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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

FROM
THE BEQUEST OF
EVERT JANSEN WENDELL

1918

TO

THE ADMIRERS

OF

Honie-Tong'd Shakspeare,”

AND OF THE OTHER ILLUSTRIOUS SPIRITS OF

THE GOLDEN AGE OF ENGLAND,

THESE VOLUMES,

WITH TRUE HUMBLENESS,

AND ENTIRE DEVOTEDNESS TO THE SUB' GUT,

ARE RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,

BY

THEIR FELLOW-WORSHIPPER,

AND VERY OBEDIENT SERVANT,

THE AUTHOR.

HERE BEGINNETH THE STORY

OF

SHAKSPEARE AND HIS FRIENDS.

SHAKSPEARE.

BEN JONSON.

CHAPTER I.

play of carving, in fruits and foliage.

A large vase of living flowers, that filled With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come,

the chamber with a ravishing sweetness, And let my liver rather heat with wine

stood beside the fire-dogs. One broad Than my heart cool with morlifying groans. Why should a man whose blood is warm within

casement, composed of many little panes Sit like his grand-ire cut in alabaster?

let into pieces of lead, looked out upon Sleep when he wakes ?–and creep into the jaundice the river, and the centre part of it being By being peevish?

open like a door, at divers times might Soul of the age ! Th' applause, delighi,-the wonder of our stage !

be heard the mellow “ye, ho!” of the My Shakspeare, rise !

bargeman working his oar, as he piloted

bis heavy craft toward the city wharves; I PRYTHEE have patience, courteous or, mayhap, softened in the distance, the reader! the whilst I describe a certain burden of a popular ballad, sung by a chamber well worthy of most minute de party of merry apprentices going a pleaslineation-as thou wilt see anon–from uring on the water. At one end of the its having been the retreat, or closet, or room there rested on the oak floor a large place retired from the public eye, in heavy press of dark walnut-tree wood, which the master spirit of his age, and ornamented with rude carvings of Adam the glory of all times to come, did first and Eve, and the tree of knowledge; and develop ihose right famous qualities from opposite stood an ancient bookcase, the which the world hath received such in- shelves of which supported a number of fafinite profit and delight. I will not mous black-letter volumes, folios and othtrouble thee with a vain show of phrases ers, cased in parchment or roan bindings. architectural, which crabbed antiquari. On several narrow, high-backed chairs, ans do much affect; for I am not learned of carved oak, might be seen different in the mystery of stone and timber; but articles of apparel--a hat on one, a cloak what true heart and simple skill can do on another, and mayhap, a rapier resting with language, will I essay, to give thee against a third. In one corner were sunan accurate conception of a place that dry swords and a matchlock; in another, hath so many admirable recommenda- divers pieces of old armor. tions to thy attention.

tankard, and the remains of the morning It was a room of no extraordinary di- repast, stood upon a large table in the mensions, yet was it not stinted to space. centre of the chamber; and near the The ceiling was of a moderate height, window, before a smaller table covered and the sides of the chamber were of with papers, and in an antique arm-chair, oak, the panels of which were adorned sat its illustrious occupant. with a goodly show of delicate tracery, Although his hose were ungartered, like unto the folds of linen; and round and his doublet had been left unbraced, the chimney-piece was a most liberal dis- his right noble countenance and worship

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