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A Warwickshire Lad The Story of the Boyhood of William Shakespeare   By: (1866-1936)

Book cover

First Page:

A WARWICKSHIRE LAD

[Illustration: Birthplace of Shakespeare]

A WARWICKSHIRE LAD

THE·STORY·OF·THE·BOYHOOD OF·WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

by GEORGE · MADDEN · MARTIN

Author of "Selina," "Emmy Lou," etc.

[Illustration]

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY NEW YORK LONDON MDCCCCXVI

COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1903, BY P. F. COLLIER & SON, INC

Printed in the United States of America

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Birthplace of Shakespeare Frontispiece

PAGE "Will clambered up on the settle to think it all over" 17

"Dad bends to tweak the ear of Will" 23

"'Ay, but those are brave words, Hammie,' says Gammer" 35

"'Save us! What's that!' cried Gammer" facing page 40

"'Ay, boy, you shall see the players'" 45

"'An' I shall be a player, too,' ... says Willy Shakespeare" 53

"His mother stepping now and then to the lattice window" 57

"Bound for Grandfather's at Snitterfield they were" 67

"For instance he knew one Bardolph ... the tapster at the tavern" 73

"Hidden away among the willows ... he spends the morning" 79

"The two have run away ... to wander about the river banks" facing page 86

"He ... trudged up the path and peered in at the open door" 89

"'When the masterful hand, groping, seizes mine, I shall know it'" 93

"This strange thing called Death...." facing page 98

"Dad ... sat staring in moody silence" 101

"Tall, sturdy Will Shakespeare could buy up cattle ... as well as the butcher's son" 109

A WARWICKSHIRE LAD

I

Little Will Shakespeare was going homeward through the dusk from Gammer Gurton's fireside. He had no timorous fears, not he. He would walk proudly and deliberately as becomes a man. Men are not afraid. Yet Gammer had told of strange happenings at her home. A magpie had flown screaming over the roof, the butter would not come in the churn, an' a strange cat had slipped out afore the maid at daybreak a cat without a tail, Gammer said

Little Will quickened his pace.

Dusk falls early these December days, and Willy Shakespeare scurrying along the street is only five, and although men are not afraid yet

So presently when he pulls up he is panting, and he beats against the stubborn street door with little red fists, and falls in at its sudden opening, breathless.

But Mother's finger is on her lips as she looks up from her low chair in the living room, for the whole world in this Henley Street household stands still and holds its breath when Baby Brother sleeps. Brought up short, Will tiptoes over to the chimney corner. Why will toes stump when one most wants to move noiselessly? He is panting still too with his hurrying and with all he has to tell.

"She says," begins Will before he has even reached Mother's side and his whisper is awesome, "Gammer says that Margery is more than any ailin', she is."

Now chimney corners may be wide and generous and cheerful with their blazing log, but they open into rooms which as night comes on grow big and shadowy, with flickers up against the raftered darkness of the ceilings. Little Will Shakespeare presses closer to his mother's side. "She says, Gammer does, she says that Margery is witched."

Now Margery was the serving maid at the house of Gammer Gurton's son in law, Goodman Sadler, with whom Gammer lived.

Mother at this speaks sharply. She is outdone about it. "A pretty tale for a child to be hearing," she says. "It is but a fearbabe. I wonder at Gammer, I do... Continue reading book >>




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