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of 1571 bloomed and withered in the summer and autumn

of this year.

The peas blossom nodded and the honeysuckle wafted its perfume; the bees and swallows, and the same shrill corncrake that made little Will forget his declensions and shy a stone at it, reveled in the sun of 1891. The Avon swells among its tangles of wild flowers and reeds, and broods of ducklings hide among the wild thyme of the banks, and swim on its serene surface. The white chestnut blooms fall, the crimson roses flame in the old garden. Across the fields toward the little house of the Hathaways, where Shakespeare's wife lived, the glowing poppies make trails of fire among the soft, velvety green.

In these fields Will played prisoner's base with his brothers, Richard, Gilbert, and Edmund. Here he saw the picture he paints in "Midsummer-Night's Dream," where he makes Oberon say:

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows;
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk roses and with eglantine."

In the spring, he found by the Avon Ophelia's flowers, those which, in her gentle madness, after Hamlet has killed her father, she offers to the court.

"There's fennel for you and columbines; there's rue for you, and here's some for me: we may call it herb

There's a daisy; I would give you

grace o' Sundays. . some violets, but they withered all when my father died. They say he made a good end." And in the spring, by his own Avon, too, the flowers he weaves into the queen's speech when she tells how the crazed Ophelia died.

By the Avon's banks in the early spring this exquisite glimpse was photographed in colors by his eye, and afterward reproduced in "Winter's Tale":

"... daffodils

That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty; violets, dim,
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes
Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses
. . . bold oxlips and

The crown imperial, lilies of all kinds,
The flower-de-luce being one."

Now when you visit Stratford you may get all the flowers mentioned by Ophelia fastened to a sheet of paper, even the violet that "withered when her father died.” You may also get a strip of paper with the famous inscription marked in black on it-that famous inscription which has saved Shakespeare's tomb from desecration. The guide will go down on his knees and trace it for you in the quaint old form :

"Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear

To dig the dust inclosed here,

Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones."

Shakespeare's father was anxious that his children should be educated well; and so for seven years the boy was kept at the grammar school, which the religiousminded men of the Catholic time had founded and kept alive. By the time he left school his father had become poor. He went into some business or other, -perhaps he was a lawyer's clerk, no one knows. His father, John Shakespeare, did the best he could for his eldest son, and if Will had "small Latin and less Greek," he had enough to teach his younger brothers all they needed; this he probably did.

Mr. Kegan Paul says: "It is certain that in the years during which he was at school and in his father's business, he read not many books, but much; and he learned that which ought to be the aim of all boyish education, not to cram the memory with facts and figures, but how to use all that comes to us in life."


Maurice Francis Egan was born in Philadelphia, May 24, 1853. Since leaving college he has been by turns college professor, law student, journalist, and editor, and at the present writing is Professor of English Language and Literature in the Catholic University of America at Washington, D. C. He is a successful writer of that difficult form of verse, the sonnet, and the author of many popular tales.

rumors: popular reports - dormer windows: windows in a roof, set so as to be vertical while the roof slopes.comfits: sweetmeats.

rush a water or marsh-growing plant, used for bottoming chairs, etc. corncrake : a bird which frequents grain fields. -Juno: a goddess, the wife of Jupiter.

The Bells.

Hear the sledges with the bells,

Silver bells!

What a world of merriment their melody foretells!

How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars, that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells-

From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

Hear the mellow wedding bells,

Golden bells!

What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night

How they ring out their delight!

From the molten-golden notes,

And all in tune,

What a liquid ditty floats

To the turtledove that listens, while she gloats On the moon!

Oh, from out the sounding cells, What a gush of euphony voluminously wells How it swells!

How it dwells

On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,

Of the ells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells-

To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

Hear the loud alarum bells,
Brazen bells!

What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night

How they scream out their affright!

Too much horrified to speak,

They can only shriek, shriek,

Out of tune,

In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,

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