No long acquaintance with the plays of Shakespeare is needed to make the reader aware that beneath the poetry and the seemingly effortless generation of lifelike and memorable characters he manifested to a considerable extent the bourgeois virtue of economy. The man who plowed his profits back into playhouse property, who purchased a "praty howse of brike and tymbar" and retired to it at a time of life when almost all of his confreres in the profession were destined for penury, displayed the same ingrained conservatism toward valuable plot-material as toward money.