Year's Work in English Studies 2008: Shakespeare: Editions and Textual Studies
Three major critical editions of Shakespeare appeared in 2008: Anthony B. Dawson and Gretchen E. Minton edited Timon of Athens and Keir Elam edited Twelfth Night for the third series of the Arden Shakespeare, and Roger Warren edited The Two Gentlemen of Verona for the Oxford Shakespeare. This year there were no monographs, no major collections of essays, and few journal articles on the subject of Shakespeare's texts. Since the three editions are of plays for which the 1623 Folio is the only authority--relieving editors of the task of deciding between the readings of competing early editions--there is not a great deal to be said about them and this section is somewhat shorter than usual.
The cover and the half-title of Dawson and Minton's Timon of Athens make no mention of the shared authorship, but the title-page prints "and Thomas Middleton" under Shakespeare's name. Their 145-page introduction (average for an Arden these days) covers a number of thematic topics and when making interpretative arguments Dawson and Minton's footnotes frequently discuss what particular productions chose to do for the moment under discussion. The editors acknowledge the collaborative nature of the play right away and connect it with the distinct possibility that the play was not staged when first written; until the last century productions were rare indeed. Perhaps, they speculate, Shakespeare turned to Middleton because he wanted to write a gritty urban satire and knew it was not his forte (pp. 3-4). We know that sometimes collaborative labour was divided by scene or act units, but otherwise--and most famously with Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher--the collaborators worked closely with one another and cross-fertilized. Dawson and Minton think the latter happened with Timon of Athens, with Shakespeare forming the initial plan and writing two-thirds of the dialogue. Dawson and Minton summarize which writer did which bit, noting that while some parts can be ascribed with confidence to one or other writer, other parts seem to blend their labours (pp. 5-6).
There is no early performance history, and together with the unfinished nature of the script we have and the original intention to leave it out of the Folio this suggests that the play was abandoned; it survives only because it was slotted in to fill a gap that opened when it looked like Troilus and Cressida would have to be withdrawn from the collection (p. 10). Why leave it out of the Folio? Maybe, the editors suggest, because it was not acted and was only dimly remembered (p. 11). There is an obvious danger of circular logic here, since its not being in the Folio was one of the reasons for supposing it was not acted. Alternatively, it might have been omitted because it was co-written, and we know that the co-written plays Pericles and The Two Noble Kinsmen were omitted; on the other hand, Dawson and Minton admit, co-written All is True was included in the collection. (Indeed, and co-written Titus Andronicus, 1 Henry 6, Macbeth, and Measure for Measure were included too.) The usual evidence for dating a play is missing in this case: there is no Stationers' Register entry, no quarto, no records of or allusions to early performance. Dawson and Minton's best guess is that the play was composed in 1607. However, there is a likely allusion to the Gunpowder Plot of November 1605 in "set whole realms on fire" (3.3.34). If Shakespeare returned to Plutarch's Lives (used in 1599 for Julius Caesar) in order to write Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus in 1607-8, he would have found there the story of Timon of Athens (pp. 15-16). Coriolanus is like Timon in detesting ingratitude and leaving his city, and like Alcibiades in attacking his city and then giving it a reprieve. An upper limit to the date is set by Timon of Athens's avoidance of a five-act structure, which the King's men started using once they got the Blackfriars in 1608. There is something like an act-division structure to the first half of the play, but it ceases with the Timon-in-the-woods scene. Dawson and Minton explain that they retain the "conventional act breaks (though we acknowledge their arbitrariness), partly for convenience of reference, and partly because the first half of the play really does reflect that kind of structure" (p. 17n1).
The sources are discussed concisely (pp. 18-27). One source is the anonymous comedy Timon based on one of Lucian's Dialogues, which itself also influenced Timon of Athens. The Lucian strain accounts for the character of misanthropic Timon being ridiculous, and Plutarch for him being tragic: Timon of Athens neatly combines this material. Only Lucian explains why Timon became a misanthrope and says that he found gold while in exile. Dawson and Minton outline the debt to the anonymous comedy Timon, and pose the awkward question of which came first. Timon seems to echo King Lear, so perhaps it was a parody of Shakespeare written after King Lear and before Timon of Athens, hence Timon of Athens borrows bits from Timon. In genre Timon of Athens is mixed: sort-of tragedy-cum-satire, but the audience is not given many reasons to like the tragic hero. Where it is satirical the play explores the perennial problem that satire is always caught up in the criticisms it makes. Dawson and Minton acknowledge that with certain exceptions (such as the Poet who is at once a scourge of flattery and a flatterer) the characterization is largely abstract, and the power of the play lies elsewhere (pp. 45-54). Timon's benevolence is actually "an urge to undo reciprocity" (p. 52) because he hates his own dependence, and Dawson and Minton offer an excellent summary of the psychoanalytical ideas of Melanie Klein in which envy is central, and they persuasively link these to the idea of Fortune as a fickle mother, giving and then withholding her bounty (pp. 82-84).
Dawson and Minton's introduction is superb on matters of interpretation and language and there are few obvious errors. One is that they repeat, four times in all, the familiar assertion that Lear appears on a "heath"; there is no heath mentioned in King Lear (pp. 87-88). In the same discussion they refer to the "so-called 'inner stage' at the Globe", a phrase and concept that has long been abandoned by theatre historians, not all of whom even accept that there was a permanent discovery space between the two stage doors whose existence is vouchsafed by a contemporary drawing of The Swan. Discussing the taking in wax of an impression of what is written on Timon's tomb, they ask why the soldier who does this cannot read the epitaph yet apparently reads something else that he finds around the tomb. Perhaps on Timon's tomb there are two epitaphs, one in English he can read and one in Latin that he cannot; this is the explanation Dawson and Minton reluctantly settle for, but they explore the other possibilities, including the authorial manuscript containing first and second thoughts (pp. 102-9). When the wax impression is brought to Alcibiades in the next scene, it contains two epitaphs, so there are three in all. The two on wax contradict one another, the first telling the reader not to seek the name of the dead man. This first one also contradicts what the soldier read near Timon's tomb ("Timon is dead . . .") in the preceding scene, so Dawson and Minton cut it to leave the second epitaph from the wax, which they also prefer as more in keeping with the tone of the ending of the play. The editors go to great lengths to justify their editorial intervention of cutting one epitaph, apparently in fear of being judged too interventionist. As they point out, the manuscript from which the Folio text of the play was printed was probably authorial and in two hands. The evidence for this is that it was typeset by one man, compositor B, perhaps with a little help from compositor E, and the variations in certain spellings across the play fall into two groupings that follow the division into Shakespeare's and Middleton's writing.
The account of the play in performance (pp. 109-45) contains the familiar story of Restoration adaptation and the putting back of Shakespeare's material in the nineteenth century, and Dawson and Minton are particularly attentive to important twentieth-century productions on stage and on television. Their extensive account of the BBC television production neglects to mention that the Poet and Painter were played by the eminent British satirists John Fortune and John Bird, a casting decision suggesting that the director--Bird and Fortune's fellow satirist from the 1960s, Jonathan Miller--took much the same line as Dawson and Minton on the play's essentially satiric purpose. In a surprising and most welcome innovation, the edition offers a "Note on the text" with the following explanation of its purpose: "Since the textual notes are rather cryptic and hard to make out for the non-specialist, it might be helpful to the reader to provide a few guidelines" (p. 147). It would be commendable for Arden to adopt this note for all subsequent editions as even specialists might appreciate practical guidance on decoding the Arden's typographic conventions.
There being only the Folio text as authority for this play, what follows here is consideration of the most noteworthy emendations adopted or invented by Dawson and Minton. In the opening stage direction, Dawson and Minton cut the Folio's entrance for a 'ghost' Merchant who never speaks. They follow Samuel Johnson in printing "Our poesy is as a gum which oozes" (1.1.22) for F's absurd "Our Poesie is as a Gowne, which vses" but defend F's having the Poet say that his creative flow moves "In a wide sea of wax" (1.1.48), rejecting the common emendations ("of tax", "of verse") on the grounds that F either means a sea that is growing (on the wax) or else the Poet is referring to the wax tablet he writes his poems on. At 1.1.89 Dawson and Minton use a common emendation (from Nicholas Rowe) in having the Poet say that Timon's flatterers will let him "slip down", rather than F's bizarre "sit downe". Using F3's reading, Dawson and Minton have Timon say that he will not shake off Ventidius when he "most needs me" (1.1.104) rather than F's "must neede me". Both make sense but F3 is, they say, "more idiomatic" and in any case "must needs" is "always followed by a verb": the only other "must need" in Shakespeare (2 Henry 4 5.1.22-23) is also followed by a verb. (In fact that moment in 2 Henry 4 is not an occurrence of "must need" at all: it is "must needes be had" in Q1 and F.) Dawson and Minton stick with Apemantus's "That I had no angry wit to be a lord" (1.1.238-9) which is F's reading, rejecting all emendations. They admit that it is "obscure" but they find none of the emendations plausible. As it stands, the line means either that if he were a lord he would hate himself, or better still that in order to be a lord he would have to give up his "angry wit" which is what defines him, and that is why he would hate himself.
Dawson and Minton use William Warburton's emendation to have Apemantus say that Timon's meat would "choke me 'fore I should flatter thee" (1.2.38-39) where F has "choake me: for I should nere flatter thee", which they admit makes reasonable sense: your meat would stick in my throat because I cannot flatter you. They also stay with F in printing "There taste, touch, all, pleased from thy table rise" (1.2.125) instead of emendations that try to make "all" into "smell": they point out that "all" covers the missing senses. (Cupid has just mentioned the five senses, and editors generally want to fit as many as possible into this line in order to fulfil his promise; sight is covered by the next line's offer to "feast thine eyes" so hearing is the obvious omission.) Dawson and Minton dispute John Jowett's claim--made in his Oxford Shakepeare edition reviewed in YWES 85--that the phrase "methinks I could" (1.2.225) appears nowhere in Shakespeare and is likely to be Middleton's. They claim that there are four occurrences of "methinks I could" and four of "methinks I should" in Shakespeare and they are quite right. Jowett's counting, presumably automated by computer, seems to have been thrown off by the frequent use of a space between "me[e]" and "think[e]s" in the early printings. For dropping the line in F where the Senator repeats Caphis's "I go sir" (2.1.33) by saying "I go sir? | Take the Bonds along with you", Dawson and Minton offer the argument (shared with the Oxford Complete Works) that this is a serious scene and the Senator's line introduces incongruous humour. They turn F's "With clamorous demands of debt, broken Bonds" into "With clamorous demands of broken bonds" (2.2.39) on the grounds that it not only fits the meaning better and avoids a clash with "debts" in the next line, but it also fits the metre. (In fact F's reading were metrically acceptable, albeit not so regular, with "clamorous" spoken as a disyllable.)
Since the Fool says he serves a mistress not a master, Dawson and Minton emend F's apparently erroneous references to his master to make them refer to his mistress (2.2.73, 101). At 2.2.99-102 they print "When men come to borrow of your masters, they approach sadly and go away merry, but they enter my mistress's house merrily and go away sad" in place of F's ". . . go away sadly". This is a suggestion made by the Arden general editor Richard Proudfoot and it balances the chiasmus by creating the sequence adverb (sadly), adjective (merry), adverb (merrily) and adjective (sad). Dawson and Minton use F2's reading where Flavius complains that whenever he showed Timon the domestic accounts Timon would say he "found them in mine honesty" (2.2.135), meaning that Timon took his honesty as proof the accounts were in order. This they prefer to F, in which Flavius claims that Timon would say he "sound them in mine honestie", which can just about be made meaningful (sound meaning take the measure of) but is the wrong tense (the past tense is needed). The editors adopt Alexander Pope's emendation to print "This slave | Unto this hour has my lord's meat in him" (3.1.54-55) instead of F's ". . . vnto his Honor . . ." which makes a sort of awkward sense: he was honoured by being allowed eat at Timon's. For a notorious crux at 3.2.39, Dawson and Minton punctuate "He cannot want fifty--five hundred talents" and explain that Lucius means that Timon is so wealthy he cannot be short of even as much as 500 talents, let alone the 50 talents the note asks for.
Dawson and Minton accept Lewis Theobald's emendation so that the stranger, observing Lucius's refusal of Timon's plea for money, says that such ingratitude is "every | Flatterer's spirit" (3.2.67) where F has the perfectly serviceable "euery Flatterers sport". By contrast, F has the very peculiar lines "So fitly? Go, bid all my Friends againe, | Lucius, Lucullus, and Sempronius Vllorxa: All" (3.4.5-6), and the problem is explaining where the meaningless "Vllorxa" comes from. Dawson and Minton reject all previous editors' attempts to explain it (such as F. G. Fleay's that it is a misreading of "all luxors", meaning leeches) and they simply cut it saying we cannot tell what it is doing in F. They print "He did behave his anger ere 'twas spent" (3.6.22), using Rowe's emendation of F's "behoove his anger" which seems to make no sense (he had need of his anger?); they point out that Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene has such a transitive use of the verb to behave. Dawson and Minton emend F's stage direction so that the "divers Friends" of Timon who enter to be entertained include the ones we have seen being false friends (3.7.0). F's speech prefixes for these characters do not name them specifically (F uses numbers only) and Dawson and Minton think it better to keep this vagueness so they call them "1 LORD" and "2 LORD". They reject Jowett's assigning of the speeches to numbered "Senators" on the grounds that two of them seem ignorant of Alcibiades's banishment and since the previous scene showed the Senators agreeing on this they would know about it if they really are supposed to be Senators.
Like Thomas Hanmer, Dawson and Minton have Timon's curse be "The rest of your foes, O gods . . . make suitable for destruction" (3.7.78-81) where F has "The rest of your Fees, O Gods . . .". Charles Jasper Sisson defended "fees" as meaning "properties", that is the people Timon wants destroyed, who are the properties of the gods. Against this Dawson and Minton object that it makes poor sense to ask the gods to destroy their own property. Also from Hanmer comes their "This is Timon's last, | Who, stuck and spangled with your flatteries, | Washes it off" (3.7.89-91) where F has "This is Timon's last, | Who stucke and spangled you with Flatteries, | Washes it off", which as they say leaves "Washes" without a subject and weirdly makes Timon accuse himself, rather than his false friends, of flattery. Hanmer is again followed in turning F's "And yet Confusion liue" to "And let confusion live" (4.1.21), which Dawson and Minton admit is not really necessary. F has "Raise me this Beggar, and deny't that Lord" (4.3.9) and the trouble is that to make sense of "deny't", which has no antecedent, it needs to mean something opposite to "raise". Dawson and Minton go for J. C. Maxwell's emendation of "deny't" to "deject". Where F has the puzzling line "It is the Pastour Lards, the Brothers sides", Dawson and Minton accept the emendation first enacted by John Payne Collier to print "It is the pasture lards the rother's sides" (4.3.12). They point out--but without saying why it is relevant--that there is a Rother Street in Stratford-upon-Avon; Collier himself joined the dots by noting that oxen are rothers and these were sold at Rother Market in Stratford, so Shakespeare would have known the word. For this edition Proudfoot came up with a fresh analogue to support the emendation's dropping of an initial letter B: "Ravish'd" is misread as "Bravishd" in The Two Noble Kinsmen.
Samuel Weller Singer was the first to emend F's "the wappen'd Widdow wed againe" to "the wappered . . . " (4.3.39) and again The Two Noble Kinsmen provides an analogue in Palamon calling himself young and "unwappered". Dawson and Minton follow Johnson in their emendation to "spare not the babe . . . Think it a bastard whom the oracle | Hath doubtfully pronounced thy throat shall cut" (4.3.118-21), because it alludes to Oedipus, whereas F has the more generalized ". . . the throat shall cut", which can be defended. Dawson and Minton accept the Oxford Complete Works's emendation of F's curse on the prostitutes "your paines six months | Be quite contrary" to "your pain-sick months . . ." (4.3.143). Like Nicholas Rowe they have Apemantus accuse Timon with "This is in thee a nature but affected" (4.3.201), meaning that he is putting on an act of misanthropy, in prefrence to F's ". . . infected" which would not be an accusation but a condolence. In order to conform to the play's wider debate about Fortune, Dawson and Minton follow Rowe in having Apemantus attribute Timon's behaviour to a "change of fortune" (4.3.203) rather than F's "change of future" (that is, prospects), which makes perfect sense on its own. Another such relatively under-motivated change is their following Hanmer in having Apemantus refer to "mossed trees" (4.3.222) in preference to F's equally acceptable "moyst Trees". Only occasionally do Dawson and Minton acknowledge how finely balanced such decisions are: they adopt Singer's emendation of F's "that poore ragge" (that is, your father) to "that poor rogue" (4.3.270) on the grounds that "Poore Rogue" occurs three lines later, but admit that "stuff" in the next line may have been suggested by "rag".
Dawson and Minton print "APEMANTUS Here, I will mend thy feast. [Offers food.] | TIMON First mend my company, take away thyself" (4.3.282) where F has ". . . mend thy company . . .", which perhaps makes better sense in a kind of misanthropically contrary way: improve your companionship by leaving me. The emendation is Rowe's. On Pope's precedent, Dawson and Minton delete "If not" from F's "Is not thy kindnesse subtle, couetous, | If not a Vsuring kindnesse, and as rich men deale Guifts" (4.3.503-4), on the grounds that it came from eyeskip to "Is not" in the previous line and harms the sense. However, one could make a case for "If not" meaning 'I'd even go so far as to say', although as Sisson noted when admitting this as a possibility (New Readings in Shakespeare, pp. 177-8) the subtle covetousness is already indicated before "If not", so calling it usury does not amplify the point but only rephrase it. F has the Senator say that the Senate "hath since withall | Of it owne fall" (5.2.32-33) and Dawson and Minton follow Rowe in emending "since" to "sense"--needed for the meaning to be clear: we know we have done wrong, he is saying--but they also follow Pope in emending "it" to "its". This second change is unnecessary because, as Sisson remarked (New Readings in Shakespeare, p. 178), "it own" is perfectly good early-modern English.
With some misgivings, Dawson and Minton follow Rowe's emendation of F's "let foure words go by" to "let sour words go by" (5.2.105), on the grounds that Timon means 'let me say these last few bitter things and then die'. Dawson and Minton point out that the Soldier's "The character I'll take in wax" (5.4.106) might not be an impression but only copying onto a wax table. While usefully removing a troublesome detail that an impression would be back-to-front when later read, this raises another in having the Soldier copy something written in a language he cannot read; I suppose this were plausible if the alphabet were familiar, so Latin perhaps but not Greek. Dawson and Minton print "These walls of ours | Were not erected by their hands from whom | You have received your griefs; nor are they such | That these great towers, trophies and schools should fall | For private faults in them" (5.5.22-26), where F has "your greefe" in place of "your griefs". The problem is in understanding the referents of "they" (the griefs?) and "them" (also the griefs? or the people who caused the griefs?) As Dawson and Minton point out, not emending "greefe" to "griefs" as Theobald did would prevent "they" referring to the griefs and hence it would have to refer to the causers of Alcibiades's singular grief, meaning that these people who hurt him are not so important that he should destroy the city. But, as Dawson and Minton insist, Alcibiades has been saying that these people are so important in Athens that their city should fall, so the Senator would only be making a weak denial of his claim if F is thus left unemended, whereas with the emendation the Senator is able to make the more powerful claim that the griefs are not so great as the consequence Alcibiades intends. Well worked out. At 5.5.28-29 the Senator says of those who hurt Alcibiades "(Shame that they wanted, cunning in excesse) | Hath broke their hearts" and Dawson and Minton follow a suggestion of Johnson's to emend "cunning" to "coming" and lose the brackets, which should have run all the way from "Shame" to "hearts".
As can be seen from this survey of their interventions, Dawson and Minton are not particularly conservative and make no strenuous effort to retain Folio readings where previous editors have come up with plausible emendations that remove difficulty. They offer few new readings of their own. Their edition contains seven appendices. The first, entitled "Sources", gives just what one would expect from Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans (modernized from Thomas North's early-modern English translation), plus relevant bits of the anonymous play Timon. The second appendix, "Authorship", largely summarizes previous scholarship and simply declares bits of it to be unconvincing without saying why. Dawson and Minton are cautious about ascribing certain passages to one or other writer, which results in ascribing them "Ambiguous". The appendix on "The Printed Text and Its Anomalies" details Charlton Hinman's working out of how Timon of Athens came to replace Troilus and Cressida in the Folio and how Troilus and Cressida was then reintroduced. The fourth appendix simply details "Changes to Lineation" and the fifth deals with "Currency" in the play. Dawson and Minton outline the apparent fluctuations in the value of money, especially the talent, and survey the explanations that editors have come up with: self-correction by an author who realized he had undervalued the talent, confusion between two authors, contradiction in the sources, deliberate currency fluctuation to make the point that money is unstable, and the fact that dramatists were often simply inconsistent about talents. Dawson and Minton settle on three combined causes: multiple authorship, discrepancies in the sources, and indifference to the precise value of a talent. In the sixth appendix, a "Doubling Chart", Dawson and Minton reckon that with at least 30 lines allowed for a quick-change, the minimum cast is 11 men and 4 boys (plus some supernumerariess). The final appendix of "Notable Performances of Timon of Athens in the Past Century" puts their notes into tabulated, potted descriptions.
The cover for Keir Elam's Arden edition calls his play Twelfth Night, but the half-title and title-page also give it its alternate title What You Will. Elam's introduction is around the same length as Dawson and Minton's, 153 pages, but unusually it contains no section on the text and its editing: these matters are handled by Appendix One. There is a common mistake early in Elam's introduction (p. 3n1) when he discusses the difference between the Old Style and New Style (that is, Julian and Gregorian) calendars, which is a matter of asking "what day is it today?", and elides it with the difference between incrementing the year number on 1 January (as we do now) and incrementing it on 25 March, Lady Day, as pious people used to do in deference to Christ's conception. It so happens that Pope Gregory's bill introducing his dating also moved the increment-day from 25 March to 1 January and the bill that introduced New Style dating into England did the same. Nonetheless, the matters are distinct, and contrary to Elam's assertion some Elizabethans incremented the year number on 1 January.
Elam reckons that John Manningham wrote in his diary that
he saw "
Mid 'Twelfth night" because he started to
write the title of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and that he thought Olivia
was a widow because he was probably confused by her dressing in black (p. 4).
James 1 saw Twelfth Night in 1623 (according to Henry Herbert) and
Charles 1 wrote the name "Malvolio" beside the title Twelfth Night
in his copy of F2 (p. 5). The highly quotable Samuel Pepys disliked the
productions of Twelfth Night he saw, but things picked up for the play on
the stage in the mid-eighteenth century (pp. 6-7). In a long series of
relatively short sections organized thematically, Elam covers questions that are
frequently asked about the play. How come Viola does not present herself to
Orsino as a eunuch and does not sing, as she said she would? How come Maria says
that Feste will be one of the spectators at the gulling of Malvolio, but Fabian
in the event takes his place? These are essentially loose ends in the plot (pp.
10-17). Elam gives readings of the play's peculiar title in relation to its
contents--misrule, wassailing, gifting, epiphany, characters named after
saints--and explores the parallels (in experiences and names) between the
characters. He makes an excellent point about Viola-as-Cesario imitating her
brother because she is bereaved, and he is fascinating on narcissism in general
(pp. 17-32). On clothing (pp. 38-50), Elam repeats the familiar (but
unreferenced and problematic) claim that "companies received clothing from
their noble patrons" (p. 45), but he gets cross-gartering right and shows a
picture. Many productions get it wrong and have the garters running the length
of the calf rather than being confined to the knees.
Returning to one of the familiar problems, Viola's plan to present herself as a eunuch, Elam wonders if Cesario's name (from caesus, cut) means 'castrated'; he finds castratedness in Viola-as-Cesario's role and points to John Astington's observation that the aphorism beginning "some are born great . . ." is based on Christ's discourse on eunuchs (pp. 57-68). The introduction is studded with startling contextual knowledge, such as the fact that Illyria (roughly modern Albania) was a place where rituals of same-sex unions of non-sexual love were long practised (p. 73). This knowledge are matched with sound interpretations, such as the idea that Antonio's advice to Sebastian to visit the southern suburbs--Southwark, where the dangerous pleasures are--and to lodge at The Elephant Inn, the name of a notorious brothel on Bankside, suggests that he is leading him into temptation (p. 75). It is odd, though, that in his discussion of the "Performances virtual and actual" (pp. 87-96) Elam covers the means by which the 'dark house' scene was staged without mentioning Astington's seminal essay on it. Elam buys the idea that the play was performed in honour of the real Duke Orsini visiting Elizabeth's court at the time (or at least Shakespeare remembered the name when he came to write Twelfth Night), but not Anthony Arlidge's idea that Shakespeare had close connections with the Middle Temple and wrote the play for there, and hence that Manningham saw the first performance. There is not much in it, but Elam goes for first performance on the twelfth night preceding Manningham's viewing on 6 February 1602, so that would be 6 January 1602. The venue, he decides, was another private hall, not Middle Temple since there is no record of a performance there on that day. The history of adaptations and rearrangements (pp. 96-106) shows not quite the extraordinary rewriting that befell other Shakespeare plays in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, but some considerable rearrangements, often driven by the staging requirements of the day. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries there were a number of musical adaptations. Productions in the past 50 years can conveniently be divided into the temporal--those that give it winter or spring settings--and the spatial ones that try to capture Illyria as a specific place (pp. 106-110).
A considerable part of Elam's introduction is taken up with a survey of particularly noteworthy performances in each of the play's major roles (pp. 122-45), followed (as with Dawson and Minton's edition of Timon of Athens) by a table giving the basic details of 120 productions. In the text of the play itself, a lot of the explanatory notes tell the reader the stage business choices for certain productions. A few explanatory notes are on different pages from the lines they gloss. This can easily happen when there is real difficulty fitting all the notes for one page onto that page, but here it seems to happen too often and looks like typesetting error. Twice a collation note appears on the page preceding the one holding that line: for "Toby" 5.1.353 and "against" 5.1.356. The following is not an exhaustive list of emendations, just some notable ones. At 1.1.5 Elam prints "O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south [that is, wind]", which is Pope's emendation of F's ". . . sweet sound"; Elam objects that F is tautologous. Elam has the Captain say of Olivia that "she hath abjured the company | And sight of men" (1.2.37-38) where F has "sight | And company". The switch is Hanmer's and Elam thinks it improves the metre in the second line, so that Viola's response, "O that I served that lady", completes a regular line with feminine ending. The Oxford Complete Works's editors argue for expanding "prethee" into "pray thee" (1.2.49) on the grounds that Folio compositor B had a habit of shortening it, and in agreeing to this Elam notes that here it enables an internal rhyme with "pay thee". On page 171 something goes wrong in the collation section of the review copy: there are unwanted underscoring characters that look like a relic from a typescript that used underlining to represent italicizing.
For a famous crux, Elam has Andrew Aguecheek say his leg looks good in a "flame-coloured stock" (1.3.130), which is Rowe's emendation of F's "dam'd colour'd stocke". Elam offers nothing to overcome the objection that it is hard to see how a compositor would set "dam'd" where his copy had "flame", yet he objects to the Oxford Complete Works's emendation of "divers-coloured" on precisely this ground. Collier's emendation to "dun-coloured" is no good, says Elam, because the stockings need to be flamboyant. His alteration of F's entrance for Cesario and Malvolio "at seuerall doores" to "at separate doors" (2.2.0) seems fussy: the quality of being apart is still one of the ordinary meanings of "several". Elam prints "Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we, | For such as we are made of, such we be" (2.2.31-2) for F's "Alas, O frailtie is the cause, not wee, | For such as we are made, if such we bee", adopting F2 change of "O" to "our" and Joseph Rann's emendation (first proposed by Thomas Tyrwhitt) for "if" to "of". Elam turns F's "Some are become great, some atcheeues greatnesse, and some haue greatnesse thrust vponn em" into the familiar "Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them" (2.5.141-2), which is Rowe's emendation of "become" to "born" based on the observation that the word "born" is twice used later in the play when the contents of the letter are reiterated. As Proudfoot notes, "borne" could easily be misread as "become". Elam makes no comment on Patricia Parker's essay of 2006 (reviewed in YWES 87), which pointed out that those later reiterations of the letter's contents deviate in other ways too from this first reading: here Malvolio is told to smile but at 3.4.71 he says that the letter told him to be sad.
At 3.3.14-5 F has "I can no other answer make, but thankes, | And thankes: and euer oft good turnes", which second line is short one iambic foot. Elam adopts Theobald's emendation to make the second line "And thanks, and ever thanks; and oft good turns". This is a tricky problem, as the awkwardness of the short line could be intended to show that Sebastian is embarrassed at Antonio's over-solicitousness. Elam alters F's "for | t comes to passe" to "for it comes to pass" (3.3.174) saying that "for't comes to pass" is another possibility, but he makes no mention of the " t" starting a new line in F. Since it is always an error to start a new line with a space--unless you mean to indent the line, and this is the middle of a prose paragraph--it looks like a letter has come out of the forme of type. It would be odd to start a line with "'t", as would be needed for the reading "for't", so it is almost certain that a letter "i" has come out; thus Elam's "for it" seems right. Strangely enough, however, his collation wrongly records that F's reading is "For't" and his explanatory note says that F's reading is "For t", with a "wide space between 'for' and 't'", but does not mention the decisive matter of the line-break.
Elam's first appendix is a substantial one concerned with "The Text and Editorial Procedures" (pp. 355-79), and it begins with the simple facts. The 1623 Folio is basic for this play, and to print a manuscript a publisher needed 'authority' (sometimes called 'allowance') from the church or state as well as permission ('licence') from the Stationers' Company. In the printshop of Isaac and William Jaggard, the Folio was printed concurrently with at least four other books, identified here, and compositor B set all of Twelfth Night. Elam reports that the play occupied 21 pages in the Folio, "signed Y2 to Z6" (p. 361). This is not quite right, since the fourth, fifth, and sixth leaves of each regular gathering in the Folio are unsigned: he means that if they were signed those would be their signatures. Hinman's reconstruction of the order of presswork in the Folio showed that having finished most of All's Well that Ends Well the printers did not proceed to gatherings Y and Z (the end of All's Well that Ends Well and all of Twelfth Night) but turned instead to the Histories section. Presumably, copy for Twelfth Night was not available since with no preceding edition there could not have been a copyright problem, as with the fuss over Troilus and Cressida. What was the Folio compositor's copy? W. W. Greg thought Twelfth Night was printed from a promptbook, but admitted that there was little to go on to make such a determination. There are literary-scribal features to Twelfth Night, such as Latinate markers of intervals, but it is impossible to say what this manuscript was a transcript of.
As is fashionable these days, Elam calls the printer's copy a "purely virtual object" and says that we should be careful about "reifying it" (p. 367). In truth there is nothing virtual about the copy: it is merely a lost document. It is our conception of it, not the thing itself, that is "virtual". Reification is a particularly inappropriate term, because it implies that without someone doing the reifying the document would never have had physical existence, and that is not true. Elam concludes that the most we can say is that the copy was a transcript of either authorial papers or a theatrical document. In a useful subsection on punctuation, Elam is concerned with discourse markers: semantically empty words and phrases that add colour such as "By my troth", "Fie", and "I warrant". When these are used at the start of an assertion they receive too much weight if followed by a comma. Elam withholds the comma so that Andrew Aguecheek's "By my troth I would not undertake her" (1.3.56) is not a "solemn pledge", as it would be if rendered as "By my troth, I would not undertake her". A second appendix on "Casting" reports others' conclusions and offers a fresh calculation of its own with a doubling chart: 11 men and 3 boys (plus supernumeraries) are all that are needed. The last appendix covers music, reprinting musical transcriptions from the second Arden series edition.
Roger Warren's Oxford Shakespeare edition of The Two Gentlemen of Verona is like this year's two Arden editions in a number of ways. Although the introduction is much shorter (62 pages totalling around 20,000 words), it too is highly performance-centered: virtually every discussion of the problems of certain lines and scenes is fleshed out with a consideration of how practitioners have handled them. Particular praise is given Edward Hall's company to which Warren is an advisor. The central staging problem, according to Warren, is how to reconcile the attempted rape of Sylvia and its aftermath with the regularly comic material, and he offers a brief survey of the history of attempts to do this (pp. 2-14). Regarding "Origins" (pp. 14-18), the main sources are Diana by Portuguese writer Jorge de Montemayor first published in Spanish in 1559 (translated into French in 1578 and English in 1598) and Boccaccio's Decameron 10.8, coming to Shakespeare not directly but via Thomas Elyot's retelling of it in The Governor. It is possible that Shakespeare was not the first to dramatically combine these stories: the title of a lost Queen's men's play suggests that it might just have been such a combination and hence an ur-The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Other minor sources are uncertain and the links tenuous at best. There must be some connection with a scene in John Lyly's play Midas, and since The Taming of the Shrew also has parallels with that scene it seems more likely that Shakespeare in different places drew on Lyly than Lyly combined bits from different plays by Shakespeare (pp. 19-20).
In all likelihood The Two Gentlemen of Verona was Shakespeare's first play, so Warren explores what the dramatist might have been doing to acquire the ability to write it (pp. 21-27). Possibly Julia's reference to taking part in an amateur play at Pentecost (4.4.155-60) glances at Stratford Corporation's payment to "Davy Jones [who later married into the Hathaways] and his company" for a "pastime", which the young Shakespeare was involved in. We know that the Queen's Men's Richard Tarlton performed with a dog, and they played in Stratford and Coventry in the late 1580s, so perhaps Shakespeare wrote it for them some time before Tarlton's death on 3 September 1588. However, Lyly's Midas (to which The Two Gentlemen of Verona is indebted) is usually dated 1589 or 1590, and if that dating is accepted then the idea that Shakespeare wrote it in Stratford for the visiting Queen's men collapses. Warren turns to connections with Shakespeare's later work and finds that the Silvia-Proteus-Valentine love triangle is similar to the one in Sonnets; parallels with Twelfth Night are, of course, obvious (pp. 29-38).
The remainder of Warren's introduction is largely concerned with the staging of particular scenes and the nature of particular characters. The scene where Valentine's elopement is discovered by the Duke (3.1) is particularly clunky, he finds. Possibly, Julia deliberately gives to Silvia the wrong letter at 4.4.119--the one she tore up earlier and has now stuck back together?--so perhaps she also deliberately hands over the wrong ring in the final scene. If so she wants her identity to be discovered (pp. 42-48). Lance's loyalty to his undeserving dog is paralleled in Julia's loyalty to the undeserving Proteus, and the scenes of Lance's berating Crab are brilliantly designed so that if the dog does not react to the accusations it is funny and if he does it is funny (pp. 48-53). Concerning the notorious problems of the final scene (pp. 53-59), Warren reckons that Valentine does not give Silvia to Proteus, but rather extends to Proteus the love he feels for Silvia; Warren explores how this has been handled in performance. Does Julia really faint, or just pretend to, at this point? Warren links this moment to Julia's other accidentally-on-purpose acts with the letter and and ring.
It takes just four pages to deal with "The Text" (pp. 59-62). The Folio, which is basic, was printed from a Ralph Crane transcript with massed entrance directions, which means he was making it for readers not actors. This is awkwardly put by Warren, who writes that Crane was "not transcribing a prompt-book" (p. 59), meaning not making one, although Warren could be misread as meaning not copying from one. Crane's copy may have been foul papers, which might explain his relatively heavy imposition of his own editorial habits: those massed entrances and what editors calls swibs, single-words-in-brackets. Where there is a stop-press correction in F, such as "heauily" to "grieuously" (3.2.14, TLN 1459), Warren reports that Charlton Hinman thought that copy was "almost certainly" (p. 62) consulted, for this and other corrections on the same page. True, but it would be worth noting that Peter W. M. Blayney disagreed and thought it just as likely a printshop sophistication. Furthermore, in an insufficiently explained point of some importance, Warren asserts that the proof correction of "heauily" to "grieuously" was made by consultation of "Shakespeare's foul papers" (p. 62), which must mean he thinks the printer had access to two kinds of copy: Crane's transcript made from foul papers, and the foul-papers themselves.
According to Warren, Crane probably made F's list of characters and imposed "the division into acts and scenes" (p. 62). He must mean only the division into acts, since the scene breaks were doubtless an intrinsic part of the original writing. Crane may also have cut the play, since it is rather short, but Warren is not strongly convinced of this. For an explanation his "Editorial Procedures" (pp. 63-65) Warren sends the reader back to the Oxford Shakespeare Henry 5 (1982), which seems a little dismissive. (Is not the reader of this edition entitled to at least a summary of those procedures? There is plenty of space in this short volume.) Warren confines himself to remarking that passages from non-Shakespearian works used in the introduction and commentary are modernized, that indications of lines spoken "aside", or "to" another character, are editorial, and that disputable emendations to stage directions are shown in broken brackets.
In the text of the play itself there are few emendations, mostly consisting of added stage directions. What follows is, as usual, not an exhaustive list: I have omitted the fairly indisputable corrections of obvious error. At 1.1.43-44 F has "The eating Canker dwels; so eating Loue | Inhabits in the finest wits of all" but Warren, following Stanley Wells, changes the second "eating" to "doting" on the grounds that F is weak and the misreading is graphically highly plausible. Warren adopts Pope's "I leave myself, my friends, and all, for love" (1.1.65) in place of F's absurd "I loue my selfe . . .". Lance describes his mother as like "a wood woman" (2.3.26-7) where F has "a would-woman", which is an adoption of Theobald's suggestion and a rejection of Wells's innovative emendation to "moved", which assumes that minim error made "m" look like "w" and that an "e" can easily look like an "l". The problem with Theobald's suggestion, of course, is its graphic implausibility, but Warren counters this by suggesting that "would" was an acceptable spelling of "wood"; the OED agrees, but its only example is this very moment from The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Warren has additional evidence: in Q1 The Merry Wives of Windsor "wood" is a spelling of the verb "would", but of course he needs the opposite evidence ("wood" spelt as "would") to clinch the argument.
At 2.3.46-48 Warren prints "PANTHINO Where should I lose my tongue? | LANCE In thy tale. | PANTHINO In my tail!", whereas F has Panthino simply repeat Lance's line back to him by saying "In thy Taile". Warren points out that the pun is on tale/tail: Lance says that Panthino will lose (and loosen) his tongue from too much talking (of his tale) but Panthino "takes him to mean 'rimming,' anal penetration with the tongue"; the alteration of "my" to "thy" was Crane's censorship of this bawdy joke. Following Theobald, Warren has a servant come in and tell Silvia that her father wishes to speak to her (2.4.113-15), whereas F has Thurio, who has been on stage a while, suddenly blurt out this servant-like news without giving him the means to acquire it. In one of his few original emendations, Warren makes Proteus say "Why, Valentine, what braggartism's this?" (2.4.162) where F has "Why Valentine, what Bragardisme is this?". Crane had the peculiar habit of putting in an apostrophe to show elision and yet including the elided vowel, so Warren reckons Crane wrote Bragardisme'is (meaning braggartism's) but the compositor omitted the apostrophe rather than the "i". In another adoption of Theobald, Warren has Proteus ask himself "Is it mine eye, or Valentine's praise" (2.4.196) that makes him, Proteus, suddenly love Silvia, where F has "It is mine, or Valentines praise". Sisson found a couple of similarly dropped eyes, including one in Sonnet 113. There is an error in the collation at 2.4.208: the word "dazzlèd" in the dialogue is wrongly given the lemma "dazzelèd", doubtless because Warren was thinking of its pronunciation.
At the beginning of 2.5, F has Speed welcome Lance to "Padua" but they are in Milan so Warren follows Pope in making that correction. Similarly at 3.1.81 the Duke says that there is a lady "in Verona here" but since they are in Milan it just takes a switch of "in" to "of" to fix that. Warren follows Gary Taylor's decision for the Oxford Complete Works in printing "she is not to be broken with fasting, in respect of her breath" (3.1.316-7), where F has "shee is not to be fasting in respect of her breath". The joke relies on a broke/break pun with the next line: "that fault may be mended with a breakfast". Rowe printed "kissed" where Taylor has "broken with", although F's reading could easily be accepted without emendation. For F's "I often had beene often miserable" (4.1.34), Warren gives "I had often been miserable", which is Collier's emendation (dropping the second "often" and reversing the order of "had" and "often"). Where F has the Third Outlaw say that the lady he abducted was "heire and Neece, alide vnto the Duke" (4.1.47), Warren has him say she was "heir, and near allied unto the Duke" which is Theobald's emendation. Finally, at 5.4.67-68 F has "Who should be trusted, when ones right hand | Is periured to the bosome?" but Warren follows Johnson in inserting the extra syllable to make it metrically regular as "Who should be trusted, when one's own right hand". There are two appendices to the edition. The first, "Music", notes that there is just one song in the play, "Who is Silvia?" the wooing sung by Proteus. Warren presents a setting prepared for this edition by Guy Wolfenden from a book of tunes published in 1601. The second appendix shows "Alterations to Lineation".
There were no monographs this year. The closest to our topic was Patrick Cheney's brilliant literary-critical work on the ways that bookishness functions in Shakespeare's poems and plays, the study of which illuminates Shakespeare's own ideas on authorship (Shakespeare's Literary Authorship). However, it is not strictly relevant to a survey of work on Shakespeare's texts and cannot be noticed here. The most important article this year was Zachary Lesser and Peter Stallybrass's superb account of how commonplacing--the marking of sententiae in a text--was used in a tussle to establish the literary validity of drama, and how Shakespeare side-stepped this tussle and reinvented himself as a tragic-comic writer with no classical pretensions ('The First Literary Hamlet and the Commonplacing of Professional Plays', SQ 59.371-420). They start with the peculiar claim on the title-page of Q1 Hamlet that it was performed at universities; this claim is unique in pre-Restoration printed drama. Moreover, the title-page claims that the play was performed in the "Cittie of London" (instead of the suburban amphitheatres), which also puts it outside the commercial theatre industry. Yet this edition is traditionally seen as unliterary, as a botched-up acting version in contrast to the authorially-derived Q2. Indeed, Nicholas Ling, publisher of Q1, implicitly castigated his own product as imperfect when he published Q2 with a title-page boast of being better than Q1. Q2's reference to its "true and perfect Coppie" sounds like a boast of authoriality, and yet Q2 closely copies Q1's title-page layout, even in its unusual hanging indent. Was he trying to pass off to undiscerning buyers the remainder of his Q1 stock as Q2 while hoping that discerning ones (who might already have Q1) would spot the improvements and be encouraged to have both? If so, the theatrical Q1 as was quite so unlike the literary Q2 as we have thought.
The status of Q1 is all the more strange because it contains a rare, new literary feature: "sententiae or commonplaces that are pointed out to the reader, either by commas or inverted commas at the beginning of each line or by a change in font (usually from roman to italic)" (p. 376), which arose first in prestigious and classical plays. The marks highlight Corambis's (= Polonius's) lines of advice to his son and daughter, and they make Q1 literary despite its memorial link to performance (which Lesser and Stallybrass accept). When first discovered in the nineteenth century, Q1 was taken to be Shakespeare's first stab at the drama. Although he gave a convoluted, and universally-rejected, theory of the early Hamlet editions, John Dover Wilson realized that the commonplace markers were a writerly phenomenon, not one that could be attributed to a stenographer or actor or to the workings of anyone's memory; Albert Weiner spotted that too. But the success of the theory of memorial reconstruction caused these scholars to be ignored, even by editors who write about the same features appearing in Q2 Hamlet. If compositors would not introduce the commonplace markers, and actors would not, who did? Lesser and Stallybrass make a highly convincing case for their suspects.
Frances Mere's Palladis Tamia (1598) was the second part of Politeuphuia: Wits Commonwealth published in 1597 by Ling--the publisher of Q1 and Q2 Hamlet--and was itself based on John Bodenham's compilation of classical authors. Bodenham and his circle also laboured to collate work by contemporary vernacular writers, resulting in Bel-vedere or the Garden of the Muses (1600), including 214 quotations from Shakespeare. Nearly half of these 214 were from The Rape of Lucrece (1594), the only Shakespeare book before Q1 Hamlet to have commonplace markers in it. Furthermore, Ling was also the co-publisher of Robert Allott's England's Parnassus (1600), another collection of contemporary vernacular writers. The appearance of commonplace markers in literature was sporadic before 1594, but then took off and Ling, James Roberts, and John Busby were the key figures in this development. Roberts printed for Ling and/or Busby five commonplaced books in 1594-8 whose excerpts ended up in England's Parnassus or Bel-vedere, so quite possibly these five were printed from the same manuscripts that Bodenham, Allott and Ling used to make their collections. In the preliminaries to Bel-vedere Bodenham writes in praise of the universities at Oxford and Cambridge, but of course in 1601 or 1602 students at St John's College Cambridge put on the play 2 The Return from Parnassus as the third part of a trilogy starting with The Pilgrimage to Parnassus and 1 The Return from Parnassus. The students gave an unflattering view of Shakespeare, and made an onstage mockery of Bel-vedere for its temerity in suggesting that vernacular authors should be commonplaced. The student Ingenioso who leads the mockery is usually taken to represent Thomas Nashe, a Cambridge graduate whose experiences parallelled Ingenioso's in the plays and who likewise attacked modern writers, especially dramatists.
Yet around this time Gabriel Harvey, a Cambridge don, wrote that Hamlet had in it matter "to please the wiser sort" (to judge from his annotation to his copy of Chaucer's works), and he paired it with The Rape of Lucrece, the only other Shakespeare work to have been printed with commonplace markers. 2 The Return from Parnassus presents Shakespeare as a poet, but at just this time one of his plays, Hamlet, was singled out by Harvey as being worth putting alongside the English greats and it was printed in Q1 with commonplace markers; simultaneously Bodenham and Allott were putting not just Shakespeare's poems but his plays too into their commonplace books. In the first decade of the new century, plays suddenly started to predominate amongst the printed books containing commonplace markers. Jonson's Every Man In His Humour was printed with commonplace markers in 1601, but it had already appeared in Bodenham's Bel-vedere.
Thus Bodenham and Allott were commonplacing a lot of drama, and indeed Lesser and Stallybrass reckon that it was their activity in putting extracts from plays in their commonplace books that led to the widespread publication of plays (many published by Ling) with commonplace markers in the first decade and a half of the new century. Before Bodenham and Allott's books were published no plays appeared with commonplace markers, after them came a flurry of plays printed with commonplace markers. There was in the compositor's typecase no sort for quotation marks: printers used inverted commas (or indeed non-inverted ones) to represent the variety of marginal marks indicating sententiae that they found in their manuscript and printed copy. However, shifts in printed font to note sententiae seem to indicate marks present in the body of a manuscript (not marginalia) or a change from italic to secretary hand (or vice versa). Marginalia and underlining could of course be added to a manuscript by anyone, but a change in handwriting (secretary/italic) is a feature of a writer, whether scribe or author.
Lesser and Stallybrass reckon that marginal commas are much less likely to be authorial (more likely to be added by a reader) than use of italics, but mid-line commas (inverted or not) that mark off more than one line's worth of material are, they reckon, likely to be authorial. This is because they require more intervention than the marginal marks typically made be readers, and because we find Jonson doing them. All the material in Every Man Out Of His Humour that ended up in Allott's England's Parnassus is also marked up as commonplace using marginal commas in the 1600 quarto of Jonson's play. Perhaps Allott simply excerpted all the bits so marked in the quarto, or alternatively Allott's manuscript of the play (in which he marked the bits he wanted to excerpt) was used to print the play. Lesser and Stallybrass think the latter more likely because the play quarto also has commonplaces marked by change of font--presumably authorial ones--that Allott did not put into England's Parnassus, as we would expect him to do if he were simply copying from the quarto. There are also examples of highlighting words like "proverb", "saying", "axiom" and so on in the dialogue of printed plays and these are typically associated with a font change too: presumably the author changed hand to highlight the commonplace.
The authors who most marked commonplaces in their own plays were Jonson and John Marston, and for other commonplaced dramatists Lesser and Stallybrass reckon that Bodenham and Ling were the driving force. After all, if Shakespeare was responsible for the commonplacing in Hamlet, why did he do so much more of it in Q1 than in Q2? It were better to suppose the differences arise from different readers' commonplacing of the play. Looking at all the plays up to 1642 (something that Lesser's previous scholarly surveys make him expertly equipped to do), no obvious pattern emerges concerning which type of commonplacing marker--change of font, marginal commas, mid-line commas--is used, except that marginal commas are almost exclusively reserved for vernacular plays while font-changing is used for Latin and vernacular commonplacing. Lesser and Stallybrass decide that the marginal comma method arose as a compositorial indicator of the kind of commonplacing practice that Bodenham initiated and that quickly took off, and that was consciously trying to argue against the university view that English writing should not be commonplaced at all.
There is evidence in plays that have commonplace markers of a publisher's attempt to distance the work from the theatre. For example, instead of mentioning performance as Q1 does, Q2 Hamlet emphasizes its origin in the author's "true and perfect Coppie", and the second issue of Troilus and Cressida in 1609 cancels the reference to performance and asserts that the play was never performed. Importantly, however, these distancing gestures are not the norm: "Overall, about three-quarters of these playbooks [containing commonplace markers] advertise theatricality and performance on their title pages--by naming the playing company or the venue, or both" (p. 409). Thus, literariness emerges not in distinction from theatricality but in consort with it, and indeed professional plays are more often given commonplace markers than other vernacular writings are. (Although it is not mentioned here, this conclusion is consistent with earlier work by Lesser on the ways that drama was marketed.) Q1 Hamlet is squarely within this literary-theatrical (as opposed to literary-versus-theatrical) tradition: it is commonplaced and associated with the universities. 2 Return from Parnassus attacks Bodenham for trying to get vernacular poetry accepted as good enough to commonplace (and in that play Shakespeare appears only as a poet, not a dramatist) but Bodenham and his circle had already moved on and were trying, even more audaciously, to get professional stage plays accepted as literature. Q1 Hamlet was a manoeuvre in this struggle.
What kinds of writing were commonplaced in a printed play? Leaving aside Sejanus's Fall, which Jonson was commonplacing in order to deny it was topical (which is the opposite of commonplace) and hence escape censure for its political satire, it was writing concerned with love and women, the very things the university men agreed were not worth commonplacing. Whereas Lukas Erne sees the rising literariness of drama as an effort made by authors, Lesser and Stallybrass see it as an effect of the activities of readers like Bodenham and spreading from them to publishers. With the sole exception of one moment in Troilus and Cressida, Shakespeare does not seem to have marked the commonplaces in his plays. Moreover, where Erne sees increasing literariness in drama accompanying an interest in characters' interiority and psychology, Lesser and Stallybrass see the literariness witnessed in commonplacing as an interest in lines "extracted from the dramatic situation and from the character who speaks them" (p. 416); that is to say, the lines of special interest are not individual's thoughts but shared ones.
According to Lesser and Stallybrass's narrative, around 1607 Shakespeare decided to relearn his trade and apprenticed himself to George Wilkins and John Fletcher in order to get the hang of tragicomedy; this was instead of trying to establish himself as a writer (like Jonson) in the sententious style. It worked and Pericles was the biggest hit of his career. By the time of Leonard Digges's encomium to Shakespeare prefacing John Benson's 1640 edition of Sonnets, his not being commonplaced was part of his greatness. The same distancing from the classics--in order to laud a new vernacular classic, Shakespeare--is apparent in John Suckling's portrait of himself reading Hamlet and in Nicholas Rowe's story that Suckling thought Jonson too indebted to the classical writers and Shakespeare wonderfully, imperiously, free of them. This should not distract us from seeing that around 1600, Bodenham and Ling and others were aggressively asserting the place of vernacular dramatists alongside the classics.
The foremost journal in its field, Studies in Bibliography, has begun to catch up with itself after a hiatus. The volume published in 2008 is "for 2005-6" and in it R. Carter Hailey throws light on the likely order of presswork in the Pavier Shakespeare quartos of 1619 ('The Shakespearian Pavier Quartos Revisited', SB 57.151-95). His primary evidence is the patterns of paper stock usage, which he derives from the reappearances of watermarks and characteristic chainline intervals, on the principles that a paper mould had distinctive intervals, was used constantly until it wore out in under a year, and that a printer bought a stock of paper for a job and used it up fairly quickly rather than mixing it with other stock over many years. Hailey set out to look at more exemplars of the Pavier quartos than W. W. Greg examined for his groundbreaking essays in The Library in 1908 (the ones that proved that the title-page dates were false), and he has found over 50 watermark pairs in them. This enables Hailey to speak more authoritatively about pairs (of which Greg was ignorant) and to track individual wireforms (that make the watermarks) as they get damaged from use.
Hailey begins by politely correcting an error in a standard textbook on the topic, Philip Gaskell's New Introduction to Bibliography, which claims that a book would usually be printed on just one stock of paper. Hailey's investigations show that this might happen, or else the book might be printed on a variety of paper stocks: there is no rule. David Vander Meulen came up with the technique of identifying stocks of paper even when there is no watermark: the intervals between chainlines form a kind of fingerprint. You have to measure the intervals at one place on the sheet each time--best to go for the centre of a sheet as it is the easiest spot to identify--because the lines wander a little in their intervals across the sheet. Hailey standardizes on always looking and representing watermarks from the felt side, that is the side you can see when looking down into the mould; the other side--the one into which the chainlines will impress--is known as the mould side. The detail of how Hailey does his measuring are impressively complete, if a little daunting for all but the expert. I found only one error, and it is simply a slip of expression: "If a mark is centered between chainlines . . .", Hailey writes, then his record has to identify the chainline intervals to the left and right of it (p. 160). He means that this, the specification of intervals on either side, is givegn if the chainline is centred on (not "between") chainlines.
Hailey describes how his survey of the Pavier quartos refines Greg's identifications of watermarks and puts them into pairs: with his chainline interval measurement he can tell when marks that by eye Greg thought were made by one wireform in one mould were in fact made by different wireforms in different moulds. Importantly, Allan Stevenson's continuation of Greg's work (published in Studies in Bibliography in 1951-2) was wrong in identifying the dates 1608 and 1617 written into a couple of watermarks in the Pavier quartos. Hailey has found these watermarks' twins and unless they both were damaged in identical ways (an unlikely coincidence) the patterns can best be read not as numerals but decorations in the watermark (p. 172). Regarding the order of presswork, the pattern of paper stock use implied by the watermarks show "a complex production system that utilized cast-off copy and the concurrent printing of multiple plays to keep Jaggard's two presses busy" (p. 175). The evidence from paper is consistent with Blayney's inferences of the order of presswork from skeleton forme reuse, where one skeleton was used for both sides of each sheet but a different skeleton was used for alternate sheets. However, the paper evidence contradicts W. J. Neidig's determination, published in Modern Philology in 1910-11, of the order of printing of the title-pages (and by inference the plays themselves), which was arrived at by tracking the changes around the bits the title-pages have in common, which are the printer's device and "Written by W. Shakespeare". Hailey's trick is to show that the end of a particular book is printed on a mix of, say, two paper stocks, which two stocks appear together again only at the start of another book. The logical inference is that the second book was begun when the first was finished or was done concurrently with it; it is most unlikely that these two books were printed with a time interval between them, since that would require the printer to set aside the peculiar mix of two stocks that show up in both. Hailey is also able, by the same procedure, to identify other books going through Jaggard's shop at the time: the anonymous Troubles in Bohemia (1619) and The Second Part of the Booke of Christian Exercise (1619) and just possibly John Selden's The Historie of Tithes that was begun by William Stansby but suppressed during production at the end of 1617.
Brian Vickers continues his reattribution of plays that Shakespeare had a hand in, and shows that Thomas Kyd was one of the authors of Arden of Faversham ('Thomas Kyd: Secret Sharer', TLS Number 5481 (18 April).13-5). (That Shakespeare had a hand in it was demonstrated by MacDonald P. Jackson in an article reviewed in YWES 87.) On points of detail inessential to his claim Vickers is disturbingly misleading or mistaken. He writes that the Red Lion project of 1567 was a "conversion" of a building into a playhouse, but as has been known since Janet Loengard uncovered a lawsuit about it in the 1980s, the venue was a free-standing addition to the courtyard of a farm, without foundations. Vickers misleads on how scripts were delivered by freelance dramatists, claiming that "Payment was on delivery" whereas in fact payment could be piecemeal, as sections were completed, as is clear from letters the dramatist Robert Daborne wrote to Philip Henslowe between March and December 1613, recorded as Articles 73 to 97 in Greg's edition of Henslowe's papers. He asserts that "Having delivered their manuscript, most dramatists never saw a play again, and moved on to the next project", without addressing Grace Ioppolo's claim (reviewed in YWES 87) that dramatists worked closely with the actors on subsequent reshapings of a play; admittedly Ioppolo offered no clinching evidence to support her claim.
There are few works are attributed to Kyd yet his contemporaries said he was industrious, and claims that he wrote Arden of Faversham have emerged from time to time. Vickers has tested these claims using plagiarism-detection software that finds three-word collocations in order to compare the play to The Spanish Tragedy, Soliman and Perseda, and the English translation of Robert Garnier's closet tragedy in French, Cornelie, these being three widely-accepted Kyd attributions. Having found the collocations, the trick is then to eliminate the ones that occur in others' writing. Using a self-built machine-readable corpus of 75 plays from before 1596--there is no explanation why he does not use the Literature Online texts--Vickers was able to whittle the list of collocations down to 32 that appear only in Arden of Faversham and The Spanish Tragedy, 36 that appear only in Arden of Faversham and Soliman and Perseda, and 8 that appear only in Arden of Faversham and the English translation of Cornelie. At this point in the argument, Vickers gives an URL to where he claims his raw data can be downloaded, but it resolves to simply the homepage of the University of London's School of Advanced Study and the data cannot be found from there. (In a subsequent issue of the journal the correct URL was given.) The evidential bottom line is that only Kyd and Arden of Faversham use "And faine would have", "Ile none of that", "there is no credit in", "thou wert wont to", "on/upon your left hand", "then either thou or", "have your company to", "sit with us", "give it over", "heaven is my hope", and "there he lyes".
Two of these pieces of evidence are easily dismissed: "thou wert wont to" appears in John Lyly's Love's Metamorphosis (performed by the boys of St Paul's in 1590) and "sit with us" appears in Thomas Garter's play Susanna (published 1578), as Literature Online readily reveals. Vickers's rule of looking for matches only in plays before 1596 serves no obvious purpose: if we want to exclude sayings in common usage we need to check that around this time no-one else was using these phrases. In fact, "thou wert wont to" also appears in Anonymous's The Wisdom of Doctor Dodypoll (performed 1599) and Samuel Daniel's The Queen's Arcadia (performed 1605). If we widen the net a little to include variant forms and thereby admit "thou wast wont to" we find it in Christopher Marlowe's 2 Tamburlaine (performed 1588), Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (performed 1595), Anonymous's Timon (performed 1602), John Marston's The Malcontent (performed 1604), Thomas Heywood's The Rape of Lucrece (performed 1607), Anonymous's Tom a Lincoln (performed around 1611), Thomas Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (performed 1611) and No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's (performed 1613), John Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas (performed 1615), and John Webster's A Cure for a Cuckold (performed 1625). The phrase, then, was not in the least unusual. Vickers goes on to discuss looser verbal parallels between Arden of Faversham and the Kyd canon, and also claims King Leir for Kyd's authorship. He ends by arguing for Kyd's share in 1 Henry 6, showing how many of its phrases are loosely mirrored in the Kyd canon and nowhere else before 1596. As before, the logic of limiting the search to plays before 1596 needs stronger justification than it gets in the essay. Jackson's work in the same field provides more secure scholarly procedures for the kinds of argument Vickers wishes to make, and produces results that are harder to critique.
Jackson's own contribution to the field this year was substantial, and in two articles he disproves Brian Vickers's attribution of the poem A Lover's Complaint to John Davies of Hereford. The first uses unusual spellings that are characteristic of an author and, despite scribal and compositorial interference, make it into print ('The Authorship of A Lover's Complaint: A New Approach to the Problem', PBSA 102.285-313). Jackson's method was to search in plays in Literature Online from the period 1590 to 1614 that contain the unusual spellings in A Lover's Complaint as it appears in the 1609 quarto of Sonnets, and then repeat the process for Literature Online's poetry. One of the wrinkles is that Literature Online tags drama by date of composition and first performance, but poetry only by date of publication. Of the hits he found, Jackson recorded the rare spellings, defined as ones appearing in no more than five dramatists' plays, and he prints the complete list (identifying the plays and poems they occur in) from doble to spungie. The technical details of how he handled capitals, hyphenated words, inflections and conjugations, and apostrophes marking elision are well explained and reasonable. The plays having three or more rare-spelling links to A Lover's Complaint are Hamlet, 2 Henry 4, Love's Labour's Lost, King Lear, and Romeo and Juliet (all by Shakespeare) and Middleton's The Second Maiden's Tragedy. Of the nineteen plays having two links to A Lover's Complaint, twelve are by Shakespeare, and of the 61 plays having one link, ten are by Shakespeare. Not only does Shakespeare dominate the top of the table of links, but the five Shakespeare plays with three or more links to A Lover's Complaint are all ones that on other grounds are thought to have been printed from authorial papers. The cross-check with the words' occurrences in poetry eliminates the danger that these are otherwise common words that happen to be rare in drama.
In all, Shakespeare's work comprises 8% of the text searched by Jackson yet provides one in every three of the links to A Lover's Complaint he discovered. To counter Vickers's claim (made in works reviewed in YWES 84 and YWES 88) that A Lover's Complaint was written by John Davies of Hereford, Jackson points out that his works' links to A Lover's Complaint are few. The rarest spellings of all, those occurring in A Lover's Complaint and only one other writer's work, are twaine, didde, sheelded, beseecht, and filliall, all Shakepeare's, and laundring (Jonson), satte (Giles Fletcher), addicions (William Rowley), hewd (George Chapman), subdewe (William Warner), and brynish (Nathaniel Baxter). It is obvious that no-one is named twice except Shakespeare who is responsible for five of the spellings. Broadening the net to look at the rarest spellings across the whole of Literature Online, Shakespeare still predominates: these are genuinely rare spellings in absolute terms, and they are common to A Lover's Complaint and Shakespeare. Jackson shows that a number of apparent errors in early editions of Shakespeare can be explained if we accept that the spellings uncovered in this study really are Shakespeare's idiosyncratic habits.
It occurs to Jackson that if Shakespeare were just an abnormally frequent users of peculiar spellings, then any searches for peculiar spellings in a work of unknown authorship, like A Lover's Complaint, would be likely to make links with Shakespeare for that reason alone, no matter who wrote it. To discount this possible bias, Jackson repeated the whole exercise of this article but using as his suspect text a work known to be by John Davies of Hereford. It turned out to have most links with Davies's other works, not with Shakespeare; this extra step is described in an appendix to the present article made available online by the Bibliographical Society of America. A key advantage of spelling studies is that they are not likely to be skewed by poets' imitations of one another. Jackson ends with a couple of touchstones. Arguing against Davies's authorship of A Lover's Complaint is his liking for sith (= since), which Shakespeare does not show, and likewise Davies has a preference for using an apostrophe to indicate elision within a word, which Shakespeare does not. Shakespeare's and not Davies's preferences show up in A Lover's Complaint. Likewise with the preferences for abbreviating it is to it's / its or 'tis / tis and spelling ere (meaning before) as yer. As Jackson points out, the evidence in his study covers too many printers (whose habits would average out) for them to be the cause of bias: these are authorial habits coming through in print.
Jackson's second article buttresses the first using not rare spellings but simply rare words ('A Lover's Complaint, Cymbeline, and the Shakespeare Canon: Interpreting Shared Vocabulary', MLR 103.621-38). As was already known, there are rare words--those used no more than five times by Shakespeare--that cluster in Cymbeline and A Lover's Complaint: gyves (as a noun), physic (as a verb), amplify, blazon (as a verb), ruby, outwardly, tempter, aptness, commix, spongy, slackly, feat, rudeness, usury, and pervert (as a verb). Vickers reckons they are either common words in the language or Shakespeare copied them from John Davies of Hereford's A Lover's Complaint that was published, wrongly, under Shakespeare's name. These explanations Jackson finds improbable because in Cymbeline and A Lover's Complaint several of these words collocate with specific other words or occur in situations of similar action or feeling. Jackson has two more words to add to the above list: seared (as an adjective) and outward (as a noun). Searching for these seventeen words in Literature Online for 1598-1614 shows that four of them are almost never used outside Shakespeare: physic, slackly, seared, and outward. However, Davies uses eleven of these seventeen words, so we need a test for whether it is more likely that Shakespeare got his from Davies (as writer of A Lover's Complaint) or simply wrote A Lover's Complaint himself. It is noticeable that fifteen of these seventeen words occur in other Shakespeare works besides Cymbeline, and predominantly in the later ones, and appear there more often than they do in the Davies canon. So it seems that Shakespeare in Cymbeline was not getting these words from reading Davies's work in the 1609 quarto of Sonnets, rather he was simply repeating himself. The poetical use of the idea of something peeping through something else comes up frequently in Shakespeare and is in A Lover's Complaint, but is not in other writers' work nor in Davies's, other than as the commonplace idea of the sun peeping out. In Sonnet 69 and in A Lover's Complaint the rare noun outward is used of a man's appearance, which is uncommon. At this point in his article Jackson departs from the quantitative approach and starts showing how poetical conceits are shared between A Lover's Complaint and Shakespeare works. This approach is less persuasive than his quantitative method because it does not show that no-one else was using these conceits. When Jackson challenges Vickers on his reading of poetry, the contest is likewise inconclusive. But when he shows that the characteristic words of Davies that Vickers offers as evidence of his composition of A Lover's Complaint are truly commonplaces, the scales tip again in Jackson's favour.
In a third, slighter article, Jackson gives his views on a clutch of well-known Shakespearian cruxes ('Three Disputed Shakespeare Readings: Associations and Contexts', RES 59.219-31). In Q2 Romeo and Juliet Romeo refers to the winged messenger of heaven travelling on "lazie puffing Cloudes" in 2.2, but Jackson prefers Q1's "lasie-pacing" (that is, lazy-pacing) clouds. The argument is essentially linguistic: the image is one of horse-riding, and Shakespeare repeatedly brings together words regarding pace, (be)striding, horsemanship, and supernatural beings riding in the air. Jackson thinks that Q1 Romeo and Juliet is "perhaps" and Q1 Hamlet "probably" based on memorial reconstruction. In Hamlet, the question is whether to accept a "good kissing carrion" (as Q2/F have it), or Warburton's emendation to a "god kissing carrion". In favour of the latter is the idea that Hamlet is likening himself to a much elevated thing (the sun) making a lowly thing conceive life, and so is deliberately activating Polonius's anxiety that the prince pursues Ophelia only for sex. The clincher in favour of Warburton is the frequency of other gods kissing lowly things in Shakespeare. For the "dram of eale . . . of a doubt" problem, Jackson declares himself convinced that the Oxford Complete Works's editors hit on the solution: it is "The dram of evil . . . over-daub".
Paul Werstine explains how the digital version of the New Variorum Shakespeare (NVS) will make readers' use of the edition, and especially of its collation information, much easier than hitherto, mainly because of Alan Galey's technical wizardry ('Past is Prologue: Electronic New Variorum Shakespeares', Shakespeare 4.208-20). Werstine refers to the series' electronic text of The Winter's Tale released on a CD-ROM accompanying the print version as "protected" because it is in PDF format, but in fact anyone with a full version of the Acrobat software, or indeed of the many rival PDF-editing packages, can edit the document at will. The amazing visual representations of the collation data in the online NVS is possible because the project uses eXtensible Markup Language (XML) for encoding. The NVS has always been rigorous in its checking of volumes for accuracy, but Werstine reports that the discipline of tagging for XML has enforced even greater rigour. On the downside, however, editors find themselves going back and fixing errors after they thought they were done with an edition, simply because the electronic medium allows you to do this.
New Textualist objections to the regularizing of speech prefixes continue to resurface periodically, as when John Drakakis and Leah S. Marcus complained (in essays reviewed in YWES 88) that modern editors fail to follow the variations between the personal name "Shylock" and the generic label "Jew" and between the personal name "Aaron" and the generic label "Moor" in The Merchant of Venice and Titus Andronicus respectively. Lina Perkins Wilder likewise objects to the regularizing of Bottom's speech prefixes in A Midsummer Night's Dream, since this Protean figure should be allowed break all constraints and be at once lover and tyrant, the company clown inhabiting various roles, and Bottom the artisan ('Changeling Bottom: Speech Prefixes, Acting, and Character in A Midsummer Night's Dream', Shakespeare 4.45-64). To editorially reduce the multiplicity of "Clowne", "Pyramus", and "Bottom" (as in the early editions) to just "BOTTOM" is to efface the expression at a paratextual level of the phenomenon of changeability that the play is concerned with. This argument presupposes that someone's (the author's?) agency is expressed in the various names, but in fact there are good reasons to suspect that speech prefix variation emerged in the printshop to solve problems of type shortage. Even if not, there is no reason to suppose that actors changed their performances for scenes where the speech prefixes change, so it is hard to see what is lost by regularizing the prefixes for the convenience of modern readers, who have enough work to do making sense of 400-year old dramatic verse.
Last among the articles is John Felce's argument that Q1 Hamlet was written before Q2 or F ('Riddling Q1: Hamlet's Mill and the Trickster', ShSurv 61: Shakespeare, Sound and Screen.269-80). Q1 is generally thought to derive from the play better represented in Q2 and F, but if so how come Q1 is closer than the others to the play's sources? Felce surveys the Hamlet story in Norse poetry and in the Danish oral tradition, which share the idea of sand as a kind of flour milled by the sea. (It never became clear to me why that idea matters; perhaps it emerges within the several untranslated foreign language quotations offered here.) In the Norse tradition Hamlet is essentially a trickster, as he is in Q1; he is less so in Q2 and F. In Q1 the nunnery scene, Felce alleges, is more sexual than it is in Q2/F, more like the equivalent scene (a seductive ambush in the forest) in the sources. In Q1's nunnery scene, Hamlet says he never loved Ophelia, whereas in Q2/F he says he did and then says he did not, so Felce sees him as more obviously a deceiver in Q1. Because of where it appears in the action of Q1, the rejection of Ophelia is more important to the story, more a reason for her madness, than it is in Q2/F. Gertrude's knowledge of Hamlet's plan and her going along with it in Q1 also show it to be closer to the sources than Q2/F, in which versions we are allowed into Hamlet's mind. In the sources and in Q1 he keeps us out. Thus, according to Felce, the trickster of Q1 and the sources becomes the thinker of Q2/F.
Just two chapters in collections of essays were relevant to this survey. In the first, Leah S. Marcus offers a history of theories about the badness of Shakespeare's text, from the 1623 Folio through the intervening centuries to now, with lots of generalizations about how people felt about printing and about the theatre, but with no evidence offered to support the claims ('Who's Afraid of the Big 'Bad' Quarto?', in James M. Dutcher and Anne Lake Prescott (eds.) Renaissance Historicisms: Essays in Honor of Arthur F. Kinney (Newark DE: University of Delaware Press)). She focusses rather pointlessly on lectures given by Roger Chartier on French literature and then switches attention to a New Variorum Shakespeare editor who would not let his edition go online for fear that it would be corrupted. From there Marcus moves to Web 2.0 and the attacks of 9/11. The essay is a string of non sequiturs. Much more substantial is Anthony B. Dawson's reflection on editing ('What Do Editors Do and Why Does it Matter?', in Laurie Maguire (ed.) How to Do Things with Shakespeare: New Approaches, New Essays (Oxford: Blackwell)). Dawson critiques Lukas Erne's Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist as it applies to Folio Hamlet: if the underlying manuscript were, as Erne claims, an intermediate document in which were marked preliminary cuts for performance, but nowhere near all the cuts needed, what did John Heminges and Henry Condell think they were doing in using it for this prestigious book? They could easily have simply reprinted Q2 or Q3, which presented no rights problems. Good point. Dawson maintains that drama is not antithetical to literature: the scene in Hamlet where the Player recites the death of Priam neatly illustrates this by drawing on Virgil's Aeneid and alluding to bookish Marlowe, and it survives relatively unscathed across Q1, Q2, and F. We need not, Dawson counsels, be afraid of the concept of authorial intention. He ends by discussing the problems he faced editing Timon of Athens for the Arden edition reviewed above.
And so to the round-up from Notes & Queries. In Q1 A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cupid aims an arrow "At a faire Vestall, throned by west" but most editors prefer F's "At a faire Vestall, throned by the West". Richard F. Kennedy reckons that Q1 is better if we just emend it to "At a fairy vestal, throned by west"; there are faire/fairie and aire/airie errors in F1 A Midsummer Night's Dream and 'by west' for 'by the west' was not unusual in early-modern English ('A Midsummer Night's Dream II.I.157: A Proposed Emendation', N&Q 253.176). John Flood has an additional biblical source for Portia's claim that mercy "droppeth as the gentle rain": it is Isaiah 45:8, which in the Geneva Bible is "Ye heavens, send the dewe from aboue, & let ye cloudes drop downe righteousnes" and in the Bishops Bible is "Ye heauens from aboue drop downe, and let the cloudes rayne righteousness" (''It Droppeth as the Gentle Rain': Isaiah 458: and The Merchant of Venice IV.1.181', N&Q 253.176-7). Flood does not know which bible Shakespeare used (maybe both he says) but judges Isaiah a particularly relevant book for this play and notices that the disadvantage of the Genevan reading in having dew instead of rain is counterbalanced by its pun on dew/jew. In the first of two notes on Falstaff's speech about honour in 1 Henry 4 5.1, Christopher M. McDonough reads the "scutcheon" to which he likens it as not merely the symbolic shield on which heraldic devices were drawn, but also the real weapon that in classical writings a coward throws away to save himself (''A Mere Scutcheon': Falstaff as Rhipsaspis', N&Q 253.181-3).
Joaquim Anyó weighs the evidence for a number of possible sources for Much Ado About Nothing, and decides (as he did in a note reviewed in YWES 87), that Tirante il Bianco, first published in Valencia in 1490, is a neglected source ('More on the Sources of Much Ado About Nothing', N&Q 253.185-7). In Sonnet 46 the 1609 quarto reads "To side this title is impannelled | A quest of thoughts", meaning that to decide whether the eye or the heart has a stronger claim of possession ("title") over the image of the love object a jury ("quest") has been established. The problem is the use of "side" as a verb and some editors go for "'cide" (= decide). What if, suggests Paul Hammond, the manuscript copy read "finde" (with a long-s) and the "n" was omitted ('A Textual Crux in Shakespeare's Sonnet 46', N&Q 253.187-8)? The sense works well (find = determine) and graphically such a minim error is common in Shakespeare and can be parallelled from compositorial mistakings of "n" minims elsewhere in Sonnets. For the purpose of goading Achilles back into action, Ulysses in Troilus and Cressida imagines aloud a scene of Ajax with his foot on Hector's breast, accompanied by "great Troy shriking [shrieking]" (Q) or "great Troy shrinking" (F). Both make sense but because they are so similar MacDonald P. Jackson thinks that one must be wrong: Shakespeare would not revise one to make the other ('Great Troy Shrieking: Troilus and Cressida, III.iii.136', N&Q 253.188-91). (This is debatable: E. A. J. Honigmann's classic The Stability of Shakespeare's Text argued that such inconsequential tweaking is just the sort of thing he would do.) Jackson argues that elsewhere in this play and in Shakespeare, shrieking is what happens when disaster strikes, and it is often spelt shrike. Also, Literature Online shows that John Ogle's poem "Troy's Lamentation for the Death of Hector" (published 1594) uses various forms of shrike much more often than other writings of the period. Ogle's account of the destruction of Troy has parallels with the destruction imagined in Troilus and Cressida and the destruction of Harfleur conjured up in Henry 5. Thus "great Troy shrieking" is the reading Jackson prefers.
In Measure for Measure, Elbow calls brothels "common houses" and this is the OED's only occurrence of the term. Is it an Elbowism? Kenji Go thinks not, as it appears as "common base houses" in the Second Book of Homilies of 1563 ('On the Origin of the 'Common Houses' as Brothels in Measure for Measure', N&Q 253.191-4). Unfortunately, what goes on in these "common base houses" was said in the homily to be "low occupying", which was probably innocuous in the 1560s (it meant simply a debased practice) but by the 1590s the work occupy was synonymous with fuck and the homily must have sounded terribly (unintentionally) vulgar by then; the offending passage was later reworded to avoid this. Perhaps, ponders Go, that is why "common houses" appealed to Shakespeare and was put in the mouth of a constable who utters a stream of unintentionally vulgar words by mistake: it reminded everyone of an unintentional vulgarity in the homilies. David George has two sources for Coriolanus: the attack on Corioles is like the attack upon Orléans in 1 Henry 6--similar actions, similar rhetoric--and a pamphlet on The Great Frost (1608) has phrases and ideas that come up in various places in Coriolanus ('Two New Sources for Coriolanus', N&Q 253.194-7). Actually, they are not unusual phrases or ideas, so accepting that they came from this pamphlet depends on accepting that so many everyday things accumulating in one place is unlikely; the odds for that are hard to calculate. George confuses the Arden Shakespeare and the New Cambridge Shakespeare, thinking that Michael Hattaway, editor of the latter's 1 Henry 6, edited the former's (p. 195n1).
According to Herbert W. Benario, the entry of Richard to London in shame, following Bolingbroke, in Richard 2 has parallels of phrasing and action with the death of emperor Vitellius in Tacitus's Histories ('Shakespearean Debt to Tacitus' Histories', N&Q 253.202-5). He thinks there may also be a parallel between the death of emperor Otho in Tacitus and the dignified death of the Thane of Cawdor in Macbeth, but he rejects a claimed parallel between Tacitus and Richard 3. David McInnis is keen to dismiss the idea that The Tempest is an American play ('Old World Sources For Ariel in The Tempest', N&Q 253.208-13). There is a passage in George Wilkins, John Day, and William Rowley's The Travails of Three English Brothers in which bees are commented upon for their foraging abroad and taking home their booty. This McInnes thinks was in Shakespeare's mind when he wrote the song for Ariel "Where the bee sucks", because Ariel will spend elsewhere the liberty he earns on the island and because the word "industrious" is applied to the bees (and to Ariel at 4.3.33) and the bees are "merry" (as Aries says he will be 5.1.93). McInnis finds a source for Ariel's ventriloquism in 3.2 in Richard Eden's 1553 translation of Sebastian Münster's Cosmographia, which tells how spirits in the region of Tangut use ventriloquism and music to waylay and dissever groups of travellers, just as Ariel splits the shipwrecked men across the island. The same claim arises in Marco Polo's writing, although whether Münster got the idea from Polo or learnt of it independently is impossible to say. Somebody ought to advise journal publishers that printing the long URLs that scholars cut-and-paste into their essays is pointlesss. Here is one that is 129 characters long, much more than can be retyped accurately. Even those who access McInnis's essay as a PDF document will find that the hyperlink does not work because in typesetting certain characters have been changed: the ASCII hyphen in the URL has become an en-line dash. An indefatigable reader who corrects and retypes the URL will find it still does not work, unless she happens to be a member of the University of Melbourne: the quoted URL contains the string "unimelb.edu.au" showing that it relies upon McInnis's prior authentication as a member of that institution.
In a note reviewed in YWES 86, Thomas Merriam argued that the 31-line segment in the middle of All is True 2.3, in which the Lord Chamberlain enters and speaks to Anne Bullen, is Fletcher's interpolation in a scene otherwise by Shakespeare. Merriam now adds further evidence for the claim in the form of parallels between Fletcher's play The Valentinian and All is True ('A Fletcher Interpolation in Henry VIII, II.iii', N&Q 253.213-5). The alleged interpolation shares with Fletcher's play the phrase "from this lady". True, but the phrase also appears in Webster's The Devil's Law Case (1617) and Thomas Randolph's The Jealous Lovers (1632), and is in any case not unusual; it pops ups in Spenser's The Faerie Queene. There are thematic parallels between All is True and The Valentinian as well as some looser one-word verbal parallels. As so often with these cases, the cumulative weight of individually insignificant pieces of evidence has to be determined before assent is given the proposition. The statistical analyses needed to make such determinations are highly complex and almost never feature in the arguments being made.
Patrick Cheney Shakespeare's Literary Authorship. Cambridge University Press .
William Shakespeare The Two Gentlemen of Verona, ed. Roger Warren, The Oxford Shakespeare. Oxford University Press .
William Shakespeare Timon of Athens, ed. Anthony E. Dawson and Gretchen E. Minton, The Arden Shakespeare. Cengage Learning EMEA .
William Shakespeare Twelfth Night, ed. Keir Elam, The Arden Shakespeare. Methuen .