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Shakespeare, almost the sole cause which renders this town interesting, or its name distinguished.
That which claims the first and most general enquiry is, the humble dwelling where this “ Mighty Genius" started into existence. The habitation is still preserv. ed, and kept open for the inspection of the curious; and, for a trifling fee, a sight of its inside may be obtained. It is situated in an obscure part of the town, in a place called Henley street. The fabric is princi pally of wood, which now seems falling to decay, and its outside of course presents to the eye but a mean appearance, and to the imagination nought but the idea of poverty. In the interior also there is nothing particularly attractive or observable. That which is most so, is, the antiquated form assumed by every object, and the singular practice, then adopted in building, of 'onė story projecting over the other. This practice is now discontinued, as it is not only dangervus, but gives an heavy and awkward appearance to any building Shakespeare, however, did not always reside in this spot. The latter period of his life was spent in a house situated in the New Street, and adjoining to the Guildhall, of which the freehold belonged to him. It is described by Dugdale, in bis history of Warwickshire, as ing a very fair house. built of brick and timber." The body of the house is still remaining, but its front has been pulled down and modernized, hut the appellation of “Shakespeare's House" is still retained by it.
The town of Stratford formerly supported a college, which, however, was dissolved in the reign of Henry the Eighth. As nothing remarkable remains on record relative to its establishment, or the particular purposes' for which it was employed, we shall pass on to the church, which is distinguished by the appellation of the Collegiate Church, is situated at the southern extremity of the town, on the margin of the river, and is supposed to have been erected as early as the time of William the Conqueror. The spot on which it is founded is conjectured to 'be near that on which the ancient monastery must have stood. The monastery,' however, and some other monuments of antiquity, in and near the town, lave long since fallen to decay, but
the Collegiate Church still braves the wreck of time, and stands as a beacon to point us to the departure of all earthly greatness.
* His sacred foot, through maný a distant day,
Has pressed the verge or Avon's watery way.” The building of this church is of the Gothic order, aud unites the appearance of very great solidity to thai of beauty. It is incircled by a large cluster of elm trees, which, casting a sombre shade around it, tends much to heighten the effect; and the avenue by which it is approached is through a long vista of trees, from wbich ihe eye can but at intervals catch a glimpse of the edifice, which, at length, wholly expanding itself to the view, and seen in conjunction with the dark shadows occasioned by the surrounding trees, while the soft murmuring of the Avon, gliding by its basis, alone disturbs the silence, presents a scene at once im. pressive and grand,
In the interior of the building there is much to attract and fix the attention of the observer. The pleasing simplicity which every object assumes, and the chaste stile in which every ornament is executed, contrasted and mingled with the grandeur reflected from its lofty and bighly coloured windows, adds much to its general beauty; while the solemn and unbroken stillness which pervades it, l'econciles to the mind that it is a fit place for the habitation of death, and the resting place of those whose“ hands have forgotten their canning.” la this situation the mind, in unison with the solemnity of the scene by which it is surrounded, will naturally revert to the occurrences of past periods, wbilst rem mbrance whispering to it that the sput then ju view enshrines all that was mortal of the sweet poet of nature, of the matchless. Shakespeare, raises it to the highest pitch of its feeling, aud bids it seek his tomb to drop the tear of sensibility, over his dust. This monument is situated in the chancel, against the north wall. In the bust wbich is intended to represent him he appears in the attitude of juspiration, with a cushion before him, holding a pen in his right hand, and his left resting on a scroll, The bust, with the ornaments, were originally painted to resemble the colours of life
conformably to the prevailing taste of the times iu which the monument was erected; the eyes being of a light hazel, and the air and beard auburn. The dress consisted of a scarlet doublet, over which was a loose black gown, without sleeves. The upper part of the cushion before him was of a crimsou colour, and the lower part green, with gilt tassels. The monument is fixed inder an arch, between Corinthian colomus of black ynarble, with gilded bases and eapitals, supporting the entablature; above which, and surmounted by a death's head, are carved his arms, and on each side is a small figure, in a sitting posture, one holding in his left hand a spade, the other, whose eyes are closed, has an inverted torch in his left hand, while the right rests upon a scroll; they are designed as symbols of mortality.
These are the relics in the church which relate to Shakespeare ; but it is also crowded, both within and without, with similar mementos of the frailness of humian life. Among them are those of several distinguished persons interred within the walls: but as nove of them can be particularly interesting to your readers, there is no necessity to enlarge on them. It will be sufficient to observe, that in the building and its contents, there is every thing to please the eye and fix the attention of the intelligent observer, and attord a bountiful repast to the contemplative mind.
From the church we must again turn to the town, and notice that Stratford possesses many other baildings; such as its guildhall, townhall, chapels, almshouses, grammar schools, market-place, &c. As, how. ever, the intention of this sketch was but to give an outline of the principal objects, I shali forbear trespassing, longer on your pages, and only briefly notice, in conclusion, that, to the honour of its inhabitants, every pussible respect has been paid to the memory of its bard. In the month of September, 1767, a Jubilee was celebrated, under the direction of Garrick and several otber gentlemen of distinction, and a statue was erected to his memory in the townball. The proceedings lasted three days, and every pageant which coortd heighten the effect was introduced, to render indelible the impression on the hearts of those who beheld it. But they, like the poet whose memory they cherished, have retired into the silent land of the grave, and their efforts may be forgotten; but bis saame is immortalized, his fame shall live in song, and beings yet unborn, charmed with his excellencies, and roused into enthusiasm hy the magic spell he holds over their souls, shall, in his own words, unanimously exclaim, o Dut" **1*181714 Take him for all in all *.87 w We ne'er shall Ijok upon his like again."
No. 39.-COST OF A KING'S GIFT. ABOUT the commencement of the late reign, the duke of Chandos was one day riding by the side of his majesty s carriage, which was drawn by four black horses. The king, seeing that he admired them, said " I observe, Chandos, that you are very much pleased with this set of horses; now I don't much esteem them; they are your's; speak to Rutland, and he'll give them to you.
The duke thanked his majesty, and next day waited on the Master of the Horse, who presently told him, that the king had signified to him the purport of bis visit, and wished to know wheu he should be ready to receive them. “. Any time you please,” replied the duke," but, by the bye, will you be good enough to inform me, for I am aware there are such things, what are the proper fees on these occasions?” The duke of Rutland said, he did not exactly recollect, but that he should be made acquainted with them when he was put in possession of the horses
In a few days a spruce gentleman waited on the duke with the cattle; and, at the same time, insinuated into his hand a small piece of paper, which, he said, he understood his Grace had desired to have. The duke had scarcely replied in the astirmative, when, casting his eye over it, he saw that there was three hundred pounds to pay for fees! Startled at this, he put on as No. 39.
good a face as he could command, and said, he was very sorry to be obliged to trouble the gentleman to take the horses back, but that really he was not ready to receive them. The gentleman obeyed, and the duke, safely rid of both parties, resolved never to request their attendance there again. Shortly after, the king, hearing that the old black set were still in his stable, took an opportunity of asking the duke why he did not send for them, to which the peer replied, with a smile,“ Upon my honour, your Majesty, I cannot afford to accept your present.
WALTER PARSONS. THIS man was born in Staffordshire, and was at first apprentice to a smith, when he grew so tall that a hole was made for him in the ground, to stand therein up. to the knees, so as to bring bim to a level with his fellow workmen. He afterwards was porter to king James; because gates being generally higher than the rest of the parts of the building, it was proper that the porter should be taller than other persons. He was proportionable in all his members, and bad strength equal to his height, valour equal to his strength, and good. temper equal to his valour: so that he disdained to do an injury to any single person.
He would take two of the tallest yeomen of the guards in his arms at once, and order them as he pleased. His height was seven feet four inches.
ANCIENT REGULATIONS. THE company of Merchant Adventurers, at Newcastle, was instituted by king John. Some of their acts, relating to the behaviour of apprentices, exhibit an interesting picture of former dress and manners. In 1554, an act for the apparel of apprentices thus inveighs against the excesses of the times, “. What dyseng, cardeng, and mummyng; what typling, daunsenge, and braseng of harlots! what garded cotes, jagged hose lyned with silke, and cut shoes! what use of gitternes by night, what wearynge of berds! what daggers,