is performed, though not immediately upon the ftage, yet fo near, that the audience hear Clytemneftra crying out to Egyfthus for help, and to her fon for mercy: while Electra her daughter, and a Princess (both of them characters that ought to have appeared with more decency) ftands upon the stage, and encourages her brother in the parricide. What horrors does this not raife! Clytemnestra was a wicked woman, and had deferved to die; nay, in the truth of the ftory, fhe was killed by her own fon; but to represent an action of this kind on the stage, is certainly an offence againft thofe rules of manners proper to the perfons, that ought to be observed there. On the contrary, let us only look a little on the conduct of Shakspeare. Hamlet is reprefented with the fame piety towards his father, and refolution to revenge his death, as Oreftes; he has the fame abhorrence for his mother's guilt, which, to provoke him the more, is heightened by inceft: but it is with wonderful art and juftnefs of judgment that the poet reftrains him from doing violence to his mother. To prevent any thing of that kind, he makes his father's Ghoft forbid that part of his vengeance:

But horfoever thou purfu'ft this act,

Taint not thy mind, nor let thy foul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to heav'n,
And to thofe thorns that in her bofom lodge,
To prick and fting her.

This is to diftinguish between horror and terror. The latter is a proper paffion of tragedy, but the former ought always to be carefully avoided. And certainly no dramatic writer ever fucceeded better in raifing terror in the minds of an audience' than Shakspeare has done. The whole tragedy of Macbeth, but more efpecially the scene where the King is murdered, in the fecond act, as well as this play, is a noble proof of that manly fpirit with which he writ; and both fhew how powerful he was, in giving the ftrongest motions to our fouls that they are capable of. I cannot leave Hamlet, without taking notice of the advantage with which we have feen this master-piece of Shakspeare diftinguish itself upon the ftage, by Mr. Bet


terton's fine performance of that part; a man, who, though he had no other good qualities, as he has a great many, must have made his way into the esteem of all men of letters, by this only excellency. No man is better acquainted with Shakspeare's manner of expreffion, and indeed he has ftudied him fo well, and is fo much a master of him, that whatever part of his he performs, he does it as if it had been written on purpose for him, and that the author had exactly conceived it as he plays it. I must own a particular obligation to him, for the most confiderable part of the paffages relating to this life, which I have here tranfmitted to the publick; his veneration for the memory of Shakspeare having engaged him to make a journey into Warwickshire, on purpose to gather up what remains he could, of a name for which he had fo great a veneration *.

This Account of the Life of Shakspeare is printed from Mr. Rowe's fecond edition, in which it had been abridged and altered by himself after its appearance in 1709.



Extracted from the Regiftry of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Vicefimo quinto die Martii Anno Regni Domini noftri Jacobi nunc Regis Anglia, &c. decimo quarto & Scotia quadragefimo nono, Anno Domini 1616.


N the name of God, Amen. I William Shakespeare, of Stratford upon Avon, in the county of Warwick, gent. in perfect health and memory (God be praised) do make and ordain this my last will and teftament in manner and form following; that is to fay:

Firft, I commend my foul into the hands of God my Creator, hoping, and affuredly believing, through the only merits of Jefus Chrift my Saviour, to be made partaker of life everlafting; and my body to the earth whereof that is made.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Judith one hundred and fifty pounds of lawful English money, to be paid unto her in manner and form following; that is to fay, one hundred pounds in difcharge of her marriage portion within one year after my decease, with confiderations after the rate of two fhillings in the pound for fo long time as the fame fhall be unpaid unto her after my deceafe; and the fifty pounds refidue thereof, upon her furrendering of or giving of fuch fufficient fecurity as the overfeers of this my will fhall like of, to furrender or grant all her estate and right that shall defcend or come unto her after my decease, or that fhe now hath of, in, or to, one copyhold tenement, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Stratford upon Avon aforefaid, in the faid county of Warwick, being parcel or holden of the manor of Rowington, unto my daughter Sufannah Hall, and her heirs for ever.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my faid daughter Judith one hundred and fifty pounds more, if the, or any iffue of her body, be living at the end of three years next enfuing the day of the date of this my will, during which time my executors to pay her confideration from my deceafe according to the rate aforefaid: and if the die within the faid term without iflue of her body, then my will is, and I do give and bequeath one hun. dred pounds thereof to my niece Elizabeth Hall, and the fifty pounds to be fet forth by my executors during the life of my fifter Joan Harte, and the ufe and profit thereof coming, fhall be paid to my faid fifter Joan, and after her decease the said fifty pounds hall remain amongst the children of my faid fifter, equally to be divided amongst


them; but if my faid daughter Judith be living at the end of the faid three years, or any iffue of her body, then my will is, and fo I devife and bequeath the faid hun dred and fifty pounds to be fet out by my executors and overfeers for the best benefit of her and her iffue, and the ftock not to be paid unto her fo long as the fhall be married and covert baron; but my will is, that the fhall have the confideration yearly paid unto her during her life, and after her decease the faid flock and confideration to be paid to her children, if the have any, and if not, to her executors and affigns, the living the faid term after my deceafe; provided that if such husband as the thall at the end of the faid three years be married unto, or at and after, do fufficiently affure unto her, and the iffue of her body, and anfwerable to the portion by this my will given unto her, and to be adjudged fo by my executors and overfeers, then my will is, that the faid hundred and fifty pounds fhall be paid to fuch husband as shall make such assurance, to his own use.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my faid fifter Joan twenty pounds, and all my wearing apparel, to be paid and delivered within one year after my deceafe; and I do will and devife unto her the houfe, with the appurtenances, in Stratford, wherein the dwelleth, for her natural life, under the yearly value of twelve-pence. Item, I give and bequeath unto her three fons, William Hart, Michael Hart, five pounds apiece, to be paid within one year after my decease. Item, I give and bequeath unto the faid Elizabeth Hall all my plate that I now have, except my broad filver and gilt boxes, at the date of this my will.

Hart, and

Item, I give and bequeath unto the poor of Stratford aforefaid ten pounds; to Mr. Thomas Combe my fword; to Thomas Ruffel, efq. five pounds; and to Francis Collins of the borough of Warwick, in the county of Warwick, gent. thirteen pounds fix fhillings and eight-pence, to be paid within one year after my decease.

Item, I give and bequeath to Hamlet Sadler twenty-fix fhillings eight-pence to buy him a ring; to William Reynolds, gent. twenty-fix fhillings eight-pence to buy him a ring; to my godfon William Walker twenty fhillings in gold; to Anthony Nafh, gent. twenty-fix fhillings eight-pence; and to Mr. John Nafh twenty-fix fhillings eight-pence; and to my fellows John Hemynge, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell twenty-fix fhillings eight-pence a piece to buy them rings.

Item, I give, will, bequeath, and devife unto my daughter Sufannah Hall, for the better enabling of her to perform this my will, and towards the performance thereof, all that capital meffuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, in Stratford aforefaid, called The New Place, wherein I now dwell, and two meffuages or tenements, with the appurtenances, fituate, lying, and being in Henley-ftreet, within the borough of Stratford aforefaid; and all my barns, ftables, orchards, gardens, lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever, fituate, lying, and being, or to be had, referved, preferved, or taken within the towns, hamlets, villages, fields, and grounds of Stratford upon Avon, Old Stratford, Bufhaxton, and Welcome, or in any of them, in the said county of Warwick; and alfo all that mefluage or tenement, with the appurtenances, wherein one John Robinfon dwelleth, fituate, lying, and being in the Black-Friers in London near the Wardrobe; and all other my lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever; to have and to hold all and fingular the faid premifes, with their appurtenances, unto the faid Sufannah Hall, for and during the term of her natural life; and after her decease to the first fon of her body lawfully ifluing, and to the heirs males of the body of the faid firft fon lawfully ifluing; and for default of fuch ifue, to the fecond fon of her body lawfully iffuing, and to the heirs males of the body of the faid fecond fon lawfully iffuing; and for default of fuch heirs to the third son of the body of the faid Sufannah lawfully iffuing, and of the heirs males of the body of the faid third fon lawfully ifluing; and for default of such iffue, the fame to be and remain to the fourth, fifth, fixth, and feventh fons of her body, lawfully ifuing one after another, and to the heirs males of the bodies of the faid fourth, fifth, xth, and feventh fons lawfully iffuing, in fuch manner as it is before limited to be, and remain to the firft, fecond, and third fons of her body, and to their heirs males; and for default of fuch iffue, the faid premifes to be and remain to my faid niece Hall, and the heirs males of her body lawfully iffuing; and for default of fuch iflue, to my daughter Judith, and the heirs males of her body lawfully iffuing; and for default of fuch iffue, to the right heirs of me the faid William Shakspeare for ever.

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Tem, I give unto my wife my brown best bed with the furniture.

Item, I give and bequeath to my faid daughter Judith my broad filver gilt bole. All the rest of my goods, chattels, leafes, plate, jewels, and houfhold-stuff 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 Sufannah his wife, who I ordain and make executors of this my last will and teftament. And I do intreat and appoint the faid Thomas Ruffel, efq. and Francis Collins, gent. to be overseers hereof. And, I do revoke all former wills, and publish this to be my laft will and testament. In witnefs whereof I have hereunto put my hand, the day and year first above-written, by me

William Shakspeare.

Witness to the publishing hereof,




Probatum coram Magiftro William Byrde, Legum Doctore Commiffario, &c. vicefimo, fecundo die menfis Junii, Anno Domini 1616. Juramento Johannis Hall unius ex. et cui, &c. de bene et Jurat' refervata poteflate et Sufanna Hall alt. ex. &c. tui vendit, &c. petitur,


A LIST of the Six and-thirty DRAMAS of SHAKSPEARE, which are published in the following Pages, with the Dates of the earliest Editions of each:-Whence it appears, that twenty of them were first printed in the Folio of 1623.



HE TEMPEST.-In the folio of 1623.

2. THE TWO gentlemen oF VERONA.—In the folio of 1623. 3. THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.-1602. 4to.-1619. 4to. 4. MEASURE FOR MEASURE.-In the folio of 1623.

5. THE COMEDY OF ERRORS.-In the folio of 1623.


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7. LOVE'S LABOR's LOST.-1598. 4to.—1631. 4to.




9. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.—1600. 4to.—1637, 4to.


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11. TAMING OF THE SHREW.-In the folio of 1623.


12. ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.-In the folio of 1623.

13. TWELFTH NIGHT.-In the folio of 1623.

14. THE WINTER'S TALE.-In the folio of 1623.

15. MACBETH.-In the folio of 1623.





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21. KING HENRY THE SIXTH, PART I.-In the folio of 1623.


PART II.-In the folio of 1623.


PART III.-In the folio of 1623.

25. KING HENRY THE EIGHTH.-In the folio of 1623.

17. KING RICHARD THE SECOND.-1597. 4to.-1598. 4to.—1608. 4to.

18. KING HENRY THE FOURTH, PART I.—1598. 4to.—1599. 4to.-1604. 4to.

20. KING HENRY THE FIFTH.-1600. 4to.-1602. 4to.-1608. 4to.








24. KING RICHARD THE THIRD.-1597. 4to.—1598. 4to.-1602. 410.

26, CORIOLANUS.-In the folio of 1623.

27. JULIUS CÆSAR.—In the folio of 1623.

28. ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.-In the folio of 1623.

29. TIMON OF ATHENS.-In the folio of 1623.

30. TITUS ANDRONICUS.-1611. 4to.

31. TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.-1609. 4to.

32. CYMBELINE.-In the folio of 1623.

33. KING LEAR.-1608. 4to.

34. ROMEO AND JULIET.-1597. 4to.-1599. 4to.-1609. 4to. 35. HAMLET.-1604. 4to.-1605. 4to.-1611. 4to.

36. OTHELLO.-1622. 4to,-1630. 4to.















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