Page:Observations on an autograph of Shakespeare, and the orthography of his name.djvu/19
And the Orthography of his Name.
to it (one to each sheet), and they were engraved for the first time in the second edition of Shakspere, by Johnson and Steevens, in 1788. They have since been engraved in nearly all the subsequent editions; in Malone's "Inquiry," 1796; in Chalmers's "Apology," 1797; in Harding's "Essence of Malone," 1801; in Ireland's "Confessions," 1805; in Drake's "Shakspeare and his Times," 1817; and lastly, in J. G. Nichols's "Autographs," 1829; in which work they are, for the second time, traced from the original document. The first of these signatures, subscribed on the first sheet, at the right hand corner of the paper, is decidedly William Shakspere, and no one has ventured to raise a doubt respecting the six last letters. The second signature is at the left hand corner of the second sheet, and is also clearly Will'm Shakspere, although from the tail of the letter h of the line above intervening between the e and r, Chalmers would fain raise an idle quibble as to the omission of a letter. The third signature has been the subject of greater controversy, and has usually been read, By me, William Shakspeare. Malone, however, was the first publicly to abjure this reading, and in his "Inquiry," p. 117, owns the error to have been pointed out to him by