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Such of the Notes to the Memoir of Shakespeare as
are distinguished by brackets have been added by the American Editor. The material for them has been derived principally from Collier's Life of Shakespeare. A few corrections, consisting, for the most part, of restorations of earlier readings, have been made in the Text of the Poems.
MEMOIR OF SHAKESPEARE.
BY THE REV. ALEXANDER DYCE.
“He was not of an age, but for all time.”
“ALL that is known with any degree of certainty concerning Shakespeare, is—that he was born at Stratford upon Avon—married and had children there—went to London, where he commenced actor, and wrote poems and plays—returned to Stratford, made his will, died, and was buried.”" Such is the remark of the most acute of his commentators; and I have quoted it here, as a sort of apology to the reader for the imperfections of the present essay. It appears, that John Shakespeare, the father of our poet, could not boast a descent from ancestors of gentle blood, though his family had been long established in the county of Warwick. The place” of his birth is doubtful; but not long
1 Note by George Steevens on Shakespeare's xciiid Sonnet. [2. It is probable that John Shakespeare was the son of a Richard Shakespeare of Snitterfield, (a town three miles from