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From the "Times," Tuesday, October 15th, 1861.



I ENTREAT you to lend your aid in an endeavour to avert from England a disgrace which, in the judgment of posterity at least, if not in that of our own generation, will be estimated as equalled only by that which would be inflicted by a successful foreign invasion.
      It would have been better if persons of more influence than myself had interfered. As it is, no one else making a sign, my feeble effort in a great cause may not be thought altogether presumptuous; or, at least, an excuse for it may be found in its sincerity and earnestness.
      New-place, Stratford-on-Avon, the spot on which Shakespeare passed the last twenty years of his life, and where he died, is not only for peremptory sale on the 25th of this month, but the attraction of its "extensive frontage in the centre of the town" is held out invitingly to speculative builders.
      A volume of sentiment might be written on this threatened desecration. It would not add to the effect of the simple announcement on the mind of any one appreciating the importance of preserving to England, and for the world, this national sanctuary.

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      The owners of the property are not to blame. They advertised it first in the name of Shakespeare, and there was no response on the part of the public. They are now trying to make the most of it by selling it as a mere investment. In the former case, 3,000l. was asked, and the property was bought in at something like 1,200l. It strikes me that, under all circumstances, 1,500l. would be now a fair offer on behalf of the public, and a sum that would probably secure it.
      There is no time to collect this sum by dribblets; but, surely, among our wealthy classes fifteen persons can be found who will put down their 100l. each, and so settle the matter. I should not myself be justified in being one of the fifteen, who must be sought for among persons of wealth, but in one not at all unlikely case I could assist the object in even probably a more effectual manner. If the subscriptions promised are liberal, but still of an inadequate amount, sooner than allow the property to go into the hands of the builders, I would, if the subscribers are content to leave the matter in my hands, advance any sum necessary, not exceeding 400l., without interest, for a limited time, hoping and believing that that amount, if time were allowed, could be collected in smaller sums. If not in England alone, I feel sure that remittances for such an object would flow in liberally from the colonies and from America, notwithstanding the present unhappy differences in the latter country.
      It is right when asking the public for money to say exactly what will be done with it. I propose, then, as soon as the subscriptions are sufficient to cover the expenses of purchase, to transfer the property to the corporation of Stratford-on-Avon, but on the express conditions that the pubic be always freely admitted, and that no erection of any kind be ever permitted in the gardens. This is the grand thing to guard against—to prevent the spot being messed and cockneyfied. Some years ago it was proposed to raise a monument p.4 / here to the memory of the poet,—just as if Shakespeare wants any monument but that of his works. The only monument I should erect would be one outside the gates of New-place, recording to posterity in enduring marble the honoured names of the fifteen through whose interposition the sacred spot was preserved.
      Those who are inclined to assist in carrying out this object will oblige by at once communicating with me at No. 6, St.Mary's-place, West Brompton, near London. After the sale is over, I will duly render an account of my stewardship, and in the meantime, being well acquainted with the locality, it would give me pleasure to answer any inquiries on the subject.
      It must be recollected that time presses. On the 25th (next Friday week), if nothing be done to avert the calamity, in all probability the gardens of Shakespeare will be handed over to the mercies of the speculator, and before many months are over we shall have tasteless erections of red brick where all should breathe of poetry, the honeysuckle, and the eglantine. Your obedient servant,

J. O. HALLIWELL.      

    St. Mary's, West Brompton, Oct. 14.