gracious marks of her favour: it at any time, and almost equal to is that maiden princess plainly that profuse generosity the prewhom he intends by

—a fair vestal, throned by the west." Midsummer Night's Dream.

sent age has shewn to French dancers and Italian singers.

What particular habitude or friendships he contracted with private men, no one has been able to learn, more than that every one, who had a true taste of merit, and could distinguish men, had gene

His acquaintance with Ben Jonson began with a remarkable piece of humanity and good-nature: Mr. Jonson, who was at that time alto

And that whole passage is a compliment very properly brought in, and very handsomely applied to her. She was so well pleased with that admirable character of Falstaff, in the Two Parts of rally a just value and esteem for Henry the Fourth, that she com- him. His exceeding candour and manded him to continue it for one good-nature must certainly have play more, and to shew him in inclined all the gentler part of the love. This is said to be the occa- world to love him, as the power of sion of his writing The Merry his wit obliged the men of the Wives of Windsor. How well most delicate knowledge and poshe was obeyed, the play itself lite learning to admire hin. is an admirable proof. He had the honour to meet with many great and uncommon marks of favour and friendship from the Earl of Southampton, famous in the his-gether unknown to the world, had tories of that time for his friend- offered one of his plays to the ship to the unfortunate Earl of players, in order to have it acted; Essex. It was to that noble lord and the persons into whose hands that he dedicated his poem of Ve- it was put, after having turned it nus and Adonis. There is one carelessly and superciliously over instance so singular in the magni- were just upon returning it to ficence of this patron of Shak-him with an ill-natured answer, speare, that if we had not been that it would be of no service to assured that the story was handed their company; when Shakspeare down by Sir William D'Avenant, luckily cast his eye upon it, and who was probably very well ac- found something so well in it, as quainted with his affairs, we should to engage him first to read it thro' not have ventured to have inserted and afterwards to recommend Mr. it; that my Lord Southampton at Jonson and his writings to the one time gave him a thousand public. Jonson was certainly a pounds, to enable him to go very good scholar, and in that had through with a purchase which the advantage of Shakspeare; he heard he had a mind to. A though at the same time we believe bounty very great, and very rare it must be allowed, that what na

[ocr errors]

ture gave the latter, was more than a balance for what books had given the former; and the judgement of a great man* upon this occasion was, we think, very just and proper.

But the sharpness of the satire is said to have stung the man so severely, that he never forgave it.

He died 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 monu



And curst be he that moves my bones.

This is what can be learned of any note relating to him; the character of the man is best seen


The latter part of his life was spent, as all men of good sense will wish theirs may be, in ease, retirement, and the conversation ment is placed on the wall. of his friends. He had the good | his grave-stone underneath is— fortune to gather an estate equal "Good friend for Jesus' sake forbear to his occasion, and, in that, to To dig the dust inclosed here, his wish; and is said to have spent Blest be the man that spares these some years before his death at his native Stratford. His pleasurable wit and good-nature engaged him in the acquaintance, and entitled him to the friendship, of the gentlemen of the neighbourhood. A-in his writings. But since Ben mongst them, it is a story, al-Jonson has made a sort of essay most still remembered in that it in his Discoveries, we will give country, that he had a particular it in his own words: "I rememintimacy with Mr. Combe, an old ber the players have often mengentleman noted thereabouts for tioned it as an honour to Shakhis wealth and his usury: it hap-speare, that in writing (whatever pened, that in a pleasant conver- he penned) he never blotted out a sation amongst their common line. My answer hath been, friends, Mr. Combe told Shakspeare in a laughing manner, that he fancied he intended to write his epitaph, if he happened to outlive him; and since he could not know what might be said of him when he was dead, he desired it might be done immediately: upon which Shakspeare gave him these four

[blocks in formation]

Would he had a blotted a thousand! which they thought a malevolent speech. I had not told posterity this, but for their ignorance, who chose that circumstance 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 side 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 stopped. His wit was in his own power; would the rule of it had been so too. But he redeemed his vices with his virtues; there was ever more in him to be praised than pardoned."

We presume we cannot better close this Memoir of so great a man than by repeating the


To the memory of Shakspeare, on visiting Stratford-on-Avon, by the late B. Thompson, Esq. And can I quit the land where rest

the bones

Of him whom scrrowing Avon still

[blocks in formation]


(Concluded from page 28.)

The young women place themselves by the men, and begin songs' of love or war, of fabulous adventure, or heroic achievement. Thus the fete is kept up, the guests passing the cup round, and singing the whole time, until the stock of liquor is expended. As for their dances, they consist more of movements of the hands and arms' than of the feet. Their love of gambling is so great, that they will spend entire nights at play, and lose in a single sitting the whole of what they possess, even to the clothes upon their body.

Wretched and revolting as their. appearance is to more civilized people, they would be indeed miserable, if compelled to change their mode of living for ours.

"The Calmucks form large settlements in the neighbourhood of Taganrog. Their camps were numerous at the time of our visit: both Calmuck men and women, were seen galloping their horses through the streets of the town, or lounging in the public places.

"We visited one of the largest camps, near the town, and found the earth all around their tents covered with the mutilated carcases of dead rats, cats, dogs, sus-. lies, and babaes.-The number of Calmucks in the Russian empire has diminished, since the es-. tablishment of provincial govern

ments, and the division of lands, owing to their being more confined to limited situations. Frequent attempts have been made, and are daily making, to induce them to form a regular settlement. Like all wandering tribes, particularly Laplanders and Gipsies, they are so much accustomed to an uncontrolled and vagrant life, that nothing but extreme indigence can compel them to cultivate land, and to reside in any fixed habitation."


Ellis, who on her side most truly loved her sailor, in spite of all his faults, real or supposed, and the one list was equal to the other; for calumny, like the raven, is fond of preying on the dying and the dead. Had the father of the maiden consented to their union, it is most probable that the life of Richard would have been honorable to himself, and useful to his country; but old Ellis was one of those heartless, selfish beings, who love their children only as they minister to their own comfort, or gratification: he wished to see his daughter married to a rich man, not because those riches might RICHARD CLIFTON was one of make her lot more comfortable, those wild, yet commanding spi- but because a rich son-in-law rits, that are great in good or evil, added to his own importance. according to the more or less fa- Such a proposal, therefore, excitvourable circumstances, in which ed his warmest indignation; it they may happen to be placed. was a cutting up of all his prosHis earliest years had been de-pects, of the hopes that he had been voted to the navy, where by his toiling to realise for many years; own unassisted merit he had risen she would be a beggar and an to the rank of first lieutenant; outcast-the alliance was infamy. when a blow, given to his superior In all this, however, there was officer, thrust him on the world, much more regard shown for hima pennyless outcast. The same self than for his child; and Lucy energies, which had before made felt that there was. This was the him the best of seamen, now ren-corner-stone of the subsequent dered him the worst of citizens; evils; the harshness of her father for power is like the fiend that, made her more open to the false once called up, must have some- flatteries of her lover; though at thing to employ it, or it falls on the same time she was not altogeits master. There was a blight ther ignorant of her own weakon his fame and on his hopes, yet ness: in the hour of temptation still there was one chance for him; she flung herself on the honour of he had long been attached to Lucy the man she adored. Richard

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

left the town and joined a band he was deeply indebted, and who of smugglers, and was either kil-had formerly been a fruitless inled, or drowned, or had fled the tercessor for poor Lucy. Some, country; for each of these reports had its particular defenders.

too, were actuated by less interested motives, and were glad to shelter their hatred of the father, under the show of compassion for the child; but the result was the same to Ellis; he was a ruined man. His ostentatious charities, which had been so much praised in the days of his success, were now considered in their true light, and had not procured a single friend to pity or assist him in his difficulties.

So complete had been the failure, and so rigid his creditors, that a few weeks found him possessed of a few pounds only, whose word had once been good for thousands. In this dilemma he quitted his native town, which for the last month he had inhabit

The dishonour of Lucy soon became too gross for concealment. On the discovery of her situation, the merchant at once turned her out of doors, as the destroyer of all his dearest expectations; and bade her starve or live, as she could best settle the matter with the world: nor could any after arguments of his friends, in the least affect his resolution; he was deaf to all remonstrance, whether of justice, or humanity. But the wrath of heaven, which had first smitten the guilty child, was not slow in punishing the heartless parent, who had arrogated to himself the office of vengeance, and executed it with more of passion than of equity. In his eager-ed out of mere pride, and after a ness to amass a fortune, the mer-long course of suffering, became chant overstepped the bounds of the guardian of a light-house, on prudent speculation. The first one of the wildest parts of the great loss stimulated to a second English coast. A very short readventure for its retrieval; and sidence in this sad abode, made that, miscarrying, in turn brought him a weaker, though not a better with it a further hazard, to fail man; he grew, not less selfish, like those before it; till the proud but more timid, more impressed and wealthy Ellis found himself a with the actual and near presence destitute bankrupt, pursued and of a Creator, and he began to feel crushed by the vindictive spirit that there was not only an after, of disappointed creditors, who but a present, vengeance. Nor is pleaded his cruelty in excuse for this to be wondered at; loneliness theirs. You showed no mercy brings the mind more immediately to your own child, how then can in contact with the works of the you expect it from me, a stranger?' Creator, and from them with the -was the answer of one to whom Creator himself. No man of any

« VorigeDoorgaan »