Dr Paul W Nash, the Bodleian’s printing specialist, will produce a specially commissioned letterpress keepsake, in the form of a folio bifolium of English hand-made paper, printed in the Bodleian’s Hand-Printing Workshop, with Leonard Digges’ encomium to Shakespeare, taken from the preliminary matter of the First Folio. The poem has been printed on one of the hand-presses in the Bodleian Hand-Printing Workshop at the Story Museum.
The text has been set by hand, using William Caslon’s types, first cast in the 17th century, with suitable ornaments.
Each sheet has been printed with a title and colophon, sewn into a paper cover.
The draw will be made at the end of the project, and winners will be notified by email.
Leonard Digges’ poem
TO THE MEMORIE
of the deceaſed Authour Maiſter
SHake-ſpeare, at length thy pious fellowes giue
The world thy Workes: thy Workes, by which, out-liue
Thy Tombe, thy name must when that stone is rent,
And Time diſſolves thy Stratford Moniment,
Here we aliue ſhall view thee ſtill. This Booke,
When Braſſe and Marble fade, ſhall make thee looke
Freſh to all Ages: when Poſteritie
Shall loath what’s new, thinke all is prodegie
That is not Shake-ſpeares; eu’ry Line, each Verſe
Here shall reuiue, redeeme thee from thy Herſe.
Nor Fire, nor cankring Age, as Naſo ſaid,
Of his, thy wit-fraught Booke shall once inuade.
Nor ſhall I e’re beleeue, or thinke thee dead.
(Though miſt) vntill our bankrout Stage be ſped
(Impoſsible) with ſome new ſtraine t’out-do
Paſsions of Iuliet, and her Romeo;
Or till I heare a Scene more nobly take,
Then when thy half-Sword parlying Romans ſpake.
Till theſe, till any of thy Volumes reſt
Shall with more fire, more feeling be expreſt,
Be ſure, our Shake-ſpeare, thou canſt never dye,
But crown’d with Lawrell, liue eternally.