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Shakespeare and his fellows : an attempt to decipher the man and his nature online

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personage.

On the whole, there is every reason to believe
that Shakespeare's expectations of happiness
were realised, when, attaining the end towards
which he had been tending for many years, he

* Titus Andronicus, II. i. 93.
233



SHAKESPEARE AND HIS FELLOWS

came back to end his days in Stratford. But
however happy he may have been in the fellow-
ship of domestic life and in his relations with the
townsfolk of Stratford and the surrounding
gentry, he was not forgetful of his fellows, the
players, and of his chosen friends among the
playwrights. We have found him engaged, in
one of his visits to London, in co-operating with
Burbage in devising an Impresa for the Earl of
Rutland, and in the diary of the Rev. John
Ward, who became Vicar of Stratford in the year
1662, there is this note : ' Shakespeare, Drayton
and Ben Jhonson had a merry meeting, and it
seems drunk too hard, for Shakespeare died of a
feavour there contracted.'

The meeting of these men, united to Shake-
speare in the fellowship of letters, we may accept
as a fact, and also that their meeting was a merry
one. That they drank too hard is not a recorded
fact, but an inference drawn by the worthy rector
from the fact that Shakespeare contracted a
fever, from the effects of which he died. This is
the meaning of the words ' it seems.' There
was no reason why such an inference should have
been drawn. There can be no doubt that the
fever by which Shakespeare was carried off was
the epidemic of fever which was then raging.
' The first quarter of the seventeenth century

234



FAMILY AND FRIENDS

was marked by the appearance of epidemic
fevers more malignant in type than the old-
fashioned tertian and ague.' To this should be
added the insanitary condition of the sur-
roundings of New Place.*

" The cause of Shakespeare's death is unde-
termined. Chapel Lane, which ran beside his
house, was known as a noisome resort of straying
pigs, and the insanitary atmosphere is likely to
have prejudiced the failing health of a neigh-
bouring resident. "f

The design which the writer of this chapter
kept in view was to present Shakespeare as he
may be seen in his relations with his family and
friends, leaving it to the reader to draw any
inferences as to the character of the man which
the recorded facts may seem to suggest.

It sometimes happens that a painter can be
found with skill to collect from casual sketches
and stray hints an understanding of a man
whom he has not seen, and to give expression to
his conception in a portrait which bears a fair
resemblance to life. In the future it may fall to

* See Shakespeare, his Family and Friends (Elton), where
interesting information on this subject is collected,
f Life of Shakespeare, p. 484 (Sir Sidney Lee).

235



SHAKESPEARE AND HIS FELLOWS

the lot of some Artist, from a study of Shake-
speare in his works, aided by the testimony of his
fellows, and by such scattered hints as are here
collected, to give to the world a portrait in words
which will be accepted as an adequate present-
ment of the Master. If what has been here
written should in any degree tend to this result,
and if it should, in the meantime, assist a student
who desires to form for himself a conception of
the man and his nature, in an endeavour to hold
by what is true, and to reject what is false, the
purpose of the writer will have been fulfilled.



236



INDEX



BAGEH0T

Bagehot, Walter, 8, 209
Baker, Professor G. P., 106
Barnfield, Richard, 36
Better ton, 82, 172
Beaumont, 1 19
Books. See Library.
Brandes, Dr. George, 152, 200
Browning on the Sonnets, 10
Bryskett, Lodovick, friend of

Spenser, 30-2, 40, 45
Bullen, A. //., 96, 145, 146

Carter, Rev. Thomas, 166
Chettle, Henry, publishes Greene's
Groatswortb of Wit, 10 1 ;
expresses regret, 103 ; his
estimate of Shakespeare, 89,
103 ; wrote for the stage, 108 ;
appeals to Shakespeare to sing
the praises of Elizabeth, 42,
109, 168
Colin Clouts Come Home Again, 4,

*4> 2 5> 32, H9

Collins, Churton, 59, 63

Davenant, Sir William, 81,

85-8, 171, 221
Deer-stealing, how esteemed, 232
Digges, Leonard, 56, 12 1-2
Dowden, Edward, 8, 21, 84, 167,

199, 207, 208
Drayton, Michael, his character,

112; friend of Izaak Walton,



FAMILY

112; friend of Shakespeare,
109, 113; connection with
Stratford, no
Drummond of Hawtbornden, 37,
1 14-16



Elton, Charles, 84, 87, 176-80,
193,211,235



Family and Friends, Shake-
speare's relations with, 170-
236 ; life of, by Rowe, 170-5 ;
assisted by Betterton, 171 ; no
hint of unhappy relations with
wife, 175 ; inferences recently
drawn from circumstances of
marriage, 176 ; result of Mr.
Elton's investigations, 176-80;
ecclesiastical law then in force,
179-81 ; his wife eight years
his senior, 181 ; speech of
Orsino, 182 ; Shakespeare's
homing instinct, 183 ; pur-
chases property at Stratford,
184 ; explanation of his will,
186-91 ; his widow main-
tained by daughter and her
husband, 187 ; reason sug-
gested for this provision, 188 ;
draft of will altered by im-
posing a trust, 187 ; and by
gift of bed to wife, 190 ; her



237



INDEX



FELLOW

character, 195 ; his daughter

Susanna, 197-9
Fellow, sense in which the word is

used, 6
Fuller, T., 119
Furness, Horace, 62, 224

Gosse, Edmund, 37

Greene, Robert, authorship of the
first part of Henry VI., 91 ;
representative of the univer-
sity pens, 92 ; estimate of his
genius, 94 ; his Groatsworth
of Wit, 96-102 ; miserable
condition of the author, 96 ;
how far autobiographical,96-9;
his address to the playwrights,
99-101 ; reference to Shake-
speare, 100 ; apology for
Greene's bitterness, 101 ; pub-
lished after his death by
Chettle, 101 ; who expresses
his regret, 103

Hall, Susanna (daughter of
Shakespeare), married to Dr.
John Hall, 189; inscription on
her monument, 197; descrip-
tive of her character, 197

Halliwell-Phillipps, 61, 186, 189,
192, 195

Harvey, Gabriel, 14, 19, 26, 28,

33-4, 94, 218
Holinsbed's Chronicles, 217, 219
Horses, story as to Shakespeare's

holding, 81-5 ; his knowledge

of, 84

Ireland, Shakespeare's refer-
ences to, 51



Jonson, Ben, a ' fellow ' of
Shakespeare's, 5 ; regarded as



MARLOWE

malevolent by the players, 54 ;
Shakespeare preferred to, by
the players, 77 ; his fellowship
with Shakespeare, 114-36;
described by Drummond,
115; friendly relations with
Shakespeare, 118; rivalry as
a dramatist, 121-5 ; Shake-
speare's ' purge,' 123 ; quar-
rels with fellow dramatists,
1 26-30; his Poetaster, 127-31 ;
did he intend Shakespeare by
Virgil ? 129-31 ; greatness of
his tributes to the memory
of Shakespeare, 1 3 1—5 ; with
Shakespeare before his death,
234

Kempe, William, 122
Knight, Joseph, 64

Lee, Sir Sidney, 2, 10, 16, 62,
64, 84, 122, 139, 152, 184, 189

Library, Prospero's love of his,
207 ; meaning of the word
in Shakespeare's time, 208 ;
Shakespeare's library, 210-31 ;
his ' study of books ' disposed
of by Dr. Hall, 210 ; his
'Montaigne,' 202, 216; his
'Ovid,' 212; Holinshed's
Chronicles, 217-19 ; North's
Plutarch, 219 ; Mantuan, 223 ;
Priscian, 225 ; the Book of
Sport, 226 ; evidences of in
library, 226-31 ; books on
horsemanship, 230

Malone, Edmund, 64, 82

Mantuan, 223, 224

Marlowe, Christopher, Swin-
burne's estimate of, 137, 153 ;
prepared the way for Shake-



238



INDEX



MASSON

speare, 137 ; 'by profession a
scholler,' 138 ; uncertainty as
to early life of, 138 5 friend of
Raleigh, 139 ; tragedy of his
death, 141 ; misrepresentations
of certain writers, 142-4 ;
prosecution for atheism, 144-7;
how far charge well founded,
146-7 ; beloved by his fellows,
147 ; Shakespeare's tribute to
his memory, 149 ; and re-
ferences to his works, 150, 151 ;
Tamburlaine, 153; Hero and
Leander, 141, 144, 149, 155 5
influence on Shakespeare, 151,
155 ; the creator of English
blank verse, 152 ; effect of the
Classical Renaissance, 157; his
aggressive atheism, 159, 161 ;
its effect on the mind of Shake-
speare, 160, 166 ; what was
Shakespeare's creed ? 161 ;
Shakespeare's attitude to-
wards religious questions, 162-
8 5 attributed to the influence
of Marlowe, 161 ; firm grasp
of realities, with indifference
to lesser matters, 162; his
attitude towards Puritans,
163, 164 ; statement that he
'dyed a papist,' 164; ac-
counted for, 165 ; his know-
ledge of the Bible, 165, 166
Masson, Professor, 20, 41, 42
Mathews, Brander, 88
Meres, Francis {Palladis Tamia),

17, 108, 117, 142
Midsummer Night's Dream, refer-
ence to Shakespeare, 39
Milton, 120, 162
Montaigne, 202, 216

Nash, Thomas, distinction at St.
John's College, Cambridge,



PLAYERS

107 ; dissipation and early
death, 107, 108 5 his Pierce
Peniless quoted, 20



Ovid, 212, 213, 225



Passionate Pilgrim, The, 35

Peele, George, representative of
university pens, 106 ; suc-
cessful career at Oxford, 107 ;
powers wasted in dissipation,
107 ; early death, 107

Phillips, Augustine, 67

Pierce Peniless, 20

Players, The, their pride in
Shakespeare, 54-6 ; publish
his plays, 55 ; neglected by
the literary world, 56 ; pre-
servation due to fellow players,
58 ; text of the First Folio,
59-62 ; value of this edition,
62, 63 ; players closely asso-
ciated with Shakespeare :
Heming, 63-5 ; Burbage, 64-6,
Condell, 65 ; Phillips, 67, 68 ;
great wealth of Edward Alleyn,
66 ; due in part to bear-bait-
ing, 66, 67 ; position of
players when joined by Shake-
speare, 68, 69 ; origin of the
companies of players, 69-71 ;
servants of Duke Theseus, 70 ;
companies of different classes,
71 ; the company at Elsinore,
71-3 ; Hamlet's converse with
them, 72, 73 ; The Returne
jromPernassus, 74-9 ; Kempe's
praise of Shakespeare, jj ;
the scholars' estimate of
players, 78 ; suggested re-
ference to Shakespeare, 78 ;
players envied by university



239



INDEX



PLUTARCH

wits, 80 ; Shakespeare's intro-
duction to the players, 81 ;
story of his holding horses, its
authenticity considered, 81-85;
value of the incident, 84;
traced to Sir William Dave-
nant, 85 ; his authority as a
witness, 85-8 ; Shakespeare as
an actor, 88, 89 ; his loyalty
to his profession, and to his
fellows, 4

Plutarch, his idea of biography,
2 ; Shakespeare's indebted-
ness to, 216

Priscian, 224



Quiney, Judith (daughter of
Shakespeare), little known of,
200 5 Sir Walter Raleigh's
estimate of, 200



Raleigh, Sir Walter, 12-15, 2 ^»

Raleigh, Sir Walter (Professor),
52, 63, 199, 200

Ratseis Ghost, 80

Returne jrom Pernassus, The,
value of the play, 74 ; refer-
ence to Shakespeare, 77 ; esti-
mate by the players, 78-80 ;
referred to, 93, 123, 131, 148,
213

Rowe, Nicholas, 82, 170-175



Saintsbury, George, 205

Shakespeare, Anne (see Family

and Friends), inscription on

her monument, 193 ; her

character, 194-6

Shakespeare, William, studied



SPENSER

in his plays, 7-9 ; in his
sonnets, 9-1 1; contempo-
rary references, 3, 4 ; testi-
mony of his ' fellows,' 3-7 ;
meaning of the word, 6 ;
earliest reference to, 12 ; rela-
tions with Spenser, 12-53 (see
Spenser, Edmund) ; with fellow
players, 54-90 (see Players);
with university pens, 91-113
(see University Pens) ; with
Ben Jonson, 1 14-136 (see Ben
Jonson); with Marlowe, 137-
64 (see Marlowe, Christopher) ;
with family and friends, 170-
236 (see Family and Friends) ;
compared to Prospero, 199;
his daughter Judith, 200 ;
borrows ideas from Montaigne,
202-206 ; Gonzalo's speech,
202 ; Prospero's, 204 ; cha-
racter of his last plays, 206 ;
Prospero's love of his library,
207 ; Shakespeare's books (see
Library) ; last years of life,
232 ; his will, 185-9 > death, 234
Shakespeare's Centurie of Pray se,

4
Sidney, Sir Philip, 28
Sonnets, Shakespeare's, 9-1 1, 196,

214
Spenser, Edmund, visited at
Rilcolman by Raleigh who
brings him to London, 13 ;
Spenser returns in 1591, 14;
account of his visit in Colin
Clouts Come Home Again,
14-18 ; reference to poets of
the day, 14-18 ; to Shake-
speare as Aetion, 15 ; this
reference explained, 19, 24 ;
the word ' gentle ' applied to
Shakespeare, 24 ; significance
as used by Spenser, 24-7; his



24O



INDEX



SWINBURNE

need of friendship, 28 ; friend-
ship with Lodovick Bryskett,
30, 31 ; reads to his friends
parcels of the Faerie Queene,
31 ; his visit to London in
1595, 32; evidence of friend-
ship with Shakespeare, 33-6 ;
castle of Kilcolman burned, 37;
return to London and death,
37 ; Shakespeare's reference
to his death, 37-43 ; his learn-
ing, 40 ; his Irish policy, 43-
51 ; attributed by Shake-
speare to Richard II., 44
Swinburne, A. C., 22, 137, 152-5

Tyrrell, Robert, Y. 219



WORD9WORTH

University Pens, The, the result
of the new learning, 92 ; debt
due to them by literature,
IC4-6 : prepared the way for
Shakespeare, 106; their lives
contrasted with representative
players, ic6 : not found among
Shakespeare's friends, 108, III.
See Greene, Robert; Peele,
George ; Nash, Thomas.

Venus and Adonis, 8, 17, 19

Ward, Sir A. W., 94
Wordsworth on the Sonnets, 9
Wordsworth, Bishop Charles, 161,
165



BRADBURY, AGNEW, & CO. LD., PRINTERS, LONDON AND TONBRIDGK.
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Online LibraryDodgson Hamilton MaddenShakespeare and his fellows : an attempt to decipher the man and his nature → online text (page 13 of 13)