William the Conqueror

William Shakespeare's friend and fellow actor Richard Burbage, while playing the title role in Richard III, arranged an assignation with a certain woman who lived near the playhouse. "Announce yourself as Richard III," she advised him cautiously.

William Shakespeare, having overheard their conversation, slipped out of the theater ahead of Burbage and hastened to the woman's home, where, announcing himself as Richard III, he was duly admitted up to her bedroom.

Some time later, a second message was brought up: "Richard III" was at the door. The wily playwright sent a message down to Burbage: William the Conqueror, it explained, came before Richard III.

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