William Shakespeare as He Lived

William Shakespeare as He Lived

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Excerpt: ...increasing up to his present age. What was the history of his former life none could tell, for he had come a stranger to the town. Some said, however, that in his youth he had been engaged in the wars of the Netherlands, and cashiered for cowardice; others affirmed that he was the discarded steward of some noble, dismissed for arrant knavery and dishonest practices; whilst by others, again, he was said to have been the host of a low tavern, situated in the purlieus of Whitefriars of London, and, that having amassed a small competency, he had since pretty well dissipated it, and was now living at Stratford to be out of the way. Be that, however, as it may, at the period of our story he resided at a sort of tavern or hostel, situated in the suburbs of the town, and which hostel himself and yoke fellows principally occupied, leading a roaring, rollicking life, to the great scandal of the more steady portions of the community. In this society young Shakespeare heard many things which considerably augmented his store of knowledge. The soldier described "the toil o' the war," and the abuses of the service he had been in, where "preferment went by letter and affection." The adventurer told of seas, "whose yeasty waves confound and swallow navigation up;" of islands full of noises, and peopled by strange monsters; and the fat host spoke of the "cities usuries," "the art o' the Court," and the adventures and intrigues himself had been the hero of in various localities from his youth upwards. In proportion to the pleasure young Shakespeare took in this society, was the dislike entertained for it by his wife; for the character of the presiding genius of the tavern she was well aware of, together with his loudness for, and capacity of, imbibing strong liquors, and carrying them steadily. His professed libertinism, and light opinion of the whole sex,show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 162 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 9mm | 299g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236725387
  • 9781236725387