Wouldn’t you know? —Shakespeare had something to say about immigrants. This is from the TLS, a clipping that I’ve saved for some time (since October, 2018). The reviewer, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, quotes the bard as an introduction to three books he is reviewing about refugees and migrants. He says that the only surviving example of William Shakespeare’s handwriting is supposed to be in a co-authored manuscript of a play, The Book of Sir Thomas More. Shakespeare’s hand-written contribution is a speech by More as deputy sheriff addressing a mob rioting against immigrants. He asks them to think what they would feel like if they were in the shoes of the “strangers” exiled from home:

What country by the nature of your error,

Should give you harbour? Go you to France or Flanders,

To any German province,Spain or Portugal,

Anywhere that adheres to England,

Why, you must needs be strangers, would you be pleas’d

To find a nation of such barbarous temper

That breaking out in hideous violence

Would not afford you abode on earth,

Whet their detested knives against your throats,

Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God

Owed not nor made not you, not that that the elements

Were not all appropriate to your comforts,

But charter’d unto them? What would you think

To be us’d thus? This is the strangers’ case

And this your mountainish inhumanity.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.