standard books. Nor is the scholars’ consensusrnall that consensual. Many scholarsrnnow argue, on documentary evidence,rnthat Shakespeare’s family wasrnCatholic, that he was well-connected onrnhis mother’s side, and that his father wasrna good deal better off than has beenrnthought.rnYet the most important thing wernknow about Shakespeare will always bernthe fact that he wrote those plays and poems.rnThey are the reason we bother withrnthe rest of his life at all, and the onlyrnworking assumption one can make aboutrnthe relationship between Shakespeare’srnlife and work is that he was the kind ofrnperson who produced it. It may be truernin a general way that all literature is autobiographical;rnbut although sheer humanrncuriosity might tempt us to try, we cannotrnturn Shakespeare’s work back intornhis life without documentary help. Mr.rnSobran is not alone in thinking that therncharacter of Polonius is based on LordrnBurghley; it is a pleasant speculation, butrnthere is no reason to believe it is true.rnSimilarly, Mr. Sobran thinks that the authorrnof the plays must have visited Italy;rnbut one cannot argue one’s way from literaturernto life like that. Fiction does notrnconvert into fact, however true to life itrnseems to be. Besides, as things nowrnstand, should we ever find out that thernauthor of Othello had gone to Venice, itrnwill be William Shakespeare who did therngoing.rnOne effect of Mr. Sobran’s attack onrnprofessors for wasting time and moneyrnin pursuit of Shakespeare is to misdirectrnhis readers’ attention from the hugernachievement of humanist scholarship inrnour time, including Shakespeare scholarship,rnwhich is, ironically enough, the recoveryrnof the real, usable past. Scholarshiprnis the reason why, to give anrnexample, if Mr. Sobran enjoys Shakespeare’srnplays, he can now plan to see arnperformance in a rebuilt Globe Theaterrnon the banks of the Thames. In fact arnreader who wants to experience the excitementrnand success of scholarly detectionrncould do no better than read JohnrnOrrell’s The Quest for Shakespeare’srnGlobe, a book in which one can follow arnscholar as he elicits the form of a lost theaterrnfrom recovered fact.rnMr. Sobran tells a story, but it strainsrncredulity, and he has recovered no facts.rnHis alternative past has its own kind ofrnbizarre interest, but it is not true. -v-rnTHE WISDOM OF THE PLANNED GIFTrnThere are many ways to give to educational and charitable organizations such as The Rockford Institute,rnpublisher of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. Most people make direct gifts, which result in arn”charitable deduction” from their taxable incomes.rnAnother option is to establish a Charitable Remainder Trust. Assume, for example, that a person boughtrnstock years ago at a cost of $20,000 that is now worth $50,000 and pays 3 percent in dividends. One way tornlock in the current value, avoid capital gains tax, and derive more income would be to create a CharitablernRemainder Unitrust. Pay-out percentages could be set at from 5 percent to 8 percent, and the funds placed inrnsecure income-producing investments. If the trust earns more than the agreed pay-out, the additional money isrnadded to the trust so that its size increases. Upon the death of the donor or his beneficiary, the trust wouldrnbecome the property of the Institute or other charities of the donor’s choice. Estate taxes are eliminated andrnthere is a sizable charitable deduction in the year the trust is established. The amount of the charitablerndeduction depends on the age of the donor and the income retained.rnLegacy Program, The Rockford Institute, 934 North Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103rn[ I Please send me general information on “Planned Giving” options.rnI I Please send me information on the Institute’s Charitable Remainder Trust Fund.rnNAME^rnCITY_ STATE_rnADDRESS.rn_ ZIP PHONErnIf you have a specific asset, such as stocks, that you are considering for a contribution, and if you would like the Institute to evaluate the financial taxrnimplications for your gift, please include the following information:rnSS#_ _ SS # (SPOUSE).rnCOST OF ASSET_ ESTIMATED MARKET VALUE_rn28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn