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circumstances that wear the leaft appearance of novelty or information; the fong in p. 62 excepted.
"If tradition may be trufted, Shakspeare often baited at the Crown Inn or Tavern in Oxford, in his journey to and from London. The landlady was a woman of great beauty and fprightly wit, and her husband, Mr. John Davenant, (afterwards mayor of that city,) a grave melancholy man; who, as well as his wife, ufed much to delight in Shakfpeare's pleasant company. Their fon young Will. Davenant (afterwards Sir William) was then a little fchool-boy in the town, of about feven or eight years old, and fo fond alfo of Shakspeare, that whenever he heard of his arrival, he would fly from school to fee him. One day an old townfman obferving the boy running homeward almost out of breath, asked him whither he was pofting in that heat and hurry. He answered, to fee his god-father Shakspeare. There's a good boy, faid the other, but have a care that you don't take God's name in vain. This story Mr. Pope told me at the Earl of Oxford's table, upon occafion of fome difcourfe which arofe about Shakspeare's monument then newly erected in Westminster Abbey ;"
of about feven or eight years old,] He was born at Oxford in February 1605-6. MALONE.
7 Shakspeare's monument then newly erected in Weftminfter Abbey ;] "This monument," fays Mr. Granger, was erected in 1741, by the direction of the Earl of Burlington, Dr. Mead, Mr. Pope, and Mr. Martyn. Mr. Fleetwood and Mr. Rich gave each of them a benefit towards it, from one of Shakspeare's own plays. It was executed by H. Scheemaker, after a defign of Kent.
"On the monument is infcribed-amor publicus pofuit. Dr. Mead objected to amor publicus, as not occurring in old claffical
and he quoted Mr. Betterton the player for his authority. I answered, that I thought fuch a story might have enriched the variety of thofe choice
infcriptions; but Mr. Pope and the other gentlemen concerned infifting that it should stand, Dr. Mead yielded the point, saying, "Omnia vincit amor, nos et cedamus amori.”
"This anecdote was communicated by Dr. Lort, late Greek Profeffor of Cambridge, who had it from Dr. Mead himself."
It was recorded at the time in The Gentleman's Magazine for Feb. 1741, by a writer who objects to every part of the infcription, and fays it ought to have been, "G. S. centum viginti et quatuor poft obitum annis populus plaudens [aut favens] pofuit."
The monument was opened Jan. 29, 1741. Scheemaker is faid to have got 3001. for his work. The performers at each houfe, much to their honour, performed gratis; and the Dean and Chapter of Westminster took nothing for the ground. The money received by the performance at Drury Lane, amounted to above 2001. the receipts at Covent Garden to about 1001. These particulars I learn from Oldys's MS. notes on Langbaine.
The fcroll on the monument, as I learn from a letter to my father, dated June 27, 1741, remained for fome time after the monument was fet up, without any infcription on it. This was a challenge to the wits of the time; which one of them accepted by writing a copy of verses, the subject of which was a converfation fuppofed to pafs between Dr. Mead and Sir Thomas Hanmer, relative to the filling up of the fcroll. I know not whether they are in print, and I do not choose to quote them all. The introductory lines, however, run thus:
"To learned Mead thus Hanmer fpoke,
Something it doubtlefs fhould contain,
"And fit for Shakspeare to point at ;" &c. MALONE.
At Drury Lane was acted Julius Cæfar, 28 April, 1738, when a prologue written by Benjamin Martyn, Efq. was fpoken by Mr. Quin, and an epilogue by James Noel, Efq. fpoken by Mrs. Porter. Both these are printed in The General Dictionary. At Covent Garden was acted Hamlet, 10th April, 1739, when a prologue written by Mr. Theobald, and printed in The London Magazine of that year, was fpoken by Mr. Ryan. In the newfpaper of the day it was obferved that this laft reprefentation was far from being numeroufly attended. REED.
fruits of obfervation he has prefented us in his preface to the edition he had publifhed of our poet's works. He replied-" There might be in the garden of mankind fuch plants as would feem to pride themfelves more in a regular production of their own native fruits, than in having the repute of bearing a richer kind by grafting; and this was the reafon he omitted it."8"
The fame ftory, without the names of the fons, is printed among the jests of John Taylor the Water-poet, in his works, folio, 1630, p. 184, N° 39: and, with fome variations, may be found in one of Hearne's pocket books.9
-and this was the reafon he omitted it.] Mr. Oldys might have added, that he was the perfon who fuggefted to Mr. Pope the fingular courfe which he purfued in his edition of Shakfpeare." Remember," fays Oldys in a MS. note to his copy of Langbaine, Article, Shakspeare," what I obferved to my Lord Oxford for Mr. Pope's use, out of Cowley's preface." The obfervation here alluded to, I believe, is one made by Cowley in his preface, p. 53, edit. 1710, 8vo: "This has been the cafe with Shakspeare, Fletcher, Jonfon, and many others, part of whose poems I should prefume to take the boldness to prune and lop away, if the care of replanting them in print did belong to me; neither would I make any fcruple to cut off from some the unneceffary young fuckers, and from others the old withered branches; for a great wit is no more tied to live in a vaft volume, than in a gigantick body; on the contrary it is commonly more vigorous the less space it animates, and as Statius fays of little Tydeus,
totos infufa per artus,
Major in exiguo regnabat corpore virtus."
Pope adopted this very unwarrantable idea; striking out from the text of his author whatever he did not like and Cowley himself has fuffered a fort of poetical punishment for having fuggefted it, the learned Bishop of Worcester [Dr. Hurd] having pruned and lopped away his beautiful luxuriances, as Pope, on Cowley's fuggeftion, did those of Shakspeare. MALONE.
9 The fame Story-may be found in one of Hearne's pocket books.] Antony Wood is the first and original author of the anec
"One of Shakspeare's younger brothers,' who
dote that Shakspeare, in his journies from Warwickshire to London, used to bait at the Crown-Inn on the weft fide of the corn market in Oxford. He fays, that D'Avenant the poet was born in that houfe in 1606. "His father (he adds) John Davenant, was a fufficient vintner, kept the tavern now known by the fign of the Crown, and was mayor of the faid city in 1621. His mother was a very beautiful woman, of a good wit and converfation, in which the was imitated by none of her children but by this William [the poet]. The father, who was a very grave and discreet citizen, (yet an admirer and lover of plays and play-makers, especially Shakspeare, who frequented his houfe in his journies between Warwickshire and London,) was of a melancholick difpofition, and was feldom or never feen to laugh, in which he was imitated by none of his children but by Robert his eldest fon, afterwards fellow of St. John's College, and a venerable Doctor of Divinity." Wood's Ath. Oxon. Vol. II. p. 292, edit. 1692. I will not fuppofe that Shakspeare could have been the father of a Doctor of Divinity who never laughed; but it was always a conftant tradition in Oxford that Shakspeare was the father of Davenant the poet. And I have feen this circumstance exprefsly mentioned in fome of Wood's papers. Wood was well qualified to know these particulars; for he was a townsman of Oxford, where he was born in 1632. Wood says, that Davenant went to school in Oxford. Ubi jupr.
As to the Crown Inn, it ftill remains as an inn, and is an old decayed house, but probably was once a principal inn in Oxford. It is directly in the road from Stratford to London. In a large upper room, which feems to have been a fort of Hall for enter taining a large company, or for accommodating (as was the custom) different parties at once, there was a bow-window, with three pieces of excellent painted glafs. About eight years ago, "I remember vifiting this room, and propofing to purchase of the landlord the painted glafs, which would have been a curiofity as coming from Shakspeare's inn. But going thither soon after, I found it was removed; the inn-keeper having communicated. my intended bargain to the owner of the house, who begas to suspect that he was poffeffed of a curiofity too valuable to be parted with, or to remain in fuch a place and I never could hear of it afterwards. If I remember right, the painted glafs confifted of three armorial fhields beautifully ftained. I have faid fo much on this fubject, because I think that Shakspeare's old hoftelry at Oxford deferves no less refpe&t than Chaucer's Tabarde in Southwark. T. WARTON.
lived to a good old age, even fome years as I compute, after the restoration of King Charles II. would in his younger days come to London to vifit his brother Will, as he called him, and be a spectator of him as an actor in fome of his own plays. This cuftom, as his brother's fame enlarged, and
One of Shakspeare's younger brothers, &c.] Mr. Oldys feems to have ftudied the art of " marring a plain tale in the telling of it;" for he has in this ftory introduced circumftances which tend to diminish, inftead of adding to, its credibility. Male dum recitas, incipit effe tuus. From Shakspeare's not taking notice of any of his brothers or fifters in his will, except Joan Hart, I think it highly probable that they were all dead in 1616, except her, at leaft all those of the whole blood; though in the Register there is no entry of the burial of either his brother Gilbert, or Edmund, antecedent to the death of Shakspeare, or at any fubfequent period.
The truth is, that this account of our poet's having performed the part of an old man in one of his own comedies, came originally from Mr. Thomas Jones, of Tarbick, in Worcestershire, who has been already mentioned, (fee p. 62, n. 1,) and who related it from the information, not of one of Shakspeare's brothers, but of a relation of our poet, who lived to a good old age, and who had feen him act in his youth. Mr. Jones's informer might have been Mr. Richard Quiney, who lived in London, and died at Stratford in 1656, at the age of 69; or Mr. Thomas Quiney, our poet's fon-in-law, who lived, I believe, till 1663, and was twenty-feven years old when his father-in-law died; or fome one of the family of Hathaway. Mr. Thomas Hathaway, I believe Shakspeare's brother-in-law, died at Stratford in 1654-5, at the age of 85.
There was a Thomas Jones, an inhabitant of Stratford, who between the years 1581 and 1590 had four fons, Henry, James, Edmund, and Ifaac: fome one of thefe, it is probable, fettled at Tarbick, and was the father of Thomas Jones, the relater of this anecdote, who was born about the year 1613.
If any of Shakspeare's brothers lived till after the Restoration, and vifited the players, why were we not informed to what player he related it, and from what player Mr. Oldys had his account? The fact, I believe, is, he had it not from a player, but from the above-mentioned Mr. Jones, who likewife communicated the ftanza of the ballad on Sir Thomas Lucy, which has been printed in a former page. MALONE.