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upward, headed, argent; and for his crest or cognisance, a falcon, or, with his wings displayed, standing on a wreathe of his colours, Supporting a spear armed beaded, or sieeled silver, fixed upon an helmet with mantles and tafsels, as more plainly may appear depicted in this margent; and we have likewisé impaled the fame with the ancient arms of the said Arden of IVellingcote; signifying thereby, that it may and shall be lawful for the faid John Shakespere, gent. to bear and use the same shield of arms, single or impaled, as aforesaid, during his natural life; and that it ħall be lawful for his children, issue, and posterity, lawfully begotten, to bear, use, and quarter, and show forth the fame, with their due differencies, in all lawful warlike feats and civil use or exercises, according to the laws of arms, and custom that to gentlemen belongeth, without let or interruption of any person or persons, for use or bearing the same. In witness and testimony whereof we have subscribed our names, and fasten’d the seals of our offices. Given at the office of arms, London, the day of in the forty second year of the reign of our most gracious sovereign lady Elizabeth, by the grace of god, queen of England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. 1599.
There is also a manuscript in the herald's office, marked W. 2
p. 276; where notice is taken of this coat, and that the person to whom it was granted, had born magistracy at Stratford upon Avon.
MEMORY of my beloved the AUTHOR,
And what he hath left us.
O draw no envy, Shakespear, on thy name,
Am I thus ample to thy book, and fame :
While I confess thy writings to be such,
As neither man, nor muse can praise too much.
'Tis true, and all men's suffrage. But these ways
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise :
For feeliest ignorance on these may light,
Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes right;
Or blind affečtion, which doth ne'er advance
The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance;
Or crafty malice might pretend this praise,
And think to ruin, where it seem'd to raise.
These are, as some infamous bawd, or whore,
Should praise a matron. What could hurt her more?
But thou art proof against them; and, indeed,
Above th’ill fortune of them, or the need :
I therefore will begin. Soul of the age!
The applause! delight! the wonder of our stage!
My Shakespear rise! I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room :
Thou art a monument without a tomb,
And art alive still, while thy book doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
That I not mix thee so, my brain excuses ;
I mean, with great but disproportion’d muses :
For if I thought my judgment were of years,
I should commit thee surely with thy peers,
And tell how far thou didst our Lily outshine,
Or sporting Kid, or Marlow's mighty line.
And though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek,
From thence to honour thee, I would not seek
For names; but call forth thund'ring Æschylus,
Euripides, and Sophocles, to us,
Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead,
To live again, to hear thy buskin tread,
And shake a sage: or, when thy socks were on,
Leave thee alone for the comparison
Of all, that insolent Greece, or haughty Rome
Sent forth, or since did from their alhes come.
Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show,
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time!
And all the nuses, still were in their prime,
When like Apollo he came forth to warm
Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm!
Nature herself was proud of his designs,
And joy'd to wear the dressing of his lines !
Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit.
The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please;
But antiquated, and deserted lie,
As they were not of nature's family.
Yet must I not give nature all: thy art,
My gentle Shakespear, must enjoy a part.
For though the poet's matter nature be,
His art doth give the fashion. And, that he
Who casts to write a living line, must sweat,
(Such as thine are) and strike the second heat
Upon the muses’anvil; turn the same,
(And himself with it) that he thinks to frame;