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spere; and therefore if any original Letter or other MS. of his shall ever be discovered, his name will appear in that form." This prophecy has been partly realized. The autograph of Shakspere, corresponding in its orthography with the other documents, was found in a small folio volume, the first edition of Florio's translation of Montaigne, having been sixty years in the possession of the Rev. Edward Patteson, minister of Smethwick, near Birmingham. In 1838 the volume was sold by auction, and purchased by the British Museum for one hundred pounds. The deed of bargain and sale, the signature of which was copied by Malone in 1796, was sold by auction in 1841, and was purchased by the Corporation of London for one hundred and forty-five pounds. The purchase was recently denounced in the Court of Common Council as "a most wasteful and prodigal expenditure;" but it was defended upon the ground that " it was not very likely that the purchase of the autograph would be acted upon as a precedent, for Shakspere stood alone in the history of the literature of the world." Honoured be those who have thus shown a reverence for the name of Shakspere! It is a symptom of returning health in the Corporation of London, after a long plethora, which might have ended in sudden death. In former ages she has been the assertor of liberty and the encourager of learning. She has called in the poet to her pageants and the painter to her high festivals. In later times she has been remarkable for tasteless sensuality and grovelling corruption. Folly has sat in her high places, and her state and ancientry have been child's play and burlesque. If the altered spirit of the majority is willing thus to reverence the symbol of the highest literature in Shakspere's autograph, that spirit will lead to a wise employment of the civic riches, in the encouragement of intellectual efforts in their own day. The halls of London will be hung with the pictured chronicles of the great deeds of London's citizens. Taste will preside over their architectural changes. The palm will be bestowed upon the most worthy, and the reign of jobbing will be at an end. The cultivation of letters will not then be considered incompatible with successful industry; and coarseness will not be deemed synonymous with common sense. May those days be hastened!
We subjoin fac-similes of the six authentic autographs of Shakspere. That at the head of the page is from the Montaigne of Florio; the left, with the seal, is from the counterpart of the Conveyance in the possession of the Corporation of London; the right, with the seal, is from Malone's fac-simile of the Mortgage-deed which has been lost; the three others are from the three sheets of the Will.
A TABLE OF SHAKSPERE'S PLAYS,
SHOWING THE POSITIVE FACTS WHICH DETERMINE THE DATES PREVIOUS TO
Out of the thirty-seven Plays of Shakspere, the dates of thirty-one are thus to some extent fixed in epochs. These dates are, of course, to be modified by other circumstances, which are stated in our Introductory Notice to each Play. There are only six Plays remaining, whose dates are not thus limited by publication, by the notice of contemporaries, or by the record of their performance; and these certainly belong to the Poet's latter period. They are
TIMON OF ATHENS,
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA,
NOTE ON THE PORTRAITS OF SHAKSPERE.
THE title-page to this volume, which has been engraved by Mr. Thompson in a style that carries the powers of wood-engraving as far as they can go, contains five portraits of Shakspere. There are several other portraits which are held to be authentic; and many which bear the imputation of being forgeries. Volumes have been written on the subject of the genuineness of Shakspere's portraits. We shall only attempt a very brief notice of those which we now publish. The design over the title of the volume exhibits the Bust upon Shakspere's Monument in three several positions. The sculptor of that monument was Gerard Johnson. The tomb itself is accurately represented at the head of Shakspere's Will. We learn the name of the sculptor from Dugdale's correspondence, published by Mr. Hamper in 1827; and we collect from the verses by Leonard Digges, prefixed to the first edition of Shakspere, that it was erected previous to 1623:
"Shakespeare, at length thy pious fellows give
The world thy works: thy works by which outlive
The fate of this portrait of Shakspere, for we may well account it as such, is a singular one. Mr. Britton, who has on many occasions manifested an enthusiastic feeling for the associations belonging to the great poet, published in 1816 Remarks on his Monumental Bust,' from which we extract the following passage:-"The Bust is the size of life; it is formed out of a block of soft stone; and was originally painted over in imitation of nature. The hands and face were of flesh colour, the eyes of a light hazel, and the hair and beard auburn; the doublet or coat was scarlet, and covered with a loose black gown, or tabard, without sleeves; the upper part of the cushion was green, the under half crimson, and the tassels gilt. Such appear to have been the original features of this important, but neglected or insulted bust. After remaining in this state above one hundred and twenty years, Mr. John Ward, grandfather to Mrs. Siddons and Mr. Kemble, caused it to be 'repaired,' and the original colours preserved, in 1748, from the profits of the representation of Othello. This was a generous, and apparently judicious act; and therefore very unlike the next
alteration it was subjected to in 1793. In that year Mr. Malone caused the bust to be covered over with one or more coats of white paint; and thus at once destroyed its original character, and greatly injured the expression of the face." It is fortunate that we live in an age when no such unscrupulous insolence as that of Malone can be again tolerated.
The small head to the right of the bust, engraved from the little print, by WILLIAM MARSHALL, prefixed to the edition of Shakspere's poems in 1640, is considered amongst the genuine portraits of Shakspere. It is probably reduced, with alterations, from the print by MARTIN DROESHOUT, which is prefixed to the folio of 1623. This portrait appears at the bottom of our title. The original engraving is not a good one; and as the plate furnished the portraits to three subsequent editions, it is not easy to find a good impression. The persons who published this portrait were the friends of Shakspere. It was published at a time when his features would be well recollected by many of his contemporaries. The accuracy of the resemblance is also attested by the following lines from the pen of Ben Jonson :
"This figure, that thou here seest put,
O, could he but have drawn his wit
As well in brass, as he had hit
His face, the print would then surpass
All that was ever writ in brass.
But, since he cannot, Reader, look
Not on his Picture, but his Book.”—B. J.
Under these circumstances we are inclined to regard it as the most genuine of the portraits of Shakspere. It wants that high art which seizes upon a likeness by general resemblance, and not through the merely accurate delineation of features. The draughtsman from whom this engraving was made, and the sculptor of the bust at Stratford, were literal copyists. It is perfectly clear that they were working upon the same original.
The portrait on the right of our title is the famous CHANDOS picture, now preserved at Stowe. It has a history belonging to it which says much for its authenticity. It formerly belonged to Davenant, and afterwards to Betterton. When in Betterton's possession it was engraved for Rowe's edition of Shakspere's works. It subsequently passed into various hands; during which transit it was engraved, first by Vertue and afterwards by Houbraken. It became the property of the Duke of Chandos, by marriage; and thence descended to the Buckingham family. Kneller copied this portrait for Dryden, and the poet addressed to the painter the following verses as a return for his gift:*
"Shakspeare, thy gift, I place before my sight,
With awe I ask his blessing as I write ;
With reverence look on his majestic face,
Proud to be less, but of his godlike race.
His soul inspires me, while thy praise I write,
And I like Teucer under Ajax fight:
Bids thee, through me, be bold; with dauntless breast
Contemn the bad, and emulate the best:
Like his, thy critics in the attempt are lost,
When most they rail, know then, they envy most."
The portrait on the left is held to have been painted by CORNELIUS JANSEN. from it was made by Earlom, and was prefixed to an edition of King Lear, published in 1770, edited by Mr. Jennens. It has subsequently been more carefully engraved by Mr. Turner, for Mr. Boaden's ' Inquiry into the Authenticity of the Portraits of Shakspere.' This portrait has the inscription "Ete 46, 1610;" and in a scroll over the head are the words "Ut. Magus." Mr. Boaden says, "The two words are extracted from the famous Epistle of Horace to Augustus, the First of the Second Book; the particular passage this:
* This picture, by permission of the late Duke of Buckingham, was copied for the engraving in the Gallery of Portraits,' for the first time for forty years; and the copy, by Mr. Witherington, R.A., is in our possession.