Friday, March 19, 2004

My weird aunt will be particularly interested to know you can now view Shakespeare's will online. But the legibility is not particularly high. It puts me in mind of Mark Twain in The Innocents Abroad:

"Ah--Ferguson--what--what did you say was the name of the party who wrote this?"

"Christopher Colombo! ze great Christopher Colombo!"

Another deliberate examination.

"Ah--did he write it himself, or--or how?"

"He write it himself!--Christopher Colombo! he's own handwriting, write by himself!"

Then the doctor laid the document down and said:

"Why I have seen boys in America only fourteen years old that could write better than that."

"But zis is ze great Christo---"

"I don't care who it is! It's the worst writing I ever saw. No you mustn't think you can impose on us because we are strangers. We are not fools, by a good deal. If you have got any specimens of penmanship of real merit, trot them out!--and if you haven't, drive on!"

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