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with whom Shakspeare had connected himself, was the stealing of “ deer and conies.” This violation of the rights of property, must not, however, be estimated with the rigor which would at the present day attach to a similar offence. In those ruder ages, the spirit of Robin Hood was yet abroad, and deer and coney-stealing classed, with robbing orchards, among the more adventurous but ordinary levities of youth. It was considered in the light of an indiscretion, rather than of a criminal offence; and in this particular, the young men of Stratford were countenanced by the practice of the students of the Universities. In these hazardous exploits, Shakspeare was not backward in accompanying his comrades. The person in whose neighborhood, perhaps on whose property, these encroachments were made, was of all others the individual from whose hands they were least likely to escape with impunity in case of detection. Sir Thomas Lucy was a Puritan; and the severity of manners which has always characterized this sect, would teach him to extend very little indulgence to the excesses of Shakspeare and his wilful companions. He was besides a game preserver: in his place, as a member of parliament, he had been an active instrument in the formation or the game laws: and the tresspasses of our poet, whether committed on the demesne of himself or others, were as offensive to his predilections as to his principles. Shakspeare and his compeers were discovered, and fell under the rigid lash of Sir Thomas Lucy's authority and resentment. The knight attacked the poet with the penalties of the law; and the poet revenged himself by sticking the following satirical copy of verses on the knight's park.

" A parliement member, a justice of peace,
At home a poore scarecrowe, in London an asse ;
If Lucy is Lowsie, as some volke misscall it,
Synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it.
He thinks hymself greate, yct an asse in hys state
We allowe bye his eares but with asses to mate ;
If Lucy is Lowsie, as some volke misscall it,
Synge Lowsie Lucy wbatever befall it.

He's a haughty proud insolent knighte of the shire,
At home nobodye loves, yet theres many him feare ;
If Lucy is Lowsie, as some volke misscall it,
Synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it.
To the sessions he went, and dyd sorely complain,
His parke had been rob'd, and his deer they were slain ;
This Lucy is Lowsie, as some volke misscall it
Synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it.

Ile sayd 'twas a ryot, his men had been beat,
His venson was stole, and clandestinely eat ;
Soe Lucy is Lowsio, as some volke misscall it,
Synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it.

Soe haughty was he when the fact was confess'd,
He said 'twas a crime that could not bee redress'd ;
Soe Lucy is Lowsie, as some volke misscall it,
Synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it.
Though Lucies a dozen he paints in his coat,
His name it shall Lowsie for Lucy bee wrote ;
For Lucy is Lowsie as some volke misscall it,
Synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it.
If a juvenile frolick he cannot forgive,
We'll synge Lowsie Lucy as long as we live ;
And Lucy the Lowsie a libel may call it,

We'll synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it." It would appear that the above song, the first effort we have received of our author's poctical talents, was not his only attempt at this kind of retaliation. It is said, in a book called a Manuscript History of the Stage, which is supposed by Malone to have been written between 1727 and 1730, " that the learned Mr. Joshua Barnes, late Greek professor of the University of Cambridge, baiting about forty years ago at an inn in Stratford, and hearing an old woman singing part of the abovesaid song, such was his respect for Mr. Shakspeare's genius, that he gave her a new gown for the two following stanzas in it; and could she have said it all, he would (as he often said in company, when any discourse has casually arose about him) have given her ten guineas.

« Sir Thomas was too covetous,

To covet so much deer;
When borns enough upon his head

Most plainly did appear.
Had not his worship one deer len?

What then? He had a wise,
Took pains enough to find him horns

Should last him during life.”

The volume in which this anecdote is found, is not much to be relied upon; for the author has been, in several instances, detected as too credulous in receiving the reports of others, or as actually criminal, in giving the reins to his imagination, and supplying the want of facts by the resources of his invention. The verses, however, which prove not to have been, as was originally supposed, part of the first satirical effusion, but the fragment of another jou d'esprit of the same kind, and on the same subject, sufficiently authenticate themselves. The quibble on the word deer, is one that was familiar with our author; and, says Whiter, “the lines may be readily conceived to hare proceeded from our young bard, before he was removed from the little circle of his native place." Besides, the author of the book in which they were first published must have possessed an intrepidity of falsehood unparalleled in the history of literary forgeries, if he had dared, so soon after the death of Joshua Barnes, to advance a story of this kind as a notorious fact, when, had it been a fiction, any of the professor's friends would have had an opportunity of contradicting him. Malone considers these verses, as well as the first, a forgery; and cites the epitaph erected by Sir Thomas Lucy, in praise of his wife, as evidence of their spuriousness. Exaggerated censure is the very essence of a satire: exaggerated praise is the universal characteristic of the epitaph. Each is equally wide of the truth: it is probable, that the real character of Lady Lucy neither warranted the panegyric of her husband, nor the severity of Shakspeare. But it would, at the present day, puzzle the ingenuity of an Edipus, to determine which was most likely to afford the fairest estimate of her worth.

The contest between Shakspeare and Sir Thomas Lucy was unequal; and the result was such as might have been anticipated, from the disproportion that existed between the strength and weapons of the opposing parties. The poet might irritate by his wit; but the magistrate could wound by his authority. It is recorded by Mr. Davies, that the knight “had him oft rohipt, and sometimes imprisoned, and at last made him fly his native country.” That the severity was undue, there can be little room for doubting. Every contemporary who has spoken of our author, has been lavish in the praise of his temper and disposition. “The gentle Shakspeare" seems to have been his distinguishing appellation. No slight portion of our enthusiasm for his writings, may be traced to the fair picture which they present of our author's character: we love the tenderness of heart - the candor and openness, and singleness of mind — the largeness of sentiment - the liberality of opinion, which the whole tenor of his works prove him to have possessed: his faults seem to have been the transient aberrations of a thoughtless moment, which reflection never failed to correct. The ebullitions of high spirits might mislead him ; but the principles and the affections never swerved from what was right. Against such a person, the extreme severity of the magistrate should not have been exerted. His youth — his genius - his accomplishments — his wife and children, should have mitigated the authority that was armed against him. The powerful enemy of Shakspeare was not to be appeased: the heart of the Puritan or the game-preserver is very rarely “framed of penetrable stuff.” Our author fled from the inflexible persecutions of his opponent, to seek a shelter in the metropolis ; and he found friends, and honor, and wealth, and fame, where he had only hoped for an asylum. Sir Thomas Lucy remained to enjoy the triumph of his victory; and he yet survives in the character of Justice Shallow, as the laughingstock of posterity, and as another specimen of the exquisite skill, with which the victim of his magisterial authority was capable of painting the peculiarities of the weak and the vain, the arrogant and the servile.

About the year 1587, in the twenty-third of his age, Shak


speare arrived in London. It is not possible to discover the inducements which led our poet, after his flight from Stratford, to seek his home and his subsistence in the neighborhood of a theatre. Probably, in the course of their travels, he might have formed an acquaintance with some of the performers, during the occasional visits which they had made to Stratford. Heminge and Burbage, distinguished performers of the time, were both Warwickshire men, and born in the vicinity of Stratford. Greene, another celebrated comedian of the day, was the townsman, and he is thought to have been the relation, of Shakspeare. On arriving in the metropolis, these were, perhaps, his only acquaintance, and they secured his introduction to the theatre. It seems, however, agreed, that his first occupation there was of the lowest order. One tradition relates, that his original office was that of call-boy, or prompter's attendant; whose employment it is, to give the performers notice to be ready to enter, as often as the business of the play requires their attendance upon the stage; while another account, which has descended in a very regular line from Sir William D'Avenant to Dr. Johnson, states, that Shakspeare's first expedient was to wait at the door of the play-house, and hold the horses of those who rode to the theatre, and had no servants to take charge of them during the hours of performance. It is said, “that he became so conspicuous in this office, for his care and readiness, that in a short time, every man as he alighted called for Will Shakspeare; and scarcely any other waiter was trusted with a horse, while Will Shakspeare could be had. This was the first dawn of better fortune. Shakspeare finding more horses put into his hand than he could hold, hired boys to wait under his inspection, who, when Will Shakspeare was summoned, were immediately to present themselves, I am Shakspeare's boy, sir. In time, Shakspeare found higher employment, but as long as the practice of riding to the play-house continued, the waiters that held the horses retained the appellation of Shakspeare's boys. That the above anecdote was really communicated by Pope, there is no room to doubt. This fact Dr. Johnson states upon his own authority, and coming from such a source, the story is

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