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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 117 pages of information about Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare, Euseby Treen, Joseph Carnaby, and Silas Gough, Clerk.

“Would it were so!”

Sir Silas.

Would it were so! in thy teeth, hypocrite!”

Sir Thomas.

“And, truly, I likewise do incline to hope and credit it, as thus paraphrased and expounded.”

William Shakespeare.

“Wait until this blessed day next year, sir, at the same hour.  You shall see it forth again at its due season; it would be no miracle if it lasted.  Spittle may cure sore eyes, but not blasted mouths and scald consciences.”

Sir Thomas.

“Why! who taught thee all this?”

Then turned he leisurely toward Sir Silas, and placing his hand outspreaden upon the arm of the chaplain, said unto him in a low, judicial, hollow voice, —

“Every word true and solemn!  I have heard less wise saws from between black covers.”

Sir Silas was indignant at this under-rating, as he appeared to think it, of the church and its ministry, and answered impatiently, with Christian freedom, —

“Your worship surely will not listen to this wild wizard in his brothel-pulpit!”

William Shakspeare.

“Do I live to hear Charlecote Hall called a brothel-pulpit?  Alas, then, I have lived too long!”

Sir Silas.

“We will try to amend that for thee.”

William seemed not to hear him, loudly as he spake and pointedly unto the youngster, who wiped his eyes, crying, —

“Commit me, sir! in mercy commit me!  Master Ephraim!  Oh, Master Ephraim!  A guiltless man may feel all the pangs of the guilty!  Is it you who are to make out the commitment?  Dispatch! dispatch.  I am a-weary of my life.  If I dared to lie, I would plead guilty.”

Sir Thomas.

“Heyday!  No wonder, Master Ephraim, thy entrails are moved and wamble.  Dost weep, lad?  Nay, nay; thou bearest up bravely.  Silas, I now find, although the example come before me from humble life, that what my mother said was true—­’t was upon my father’s demise—­ ‘In great grief there are few tears.’”

Upon which did the youth, Willy Shakspeare, jog himself by the memory, and repeat these short verses, not wide from the same purport: 

“There are, alas, some depths of woe
Too vast for tears to overflow.”

SIR THOMAS.

“Let those who are sadly vexed in spirit mind that notion, whoever indited it, and be men.  I always was; but some little griefs have pinched me woundily.”

Master Silas grew impatient, for he had ridden hard that morning, and had no cushion upon his seat, as Sir Thomas had.  I have seen in my time that he who is seated on beech-wood hath very different thoughts and moralities from him who is seated on goose-feathers under doe-skin.  But that is neither here nor there, albeit, an’ I die, as I must, my heirs, Judith and her boy Elijah, may note it.

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