In The Romance of Certain Old Clothes, an early tale of Henry Jamess, two sisters bear the names of young Shakespearean heroines. Biographical critics have seen in their rivalry a reflection of the authors relations with his brother William. This essay is more interested in the clothes, and the fears and desires to which they give rise. The sisters antagonism provides the model for a debate that runs through Jamess thinking about property, legacy and memory: on the one hand a dream of total control, on the other of wholesale dispersal. If the violence with which this early tale ends is unusual for James, the threat of it is never absent, and this is a key to the way Shakespeare works in his imagination, that he is often associated with injury, especially in Othello and Hamlet. Shakespeares words are themselves the matter of memory, collective and personal, for James and his readers. Jamess extraordinary late essay on The Tempest serves to draw together the main strands of the argument, before a final glancing comparison between the legacies that Shakespeare and James appeared to leave in 1916, on the latters death, and the tercentenary of the formers.