Diplomatic immunity on the early modern stage: Verbatim repetition of documents
Near the end of a ground-breaking study of the notion of authenticity in relation to the Shakespearian text, Margreta de Grazia observed a textual phenomenon which is disturbing for us, but apparently was not for the early moderns. Edmond Malone's 1790 edition of The Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare marked a sudden shift in Shakespeare studies in which a new rigorous objectivity, based on factual records, was required, and by reference to the earliest available printings Malone attempted to reproduce Shakespeare with as little interference as possible, ideally 'verbatim'. But Malone noticed that Shakespeare did not share his concern with verbatim reproduction: in a play the same paper can be read by two different people using different words. Specifically, De Grazia cited 2 Henry 6 in which the articles of peace are twice read aloud with differences in wording. Malone put this down to carelessness on Shakespeare's part, but De Grazia sought an explanation using Michel Foucault's notion of the 'author function' [SLIDE 1]:
For Malone, these deviations within the text were symptomatic not of the medium's instability, but rather of Shakespeare's 'negligence'. Indeed, he found them so characteristic in the contested works that he considered them conclusive proof of Shakespeare's authorship. At this point, we can see how the notion of a single authorial consciousness (with its occasional lapses into unconsciousness) serves a regulatory function, converting what we have called the 'copiousness' of both mechanical and rhetorical 'copy' into personal idiosyncrasy. Verbatim repetition requires a language in standardized stasis, put under the mastery of precisely the historicized, individuated, and entitled subject Malone both presumed and projected in his 1790s Shakespeare. (De Grazia 1991, 223)
Although De Grazia does not mention Foucault's notion of the 'author function' for another two pages, and then only in a footnote concerning the anti-Stratfordian conspiracy theorists, the above paragraph is clearly informed by Foucault's assertion that authors are a thrifty brake upon copious interpretative proliferation. For Foucault, an author was not the simple concept it might seem: some discourses have authors and some do not, and the need for authors changes over time. With the rise of empiricism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, science (which had hitherto valued the writer) became impersonal (relying on verifiable, reproducible, tests) while literary works (which hitherto had been relatively indifferent to authors) became personal (Foucault 1979, 148-49). Authors are not so much intrinsic originators of texts but rather extrinsic products of the consumption of texts; author are assigned to texts which need them and not others. It is better, Foucault argued, to think not of authors but of the 'author function', an exegetic principle applicable not only to written texts but whole fields of study. Above all, the 'author function' is "the principle of thrift in the proliferation of meaning" (Foucault 1979, 159), used coercively to exclude outlandish interpretations. Appropriately enough this famous summation of Foucault's idea does not appear in all versions of his essay, being absent from the first English translation (Foucault 1975). Foucault located the important epistemic break around 1800 when the needs of private intellectual property generated our modern sense of an author.
Certainly in support of Foucault's assertion is De Grazia observation that around 1800 the use of what we call quotation marks in printed works changed. Previously the symbol marked 'sententiae', sayings which because of their importance were worth remembering and repeating and thus were worth circulating freely (a form of public ownership), but around the time Foucault identifies as the birth of modern author function, quotation marks began to be used to acknowledge borrowing of another's words and thus showed a respect for private intellectual property (De Grazia 1991, 214-19). At this time novels began to distinguish one character's words from another's by use of quotation marks. In a play, spatial organization shows who says what but the need to apply quotation marks occurs when one character repeats the words of another, as when the Citizen in Coriolanus recalls, inaccurately, Coriolanus's apparently mock-humble words (2.3.75-77, 112-31, and 166-731). The recitations of others' words within a Shakespeare play is often not verbatim and simply "called back to mind what needed to be remembered" (De Grazia 1991, 217). Such restatements "have the dramatic significance of letters which the Folio italicized with relative consistency" (De Grazia 1991, 217). We can easily accept that when repeating another's words a character might garble, compress, or paraphrase what is heard, but surely a letter read twice should not change its contents? De Grazia's invocation of Foucault, and her use of the example from 2 Henry 6, were clearly intended to suggest that the early moderns would not have perceived a significant discrepancy in a letter being read aloud twice with different wordings.
To facilitate experiments on the stage of the Globe reconstruction in London I have considered all examples of onstage reading aloud of words written down in all early printings. In most cases the words are written down on paper, although in two cases the medium is a tablet (one at least being wax) and once it is sand. For each example I have recorded typographical features of the document's representation in the early printed text and the presence of unspoken words (headings such as 'The letter' and stage directions such as 'He reads') in the important early printings. The first results are tabulated in Table 1 and I would be grateful for notice of omissions. Where the words are written on a paper document used in performance they have a dual status within the textual economy of the early modern theatre since they are part of the script but are also theatrical properties, and this may bear upon their representation in the printings. Tiffany Stern argued that in authorial papers such words would be headed 'letter' so that the theatrical scribe would know to leave them out of the actor's 'part' (the scroll giving all the lines for a particular role) and instead to write it on a separate piece of paper to be handed to the actor during the performance (Stern 1999). In the "prompt-book", Stern argued, it would be essential that speakers' names were clearly marked but the words themselves could be omitted since these existed on the property itself, so only the tag 'The letter' need be recorded. However, it would be wise for the promptbook to repeat the speech prefix after the letter to make absolutely clear that the same person is still speaking, and thus in early printed texts the use of a particular speech prefix after the reading of a letter does not indicate that someone else read the letter, as has often been thought in the case of Antonio's letter to Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice (Stern 1999, 232). Stern's argument is convincing, although the distinction she makes between a "prompt-book" and "foul papers" is one under considerable pressure from those argue that the surviving theatrical documents sprawl across these tidy New Bibliographical categories (Long 1999; Long 1985b; Werstine 1997b; Werstine 1997a; Werstine 1998; Long 1985a; Long 1989; Werstine 1999a; Werstine 1999b; Werstine 1990). Also, it is difficult to believe that a playbook would be licensed if it were a manifestly incomplete record of the words spoken onstage, and licensing of supplementary textual properties would be awkward. A evaluation of Stern's hypothesis in the light of the evidence from all the Shakespearian examples of letter reading will accompany the final form of the current research; the interest here is confined to the re-reading of documents to test De Grazia's argument about the verbatim repetition.
Although more than three-quarters of Shakespeare's plays (28 out of 37) contain scenes in which documents are read, in only two plays are documents re-read: The First Part of the Contention of the Two Famous Houses of York and Lancaster (2 Henry 6), and Cymbeline. The First Part of the Contention is extant in two substantive versions, a quarto of 1594 which was probably based on a memorial reconstruction (perhaps made for the purpose of touring the play) and the 1623 Folio printing which was based on foul papers, perhaps reworked for a revival, supplemented by Q3, itself a Q1 reprint (Wells et al. 1987, 175-78; Montgomery 1989, 22). The play begins with Suffolk's return from France bringing Margaret, King Henry 6's bride-to-be, and the articles of peace which specify a kind of negative dowry: English possessions in France to be given to her father. Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, begins to read the articles [SLIDE 2]:
Humphrey. Imprimis, It is agreed betweene the French King
Charles, and William de la Poule, Marquesse of Suffolke, Embas-
sador for Henry King of England, that the said Henry shal wed
and espouse the Ladie Margaret, daughter to Raynard King of
Naples, Cylles, and Ierusalem, and crowne her Queene of Eng-
land, ere the 30. of the next month.
Item. It is further agreed betwene them, that the Dutches of An-
ioy and of Maine, shalbe released and deliuered ouer to the
King her fa.
Duke Humphrey lets it fall.
(Shakespeare 1594, A2v)
Gloucester breaks off reading, saying he is overcome by a "sodain qualm", and Cardinal Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, takes over:
Cardinall. Item, It is further agreed betweene them, that the
Dutches of Anioy and of Mayne, shal be released and deliue-
red ouer to the King her father, & she sent ouer of the King
of Englands owne proper cost and charges without dowry.
(Shakespeare 1594, A3r)
Where the two recitations overlap ("Item . . . fa") the words in the quarto version are identical [SLIDE 3], although the punctuation and spelling vary. The Folio version has [SLIDE 4]:
Glo. Reads. Inprimis, It is agreed betweene the French K.
Charles, and William de la Pole Marquesse of Suffolke, Am-
bassador for Henry King of England, That the said Henry shal
espouse the Lady Margaret, daughter vnto Reignier King of
Naples, Sicillia, and Ierusalem, and Crowne her Queene of
England, ere the thirtieth of May next ensuing.
Item, That the Dutchy of Aniou, and the County of Main,
shall be released and deliuered to the King her father.
King. Vnkle, how now?
Glo. Pardon me gracious Lord,
Some sodaine qualme hath struck me at the heart,
As in the quarto, Cardinal Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, takes over reading the articles:
Win. Item, It is further agreed betweene them, That the
Dutchesse of Aniou and Maine, shall be released and deliuered
ouer to the King her Father, and shee sent ouer of the King of
Englands owne proper Cost and Charges, without hauing any
(Shakespeare 1623, m2v)
In the Folio there are substantial differences between the first and second readings of the articles [SLIDE 5]. The second reading inserts "It is further agreed betweene them" after the listing tag "Item", changes "Dutchy" to "Dutchesse", cuts "the County of" and inserts "ouer" before "to the King her Father". This is the central piece of evidence used by De Grazia for the claim that we should consider Shakespeare and his contemporaries to be on the far side of an epistemic shift around 1800, when our notion of authorship came into being. All other examples of inaccurate repetition cited by De Grazia are of characters repeating what they have heard (De Grazia 1991, 216-17). If the Folio represents what was performed, the theatre practitioners must have thought the audience would not notice or would not mind, and this suggests habits of mind which we, as writers and readers, do not share. Even if the Folio does not represent what was performed, it might well represent what was in the underlying manuscript (whose writer did not notice or not care) and in any case it shows that those involved in printing the play were not sufficiently concerned, or not sufficiently attentive, to regularize the two readings.
In the quarto version of this scene, the second reading is identical to the first [SLIDE 6]. More importantly, however, these readings are almost identical to the Folio's second reading. If the property document containing the articles were available to the reconstructors this might explain why both the quarto's readings so closely match the F's second reading. The authorial papers underlying F might easily contain a discrepancy if they were, as other evidence suggests, close to initial composition, and whether or not the two recitations in F were regularized the scribe making the property document would necessarily copy from the second recitation since the first is incomplete. The property document, then, would read as Cardinal Beaufort's version in the Folio text. The words in the property document are the words which would be spoken onstage, whatever the playbook might say, since actors do not learn lines unnecessarily. The identity of the reconstructors is uncertain (Wells et al. 1987, 175-76), but the words of this property document might reach Q1 via direct possession of the property document or familiarity with it, which casts suspicion on the actors playing Gloucester and Beaufort.
If we suppose that the Folio text of Beaufort's recitation is what was used for the property document, a single small variant between F's second recitation and the quarto version can be explained [SLIDE 7]. If the manuscript underlying F's second recitation referred to "the Dutches of Anioy and Maine" to be "released and delivered" to Margaret's father, there might be an unwanted suggestion that a person (a duchess of Anjou and Maine) rather than lands were to be freed and handed over. Indeed this is what Beaufort appears to say in the Folio: "the Dutchesse of Aniou and Maine". A solution would be for the scribe making the property document to repeat the word "of" before "Maine" [SLIDE 8] so that the phrasing becomes unambiguous, since no-one could be the 'duchess of Anjou and of Maine'. Thus a long 'e' pronunciation of "Dutches", indicating two duchies, would be ensured. The actors reconstructing the script to make Q1, having access to this property document, repeated its word "of" both times they copied it out [SLIDE 9].
There is an alternative, I think weaker, explanation. In the textual introduction to the Oxford Complete Works, William Montgomery recorded that in editing the play for his doctoral thesis he decided that F's second recitation derived not from the single manuscript used for most of the play, but from a quarto, probably Q3 (Wells et al. 1987, 176). In the textual note for the second recitation (numbered 1.1.55-59 in the Oxford edition), Montgomery reported that "F has been contaminated by Q here: the Cardinal's reading should be identical with Gloucester's" (Wells et al. 1987, 179). To understand why Montgomery thought this we need to turn to his doctoral thesis in which he considered the long-recognized phenomenon that certain passages in the play show "extraordinarily close correspondence in Q and F", so close that the memorial reconstruction hypothesis cannot provide the explanation because no-one's memory could be so good (Montgomery 1985, 2:xxxvii). Peter Alexander's answer was that the reconstructors had scraps of manuscript to supplement their memories, but R. B. McKerrow's explanation has won out: F was intermittently set up from a copy of Q. Curbing the excesses of the editor of the Arden edition of the play (Shakespeare 1957), Montgomery observed that the only way to demonstrate the dependence of one edition on another is to show that the later maintains a clear error which is also in the earlier. It is no good showing that indifferent variants agree since these can happen independently of one another and it is equally pointless to show, as Cairncross frequently did, that good readings agree since these can come from a reliable manuscript source and not the earlier printing. An error which Montgomery thought the significant was the spelling "Dutchesss" in the second reading of the articles of peace in the Folio text [SLIDE 10]. This is a spelling oddity which F shares with Q3 [SLIDE 11] and against Q1 and Q2 [SLIDE 12]. Montgomery admitted that a compositor in 1619 or 1623 (setting Q3 or F) might himself change "duches" (which was by then an archaism) into "dutchesse", thinking it meant the person. Thus this is not a strong Q3/F link, but it does suggest some Q/F connection or that "very similar manuscripts lay behind this part of both Q and F" (Montgomery 1985, 2:xlii). Considering all the Q/F agreements in error, Montgomery showed that if a quarto was consulted it was probably Q3 (Montgomery 1985, 2:xlvii). In all Montgomery found 7 moments in the play where F seems dependent on Q, and he decided that because the link is transcriptional--Q3 was consulted to fill gaps in the copy for F--it was now reasonable for him to "extend these seven points of demonstrable transcriptional contact to include that portion of their immediate context in which Q and F, for the most part, verbally agreed" (Montgomery 1985, 2:xlvi). Starting from each moment of agreement in error, Montgomery worked outwards until F and Q3 ceased to agree, and because several of the 7 spots of agreement are close to one another, this 'join the dots' procedure makes them merge, producing 3 substantial chunks of F where Q3 was consulted (F TLN 63-79, 858-904, 2598-2639). The first of these chunks is the second reading of articles of peace and continuing on for a dozen lines until the King, Queen, and Suffolk exit.
I would like to make three observations about Montgomery's work here. First, Montgomery admitted that the evidence of Q1+2 having "Dutches" where Q3+F have "Dutchesse" does not constitute a strong Q3/F link (Montgomery 1985, 2:xlii) and the other evidence of a Q/F link was, again by Montgomery's admission, even weaker (Montgomery 1985, 2:xlvii). This other evidence is 5 cases of mislineation of verse which F shares with all the quartos, and a speech problem in F at TLN 2625-28 where Butcher and Dicke (the same person) get different successive speeches (Montgomery 1985, 2:xliii-xliv). Cairncross explained the Butcher/Dicke confusion by imagining that an additional speech was added to the Q used to make F and this speech should have been accompanied by the deletion of a speech prefix, but by error the deletion was not made. This error in F seems, then, to be at a point where F depends on Q, but of course the error could just as easily be an error in the authorial manuscript underlying F, as Montgomery observed (Montgomery 1985, 2:xliv). The mislineation evidence Montgomery characterized as "not conclusive" of Q influencing F, but he did not speculate how else the agreement in error might have come about (Montgomery 1985, 2:xlvii); coincidence must be one possibility. Montgomery decided that "The 'duches' evidence is perhaps the strongest . . . but again, by no means conclusive" (Montgomery 1985, 2:xlvii). My second observation, then, is that in the light of this inconclusive evidence it is surprising that Montgomery should choose to join the inconclusive pieces of evidence together in choosing to "extend these seven points of demonstrable transcriptional contact to include that portion of their immediate context in which Q and F, for the most part, verbally agreed" (Montgomery 1985, 2:xlvi). Montgomery's assumed that Q3 was used as copy for F from the second articles of peace and the next dozen lines as well [SLIDE 13]. This requires that, as Q3 was copied, some of it was left out and invented additions put it [SLIDE 14]. The second "of" was removed from Q3's "of Anioy and of Mayne", Q3's "without dowry" was supplemented by two additional redundant words to make F's "without hauing any Dowry". An additional "the" was added to Q3's "we heere create thee first Duke of Suffolke" to make F's "create thee the first Duke of Suffolke", which extra "the" is semantically redundant but regularizes the metre. In what might be thought a simple correction, the redundant second "and" was removed from Q3's list "Winchester, Gloster, Yorke, and Buckingham, Somerset, Salisbury, and Warwicke". (One is tempted to defend the two 'ands' as a verbal recognition that two factions are forming, but the list is faulty in all the quartos and in F since Winchester and York are the same man, but in Montgomery's hypothesis this was not noticed or worried about as Q3 was here copied to make F.) Moreover, although making these 4 minor alterations while copying from Q3, the copyist (or the compositor, if Q3 was consulted as the type was being set) made no attempt to adjust the new material to fit what had already been read out from the same document, in Gloucester's broken-off reading of it. The 'patcher' was, then, and as De Grazia would have it, unconcerned that he had thereby introduced a contradiction.
The First Part of the Contention contains the second of only three occasions in the Shakespeare canon when a document is read aloud more than once by different characters. In the quarto's version of the conjuring scene John Hume receives from Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester, a "scrole of paper" on which are the questions she wants answered by the spirit which he, together with the witch Margery Jordan and the conjuror Roger Bolingbroke, will raise. Because of the ambiguous phrasing, it is not clear whether Eleanor uses the indicative or the imperative mood concerning the writing down of the spirit's answers, so she might mean that she will (indicative) or Hume should (imperative) do this [SLIDE 15]:
Elnor. Here Sir Iohn, take this scrole of paper here,
Wherein is writ the questions you shall aske,
And I will stand vpon this Tower here,
And here the spirit what it saies to you,
And to my questions, write the answeres downe.
She goes vp to the Tower
(Shakespeare 1594, B4v)
Presumably the "scole of paper" is passed to Bolingbroke, since he actually asks the questions:
It thunders and lightens, and then the spirit
Spirit. Now Bullenbrooke what wouldst thou haue me do?
Bullen. First of the King, what shall become of him?
Spirit. The Duke yet liues that Henry shall depose,
But him out liue, and dye a violent death.
Bullen. What fate awayt the Duke of Suffolke.
Spirit. By water shall he die and take his ende.
Bullen. What shall betide the Duke of Somerset?
Spirit. Let him shun Castles, safer shall he be vpon the sandie
plaines, then where Castles mounted stand.
Now question me no more, for I must hence againe.
He sinkes down again.
(Shakespeare 1594, C1r)
The text does not make clear whether Bolingbroke writes the answers on the piece of paper from which he is reading the questions, or whether someone else records the answers (or even the questions and the answers).
The Folio version of this questioning is largely the same, although there is no mention of the writing down of the questions or answers. (This difference between F and Q1 is consistent with the former representing authorial papers and the latter representing the more practically-minded concerns of actors putting on a performance.) In the Folio version the questions are similar to those in the quarto version [SLIDE 16]:
Bulling. First of the King: What shall of him be-
Spirit. The Duke yet liues, that Henry shall depose:
But him out-liue, and dye a violent death.
Bulling. What fates await the Duke of Suffolke?
Spirit. By Water shall he dye, and take his end.
Bulling. What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?
Spirit. Let him shun Castles,
Safer shall he be vpon the sandie Plaines,
Then where Castles mounted stand.
(Shakespeare 1623, m5r)
Being prophecies, the words spoken by the spirit are, of course, inherently more memorably than the terms of the articles of peace: one expects a quality of riddling which makes attention to verbal detail important. It would not be dramatically unreasonable, however, if the character recording the spirit's answers were to err in verbal details since the moment is one of mortal danger and high tension does not make for accurate reporting. If the piece, or pieces, of paper on which are recorded the questions and answers were to be read aloud later in the play, the questions (prepared beforehand) should remain exactly the same while the answers might vary slightly from what the spirit said if the recorder was not word perfect in his work. In the Folio version of the conjuring scene, but not the quarto, the questions and answers are read aloud almost immediately by the Duke of York who bursts in and arrests those present [SLIDE 17]:
Yorke. Lord Buckingham, me thinks you watcht her well:
A pretty Plot, well chosen to build vpon.
Now pray my Lord, let's see the Deuils Writ.
What haue we here? Reades.
The Duke yet liues, that Henry shall depose:
But him out-liue, and dye a violent death.
Why this is iust Aio Æacida Romanos vincere posso.
Well, to the rest:
Tell me what fate awaits the Duke of Suffolke?
By Water shall he dye, and take his end.
What shall betide the Duke of Somerset?
Let him shunne Castles,
Safer shall he be vpon the sandie Plaines,
Then where Castles mounted stand.
(Shakespeare 1623, m5r)
Surprisingly, the answers given by the spirit are recorded perfectly in the paper held by York, but the questions are not what Bolingbroke asked [SLIDE 18]. I suppose it is possible that the character who did the recording wrote down the questions as they were spoken as well as the answers, and made errors only in the recording the questions. More plausibly the Folio text again is inconsistent because it is close to the first draft and has yet to be smoothed in performance, as the editorial consensus represented by Wells and Taylor, Montgomery and Roger Warren (discussed below) has it. In the quarto version of the scene, York's reading of the questions and answers does not happen, so it is silent on this point.
The questions and answers are not read again in the Folio, but in the quarto King Henry reads them when he is apprised of the treasonous plot in 2.1. Buckingham hands Henry one or more pieces of paper and says "heres the answere the diuel did make to them". The king reads [SLIDE 19]:
King. First of the King, what shall become of him?
Reads. The Duke yet liues, that Henry shal depose,
Yet him out liue, and die a violent death.
Gods will be done in all.
What fate awaits the Duke of Suffolke?
By Water shall he die and take his end.
Suffolke. By water must the Duke of Suffolke die?
It must be so, or else the diuel doth lie.
King. Let Somerset shun Castles,
For safer shall he be vpon the sandie plaines,
Then where Castles mounted stand
(Shakespeare 1594, C3v)
The two questions represented here are repeated as originally spoken, except that "await" becomes the grammatically more correct "awaits" [SLIDE 20]. The answer to the first question is different from that given in the conjuring scene: "But him out liue" becomes "Yet him out liue". The third question is not read out, so it unclear exactly where the King begins quoting the answer; possibly "Let Somerset shun Castles, for" is not directly read from the paper but represents Henry's paraphrase of what he silently reads while Suffolk's aside is spoken. Until a systematic study of all readings of documents--the next stage of this research--is completed, no significance can be attached to the stage direction "Reads" being one line lower than we would expect if Henry is reading from a single piece of paper . Neither of F's two recitations of the questions and answers is sufficiently close to either of Q1's recitations to indicate that the memorial reconstructors had access to the piece of paper used in performance. F and Q1 display significant discrepancies between the questions and answers in the conjuring scene and their later repetition, and there is a pattern to the discrepancies [SLIDE 21]:
Q1 changes in spiritual Q&A wording between first and second readings
ANSWER But him out liue -> Yet him outliue
QUESTION What fate awayt -> What fate awaits
ANSWER Let him shun Castles, safer -> Let Somerset shun Castles, / For safer
Folio changes in spiritual Q&A wording between first and second readings
QUESTION What fates await -> Tell me what fate awaits
QUESTION What shall befall -> What shall betide
If Q1's shift of "awayt" to "awaits" is discounted as mere correction of grammar [SLIDE 22], Q1's changes are in the answers only and F's are in the questions only. It is at least dramatically plausible that the answers would not be recorded perfectly (because the recording takes place in the heat of the action), while the questions should, by the same token, remain unchanged. The evidence from Q1 is consistent with it being based upon recollection of a performance. A dramatist writing a prophecy which he intends will become significant in the subsequent action might well for this reason attend to the wording of the spirit's answers more closely than to the questions, so F's pattern (the changes being in the questions only) is consistent with its copy being based on authorial papers reflecting such an attention to prophetic detail.
Arguably, none of the discrepancies discussed in this essay are noticeable in performance, so no hypotheses to account for them are necessary. However, it is unavoidable that Q1 is more consistent about verbatim repetition, or at least is inconsistent in ways which are dramatically more plausible, than F. The scholarly consensus that Q1 represents a necessarily imperfect memorial reconstruction of a play better represented by F was attacked by Steven Urkowitz who saw Q1 as an equally viable dramatic version (Urkowitz 1988), but Roger Warren's response convincingly countered with a series of moments for which a conjecture of garbling best explains Q1 relation to F (Warren 2000, 195-201). Warren did not, however, explicitly counter Urkowitz's observation that Q1's stage directions contain verbal parallels with F's, which ought not to be the case in a report since these elements of the script are not spoken, nor memorized as actors other than as actions (Urkowitz 1988, 252-53). Montgomery thought most of these parallels less compelling than Urkowitz was to claim, since there is, after all, only a limited number of ways to describe an action (Montgomery 1985, 2:xliv-xlv). Nonetheless, the sections of F which Montgomery considered to be dependent on Q3 copy (TLN 63-79, 858-904, 2598-2639) include two of the stage directions ("After the Beadle . . . Miracle" TLN 902-4, and "Alarums . . . with his Company" TLN 2633-4) which Urkowitz thought "terminally embarrassing" to the theory that the quartos derive from a memorial reconstruction (Urkowitz 1988, 253). My objection to Montgomery's argument of sporadic copying from Q3 to make F is the same as Urkowitz's objection (Urkowitz 1988, 254n17) to Cairncross's idea that bits of a quarto were cut out to make F's copy: the differences between F and Q at these points then become as inexplicable as the parallels had been. As I observed above, if Q3 was the copy for F's second reading of the articles of peace then, for reasons unknown, bits were left out and additions put in.
The usefulness of the theory of memorial reconstruction as a general explanation of certain printings, and its application to the of The Contention in particular, are far from settled. Those engaged in memorial reconstruction would, no doubt, be aware (perhaps painfully so) of the gaps in their memories and so would have more reason than a dramatist to regularize the first and second readings of a document if this might be thought an improvement. Whether or not it would be valued as an improvement depends, of course, on whether one accepts or rejects De Grazia's argument about verbatim reproduction, but one can at least offer against her citation of F's inconsistent re-reading of the articles of peace the evidence of Q1's consistent re-reading. Of all the places to detect non-verbatim repetition, articles of peace and supernatural prophecies are perhaps the most surprising, since such texts are especially invested with significance at the level of tiniest verbal detail. Those authoring and copying such documents can be expected to be sensitive to the momentous potential harm which non-verbatim reproduction might engender.
Shakespeare, as we might expect from a poet-dramatist, used verbatim repetition of words in a document as a metaphor for honesty. However, Shakespeare appears to have drawn a distinction between accurate representation of what is within a document, and the learning by rote of a document so that one may pass off its contents as spontaneous thought. Let us consider the latter first. In Twelfth Night, Viola-as-Cesario refers to her communication of love from Orsino to Olivia as "excellently well penned" words she has memorized; such study makes it, says Olivia, "the more like to be feigned" (1.5.166, 188). Here we might suspect Viola of deliberately drawing attention to the medium in order subtly to undermine the message of her love embassy, but the important point is that a document memorized and repeated should not be trusted in the way one trusts spontaneous speech. This point recurs in 1 Henry 6 when Winchester destroys a list of accusations which Gloucester is in the act of posting at the beginning of 3.1 [SLIDE 23]:
Winch. Com'st thou with deepe premeditated Lines?
With written Pamphlets, studiously deuis'd?
Humfrey of Gloster, if thou canst accuse,
Or ought intend'st to lay vnto my charge,
Doe it without inuention, suddenly,
As I with sudden, and extemporall speech.
Purpose to answer what thou canst object.
Glo. Presumptuous Priest, this place co<m>mands my patie<n>ce,
Or thou should'st finde thou hast dis-honor'd me.
Thinke not, although in Writing I preferr'd
The manner of thy vile outragious Crymes,
That therefore I have forg'd, or am not able
Verbatim to rehearse the Methode of my Penne.
(Shakespeare 1623, l1r)
Clearly in operation here is the familiar suspicion of writing as a debased version of thought which is better represented in spontaneous speech. Such phonocentricism in the Western philosophical tradition was critiqued most powerfully by Jaques Derrida in his study of the metaphysics of presence (Derrida 1976), which critique Andrew Murphy argued should inform our understanding of the early printings' relation to the early performances of Shakespeare's plays (Murphy 1999). That this passage from 1 Henry 6 is probably not among Shakespeare's contribution to the play does not invalidate the general point about phonocentrism in the period (Taylor 1995). But Shakespeare also presents the opposite view of reading as an activity which the illiterate can simulate by using memory. In Romeo and Juliet 2.2 Friar Laurence, appalled at Romeo's change of love object, attacks his 'performance' of love as a insincere repetition of tropes memorized and regurgitated:
FRIAR LAURENCE O, she [ie Rosaline] knew well
Thy love did read by rote, that could not spell.
(Romeo and Juliet 2.2.87-88)
Having the friar accuse Romeo of lacking the creative faculty of spelling, Shakespeare (ever the poet-dramatist) discloses a concern for the written text, not the spoken text, as the point of origin for sincere meaning.
Positive evidence of the kind used by De Grazia (in which something is unfaithfully repeated) is of itself more significant than negative evidence of faithful repetition (as in Q1 First Part of the Contention), but the third and final example of a document in which a document is read twice shows a special way in which technology might bear upon verbatim reproduction. In Cymbeline 5.5 Philharmonus is called from among the Roman party to read the prophecy ("this Labell", earlier called a "Tablet" and a "Book") which Posthumus produces from his pocket. In the previous scene this document was laid upon Posthumus's breast as he slept, and upon awaking he read it aloud [SLIDE 24]:
Whenas a Lyons whelpe, shall to himselfe vnknown, with-
out seeking finde, and bee embrac'd by a peece of tender
Ayre: And when from a stately Cedar shall be lopt branches,
which being dead many yeares, shall after reuiue, bee ioynted to
the old Stocke, and freshly grow, then shall Posthumus end his
miseries, Britaine be fortunate, and flourish in Peace and Plen-
(Shakespeare 1623, bbb3v)
When the text of the document is re-read by Philharmonus it again is printed in an italic fount [SLIDE 25] and a close examination of irregularities (for example the break at the top of the second "e" in "tender") indicates that the same block of type was used in the first (5.4) and second (5.5) readings [SLIDE 26]. The relative positions of the lines within the measure are also preserved with greater accuracy than might have been achieved if the type were distributed and recomposed, as one would normally expect: the bottom of the stem of the "f" in "himselfe" meets the top of the "b" in "by". It appears, therefore, that the block of italic type was set side after the printing of forme bbb3v:4 (end of 5.4 and beginning of 5.5) to be reused for the printing of forme bbb1v:6 (end of 4.2 and final printed page of the Folio). Perhaps because his method was concerned with recurrence of individual type rather than blocks of type, Charlton Hinman's analysis of the printing of these formes does not draw attention to this unusual movement of a block of text (Hinman 1963, 322-24). Because the Folio was set by formes it is likely that this labour-saving opportunity was noticed during casting off when the content and sequence of formes was determined. If verbal differences existed between the two readings of the "Labell" in the underlying copy they must have been sufficiently small for this interference in the text to have seemed worthwhile. Warren Smith noticed that the two printings of the prophecy were identical in the tiniest matters, but like Stern he believed that the words of the prophecy did not occur in the promptbook and so had to set by consulting the property document twice (Smith 1950, 180). However, being set twice from the same copy would not produce identical letter spacing, nor would the same broken "e" be likely to occur in the same word twice. It seems that someone in the printing house accepted a principle opposite to De Grazia's: documents should retain their exact wording when re-read, and might be made to do so if the author had failed to quote himself verbatim.
Table 1. Onstage reading of documents, early printings, underlying copy (from William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion), presence of 'header' (eg 'The Letter'), and stage direction (eg 'Reads')
|Play Act.Scene Event||Early printing, underlying copy||Header?||sd?|
|1H4 2.4 unnamed writer's letter to Hotspur||Q, transcript of foul papers.|
|1H4 2.4 unnamed writer's letter to Hotspur||F, Q6 annotated from a transcript of the prompt book|
|1H4 2.5 Oldcastle's tavern bill||Q, transcript of foul papers|
|1H4 2.5 Oldcastle's tavern bill||F, Q6 annotated from a transcript of the prompt book|
|2H4 2.2 Falstaff's letter to Hal||Q, foul papers|
|2H4 2.2 Falstaff's letter to Hal||F, literary transcript of promptbook||
|ADO 5.3 the scroll of Hero's epitaph||Q, foul papers||
|ADO 5.3 the scroll of Hero's epitaph||F, Q annotated from promptbook||
|AIT 2.2 horse keeper's letter to the Lord Chamberlain||F, scribal transcript of authors' papers|
|AWW 2.3 reading of the title of the ballad carried by Lafeu||F, foul papers|
|AWW 3.2 Bertram's letter to his mother||F, foul papers||
|AWW 3.2 Bertram's letter to Helen||F, foul papers|
|AWW 3.4 Helen's letter to the Countess||F, foul papers||
|AWW 4.3 'Commander's' questions to Paroles||F, foul papers|
|AWW 4.3 Paroles's letter to Dian||F, foul papers||
|AWW 5.3 Dian's letter to the king||F, foul papers||
|AWW Helen's re-reading of the letter from Bertram||F, foul papers|
|AYL 3.2 Orlando's verse to Rosalind carried by Celia-as-Aliena||F, promptbook (or transcript of)|
|AYL 4.3 Phoebe's love letter to Rosalind-as-Ganymede||F, promptbook (or transcript of)||
|COR 1.2 letter to Aufidius about Rome's military preparations||F, unknown copy, probably not authorial (promptbook transcript?)|
|CYL 1.1 articles of peace with France||Q1, memorial reconstruction|
|CYL 1.1 articles of peace with France||F, revival foul papers supplemented by Q3 (a Q1 reprint)||
|CYL 1.3 petitions to the Lord Protector||Q1, memorial reconstruction|
|CYL 1.3 petitions to the Lord Protector||F, revival foul papers supplemented by Q3 (a Q1 reprint)|
|CYL 1.4 reading of the magic spell by conjurors||F, revival foul papers supplemented by Q3 (a Q1 reprint)||
|CYL 1.4 Bolingbroke reading the questions to the spirit||Q1, memorial reconstruction|
|CYL 1.4 reading of the Q&A by York||F, revival foul papers supplemented by Q3 (a Q1 reprint)||
|CYL 2.1 reading of the Q&A by King Henry||Q1, memorial reconstruction||
|CYM 1.6 Posthumus's letter to Innogen recommending Giacomo||F, Crane transcript of a manuscript of unknown provenance||
|CYM 3.2 Posthumus's letter to Pisanio||F, Crane transcript of a manuscript of unknown provenance|
|CYM 3.2 Posthumus's letter to Innogen||F, Crane transcript of a manuscript of unknown provenance|
|CYM 3.4 Posthumus's letter to Pisanio (same as in 3.2)||F, Crane transcript of a manuscript of unknown provenance||
|CYM 5.5 Posthumus reading the prophecy||F, Crane transcript of a manuscript of unknown provenance||
|CYM 5.6 Soothsayer reading the prophecy||F, Crane transcript of a manuscript of unknown provenance||
|H5 5.2 Exeter reading Henry's official French title||Q1, memorial reconstruction of abridged text|
|H5 5.2 Exeter reading Henry's official French title||F, foul papers|
|HAM 2.2 Hamlet's letter to Ophelia, read aloud by Polonius||Q1, memorial reconstruction of promptbook|
|HAM 2.2 Hamlet's letter to Ophelia, read aloud by Polonius||Q2, foul papers||
|HAM 2.2 Hamlet's letter to Ophelia, read aloud by Polonius||F, transcript of promptbook||
|HAM 4.6 Hamlet's letter to Horatio||Q2, foul papers|
|HAM 4.6 Hamlet's letter to Horatio||F, transcript of promptbook||
|HAM 4.7 Hamlet's letter to Claudius||Q2, foul papers|
|HAM 4.7 Hamlet's letter to Claudius||F, transcript of promptbook|
|JC 2.1 anonymous letter imploring Brutus to rebel||F, uncertain copy probably not foul papers||
|JC 2.3 Artemidorus's letter warning Caesar||F, uncertain copy probably not foul papers|
|LLL 1.1 reading of the proclamation||Q, lost earlier quarto itself set from foul papers|
|LLL 1.1 reading of the proclamation||F, Q with promptbook influence|
|LLL 1.1 Armado's letter to Biron about Costard & Jaquenetta||Q, lost earlier quarto itself set from foul papers|
|LLL 1.1 Armado's letter to Biron about Costard & Jaquenetta||F, Q with promptbook influence|
|LLL 4.1 Armado's love letter to Jaquenetta||Q, lost earlier quarto itself set from foul papers||
|LLL 4.1 Armado's love letter to Jaquenetta||F, Q with promptbook influence||
|LLL 4.2 Biron's letter to Rosaline||Q, lost earlier quarto itself set from foul papers|
|LLL 4.2 Biron's letter to Rosaline||F, Q with some promptbook influence|
|LLL 4.3 King reads his own love letter||Q, lost earlier quarto itself set from foul papers|
|LLL 4.3 King reads his own love letter||F, Q with some promptbook influence|
|LLL 4.3 Longueville reads his own sonnet||Q, lost earlier quarto itself set from foul papers||
|LLL 4.3 Longueville reads his own sonnet||F, Q with some promptbook influence||
|LLL 4.3 Dumaine reads his own sonnet||Q, lost earlier quarto itself set from foul papers||
|LLL 4.3 Dumaine reads his own sonnet||F, Q with some promptbook influence||
|LR 1.2 Edmond's forged letter from Edgar about their father||Q1, foul papers||
|LR 1.2 Edmond's forged letter from Edgar about their father||F, Q2 (annotated from revised promptbook), itself a reprint of Q1||
|LR 4.5 Goneril's letter to Edmond||Q1, foul papers|
|LR 4.5 Goneril's letter to Edmond||F, Q2 (annotated from revised promptbook), itself a reprint of Q1||
|LR 5.3 Herald reads Edgar's challenge to Edmond||Q1, foul papers|
|LR 5.3 Herald reads Edgar's challenge to Edmond||F, Q2 (annotated from revised promptbook), itself a reprint of Q1||
|MAC 1.5 Macbeth's letter to his wife||F, promptbook|
|MM 4.2 Angelo's letter of execution address to the Provost||F, Crane transcript of a promptbook||
|MND Lysander reading the titles of entertainments on offer||Q, foul papers|
|MND Lysander reading the titles of entertainments on offer||F, Q2 (a reprint of Q1) annotated from a promptbook|
|MV 2.7 Morocco reading the gold casket's scroll||Q, autograph fair copy or an accurate transcript of same|
|MV 2.7 Morocco reading the gold casket's scroll||F, Q1|
|MV 2.9 Aragon reading the lead and gold casket inscriptions||Q, autograph fair copy or an accurate transcript of same|
|MV 2.9 Aragon reading the lead and gold casket inscriptions||F, Q1|
|MV 2.9 Aragon reading the silver casket's scroll||Q, autograph fair copy or an accurate transcript of same|
|MV 2.9 Aragon reading the silver casket's scroll||F, Q1|
|MV 3.2 Antonio's letter to Bassanio||Q, autograph fair copy or an accurate transcript of same|
|MV 3.2 Antonio's letter to Bassanio||F, Q1|
|MV 4.1 Bellario's letter to the court||Q, autograph fair copy or an accurate transcript of same|
|MV 4.1 Bellario's letter to the court||F, Q1|
|OTH 2.2 Othello's proclamation of merriment||Q, scribal copy of foul papers|
|OTH 2.2 Othello's proclamation of merriment||F, scribal copy of Shakespeare's own revised manuscript|
|OTH 4.1 letter from the Duke and senators of Venice to Othello||Q, scribal copy of foul papers|
|OTH 4.1 letter from the Duke and senators of Venice to Othello||F, scribal copy of Shakespeare's own revised manuscript|
|PER 1 Pericles reads aloud the riddle||Q, memorial reconstruction||
|PER 18 Gower reads Marina's epitaph||Q, memorial reconstruction|
|R3 5.6 Norfolk reads an anti-Richard note found in his tent||Q1, memorial reconstruction|
|R3 5.6 Norfolk reads an anti-Richard note found in his tent||F, Q3 with annotations from scribal copy of foul papers|
|R3 5.8 Stanley reads out the names of the lords killed||Q1, memorial reconstruction|
|R3 5.8 Stanley reads out the names of the lords killed||F, Q3 with annotations from scribal copy of foul papers|
|ROM 1.2 the Capulet party invitation list||Q1, memorial reconstruction||
|ROM 1.2 the Capulet party invitation list||Q2, foul papers||
|ROM 1.2 the Capulet party invitation list||F, Q3 (a Q2 reprint) plus some promptbook annotations||
|SHR 3.1 Lucentio reads the Latin lesson||F, maybe foul papers or maybe copy of same|
|SHR 3.1 Lucentio reads the Latin lesson||Q, F|
|SHR 3.1 Bianca reads Hortensio's music lesson||F, maybe foul papers or maybe copy of same|
|SHR 3.1 Bianca reads Hortensio's music lesson||Q, F|
|SHR 4.3 Tailor reads Grumio's instructions for a gown||F, maybe foul papers or maybe copy of same|
|SHR 4.3 Tailor reads Grumio's instructions for a gown||Q, F|
|TGV 1.2 Julia tears Proteus's letter||F, Crane transcript of foul papers or promptbook|
|TGV 3.1 Valentine's letter to Sylvia read by the Duke||F, Crane transcript of foul papers or promptbook|
|TGV 3.1 Lance's list of his beloved's virtues and vices||F, Crane transcript of foul papers or promptbook|
|TIM 5.5 Alcibiades reads Timon's epitaph||F, foul papers||
|TIT 2.3 fake letter implicating Quintus and Martius||Q1, foul papers||
|TIT 2.3 fake letter implicating Quintus and Martius||F, Q3 (itself a reprint of Q2 which is a reprint of Q1)||
|TIT 4.1 Titus reads what Lavinia writes in sand||Q1, foul papers|
|TIT 4.1 Titus reads what Lavinia writes in sand||F, Q3 (itself a reprint of Q2 which is a reprint of Q1)|
|TIT 4.2 Demetrius reads scroll from Titus||Q1, foul papers|
|TIT 4.2 Demetrius reads scroll from Titus||F, Q3 (itself a reprint of Q2 which is a reprint of Q1)|
|TN 2.5 Malvolio reads faked letter from Olivia||F, scribal transcript of uncertain origin|
|TN 3.4 Toby reads Andrew's challenge to Viola-as-Cesario||F, scribal transcript of uncertain origin|
|TN 5.1 Malvolio's letter to Olivia||F, scribal transcript of uncertain origin||
|WIV 2.1 Mistress Page reads Falstaff's love letter to her||Q, memorial reconstruction|
|WIV 2.1 Mistress Page reads Falstaff's love letter to her||F, Crane transcript of promptbook|
|WT 3.2 Officer reads the charges against Hermione||F, Crane transcript of probably a promptbook|
|WT 3.2 Officer reads the Delphic oracle||F, Crane transcript of probably a promptbook|
1All modern spelling quotations of Shakespeare are from Shakespeare 1989.
De Grazia, Margreta. 1991. Shakespeare Verbatim: The Reproduction of Authenticity and the 1790 Apparatus. Oxford. Clarendon.
Derrida, Jacques. 1976. Of Grammatology. Trans. Gayatri Chakrovorty Spivak. Baltimore MD. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Foucault, Michel. 1975. "What is an Author?" Partisan Review. 42. 603-14.
Foucault, Michel. 1979. "What is an Author?" Textual Strategies: Perspectives in Post-structuralist Criticism. Edited by Josue V. Harari. Ithaca. Cornell University Press. 141-60.
Hinman, Charlton. 1963. The Printing and the Proof-reading of the First Folio of Shakespeare. Vol. 2. 2 vols. Oxford. Clarendon.
Long, William B. 1985a. "'A Bed / for Woodstock': A Warning for the Unwary." Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England. 2. 91-118.
Long, William B. 1985b. "Stage-directions: A Misinterpreted Factor in Determining Textual Provenance." Text: Transactions of the Society for Textual Scholarship. 2. 121-37.
Long, William B. 1989. "John a Kent and John a Cumber: An Elizabethan Playbook and Its Implications." Shakespeare and Dramatic Tradition: Essays in Honor of S. F. Johnson. Edited by W. R. Elton and William B. Long. Newark. University of Delaware Press. 125-43.
Long, William B. 1999. "'Precious Few': English Manuscript Playbooks." A Companion to Shakespeare. Edited by David Scott Kastan. Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture. Oxford. Blackwell. 414-33.
Montgomery, William. 1985. The Contention of York and Lancaster: A Critical Edition. Unpublished D.Phil. thesis, University of Oxford.
Montgomery, William. 1989. "The Original Staging of The First Part of the Contention (1594)." Shakespeare Survey. 41. 13-22.
Murphy, Andrew. 1999. "'Came Errour Here By Mysse of Man': Editing and the Metaphysics of Presence." Yearbook of English Studies. 29. 118-37.
Shakespeare, William. 1594. [2 Henry 6] The First Part of the Contention Betwixt the Two Famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster. STC 26099 (Q1) BEPD 119a. London. Thomas Creede for Thomas Millington.
Shakespeare, William. 1623. Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published According to the True Originall Copies. STC 22273 (F1). London. Isaac Jaggard and and Edward Blount.
Shakespeare, William. 1957. The Second Part of King Henry VI. Ed. Andrew S. Cairncross. The Arden Shakespeare. London. Methuen.
Shakespeare, William. 1989. The Complete Works. Ed. Stanley Wells, Gary Taylor, John Jowett, and William Montgomery. Electronic edition prepared by William Montgomery and Lou Burnard. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
Smith, Warren D. 1950. "New Light on Stage Directions in Shakespeare." Studies in Philology. 47. 173-81.
Stern, Tiffany. 1999. "Letters, Verses and Double Speech-prefixes in The Merchant of Venice." Notes and Queries. 244. 231-33.
Taylor, Gary. 1995. "Shakespeare and Others: The Authorship of Henry the Sixth, Part One." Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England. 7. 145-205.
Urkowitz, Steven. 1988. "'If I Mistake in Those Foundations Which I Build Upon': Peter Alexander's Textual Analysis of Henry VI Parts 2 and 3." English Literary Renaissance. 18. 230-56.
Warren, Roger. 2000. "The Quarto and Folio Texts of 2 Henry VI: A Reconsideration." Review of English Studies. 51. 193-207.
Wells, Stanley, Gary Taylor, John Jowett and William Montgomery. 1987. William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
Werstine, Paul. 1990. "Narratives About Printed Shakespeare Texts: 'Foul Papers' and 'Bad' Quartos." Shakespeare Quarterly. 41. 65-86.
Werstine, Paul. 1997a. "McKerrow's "Suggestion" and W. W. Greg." Shakespeare's Speech-headings: Speaking the Speech in Shakespeare's Plays: The Papers of the Seminar in Textual Studies, Shakespeare Association of America, March 29, 1986, Montreal. Edited by George Walton Williams. Newark. University of Delaware Press. 11-16.
Werstine, Paul. 1997b. "Plays in Manuscript." A New History of Early English Drama. Edited by John D. Cox and David Scott Kastan. New York. Columbia University Press. 481-97.
Werstine, Paul. 1998. "Hypertext and Editorial Myth." 2.1-19. Online (http://purl.oclc.org/emls/). Internet. 17 May 1998. Early Modern Literary Studies. 3.3. n. pag.
Werstine, Paul. 1999a. "A Century of 'Bad' Shakespeare Quartos." Shakespeare Quarterly. 50. 310-33.
Werstine, Paul. 1999b. "Post-theory Problems in Shakespeare Editing." Yearbook of English Studies. 29. 103-17.