Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

SHAKSPEARE'S WILL,

FROM THE ORIGINAL

In the Office of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

Vicefimo quinto die Martii, Anno Regni Domini noftri Jacobi nunc Regis Angliæ, &c. decimo quarto, et Scotia quadragefimo nono. Anno Domini 1616.

IN N the name of God, Amen. I William Shakfpeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the county of Warwick, gent. in perfect health and memory, (God be praised!) do make and ordain this my laft will and teftament in manner and form following; that is to fay:

First, I commend my foul into the hands of God my creator, hoping, and affuredly believing, through the only merits of Jefus Chrift my Sa viour, to be made partaker of life everlasting; and my body to the earth whereof it is made.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Judith, one hundred and fifty pounds of lawful English money, to be paid unto her in manner and form following; that is to fay, one hundred pounds

Our poet's will appears to have been drawn up in February, though not executed till the following month; for February was firft written, and afterwards ftruck out, and March written over it. MALONE..

[ocr errors]

in difcharge of her marriage portion within oneyear after my decease, with confideration after the rate of two fhillings in the pound for fo long time as the fame fhall be unpaid unto her after my decease; and the fifty pounds refidue thereof, upon her furrendering of, or giving of fuch fufficient fecurity as the overfeers of this my will fhall like of, to furrender or grant, all her estate and right that shall defcend or come unto her after my deceafe, or that fhe now hath, of, in, or to, one copyhold tenement, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Stratford-upon-Avon aforefaid, in the faid county of Warwick, being parcel or holden of the manor of Rowington, unto my daughter Sufanna Hall, and her heirs for ever.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my said daughter Judith one hundred and fifty pounds more, if fhe, or any iffue of her body, be living at the end of three years next enfuing the day of the date of this my will, during which time my executors to pay her confideration from my deceafe according to the rate aforefaid: and if the die within the faid term without iffue of her body, then my will is, and I do give and bequeath one hundred pounds thereof to my niece5 Elizabeth Hall, and the fifty pounds to be fet forth by my executors during the life of my fifter Joan Hart, and the use and profit thereof coming, fhall be paid to my faid fifter Joan, and after her deceafe the faid fifty pounds shall remain amongst the children of my faid fifter, equally to be divided amongst them; but if my

5 to my niece-] Elizabeth Hall was our poet's granddaughter. So, in Othello, A&t I. fc. i. Iago fays to Brabantio: "You'll have your nephews neigh to you;" meaning his grandchildren. See the note there. MALONE.

faid daughter Judith be living at the end of the faid three years, or any iffue of her body, then my will is, and fo I devife and bequeath the faid hundred and fifty pounds to be fet out by my executors and overfeers for the best benefit of her and her iffue, and the stock not to be paid unto her fo long as The fhall be married and covert baron; but my will is, that the fhall have the confideration yearly paid unto her during her life, and after her decease the faid ftock and confideration to be paid to her children, if the have any, and if not, to her executors or affigns, fhe living the faid term after my decease: provided that if fuch husband as the fhall at the end of the faid three years be married unto, or at any [time] after, do fufficiently affure unto her, and the iffue of her body, lands answerable to the portion by this my will given unto her, and to be adjudged fo by my executors and overfeers, then my will is, that the faid hundred and fifty pounds fhall be paid to fuch husband as fhall make fuch affurance, to his own use.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my said fifter Joan twenty pounds, and all my wearing apparel, to be paid and delivered within one year after my decease; and I do will and devife unto her the house, with the appurtenances, in Stratford, wherein the dwelleth, for her natural life, under the yearly rent of twelve-pence.

Item, I give and bequeath unto her three fons, William Hart, Hart, and Michael Hart,

6 Hart,] It is fingular that neither Shakspeare nor any of his family fhould have recollected the christian name of his nephew, who was born at Stratford but eleven years before the making of his will. His chriftian name was Thomas; and he was baptized in that town, July 24, 1605. MALONE,

five pounds apiece, to be paid within one year after my decease.

Item, I give and bequeath unto the faid Elizabeth Hall all my plate, (except my broad filver and gilt bowl,) that I now have at the date of this my will.

Item, I give and bequeath unto the poor of Stratford aforefaid ten pounds; to Mr. Thomas Combe3 my fword; to Thomas Ruffel, efq. five pounds; and to Francis Collins of the borough of Warwick, in the county of Warwick, gent. thirteen pounds fix fhillings and eight-pence, to be paid within one year after my decease.

7 except my broad filver and gilt bowl,] This bowl, as we afterwards find, our poet bequeathed to his daughter Judith. Inftead of bowl, Mr. Theobald, and all the fubfequent editors, have here printed hores. MALONE.

Mr. Malone meant-boxes; but he has charged us all with having printed hores, which we most certainly have not printed. STEEVENS.

Mr. Thomas Combe,] This gentleman was baptized at Stratford, Feb. 9, 1588-9, so that he was twenty-seven years old at the time of Shakspeare's death. He died at Stratford in July 1657, aged 68; and his elder brother William died at the fame place, Jan. 30, 1666-7, aged 80. Mr. Thomas Combe by his will made June 20, 1656, directed his executors to convert all his perfonal property into money, and to lay it out in the purchase of lands, to be fettled on William Combe, the eldest son of John Combe of Allchurch in the county of Worcester, Gent. and his heirs male; remainder to his two brothers fucceffively. Where, therefore, our poet's fword has wandered, I have not been able to difcover. I have taken the trouble to ascertain the ages of Shakspeare's friends and relations, and the time of their death, because we are thus enabled to judge how far the traditions concerning him which were communicated to Mr. Rowe in the beginning of this century, are worthy of credit. MALONE.

9

to Francis Collins-] This gentleman, who was the fon of Mr. Walter Collins, was baptized at Stratford, Dec. 24. 1582. I know, not when he died.

MALONE.

I

Item, I give and bequeath to Hamlet [Hamnet] Sadler twenty-fix fhillings eight pence, to buy him a ring; to William Reynolds, gent. twentyfix fhillings eight-pence, to buy him a ring; to my godfon William Walker, twenty fhillings in gold; to Anthony Nash,3 gent. twenty-fix fhillings eightpence; and to Mr. John Nafh,+ twenty-fix fhillings eight-pence; and to my fellows, John Hemynge, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell,5 twenty-fix fhillings eight-pence apiece, to buy them rings.

Item, I give, will, bequeath, and devife, unto my daughter Sufanna Hall, for better enabling of her to perform this my will, and towards the performance thereof, all that capital meffuage or tene

to Hamnet Sadler-] This gentleman was godfather to Shakspeare's only fon, who was called after him. Mr. Sadler, I believe, was born about the year 1550, and died at Stratfordupon-Avon, in October 1624. His wife, Judith Sadler, who was godmother to Shakspeare's youngest daughter, was buried there, March 23, 1613-14. Our poet probably was godfather to their fon William, who was baptized at Stratford, Feb. 5, 1597-8, MALONE.

2

to my godfon, William Walker,] William, the fon of Henry Walker, was baptized at Stratford, Oct. 16, 1608. I mention this circumstance, because it ascertains that our author was at his native town in the autumn of that year. Mr. William Walker was buried at Stratford, March 1, 1679-80.

MALONE.

3

to Anthony Nafh,] He was father of Mr. Thomas Nash, who married our poet's grand-daughter, Elizabeth Hall. He lived, I believe, at Welcombe, where his eftate lay; and was buried at Stratford, Nov. 18, 1622. MALONE.

-

4- to Mr. John Nafh,] This gentleman died at Stratford, and was buried there, Nov. 10, 1623. MALONE.

5 to my fellows, John Hemynge, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell,] These our poet's fellows did not very long furvive him. Burbage died in March, 1619; Cundell in December, 1627; and Heminge in October 1630. See their wills in The Account of our old Actors, in Vol. III. MALONE.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »