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Hamnet had died in childhood, and there was no one to perpetuate the family name. From this time, about 1612, it is said that Shakespeare gradually ceased to interest himself in the theatres. He lived in retirement, but his popularity was continually increasing.

In 1614, John Coombe, bailiff or factor to the Earl of Warwick, died, and in his will he left as a legacy to “Mr. William Shakespeare, five pounds.” In the same will, too, we find mention of “ Parson's Close, alias Shakspeare's Close,” showing that the popular ear had caught up the poet's name, and used it as a preferential designation of the property thereby meant.

Of the poet's last days, and of his death, we have a curious record. It is contained in the Diary of the Rev. John Ward, Vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon, discovered several years ago, in the Library of the Medical Society of London. The diary extends from 1661 to 1663, and includes the following very characteristic entry :.-“I have heard that Mr. Shakespeare was a natural witt, without any art at all; he frequented the plays all his younger days, but in his elder days lived at Stratford, and supplied the stage with two plays every year, and for it he had an allowance so large that he spent at the rate of a thousand a year, as I have heard. Shakspeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting, and, itt seems, drank too hard, for Shakspear died of a feavour there contracted. Remember to peruse Shakspeare's plays, and be versed in them, that I may not bee ignorant in the matter."

This is the only notice which is known to exist of the circumstances and cause of Shakespeare's death.

We know that our Poet was well in mind and body at the opening of the year in which he died; for on the 25th of January, 1616, he prepared the draft of his will, and declared that he was “ In Perfect Health and Memory, God be Praised." A fortnight afterwards, he was occupied about the wedding of his daughter Judith, the twin sister of the deceased Hamnet. Judith was married to Thomas Quiney, vintner and wine-merchant, of Stratford, on the 10th of February, 1616. It is worthy of notice that she had just completed her thirty-second year, while the bridegroom was only twenty-seven. If the marriage of her parents had proved unhappy through the disparity of years, surely Judith would have taken warning, and would not have followed their example in this respect. · Perhaps Ben Jonson and Drayton came down to Stratford to witness Judith's wedding, and it is easy to conceive how the conviviality of a nuptial party at New Place might be magnified into “hard drinking at a merry meeting,” especially when the festivity was so soon followed by the sudden death of the head of the house.

This, we may conclude, was the “merry meeting," the last scene of rejoicing over which Shakespeare presided. Two months afterwards, his friends gathered together again, to carry him to his grave. He died on the 23rd of April, on his fifty-third birthday. We cannot tell the cause of his death, but it is possible that there may be a grain of truth in the traditionary account preserved by the Rev. John Ward, and quoted above. Dr. John Hall probably attended his father-in-law during his last illness, but he makes no allusion to it in his list of remarkable cases which came under his notice. All we know with certainty respecting this period is, that on January the 25th, Shakespeare had his will drafted; on February the 10th, his daughter Judith was married ; on March the 27th, he executed his will ; on April the 23rd he died; and on April the 25th, he was buried. His burial is entered on the Stratford register thus :

1616, April 25th. Will. Shakspere, Gent

PERSONS REPRESENTED.
Alonso, King of wraples.

STEPHANO, a drunken butler.
SEBASTIAN, his brother.

Master of a ship, Boatswain and Mariners PROSPERO, the rightful Duke of Milan.

MIRANDA, daughter to Prospero. ANTONIO, the usurping Duke of Milan, brother

ARIEL, an airy spirit. to Prospero.

IRIs, a spirit. FERDINAND, son to the King of Naples.

CERES, a spirito
GONZALO, an honest old counsellor of Naples.

Juno, a spirit.
ADRIAN, a lord.

Nymphs.
FRANCISCO, a lord.

Reapers.
CALIBAN, a sacage and deformed slave.

Other spirits attending on Prospero
TRINCULO, a jester.

SCENE.—THE SEA, WITH A SHIP; AFTERWARDS AN ÍSLAND.

ACT І.

storm.

SCENE I.- Ona Ship at Sea. A Storm, with Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO. Thunder and Lightning.

Yet again? what do you here? Shall we give Enter a Ship-master and a Boatswain.

o'er and drown? Have you a mind to sink? Mastet. Boatswain,-

Seb. A pox o' your throat! you bawling, blasBoats. Here, master: What cheer ?

phemous, incharitable dog! Master. Good: Speak to the mariners: fall to 4

Boats. Work you, then. şarely, or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir. Ant. Hang, cur, hang! you whoreson, insolent

[Exit. noise-maker, we are less afraid to be drowned that Enter Mariners.

thou art. Bcats. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my

Gon. I'll warrant him for drowning; though the hearts ; yare, yare: Take in the topsail : Tend to ship were no stronger than a nut-shell, and as leaky the master's whistle.-- Blow till thou burst thy as an unstanched wench. wind, if room enough!

Boats. Lay her a-hold, a-hold: set her two Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND, courses ; off to sea again ; lay her off. GONZALO, and others.

Enter Mariners, wet. Aion. Good boatswain, have care. Where 's Mar. All lost! to prayers, to prayers ! all lost ! the master? Play the men.

[Exeunt. Boats. I pray now, keep below.

Boats. What, must our mouths be cold Ant. Where is the master, boson ?

Gon. The king and prince at prayers ! let us Boots. Do you not hear him? You mar our

For our case is as theirs.

(assist them, labour: Keep your cabins: You do assist the

Seb. I am out of patience.

Ant. We are merely cheated of our lives by Gon. Nay, good, be patient.

drunkards. Boats. When the sea is. Hence! What care

This wide-chopp'd rascal ;-'Would thou mightst these roarers for the name of king? To cabin :

lie drowning, silence; trouble us not.

The washing of ten tides !

Gon. Gon. Good; yet remember whom thou hast

He'll be hang'd yet; aboard.

Though every drop of water swear against it, Boats. None that I more love than myself. You And gape at wid'st to glut him. are a counsellor; if you can command these ele

[A confused noise within.]—Mercy on us! (dren! ments to silence, and work the peace of the present, We split, we split!-Farewell

, my wife and chilwe will not hand a rope more; use your authority. Farewell

, brother! We split, we split, we split:If you cannot, give thanks you have lived so long,

Ant. Let 's all sink with the king

(Exit. and make yourself ready in your cabin for the

Seb. Let 's take leave of him.

'Exit. mischance of the hour, if it so hap.-Cheerly, good

Gon. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of hearts.-Out of our way, I say.

(E.cit. sea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown Gon. I have great comfort from this fellow: furze, anything: The wills above be done! but I methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him; would fain die a dry death.

[Exit. his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good fate, to his hanging ! make the rope of his

SCENE II.— The Island: before the Call of destiny our cable, for our own doth little advan

Prospero. tage! If he be not born to be hanged our case is

Enter PROSPERO and MIRANDA. miserable.

[Exeunt. Mira. If by your art, my dearest father, you have Re-enter Boatswain.

Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them : Borts. Down with the topmast; yare; lower, The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch, lower ; bring her to try with main-course. [A cry But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheek, within.] A plague upon this howling! they are Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffer'd Louder than the weather or our office,

With those that I saw suffer! a brave vessel,

Who had no doubt some noble creature in her, But blessedly holp hither.
Dash'd all to pieces. O, the
cry did knock

Mira,

O, my heart bleeds Against my very heart! Poor souls! they pe- To think o'the teen that I have turn'd you to, (ther. rished.

Which is from my remembrance! Please you far. Had I been any god of power, I would

Pro. My brother, and thy uncle, call’d Antonio,Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e'er

I pray thee mark me that a brother should It should the good ship so have swallowed, and Be so perfidious;—he whom, next thyself, The fraughting souls within her.

Of all the world I lov'd, and to him put Pro.

Be collected; The manage of my state, as, at that time, No more amazement: tell your piteous heart, Through all the signiories it was the first, There 's no harm done.

And Prospero the prime duke, being so reputed Mira, O, woe the day!

In dignity; and for the liberal arts Pro.

No harm. Without a parallel : those being all my study, I have done nothing but in care of thee,

The government I cast upon my brother, Of thee, my dear one! thee, my daughter !) who And to my state grew stranger, being transported, Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing

And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncleOf whence I am; nor that I am more better Dost thou attend me? Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell,

Mira,

Sir, most heedfully. And thy no greater father.

Pro. Being once perfected how to grant suits, Mira,

More to know

How to deny them; whom to advance, and whom Did never meddle with my thoughts.

To thrash for overtopping; new created Pro.

'T is time Thecreatures that were mine, I say, or chang'd them I should inform thee farther. Lend thy hand, Or else new form'd them; having both the key And pluck my magic garment from me.-So; Of officer and office, set all hearts i'th' state

[Lays down his mantle. To what tune pleas'd his ear; that now he was Lie there my art.-Wipe thou thine eyes; have The ivy which had hid my princely trunk, (not. comfort.

And guck'd my verdure out on't. - Thou attend'st The direful spectacle of the wrack, which touch'd

Mira. O good sir, I do. The very virtue of compassion in thee,

Pro.

I pray thee, mark ma I have with such provision in mine art

I thus neglecting wordly ends, all dedicated So safely order'd, that there is no soul

To closeness, and the bettering of my mind No, not so much perdition as an hair,

With that, which, but by being so retir'd, Betid to any creature in the vessel [Sit down; O'er priz'd all popular rate, in my false brother Which thou heard'st ery, which thou saw'st sink. Awak'd an evil nature: and my trust, For thou must now know farther.

Like a good parent, did beget of him Mira.

You have often A falsehood, in its contrary as great Begun to tell me what I am; but stopp'd

As my trust was; which had, indeed, no limit, And left me to a bootless inquisition;

A confidence sans bounds. He being thus lorded, Concluding, “Stay, not yet."

Not only with what my revenue yielded, Pro,

The hour's now come; But what my power might else exact, ---like one The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;

Who having unto truth, by telling of it,
Obey, and be attentive. Canst thou remember Made such a sinner of his memory,
A time before we came unto this cell?

To credit his own lie,-he did believe
I do not think thou canst; for then thou wast not He was indeed the duke; out of the substitution,
Out three years old.

And executing the outward face of royalty, Mira,

Certainly, sir, I can. With all prerogative: Hence his ambition growing, Pro. By what? by any other house, or person? Dost thou hear? Of anything the image tell me that

Mira. Your tale, sir, would cure deafness. Hath kept with thy remembrance.

Pro. To have no screen between this part he Mira.

'T is far off;

play'd,
And rather like a dream than an assurance And him he play'd it for, he needs will be
That my remembrance warrants: Had I not Absolute Milan: Me, poor man! my library
Four or five women once that tended me?

(it is Was dukedom large enough; of temporal royalties
Pro. Thou hadst, and more, Miranda: But how He thinks me now incapable: confederates
That this lives in thy mind? What see'st thou else (So dry he was for sway) with the King of Naples,
In the dark backward and abysm of time? To give him annual tribute, do him homage;
If thou remember'st aught ere thou cam'st here, Subject his coronet to his crown, and bend
How thou cam'st here thou mayst.

The dukedom, yet unbow'd, (alas poor Milan!) Mira.

But that I do not. To most ignoble stooping. Pro. Twelve year since, Miranda, twelve year Mira.

O the heavens! (me since

Pro. Mark his condition, and the event; then tell Thy father was the Duke of Milan, and

If this might be a brother. A prince of power.

Mira,

I should sin
Mira.

Sir, are not you my father ? To think but nobly of my grandmother:
Pro. Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and Good wombs have borne bad sons.
She said thou wast my daughter; and thy father Pro.

Now the condition Was Duke of Milan; and his only heir

This King of Naples, being an enemy And princess no worse issued.

To me inveterate, hearkens my brother's suit; Móra.

O, the heavens !

Which was, that he, in lieu o'the premises What foul play had we, that we came from thence? Of homage, and I know not how much tribute, Or blessed was 't we did ?

Should presently extirpate me and mine Pro.

Both, both, my girl; Out of the dukedom; and confer tair Milan, By foul play, as thou say'st, were we beav'd thence; With all the honours, on my brother: Whereon,

cursors

A treacherous army levied, one midnight

1

Approach, my Ariel; come. Fated to the purpose, did Antonio open

Enter ARIEL
The gates of Milan; and, i'the dead of darkness, Ari. All hail, great master! grave sir, hail| 1 coms
The ministers for the purpose hurried thence To answer thy best pleasure; be 't to fly,
Me, and thy crying self.

To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride
Mira.
Alack, for pity!

On the curl'd clouds: to thy strong bidding task I, not rememb'ring how I cried out then,

Ariel, and all his quality. Will cry it o'er again: it is a hint,

Pro.

Hast thou, spirit,
That wrings mine eyes to 't.
Pro.

Hear a little further,

Perform'd to point the tempest that I bade bee?

Ari. To every article.
And thep I'll bring thee to the present business I boarded the king's ship: now on the beak,
Which now's upon us; without the which, this story Now in the waist, the dock, in every cabin,
Were most impertinent.

I flam'd amazement: Sometime I d divide
Mira.

Wherefore did they not And burn in many places; on the topmast,
That hour destroy us?
Pro.
Well demanded, wench;

The yards, and bowsprit, would I flame distinctly,

Then meet, and join: Jove's lightninge, io preMy tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not (So dear the love my people bore me); nor set O'the dreadful thunder-claps, more momentary A mark so bloody on the business; but

And sight-outrunning were not: The fire, and cracks With colours fairer painted their foul ends.

Of surphurous roaring, the most mighty Neptune In few, they hurried us aboard a bark:

Seem to besiege, and make his boid waves tremble Bore us some leagues to sea; where they prepar'd Yea, his dread trident shake. A rotten carcase of a butt, not rigg'd,

Pro.

My brave spirit! Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats

Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil
Instinctively have quit it: there they hoist us, Would not infect his reasoni
To cry to the sea that roar'd to us; to sigh

Ari,

Not a soul
To the winds, whose pity, sighing back again, But felt a fever of the mad, and play'd
Did us but luring wrong.

Some tricks of desperation: All but mariners
Mira.
Alack! what trouble

Plung'd in the foaming brine, and quit the vessel, Was I then to you:

Then all a-fire with me: the king's son, Ferdinand, Pro. Ca cherubim

With hair up-stairing, (then like reeds, not hair,) Thou wast that did presere me! Thou didst smile, Was the first man that leap'd: cried, "Hell is empty, Infused with a fortitude fron." heaven,

And all the devils are here." When I have deck d the sea w.,'h drops full salt; Pro.

Why, that 's my spirit! Under my burthen groan'd: whic, rais'd in me

But was not this nigh shore ? An undergoing stomach, to bear up

Ari.

Close by, my master. Against what should ensue.

Pro. But are they, Ariel, safe ?
Mira.
How came we ashore ? Ari.

Not a hair perish'd; Pro. By Providence divine,

On their sustaining garments not a blemish,, Some food we had, and some fresh water, that But fresher than before : and, as thou bad'st me, A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,

In troops I have dispers’d them 'bout the isle: Oat of his charity (who being then appointed The king's son have I landed by himself; Master of this design), did give us; with

Whom I left cooling of the air with sighs,
Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries, In a odd angle of the isle, and sitting,
Which since have steaded much; so, of his gentle. His arms in this sad knot.
ness,

Pro.

Of the king's ship
Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me, The mariners, say, how thou hast dispos d.,
From mine own library, with volumes that And all the rest o'the fleet.
I prize above my dukedom.

Ari.

Safely in harbour Pfira.

'Would I might Is the king's ship; in the deep nook, where once But ever see that man!

Thou call'dst me up at midnight to fetch dew
Pro.
Now I arise:

From the still-vexed Bermoothes, there she's hid
Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow, The mariners all under hatches stow'd ;
Here in this island we arriv'd; and here

Whom, with a charm join'd to their suffer'd labour, Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee more profit I have left asleep: and for the rest o'the feet, Than other princess can, that have more time Which I dispers'd, they all have met again; For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful. And are upon the Mediterranean flote, Mira. Heavens thank you for 't! And now, I Bund sadly home for Naples ; pray you, sir,

Supposing that they saw the king's ship wrack'd (For still 't is beating in my mind,) your reason And his great person perish. For raising this sea-storm?

Pro.

Ariel, thy charm Pro.

Know thus far forth. Exactly is perform'd; but there's more work. By accident most strange, bountiful Fortune, What is the time o'the day? Now my dear lady, hath mine enemies

Ari.

Past the mid season. Brought to this shore: and by my prescience Pro. At least two glasses : The time 'twixt six I find my zenith doth depend upon

and now A most auspicious star; whose influence

Must by us both be spent most preciously. (pairs, If now I court not, but omit, my fortunes

Ari. 'Is there more toil? Since thou (lost give me Will ever after droop.-Here cease more questions; Lot me remember thee what thou hast promis'd, Thou art inclined to sleep; 't is a good dulness, Which is not yet perform'd me. And give it way;-I know thou canst not choosp. Pro.

How now? moody? (MIRANDA Sleepe. What is 't thou canst demand ? Come away, servant, come: I am ready nowy;

Ari.

My liberty

and envy,

Pro. Before the time be out? no more.

Awake, dear heart, awake! thou hast slept well; Ari.

I prithee Awake!
Remember, I have done thee worthy service; Mira. The strangeness of your story put
Told thee no lies, made thee no mistakings, serv'd Heaviness in me.
Without or grudge, or grumblings: thou didst Pro.

Shake it off: Come on;
To bate me a full year.

[promise We'll visit Caliban, my slave, who never Pro. Dost thou forget

Yields us kind answer. From what a torment I did free thee?

Mira.

'T is a villain, sır, Ari.

No.

I do not love to look on. Pro. Thou dost; and think'st it much to tread Pro.

But, as 't is, Of the salt deep;

[the ooze We cannot miss him : he does make our fire, To run upon the sharp wind of the north; Fetch in our wood, and serves in offices To do me business in the veins o' the earth, That profit us. What ho! slave! Caliban! When it is bak'd with frost.

Thou earth, thou ! speak. Ari.

I do not, sir.

Cal. [Within.] There 's wood enough within. Pro. Thou liest, malignant thing! Hast thou Pro. Come forth, I say; there 's other business forgot

Come, thou tortoise ! when!

(for thee: The foul witch Sycorax, who, with age

Re-enter ARIEL, like a water-nymph.
Was grown into a hoop? hast thou forgot her?
Ari. No, sir.

(tell me.

Fine apparition! My quaint Ariel,

Hark in thine ear. Pro. Thou hast: Where was she born? speak;

Ari. Ari. Sir, in Argier.

My lord, it shall be done. (Exit. Pro. 0, was she so? I must

Pro. Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil

Upon thy wicked dam, come forth! [himselt Once in a month, recount what thou hast been, Which thou forgettist. This damn'd witch, Sycorax,

Enter CALIBAN. For mischiefs manifold, and sorceries terrible Cal. As wicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd To enter human hearing, from Argier,

With raven's feather from unwholesome fen, Thou know'st, was banish'd; for one thing she did Drop on you both! a south-west blow on ye, They would not take her life: Is not this true? And blister you all o'er.

(cramps, Ari. Ay, sir.

[with child, Pro. For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have Pro. This blue-eyed hag was hither brought Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins And here was left by the sailors: Thou, my slave, Shall, for that vast of night that they may work, As thou report'st thyself, wast thou her servant: All exercise on thee: thou shalt be pinch'd And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate

As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging To act her earthy and abhorr'd conimands, Than bees that made them. Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee, Cal.

I must eat my dinner. By help of her more potent ministers,

This island 's mine, by Sycorax my mother, And in her most unmitigable rage,

Which thou tak'st from me. When thou camest Into a cloven pine; within which rift

first, Imprison'd, thou didst painfully remain

Thou strok’dst me, and mad'st much of me; wouldst A dozen years, within which space she died,

give me And left thee there; where thou didst vent thy Water with berries in 't; and teach me how groans,

To name the bigger light, and how the less, As fast as mill-wheels strike: Then was this island That burn by day and night: and then I lov'd thee, (Save for the son that she did litter here,

And show'd thee all the qualities o' the isle, A freckled whelp, hag-born) not honour'd with The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place, and A human shape.

fertile; Ari. Yes; Caliban her son.

Cursed be I that did so !-All the charms Pro. Dull thing, I say so; he, that Caliban, Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you! Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know'st For I am all the subjects that you have, What torment I did find thee in: thy groans Which first was mine own king; and here you Did make wolves howl, and penetrate the breasts

sty me Of ever-angry bears : it was a torment

In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me To lay upon the damn'd, which Sycorax.

The rest of the island. Could not again undo; it was mine art,

Pro.

Thou most lying slave, When I arriv'd, and heard thee, that made gape Whom stripes may move, not kindness : I have The pine, and let thee out.

usd thee, Ari.

I thank thee, master. Filth as thou art, with human care ; and lodg'd thee Pro. If thou more murmur'st, I will rand an oak, In mine own cell, till thou didst seek to violate And peg thee in his knotty entrails, till

The honour of my child. Thou hast howl'd away twelve winters.

Cal. O ho, O ho!- 'would it had been done!

Pardon, master; Thou didst prevent me; I had peopled else I will be correspondent to command,

This isle with Calibans. And do my spriting gently.

Pro.

Abhorred slave; Pro.

Do so; and after two days Which any print of goodness will not take, I will discharge thee.

Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee, [hour Ari.

That's my noble master! Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each What shall I do? say what: what shall I do? One thing or other : when thou didst not, savage,

Pro. Go make thyself like a nymph o' the sea; Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like Be subject to no sight but thine and mine; invisible A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy purposes To every eyeball else. Go, take this shape, With words that made them known: But thy vile And hither come in 't: go, hence, with diligence.

(natures [Exit ARIEL | Though thou didst learn, had that in 't which good

race,

а

Ari.

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