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Palace of Westminster. York Place, and the spacious Savoy, bring their historical recollections to his mind. He looks eastward, and there is the famous Temple, and the Palace of Bridewell, and Baynard's Castle. Above all these rises up the majestic spire of Paul's. London Bridge, that wonder of the world, now shows its picturesque turrets and multitudinous arches; and in the distance is seen the Tower of London, full of grand and solemn associations. The boat rests at the Blackfriars. In a few minutes they are threading the narrow streets of the precinct; and a comfortable house affords the weary youths a cheerful welcome.

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AUBREY'S Life,' as we have mentioned, is the earliest connected account of Shakspere.

Brief as it is, it is full of curious and characteristic matter; made up of gossip, indeed, and evidently inaccurate in one or two particulars, but still valuable as reflecting the general notion of Shakspere's career entertained by his immediate successors, with whom Aubrey was familiar. Rowe's 'Life' comes later; and the facts are so mixed up with the critical opinions of his age, which uniformly desire to represent Shakspere as an uneducated man, that we cannot regard it as so genuine a production as Aubrey's tattle, in which he told what he had heard without much regard to the inferences to be drawn from his tale. It ought to be read entire, properly to judge of its credibility; and therefore we so present it to our readers :—

"Mr. William Shakespear was born at Stratford-upon-Avon, in the county of Warwick; his father was a butcher, and I have been told heretofore by some of the neighbours that when he was a boy he exercised his father's trade, but when he killed a calf he would do it in a high style, and make a speech. There was at that time another butcher's son in this town that was held not at all inferior to him for a natural wit, his acquaintance and coetanean, but died young. This William, being inclined naturally to poetry and acting, came to London, I guess, about 18, and was an actor at one of the playhouses, and did act exceedingly well. Now B. Jonson was never a good actor, but an excellent instructor. He began early to make essays at dramatic poetry, which at that time was very low, and his plays took well. He was a handsome, well-shaped man, very good company, and of a very ready and pleasant smooth wit. The humour of . . . . . the constable, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream, he happened to take at Grendon,* in Bucks, which is the road from London to Stratford, and there was living that constable about 1642, when I first came to Oxon. Mr. Jos. Howe is of that parish, and knew him. Ben Jonson and he did gather humours of men daily wherever they came. One time as he was at the tavern at Stratford-upon-Avon, one Combes, an old rich usurer, was to be buried; he makes there this extemporary epitaph :



Ten in the hundred the devil allows,

But Combes will have twelve, he swears and vows:
If any one asks who lies in this tomb,

"Ho!" quoth the devil, "'T is my John o' Combe."'

He was wont to go to his native country once a-year. I think I have been told that he left 2 or 3001. per annum there and thereabout to a sister. I have heard Sir William Davenant and Mr. Thomas Shadwell (who is counted the best comedian we have now) say that he had a most prodigious wit, and did admire his natural parts beyond all other dramatical writers. He was wont to say that he never blotted out a line in his life; said Ben Jonson, I wish he had blotted out a thousand.' His comedies will remain wit as long as the English tongue is understood, for that he handles mores hominum; now our present writers reflect so much upon particular persons and coxcombities, that twenty years hence they will not be understood.


Though, as Ben Jonson says of him, that he had but little Latin and less Greek, he understood Latin pretty well, for he had been in his younger years a schoolmaster in the country."+

* "I think it was Midsummer night that he happened to lie there."

From Mr. Beeston.


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AMONGST those innumerable by-ways in London which are familiar to the hurried pedestrian, there is a well-known line of streets, or rather lanes, leading from the hill on which St. Paul's stands to the great thoroughfare of Blackfriars Bridge. The pavement is narrow, the carriage-way is often blocked up by contending carmen, the houses are mean; yet the whole district is full of interesting associations. We have scarcely turned out of Ludgate Street, under a narrow archway, when the antiquary may descry a large lump of the ancient

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