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240 SHAKSPEARE, FORD,

When he talked of Shakspeare's paper: , he was probably thinkingof what Heminge and Condell have said in their preface ,-" we have scarce received from him a blot in his paperls." But by his papers they meant nothing more than the old copies of his plays which had lain long in their house, from which they printed part of their edition. Whatever other papers our poet lest, without doubt devolved to his family at Stratford. ' The four encomiaslick lines figned " Thomas May," and the elegant verses ascribed to Endymion Porter, now alone remain to be considered.

Endymion Porter , whom Sir. William Davenant, Shakspeares supposed son , calls " 'lord of his muse and heart," being mentione-diby Mr. Rowe in his Life of Shakspeare, as a great admirer of out poet, his name naturally' presented itself to the writer of this letter , as a proper one to be subscribed to an eulogy on him and Ford; and he found, or might have found, in Langbaine's Account of the Dramatick Poets, that May lived in the slzridlesl intimacy with Endymion Porter, to whom he has dedicated his Antigone, published in 1631; a play which probably, when this letter was written, was in Mr. Macklin's posseslion. Thomas Randolph and Thomas Carew having each of them written verses to Jonson after the publication of the celebrated pde annexed to his unfortunate New Inn, requesiing him not to leave the (lage , as the letter-writer might also have learned from Langbaine (who has given Randol'ph's Ode at length , he naturally would .read over their lines; and Randolph having written " A gratulalory Poem to Ben jonsonfor his adopting ofhim to be his Son ," in which we find' the following hyperbolical couplet,

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" But if heaven take thee, envying us thy lyre,
" 'Tis to pen anthems for an angel's quire;"

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What though thy searching Muse did rake the dult
Ost time, and purge old metals from their rusl ?

ls it no labour, no art, think they, to

Snatch shipwrecks from the deep, as divers do;
And rescue jewels from the covetous fand,
Making the feas hid wealth adorn the land ?

What though thy culling Mufe did rob the Pcore
Of Greek and Latin gardens, to bring o'er

Plants to thy native soil? their virtues were
Improv'd far more by being planted here, --
Thefts thus become just works ; they and their grace
Are wholly thine : thus doth the fiamp and face
Make that the king's that's ravisli'd from the mine ;
I-n others then 'tis ore, in thee 'tis coin."

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