Ok. I need to rewrite this thing. I make, let’s see, yes, and income from lands, hmm. Maybe about $450,000 a year. Debts. Well, what are debts? I’ll be dead. Come and get me. So.
I William Shakespeare being of sound mind. Why do they always start this way. If I were not of sound mind I’d be unable to write this. Most likely. Or I would think myself immortal so what use is a Will? Well in the name of god amen I have to include everybody, especially her, so they tell me. Posterity to consider. Mustn’t seem ungenerous or mean. Fine. So in perfect health and memory god be praised yada yada. I commend my soul into the hands of etcetera. Stick my body in the ground and cover it well. Feed me to the worms and the rats. Eat up boys, here’s a fat one. Get them drunk on the spirits in my belly, my spirit will be drinking in life everlasting.
Daughter Judith, money. Susanna, oldest. Property, money. Neice Elizabeth money, not as much as Judith. Nice amount. Carve it up girls. Sisters. Toss some money at them and let them squabble over it themselves. Divide it fairly, but take into account grudges, grievances, arguments long past, childhood woundings. Balance that ledger ladies; nice to give them something to do. More reasons to hate. Give one of them my clothing. A bit for the nephews. Small but not too small amount of money for the poor of Stratford. Lawyer said I should do that. Friends now.
My sword to Mr. Thomas Combe so he may have something with which to stab himself. Hamlet Sadler, William Reynolds, William Walker, Anthony Nashe, John Nashe, John Hemings, Richard Burbage, Henry Cundell: money to buy rings.
All of my household goods to Judith. Jewels, she can have them. Susanna gets the property, let Judith have the jewels.
And my wife. She can have what she already has. Have them insert that near the end. Enough. I give her no more of me. And how do I. Oh yes, can’t forget, I do revoke all former wills and publish this to be my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand the day and year first above written by me William Shakespeare. Good. Centuries of people will hover over that second best bed and wonder why. That should piss her off for all eternity.