We arrived from Oxford to Stratford-upon-Avon in short order and with great delight. Having spent two nights in Oxford we were to stay three nights in the hometown of Shakespeare. Our faces glowed with great satisfaction when we pulled into The Stratford, A QHotel. It was such an upgrade from the small hotel that we had stayed in at Oxford. While the Oxford hotel room had been extremely small with a toilet that leaked onto the floor of the Loo…The Stratford was a lovely upscale hotel with both a Pub and a restaurant. The rooms were spacious and air conditioned…and the toilet did not leak.
Having difficulty in believing our good fortune, as this was the largest and nicest hotel room that it had been our fortune to stay in, in Europe, we proceeded to first tour the historic village.
Our Tour Guide was a native of Stratford-upon-Avon…and was a delight!
One of the first places we toured was the cemetery.
Then we visited Shakespeare’s Tomb in Holy Trinity Church.
Also, there was our throughly enjoyable…and frightening attendance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s production of Dr. Faustus in the Swan Theatre. This Play and Performance is weird and strange and unsettling from beginning to end…and the performers are so talented that you forget that you are in a theatre…and that it is not real!
So, during our sojourn…as is my custom when in Europe…I searched for a Tobacco Shop for some good United Kingdom Cigars…and found some.
Here I am setting in the pastoral courtyard of The Stratford after a wonderful British Breakfast…looking up at the a corner window of the grand hotel…and seeing a young girl looking down forlornly at the garden setting.
This window appeared to be set apart from the rest of the rooms in an upper cupola. Although I had enjoyed more than one British Cigar during my stay in the comely establishment…I had not previously seen the window…or the girl.
As I watched her for some time…it takes awhile to smoke a good cigar…I noticed she did not move or seem to change expression.
Who was this girl? Why did she set looking so sad in this obscure window? Was she real or a spirit from long ago?
“I have heard (but not believed) the spirits of the dead May walk again: if such thing be, thy mother Appeared to me last night; for ne’er was dream So like waking.” (The Winters’ Tale 3.3)
“By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes.” (Macbeth 4.1)
“Yesterday the bird of night did sit, Even at noon-day, upon the marked-place, Hooting and shrieking.” (Julius Caesar, 1.3)