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"Good frend, for Jesvs sake forbeare
To digg the dvst encloased heare:
Blese be ye man yt spares thes stones,

And cvrst be he yt moves my bones.” We have thus brought into a consecutive narrative the particulars respecting the life of the “myriad-minded Shakespeare” which we have been able, during a long series of years, to collect. Yet, after all, we cannot but be aware how little has been accomplished. “Of William Shakespeare,” says Hallam, “whom, through the mouths of those whom he has inspired to body forth the modifications of his immense mind, we seem to know better than any human writer, it may be truly said that we scarcely know anything. We see him, so far as we do see him, not in himself, but in a reflex image from the objectivity in which he is manifested: he is Falstaff, and Mercutio, and Malvolio, and Jacques, and Portia, and Imogen, and Lear, and Othello; but to us he is scarcely a determined person, a substantial reality of past time, the man Shakespeare. The name of Shakespeare is the greatest in our literature, it is the greatest in all literature. No man ever came near to him

the creative powers of the mind; no man had ever such strength at once, and such variety of imagination.”

If the details of his life be imperfect, the history of his mind is complete; and we leave the reader to turn from the contemplation of “the man Shakespeare” to THE POET SHAKESPEARE.




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