If the Homes and Haunts do not claim the greater part of the following pages, it is because nobody knows where to find them to-day. Stratford derives much of its patronage from unsupported traditions, the face of London has changed, and though we owe to the painstaking researches of Dr. Chas. Wm. Wallace the very recent discovery that the poet lodged with a wig-maker named Mountjoy at the corner of Silver and Monkwell Streets in the City of London, much labour must be accomplished before we shall be able to follow his wanderings between the time of his arrival in and departure from the metropolis.
t's registration in the parish records at Stratford is dated April 26, 1564. The place of his birth is generally assumed to be the house in Henley Street purchased by John Shakespeare a year before his marriage, and we are told that he was born in a certain room on the first floor. Here again contemporary criticism may make some people regret the loss of the sixpence that was demanded before the scene of the birth could be surveyed; but, after all, there is much saving grace in a tradition, and whether the place be all it is alleged to be or less, little harm is done. Suffice it that thousands, gifted with faith and sixpences, have visited the room, ceilings and windows bear countless traces of the desire that besets the most commonplace people to deface walls with their uninteresting names. Shakespeare's alleged birthplace is a charming little residence enough, with dormered roof and penthouse entrance, and sixpence is a small price to pay for a pleasant illusion.
In the very early days of the poet's