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in opposition to the other, and then the effect is neu- presence, “full of dirt and mire," and found that he tralized. The opinion which we have formed of the was in the toils of his foes. From that Michaelmas probable admixture of the artificial and the real in till the 26th of August, 1600, Essex was in the custody the Sonnets, arising from their supposed original frag. of the Lord Keeper; in free custody as it was termed, mentary state, necessarily leads to the belief that some but to all intents a prisoner. It was at this period that are accurate illustrations of the poet's situation and Southampton and Rutland passed away the time in feelings. It is collected from these Sonnets, for ex- London merely in going to plays every day." Southample, that his profession as a player was disagreeable to ampton, in 1598, had married Elizabeth Vernon, a him; and this complaint is found amongst those portions cousin of Lord Essex. The marriage was without the which may be separated from the series of verses which consent of the Queen ; and therefore Southampton was appear to us to be written in an artificial character. It under the ban of the Court, having been peremptorily might be addressed to any one of his family, or some dismissed by Elizabeth from the office to which Essex honoured friend, such as Lord Southampton :
had appointed him in the expedition to Ireland. Rut"O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
land was also connected with Essex by family ties, The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
having married the daughter of Lady Essex, by bez That did not better for my life provide
first husband, the accomplished Sir Philip Sidney. Than public means, which public manners breeds. Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
The season when these noblemen sought recreation at And almost thence my nature is subdued
the Theatre was one therefore of calamity to themselves, To what it works in, like the dyer's hand."
and to the friend who was at the head of their party in But if from his professional occupation his nature was the state. At Sbakspere's theatre there were at this felt by him to be subdued to what it worked in,-if period abundant materials for the highest intellectual thence his name received a brand,—if vulgar scan- gratification. Of Shakspere's own works we know that dal sometimes assailed him,—he had high thoughts at the opening of the seventeenth century there were to console him, such as were never before imparted twenty plays in existence. Thirteen (considering to mortal. This was probably written in some period Henry IV.? as two parts) are recorded by Meres in of dejection, when his heart was ill at ease, and he 1598; Much Ado About Nothing,' and · Henry V. looked upon the world with a slight tinge of indif- (not in Meres' list), were printed in 1600; and we ference, if not of dislike. Every man of high genius have to add the three parts of Henry VI.' The has felt something of this. It was reserved for the Taming of the Shrew,' and the original “Hamlet,' highest to throw it off,“ like dew-drops from the lion's which are also wanting in Meres' record, but which mane.” But the profound self-abasement and despond were unquestionably produced before this period. We ency of the 74th Sonnet, exquisite as the diction is, ap- cannot with extreme precision fix the date of any nopear to us unreal, as a representation of the mental velty from the pen of Shakspere when Southampton state of William Shakspere; written, as it most proba- and Rutland were amongst his daily auditors; but bly was, at a period of his life when he revels and there is every reason to believe that “ As You Like It luxuriates (in the comedies which belong to the close belongs as nearly as possible to this exact period. It of the sixteenth century) in the spirit of enjoyment, is pleasant to speculate upon the tranquillizing effect gushing from a heart full of love for his species, at that might have been produced upon the minds of the peace with itself and with all the world.
banished courtiers by the exquisite philosophy of this About the close of the year 1599, the Blackfriars most delicious play. It is pleasant to imagine Sout:Theatre was remarkable for the constant presence of ampton visiting Essex in the splendid prison of the two men of high rank, who were there seeking amuse- Lord Keeper's house, and there repeating to him from ment and instruction as some solace for the bitter time to time those lessons of wisdom that were to be mortifications of disappointed ambition. “My Lord found in the woods of Arden. We could almost slide Southampton and Lord Rutland came not to the Court; into the belief that “ As You Like It had an especia. the one doth but very seldom; they pass away the time reference to the circumstances in which Essex and in London merely in going to plays every day."* Southampton were placed in the spring of 1600. Essex had arrived from Ireland on the 28th of Sep. There is nothing desponding in its tone, nothing essai. tember, 1599-not
tially misanthropical in its philosophy. Jaques stands “Bringing rebellion broached on his sword,”
alone in his railing against mankind. The healing
influences of not surrounded with swarms of citizens who
ature fall sweetly and fruitfully upon
the exiled Duke and his co-mates. But, nevertheless, “Go forth, and fetch their conquering Cæsar in,".
the ingratitude of the world is emphatically dwelt but a fugitive from his army; one who in his desire for upon, even amidst the most soothing aspects of a pure peace had treated with rebels, and had brought down and simple life " under the greenwood tree." upon him the censures of the Court; one who knew The period at which Essex fell upon the block, and that his sovereign was surrounded with his personal | Southampton was under condemnation, must have been enemies, and who in his reckless anger once thought to a gloomy period in the life of Shakspere. The friendturn his army homeward to compel justice at their ship of Southampton in all likelihood raised the humble hands ; one who at last rushed alone into the Queen's actor to that just appreciation of himself which could
* Letter of Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sydney, in the alone prevent his nature being subdued to what it Sydney Papers.
worked in. There had been a compromise between the inequality of rank and the inequality of intellect, and his little Hamnet,—they had watched over the growth the fruit had been a continuance and a strengthening of his Susanna and Judith. If restricted means had of that “ love" which seven years earlier had been de- at any previous period assailed them, he had provided scribed as “without end." Those ties were now broken for the comforts of their advanced age. And now that by calamity. The accomplished noble, a prisoner father, the companion of his boyhood-he who had led looking daily for death, could not know the depth of him forth into the fields and had taught him to look at the love of his “especial friend."* He was beyond nature with a practical eye-was gone. More materials the reach of any service that this friend could render for deep thought in the year 1601. The Register of him. All was gloom and uncertainty. It has been Stratford attests the death of this earliest friend, said, and we believe without any intention to depreciate the character of the great poet, that “ There seems to The fortieth volume of the registers of the Town have been a period of Shakspeare's life when his heart Council of Aberdeen contains some entries, which are was ill at ease, and ill content with the world or his not without their reference to the life of Shakspere :own conscience; the memory of hours mis-spent, the
“Nono Octobris 1601. pang of affection misplaced or unrequited, the expe
"Ordinance to the dean of gild, rience of man's worser nature, which intercourse with
"The samen day The prouest Bailleis and counsall ordanis ill-chosen associates, by choice or circumstance, pecu- the svme of threttie tua merkis to be gevin to the Kingis serLiarly teaches ;—these, as they sank down into the
wandes presently in this burcht..quna playes comedeis and depths of his great mind, seem not only to have inspired staige playes Be reasoun they ar recommendit be his majesties into it the conception of Lear and Tinion, but that of speciall letter and hes played sum of their comedies in this one primary character, the censurer of mankind." + of gild quhilk salbe allowit in his comptis."
burcht and ordanis the said svme to be payit to tham be the dean The genius of Shakspere was so essentially dramatic,
“ 22 Oct 1601. that neither Lear, nor Timon, nor Jaques, nor the Duke in Measure for Measure,' nor Hamlet, whatever cen
“The Quhilk day Sir Francis Hospitall of Haulszie Knycht
Frenschman being recommendit be his majistie to the Prouest sure of mankind they may express, can altogether be Bailleis and Counsall of this brocht to be favorablie Interteneit held to reflect “a period of Shakspeare's life when his with the gentilmen his majesties seruands efter specifeit quha heart was ill at ease, and ill content with the world." war direct to this burcht be his majestie lo accumpanie the said
Frenshman being ane nobillman of France cumming only to That period is referred to the beginning of the seven
this burcht to sie the towne and euntrie the said Frenshman teenth century, to which the plays belong that are said
with the knightis and gentillmen folowing wer all ressauit and to exhibit these attributes. But from this period there admittit Burgesses of Gild of this burcht quha gawe thair aithis is certainly a more solemn cast of thought in all the in common form folowis the names of thame that war admittit
burgesses works of the great poet. The influence of time in the
Sir Francis Hospitall of halzie knycht formation and direction of the poetical power must yet
Sir Claud Hamiltoun of Schaw feild knycht be taken into account, as well as any temper arising Sir Johm Grahame of orkill knycht out of passing events. Shakspere was now thirty-seven Sir John Ramsay of Ester Baronie knycat years of age. He had attained to the consciousness of his James Hay James Auchterlony Robert Ker James Schaw
Thomas foster James Gleghorne Dauid Drummond own intellectual strength, and he had acquired by long
Seruitors to his Majestie practice the mastery of his own genius. He had already
Monsieur de Scheyne Monsieur la Bar Seruitours to the said learnt to direct the stage to higher and nobler purposes Sir Francis than those of mere amusement. It might be carried farther into the teaching of the highest philosophy
James Hamiltoun seruitour to the said Sir Claud
Archibald Sym Trumpeter through the medium of the grandest poetry. The epoch
Laurence Fletcher comediane to his majestie. which produced · Othello,'' Lear,' and · Macbeth' has been described as exhibiting the genius of Shakspere in Johne Bronderstainis" full possession and habitual exercise of power, " at its | These documents present something more than the facts, very point of culmination."
that a company of players, specially recommended by The year 1601 was also a year which brought to the King, were paid a gratuity from the Corporation of Shakspere a great domestic affliction, His father died Aberdeen for their performances in that town, one of on the 8th of September of that year.
It is impossible them subsequently receiving the freedom of the borough. not to feel that Shakspere's family arrangements, im- The provost, baillies, and council ordain that thirtyperfectly as we know them, had especial reference to two marks should be given to the King's servants then the comfort and honour of his parents. When he in that borough, who played comedies and stage-plays. bought New Place in 1597, his occupations then de-The circumstance that they are recommended by the manding his presence in London through great part of King's special letter is not so important as the descripthe year, his wife and children, we may readily ima- tion of them as the King's servants. Thirteen days gine, were under the same roof with his father and after the entry of the 9th of October, at which first mother. They had sighed over the declining health of period these servants of the King had played some of
their comedies, Lawrence Fletcher, comedian to his The expression is used by Southampton in his letter to Lord Majesty, is admitted a burgess of guild of the borough Ellesmere introducing Shakspere and Burbage in 1608. See
of Aberdeen—the greatest honour which the Corporation Collier's • New Facta,' p. 33. 4 Hallam's Literature of Europe, vol. jii., p. 568.
could bestow. He is admitted to this honour in comMr. Hallam refers to 'Hamlet' in its altered fornu. pany with a nobleman of France visiting Aberdeen for
Mr Dauid Wod
the gratification of his curiosity, and recommended by | to his Majesty. This English company, then, had the King to be favourably entertained; as well as with received an honour from the Scottish King, which had three men of rank, and others, who were directed by not been bestowed upon them by the English Queen. bis Majesty to accompany " the said Frenchman." All They were popularly termed the Queen's players about the party are described in the document as knights and 1590; but, subsequently, we find them invariably m€ngentlemen. We have to inquire, then, who was Law- tioned in the cfficial entries as the Lord Chamberlain's rence Fletcher, comedian to his Majesty ? Assuredly servants. Mr. Collier, in noticing the licence Pro the King had not in his service a company of Scotch Laurentio Fletcher et Willielmo Shakespeare et aliis,' players. In 1599 he had licensed a company of says that the Lord Chamberlain's company “by virtue English comedians to play at Edinburgh. Fond as of this instrument, in which they are termed our James was of theatrical exhibitions, he had not the servants,' became the King's players, and were so after. means of gratifying his taste, except through the visits wards constantly distinguished.” But the instrument of English comedians. Scotland had no drama in the did not create Lawrence Fletcher, William Shaksere, proper sense of the word. We may safely conclude and others, the King's servants: it recognises them as that King James would have no Scottish company of the King's servants already appointed: “ Know you players, because Scotland had no dramas to play. that we, of our special guace, certain knowledge, and
“ Lawrence Fletcher, comedian to his Majesty," was mere motion, have licensed and authorised, and by these undoubtedly an Englishman; and “the King's servants presents do license and authorise, these our servants," presently in this borough who play comedies and stage- &c. They are licensed to use and exercise their art plays" were as certainly English players. There are and faculty “ as well for the recreation of our loving not many facts known by which we can trace the his subjects as for our solace and pleasure, when we sball tory of Lawrence Fletcher. He is not mentioned think good to see them." They are " to show and es. amongst the names of the principal actors in all these ercise publicly to their best commodity when the plays,” which list is given in the first foliə edition of infection of the plague shall decrease, within their now Shakspere; but he undoubtedly belonged to Shakspere's usual house called the Globe," as in all other places. company. Augustine Phillipps, who, by his will, in The justices, mayors, sheriffs, and others to whom the 1605, bequeathed a thirty-shilling piece of gold to his letters patent are addressed, are called upon to aid and “ fellow” William Shakspere, also bequeathed twenty assist them, and to do them courtesies; and she instrushillings to his “fellow" Lawrence Fletcher. But ment thus concludes : " And also what further favour there is more direct evidence than this of the connexion you shall show to these our servants for our sake we of Fletcher with Shakspere's company. The patent of shall take kindly at your hands." The terms of this James I., dated at Westminster on the nineteenth of patent exhibit towards the players of the Globe a favour May, 1603, in favour of the players acting at the Globe, and countenance, almost an affectionate solicitude for is headed “Pro Laurentio Fletcher et Willielmo Shake their welfare, which is scarcely reconcilable with a speare et aliis ;" and it licenses and authorises the per- belief that they first became the King's players by vis. formances of “ Laurence Fletcher, William Shake- tue of this instrument. James arrived in London, at speare, Richard Burbage, Augustine Phillipps, John the Charter House, on the 7th of May, 1603. He then Hemings, Henrie Condel, William Sly, Robert Armin, removed 10 the Tower, and subsequently to Greenwich Richard Cowly, and the rest of their associates.” The on the 13th. The Privy Seal, directing the letters connexion in 1603 of Fletcher and Shakspere cannot patent to Fletcher, Shakspere, and others, is dated from be more distinctly established than by this document. Greenwich on the 17th of May; and in that document Chalmers says that Fletcher “was placed before Shak- the exact words of the patent are prescribed. The speare and Richard Burbage in King James's licence words of the Privy Seal and of the patent undoubtedly as much perhaps by accident as by design.” The iraply some previous appointment of the persons therein Aberdeen Register is evidence against this opinion. named as the King's servants. It appears scarcely posLawrence Fletcher, comedian to his Majesty, is ad- sible that during the three days which elapsed between mitted to honours which are not bestowed upon the James taking up his residence at Greenwich, and the day other King's servants who had acted plays in the bo- on which the Privy Seal is issued, the Lord Chamberrough of Aberdeen in 1601. Lawrence Fletcher is lain's servants, at the season of the plague, should have first named in the letters patent of 1603. It is evident, performed before the King, and have so satisfied him we think, that he was admitted a burgess of Aberdeen that he constituted them his own servants. It would as the head of the company, and that he was placed at first seem improbable that amidst the press of first in the royal licence for the same reason. But there business consequent upon the accession, the attention is a circumstance, we apprehend, set forth in the Aber-1 of the King should have been directed to the subdeen Registers which is not only important with refer-ject of players at all, especially in the selection of a ence to the question of Shakspere having visited Scot- company as his own servants, contrary to the prehand, but which explains a remarkable event in the cedent of the former reign. If these players had been history of the stage. The company rewarded by the the servants of Elizabeth, their appointment as the Corporation of Aberdeen on the 9th of October, 1601, servants of James might have been asked as a matter of were not only recommended by his Majesty's special course; but certain players were at once to be placed letter, but they were the King's servants. Lawrence above all their professional brethren, by the King's own Fletcher, according to the second entry, was comedian | act, carried into effect within ten days after his arrival within his new metropolis. But all these objections | ture, which is in the possession of Mr. Wheler of Stratare removed when we refer to the facts opened to us by ford, is dated the 1st of May, 1602. The conveyance the council registers of Aberdeen. King James the bears the signatures of the vendors of the property. But Sixth of Scotland had recommended his servants to the although it concludes in the usual form, “ The parties magistrates of Aberdeen; and Lawrence Fletcher, there to these presents having interchangeably set to their can be no doubt, was one of those servants so recom- hands and seals,” the counterpart (also in the possession mended. The patent of James the First of England of Mr. Wheler) has not the hand and seal of the purdirected to Lawrence Fletcher, William Shakspere, and chaser of the property described in the deed as “ Wilothers, eighteen months after the performances at Aber- liam Shakespere, of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the countie deen, is directed to those persons as “ our servants.” It aforesaide, Gentleman.” The counterpart is not signed, does not appoint them the King's servants, but recog- and the piece of wax which is affixed to it is unimnises the appointment as already existing. Can there pressed with any seal. The acknowledgment of posses. be a reasonable doubt that the appointment was ori- sion is however recorded. The property is delivered to ginally made by the King in Scotland, and subsisted Gilbert Shakspere to the use of William. Gilbert was when the same King ascended the English throne ? two years and a half younger than William, and in all Lawrence Fletcher was admitted a burgess of Guild of likelihood was the cultivator of the land which the poet the borough of Aberdeen as comedian to his Majesty, in thus bought, or assisted their father in the cultivation. company with other persons who were servitors to his Amongst the few papers rescued from “time's dieMajesty. He received that honour, we may conclude, vouring maw” which enable us to trace Shakspere's as the head of the company, also the King's servants. career with any exactness, there is another which relates We know not how he attained this distinction amongst to the acquisition of property in the same year. It is a his fellows, but it is impossible to imagine that accident copy of Court Roll for the Manor of Rowington, dated so favoured him in two instances. The King's servant the 28th of September, 1602, containing the surrender who was most favoured at Aberdeen, and the King's by Walter Getley to the use of William Shakspere of a servant who is first in the patent in 1603, was surely house in Stratford, situated in Walker Street. This placed in that position by the voice of his fellows, the tenement was opposite Shakspere's house of New Place. other King's servants. William Shakspere is named It is now taken down; it was in existence a few years with him in a marked manner in the heading of the ago. This document, which is in the possession of patent. Seven of their fellows are also named, as dis. Mr. Hunt, the town-clerk of Stratford, also shows that tinguished from “ the rest of their associates." There at the latter end of September, 1602, William Shakspere, can be no doubt of the identity of the Lawrence the purchaser of this property, was not at Stratford. It Fletcher, the servant of James VI. of Scotland, and the could not legally pass to him, being a copyhold, till he Lawrence Fletcher, the servant of James I. of England. had done suit and service in the Lord's Court; and the Can we doubt that the King's servants who played surrender therefore provides that it should remain in the comedies and stage plays in Aberdeen, in 1601, were, possession of the lord till he, the purchaser, should taken as a company, the King's servants who were appear. licensed to exercise the art and faculty of playing, In the September of 1602 the Earl of Worcester, throughout all the realm, in 1603 ? If these points are writing to the Earl of Shrewsbury, says, “We are frolic evident, what reason have we to doubt that William here in Court, much dancing in the Privy Chamber of Shakspere, the second named in the licence of 1603, country-dances before the Queen's Majesty, who is was amongst the King's servants at Aberdeen in 1601 ? exceedingly pleased therewith.” In the December she Every circumstance concurs in the likelihood that he was entertained at Sir Robert Cecil's house in the was of that number recommended by the King's Strand, and some of the usual devices of flattering special letter ; and his position in the licence, even mummery were exhibited before her. A few months before Burbage, was, we may well believe, a compli- saw a period to the frolic and the flattery. The last ment to him who in 1601 had taught “ our James" entry in the books of the Treasurer of the Chamber something of the power and riches of the English drama. during the reign of Elizabeth, which pertains to ShakThese circumstances give us, we think, warranty to spere, is the following ;-melancholy in the contrast conclude that the story of Macbeth might have been between the Candlemas-Day of 1603, the 2nd of Feanggested to Shakspere upon Scottish ground ; that the bruary, and the following 24th of March, when Elizaaccuracy displayed in the local descriptions and allu- beth died :—“ To John Hemynges and the rest of his sions might have been derived from a rapid personal companie, servaunts to the Lorde Chamberleyne, uppon observation; and that some of the peculiarities of his the Councells Warraunte, dated at Whitehall the xxth witchcraft imagery might have been found in Scottish of Aprill, 1603, for their paines and expences in pre superstitions, and more especially in those which were sentinge before the late Queenes Matie twoe playes, the rife ar Aberdeen at the beginning of the seventeenth one uppon St. Stephens day at nighte, and thother upon century.
Candlemas day at night, for ech of which they were In May, 1602, Shakspere made a large addition to allowed, by way of her Ma's rewarde, tenne poundes, his property at Stratford by the purchase, from William amounting in all to xxli." and John Combe, for the sum of three hundred and King James I. of England left his good city of twenty pounds, of one hundred and seven acres of Edinburgh on the 5th of April, 1603. He was nearly arable land in the town of Old Stratford. The inden five weeks on the road. On the 7th of May he was
wefely lodged at the Charter House; and one of his first though the public playhouses might be closed thrmga acts of authority was, as already noticed, after creating the fear of an “extraordinary concourse and assembly four new peers, and issuing a proclamation against rob- of people," the King, a few months previous, had sent bery on the Borders, to order the Privy Seal for the for his own players to a considerable distance to perform patent to Lawrence Fletcher, William Shakspere, and before the Court at Wilton. There is an entry in the others. We learn from the patent itself that the King's same Office Book of a payment of thirty pounds to servants were to perform publicly "when the infection John Hemings “for the pains aud expenses of himself of the plague shall decrease." It is clear that the and the rest of his company in coming from Mortlake King's servants were not at liberty then to perform pub- in the county of Surrey unto the Court aforesaid, and licly. How long the theatres were closed we do not there presenting before his Majesty one play on the 2nd exactly know; but a document is in existence, dated of December last, by way of his Majesty's reward." April 9th, 1604, directing the Lord Mayor of London, Wilton was the seat of William Herbert, Earl of Pem
and Justices of Middlesex and Surrey, “ to permit and broke, to whom it has been held that Shakspere's Sonsuffer the three companies of players to the King, nets were addressed. We do not yield our assent to this Queen, and Prince to exercise their plays in their seve- opinion. But we know from good authority that this ral and usual houses.” On the 20th of October, 1603, nobleman, “ the most universally beloved and esteemed Joan, the wife of the celebrated Edward Alleyn, writes of any man of that age," (according to Clarendon,) beto her husband from London,—“ About us the sickness friended Shaksjere, and that his brother joined him in doth cease, and likely more and more, by God's help, his acts of kindness. The dedication by John Heminge
All the companies be come home, and well, and Henry Condell, prefixed to the first collected edifor aught we know.” Her husband is hawking in the tion of the works of Shakspere, is addressed “ To the country, and Henslowe, his partner, is at the Court. most noble and incomparable pair of brethren, William Shakspere is in London. Some one propounded a theory Earl of Pembroke, and Philip Earl of Montgomery." that there was no real man called William Shakspere, In the submissive language of poor players to their and that the plays which passed with his name were the " singular good lords " they say, "When we value the works of Marlowe and others. This very letter of good places your Honours sustain, we cannot but know their Mrs. Alleyn shows that William Shakspere not only dignity greater than to descend to the reading of these lived, but went about pretty much like other people, trifles; and while we name them trifles, we have de calling common things by their common names, giving prived ourselves of the defence of our dedicatiou. Bat advice about worldly matters in the way of ordinary since your Lordships have been pleased to think these folk, and spoken of by the wife of his friend without trifles something, heretofore ; and have prosecuted both any wonder or laudation, just as if he had written no them, and their author living, with so much favour : • Midsummer Night's Dream,' or 'Othello :'—" Aboute we hope that they out-living him, and he not having a weeke a goe there came a youthe, who said he was Mr. the fate, common with some, to be executor to his owu Francis Chaloner, who would have borrowed xli to have writings) you will use the like indulgence toward them bought things for ...... and said he was known unto you have done unto their parent.” They subsequently you, and Mr. Shakespeare of the Globe, who came .... speak of their Lordships liking the several parts of the said he knewe hym not, onely he berde of hym that he volume when they were acted; but their author was the was a roge. ......so he was glade we did not lend object of their personal regard and favour. The call him the monney.
... Richard Johnes [went] to seeke to Wilton of Shakspere's company might probably have and inquire after the fellow, and said he had lent hym arisen from Lord Pembroke's desire to testify this favour. a horse. I feare me he gulled hym, thoughe he gulled It would appear to be the first theatrical performance not us. The youthe was a prety youthe, and hansome before James in England. The favour of the Herberts in appayrell: we knowe not what became of hym."* towards Shakspere thus began early. The testimony of But although Shakspere was in London on the 20th of the player-editors would imply that it lasted during the October, 1603, it is tolerably clear that the performances poet's life. at the public theatres were not resumed till after the At the Christmas of the same year the King hai! order of the 9th of April, 1604. In the Office Books of taken up his residence at Hampton Court. It was bers, the Treasurer of the Chamber there is an entry of a pay- a little before the period when the Conference on Con meut of thirty-two pounds upon the Council's warrant formity in Religion was begun, that the Queen and dated at Hampton Court, February 8th, 1604, “ by way eleven ladies of honour were presenting Daniels of his Majesty's free gift” to Richard Burbage, one of Masque; and Shakspere and his fellows performed sis his Majesty's comedians, "for the maintenance and plays before the King and Prince, receiving twenty relief of himself and the rest of his company, being pro- nobles for each play.* The patronage of the new King hibited to present any plays publicly in or near London, to his servants, players acting at the Globe, seems ta by reason of great peril that might grow through the have been constant and liberal. To Shakspere this must extraordinary concourse and assembly of people, to have been a season of prosperity and of honour. The a new increase of the plague, till it shall please God accession of the King gave him something better. His to settle the city in a more perfect health." † But early friend and patron Southampton was released from • From the Papers in Dulwich College, printed in Mr. Collier's
a long imprisonment. Enjoying the friendship of • Memoirs of Edward Alleyn.'
Southampton and Pembroke, who were constantly abou! + Cunuineham's Revels at Court,' p. xxxv.
• Cunuingham's 'Revels at Court,' p. xxxv.