A RARE PRINTING PRESS AS you walk along the street at Stratford- upon-Avon, intent upon New Place, you find next door but one to it the "Shakespeare Head Press," housed in a Henry the Seventh house. Out of the window stare the title- pages and plain covers of a few choice books, and from a glass-case the uncanny linea- ments of Mr. W. B. Yeats. Within you may, it the hour be auspicious, discover the printer, publisher, Elizabethan and new Georgian editor, reviver of old poets and enlarger of new-Mr. A. H. Bullen-engaged at his craft. In a Tercentenary sennight, he will be less visible than usual from a craftsman's need of privacy; but at other times he has been known to escort a fellow-bibliophile over the old house upstairs into rooms whose walls can tell secrets,-nice old pannelled, buff and green chambers, where Shakespeare lies in sheets, and Gabriel Harvey, Spenser's friend, is housed along with Michael Drayton. The printing press is below, in what used to be the brew-house. One looks at type-cases anxiously, almost tenderly for a press that attempts tasks refused by ordinary publishers is like a threatened outpost-a Khartoum or Kut-el- Amara. The question is how long the garrison can hold out. and one is inclined to say with Reignier I think, by some odd gimmors or device Their arms are set like clocks, still to strike on Else ne'er could they hold out so as they do." The fact is, the business of printing and making books becomes serious when you are keeping an outpost for posterity and that is almost Mr. Bullen's role as a Stratford publisher. He has now on his table the MS copy of a book that when completed should be a centuries' landmark. It is the book of Accounts of the Chamberlains of Strat- ford-upon-Avon, which throw curious light on the Warwickshire of Shakespeare's day. His father was Chamberlain at one time, and they bring near the Stratford circle of his friends and acquaintances, and should certainly do something to increase that local patriotism which can save an old town from the house-breakers and destroyers. The last count has to be held in mind at Stratford-upon-Avon. for since Mr. Bullen set up his press in 1904. many old buildings have been swept away, including the famous barn in Scholar's Lane, where Shakespeare saw the corn brought in, and stole straws no doubt for nefarious boyish ends ? Had it not been for the war, this Chamberlains' book would have been a Tercentenary prize. Now, alas its would-be printer sits confounded over its MS. pages, asking himself if they will ever be set up, printed off. and given to a war-distracted world ? In one of those pages may be found the names of the Welsh fellow- townsmen of Shakespeare (who had Welsh blood in him on the mother's side). one was a namesake of the present Minister of Munitions. sans Lloyd as prae- nomen there was a Phillips, a Griffin Morris, a Howell, and an Ap Howell a Price and an Ap Price. There was a Fluellen, too, who may have served Shakespeare as model for the hero of that name in the history-play of the warlike King Henry the Fifth. It will be a sad deprival, if we do not have these Stratford Memoirs. The transcript has already been made in full by Mr. Richard Savage--for many years curator of Shakespeare's birthplace and the Rev. Edgar Fripp has joined him as editor, annotator and diplomatist. Who was it calculated that the cost of three minutes of the war would not only save this book to the nation, but ensure the perpetuating of many others, like unto it, that now lie like so many dead weights upon the "Shakespeare Head?"
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