sleepy Avon and baptized by the name of William.
Little did John Shakspere and the gossips dream, when the baby William's name was duly inscribed in the register-book with its corners and clasps of embossed brass, that he was destined to become England's greatest poet. Little did they dream, honest folk, that the old market town and the house on Henley street and the meadows across the river, covered in that pleasant April month with cowslips and daisies and "lady-smocks all silver-white," would become sacred ground to hundreds of thousands of people from all quarters of the globe, who should come, year by year, on reverent pilgrimage to Shakspere's birthplace.
The baby grew up as most babies do; and when he was two and a half years old, a little brother Gilbert was born. As we walk through the streets to-day, we can fancy the little lads toddling about the town together, while father John was minding his glove and wool trade at the old house. John Shakspere, in those early days, was a well-to-d