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boxes, papers, old furniture, &c.; and once I saw into a locked room on the ground floor, and have a dim vision of shelves, tables and floor covered with books and papers, bales and bundles and piles of them, and over all a fine layer of dust. We also penetrated, without any difficulty, into the recesses of the two garden pavilions, and studied the minerals lying about. Fortunately we had been brought up with reverence for books, antiquities and other people's possessions generally, else the consequences might have been disastrous.

Leading out of the yellow salon, the Juno room (so called from a huge bust of that goddess which it contained) and those beyond were then in museum order and locked, but the door to the right led into a comfortable large square room heated by a tall white Berlin stove; beyond that the alcove room and, still further, a large bedroom with the end door leading to the back quarters. This room had a most peculiar and unpleasant odour of its own, which no amount of ventilation would remove. When the house was thoroughly done up after the death of the last of the family, the flooring beams and joists were found to be a mass of mildew and dry-rot, and it is a wonder that we had not fallen through.

In one of the cellars, down a dark mysterious flight of steps, was a well of the purest, coldest water imaginable, very hard and quite useless for tea-making or washing, but as a summer drink delicious. Inside the right-hand large door leading into the courtyard, at the back, was the coachhouse, containing a huge and ancient coach, hung on leather straps; moth-eaten and decayed, it looked as if it had stood there for half a century without being touched.

Minchen, to whom reference has been made, was an old and faithful creature who had been in the family practically all ner life and remembered Goethe in his old age. She and another old crony, Johanna, lived on the ground floor in the rooms to the left of the entrance, and served the Barons with the greatest zeal and affection. They were both very dirty, but we loved them all the same, and the feeling was reciprocated, except when we came in with dirty boots and forgot to wipe them, when Johanna came out like a dragon. Minchen wore a dreadful brown wig which seemed in a subtle way to accentuate the dirt in the wrinkles. One day the dear old thing was ill, and my mother, going up to see her, discovered her with beautiful silky VOL. XXXV.-NO. 200, N.S.


white hair. On inquiring why she covered it all up she answered * You see, gnädige Frau, Frau C. gives me her old wigs, and I must wear them out of gratitude.'

The two Barons Walther and Wolfgang lived above us in the Mansarde, and we saw the former very often. The latter was a good deal away and when in Weimar suffered terribly from neuralgia, to which he was a lifelong martyr. They were both very musical and we often used to hear Onkel Walther' playing. Every now and then Baron Wolf would come down and play duets with me, generally Beethoven's 'Symphonies,' but he was terribly shy, and I see him now, waiting in the doorway to know if he were really welcome. He had the most beautiful eyes I ever saw, large, dark brown, very bright, and melancholy, like a dog's eyes.

The garden had in those days a peaceful secluded air, several large trees, amongst them a magnificent copper beech, giving cool and grateful shade; and at the west end in the open sunshine were lovely roses, a row of them with other sweet oldfashioned flowers right under the study windows.

As I stood there not many days ago and looked round, a crowd of memories surged over me.

The walks were the same; the roses under the study window bloomed as of old; the trees had only grown out and gave more shade; the old high hedge with its yellow blossom still guarded the mysterious walk where I always pictured the great master walking up and down composing some of his works. But although house and garden are kept and preserved with loving and reverent care, to me an air of desolation lay over all, and the peaceful seclusion had departed. Great tall modern houses flaunted themselves, peering over the wall, as if to see what was the attraction in that world-famed corner, and the hoot nf motor-cars desecrated the silence.

And the old house, so full of the keenest life and intellect, whose walls echoed with love and laughter, wit and brilliancy, tears and sorrow--a cold museum! The cosy pretty rooms of the Mansarde, bare and deserted-a dead place! I looked in vain for the round table where Frau Ottilie sat, and the favourite chair of Fanny Mendelssohn, Baron Walther's beloved piano, and the portfolios full of treasures. All have vanished, and only the sweet and warm memory of those days remains.






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It is most difficult, one knows, when the records of the past are esamined, or when one's own knowledge of it is tested, to distinguish between memory and tradition, between history and mere invention. My grandfather was born in 1750, and I am not yet so old as he was when my father was born, or as my father was when I was born myself. On the other side, my mother's grandmother was born in 1745 and lived for three years beyond a century. And her daughter was a passionate admirer of the stage, of Kean and Macready, and above all of Shakespeare. I cannot tell you where this story that I give comes from. The man who tells it may well have left a grandson alive when George the Second was king. However that may be, I guarantee nothing. I only tell the story as it comes to me.


Do I remember seeing Master Shakespeare? Yes, that I do, as it were but yesterday, for the day was the beginning of matters that have carried on, year in and out, till to-day. I was a little lad just beginning to learn to reckon with counters then, and now I am my lord's old steward : yet it seems only yesterday.

'Twas at the very end of 1615, may be the eve of our Lady's Feast, for I remember the March wind blew shrewdly as I came back from school that afternoon,and I stood in the street at Daventry just by the corner where the way goes up to the church, mighty proud of my little coat of fur that my father had brought me from Muscovy, where, as he said, even the young children wore such garb. I stayed at the corner just by the Lamb Inn, for I saw that some gentle-folk had ridden up and were greeting as they met in front of the inn door. What, Michael!' said one, how hast thou journeyed ? 'and he was a fair, stout man and bearded, and when he doffed his hat in courtesy, I saw that there was no hair where the hat had been. 'Well met, Will,' said the other, who had a man


with a pack-saddle riding behind him, his servant I doubt not.

Well met; and I take it kindly of thee to ride all these miles in welcome to thy shire. In good sooth thou anticipat'st me; for we are still, as I take it, some miles from Southam, and many more from Warwick and thine own town.'

With that there came to the inn door, the landlord, Master Christopher Hedgestake, whom well I knew, and it seemed to me that he stood not straight upright as he looked from one to the other of the gentlemen. 'What, Master Shakespeare!' said he ; and it seemed he could say no more.

But the bright-faced gentleman descended from his roan, a serving lad holding the stirrup, and he said, in his clear voice that, as I think now, sounded like a runlet of claret wine, “What, goodman Tosspot, how cam’st thou so early by this lethargy?' What Master Christopher answered I could not hear, though I thought I heard the bold word 'defy,' for at that moment a window over the door opened and there came a loud cough again and again, so that his words could not reach me. And I looked up and saw at the window a lady, very beautiful with shining eyes and a face so rosy-hued that I thought she must come from London town, for we have none so bright faced in our parts. As she coughed, the other gentleman looked up and smiled. Then be smote his hand on his breast and heaved a mighty sigh ; and she shut the window : yet I saw her nose against the pane. And the gentleman, he whom Master Shakespeare had called Michael, said

• I follow her that ever flies from me,
Oh love, oh hope, quite turned to despair'

But Master Shakespeare laughed and said ‘Dost thou forget the true Anne, whom, when thou hast been with me, thou goest to visit at Clifford ?' Master Michael heeded him not, but stood (for he was now off his nag) with his hands clasped before the window, and said

• Now will I make a mirror of my dolors.'

'Thy groats, not thy groans,' said Master Shakespeare ; 'finish thy ale and let us be on the road, and so farewell to the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry.' By this time Master Christopher had fallen asleep on his bench by the door ; but he woke at that, and I thought he would speak, when there came ambling up a fine steed, with bright caparison, and on him a very stately gentleman in rich attire, whom two horsemen followed, with luces on their coats. The two gentlemen had finished their ale and paid their reckoning by a groat flung on to the table, and one of them (I know not which) was saying softly, in a sort of note as though he sang, 'Harpier cries, 'tis time, 'tis time,' when I saw the window open again and the lady looked forth but an instant, and Master Christopher was broad awake, gazing upon the rich gentleman and his servants as they drew near. 'Who is that fair lady, Master Hedgestake ? ' said Master Shakespeare. 'Why, her nose is as sharp as the pen on thy table of green frieze.' But before he answered and indeed he looked as though he would not—the gentleman on his horse drew up at the door, and the window shut again sharply, and Master Michael said 'She would always say she could not abide Master 'I did not hear the last word, for one said ' Our word was-Hem! boys,' and then the horses began to stamp, and the two gentlemen and the servant were clattering down the hill. I ran after them, for it was my way home. When I came to the corner where the road turned, there were the gentlemen standing still. 'Which road goes by Staverton ?' said one. “This,' said I. And Master Shakespeare looked at me, heaved a sigh, and said 'What is thy name, my pretty fellow?' I was but six years old, and

? my voice piped, I doubt not, as I answered, “ Benedick Shugborough, so please you.' * And I bless you for your name,' said he, and they rode away.

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“And what,' we asked him, 'befell the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry?' ‘I will tell you,' said the steward. He still drew ale when King Charles was at Daventry thirty years after that day. And the noontide when he rode out to hunt at Fawsley—it was the day before Naseby fight, God rest his soul !--I saw him stay by the door while one of his lords came forth to greet him, and a messenger came up, as they said, from Prince Rupert. As the King read the lines that were given him he smiled cheerfully, and then he saw Master Hedgestake bowing to the ground before him ; and he smiled again, yet with a princely graciousness. As he turned away the lord came beside him and said “ Behold him that your majesty hath read of, whose shirt they robbed from the hedge." "Why, so," said the King, “ the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry.” And he rode away.

'Yes, I had seen the King before, the day of Edgehill, as he rode

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