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Shakespeare the boy

Material Information

Title:
Shakespeare the boy with sketches of the home and school life, the games and sports, the manners, customs and folk-lore of the time
Creator:
Rolfe, W. J ( William James ), 1827-1910
Taylor, William Ladd, 1854-1926 ( Illustrator )
Harper & Brothers
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Harper & Brothers
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
viii, 251, [4] p., [17] leaves of plates : ill. ; 19 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Authors -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Students -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Family -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Sports -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Christianity -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Hunting -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Theater -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Biographies -- 1896 ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1896 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre:
Biographies ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements ( rbgenr )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
individual biography ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Publisher's advertisements follow text.
General Note:
Illustrations by W. L. Taylor.
General Note:
Includes index.
Statement of Responsibility:
by William J. Rolfe ; illustrated.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026937530 ( ALEPH )
ALH7211 ( NOTIS )
01745555 ( OCLC )
04015643 ( LCCN )

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E BOY

SHAKISPEARE TH.





SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

WITH SKETCHES OF

THE HOME AND SCHOOL LIFE, THE GAMES
AND SPORTS, THE MANNERS, CUSTOMS
AND FOLKE-LORE. OF THE TIME

BY

WILLIAM J. ROLFE, Litt. D.

ILLUSTRATED



NEW YORK
HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
1896



Copyright, 1896, by. Harper.&. BroTuErs.:



All rights-reserved.





POR EE A Co

Two years ago, at the request of the editors of the
Youth's Companion, 1 wrote for that periodical a series of
four familiar articles on the boyhood of Shakespeare. It
was understood at the time that I might afterwards ex-
pand them into a book, and this plan is carried out in the
present volume. The papers have been carefully revised
and enlarged to thrice their original compass, and a new
fifth chapter has been added.

The sources from which I have drawn my material are
often mentioned in the text and the notes. I have been
particularly indebted to Halliwell-Phillipps’s OzdZznes of
the Life of Shakespeare, Knight’s Biography of Shakspere,
Furnivall’s Introduction to the “Leopold” edition of

' Shakespeare, his Badees Book, and his edition of Harri-
son’s Description of England, Sidney Lee’s Stratford-on-
Avon, Strutt’s Sports and Pastzmes, Brand’s Popular An-
teqguzties, and Dyer’s Folk-Lore of Shakespeare.

I hope that the book may serve to give the young folk
some glimpses of rural life in England when Shakespeare
was a boy, and also to help them—and possibly their
elders—to a better understanding of many allusions in his
works.

W.J.R.
CAMBRIDGE, /zere 10, 1896.



CONTENTS

PAGE

PART L—HIS NATIVE TOWN AND NEIGHBOR-

BS RGYOND steno Se ee ae
WARWICKSHIRE. 3
WARWICK CASTLE AND ont Mary's once 4
WANN TONE TEUGHRORS? GYod 5 Gg Ge 6 bee a 8
Guy oF WARWICK : ; 9
ICENTEWORDHa CASTER yrds ie ieee eee oe en esT 2

COVENT RVae cea tru hy ee eet oec cia vged (a ery cae aaa T
CHARTECOME 2 ETAT marina ae are en gee en i eae eT G)
STRATFORD-ON-AVON. . . . Rea gah Ue pea Tune 2
THE EARLY HIstTory oF Caer onon Her ee crit ee
‘RUEFSORRATEORDEGUILD ay ey ndo nae 34.
THE STRATFORD CORPORATION . . . . . . . . 39
THe TOPOGRAPHY OF STRATFORD . . . . . . . 43

PART Il.—HIS HOME LIFE. ........ 47

THE DWELLING-HOUSES OF THE TIME. . . . . . 49
THE HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE. . ...... . 52
Foop AND DRINK. . . Raley ola ie een sm pbs cain 17
THE TRAINING OF Cumpren. Purp Wea ve tiaah SOO
InDooR AMUSEMENTS. . .. ....... . 67
VOMGALZNR IROORGS “go ob pl a ee SR
SLO RSViooTp OTT LIN GJ et on 7
CHRISTENINGS . . . . 80

SUPERSTITIONS CONNECTED WITH ee AND eae 84
CHARMS AND AMULETS. ...... ... . 87



vi CONTENTS

PAGE

VANS UDEV SOMO ey ec a ol oo 6. OB
THE STRATFORD GRAMMAR SCHOOL. . . . . . 95
WHAT SHAKESPEARE LEARNT AT SCHOOL . . . . 99
Tue NEGLECT oF ENGLISH . . . eet eT OO
SCHOOL LIFE IN SHAKESPEARE’S aed Se tina oan eettaeer ae TL O)
CLEC ODE WOUS y Ogio go ely oe TD
SCHOOL DIscIPLINE Tae Sos eyalala try euieeea eet seso TL
WHEN WILLIAM ‘aaa! iccnaoun Ce shot eeaa eee TTS
PART IV.—GAMES AND SPORTS. ase op ap) bg © AEG)
HB3 VAST G*AIVIE'S aurea ear te Ser one ge T Oy
SWIMMING AND FISHING : 2 vce. 0. 2. 10
BEAR-BAITING. . . rect brates eae 19 2)
COCK-FIGHTING AND Goo ‘THROWING, . . . . . 136
OTHER CRUEL SporTs. . 2 2 1s. 2... 139
MONG TID ROG oak yh eek eg ve ey) UD
TOO be Se Beg ee ee ch Ge Sige 8. TR
IO WEEN Ga eas eter are riot
HawKING . . . a ee cere aT oe
THEATRICAL BNE COAT aENTTS Be teal Ia chee heater, ale GY)

PART V.—HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS, FAIRS, ETC. . 165

SAINT GEORGE: SMD Ava ones be am eet ese 167
EASTER... 7 ‘ SHRM rape mene.)
THE arnanan nasi OF THE Ene BA helen alee orem TTA
MAY-DAY AND THE MORRIS-DANCE-. . ey ean yO
\WAZOGHSOMAM DID Gog Gen) Go we ged eS 184
VCD SUMMER VE aera ee ha ear CG
CHISIUMAD GG seo Fea Bb 6 6 on go OD)
BAS HUE EES ELE AVRUIN Ga leeag aie csp in et heer at ect 193
LEUNAARMERON GD ge de ee bate 6 0, 5 IS
IMARICETS SAND SIVATRS ye yard alse ages 198
INGRIAL OUTINGS Gy ei totems evened aire O;,
HIN OSS soir ne esa OP ie ed ree re eer OR 213

SINT) XS a eae ec re ee UR esc eee er





‘WARWICK CASTLE...



ILLUSTRATIONS

THE SHAKESPEARE BIRTHPLACE, ABOUT 1820.

GATE-HOUSE OF KENILWORTH CASTLE

COVENTRY CHURCHES AND PAGEANT. . . . . . Facing p.
CHAREECOTNDHALIN: 09 (yah sn). ase eats

ENTRANCE TO CHARLECOTE HALL a

SIR THOMAS LUCY .
STRATFORD) CHURCH). 2. 4 2 2) 9) A Racin:

STRATFORD CHURCH, WEST END
THE GUILD CHAPEL AND GRAMMAR SCHOOL, STRATFORD :
MAP—PLAN OF STRATFORD, ;
SHAKESPEARE HOUSE, RESTORED

ROOM IN WHICH SHAKESPEARE WAS BORN .

INTERIOR OF ANNE HATHAWAY'S COTTAGE . . . hig

OLD HOUSE IN HIGH STREET . .

ANNE HATHAWAY’S COTTAGE. . . . . . 0... Facing p.

SHILLING OF EDWARD VI. .
ANCIENT FONT AT STRATFORD .

PORCH, STRATFORD CHURCH . . . . . . .. . Faciig p.
+ 95

INNER COURT, GRAMMAR SCHOOL.

yp » . Hacing p.

‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece

3
5
13
Tq
20

22

23
30
32
35)

. 42
- 49

50
56
59
64°

. 68

81
88



viii - ILLUSTRATIONS

THE SCHOOL-ROOM AS IT WAS . .
DESK SAID TO BE SHAKESPEARE’S .
WALK ON THE BANKS OF THE AVON
HIDE-AND-SEEK

‘““MORRIS” BOARD . ..... .
FISHING IN THE AVON .

THE BEAR GARDEN, LONDON .

GARDEN AT NEW PLACE

ELIZABETH HAWKING

BOY WITH HAWK AND HOUNDS .
ITINERANT PLAYERS IN A COUNTRY HALL
WILLIAM KEMP DANCING THE MORRIS.
THE BOUNDARY ELM

> MORRIS-DANCE. . . .....
CLOPTON HOUSE ON CHRISTMAS EVE
THE FAIR .

. Facing p.

. Facing p.

. Facing p.

. Facing p.

“6

“a

INTERIOR OF GRAMMAR SCHOOL, BEFORE THE RESTORA-

TION 5
CLOPTON MONUMENTS
THE BAR-GATE, SOUTHAMPTON
AUTOGRAPH OF QUEEN ELIZABETH .

ARMS OF JOHN SHAKESPEARE.

. Facing p.

97
102,

Ii2
I22
130
132
133

155
159
160
163
167
178
190
200

225

. 242

+ 245
. 251



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

Part I
HIS NATIVE TOWN AND NEIGHBORHOOD










THE SHAKESPEARE BIRTHPLACE, ABOUT 1820

WARWICKSHIRE

THE county of Warwick was called the heart of Eng-
land as long ago as the time of Shakespeare. Indeed,
it was his friend, Michael Drayton, born the year be-
fore himself, who first called it-so. In his foly-Olbion
(1613) Drayton refers to his native. county as “That
shire which we the heart of. England well may call.”
The form of the expression seems to imply that it was
original with him. It was doubtless suggested by the
central situation of the county, about equidistant from
the eastern, western, and southern shores of the island ;
but it is no less appropriate with reference to its his-
torical, romantic, and poetical associations. Drayton,
whose rhymed geography in the Fo/y-Odbion is rather



4 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

prosaic and tedious, attains a kind of genuine inspira.
tion when, in his 13th book, he comes to describe

“Brave Warwick that abroad so long advanced her Bear,
By her illustrious Earls renowned everywhere;
Above her neighboring shires which always bore her
head.”

The verse catches something of the music of the thros-
tle and the lark, of the woosel “ with golden bill” and
the nightingale with her tender strains, as he tells of
these Warwickshire birds, and of the region with “ flow-
ery bosom brave” where they breed and warble; but
in Shakespeare the same birds sing with a finer music
—more like that to which we may still listen in the
fields and woodlands along the lazy-winding Avon:

WARWICK CASTLE AND SAINT MARY’S CHURCH.

Warwickshire is the heart of England, and the coun- -
try within ten miles or so of the town of Warwick may
be called the heart of this heart. On one side of this
circle are Stratford and Shottery and Wilmcote —the
home of Shakespeare’s mother—and on the other are
Kenilworth and Coventry.

In Warwick itself is the famous castle of its Earls—
“that fairest monument,” as Scott calls it, “of ancient
and chivalrous splendor which yet remains uninjured
by time.” The earlier description written by the vera-
cious Dugdale almost two hundred and fifty years ago
might be applied to it to-day. It is still “not only a
place of great strength, but extraordinary delight ; with
most pleasant gardens, walls, and thickets such as this



ne Seen





SHAKESPEARE THE BOY ; 5

part of England can hardly parallel; so that now it is
the most princely seat that is within the midland parts
of this realm.”

The castle was old in Shakespeare’s day. Czesar’s
Tower, so called, though not built, as tradition alleged,
by the mighty Julius, dated back to an unknown period ;



WARWICK CASTLE

and Guy's Tower, named in honor of the redoubted
Guy of Warwick, the hero of many legendary exploits,
was built in 1394. No doubt the general appearance
of the buildings was more ancient in the sixteenth cen-
tury than it is to-day, for they had been allowed to be-
come somewhat dilapidated; and it was not until the
reign of James I. that they were repaired and embel- -



6 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

lished, at enormous expense, and made the stately for-
tress and mansion that Dugdale describes.

But the castle would be no less beautiful for situa-
tion, though it were fallen to ruin like the neighboring
Kenilworth. The rock on which it stands, washed at
its base by the Avon, would still be there, the park
would still stretch its woods and glades along the river,
and all the natural attractions of the noble estate would
remain.

We cannot doubt that the youthful Shakespeare was
familiar with the locality. Warwick and ‘Kenilworth
were probably the only baronial castles he had seen
before he went to London ; and, whatever others he
may have seen later in life, these must have continued
to be his ideal castles as in his boyhood.

It is not likely that he was ever in Scotland, and
when he described the castle of Macbeth the picture
in his mind’s eye was doubtless Warwick or Kenilworth,
and more likely the former than the latter ; for

“ Thzs castle hath a pleasant seat; the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses. This guest of summer,
The temple-haunting martlet, does approve,
By his loved mansionry, that the air
Smells wooingly here; no jutty, frieze,
Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle,
Where they most breed and haunt I have observed
The air is delicate.”

Saint Mary's church at Warwick was also standing
then—the most interesting church in Warwickshire next
to Holy Trinity at Stratford. It was burned in 1694,



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY: 7

but the beautiful choir and the magnificent lady chapel,
or Beauchamp Chapel, fortunately escaped the flames,
and we see them to-day as Shakespeare doubtless saw
them, except for the monuments that have since been
added. Ae saw in the choir the splendid tomb of
Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and in the ad-
jacent chapel the grander tomb of Richard Beauchamp,
unsurpassed in the kingdom except by that of Henry
VII. in Westminster Abbey. Ae looked, as we do, on
the full-length figure of the Earl, recumbent in armor
of gilded brass, under the herse of brass hoops also
gilt ; his hands elevated in prayer, the garter on his left
‘knee, the swan at his head, the griffin and bear at his
feet. He read, as we read, in the inscription on the cor-
nice of the sepulchre, how this “ most worshipful knight
decessed full christenly the last day of April the year
of oure Lord God 1439, he being at that time lieutenant
general and governor of the realm of Fraunce,” and how
his body was brought to Warwick, and “laid with full
solemn exequies in a fair chest made of stone in this
church ” on the 4th day of October—* honoured be God
therefor.”. And the young Shakespeare looked up, as
we do, at the exquisitely carved stone ceiling, and at
the great east window, which still contains the original
glass, now almost four and a half centuries old, with the
‘portrait of Earl Richard kneeling in armor with up-
raised hands.

The tomb of “the noble Impe, Robert cf Dudley,”
who died in 1584, with the lovely figure of a child seven
or eight years old, may have been seen by Shakespeare
when he returned to Stratford in his latter years, and
also.the splendid monument of the father of the “noble
imp,” Robert Dudley, the great Earl of Leicester, who



8 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

died in 1588; but in the poet’s youth this famous noble-
man was living in the height of his renown and pros-
perity at the castle of Kenilworth five miles away, which

we will visit later. ,

WARWICK IN HISTORY.

Only brief reference can be made here to the impor-
tant part that Warwick, or its famous Earl, Richard
Neville, the “ King-maker,” played in the English his-
tory on which Shakespeare founded several dramas,
—the three Parts of Henry VI. and Richard I/7. He
is the most conspicuous personage of those troublous
times. He had already distinguished himself by deeds
of bravery in the Scottish wars, before his marriage
with Anne, daughter and heiress of Richard Beau-
champ, made him the most powerful nobleman in the
kingdom. By this alliance he acquired the vast estates
of the Warwick family, and became Earl of Warwick,
with the right to hand down the title to his descendants,
The immense revenues from his patrimony were aug-
mented by the income he derived from his various high
offices in the state; but his wealth was scattered with
a royal liberality. It is said that he daily fed thirty
thousand people at his numerous mansions.

The Lady Anne of Richard 777, whom the hero of
the play wooes in such novel fashion, was the youngest
daughter of the King-maker, born at Warwick Castle in
1452. Richard says, in his. soliloquy at the end of the
first scene of the play :—

“TU marry Warwick’s youngest daughter.
What though I kill’d her husband and her father ?”



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 9

Her husband was Edward, Prince of Wales, son of
Henry VI., and was slain at the battle of Tewkesbury.

The Earl of Warwick who figures in 2 Henry IV.
was the Richard Beauchamp already mentioned as the
father of Anne who became the wife of the King-maker.
He appears again in the play of Hezry V., and also in
the first scene of Henry V7, though he has nothing to
say; and, as some believe, he (and not his son) is the
Earl of Warwick in the rest of the play, in spite of cer-
tain historical difficulties which that theory involves.
In 2 Henry IV. (iii. 1. 66) Shakespeare makes the mis-
take of calling him “ Nevil” instead of Beauchamp.

The title of the Warwick earls became extinct with
the death of the King-maker on the battle-field of Bar-
net. It was then bestowed on George, Duke of Clar-
ence, who was drowned in the butt of wine by order of
his loving brother Richard. It then passed to the young
son of Clarence, who is another character in the play of
Richard IT. Ye, like his unfortunate father, was long
imprisoned in the Tower, and ultimately murdered there
after the farce of a trial on account of his alleged: com-
plicity in a plot against Henry VII. The subsequent
vicissitudes of the earldom do not appear in the pages
of Shakespeare, and we will not refer to them here.

GUY OF WARWICK. |

The dramatist was evidently familiar with the legen-
dary renown of Warwick as well as its authentic history.
Doubtless he had heard the story of the famous Guy of
Warwick in his boyhood; and later he probably visited
“Guy’s Cliff,” on the edge of the town of Warwick,
where the hero is said to have spent the closing years



10 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

of his life. Learned antiquarians, in these latter days,
have proved that his adventures are mythical, but the
common people believe in him as of old. There is his
“cave” in the side of the “cliff” on the bank of the
Avon, and his gigantic statue in the so-called chapel;
and can we not see his sword, shield, and breastplate,
his helmet and walking-staff, in the great hall of War-
wick Castle? The breastplate alone weighs more than
fifty pounds, and who but the mighty Guy could have
worn it? There too is his porridge-pot of metal, hold-
ing more than a hundred gallons, and the flesh-fork to
match. We may Hhewse see a rib and other remains
of the famous “dun cow,” which he slew after the beast
-had long been the terror of the country round about.
Unbelieving scientists doubt the bovine origin of these
interesting relics, to be sure, as they doubt the existence
of the stalwart destroyer of the animal; but the vulgar
faith in them is not to be shaken.

Of Guy’s many exploits the most noted was his con-
flict with a gigantic Saracen, Colbrand by name, who
was fighting with the Danes against Athelstan in the
tenth century, and was slain by Guy, as the old ballad
narrates. Subsequently Guy went on a pilgrimage to
the Holy Land, leaving his wife in charge of his castle.
Years passed, and he did not return. Meanwhile his
lady lived an exemplary life, and from time to time be-

' stowed her alms on a poor pilgrim who had made his
appearance at a secluded cell by the Avon, not far from
the castle. She may sometimes have talked with him
about her husband, whom she now gave up as lost, as-
suming that he had perished by the fever of the East or
the sword of the infidel. At last she received a sum-
mons to visit the aged pilgrim on his death-bed, when,



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY II

to her astonishment, he revealed himself as the long-
lost Guy. In his early days, when he was wooing the
lady, she had refused to give him her hand unless he
performed certain deeds of prowess. These had not
been accomplished without sins that weighed upon his
conscience during his absence in Palestine; and he
had made a vow to lead a monastic life after his return
to his native land.

The legend, like others of the kind, was repeated in
varied forms; and, according to one of these, when
Guy came back to Warwick he begged alms at the gate
of his. castle. His wife did not recognize him, and he
took this as a sign that the wrath of Heaven was not
yet appeased. Thereupon he withdrew to the cell in
the cliff, and did not make himself known to ‘his wife
until he was at the point of death.

Shakespeare refers to Guy in Henry VIZ. (v. 4. 22),
where a man exclaims, ‘I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy,
nor Colbrand”; and Colbrand is mentioned again in
King Fohn (i. 1.225) as “ Colbrand the giant, that same
mighty man.”

The scene of Guy’s legendary retreat on the bank of
the Avon is a charming spot, and there was certainly a
hermitage here at a very early period. Richard Beau-
champ founded a chantry for two priests in 1422, and
left directions in his will for rebuilding the chapel and
setting up the statue of Guy in it. At the dissolution
of the monasteries in the time of Henry VIII. the chapel
and its possessions were bestowed upon a gentleman
named Flammock, and the place has been a private
residence ever since, though the present mansion was
not built until the beginning of the eighteenth century.
There is an ancient mill on the Avon not far from the



12 SHAKESPEARE THE BOV

house, commanding a beautiful view of the river and
the cliff. The celebrated actress, Mrs. Siddons, lived
for some time at Guy’s Cliff as waiting-maid to Lady
Mary Greatheed, whose husband built the mansion.

KENILWORTH CASTLE,

But we must now go on to Kenilworth, though we
cannot linger long within its dilapidated walls, majestic
even in ruin. If, as Scott says, Warwick is the finest
example of its kind yet uninjured by time and kept up
as a’ noble residence, Kenilworth is the most stupen-
dous of similar structures that have fallen to decay. It
was ancient in Shakespeare’s day, having been origi-
nally built at the end of the eleventh century. Two
hundred years later, in 1266, it was held for six months
by the rebellious barons against Hengg, III. After hav-
ing passed through sundry hands and undergone divers
vicissitudes of fortune, it was given by Elizabeth to
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who spent, in en-
larging and adorning it, the enormous sum of £60,000
—three hundred thousand dollars, equivalent to at least
two millions now. Scott, in his novel of Kenilworth,
describes it, with no exaggeration’ of romance—for ex-
aggeration would hardly be possible—as it was then.
Its very gate-house, still standing complete, was, as
Scott says, “equal in extent and superior in architect-
ure to the baronial castle of many a northern chief”;
but this was the mere portal of the majestic structure,
enclosing seven acres with its walls, equally impreg-
nable as a fortress and magnificent as a palace.

There were great doings at this castle of Kenilworth
in 1575, when Shakespeare was eleven years old, and the





SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 13

good people from all the country roundabout thronged
to see them. Then it was that Queen Elizabeth was
entertained by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and
from July gth to July 27th there was a succession of .
holiday pageants in the most sumptuous and elaborate

















GATE-HOUSE OF KENILWORTH CASTLE

style of the time. Master Robert Laneham, whose ac-
curacy as a chronicler is not to be doubted, though he
may have been, as Scott calls him, “as great a coxcomb
as ever blotted paper,” mentions, as a proof of the earl’s
hospitality, that “the clock bell rang not a note all the
while her highness was there; the clock stood also still



Iq : SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

withal; the hands stood firm and fast, always pointing
at two o’clock,” the hour of banquet! ‘The quantity of
beer drunk on the occasion was 320 hogsheads, and the
total expense of the entertainments is said to have been
£1000 ($5000) a day.

John Shakespeare, as a well-to-do citizen of Stratford,
would be likely to see something of that stately show,
and it is. not improbable that he took his son William
with him. The description in the Midsummer-Night's

' Dream (ii. 1.150) of

‘a mermaid on a dolphin’s back
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious sounds
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,”

appears to be a reminiscence of certain features of the
Kenilworth pageant. The minstrel Arion figured there,
on a dolphin’s back, singing of course; and Triton, in
the likeness of a mermaid, commanded the waves to be
still; and among the fireworks there were shooting-stars
that fell into the water, like the stars that, as Oberon

adds
“shot madly from their spheres

To hear the sea-maid’s music.”

When Shakespeare was writing that early play, with its
scenes in fairy-land, what more natural than that this
youthful visit to what must then have seemed veritable
fairy-land should recur to his memory and blend with
the creations of his fancy ?

COVENTRY.

The road from Warwick to. Kenilworth is one of the
loveliest in England; and that from Kenilworth five





LUMAR ELS
K

7








COVENTRY CHURCHES AND PAGEANT



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 4 1s

miles further on to Coventry is acknowledged to be the
most beautiful in the kingdom ; yet it is only a different
kind of beauty from the other, as that is from the beauty
of the road between Warwick and Stratford.

Till you reach Kenilworth you have all the varieties

_ of charming rural scenery—hill and dale, field and
forest, river-bank and village, hall and castle and church,
grouping themselves in ever-changing pictures of beauty
and grandeur; and now you come to a straight road for
nearly five miles, bordered on both sides by a double
line of stately elms and sycamores, as impressive in its
regularity as the preceding stretch had been in its kalei-
doscopic mutations.
_ This magnificent avenue with its over-arching foliage
brings us to Coventry, no inean city in our day, but re-
taining only a remnant of its ancient glory. In the
time of Shakespeare it was the third city in the realm—
the “ Prince’s. Chamber,” as it was called—unrivalled
in the.splendor of its monastic institutions, “full of as-
sociations of regal state and chivalry and high events.”

In 1397 it had been the scene of the famous hostile
meeting between Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford
(afterwards Henry IV.), and Thomas Mowbray, Duke
of Norfolk, which Shakespeare has immortalized in
Richard If Water Henry IV. held more than one
parliament here; and the city was often visited and
honored with many marks of favor by Henry VI. and
his queen, as also by Richard III., Henry VII., Eliza-
beth, and James I.

Coventry, moreover, played an important part in the
history of the English Drama. It was renowned for
the religious plays performed by the Grey Friars of its
great monastery, and kept up, though with diminished



16 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

pomp, even after the dissolution of their establishment.
It was not until 1580 that these pageants were entirely
suppressed ; and Shakespeare, who was then sixteen
years old, may have been an eye-witness of the latest
of them. No doubt he heard stories of their attractions
in former times, when, as we are told by Dugdale, they
were “acted with mighty state and reverence by the
friars of this house, had theatres for the several scenes,
very large and high, placed upon wheels, and drawn to
all the eminent parts of the city for the better advan-
tage of spectators; and contained the story of the New
Testament composed into old English rhyme.” There
were forty-three of these ancient plays, performed by the
monks until, as Tennyson puts it,

“Bluff Harry broke into the spence,
And turned the cowls adrift.”

When the boy Shakespeare saw them —if he did see
them—they were played by the different guilds, or as-
sociations of tradespeople. Thus the Nativity and the
Offering of the Magi, with the Flight into Egypt and
the Slaughter of the Innocents, were rendered by the
company of Shearmen and Tailors; the Smiths’ pag-
eant was the Crucifixion; that of the Cappers was the
Resurrection; and so on. The account-books of the
guilds are still extant, with charges for helmets for
Herod and gear for his wife, for a beard for Judas and
the rope to hang him, etc. In the accounts of the
Drapers, whose pageant was the Last Judgment, we
find outlays for a “link to set'the world on fire,” “the
barrel for the earthquake,” and kindred stage “ prop-
erties.”

s



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 17

In the books of the Smiths or Armorers, some of the
charges are as follows :—

“ Ttem, paid for v. schepskens for gods cote and for
makyng, liis.

Jtem, paid for mendyng of Herods hed and a myter
and other thyngs, iis. .

Jtem, paid for dressyng of the devells hede, viiid.

Jtem, paid for a pair of gloves for god, iid.”

The most elaborate and costly of the properties was
“Hell-Mouth,” which was used in several plays, but
specially in the representation of the Last Judgment.
This was a huge and grotesque head of canvas, with
vast gaping mouth armed with fangs and vomiting
flames. The jaws were made to open and shut, and
through them the Devil made his entrance and the lost
souls their exit. The making and repairing of this
was a constant expense, and frequent entries like the
following occur in the books of the guilds :—

“ Paide for making and painting hell mouth, xiid.

Paid for keping of fyer at hell mouthe, iiiid.”

Many curious details of the actors’ dresses have come
down to us. The representative of Christ wore a coat
of white leather, painted and gilded, and a gilt wig.
King Herod wore a mask and a helmet, sometimes of
iron, adorned with gold and silver foil, and bore a sword
and asceptre. He was a very important character, and
the manner in which he blustered and raged about the

stage became proverbial. In Hamlet (iii. 2. 16) we
have the expression, “It out-herods Herod” ; and in the
Merry Wives of WOES (ii. x. 20), “ What a Herod of
Jewry is this!”

All the actors were paid for their services, the amount
varying with the importance of the part. The same

,
2



18 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

actor, as in the theatres of Shakespeare’s day, often
played several parts. In addition to the payment of
money, there was a plentiful supply of refreshments,
especially of ale, for the actors. Pilate, who received
the highest pay of the company, was moreover allowed
wine instead of ale during the performance.

Reference has been made above to the “lost souls”
in connection with Hell-Mouth. There were also “saved
souls,” who were dressed in white, as the lost were in
black, or black and yellow. ‘There is an allusion to the
latter in Henry V. (i. 3. 43), where the flea on Bar-
dolph’s rubicund nose is compared to “a black soul
burning in hell-fire.”

The Devil wore a dress of black leather, with a mask,
and carried a club, with which he laid about him vigor-
ously. His clothes were often covered with feathers or
horsehair, to ‘give him a shaggy appearance; and the
traditional horns, tail, and cloven feet were sometimes
added.

The regular time for these religious pageants was
Corpus Christi Day, or the Thursday after Trinity Sun-
day, but they were occasionally performed on other
days, especially at the time of a royal visit to Cov-
entry, like that of Queen Margaret in 1455. Prince
Edward was thus greeted in 1474, Prince Arthur in
1498, Henry VIII. in t510, and Queen Elizabeth in
1565.

Shakespeare has other allusions to these old plays
besides those here mentioned, showing that he knew
them by report if he had not seen them.

Historical pageants, not Biblical in subject, were also
familiar to the good people of Coventry a century at
least before the dramatist was born.. “The Nine Wor-



_SHAKESPEARE THE BOY | 19

. thies,” which he has burlesqued in Zove’s Labour’s Lost,
was acted there before Henry VI. and his queen in
1455. The original text of the play has been preserved,
and portions of Shakespeare’s travesty seem almost
like a parody of it.

But we must not linger in the shadow of the “three
tall spires” of Coventry, nor make more than a brief
allusion to the legend of Godiva, the lady who rode
naked through the town to save the people from a bur-
densome tax. It was an old story in Shakespeare’s
time, if, indeed, it had not been dramatized, like other
chapters in the mythic annals of the venerable city. It
has been proved to be without historical foundation,
being mentioned by no writer before the, fourteenth
century, though the Earl who figures in the tale lived
in the latter part of the eleventh century. The Bene-
dictine Priory in Coventry, of which some fragments
still remain, is said to have been founded by him in
1043. He died in 1057, and both he and his lady were
buried in the porch of the monastery.

The effigy of “ Peeping Tom ” is still to be seen in the
upper part of a house at the corner of Hertford Street
in Coventry.

Shakespeare makes no reference to this story of Lady
Godiva, though it was probably well known to him.

| CHARLECOTE HALL.

Returning to Warwick, and travelling eight miles on
the other side of the town, we come to Stratford. By
one of the two roads we may take we pass Charlecote
Hall and Park, associated with the tradition of Shake-



20 . SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

speare’s deer-poaching—a fine old mansion, seen across
a breadth of fields dotted with tall elms.

‘The winding Avon skirts the enclosure to the west.
The house, which has been in the possession of the
Lucy family ever since the days of Shakespeare, stands
at the water’s edge. It has been enlarged in recent
times, but the original structure has undergone no ma-
terial change. It was begun in 1gs58, the year when |

































































* CHARLECOTE HALL

Elizabeth came to the throne, and was probably finished
in 1559. It took the place of a much older mansion of
which no trace remains, the ancestors of Sir Thomas
Lucy having then held the estate for more than five
centuries. The ground plan of the house is in the form
of a capital letter E, being so arranged as a compli-
ment to the Virgin Queen; and only one out of many
such tributes paid her by noble builders of the time.



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 21

Over the main door are the royal arms, with the letters
E. R., together with the initials of the owner, T. L.

Within there is little to remind one of the olden time,
but some of the furniture of the library,—chairs, couch,
and cabinet of coromandel-wood inlaid with ivory,—is
said to have been presented by Elizabeth to Leicester
in 1575, and to have been brought from Kenilworth in
the seventeenth century. There is a modern bust of
Shakespeare in the hall.

The tradition that the dramatist in his youth was
guilty of deer-stealing in Sir Thomas’s park is not im-
probable. Some critics have endeavored to prove that
there was no deer-park at Charlecote at that time; but
Lucy had other estates in the neighborhood, on some
of which he employed game-keepers, and in March,
1585, about the date of the alleged poaching, he intro-
duced a bill into Parliament for the better preservation
of game.

The strongest argument in favor of the tradition is
to be based on the evidence furnished by the plays that
Shakespeare had a grudge against Sir Thomas, and car-
icatured him as Justice Shallow in Henry /V. and The
Merry Wives of Windsor. The reference in the latter
play to the “dozen white luces” on Shallow’s coat of
. arms is palpably meant to suggest the three luces, or
pikes, in the arms of the Lucys. The manner in which
the dialogue dwells on the device indicates that some
personal satire was intended.

It should be understood that poaching was then re-
garded, except by the victims of it, as a venial offence.
Sir Philip Sidney’s May Lady calls deer-stealing “a
ptettie service.’ The students at Oxford were the
most notorious poachers in the kingdom, in spite of laws



22 SHAKESPEARE THE.BOY

making expulsion from the university the penalty of de-
tection. Dr. Forman relates how two students in 1573
(one of whom afterwards became Bishop of Worces-’
ter) were more given to such pursuits than to study;
and one good man lamented in later life that he had
missed the advantages that others had derived from



"ENTRANCE TO CHARLECO'TE HALL

these exploits, which he believed to be an excellent
kind of discipline for young men.

We must not assume that Sir Thomas was fairly rep-
resented in the character of Justice Shallow. On the
contrary, he appears to have been an able man and
magistrate, and very genial withal. The Stratford rec-
ords bear frequent testimony to his judicial services; _
and his attendance on such occasions is generally



SHAKESPEARE THE ‘BOY 23

coupled with a charge for claret and sack or similar
beverages. It is rather amusing that these entries
occur even when he is sitting in judgment on tipplers.
In the records for 1558 we read: “ Paid for wine and
sugar when Sir Thomas Lucy sat in commission for
tipplers, xx.d.”

That he was a good husband we may infer from the
long epitaph of his wife in Charlecote Church, which,
after stating that. she died
in 1595, at the age of 63,
goes on thus: “‘all the time
of her life a true and faith-°
ful servant of her good
God ; never detected of any
crime or vice; -in religion
most sound; in love to. her
husband most faithful and
true; in friendship most
constant; to what in trust
was committed to her most
secret; in wisdom excelling ;
in governing of her house
and bringing up of youth
in the fear of God that did
converse with her, most rare and singular; a great
maintainer of hospitality; greatly esteemed of her bet-
ters, misliked of none unless of the envious. When all

is spoken that can be said, a woman so furnished and
garnished with virtue as not to be bettered, and hardly
to be equalled by any. As she lived most virtuously,
so she died most godly. Set down by him that best
did know what hath been written to be true, Zomas
Lucy.”



SIR THOMAS LUCY



24 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

The author of this beautiful tribute may have been
a severe magistrate, but he could not have been a
Robert Shallow either in his official capacity or as a
man.

STRATFORD-ON-AVON.

Stratford lies on a gentle slope declining to the Avon,
whose banks are here shaded by venerable willows,
which the poet may have had in mind when he painted
the scene of poor Ophelia’s death :—

“There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.”

The description could have been written only by one
who had observed the reflection of the white underside
of the willow-leaves in the water over which they hung.
And I cannot help believing that Shakespeare was
mindful of the Avon when in far-away London he
wrote that singularly musical simile of the river in one
of his earliest plays, Zhe Two Gentlemen of Verona, so
aptly does it give the characteristics of the Warwick-
shire stream :

“The current that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know’st, being stopp’d, impatiently doth rage;
. But when his fair course is not hindered,
’ He makes sweet music with the enamell’d stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;
And so by many winding nooks he strays,
With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course:
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,



‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 25

And make a pastime of each weary step,

Till the last step have brought me to my love;
And there I’ll rest, as, after much turmoil,

A blessed soul doth in Elysium.”

The river cannot now be materially different from
what it was three hundred years ago, but the town has
changed a good deal. I fear that we might not have
enjoyed a visit to it in that olden time as we do in
these latter days.

It is not pleasant to learn that the poet’s father was
fined for. maintaining a sterguinarium, which being
translated from the Latin is dung-heap, in front of his
house in Henley Street—now, like the other Stratford
streets, kept as clean as any cottage-floor in the town
—and we have ample evidence that the general sani: °
tary condition of the place was very bad. John Shake-
speare would probably not have been fined if his ste~
guinarium had been behind his house instead of be-
fore it.

Stratford, however, was no worse in this respect than
other English towns. The terrible plagues that devas-
tated the entire land in those “good old times” were
the natural result of the unwholesome habits of life
everywhere prevailing—everywhere, for the mansions of
noblemen and the palaces of kings were as filthy as the
hovels of peasants. The rushes with which royal pres-
ence-chamber and banquet-hall were strewn in place of
carpets were not changed until they had become too
unsavory for endurance. Meanwhile disagreeable odors
were overcome by burning perfumes—of which practice
we have a hint in Much Ado About Nothing in the refer-
ence to “smoking a musty room.”



26 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

But away from these musty rooms of great men’s
houses, and the foul streets and lanes of towns, field
and forest and river-bank were as clean and sweet as
now. The banished Duke in 4s You Like Jt may have
had other reasons than he gives for preferring life in
the Forest of Arden to that of the court from which he
had been driven; and Shakespeare’s delight in out-of-
door life may have been intensified by his experience
of the house in Healey Street, with the reeking pile of
filth at the front door.

His poetry is everywhere full of the beauty and fra-
grance of the flowers that bloom in and about Strat-
ford; and the wonderful accuracy of his allusions to
them—their colors, their habits, their time of blossom-
ing, everything concerning them—shows how thorough-
ly at home he was with them, how intensely he loved
and studied them.

Mr. J. R. Wise, in his Shakespeare, His Birthplace and
its Neighbourhood, says: “Take up what play you will,
and you will find glimpses of the scenery round Strat-
ford. His maidens ever sing of ‘blue-veined violets,’
and ‘daisies pied,’ and ‘ pansies that are for thoughts,’

and ‘ladies’-smocks all silver-white,’ that still stud the

meadows of the Avon. . .. I do not think it is any ex-
aggeration to say that nowhere are meadows so full of
beauty as those round Stratford. I have seen them by
the riverside in early spring burnished with gold; and
then later, a little before hay-harvest, chased with or-
chises, and blue and white milkwort, and yellow rattle-
grass, and tall moon-daisies : and I know nowhere wood-
lands so sweet as those round Stratford, filled with the
soft green light made by the budding leaves, and paved
with the golden ore of primroses, and their banks veined



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 27

with violets. All this, and the tenderness that such
beauty gives, you find in the pages of Shakespeare;
and it is not too much to say that he painted them be-
cause they were ever associated in his mind with all
that he held precious and dear, both of the earliest and
the latest scenes of his life.”

THE EARLY HISTORY OF STRATFORD.

Stratford is a very ancient town. Its name shows
that it was situated at a ford on the Roman séreet, or
highway, from London to Birmingham, but whether it
was an inhabited place during the Roman occupation
is uncertain. The eatliest known reference to the town
is in a charter dated a.p. 691, according to which
Egwin, the Bishop of Worcester, obtained from Ethel-
red, King of Mercia, “the monastery of Stratford,” with
lands of about three thousand acres, in exchange for a
religious house built by the bishop at Fladbury. It is
not improbable that Stratford owes its foundation to
this monastic settlement. Tradition says that the mon-
astery stood where the church now is ;- and, as else-
where in England, the first houses of the town were
probably erected for its servants and dependants. These
dwellings were doubtless near the river, in the street
that has been known for centuries as “Old Town.”

The district continued to be a manor of the Bishop
of Worcester until after the Norman Conquest in 1066.
According to the Domesday survey in 1085, its territory
was “fourteen.and a half hides,” or about two thou-
sand acres. It was of smaller extent than in 691, be-
cause the neighboring villages had become separate
- manors. The inhabitants were a priest, who doubtless



28 » SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

officiated in the chapel of the old monastery (of which
we find no mention after the year 872), with twenty-one
villeins and seven dordarii, or cottagers. The families
of these residents would make up a population of about
one hundred and fifty. ‘“ Every householder, whether -
villein or cottager, evidently possessed a plough. The
community owned altogether thirty-one ploughs, of which
three belonged to the bishop, the lord of the manor.”
The agricultural produce was chiefly wheat, barley, and
oats. A water-mill stood by the river, probably where
. the old mill now is; and there the villagers were obliged
to grind all their corn, paying a fee for the privilege.
In 1085 the annual income from the mill was ten shil-
lings, but the bishop was often willing to accept eels in
payment of the fees, and a thousand eels were then
sent yearly to Worcester by the people who used the
mill.

During the 12th century Stratford appears to have
made little progress. Alveston, now a small village on
the other side of the Avon, seemed likely then to rival
itin prosperity. The boundaries of the Alveston manor
were gradually extended until they reached their pres-
ent limit on the south side of the bridge at Stratford
(at that time a rude wooden structure), and there a
little colony was planted which was known until after
the Elizabethan period as. Bridgetown.

We get an idea of the life led by the majority of the
inhabitants of Stratford and its vicinity in the 12th and
13th centuries from the ecclesiastical records of the
various services and payments rendered as rent. Many
of the large estates outside of the town had been let as
“‘knight’s fees,” that is, on condition of certain military .
services to be performed by the holders. Some of the



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 29

villeins within the village had become “free tenants,”
or free from serfdom, and were permitted to cultivate
their land as they pleased on payment of a fixed rental
in money, with little or no labor service in addition.
But most of the inhabitants were still villeins or cot-
tagers, from whom labor service was regularly exacted.
“ Villeins who owned sixty acres had to supply two men
for reaping the lord’s fields, and cottagers with thirty
acres supplied one. On a special day an additional
reaping service was to:be performed by villeins and cot-
tagers with all their families except their wives and
shepherds. Each of the free tenants had then also to
find a reaper, and to direct the reaping himself... .
The villein was to provide two carts for the conveyance
of the corn to the barns, and every cottager who owned :
a horse provided one cart, for the use of which he was
to receive a good morning meal of bread and cheese-
One day’s hoeing was expected of the villein and three
days’ ploughing, and if an additional day were called
for, food was supplied free to the workers. . . . No
villein nor cottager was allowed to bring up his child
for the church without permission of the lord of the
manor. A fee had to be paid when a daughter of a
villein or cottager was married. On his death his best
wagon was claimed by the steward in his lord’s behalf,
and a fine of money was exacted from his successor—
if, as the record wisely adds, he could pay one. Any
townsman who made beer for sale paid for the priv-
ilege.”’

In 1197 the inhabitants obtained for the town from
Richard I. the privilege of a weekly market, to be holden
on Thursdays, for which the citizens paid the bishop a
yearly toll of sixteen shillings. The market was doubt-



30 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

less held at first in the open space still known as the
Rother Market, in the centre of which the Memorial
Fountain, the gift of Mr. George W. Childs of Philadel-
phia, now stands. other is an old word, of Anglo-
Saxon origin, applied to cattle, which must have been a
staple commodity in the early Stratford market. The
term was familiar to Shakespeare, who uses it in Timon
of Athens (iv. 3. 12) :—

“It is the pasture lards the rother’s sides,
The want that makes him lean.”

In the course of the 11th century Stratford was also
endowed with a series of annual fairs, “the chief stimu-
‘lants of trade in the middle ages.” The earliest of
these fairs was granted by the Bishop of Worcester in
1216, to begin “on the eve of the Holy Trinity, and to
continue for the next two days ensuing.” In 1224 a
fair was established for the eve of St. Augustine (May
26th) “and on the day and morrow after”; in 1242, for
the eve of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Septem-
ber r4th), “the day, and two days following”; and in
1271, “for the eve of the Ascension of our Lord, com-
monly called Holy Thursday, and upon the day and
morrow following.” arly in the next century (1313)
another fair was instituted, to begin on the eve of St.
Peter and St. Paul (June 2gth) and to be held for fifteen
days.

‘Trinity Sunday was doubtless chosen for the open-
ing of the first of these fairs because the parish church
was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and a festival in
commemoration of the dedication of the church was _
celebrated on that Sunday by a “wake,” which attracted







re a

STRATFORD CHURCH



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 31

many people from the neighboring villages. “There
was nothing exceptional in a Sunday of specially sacred
character being turned to commercial uses. In most
medieval towns, moreover, traders exposed their wares
at fair-time in the churchyard, and chaffering and bar-
gaining were conducted in the church itself.” Attempts
were made by the ecclesiastical authorities to restrain
these practices, but they continued until the Reforma-
tion.

At the close of the. 13th century the prosperity of
Stratford was assured. Alveston had then ceased to be
a dangerous rival. The town was more and more profit-
able to the Bishops of Worcester, who interested them-
selves in promoting its welfare. It appears also that
Bishop Gifford had a park here ; for on the 3d of May,
1280, he sent his injunctions to the deans of Stratford
and the adjacent towns “solemnly to excommunicate
all those that had broke his park and stole his deer.”

In the rq4th century the condition of the Stratford
folk materially improved. Villeinage gradually disap-
peared in the reign of Edward III. (14327-1377), and
those who had been subject to it became free tenants,
paying definite rents for house and land. Three na-
tives of the town, who, after the fashion of the time,
took their surnames from the place of their birth, rose
to high positions in the Church, one becoming Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, and the others respectively

3ishops of London and Chichester. John of Stratford

and Robert of Stratford were brothers, and Ralph of
Stratford was their nephew. John and Robert were
both for a time Chancellors of England, and there is no
other instance of two brothers attaining that high office
in succession.



32 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

All three had a great affection for their native town,
and did much to promote its welfare. Robert, while
holding the living of Stratford, took measures for the





















STRATFORD CHURCH, WEST END

paving of some of the main streets. John enlarged the
parish church, rebuilding portions of it, and founded
a chantry with five priests to perform masses for the
souls of the founder and his friends. Later he pur-



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 33

chased the patronage of Stratford from the Bishop of
Worcester, and gave it to his chantry priests, who thus
came into full control of the parish church. Ralph, in
1351, built for the chantry priests “a house of square
stone for the habitation of these priests, adjoining to
the churchyard.” This building, afterwards known as
the College, remained in possession of the priests until
1546, when Henry VIII. included it in the dissolution
of monastic establishments. After passing through va-
rious hands as a private residence, it was finally taken
down in 1799.

Other inhabitants of Stratford followed the example
set by John and Ralph in their benefactions to the
church. Dr. Thomas Bursall, warden of the College in
the time of Edward IV., added “a fair and beautiful
choir, rebuilt from the ground at his own cost”—the
choir which is still the most beautiful portion of the
venerable edifice, and in which Shakespeare lies buried.

The only important alteration in the church since
Shakespeare’s day was the erection of the present spire
in 1764, to replace a wooden one covered with lead and
about forty feet high, which had been taken down a
year before. The tower is the oldest part of the church
as it now exists, and was probably built before the year
1200. It is eighty feet high, to which the spire adds
eighty-three feet more.

The last of the early benefactors of Stratford was
Sir Hugh Clopton, who came from the neighboring vil-
lage of Clopton about 1480. A few years later he built
“a pretty house of brick and timber wherein he lived
in his latter days.” This was the mansion afterwards
known as New Place, which in 1597 became the prop-
erty of William Shakespeare, and was his residence:

3



34 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

after he returned to his native town about 1611 or
1612,

Sir Hugh also built “the great bridge upon the Avon,
at the east end of the town,” constructed of freestone,
with fourteen arches, and a “long causeway” of stone,
“‘well walled on each side.” . . . Before this time, as
Leland the antiquarian wrote about 1530, “there was
but a poor bridge of timber, and no causeway to come
to it, whereby many poor folk, either refused to come to
Stratford when the river was up, or coming thither
stood in jeopardy of life.” ‘This bridge, though often
repaired, is to this day a monument to Sir Hugh’s pub-
lic spirit.

THE STRATFORD GUILD.

In the latter part of the 13th century an institution
attained a position and influence in Stratford which
were destined to deprive the Bishops of Worcester of
their authority in the government of the town. This
was the Guild.of the Holy Cross, the Blessed Virgin,
and St. John the Baptist, as it was then called. The
triple name has suggested that it was formed by the
union of three separate guilds, but of this no historical
evidence has been discovered.

This guild, like other of these ancient societies, had
a religious origin, being “collected for the love of God
and our souls’ need”; but relief of the poor and of its
own indigent members was also a part of its functions.

The “craft-guilds,” formed by people engaged in a
single trade or occupation, were a different class of so-
cieties, though in many instances offshoots from the re-
ligious guilds, and often, as in London, surviving the
decay of the parent institution.



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 35

Members of both sexes were admitted to the Strat.
ford Guild, as to others of its class, on payment of a
small annual fee. “This primarily secured for them

































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































THE GUILD CHAPEL AND GRAMMAR SCHOOL, STRATFORD

the performance of certain religious rites, which were
more valued than life itself. While the members lived,
but more especially after their death, lighted tapers
were duly distributed in their behalf, before the altars of



36 ‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

the Virgin and of their patron saints in the parish
church. A poor man in the Middle Ages found it very
difficult, without the intervention of the guilds, to keep
this road to salvation always open. Gifts were fre-
quently awarded to members anxious to make pilgrim-
ages to Canterbury, and at times the spinster members’
received dowries from the association. The regulation
which compelled the members to attend the funeral of
any of their fellows united them among themselves in
close bonds of intimacy.”

The social spirit was fostered yet more by a great
annual meeting, at which all members were expected
to be present in special uniform. They marched with
banners flying in procession to church, and afterwards
sat down together to a generous feast.

Though of religious origin the guilds were strictly
lay associations. In many towns priests were excluded
from membership; if admitted, they had no more au-
thority or influence than laymen. Priests were em-
ployed to perform the religious services of the guild,
for which they were duly paid; but the fraternities were
governed by their own elected officers—wardens, alder-
men, beadles, and clerks—and a council of their repre-
sentatives controlled their property and looked after
their rights.

When the Stratford Guild was founded it is impos-
sible to determine. ‘Its beginning,” as its chief offi-
cers wrote in 1389, “was from time whereunto the mem-
ory of man reacheth not.” Records preserved in the
town prove that it was in existence early in the 13th
century, and that bequests were then made to it. The
Bishops of Worcester encouraged such gifts, and appar-
ently managed that some of the revenues of the Guild



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 37

should be devoted to ecclesiastical purposes outside
its own regular uses. Before the time of Edward I.
the society was rich in houses and lands; and in 1353,
as its records show, it owned a house in almost every
street in Stratford.

In 1296 the elder Robert of Stratford, father of John
and Robert (p. 31), laid the foundation of a special
chapel for the Guild, and also of adjacent almshouses.
These doubtless stood where the present chapel, Guild-
hall, and other fraternfty buildings now are,

In 1332 Edward III. gave the Guild a charter con-
firming its right to all its property and to the full control
of its own affairs. In 1389 Richard IJ. sent out com-
missioners to report upon the ordinances of the guilds
throughout England, and the report for Stratford is still
extant. It shows what a good work the society was
doing for the relief of the poor and for the promotion
of fraternal relations among its members. Regulations
for the government of the Guild by two wardens or
aldermen and six others indicate the progress of the
town in the direction of self-government. An associa-
tion which had come to include all the substantial house-
holders naturally acquired much jurisdiction in civil
affairs. Its members referred their disputes with one
another to its council; and the aldermen gradually be-
came the administrators of the municipal police. The
College priests were'very jealous of the Guild’s increas-
ing influence, and when the society resisted the pay-
ment of tithes they brought a lawsuit to compel the
fulfilment of this ancient obligation; but in all other
respects the Guild appears to have been independent
of external control.

. A curious feature of the conditions of membership in



38 : “SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

the 15th century was that the souls of the dead could
be admitted to its spiritual privileges on payment of the
regular fees by the living. Early in the century six dead
children of John Whittington of Stratford were allowed
this benefit for the sum of ten shillings.

The fame of the institution in its palmy days spread
far beyond the limits of Stratford, and attracted not
a few men of the highest rank and reputation. George,
Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV., and his wife,
were enrolled among its members, with Edward Lord
Warwick and Margaret, two of their children; and the
distinguished judge, Sir Thomas Lyttleton, received the
same honor. Few towns or villages of Warwickshire
were without representation in it, and merchants joined
it from places as far away as Bristol and Peterborough.

To us, however, the most remarkable fact in the his-
tory of the Guild is the establishment of the Grammar
School for the children of its members. The date of
its foundation has been usually given as 1453, but it is
now known to have been in existence before that time. .
Attendance was free, and the master, who was paid ten
pounds a-year by the Guild, was forbidden to take any-
thing from the pupils. In this school, as we shall see
later, William Shakespeare was educated, and we shall
become better acquainted with it when we follow the
boy thither.

The Guild Chapel, with the exception of the chancel,
which had been renovated about 1450, was taken down
and rebuilt in the closing years of the century by Sir
‘Hugh Clopton (see page 34 above), who was a promi-
nent member of the fraternity. The work was not fin-
ished until after his death in September, 1496, but the
expense of its completion was provided for in his will.



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 39

THE STRATFORD CORPORATION.

The Guild was dissolved by Henry VIII. in 1547,
and its possessions remained as crown property until
1553. For seven years the town had been without any
responsible government. Meanwhile the leading citi-
zens— the old officers of the Guild—had petitioned
Edward VI. to restore that society as a municipal cor-
poration. He granted their prayer, and by a charter
dated June 7, 1553, put the government of the town in
the hands of its inhabitants. The estates, revenues, and
chattels of the Guild were made over to the corpora-
tion, which, as the heir and successor of the venerable
fraternity, adopted the main features of its organization.
The names and functions of its chief officers were but
slightly changed. The warden became the bailiff, and
the proctors were called chamberlains, but aldermen,
clerk, and beadle resumed their old titles. The com-
mon council continued to meet monthly in the Guild-
-hall; but it now included, besides the bailiff and ten
aldermen, the ten chief burgesses, and its authority cov-
ered the whole town. ‘The fraternal sentiment of the
ancient society survived; it being ordered “that none
of the aldermen nor none of the.capital burgesses,
neither in the council chamber nor elsewhere, do revile
one another, but brother-like live together, and that after
they be entered into the council chamber, that they nor
none of them depart not forth but in brotherly love,
under the pains of every offender to forfeit and pay for
every default, vjs. viijd”’ When any councillor or his
wife died, all were to attend the funeral “in their honest
apparel, and bring the corpse to the church, there to con-
tinue and abide devoutly until the corpse be buried.”

rs



‘40 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

The Grammar School and the chapel and almshouses
of the Guild became public institutions. The bailiff
became a magistrate who presided at a monthly court
for the recovery of small debts, and at the higher semi-
annual ée¢s, or court-leets, to which all the inhabitants
were summoned to revise and enforce the police reg-
ulations. Shakespeare alludes to these leets in Zhe
Taming of the Shrew (ind. 2.89) where the servant tells
Kit Sly that he has been talking in his sleep :—

“Yet would you say ye were beaten out of door,
And rail upon the mistress of the house,
And say you would present her at the leet
Because she brought stone jugs and no seal’d quarts.”

And Iago (Orhello, iii. 3. 140) refers to “leets and law-
days.” Prices of bread and beer were fixed by the
council, and ale-tasters were annually appointed to see
that the orders concerning the quality and price of malt
liquors and bread were enforced. Shakespeare’s fathér
was an ale-taster in 1557, and about the same time was
received into the corporation as a burgess. In 1561 he
was elected as one of the two chamberlains ; in 1565 he
became an alderman ; and in 1568 he was chosen bailiff,
the highest official position in the town.

The rule of the council was of a very paternal char-
acter. “If aman lived immorally he was summoned to
the Guildhall, and rigorously examined as to the truth
of the rumors that had reached the bailiff’s ear. If his
guilt was proved, and he refused to make adequate
reparation, he was invited to leave the town. Rude
endeavors were made to sweeten the tempers of scold-
ing wives. A substantial ‘ducking-stool,’ with iron



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 41

staples, lock, and hinges, was kept in good repair. The
shrew was attached to it, and by means of ropes, planks,
and wheels was plunged two or three times into the
Avon whenever the municipal council believed her to
stand in need of correction. Three days and three
nights were invariably spent in the open stocks by any
inhabitant who spoke disrespectfully to any town officer,
or who disobeyed any minor municipal decree. No one
might receive a stranger into his house without the
bailiff’s permission. No journeyman, apprentice, or
servant might ‘be forth of their or his master’s house’
after nine o’clock at night. Bowling-alleys and butts
were provided by the council, but were only to be used
at stated times. An alderman was fined on one occa-
sion for going to bowls after a morning meeting of the
council, and Henry Sydnall was fined twenty pence for
keeping unlawful or unlicensed bowling in a back shed.
-Alehouse-keepers, of whom there were thirty in Shake-
speare’s time, were kept strictly under the council’s con-
trol. They were not allowed to brew their own ale, or
to encourage tippling, or to serve poor artificers except
at stated hours of the day, on pain of fine and imprison-
ment. Dogs were not to go about the streets unmuzzled.
Every inhabitant had to go to church at least once a
month, and absences were liable to penalties of twenty
pounds, which in the late years of Elizabeth’s reign com-
missioners came from London to see that the local
authorities enforced. Early in the 17th century swear-
ing was rigorously prohibited. Laws as to dress were
regularly enforced. In 1577 there were many fines
exacted for failure to wear the plain statute woollen
caps on Sundays, to which Rosaline makes allusion in
Love's Labour’s Lost (v. 2. 281); and the regulation





3
‘o
6
g
S





“SHAKESPEARE THE BOY ‘43

affected all inhabitants above six years of age. In
1604 ‘the greatest part’ of the inhabitants were pre-
sented at a great leet, or law-day, ‘for wearing their
apparel contrary to the statute.’ Nor would it be diffi-
cult to quote many other like proofs of the persistent
strictness with which the new town council of Stratford,
by the enforcement of its own order and the statutes of
the realm, regulated the inhabitants’ whole conduct of
life.”

THE TOPOGRAPHY OF STRATFORD.

No map of Stratford made before the middle of
the 18th century is known to exist. The one. here
given in fac-simile was executed about the year 1768,
and, as Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps tells us, “it clearly ap-
pears from the local records that there had then been
no material alteration in either the form or the extent
of the town since the days of Elizabeth, It may there-
fore be accepted as a reliable guide to the locality as
it existed in the poet’s own time, when the number of
inhabited houses, exclusive of mere hovels, could not
have much exceeded five hundred.”

The following is a copy of the references which are
appended to the original map: “1. Moor Town's End;
—z. Henley Lane;—3. Rother Market;—4. Henley
Street;—5. Meer Pool Lane;—6. Wood Street ;—7.
Ely Street or Swine Street ;—8. Scholar’s Lane alias
Tinker’s Lane ;—g. Bull Lane ;—ro. Street call’d Old
Town ;—11. Church Street ;—12. Chapel Street ;—13.
High Street ;—14. Market Cross ;—15. Town Hall ;—
16. Place where died Shakespeare ;—17. Chapel, Public
Schools, &c.;—18. House where was Shakespeare
born ;—19. Back Bridge Street;— 20. Fore Bridge



\
44 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

Street; 21. Sheep Street ;—22. Chapel Lane ;— 23.
Buildings call’d Water Side ;—24. Southam’s Lane ;—
2s, Dissenting Meeting ;—26. White Lion.”

Moor Town’s End (t) is now Greenhill Street. The
Town Hall (1s) did not exist in Shakespeare’s time,
having been first erected in 1633, taken down in 1767,
and rebuilt the following year. The “ Place where died
Shakespeare ” (16) was New Place, the home of his
later years. The “Dissenting Meeting” or Meeting-
house (25) was built long after the poet’s day. The
“White Lion” (26) was also. post-Shakespearian, the
chief inns in the 16th century being the Swan, the
Bear, and the Crown, all in Bridge Street. The Mill
and Mill Bridge (built in 1590) are indicated on the
river at the left-hand lower corner of the map; and the
stone bridge, erected by Sir Hugh Clopton about 1500,
is just outside the right-hand lower corner.

The only important change in the streets since
the map was made is the removal of the row of small
shops and stalls, known as Middle Row, between Fore
Bridge Street (20); and Back Bridge Street (19); thus
making the broad avenue now called Bridge Street.

The “ Market Cross” (14) was “a stone monument
covered by a low tiled shed, round which were benches
for the accommodation of listeners to the sermons
which, as at St. Paul’s Cross in London, were some-
times preached there.” Later a room was added above,
and a clock above that. The open space about the
Cross was the chief market-place of the town. Near
by was a pump, at which housewives were frequently
to be seen “ washing of clothes” and hanging them on
the cross to dry, and butchers sometimes hung meat
there; but these practices were forbidden by the town



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 45

council: in 1608.. The stocks, pillory, and whipping-
post were in the same locality...

There was also a stone cross in the Rarher Market
(3), and near the Guild Chapel (17) was a second pump,
which was removed by order of the council in 1595.
The field on the rivér, near the foot of Chapel Lane
(22), was. known as the. Bank-croft, or Bancroft, where
drovers and farmers of the town were allowed to. take
their cattle to pasture for an hour daily. “All horses,
geldings, mares, swine, geese, ducks, and other cattle,”
according to the regulation. established by the council,
if found there in violation of this:restriction, were put
by the beadle into the “ pinfold,” or pound, which was
not far off. This Bancroft, as it is still called, is now,
part of the beautiful little park on the river-bank,. ad-
jacent to the grounds of the Shakespeare Memorial.

Chapel Lane, which bounded one side of the New
Place estate, was one of the filthiest thoroughfares of
the town, the general sanitary condition of which (see —
page 25 above) was bad enough. A streamlet ran
through it, the water of which turned a mill, alluded to
in town records of that period. This waier-course
gradually became “a shallow fetid ditch, an open re-
ceptacle of sewage and filth.” It continued to be a
nuisance for at least two centuries more. A letter writ-
ten in 1807, in connection with a lawsuit, gives some
interesting reminiscences of it. “I very well remem-
ber,” says the writer, “the ditch you mention forty-five
years, as after my sister was married, which was in Octo-
ber, 1760, I was very often at Stratford, and was very
well acquainted both with the ditch and the road in
question ;—the ditch went from the Chapel, and ex-
tended to Smith’s house ;—I well remember there was



46 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

a space of two or three feet from the wall in a descent.
to the ditch, and I do:not think any part of the new
wall was built on the ditch ;—the ditch was the recep-
tacle for all manner of filth that any person chose to
put there, and was very obnoxious at times ;—Mr. Hunt
used to complain of it, and was determined to get it
covered over, or he would do it at his own expense, and
I do not know whether he did or not ;—across, the road
from the ditch to Shakespeare Garden was very hollow
and always full of mud, which is now covered over, and
in general there was only one wagon tract along the
lane, which used to be very bad, in the winter particu-
larly ;—I do not know that the ditch was so deep as to
overturn a carriage, and the road was very little used
near it, unless it was to turn out for another, as there
was always room enough.” Thomas Cox, a carpenter,
who lived in Chapel Lane from 1774, remembered that
the open gutter from the Chapel to Smith's cottage
“was a wide dirty ditch choked with mud, that all the
filth of that part of the town ran into it, that it was four
or five feet wide and more than a foot deep, and that
the road sloped down to the ditch.” According to other
witnesses, the ditch extended to the end of the lane,
where, between the roadway and the Bancroft, was a
narrow creek or ditch through which the overflow from
Chapel Lane no doubt found a way into the river.

Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps believes that the fever which
proved fatal to Shakespeare was caused by the “ wretch-
ed sanitary conditions surrounding his residence”
explanation of it which would never have occurred even
to medical men in that day.



an



Part II
HIS HOME LIFE































SHAKESPEARE HOUSE, RESTORED

THE DWELLING-HOUSES OF THE TIME

Tue house in Henley Street in which William Shake-
speare was probably born and spent his early years has
undergone many changes; but, as catefully restored
in recent years and reverently preserved for a national
memorial of the poet, its appearance now is doubtless
not materially different from what it was in the latter
part of the 16th century.

There are a few houses of. the same period and the
same class still standing in Stratford and its vicinity,

4



50 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

which, according to the highest antiquarian authority,
are almost unaltered from their original form and finish.
Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps mentions one in particular in
the Rother Market, “the main features of which are
certainly in their original state,” and the sketches of
the interior given by him closely resemble those of the
Shakespeare house.

These houses were usually of two stories, and were
constructed of wooden beams, forming a framework,
the spaces between the beams being filled with lath
and plaster. The roofs were usually of thatch, with
dormer: windows and steep gables. The door was
shaded by a porch or by a pentice, or penthouse, which
was a narrow sloping roof often extending along the
the front of the lower story over both door and.win-
dows, as in Shakespeare’s birthplace on Henley Street.

In the Merchant of Venice (ii. 6. 1) Gratiano says :—

“This is the penthouse under which Lorenzo
Desired us to make stand.”

In Muck Ado About Nothing (iii. 3. 110) Borachio
says to Conrade: “Stand thee close, then, under this
penthouse, for it drizzles rain.” We find a figurative
allusion to the penthouse in Love's Labour ’s Lost (iii,
1, 17): “with your hat penthouse-like o’er the shop
of your eyes” ; and another in Macbeth (i. 3. 20) :—

“Sleep shall neither night nor day
Hang upon his penthouse lid”;

the projecting eyebrow being compared to this part of
the Elizabethan dwelling.

















ROOM IN WHICH SHAKESPEARE WAS BORN



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 51

The better houses, like New Place, were of timber
and brick, instead of plaster, though sometimes entire-
ly of stone. Shakespeare appears to, have rebuilt the
greater part of New Place with stone. The roofs of
this class of dwellings were usually tiled, but occasion-
ally thatched. We read of one Walter Roche, who in
1582 replaced the tiles of his house in Chapel Street
with thatch. The wood-work in’the front of some
houses, as in a fine example still to be seen in the High
Street (page 59 below), was elaborately carved with
floral and other designs.

The gardens were bounded by walls constructed of
clay or mud and usually thatched at the top. Fruit-
trees were commen in these gardens, and the orchard
about the Guild buildings was noted for its plums and
apples. When the mulberry-tree was first introduced
into England, Shakespeare bought one and set it out
in his grounds at New Place, where it grew to great
size. It survived for nearly a century and a half after
the death of the poet, but in 1758 was cut down by the
Rev. Francis Gastrell, who had bought the estate in
1756.

There was little of what we should regard as comfort
in those picturesque old English houses, with their great
black beams chequering the outer walls into squares
and triangles, their small many-paned windows, their
low ceilings and rude interior wood-work, their poor
and scanty furnishings.

Chimneys had but just come into general use in n Eng-
land, and, though John Shakespeare’s house had one,
the dwellings of many of his neighbors were still un-
provided with them. In 1582, when William was eigh-
teen years old, an order was passed by the town council



52 ‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

that “ Walter -Hill, dwelling in Rother Market, and all
the other inhabitants of the borough, shall, before St.
James’s Day, 30th April, make sufficient chimneys,”
under pain of a fine of ten shillings.

This was intended as a precaution against fires, the
frequent occurrence of.which in former years had been
mainly due to the absence of chimneys.

William Harrison,.in 1577, referring to things in Eng-
land that had been “ marvellously changed within the
memory. of. old. people,” includes among these “the
multitude of chimneys lately erected, whereas in their
‘young days there were not above two or three, if so
‘many, inmost uplandish towns of the realm (the re-
ligious houses and manor places of their lords always”
excepted), but-each one made his fire against a reredos*
in the hall, -where he dined and dressed his meat.

In another chapter Harrison says: “ Now have we
many chimneys ;. and yet our tenderlings complain of
rheums, catarrhs, and poses. Then had we none but -
reredosses ; and our heads did never ache. For as the
smoke in. those days was supposed to be a sufficient
hardening for the timber of the house, so it was re-
-ported a far better medicine to’ keep the goodman and
his family from the quack or-pose, wherewith, as then,
very few. were. acquainted.”

. THE HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE.

_ Of the furniture in these old houses we get an idea
from inventories of the period that have come down to

* A veredos was a kind of open hearth or brazier. Pose, just
‘below, means a cold in the head, and gwack a hoarseness or croak-
ing caused by a cold in the throat.



SHAKESPEARE .THE BOY 53

us. We have, for instance, such a list of the house-
hold equipment of. Richard Arden, Shakespeare’s ma-
ternal grandfather, who was a wealthy farmer; and
another: of such property belonging to: Henry Field,
tanner, a neighbor of John hal eshser who-was his
chief executor. .

From these:and similar inventories. we faa that the
only furniture in the hall, or main room of the house—
often occupying the whole of the ground floor—and the
parlor, or sitting-room, when there was one, consisted
of two or three chairs, a few joint-stools—that is, stools
made of wood jointed or fitted together, as distinguished
from those more rudely made—a table of the plainest
construction, and possibly one or more “painted cloths”
hung on the walls.

These painted cloths were cheap substitutes for the
tapestries with which great. mansions: were adorned,
and they were often found in the cottages of the poor.
The paintings were generally crude representations of
Biblieal stories, together with maxims or mottoes, which
were sometimes on scrolls or “labels ” proceeding from
the mouths of the characters:

Shakespeare refers to these cloths several cme for
instance, in 4s You Like It (iii. 2. 291), where Jaques
says to Orlando: “ You are full of pretty answers ; have
you not been acquainted with goldsmiths’ wives and
‘conned them out of rings ?”—referring to the mottoes,
or “posies,” as they were called; often inscribed in
finger-rings. Orlando replies.: “Not so; but I answer
you right painted cloth, from whence you have studied
your questions.” . Falstaff (1 Henry IV. iv. 2. 28) says
-that his recruits are “ragged as Lazarus in the painted
cloth.”



54 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

In an anonymous play, Wo Whipping nor Tripping,
printed in 1601, we find this passage :—

‘Read what is written on the painted cloth:
Do no man wrong; be good unto the poor;
Beware the mouse, the maggot, and the moth,
And ever have an eye unto the door,” etc.

When carpets are mentioned in these inventories,
they are coverings for the tables, not for the floors,
which, even in kings’ palaces, were strewn with rushes.
Grumio, in Zhe Taming of the Shrew (iv. 1. 52) sees
“the carpets laid” for supper on his master’s return
home. A Stratford inventory of 1590 mentions “a
carpet fora table.” Carpets were also used for win-
dow-seats, but were seldom placed on the floor except
to kneel upon, or for other special purposes.

The bedroom furniture was equally rude and scanty,
though better than it had been when the old folk of the
time were young. Harrison says :—

“ Our fathers and we ourselves have lien full oft upon
straw pallets covered only with a sheet, under coverlets
made of dagswain or hopharlots [coarse, rough cloths],
and a good round log under their heads instead of a
bolster. If it were that our fathers or the good man
of the house had a mattress or flock-bed, and thereto
a sack of chaff to rest his head upon, he thought him-
self to be as well lodged as the lord of the town, so
well were they contented.”

But feather-beds had now come into use, with pillows,
and “flaxen sheets,” and other comfortable appliances.
Henry Field had ‘one bed-covering of yellow and
green” among his household goods.



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 55

Kitchen utensils and table-ware had likewise im-
. proved within the memory of the old inhabitant, though

still rude and simple enough. Harrison notes “ the
exchange of treen [wooden] platters into pewter, and
wooden spoons.into silver or tin.”

He adds: “So common were all sorts of treen stuff
in old time that a man should hardly find four pieces
of pewter (of which one was peradventure a salt) in a
good farmer’s house”; but now they had plenty of
pewter, with perhaps a silver bowl and salt-cellar, and
a dozen silver spoons.

The table-linen was hempen for common use, but
flaxen for special occasions, and the napkins were of
the same materials. These napkins,.or towels, as they
were sometimes called, were for wiping the hands after
eating with the fingers, forks being as yet unknown in
England except as a curiosity.

Elizabeth is the first royal personage in the country
who is known to- have had a fork, and it is doubtful
whether she used it. It was not until the middle of the
17th century that forks were used even by the higher
classes, and silver forks were not introduced until
about 1814.

Thomas Coryat, in his Crudities, published in 1611,
only five years before Shakespeare died, gives an ac-
count of the use of forks in Italy, where they appear
to have been invented in the rs5th century. He says:—

“The Italian and also most strangers do always at
their meals use a little fork when they do cut their
meat. For while with their knife, which they hold in-
one hand, they cut the meat out of the dish, they fasten
the fork, which they hold in their other hand, upon the
same dish; so that whosoever he be that, sitting in the



56 SHAKESPEARE THE BOV

company of others at meals, should unadvisedly touch
the dish of meat with his fingers, from which all the
table do cut, he will give occasion of offence unto the
‘company, as having transgressed the laws of good
manners.” :

Coryat adds that he himself “thought good to imitate
the Italian fashion by this forked cutting of meat,”
not only while he was in Italy, but after he came
home to England, where, however, he was sometimes
“quipped” for what his friends regarded as a foreign
affectation. ;

The dramatists of the time also refer contemptuously
to “your fork-carving traveller”; and one clergyman
preached against the use of forks ‘as being an insult
to Providence not to touch one’s meat with one’s fin-
gers
Towels, except for table use, are rarely noticed in in-
ventories of the period, and when mentioned are spéci-
fied as “washing towels.” Neither are wash-basins
often referred to, except in lists of articles used by
barbers.

Bullein, in his Government of Health, published about
1558, says: “Plain people in the country use seldom
times to wasli their hands, as appeareth by their filthi-
ness, and as very few times comb their heads.”

‘Their betters were none too particular in these mat-
ters, and in personal cleanliness generally. Baths are
seldom referred to in writings of the time, except for
the treatment of certain diseases.

Reference has already been made to the use of rushes
for covering floors. It was thought to be a piece of un-
necessary luxury on the part of Wolsey when he caused
the rushes at Hampton Court to be changed every day.

yp?





INTERIOR OF ANNE HATHAWAY’S COTTAGE



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 57

From a letter of Erasmus to Dr. Francis, Wolsey’'s
physician, it would appear that the lowest layer of
rushes—the top only being renewed — was sometimes
unchanged for years—the latter says “twenty years,”
which seems ‘hardly credible— becoming a receptacle
for beer, grease, fragments of victuals, and other or-
ganic matters.

- Perfumes were used for neutralizing the foul odors
that resulted from this filthiness. Burton, in his 4zat-
omy of Melancholy, 1621, says: “The smoke of juniper
is in great request .with us at Oxford, to sweeten our
chambers.” [See also page 25 above.]

‘_ From the correspondence of the Earl of Shrewsbury
with Lord Burleigh, during the confinement of Mary
Queen of Scots at Sheffield Castle, in 1572, we learn
that she was to be removed for five or six days “to
cleanse her chamber, being kept very uncleanly.”

In a memoir written by Anne, Countess of Dorset, in
1603, we read: “We all went to Tibbals to see the
King, who used my mother and my aunt very gracious-
ly; but we all saw-a great change between the fashion
of the Court as it was now and of that in the Queen’s,
for we were all lousy by sitting in Sir Thomas Ers-
kine’s chambers.”

FOOD AND DRINK.

The food of the common people was better in some
respects than it is nowadays, and better than it was in
Continental countries. Harrison says that whereas what
he calls ‘‘ white meats ’’—milk, butter, and cheese—were
in old times the food of the upper classes, they were in
his time “ only eaten by the poor,” while all other classes
ate flesh, fish, and “ wild and tame fowls.”



58 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

Wheaten bread, however, was little known except to
the rich, the bread of the poor being made of rye or
barley, and, in times of scarcity, of beans, oats, and
even acorns.

Tea and coffee had not yet been introduced into Eng-
land, but wine was abundant and cheap. It is rather
surprising to learn that from twenty to thirty thousand
tuns of home-grown wine were then made in the
country.

Of foreign wines, thirty kinds of strong and fifty-six
of light were to be had in London. The price ranged
from eightpence to a shilling a gallon. The drink of the
common people, however, was beer, which was generally
home-brewed and cheap withal.

Harrison, who was a country clergyman with forty
pounds a year, tells how his good wife brewed two
hundred gallons at a cost of twenty shillings, or less
than three halfpence a gallon. When nobody drank
water, and the only substitute for malt liquors was milk,
the consumption of beer was of course enormous.

The meals were but two a day. Harrison says:
“Heretofore there hath been much more time spent
in eating and drinking than commonly is in these ©
days, for whereas of old we had breakfasts in the fore-
noon, beverages or nuntions [luncheons] after dinner,
and thereto rear-suppers [late or second suppers] gen-
erally when it was time to go to rest, now these odd re-
pasts—thanked be God—are very well left, and each
one in manner (except here and there some young
hungry stomach that cannot fast till dinner time) con-
tenteth himself with dinner and supper only.”

Of the times of meals he says: “ With us the nobility,
gentry, and students do ordinarily go to dinner at eleven












































2 f ‘ - : J Hae ce gi







in
ut

ACW Kft

ik




























“OLD HOUSE IN HIGH STREET

before noon, and to supper at five, or between five and
six at afternoon. The merchants dine and sup seldom
before twelve at noon and six at night, especially in
London. The husbandmen dine also at high noon, as
they call it, and sup at seven or eight; but out of the
term in our universities the scholars dine at ten. As
for the poorest sort, they generally dine and sup when



60 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

they may, so that to talk of their order of repast it were
but needless matter.”

Rising at four or five in the morning, as was the cus-
tom with the common people, and going until ten or
even noon without food must have been hard for other
than the “young hungry stomachs” of which Harrison
speaks so contemptuously.

THE TRAINING OF CHILDREN.

In the 16th century, children of the middle and up-
per classes were strictly brought up. The “ Books of
Nurture,” published at that time, give minute direc-
tions for the behavior of boys like William at home, at
school, at church, and elsewhere. These manuals were
generally in doggerel verse, and several of them have
been edited by Dr. F. J. Furnivall for the Early English
Text Society.

Among them is one by Francis Seager, published in
London in 1557, entitled Zhe Schoole of Vertue, and booke
of good Nourture for Chyldren and youth to learne their
dutie by. Another is Zhe Boke of Nurture, or Schoole
of good maners for men, servants, and children, compiled
by Hugh Rhodes, of which at least five editions were
printed between 1554 and 1577.

The Schoole of Vertue begins thus* (the spelling
being modernized) :— x

* In the original each of these lines is divided into two, thus:
-‘¢ First’in, the mornynge
- when thou dost awake
To God for his grace
"thy peticion then make ;” ete. -
“To save space,-I arrange the lines as Dr. Furnivall does. -



‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 61

“First in the morning when thou dost awake
To God for his grace thy petition then make;
This prayer. following use daily to say,

Thy heart lifting up; thus begin to pray,”

A prayer of eighteen lines follows, with directions to
repeat the Lord’s Prayer after it. Then come rules
“how to order thyself when thou risest, and in apparel-
‘ling thy body.” tar

The child is to rise early, dress carefully, washing
his hands and combing his head. When he goes down
‘stairs he is to salute the family :—

“Down from thy chamber when thou shalt go,
_ Thy parents salute thou, and the family also.”

Elsewhere, politeness out of doors is enjoined :—

“Be free of cap [taking it off to his elders] and full of
-courtesy.””

At meals his first duty is to wait upon his parents,
after saying this grace :-—

“Give thanks to God with one accord
For that shall be set on this board.
And be not careful what to eat,
To each thing living the Lord sends meat;
For food He will not see you perish,
But will you feed, foster, and cherish;
Take well.in worth what He hath sent,
At this time be therewith content,
Praising God.”

He is then to make low curtsy, saying “Much good
may it do you!” and, if he is big enough, he is to
bring the food to the table.



62 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

In filling the dishes he must take care not to get them
so full as to spill anything on his parents’ clothes. He
is to have spare trenchers and napkins ready for guests,
to see that all are supplied with “bread and drink,” and
that the “ voiders’”’—the baskets or vessels into which
bones are thrown—are often emptied.

When the course of meat is over he is to clear the
table, cover the salt, put the dirty trenchers and nap-
kins into a voider, sweep the crumbs into another, place
a clean trencher before each person, and set on “cheese
with fruit, with biscuits or caraways” [comfits contain-
ing caraway seeds, which were considered favorable to
digestion, and, according to a writer on health, in 1595,
“surely very good for students”’], also wine, “if any
there were,” or beer.

The meal ended, he is to remove the cloth, turning
in each side and folding it up carefully; ‘a clean towel
then on the table to spread,” and bring basin and ewer
for washing the hands. He now clears the table again,
and when the company rise, he must not “forget his
duty ’:—

“Before the table make thou low curtsy.”

The boy can now eat his own dinner, and equally
minute directions are given as to his behavior while
doing it. He is not to break his bread, but “cut it
fair,’ not to fill his spoon too full of soup, nor his
mouth too full of meat—

“Not smacking thy lips as commonly do hogs,
Nor gnawing the bones as it were dogs.
Such rudeness abhor, such beastliness fly,

At the table behave thyself mannerly.”



SHAKESPEARE. THE BOY 63

He must keep his fingers clean with a napkin, wipe
his mouth before drinking, and be temperate in eat-
ing—‘ For ‘measure is treasure,’ the proverb doth say.”

The directions ‘how to behave thyself in talking
with any man” are very minute and specific: —

‘Ifa man demand a question of thee,
In thine answer-making be not too hasty;
Weigh well his words, the case understand,
Ere an answer to.make thou take in hand;
Else may he judge in thee little wit,
To answer to a thing and not hear it.
Suffer his tale whole out to be told,
Then speak thou mayst, and not be controlled;
Low obeisance making, looking him in the face,
Treatably speaking, thy words see thou place,
With countenance sober, thy body upright,
Thy feet just together, thy hands in like plight;
Cast not thine eyes on either side.
When thou art praised, therein take no pride.
In telling thy tale, neither laugh nor smile;
Such folly forsake thou, banish and exile.
In audible voice thy words do thou utter,
Not high nor low, but using a measure.
Thy words see that thou pronounce plaine,
And that they spoken be not in vain;
In uttering whereof keep thou an order,
Thy matter thereby thou shalt much forder [further];
Which order if thou do not observe,
From the purpose needs must thou swerve,
And hastiness of speed will cause thee to err,
Or will thee teach to stut or stammer.
To stut or stammer is a foul crime;
Learn then to leave it, take warning in time;
How evil a child it doth become,
Thyself being judge, having wisdom;



64 ‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

And sure it is taken by custom and ure [use],
While young you be there is help and cure.
This general rule yet take with thee,

In speaking to any man thy head uncovered be,
The common proverb remember ye ought,

ee unfed than untaught.’”

Though this may be very poor poetry, it is very. good
advice; and so is this which follows, on “how to order
thyself being sent of message’: —

“If of message forth thou be sent,
Take, heed to the same, give ear diligent;
Depart not away and being in doubt,
Know well thy message before thou pass out;
With ‘possible speed then haste thee right soon,
If need shall require it so to be done.
After humble obeisance the message forth shew,
Thy words well placing, in uttering but few
As shall thy matter serve to declare.
Thine answer made, then home again repair,
And to thy master thereof make relation
As then the answer shall give thee occasion.
Neither add nor diminish anything to the same,
Lest after .it prove to thy rebuke and shame,
But the same utter as near as thou can;

- No fault they shall find to charge thee with than

{then].”

Similar counsel is added “against the horrible vice of
swearing ”

“In vain take not the name of God;

Swear not at all for fear of his rod.
* Ed ae Bd sneak *





ANNE HATHAWAY’S COTTAGE



‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 65

Seneca doth counsel thee all swearing to refrain,
Although great profit by it thou might gain;
Pericles, whose words are manifest and plain,
From swearing admonisheth thee to abstain:
The law of God and commandment he gave
Swearing amongst us in no wise would have.
The counsel of philosophers I have here exprest,
Amongst whom swearing was utterly detest;
Much less among Christians ought it to be used,
But utterly of them clean to be refused.”

There are also admonitions “against the vice of filthy
talking” and “against the vice of lying”; and a prayer
follows, “to be said when thou goest to bed.”

The rules laid down in the Boke of Nurture are similar
and in the same doggerel measure. It is interesting, by
the bye, to compare the alterations in successive editions
as indicating changes in the manners and customs of
the time. A single illustration must suffice.

When the first edition appeared, handkerchiefs had
not come into general use; and how to blow the nose
without one was evidently a difficulty with the writer
and other early authorities on deportment. Even in
1577, when handkerchiefs began to be common, Rhodes
says :—

“Blow not your nose on the napkin
Where you should wipe your hand,
But cleanse it in your handkercher.” *

* The spelling Aandkercher, common in these old books, and in
the early editions of Shakespeare, indicates the pronunciation of
the time. In As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet,

'_ Othello, and other plays, napkin is equivalent to handkerchief.

This, indeed, is the only. meaning of the word in Shakespeare, as
often in other writers of the period.
5



66 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

The Booke of Demeanor, printed in 1619, says :—

“Nor imitate with Socrates

To wipe thy snivelled nose

Upon thy cap, as he would do,
Nor yet upon thy clothes:

But keep it clean with handkerchief,
Provided for the same,

Not with thy fingers or thy sleeve,
Therein thou art to blame.”

The introduction of toothpicks, the gradual adoption
of forks, already referred to, and sundry other refine-
ments, can be similarly traced in these interesting hand-
books. Soh:

It would appear that this Schoole of Vertue, or some
other book with the same title, was used in schools for
boys. John Brinsley, in his Grammar Schoole of 1612
(quoted by Dr. Furnivall), enumerates the “ Bookes to
be first learned of children.” After mentioning the
Primer, the Psalms in metre—“ because children will
learne that booke with most readinesse and delight
through the running of the metre” —and the Testa-
ment, he adds: “ If any require any other little booke
meet to enter children, the Schoole of Vertue is one of
the principall, and easiest for the first enterers, being
full of precepts of civilitie, and such as children will
soone learne atid take a delight in, thorow [through]
the roundnesse of the metre, as was sayde before of the
singing Psalmes: and after it the Schoole of good man-
ners, called the new Schoole of Vertue, leading the childe
as by the hand, in the way of all good manners.”



SHAKESPEARE THE BOV 67

INDOOR AMUSEMENTS,

Of the indoor amusements of country people we get
an idea from Vincent’s Dialogue with an English Court-
zer, published in 1586. He says: “In foul weather
we send for some honest neighbors, if haply we be with
our wives alone at home (as seldom we are) and with
them we play at Dice and Cards, sorting ourselves ac-
cording to the number of players and their skill ;
sometimes we fall to Slide-Thrift, to Penny Prick, and
in winter nights we use certain Christmas games very

i proper, and of much agility ; we want not also pleasant

mad-headed knaves, that be properly learned, and will
read in divers pleasant books and good authors; as
Sir Guy of Warwick, the Four Sons of Aymon, the
Ship of Fools, the Hundred. Merry Tales, the Book of
Riddles, and many other excellent writers both witty
and pleasant. These pretty and pithy matters do
sometimes recreate our minds, chiefly after long sitting
and loss of money.”

Slide-thrift,” called also “slip-groat” and “shove-
groat,” is a game frequently mentioned by writers of
the 16th and 17th centuries. Strutt, in his Sports and
Lastimes of England, describes it thus :—

“It requires a parallelogram to be made with chalk,
or by lines cut upon the middle of a table, about twelve
or fourteen inches in breadth, and three or four feet in
length: which is divided, latitudinally, into nine sec-
tions, in every one of which is placed a figure, in regu-
lar succession from one to nine. Each.of the players
provides himself with a smooth halfpenny, which he
places upon the edge of the table, and, striking it with
the palm of his hand, drives it towards the marks; and



68 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

according to the value of the figure affixed to the par-
tition wherein the halfpenny rests, his game is reck-
oned; which generally is stated at thirty-one, and must
be made precisely : if it be exceeded, the player goes
again for nine, which must also-be brought exactly or
the turn is forfeited; and if the halfpenny rests upon
any of the marks that separate the partitions, or over-
passes the external boundaries, the go is void. It is
also to be observed that the players toss up to deter-



SHILLING OF EDWARD VI

mine which shall go first, which is certainly a great
advantage.”

Shovel-board, or shuffle-board, which some writers
confound with slide-thrift, was also played upon a table
with coins or flat pieces of metal; but the board was
longer and the rules of the game were different.

‘In 2 Henry IV. (ii. 4. 206), when Falstaff wants Pis-
tol put out of the room, he says to Bardolph: ‘“ Quoit
him down, Bardolph, like a shove-groat shilling.”

In Zhe Merry Wives of Windsor (i. 1. 159), Slender,
-when asked if Pistol had picked his purse, replies:



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 69

“Ay, by these gloves, did he . . . of seven groats in
mill-sixpences and two Edward shovel-boards, that cost
me two shillings. and twopence apiece.’ “Edward
shovel-boards” were the broad shillings of Edward VI.
which were generally used in playing the game. It
has been suggested-that Slender was a fool to pay two
shillings and twopence for a shilling worn smooth ; but
it is possible that these old coins commanded a pre-
mium on account of being in demand for this game.
The silver groat (fourpence) was originally used for the
purpose, but the shilling, especially of this particular
coinage, came to be preferred by players. Taylor the
Water Poet makes one of these coins say :—

“You see my face is beardless, smooth, and plain,
Because my sovereign was a child ’t is known,
When as he did put on the English crown;

But had my stamp been bearded, as with hair,
Long before this it had been worn out bare;

For why, with me the unthrifts every. day,

With my face downward, do at shove-board play.”

‘‘Penny-prick” is described as “a game consisting
of casting oblong pieces of iron at a mark.” Another
writer explains it as “throwing at halfpence placed on
sticks which are called hobs.” It was a common game
as early as the fifteenth century, and is reproved. by a
religious writer of that period, probably because it was
used for gambling.

Card-playing had become so general in the time of
Henry VIII. that a statute was enacted forbidding ap-
prentices to use cards except in the Christmas holi-
days, and then only in their masters’ houses. Many



70 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

different games with cards are mentioned by writers
of the time, but few of them are described minutely
enough to make it clear how they were played.

Backgammon, or ‘“‘tables,” as it was called, was
popular in Shakespeare's time. He refers to it in
Love's Labour ’s Lost (v. 2. 326), where Biron, ridiculing
Boyet, says :-—

“This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice,
That, when he plays aC tables, chides the dice.
In honourable terms.’

“ Tick-tack’”? was a kind of backgammon; alluded
to, figuratively, in Afeasure for Measure (i. 2. 196):
“thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack.”

“Tray-trip”” was a game of dice, in which success
depended upon throwing a “tray” (the French /rois,
or three); mentioned in Twelfth Might (ii. 5. 207):
“Shall I play my freedom at tray-trip, and become
thy bond-slave ?”

“ Troll-my-dames” was a game resembling the mod-
ern bagatelle. The name is a corruption of the
French frou-madame. It was also known as “ pigeon-
holes.” Dr. John Jones, in his Ancient Baths of Buck-
stone (1572) refers to it thus: “ The ladies, gentlewom-
en, wives and maids, may in one of the galleries walk ;
and if the weather be not agreeable to their expecta- |
tion, they may have in the end of a bench eleven holes
made, into the which to troll pummets, or bowls of
lead, big, little, or mean, or also of copper, tin, wood,
either violent or soft, after their own discretion: the
pastime ¢roule-in-madame is called.”

In Lhe Tempest (v. 1. 172) Ferdinand and Miranda



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 7I-

are represented as playing chess; but there is no other
clear allusion to the game in Shakespeare’s works. It
was introduced into England before the Norman Con-
quest, and became a favorite pastime with the upper
classes, but appears to have been little known among
the common people.

POPULAR BOOKS.

Of books there were probably very few at the house
‘in Henley Street. Some of those mentioned by Vin-
cent were popular with all classes. The story of Guy
of Warwick had been told repeatedly in prose and
verse from the twelfth century down to Shakespeare’s
day, and some of the books and ballads would be like-
ly to be well known in Stratford, which, as we have
seen, was in the immediate vicinity of the hero’s legen-
dary exploits. The Four Sons of Aymon was the trans-
lation of a French prose romance, the earliest form of
which dated back to songs or ballads of the 13th cen-
-tury. Aymon, or Aimon, a prince of Ardennes whose
history was partly imaginary, and his sons figure in
the works of Tasso and Ariosto, and other Italian
and French poets and romancers.

The Hundred Merry Tales was a popular jest- coe of
Shakespeare’s time, to which he alludes in Afuch Ado
About Nothing (ii. 1.134), where Beatrice refers to what
Benedick had said about her: ‘That I was disdain-
ful, and that I had my wit out of the Hundred Merry
Tales.”

The Book of Riddles was another book mentioned by
Shakespeare in The Merry Wives of Windsor (i. 1. 205),
in connection with a volume of verse which was equal-
ly popular in the Elizabethan age :—



72 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY |

“ Slender. | had rather than forty shillings, I had my

book of Songs and Sonnets here.—
Enter Simple. :

How now, Simple! Where have you been? I must wait
on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles
about you, have you?

Simple. Book of Riddles? why, raid you not lend it
to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight
afore Michaelmas >”

The title-page of one edition reads thus: “The
Booke of Merry Riddles. Together with proper Ques-
tions, and witty Proverbs to make pleasant pastime.
No lesse usefull than behoovefull for any yong man
or child, to know if he bee quick-witted, or no.”

A few of the shortest riddles may be quoted as sam-
ples :—

“ The li. Riddle—My lovers will
I. am content for to fulfill;
Within this rime his name is framed;
Tell me then how he is named?

Solutcon.—His name is William; for in the first line is
well, and in the beginning of the second line is 7 am, and
then put them both together, and it maketh Wel/am.

The liv. R¢ddle—How many calves tailes will reach to
the skye? ‘Solutzon.—One, if it be long enough.

The |\xv. Riddle.—What is that, round as a ball,
Longer than Pauls steeple, weather-
cocke, and all?

Solutzon.—It is a round bottome of thred when it is
unwound.



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 73

The lxvii. Réddle.—What is that, that goeth thorow the
wood, and toucheth never a twig? Solut?on.—It is the
blast of a horne, or any other noyse.”

A bottom of thread was a ball of it. The word oc-
curs in Zhe Taming of the Shrew (iv. 3.1 38), where
Grumio says, in the dialogue with the Tailor: “Mas-
ter, if ever I said loose-bodied gown, sew me in the
skirts of it, and beat me to death with a bottom of
brown thread ; I said a gown.” The verb is used in
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (iii. 2. 53):—

“Therefore, as you unwind her love from him,
Lest it should ravel and be good to none,
You must provide to bottom it on me.”

This old meaning of botfom doubtless suggested the
name of Bottom the Weaver in the A/idsummer-Night’s
Dream.

STORY-TELLING.

If books were scarce in the homes of the common
people when Shakespeare was a boy, there was no lack
of oral tales, legends, and folk-lore for the entertain-
ment of the family of a winter evening. The store of
this unwritten history and fiction was inexhaustible.

In Milton’s Z’ A//egro we have a pleasant picture of a
Tustic group listening to fairy stories round the even-
. ing fire :~-

“Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How tairy Mab the junkets eat.

She was pinch’d and pull’d, she said,
And he, by Friar’s lantern led,



74 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

Tells how the drudging goblin sweat

To earn his cream-bowl duly set,

When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath thresh’d the corn
That ten day-laborers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubber fiend,
And, stretch’d out all the chimney’s length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength,

And crop-full out of doors he flings

Ere the first cock his matin rings.

Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whispering winds soon lull’d asleep.”

Of “fairy Mab” we have a graphic description from
the merry Mercutio in Romeo and Fuliet (i. 4. 53-94) ;
and the “drudging goblin,” or Robin Goodfellow, is
the Puck of the Afidsummer-Night’s Dream, to whom
the Fairy says (ii. 1. 40) :—

“Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck.”

In the same scene Puck himself tells of the practical
jokes he plays upon “the wisest aunt telling the sad-
dest tale” to a fireside group, and of many another
sportive trick with which he “‘frights the maidens ” and
vexes the housewives.

The children had their stories to tell, like their elders ;
and Shakespeare has pictured a home scene in Zze
Winter's Tale (ii. 1. 21) which may have been suggest-
ed by his own experience as a boy. As Mr. Charles
Knight asks, “may we not read for Hermione, Mary
Shakespeare, and for Mamillius, William ?”



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 75

“ Hermione. What wisdom stirs amongst you? Come,
sir, now
I am for you again ; pray you, sit by us,
And tell ’s a tale.
Mamillius. Merry, or sad shall ’t be?
flermione. As merry as you will.
Mamillius. A sad tale’s best for winter. I have one
- Of sprites and goblins.
flermione. Let ’s have that, good sir.
Come on, sit down ; come on, and do your best
To fright me with your sprites; you ’re powerful at it.
Mamelléus, There was a man—
Hermione. Nay, come, sit down; then on.
Mamitlius. Dwelt by a churchyard :—I will tell it softly ;
Yond crickets shall not hear it.
Hermione. ; Come on, then,
And give ’t me in mine ear.”

Just then his father, Leontes, comes in, and the tale is
interrupted, never to be resumed.

Mr. Knight assumes, with a good degree of proba-
bility, that William had access to some of the books
from which he drew material for the story of his plays
later in life, and that he may have told these tales,
whether “merry or sad,” to his brothers and sisters at
home.

“ He had,” says this genial biographer, ‘“‘a copy, well
thumbed from his first reading days, of ‘The Palace of
Pleasure, beautified, adorned, and well furnished with
pleasant histories and excellent novelles, selected out
of divers good and commendable authors; by William
Painter, Clarke of the Ordinaunce and Armarie.’ In
this book, according to the dedication of the translator
to Ambrose Earl of Warwick, was set forth ‘the great
_ valiance of noble gentlemen, the terrible combats of



76 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

courageous personages, the virtuous minds of noble
dames, the chaste hearts of constant ladies, the won-
derful patience of puissant, princes, the mild suffer-
ance of well-disposed gentlewomen, and, in divers, the
quiet bearing of adverse fortune.’ Pleasant little apo-
thegms and short fables were there in the book; which
the brothers and sisters of William Shakespeare had
heard him tell with marvellous spirit, and they abided
therefore in their memories. There was Aisop’s fable
of the old lark and her young ones, wherein ‘he pret-
tily and aptly doth premonish that hope and confidence
of things attempted by man ought to be fixed and
trusted in none other but himself.’ There was the
story, most delightful to a child, of the bondman at
Rome, who was brought into the open place upon
which a great multitude looked, to fight with a lion of
a marvellous bigness ; and the fierce lion, when he saw
him, ‘suddenly stood still, and afterwards by little and
little, in gentle sort, he came unto the man as though
he had known him,’ and licked his hands and legs; and
the bondman told that he had healed in former time
the wounded foot of the lion, and the beast became his
friend. These were for the younger children; but Wil-
liam had now a new tale, out of the same storehouse,
upon which he had often pondered, the subject of which
had shaped itself in his mind into dialogue that almost
sounded like verse in his graceful and earnest recita-
tion. It was a tale which Painter translated from the

French of Pierre Boisteau. . . . It was ‘The goodly his-
tory of the true and constant love between Romeo and
Julietta.’ ... From the same collection of tales had

the youth before half dramatized the story of ‘ Giletta
of Narbonne,’ who cured the King of France of a pain-



“SHAKESPEARE THE BOV 17

ful malady, and the king gave her in marriage to the
Count Beltramo, with whom she had been brought up,
and her husband despised and forsook her, but at last
they were united, and lived in great honor and felicity.

“ There was another collection, too, which that youth
had diligently read, —the ‘Gesta Romanorum,’ trans-
lated by R. Robinson in 1577,—old legends, come down
to those latter days from monkish historians, who had
embodied in their narratives all the wild traditions of
the ancient and modern world. He could tell the story
of the rich heiress who chose a husband by the ma-
chinery of a gold,a silver, and a leaden casket; and
another story of the merchant whose inexorable creditor
required the fulfilment of his bond in cutting a pound
of flesh, nearest the merchant's heart, and by the skilful
interpretation of the bond the cruel creditor was de-
feated.

“There was the story, too, in these legends, of the Em-
peror Theodosius, who had three daughters ; and those
two daughters who said they loved him more than them-
selves were unkind to him, but the youngest, who only
said she loved him as much as he was worthy, suc-
coured him in his need, and was his true daughter... .

“Stories such as these, preserved amidst the wreck
of time, were to that youth like the seeds that are found
in the tombs of ruined cities, lying with the bones of
forgotten generations, but which the genial influence of
nature will call into life, and they shall become flowers,
and trees, and food for man.

“ But, beyond all these, our Mamillius had manya tale
‘of sprites and goblins’. . . Such appearances were

- above nature, but the commonest movements of the
natural world had them in subjection :—



78 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

“*T have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day; and at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine.’

“ Powerful they were, but yet powerless. They came
for benevolent purposes: to warn the guilty; to dis-
cover the guilt. The belief in them was not a debasing
thing. It was associated with the enduring confidence
that rested upon a world beyond this material world.
Love hoped for such visitations: it had its dreams of
_ such—where the loved one looked smilingly, and spoke
of regions where change and separation were not. They
might be talked of, even among children then, without
terror. They lived in that corner of the soul which had
trust in angel protections, which believed in celestial
hierarchies, which listened to hear the stars moving in
harmonious music. .. .

“William Shakespeare could also tell to his greedy
listeners, how in the old days of King Arthur

“*The elf-queene, with her jolly compagnie,
Danced full oft in many a grene mede.’

“ Flere was something in his favorite old poet for the
youth to work ont into beautiful visions of a pleasant
race of supernatural beings ; who lived by day in the
acorn cups of Arden, and by moonlight held their
revels on the greensward of Avon-side, the ringlets
of. their dance being duly seen, ‘whereof the ewe not
bites’; who tasted the honey-bag of the bee, and held



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 79

counsel by the light of the glowworm; who kept the
cankers from the rosebuds, and silenced the hootings
of the owl... Some day would William make a little
play of Fairies, and Joan should be their Queen, and he
would be the King ; for he had talked with the Fairies,
and he knew their language and their manners, and
they were ‘good people,’ and would not mind a boy’s
sport with them.

“ But when the youth began to speak of witches there
was fear and silence. For did not his mother recollect
that in the year she was married Bishop Jewell had told
the Queen that her subjects pined away, even unto the
death, and that their affliction was owing to the in-
crease of witches and sorcerers? Was it not known
how there were three sorts of witches,—those that can
‘hurt and not help, those that can help and not hurt,
and those that can both help and hurt? It was unsafe
even to talk of them.

“But the youth had met with the history of the murder
of Duncan King of Scotland, in a chronicler older than
Holinshed; and he told softly, so that ‘yon crickets’
shall not hear it,’ that, as Macbeth and Banquo jour-
neyed from Forres, sporting by the way together,
when the warriors came in the midst of a laund,
three weird sisters suddenly appeared to them, in
strange and wild apparel, resembling creatures of
an elder world, and prophesied that Macbeth should
be King of Scotland; and Macbeth from that hour
desired to be king, and so killed the good king his
liege lord. ,

“And then the story-teller would pass on to safer
matters—to the calculations of learned men who could
read the fates of mankind in the aspects of the stars;



80 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

and of those more deeply learned, clothed in garments
of white linen, who had command over the spirits of
the earth, of the water, and of the air.. Some of the
children said that a horseshoe over the door, and ver-
vain and dill, would preserve them, as they had been
told, from the devices of sorcery. But their mother
called to their mind that there was security far
more to be relied on than charms of herb or horse-
shoe—that there was a Power that would preserve
them from all evil, seen or unseen, if such were
His gracious will, and if they humbly sought Him,
and offered up their hearts to Him in all love and
trust. And to that Power this household then ad-
dressed themselves; and the night was without fear,
and their sleep was pleasant.”

CHRISTENINGS,

In the olden time the christening of a child was an
occasion of feasting and gift-giving. It was an ancient
‘custom for the sponsors to make a present of silver or
gilt spoons to the infant. These were called “apostle
spoons,” because the end: of the handle was formed
into the figure of one of the apostles. he rich or
generous gave the whole twelve; those less wealthy
or liberal limited themselves to the four evangelists ;
while the poor contented themselves with the gift of
a single spoon.

There is an allusion to this custom in Henry VILZ.
(v. 3. 168), where the King replies to Cranmer, who
has professed to be unworthy of being a sponsor to
the baby Elizabeth, “Come, come, my lord, you'd
Spare your spoons,’—a playful insinuation that the



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 81

archbishop wants to escape making a present to the
child.

It is related that Shakespeare was godfather to one
of Ben Jonson’s children, and said to his friend after
the christening, “TI’ faith, Ben, I’ll e’en give him a dozen



ANCIENT FONT AT STRATFORD

good Latin spoons, and thou shalt translate them.”
That is, as Mr. Thoms explains it, ‘“ Shakespeare, will-
ing to show his wit, if not his wealth, gave a dozen
spoons, not of silver, but of Jatten, a name formerly
used to signify a mixed metal resembling brass, as
being the most appropriate gift to the child of a father
so learned.”

After baptism at the church a piece of white linen
was put upon the head of the child. This was called
the “chrisom” or “chrisom-cloth,” and originally was

worn seven days; but after the Reformation it was
6



82 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

kept on until the churching of the mother. If the child
died before the churching, it was buried with the
chrisom upon it. In parish registers such infants are
often referred to as “chrisoms.” In Henry V. Gi. 3. 12),
Dame: Quickly says of Falstaff, “A’ made a finer
end, and went away an it had been any christom
child”; that is, his death was like that of a young
infant. “Christom” is the old woman’s blunder for
“chrisom.”

The “bearing-cloth” was the mantle which covered
the child when it was carried to the font. In the
Winter's Tale (iii. 3. 119), the Shepherd, when he finds
the infant Perdita abandoned on the sea-shore, says to
his son: “ Here’s a sight for thee; look thee, a bearing-
cloth for a squire’s child! Look thee here; take up,
take up, boy; open ’t.” John Stow, writing in the clos-
ing years of the 16th century, says that at that time
it was not customary “for godfathers and godmothers
generally to give plate at the baptism of children, but
only to give ‘christening shirts,’ with little bands and
cuffs, wrought either with silk or blue thread. The best
of them, for chief persons, were edged with a small lace
‘of black silk and gold, the highest price of which, for
great men’s children, was seldom above a noble [a gold
coin worth 6s. 8¢.], and the common sort, two, three, or
four, and six shillings apiece.”

The. “gossips’ feast” (or sponsors’ feast) held in
honor of those who were associated in the christening,
was an ancient English custom often mentioned by
dramatists and other writers of the Elizabethan age.
In the Comedy of Errors (v. 1. 405) the Abbess, when
she finds that the twin brothers Antipholus are her
long-lost sons, says to the company present :-—



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 83

“ Thirty-three years have I but gone in: travail
Of you, my sons; and till this present hour
My heavy burthen ne’er delivered.—

The duke, my husband, and my children both,
And you the calendars of their nativity,

Go to a gossip’s feast, and go with me;

After so long grief, such nativity !”

And the Duke replies, ‘ With all my heart I’ll gossip
at this feast.”

In the Bachelor's Banquet (1603) we find an allusion
- to these feasts: ‘What cost and trouble will it be to
have all things fine against the Christening Day; what
store of sugar, biscuits, comfets, and caraways, marma-
let, and marchpane, with all kinds of sweet-suckers and
superfluous banqueting stuff, with a hundred other odd
and needless trifles, which at that time must fill the
pockets of dainty dames.” It would appear from this
that the women at the feast not only ate what they
pleased, but carried off some of the good things in
their pockets.

A writer in 1666, alluding to this and the falling-off
in the custom of giving presents at christenings, says :—

‘Especially since gossips now

Eat more at christenings than bestow.
Formerly when they used to trowl

Gilt bowls of sack, they gave the bowl—
Two spoons at least/ an use ill kept:
’T is well now if our own be left.”

He insinuates that some of the guests were as likely
to steal spoons from the table as to give gilt bowls or
“apostle spoons” to the infant.



84 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

The boy Shakespeare must have often seen this
ceremony of christening. His sister Joan was baptized
when he was five years old; his sister Anna when he
was eight; his brother Richard when he was ten; and
Edmund when he was sixteen.

SUPERSTITIONS CONNECTED WITH BIRTH AND BAPTISM.

In the time of Shakespeare babies were supposed to
be exposed to other risks and dangers than the infantile
disorders to which they are subject. Mary Shake-
speare, as she watched the cradle of the infant William,
may have been troubled by fears and anxieties that
never occur to a fond mother now.

Witches and fairies were supposed to be given to
stealing beautiful and promising children, and substi-
tuting their own ugly and mischievous offspring.
Shakespeare alludes to these “changelings,” as they
were called, in the Afidsummer-Night’s Dream (ii. 1.
23), where Puck says that Oberon is angry with Ti-
tania

“ Because that she as her attendant hath
A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
She never had so sweet a changeling.”

This “changeling boy” is alluded to several times
afterwards in the play.

In the Winter's Tale (iii. 3. 122), when the Shepherd
finds Perdita, he says: “It was told me I should be
rich by the fairies; this is some changeling” ; and the
money left with the infant he believes to be “fairy
gold.” As the child is beautiful he does not take it to



SHAKESPEARE THE BOY _ 8%

be one of the ugly elves left in exchange for a stolen
babe, but a human changelirig which the fairy thieves
have for some reason abandoned. If it were not for
the gold left with it, he might suppose that the stolen
infant had been temporarily hidden there. We have
an allusion to such behavior on the part of the fairies
in Spenser’s Faerie Queene (i. 10. 65) :—

“For well I wote thou springst from ancient race
Of Saxon kinges, that have with mightie hand,
And many bloody battailes fought in face,

High reard their royall throne in Britans land,

And vanquisht them, unable to withstand:

From thence a Faery thee unweeting reft,

There as thou slepst in tender swadling band,

And her base Elfin brood there for thee left:

Such men do Chaungelings call, so chaung’d by
Faeries theft.

Thence she thee brought into this Faery lond [land],
And in a heaped furrow did thee hyde;

Where thee a Ploughman all unweeting fond [found],
As he his toylesome teme that way did guyde,

And brought thee up in a ploughmans state to byde.”

In 1 Henry IV, (i. 1. 87), the King, contrasting the
gallant Hotspur with his own profligate son, exclaims:

“O that it could be proved
That some night-tripping fairy had exchang’d
In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,
And call’d mine Percy, his Plantagenet !
Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.”

The belief in the “evil eye” was another supersti-
tion prevalent in Shakespeare’s day, as it had been



Full Text

University
of

5
d
é


f
H
A



E BOY

SHAKISPEARE TH.


SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

WITH SKETCHES OF

THE HOME AND SCHOOL LIFE, THE GAMES
AND SPORTS, THE MANNERS, CUSTOMS
AND FOLKE-LORE. OF THE TIME

BY

WILLIAM J. ROLFE, Litt. D.

ILLUSTRATED



NEW YORK
HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
1896
Copyright, 1896, by. Harper.&. BroTuErs.:



All rights-reserved.


POR EE A Co

Two years ago, at the request of the editors of the
Youth's Companion, 1 wrote for that periodical a series of
four familiar articles on the boyhood of Shakespeare. It
was understood at the time that I might afterwards ex-
pand them into a book, and this plan is carried out in the
present volume. The papers have been carefully revised
and enlarged to thrice their original compass, and a new
fifth chapter has been added.

The sources from which I have drawn my material are
often mentioned in the text and the notes. I have been
particularly indebted to Halliwell-Phillipps’s OzdZznes of
the Life of Shakespeare, Knight’s Biography of Shakspere,
Furnivall’s Introduction to the “Leopold” edition of

' Shakespeare, his Badees Book, and his edition of Harri-
son’s Description of England, Sidney Lee’s Stratford-on-
Avon, Strutt’s Sports and Pastzmes, Brand’s Popular An-
teqguzties, and Dyer’s Folk-Lore of Shakespeare.

I hope that the book may serve to give the young folk
some glimpses of rural life in England when Shakespeare
was a boy, and also to help them—and possibly their
elders—to a better understanding of many allusions in his
works.

W.J.R.
CAMBRIDGE, /zere 10, 1896.
CONTENTS

PAGE

PART L—HIS NATIVE TOWN AND NEIGHBOR-

BS RGYOND steno Se ee ae
WARWICKSHIRE. 3
WARWICK CASTLE AND ont Mary's once 4
WANN TONE TEUGHRORS? GYod 5 Gg Ge 6 bee a 8
Guy oF WARWICK : ; 9
ICENTEWORDHa CASTER yrds ie ieee eee oe en esT 2

COVENT RVae cea tru hy ee eet oec cia vged (a ery cae aaa T
CHARTECOME 2 ETAT marina ae are en gee en i eae eT G)
STRATFORD-ON-AVON. . . . Rea gah Ue pea Tune 2
THE EARLY HIstTory oF Caer onon Her ee crit ee
‘RUEFSORRATEORDEGUILD ay ey ndo nae 34.
THE STRATFORD CORPORATION . . . . . . . . 39
THe TOPOGRAPHY OF STRATFORD . . . . . . . 43

PART Il.—HIS HOME LIFE. ........ 47

THE DWELLING-HOUSES OF THE TIME. . . . . . 49
THE HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE. . ...... . 52
Foop AND DRINK. . . Raley ola ie een sm pbs cain 17
THE TRAINING OF Cumpren. Purp Wea ve tiaah SOO
InDooR AMUSEMENTS. . .. ....... . 67
VOMGALZNR IROORGS “go ob pl a ee SR
SLO RSViooTp OTT LIN GJ et on 7
CHRISTENINGS . . . . 80

SUPERSTITIONS CONNECTED WITH ee AND eae 84
CHARMS AND AMULETS. ...... ... . 87
vi CONTENTS

PAGE

VANS UDEV SOMO ey ec a ol oo 6. OB
THE STRATFORD GRAMMAR SCHOOL. . . . . . 95
WHAT SHAKESPEARE LEARNT AT SCHOOL . . . . 99
Tue NEGLECT oF ENGLISH . . . eet eT OO
SCHOOL LIFE IN SHAKESPEARE’S aed Se tina oan eettaeer ae TL O)
CLEC ODE WOUS y Ogio go ely oe TD
SCHOOL DIscIPLINE Tae Sos eyalala try euieeea eet seso TL
WHEN WILLIAM ‘aaa! iccnaoun Ce shot eeaa eee TTS
PART IV.—GAMES AND SPORTS. ase op ap) bg © AEG)
HB3 VAST G*AIVIE'S aurea ear te Ser one ge T Oy
SWIMMING AND FISHING : 2 vce. 0. 2. 10
BEAR-BAITING. . . rect brates eae 19 2)
COCK-FIGHTING AND Goo ‘THROWING, . . . . . 136
OTHER CRUEL SporTs. . 2 2 1s. 2... 139
MONG TID ROG oak yh eek eg ve ey) UD
TOO be Se Beg ee ee ch Ge Sige 8. TR
IO WEEN Ga eas eter are riot
HawKING . . . a ee cere aT oe
THEATRICAL BNE COAT aENTTS Be teal Ia chee heater, ale GY)

PART V.—HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS, FAIRS, ETC. . 165

SAINT GEORGE: SMD Ava ones be am eet ese 167
EASTER... 7 ‘ SHRM rape mene.)
THE arnanan nasi OF THE Ene BA helen alee orem TTA
MAY-DAY AND THE MORRIS-DANCE-. . ey ean yO
\WAZOGHSOMAM DID Gog Gen) Go we ged eS 184
VCD SUMMER VE aera ee ha ear CG
CHISIUMAD GG seo Fea Bb 6 6 on go OD)
BAS HUE EES ELE AVRUIN Ga leeag aie csp in et heer at ect 193
LEUNAARMERON GD ge de ee bate 6 0, 5 IS
IMARICETS SAND SIVATRS ye yard alse ages 198
INGRIAL OUTINGS Gy ei totems evened aire O;,
HIN OSS soir ne esa OP ie ed ree re eer OR 213

SINT) XS a eae ec re ee UR esc eee er


‘WARWICK CASTLE...



ILLUSTRATIONS

THE SHAKESPEARE BIRTHPLACE, ABOUT 1820.

GATE-HOUSE OF KENILWORTH CASTLE

COVENTRY CHURCHES AND PAGEANT. . . . . . Facing p.
CHAREECOTNDHALIN: 09 (yah sn). ase eats

ENTRANCE TO CHARLECOTE HALL a

SIR THOMAS LUCY .
STRATFORD) CHURCH). 2. 4 2 2) 9) A Racin:

STRATFORD CHURCH, WEST END
THE GUILD CHAPEL AND GRAMMAR SCHOOL, STRATFORD :
MAP—PLAN OF STRATFORD, ;
SHAKESPEARE HOUSE, RESTORED

ROOM IN WHICH SHAKESPEARE WAS BORN .

INTERIOR OF ANNE HATHAWAY'S COTTAGE . . . hig

OLD HOUSE IN HIGH STREET . .

ANNE HATHAWAY’S COTTAGE. . . . . . 0... Facing p.

SHILLING OF EDWARD VI. .
ANCIENT FONT AT STRATFORD .

PORCH, STRATFORD CHURCH . . . . . . .. . Faciig p.
+ 95

INNER COURT, GRAMMAR SCHOOL.

yp » . Hacing p.

‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece

3
5
13
Tq
20

22

23
30
32
35)

. 42
- 49

50
56
59
64°

. 68

81
88
viii - ILLUSTRATIONS

THE SCHOOL-ROOM AS IT WAS . .
DESK SAID TO BE SHAKESPEARE’S .
WALK ON THE BANKS OF THE AVON
HIDE-AND-SEEK

‘““MORRIS” BOARD . ..... .
FISHING IN THE AVON .

THE BEAR GARDEN, LONDON .

GARDEN AT NEW PLACE

ELIZABETH HAWKING

BOY WITH HAWK AND HOUNDS .
ITINERANT PLAYERS IN A COUNTRY HALL
WILLIAM KEMP DANCING THE MORRIS.
THE BOUNDARY ELM

> MORRIS-DANCE. . . .....
CLOPTON HOUSE ON CHRISTMAS EVE
THE FAIR .

. Facing p.

. Facing p.

. Facing p.

. Facing p.

“6

“a

INTERIOR OF GRAMMAR SCHOOL, BEFORE THE RESTORA-

TION 5
CLOPTON MONUMENTS
THE BAR-GATE, SOUTHAMPTON
AUTOGRAPH OF QUEEN ELIZABETH .

ARMS OF JOHN SHAKESPEARE.

. Facing p.

97
102,

Ii2
I22
130
132
133

155
159
160
163
167
178
190
200

225

. 242

+ 245
. 251
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

Part I
HIS NATIVE TOWN AND NEIGHBORHOOD




THE SHAKESPEARE BIRTHPLACE, ABOUT 1820

WARWICKSHIRE

THE county of Warwick was called the heart of Eng-
land as long ago as the time of Shakespeare. Indeed,
it was his friend, Michael Drayton, born the year be-
fore himself, who first called it-so. In his foly-Olbion
(1613) Drayton refers to his native. county as “That
shire which we the heart of. England well may call.”
The form of the expression seems to imply that it was
original with him. It was doubtless suggested by the
central situation of the county, about equidistant from
the eastern, western, and southern shores of the island ;
but it is no less appropriate with reference to its his-
torical, romantic, and poetical associations. Drayton,
whose rhymed geography in the Fo/y-Odbion is rather
4 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

prosaic and tedious, attains a kind of genuine inspira.
tion when, in his 13th book, he comes to describe

“Brave Warwick that abroad so long advanced her Bear,
By her illustrious Earls renowned everywhere;
Above her neighboring shires which always bore her
head.”

The verse catches something of the music of the thros-
tle and the lark, of the woosel “ with golden bill” and
the nightingale with her tender strains, as he tells of
these Warwickshire birds, and of the region with “ flow-
ery bosom brave” where they breed and warble; but
in Shakespeare the same birds sing with a finer music
—more like that to which we may still listen in the
fields and woodlands along the lazy-winding Avon:

WARWICK CASTLE AND SAINT MARY’S CHURCH.

Warwickshire is the heart of England, and the coun- -
try within ten miles or so of the town of Warwick may
be called the heart of this heart. On one side of this
circle are Stratford and Shottery and Wilmcote —the
home of Shakespeare’s mother—and on the other are
Kenilworth and Coventry.

In Warwick itself is the famous castle of its Earls—
“that fairest monument,” as Scott calls it, “of ancient
and chivalrous splendor which yet remains uninjured
by time.” The earlier description written by the vera-
cious Dugdale almost two hundred and fifty years ago
might be applied to it to-day. It is still “not only a
place of great strength, but extraordinary delight ; with
most pleasant gardens, walls, and thickets such as this
ne Seen





SHAKESPEARE THE BOY ; 5

part of England can hardly parallel; so that now it is
the most princely seat that is within the midland parts
of this realm.”

The castle was old in Shakespeare’s day. Czesar’s
Tower, so called, though not built, as tradition alleged,
by the mighty Julius, dated back to an unknown period ;



WARWICK CASTLE

and Guy's Tower, named in honor of the redoubted
Guy of Warwick, the hero of many legendary exploits,
was built in 1394. No doubt the general appearance
of the buildings was more ancient in the sixteenth cen-
tury than it is to-day, for they had been allowed to be-
come somewhat dilapidated; and it was not until the
reign of James I. that they were repaired and embel- -
6 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

lished, at enormous expense, and made the stately for-
tress and mansion that Dugdale describes.

But the castle would be no less beautiful for situa-
tion, though it were fallen to ruin like the neighboring
Kenilworth. The rock on which it stands, washed at
its base by the Avon, would still be there, the park
would still stretch its woods and glades along the river,
and all the natural attractions of the noble estate would
remain.

We cannot doubt that the youthful Shakespeare was
familiar with the locality. Warwick and ‘Kenilworth
were probably the only baronial castles he had seen
before he went to London ; and, whatever others he
may have seen later in life, these must have continued
to be his ideal castles as in his boyhood.

It is not likely that he was ever in Scotland, and
when he described the castle of Macbeth the picture
in his mind’s eye was doubtless Warwick or Kenilworth,
and more likely the former than the latter ; for

“ Thzs castle hath a pleasant seat; the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses. This guest of summer,
The temple-haunting martlet, does approve,
By his loved mansionry, that the air
Smells wooingly here; no jutty, frieze,
Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle,
Where they most breed and haunt I have observed
The air is delicate.”

Saint Mary's church at Warwick was also standing
then—the most interesting church in Warwickshire next
to Holy Trinity at Stratford. It was burned in 1694,
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY: 7

but the beautiful choir and the magnificent lady chapel,
or Beauchamp Chapel, fortunately escaped the flames,
and we see them to-day as Shakespeare doubtless saw
them, except for the monuments that have since been
added. Ae saw in the choir the splendid tomb of
Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and in the ad-
jacent chapel the grander tomb of Richard Beauchamp,
unsurpassed in the kingdom except by that of Henry
VII. in Westminster Abbey. Ae looked, as we do, on
the full-length figure of the Earl, recumbent in armor
of gilded brass, under the herse of brass hoops also
gilt ; his hands elevated in prayer, the garter on his left
‘knee, the swan at his head, the griffin and bear at his
feet. He read, as we read, in the inscription on the cor-
nice of the sepulchre, how this “ most worshipful knight
decessed full christenly the last day of April the year
of oure Lord God 1439, he being at that time lieutenant
general and governor of the realm of Fraunce,” and how
his body was brought to Warwick, and “laid with full
solemn exequies in a fair chest made of stone in this
church ” on the 4th day of October—* honoured be God
therefor.”. And the young Shakespeare looked up, as
we do, at the exquisitely carved stone ceiling, and at
the great east window, which still contains the original
glass, now almost four and a half centuries old, with the
‘portrait of Earl Richard kneeling in armor with up-
raised hands.

The tomb of “the noble Impe, Robert cf Dudley,”
who died in 1584, with the lovely figure of a child seven
or eight years old, may have been seen by Shakespeare
when he returned to Stratford in his latter years, and
also.the splendid monument of the father of the “noble
imp,” Robert Dudley, the great Earl of Leicester, who
8 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

died in 1588; but in the poet’s youth this famous noble-
man was living in the height of his renown and pros-
perity at the castle of Kenilworth five miles away, which

we will visit later. ,

WARWICK IN HISTORY.

Only brief reference can be made here to the impor-
tant part that Warwick, or its famous Earl, Richard
Neville, the “ King-maker,” played in the English his-
tory on which Shakespeare founded several dramas,
—the three Parts of Henry VI. and Richard I/7. He
is the most conspicuous personage of those troublous
times. He had already distinguished himself by deeds
of bravery in the Scottish wars, before his marriage
with Anne, daughter and heiress of Richard Beau-
champ, made him the most powerful nobleman in the
kingdom. By this alliance he acquired the vast estates
of the Warwick family, and became Earl of Warwick,
with the right to hand down the title to his descendants,
The immense revenues from his patrimony were aug-
mented by the income he derived from his various high
offices in the state; but his wealth was scattered with
a royal liberality. It is said that he daily fed thirty
thousand people at his numerous mansions.

The Lady Anne of Richard 777, whom the hero of
the play wooes in such novel fashion, was the youngest
daughter of the King-maker, born at Warwick Castle in
1452. Richard says, in his. soliloquy at the end of the
first scene of the play :—

“TU marry Warwick’s youngest daughter.
What though I kill’d her husband and her father ?”
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 9

Her husband was Edward, Prince of Wales, son of
Henry VI., and was slain at the battle of Tewkesbury.

The Earl of Warwick who figures in 2 Henry IV.
was the Richard Beauchamp already mentioned as the
father of Anne who became the wife of the King-maker.
He appears again in the play of Hezry V., and also in
the first scene of Henry V7, though he has nothing to
say; and, as some believe, he (and not his son) is the
Earl of Warwick in the rest of the play, in spite of cer-
tain historical difficulties which that theory involves.
In 2 Henry IV. (iii. 1. 66) Shakespeare makes the mis-
take of calling him “ Nevil” instead of Beauchamp.

The title of the Warwick earls became extinct with
the death of the King-maker on the battle-field of Bar-
net. It was then bestowed on George, Duke of Clar-
ence, who was drowned in the butt of wine by order of
his loving brother Richard. It then passed to the young
son of Clarence, who is another character in the play of
Richard IT. Ye, like his unfortunate father, was long
imprisoned in the Tower, and ultimately murdered there
after the farce of a trial on account of his alleged: com-
plicity in a plot against Henry VII. The subsequent
vicissitudes of the earldom do not appear in the pages
of Shakespeare, and we will not refer to them here.

GUY OF WARWICK. |

The dramatist was evidently familiar with the legen-
dary renown of Warwick as well as its authentic history.
Doubtless he had heard the story of the famous Guy of
Warwick in his boyhood; and later he probably visited
“Guy’s Cliff,” on the edge of the town of Warwick,
where the hero is said to have spent the closing years
10 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

of his life. Learned antiquarians, in these latter days,
have proved that his adventures are mythical, but the
common people believe in him as of old. There is his
“cave” in the side of the “cliff” on the bank of the
Avon, and his gigantic statue in the so-called chapel;
and can we not see his sword, shield, and breastplate,
his helmet and walking-staff, in the great hall of War-
wick Castle? The breastplate alone weighs more than
fifty pounds, and who but the mighty Guy could have
worn it? There too is his porridge-pot of metal, hold-
ing more than a hundred gallons, and the flesh-fork to
match. We may Hhewse see a rib and other remains
of the famous “dun cow,” which he slew after the beast
-had long been the terror of the country round about.
Unbelieving scientists doubt the bovine origin of these
interesting relics, to be sure, as they doubt the existence
of the stalwart destroyer of the animal; but the vulgar
faith in them is not to be shaken.

Of Guy’s many exploits the most noted was his con-
flict with a gigantic Saracen, Colbrand by name, who
was fighting with the Danes against Athelstan in the
tenth century, and was slain by Guy, as the old ballad
narrates. Subsequently Guy went on a pilgrimage to
the Holy Land, leaving his wife in charge of his castle.
Years passed, and he did not return. Meanwhile his
lady lived an exemplary life, and from time to time be-

' stowed her alms on a poor pilgrim who had made his
appearance at a secluded cell by the Avon, not far from
the castle. She may sometimes have talked with him
about her husband, whom she now gave up as lost, as-
suming that he had perished by the fever of the East or
the sword of the infidel. At last she received a sum-
mons to visit the aged pilgrim on his death-bed, when,
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY II

to her astonishment, he revealed himself as the long-
lost Guy. In his early days, when he was wooing the
lady, she had refused to give him her hand unless he
performed certain deeds of prowess. These had not
been accomplished without sins that weighed upon his
conscience during his absence in Palestine; and he
had made a vow to lead a monastic life after his return
to his native land.

The legend, like others of the kind, was repeated in
varied forms; and, according to one of these, when
Guy came back to Warwick he begged alms at the gate
of his. castle. His wife did not recognize him, and he
took this as a sign that the wrath of Heaven was not
yet appeased. Thereupon he withdrew to the cell in
the cliff, and did not make himself known to ‘his wife
until he was at the point of death.

Shakespeare refers to Guy in Henry VIZ. (v. 4. 22),
where a man exclaims, ‘I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy,
nor Colbrand”; and Colbrand is mentioned again in
King Fohn (i. 1.225) as “ Colbrand the giant, that same
mighty man.”

The scene of Guy’s legendary retreat on the bank of
the Avon is a charming spot, and there was certainly a
hermitage here at a very early period. Richard Beau-
champ founded a chantry for two priests in 1422, and
left directions in his will for rebuilding the chapel and
setting up the statue of Guy in it. At the dissolution
of the monasteries in the time of Henry VIII. the chapel
and its possessions were bestowed upon a gentleman
named Flammock, and the place has been a private
residence ever since, though the present mansion was
not built until the beginning of the eighteenth century.
There is an ancient mill on the Avon not far from the
12 SHAKESPEARE THE BOV

house, commanding a beautiful view of the river and
the cliff. The celebrated actress, Mrs. Siddons, lived
for some time at Guy’s Cliff as waiting-maid to Lady
Mary Greatheed, whose husband built the mansion.

KENILWORTH CASTLE,

But we must now go on to Kenilworth, though we
cannot linger long within its dilapidated walls, majestic
even in ruin. If, as Scott says, Warwick is the finest
example of its kind yet uninjured by time and kept up
as a’ noble residence, Kenilworth is the most stupen-
dous of similar structures that have fallen to decay. It
was ancient in Shakespeare’s day, having been origi-
nally built at the end of the eleventh century. Two
hundred years later, in 1266, it was held for six months
by the rebellious barons against Hengg, III. After hav-
ing passed through sundry hands and undergone divers
vicissitudes of fortune, it was given by Elizabeth to
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who spent, in en-
larging and adorning it, the enormous sum of £60,000
—three hundred thousand dollars, equivalent to at least
two millions now. Scott, in his novel of Kenilworth,
describes it, with no exaggeration’ of romance—for ex-
aggeration would hardly be possible—as it was then.
Its very gate-house, still standing complete, was, as
Scott says, “equal in extent and superior in architect-
ure to the baronial castle of many a northern chief”;
but this was the mere portal of the majestic structure,
enclosing seven acres with its walls, equally impreg-
nable as a fortress and magnificent as a palace.

There were great doings at this castle of Kenilworth
in 1575, when Shakespeare was eleven years old, and the


SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 13

good people from all the country roundabout thronged
to see them. Then it was that Queen Elizabeth was
entertained by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and
from July gth to July 27th there was a succession of .
holiday pageants in the most sumptuous and elaborate

















GATE-HOUSE OF KENILWORTH CASTLE

style of the time. Master Robert Laneham, whose ac-
curacy as a chronicler is not to be doubted, though he
may have been, as Scott calls him, “as great a coxcomb
as ever blotted paper,” mentions, as a proof of the earl’s
hospitality, that “the clock bell rang not a note all the
while her highness was there; the clock stood also still
Iq : SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

withal; the hands stood firm and fast, always pointing
at two o’clock,” the hour of banquet! ‘The quantity of
beer drunk on the occasion was 320 hogsheads, and the
total expense of the entertainments is said to have been
£1000 ($5000) a day.

John Shakespeare, as a well-to-do citizen of Stratford,
would be likely to see something of that stately show,
and it is. not improbable that he took his son William
with him. The description in the Midsummer-Night's

' Dream (ii. 1.150) of

‘a mermaid on a dolphin’s back
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious sounds
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,”

appears to be a reminiscence of certain features of the
Kenilworth pageant. The minstrel Arion figured there,
on a dolphin’s back, singing of course; and Triton, in
the likeness of a mermaid, commanded the waves to be
still; and among the fireworks there were shooting-stars
that fell into the water, like the stars that, as Oberon

adds
“shot madly from their spheres

To hear the sea-maid’s music.”

When Shakespeare was writing that early play, with its
scenes in fairy-land, what more natural than that this
youthful visit to what must then have seemed veritable
fairy-land should recur to his memory and blend with
the creations of his fancy ?

COVENTRY.

The road from Warwick to. Kenilworth is one of the
loveliest in England; and that from Kenilworth five


LUMAR ELS
K

7








COVENTRY CHURCHES AND PAGEANT
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 4 1s

miles further on to Coventry is acknowledged to be the
most beautiful in the kingdom ; yet it is only a different
kind of beauty from the other, as that is from the beauty
of the road between Warwick and Stratford.

Till you reach Kenilworth you have all the varieties

_ of charming rural scenery—hill and dale, field and
forest, river-bank and village, hall and castle and church,
grouping themselves in ever-changing pictures of beauty
and grandeur; and now you come to a straight road for
nearly five miles, bordered on both sides by a double
line of stately elms and sycamores, as impressive in its
regularity as the preceding stretch had been in its kalei-
doscopic mutations.
_ This magnificent avenue with its over-arching foliage
brings us to Coventry, no inean city in our day, but re-
taining only a remnant of its ancient glory. In the
time of Shakespeare it was the third city in the realm—
the “ Prince’s. Chamber,” as it was called—unrivalled
in the.splendor of its monastic institutions, “full of as-
sociations of regal state and chivalry and high events.”

In 1397 it had been the scene of the famous hostile
meeting between Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford
(afterwards Henry IV.), and Thomas Mowbray, Duke
of Norfolk, which Shakespeare has immortalized in
Richard If Water Henry IV. held more than one
parliament here; and the city was often visited and
honored with many marks of favor by Henry VI. and
his queen, as also by Richard III., Henry VII., Eliza-
beth, and James I.

Coventry, moreover, played an important part in the
history of the English Drama. It was renowned for
the religious plays performed by the Grey Friars of its
great monastery, and kept up, though with diminished
16 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

pomp, even after the dissolution of their establishment.
It was not until 1580 that these pageants were entirely
suppressed ; and Shakespeare, who was then sixteen
years old, may have been an eye-witness of the latest
of them. No doubt he heard stories of their attractions
in former times, when, as we are told by Dugdale, they
were “acted with mighty state and reverence by the
friars of this house, had theatres for the several scenes,
very large and high, placed upon wheels, and drawn to
all the eminent parts of the city for the better advan-
tage of spectators; and contained the story of the New
Testament composed into old English rhyme.” There
were forty-three of these ancient plays, performed by the
monks until, as Tennyson puts it,

“Bluff Harry broke into the spence,
And turned the cowls adrift.”

When the boy Shakespeare saw them —if he did see
them—they were played by the different guilds, or as-
sociations of tradespeople. Thus the Nativity and the
Offering of the Magi, with the Flight into Egypt and
the Slaughter of the Innocents, were rendered by the
company of Shearmen and Tailors; the Smiths’ pag-
eant was the Crucifixion; that of the Cappers was the
Resurrection; and so on. The account-books of the
guilds are still extant, with charges for helmets for
Herod and gear for his wife, for a beard for Judas and
the rope to hang him, etc. In the accounts of the
Drapers, whose pageant was the Last Judgment, we
find outlays for a “link to set'the world on fire,” “the
barrel for the earthquake,” and kindred stage “ prop-
erties.”

s
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 17

In the books of the Smiths or Armorers, some of the
charges are as follows :—

“ Ttem, paid for v. schepskens for gods cote and for
makyng, liis.

Jtem, paid for mendyng of Herods hed and a myter
and other thyngs, iis. .

Jtem, paid for dressyng of the devells hede, viiid.

Jtem, paid for a pair of gloves for god, iid.”

The most elaborate and costly of the properties was
“Hell-Mouth,” which was used in several plays, but
specially in the representation of the Last Judgment.
This was a huge and grotesque head of canvas, with
vast gaping mouth armed with fangs and vomiting
flames. The jaws were made to open and shut, and
through them the Devil made his entrance and the lost
souls their exit. The making and repairing of this
was a constant expense, and frequent entries like the
following occur in the books of the guilds :—

“ Paide for making and painting hell mouth, xiid.

Paid for keping of fyer at hell mouthe, iiiid.”

Many curious details of the actors’ dresses have come
down to us. The representative of Christ wore a coat
of white leather, painted and gilded, and a gilt wig.
King Herod wore a mask and a helmet, sometimes of
iron, adorned with gold and silver foil, and bore a sword
and asceptre. He was a very important character, and
the manner in which he blustered and raged about the

stage became proverbial. In Hamlet (iii. 2. 16) we
have the expression, “It out-herods Herod” ; and in the
Merry Wives of WOES (ii. x. 20), “ What a Herod of
Jewry is this!”

All the actors were paid for their services, the amount
varying with the importance of the part. The same

,
2
18 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

actor, as in the theatres of Shakespeare’s day, often
played several parts. In addition to the payment of
money, there was a plentiful supply of refreshments,
especially of ale, for the actors. Pilate, who received
the highest pay of the company, was moreover allowed
wine instead of ale during the performance.

Reference has been made above to the “lost souls”
in connection with Hell-Mouth. There were also “saved
souls,” who were dressed in white, as the lost were in
black, or black and yellow. ‘There is an allusion to the
latter in Henry V. (i. 3. 43), where the flea on Bar-
dolph’s rubicund nose is compared to “a black soul
burning in hell-fire.”

The Devil wore a dress of black leather, with a mask,
and carried a club, with which he laid about him vigor-
ously. His clothes were often covered with feathers or
horsehair, to ‘give him a shaggy appearance; and the
traditional horns, tail, and cloven feet were sometimes
added.

The regular time for these religious pageants was
Corpus Christi Day, or the Thursday after Trinity Sun-
day, but they were occasionally performed on other
days, especially at the time of a royal visit to Cov-
entry, like that of Queen Margaret in 1455. Prince
Edward was thus greeted in 1474, Prince Arthur in
1498, Henry VIII. in t510, and Queen Elizabeth in
1565.

Shakespeare has other allusions to these old plays
besides those here mentioned, showing that he knew
them by report if he had not seen them.

Historical pageants, not Biblical in subject, were also
familiar to the good people of Coventry a century at
least before the dramatist was born.. “The Nine Wor-
_SHAKESPEARE THE BOY | 19

. thies,” which he has burlesqued in Zove’s Labour’s Lost,
was acted there before Henry VI. and his queen in
1455. The original text of the play has been preserved,
and portions of Shakespeare’s travesty seem almost
like a parody of it.

But we must not linger in the shadow of the “three
tall spires” of Coventry, nor make more than a brief
allusion to the legend of Godiva, the lady who rode
naked through the town to save the people from a bur-
densome tax. It was an old story in Shakespeare’s
time, if, indeed, it had not been dramatized, like other
chapters in the mythic annals of the venerable city. It
has been proved to be without historical foundation,
being mentioned by no writer before the, fourteenth
century, though the Earl who figures in the tale lived
in the latter part of the eleventh century. The Bene-
dictine Priory in Coventry, of which some fragments
still remain, is said to have been founded by him in
1043. He died in 1057, and both he and his lady were
buried in the porch of the monastery.

The effigy of “ Peeping Tom ” is still to be seen in the
upper part of a house at the corner of Hertford Street
in Coventry.

Shakespeare makes no reference to this story of Lady
Godiva, though it was probably well known to him.

| CHARLECOTE HALL.

Returning to Warwick, and travelling eight miles on
the other side of the town, we come to Stratford. By
one of the two roads we may take we pass Charlecote
Hall and Park, associated with the tradition of Shake-
20 . SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

speare’s deer-poaching—a fine old mansion, seen across
a breadth of fields dotted with tall elms.

‘The winding Avon skirts the enclosure to the west.
The house, which has been in the possession of the
Lucy family ever since the days of Shakespeare, stands
at the water’s edge. It has been enlarged in recent
times, but the original structure has undergone no ma-
terial change. It was begun in 1gs58, the year when |

































































* CHARLECOTE HALL

Elizabeth came to the throne, and was probably finished
in 1559. It took the place of a much older mansion of
which no trace remains, the ancestors of Sir Thomas
Lucy having then held the estate for more than five
centuries. The ground plan of the house is in the form
of a capital letter E, being so arranged as a compli-
ment to the Virgin Queen; and only one out of many
such tributes paid her by noble builders of the time.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 21

Over the main door are the royal arms, with the letters
E. R., together with the initials of the owner, T. L.

Within there is little to remind one of the olden time,
but some of the furniture of the library,—chairs, couch,
and cabinet of coromandel-wood inlaid with ivory,—is
said to have been presented by Elizabeth to Leicester
in 1575, and to have been brought from Kenilworth in
the seventeenth century. There is a modern bust of
Shakespeare in the hall.

The tradition that the dramatist in his youth was
guilty of deer-stealing in Sir Thomas’s park is not im-
probable. Some critics have endeavored to prove that
there was no deer-park at Charlecote at that time; but
Lucy had other estates in the neighborhood, on some
of which he employed game-keepers, and in March,
1585, about the date of the alleged poaching, he intro-
duced a bill into Parliament for the better preservation
of game.

The strongest argument in favor of the tradition is
to be based on the evidence furnished by the plays that
Shakespeare had a grudge against Sir Thomas, and car-
icatured him as Justice Shallow in Henry /V. and The
Merry Wives of Windsor. The reference in the latter
play to the “dozen white luces” on Shallow’s coat of
. arms is palpably meant to suggest the three luces, or
pikes, in the arms of the Lucys. The manner in which
the dialogue dwells on the device indicates that some
personal satire was intended.

It should be understood that poaching was then re-
garded, except by the victims of it, as a venial offence.
Sir Philip Sidney’s May Lady calls deer-stealing “a
ptettie service.’ The students at Oxford were the
most notorious poachers in the kingdom, in spite of laws
22 SHAKESPEARE THE.BOY

making expulsion from the university the penalty of de-
tection. Dr. Forman relates how two students in 1573
(one of whom afterwards became Bishop of Worces-’
ter) were more given to such pursuits than to study;
and one good man lamented in later life that he had
missed the advantages that others had derived from



"ENTRANCE TO CHARLECO'TE HALL

these exploits, which he believed to be an excellent
kind of discipline for young men.

We must not assume that Sir Thomas was fairly rep-
resented in the character of Justice Shallow. On the
contrary, he appears to have been an able man and
magistrate, and very genial withal. The Stratford rec-
ords bear frequent testimony to his judicial services; _
and his attendance on such occasions is generally
SHAKESPEARE THE ‘BOY 23

coupled with a charge for claret and sack or similar
beverages. It is rather amusing that these entries
occur even when he is sitting in judgment on tipplers.
In the records for 1558 we read: “ Paid for wine and
sugar when Sir Thomas Lucy sat in commission for
tipplers, xx.d.”

That he was a good husband we may infer from the
long epitaph of his wife in Charlecote Church, which,
after stating that. she died
in 1595, at the age of 63,
goes on thus: “‘all the time
of her life a true and faith-°
ful servant of her good
God ; never detected of any
crime or vice; -in religion
most sound; in love to. her
husband most faithful and
true; in friendship most
constant; to what in trust
was committed to her most
secret; in wisdom excelling ;
in governing of her house
and bringing up of youth
in the fear of God that did
converse with her, most rare and singular; a great
maintainer of hospitality; greatly esteemed of her bet-
ters, misliked of none unless of the envious. When all

is spoken that can be said, a woman so furnished and
garnished with virtue as not to be bettered, and hardly
to be equalled by any. As she lived most virtuously,
so she died most godly. Set down by him that best
did know what hath been written to be true, Zomas
Lucy.”



SIR THOMAS LUCY
24 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

The author of this beautiful tribute may have been
a severe magistrate, but he could not have been a
Robert Shallow either in his official capacity or as a
man.

STRATFORD-ON-AVON.

Stratford lies on a gentle slope declining to the Avon,
whose banks are here shaded by venerable willows,
which the poet may have had in mind when he painted
the scene of poor Ophelia’s death :—

“There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.”

The description could have been written only by one
who had observed the reflection of the white underside
of the willow-leaves in the water over which they hung.
And I cannot help believing that Shakespeare was
mindful of the Avon when in far-away London he
wrote that singularly musical simile of the river in one
of his earliest plays, Zhe Two Gentlemen of Verona, so
aptly does it give the characteristics of the Warwick-
shire stream :

“The current that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know’st, being stopp’d, impatiently doth rage;
. But when his fair course is not hindered,
’ He makes sweet music with the enamell’d stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;
And so by many winding nooks he strays,
With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course:
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 25

And make a pastime of each weary step,

Till the last step have brought me to my love;
And there I’ll rest, as, after much turmoil,

A blessed soul doth in Elysium.”

The river cannot now be materially different from
what it was three hundred years ago, but the town has
changed a good deal. I fear that we might not have
enjoyed a visit to it in that olden time as we do in
these latter days.

It is not pleasant to learn that the poet’s father was
fined for. maintaining a sterguinarium, which being
translated from the Latin is dung-heap, in front of his
house in Henley Street—now, like the other Stratford
streets, kept as clean as any cottage-floor in the town
—and we have ample evidence that the general sani: °
tary condition of the place was very bad. John Shake-
speare would probably not have been fined if his ste~
guinarium had been behind his house instead of be-
fore it.

Stratford, however, was no worse in this respect than
other English towns. The terrible plagues that devas-
tated the entire land in those “good old times” were
the natural result of the unwholesome habits of life
everywhere prevailing—everywhere, for the mansions of
noblemen and the palaces of kings were as filthy as the
hovels of peasants. The rushes with which royal pres-
ence-chamber and banquet-hall were strewn in place of
carpets were not changed until they had become too
unsavory for endurance. Meanwhile disagreeable odors
were overcome by burning perfumes—of which practice
we have a hint in Much Ado About Nothing in the refer-
ence to “smoking a musty room.”
26 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

But away from these musty rooms of great men’s
houses, and the foul streets and lanes of towns, field
and forest and river-bank were as clean and sweet as
now. The banished Duke in 4s You Like Jt may have
had other reasons than he gives for preferring life in
the Forest of Arden to that of the court from which he
had been driven; and Shakespeare’s delight in out-of-
door life may have been intensified by his experience
of the house in Healey Street, with the reeking pile of
filth at the front door.

His poetry is everywhere full of the beauty and fra-
grance of the flowers that bloom in and about Strat-
ford; and the wonderful accuracy of his allusions to
them—their colors, their habits, their time of blossom-
ing, everything concerning them—shows how thorough-
ly at home he was with them, how intensely he loved
and studied them.

Mr. J. R. Wise, in his Shakespeare, His Birthplace and
its Neighbourhood, says: “Take up what play you will,
and you will find glimpses of the scenery round Strat-
ford. His maidens ever sing of ‘blue-veined violets,’
and ‘daisies pied,’ and ‘ pansies that are for thoughts,’

and ‘ladies’-smocks all silver-white,’ that still stud the

meadows of the Avon. . .. I do not think it is any ex-
aggeration to say that nowhere are meadows so full of
beauty as those round Stratford. I have seen them by
the riverside in early spring burnished with gold; and
then later, a little before hay-harvest, chased with or-
chises, and blue and white milkwort, and yellow rattle-
grass, and tall moon-daisies : and I know nowhere wood-
lands so sweet as those round Stratford, filled with the
soft green light made by the budding leaves, and paved
with the golden ore of primroses, and their banks veined
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 27

with violets. All this, and the tenderness that such
beauty gives, you find in the pages of Shakespeare;
and it is not too much to say that he painted them be-
cause they were ever associated in his mind with all
that he held precious and dear, both of the earliest and
the latest scenes of his life.”

THE EARLY HISTORY OF STRATFORD.

Stratford is a very ancient town. Its name shows
that it was situated at a ford on the Roman séreet, or
highway, from London to Birmingham, but whether it
was an inhabited place during the Roman occupation
is uncertain. The eatliest known reference to the town
is in a charter dated a.p. 691, according to which
Egwin, the Bishop of Worcester, obtained from Ethel-
red, King of Mercia, “the monastery of Stratford,” with
lands of about three thousand acres, in exchange for a
religious house built by the bishop at Fladbury. It is
not improbable that Stratford owes its foundation to
this monastic settlement. Tradition says that the mon-
astery stood where the church now is ;- and, as else-
where in England, the first houses of the town were
probably erected for its servants and dependants. These
dwellings were doubtless near the river, in the street
that has been known for centuries as “Old Town.”

The district continued to be a manor of the Bishop
of Worcester until after the Norman Conquest in 1066.
According to the Domesday survey in 1085, its territory
was “fourteen.and a half hides,” or about two thou-
sand acres. It was of smaller extent than in 691, be-
cause the neighboring villages had become separate
- manors. The inhabitants were a priest, who doubtless
28 » SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

officiated in the chapel of the old monastery (of which
we find no mention after the year 872), with twenty-one
villeins and seven dordarii, or cottagers. The families
of these residents would make up a population of about
one hundred and fifty. ‘“ Every householder, whether -
villein or cottager, evidently possessed a plough. The
community owned altogether thirty-one ploughs, of which
three belonged to the bishop, the lord of the manor.”
The agricultural produce was chiefly wheat, barley, and
oats. A water-mill stood by the river, probably where
. the old mill now is; and there the villagers were obliged
to grind all their corn, paying a fee for the privilege.
In 1085 the annual income from the mill was ten shil-
lings, but the bishop was often willing to accept eels in
payment of the fees, and a thousand eels were then
sent yearly to Worcester by the people who used the
mill.

During the 12th century Stratford appears to have
made little progress. Alveston, now a small village on
the other side of the Avon, seemed likely then to rival
itin prosperity. The boundaries of the Alveston manor
were gradually extended until they reached their pres-
ent limit on the south side of the bridge at Stratford
(at that time a rude wooden structure), and there a
little colony was planted which was known until after
the Elizabethan period as. Bridgetown.

We get an idea of the life led by the majority of the
inhabitants of Stratford and its vicinity in the 12th and
13th centuries from the ecclesiastical records of the
various services and payments rendered as rent. Many
of the large estates outside of the town had been let as
“‘knight’s fees,” that is, on condition of certain military .
services to be performed by the holders. Some of the
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 29

villeins within the village had become “free tenants,”
or free from serfdom, and were permitted to cultivate
their land as they pleased on payment of a fixed rental
in money, with little or no labor service in addition.
But most of the inhabitants were still villeins or cot-
tagers, from whom labor service was regularly exacted.
“ Villeins who owned sixty acres had to supply two men
for reaping the lord’s fields, and cottagers with thirty
acres supplied one. On a special day an additional
reaping service was to:be performed by villeins and cot-
tagers with all their families except their wives and
shepherds. Each of the free tenants had then also to
find a reaper, and to direct the reaping himself... .
The villein was to provide two carts for the conveyance
of the corn to the barns, and every cottager who owned :
a horse provided one cart, for the use of which he was
to receive a good morning meal of bread and cheese-
One day’s hoeing was expected of the villein and three
days’ ploughing, and if an additional day were called
for, food was supplied free to the workers. . . . No
villein nor cottager was allowed to bring up his child
for the church without permission of the lord of the
manor. A fee had to be paid when a daughter of a
villein or cottager was married. On his death his best
wagon was claimed by the steward in his lord’s behalf,
and a fine of money was exacted from his successor—
if, as the record wisely adds, he could pay one. Any
townsman who made beer for sale paid for the priv-
ilege.”’

In 1197 the inhabitants obtained for the town from
Richard I. the privilege of a weekly market, to be holden
on Thursdays, for which the citizens paid the bishop a
yearly toll of sixteen shillings. The market was doubt-
30 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

less held at first in the open space still known as the
Rother Market, in the centre of which the Memorial
Fountain, the gift of Mr. George W. Childs of Philadel-
phia, now stands. other is an old word, of Anglo-
Saxon origin, applied to cattle, which must have been a
staple commodity in the early Stratford market. The
term was familiar to Shakespeare, who uses it in Timon
of Athens (iv. 3. 12) :—

“It is the pasture lards the rother’s sides,
The want that makes him lean.”

In the course of the 11th century Stratford was also
endowed with a series of annual fairs, “the chief stimu-
‘lants of trade in the middle ages.” The earliest of
these fairs was granted by the Bishop of Worcester in
1216, to begin “on the eve of the Holy Trinity, and to
continue for the next two days ensuing.” In 1224 a
fair was established for the eve of St. Augustine (May
26th) “and on the day and morrow after”; in 1242, for
the eve of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Septem-
ber r4th), “the day, and two days following”; and in
1271, “for the eve of the Ascension of our Lord, com-
monly called Holy Thursday, and upon the day and
morrow following.” arly in the next century (1313)
another fair was instituted, to begin on the eve of St.
Peter and St. Paul (June 2gth) and to be held for fifteen
days.

‘Trinity Sunday was doubtless chosen for the open-
ing of the first of these fairs because the parish church
was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and a festival in
commemoration of the dedication of the church was _
celebrated on that Sunday by a “wake,” which attracted




re a

STRATFORD CHURCH
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 31

many people from the neighboring villages. “There
was nothing exceptional in a Sunday of specially sacred
character being turned to commercial uses. In most
medieval towns, moreover, traders exposed their wares
at fair-time in the churchyard, and chaffering and bar-
gaining were conducted in the church itself.” Attempts
were made by the ecclesiastical authorities to restrain
these practices, but they continued until the Reforma-
tion.

At the close of the. 13th century the prosperity of
Stratford was assured. Alveston had then ceased to be
a dangerous rival. The town was more and more profit-
able to the Bishops of Worcester, who interested them-
selves in promoting its welfare. It appears also that
Bishop Gifford had a park here ; for on the 3d of May,
1280, he sent his injunctions to the deans of Stratford
and the adjacent towns “solemnly to excommunicate
all those that had broke his park and stole his deer.”

In the rq4th century the condition of the Stratford
folk materially improved. Villeinage gradually disap-
peared in the reign of Edward III. (14327-1377), and
those who had been subject to it became free tenants,
paying definite rents for house and land. Three na-
tives of the town, who, after the fashion of the time,
took their surnames from the place of their birth, rose
to high positions in the Church, one becoming Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, and the others respectively

3ishops of London and Chichester. John of Stratford

and Robert of Stratford were brothers, and Ralph of
Stratford was their nephew. John and Robert were
both for a time Chancellors of England, and there is no
other instance of two brothers attaining that high office
in succession.
32 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

All three had a great affection for their native town,
and did much to promote its welfare. Robert, while
holding the living of Stratford, took measures for the





















STRATFORD CHURCH, WEST END

paving of some of the main streets. John enlarged the
parish church, rebuilding portions of it, and founded
a chantry with five priests to perform masses for the
souls of the founder and his friends. Later he pur-
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 33

chased the patronage of Stratford from the Bishop of
Worcester, and gave it to his chantry priests, who thus
came into full control of the parish church. Ralph, in
1351, built for the chantry priests “a house of square
stone for the habitation of these priests, adjoining to
the churchyard.” This building, afterwards known as
the College, remained in possession of the priests until
1546, when Henry VIII. included it in the dissolution
of monastic establishments. After passing through va-
rious hands as a private residence, it was finally taken
down in 1799.

Other inhabitants of Stratford followed the example
set by John and Ralph in their benefactions to the
church. Dr. Thomas Bursall, warden of the College in
the time of Edward IV., added “a fair and beautiful
choir, rebuilt from the ground at his own cost”—the
choir which is still the most beautiful portion of the
venerable edifice, and in which Shakespeare lies buried.

The only important alteration in the church since
Shakespeare’s day was the erection of the present spire
in 1764, to replace a wooden one covered with lead and
about forty feet high, which had been taken down a
year before. The tower is the oldest part of the church
as it now exists, and was probably built before the year
1200. It is eighty feet high, to which the spire adds
eighty-three feet more.

The last of the early benefactors of Stratford was
Sir Hugh Clopton, who came from the neighboring vil-
lage of Clopton about 1480. A few years later he built
“a pretty house of brick and timber wherein he lived
in his latter days.” This was the mansion afterwards
known as New Place, which in 1597 became the prop-
erty of William Shakespeare, and was his residence:

3
34 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

after he returned to his native town about 1611 or
1612,

Sir Hugh also built “the great bridge upon the Avon,
at the east end of the town,” constructed of freestone,
with fourteen arches, and a “long causeway” of stone,
“‘well walled on each side.” . . . Before this time, as
Leland the antiquarian wrote about 1530, “there was
but a poor bridge of timber, and no causeway to come
to it, whereby many poor folk, either refused to come to
Stratford when the river was up, or coming thither
stood in jeopardy of life.” ‘This bridge, though often
repaired, is to this day a monument to Sir Hugh’s pub-
lic spirit.

THE STRATFORD GUILD.

In the latter part of the 13th century an institution
attained a position and influence in Stratford which
were destined to deprive the Bishops of Worcester of
their authority in the government of the town. This
was the Guild.of the Holy Cross, the Blessed Virgin,
and St. John the Baptist, as it was then called. The
triple name has suggested that it was formed by the
union of three separate guilds, but of this no historical
evidence has been discovered.

This guild, like other of these ancient societies, had
a religious origin, being “collected for the love of God
and our souls’ need”; but relief of the poor and of its
own indigent members was also a part of its functions.

The “craft-guilds,” formed by people engaged in a
single trade or occupation, were a different class of so-
cieties, though in many instances offshoots from the re-
ligious guilds, and often, as in London, surviving the
decay of the parent institution.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 35

Members of both sexes were admitted to the Strat.
ford Guild, as to others of its class, on payment of a
small annual fee. “This primarily secured for them

































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































THE GUILD CHAPEL AND GRAMMAR SCHOOL, STRATFORD

the performance of certain religious rites, which were
more valued than life itself. While the members lived,
but more especially after their death, lighted tapers
were duly distributed in their behalf, before the altars of
36 ‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

the Virgin and of their patron saints in the parish
church. A poor man in the Middle Ages found it very
difficult, without the intervention of the guilds, to keep
this road to salvation always open. Gifts were fre-
quently awarded to members anxious to make pilgrim-
ages to Canterbury, and at times the spinster members’
received dowries from the association. The regulation
which compelled the members to attend the funeral of
any of their fellows united them among themselves in
close bonds of intimacy.”

The social spirit was fostered yet more by a great
annual meeting, at which all members were expected
to be present in special uniform. They marched with
banners flying in procession to church, and afterwards
sat down together to a generous feast.

Though of religious origin the guilds were strictly
lay associations. In many towns priests were excluded
from membership; if admitted, they had no more au-
thority or influence than laymen. Priests were em-
ployed to perform the religious services of the guild,
for which they were duly paid; but the fraternities were
governed by their own elected officers—wardens, alder-
men, beadles, and clerks—and a council of their repre-
sentatives controlled their property and looked after
their rights.

When the Stratford Guild was founded it is impos-
sible to determine. ‘Its beginning,” as its chief offi-
cers wrote in 1389, “was from time whereunto the mem-
ory of man reacheth not.” Records preserved in the
town prove that it was in existence early in the 13th
century, and that bequests were then made to it. The
Bishops of Worcester encouraged such gifts, and appar-
ently managed that some of the revenues of the Guild
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 37

should be devoted to ecclesiastical purposes outside
its own regular uses. Before the time of Edward I.
the society was rich in houses and lands; and in 1353,
as its records show, it owned a house in almost every
street in Stratford.

In 1296 the elder Robert of Stratford, father of John
and Robert (p. 31), laid the foundation of a special
chapel for the Guild, and also of adjacent almshouses.
These doubtless stood where the present chapel, Guild-
hall, and other fraternfty buildings now are,

In 1332 Edward III. gave the Guild a charter con-
firming its right to all its property and to the full control
of its own affairs. In 1389 Richard IJ. sent out com-
missioners to report upon the ordinances of the guilds
throughout England, and the report for Stratford is still
extant. It shows what a good work the society was
doing for the relief of the poor and for the promotion
of fraternal relations among its members. Regulations
for the government of the Guild by two wardens or
aldermen and six others indicate the progress of the
town in the direction of self-government. An associa-
tion which had come to include all the substantial house-
holders naturally acquired much jurisdiction in civil
affairs. Its members referred their disputes with one
another to its council; and the aldermen gradually be-
came the administrators of the municipal police. The
College priests were'very jealous of the Guild’s increas-
ing influence, and when the society resisted the pay-
ment of tithes they brought a lawsuit to compel the
fulfilment of this ancient obligation; but in all other
respects the Guild appears to have been independent
of external control.

. A curious feature of the conditions of membership in
38 : “SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

the 15th century was that the souls of the dead could
be admitted to its spiritual privileges on payment of the
regular fees by the living. Early in the century six dead
children of John Whittington of Stratford were allowed
this benefit for the sum of ten shillings.

The fame of the institution in its palmy days spread
far beyond the limits of Stratford, and attracted not
a few men of the highest rank and reputation. George,
Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV., and his wife,
were enrolled among its members, with Edward Lord
Warwick and Margaret, two of their children; and the
distinguished judge, Sir Thomas Lyttleton, received the
same honor. Few towns or villages of Warwickshire
were without representation in it, and merchants joined
it from places as far away as Bristol and Peterborough.

To us, however, the most remarkable fact in the his-
tory of the Guild is the establishment of the Grammar
School for the children of its members. The date of
its foundation has been usually given as 1453, but it is
now known to have been in existence before that time. .
Attendance was free, and the master, who was paid ten
pounds a-year by the Guild, was forbidden to take any-
thing from the pupils. In this school, as we shall see
later, William Shakespeare was educated, and we shall
become better acquainted with it when we follow the
boy thither.

The Guild Chapel, with the exception of the chancel,
which had been renovated about 1450, was taken down
and rebuilt in the closing years of the century by Sir
‘Hugh Clopton (see page 34 above), who was a promi-
nent member of the fraternity. The work was not fin-
ished until after his death in September, 1496, but the
expense of its completion was provided for in his will.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 39

THE STRATFORD CORPORATION.

The Guild was dissolved by Henry VIII. in 1547,
and its possessions remained as crown property until
1553. For seven years the town had been without any
responsible government. Meanwhile the leading citi-
zens— the old officers of the Guild—had petitioned
Edward VI. to restore that society as a municipal cor-
poration. He granted their prayer, and by a charter
dated June 7, 1553, put the government of the town in
the hands of its inhabitants. The estates, revenues, and
chattels of the Guild were made over to the corpora-
tion, which, as the heir and successor of the venerable
fraternity, adopted the main features of its organization.
The names and functions of its chief officers were but
slightly changed. The warden became the bailiff, and
the proctors were called chamberlains, but aldermen,
clerk, and beadle resumed their old titles. The com-
mon council continued to meet monthly in the Guild-
-hall; but it now included, besides the bailiff and ten
aldermen, the ten chief burgesses, and its authority cov-
ered the whole town. ‘The fraternal sentiment of the
ancient society survived; it being ordered “that none
of the aldermen nor none of the.capital burgesses,
neither in the council chamber nor elsewhere, do revile
one another, but brother-like live together, and that after
they be entered into the council chamber, that they nor
none of them depart not forth but in brotherly love,
under the pains of every offender to forfeit and pay for
every default, vjs. viijd”’ When any councillor or his
wife died, all were to attend the funeral “in their honest
apparel, and bring the corpse to the church, there to con-
tinue and abide devoutly until the corpse be buried.”

rs
‘40 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

The Grammar School and the chapel and almshouses
of the Guild became public institutions. The bailiff
became a magistrate who presided at a monthly court
for the recovery of small debts, and at the higher semi-
annual ée¢s, or court-leets, to which all the inhabitants
were summoned to revise and enforce the police reg-
ulations. Shakespeare alludes to these leets in Zhe
Taming of the Shrew (ind. 2.89) where the servant tells
Kit Sly that he has been talking in his sleep :—

“Yet would you say ye were beaten out of door,
And rail upon the mistress of the house,
And say you would present her at the leet
Because she brought stone jugs and no seal’d quarts.”

And Iago (Orhello, iii. 3. 140) refers to “leets and law-
days.” Prices of bread and beer were fixed by the
council, and ale-tasters were annually appointed to see
that the orders concerning the quality and price of malt
liquors and bread were enforced. Shakespeare’s fathér
was an ale-taster in 1557, and about the same time was
received into the corporation as a burgess. In 1561 he
was elected as one of the two chamberlains ; in 1565 he
became an alderman ; and in 1568 he was chosen bailiff,
the highest official position in the town.

The rule of the council was of a very paternal char-
acter. “If aman lived immorally he was summoned to
the Guildhall, and rigorously examined as to the truth
of the rumors that had reached the bailiff’s ear. If his
guilt was proved, and he refused to make adequate
reparation, he was invited to leave the town. Rude
endeavors were made to sweeten the tempers of scold-
ing wives. A substantial ‘ducking-stool,’ with iron
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 41

staples, lock, and hinges, was kept in good repair. The
shrew was attached to it, and by means of ropes, planks,
and wheels was plunged two or three times into the
Avon whenever the municipal council believed her to
stand in need of correction. Three days and three
nights were invariably spent in the open stocks by any
inhabitant who spoke disrespectfully to any town officer,
or who disobeyed any minor municipal decree. No one
might receive a stranger into his house without the
bailiff’s permission. No journeyman, apprentice, or
servant might ‘be forth of their or his master’s house’
after nine o’clock at night. Bowling-alleys and butts
were provided by the council, but were only to be used
at stated times. An alderman was fined on one occa-
sion for going to bowls after a morning meeting of the
council, and Henry Sydnall was fined twenty pence for
keeping unlawful or unlicensed bowling in a back shed.
-Alehouse-keepers, of whom there were thirty in Shake-
speare’s time, were kept strictly under the council’s con-
trol. They were not allowed to brew their own ale, or
to encourage tippling, or to serve poor artificers except
at stated hours of the day, on pain of fine and imprison-
ment. Dogs were not to go about the streets unmuzzled.
Every inhabitant had to go to church at least once a
month, and absences were liable to penalties of twenty
pounds, which in the late years of Elizabeth’s reign com-
missioners came from London to see that the local
authorities enforced. Early in the 17th century swear-
ing was rigorously prohibited. Laws as to dress were
regularly enforced. In 1577 there were many fines
exacted for failure to wear the plain statute woollen
caps on Sundays, to which Rosaline makes allusion in
Love's Labour’s Lost (v. 2. 281); and the regulation


3
‘o
6
g
S


“SHAKESPEARE THE BOY ‘43

affected all inhabitants above six years of age. In
1604 ‘the greatest part’ of the inhabitants were pre-
sented at a great leet, or law-day, ‘for wearing their
apparel contrary to the statute.’ Nor would it be diffi-
cult to quote many other like proofs of the persistent
strictness with which the new town council of Stratford,
by the enforcement of its own order and the statutes of
the realm, regulated the inhabitants’ whole conduct of
life.”

THE TOPOGRAPHY OF STRATFORD.

No map of Stratford made before the middle of
the 18th century is known to exist. The one. here
given in fac-simile was executed about the year 1768,
and, as Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps tells us, “it clearly ap-
pears from the local records that there had then been
no material alteration in either the form or the extent
of the town since the days of Elizabeth, It may there-
fore be accepted as a reliable guide to the locality as
it existed in the poet’s own time, when the number of
inhabited houses, exclusive of mere hovels, could not
have much exceeded five hundred.”

The following is a copy of the references which are
appended to the original map: “1. Moor Town's End;
—z. Henley Lane;—3. Rother Market;—4. Henley
Street;—5. Meer Pool Lane;—6. Wood Street ;—7.
Ely Street or Swine Street ;—8. Scholar’s Lane alias
Tinker’s Lane ;—g. Bull Lane ;—ro. Street call’d Old
Town ;—11. Church Street ;—12. Chapel Street ;—13.
High Street ;—14. Market Cross ;—15. Town Hall ;—
16. Place where died Shakespeare ;—17. Chapel, Public
Schools, &c.;—18. House where was Shakespeare
born ;—19. Back Bridge Street;— 20. Fore Bridge
\
44 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

Street; 21. Sheep Street ;—22. Chapel Lane ;— 23.
Buildings call’d Water Side ;—24. Southam’s Lane ;—
2s, Dissenting Meeting ;—26. White Lion.”

Moor Town’s End (t) is now Greenhill Street. The
Town Hall (1s) did not exist in Shakespeare’s time,
having been first erected in 1633, taken down in 1767,
and rebuilt the following year. The “ Place where died
Shakespeare ” (16) was New Place, the home of his
later years. The “Dissenting Meeting” or Meeting-
house (25) was built long after the poet’s day. The
“White Lion” (26) was also. post-Shakespearian, the
chief inns in the 16th century being the Swan, the
Bear, and the Crown, all in Bridge Street. The Mill
and Mill Bridge (built in 1590) are indicated on the
river at the left-hand lower corner of the map; and the
stone bridge, erected by Sir Hugh Clopton about 1500,
is just outside the right-hand lower corner.

The only important change in the streets since
the map was made is the removal of the row of small
shops and stalls, known as Middle Row, between Fore
Bridge Street (20); and Back Bridge Street (19); thus
making the broad avenue now called Bridge Street.

The “ Market Cross” (14) was “a stone monument
covered by a low tiled shed, round which were benches
for the accommodation of listeners to the sermons
which, as at St. Paul’s Cross in London, were some-
times preached there.” Later a room was added above,
and a clock above that. The open space about the
Cross was the chief market-place of the town. Near
by was a pump, at which housewives were frequently
to be seen “ washing of clothes” and hanging them on
the cross to dry, and butchers sometimes hung meat
there; but these practices were forbidden by the town
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 45

council: in 1608.. The stocks, pillory, and whipping-
post were in the same locality...

There was also a stone cross in the Rarher Market
(3), and near the Guild Chapel (17) was a second pump,
which was removed by order of the council in 1595.
The field on the rivér, near the foot of Chapel Lane
(22), was. known as the. Bank-croft, or Bancroft, where
drovers and farmers of the town were allowed to. take
their cattle to pasture for an hour daily. “All horses,
geldings, mares, swine, geese, ducks, and other cattle,”
according to the regulation. established by the council,
if found there in violation of this:restriction, were put
by the beadle into the “ pinfold,” or pound, which was
not far off. This Bancroft, as it is still called, is now,
part of the beautiful little park on the river-bank,. ad-
jacent to the grounds of the Shakespeare Memorial.

Chapel Lane, which bounded one side of the New
Place estate, was one of the filthiest thoroughfares of
the town, the general sanitary condition of which (see —
page 25 above) was bad enough. A streamlet ran
through it, the water of which turned a mill, alluded to
in town records of that period. This waier-course
gradually became “a shallow fetid ditch, an open re-
ceptacle of sewage and filth.” It continued to be a
nuisance for at least two centuries more. A letter writ-
ten in 1807, in connection with a lawsuit, gives some
interesting reminiscences of it. “I very well remem-
ber,” says the writer, “the ditch you mention forty-five
years, as after my sister was married, which was in Octo-
ber, 1760, I was very often at Stratford, and was very
well acquainted both with the ditch and the road in
question ;—the ditch went from the Chapel, and ex-
tended to Smith’s house ;—I well remember there was
46 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

a space of two or three feet from the wall in a descent.
to the ditch, and I do:not think any part of the new
wall was built on the ditch ;—the ditch was the recep-
tacle for all manner of filth that any person chose to
put there, and was very obnoxious at times ;—Mr. Hunt
used to complain of it, and was determined to get it
covered over, or he would do it at his own expense, and
I do not know whether he did or not ;—across, the road
from the ditch to Shakespeare Garden was very hollow
and always full of mud, which is now covered over, and
in general there was only one wagon tract along the
lane, which used to be very bad, in the winter particu-
larly ;—I do not know that the ditch was so deep as to
overturn a carriage, and the road was very little used
near it, unless it was to turn out for another, as there
was always room enough.” Thomas Cox, a carpenter,
who lived in Chapel Lane from 1774, remembered that
the open gutter from the Chapel to Smith's cottage
“was a wide dirty ditch choked with mud, that all the
filth of that part of the town ran into it, that it was four
or five feet wide and more than a foot deep, and that
the road sloped down to the ditch.” According to other
witnesses, the ditch extended to the end of the lane,
where, between the roadway and the Bancroft, was a
narrow creek or ditch through which the overflow from
Chapel Lane no doubt found a way into the river.

Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps believes that the fever which
proved fatal to Shakespeare was caused by the “ wretch-
ed sanitary conditions surrounding his residence”
explanation of it which would never have occurred even
to medical men in that day.



an
Part II
HIS HOME LIFE

























SHAKESPEARE HOUSE, RESTORED

THE DWELLING-HOUSES OF THE TIME

Tue house in Henley Street in which William Shake-
speare was probably born and spent his early years has
undergone many changes; but, as catefully restored
in recent years and reverently preserved for a national
memorial of the poet, its appearance now is doubtless
not materially different from what it was in the latter
part of the 16th century.

There are a few houses of. the same period and the
same class still standing in Stratford and its vicinity,

4
50 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

which, according to the highest antiquarian authority,
are almost unaltered from their original form and finish.
Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps mentions one in particular in
the Rother Market, “the main features of which are
certainly in their original state,” and the sketches of
the interior given by him closely resemble those of the
Shakespeare house.

These houses were usually of two stories, and were
constructed of wooden beams, forming a framework,
the spaces between the beams being filled with lath
and plaster. The roofs were usually of thatch, with
dormer: windows and steep gables. The door was
shaded by a porch or by a pentice, or penthouse, which
was a narrow sloping roof often extending along the
the front of the lower story over both door and.win-
dows, as in Shakespeare’s birthplace on Henley Street.

In the Merchant of Venice (ii. 6. 1) Gratiano says :—

“This is the penthouse under which Lorenzo
Desired us to make stand.”

In Muck Ado About Nothing (iii. 3. 110) Borachio
says to Conrade: “Stand thee close, then, under this
penthouse, for it drizzles rain.” We find a figurative
allusion to the penthouse in Love's Labour ’s Lost (iii,
1, 17): “with your hat penthouse-like o’er the shop
of your eyes” ; and another in Macbeth (i. 3. 20) :—

“Sleep shall neither night nor day
Hang upon his penthouse lid”;

the projecting eyebrow being compared to this part of
the Elizabethan dwelling.














ROOM IN WHICH SHAKESPEARE WAS BORN
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 51

The better houses, like New Place, were of timber
and brick, instead of plaster, though sometimes entire-
ly of stone. Shakespeare appears to, have rebuilt the
greater part of New Place with stone. The roofs of
this class of dwellings were usually tiled, but occasion-
ally thatched. We read of one Walter Roche, who in
1582 replaced the tiles of his house in Chapel Street
with thatch. The wood-work in’the front of some
houses, as in a fine example still to be seen in the High
Street (page 59 below), was elaborately carved with
floral and other designs.

The gardens were bounded by walls constructed of
clay or mud and usually thatched at the top. Fruit-
trees were commen in these gardens, and the orchard
about the Guild buildings was noted for its plums and
apples. When the mulberry-tree was first introduced
into England, Shakespeare bought one and set it out
in his grounds at New Place, where it grew to great
size. It survived for nearly a century and a half after
the death of the poet, but in 1758 was cut down by the
Rev. Francis Gastrell, who had bought the estate in
1756.

There was little of what we should regard as comfort
in those picturesque old English houses, with their great
black beams chequering the outer walls into squares
and triangles, their small many-paned windows, their
low ceilings and rude interior wood-work, their poor
and scanty furnishings.

Chimneys had but just come into general use in n Eng-
land, and, though John Shakespeare’s house had one,
the dwellings of many of his neighbors were still un-
provided with them. In 1582, when William was eigh-
teen years old, an order was passed by the town council
52 ‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

that “ Walter -Hill, dwelling in Rother Market, and all
the other inhabitants of the borough, shall, before St.
James’s Day, 30th April, make sufficient chimneys,”
under pain of a fine of ten shillings.

This was intended as a precaution against fires, the
frequent occurrence of.which in former years had been
mainly due to the absence of chimneys.

William Harrison,.in 1577, referring to things in Eng-
land that had been “ marvellously changed within the
memory. of. old. people,” includes among these “the
multitude of chimneys lately erected, whereas in their
‘young days there were not above two or three, if so
‘many, inmost uplandish towns of the realm (the re-
ligious houses and manor places of their lords always”
excepted), but-each one made his fire against a reredos*
in the hall, -where he dined and dressed his meat.

In another chapter Harrison says: “ Now have we
many chimneys ;. and yet our tenderlings complain of
rheums, catarrhs, and poses. Then had we none but -
reredosses ; and our heads did never ache. For as the
smoke in. those days was supposed to be a sufficient
hardening for the timber of the house, so it was re-
-ported a far better medicine to’ keep the goodman and
his family from the quack or-pose, wherewith, as then,
very few. were. acquainted.”

. THE HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE.

_ Of the furniture in these old houses we get an idea
from inventories of the period that have come down to

* A veredos was a kind of open hearth or brazier. Pose, just
‘below, means a cold in the head, and gwack a hoarseness or croak-
ing caused by a cold in the throat.
SHAKESPEARE .THE BOY 53

us. We have, for instance, such a list of the house-
hold equipment of. Richard Arden, Shakespeare’s ma-
ternal grandfather, who was a wealthy farmer; and
another: of such property belonging to: Henry Field,
tanner, a neighbor of John hal eshser who-was his
chief executor. .

From these:and similar inventories. we faa that the
only furniture in the hall, or main room of the house—
often occupying the whole of the ground floor—and the
parlor, or sitting-room, when there was one, consisted
of two or three chairs, a few joint-stools—that is, stools
made of wood jointed or fitted together, as distinguished
from those more rudely made—a table of the plainest
construction, and possibly one or more “painted cloths”
hung on the walls.

These painted cloths were cheap substitutes for the
tapestries with which great. mansions: were adorned,
and they were often found in the cottages of the poor.
The paintings were generally crude representations of
Biblieal stories, together with maxims or mottoes, which
were sometimes on scrolls or “labels ” proceeding from
the mouths of the characters:

Shakespeare refers to these cloths several cme for
instance, in 4s You Like It (iii. 2. 291), where Jaques
says to Orlando: “ You are full of pretty answers ; have
you not been acquainted with goldsmiths’ wives and
‘conned them out of rings ?”—referring to the mottoes,
or “posies,” as they were called; often inscribed in
finger-rings. Orlando replies.: “Not so; but I answer
you right painted cloth, from whence you have studied
your questions.” . Falstaff (1 Henry IV. iv. 2. 28) says
-that his recruits are “ragged as Lazarus in the painted
cloth.”
54 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

In an anonymous play, Wo Whipping nor Tripping,
printed in 1601, we find this passage :—

‘Read what is written on the painted cloth:
Do no man wrong; be good unto the poor;
Beware the mouse, the maggot, and the moth,
And ever have an eye unto the door,” etc.

When carpets are mentioned in these inventories,
they are coverings for the tables, not for the floors,
which, even in kings’ palaces, were strewn with rushes.
Grumio, in Zhe Taming of the Shrew (iv. 1. 52) sees
“the carpets laid” for supper on his master’s return
home. A Stratford inventory of 1590 mentions “a
carpet fora table.” Carpets were also used for win-
dow-seats, but were seldom placed on the floor except
to kneel upon, or for other special purposes.

The bedroom furniture was equally rude and scanty,
though better than it had been when the old folk of the
time were young. Harrison says :—

“ Our fathers and we ourselves have lien full oft upon
straw pallets covered only with a sheet, under coverlets
made of dagswain or hopharlots [coarse, rough cloths],
and a good round log under their heads instead of a
bolster. If it were that our fathers or the good man
of the house had a mattress or flock-bed, and thereto
a sack of chaff to rest his head upon, he thought him-
self to be as well lodged as the lord of the town, so
well were they contented.”

But feather-beds had now come into use, with pillows,
and “flaxen sheets,” and other comfortable appliances.
Henry Field had ‘one bed-covering of yellow and
green” among his household goods.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 55

Kitchen utensils and table-ware had likewise im-
. proved within the memory of the old inhabitant, though

still rude and simple enough. Harrison notes “ the
exchange of treen [wooden] platters into pewter, and
wooden spoons.into silver or tin.”

He adds: “So common were all sorts of treen stuff
in old time that a man should hardly find four pieces
of pewter (of which one was peradventure a salt) in a
good farmer’s house”; but now they had plenty of
pewter, with perhaps a silver bowl and salt-cellar, and
a dozen silver spoons.

The table-linen was hempen for common use, but
flaxen for special occasions, and the napkins were of
the same materials. These napkins,.or towels, as they
were sometimes called, were for wiping the hands after
eating with the fingers, forks being as yet unknown in
England except as a curiosity.

Elizabeth is the first royal personage in the country
who is known to- have had a fork, and it is doubtful
whether she used it. It was not until the middle of the
17th century that forks were used even by the higher
classes, and silver forks were not introduced until
about 1814.

Thomas Coryat, in his Crudities, published in 1611,
only five years before Shakespeare died, gives an ac-
count of the use of forks in Italy, where they appear
to have been invented in the rs5th century. He says:—

“The Italian and also most strangers do always at
their meals use a little fork when they do cut their
meat. For while with their knife, which they hold in-
one hand, they cut the meat out of the dish, they fasten
the fork, which they hold in their other hand, upon the
same dish; so that whosoever he be that, sitting in the
56 SHAKESPEARE THE BOV

company of others at meals, should unadvisedly touch
the dish of meat with his fingers, from which all the
table do cut, he will give occasion of offence unto the
‘company, as having transgressed the laws of good
manners.” :

Coryat adds that he himself “thought good to imitate
the Italian fashion by this forked cutting of meat,”
not only while he was in Italy, but after he came
home to England, where, however, he was sometimes
“quipped” for what his friends regarded as a foreign
affectation. ;

The dramatists of the time also refer contemptuously
to “your fork-carving traveller”; and one clergyman
preached against the use of forks ‘as being an insult
to Providence not to touch one’s meat with one’s fin-
gers
Towels, except for table use, are rarely noticed in in-
ventories of the period, and when mentioned are spéci-
fied as “washing towels.” Neither are wash-basins
often referred to, except in lists of articles used by
barbers.

Bullein, in his Government of Health, published about
1558, says: “Plain people in the country use seldom
times to wasli their hands, as appeareth by their filthi-
ness, and as very few times comb their heads.”

‘Their betters were none too particular in these mat-
ters, and in personal cleanliness generally. Baths are
seldom referred to in writings of the time, except for
the treatment of certain diseases.

Reference has already been made to the use of rushes
for covering floors. It was thought to be a piece of un-
necessary luxury on the part of Wolsey when he caused
the rushes at Hampton Court to be changed every day.

yp?


INTERIOR OF ANNE HATHAWAY’S COTTAGE
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 57

From a letter of Erasmus to Dr. Francis, Wolsey’'s
physician, it would appear that the lowest layer of
rushes—the top only being renewed — was sometimes
unchanged for years—the latter says “twenty years,”
which seems ‘hardly credible— becoming a receptacle
for beer, grease, fragments of victuals, and other or-
ganic matters.

- Perfumes were used for neutralizing the foul odors
that resulted from this filthiness. Burton, in his 4zat-
omy of Melancholy, 1621, says: “The smoke of juniper
is in great request .with us at Oxford, to sweeten our
chambers.” [See also page 25 above.]

‘_ From the correspondence of the Earl of Shrewsbury
with Lord Burleigh, during the confinement of Mary
Queen of Scots at Sheffield Castle, in 1572, we learn
that she was to be removed for five or six days “to
cleanse her chamber, being kept very uncleanly.”

In a memoir written by Anne, Countess of Dorset, in
1603, we read: “We all went to Tibbals to see the
King, who used my mother and my aunt very gracious-
ly; but we all saw-a great change between the fashion
of the Court as it was now and of that in the Queen’s,
for we were all lousy by sitting in Sir Thomas Ers-
kine’s chambers.”

FOOD AND DRINK.

The food of the common people was better in some
respects than it is nowadays, and better than it was in
Continental countries. Harrison says that whereas what
he calls ‘‘ white meats ’’—milk, butter, and cheese—were
in old times the food of the upper classes, they were in
his time “ only eaten by the poor,” while all other classes
ate flesh, fish, and “ wild and tame fowls.”
58 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

Wheaten bread, however, was little known except to
the rich, the bread of the poor being made of rye or
barley, and, in times of scarcity, of beans, oats, and
even acorns.

Tea and coffee had not yet been introduced into Eng-
land, but wine was abundant and cheap. It is rather
surprising to learn that from twenty to thirty thousand
tuns of home-grown wine were then made in the
country.

Of foreign wines, thirty kinds of strong and fifty-six
of light were to be had in London. The price ranged
from eightpence to a shilling a gallon. The drink of the
common people, however, was beer, which was generally
home-brewed and cheap withal.

Harrison, who was a country clergyman with forty
pounds a year, tells how his good wife brewed two
hundred gallons at a cost of twenty shillings, or less
than three halfpence a gallon. When nobody drank
water, and the only substitute for malt liquors was milk,
the consumption of beer was of course enormous.

The meals were but two a day. Harrison says:
“Heretofore there hath been much more time spent
in eating and drinking than commonly is in these ©
days, for whereas of old we had breakfasts in the fore-
noon, beverages or nuntions [luncheons] after dinner,
and thereto rear-suppers [late or second suppers] gen-
erally when it was time to go to rest, now these odd re-
pasts—thanked be God—are very well left, and each
one in manner (except here and there some young
hungry stomach that cannot fast till dinner time) con-
tenteth himself with dinner and supper only.”

Of the times of meals he says: “ With us the nobility,
gentry, and students do ordinarily go to dinner at eleven









































2 f ‘ - : J Hae ce gi







in
ut

ACW Kft

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“OLD HOUSE IN HIGH STREET

before noon, and to supper at five, or between five and
six at afternoon. The merchants dine and sup seldom
before twelve at noon and six at night, especially in
London. The husbandmen dine also at high noon, as
they call it, and sup at seven or eight; but out of the
term in our universities the scholars dine at ten. As
for the poorest sort, they generally dine and sup when
60 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

they may, so that to talk of their order of repast it were
but needless matter.”

Rising at four or five in the morning, as was the cus-
tom with the common people, and going until ten or
even noon without food must have been hard for other
than the “young hungry stomachs” of which Harrison
speaks so contemptuously.

THE TRAINING OF CHILDREN.

In the 16th century, children of the middle and up-
per classes were strictly brought up. The “ Books of
Nurture,” published at that time, give minute direc-
tions for the behavior of boys like William at home, at
school, at church, and elsewhere. These manuals were
generally in doggerel verse, and several of them have
been edited by Dr. F. J. Furnivall for the Early English
Text Society.

Among them is one by Francis Seager, published in
London in 1557, entitled Zhe Schoole of Vertue, and booke
of good Nourture for Chyldren and youth to learne their
dutie by. Another is Zhe Boke of Nurture, or Schoole
of good maners for men, servants, and children, compiled
by Hugh Rhodes, of which at least five editions were
printed between 1554 and 1577.

The Schoole of Vertue begins thus* (the spelling
being modernized) :— x

* In the original each of these lines is divided into two, thus:
-‘¢ First’in, the mornynge
- when thou dost awake
To God for his grace
"thy peticion then make ;” ete. -
“To save space,-I arrange the lines as Dr. Furnivall does. -
‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 61

“First in the morning when thou dost awake
To God for his grace thy petition then make;
This prayer. following use daily to say,

Thy heart lifting up; thus begin to pray,”

A prayer of eighteen lines follows, with directions to
repeat the Lord’s Prayer after it. Then come rules
“how to order thyself when thou risest, and in apparel-
‘ling thy body.” tar

The child is to rise early, dress carefully, washing
his hands and combing his head. When he goes down
‘stairs he is to salute the family :—

“Down from thy chamber when thou shalt go,
_ Thy parents salute thou, and the family also.”

Elsewhere, politeness out of doors is enjoined :—

“Be free of cap [taking it off to his elders] and full of
-courtesy.””

At meals his first duty is to wait upon his parents,
after saying this grace :-—

“Give thanks to God with one accord
For that shall be set on this board.
And be not careful what to eat,
To each thing living the Lord sends meat;
For food He will not see you perish,
But will you feed, foster, and cherish;
Take well.in worth what He hath sent,
At this time be therewith content,
Praising God.”

He is then to make low curtsy, saying “Much good
may it do you!” and, if he is big enough, he is to
bring the food to the table.
62 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

In filling the dishes he must take care not to get them
so full as to spill anything on his parents’ clothes. He
is to have spare trenchers and napkins ready for guests,
to see that all are supplied with “bread and drink,” and
that the “ voiders’”’—the baskets or vessels into which
bones are thrown—are often emptied.

When the course of meat is over he is to clear the
table, cover the salt, put the dirty trenchers and nap-
kins into a voider, sweep the crumbs into another, place
a clean trencher before each person, and set on “cheese
with fruit, with biscuits or caraways” [comfits contain-
ing caraway seeds, which were considered favorable to
digestion, and, according to a writer on health, in 1595,
“surely very good for students”’], also wine, “if any
there were,” or beer.

The meal ended, he is to remove the cloth, turning
in each side and folding it up carefully; ‘a clean towel
then on the table to spread,” and bring basin and ewer
for washing the hands. He now clears the table again,
and when the company rise, he must not “forget his
duty ’:—

“Before the table make thou low curtsy.”

The boy can now eat his own dinner, and equally
minute directions are given as to his behavior while
doing it. He is not to break his bread, but “cut it
fair,’ not to fill his spoon too full of soup, nor his
mouth too full of meat—

“Not smacking thy lips as commonly do hogs,
Nor gnawing the bones as it were dogs.
Such rudeness abhor, such beastliness fly,

At the table behave thyself mannerly.”
SHAKESPEARE. THE BOY 63

He must keep his fingers clean with a napkin, wipe
his mouth before drinking, and be temperate in eat-
ing—‘ For ‘measure is treasure,’ the proverb doth say.”

The directions ‘how to behave thyself in talking
with any man” are very minute and specific: —

‘Ifa man demand a question of thee,
In thine answer-making be not too hasty;
Weigh well his words, the case understand,
Ere an answer to.make thou take in hand;
Else may he judge in thee little wit,
To answer to a thing and not hear it.
Suffer his tale whole out to be told,
Then speak thou mayst, and not be controlled;
Low obeisance making, looking him in the face,
Treatably speaking, thy words see thou place,
With countenance sober, thy body upright,
Thy feet just together, thy hands in like plight;
Cast not thine eyes on either side.
When thou art praised, therein take no pride.
In telling thy tale, neither laugh nor smile;
Such folly forsake thou, banish and exile.
In audible voice thy words do thou utter,
Not high nor low, but using a measure.
Thy words see that thou pronounce plaine,
And that they spoken be not in vain;
In uttering whereof keep thou an order,
Thy matter thereby thou shalt much forder [further];
Which order if thou do not observe,
From the purpose needs must thou swerve,
And hastiness of speed will cause thee to err,
Or will thee teach to stut or stammer.
To stut or stammer is a foul crime;
Learn then to leave it, take warning in time;
How evil a child it doth become,
Thyself being judge, having wisdom;
64 ‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

And sure it is taken by custom and ure [use],
While young you be there is help and cure.
This general rule yet take with thee,

In speaking to any man thy head uncovered be,
The common proverb remember ye ought,

ee unfed than untaught.’”

Though this may be very poor poetry, it is very. good
advice; and so is this which follows, on “how to order
thyself being sent of message’: —

“If of message forth thou be sent,
Take, heed to the same, give ear diligent;
Depart not away and being in doubt,
Know well thy message before thou pass out;
With ‘possible speed then haste thee right soon,
If need shall require it so to be done.
After humble obeisance the message forth shew,
Thy words well placing, in uttering but few
As shall thy matter serve to declare.
Thine answer made, then home again repair,
And to thy master thereof make relation
As then the answer shall give thee occasion.
Neither add nor diminish anything to the same,
Lest after .it prove to thy rebuke and shame,
But the same utter as near as thou can;

- No fault they shall find to charge thee with than

{then].”

Similar counsel is added “against the horrible vice of
swearing ”

“In vain take not the name of God;

Swear not at all for fear of his rod.
* Ed ae Bd sneak *


ANNE HATHAWAY’S COTTAGE
‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 65

Seneca doth counsel thee all swearing to refrain,
Although great profit by it thou might gain;
Pericles, whose words are manifest and plain,
From swearing admonisheth thee to abstain:
The law of God and commandment he gave
Swearing amongst us in no wise would have.
The counsel of philosophers I have here exprest,
Amongst whom swearing was utterly detest;
Much less among Christians ought it to be used,
But utterly of them clean to be refused.”

There are also admonitions “against the vice of filthy
talking” and “against the vice of lying”; and a prayer
follows, “to be said when thou goest to bed.”

The rules laid down in the Boke of Nurture are similar
and in the same doggerel measure. It is interesting, by
the bye, to compare the alterations in successive editions
as indicating changes in the manners and customs of
the time. A single illustration must suffice.

When the first edition appeared, handkerchiefs had
not come into general use; and how to blow the nose
without one was evidently a difficulty with the writer
and other early authorities on deportment. Even in
1577, when handkerchiefs began to be common, Rhodes
says :—

“Blow not your nose on the napkin
Where you should wipe your hand,
But cleanse it in your handkercher.” *

* The spelling Aandkercher, common in these old books, and in
the early editions of Shakespeare, indicates the pronunciation of
the time. In As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet,

'_ Othello, and other plays, napkin is equivalent to handkerchief.

This, indeed, is the only. meaning of the word in Shakespeare, as
often in other writers of the period.
5
66 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

The Booke of Demeanor, printed in 1619, says :—

“Nor imitate with Socrates

To wipe thy snivelled nose

Upon thy cap, as he would do,
Nor yet upon thy clothes:

But keep it clean with handkerchief,
Provided for the same,

Not with thy fingers or thy sleeve,
Therein thou art to blame.”

The introduction of toothpicks, the gradual adoption
of forks, already referred to, and sundry other refine-
ments, can be similarly traced in these interesting hand-
books. Soh:

It would appear that this Schoole of Vertue, or some
other book with the same title, was used in schools for
boys. John Brinsley, in his Grammar Schoole of 1612
(quoted by Dr. Furnivall), enumerates the “ Bookes to
be first learned of children.” After mentioning the
Primer, the Psalms in metre—“ because children will
learne that booke with most readinesse and delight
through the running of the metre” —and the Testa-
ment, he adds: “ If any require any other little booke
meet to enter children, the Schoole of Vertue is one of
the principall, and easiest for the first enterers, being
full of precepts of civilitie, and such as children will
soone learne atid take a delight in, thorow [through]
the roundnesse of the metre, as was sayde before of the
singing Psalmes: and after it the Schoole of good man-
ners, called the new Schoole of Vertue, leading the childe
as by the hand, in the way of all good manners.”
SHAKESPEARE THE BOV 67

INDOOR AMUSEMENTS,

Of the indoor amusements of country people we get
an idea from Vincent’s Dialogue with an English Court-
zer, published in 1586. He says: “In foul weather
we send for some honest neighbors, if haply we be with
our wives alone at home (as seldom we are) and with
them we play at Dice and Cards, sorting ourselves ac-
cording to the number of players and their skill ;
sometimes we fall to Slide-Thrift, to Penny Prick, and
in winter nights we use certain Christmas games very

i proper, and of much agility ; we want not also pleasant

mad-headed knaves, that be properly learned, and will
read in divers pleasant books and good authors; as
Sir Guy of Warwick, the Four Sons of Aymon, the
Ship of Fools, the Hundred. Merry Tales, the Book of
Riddles, and many other excellent writers both witty
and pleasant. These pretty and pithy matters do
sometimes recreate our minds, chiefly after long sitting
and loss of money.”

Slide-thrift,” called also “slip-groat” and “shove-
groat,” is a game frequently mentioned by writers of
the 16th and 17th centuries. Strutt, in his Sports and
Lastimes of England, describes it thus :—

“It requires a parallelogram to be made with chalk,
or by lines cut upon the middle of a table, about twelve
or fourteen inches in breadth, and three or four feet in
length: which is divided, latitudinally, into nine sec-
tions, in every one of which is placed a figure, in regu-
lar succession from one to nine. Each.of the players
provides himself with a smooth halfpenny, which he
places upon the edge of the table, and, striking it with
the palm of his hand, drives it towards the marks; and
68 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

according to the value of the figure affixed to the par-
tition wherein the halfpenny rests, his game is reck-
oned; which generally is stated at thirty-one, and must
be made precisely : if it be exceeded, the player goes
again for nine, which must also-be brought exactly or
the turn is forfeited; and if the halfpenny rests upon
any of the marks that separate the partitions, or over-
passes the external boundaries, the go is void. It is
also to be observed that the players toss up to deter-



SHILLING OF EDWARD VI

mine which shall go first, which is certainly a great
advantage.”

Shovel-board, or shuffle-board, which some writers
confound with slide-thrift, was also played upon a table
with coins or flat pieces of metal; but the board was
longer and the rules of the game were different.

‘In 2 Henry IV. (ii. 4. 206), when Falstaff wants Pis-
tol put out of the room, he says to Bardolph: ‘“ Quoit
him down, Bardolph, like a shove-groat shilling.”

In Zhe Merry Wives of Windsor (i. 1. 159), Slender,
-when asked if Pistol had picked his purse, replies:
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 69

“Ay, by these gloves, did he . . . of seven groats in
mill-sixpences and two Edward shovel-boards, that cost
me two shillings. and twopence apiece.’ “Edward
shovel-boards” were the broad shillings of Edward VI.
which were generally used in playing the game. It
has been suggested-that Slender was a fool to pay two
shillings and twopence for a shilling worn smooth ; but
it is possible that these old coins commanded a pre-
mium on account of being in demand for this game.
The silver groat (fourpence) was originally used for the
purpose, but the shilling, especially of this particular
coinage, came to be preferred by players. Taylor the
Water Poet makes one of these coins say :—

“You see my face is beardless, smooth, and plain,
Because my sovereign was a child ’t is known,
When as he did put on the English crown;

But had my stamp been bearded, as with hair,
Long before this it had been worn out bare;

For why, with me the unthrifts every. day,

With my face downward, do at shove-board play.”

‘‘Penny-prick” is described as “a game consisting
of casting oblong pieces of iron at a mark.” Another
writer explains it as “throwing at halfpence placed on
sticks which are called hobs.” It was a common game
as early as the fifteenth century, and is reproved. by a
religious writer of that period, probably because it was
used for gambling.

Card-playing had become so general in the time of
Henry VIII. that a statute was enacted forbidding ap-
prentices to use cards except in the Christmas holi-
days, and then only in their masters’ houses. Many
70 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

different games with cards are mentioned by writers
of the time, but few of them are described minutely
enough to make it clear how they were played.

Backgammon, or ‘“‘tables,” as it was called, was
popular in Shakespeare's time. He refers to it in
Love's Labour ’s Lost (v. 2. 326), where Biron, ridiculing
Boyet, says :-—

“This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice,
That, when he plays aC tables, chides the dice.
In honourable terms.’

“ Tick-tack’”? was a kind of backgammon; alluded
to, figuratively, in Afeasure for Measure (i. 2. 196):
“thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack.”

“Tray-trip”” was a game of dice, in which success
depended upon throwing a “tray” (the French /rois,
or three); mentioned in Twelfth Might (ii. 5. 207):
“Shall I play my freedom at tray-trip, and become
thy bond-slave ?”

“ Troll-my-dames” was a game resembling the mod-
ern bagatelle. The name is a corruption of the
French frou-madame. It was also known as “ pigeon-
holes.” Dr. John Jones, in his Ancient Baths of Buck-
stone (1572) refers to it thus: “ The ladies, gentlewom-
en, wives and maids, may in one of the galleries walk ;
and if the weather be not agreeable to their expecta- |
tion, they may have in the end of a bench eleven holes
made, into the which to troll pummets, or bowls of
lead, big, little, or mean, or also of copper, tin, wood,
either violent or soft, after their own discretion: the
pastime ¢roule-in-madame is called.”

In Lhe Tempest (v. 1. 172) Ferdinand and Miranda
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 7I-

are represented as playing chess; but there is no other
clear allusion to the game in Shakespeare’s works. It
was introduced into England before the Norman Con-
quest, and became a favorite pastime with the upper
classes, but appears to have been little known among
the common people.

POPULAR BOOKS.

Of books there were probably very few at the house
‘in Henley Street. Some of those mentioned by Vin-
cent were popular with all classes. The story of Guy
of Warwick had been told repeatedly in prose and
verse from the twelfth century down to Shakespeare’s
day, and some of the books and ballads would be like-
ly to be well known in Stratford, which, as we have
seen, was in the immediate vicinity of the hero’s legen-
dary exploits. The Four Sons of Aymon was the trans-
lation of a French prose romance, the earliest form of
which dated back to songs or ballads of the 13th cen-
-tury. Aymon, or Aimon, a prince of Ardennes whose
history was partly imaginary, and his sons figure in
the works of Tasso and Ariosto, and other Italian
and French poets and romancers.

The Hundred Merry Tales was a popular jest- coe of
Shakespeare’s time, to which he alludes in Afuch Ado
About Nothing (ii. 1.134), where Beatrice refers to what
Benedick had said about her: ‘That I was disdain-
ful, and that I had my wit out of the Hundred Merry
Tales.”

The Book of Riddles was another book mentioned by
Shakespeare in The Merry Wives of Windsor (i. 1. 205),
in connection with a volume of verse which was equal-
ly popular in the Elizabethan age :—
72 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY |

“ Slender. | had rather than forty shillings, I had my

book of Songs and Sonnets here.—
Enter Simple. :

How now, Simple! Where have you been? I must wait
on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles
about you, have you?

Simple. Book of Riddles? why, raid you not lend it
to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight
afore Michaelmas >”

The title-page of one edition reads thus: “The
Booke of Merry Riddles. Together with proper Ques-
tions, and witty Proverbs to make pleasant pastime.
No lesse usefull than behoovefull for any yong man
or child, to know if he bee quick-witted, or no.”

A few of the shortest riddles may be quoted as sam-
ples :—

“ The li. Riddle—My lovers will
I. am content for to fulfill;
Within this rime his name is framed;
Tell me then how he is named?

Solutcon.—His name is William; for in the first line is
well, and in the beginning of the second line is 7 am, and
then put them both together, and it maketh Wel/am.

The liv. R¢ddle—How many calves tailes will reach to
the skye? ‘Solutzon.—One, if it be long enough.

The |\xv. Riddle.—What is that, round as a ball,
Longer than Pauls steeple, weather-
cocke, and all?

Solutzon.—It is a round bottome of thred when it is
unwound.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 73

The lxvii. Réddle.—What is that, that goeth thorow the
wood, and toucheth never a twig? Solut?on.—It is the
blast of a horne, or any other noyse.”

A bottom of thread was a ball of it. The word oc-
curs in Zhe Taming of the Shrew (iv. 3.1 38), where
Grumio says, in the dialogue with the Tailor: “Mas-
ter, if ever I said loose-bodied gown, sew me in the
skirts of it, and beat me to death with a bottom of
brown thread ; I said a gown.” The verb is used in
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (iii. 2. 53):—

“Therefore, as you unwind her love from him,
Lest it should ravel and be good to none,
You must provide to bottom it on me.”

This old meaning of botfom doubtless suggested the
name of Bottom the Weaver in the A/idsummer-Night’s
Dream.

STORY-TELLING.

If books were scarce in the homes of the common
people when Shakespeare was a boy, there was no lack
of oral tales, legends, and folk-lore for the entertain-
ment of the family of a winter evening. The store of
this unwritten history and fiction was inexhaustible.

In Milton’s Z’ A//egro we have a pleasant picture of a
Tustic group listening to fairy stories round the even-
. ing fire :~-

“Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How tairy Mab the junkets eat.

She was pinch’d and pull’d, she said,
And he, by Friar’s lantern led,
74 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

Tells how the drudging goblin sweat

To earn his cream-bowl duly set,

When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath thresh’d the corn
That ten day-laborers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubber fiend,
And, stretch’d out all the chimney’s length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength,

And crop-full out of doors he flings

Ere the first cock his matin rings.

Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whispering winds soon lull’d asleep.”

Of “fairy Mab” we have a graphic description from
the merry Mercutio in Romeo and Fuliet (i. 4. 53-94) ;
and the “drudging goblin,” or Robin Goodfellow, is
the Puck of the Afidsummer-Night’s Dream, to whom
the Fairy says (ii. 1. 40) :—

“Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck.”

In the same scene Puck himself tells of the practical
jokes he plays upon “the wisest aunt telling the sad-
dest tale” to a fireside group, and of many another
sportive trick with which he “‘frights the maidens ” and
vexes the housewives.

The children had their stories to tell, like their elders ;
and Shakespeare has pictured a home scene in Zze
Winter's Tale (ii. 1. 21) which may have been suggest-
ed by his own experience as a boy. As Mr. Charles
Knight asks, “may we not read for Hermione, Mary
Shakespeare, and for Mamillius, William ?”
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 75

“ Hermione. What wisdom stirs amongst you? Come,
sir, now
I am for you again ; pray you, sit by us,
And tell ’s a tale.
Mamillius. Merry, or sad shall ’t be?
flermione. As merry as you will.
Mamillius. A sad tale’s best for winter. I have one
- Of sprites and goblins.
flermione. Let ’s have that, good sir.
Come on, sit down ; come on, and do your best
To fright me with your sprites; you ’re powerful at it.
Mamelléus, There was a man—
Hermione. Nay, come, sit down; then on.
Mamitlius. Dwelt by a churchyard :—I will tell it softly ;
Yond crickets shall not hear it.
Hermione. ; Come on, then,
And give ’t me in mine ear.”

Just then his father, Leontes, comes in, and the tale is
interrupted, never to be resumed.

Mr. Knight assumes, with a good degree of proba-
bility, that William had access to some of the books
from which he drew material for the story of his plays
later in life, and that he may have told these tales,
whether “merry or sad,” to his brothers and sisters at
home.

“ He had,” says this genial biographer, ‘“‘a copy, well
thumbed from his first reading days, of ‘The Palace of
Pleasure, beautified, adorned, and well furnished with
pleasant histories and excellent novelles, selected out
of divers good and commendable authors; by William
Painter, Clarke of the Ordinaunce and Armarie.’ In
this book, according to the dedication of the translator
to Ambrose Earl of Warwick, was set forth ‘the great
_ valiance of noble gentlemen, the terrible combats of
76 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

courageous personages, the virtuous minds of noble
dames, the chaste hearts of constant ladies, the won-
derful patience of puissant, princes, the mild suffer-
ance of well-disposed gentlewomen, and, in divers, the
quiet bearing of adverse fortune.’ Pleasant little apo-
thegms and short fables were there in the book; which
the brothers and sisters of William Shakespeare had
heard him tell with marvellous spirit, and they abided
therefore in their memories. There was Aisop’s fable
of the old lark and her young ones, wherein ‘he pret-
tily and aptly doth premonish that hope and confidence
of things attempted by man ought to be fixed and
trusted in none other but himself.’ There was the
story, most delightful to a child, of the bondman at
Rome, who was brought into the open place upon
which a great multitude looked, to fight with a lion of
a marvellous bigness ; and the fierce lion, when he saw
him, ‘suddenly stood still, and afterwards by little and
little, in gentle sort, he came unto the man as though
he had known him,’ and licked his hands and legs; and
the bondman told that he had healed in former time
the wounded foot of the lion, and the beast became his
friend. These were for the younger children; but Wil-
liam had now a new tale, out of the same storehouse,
upon which he had often pondered, the subject of which
had shaped itself in his mind into dialogue that almost
sounded like verse in his graceful and earnest recita-
tion. It was a tale which Painter translated from the

French of Pierre Boisteau. . . . It was ‘The goodly his-
tory of the true and constant love between Romeo and
Julietta.’ ... From the same collection of tales had

the youth before half dramatized the story of ‘ Giletta
of Narbonne,’ who cured the King of France of a pain-
“SHAKESPEARE THE BOV 17

ful malady, and the king gave her in marriage to the
Count Beltramo, with whom she had been brought up,
and her husband despised and forsook her, but at last
they were united, and lived in great honor and felicity.

“ There was another collection, too, which that youth
had diligently read, —the ‘Gesta Romanorum,’ trans-
lated by R. Robinson in 1577,—old legends, come down
to those latter days from monkish historians, who had
embodied in their narratives all the wild traditions of
the ancient and modern world. He could tell the story
of the rich heiress who chose a husband by the ma-
chinery of a gold,a silver, and a leaden casket; and
another story of the merchant whose inexorable creditor
required the fulfilment of his bond in cutting a pound
of flesh, nearest the merchant's heart, and by the skilful
interpretation of the bond the cruel creditor was de-
feated.

“There was the story, too, in these legends, of the Em-
peror Theodosius, who had three daughters ; and those
two daughters who said they loved him more than them-
selves were unkind to him, but the youngest, who only
said she loved him as much as he was worthy, suc-
coured him in his need, and was his true daughter... .

“Stories such as these, preserved amidst the wreck
of time, were to that youth like the seeds that are found
in the tombs of ruined cities, lying with the bones of
forgotten generations, but which the genial influence of
nature will call into life, and they shall become flowers,
and trees, and food for man.

“ But, beyond all these, our Mamillius had manya tale
‘of sprites and goblins’. . . Such appearances were

- above nature, but the commonest movements of the
natural world had them in subjection :—
78 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

“*T have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day; and at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine.’

“ Powerful they were, but yet powerless. They came
for benevolent purposes: to warn the guilty; to dis-
cover the guilt. The belief in them was not a debasing
thing. It was associated with the enduring confidence
that rested upon a world beyond this material world.
Love hoped for such visitations: it had its dreams of
_ such—where the loved one looked smilingly, and spoke
of regions where change and separation were not. They
might be talked of, even among children then, without
terror. They lived in that corner of the soul which had
trust in angel protections, which believed in celestial
hierarchies, which listened to hear the stars moving in
harmonious music. .. .

“William Shakespeare could also tell to his greedy
listeners, how in the old days of King Arthur

“*The elf-queene, with her jolly compagnie,
Danced full oft in many a grene mede.’

“ Flere was something in his favorite old poet for the
youth to work ont into beautiful visions of a pleasant
race of supernatural beings ; who lived by day in the
acorn cups of Arden, and by moonlight held their
revels on the greensward of Avon-side, the ringlets
of. their dance being duly seen, ‘whereof the ewe not
bites’; who tasted the honey-bag of the bee, and held
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 79

counsel by the light of the glowworm; who kept the
cankers from the rosebuds, and silenced the hootings
of the owl... Some day would William make a little
play of Fairies, and Joan should be their Queen, and he
would be the King ; for he had talked with the Fairies,
and he knew their language and their manners, and
they were ‘good people,’ and would not mind a boy’s
sport with them.

“ But when the youth began to speak of witches there
was fear and silence. For did not his mother recollect
that in the year she was married Bishop Jewell had told
the Queen that her subjects pined away, even unto the
death, and that their affliction was owing to the in-
crease of witches and sorcerers? Was it not known
how there were three sorts of witches,—those that can
‘hurt and not help, those that can help and not hurt,
and those that can both help and hurt? It was unsafe
even to talk of them.

“But the youth had met with the history of the murder
of Duncan King of Scotland, in a chronicler older than
Holinshed; and he told softly, so that ‘yon crickets’
shall not hear it,’ that, as Macbeth and Banquo jour-
neyed from Forres, sporting by the way together,
when the warriors came in the midst of a laund,
three weird sisters suddenly appeared to them, in
strange and wild apparel, resembling creatures of
an elder world, and prophesied that Macbeth should
be King of Scotland; and Macbeth from that hour
desired to be king, and so killed the good king his
liege lord. ,

“And then the story-teller would pass on to safer
matters—to the calculations of learned men who could
read the fates of mankind in the aspects of the stars;
80 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

and of those more deeply learned, clothed in garments
of white linen, who had command over the spirits of
the earth, of the water, and of the air.. Some of the
children said that a horseshoe over the door, and ver-
vain and dill, would preserve them, as they had been
told, from the devices of sorcery. But their mother
called to their mind that there was security far
more to be relied on than charms of herb or horse-
shoe—that there was a Power that would preserve
them from all evil, seen or unseen, if such were
His gracious will, and if they humbly sought Him,
and offered up their hearts to Him in all love and
trust. And to that Power this household then ad-
dressed themselves; and the night was without fear,
and their sleep was pleasant.”

CHRISTENINGS,

In the olden time the christening of a child was an
occasion of feasting and gift-giving. It was an ancient
‘custom for the sponsors to make a present of silver or
gilt spoons to the infant. These were called “apostle
spoons,” because the end: of the handle was formed
into the figure of one of the apostles. he rich or
generous gave the whole twelve; those less wealthy
or liberal limited themselves to the four evangelists ;
while the poor contented themselves with the gift of
a single spoon.

There is an allusion to this custom in Henry VILZ.
(v. 3. 168), where the King replies to Cranmer, who
has professed to be unworthy of being a sponsor to
the baby Elizabeth, “Come, come, my lord, you'd
Spare your spoons,’—a playful insinuation that the
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 81

archbishop wants to escape making a present to the
child.

It is related that Shakespeare was godfather to one
of Ben Jonson’s children, and said to his friend after
the christening, “TI’ faith, Ben, I’ll e’en give him a dozen



ANCIENT FONT AT STRATFORD

good Latin spoons, and thou shalt translate them.”
That is, as Mr. Thoms explains it, ‘“ Shakespeare, will-
ing to show his wit, if not his wealth, gave a dozen
spoons, not of silver, but of Jatten, a name formerly
used to signify a mixed metal resembling brass, as
being the most appropriate gift to the child of a father
so learned.”

After baptism at the church a piece of white linen
was put upon the head of the child. This was called
the “chrisom” or “chrisom-cloth,” and originally was

worn seven days; but after the Reformation it was
6
82 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

kept on until the churching of the mother. If the child
died before the churching, it was buried with the
chrisom upon it. In parish registers such infants are
often referred to as “chrisoms.” In Henry V. Gi. 3. 12),
Dame: Quickly says of Falstaff, “A’ made a finer
end, and went away an it had been any christom
child”; that is, his death was like that of a young
infant. “Christom” is the old woman’s blunder for
“chrisom.”

The “bearing-cloth” was the mantle which covered
the child when it was carried to the font. In the
Winter's Tale (iii. 3. 119), the Shepherd, when he finds
the infant Perdita abandoned on the sea-shore, says to
his son: “ Here’s a sight for thee; look thee, a bearing-
cloth for a squire’s child! Look thee here; take up,
take up, boy; open ’t.” John Stow, writing in the clos-
ing years of the 16th century, says that at that time
it was not customary “for godfathers and godmothers
generally to give plate at the baptism of children, but
only to give ‘christening shirts,’ with little bands and
cuffs, wrought either with silk or blue thread. The best
of them, for chief persons, were edged with a small lace
‘of black silk and gold, the highest price of which, for
great men’s children, was seldom above a noble [a gold
coin worth 6s. 8¢.], and the common sort, two, three, or
four, and six shillings apiece.”

The. “gossips’ feast” (or sponsors’ feast) held in
honor of those who were associated in the christening,
was an ancient English custom often mentioned by
dramatists and other writers of the Elizabethan age.
In the Comedy of Errors (v. 1. 405) the Abbess, when
she finds that the twin brothers Antipholus are her
long-lost sons, says to the company present :-—
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 83

“ Thirty-three years have I but gone in: travail
Of you, my sons; and till this present hour
My heavy burthen ne’er delivered.—

The duke, my husband, and my children both,
And you the calendars of their nativity,

Go to a gossip’s feast, and go with me;

After so long grief, such nativity !”

And the Duke replies, ‘ With all my heart I’ll gossip
at this feast.”

In the Bachelor's Banquet (1603) we find an allusion
- to these feasts: ‘What cost and trouble will it be to
have all things fine against the Christening Day; what
store of sugar, biscuits, comfets, and caraways, marma-
let, and marchpane, with all kinds of sweet-suckers and
superfluous banqueting stuff, with a hundred other odd
and needless trifles, which at that time must fill the
pockets of dainty dames.” It would appear from this
that the women at the feast not only ate what they
pleased, but carried off some of the good things in
their pockets.

A writer in 1666, alluding to this and the falling-off
in the custom of giving presents at christenings, says :—

‘Especially since gossips now

Eat more at christenings than bestow.
Formerly when they used to trowl

Gilt bowls of sack, they gave the bowl—
Two spoons at least/ an use ill kept:
’T is well now if our own be left.”

He insinuates that some of the guests were as likely
to steal spoons from the table as to give gilt bowls or
“apostle spoons” to the infant.
84 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

The boy Shakespeare must have often seen this
ceremony of christening. His sister Joan was baptized
when he was five years old; his sister Anna when he
was eight; his brother Richard when he was ten; and
Edmund when he was sixteen.

SUPERSTITIONS CONNECTED WITH BIRTH AND BAPTISM.

In the time of Shakespeare babies were supposed to
be exposed to other risks and dangers than the infantile
disorders to which they are subject. Mary Shake-
speare, as she watched the cradle of the infant William,
may have been troubled by fears and anxieties that
never occur to a fond mother now.

Witches and fairies were supposed to be given to
stealing beautiful and promising children, and substi-
tuting their own ugly and mischievous offspring.
Shakespeare alludes to these “changelings,” as they
were called, in the Afidsummer-Night’s Dream (ii. 1.
23), where Puck says that Oberon is angry with Ti-
tania

“ Because that she as her attendant hath
A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
She never had so sweet a changeling.”

This “changeling boy” is alluded to several times
afterwards in the play.

In the Winter's Tale (iii. 3. 122), when the Shepherd
finds Perdita, he says: “It was told me I should be
rich by the fairies; this is some changeling” ; and the
money left with the infant he believes to be “fairy
gold.” As the child is beautiful he does not take it to
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY _ 8%

be one of the ugly elves left in exchange for a stolen
babe, but a human changelirig which the fairy thieves
have for some reason abandoned. If it were not for
the gold left with it, he might suppose that the stolen
infant had been temporarily hidden there. We have
an allusion to such behavior on the part of the fairies
in Spenser’s Faerie Queene (i. 10. 65) :—

“For well I wote thou springst from ancient race
Of Saxon kinges, that have with mightie hand,
And many bloody battailes fought in face,

High reard their royall throne in Britans land,

And vanquisht them, unable to withstand:

From thence a Faery thee unweeting reft,

There as thou slepst in tender swadling band,

And her base Elfin brood there for thee left:

Such men do Chaungelings call, so chaung’d by
Faeries theft.

Thence she thee brought into this Faery lond [land],
And in a heaped furrow did thee hyde;

Where thee a Ploughman all unweeting fond [found],
As he his toylesome teme that way did guyde,

And brought thee up in a ploughmans state to byde.”

In 1 Henry IV, (i. 1. 87), the King, contrasting the
gallant Hotspur with his own profligate son, exclaims:

“O that it could be proved
That some night-tripping fairy had exchang’d
In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,
And call’d mine Percy, his Plantagenet !
Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.”

The belief in the “evil eye” was another supersti-
tion prevalent in Shakespeare’s day, as it had been
‘86 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

from the earliest times. It dates back to old Greek
and Roman days, being mentioned by Theocritus,
Virgil, and other classical writers. In Turkey pas-
sages from the Koran used to be painted on the out-
side of houses as a protection against this malignant
‘influence of witches, who were supposed to cause’ seri-
ous injury to human beings and animals by merely
looking at them.

Thomas Lupton, in his Book of Notable Things (1586)
says: “The eyes be not only instruments of enchant-
ment, but also the voice and evil tongues of certain
persons.” Bacon, in one of his minor works, remarks:
“It seems some have been so curious as to note that
the times when the stroke or percussion of an envious
eye does most hurt are particularly when the party en-
vied is beheld in glory and triumph.”

Robert Heron, writing in 1793 of his travels in Scot-
land, says: “ Cattle are subject to be injured by what
is called an evz/ eye, for some persons are supposed to
have naturally a blasting power in their eyes, with
which they injure whatever offends or is hopelessly de-
sired by them. Witches and warlocks are also much
disposed to wreak their malignity on cattle. . . . It is
common to, bind into a cow’s tail a small piece of
mountain-ash wood, as a charm against witchcraft.” .

As recently as August, 1839, a London newspaper
reports a case in which a woman was suspected of
the evil eye by a fellow-lodger merely because she
squinted.

In this case, as in many others, the possession of
the evil eye may not have been supposed due to any
evil purpose or character. Good people might be born
with this baleful influence, and might exert it against
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 87

their will or even unconsciously. It is said that Pius
IX., soon after his election as Pope, when he was per-
haps the best loved man in Italy, happened while pass-
ing through the streets in his carriage to glance up-
ward at an open window at which a nurse was stand-
ing with a child. A few minutes afterward the nurse
let the child drop and it was killed. Nobody thought
that the Pope wished this, but the fancy that he
had the evil eye became universal and lasted till his
death seen ity

_In the Merry Wives of Windsor (v. 5. 87) Pistol
says to Falstaff: ‘Vile worm, thou wast o’erlook’d
even in thy birth.” In the Aerchant of Venice (iii. 2.
15) Portia playfully refers to the same superstition in
talking with Bassanio :—

“ Beshrew your eyes,
They have o’erlook’d me and divided me;
One half of me is yours, the other half yours.”

CHARMS AND AMULETS.,

Against these dangers, and many like them which it
would take an entire volume to enumerate, protection
was sought by charms and amulets. These were also
supposed to prevent or cure certain diseases. Magi-
cians and witches employed charms to accomplish their
evil purposes; and other charms were used to thwart
these purposes by those who feared mischief from
them.

In O¢hello (i. 2. 62) Brabantio, the father of Desde-
mona, suspects that the Moor has won his daughters s
love by charms. : He says to Othello :—
88 i SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

“OQ thou foul thief, where hast thou stow’d my daughter?
Damn’d as thou art, thou hast enchanted her.”

In the preceding scene, talking with Roderigo, he
asks :—

“Ts theré not charms
By which the property of youth and maidhood
May -be ‘abused? Have you not heard, Roderigo,
Of some such thing?”

And Roderigo_ replies: . “Ves, sir, I have indeed.”
When Othello afterward tells how he had gained the
maiden’s love, he says in conclusion :—

“She loved me for the dangers I had pass’d,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
dln only is the witchcraft I have used.”

In the Midsummer- Night’s Dream & 1. 27) Egeus
accuses Lysander of wooing Hermia by magic arts:
“This man hath bewitch’d the bosom of my child.”

In Much Ado About Nothing (iii. 2. 72) Benedick,
when his friends -banter him for pretending to have
the toothache, replies: “Yet this is no charm for the _
toothache.”

John Melton, in his Astrologaster (1620), says it is

vulgarly believed that “ toothaches, agues, cramps, and
‘fevers, and many other diseases may be healed by
mumbling a few strange words over the head of the
diseased.”

Written charms in prose or verse—or neither, being
nonsensical combinations of words, letters, or signs—
were in great favor then, as before and since. The
unmeaning word abracadabra was much used in in-






PORCH, STRATFORD CHURCH
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY ae

cantations, and worn as an amulet was supposed to
cure or prevent certain ailments. It was necessary to
write it in the following form, if one would secure its
full potency :—

ANEB ei RU cr Alaa CUUVAWS sD) Hie AGB EaERY Al
A BRA CA DABR
A BRA CA DAB
A BRA CA DA
A BR AC AD
Ae Bo Agee! on
AUER ER vAG LC
A BRA

A manuscript in the British Museum contains this
note: “Mr. Banester saith that he healed 200 in one
year of an ague by hanging abracadabra about their
necks.”

Thomas Lodge, in his Jncarnate Divels (1596)
refers to written charms thus: “Bring him but a
table [tablet] of lead, with crosses (and ‘Adonai’ or
‘Elohim’ written in it), he thinks it will heal the
ague.”

Certain trees, like the elder and the ash, were sup-
posed to furnish valuable material for charms and am-
-ulets. A writer in 1651 says: “The common people
keep as a great secret the leaves of the elder which
they have gathered the last day of April; which to dis-
appoint the charms of witches they affix to their doors
and windows.” An amulet against erysipelas was_
made of “elder on which the sun never shined,” a
go SHAKESPEARE .THE BOY.

“piece betwixt two knots OSE hung abouts the pa-
tient’s neck.

In a book aublishedia in .1599 it is asserted. that | fy if
one eat three small pomegranate-flowers, they. say for
a whole year he shall be safe from all manner of eye
sore.” According to the same authority, “it hath been
and yet is a thing which superstition hath believed, that
the body anointed with the juice of chicory is very
available to obtain the favor of great persons.”

Wearing a bay-leaf was-a charm against lightning.
Robert Greene, Penelope's Web (1601), says: “ He which
weareth the bay leaf is privileged from the prejudice of
thunder.” In Webster’s White Devil (1612) Cornelia
says :— cs

“Reach the bays:
Til tie a garland here about his head;
‘T will keep my boy from lightning.”

Burton, in his Avatomy of Melancholy (1621), remarks:
“Amulets, and things to be borne about, I find pre-
scribed, taxed [condemned] by some, approved by
others. . . . I say with Renodeus, they are not alto-
gether to be rejected.”

Reginald Scot, in his Deere of Witchcraft, pub-
lished in 1584, in which he exposed and ridiculed the
pretensions of witches, magicians, and astrologers, tells
an amusing story. of an old woman who cured diseases
by muttering a certain form of words over the person .
afflicted ; for which service she always received a penny
and a loaf of bread. At length, terrified by threats of
being burned as a witch, she owned that her whole con-
juration consisted in these lines, which she repeated in
a low voice near the head of the patient :—
/

SHAKESPEARE THE BOY gt

“Thy loaf in my hand,
And thy penny in my purse,
Thou art never the better,
And I—am never the worse.”

Scot was one of the few men of that age who dared
to assail the general belief in witchcraft and magic;
and James I. ordered his book to be burned by the
common hangman. That monarch also wrote his De-
monology, as he tells us, “chiefly against the damnable
opinions of Wierus and Scot; the latter of whom is
not ashamed in public print to deny there can be such
a thing as witchcraft.” Eminent divines and scientific
writers joined in the attempt to refute this bold attack
upon the ignorance and superstition of the time.

We infer, from certain passages in the plays, that
Shakespeare had read Scot’s book; and we have good
reason to believe that, like Scot, he was far enough in
advance of his age to see the absurdity of the popular
faith in magic and witchcraft. In his boyhood we may
suppose that he believed in them, as his parents and
everybody in Stratford doubtless did; but when he be-
came a man he appears to have regarded them only as
curious old folk-lore from which he could now and
then draw material for use in his plays and poems.

The illustrations here given of the vulgar supersti-
tions of Shakespeare’s time are merely a few out of
thousands equally interesting to be found in books on
the subject, or scattered through the dramatic and other
literature of the period.

Part III

AT SCHOOL











INNER COURT, GRAMMAR SCHOOL

THE STRATFORD GRAMMAR SCHOOL

THE Stratford Grammar School, as we have already
seen (page 38 above), was an ancient institution in
Shakespeare’s day, having been originally founded in
the first half of the 15th century by the Guild, and,
after the dissolution of that body, created by royal char-
ter, in June, 1553, “The King’s New School of Strat-
ford-upon-Avon.” The charter describes it as “a cer-
6 SHAKESPEARE THE BOV

tain free grammar school, to consist of one master and
teacher, hereafter for ever to endure.” The master was
to be appointed by the Earl of Warwick, and was to re-
ceive twenty pounds a year from the income of certain
lands given by the King for that purpose. A part of
the expenses of the school is to this day paid from
the same royal endowment.

The school-house stood, as it still does, close beside
the Guild Chapel, the school-rooms on the second story ~
being originally reached by an outside staircase, roofed
with tile, which was demolished about fifty years ago.
The building was old and out of repair in Shakespeare’s
boyhood. In 1568 it was partially renovated, and while
the work was going on the school was transferred to the
adjoining chapel, as it may have been under similar cir-
cumstances on more than one former occasion. This
probably suggested Shakespeare’s comparison of Mal-
volio to “a pedant that keeps a school i’ the church”
(Twelfth Night, iii.2.80). In 1595 the holding of school
in church or chapel was forbidden by statute.

The training in an English free day-school in the
time of Elizabeth depended much on the attainments
of the master, and these varied greatly, bad teachers
being the rule and good ones the exception. “It is
a general plague and complaint of the whole land,”
writes Henry Peacham in the 17th century, “for, for
one discreet and able teacher, you shall find twenty
ignorant and careless; who (among so many fertile and
delicate wits as England affordeth), whereas they make
one scholar, they mar ten.” Roger Ascham, some years
earlier, had written in the same strain. In many towns
the office of schoolmaster was conferred on “an ancient
citizen of no great learning.” Sometimes a quack con-
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 97



THE SCHOOL-ROOM AS IT WAS

juring doctor had the position, like Pinch in the Comedy
of Errors (v. 1. 237), whom Antipholus of SE de-
scribes thus :—

“ Along with them
They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-fac’d villain,
A mere anatomy, a mountebank,
A threadbare juggler, and a fortune-teller,
A needy, hollow-eyed, sharp-looking wretch,
A living dead man. This pernicious slave,
Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer;
7
98 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

And, gazing in mine eyes, feeling my pulse, -
And with no face, as ’t were, out-facing me,
Cries out, I was possess’d.”

Pinch is not called a schoolmaster in the text of the
play, but in the stage-direction of the earliest edition
(1623) he is described, on his entrance, as “a schoole-
master call’d Pinch.”

In old times the village pedagogue often had the rep-
utation of being a conjurer; that is, of one who could
exorcise evil spirits — perhaps because he was the one
man in the village, except the priest, who could speak
Latin, the only language supposed to be “‘ understanded
of devils.”

A certain master of St. Alban’s School in-the mid-
dle of the 16th century declared that “by no entreaty
would he teach any scholar. he had, further than his
father had learned before them,” arguing that, if edu-.
cated beyond that point, they would “prove saucy
rogues and control their fathers.”

The masters of the Stratford school at the time when
Shakespeare probably attended it were university men
of at least fair scholarship and ability, as we infer from
the fact that they rapidly gained promotion in the church.
Thomas Hunt, who was master during the most impor-
tant years of William’s school course, became vicar of the
neighboring village of Luddington. “In the pedantic
Holofernes of Love’s Labour's Lost, Shakespeare has
carefully portrayed the best type of the rural school-
master, as in Pinch he has portrayed the worst, and
the freshness and fulness of detail imparted to the
former portrait may easily lead to the conclusion that
its author was drawing upon his own experience.” We
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY - 99

need not suppose that Holofernes is the exact counter-
part of Master Hunt, but the latter was probably, like
the former, a thorough scholar.

WHAT SHAKESPEARE LEARNT AT SCHOOL.

We may imagine young William wending his way to
the Grammar School for the first time on a May morn-
ing in 1571. If he was born on the 23d of April, 1564
(or May 3d, according to our present calendar), he had
now reached the age of seven years, at which he could
enter the school. The only other requirement for ad-'
mission, in the case of a Stratford boy, was that he
should be able to read; and this he had probably
learned at home with the aid of a “horn-book,” such
as he afterwards referred to in Love’s Labour ’s Lost

(v. 1. 49):—

“Yes, yes; he teaches boys the horn-book.
What is a, b, spelt backward with the horn on its head ?”

This primer of our forefathers, which continued
in common use in England down to the middle of
the last century at least, was a single printed leaf,
usually set in a frame of wood and covered with a
thin plate of transparent horn, from which it got
its name. There was generally a handle to hold it
by, and through a hole in the handle a cord was put
by which the “book” was slung to the girdle of the
scholar.

In a book printed in 1731 we read of “a child, in a
bodice coat and leading-strings, with a horn-book tied
to her side.” In 1715 we find mention of the price of
Ve?

00 “SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

a horn-book as twopence; but Shakespeare’s probably
cost only half as much.

The leaf had at the top the alphabet large and small,
with a list of the vowels and a string of easy monosyl-
lables of the ad, ed, 2b sort, and a copy of the Lord’s
Prayer. The matter varied somewhat from time to
time. :

Here is an exact reproduction of the text of one
specimen, from a recent catalogue of a London anti-
quarian bookseller, who prices it at twelve guineas, or
a trifle more than sixty dollars. These old horn-books
are now excessively rare, having seldom survived the
wear and tear of the nursery.



CUBASE ISOEOLOew
ip Aabede ran jelmaop
ristuvwxyz& aeiou e
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQ ny
RSTUVWXYZ a

a

aeiou aeiou
abebibobub | babe bibobu
acec ic oc uc | cacecicocu
adedidodud | dadedidodu
In the Name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghoft. A sez.
UR Father, which art in
Heaven, hallowed bethy
Name; thy Kingdom come,
thy Will be done on Earth,
as it is in Heaven. Give us
this Day our daily Bread; and
forgive us our trefpafles, as
we forgivethem thattrefpafs
againit us: And lead us not
into Temptation, but deliver
us io Evil. Amen.

LENE SL SLBL CLSBE:

ae
ne



G
1
se

oe


SHAKESPEARE THE BOY IOL

The alphabet was prefaced by a cross, whence it
came to be called. the Christ Cross row,* corrupted
into “ criss-cross-row % or contracted into “‘cross-row”’;
as in Richard LIZ, (i. 1. 55), where Clarence says :—

“ «He harkens after prophecies and dreams,
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G,
And says a wizard told him that by G
His issue disinherited should be.”

Shenstone alludes to the horn-book in Zhe School-
mistress :—

“Their books of stature small they take in hand,
Which with pellucid horn secured are
To save from fingers wet the letters fair.”

Possibly, the boy William, instead of a horn-book,
had an ‘“ A-B-C book,” which often contained a cate-
chism, in addition to the elementary reading matter.
To this we have an allusion in King Fohn, i. 1. 196:—

“ Now your traveller—
He and his toothpick at my.worship’s mess,
And when my knightly stomach is sufficed,
Why, then I suck my teeth and catechise
My picked man of countries: ‘My dear sir,’ —
Thus, leaning on my elbow, I begin,—
‘I shall beseech you’—that is question now;
And then comes answer like an. Absey book.”

* Some believe it got the name from having the letters arranged
in the form of a cross, as they sometimes were; but the other ex-
planation seems to me thie more probable.
102 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

“ Absey” is one of many old spellings for “ A-B-C”
—abece, apece, apecy, apsie, absee, abcee, abeesee, etc.

It was not a long walk that our seven-year-old boy
had to take in going to school. Turning the corner of
Henley Street, where his father lives (compare the

‘map, page 42 above), he passes into the High Street,

on which (though the street changes its name twice
before we get there) the Guildhall is situated. The
adjoining Guild Chapel is separated only by a nar-
row lane from the “great
house,” as it was called,
the handsomest in all
Stratford.

The child, as he passes
that grand mansion, little
dreams that, some twenty-
five years later, he will

DESK SAID TO BE SHAKESPEARE’S buy it for his own resi-
dence.

The school-room probably looks much the same to-
day as it did when William studied there, the modern
plastered ceiling which hid the oak roof of the olden
time having been removed. . The wainscoted walls,
with the.small windows high above the floor, are evi-
dently ancient. An old desk, which may have been the
master’s, and a few rude forms, or benches, are now the
only furniture; for the school was long since removed
to ampler and more convenient quarters. A desk, said
with no authority whatever to have been used by Shake-
speare, is preserved in the Henley Street house.

What did William study in the Grammar School?
Not much except arithmetic and Latin, with perhaps a
little Greek and a mere smattering of other branches. .


2

SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 103

His first lessons in Latin were probably from two
well-known books of ‘the time, the Accidence and the
Sententie Pueriles. The examination of Master Page
by the Welsh parson and schoolmaster, Sir Hugh
Evans, in Zhe Merry Wives of Windsor (iv. 1) is taken
almost verbally from the Accidence. Mrs. Page, accom-
panied by her son and the illiterate Dame Quickly,
meets Sir Hugh in the street, and this dialogue en-
sues :—

“Mrs. Page. How now, Sir Hugh! no school to-day ?

Evans. No; master Slender is get the Dov leave to
play.

Quickly. Blessing of his heart!

Mrs. Page. Sir Hugh, my husband says, my son profits
nothing in the world at his book. I pray you, ask him
some questions in his accidence.

£vans. Come hither, William; hold up your head; come.

Mrs. Page. Come on, sirrah; hold up your head; answer
" your master, be not afraid.

£vans. William, how many numbers is in nouns?

William. Two.

Quzckly. Truly, I thought there had been one CHUMbeE
more, because they say, ’od’s nouns.

vans. Peace your tattlings !—What is fair, William ?

William. Pulcher.

Quickly. Pole-cats! there are fairer things than pole-
cats, sure.

vans. You are a very simplicity oman; I pray you
peace.— What is Zapzs, William ?

Willéam. A stone.

£vans, And what is a stone, William ?

Welltam. A pebble.

Evans. No, it is lagzs: I pray you remember in. your
prain.
104 ’ SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

Welliam. Lapis.

Evans. That is a good William. What is he, William,
that does lend articles ?

William. Articles are borrowed of the pronoun; and
be thus declined, Scngularzter, nomcnativo, hic, hec, hoc.

Evans. Nominativo, hig, hag, hog ;— pray you, mark:
genitive, hijus. Well, what is your accusative case?

Witliam. Accusativo, hinc.

Evans. 1 pray you, have your remembrance, child;-ac-
cusativo, hung, hang, hog.

Quzeckly. Hang-hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.

Evans. Leave your prabbles, oman.—What is the foca-
tive case, William P

William: O \—vocativo, O!.

Evans. Remember, William ; focative is caret.

Quickly, And that’s a good root.

Evans. ’Oman, forbear.

Mrs. Page. Peace!

Quickly. You do ill to teach the child such words.—He
teaches him to hick and to hack, which they’ll do fast
enough of themselves. Fie upon you!

Evans. ’Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no under-
standings for thy cases, and the numbers of the genders?
Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as I would desires.

Mrs. Page. Prithee, hold thy peace.

Evans. Show me now, William, some declensions of
your pronouns.

William. Forsooth, I have forgot.

Evans. It is guz, gua, guod; if you forget your ‘gizs,
your gues, and your guods, you must be preeches. Go
your ways, and play; go.

Mrs. Page. He is a better scholar than I thought he was.

Evans. He is a good sprag memory. Farewell, mistress
Page. ; \

Mrs. Page. Adieu, good Sir Hugh.”


ae Te EME ee Ow a ee

SHAKESPEARE .THE BOY 105

The Senxtentie Pueriles was a collection of brief sen-
tences from. many authors, including moral and relig-
ious passages intended for the use of the boys on
Saints’ days.

The Latin Grammar studied by William was certain-
ly Lilly’s, the standard manual of the time, as long be-
fore and after. The first edition was published in
1513, and one was issued as late as 1817, or more than
three hundred years afterward. In Zhe Taming of the
Shrew (i. 1. 167) a passage from Terence is quoted in
the modified form in which it appears in this grammar.

There are certain people, by the way, who believe
that Shakespeare’s plays were written by Francis
Bacon. Can we imagine the sage of St. Albans, famil-
iar as he was with classical literature, going to his old
Latin Grammar for a quotation from Terence, and not
to the original works of that famous playwright?

In Love's Labour ’s Lost (iv. 2.95) Holofernes quotes
the “good old Mantuan,” as he calls him, the passage
being evidently a reminiscence of Shakespeare’s school-
boy Latin. . The “Mantuan” is not Virgil, as one
might at first suppose (and as Mr. Andrew Lang, who
is a good scholar, assumes in his pleasant comments
on the play in Harper's Magazine for May, 1893), but
Baptista Mantuanus, or Giovanni Battista Spagnuoli
(or Spagnoli), who got the name Mantuanus from his
birthplace.

He died in 1516, less than fifty years before Shake-
Speare was born, and was the author of sundry Zclogues,
which the pedants of that day preferred to Virgil’s, and
which were much read in schools. The first Eclogue
begins with the passage quoted by Folofernes.

' A little earlier in the same scene the old pedant
106 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

gives us a quotation from Lilly’s Grammar. Other bits

of Latin with which he interlards his talk are taken, -
with little or no variation, from the Sententie Pueriles

or similar Elizabethan phrase-books.

THE NEGLECT OF ENGLISH.

No English was taught in the Stratford school
then, or for many years after. It is only in our own
day that it has begun to receive proper attention in
schools of this grade in England, or indeed in our own
country.

It is interesting, however, to know that the first Eng-
lish schoolmaster to urge the study of the vernacular
tongue was a contemporary of Shakespeare. In 1561
Richard Mulcaster, who had been educated at King’s
College, Cambridge, and Christ Church, Oxford, was
appointed head-master of. Merchant-Taylors School in
London, which had just been founded as a feeder, or
preparatory school, for St. John’s College, Oxford. In
his Zdementarie, published in 1582, he has the following
plea for the study of English :—

“But because I take upon me in this Elementarie,
besides some friendship to secretaries for the pen, and
to correctors for the print, to direct such people as
teach children to read and write English, and the zead-
ing must needs be such as the writing leads unto, there-
fore, before I meddle with any particular precept, to
direct the reader, I will thoroughly rip up the whole
certainty of our English writing, so far forth and with
such assurance as probability can make me, because it
is a thing both proper to my argument and profitable
to my country. For our natural tongue being as bene-
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 107

ficial unto us for our needful delivery as any other is to
the people which use it; and having as pretty and as
. fair observations in it as any other hath ; and being as
ready to yield to any rule of art as any other is; why
should I not take some pains to find out the right writ-
ing of ours as other countrymen have done to find the
like in theirs? and. so much the rather because it is
pretended that the writing thereof is marvellous un-
certain, and scant to be recovered from extreme con-
fusion, without some change of as great extremity?

“J mean therefore so to deal in it as I may wipe away
that opinion of either uncertainty for confusion or im-
possibility for direction, that both the natural English
may have wherein to rest, and the desirous stranger
may have whereby to learn. For the performance
whereof, and mine own better direction, I will first ex-
amine those means whereby other tongues of most
sacred antiquity have been brought to art and form of
discipline for their right writing, to the end that, by
following their way, I may hit upon their right, and at
the least by their precedent devise the like to theirs,
where the use of our tongue and the property of our
dialect will not yield flat to theirs.

“That done, I will set all the variety of our now writ-
ing, and the uncertain force of all our letters, in as
much certainty as any writing can be, by these seven
precepts:

“+. General rude, which concerneth the property and
use of each letter.

“9, Proportion, which reduceth all words of one
sound to the same writing.

“3. Composition, which teacheth how to write one
word made of more.
108 SHAKESPEARE THE BOV

“4, Derivation, which examineth the offspring of
every original. .

“. Distinction, which bewrayeth the difference of
sound and force in letters by.some written figure or
accent. :

“6, nfranchisement, which directeth the right writ-
ing of all incorporate foreign words.

“1. Prerogative, which declareth a reservation wherein
common use will continue her precedence in our Eng-
lish writing as she hath done everywhere else, both for
the form of the letter, in some places, which likes the
pen better; and for the difference in writing, where
some particular caveat will check a common rule.

‘Tn all these seven I will so examine the particulari-
ties of our tongue, as either nothing shall seem strange
at all, or if anything do seem, yet it shall not seem so
strange but that either the self same, or the very like
unto it, or the more strange than it is, shall appear to
be in those things which are more familiar unto us for
extraordinary learning than required of us for our or-
dinary use.

“ And forasmuch as the eye will help many to write
right by a seen precedent, which either cannot under-
stand or cannot entend to understand the reason of a
rule, therefore'in the end of this treatise for right writ-
ing I purpose to set down a general table of most Eng-
lish words, by way of precedent, to help such plain
people as cannot entend the understanding of a rule,
which requireth both time and conceit in perceiving,
but can easily run to a general table, which is readier
to their hand. By the which table I shall also confirm
the right of my rules, that they hold throughout, and
by multitude of examples help some in precepts.”
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 10g

Thirty years later, in 1612, another teacher followed
Mulcaster in advocating the study of English. This
was John Brinsley, eno in Zhe Grammar Schoole, writes
thus :— ‘

“There seems unto Ie to be a very main want in all
our grammar schools generally, or in the most of them,
whereof I have heard some great learned men to com-
plain ; that there is no care had in respect to train up
scholars so as they may be able to express their minds
purely and readily in our own tongue, and to increase
in the practice of it, as well as in the Latin and Greek;
whereas our chief endeavour should be for it, and that
fon ‘Wiese reasons: :

1. Because that language which all sorts and con-
ditions of men amongst us are to have’ most use of,
both in speech and writing, is our own native tongue.

“2. The purity and elegance of our own language
is to be esteemed a chief part of the honour of our
nation, which we all ought to advance as much as in
us lieth. . . .

“3. Because of those which are for a time trained up
in schools, there are very few which proceed in learning,
in comparison of them that follow other callings.”

Among the means which he recommends “to obtain
this benefit of increasing in our English tongue as in
the Latin” are “continual practice of English gram-
matical translations,” and “translating and writing
English, with some other school exercises.”

But, as we have seen, the study of our mother
tongue continued to be generally ignored in English
schools for nearly three centuries after Mulcaster and
Brinsley had thus called attention to its educational
value,
~

Ilo SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

SCHOOL LIFE IN SHAKESPEARE’S DAY.

From Brinsley’s book we get an idea of the daily life
of a grammar-school boy in 1612, which probably did
not differ materially from what it was in Shakespeare’s
boyhood.

In his chapter “Of school times, intermissions, and
recreations,” Brinsley says: “The school-time should
begin at six: all who write Latin to make their ex-
ercises which were given overnight, in that hour before
seven.” To make boys punctual, “so many of them as
are there at six, to have their places as they had them
by election or the day before: all who come after six,
every one to sit as he cometh, and so to continue. that
day, and until he recover his place again by the elec-
tion of the form or otherwise.* If any cannot be
brought by this, them to be noted in the black bill by
a special mark, and feel the punishment thereof: and
sometimes present correction to be used for terror ;”
that is, to frighten the rest. ,

The school work is to go on from six in the morning
as follows: ‘Thus they are to continue until nine...
Then at nine to let them to have a quarter of an hour
at least, or more, for intermission, either for breakfast,
or else for the necessity of every one, or for honest rec-
reation, or to prepare their exercises against the mas-
ter’s coming in. After, each of them to be in his place
in an instant, upon the knocking of the door or some
other sign, . . . so to continue until eleven of the clock, .
or somewhat after, to countervail the time of’the inter-

* In a preceding chapter we are told that it was a rule for ‘‘all
of a form to name who is the best of their form, and who is the
best next him.”
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY Itt

?

mission at nine;” that is, apparently, to make the
morning session full five hours.

For the afternoon the schedule is as follows: “To
be again all ready and in their places at one, in an in-
stant; to continue until three, or half‘an hour after;
then to have another quarter of an hour or more, as at
nine, for drinking and necessities ; so to continue till
half an hour after five: thereby in that half hour to
countervail the: time at three; then to end with read-
ing a piece of a chapter, and with singing two staves
of a Psalm: lastly, with prayer to be used by the
master.”

These closing exercises would fill out the time until
about six o’clock, making the school day nearly ten
hours long, exclusive: of the two intermissions at nine
and three and the interval of somewhat more than an
hour at noon.

It would seem that some objection had been made
to the intermissions at nine and three, on the ground
that the boys then “do nothing but play”; but Brins-
ley believed that the boys did their work the better
for these brief respites from it. He adds: “It is very
requisite also that they should have weekly one part of
an afternoon for recreation, as a reward of diligence,
obedience, and profiting; and that to be appointed at
the master’s discretion, either the Thursday, after the
usual custom, or according to the best opportunity of
the place.”

The sports and recreations of the boys are to be
carefully looked after. ‘“Clownish sports, or perilous,
or yet playing for money, are no way to be admitted.”

Of the age at which boys went to school the same
writer says: “For the time of their entrance with us,
112 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

in our country schools, it is commonly about. seven ar
eight years old: six is very soon. If any begin ‘so
early, they are rather sent to the school to keep them
from troubling the house at home, and from danger,
and shrewd turns, than for any great hope and desire
their friends have’ that they should learn anything in
effect.”

Seven, as we have seen, was the earliest age at which
boys could be admitted to the Stratford School.

SCHOOL MORALS,

Schoolboys in that olden time appear to have been
much like those nowadays. They sometimes played
truant. Jack Falstaff, in the Hirst Part of Henry IV.
(ii. 4. 450) asks: “Shall the blessed sun of -heaven
prove a micher and eat blackberries?” Micher, meach-
er, or moocher is now obsolete, though the practice it
suggests is not ; but a contemporary dictionary of Pro-
wincial Words and Phrases gives this definition of the
word: ‘“ Moocher—a truant; a blackberry moucher.
A boy who plays truant to pick blackberries.”

Idle pupils in those days often “made shift to es-
cape correction” by methods not unlike those known

in our modern schools. Boys who had faithfully pre-
pared their lessons would “ prompt” others who had
been less diligent.

One of these fellows, named Willis, born in the same
year with Shakespeare, has recorded his youthful ex-
perience at school in a diary written later in life which
is still extant. He tells how, after being often helped
in this fashion, “it fell out on a day that one of the
eldest scholars and one of the highest form fell out






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SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 113

with” him “upon occasion of some boys’ play abroad,”
and refused to “prompt” him as aforetime. He feared
that he might “fall under the rod,” but, gathering his
wits together, managed to recite his lesson creditably ;
and “so” he says, “the evil intended to me by my
fellow-scholar turned to my great good.”

How William liked going to school we do not know,
but if we are to judge from his references to school-
boys and schooldays he had little taste for it. In As
Vou Like ft (ii. 7. 145) we have the familiar picture of

. . “the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school ;”

and in Romeo and Fuliet (ii. 1. 156) the significant
similes :—

“Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books,
But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.”

Gremio, in Zhe Taming of the Shrew.(iii. 2. 149),
when asked if he has come from the church, replies:
‘‘ As willingly as e’er I came from school.”

SCHOOL DISCIPLINE,

Sooth to say, the schoolmasters of that time were
not likely to be remembered with much favor by their
pupils in after years. There is abundant testimony to
the severity of their discipline in Ascham, Peacham,

and other writers of the 16th century.
8 2
Trg SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

Thomas Tusser tells of his youthful experiences at
Eton in verses that have been often quoted :

“From Paul’s I went, to Eton sent,

To learn straightways the Latin phrase,

When fifty-three stripes given to me
At once I had:

For fault but small or none at all

It came to pass, thus beat I was.

See, Udall, see the mercy of thee
To me, poor lad!”

Nicholas Udall was the master of Eton at the time.

Peacham tells of one pedagogue who used to whip
his boys of a cold morning “for no other purpose
than to get himself a heat.” No doubt it warmed
the boys too, but it is not recorded that they-liked
the method.

Some of the grammars of the period have on the
title-page the significant woodcut of “an awful man
sitting on a high chair, pointing to a book with his
right hand, but with a mighty rod in his left.” Lilly’s
Grammar, on the other hand, has the picture of a huge
fruit-tree, with little boys in its branches picking the
abundant fruit. I hope the urchins did not find this
more suggestive of stealing apples than of gathering
the rich fruit of the tree of knowledge.

Mr. Sidney Lee remarks: “A repulsive picture of
the terrors which the schoolhouse had for a nervous
child is drawn in a ‘pretie and merry new interlude’
entitled ‘The Disobedient Child, compiled by Thomas
Ingeland, late student in Cambridge,’ about 1560. A
boy who implores his father not to force him to go to
school tells of his companions’ sufferings there—how
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 115

“Their tender bodies both night and day
Are whipped and scourged, and beat like a stone,
That from top to toe the skin is away ;’

and a story is repeated of how a scholar was tormented
to death by ‘his bloody master.’ Other accounts show
that the playwright has not gone far beyond the fact.”

We will try to believe, however, that Master Hunt
of Stratford was of a milder disposition. Holofernes
seems well disposed towards his pupils, and is invited
to dine with the father of one of them;:and Sir Hugh
Evans, in his examination of William Page, has a very
kindly manner. It is to be noted, indeed, that in few
of Shakespeare’s references to school life is there any.
mention of whipping-as a punishment.

Roger Ascham, in his Scholemaster, advocated gentler
discipline than was usual in the schools of his day.
His book, indeed, owed its origin to his interest in this
matter.

In 1563, Ascham, who was then Latin Secretary. to
Queen Elizabeth, was dining with Sir William Cecil

‘(afterwards Lord Burleigh), when the conversation
turned to the subject of education, from news of the
running away of some boys from Eton, where there was
much beating. Ascham argued that young children
were sooner allured by love than driven by beating to
obtain good learning. Sir Richard Sackville, father of
Thomas Sackville, said nothing at the dinner-table, but
he afterwards drew Ascham aside, agreed with his
opinions, lamented his own past loss by a harsh school-
master, and said, Ascham tells us in the preface to his
book: “‘ Seeing it is but in vain to lament things past,
and also wisdom. to look. to things. to come, surely, God
116 _ SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

willing, if God lend me life, I will make this my mishap
some occasion of good hap to little Robert Sackville,
my son’s son. For whose bringing up I would gladly, if
it so please you, use specially your good advice. I hear
say you have a son much of his age ['Ascham had three
little sons|; we will deal thus together. Point you out
a schoolmaster who by your order shall teach my son’s
son and yours, and for all the rest I will provide, yea,
though they three do’ cost me a couple of hundred
pounds by year; and besides you shall find me as fast
a friend to you and yours as perchance any you have.’
Which promise the worthy gentleman surely kept with
me until his dying day.” The conversation ended with
a request that Ascham would “put in some order of
writing the chief points of this our talk, concerning the
right order of teaching and honesty of living, for the
good bringing up of children and young men.”

Ascham accordingly wrote Zhe Scholemaster, which
was published in 1570 (two years after his death) by
his widow, with a dedication to Sir William Cecil.

In the very first page of the book, Ascham, referring
to training in “the making of Latins,” or writing the
language, says: “ For the scholar is commonly beat for
the making, when the master were more worthy to be
beat for the mending or rather marring of the same;
the master many times being as ignorant as the child
what to say properly and fitly to the matter.”

Again he says: “I do gladly agree with all good
schoolmasters in these points: to have children brought
to good perfectness in learning; to all honesty in man-
ners; to have all faults rightly amended ; to have every
vice severely corrected ; but for the order and way that
leadeth rightly to these points we somewhat differ.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 117

For commonly, many schoolmasters — some, as I have
seen, more, as I have heard tell—be of so crooked a
nature, as, when they meet with a hard-witted scholar,
they rather break him than bow him, rather mar him
than mend him. For when the schoolmaster is angry
with some other matter, then will he soonest fall to
beat his scholar; and though he himself should be
punished for his folly, yet must he beat some scholar
for his pleasure, though there be no cause for him
to do so, nor yet fault in the scholar to deserve so.
These, you will say, be fond [that is, foolish] school-
masters, and few they be that be found to be such.
They be fond, indeed, but surely over many such be
found everywhere. But this will I say, that even the
' wisest of your great beaters do as oft punish nature as
they do correct faults. Yea, many times the better
nature is sorely punished ; for, if one, by quickness of
wit, take his lesson readily, another, by hardness of wit,
taketh it not so speedily, the first is always commended,
the other is commonly punished ; when a wise school-
master should rather discreetly consider the right dis-
position of both their natures, and not so much weigh
what either of them is able to do now, as what
either of them is likely to do hereafter. For this I
know, not only by reading of books in my study, but
also by experience of life abroad in the world, that
those which be commonly the wisest, the best learned,
and best men also, when they be old, were never com-
monly the quickest of wit when they were young.”

The result of ordinary school training, with the free
use of the rod, as Ascham says, is that boys “carry
commonly from the school with them a perpetual
hatred of their master and a continual contempt for
118 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

learning.” He adds: “If ten gentlemen be asked why
they forget so soon in court that which they were learn-
ing so long in school, eight of: them, or let me be
blamed, will lay the fault on their ill handling by their
schoolmasters.”’ The sum of the matter is that “learn-
ing should be taught rather by love than fear,”
and “the schoolhouse should be counted a sanctuary
against fear.

But Ascham, like Mulcaster and Brinsley, was far.in
advance of his age, and it is doubtful whether his wise
counsel with regard to methods of discipline met with
any greater favor among teachers than theirs concern-
ing the importance of the study of English.

WHEN WILLIAM LEFT SCHOOL.

How long William remained in the Grammar School
we do not know, but probably not more than six years,
or until he was thirteen. In 1577 his father was begin-
ning to have bad luck in his business, and the boy
very likely had to be taken from school for work of
some sort.

As Ben Jonson says, Shakespeare had ‘‘small Latin
and less Greek’”—perhaps none—and this was. prob-
ably due to his leaving the Grammar School before
the average age. However that may have been, we
may be pretty sure that all the regular schooling he
ever had was got there.
Part IV
GAMES AND SPORTS



BOYISH GAMES

Youne William may have found life at the Henley
Street house and at the Grammar School rather dull,
but there was no lack of diversion and recreation out
of doors. Household comforts and attractions were
meagre enough in those days, but holidays were fre-
quent, and rural sports and pastimes for young and old
were many and varied. We may be sure that Shake-
speare enjoyed these to the full. His writings abound
in allusions to them which were doubtless reminis-
cences of his own boyhood.

Many of the children’s games to which he refers are.
122 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY ©

familiar to small folk now, especially in the rural dis-
tricts. Hide-and-seek, for example—also known as
“ hoop-and-hide” and “ harry-racket’’—is probably the
play that Hamlet had in mind when he exclaimed
(iv. 2. 33), “ Hide, fox, and after.” Blind-man’s-buff is
also alluded to by Hamlet when, chiding his mother
for preferring his uncle to his father, he asks:

“What devil was ’t
That thus hath cozen ‘d you at hoodman- -blind. a

A dictionary of Shakespeare’s time couples this
name for the pastime with the one that has survived:
“The Hoodwinke play, or hoodmanblinde, in some
places called the blindmanbuf.” Hamlet’s question is
evidently suggested by the practice of making the
“blind man” guess whom he has caught—as Greek
and Roman boys did when they played the game.

In the grave-digging scene (v. 1. 100) Hamlet asks:
“Did these bones cost no more the breeding but to
play at loggats with them?” This refers to the throw-
ing of Zoggats or loggets—small logs, or sticks of wood
much like “Indian: clubs” —at a stake, the player
coming nearest to it being the winner. S

In a poem of 1611 we find loggats in a list of games
with sundry others that are still in vogue :—

“To wrastle, play at stooleball, or to runne,
To pich the Barre, or to shoote off a Gunne,
To play at Loggets, Nine-holes, or Ten-pinnes ;
To try it out at Foot-ball by the shinnes.”

Stool-ball, commonly played by girls and women,
sometimes in company with boys or men, is to this


HIDE-AND-SEEK
SHAKESPEARE THE BOV 123

day a village pastime in some parts of England. It is
essentially a lighter kind of cricket, but is more ancient
than that game.

Pitching the bar was an athletic exercise still com-
mon in Scotland. Scott alludes to it in Zhe Lady of
the Lake, iv. 559 :—

“Now, if thou strik’st her but one blow,
‘I'll pitch thee from the cliff as far
As ever peasant pitch’d a bar!”

And again, in the account of the sports at Stirling
Castle, v. 647 :—

“Their arms the brawny yeomen bare
To hurl the massive bar in air.”

A poet of the 16th century tells us that to throw
“the stone, the bar, or the plummet” is a commendable
exercise for kings and princes; and, according to the
old chroniclers, it was a favorite diversion with Henry
VIII. after his accession to the throne.

Nine-holes, a game in which nine holes were made in
a board or in the: ground at which small balls were
rolled, is among the rustic sports enumerated by
Drayton in the Poly-Olbion.

There were many ball-games besides stool-ball in the
days of Elizabeth, from the simple hand-ball, which
Homer represents the princess of Corcyra as playing
with her maidens, to more complicated exercises, among
which we can recognize the germ of the later “round-
ers,” out of which-our Yankee base-ball has been de-
veloped.
124 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

The term dase, as denoting a starting-point or goal,
occurs in the name of other than ball-games, especially
n “ prisoners’ base’? —sometimes “ prisoners’ bars,”
or “prison-bars’”— which was popular long before
Shakespeare was born. It is played by two sides, who
occupy opposite bases, or “homes.” Any player run-
ning out from his base is chased by the opposite party,
and if caught is madea prisoner. It belongs to a class
of old games, one of the most -popular of which was
called “ barley-break.”

Originally, this was played by three couples, male and
female; one couple was stationed in “hell” or the space
between the two goals, and tried to catch the others
as they ran across. It is thus described by Sir = Ehilip
Sidney in the Arcadia :-—

“Then couples three be straight allotted there;
They of both ends the middle two do fly;
- The two that in mid-space, Hell called, were
Must strive, with waiting foot and watching eye,
To catch of them, and them to Hell to bear,
That they, as well as they, may Hell supply.”

Later it came to be played by any number of young
people, of either sex or both, with one person in “hell”
at the start. The game was kept up until all had been
captured. and brought into this Inferno. In this form,
under the name of “ Lill-lll”—which was the signal
cry of the person between the goals for beginning the
sport —it was played by schoolboys in eastern Mas-
sachusetts fifty years ago.

Barley-break is often alluded to by the dramatists and
lyrists of Shakespeare’s day, and complete poems were
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 125

written upon it by Suckling, Herrick, and others.
Shakespeare does not mention it, though he has sev-
eral references to prisoners’ base; as in Cymbeline
(v. 3. 20) -—
“Jads more like to run :
The country base than to commit such slaughter.”

To “bid a base,” or “the base,” was a common
phrase for challenging to a game of this kind, and we
often find it used figuratively; as in Venus and Adonis,
303, in the spirited description of the horse, which,
like many other passages, shows Shakespeare’s inter-
est in the animal :—

“Sometimes he scuds far off, and there he stares;
Anon he starts at stirring of a feather;
To bid the wind a base he now prepares,
And. whether he run or fly they know not whether,
For through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
Fanning the hairs, who wave like feather’d wings.”

In the Zwo Gentlemen of Verona (i. 2. 97), Lucetta
says to Julia, with a pun upon the phrase: “Indeed, I
bid the base for Proteus.”

Drayton, in the Foly-Obion, includes this game with
others that have been described above: “ At hood-wink,
barley-brake, at tick [that is, tag], or prison-base”; and
Spenser in the Shepherd’s Calendar (October) refers to
it among rustic pastimes: “In rymes, in ridles, and in
bydding base.”

Foot-ball is mentioned by Shakespeare in the Comedy
of Errors (ii. 1. 82), where Dromio of Ephesus says to
his mistress Adriana, who has been chiding him :—
126 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

“Am I so round with you as you with me,
That like a foot-ball you do spurn me thus?
You spurn ine hence, and he will spurn me hither;
If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.”

In Lear (i. 4. 95), Oswald says to Kent, “I'll not be
struck, my lord !’’ and Kent replies, “ Nor tripped neither,
you base foot-ball player.”

The game was popular with the common people of
England at least as early as the reign of Edward IIL.,
for in 1349 it was prohibited by royal edict—not, appar-
ently, from any particular objection to the game in it-
self, but because it was believed to interfere with the
popular interest in archery.

The sport was, however, a rough one then as now.
Alexander Barclay, who died in 1552, in one of his
Liclogues, tells how

“The sturdie plowman, lustie, strong, and bold,
Overcometh the winter with driving the foote-ball,
Forgetting labour and many a grievous fall.”

Edmund Waller, in the next century, writes :—

“As when a sort [company] of lusty shepherds try
Their force at foot-ball; care-of victory
Makes them salute so rudely breast to breast,
That their encounter seems too rough for jest.”

King James I., in his Basciicon—a set of rules for the
nurture and conduct of Henry, Prince of Wales, the
heir-apparent to the throne— says :— .

“ Certainly bodily exercises and games are very com-
mendable, as well for banishing of idleness, the mother
“SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 127

of all vice, as for making the body able and durable for
travell, which is very necessarie for a king. But from
this court I debarre all rough and violent exercises ; as
the foote-ball, meeter for lameing than making able the
users thereof; likewise such tumbling tricks as only
serve for comedians and balladines [theatrical dancers]
to win their bread with; but the exercises that I would
have you to ue, although but moderately, not making
a craft of them, are, running, leaping, wrestling, fencing,
dancing, and playing at the caitch, or tenise, archery,
palle-malle, and such like other fair and pleasant field-
games.”

Burton, in his Azatomy of Melancholy, published in
1660, mentions foot-ball among the “common recrea-
tions of country folks,’ as distinguished from the “dis-
ports of greater men,” or those higher in rank.

In Romeo and Juliet (i. 4. 41) Mercutio says to Romeo,
“Tf thou art Dun, we’ll draw thee from the mire’’—that
is, of love. This is an allusion to a rural game which
seems to have been a favorite for several centuries, and
to which scores of references, literal and figurative, are
to be found in writers of all classes.

In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (16936) we read :-—

“Ther gan our hoste for to jape and play,
And sayde, ‘sires, what? Dun is in the myre;’”

' Bishop Butler, more than three hundred years later,
writes: “they mean to leave reformation, like Dun in
the mire.”

Gifford, in his notes on Ben Jonson’s Masgue of
-Christmas, tells us (in 1816) that he himself had “often
played at this game.” He describes it substantially as
128 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

follows: A log of wood called “Dun the cart-horse *
is brought into the middle of the room, and some one
cries, “Dun is stuck in the mire.” Two of the players
try, with or without ropes, to drag.it out, but, pretend-
ing to be unable to do so, call for help. Others come
forward, and make awkward attempts to draw out the
log, which they manage, if possible, to drop upon a
companion’s toes, causing “much honest mirth.”

It is remarkable that so simple.a diversion could have
been popular with generation after generation of British
young folk, and that they should apparently recall it
with so much interest in later years. Verily, our fore-
fathers in the old country were easily amused.

In Antony and Cleopatra (iii. 13. 91) we find an allu-
sion to another game equally simple—if, indeed, it be
not too simple to be called a game. Antony says :—

“ Authority melts from me; of late, when I cried ‘Ho!’
Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth
And cry ‘Your will?’”

A “muss” was merely a scramble for small coins or
other things thrown down to be taken by those who
could seize them. Ben Jonson, in Zhe Magnetic Lady
(iv. 1), says:—

“The moneys rattle not, nor are they thrown
To make a muss yet ‘mong the gamesome suitors” ;

In the same author’s Bartholomew Fair (iv. 1), when
the costard-monger’s basket of pears is overturned,
Cokes begins to scramble for them, crying, “Ods so! a
muss, a muss, a muss, a muss !”
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 129

Dryden, in the prologue to Widow Ranter, says :—

“Bauble and cap no sooner are thrown down
But there’s a muss of more than half the town.”

This is the origin of the modern colloquial or slang
use of muss.

‘* Handy-dandy” was a childish play in which some-
thing was shaken between the two hands, and a guess
made as to the hand in which it remained. It is alluded
to in Lear (iv. 6.157): “See how yond justice rails
upon yond simple thief. Hark, in thine ear: change
places; and, handy-dandy, which is the justice, which
is the thief?” The game is:very ancient, being men-
tioned by Aristotle, Plato, and other Greek writers. -

In the Midsummer - Night's Dream (ii. 2. 98) Tita-
nia, lamenting the results of the quarrel with Oberon,
says :—

“The nine men’s morris is fill’d up with mud,
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
For lack of tread are undistinguishable.”

The “nine men’s morris” was a Warwickshire game
which is still kept up among the rural population of the
county. It is played on three squares, one within an-
other, with lines uniting the angles and the middle of
the sides; the opponents having each nine “men,” which
are moved somewhat as in draughts, or checkers.

In the country the squares were often cut in the green
turf, the sides of the outer one being sometimes three
or four yards long. In towns, they were chalked upon
the pavement. It was also played indoors upon a board.

9
130 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

A woodcut of 1520 represents two ens engaged
at it. It was sometimes called “nine men’s merrils,”’
from merelles, the old French
name for the “men,” or count-
ers, with which it was played.
The “quaint mazes” in Tita-
nia’s speech, according to the
best English critics, refer to a
game known as “running the
figure of eight.”
Space would fail to describe
“MORRIS” BOARD other boyish games of the time,
even those mentioned in the
writings of Shakespeare ; and I need not say anything
of leap-frog, trundling-hoop, battledore and shuttle-
cock, seesaw —sometimes called “riding the wild’
mare” — tops, and many other pastimes in. perennial
favor with boys.

Mulcaster, the head-master of Merchant- Taylors
School in London (see page 106 above), in a book print-
ed in 1581, enumerates as suitable exercises for boys:
“indoors, dancing, wrestling, fencing, the top and
scourge [whip-top]; outdoor, walking, running, leap-
ing, swimming, riding, hunting, shooting, and playing
at the ball—hand-ball, tennis, foot-ball, arm-ball.”
William doubtless had experience in most of these,
swimming in the Avon among them.

SWIMMING AND FISHING. ¥

The spirited description of Ferdinand swimming
(The Tempest, ii. 1. 113-12 1) could have been written
only by one well skilled in the art :—
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 131

“T-saw him beat the surges under him,
And ride upon their backs; he trod the water,
Whose enmity he flung aside, and breasted
The surge most swoln that met him; his bold head
*Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oar’d
Himself with his good arms in lusty stroke
To the shore, that o'er his wave-worn basis bow’d,
As stooping to relieve him. I not doubt
He came alive to land.”

There are many other allusions to swimming in the
plays which indicate the writer's personal acquaintance
with the exercise; as in Macbeth, i. 2. 8:—

“As two spent swimmers that do cling together
And choke their art.”

The swimming match between Caesar and Cassius
( Fulius Cesar, i. 2. 100) is described with sympathetic
vigor. Cassius says to Brutus :—

“We can both ©

_Endure the winter's cold as well as-he.

For once, upon a raw and gusty day,

The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
Czesar said to me, ‘ Dar’st thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,

And swim to yonder point?’ Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,

And bade him follow; so, indeed, he did. ~
The torrent roar’d, and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews, throwing it aside

And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point propos’d,
Cesar cried, ‘Help me, Cassius, or I sink!’
I, as Aineas, our great ancestor,

+
132 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

Did from the flames of ‘Troy upon his shoulder |
The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber
Did I the tired Cesar.”

Of course William often went a-fishing in the Avon,
and understood, as Ursula says in A@uch Ado About
Nothing (iii. 1. 26), that

“The pleasant’st angling is to see the fish
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait.”

BEAR-BAITING,

The boy must often have seen a bear-baiting, for the
cruel sport was popular with all classes, from sovereign
to peasant. Queen Elizabeth was fond of it, as was
her sister Mary; and it was one of the “ princely pleas-
ures” provided for the entertainment of the former at
Kenilworth in 1575, when thirteen great bears were
worried by bandogs.

On another occasion, when Elizabeth gave a splen-
did dinner to the French ambassadors, she entertained
them afterwards with the baiting of bulls and bears ;
and she herself watched the sport till six at night.
The next day the ambassadors went to see another
exhibition of the same kind. ‘A Danish ambassador,
some years later, was entertained by the Queen at
Greenwich with a bear-baiting and “other merry dis-
ports,” as the chronicle expresses it.

Elizabeth was a lover of the drama, but was unwill-
ing-that it should interfere with these brute tragedies.
In 1891, a royal edict forbade plays to be acted on


FISHING IN .THE AVON
“SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 133

Thursdays, because bear-baiting and similar sports had
usually been practised on that day. This order was
followed by one to the same effect from the lord mayor,
who: complained: that “in divers places the players
do use to recite their: plays:to the great hurt and



THE BEAR GARDEN, LONDON

destruction of the game of bear-baiting and. such
like pastimes, which are maintained for her majesty’s
pleasure.”

The clergy were as fond of these amusements as
134 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

their parishioners appear to have been. ‘Thomas Cart-
wright, in a book published in 1572, says: ‘‘If there
be a bear or a bill to be baited in the afternoon, or a
jackanapes to ride on horseback, the minister hurries
the service over in a shameful manner, in order to be
present at the show.”

It is on record that at a certain place in Chesh-
ire, “the town bear having died, the corporation in
1601 gave orders to sell their Bible in order to pur-
chase another.” ‘At another place, when a bear was
wanted for baiting at a town festival, the church-
wardens pawned the Bible from the sacred desk in
order to obtain the means of enjoying their immemo-
rial sport.

There are many allusions to bear-baiting in Shake-
speare. In Zwelfth Night (i. 3. 98) Sir Andrew Ague-
cheek says: “I would I had bestowed that time in the
tongues [that is, the study of languages] that I have in
fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting: O, had I but fol-
lowed the arts!” In the same play (ii. 5. 9) Fabian,
referring to Malvolio, says to Sir Toby, “ You know, he
brought me out of favor with my lady about a bear-
baiting here”; and Fabian feplics; “To anger him
we'll have the bear. back again.” There is a figurative
reference to the sport in this play (iii. 1. 130) where
Olivia says to the disguised Viola :—

“Have you not set mine honour at the stake,
And baited it with all the unmuzzled thoughts
That tyrannous heart can think ?”

In 2 Henry VI. (v. 1. 148) we find a similar ious
where York says to Clifford : —
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 135

“Call hither to the stake my two brave bears,
That with the very shaking of their chains
They may astonish these fell-lurking curs:
Bid Salisbury and Warwick come to me.”

The amusing dialogue between Slender and Anne
Page, in the Aferry Wives of Windsor (i. 1. 307), may
be added :—

“ Slender. Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i’
the town?

Anne. I think there are, sir, I heard them talked of.

Slender. J love the sport well; but I shall as soon quar-
rel at it as any man in England.—You are afraid, if you
see the bear loose, are you not?

Anne. Ay, indeed, sir.

Slender. That's meat and drink to me, now: I have
seen Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken him
by the chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so
cried and shriek’d at it, that it passed [passed descrip-
tion]; but women, indeed, cannot abide ‘em; they are
very ill-favoured rough things.”

Sackerson was a famous bear exhibited at Paris Gar-
den; a popular bear-garden on the Bankside in Lon-
don, -near. the Globe Theatre. An old epigram refers
to. the place and the animal thus :—

“ Publius, a student of the common law,

“ To Paris-garden doth himself withdraw,
Leaving old Ployden, Dyer, and Broke alone,
To see old Harry Hunkes and Sacarson ;”

that is, neglecting Ployden and other writers on law
for the sports at the bear-garden.
For the bear to get loose was a serious matter. We
136 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

read in a diary of 1554 that at a bear-baiting on the
Bankside “the great blind bear broke loose, and in
running away he caught a servingman by the calf of
the leg and bit a great piece away,” so that “ within
three days after he died.”

James I. prohibited baiting on Sundays, but did not
otherwise discourage it. In the time of the Common-
wealth Paris Garden was shut up, the bear was killed,
and the amusement forbidden; but with the Restora-
tion it was revived, and continued to be popular until
the early part of the next century. In 1802 an attempt
was made in Parliament to suppress it altogether, but
the House of Commons by a majority of thirteen re-
fused to pass the bill. It was not until the year 1835
that. baiting was finally abolished by an act of Parlia-
ment, forbidding “the keeping of any house, pit, or
other place, for baiting or fighting any bull, bear,
dog, or other animal.”

COCK-FIGHTING AND COCK-THROWING.

Cock- fighting was another barbarous amusement
that was very early in great favor in England. Fitz
stephen, who died in 1191, records that in London
“every year at Shrove Tuesday the schoolboys do
bring cocks to their master, and all the forenoon they
delight themselves in cock-fighting”; and it is not
until the 16th century that we find Dean Colet, the
founder of St. Paul’s School, objecting to it as an
amusement for the pupils.

The good lady who founded the Nottingham gram-
mar school in 1513 was content with restricting the
sport.to “twice a year.”
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 137

In Scotland cock-fights were sanctioned as a school
recreation till the middle of the last century, and the
master received a fee, called “cock-penny,” from the
boys on the occasion. As late as 1790, at Applecross,
in Ross-shire, “the cock-fight dues” were reckoned as
a part of the schoolmaster’s income.

Shakespeare has only two or three allusions to cock-
, fighting in his works. Antony says of Octavius (4z-
tony and Cleopatra, ii. 3. 36):—

“His cocks do win the battle still of mine,
When it is all to nought; and his quails ever
Beat mine, inhoop’d, at odds.”

Dr. Johnson, in a note on the passage, says: “The
ancients used to match quails as we match cocks.”
The birds were zzhooped, or confined within a circle, to
keep them “up to the scratch”; or, according to some
authorities, the one that was driven out of the hoop
was considered beaten.

Hamlet, when at the point of death, exclaims :—

«“O, I die, Horatio;
The potent poison quite o’er-crows my spirit!”

He means that the poison triumphs over him, as a vic-
torious cock over his beaten antagonist.

In the Zaming of the Shrew (ii. 1. 228), Katharina
says to Petruchio, “You crow too like a craven.”
This word craven, which meant a base coward, was of-
ten applied to a vanquished knight who had not fought
- bravely, and hence came to be used with reference to a
beaten or cowardly cock, as it is in this passage.

Another popular diversion, especially among the
138 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

boys, was “throwing at cocks,” in which the bird
was tied to a stake and sticks thrown at it until it
was killed. This sport, which dates back to the
t4th century, and which was not uncommon in Eng-
land less than a hundred years ago, is said to have
been peculiar to that country.

Sir Thomas More, writing in the 16th century, tells of
his own skill in his childhood in casting a ‘‘ cock-stele,”
that is, a stick or cudgel to throw at a cock. The
amusement was regularly practised on Shrove Tuesday.

In some places the cock was put into an earthen
vessel made for the purpose, with only his head and
tail exposed to view. The vessel was then suspended
across the street twelve or fourteen feet from the
ground, to be thrown at. The boy who broke the pot
and freed the cock from his confinement had him for
a reward.

According to a popular superstition of Shakespeare’s
day, the cock was supposed to be a kind of devil’s
messenger, from his crowing after Peter’s denial of his
Master. Clergymen sometimes made this an excuse
for their enjoyment in cock-throwing.

Shakespeare makes no reference to this vulgar prej-
udice against the cock. On the contrary, in a very
beautiful passage in AMamlet (i. 1. 158), he associates
the bird with the joy and hope of Christmas :—

« Some say that ever ’gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow’d and so gracious is the time.”
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 139
OTHER CRUEL SPORTS.

When the Chief Justice says to Falstaff (2 Heury LV.
i. 2. 258), “‘ Fare you well; commend me to my cousin
Westmoreland,” the fat knight mutters, “If I do,-fillip
me with a three-man beetle.” The allusion is to a cruel
sport which is said to have been common with War-
wickshire boys. A toad was put on one end of a short
board placed across a small log, and the other end was
then struck with a bat, thus throwing the creature high
in the air. This was called f//iping the toad. A ¢hree-
man beetle was a heavy rammer with three handles used
in driving piles, requiring three men to wield it. Such
a beetle would evidently be needed for filliping a
weight like Falstaff’s.

Falstaff alludes to another piece of boyish cruelty to
animals in Zhe Merry Wives of Windsor (v. 1. 26) when
he says, after the cudgelling he has received from Ford,
“Since I plucked geese, played truant, and whipped
top, I knew not what ’twas to be beaten till lately.”
The young barbarians of Shakespeare's time thought it
fine sport to pull the feathers from a live goose. If
they sometimes got whipped for it, we may suppose
that it was solely for the mischief done to private prop-
erty.’ When their elders were fond of bear-baiting,
cock-fighting, and other brutal amusements, the boys
would hardly be punished for torturing a domestic
animal unless its value was lessened by the ill-treat-'
ment.

Whether Shakespeare in his boyhood was guilty of
thoughtless cruelty like this, as boys are apt to be even
nowadays, we cannot say; but later in life he recog-
nized its wantonness, and more than once reproved
T40 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

the brutality of children of larger growth in their sports
and amusements.
In Lear (iv. 1. 38) Gloster says bitterly :—

“ As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods,
They kill us for their sport.”

In the same play (iv. 7. 36) Cordelia, referring to the
unnatural conduct of Goneril in turning her old father
out of doors in the storm, exclaims :—

“Mine enemy's dog;
Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
Against my fire !”

The poet did not forget that even an insect may
suffer pain. In Measure for Measure (iii. 1. 79) Isabella
says to her brother :—

“ Darest thou die?
The sense of death is most in apprehension;
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as ‘great
As when a giant dies.”

In As You Like Jt (ii 1. 21) the banished Duke in
the Forest of Arden laments the necessity of killing
deer for food :—

“ Duke S. Come, shall we go and kill us venison ?
And yet it irks me, the poor dappled fools,

Being native burghers of this desert city,

Should in their own confines with forked heads
Have their round haunches gor’d.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY I4l

1 Lord. ° Indeed, my lord,

The melancholy Jaques grieves at that,
And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp
Than doth your brother that hath banish’d you.

' To-day my lord of Amiens and myself
Did steal behind him as he lay along
Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:
To the which place a poor sequester’d stag,
That from the hunters’ aim had ta’en a hurt,
Did come to languish; and, indeed, my lord,
The wretched animal heav’d forth such groans,
That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
Almost to bursting, and the big round tears
Cours’d ‘one another down his. innocent nos?
In piteous chase: and thus the hairy fool,
Much marked of the melancholy Jaques, -
Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
Augmenting it with tears.”

The sympathy of the Duke and the First Lord for
the “poor dappled fools” is sincere, but that of Jaques,
as we understand when we come to know him better,
is mere sentimental affectation. We may be sure that
the Duke rather than Jaques represents the feeling of
Shakespeare himself for the unfortunate creatures.

In another part of the same play (i. 2) the poet,
through the mouth of Touchstone, the philosophic
Fool, gives a sly rap at people who find amusement in
brutal games. Le Beau, a courtier who is really a kind-
hearted fellow, as his conduct elsewhere proves, meet-
ing Rosalind and Celia, tells them that they have just
“Jost much fine sport,” that is, as he explains, some
“good wrestling.” They ask him to “ tell the manner
of it,” and he says :— aa
142 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

“There comes an old man and his three sons,—three
proper young men of excellent growth and presence.. The
eldest of the three wrestled with Charles, the duke’s wres-
tler; which Charles in a moment threw him, and broke
three of his ribs, that there is little hope of life in him: so
he served the second, and so the third. Yonder they lie;
the poor old man, their father, making such pitiful dole
over them that all the beholders take his part with
weeping.

Rosalind. Alas!

Touchstone. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the
ladies have lost ?

Le Beau, Why, this that I speak of.

Touchstone. Thus men may grow wiser every day! It is
the first time that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport
for ladies.

Celta. Or I, I promise thee.”

Wrestling, by the bye, was a common exercise with
the rural youth in the time of Elizabeth, and no doubt
the smaller boys often tried their hand at it. 4

j
oe

a

ARCHERY.

Archery was a popular pastime in those days with
young and old. The bow and arrow continued to be .
used in warfare long after the discovery of gunpowder.
As late as 1572 Queen Elizabeth promised to furnish
six thousand men for Charles IX. of France, half of
whom were to be archers. - Ralph Smithe, a writer on
Martial Discipline in the reign of the same queen, says :
“Captains and officers should be skilful of that most
noble weapon the long bow; and to see that their
soldiers, according to their draught and strength, have
good bows,” etc. In the reign of Henry VIII. several
SHAKESPEARE THE BOV 143

laws were made for promoting the use of the long bow.
One of these required every male subject to exercise
himself in archery, and also to keep a long bow with
arrows continually in his house. Men sixty years old,
ecclesiastics, and certain justices were exempted from
this obligation. Fathers and guardians were com-
manded to teach the male children the use of the long
bow, and to have bows provided for them as soon as
they were seven years old; and masters were ordered
to furnish bows for their apprentices, and to compel
them to learn to shoot therewith upon holidays and at
every other convenient time.

In 1545 Roger Ascham published his Zoxophilus, or
the Schole of Shooting, in which he advocated the prac.
tice of, archery among scholars as among the people at
large, and gave full directions for making and using
bows and.arrows.. He dedicated the book to Henry
VIII., who rewarded the patriotic service with a pension
of ten pounds a year.

Ascham urged that attention should be paid to train-
ing the young in archery; ‘for children,” he said, “if
sufficient pains are taken with them at the outset, may
much more easily be taught to shoot well than men,”
because the latter have frequently more trouble to un-
learn their bad habits than would suffice to teach
them good ones.

One of the statutes of Henry VIII. forbade any per-
son who had reached the age of twenty-four years from
shooting at a mark less than 220 yards distant; anda
writer of 1602 tells of Cornish archers who could send
an arrow to a distance of 480 yards. Matches of archery
were held under the patronage of Henry VIII. and Eliza-
beth, to encourage skill in the art. At one of these, held
144 SHAKESPEARE THE BOV

in London in 1583, there was a procession of three thou-
sand archers, each of whom-had a long bow and four
arrows. Nine hundred and forty-two of the men had
chains of gold about their necks. The company was
guarded by four thousand whifflers (heralds or ushers)
and billmen, besides pages and footmen. ‘They went
through the city to Smithfield, where, after perform-
ing various evolutions, they “shot at a target for
honor.”

There are many allusions to archery in Shakespeare’s
works, only one or two of which can be mentioned here.
In 2 Henry LV. (iii. 2. 49) Shallow, referring to “old
Double,” who is dead, says of him: “ Jesu, Jesu, dead!
a’ drew a good bow; and dead ! a’ shot a fine shoot:
John o’ Gaunt loved him well, and betted much money
on his head. Dead! a’ would have clapped i’ the clout
at twelve score; and carried you a forehand shaft at
fourteen and fourteen and a half, that it would have
done a man’s heart good to see.”

To “clap in the clout” was to hit the coud, or the
white mark in the centre of the target. “ Twelve score”
means twelve score or two hundred and forty yards;
and the “fourteen” and “fourteen and a half” also
refer to scores. of yards. The “forehand shaft” is
among the kinds of arrow mentioned by Ascham, who
says: ‘the forehand must have a big breast, to bear
the great might of the bow”; that is, the great strain
in shooting at long range.

In Much Ado About Nothing (i. 1. 39) Beatrice, mak-
ing fun of Benedick, says: “‘ He set up his bills here in
Messina and challenged Cupid at the flight; and my
uncle’s fool, reading the challenge, subscribed ‘for
Cupid, and challenged him at the bird-bolt’’; that is,
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 145

he posted a challenge, inviting Cupid to compete with
him in shooting with the ghz, a kind of light-feathered
arrow used for great distances. The fool subscribed
(wrote underneath) a challenge to Benedick to try his
skill with the cross-bow and ézrd-bolt, a short, thick,
blunt-headed arrow used by children and fools, who
could not be trusted with pointed arrows. The point
of the joke is that Benedick, though he has the vanity
to think he can compete in feats of archery with an
expert bowman like Cupid, is only fit to contend with
beginners and blunderers.

In Love's Labour’s Lost (iv. 3.23) Cupid’s own arrow
is jocosely called a bird-bolt. Biron, finding that the
King has fallen in love with the French Princess, ex-
claims, ‘ Shot, by heaven! Proceed, sweet Cupid; thou
hast thumped him with thy bird-bolt.”

HUNTING

Professor Baynes, in his article on Shakespeare in
the Encyclopedia Britannica, says: “It is clear that in
his early years the poet had some experience of hunt-
ing, hawking, coursing, wild-duck shooting, and the like.
Many of these sports were pursued by the local gentry
and the yeomen together; and the poet, as the son of
a well-connected burgess of Stratford, who had recently
been mayor of the town and possessed estates in the
county, would be well entitled to share in them, while
his handsome presence and courteous bearing would
be likely to ensure him a hearty welcome.” :

His love for dogs and horses is illustrated by many
passages in his works. There was never a more

graphic description of hounds than he puts into the
10
146 SHAKESPEARE. THE BOY

mouth of Theseus in the Midsummer- Night's Dream
(iv. 1. 108) :— eae

“Theseus. Go, one of you, find out the forester;

For now our observation is perform’d:

And since we have the vaward of the day,

My love shall hear the music of my hounds.
Uncouple in the western valley; let them go!—
Despatch, I say, and find the forester.—

We will, fair queen, up to the mountain’s aor
And mark the musical confusion

Of hounds and echo in conjunction.

Hippolyta. | was with Hercules and Cadmus once,
When in a wood of Crete they bay’d the bear
With hounds of Sparta: never did I hear
Such gallant chiding: for, besides the groves,

The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seem’d all one mutual cry. I never heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

Theseus. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flew’d, so sanded, and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-knee’d, and dew-lapp’d like Thessalian bulls ;
Slow in pursuit, but match’d in mouth like bells,
Each under each. A cry more tuneable
Was never holla’d to, nor cheer’d with horn,

In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly:
Judge when you hear.”

The talk of the hunters about the dogs in Zhe Zam-
ing of the Shrew (ind. 1. 16) is in the same vein :-—

“Lord. Huntsman, charge thee, tender well my hounds—
Brach Merriman, the poor cur, is emboss’d— :
And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth’d brach.
Saw’st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good


GARDEN AT NEW PLACE
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY : 147

At the hedge corner, in the coldest fault ?
_ I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.
1 Hunter, Why, Bellman is as good as he, my lord;
He cried upon it at the merest loss,
And twice to-day pick’d out the dullest scent:
Trust me, I take him for the better dog,
Lord, Thou art a fool: if Echo were as fleet,
I would esteem him worth a dozen such.
But sup them well, and look unto them all;
To-morrow I intend to hunt again.”

In the Merry Wives of Windsor (i. 1. 96) Page de-
fends his greyhound against the criticisms of Slender,
and Shallow takes his part :—

“Slender. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I
heard say, he was outrun-on Cotsall.

Page. It could not be judged, sir.

Slender, You'll not confess, you'll not confess.

Shallow, That he will not.—’T is your fault, ’t is your’
fault: ’t is a good dog.

Page. A cur, sir.

Shallow. Sir, he ’s-a good dog, and a fair dog; can there
be more said? he is good and fair.”

Cotsall (or Cotswold) is an allusion to the Cotswold
downs in Gloucestershire, celebrated for coursing (hunt-
ing the hare), for which their fine turf fitted them, and
also for other rural sports.

The description of the horse in Venus and Adonts
(259), a youthful work of Shakespeare’s, is famous :—

“ But, lo, from forth a copse that neighbours by,
A breeding jennet, lusty, young, and proud;
Adonis’ trampling courser doth espy,

And forth she rushes, snorts, and neighs aloud;
148 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

The strong-neck’d steed, being tied unto a tree,
Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he.

Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,

And now his woven girths he breaks asunder;

The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds,

Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven’s thunder;
The iron bit he crushes ‘tween his teeth,
Controlling what he was controlled with.

His ears up-prick’d; his braided hanging mane
’ Upon his compass’d crest now stand on end;
His nostrils drink the air, and forth again,
As from a furnace, vapours doth he send;
His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire,
Shows his hot courage and his high desire.

Sometime he trots, as if he told the steps,

With gentle majesty and modest pride;

Anon he rears upright, curvets and leaps,

As who should say, ‘Lo! thus my strength is tried ;
And this I do to captivate the eye
Of the fair breeder that is standing by.’

What recketh he his rider’s angry stir,
His flattering ‘Holla’, or his ‘Stand, I say’?
What cares he now for curb or pricking spur,
For rich caparisons, or trapping gay?
He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
Nor nothing else with his proud sight agrees.

Look, when a painter would surpass the life,
In limning out a well-proportion’d steed,
His art with nature’s workmanship at strife,
As if the dead the living should exceed ;

So did this horse excel a common one,

In shape, in courage, colour, pace, and bone.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 149

Round-hoof’d, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,

Broad breast, full. eye, small head, and nostril wide,

High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing strong,

Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide:
Look, what a horse should have he did not lack,
Save a proud rider on so proud a back.

Sometime he scuds far off, and there he stares;

Anon he starts at stirring of a feather;

To bid the wind a base he now prepares,

And whether he run or fly they know not whether;
For thro’ his mane and tail the high wind sings,
Fanning the hairs, who wave like feather’d wings.”

In Richard IT. (v. 5. 72) the dialogue between the
Groom and the King could have been written only by
one who knew by experience the affection that one
comes to feel for a favorite horse :—

“Groom. | was a poor groom of thy stable, king,
When thou wert king; who, travelling towards York, .
With much ado at length have gotten leave
To look upon my sometimes royal master’s face.

O, how it yearn’d my heart, when I beheld,
In London streets, that coronation day,
When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,
That horse that thou so often hast bestrid,
That horse that I so carefully have dress’d!
King Richard. Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle
friend,
How went he under him?
Groom. So proud as if he had disdain’d the ground.
King Richard. So proud that Bolingbroke was on his
back!
That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
150 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

Would he not stumble? Would he not fall down,—
Since pride must have a fall,—and break the neck
Of that proud man that did usurp his back?
Forgiveness, horse! why do I rail on thee,

Since thou, created to be awed by man,

Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse;

And yet I bear a burden like an ass,

Spur-gall’d and tir’d by jauncing Bolingbroke.”

The description of hare-hunting in Venus and Adonis
(679) must also have been based on actual experience
in the sport :—

“ And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare,
Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot his troubles
How he outruns the winds, and with what care
He cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles:

The many musits through the which he goes,
Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes.

“Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep,
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell,
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep,
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell,
And sometime sorteth with‘a herd of deer;
Danger deviseth shifts, wit waits on fear:

“For there his smell with others being mingled,
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt,
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out;

Then do they spend their mouths: Echo replies,
As if another chase were in the skies.

“ By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill,
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear,
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 15t

To hearken if his foes pursue him still:

Anon their loud alarums he doth hear;
And now his grief may be compared well
To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell.

“Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch
Turn, and return, indenting with the way;
Each envious brier his weary legs doth scratch,
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay:
For misery is trodden on by many
And being low never reliev’d by any.”

Mr. John R. Wise comments on this passage as fol-
lows: “This description of the run is wonderfully
- true; how the ‘dew-bedabbled wretch’ betakes herself
to a flock of sheep to lead the hounds off the scent;
how she stops to listen, and again makes another
double. Mark, too, the beauty and aptness of the
epithets, ‘the hot scent-snuffing’ hounds, and the
‘earth-delving’ conies; but more especially mark the
pity that the poet feels for the poor animal, showing
that he possessed a true feeling heart, without which
no line of poetry can ever be written.”

FOWLING.

There are many allusions to fowling in Shakespeare’s
works. He had evidently seen a good deal.of it, prob-
ably in his boyhood, whether he had had actual ex-
perience in it or not.

In As You Like [t (v. 4. 111) the Duke says of
Touchstone, who combined much philosophy with his
professional foolery, “ He uses his folly like a stalking-
horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his

i :
152 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

wit.” And in Much Ado About Nothing (ii. 3. 95)s
when Don Pedro and his companions are talking about
Benedick, whom they know to be hid within hearing,
Claudio says: “Stalk on, stalk on; the fowl sits”;
that is, go on with the practical joke, for the victim
does not:suspect it.

The stalking-horse, originally, was a horse trained
for the purpose and covered with trappings, so as to
conceal the sportsman from the game. It was particu-
larly useful to the archer by enabling him to approach
the birds, without being seen by them, near enough to
reach them with his arrows. As it was not always
convenient to use a real horse for this purpose, the
fowler had recourse to an artificial one, made of stuffed
canvas and painted like a horse, but light enough to
be moved with one hand... Hence stalking-horse came
to be used figuratively for anything put forward to con-
ceal a more important object, or to mask one’s real in-
tention. Thus an old writer describes a hypocrite as
one “that makes religion his stalking-horse.”

In the Midsummer-Night’s Dream (iii. 2. 20) Puck, de-
scribing the fright of the clowns when Bottom makes his
appearance with the ass’s head on his shoulders, says :—

“Anon his Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun’s report,
Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky,
’ So at his sight away his fellows fly.”

In 1 Henry IV. (iv. 2. 21) Falstaff says that his re-
cruits are “such as fear the report of a caliver [mus-
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 153

ket] worse than a struck fowl or a hurt wild-duck.”
And in Much Ado (ii. 1. 209) Benedick says of Claudio,
who runs away from his friend’s bantering: “Alas,
poor hurt fowl! now will he creep into sedges”; that
is, he will go and brood over his vexation in solitude.
In Zhe Tempest (ii. 1. 85) we have an allusion to
“bat-fowling,” a method of fowling by night in which
the birds were started from their nests and stupefied
by a sudden blaze of light from torches. Gervase
Markham, a contemporary of Shakespeare, in his Hun-
ger's Prevention, or the Whole Arte of Fowling, says: “I
think meet to proceed to Bat-fowling, which is likewise
a nighty taking of all sorts of great and small birds,
which rest not on the earth, but on shrubs, tall bushes,
hawthorn trees, and other trees, and may fitly and most
conveniently be used in all woody, rough, and bushy
countries, but not in the champaign,” or open country.
He then goes on to explain how it is carried on. Some
of the sportsmen have torches to-start the birds, while
others are armed with “long poles, very rough and
bushy at the upper ends,” with which they beat down
the birds bewildered by the light and capture them.

HAWKING.

Hawking, or falconry, the art of training and flying
-hawks for the purpose of catching other birds, was a
sport generally limited to the nobility; but Shake-
speare’s many allusions to it show that he was very
familiar with all its forms and its technicalities. He
doubtless saw a good deal of it in his boyhood rambles
in the neighborhood of Stratford.

The practice of hawking declined with the improve-
154 SHAKESPEARE THE BovV .

ment in muskets, which afforded a readier and surer
method of procuring game, with an equal degree of
out-of-door exercise. As the expense of training and
keeping hawks was very great, it is no wonder that the
gun soon superseded the bird with sportsmen. The
change, indeed, was surprisingly rapid. Hentzner, in
his /étinerary, written in 1598, tells us that hawking was
then the general sport of the English nobility; and
most of the best treatises upon this subject were writ-
ten about that time; but in the latter part of the next
century the art was almost unknown.

Shakespeare knew all the different kinds of hawks.
He refers several times to the Aaggard, or wild hawk.
In Much Ado (iii. 1. 36) Hero says of Beatrice :—

«T know her spirits are as coy and wild
_As haggards of the rock.”

In Zhe Taming of the Shrew (iv. 1. 196) Petruchio
employs the same figure with reference to Katha-
rina :—

“ Another way I have to man my haggard,
To make her come and know her keeper’s call”;

where man means to tame. Again in the same play .
(iv. 2. 39) the shrew is called “this proud disdainful
haggard.”

The nestling or unfledged hawk was called an eyas ;
and in Hamlet (ii. 2. 355) the boy actors, who were be-
coming popular when the play was written, are sneer-
ingly described as ‘(an aety of children, little eyases.”
In the Merry Wives of Windsor (iii. 3. 22), Mrs. Ford
addresses Robin, the page of Falstaff thus: “ How now,
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 155

my eyas-musket! what news with you?” The eyas-
musket was the young sparrow-hawk, a small and in-



ELIZABETH HAWKING

ferior species of hawk. The word is derived from the
Latin musca, a fly, and probably refers to the small
size of the bird. It is curious that, as applied to the
* 156 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

firearm, it has the same origin. The gun was figura-
tively compared to the hawk as a means of taking
birds. Similarly, a kind gf cannon used in the 16th
century was called a falcon; and another, of smaller
bore, was known as a falconet,

In Romeo and Fuliet (ii. 2. 160), when the lover has
left his lady and she would call him back, she says :—

“ Hist, Romeo, hist! O for a falconer’s voice
To call this tassel-gentle back again !”

The ¢assel-gentle, or tercel-gentle, was the male hawk.
Cotgrave, in his French Dictionary (edition of 1672)
defines ézercelet as “the Tassell or male of any kind of
Hawk, so termed because he is, commonly, a third part
less than the female.” The genfle referred to the ease
with which the bird was trained.

We find the word ¢ercel in Troilus and Gre (iii.
2.56): ‘The falcon as the tercel, for all the ducks in
the river”; that is, the female bird is as good as
the male. :

The male bird, however, was seldom used in hawk-
ing, on account of its inferiority in size and strength.
In descriptions of the sport we find the female pro-
noun generally applied to the bird. Tennyson in
Lancelot and Elaine originally wrote :—

“No surer than our falcon yesterday,
Who lost the hern we slipt him at”;

but he afterwards changed “‘him”’ to “her.”

The hawk was “hooded,” that is, had a hood put
over its head, until it was stipped, or let fly at the
game; and to this we have several allusions in Shake-
speare.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY TiS

In Henry V. (iii. 7. 121) the Constable, sneering at
the Dauphin, says of his boasted valor: “ Never any-
body saw it but his lackey: ’t is a hooded valour; and
when it appears it will bate.” To daze, or datz, was to
flutter the wings, as the bird did when unhooded. In
this passage there is a pun on daze in this sense and’
as meaning to abate or diminish.

In Othello (iii. 3. 260), when the Moor has been told
by Iago that Desdemona may be false, he says :—

: “Tf I do prove her haggard,
“Though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings,
I’d whistle her off and let her down the wind,
To prey at fortune.”

Here we have several hawking terms in a single sen-
tence. Haggard, already mentioned, is used as an ad-
jective, meaning wild or lawless. The sesses were straps
of leather or silk attached to the foot of the hawk, by
which the falconer held her. The bird was whistled off
when first set free for flight ; and she was always let
fly against the wind. If she flew with the wind behind
her, she seldom returned. If therefore a hawk was for
any treason to be dismissed, she was Zet down the wind,
and from that time shifted for herself and preyed at
Jortune, or at random.

The legs of the hawk were adorned with two small
bells, not both of the same sound but differing by a
semitone. They were intended to frighten the game,
so that it could be more readily caught. This is alluded
to in Lucrece, 511 :—

“Harmless Lucretia, marking what he tells
With trembling fear, as fowl hear falcon’s bells.”
158 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 4

Touchstone also refers to the bells in As You Like
/t (iii. 3. 81): “ As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse
his curb, and the falcon her bells, so man hath his
desires.” There is another figurative allusion to them
in 3 fenry VI. i. 1. 47, where Warwick, boasting of
his power, says :—

“Neither the king, nor he that loves him bést,
The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
Dares stir a wing if Warwick shake his bells.”

In England mews is the name commonly given to a
livery stable, or place where carriage horses are kept.
The word has a curious connection with hawking. A
bird was said to mew, when it moulted or changed its
feathers. When hawks were moulting they were shut
up in a cage or coop, which was called a mew. The
royal stables in London got the name of mezus because
they. were built where the mews of the king’s hawks
had been situated. This was done in the year 1537,
the hawks being removed to another -place. The
word mews, being thus used for the royal stables, grad-
ually came to be applied to other buildings of the kind.
. It would take too much space to quote and explain
all the allusions to hawking in Shakespeare’s works.
The few here given may serve as samples of this very
interesting class of technical terms, most of which be-
came obsolete when the art ceased to be practised.

Before dropping the subject, however, I may remind
the young reader that many of the quotations here
given to illustrate archery, hawking, and other ancient
arts, sports, and games, also illustrate the fact that the
figurative language of a period is affected by its man-
ners and customs. The one needs to be known in
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 159



BOY WITH HAWK AND HOUNDS

order to understand the other. To take a fresh. ex-
ample, John Skelton, who lived in the time of Henry
VIII, refers to a lady thus :—

’ “Merry Margaret,
i As midsummer flower;
Gentle as falcon,
Or hawk of the tower.”
160 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

If we should compare a young lady nowadays to a
falcon or a hawk, she would hardly take it as a com-
pliment; and this very simile has been criticised by a
writer who evidently did not understand it. He says:
“We would rather be excused from wedding a lady of
that ravenous class. This simile, we fear, was predic-
tive of sharp nails after marriage.” He forgets, or
does not know, that this was written when, as we have -
learned, the art of hawking was in vogue. The trained
falcons were as gentle and docile as any dove. They
were domestic pets, and high-born ladies especially
took delight in them. Shakespeare in his g1st Sonnet
says :—

“Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their bodies’ force,
Some in their garments, ‘though new-fangled ill,
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments’ cost,
Of more delight than hawks or horses be,
And, having thee, of all men’s pride I boast.”

And in Much Ado (iii. 4. 54) when Beatrice sighs,
Margaret asks: “ For a hawk, a horse, or a husband ?”
Commentators on Shakespeare, like the critic quoted
above, have sometimes erred in their interpretation of
a passage because they did not understand the fact or
usage upon which a figure or allusion was founded.

THEATRICAL ENTERTAINMENTS,

When the players came to town I suspect that no
Stratford boy was more delighted than William. Jobn






















































ITINERANT PLAYERS IN A COUNTRY HALL
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY I61

Shakespeare, like his fellows in the town council, seems
to have been a lover of the drama. When he was
bailiff in 1569 he granted licenses for performances of
the Queen’s and the Earl of Worcester’s companies.

The Queen’s company received nine shillings and the
Earl’s twelvepence for their first entertainments, to
which the public were admitted free. They doubtless
gave others afterwards for which an entrance fee was
charged.

Did John Shakespeare take the five-year-old William
to see them act? He may have done so, for we know
that in the city of Gloucester (only thirty miles from
Stratford) a man took his little boy, born in the same
year with Shakespeare, to a free dramatic performance
similarly provided by the corporation. In his auto-
biography, written in his old age, the person tells how
he went to the show with his father-and stood between
his legs as he sat upon one of the benches.

The play was one of the “moralities” then in
vogue, and the good man’s quaint description of it
is worth quoting as giving an idea of those curious
dramas :—

“It was called The Cradle of Security, wherein was
personated a king or some great prince, with his court-
iers of several kinds, amongst which three ladies were
in special grace with him; and they, keeping him in
delights and pleasures, drew him from his graver coun-
sellors, . . . that, in the end, they got him to lie down
in a cradle upon the stage, wheré these three ladies,
joining in a sweet song, rocked him asleep that he
snorted again; and in the mean time closely [that is,
secretly] conveyed under the clothes wherewithal he
was covered a vizard, like a swine’s snout, upon his

Ir
162 SHAKESPEARE THE BOV

face, with three wire chains fastened thereunto, the
other end whereof being holden severally by those
three ladies, who fall to singing again, and then discov-
ered [uncovered] his face that the spectators might see
how they had transformed him, going on with their
singing.

“Whilst all this was acting, there came forth of
another door at the farthest end of the stage two old
men, the one in blue with a sergeant-at-arms his mace
on his shoulder, the other in red with a drawn sword
in his hand and leaning with the other hand upon the
other’s shoulder; and so they two went along in a soft
pace round about by the skirt of the stage, till at last
they came to the cradle, when all the court was in the
greatest jollity; and then the foremost old man with
his mace struck a fearful blow upon the cradle, whereat
all the courtiers, with the three ladies and the vizard,
all vanished ; and the desolate prince starting up bare-
faced, and finding himself thus sent for to judgment,
made a lamentable complaint of his miserable case,
and so was carried away by wicked spirits.

“This prince did personate in the moral the Wicked
of the World; the three ladies, Pride, Covetousness,
_ and Luxury [Lust]; the two old men, the End of the

. World and the Last Judgment.

“This sight took such impression in me that, when
I came towards man’s estate, it was as fresh in my
memory as if I had seen it newly acted.”

So far as the Stratford records show, the theatrical
company of 1569 was the first that had visited the
town, but afterwards players came thither almost every
year.

How much they had to do in awakening a passion
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 163

for the drama in the breast of young William and shap-
ing his subsequent career, we cannot guess; but “the
boy is father of the man,” and in all that we know of
Shakespeare as a boy we can detect the germinal in-
fluences of many characteristics of the man, the poet,
and the dramatist.

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WILLIAM KEMP DANCING THE MORRIS

Part V
HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS, FAIRS, ETC



THE BOUNDARY ELM

‘SAINT GEORGE'S DAY.

We do not know the precise date of William Shake-
speare’s birth. ‘That of his baptism is recorded in the
parish register at Stratford as the 26th of April, 1564.
It was a common practice then to baptize infants when
they were three days old, and it has therefore been
assumed that William was born on the 23d of April;
but the rule, if rule it can be called, was often varied.
from, and we have not a particle of evidence that it
was followed in this instance. It should, moreover, be
168 _ SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

understood that the 23d of April, as dates were then
reckoned in England, corresponded to our 3d of May.

It would be pleasant to think that the poet made his
first appearance on the stage of human life on that par-
ticular day, for it was Saint George’s day, a great holi-
day and time of feasting throughout the kingdom, Saint
George being the patron saint of England.

There is a book with which Shakespeare was doubt-
less familiar when he grew up—a collection of ancient
stories made by Richard Johnson —in which Saint
George figures as one of the “Seven Champions of
Christendom.”

From this book, as Mr. A. H. Wall tells us, we learn
“‘how Saint George was imprisoned by the black King
of Morocco, after he had fought so miraculously against
the Saracens, and slain a frightful dragon, which had
destroyed entire cities by the poison of its breath, and
had every day devoured a beautiful virgin. Escaping
from prison, he carried off'a princess he had rescued
from the monster, whom neither sword nor spear could
pierce, and brought her to England, where the twain
‘lived happily ever after,’ in Warwickshire, where, some-
time in the third century they died. The war-cry of
England was ‘Saint George!’ as that of France was
‘Montjoye Saint Denis !’; and to this day ‘by George!’
is an exclamation derived from the ancient custom of
swearing by that Saint.

“The ancient ballad of Saint George and the Dragon
(printed in the Percy e/igues) tells us that the shire
in which he died was that in which he first saw the
- light; that his mother expired while giving him birth;

that a weird lady of the woods stole him when an in- .
fant and educated him by magic power to become a
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 169

great warrior; and that on his person, prophetic of his
future career and greatness, were three very mysterious
marks—on one shoulder a cross, on the breast a dragon,
and round one leg a garter. Their meanings were re-
vealed when he fought so astoundingly as a crusader
in the Holy Land, when he killed the magic dragon in
Egypt, and rescued the King’s daughter, Silene or
Sabra, and, after his death, when Edward III. founded
the knightly Order of the Garter, and made Saint
George its patron.

“ Centuries before that, the soldiers had adopted him
as their special patron, as had also not a few of the old
trade guilds. In some of the provincial towns and
cities regulations for the annual ceremony of ‘ Riding
the George’ were enforced by penalties more or less
severe. An ancestor of Shakespeare’s, John Arden, of
Warwickshire, ‘bequethed his white harneis complete
to the church of Ashton for a George to were it.’ This
was in the reign of the seventh Harry... . There
was also an ancient play called ‘The Holy Martyr St.
George,’ which, sadly degenerated in modern times, used
to be played by rustics as a piece of coarse buffoonery.”

The “Riding of Saint George” was forbidden by
Henry VIII., but. the custom was nevertheless kept
up in out-of-the-way places even after Edward VI. had
made more stringent laws against it.

It appears from the ancient records of the Guild that
Stratford was one of the very last places in which the
celebration was finally suppressed. Shakespeare in his
boyhood doubtless saw it carried out with all its an-
tique splendor. Mr. Wall gives the following descrip-
tion of the festival :—

“How great would be the preparations! Old arms
170 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

and armor from the Guild’s collection would be bur-
nished up to be used by the town watch and the arch-
ers. All sorts of choice dishes and rare wines would
be in demand for mighty feasting. The suit of white
armor, of an antique pattern, which hung above the
altar of Saint George, would be taken down and cleaned
with reverential care, and from all the surrounding
towns and villages, castles and mansions, guests would
come flocking in, day after day, filling the numerous
inns to overflowing.:

“On the day, gravel would be spread along the pro-
cession’s route, and barricades erected; house fronts
would be adorned with plants and tapestry. Chambers
(small cannon) would be fired at daybreak, and great
shouts of ‘Saint George!’ would drown the echoes of
their explosions. The Master of the Guild, its school-
master (a truly learned man), with the monitors and
scholars of the Grammar School in their long blue
gowns and flat caps, with the priests of the Guild
Chapel, would all walk in the procession, with their
Guild brothers and sisters, with representatives of the
trades practised in the town, and even with the old
Almshouse people, smiling and chattering and wagging
their ancient heads. Nobody would be forgotten who
had a fair claim to be conspicuously remembered then.
The ‘Bedals’ would be there of course in all their
native dignity, solemn and severe. The town ‘waits’
would ‘discourse most excellent music’ with drums
and fifes and other cheek-distending wind-instruments.
The bells in the church and chapel tower would be
ringing out right jovial peals. Then would come the
town trumpeters marching before the High Bailiff,
Aldermen, and Chamberlains, with their long furred
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 171

scarlet robes, their chains of office, and the newly-
gilded maces borne before them.

“Then, riding on horseback, ‘his armor and drawn
sword flashing back the rays of a fitful sun, would be
seen the living representative of Saint George, with his
great white plume floating from his white helm, as the
soft, sweet, playing wind tossed it to and fro. Behind
him, creating as he came such a roar of honest irre-
pressible laughter as would have done your heart good
to hear, would waddle the dragon (oh! such a dragon !)
a ‘property’ one, with two boys inside it, led in chains,
with the spear of Saint George down its throat. And
then the vicar, his curates, and the gentry, in all the
grandeur of silk and satin lace and spangles, would do
the ‘Riding’ honor, with gold and silver chains about
their necks, spurs at their heels, and swords by their
sides, the Lord and Lady of the Manor riding before
them. And these last-named were indeed dignitaries
of great consequence, being, you must know, no lesser
personages than Ambrose Dudley, ‘the Good Earl’
and his good lady, patrons of learning and rewarders
of virtue, from their great castle at. Warwick.

“ But there is one feature of the Riding which must
not on any account be forgotten. This was the Egyp-
tian Princess, personated by the prettiest girl in Strat-
ford (where pretty girls were always found, and are still
not few). She came on a raised wheeled platform with
a golden crown upon her head (made of gilded paste-
board), and by her side a pretty pet lamb, garlanded
with the earliest flowers of the spring, blushing (she,
not the lamb) and smiling, and looking down very
charming—as I tenderly imagine.

“ And all the time they were passing, the bells would
172 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

ring out right merrily, and the people shout most
lustily; and from every throat, blending thunderously,.
- would come the cry, the cry that England’s foes had
trembled at in many a desperate fight: ‘ Saint George
for England, Saint George for Merry England !

“Tt was customary to announce this Riding by sound
of trumpet from the Market Cross some time before it
took place. And so I can fancy John Shakespeare,
the glover, with all his clever work-people, men and
women, artists and mechanics, joining the crowd that
listens to the town trumpeter’s loud-ringing voice here
at the Cross, and opposite the Cage, where once lived
Judith Shakespeare. By John, stands—in my fancy—
Mary, his wife, with little Willie holding tightly to her
hand, in a state of intense excitement; and almost
before the crier has spoken his lines this laughing little
fellow, who has been looking on with such wide-open
wondering brown eyes, is suddenly lifted into the air
and from above his father’s head cries, in his child-
ishly treble voice, ‘Saint George for England!’ for
his mother had said, ‘’T is his right to lead the
shouting here to-day, dear neighbors all, for on Saint
George’s day my boy was born,’”

EASTER.

The festival of Easter would generally come before
Saint George’s day. When Shakespeare was a boy the
Reformation had somewhat mitigated the ancient rigor
and austerity: of Lent, but Easter was none the less a
joyous and jubilant anniversary.
“Surely,” as Mr. Charles Knight remarks, “there
was something exquisitely beautiful in the old custom
‘SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 173

of going forth into the fields before the sun had risen
on Easter-day, to see him mounting over the hills with
a tremulous motion, as if it were an animate thing
bounding in sympathy with the redeemed of mankind.
The young poet [Shakespeare] might have joined his
simple neighbors on this cheerful morning, and yet
have thought with Sir Thomas Browne, ‘We shall not,
I hope, disparage the Resurrection of our Redeemer if
we say that the sun doth wof dance on Easter-day.’
But one of the most glorious images of one of his early
plays [Romeo and Fuliet| has given life and movement
to the sun :—

“*Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund Day
Stands ¢ftoe on the misty mountain's tops.’

Saw he not the sun dance—heard he not the expres-
sion of the undoubting belief that the sun danced—as
he went forth into Stratford meadows in the early twi-
light of Easter-day ?”

Sir John Suckling, in his Ballad upon a Wedding,
alludes prettily to this old superstition in the descrip-
tion of the bride :—

“But O she dances such a way!
No sun upon an Easter day
Is half so fine a sight.”

Perhaps Shakespeare had this bit of folk-lore in
mind when he wrote thesé lines in Coriolanus (v.
4. 52)i—

“The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries and fifes,
Tabors and cymbals and the shouting Romans,
Make the sun dance.”
174 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

Easter was a favorite time for games of ball and .
many of the athletic sports described in the preceding
pages.

THE PERAMBULATION OF THE PARISH.

On the road to Henley-in-Arden, a few hundred
yards from John Shakespeare’s house in Henley Street,
there stood until about fifty years ago an ancient boun-
dary-tree—an elm to which reference is made in rec-
ords of the 16th century. From that point the boun-
dary of the borough continued to “the two elms in
Evesham highway”; and so on, from point to point,
round to the tree first mentioned. Once a year, in Ro-
gation Week (six weeks after Easter), the clergy, the
magistrates and public officers, and the inhabitants, in-
cluding the boys of the Grammar School, assembled
under this elm for the perambulation of the boundaries.
They marched in procession, with waving banners and
poles crowned with garlands, over the entire circuit of
the parish limits. Under each “ gospel-tree,” as at the
first boundary elm, a passage from Scripture was read,
a collect recited, and a psalm sung.

These parochial processions were kept up after the
Reformation. In 1575 a form of devotion for the “Ro-
gation Days of Procession” was prescribed, “ without
addition of any superstitious ceremonies heretofore
used”; and it was subsequently ordered that the cu-
rate on such occasions “shall admonish the people to
give thanks to God in the beholding of God’s bene-
fits,” and enforce the scriptural denunciations against
those who remove their neighbors’ landmarks. Izaak
Walton tells how the pious Hooker encouraged these:
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 178

annual ceremonies: “He would by no means omit the
customary time of procession, persuading all, both rich
and poor, if they desired the preservation of love and
their parish rights and liberties, to accompany him in
his perambulation ; and most did so: in which peram-
bulation he would usually express more pleasant dis-
course than at other times, and would then always drop
some loving and facetious observations, to be remem-
bered against the next year, especially by the boys and
young people; still inclining them, and all his present
parishioners, to meekness and mutual kindnesses and
love, because love thinks not evil, but covers a multi-
tude of infirmities.”

“And so,” remarks Mr. Knight, after quoting this
passage, “listening to the gentle words of some ven-
erable Hooker of his time, would the young Shake-
speare walk the bounds of his native parish. One day
would not suffice to visit its numerous gospel-trees.
Hours would be spent in reconciling differences among
the cultivators of the common fields; in largesses to
the poor; in merry-making at convenient halting-
places. A wide parish is this of Stratford, including
eleven villages and hamlets. A district of beautiful
and varied scenery is this parish—hill and valley, wood
and water. . . . For nearly three miles from Welcombe
Greenhill the boundary lies along a wooded ridge,
opening prospects of surpassing beauty. There may
the distant spires of Coventry be seen peeping above
the intermediate hills, and the nearer towers of War-
wick lying cradled in their. surrounding woods... .
At the northern extremity of the high land, which prin-
cipally belongs to the estate of Clopton, and which was
doubtless a park in early times, we have a panoramic
176 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

view of the valley in which Stratford lies, with its
hamlets of Bishopton, Little Wilmecote, Shottery, and .
Drayton, As the marvellous boy of the Stratford
Grammar School then looked upon that plain, how
little could he have foreseen the course of his future
life! For twenty years of his manhood he was to have
no constant dwelling-place in that his native town; but
it was to be the home of his affections. He would be
gathering fame and opulence in an almost untrodden
path, of which his young ambition could shape no defi-
nite image; but in the prime of his life he was to
bring his wealth to his own Stratford, and become the
proprietor and the contented cultivator of the loved
fields that he now saw mapped out at his feet. Then,
a little while, and an early tomb under that grey tower
—a tomb so to be honored in all ages to come

_«*That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.’”’
MAY-DAY AND THE MORRIS- DANCE,

The first of May was in the olden time one of
the most delightful of holidays; but its harmless
sports were an abomination in the eyes of the Puri-
tans. Philip Stubbes, in his Anatomie of Abuses (1583)
says: “Against May, every parish, town, and village
assemble theniselves together, both men, women, and
children, old and young, even all indifferently: and
either going all together, or dividing themselves into
companies, they go, some to the woods and groves,
some to the hills and mountains, some to one place,
some to another, where they spend all the night in
pastimes; and in the morning they return, bringing
with them birch boughs and branches of trees to deck
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 177

their assemblies withal. .. . But their chiefest jewel
they bring from thence is their AfZay pole, which they
bring home with great veneration, as thus :— They
have twenty or forty yoke of oxen, every ox having a
sweet nosegay of flowers tied on the tip of his horns,
and these oxen draw home this May pole, which is
covered all over with flowers and herbs, bound round
about with strings, from the top to the bottom, and
sometime painted with variable colors, with two or
three hundred men, women, and children following it,
with great devotion. And thus being reared up, with
handkerchiefs and flags streaming on the top, they
strew the ground about, bind green boughs about it,
set up summer halls, bowers, and arbors hard by it.
And then fall they to banquet and feast, to leap and
dance about it, as the heathen people did at the dedi-
cation of their idols, whereof this is a perfect pattern,
or rather the thing itself.”

Milton, though a Puritan, writes in a different vein
in his Song on May Morning :—

“Now the bright morning-star, day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose. ~

Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth and youth and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.”

Kings and queens did not disdain to join in these
rural sports. Henry VIII. and Queen Katherine en-

12
178 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

joyed them; and he, in the early-part of his reign, rose
on May Day very early and went with his courtiers to
the wood to ‘fetch May,” or green boughs. In the
Midsummer-Night’s Dream (iv. 1.) Theseus, Hippolyta,
and their train are in the wood in “the vaward of the
day,” and. find the pairs of lovers sleeping under the
influence of Puck’s magic; and Theseus says :—

“No doubt they rose up early to observe
The rite of May, and, hearing our intent,
Came here in grace of our solemnity.”

The boys and girls, as the sour Stubbes has told us,
were not slack to observe this rite of May. . In a man-
uscript in the British Museum, entitled Zhe State of
Eton School, and dated 1560, we read that ‘‘on the day
of Saint Philip and Saint James [May rst], if it be fair
weather, and the master grants leave, those boys who
choose it may rise at four o’clock, to gather May.
branches, if they can do it without wetting their feet:
and that on that day they adorn the windows of the
bedchamber with green leaves, and the houses are ee
fumed with fragrant herbs.”

The May-pole was often kept standing from year to
year on the village green or in some public place in
town or city, and in such cases was usually painted
with various colors. One described by Tollet was
“painted yellow.and black in spiral lines.” In the
Midsummer-lNight’s Dream (iii. 2. 296), Hermia sneers
at the taller Helena as a “ painted May-pole.”

In Henry VIII. (v. 4.15) when the Porter is angry
at the crowds that have made their way into the palace
yard, and calls for ‘a dozen crab-tree staves” to drive
them out, a man says to him :—
















MORRIS" DANCE
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 179

“Pray, sir, be patient: ’t is as much impossible—
Unless we sweep ‘em from the door with cannons—
To scatter ’em, as ’t is to make ’em sleep
On May-day morning; which will never be.”

Of course the day was a holiday in the Stratford
school, and we may be sure that William made the
most of it.

An important feature in the May-day games in
Shakespeare’s time was the AMorris-Dance, in which a
group of characters associated with the stories of Rob-
in Hood were the chief actors. These were Robin
himself; his faithful companion, Little John; Friar
Tuck, to whom Drayton alludes as

“Tuck the merry friar which many a sermon made
In praise of Robin Hood, his outlaws and their trade,”

Maid Marian, the mistress of Robin; the Fool, who
was like the domestic buffoon of the time, with motley
dress, the cap and bells, and additional bells tied to his
arms and ankles; the Piper, sometimes called Tom Pi-
per, the musician of the troop; and the Hobby-horse,
represented by a man equipped with a pasteboard frame
forming the head and hinder parts of a horse, with a
long mantle or footcloth reaching nearly to the ground,
to hide the man’s legs; and the Dragon, another paste-
board device, much like the one in the Riding of Saint
George described above (page 169). In addition to
these characters there were a number of common dan-
cers, in fantastic costume, with bells about their feet.
The forms and number of the characters varied
much with time and place. Sometimes only one or
‘180 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

two of those just mentioned were introduced in the
dance, and sometimes others were added.

During the reign of Elizabeth the Puritans, by their
sermons and invectives, did much to interfere with
this feature of the May-day games. Friar Tuck was
deemed a remnant of Popery, and the Hobby-horse an
impious superstition. The opposition to them became
so bitter that they were generally omitted from the
sport. Allusions to the omission of the Hobby-horse
are frequent in the plays of the time; as in Love's Za-
bour ’s Lost (iii. 1. 30): “The hobby-horse is forgot ;”
and Hamlet (iii. 2. 142): “or else he shall suffer not
thinking on, with the hobby-horse, whose epitaph is,
‘For, O, for, O, the hobby-horse is forgot.” This
“epitaph” (which is also referred to in Love's Labour ’s
Lost) appears to be a quotation from some popular
song of the time. So in Beaumont and Fletcher’s
Women Pleased (iv. 1.) we find: “Shall the hobby- ©
horse be forgot then?” and in Ben Jonson’s Entertain-
ment at Althorp: “ But see, the hobby-horse is forgot.”

Friar Tuck is alluded to by Shakespeare in Zhe 720
Gentlemen of Verona (iv. 1. 36), where one of the Out-
laws who have seized Valentine exclaims :—

“ By the bare scalp of Robin Hood's fat friar,
This fellow were a king for our wild faction!”

That he kept his place in the morris-dance in the reign
of Elizabeth is evident from Warner’s land, published -in 1586: “ Tho’ Robin Hood, little
John, friar Tuck, and Marian deftly play”; but he is
not heard of afterwards. In Ben Jonson’s Masgue of
the Gipsies, written about 1620, the Clown notes his ab-
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 181

sence from the dance: “There is no Maid Marian nor
Friar amongst them.”

Maid Marian also officiated as the Oieents or Lady of

the May, who had figured in the May-day festivities
long before Robin Hood was introduced into them.
She was probably at first the representative of the god-
dess Flora in the ancient Roman festival celebrated at
the same season of the year.
_ Maid Marian was sometimes personated by a young
woman, but oftener by a boy or young man in feminine
dress. Later, when the morris-dance had degenerated
into coarse foolery, the part was taken by a clown.
In 1 Henry ZV. (iii. 3. 129), Falstaff refers contemptu-
ously to “ Maid Marian” as a low character, which she
had doubtless become by the time (1596 or 1597) when
that play was written.

The connection of the morris-dance with May-day is
alluded to in A/’s Well that Ends Well (ii. 2. 25): “
fit... as a morris for May-day”; but it came to be
a feature of many other holidays and festivals, and
was often one of the sports introduced to amuse the
crowd at fairs and similar gatherings.

Mr. Knight gives us this fancy picture of the May-
day games as they probably were in Seat s
boyhood :—

“An impatient group is gathered under the shade of
the old elms, for the morning sun casts his slanting
beams dazzlingly across the green. There is the distant
sound of tabor and bagpipe :—

“<¢Hark, hark! I hear the dancing,
And a nimble! morris prancing;
182 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

The bagpipe and the morris bells
That they are not far hence us tells.’

From out of the leafy Arden are they bringing in the
May-pole. The oxen move slowly with the ponderous
wain; they are garlanded, but not for the sacrifice.
Around the spoil of the forest are the pipers and the
dancers—maidens in blue kirtles, and foresters in green
tunics. Amidst the shouts of young and old, childhood
leaping and clapping its hands, is the May-pole raised.
But there are great personages forthcoming —not so
great, however, as in more ancient times. There are
Robin Hood and Little John, in their grass-green tunics ;
but their bows and their sheaves of arrdws are more for
show: than use. Maid Marian is there; but she is a mock-
ery—a smooth-faced youth in a watchet-colored tunic,
with flowers and coronets, and a mincing gait, but not the
shepherdess who _

“with garlands gay
Was made the Lady of the May.’

There is farce amidst the pastoral. The age of unreali-
ties has already in part arrived. Even among country-
folk there is burlesque. There is personation, with a
laugh at the things that are represented. The Hobby-
horse and the Dragon, however, produce their shouts of
merriment. But the hearty morris-dancers soon spread a
spirit of genial mirth among all the spectators. The
clownish Maid Marian will now ‘caper upright like a wild
Morisco.’ Friar Tuck sneaks away from his ancient com-
‘panions to join hands with some undisguised maiden;
the Hobby-horse gets rid of pasteboard and his foot-
cloth; and the Dragon quietly deposits his neck and tail
for another season. Something like the genial chorus of
- Summer's Last Well and Testament is rang out :—
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 183

“«Trip and go, heave and ho, -
Up and down, to and fro,
From the town to the grove,
Two and two, let us rove,
A-Maying, a-playing;

Love hath no gainsaying,
So merrily trip and go.’

“The early-rising moon still sees the villagers on that
green of Shottery. The Piper leans against the May-
pole; the featliest of dancers still swim to the music :— _

“*So have I seen
Tom Piper stand upon our village-green,
Backed with the May-pole, whilst a jocund crew
In gentle motion circularly threw
Themselves around him.’

The same beautiful writer—one of the last of our golden
age of poetry—has described the parting gifts bestowed
upon the ‘merry youngsters’ by

““«the Lady of the May
Set in an arbor (on a holiday)
Built by the May-pole, where the jocund swains
Dance with the maidens to the bagpipe’s strains,
When envious night commands them to be gone.’”

These latter quotations are from William Browne’s
Britannia’s Pastorals (book ii. published in 1616), and
the poet goes on to tell how the Lady

“Calls for the merry youngsters one by one,
And, for their well performance, soon disposes
To this a garland interwove with roses;

f
t

184 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY.

To that.a carved hook or well-wrought scrip;
Gracing another with her cherry lip;

To one her garter; to another then

A handkerchief cast o’er and o’er again:
And none returneth empty that hath spent
His pains to fill their rural merriment.”

WHITSUNTIDE.

Whitsuntide, the season of Pentecost, or the week
following Whitsunday (the seventh Sunday after East-
er), was another period of festivity in old English times.

The morris-dance was commonly one of its features,
as.of the May-day sports. In Henry V. (ii. 4. 25) the
Dauphin alludes to it :—

“«T say ’t is meet we all go forth.
To view the sick and feeble parts of France;
And let us do it with no show of fear,
No, with no more than if we heard that England ©
Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance.”

Another custom connected with the festival was the
“ Whitsun-ale.” Ale was so common a drink in Eng-
land that it became a part of the name of various fes-
tal meetings. A “leet-ale” was a feast at the holding
of a court-leet; a “Jamb-ale” was a sheep-shearing
merry-making ; a “ bride-ale” was a bridal, as we now
call it—always a festive occasion; and a “church-ale’””
was connected with some ecclesiastical holiday.

John Aubrey, the eminent antiquary, writing in the
latter part of the 17th century, says that in his grand-
father’s days the church-ale at Whitsuntide furnished’
all the money needed for the relief of the parish poor.
7

SHAKESPEARE THE BOV 185

He adds: “In every parish is, or was, a church-house,
to which belonged spits, crocks, etc., utensils for dress-
ing provision. Here the housekeepers met and were
merry, and gave their charity. . The young people were
there too, and had dancing, bowling, shooting at butts,
without scandal.”

The Puritan Stubbes, in the book before quoted
(page 176, above), took a different view of these social
gatherings. He says: “In certain towns, where drunk-
en Bacchus bears sway, against Christmas and Easter,
Whitsuntide, or some other time, the churchwardens of
every parish, with the consent of the whole parish, pro-
vide half a score or twenty quarters of malt, whereof
some they buy of the church stock, and some is given
them of the parishioners themselves, every one con-
ferring somewhat, according to his ability ; which malt,
being made into very strong ale or beer, is set to sale,
either in the church or some other place assigned to
that purpose. Then when this is set abroach, well is
he that can get the soonest to it, and spend the most
at it.”

Old parish records show that considerable money
was obtained at these festivals, not only by the sale of
ale and food, but from the charges made for certain
games, among which “riffeling” (raffling) is included.
Neighboring parishes often united in these church pic-
nics, as they might be called. Richard Carew, in his
Survey of Cornwall (1602), says: “The neighboring
parishes at these times lovingly visit one another, and
this way frankly spend their money together.”

Whitsuntide was also a favorite time for. theatrical
-pérformarices: ‘Long before’ Shakespeare’s day the
miracle-plays and moralities had been popular at this
186 “SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

season; and these, as we have seen (page 17), were
still kept up when he was a boy, together with “ pasto-
rals” and other ‘“‘ pageants” such as Perdita alludes to
in The Winter's Tale (iv. 4. 134) :—

“Come, take your flowers:
Methinks I play as I have seen them do
In Whitsun pastorals ;”

and such as the disguised Julia describes in Zhe Two
Gentlemen of Verona (iv. 4. 163) :—

“ At Pentecost,
When all our pageants of delight were play’d,
Our youth got me to play the woman’s part,
And I was trimm’d in Madam Julia’s gown,
Which served me as fit, by all men’s judgments,
As if the garment had been made for me;
Therefore, I know she is about my height. °
And at that time I made her weep a-good,
For I did play a lamentable part.
Madam, ’t was Ariadne, passioning
For Theseus’ perjury and unjust flight,
Which I so lively acted with my tears
That my poor mistress, moved therewithal,
Wept bitterly ; and would I might be dead
If I in thought felt not her very sorrow !”

This is in one of the earliest of his plays, and may be
a reminiscence of some simple attempt at dramatic
representation which he had seen at Stratford.

MIDSUMMER EVE,

The Vigil of Saint John the Baptist, or the evening
before the day (June 24) dedicated to that Saint, was
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 187

commonly called Midsummer Eve, and was observed.
with curious ceremonies in all parts of England. . On
that evening the people used to go into the woods and
break down branches: of trees, which they brought
home and fixed over their doors with great demonstra-
tions of joy. This was originally done to make good
the Scripture prophecy concerning the Baptist, that
many should rejoice in his birth.

It was also customary on this occasion for old and
young, of both sexes, to make merry about a large bon-
fire made in the street or some open place. They
danced around it, and the young men and boys leaped
over it, not to show their agility, but in compliance
with an ancient custom. ‘These diversions they kept
up till midnight, and sometimes later.

According to some old writers these fires were made
because the Saint was said in Holy Writ to be “a
shining light.” Others, while not denying this, add-
ed that the fires served to drive away the dragons
and evil spirits hovering in the air; and one asserts
that in some countries bones were burnt in this “bone-
fire,’ or bonfire, “for the dragons hated nothing more
than the stench of burning bones.”

In the Ordinary of the Company of Cooks at New-
castle-upon-Tyne, 1575, we read among other regula-
tions: “And also that the said Fellowship of Cooks
shall yearly of their own cost and charge maintain and
keep the bone-fires, according to the ancient custom of
the town on the Sanc-hill ; that is to say, one bone-fire
on the Even of the Feast of the Nativity of St. John
the Baptist, commonly, called Midsummer Even, and
the other on the Even of the Feast of St. Peter the
Apostle, if it shall please the mayor and aldermen of
188 SHAKESPEARE THE Boy.

the town for the time being to have the same bone-
fires.”

In a manuscript record of the expenses of the royal
household for the first year of the reign of Henry VIIL.
(1513), under date of July rst is the entry: “Item, to
the pages of the hall, for making of the King’s bone-
fire upon Midsummer Eve, xs.”

There were many popular superstitions connected
with Midsummer Eve. It was believed that if any one
sat-up fasting all night in the church porch, he would
see the spirits of those who were to die in the parish
during the ensuing twelve months come and knock
at the church door, in the order in which they were
to die.

It was customary on this evening to gather certain
plants which were supposed to have magical properties.
Fern-seed, for instance, being on the back of the leaf
and in some species hardly discernible, was thought to
have the power of rendering the possessor invisible, if
it was gathered at this time. In some places it was
believed that the seed must be got at midnight by
letting it fall into a plate without touching the plant.

We find many allusions to fern-seed in Elizabethan
writers. In x Henry /V. (ii. 1. 95) Gadshill says: “We
steal as in a castle, cock-sure ; we have the receipt of
fern-seéd, we walk invisible”; to which the Chamber-
lain replies: ‘Nay, by my faith, I think ye are more
beholding to the night than to fern-seed for your walk-
ing invisible.” In Ben Jonson's Mew Jun (i. 1) one of
the characters says :—

“T had
No medicine, sir, to go invisible,
No fern-seed in’my pocket.”
“SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 189

In Plaine Percevall, a tract of the time of Elizabeth, we
read: “I think the mad slave hath tasted on a fern-
stalk, that he walks so invisible.” _

Scot, in his Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584), directs us,
as protection against witches, to “hang: boughs (hal-
lowed on Midsummer Day) at the stall door where the
cattle stand.”

St. John’s wort, vervain, orpine, and rue were
among the plants gathered on Midsummer Eve on ac-
count of their supernatural virtue. Each was supposed
to have its peculiar use in popular magic. Orpine, for
instance, was set in clay upon pieces of slate, and
called a “Midsummer man.” According as the stalk
was found next morning to incline to the right or the
left, the anxious maiden knew whether her lover would
prove true to her or not. Young women also sought
at this time for what they called pieces of coal, but in
reality hard, black, dead roots, often found under the
living mugwort ; and these they put under their pillows
that they might dream of their lovers. Lupton, in his
Notable Things (1586), says: “It is certainly and con-
stantly affirmed that on Midsummer Eve there is found,
under the root of mugwort, a coal which saves or keeps
them safe from the plague, carbuncle, lightning, the
quartan ague, and from burning, that bear the same
about them.” He also says it is reported that the
same remarkable “coal” is found at the same time of
the year under the root of plantain; and he adds that
he knows this “to be of truth,” for he has found it
there himself !

Midsummer Eve was also thought to be a season
productive of madness. In Twelfth Night (iii. 4. 61)
Olivia says of Malvolio’s eccentric behavior, “ Why, this
190 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

is very midsummer madness.” Steevens, the Shake-
spearian critic, believed that the Midsummer-Night’s
Dream owed its title to this association of mental va-
garies with the season. John Heywood, writing in the
latter part of the 16th century, alludes to the same
belief when he says :— :

«As mad as a March hare; when madness compares,
Are not Midsummer hares as mad as March hares ?”

It is not improbable, however, that the Afidswmmer-
Night's Dream was so called because it was to be first
represented at Midsummer, or because it was like the
plays commonly performed in connection with the fes-
tivities of that season. A drama in which fairies were
leading characters was in keeping with the time of
year when fairies and spirits were supposed to mani-
fest themselves to mortal vision either in vigils or in
dreams.

CHRISTMAS.

Passing by sundry minor festivals of the year, we’
come to Christmas, which is a day of feasting and
merrymaking in England even now, though but a
“starveling Christmas” compared with that of the
olden time. “Where now,” as Mr. Knight asks, “is
the real festive exhilaration of Christmas ; the meeting
of all ranks as children of a common father ; the tenant
speaking freely in his landlord’s hall; the laborers and
their families sitting at the same great oak table; the
Yule Log brought in with shout and song? ‘No night
is now with hymn or carol blest.’ There are singers
of carols even now at a Stratford Christmas. War-


CLOPTON HOUSE ON CHRISTMAS EVE
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY Igl

wickshire has retained some of its ancient carols. But
the singers are wretched chorus-makers, according to
the most unmusical style of all the generations from
the time of the Commonwealth. . . . But in an age of
music we may believe that one young dweller in Strat-
ford gladly woke out of his innocent sleep, after the
evening bells had rung him to rest, when in the still-
ness of the night the psaltery was gently touched be-
fore his father’s porch, and he heard, one voice under
another, these simple and solemn strains :—

“© As Joseph was a-walking
He heard an angel sing,
This night shall be born
Our heavenly King.

«“¢He neither shall be born
In housen nor in hall,
Nor in the place of Paradise,
But in an ox’s stall.

“¢BHe neither shall be clothed
In purple nor in pall,
But all in fair linen,
As were babies all.

“ «He neither shall be rock’d
In silver nor in gold, |
But in a wooden cradle
That rocks on the mould.’

London has perhaps this carol yet, among its half
penny ballads. A man who had a mind attuned to
the love of what was beautiful in the past has pre-
192 SHAKESPEARE THE: BOV

served it; but it was for another age. It was for.the
age of William Shakespeare. . It was for the age when
superstition, as we call it, had its poetical faith. . . .
“Such a night was a preparation for a ‘happy Christ-
mas.’ The Cross of Stratford was garnished with the
holly, the ivy, and the bay. Hospitality was in every
house ; but the hall of the great landlord of the parish
was a scene of rare conviviality. The frost or the
snow will not deter the principal tenants and friends
from the welcome of Clopton. There is the old house,
nestled in the woods, looking down upon the little
town, Its chimneys are reeking; there is bustle in the
offices; the sound of the trumpeters and the pipers is
heard through the open door of the great entrance;
the steward marshals the guests; the tables are fast
filling. Then advance, courteously, the master and
the mistress of the feast. The Boar’s head is brought
‘in with due solemnity; the wine-cup goes round; and
perhaps the Saxon shout of Waes-hael and Drink-hael
may still be shouted. The boy-guest who came with
his father, the tenant of Ingon, has slid away from the
rout; for the steward, who loves the boy, has a sight
to make him merry. The Lord of Misrule and his
jovial attendants are rehearsing their speeches; and
the mummers from Stratford are at the porch. Very
sparing are the cues required for the enactment of this
short drama. A speech to the esquire, closed with a
merry jest; something about ancestry and good Sir
Hugh; the loud laugh; the song and the chorus; and
the Lord of Misrule is now master of the feast. The
Hall is cleared. ... There is dancing till curfew; and
then a walk in the moonlight to Stratford, the pale
beam shining equally upon the dark resting-place in
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY. 193.

the lonely aisle of the Clopton who is gone, and upon

‘the festal hall of the Clopton who remains, where some
loiterers of the old and young still desire ‘to burn this
night with torches.’ ”

This is a fancy picture, but it is in keeping with the
life of the time. Whether the boy Shakespeare spent a
Christmas in just this manner or not, we may be sure
that he enjoyed the merriment of the season to the full.

There are a few allusions to Christmas in the plays,
besides the beautiful one in Mamet already quoted
(page 138) in another connection. In Love's Labour’s
Lost (v. 2. 462) “a Christmas comedy” is alluded to;
and in Zhe Taming of the Shrew (ind. 2. 140), when Sly
the tinker learns that a comedy is to be played for his
entertainment, he asks whether a “comonty” is “like
a Christmas gambold or a tumbling-trick.”

SHEEP-SHEARING.

Our English ancestors had other holidays than those
associated with the ecclesiastical year, but only one or
two of them can be mentioned here.

The time of sheep-shearing was celebrated by a rural
feast such as Shakespeare has introduced in Zhe Win-
ter’s Tale. The shearing took place in the spring as
soon as the weather became warm enough for the
sheep to lay aside their winter clothing without danger.
John Dyer, in his poem entitled Zhe Meece (1757), fixes
the proper time thus :—

“Tf verdant elder spreads
Her silver flowers, if humble daisies yield
To yellow crowfoot and luxuriant grass,
Gay shearing-time approaches.”
13
194 SHAKESPEARE THE BOV

Drayton, writing in Shakespeare’s day (page 3 above),
describes a shearing-feast in the Vale of Evesham, not
far from Stratford :—

“The shepherd-king,

Whose flock hath chanced that year the earliest lamb
to bring,

In his gay baldric sits at his low, grassy board,

With flawns, curds, clouted cream, and country dainties
stored ;

And whilst the bagpipe plays, each lusty jocund swain

Quaffs syllabubs in cans to all upon the plain;

And to their country girls, whose nosegays they do
wear,

Some roundelays do sing, the rest the burden bear.”

In The Winter's Tale, instead of the shepherd-king
we have the more poetical shepherdess-queen. Dr. F.
J. Furnivall, in his introduction to this play, remarks:
“How happily it brings Shakespeare before us, mixing
with his Stratford neighbors at their sheep-shearing
and country sports, enjoying the vagabond peddler’s
gammon and talk, delighting in the sweet Warwick-
shire maidens, and buying them ‘fairings,’ opening his
heart afresh to all the innocent mirth and the beauty
of nature around him!” Doubtless he enjoyed these
rural festivities in his later years, after he settled down
in his own house at Stratford, no less heartily than he
did in his boyhood, when his father may have had
sheep to shear.

Mr. Knight remarks: ‘“ There is a minuteness of cir-
cumstance amidst the exquisite poetry of this scene [in
The Winter's Tale| which shows that it must have been
founded upon actual observation, and in all likelihood
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY s 195

upon the keen and prying observation of a boy occu-
pied and interested with such details. Surely his fa-
ther's pastures and his father’s homestead might have
supplied all these circumstances. His father’s man
might be the messenger to the town, and reckon upon
‘counters’ the cost of the sheep-shearing feast. ‘Three
pounds of sugar, five pounds of currants, rice’—and
then he asks, ‘What will this sister of mine do with
rice?) In Bohemia the clown might, with dramatic
propriety, not know the use of rice at a sheep-shear-
ing; but a Warwickshire swain would have the flavor
of cheese-cakes in his mouth at the first mention of
rice and currants. Cheese-cakes and warden-pies were
the sheep-shearing delicacies.”

Shakespeare evidently knew for what the rice was
wanted at the feast; but the clown, who was no cook,
might be familiar with the flavor of the cakes without
understanding all the ingredients that entered into
their composition.

Thomas Tusser, in his Mive Hundred Points of Hus-
bandry (1557), describing this festival, makes the shep-
herd say :—

“Wife, make us a dinner, spare flesh neither corn,
Make wafers and cakes, for our sheep must be shorn;
At sheep-shearing, neighbors none other things crave
But good cheer and welcome like neighbors to have.”

HARVEST-HOME,

The ingathering of the harvest was a season of great
rejoicing from the most remote antiquity. ‘Sowing is
hope ; reaping, fruition of the expected good.” To
196 ; SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

the husbandman to whom the fear of wet, blights, and
other mischances has been a source of anxiety between
seedtime and harvest, the fortunate completion of his
long labors cannot fail to be a relief and a delight.

Paul Hentzner, writing in 1598 at Windsor, says:
“As we were returning to our inn we happened to
méet some country-people celebrating their harvest-
home. Their last load of corn they crown with flow-
ers, having besides an image richly dressed, by which
perhaps they would signify Ceres. This they keep
moving about, while men and women, riding through
the streets in the cart, shout as loud as they can till
they arrive at the barn.” In the reign of James L.,
Moresin, another foreigner, saw a figure made of corn
drawn home in a cart, with men and women singing
to the pipe and the drum.

Matthew Stevenson, in the Twelve Months (1661),
under August, alludes to this festival thus: ‘The fur-
menty-pot welcomes home the harvest-cart, and the
garland of flowers crowns the captain of the reapers,
the battle of the field is now stoutly fought. The pipe
and the tabor are now busily set a-work; and the lad
and the lass will have no lead on their heels. O, ’t-is
the merry time wherein honest neighbors make good
cheer, and God is glorified in his Dee eee on the
earth.”

Robert Herrick, in his Hesperides (1648), refers to
the harvest-home as follows :—

“Come, sons of summer, by whose toil
We are the lords of wine and oil,
By whose tough labor and rough hands
We rip up first, then reap our lands,
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 197

Crown’d with the ears of corn, now come,
And to the pipe sing harvest-home.

Come forth, my lord, and see the cart,
Drest up with all the country art.

See here a mawkin, there a sheet

As spotless pure as it is sweet:

The horses, mares, and frisking fillies

Clad all in linen, white as lilies;

The harvest swains and wenches bound
For joy to see the hock-cart crown’d.
About the cart hear how the rout

Of rural younglings raise the shout;
Pressing before, some coming after,

Those with a shout, and these with laughter.
Some bless the cart, some kiss the sheaves,
Some prank them up with oaken leaves;
Some cross the fill-horse; some, with great
Devotion, stroke the home-borne wheat.

* Ea 3K * 2 # *
Well, on, brave boys, to your lord’s hearth,
Glittering with fire; where, for your mirth,
You shall see, first, the large and chief
Foundation of your feast, fat beef;

With upper stories, mutton, veal,

And bacon (which makes full the meal),
With several dishes standing by,

And here a custard, there a pie,

And here all-tempting frumenty.”

The “hock-cart” was the cart that brought home the
last load of corn. It was sometimes called the
“hockey-cart”’; and one of the dainties of the feast
was the “hockey-cake.” In an almanac for 1676, un-
der August, we read :—

“ Hocky is brought home with hallowing,
Boys with plum-cake the cart following.”
198 SHAKESPEARE THE BOV

The harvest-home is alluded to in 1 Henry ZV. (i. 3
35), where Hotspur, describing the “popinjay” lord
who came to demand his prisoners, says :—

“and his chin new-reap’d
- Show’d like a stubble-land at harvest-home.”

In The Merry Wives of Windsor (ii. 2. 287) Falstaff
says of Mistress Ford, to whom he intends to. make
love, “and there ’s my harvest-home.”

In the interlude in Zhe Tempest (iv. 1. 134) the dence
of the Reapers was apparently a reminiscence of
harvest-home sports. Iris says :—

“You sunburnt sicklemen, of August weary,
Come hither from the furrow and be merry.
Make holiday; your rye-straw hats put on,
And these fresh nymphs encounter every one
In country footing.”

The following passage in the rath Sonnet, though it
has nothing of festival joyousness, may have been sug-
gested by the ceremonial bringing home of the last
load of grain :—

“When lofty trees I see barren of leaves -
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,” etc.

MARKETS AND FAIRS.

In a quiet country town like Stratford the weekly
market was an occasion of some interest to the boys as
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 199

to their elders. There is still such a market on Fri-
days at Stratford, when wares of many sorts are ex-
posed for sale in the streets, and people from the
neighboring villages come to buy. In old times there —
would have been a greater throng of buyers and sell-
ets. ‘The housewife from her little farm would ride
in gallantly between her paniers laden with butter,
eggs, chickens, and capons. The farmer would stand
by his pitched corn, and, as Harrison complains, if the
poor ran handled the sample with the intent to pur-
chase his humble bushel, the man of many sacks would
declare that it was'sold. There, before shops were
many and their stocks extensive, would come the deal-
ers from Birmingham and Coventry, with wares for use
and wares for show,—horse-gear and women- gear;
Sheffield whittles, and rings’ with posies.”

We find a number of allusions to these markets in
Shakespeare’s plays. In Love's Labour ’s Lost (v. 2.
318) Biron, ridiculing Boyet, says of him :—

“He is art’s pedler, and retails his wares
At wakes and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs.”

In the same play (iii. 1. 111) there is an allusion to the
old proverb, “Three women and a goose make a mar-
ket,” where Costard, referring to Moth’s nonsense
about “the fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,” followed
by the’ goose that made up four, says, “ And he [the
goose] ended the market.”

In As You Like It (iii. 2. 104) Touchstone, mak-
ing fun of Orlando’s verses which Rosalind has just
read, says: “I'll rhyme you so eight years together,
dinners and suppers and sleeping-hours excepted: it is
200 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

the right butter-women’s rank to market”; that is, the
metre is just like the jog-trot of countrywomen rid-
ing to market one after another, with their butter
and eggs.

In Richard IIT, (i. 1. 160) Gloster, after saying that
he means to “marry Warwick’s youngest daughter,”
adds :—

“But yet I run before my horse to market:
Clarence still breathes, Edward still lives and reigns;
When they are gone, then must I count my gains.”

He means, in the language of a more familiar prov-
erb, that he is counting his chickens before they are
hatched ; that is, he is too hasty in reckoning upon tins
success Si his plans. i

In 1 Henry VI. (iii. 2) Joan of Arc gets into Rouen.
with her soldiers in the guise of countrymen bound
for market :—

“Enter La Pucelle, diseudsed, and Soldiers dressed ithe
countrymen, with sacks upon their backs,

Pucelle, These are the city gates, the gates of Rouen,
Through which our policy must ‘make ‘a breach.
Take heed, be wary how you place your words;
Talk like the vulgar sort of market-men,

That come to gather money for their corn.

If we have entrance—as I hope we shall—

And that we find the slothful watch but weak,
I'll by a sign give notice to our friends

That Charles the Dauphin may encounter them.

1 Solder. Our sacks shall be a mean to sack the city,
And we be lords and rulers over Rouen;

Therefore we'll knock. ; [Knocks.












FAIR

THE
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 201

Guard. {[Within.] Quid est la?
Pucelle. Patsans, pauvres gens de France:
Poor. market-folks, that come to sell their corn.
Guard. [Opening the gates.) Enter, go in; the mar-
ket-bell is rung.
Pucelle. Now, Rouen, I'll shake thy bulwarks to the
ground.”

The “market-bell” was rung at the hour when the
market was to begin.

In the same play (v. 5. 54), when a dower is pro-
posed for Margaret, who is to marry Henry, Suffolk
says :—

“ A dower, my lords! disgrace not so your king,
That he should be so abject, base, and poor,
To choose for wealth, and not for perfect love.
Henry is able to enrich his queen,

And not to seek a queen to make him rich:
So worthless peasants bargain for their wives, —
As market-men for oxen, sheep, or horse.”

In 2 Henry VI. (v. 2. 62), when Cade has said boast-
ingly, “I am able to endure much,” Dick makes the
comment, aside: “No question of that; for I have
seen him whipped three market-days together.”

There are many other allusions to markets, market-
men, market-maids, etc., in the plays, but these will
suffice for illustration here.

The semi-annual Fair was a market on a grander
scale. The increased crowd of dealers called for certain
police regulations, and these were strictly enforced.
‘The town council appointed to each trade a particular
station in the streets. ‘hus, raw hides were to be ex-
posed for sale in the Rother Market. Sellers of but-
202 SHAKESPEARE THE BOV

ter, cheese, wick-yarn, and fruits were to set up their
stalls by the cross at the Guild Chapel. A part of the
High Street was assigned to country butchers. Pew-
terers were ordered to “pitch” their wares in Wood
Street, and to pay fourpence a square yard for the
ground they occupied. Salt-wagons, whose owners did
a large business when salted meats formed the staple ~
supply of food, were permitted to stand about the cross
in the Rother Market. At various points victuallers
could erect booths. These regulations were necessary
to prevent strife concerning locations, and violations
were punished by heavy fines.

Mr. Knight remarks: “ At the joyous Fair-season it
would seem that the wealth of a world was emptied into
Stratford ; not only the substantial things, the wine, the
wax, the wheat, the wool, the malt, the cheese, the clothes,
the napery, such as even great lords sent their stew-
ards to the Fairs to buy, but every possible variety of
such trumpery as fills the pedler’s pack, — ribbons,
inkles, caddises, coifs, stomachers, pomanders, brooches,
tapes, shoe-ties. Great dealings were there on these
occasions in beeves and horses, tedious chafferings,
stout affirmations, saints profanely invoked to ratify a
bargain. A mighty man rides into the Fair who scat-
ters consternation around. It is the Queen’s Pur-
veyor. The best horses are taken up for her Majesty’s
use, at her Majesty’s price; and they probably find
their way to the Earl of Leicester’s or the Earl of War-
wick’s stables at a considerable profit to Master Pur-
veyor, The cotntry buyers and sellers look blank ;
but there is no remedy. There is solace, however, if
there is not redress. The ivy-bush is at many a door,

_and the sounds of merriment are within, as the ale and
SHAKESPEARE THE BOV 203

the sack are quaffed to friendly greetings. In the
streets there are morris-dancers, the juggler with his
ape, and the minstrel with his ballads. We may imag-
ine the foremost in a group of boys listening to the
‘small popular musics sung by these cantabangui upon
benches and barrels’ heads,’ or more earnestly to some
one of the ‘blind harpers, or such-like tavern minstrels,
that give a fit of mirth for a groat ; their matters being
for the most part stories of old time as Zhe Zale of Sir
Topas, Bevis of Southampton, Guy of Warwick, Adam
Bell and Clymme of the Clough, and such other old
romances or historical rhymes, made purposely for
the recreation of the common people.’ A bold fellow,
who is full of queer stories and cant phrases, strikes
a few notes upon his gittern, and the lads and lasses
are around him ready to dance their country meas-
ures... .

“The Fair is over; the booths are taken down; the
woolen statute-caps, which the commonest people re-
fuse to wear because there is a penalty for not wearing
them, are packed up again; the prohibited felt hats
are all sold; the millinery has found a ready market
among the sturdy yeomen, who are careful to propitiate
their home-staying wives after the fashion of the Wife
of Bath’s husbands. . . . The juggler has packed up
his cup and balls; the last cudgel-play has been fought
out :—

“«Near the dying of the day’
There will be a cudgel-play,
Where a coxcomb will be broke
Ere a good word can be spoke:
But the anger ends all here,
Drench’d in ale, or drown'd in beer.’
204 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

Morning comes, and Stratford ‘hears only the quiet
steps of its native population.”

There are many allusions, literal and figurative, to
these fairs in Shakespeare’s plays, a few of which may
be cited here as specimens.

In Love's Labour ’s Lost, besides the one quoted:
above (page 199), we find the following simile in Biron’s
eulogy of Rosaline (iv. 3. 235) :—

“Of all complexions the cull’d soverignty
Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek.”

In the same play (v. 2. 2), the Princess Says to her
ladies, referring to the presents they have received :—

“Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart
If fairings come thus plentifully in.”

It was so common a practice to buy presents at fairs
that the word fairing, which originally meant presents
thus bought, came to be used in a more general sense,
as in this passage and many others that might be
quoted.

In Zhe Winter's Tale (iv. 3. 109) the Clown says of
the merry peddler Autolycus that ‘the haunts wakes,
fairs, and bear-baitings.” Later (iv. 4) we meet the
rogue at the sheep-shearing, where he finds a good
market for ribbons, gloves, and other “ fairings,” which
the swains buy for their sweethearts; and when the
festival is over he says: “I have sold all my trumpery ;
not a counterfeit stone, not a ribbon, glass, pomander,
brooch, table-book, ballad, knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie,
bracelet, horn-ring, to keep my pack from fasting ;

)

they throng who should buy first, as if my trinkets
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 205

had been hallowed and brought a benediction to the
buyer.”

In 2 Henry IV. (iii. 2. 43) Shallow asks his cousin
Silence, “ How a good yoke of bullocks now at Stam-
ford fair?” and Silence replies, “‘ By my troth, I was
- not there.” Later (v. 1. 26) Davy asks Shallow: “Sir,
do you mean to stop any of William’s wages, about the
sack he lost the other day at Hinckley fair?”

In Henry VIIT. (v. 4. 73) the Chamberlain, seeing
the crowd gathered to get a sight of the royal proces-
sion, exclaims :—

“Mercy o’ me, what a multitude are here!
They grow still too; from all parts they are coming,
As if we kept a fair here.”

In Lear (iii. 6. 78) Edgar; in his random talk while
pretending to be insane, cries: “Come, march to
wakes and fairs and market-towns !”’

The “wakes,” mentioned so often in connection with
fairs, were annual feasts kept to commemorate the
dedication of a church; called so, as an old writer
tells us, “because the night before they were used to
watch till morning in the church.” The néxt day was
given up to feasting and all sorts of rural merriment.
In the churchwardens’ accounts of the time we find
charges for “wine and sugar,” for “bread, wine, and
ale,” and the like, for “certain of the parish,” for “the
singing’ men and singing. children,” and others, on
these occasions.

At these wakes, as at the fairs and other large gath-
erings, whether festal or commercial, hawkers and ped-
dlers came to sell their wares and merchants set up
their stalls and booths, often in the very churchyard
206 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

and even on a Sunday. The clergy naturally de.
nounced this profanation of the Sabbath, but it was
not entirely suppressed until the reign of Henry VI.

Stubbes, in his Anatomy of Abuses ( (1583), inveighed
against these wakes, as against the May- day sports
(page 176 above), especially on account of the money
wasted at them, “insomuch as the poor men that bear
the charges of these feasts and wakes are the poorer
and keep the worser houses a long time after: and no
marvel, for many spend more at one of these wakes
than in all the whole year besides.” |

Herrick, in his Hesperides (page 196 above) took a
more cheerful view of such rural holidays :—

“Come, Anthea, let us two
Go to feast, as others do.
Tarts and custards, creams and cakes,
Are the junkets still at wakes;
Unto which the tribes resort,
Where the business is the sport.
Morris-dancers thou shalt see,
Marian too in pageantry;
And a mimic to devise
Many grinning properties.
Players there will be, and those
Base in action as in clothes;
Yet with strutting they will please
The incurious villages.
*k * * * * #
Happy rustics, best content
With the cheapest merriment:
And possess no other fear
Than to want the wake next year ;”

that is, to miss or lack it.
}

SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 207

RURAL OUTINGS.

Much of the recreation, as.of the education, of Wil-
liam Shakespeare was in the fields. ‘He is rarely a
descriptive poet, distinctively so called; but images of
mead and grove, of dale and upland, of forest depths,
of quiet walks by gentle rivers,—reflections of his own
native scenery,—spread themselves without an effort
over all his writings. All the occupations of a rural
life are glanced at or embodied in his characters. He
wreathes all the flowers of the field in his delicate
chaplets; and even the nicest mysteries of the garden-
er’s art can be expounded by him. His poetry in this,
as in all other great essentials, is like the operations of
nature itself; we see not its workings. But we may be
assured, from the very circumstance of its appearing
so accidental, so spontaneous in its relations to all
external nature and to the country life, that it had its
foundation in very early and very accurate observation.
Stratford was especially fitted to have been the ‘green
lap’ in which the boy-poet was ‘laid.’ The whole face
of creation here wore an aspect of quiet loveliness.”

The surrounding country was no less beautiful; and
William would naturally become familiar with it in his
boyish rambles and in his visits to his relatives. The
village of Wilmcote, the home of his mother, was with-
in walking distance; and so was Snitterfield, where his
father lived before he came to Stratford, and where his
uncle Henry still resided. All through the wooded
district of Arden the name of Shakespeare was very
common, and among those who bore it were probably
other families more or less closely related to John
Shakespeare’s,
208 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

However that may have been, the enterprising glover
and wool-merchant must have had large dealings with
the neighboring farmers; and William must have seen
much of rural life and employments in the company of
his father, or when wandering at his own free will in
the country about Stratford. In no other waycould he
have gained the intimate acquaintance with farming
and gardening operations of which his works bear evi-.
dence. He went to London before his literary career
began, and lived there until it closed, with only brief
occasional visits to Warwickshire. In the metropolis
he could not have added much to his early lessons in
the country life and character of which he has given
us such graphic and faithful delineations. These are
thoroughly fresh and real; they tell of the outdoor life
he loved, and never smell of the study-lamp, as Mil-
ton’s and Spenser’s allusions to plants, flowers, and
other natural objects often do.

Volumes have been written on the plant-lore and
garden-craft of Skakespeare; and the authors dwell
equally on the poet’s ingrained love of the country and
his keen observation of natural phenomena and the
agricultural practice of the time.

In Richard ST, (iii. 4. 29-66) the Gardener and his
Servant draw lessons of political wisdom from the
details of their occupation :—

“ Gardener, Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks,
Which, like unruly children, make their sire
Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight;
Give some supportance to the bending twigs,
Go thou, and like an executioner
Cut .off the heads of too-fast-growing sprays,
That look too lofty in our commonwealth;
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 209

All must be even in our government.
You thus employ’d, I will go root away
The noisome weeds, that without profit suck
The soil’s fertility from wholesome flowers.

Servant. Why should we, in the compass of a pale,
Keep law, and form, and due proportion,
Showing, as in a model, our firm estate,
When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
‘Is full of weeds; her fairest flowers chok’d up,
Her fruit-trees all unprun’d, her hedges ruin’d,
Her knots disorder’d, and her wholesome herbs
Swarming with caterpillars ?

Gardener. Hold thy peace!
He that hath suffer’d’ this disorder’d spring
Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf.
The weeds that his broad-spreading leaves did shelter,
That seem'd in eating him to‘hold him up,
Are pluck’d up, root and all, by Bolingbroke ; %
I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.

Servant. What, are they dead ?

Gardener. They are; and Bolingbroke
Hath seiz’d the wasteful king —O, what pity is it,
That he hath not so trimm’d and dress’d his land
As we this garden! We at time of year .
Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit-trees,
Lest, being over-proud with sap and blood,
With too: much riches it confound itself:
Had he done so to great and growing men,
They might have liv’d to bear, and he to taste
Their fruits of duty. All superfluous branches
We lop away, that bearing boughs may live:
Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.”

Mr. Ellacombe, commenting upon this dialogue, re-
marks: “This most interesting passage would almost
14 :
210 SHAKESPEARE THE BOY

tempt us to say that Shakespeare was a gardener ‘by
profession; certainly no other passages that have been
brought to prove his real profession are more minute
than this. It proves him to have had practical experi-
ence in the work, and I think we may safely say that he
was no mere ’prentice hand in the use of the pruning-
knife.” But this play was written in London, when he
could hardly have known anything more of practical
gardening than he had learned in his boyhood and
youth at Stratford.

Grafting and the various ways of propagating plants
by cuttings, slips, etc., are described or alluded to with
equal accuracy; also the mischief done by weeds,
blights, frosts, and other enemies of the husbandman
and horticulturist. He writes on all these matters as
we might expect him to have done in his last years at

Stratford, after he had had actual experience in the
' management of a large garden at New Place and in
farming operations on other lands he had bought in the
neighborhood; but all these passages, like the one
quoted from &ichard /1., were written long before he
had a garden of his own. They were reminiscences
of his observation as a boy, not the results of his
experience as a country gentleman.
NOTES
ABBREVIATIONS, except a few of the most familiar, have.been avoided in the
Notes, as in other parts of the book. The references to act, scene, and line in
the quotations from Shakespeare are added for the convenience of the reader or
student, who may sometimes wish to refer to the context. ‘lhe line-numbers
are those of the “‘ Globe”? edition, which vary from those of my edition only in
scenes that are wholly or partly in prose.

The numbers appended to names of authors (as in the note on page 22, for ex-
ample) are the dates of their birth and death. An interrogation-mark after a
date (as in the note on page 114) indicates that it is uncertain. I have not

thought it necessary to insert biographical notes concerning well-known authors,
like Spenser, Milton, etc.
NOTES

Page 3.—Avichael Drayton, He was
born in Warwickshire in 1563. Of his
personal history very little is known. His
most famous work, the Poly-Olbion (or
Polyolbion, as it is often printed), is a
poem of about 30,000 lines, the subject of
which, as he himself states it, is ‘‘a cho-
rographical description of all the tracts,
rivers, mountains, forests, and other parts
of this renowned Isle of Great Britain ;
with intermixture of the most remarkable
stories, antiquities, wonders, etc., of the
same.” His Ballad of Agincourt (see
Tales from English History, p. 39) has
been called ‘‘the most perfect and patri-
otic of English ballads.” Drayton was
made poet-laureate in 1626, He died
in 1631, and was buried in- Westminster
Abbey.

Page 4.—Her Bear. The badge of
the Earls of Warwick.

Wilmcote. A small village about three
miles from Stratford-on-Avon, ‘The name
' is also written Welmecote, and Wilnecote ;
and in old documents, Wilmeott, Wincott, etc. It is probably the
Wincot of The Taming of the Shrew (ind. 2. 23) and the Woncot
of 2 Henry LV, (vy. 1. 42).

Dugdale, Sir William Dugdale (1605-1686), one of the most
learned of English antiquaries. His Antiquities of Warwickshire
(1656) is said to have been the result of twenty years’ laborious re-
search.


214 NOTES

Page 7.—Beauchamp. Pronounced Beech'-am.

The herse of brass hoops. The word herse (the same as hearse)
originally meant a harrow ; then a temporary framework, often
shaped like a harrow, used for supporting candles at a funeral ser-
vice, and placed over the coffin; then a kind of frame or*cage over
an effigy on a tomb ; and finally a carriage for bearing a corpse to
the grave. For the third meaning (which we have here), compare
Ben Jonson’s Zpitaph on the Countess of Pembroke :—

“ Underneath this sable herse
Lies the subject of all verse,” etc.

The garter, Showing that he was a Knight of the Garter.

The noble Impe. The word imp originally meant a scion, shoot,
or slip of a tree or plant; then, figuratively, human offspring or
progeny, as here and in many passages in writers of the time.
Holinshed the chronicler speaks of ‘‘ Prince Edward, that goodlie
impe,” and Churchyard calls Edward VI. ‘‘that impe of grace.”
Fulwell, addressing Anne Boleyn, refers to Elizabeth as ‘‘ thy royal
impe.” As first applied to a young or small devil, the word had |
this same meaning of offspring, ‘‘an imp of Satan” being a child
of Satan. How it came later to mean a mischievous urchin I leave
the small folk themselves to guess.

Page 10.—TZke famous ‘dun cow.” This, according to the
legend, was ‘‘a monstrous wild and cruel beast” which ravaged the
country about Dunsmore. Guy also slew a wild boar of ‘‘ passing
might and strength,” and a dragon ‘‘ black as any coal” which was
long the terror of Northumberland. Compare the old ballad of
Sir Guy -— :

**On Dunsmore heath I also slew
A monstrous wild and cruel beast,
Call’d the Dun-cow of Dunsmore heath,
Which many people had opprest.

“Some of her bones in Warwick yet
Still for a monument do lie;
And there exposed to lookers’ view
As wondrous strange they may espy.

‘A dragon in Northumberland
I also did in fight destroy,
Which did both man and beast oppress,
And all the country sore annoy.”
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 215:

' Page 13.—Master Robert Lancham. He was an English mer-
chant who became “doorkeeper of the council-chamber”? to the’
Earl of Leicester. | He wrote an account, in the form of a letter, of
the festivities in honor of this visit of Elizabeth to Kenilworth,
which was afterwards printed. He is one of the characters in
Scott’s Kenilworth,

Page 14.—Theatres, etc. The cut facing page 14 shows one
of the movable stages referred to by Dugdale ; also two of ‘‘ the
three tall spires” mentioned by Tennyson in the poem of Godiva.
The nearer church is St. Michael's, said to be the largest parish
church in England, with a steeple 303 feet high. Beyond it is
Trinity Church, with a spire 237 feet high.

Page 15.— The most beautiful in the kingdom. There is a
familiar story of two Englishmen who laid a wager as to which was
the finest walk in England. After the money was put up, one
named the walk from Stratford to Coventry, and the other that
from Coventry to Stratford. How the umpire decided the case is
not recorded.

Page 16.—7he Cappers. The makers of caps.

Page 17.—Xing Herod. Longfellow, in his Golden Legend,
introduces a miracle-play, 7e Nativity, which is supposed to be
acted at Strasburg. Herod figures in it after the blustering fashion
of the ancient dramas. Young readers will get a good idea of.
these plays from this imitation of them.

Page 18.—Other allusions to these old plays. See, for instance,
Twelfth Night, iv. 2. 134, 2 Henry IV. iii. 2. 343, Richard
ITT, iii. 1. 82, Hamlet, iii. 4. 98, etc., and the notes in my edi-
tion.

Page 19.— The legend of Godiva. See Tennyson’s Godiva.

Page 22.—Dr. Forman. Simon Forman (1552-1611), a noted
astrologer and quack, who wrote several books, and left a diary, in
which he describes at considerable length the plot of Shakespeare’s
Macbeth, which he saw performed ‘‘at the Globe, 1610, the 2oth
of April, Saturday.” See my edition of AZacbeth, p. 9.

Page 28.+The head of Sir Thomas Lucy is from his monument
in Charlecote church. :

Page 24.—A willow grows aslant a brook. See Hamlet, iv. 7.
165. Some editions of Shakespeare follow the reading of the early
quartos, ‘‘ ascaunt the brook,” which means the same. This willow
(the Seéx alba) grows on. the banks of the Avon, and from the
iogeenes of the soil the trees often partly lose their hold, and bend

“‘aslant” the stream. :
216 : NOTES

. Page 26.—The banished Duke in As You Like It, ete. See
the play, ii. 1. 1-18.

His maidens ever sing of ‘‘ blue-veined violets,” etc. The ‘ blue-
vein’d violets” are mentioned in Venus and Adonis, 125; the
‘« daisies pied” (variegated), and the ‘‘lady-smocks all silver-
white,” in Love's Labour's Lost, v. 2. 904, 905 ; and the ‘‘ pansies a
in Hamlet, iv. 5. 176.

Page 27.—A manor of the Bishop of Worcester. Under the
feudal system, a #anor was a landed estate, with a village or vil-
lages upon it the inhabitants of which were generally vi//eins, or
serfs of the owner or lord. These viééeins were either regardant or
in gross, The former ‘belonged to the manor as fixtures, passing
with it when it was conveyed or inherited, and they could not be
sold or transferred as persons separate from the land”; the latter
“belonged personally to their lord, who could sell or transfer them
at will.” he dordarii, bordars, or cottagers, ‘‘seem to have been
distinguished from the vz//eins simply by their smaller holdings.”
For the menial services rendered by the villeins, and their condi-
tion generally, see the following pages. p

Page 82.—A chantry. A church or a chapel (as here) en-
dowed with Jands or other revenues for the maintenance of one or
more priests to sing or say mass daily for the soul of the donor or
the souls of persons named by him. Cf. Henry V. iv. 1. 318 :-—

“‘T have built
Two chantries, where the sad and solemn priests
Sing still for Richard’s soul.”

Page 40.—Present her at the leet, etc. Complain of her for
using common stone jugs instead of the quart-pots duly sealed or
stamped as being of legal size.

A substantial ducking-stool, ete. The duching-stool was kept up
as a punishment for scolds in some parts of England until late in the
18th century. An antiquary, writing about 1780, tells of seeing it
used at Magdalen bridge in Cambridge. He says: ‘‘ The chair
hung by a pulley fastened to a beam about the middle of the
bridge ; and the woman having been fastened in the chair, she was
let under water three times successively, and then taken out... -
‘The ducking-stool was constantly hanging in its place, and on the
back panel of it was an engraving representing devils laying hold
of scolds, Some time after, a new chair was erected in the place
of the old one, having the same device carved on it, and well
painted and ornamented,”
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 217

- Page 41.—Azits. Places for the practice of aren the dutts

Bee properly the targets.
. Page 45.—Pix/ol?’. Shakespeare uses the word in Tle Two
Gentlemen of Verona (i. 1. 114): ‘I mean the pound—a pinfold";
and in Lear (ii. 2. 9): ‘fin Lipsbury pinfold. ” Tt was so called
because stray beasts were fizved or shut up in it.

Page 46.—Onxe wagon tract. hat is,-track. Tract in this
sense is obsolete.

Page 49.—Jn which William Shakespeare was probably born.
We have no positive information on this point ; but we know that
John Shakespeare resided in Henley Street in 1552, and that he
became the owner of this house at some time before 1590. The
tradition that this was the poet’s birthplace is ancient and has never
been disproved. Mr, Halliwell-Phillipps, one of the most. careful
and conservative of critics, says: ‘‘There can be no doubt that
from the earliest period at which we have, or are likely to have, a
record of the fact, it was the tradition of Stratford that the birth-
place is correctly so designated”; and he himself ae the tradi-
tion as almost certainly founded upon fact.

The cut facing page 50, like that.facing page 56, gives an idea of
the interior appearance of these old houses, The room in which
tradition says that Shakespeare was born is the front room on the
second floor (what English people call the ‘‘ first floor”’), at the left-
hand side of the house as seen in the cut on page 49.

In the other cut (the interior of the cottage in which Anne Hath-
away, whom Shakespeare married, is said to have lived at Shottery)
the very large old-fashioned fire-place is to be noted, Persons
could actually sit ‘‘in the chimney corner,” like the woman in the
picture. The grate is a modern addition.

Page 51.—New Place. Sir Hugh Clopton, fo whom this
mansion was erected, speaks of it in 1496 as his ‘‘ great house,”
title by which it was commonly known at Stratford for more than *
two centuries. Shakespeare bought it in 1597 for £60, a moderate
price for so large a property; but in a document of the time of
Edward VI. it is described as having been for some time ‘‘in great
ruin and decay and unrepaired,” and it was probably in a dilapi-
dated condition when it was transferred to Shakespeare. It had
heen sold by the Clopton family in 1563, and in 1567 came into
the possession of William Underhill, whose family continued to
hold it until Shakespeare bought it. He left it by his will to his
daughter Susanna, who had married Dr. John Hall, and who prob-
ably occupied it until her death in 1649, when she had been a
218 NOTES

widow for fourteen years. ‘The estate descended to her daughter
Elizabeth, who was first married to Thomas Nash, and afterwards
to Sir Thomas Barnard. In 1675 it was sold again, and was ulti-
mately re-purchased by the Clopton family. Sir John Clopton re-
built the house early in the next century, and it was subsequently
occupied by another Hugh Clopton. He died in 1751, and in 1756
the estate was sold to Rev. Francis Gastrell, who pulled the house
down in 1759, on account of a quarrel with the town authorities
concerning the taxes levied upon it. The year before (1758) he
had cut down Shakespeare’s mulberry-tree, in order, as tradition
says, to save himself the trouble of showing it to visitors.. The
Stratford people were indignant at this act of vandalism. Mr.
Halliwell-Phillipps says that an old inhabitant of the town told
him that his father, when a boy, ‘‘ assisted’ in breaking Gastrell's
windows in revenge for the fall of the tree.” It is possible, how-
ever, that some injustice has been done the reverend gentleman,
Davies, in his Life of Garrick (1780), asserts that Gastrell disliked
the tree ‘‘ because it overshadowed his window, and rendered the
house, as he thought, subject to damps and moisture.” There is
also some evidence that the trunk of the tree, which was now a
hundred and fifty years old and grown to a great size; had begun
to decay. That Gastrell was not indifferent to the poetical asso-
ciations of the tree is evident from the fact that he kept relics of it,
his widow having presented one to the Lichfield Museum in 1778.
It is described in a catalogue (1786) of the museum as ‘‘an hori-
zontal section of the stock of the mulberry-tree planted by Shake:
speare at Stratford-upon-Avon,”

Page 52.— William Harrison. An English clergyman, of whose
history we know little except that he was born in London, became
rector of Radwinter, Essex, and canon of Windsor, wrote a De-
scription of Britaine and England and other historical books, and
probably died in 1592. His detailed account of the state of Eng-
land and the manners and customs of the people in the 16th cen-
tury is particularly valuable. ;

Page 54.—Strewn with rushes, There are many allusions to
this in Shakespeare. In Zhe Vuming of the Shrew (iv. 1. 48), when
Petruchio is coming home, Grumio asks: *‘Is supper ready, the
house trimmed, rushes strewed, cobwebs swept ?” Compare Komeo
and Juliet, i. 4. 36: ‘* Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels”
(that is, in dancing) ; Cymbeline, ii. 2. 13:—

“Our Tarquin thus
Did softly press the rushes,” etc.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 219

Page 55.— Thomas Coryat, born in’ 1577 and educated at
Oxford, was celebrated for his pedestrian journeys on the Con-
tinent of Europe. In 1608 he travelled through France, Ger-
many, and Italy, ‘‘ walking 1975 miles, more than half of which
were accomplished in one pair of shoes, which were only once
mended, and on his return were hung up in the Church of Od-
combe.” Of this tour he wrote an account entitled ‘‘ Coryat’s
Crudities hastily gobled up in five months’ Travels in France,”
etc. He died at Surat in .1617, after explorations in Greece,
Egypt, and India. j 3

Page 56.—Azllein, William Bullein, or Bulleyn, born about
1500, was a learned physician and botanist. His Government of
flealth was very popular in its day. He wrote several other books
of medicine. He died in 1576. :

Page 57.—His Anatomy of Melancholy. Of this famous work,
written by Robert Burton (1577-1640), Dr. Johnson said that it
was ‘‘the only book that ever took me out of bed two hours
sooner than I wished to rise.”

Page 60.—Francis Seager, Of his personal history, as of that
of Hugh Rhodes, nothing of importance is known,

Page 61.—/e is then to make low curtsy, This form of obei-
sance was used by both sexes in Shakespeare's day. Cf. 2 Henry
IV. ii, 1. 135: ‘if a man will make courtesy and say nothing, he
is virtuous”; and the epilogue to the same play: ‘‘ First my fear,
then my courtesy, last my speech.” Cwrésy is a modern spelling
of the word in this sense.

Page 62.—Caraways. The word occurs once in Shakespeare
(2 Henry IV. v. 3. 3: ‘a dish of caraways”’), where it probably
has the same meaning as here; but some have thought that the
reference is to a variety of apple.

Page 63.—Treatably. Tractably, smoothly. Cf. Marston,
What You Will, ii. 1: ‘‘ Not too fast ; say [recite] treatably.”

Much forder. We find d and ¢h used interchangeably in many
words in old writers; as fadom and fathom, murder and murther,
etc, ”
Page 64.—70 charge thee with than, We find than for then in
Shakespeare, Lucrece, 1440 :—

‘© To Simois’ reedy banks the red blood ran,
Whose waves to imitate the battle sought
With swelling ridges; and their ranks began
To break upon the galled shore, and than -
Retire again,” etc.
220 NOTES

Here, it will be seen, the word rhymes with 7az and began, On
the other hand, than in the early eds. of Shakespeare and other
writers of the time is generally ther.

Page 65.— Utterly detest. That is, detested: ‘The omission of
-ed in the participles of verbs ending in @ and ¢(or te) was formerly
not uncommon in prose as well as poetry. Cf. Bacon, Essay 16:
“Their means are less exhaust”; and Essay 38: ‘‘ They have de-
generate.” See also Richard IT, iii. 7. 179: ‘For first was he
contract to Lady Lucy,” etc. i,

Page 66.—7o enter children. To begin their training. . The
word is now obsolete in this sense of introducing to, or initiating
into, anything. Cf. Ben Jonson, Zpicane, iii. 1: ‘I am bold to
enter these gentlemen in your. acquaintance”; Walton, Complete
Angler - ‘to enter you into the art of fishing,” etc. ,

Thorow. Thorough and through were originally the same word,
and we find them and their derivatives used interchangeably in
Shakespgare and other old writers. Cf, 4 Midsummer-Night's
Dreait, ii. 1. 3:— i

“ Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire.”

So we find thoroughly and throughly (Hamlet, iv. 5. 36, etc.),
thorough fares and through fares (Merchant of Venice, ii. 7. 42, etc.).

Page 67.—7%e Ship of Fools.- A translation (with original
modifications) of the Narrenschiff of Sebastian Brandt (or Brant),
a German satire (1494) upon the follies of different classes of men.
It was made in 1508 by Alexander Barclay, who died at an ad-
vanced age in 1552. He was educated at Oxford, became a priest,
and was vicar of several parishes in England before he was pro-
moted to that of All Saints, Lombard Street, London, a few weeks
previous to his death. 7he Ship of Fools was the first English
book in which any mention is made of the New World.

Strutt, Joseph Strutt (1742-1802) was an eminent English anti-
quarian, who wrote several valuable works in that line of literature
and others, The first edition of his Sports and Pastimes of the.
People of England appeared in 1801.

Page 69.— 7aylor the Water-Poet. John Taylor (1580-1654),
a waterman who afterwards became a collector of wine duties in
London. He wrote much in prose and verse, and was very popular
in his day, ;
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 221

Page 70.— Dr. John Jones. A physician, who practised at
Bath and Buxton, England, and wrote a number of medical Bers
between 1556 and. 1579.

Page 71.—Wo other clear allusion to the gante, etc. Some critics
have thought there may be a punning allusion to the stele-mate of
chess in The Taming of the Shrew, i. 1. 58: ‘‘ To make a stale
of me among these mates”; but this is doubtful.

Page 78.—She was Done . The she is used in a cemoncias
tive sense, referring to one of the company (this maid), as 4e (that
man) is in the next line. The /72ar is the Friar Rush of the fairy
mythology, whom Milton seems here to identify with Jack-o'-the-
Lantern, or Will-o’-the-Wisp, the luminous appearance sometimes
seen in marshy places; but Friar Rush, according to Keightley,
‘haunted houses, not fields, and was never the same with Jack-o’-
the-Lantern.”’

Page 74.—The drudging goblin. Robin Goodfellow, the Puck
of Shakespeare. Cf. 4 Midsummer-Night’s Dream, ii, 1. 40 :—

“ They that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck.”

To bed they creep. Somewhat reluctantly and timidly after the
stories of fairies and goblins,

Charles Knight. An English publisher and author (1791-1873),
one of the leading editors and biographers of Shakespeare,

Page 75.—Willtam Painter. We was born in England about
1537, and died about 1594. He studied at Cambridge in 1554,
and in 1561 was made clerk of the ordnance in the Tower of Lon-
don. In 1566 he published the first volume of 7he Palace of
Pleasure, containing sixty tales from Latin, French, and Italian
authors. The second volume (1567) contained thirty-four tales.
In later editions six more were added, making a hundred ‘in all.
The collection is the source from which Shakespeare and other
Elizabethan dramatists drew many of their plots.

Page 76.—Gileita of Narionne. The story dramatized by
Shakespeare in Ad/’s Well that Linds Well,

Page 77.—The \ Gesta Romanorum.” A popular collection of
stories in Latin, compiled late in the 13th or early in the 14th cen-
tury, and often reprinted and translated, The two stories (of the
caskets and of the bond) combined in the Aferchant of Venice are
found in it; and also the story of Theodosius and his daughters,
which is like that of Zeer, though Shakespeare did not take the
plot of that tragedy directly from it.
222 “NOTES

Page 78.— Tike trumpet to the morn. The trumpeter that an-
nounces the coming of day. Zyzmpet in this sense occurs several
times in Shakespeare ; as in Henry V. iv. 2, 61: ‘I will the ban-
ner from a trumpet take,” etc.

Lixtravagant and erring. Both words are used in their etymo-
logical sense of wandering. £xtravagant is, literally, wandering
beyond (its proper con fine, or limit).

Arden. There was a Forest of Arden in Warwickshire as well
as on the Continent in the northeastern part of France, Drayton,
in his AZati/da (1594), speaks of ‘‘ Sweet Arden’s nightingales,”’ etc.

The ringlets of their dance, The ‘fairy rings,” so called, which
were supposed to be made by their dancing on the grass, In The
Tempest (v. 1. 37) Prospero refers to them thus, in his apostrophe
to the various classes of spirits over whom he has control :— ;

** You demi-puppets that
By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make
Whereof the ewe not bites.’”?

Dr. Grey, in his Votes on Shakespeare, says that they are ‘‘ higher,
sourer, and of a deeper green than the grass which grows round
them.” They were long a mystery even to scientific men, but are
now known to be due to the spreading of a kind of agaricumnt, or
fungus, which enriches the ground by its decay.

Who tasted the honey-bag of the bee, etc. AN these allusions to
the fairies are suggested by passages in A Midsummer-Night's
Dream. The camkers are canker-worms, as often in Shakespeare.

, Page 79,—4 /aund. An open space in a forest. See 3 Henry
VI. iii. 1. 2: ‘‘ For through this laund anon the deer will come,”
etc. azz is a corruption of daznd.

Page 80.—Who had command over the spirits, ete. Like
Prospero in The Tempest. .

Vervain and dill, These were among the plants supposed to be
used by witches in their charms ; but many such plants were also
believed to be efficacious as counter-charms, or means of protection
against witchcraft. Vervain was called ‘‘ the enchanter’s plant,”
on account of its magic potency ; but Aubrey says that it ‘‘ hinders
witches from their wills,” and Drayton refers to it as “gainst
witchcraft much availing.”

Page 81.—The ancient font represented in the cut was in use
in the Stratford Church until about the middle of the 17th century.
Shakespeare was doubtless baptized at it.
SHAKESPEARE: THE BOY 223

Page 82.—/ohn Stow. A noted English antiquarian and his-
torian (1525-1604). . His Survey of London (1598) is the standard
authority on old London. ;

Page 83.—T ke calendars of their nativity. Referring to the
twin Dromios, who were born at the same time with the twin chil-
dren of the Abbess, who is really Emilia, the long-lost wife of
Egeus. By a similar figure Antipholus of Syracuse (i. 2. 41) says
of Dromio, ‘t Here comes the almanac of my true date.”

Caraways. See on page 62 above. Jarmalet is an obsolete form
of marmalade. -Marchpane was a kind of almond-cake, much
esteemed in the time of Shakespeare. Compare Romeo and Ju-
liet, i. 5. 9: ‘‘ Good thou, save me a piece of marchpane.” Szeve¢-
suckers are dried sweetmeats or sugar-plums, also called sackets,
succades, etc. ’ :

Page 85.— Wote. Know; more commonly written wot, It is
the first and third persons singular, indicative present, of the obso-
lete verb wit. Onweeting (unwitting), unknowing or unconscious,
is from the same verb.

Page 86.— Thomas Lupton. We wrote several books besides
his Thousand Notable Things, which was a collection of medical
recipes, stories, etc, Little is known of his personal history.

Robert Heron, We was a Scotchman (1764-1807), who wrote
books of travel, geography, history, etc. :

Warlocks. Persons supposed to be in league with the devil ;
sorcerers or wizards.

Page 87.—Beshrew. Originally a mild imprecation of evil,
but often used playfully, as here. Compare the similar modern
use of confound, which originally meant ruin or destroy ; as in
the Merchant of Venice, iii. 2.271: ‘‘So keen and greedy to con-
found a man,” etc.

Page 88.—As¢rologaster. The full title was ‘‘ The Astrolo-
gaster, or the Figurecaster; Rather the Arraignment of Artless
Astrologers and Fortune Tellers.”

Page 89.—Jx the following form. There were other forms,
but this was regarded as one of the most potent. It will be seen
that the word, as here arranged, can be read in various ways ; as, for
instance, following each line to the end and then up the right-hand
side of the triangle, etc. An old writer, after giving directions to
write the word in this triangular form, adds: ‘‘ Fold the paper so
as to conceal the writing, and stitch it into the form of a cross
with white thread. This amulet wear in the bosom, suspended by
alinen ribbon, for nine days. Then go in dead silence, before sun-
224 ' NOTES

rise, to the bank of a stream that flows eastward, take the amulet
from off the neck, and fling it backwards into the water. If you
open or read it, the charm is destroyed.” It was thought to be ef-
ficacious for the cure of fevers, “‘ especially quartan and semi-tertian
agues.”’

Thomas Lodge. Ye was born about 1556, and-died in 1625,
and wrote plays, novels, songs, translations, etc. His Rosalynde
(1590) furnished Shakespeare with the plot of As You Like It.

Page 90.—Robert Greene (1560-1592) was a popular dramatist,
novelist, and poet in his day. In his Groatsworth. of Wit (pub-
lished in 1592, after his death) he attacked the rising Shakespeare
as ‘‘an upstart crow,” who was ‘‘in his own conceit the only
Shake-scene in a country.” Shakespeare afterwards took the’ story:
of The Winter's Tale from Greene’s Pandosto, or Dorastus and.
fawnia, as it was subsequently entitled.

Webster's White Devil, John Webster, who wrote in the early
part of the 17th century, was a dramatist noted for his tragedies,
among which The White Devil (1612) is reckoned one of the best.
Of his biography nothing worth mentioning is known.

Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, See on page 57 above.

Reginald Scot, who died.in 1599, is chiefly known by his Dés-
coverie of Witchcraft, the main facts SOSA) which are given
here. :
Page 91.— Wierus. ‘The Latin form of the name of eee a
German’ physician, who in 1563 published a book (De Prestigiis
Demonun) in which the general belief in magic and witchcraft was
attacked.

We infer that Shakespeare had read Scot’ 5 book, However this
may be, we are sure that he had read a book by Dr. Samuel Hars-
net (1561-1631) entitled Declaration of Egregious Popish Impos-
tures, etc., under the pretence of casting out devils (1603), from
which he took the names of some of the devils in Lear (iii. 4).

Page 96.—Aenry Peacham. -‘‘A travelling tutor, musician,
painter, and author,” who wrote on drawing and painting, eti-
quette, education, etc. His father, whose name was the same, was
also'an author, and it is doubtful whether certain books were writ-
ten by him or by his son.

Roger Ascham (1515-1568) was a noted classical scholar
“and author. He was tutor to Elizabeth (1548-1550), and Latin
Secretary to Mary and Elizabeth (1553-1568). His chief works
were the TEES (1545) and the Scholemaster (see page 115
below). ,

cs
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY _ 225

Page 97.— 00k on him as a conjurer. Pretended ‘to be a con-
jurer. Compare 2 Henry 7V. iv. 1. 60: ‘‘I take not on me here
as a physician.” }

Page 98.—Who could speak Latin, ete. Latin, the language of
the church, was used in exorcising spirits. Compare Hamlet (i. 1.
42), where, on the appearance of the Ghost, Marcellus says : “ Thou
art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.” So in Much Ado About
Nothing (ii. 1. 264), Benedick, after comparing Beatrice to ‘the
infernal Ate,” adds: ‘‘ I would to God some scholar would conjure
her !” See also Beaumont and Fletcher, 7re Night - Walker, ii. 1:—

“ Let ’s call the butler up, for he speaks Latin,
And that will daunt the devil.”

Page 99.— Zvansparent horn. Used to protect the paper, as
explained in the quotation from Shenstone on page 101. The horn-
book was really ‘‘of stature small,” the figure on page 100 being of
the exact size of the specimen described. One delineated by Mr.
Halliwell—Phillipps is of about the same size. See Chambers’s
Book of Days, vol. i. p. 46.



























































































































































































































































































INTERIOR OF GRAMMAR SCHOOL, BEFORE THE RESTORATION
226 ; NOTES

Page 101.—Shenstone. William Shenstone (1714-1763) was
educated at Pembroke College, Oxford. His best-known work is
Lhe Schoolmistress.

Page 102.—The modern plastered ceiling, etc. This has been
removed within the past. few years. Its appearance before the
restoration is shown in the cut (from Knight’s Biography of Shak-
spere).

Page 108.—Sententia Pueriles, Literally, Boyish Sentences,
or Sentences for Boys.

Sir Hugh Evans; The title of Sir (equivalent to the Latin
dontinus) was given to priests. The ‘‘hedge-priest” in 4s Vou
Ltke It (iii. 3) is called ‘‘ Sir Oliver Martext.” In Twelfth Night
(ili. 4. 298) Viola says: ‘‘I had rather go with sir priest than sir
knight.”

"Od's nouns, Probably a corruption of ‘‘God’s wounds,” which
is also contracted into Swounds and Zounds. So we find ‘‘od’s
heartlings,” ‘‘od’s pity,” etc. Dame Quickly confounds ’od and
odd,

Page 104.—Artic/es. Sir Hugh uses the word in the sense of
‘*demonstratives.” This shows that the Accidence mentioned above
as the book from which Shakespeare got his first lessons in Latin
(as Halliwell-Phillipps and other authorities state) gave some of
the elementary facts in precisely the same form in which they ap-
pear in the Latin Grammar written iz Luglish.and published in
1574 with the title, ‘‘ A Short Introduction of Grammar, generally
to be used ; compiled and set forth for the bringing up of all those
that intend to attaine to the knowledge of the Latine Tongue.”
I transcribe this from the edition published at Oxford in 1651 (a
copy in the Harvard University library, which appears to be the
one studied by President Ezra Stiles when he was a boy). ‘In this
book (page 3), under the head of ‘‘ Articles,” we read :—

“‘ Articles are borrowed of the Pronoune, and be thus declined :

* f Nomin. hic, hac, hoc. Nomin, hi, ha, hee.
8! Genetivo hujus, | x [ Gen. horum, harum, horum,
‘& | Dativo huic. EI 4 Dativo his,
& | Ace, hunc, hane, hoe. £ | Accus. hos, has, hee.
a Vocativo caret. \ a, | Vocativo caret.
e [ Ablativo hoc, hac, hoe. J ft Ablativo his,”

It will be noticed that the names of the cases are in Latin, as in
Shakespeare. He may have used this very grammar.
Hang-hog ts Latin-for Bacon, Suggested by the hanging up of
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 227

the pork during the process of curing. There is an old story of
Sir Nicholas Bacon (father of the philosopher), who was a judge.
A criminal whom he was about to sentence begged mercy on
account of kinship. ‘‘ Prithee, said my lord, how came that. in?
Why, if it please. you, my lord, your name is Bacon and mine is
Hog, and in all ages Hog and Bacon are so near kindred that they
are not to be separated. Ay, but, replied the judge, you and I
cannot be of kindred unless you be hanged ; for Hog is not Bacon
till it be well hanged.” ‘

Leave your prabbles. That is, your brabbles. The word literally
means quarrels or broils; as in Twelfth Night, v. 1. 68: “ In
private brabble-did we apprehend him.” Sir Hugh uses it loosely
with reference to the Dame’s interruptions and criticisms.

O !—vocativo, Of The boy hesitates, trying to recall the voca-
tive, but Sir Hugh reminds him that it is wanting—cavet in Latin,
which suggests carrot to the Dame, The O is suggested by its use
before the vocative case of nouns in the paradigms in the Acc?-
dence, which probably here also agrees with the Short Zntroduc-
tion, where in the first declension we find: “ /% ocativo 6 musa”;
in the second : ‘‘ Vocativo 6 magister,” etc.

William Lilly (or Lily), the author of the Latin Grammar men-
tioned on page 105, was born about 1468 and died in 1523. He
was an eminent scholar and the first master of St. Paul's School,
London. His Grammar (written in Latin) was entitled ‘‘ Brevis-
sima Institutio, seu, Ratio Grammatices cognoscendz, ad omnium
puerorum utilitatem preescripta.” Of this book more than three
hundred editions were printed, the latest mentioned by Allibone
(who, by the way, gives the title of the Grammar in an imperfect
and ungrammatical form) having been issued in 1817. A copy of
the 16sr edition is bound with the Short Introduction of the same
date in the Harvard Library. Lilly was the author of both.

You must be preeches. That is, you must be dreeched, or flogged.
Compare 7'he Taming of the Shrew (iii. i. 18), where Bianca says
to her teachers : ‘‘ I am no breeching scholar in the schools.”

Sprag. That is, sprack, which meant quick, ready. The word
is Scotch, as well as Provincial English, and Scott uses it in
Waverley (chap, xliii.): ‘‘all this fine sprack [lively] festivity and
jocularity.””

Page 105.—A passage from Terence. In the play, as in. the
Grammar, it reads: ‘‘Redime te captum quam queas minimo.”
The original Latin is: ‘‘ Quid agas, nisi ut te redimas captum,” ete.

Page 106.— Richard Mulcaster, The poet Spenser was one of
228 : NOTES

his pupils at Merchant-Taylors School in-1868 see(Church’s “Spenser
in ‘‘ English Men of Letters” series). In 1596 Mulcaster became
master of St. Paul’s School, He died in 1611. The title of the
book quoted here was The First Part of the Elementarie . . . of
the Right Writing of our English Tung. The author's theory
was better than his practice, as the specimen of his ‘‘ right writing”
given here will suffice to show. It is to be hoped that his oral
style was less clumsy and involved.

Correctors for the print. Whether this refers to persons correct-
ing manuscript for the press or to proof-readers is doubtful, but
probably the former. Some have denied that there was any proof-
reading in the Elizabethan age; but variations in copies of the
same edition of a book (the First Folio of Shakespeare, published
in 1623, for instance) prove that corrections in the text were some-
times made even after the printing had begun. The author also:
sometimes did some proof-reading. At the end of Beeton’s Will
of Wit (1599) we find this note: ‘‘ What faults are escaped in the
printing, finde by discretion, and excuse the author, by other
worke that let [hindered] him from attendance to the presse.”

Leip up. That is, analyze.

Page 107.—Tke natural English. That is, natives of Eng-
land.

_ Will not yield flat to theirs. Will not conform exactly to theirs.

Page 108.—Bewrayeth. Shows, makes known. Cf, Proverbs,
Xxvil, 16; "Matthew, xxvi. 73.

. Enfranchisement. This evidently refers to the ‘“naturalization ”
of foreign words taken into the language, or making their orthog-
raphy conform to English usage. :
' Prerogative, etc. This paragraph is somewhat obscure at first
reading ; but it appears to mean that common use, or established
usage, settles certain questions concerning which there might other-
wise be some doubt. ,

Likes the pen. Suits the pen. Compare Hamlet ii. 2.80: ‘it
likes us well”; flenry V. iii. prol. 32: ‘‘ The offer likes not,” etc,

Particularities. Peculiarities,

Which either cannot understand, etc. . The relative is equivalent
to who, and refers to the preceding many, This use of which was
common in Shakespeare's day. Compare 7he Tempest, iii. 1. 6:
“* The mistress which I serve,” etc. ;

Or cannot entend to understand, ete. That is, cannot zztend (of
which ez/end is an obsolete form), but the word is here used in a
sense which is not recognized in the dictionaries. The meaning
SHAKESPEARE THE BOV : 229

seems to be that these ‘‘ plain people” cannot understand a rule
either at sight or after some effort to comprehend it, having neither
the ¢éme nor the conceit (intellect) to master it. Conceié in this
sense is common in Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Com-
pare 2 Henry IV. ii. 4. 263: ‘‘ He a good wit?. . . there’s no
more conceit in him than is in a mallet.”

Page 109. — John Brinsley became master of the grammar
school at Ashby-de-la-Zouche in 1601, where he remained for six-
teen years. The full title of his book is Ludus Literarius, or the
Grammar Schoole (1612). He writes much better English than
Mulcaster, and young people will find no difficulty in understand-
ing the passage quoted from him.
| Proceed in learning, That is, pursue their studies after leaving
the grammar school. ;

Page 110.—Present correction, Immediate correction, or pun-
ishment. For this old sense of present, compare 2 Henry IV. iv.
3. 80 — :

‘*Send Colevile with his confederates
To York, to present execution.”

Countervail, Counterbalance, make up for.

Page 112.— Willis. All that is known of this ‘‘ R. Willis” is
from his autobiography, the title of which is, ‘‘ Mount Tabor, or
Private Exercises of a Penitent Sinner, published in the yeare of
his age 75, anno Dom, 1639.” He is the same person who is
quoted on page 161 below.

Page 113.—His references to schoolboys, ete. Perhaps we ought
not to lay much stress on these. The description of ‘‘the whining
schoolboy” is from the ‘‘ Seven Ages” of the cynical Jaques, who
describes all these stages of human life in sneering and disparaging
terms; and the other passages simply refer to the proverbial dis-
like of boys to go to school.

Page 114.—TZhomas Tusser (1527 ?— 15802) was a poet and
writer on agriculture. Besides his One Hundred Points of Good
Husbandry (1857), he wrote Five Hundred Points of Good Hus-
bandry, United to as Many of Good Wiferie (1570), etc. He was
educated at Oxford, spent ten years at court, and then settled on
a farm, where the rest of his life was passed.

Page 115.—/n few of Shakespeare's references to school “fe,
et, Seeon You must be preeches, page 227 above ; and compare
Much Ado About Nothing, ii, 1. 228:—

“Don Pedro.. To be whipped? What ’s his fault?
Benedick. The flat transgression of a schoolboy,” etc.
230 NOTES

Page 118.— A sanctuary against fear. The allusion is to
those sacred places in which criminals could take refuge and be
exempt from arrest. There was such a sanctuary within the pre-
cincts of Westminster Abbey, which retained its privileges until
the dissolution of the monastery, and for debtors until 1602. Com-
pare Richard LIT, (ii. 4. 66), where Queen Elizabeth says : ‘‘Come,
come, my boy; we will to sanctuary.”

Page 122.—Hoodman-blind. In All’s Well that Ends Well
(iv. 3. 136), when Parolles is brought in blindfolded to his com-
panions in arms, whom he supposes to be enemies that have capt-
ured him, one of them says aside. ‘‘ Hoodman comes.”

Logegats. When I was at Amherst College, forty or more years
ago, we had this same exercise under the name of ‘‘ loggerheads”’
but I have not seen it or heard of it anywhere else.

Page 125.— The spirited description of the horse. Compare
page 147 below, where it is quoted at length.

Page 126.—Alexander Barclay, See on page 67 above.

Edmund Waller (1605-1687) was an English poet, who was a
leader in the Long Parliament, afterwards exiled for being con-
cerned in Royalist plots, returned to England under Cromwell,
and was a favorite at court after the Reformation. :

Page 127.—7%e caitch. Catch was anothér name for tennis.
Palle-malle, or patt-mall (pronounced pel-mel’), was a game in
which a wooden ball was struck with.a mallet, to drive it through
a raised iron ring at the end of an alley. It was formerly played
in St. James’s Park, London, and gave its name to the street
known as Pall Mall. :

Bishop Butler. Joseph Butler (1692-1752), bishop of Bristol
and afterwards of Durham, and author of the famous Analogy of
Religion, etc. (1736).

Gifford. William Gifford (1757-1826), an English critic and
satirical poet, editor of the Quarterly Review from 1809 to 1824.

Page 130.—AMudcaster. See on page 106 above.

Page 132.—At Kenilworth in 1575. See page 12 above.

Page 134.—A certain place in Cheshire. The story is told of
Congleton in that county, but it is denied by the modern inhabi-
tants. The other place referred.to is Ecclesfield in Yorkshire, and
I do not know that the statement concerning une pawning of the
Bible has been disputed.

Page 135.—Paris-garden. It is mentioned in Henry VIII.
(v. 4. 2), where the Porter of the Palace Yard says to the crowd:
‘*Vou'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals ! do you take the court
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 231

for Parish-garden?’ This was a vulgar pronunciation of Pavis-
garden, The place was noted for its noise and disorder.

Page 186.—Dean Colet. John Colet (1456-1519), dean of St.
Paul’s in 1505. The school was founded in 1512.

Page 188.—Sir Thomas More. The well-known English
author and statesman, born in 1478, and executed on Tower Hill
in 1535.

No planets strike. That is, exert a baleful influence; an allu-
sion to astrology. :

No fairy takes. Blasts, or bewitches. Compare The Merry
Wives of Windsor, iv. 4.32: ‘blasts the tree and takes the cat-
tle,” etc.

Page 140.—Z¢ irks me. It is trksome to me, troubles me.

Fool was sometimes used as a term of endearment or pity.
Compare The Winter's Tale (ii. 1. 18), where Hermione says to
her women who are grieved at the unjust charge against her, ‘‘ Do
not weep, poor fools !”

The forked heads are heads of arrows. Ascham refers to such in
his Zoxophtlus.

Page 141.—A poor sequester'd stag. Separated from his com-
panions,

Page 145.—Professor Baynes. Thomas Spencer Baynes (1823-
1887), professor of English Literature at the University of St.
Andrews, Scotland, and editor of the ninth edition of the Zacy-
clopedia Britannica,

Page 146.— She vaward of the day.. The vanguard, or early
part of the day. Compare Coriolanus, i. 6. 53: ‘‘ Their bands
i’ the vaward,”’ etc.

Such gallant chiding. The verb chide often meant “‘ to make an
incessant noise.” Compare 4s You Like Jt, ii. 1. 7: ‘‘ And churl-
ish chiding of the winter’s wind”; Henry VILL. iii, 2. 197: “* As
doth a rock against the chiding flood,” etc. 3

So flew'd, so sanded. Waving the same large hanging chaps and
the same sandy color.

Like bells, That is, like a chime of bells.

Tender well. Take good care of,

Emboss'd was a hunter’s term for foaming at the mouth in con-
sequence of hard running. ‘

Brach. The word properly meant a female hound, but came to
be applied to a particular kind of scenting-dog.

Page 147.—Jn the coldest fault. When the scent was cold-
est (or faintest), and the hounds most at fault. Compare the
232 ; NOTES

quotation from Venus and Adonis, page 150 below: ‘‘the cold
fault.”

He cried upon tt at the merest loss, He gave the cry when the
scent seemed utterly lost. See the passage just referred to. Mere
was formerly used in the sense of absolute or complete. Compare
Othello, ii. 2. 3: ‘‘the mere perdition of the Turkish fleet ” (its
entire destruction); Aeznzry VI/Z, ili. 2. 329: ‘the mere undoing
of the kingdom”’ (its utter ruin), etc.

A youthful Work of Shakespeare's.. It was first published in
1593, when he was twenty-nine years of age; and some critics
believe that it was written several years earlier, perhaps before he
went to London.

Page 148.—Géisters, Glistens. Both Shakespeare and Milton
use glister several times, g/ster not at all.

Told the steps. Counted them. Compare Zhe Winter's Tale,
iv. 4. 185: ‘‘ He sings several tunes faster than you'll tell money.”
The ¢eller in a bank is so called because he does this.

Page 149.—The hairs, who wave, etc. Who was often used
where we should use’ which, and which (see on page 108 above)
where we should use who. é

Lt yearn'd my heart, That is, grieved it. Compare Henry V.
iv. 3: 26: ‘‘It yearns me not when men my garments wear,” etc.

Page 150.—/auncing. Riding hard.

Musits. Holes (in fence or hedge) for creeping through. The
word, also spelled mzse¢, is a diminutive of the obsolete wzse,
which means the same. Avwzaze here means bewilder.

Wat. A familiar name for a hare, as Weynard for a fox, etc.

Page 151.—r. John R. Wise. Compare page 26 above.

Page 155.—The cut is a fac-simile of one in Zhe Booke of
Falconrie (1575), by George Turbervile, or Turberville (1520 ?-
1595 *), an English poet, translator, and writer on hunting, hawk-
ing, etc. 4

Page 156.—Cotgrave. Randle Cotgrave, an English lexicog-
rapher, who died about 1634. His French-English Dictionary
(first published in 1611) is still valuable in the study of French and
English philology.

Page 159.—/ohn Skelton. An English scholar and poet, a
protégé of Henry VII. and the tutor of Henry VIII, He was
porn about 1460, and probably died in 1529. ‘‘ His rough wit
and eccentric character made him the hero of a book of ‘merry
tales.’”

Page 160.—Some in their horse. That is, their horses, the
SHAKESPEARE .THE BOY 233

word here being plural. Vlurals and possessives of nouns ending
in s-sounds were often written without the additional syllable in
the time of Shakespeare. Cf. King John, ii. 1. 289: ‘‘Sits on
his horse back at mine hostess’ door”; AVerchant of Venice, iv.
I. 255: ‘‘ Are there balance here to weigh the flesh?” etc.

Page 163.—William Kemp dancing the Morris. Kemp was
a favorite comic actor in the latter years of the reign of Elizabeth.
He acted in some of Shakespeare’s plays and in some of Ben Jon-
son’s, when they were first put upon the stage. In 1599 he jour-
neyed from London to Norwich, dancing the Morris all the way.
The next year he published an account of the exploit, entitled Te
Nine daies wonder. The cut here is a fac-simile of one on the
title-page of this pamphlet. It represents Kemp, with his attend-
ant, Tom the Piper, playing on the pipe and tabor. They spent
four weeks on the journey, nine days of which were occupied in the
dancing. At Chelmsford the crowd assembled to receive them was
so great that they were an hour in making their way through it to
their lodgings. At this town ‘‘a maid not passing fourteen years
of age” challenged Kemp to dance the Morris with her ‘‘in a
great large room,” and held out a whole hour, at the end of which
he was ‘‘ready to lie down” from exhaustion. On another occa-
‘sion a ‘‘lusty country lass” wanted to try her skill with him, and
‘* footed it merrily to Melford, being a long mile.” Between Bury
and Thetford he performed the ten miles in three hours. On por-
tions of the journey the roads were very bad, and his dancing was
frequently interrupted by the hospitality or importunity of the peo-
ple along the route. At Norwich he was received as an honored

‘guest by the mayor of the city.

Page 168.—Corresponded to our 3d of May. The difference
between Old and New Style in reckoning dates, and the fact that
the Gregorian Calendar (or New Style) was not adopted in England
until 1782, or nearly two hundred years after it was accepted by
Catholic nations on the Continent, have often led historians, biogra-
phers, and other writers into mistakes concerning dates in the 16th,
17th, and 18th centuries. For instance, it has been often ‘asserted
that Shakespeare and the Spanish dramatist Cervantes died on the
same day, April 23, 1616; but Shakespeare actually died ten days
later than his great contemporary, New Style having been adopted
in Spain in 1582. If we were certain that Shakespeare was born on
the 23d of April, 1564, we ought now to celebrate the anniversary
of his birth on the 3dof May. As we do not know the precise date
of his birth, and the 23d of April has come to be generally recog-
234 NOTES

nized as the anniversary, there is no particular reason for chang-
ing it. p

Kichard Johnson, He was born in 1573 and died about 1659.
He is chiefly noted as the author of this Famous History of the
Seven Chanipions of Christendom. ‘These, according to him, were
St. George of Englaud, St. Denis of France, St. James of Spain,
St. Antony of Italy, St. Andrew of Scotland, St, Patrick of Ire-
land, and St. David of Wales. ;

Mr. A. H. Wall, of Stratford-on-Avon, was for several years the
librarian of the Shakespeare Memorial Library there, and is the
author of many scholarly articles in English periodicals on subjects
connected with Shakespeare and Warwickshire.

The Percy Religues, A collection of old ballads, entitled Religues
of Ancient English Poetry (1765), made by Thomas Percy (1729-
1811), a clergyman (in 1782 made Bishop of Dromore in Treland)
and poet.

Page 170. — Chambers. These are mentioned in more than
one account of the burning of the Globe Theatre in London, on
the 2gth of June, 1613, when, as the critics generally agree, Shake-
speare’s Henry VIII, was the play being performed. A letter
written by John Chamberlain to Sir Ralph Winwood, describing
the fire, says that it ‘‘ fell out by a peale of chambers,” and a letter
from Thomas Lorkin to Sir Thomas Puckering, dated ‘this last
of June, 1613,” says: ‘‘No longer since than yesterday, while
Bourbege* his companie were acting at y® Globe the play of
Hen=8, and there shooting of certayne chambers in way of tri-
umph, the fire catch’d.” Another account states that these can-
non were fired on King Henry’s arrival at Cardinal Wolsey’s
house ; and the original stage-direction in Henry VII. (iv. 1.)
orders “‘chambers discharged” at the entrance of the king to the
“mask at the cardinal’s house.”

Page 171.—Amdérose Dudley. He was born about 1530, made
Earl of Warwick when Elizabeth came to the throne, and died in
1589. '

Page 172.— The Cage. This house, on the corner of Fore
Bridge Street (see map on page 42), was occupied by Thomas
Quiney after he married Judith Shakespeare. ‘‘The house has

* Richard Burbage (1567 ?-1619) was a noted English actor. He made his
fame at the Blackfriars and the Globe, of which he was a proprietor. He ex-
celled in tragedy, and is said to have been the original Hamlet, Lear, and
Othello. He was a painter as well as an actor. When this fire occurred at the
Globe Theatre, he narrowly escaped with his life.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 235

long been modernized, the only existing portions of the ancient
building being a few massive beams supporting the floor over the
cellar” (Halliwell-Phillipps).

Page 173.—Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) was an eminent
physician and author. Among his books were the Religio Medici
(1643), Vedlgar Errors (1646), etc.

Sir John Suckling (baptized Feb. 10, 1609, and supposed to
have died by suicide at Paris about 1642) was a Royalist poet in
the Court of Charles I. He wrote some plays, but is best known
by his minor poems, one of the most noted of which is the Badlad
upon a Wedding.

Page 174.—J/zaak Walton (1593-1683) is famous as the author
of The Complete Angler (1653), one of the classics of our literature.
He also wrote Lives of Donne, Hooker, Herbert, and other English
divines. 3 : mL

Richard Hooker (1583 ?-1600) was a celebrated theologian,
author of Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, four books of which ap-
peared in 1592, a fifth in 1597, and the remaining three after his
death. cf

Page 180.— Warner's Albion's, England. William Warner
(15882-1609) was the author of Albion's England (1586), a rhymed
history of the country, and the translator of the A/enachmi of the
Latin dramatist Plautus (1595), on which Shakespeare founded
the plot of the Comedy of Errors.

Page 182.—Watchet-colored. Light blue. Compare Spenser,
F. Q. iii, 4. 40: ‘Their watchet mantles frindgd with silver
rownd.” j

Like a wild Morisco. That is, a morris-dancer. The quotation
is from 2 Henry VI, iii. 1. 365 :— ’

““T have seen
Him caper upright like a wild Morisco,
Shaking the bloody darts as he his bells.”

Page 183. — Zhe featliest of dancers, The most dexterous.
Compare The Winter's Tale, iv. 4. 176: ‘‘ She dances featly” ;
and The Tempest, i. 2. 380: ‘' Foot it featly,” etc. +

William Browne (1891-1643?) published book i. of Britannia's
Pastorals in 1613. He also wrote Zhe Shepherd’s Pipe (1614) and
other poems.

Page 184,— a ‘‘sheep-hook” in The Winter's Tale, iv. 4. 431), as the scrip
is his pouch or wallet. Compare As You Like It (iii. 2. 17),
236 : NOTES

where Touchstone says to Corin : ‘Come, shepherd, let us médke
an honourable retreat ; though not with bag and baggage, yet with
scrip and scrippage.”

John Aubrey (1626-1697), besides assisting Anthony Wood in
his Antiquities of Oxford (1674), wrote Miscellanies, a collection
of short stories and other tales of the supernatural.

Page 185.—The Puritan Stubbes. Concerning this Philip
Stubbes little appears to be known except that he was educated at
Oxford and Cambridge, but became a rigid Puritan, and wrote
several books besides the famous Axafomie of Abuses.

Richard Carew (1555-1620) was a poet and antiquarian, and for
a time high sheriff of Cornwall.

Page 186. — Pageants. The word in Shakespeare's day was
generally applied to theatrical entertainments.

Play the woman’s part, Female parts were played by boys or
young men until after the middle of the 17th century. Samuel
Pepys, in his Diary, under date of January 3, 1660, writes: ‘To
the Theatre, where was acted ‘ Beggar's Brush,’ it being very well
done; and here the first time that ever I saw women come upon
the stage.” Again, under February 12, 1660, he records a per-
formance of 7%e Scornful Lady, adding: ‘‘ now done by a woman,
which makes the play appear much better than ever it: did to me.”

Made her weep a-good, That is, heartily.

Passtoning. Grieving, lamenting. Compare Venus and Adonis,
1059: ‘‘ Dumbly she passions,” etc.

Page 190.— Stevens. George Steevens (1736-1800) was an
eccentric but accomplished editor and critic. ‘‘ He was often
wantonly mischievous, and delighted to stumble for the mere grati-
fication of dragging unsuspicions innocents into the mire with him.
He was, in short, the very Puck of commentators.”

John Heywood (1500 ?-1§80) was a dramatist and epigrammatist.
His interludes “ prepared the way for English comedy,” the char-
acters having some individuality instead of being mere walking
virtues and vices, Of these plays The Four P’s (printed between
1543 and 1547) is the best known. The characters that give it
the name are a Palmer, a Pardoner, a Potecary (apothecary) and a
Pedlar. A palmer was a pilgrim to the Holy Land, so called from
the palm-branch he brought back in token of having performed
the journey, A pardoner was a person licensed to sell papal in-
dulgences, or pardons.

No night ts now, etc. The quotation is from A Midsummer-
Night's Dream, ii. 1, 102.
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 237

Page 191.—Housen. An obsolete plural of house, formned like
oxen, etc.

Page 192.— Te offices. The rooms in an old English mansion,
where provisions are kept ; that is, the pantry, kitchen, etc.

Waes-hael, Anglo-Saxon for ‘‘ Be hale (whole, or well),” equiva-.
lent to ‘‘ Here’s to your health.” Wassaz/ is a corruption of this
salutation, which from this meaning was transferred to festive gath-
erings where it was used, and then to the liquor served on such
occasions—generally, spiced ale. ;

The tenant of Ingon, When Knight wrote this, fifty or more
years ago, he supposed that a certain John Shakespeare who in
1570 held a farm known as Jzgon or Jugton, in the parish of
Hampton Lucy near Stratford, was the poet’s father ; but that he
was one of the many other Shakespeares in Warwickshire (see page
207 below) appears from an entry in the parish register at Hampton
Lucy, showing that he was buried on the 25th of September, 1589.
The poet’s father lived until September, 1601, his funeral being
registered as having taken place on the 8th of that month. There
was another John Shakespeare, a shoemaker, who was a resident
of Stratford from about 1584 to about 1594. In the town records
he is generally called the. ‘‘ shumaker,” or ‘‘ corvizer” (an obsolete
word of the same meaning), or ‘‘cordionarius” (the Latin equiva-
lent) ; but occasionally he appears simply as ‘‘ John Shakspere,”
and some of these entries were formerly supposed to refer to the
father of the dramatist.

The Lord of Misrule, The person chosen to direct the Christ-
mas sports and revels. His sovereignty lasted during the twelve
days of the holiday season. Stow, in his Survey of London (see on
page 82 above), says: ‘‘In the feast of Christmas, there was in
the king’s house, wheresoever he lodged, a Lord of Misrule, or
Master of Merry Disports, and the like had ye in the house of
every nobleman of honour or good worship, were he spiritual or
temporal.” Stubbes (see on page 185 above) inveighed against the
practice in his usual bitter way: ‘‘ First, all the wild heads of the
parish, conventing together, choose them a grand captain (of mis-
chief) whom they innoble with the title of my Lord of Misrule,
and him they crown with great solemnity, and adopt for their
king. This king anointed chooseth forth twenty, forty, three
score, or a hundred lusty guts like to himself, to wait upon his
lordly majesty, and to guard his noble person. Then every one of
these his men he investeth with his liveries, of green, yellow, or
some other light wanton color. . . . And they have their hobby-
238 NOTES

horses, dragons, and other antics, together with their bawdy pipers
and thundering drummers, to strike up the devil’s dance withal ;

. and in this sort they go to the church (though the minister
be at prayer or preaching) dancing and swinging their handker-
chiefs over their heads in the church, like devils incarnate, with
such a confused noise that no man can hear his own voice. . . .
Then after this, about the church they go again and again, and so
forth into the churchyard, where they have commonly their sum-
mer halls, their bowers, arbors, and banqueting houses set up,’
wherein. they feast, banquet, and dance all that day, and (perad-
venture) all that night too. And thus these terrestrial furies spend’
their Sabbath day.” He goes on to tell how the people give money,
food, and drink for these festivities, and adds: ‘‘ but if they knew
that, as often as they bring any to the maintenance of these exe-’
crable pastimes, they offer sacrifice to the Devil and Sathanas
[Satan], they would repent, and withdraw their hands, which God,
grant they may.” The Lords of Misrule in colleges were preached
against at Cambridge by the Puritans in the reign of James I. as
inconsistent with a place of religious education, and as a relic of
Pagan worship. In Scotland, the ‘‘ Abbot of Unreason” (as the
Lord of Misrule was called there), with other festive characters,
was suppressed by legislation as early as 1555. Thomas Fuller
(1608-1681), in his Good Thoughts in Worse Times (1647), says :
‘*Some sixty years since, in the University of Cambridge, it was
solemnly debated betwixt the heads [of the colleges] to debar
young scholars of that liberty allowed them in Christmas, as in-
consistent with the discipline of students. But some grave gover-
nors mentioned the good use thereof, because thereby, in twelve
days, they more discover the Sep oseus of scholars than in twelve
months before.”

Page 198.— Ze Clopton who is gone. William Clopton, whose
tomb is in the north aisle of Stratford Church He was the father
of the William Clopton of Shakespeare’s boyhood, who resided at
Clopton House, an ancient mansion less than two miles from Strat-
ford on the brow of the Welcombe Hills. It is still standing,
though long ago modernized. It is said to have been originally
surrounded with a moat, like the ‘‘ moated grange” of Measure for
Measure (iii. 1. 277). :

To burn this night with torches. That is, to prolong the festiv-
ities. The quotation is from Antony and Cleopatra, iv. 2. 41.

John Dyer (1700-1758) was an English poet, author of Grongar
Hill (1727), The Ruins of Rome (1740), etc.












PC (ram “

= os





































CLOPTON MONUMENTS
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY — 239

Page 194.—F/awns. A kind of custard-pie. Compare Ben
Jonson, Sad Shepherdess, 1. 2:—

“Fall to your cheese-cakes, curds, and clouted cream,
Your fools, your flawns,’’ etc.

The fools were also a kind of custard, or fruit with whipped cream,
etc. Gooseberry-fool is still an English dish. :

Page 195.— Zhe cost of the sheep-shearing feast, Mr. Knight
makes a little slip here. The Clown, on his way to buy materials
for the-feast, tries to reckon up mentally what the woo/ from the
shearing will bring. ‘‘ Let me see,” he says; ‘‘every ‘leven
wether tods [that is, yields a ¢od, or 28 pounds of wool]; every
tod yields pound and odd shilling ; fifteen hundred shorn,—what
comes the wool to?” Then, after vainly attempting to make out
what the amount will be, he adds: ‘‘I cannot do ’t without coun-
ters” (round pieces of metal used in reckoning), and, giving up the
problem, turns to considering what he is to buy for his sister:
“Let me see; what am I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast ?
Three pound of sugar, five pound of currants, rice, —what will this
sister of mine do with rice? But my father hath made her mistress
of the feast, and she lays it.on. She hath made me four-and-
twenty nosegays for the shearers, — three-man songmen all, and
very good ones; but they are most of them means and bases ; but
one Puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes. I
must have saffron to colour the warden pies ; mace, dates—none ;
that’s out of my note: nutmegs, seven; a race or two of ginger,—
but that I may beg; four pound of prunes, and as many of raisins
o’ the sun.” Zhree-man songmen are singers of catches in three
parts. Jeans are tenors. Warden pies are pies made of wardens,
a kind of large pears, which were usually baked or roasted. A race
of ginger is a root of it; and ratsins o' the sun are raisins dried in
the sun. :

Page 196. — Paul Hentener, ‘He was a native or Silesia
(1558-1623) who’ wrote a Journey through Germany, France,
Ltaly, ete. j

Matthew Stevenson wrote several other books in prose and verse,
published between 1654 and 1673.

The furmenty-pot. The word furmenty is a corruption of /rz-
menty (see page 197), which is derived from the Latin /ramenteum,
meaning wheat. The hulled wheat, boiled in milk and seasoned,
was a popular dish in England, as it still is in the rural districts.
240 NOTES

Robert Herrick (1591-1674) was an English lyric poet. The
Ffesperides was his most important work, A complete edition of
his poems, edited by Mr. Grosart, was published in 1876.

Page 197.— A mawhin. A kitchen-wench, or other menial
servant. The word is only a phonetic spelling of malsin, which
Shakespeare has in Cortolanus, li. 1. 224: ‘‘the kitchen malkin.”
Compare Tennyson, 7'e Princess, v. 25 :—

“If this be he,—or a draggled mawkin, thou,
That tends her bristled grunters in the sludge;

that is, a female swineherd.

Prank them up. Adorn themselves.

The fill-horse. The word il, for the ¢hzd/s or shafts of a vehicle,:
used by Shakespeare and other writers of that day, is now obsolete
in England, though still current in New England. Cross means
to make the sign of the cross upon or over the animal.

Page 199. — Sheffield whittles. Knives made at Sheffield.
Chaucer, in the Canterbury Tales (3931) refers to a ‘‘Shefeld
thwitel,’’ or whittle. Compare Shakespeare, Timon a Athens,
v. I. 173: ‘‘ There’s not a whittle in the unruly camp,” etc. y

Rings with posies. Rings with mottoes inscribed inside them.
Posy is the same word as foesy, which we also find used in this
sense. Compare Hamlet, iii. 2, 162; ‘‘Is this a prologue, or the
poesy of a ring?” The fashion of putting such posies on rings
prevailed from the middle of the 16th century to the close of the
t7th. In 1624 a little book was published with the title, Love's
Garland, or Posies for Rings, Handkerchiefs, and Gloves; and such
pretty tokens, that lovers send their loves. Compare page 53 above.

Page 201.—Qu: est fa? Who is there? (French). The reply
is, ‘‘ Peasants, poor French people.”’

Whipped three market-days. For some petty offence he had
committed. % :

Page 202.—Wick-yarn. For making wicks for the oil-lamps
then in common use. It was a familiar article in this country fifty
years ago, when whale-oil was used for household illumination.

WVapery. Linen for domestic use, especially table-linen.

Inkles, caddises, cot ifs, stomachers, pomanders, etc. All these
things are found in the peddler’s pack of Autolycus in The Winter's
Tale (iv. 4). Compare page 204 below. Caddises are worsted rib-
bons, or galloons. /h/es are a kind of tape. Pomanders were
little balls made of perfumes, and worn in the pocket or about the
SHAKESPEARE THE BOV 24K

neck, for the sake of the fragrance or as a mere ornament, and
sometimes to prevent infection in times of plague.

The ivy-busk. A bush or tuft of ivy was in olden time the sign
of avintner. Compare the cut of the Morris Dance, opposite page
178. The old proverb, ‘t Good wine needs no bush” (4s Vou Like
ft, v. epil.), means that a place where good wine is kept needs no

_ sign to attract customers. Gascoigne, in his Glass of Government
(1575), says: *‘ Now a days the good wyne needeth none. ivye
garland.”

Page 203.—T7he juggler with his ape. The ape being used
to perform tricks, as monkeys are nowadays by organ-grinders to
amuse their street audiences. In The Winter's Tale (iv. 3. 101)
the Clown says of Autolycus: ‘‘I know this man well: he hath
been since an ape-bearer”; that is, he carried round a trained ape
as a show. ‘

Cantabangut. Strolling ballad-singers ; literally, persons who
sing upon a bench (from the Italian catambanco, formerly can-
tinbanco). Compare Sir Henry Taylor, PAzip van Artevelde,
i. 3. 2:— ‘

“He was no tavern cantabank that made it,
But a squire minstrel of your’ Highness’ ‘court.”?

The Tale of Sir Topas. One of GHencer Canterbury Tales,
The Rime of Sir Topas, a burlesque upon the metrical romances
of the time. It is written in ballad form.

Bevis of Southampton. A fabulous hero of the time of William
the Conqueror. He is mentioned in Henry VITI. i. 1. 38 -—

“that former fabulous story,
Being now seen possible enough, got credit,
That Bevis was believed ;”

that is, so that the old romantic legend became credible, In 2
Henry VI, after the words (ii. 3. 89), ‘‘ have at thee with a down-
right blow,” some editors add from the old ‘play on which this is
founded : ‘tas Bevis of Southampton fell upon Ascapart,” a giant
whom he was said to have conquered. Figures of Bevis and As-
capart formerly adorned the Bar-gate at Southampton, as shown in
the cut on the next page; but when the gate was repaired some
years ago they were removed to the museum.

Adam Bell and Clymme of the Clough (that is, of the Cliff)
figure in a popular old ballad, which may be found in Herey: s
Religues.

16
242 NOTES

The woolen statute-caps.. Caps which, by Act. of Parliament. in
1571, the citizens were required to wear on Sundays and holidays.
The nobility were exempt from the requirement, which, as Strype
informs us, was ‘‘in behalf of the trade of cappers ”—one of sundry
such “protection” measures in the time of Elizabeth. Compare
Love's Labour's Lost, v. 2. 282: ‘* Well, better wits have worn
plain statute-caps.” As Knight intimates here, the law was a very
unpopular one. :



















alll
a







THE BAR-GATE, SOUTHAMPTON

The Wife of Bath's husbands, ANluading to the Wife of Bath,
one of ‘Chaucer’s Canterbury pilgrims. In the prologue to her
tale, she says of her husbands (of whom she had five in succes-
sion) :—

“T governed hem so wel after my lawe,
That eche of hem ful blisful was and fawe [fain, or glad]
To bringen me gay things fro the feyre.”’

That is, as she goes on to explain, they were glad to bring her pres-
ents from the fair to keep her in good humor, as otherwise she was
apt to treat them ‘‘spitously,” or spitefully,

Where a coxcomb will be broke. That is, a head will be broken ;
SHAKESPEARE THE BOY 243

but it should be understood that this does not mean a fractured
skull, but merely a bruise sufficient to break:the skin-and make. the
blood flow. Shakespearian critics have sometimes misapprehended
this and similar expressions.. In Romeo and Juliet (i. 2. 52), where
the ‘hero says, ‘‘ Your plantain-leaf ‘is excellent for that ” (referring
to a ‘‘broken shin”), Ulrici, the eminent German commentator,
thinks that he must be speaking ironically, as plantain ‘‘ was used
to stop the blood, but not for a fracture.of a bone.” Compare
Twelfth Night, v. 1. 078, where Sir Andrew says: ‘‘ He has broke
my head across and has given Sir Toby a bloody coxcomb too.”

Page 206. —./unkets. The word here means sweetmeats or
delicacies. ;

Properties. In the theatrical sense: of stage requisities, such as
costumes and other equipments and appointments.

LIncurious. Not curious, in the original sense of careful; not
fastidious, and therefore pleased with these inferior actors.

And possess. The subject of fossess is omitted, after the loose
fashion of the time, being obviously implied in vwstics. Compare
Hamlet , iii, 1. 8 :—

“‘ Nor do we find him forward to be ‘sounded,
But with a crafty madness keeps, aloof”;

that is, Ae keeps aloof.

Page 207.— We see not its workings. We see the results, but
not the processes by which they have been brought about.

The‘ green lap” in which the boy poet was*' laid.” The quota-
tions are from the passage referring to Shakespeare in The Progress
of Poesy by Thomas Gray (1716-1771) :—

“Far from the sun and summer gale,
In thy green lap was Nature’s darling laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray’d,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Her awful face * the dauntless child
Stretch’d forth his little arms and smil’d.
‘This pencil take,’ she said, ‘ whose colors clear
Richly paint the vernal year:
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!
This can unlock the gates of joy;
Of horror that, and thrilling fears,
Or ope the sacred fount of sympathetic tears.’ ”?

The name of Shakespeare was very common. See note on The
tenant of Ingon, page 192, above.
244 NOTES

Page 208.—Volumes have been written on the plant-lore, etc.
The best of these is Rev. H. N. Ellacombe’s Plant-Lore and Gar-
den-craft of Shakespeare, which is quoted on the next page.

Apricocks. An old form of apricots.

Page 209.—/x the compass of a pale. Within the limits of an
enclosure, or walled garden.

nots. Interlacing beds. Compare Milton, P. L. iv, 242: “In
beds and curious knots” ; and Love's Labour 's Lost, i. 1. 249:
‘*thy curious-knotted garden.” :

fe that hath suffer'd, etc. King Richard.

At time of year. That is, at the proper season.

Confound itself. Ruin or destroy itself. Compare The Mer-
chant of Venice, iii, 2. 278 :—

“ Never did I know

A creature that did bear the shape of man
So keen and greedy to confound a man.”

_ Page 210.—7o prove his real profession. Books and essays
have been written to prove Shakespeare’s intimate knowledge of
various professions and occupations—law, medicine, military sci-
ence, seamanship, etc. :

ADDENDA

Page 21.—Zvke letters E. R. Young readers may need to be
informed that these letters stand for E/izadeth Regina (atin for
Queen). See cut on next page.

‘Page 87.—Tie elder Robert of Stratford. Sidney ee says:
“Robert, the father of the prelates Robert and John, was a well-
to-do inhabitant of Stratford, who appears to have set his sons an
example in local works of benevolence. He it is to whom has been
attributed the foundation, in 1296, of the chapel of the guild, and
of the hospital or almshouses attached to it.’

Page 89.—Adonai or Elohim. Webrew names for Jehovah, or
God. z

Page 112.—Shrewd turns. That is, evil turns (chanecs or hap-
penings). Cf. Henry VIII, v. 3. 176 :—

“*The common voice, I see, is verified
Of thee, which says thus, ‘Do my Lord of Canterbury
A shrewd turn, and he is your friend for ever’;”
SHAKESPEARE THE BOV 245

that is, he returns good for evil. Compare As You Like It, v. 4.
178:—
“ And after, every [every one] of this happy number
That have endur’d shrewd days and nights with us”
Shall share the good of our returned fortune ;”

and Chaucer, Zale of Melibeus: ‘‘The prophete saith: Flee
shrewdnesse, and do goodnesse,” etc.

Page 162.—A sergeant-at-arms his mace. In Old English As
was often put in this way after proper names, which had no genitive
(or possessive) inflection. In the 16th century it came to be used
frequently in place of the possessive ending -s. It was occasionally
used in the 17th and 18th centuries, when some grammarians adopt-
ed the false theory that the possessive ending was a contraction of
Ais, The construction occurs now and then in Shakespeare; as in

Twelfth Night, iii, 3. 26: ‘the count his galleys,” etc.

Page 204.—Sweet hearts. This must not be supposed to be a
misprint for Sweethearts, which was originally two words and often
used as a tender or affectionate address. Sweetheart occurs in
Shakespeare only in The Winter's Tale, iv. 4. 664: “ take your
sweetheart’s hat,” etc.

dL

AUTOGRAPH OF QUEEN ELIZABETH

INDEX

A-B-C book, ror.
abracadabra, 88.
absey, ro2.

Adam Bell, 203, 241,
Adonai, 244.

a-good, 236.
ale-tasters, 40.
Alveston, 28, 31.

Ambrose, Earl of Warwick, 75, 171.

amulets, 87.

amusements, indoor, 67.
Anne, Lady, 8.

apricocks, 208, 244.
archery, 142.

Arden, Forest of, 222.
Arden, Richard, 53.
articles (in grammar), 226.
Ascham, Roger, 96, 115, 143, 224.
ash-tree (in charms), 89.
Aubrey, John, 184, 236.
Avon, the, 24.

backgammon, 70.

bait (in hawking), 157.
ball-games, 123.

Bancroft, the, 45.

Barclay, Alexander, 126, 230.
barley-break, 124.

base-ball, 123.

bat-fowling, 153.

‘ bay-leaf (as charm), go.
Baynes, Professor, 145, 231.
Bear (of Warwick), 4.
bear-baiting, 132.
bearing-cloth, 82.
Beauchamp, Richard, 7, 9.
Beauchamp, Thomas, 7.

beer, 58.

bells (of hawk), 157.
beshrew, 223.

Bevis, 203, 241.
bewrayeth, 228.

bid a base, 125.
bird-bolt, 145.
blind-man’s-buff, 122.
Bolingbroke, Henry, 15.
bone-fires, 187.

Book of Riddles, 67, 7%.
Books of Nurture, 60.
books, popular, 71.
bordarit, 28.



bottom (of thread), 73.
boundary elm, 174.

brach, 231.

bread, 58.

bride-ale, 184.

Brinsley, John, 66, 109, 229.
broken coxcomb, 203, 242.
Browne, Sir Thomas, 173, 235-
Browne, William, 183, 235.
Bullein, William, 56, 219.
Burbage, Richard, 234.
Bursall, Thomas, 33.

Burton, Robert, 57, 90, 127, 219, 224.
Butler, Bishop, 127, 230.
butts, 41, 217-

caddises, 202, 240.

Cage, the, 172, 234.

caitch, 230.

calendars, 223.

cankers (=canker-worms), 79, 222.
cantabangut, 203, 241.
cappers, 16, 215.

caps, statute, 41, 203, 242.
caraways, 62, 83, 219, 223.
card-playing, 69.

caret, 227.

Carew, Richard, 185, 236.
chambers (cannon), 170, 234+
changelings, 84.

chantry, 32, 216.

Chapel Lane, 45.
Charlecote Hall, 19.
charms, 87.

chess, 71, 221-

chiding, 231.

children, training of, 60.
chimneys, 51.

chrisom, 81.

Christ Cross row, 101.
christenings, 80. 1
christening shirts, 82.
Christmas, 190.

clap in the clout, 144.
Clopton House, 192.
Clopton, Hugh, 33, 192-
Clopton, William, 193, 238.
closely (=secretly), 161.
Clymme of the Clough, 203, 241.
cock-fighting, 136.
cock-throwing, 138.
248

Colbrand, 10, rx.

coldest fault, 231.

Colet, Dean, 136, 231.
compass of a pale, 209, 244.
conceit (=intellect), 229.
confound (=ruin), 209, 244.
Corporation, Stratford, 39.
correctors for the print, 228.
Coryat, Thomas, 55, 219.
Cotgrave, Randle, 156, 232.
Cotsall, 147.

cottagers (feudal), 28.
counters, 239. |
countervail, 229.

coursing, 147.

Coventry, 4, 14.

Coventry churches, 215.
coxcomb (==head), 203, 242.
craft-guilds, 34.

craven, 137.

cried upon it, 232.
cross-row, 101.

curtsy, 61, 219.

dagswain, 54.

deer-stealing, 21.

detest (=detested), 220.

dill (in magic), 222. :
discovered (=uncovered), 162.
Drayton, Michael, 3, 123, 213.
drink-hael, rg2.

drinks, 58.

ducking-stool, 4o.

Dudley, Ambrose, 75, 171, 234.

Dudley, Robert, 7, 12.
Dugdale, William, 4, 16, 213.
dun cow, the, 10, 214.

Dun in the mire, 127.
dwelling-houses, 49. .
Dyer, John, 193, 238.

Easter, 172.

elder-tree (in charms), 89.
Ellacombe, H. N., 209, 244.
Elohim, 244.

embossed, 231.
enfranchisement, 228.
English, neglect of, 106.
entend, 228. 8

enter children, to, 220.
E. R., 21, 244.

erring, 222.

Eton, May-day at, 178.
Eton, whipping at, 114.
evil eye, the, 85.
extravagant, 222.

eyas, 154.

fairing, 204.
fairs, 30, 198, 201.
fairy rings, 222.
falconet, 156.
featliest, 235.





INDEX

fern-seed, 188.

Field, Henry, 53.

fill-horse, 240. ~

filliping the toad, 139.
fishing, 132.

flawns, 239.

flewed, 231.

flight (arrow), 145.

fond (=foolish), 117.

food, 57.

fool (a dish), 23g.

fool (in pity), 231.

foot-ball, 125.

forehand shaft, 144.

forked heads (of arrows), 231.
forks, 55, 66.

Forman, Simon, 22, 215.
Four Sons of Aymon, The, 67, 71.
fowling, 151. A
Friar Tuck, 179, 180, 221.
frumenty, 239.

furmenty, 239.

furniture, household, 52.
Furnivall, F. J., 66, 194.

games and sports, 121.
garden-craft in Shakespeare, 208.
gardens, Stratford, sr.
Gastrell, Rev. Francis, 51, 218.
George, Duke of Clarence, 9, 38.
Gesta Romanorum, 77, 221.
Gifford, William, 127, 230.
Giletta of Narbonne, 76, 221.
glisters, 232.
Godiva, 19.
gospel-trees, 174.
gossips’ feast, 82.
Grammar Sehool, Stratford, 38, 95.
Greene, Robert, go, 224.
Guild chapel, 37, 96, 102, 202.
gudthe Stratford, 34.

uy oO! arwick, 5, 9, 67, 71, 203.
Guy’s Cliff, 9. 3

haggard ( noun), 154.
handkerchiefs, 65.
handy-dandy, 129.
hang-hog, 226.
hare-hunting, 150.

Harrison, William, 52, 54, 58, 199, 218.

harry-racket, 122.

Harsnet, Samuel, 224.
harvest-home, 195.
hawking, 153.

Hell-mouth, 17.

Hentzner, Paul, 196, 239.
Herod (in old plays), 17, 215.
Heron, Robert, 86, 223.

| Herrick, Robert, 196, 206, 240.

herse, 214.

Heywood, John, rgo, 236.
hide-and-seek, 122.
hock-cart, 197. 5
INDEX

hooded (hawk), 156. D
hoodman-blind, 122, 230.

hook (=shepherd’s crook), 235.
Hooker, Richard, 174, 235-
hopharlots, 54.

horn-book, 96.

horse, description of, 147.
horse (plural), 160, 232.
housen, 237.

Hundred Merry Tales, The, 67, 7%.
Hunt, Thomas, 96, 115.
hunting, 145. :

imp (=child), 7, 214.
incurious, 243.

Ingon, 192, 237.

inhooped, 137.

inkles, 240.

irks, 231.

ivy-bush (vintner’s sign), 241.

James I. (his Deszonology), 91.
jauncing, 232.

jesses, 157.

John of Stratford, 31, 32.
Johnson, Richard, 234.
joint-stools, 53.

Jones, Dr. John, 75, 221.
Jonson, Ben, 81, 118, 127, 188.
juggler (with ape), 241.
junkets,, 243.

Kemp, William, 233.
Kenilworth, 4, 12, 132, 230.

Knight, Charles, 172, 181, 194, 202, 221.

knots (in garden), 207, 244.

lamb-ale, 184.
Laneham, Robert, 13, 215.
Latin {at school), 103.
Latin (in exorcisms), 98, 225.
latten, 81.
Jaund, 222.

. leet-ale, 184.
leets, 40, 43, 184.
let down the wind, 157.
likes (=suits), 228.
Lill-lill, 124. :
Lilly, William, ros, 227.
Lodge, Thomas, 89, 224.
loggats, 122, 230.
Lord of Misrule, 192, 237+
Lucy, Sir Thomas, 20, 215.
Lupton, Thomas, 86, 223.
Lyttleton, Sir Thomas, 38.

Mab, 73, 74.

Macbeth, 79.

Maid Marian, 179, 181.
malkin, 240.
Mamillius, 74.

man (=tame), 154.
manor, 217.



249

marchpane, 83, 223. ~
market cross (Stratford), 44, 92.
markets, 198.

Markham, Gervase, 153.
marmalet, 83; 223.
Mantuan, the, 105.
mawkin, 240.

May-day, 176.

meals, 58, 61.

means (=tenors), 239.
Melton, John, 88.

merest loss, 232.

mews, 158.

micher, 112.

Midsummer Eve, 186.
moralities, 161.

More, Sir Thomas, 138, 231.
Morisco, 235.

morris-board, 130.
morris-dance, 179, 184, 233-
Mowbray, Thomas, 15.
Mulcaster, Richard, 106, 130, 227, 230.
musits, 232.

muss, 128.

napery, 240,

napkin, 65.

Neville, Richard, 8.
New Place, 33, 217.
nine-holes, 123.

nine men’s morris, 129.
Nine Worthies, the, 18.
nuntions, 58.

O!—wocativo, 0! 227.

2od’s nouns, 226.

o’erlooked (=bewitched), £7.
offices, 237.

Old and New Style, 233.
orpine, 189.

pageants, 236.
painted cloths, 53.
Painter, William, 75, 221.
pale (=enclosure), 207, 244.
palle-malle, 230.
palmer, 236.
pardoner, 236.
Paris Garden, 135, 230.
passioning, 236.
Peacham, Henry, 96, 113, 114, 224.
penny-prick, 69.
penthouse, 50.

erambulation of parish, 74.
Percy, Thomas, 168, 234.
pigeon-holes (.game), 70.
pinfold, 45, 217-
pitching the bar, 123.
plucking geese, 139.
poaching, 21. :
pomander, 240. .
pomegranate-flowers (as charm), go.
pose aa in head), 52.
250 INDEX

posies (in rings), 53, 199, 240.
prabbles, 227.

prank them up, 240.
preeches, 227, 229.

present (=immediate), 229.
prisoners’ base, 124.

proceed in learning, 229.
properties, 243.

Puck, 74.

pummets, 70.

quack (=hoarseness), 52.
quails (for fighting), 137.

race (=root), 239.

raisins o' the sun, 239.

Ralph of Stratford, 31, 33.
rear-suppers, 58.

reredos, 52.

Rhodes, Hugh, 60, 219.
riffeling, 185.

ringlets (—fairy rings), 222.
rip up, 228.

Robert of Stratford, 31, 37, 244.
Robin Goodfellow, 74, 221.
Rother Market, 30, 50.
rushes (for floors), 54, 56, 218.

Sackerson, 135.

Saint George’s Day, 167.

Saint John’s wort, 189.

Saint Mary’s Church, Warwick, 6.
sanctuary, 230.

sanded, 231.

school discipline, 113.

school life, 109.

school morals, 112.

Schoole of Vertue, The, 60.
Scot, Reginald, 90, 189, 224.
Seager, Francis, 6o, 219.
sequestered, 23¢. .
Shakespeare Birthplace, 49, 217.

Shakespeare mulberry-tree, 51, 218.

Shakespeare, Henry, 207.
Shakespeare, John, 26, 40, 53.
Shakespeare, Mary, 84.
sheep-shearing, 193.
Sheffield whittles, 240.
Shenstone, William, ror, 226.
Ship of Fools, The, 67, 200.
Shottery, 4.

shove-groat, 67.
shovel-board, 68.

shrewd (=evil), 112, 244.
Siddons, Mrs., 12.

Sir (title of priests), 226.
Skelton, John, 232.
slide-thrift, 67.

slip-groat, 67.

slipping a hawk, 156.
Smithe, Ralph, 142.

spoons, apostle, 80.

spoons, Latin, 81.



sprag, 227. ‘
statute-caps, 41, 203, 242.
Steevens, George, 190, 236.
Stevenson, Matthew, 196, 239.
stool-ball, 122.

story-telling, 73.

Stow, John, 82, 222.

Stratford College, 33, 37.
Stratford corporation, 39.
Stratford early history, 27.
Stratford grammar school, 95.
Stratford Guild, 34, 37.
Stratford-on-Avon, 21.
Stratford topography, 43.
strikes (of planet), 231.

Strutt, Joseph, 67, 220.
Stubbes, Philip, 176, 178, 185, 206, 236.
Suckling, John, 235.

sun dancing at Easter, 173.
sweet hearts, 204, 245.
sweet-suckers, 83, 223.
swimming, 130.

tabie-linen, 55.

takes (of fairies), 231.
tassel-gentle, 156.

Taylor the Water Poet, 69, 220.
tender well, 231.

than (=then), 219.

theatres, movable, 14, 215.
theatrical entertainments, 160, 185.
then (=than), 220.

thorow, 65, 220.

three-man beetle, 139.
three-man songmen, 239.

tick (=tag), 125.

tick-tack, 70.

tod, 239.

told (=counted), 232.

took on him as a conjurer, 225.
toothache, charms for, 88.
toothpicks, 65.

Topas, Tale af Sir, 203, 24%.
towels, 56.

tract (=track), 217.

training of children, 60.
tray-trip, go.

treatably, 219.

treen, 55.

troll-my-dames, 70.

trumpet (=trumpeter), 222.
Tusser, Thomas, 114, 195, 229.

Udall, Nicholas, 114.

vaward, 231.
vervain, 80, 189, 222.
villeins, 28.

voiders. 62.

waes-hael, 192, 237-
wakes, 30, 205.
Wall, A. H., 168, 234.
Waller, Edmund, 126, 230.
Walton, Izaak, 235.
warden-pies, 239.
warlocks, 223.

Warner, William, 235.
Warwick, 4.
Warwickshire, 3.
wash-basins, 56.

Wat, 232.

watchet-colored, 235.
Webster, John, 90, 224.
which (=who), 228.
whifflers, 144.

whistled off (in hawking), 157-
white meats, 57.
Whitsuntide, 184.

whittles (noun), 240.

INDEX

THE

251

who (=which), 231.
wick-yarn, 240.

Wierus, 224.

Wife of Bath, 203, 242.
Willis, R., 112, 229.
Wilmcote, 4, 213.

wine, 58.

Wise, J. R., 26, 151.
witches, 79, 84.
Wolsey, Cardinal, 56.
woman’s part (on stage), 236.
Woncot, 213.

Worthies, the Nine, 18.
wote, 223.

wrestling, 142.

yearned (=grieved), 232.

END
SCHOOL COURSES IN



ARMS OF JOHN SHAKESPEARE

SHAKESPEARE

Wuat plays of
Shakespeare are to
be recommended for
school use, and in what

order should they be

taken up? These are
questions often ad-
dressed to me by teach-
ers, and I will attempt.
to answer them briefly
here.

Of the thirty-seven
(or thirty-eight, if we
include the Zwo Moble
Kinsmen) plays in the
standard editions of
Shakespeare, twenty
at least are suitable for
use in “mixed” schools.
Among the ‘‘com-
edies” are The Mer-

chant of Venice, A Midsummer-Night's Dream, As You
Like It, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, The
Tempest, The Winter's Tale, and The Taming of the
Shrew, among the “ tragedies,” Macbeth, Hamlet, Lear,
and Romeo and Juliet; and among the historical. plays, -
SCHOOL COURSES IN SHAKESPEARE

Julius Cesar, Coriolanus, King John, Richard II., Henry
LV. Part I, Henry V., Richard Il., and Henry VIII.

Certain plays, like Cymdbeline, Othello, and Antony and

Cleopatra, are not, in my opinion, to be commended for
' “mixed” schools or classes, but may be used in others at
the discretion of the teacher.

If but. one play is read, my own choice would be The ,
Merchant of Venice ; except for classécal schools, where
Julius Cesar is to be preferred. All the leading colleges
now require one or more plays of Shakespeare as part of
the preparation in. English, and /udus Cesar is almost in-
variably included for every year.

- If two plays can be read, the Merchant and Julius Cesar *
may be commended; or either of these with As Vou Lake
ft, or with Macbeth, if a tragedy is desired. Macbeth is the
shortest of the great tragedies (only a trifle more than
half the length of Ham/et, for instance), and seems to me
unquestionably the best for an ordinary school course.

For a selection of three plays, we may. take the Merchant
(or Julius. Cesar), As You Like It (or Twelfth Night or
Much Ado—the other two of the trio of “ Sunny or Sweet-
Time Comedies,” as Furnivall calls them), and AZacbeth.
An English historical play (King John, Richard II., Henry
LV. Part I., or Henry V.) may be substituted for the com-
‘edy, if preferred ; and Hamlet for Macbeth, if time permits
and the teacher chooses. As I have said, Hamlet is about
twice as long as Macéeth, and should have at least treble
the time devoted to it.

“Ifa fourth play is wanted, add The Tempest to the list.
Macbeth and The Tempest together (4061 lines, as given
in the “Globe” edition) are but little longer than Hamlet
(3929 lines), and can be read in less time than the latter:
SCHOOL COURSES IN SHAKESPEARE

For a fifth play, Hamlet, Lear, or Cortolanus may be

taken; or, if a shorter and lighter play is preferred, the
Midsummer-Night’s Dream. 1n a course of five plays, I
should myself put this first, as a specimen of the drama-
tist’s early work. Fora course of five plays arranged with
special reference to the: illustration of Shakespeare’s
career as a writer, the following may be commended: A
Midsummer-Night’s Dream (early comedy); Lechard IT.,
Henry IV. Part I.,0r Henry V. (English historieal period);
As You Like It, Twelfth Night, or Much Ado (ater com-
edy); Macbeth, Hamlet, or Lear (period of the great trage-'
dies); and Zhe 7 Sunes or The Winter's Tale (the latest
plays, or “romances,” as Dowden aptly terms them).
For a series of szx-plays, following this chronological
order, instead’ of one English historical play take two:
Richard I1l., Richard II, or King John (earlier history,
1593-1595), and Henry IV. Part I., or Henry V. (later his-
tory, or “history and comedy united,” 1597-1599).

Richard IT. is a favorite with many teachérs in a
course of three or four plays; but, for myself, I should
never take it up: unless in a course of-six or more, and
only as an example of Shakespeare’s earliest work—not
later than 1593. As Oechelhiuser says, “ Richard III. is
the significant boundary-stone which separates the works
of Shakespeare’s youth from the immortal works of the:
period of his fuller splendor.” As such it has a certain
historical interest to the student of his literary career;
but this seems to me its only claim to attention. I am
not disposed, however, to quarrel with those who think
otherwise.

To return to our courses of reading, for a series of seven
plays I would insert in the above chronological list. either
SCHOOL COURSES IN SHAKESPEARE

Romeo and Jultet (early tragedy) before “early history,’” or
the Merchani (middle comedy) after “ early history”; and.
for a series of egvh¢ plays I would include o¢% these. __
Henry VIII. can be added to any of the longer series as
avery late play, of which Shakespeare wrote only a part,
and which was completed by Fletcher. The Tamzng of
the Shrew may be mentioned incidentally as an earlier
play that is interesting as being Shakespeare’s only in part.
In closing, let me commend the Sonnets as well adapted.
to give variety to any extended course in Shakespeare.
They are not known to teachers, or to cultivated people,
generally, as they should be. In my own experience as a
teacher; I have found that young people always get inter-\
ested in these poems, if their attention is once called to
them. I once gave one of my classes an informal talk on,
the Sonnets, merely to fill an hour for which there was no
regular work, owing to an unexpected delay in getting copies.
of the play we were about to begin. Some months after-
wards, when J asked the class what play they would select
for our next reading if the choice were left to them, several
of the girls asked if we could not take up the Sonnets, and
the request was endorsed by a large majority. We gave
about the same time to them as to a play, and I have never
had a more enjoyable, or, so far as I could judge, a more.
profitable series of lessons with a class. W. J. ROLFE.

Rolfe’s Edition of Shakespeare, in 40 volumes
Edited for Schools, with Notes, by WILLIAM J. ROLFE,
Litt.D., formerly Head Master of the High-School, Cam-
bridge, Mass. Copiously Illustrated. 16mo, Flexible
Cloth, 56 cents per volume; Paper, 40 cents per volume. .

HARPER & BROTHERS, Publishers, New York
“|
i

23h 15670