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the second fine, hereafter named, may have become necessary" (p. 16). “In the absence of the deed which would explain the Object of this fine, it can only be conjectured that after Shakspere had bought New Place, it was discovered that Hercules Underhill had some contingent interest in the property, which was conveyed to the poet by this second proceeding. William and Hercules were both probably married men, and so the fines might have been necessary in order to bar their wives' right to dower; or, as has been previously suggested, Shakspere may not have paid the whole of the purchase-money until 1602” (p. 19). “If the house was in great ruin and decay' in 1550, it may have been in a very ruinous state when Shakspere bought it in 1597 ; and, indeed, this circumstance may account for the moderate amount of the purchasemoney. It was probably altered or rebuilt by him in 1598, for in that year the corporation paid to Mr. Shakespeare for on load of ston xa,' which stone was, perhaps, part of the old materials of the house, for there seems no other plausible explanation of his having such an article to dispose of” (p. 19).

“Did Shakspere purchase New Place as a residence for himself? The evidence seems to favour the supposition that he did, and that he was the occupier, with his family, however extended and numerous his absences from Stratford, for some time after the date of his obtaining it from Underhill. In Feb., 1597-8, there was a great scarcity of grain, so much so as to occasion fear of local disturbance, and on the fourth of that month a note was taken of all the corn and malt in the town. It appears from this list that Shakspere had at that time one of the largest quantities in Stratford ; and his name occurs in the Chapel Street Ward, in which New Place is situated. He is there marked as having ten quarters of corn, two townsmen only of that ward having larger quantities; and the single fact is suggestive of comfortable circumstances; for be it remembered he had not at this time any landed property in the neighbourhood, so that the corn must either have been purchased in 1597, or included in the sale of the premises. This seems evidence sufficient to enable us to conclude that in Feb., 1598, Shakspere was the occupier of New Place. At the same time it does not follow that he was usually resident at Stratford at that time. On the contrary, it is ascertained that he was in London in Jan., 1598, and also in October of the same year, from the wellknown letters of Abraham Sturley in the Stratford archives, the language of which seems to make it clear that at that period his ordinary place of residence was in London. So, also, the letter of Quincey to Shakspere, dated Oct. 25th, 1598, the only letter ad. dressed to the poet known to exist, was evidently sent by hand from the 'Bell,' in Carter Lane, to some place in town” (p. 23).

It seems, therefore, as certain, that from the date of the purchase of New Place to the time of his death, Shakspere had a residence at Stratford, as that during the greater part of that period he was seldom living there. The strange part of the matter is, that, at some

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time between the years 1598 and 1610, he left New Place, and did not reoccupy it until after Sept., 1610. The evidence of this is con. tained in a paper in the handwriting of Thomas Greene, a connection of Shakspere's, and town clerk of Stratford, dated Sept. 9th, 1609. Thomas Green was at that time occupying New Place, and this paper has reference to the premises of one George Browne, to which lie had then the intention of removing. Greene wished to have possession of Browne's premises at Lady Day, 1610, with a view to have sufficient time to prepare them for his own occupation by the following Michaelmas. It appears that arrangements had been in progress, during the summer of 1609, to settle matters on this basis, but Browne seems to have altered his mind on the subject, in consequence of which Greene drew up some memoranda, entitled,

Some reasons to prove that G. Browne ment before this to have bene gone, besydes others that I will reserve to myself to use, yf need be. Amongst these reasons is the following :-He doubted whether he might save his garden untill about my going to the terme; I was content to permytt yt without contradiction, and the rather because I perceyved I might stay another yere at New Place.' -MS. dated Sept. 9, 1609.. Greene, in fact, was indulgent to bim, because he had not much idea of absolutely removing from New Place before Michaelmas, 1610, and was more anxious to have facilities for putting the new premises in order, than to turn Browne out of them. The house to which Greene removed was a large one adjoining the churchyard, near to its present entrance, at the bottom of Old Town. A modern house now stands on the site. He had certainly removed there before June 21st, 1611; for on that day an order was made that the town was to repare the churchyard wall at Mr. Green's dwelling-house, and to keep it sufficiently repared for the length of two hundred nintye and seaven foote of wallinge.' It is thus ascertained that Shakspere's final retirement to New Place occurred some time between Sept. 9th, 1609, and June 21st, 1611” (pp. 23-25). “From Michaelmas, 1610, to his death in 1616, we may safely conclude that Shakspere lived a great part of his time at Stratford, paying occasional visits to London, but interesting himself with local matters. Of this we have evidence in the remarkable entries respecting him in the diary of Thomas Greene, 1614 and 1615. Shakspere in his will speaks of New Place as 'the house wherein I now dwell’ (1616). The entries above quoted do not, however, show that the poet had made an absolute retirement to New Place. On the contrary, it is ascertained that be arrived in London Nov. 16th, 1614, and that he was still in the metropolis on the following Dec. 23rd, not having at the latter date any intention of an immediate return to Stratford. It is not likely in those days of difficult travel that he returned to Stratford in the interval, but rather that he was spending the winter theatrical season of 1614-15 in town. It seems most probable that with Anne Shakspere, at New Place, resided at this period the Halls, and that during his stay at his native town the poet found a home sanctified by the


presence of a religious family. Certain it is that, in 1614, the religious enthusiasm which subsequently characterized Shakspere's descendants had already developed itself; for in that year one of the puritanical clergymen, who were encouraged by the corporation, found a lodging through the hospitality of the occupier of New Place,

"Item for one quart of sack and one quart of clarett wine geven to a precher at the Newe Place xxd., Chamberlain's accounts, 1614. It was customary at that time for the corporation to send complimentary presents of wine to strangers who preached at Stratford, and who sometimes stopped at inns, but were occasionally entertained at private houses. Entries of payments for wine so given are numerous in the Chamberlain's accounts during the 17th century.” “With this evidence before us of the religious tendencies of the inhabitants of New Place, no one can credit the tradition recorded by Ward, that Shakspere died of a fever con. tracted in a debauch, in which Ben Jonson and Drayton participated. Perhaps, however, the tradition was scarcely this. Ward, who wrote in 1662, says, “Shakespear, Drayton, and Ben Jhonson had a merry meeting, and itt seems drank too hard, for Shakespear died of a feavour there contracted.' The traditions seem only to intimate that, shortly before his death, Shakspere gave an entertainment to his friends, and that he afterwards died of a fever. The inference of cause, and that an insufficient one, belongs to Ward. The first circumstance is probable, and perhaps there was a merry party assembled at New Place, on the 10th February, on the occasion of the marriage of Judith Shakspere to Thomas Quiney, at which no one was present who anticipated the mournful change destined to take place in the course of a few weeks, for on the 25th of the preceding month Shakspere was in perfect health.. Drayton was one of Dr. Hall's patients” (“Select Observations,” p. 26), “and was probably intimate with all the members of the Shakspere family. The second fact here recorded by tradition-hardly by tradition, for it must have been within the knowledge of many residing at Stratford only forty-six years after the event,--that the poet died of a fever, is highly probable, and to be accounted for in the then sanitary state of the neighbourhood of New Place. In all human probability the poet died from an attack of typhoid fever, an ailment the treatment of which was then very imperfectly understood. Let us not, on such an uncertain testimony as that given by Ward, conclude that the fatal event was caused by any indiscretion of his own. Let us rather picture to ourselves the great dramatist, surrounded by all the consolations that could on such an occasion be possible, and that these were not impaired by the thought that his dying moments were accelerated by even a venial error. The theory of his death by typhoid fever is not inconsistent with the tradition which records that the monumental effigy in Stratford Church was taken from a cast after death, for that fever is often too rapid in its fatal progress to render the countenance so emaciated as to cause

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a sensible difference in its form after dissolution" (pp. 24—28). Ample and elaborate proof is then given of the unhealthy state of Shakspere's neighbourhood; and Mr. Halliwell proceeds to say, “The foregoing notices of the state of Chapel Lane in former times, its mud walls, open ditches, dunghills, and general squalor, appear to be of singular interest when viewed

in relation to the probable cause of the great poet's fatal illness. Here there were close to his doors the chief elements required for the contraction of a low typhoid fever” (p. 36). "1604. In a survey of the King's manor of Rowington, taken October 24th, 1604, in a list of the customary tenants in Stratforde parcell of the said manor,' is the following entry:—William Shakspere lykewise holdeth there one cottage and one garden, by estimation a quarter of one acre, and payeth rent yeerlye ijs. vjd.'(p. 41).

Such are a few specimens of some of the matters of interest gathered together by the researchful industry of Mr. Halliwell. In the text itself of the work we can learn the extent, the boundaries, and the form of New Place; get an idea of the scenery on which the poet looked in his latest years, and of the garden in which he, meditating, walked; then we can acquire from its certain documents and references an aequaintance with his neighbours and their history, of his son-in-law Dr. Hall and his biography, as well as a knowledge of all the changes of ownership New Place underwent, from the days of Shakspere’s death till the time of its purchase for national preservation and Shaksperian purposes by Mr. Halliwell, to whose lively enthusiasm it is due that the grounds of New Place have been made a possession that they may be a joy for ever.

This magnificent folio preserves in excellent form all that is known about the house in which Shakspere's last years were spent, in which his widow and children dwelt, and in which, doubtlessly, many of the splendid thoughts of Shakspere were gained and written. It is a painstaking labour of love, for which the special thanks of the Stratfordians are due to its writer, and the general gratitude of all the lovers of the mighty dramatist. We remember, when present at the banquet of the Tercentenary Festival, feeling a considerable quantity of lively indignation that upon the programme of the toasts proposed, no place was found for “ The Biographers of Shakspere,” coupled with the name of J. 0. Halliwell. ` Surely Stratford cannot be ignorant that it is very much to the biographers of Sbakspere that the interest felt in its scenes and surroundings is due, and the inhabitants ought to have recognized the great work done for Shakspere's town by Mr. Halliwell ; all the more so if it be true, as we are informed, that he has prepared a companion volume to this history of New Place-a volume which is even now in the press, to be entitled, “Stratford-upon-Avon in the Times of the Shaksperes.” This work, we understand, is to be illustrated by extracts from the valuable manuscript council-books belonging to the corporation, especially selected with reference to the history of the poet's father.

No man living has done so much for the elucidation of the facts of Shakspere's outward life as Mr. Halliwell. He has exhausted every nook and cranny where research was likely to find documents regarding the facts of his career. Without attempting any subtle psychological interpretation of these facts, he has given a common-sense and clear statement of the conclusions to which they appear to lead. We might have quoted many other

passages from this scarce and valuable volume, but we felt it a duty to restrain our pen in its borrowing haste. We have produced enough to show the value of the material, and to warrant us in saying that when the biographer of Shakspere shall arise who shall be able to reconstruct the facts known of him into a veritable memoir, he will not fail to confess that to Mr. Halliwell he is indebted for many of the main elements of his sketch.. This work on the home of Shakspere will have, if it gets justice, a home in the heart's remem. brance of every lover of the great dramatist.

The Topic.



AFFIRMATIVE. “ An oath for confirmation" is necessary in important proceedings, to bring the sense of God's presence near to the soul of a witness, to arouse all the moral nature of the individual, to excite watchfulness, and to impress with the feeling of responsibility. Law proceedings, as a general rule, are important, often highly so. Hence, in all serious cases at least, courts of law ought to insist on the administration of oaths; not only to its officials, but to all who by transacting business within their precincts, “especially in witnessbearing," are concerned in the procuring or securing justice, whether that be freedom or punishment. In law earthly power is likest God's, and a witness ought to speak as if in the very presence of the Most High..D. M.

Oath-taking in courts of law is quite right. The objection that we are told in Scripture, “ Swear not at all,” has no relation to this subject. It relates only to profane swearing-swearing without reason or solemnity. We are often told in Scripture that “ God sware." What He did cannot be wrong for men to do, for He asks us to be like Him. He has given us a law against false witness, and men should be brought with their face before God's law, that they may feel the sin of perjury, and avoid it. Christian legislation ought to be conducted with constant reference to God's law; and oaths in courts of justice are in harmony with this. B. S. S.

Quakerly affirmations are not suitable for every day use. They pre-suppose men under strong religious con

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