"Only to keepe the memory of so worthy a Friend & Fellow alive as was our Shakespeare"
John Heminge, Henry Condell and Ben Jonson counted Will Shakespeare their friend. They called him -
"Beloved", "the Sweet Swan of Avon", a "Constellation", "a Starre of Poets". They could not forget him or forget their love for him.
They would not let his memory or his lines vanish so they collected and published his plays.
Those who believe that Shakespeare did not write his plays must believe that these men did not love.
Ah, well, some men, among them a US Supreme Court Justice, will believe anything.
That Shakespeare was born on April 23rd is open to question. That he died on this day, that it was St George's Day, that he is England's poet and also the world's is not in doubt.
Today I visited for the last time a friend who is dying on her birthday. As I leaned over to kiss her good-bye, I never thought what I would say. The words were hers and mine and Shakespeare's -
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.