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The problem of determining that one edition served as copy for a second edition has interested bibliographers for some time. R. B. McKerrow discusses the bibliographical evidence that can be used to determine the relationship of editions, his general conclusion being that the best proof of the relationship of two editions is the demonstration that the second edition reproduces abnormalities that had their origin in the shop where the first edition was printed:

. . . whenever he [the editor] comes across anything abnormal in the typographical arrangement of a text, it will generally pay him to consider whether this may be due to the blind following of an earlier edition.[21]
Although no single piece of evidence that I shall now present can, in itself, be taken as indisputable proof that F was printed from a copy of Q, the cumulative effect of this evidence cannot, I think, be questioned: for this evidence demonstrates that F reproduces peculiarities found in Q that had their origin in George Eld's printing shop. Previous investigators have noted certain of the similarities between Q and F. As these similarities apparently have not been sufficient to clinch the relationship of Q and F, I shall confine myself to kinds of evidence that have not, for the most part, been previously considered.[22] This evidence will be drawn from (1) the use of roman and italic type, (2) speech-heading forms, and (3) significant spellings.


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Italic and Roman Type:

The fact that F agrees with Q in the use of italic or roman type when its use is dictated by the typographical conventions followed in each cannot, of course, be considered as evidence of their relationship; but when aberrancies in Q are reproduced in F, this agreement becomes significant. It is the normal practice in both Q and F to use italic type for proper names, both in the text and in the stage-directions. Exceptions to this general practice occur, in Q, and it is significant that F then reproduces the roman type used in Q:[23] Stage-direction preceding II.iii.1:

  • Q: Enter Thersites solus.
  • F: Enter Thersites solus.
Stage-direction preceding III.iii.38:
  • Q: Achilles and Patro stand in their tent.
  • F: Enter Achilles and Patroclus in their tent.

Proper names from mythology are, like the names of characters, generally in italic type in both Q and F. The following significant exceptions occur, with F reproducing the roman font employed in Q:

I.iii.89  Q: Sol  F: Sol 
V.ii.174  Q: Neptunes  F: Neptunes 
Although 'Trojan' is never italicized in Q (and only three times in F), 'Myrmidon' is (with one exception) italicized in both, whereas 'Phrigian' is never italicized in either Q or F:              
I.iii.378  Q: Myrmidon  F: Myrmidon 
V.v.33  Q: Myrmidons   F: Myrmidons  Q: Myrmidons   F: Myrmidons  
V.viii.13  Q: Myrmidons   F: Myrmidons  
IV.v.186  Q: Phrigian  F: Phrygian 
IV.v.224  Q: Phrigian  F: Phrygian 
V.x.24  Q: Phrigian  F: Phrygian 


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'Troy,' a word that occurs fifty-two times in this play, is normally in roman type in both Q and F. The following exceptions occur, with F each time reproducing the aberrant italics of Q:      
III.i.149  Q: Troy   F: Troy  
III.ii.193  Q: Troy   F: Troy  
III.iii.141  Q: Troy   F: Troy  
The following agreement in the typographical treatment of geographic names is significant:        
I.i.103  Q: India   F: India  
I.ii.80  Q: India  F: India 
I.iii.328  Q: libia  F: Lybia 
V.iv.20  Q: Stix  F: Stix 
And finally, F's repetition of Q's aberrant use of italics for the word 'Autumne' at I.ii.138 is significant, especially as elsewhere in F this word is invariably in roman type.


In the pre-1640 dramatic manuscripts that have survived, there is little consistency in the treatment of speech-headings save that they were written in the left margin of the page. In the manuscript of John of Kent, speech-headings are invariably written out in full, and generally so in Believe as Ye List and Ironsides; in other plays they are more often abbreviated.[24] W. W. Greg, describing extant dramatic manuscripts, says: "Speakers' names are usually abbreviated, but the practice varies: Massinger tends to write them in full, while on some pages of Thomas of Woodstock they are reduced to an initial. A scribe would often write a page of text first and add the speakers' names later: this tended to produce bad alinement, but ambiguity was generally avoided by the practice of drawing short lines on the left separating the speeches."[25] In the three pages of the Sir Thomas More manuscript written by Hand D, the thirteen speech-headings for the character Lincoln appear as follows: Lincolne, Linco, Linc, Lin, Lin, Lin, Linc, Linc, Linc, Linc, Lincolne, Lincolne, and Lincoln.

I do not think the question has ever been specifically studied, but it is my impression that compositors attempted, consciously


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or unconsciously, to normalize speech-headings. If the speech-headings in his copy were abbreviated fairly uniformly, the compositor would presumably follow his copy. If, however, the speech-headings were written out in full, or if they varied radically, the compositor would probably establish a norm abbreviation of his own, at least for the most frequently appearing speech-headings.[26] An analysis of the speech-heading forms in Troilus and Cressida shows a tendency to normalize the abbreviations.

In speech-headings Troilus' name is generally abbreviated in Q to Troy., but there are exceptions. Between F1v and the bottom of F3, the form Troy. appears seventeen times, but on F3v the three speeches of Troilus are each prefixed with Tro. On H1 we find the normal abbreviation Troy., but on the following two pages (H1v and H2) the abbreviation Troyl. is used seven times. On H3 (Troilus does not have a speech on H2v) the shift is back to Troy. On K3v and K4v we find the normal abbreviation Troy. appearing seven times, but on K4, the form Troyl. appears four times. Similar evidence of shifts at the end of the type-page is supplied by the speech-headings for Pandarus. On A4v, for example, we find the form Pand. used nine times, and the catch-word is Pand.; but on B1 there is a shift to Pan., which appears thirteen times. Similarly, the speech-headings for Hector are abbreviated Hect. for his four speeches on L1v, but on L2 the shorter form Hec. is used four times. On G3v the speech-heading for Thersites appears as Thersi. (five times); but on the following page (G4) the form Thers. appears eleven times. Other evidence of a similar nature can be drawn from the speech-headings of other characters.

It will be noted that the shift in these speech-heading forms coincides with the end of the type-page. Now unless we are willing to believe that similar shifts occurred in the MS from which Q was set and that these shifts each time happened to coincide with the end of a type-page of Q, we must accept the fact that these shifts in speech-heading forms represent the tendency to normalize by the compositors of Q.[27] In other words, the speech-headings


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in Q cannot all represent manuscript readings; for if we suppose that the Q forms reproduce manuscript readings, we must assume against all reason that these shifts in the manuscript coincided with the arbitrary (37 lines to a page) page division of Q. Such a hypothesis, involving such a chain of coincidences, seems to me to be untenable.

Analysis of the speech-headings in F affords additional evidence that F was set from Q. We have seen that the variations in the forms of certain speech-headings in Q cannot represent readings found in the manuscript from which it was set. If, therefore, we find the compositors[28] of F reproducing these variations, we shall have proof that F was set from Q. Although the folio compositors normalized speech-headings somewhat more uniformly than did the quarto compositors, there remains sufficient evidence to establish the relationship of the two texts.

In the quarto, the speech-headings for Pandarus are normally abbreviated to either Pan. or Pand. Both of the folio compositors generally normalize these speech-headings to Pan. The following significant exceptions occur, with F reproducing the longer form found in Q:

I.ii.129  Q: Pand.   F: Pand.  
III.i.110  Q: Pand.   F: Pand.  
III.ii.204  Q: Pand.   F: Pand.  
IV.ii.23  Q: Pand.   F: Pand.  
V.iii.97  Q: Pand.   F: Pand.  
V.iii.99  Q: Pand.   F: Pand.  
V.iii.101  Q: Pand.   F: Pand.  

The speech-headings for Diomedes offer additional evidence that F was set from Q. The speech-heading appears fifty-six times in F, forty-six times as Dio., and ten times as Diom. Eight of the ten cases in which the longer form is used in F reproduce the form found in Q.

There is some confusion in the text of Q as to the spelling of


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Calchas: it appears as Calcas and Chalcas. The 'h' spelling is used in one Q speech-heading (V.ii.1), and F significantly reproduces the Q form Chal.

It is not the practice in either Q or F to give names in full in the speech-headings, even for the first appearance of a character or at the beginning of a new scene. In the following cases, when the name is given in full in Q it is likewise given in full in F:

I.iii.31  Q: Nestor F: Priam
II.ii.97  Q: Priam F: Priam
III.i.61  Q: Paris F: Paris
V.iii.62  Q: Priam F: Priam
V.iii.71  Q: Priam F: Priam
V.iii.94  Q: Priam F: Priam

In Q the Speech-heading for Ajax is sometines written out in full. In F it is usually abbreviated Aia. F uses the longer form ten times, in each case reproducing the full form found in Q.

And finally, the absence of a speech-heading in Q and F alike at II.iii.1 suggests that F was printed from Q. In Q, the first line on D4v is the centered stage-direction, Enter Thersites solus. His speech, indented but without speech-heading, begins on the following line. In F, the stage direction Enter Thersites solus is centered and the speech, indented but without speech-heading, begins on the following line.


The fact that F reproduces a given spelling in Q cannot be considered evidence of the dependence of F upon Q. Such a single spelling, particularly if it were unusual, might represent a manuscript spelling independently reproduced in the two texts.[29] But if F is independent of Q, we should not find F reproducing indiscriminate spelling variants found in Q; nor should we find F reproducing the characteristic spellings of the two compositors of Q. In two groups of words, F reproduces these indiscriminate variations; and in a third group, F reproduces the characteristic spelling of the two Q compositors.

The use of final ie for y in polysyllables is not a characteristic spelling of the compositors of either Q or F. Seventy-two such


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spellings, however, are found in Q; the compositors of F reproduce forty-six of these spellings. The explanation of these F spellings must be that the F compositors were influenced by their copy to depart from their normal spelling habits.[30]

In Q, the exclamation 'Oh' is spelled indiscriminately 'O' and 'Oh.' In F, it is, with twenty-one exceptions, spelled 'O.'[31] Only seven times when Q has 'Oh' does F not reproduce the form; and only once does F use 'Oh' when the corresponding Q spelling is 'O.'

Compositors A and B of the folio occasionally depart from their normal spelling habits. Compositor B, who normally spells do and go without a final e, five times spells these words with a final e. And Compositor A, who normally uses a final e, thirteen times spells these words without the characteristic final e. These exceptions to the characteristic spelling practices of the two F compositors furnish the most striking evidence of the relationship of Q and F. Seventeen of these eighteen exceptions reproduce spellings found in Q, and these Q spellings are characteristic spellings of the quarto compositors X and Y. In the following cases, we find the folio compositors reproducing significant Q spellings that are the peculiar spellings of compositors X and Y and cannot therefore all have existed in any manuscript.

I.i.119  Q: goe  F: goe  II.iii.169  Q: do  F: do 
I.iii.308  Q: goe  F: goe  III.iii.90  Q: do  F: do 
II.i.97  Q: goe  F: goe  IV.i.27  Q: doo[32]   F: doo 
II.ii.112  Q: goe  F: goe 
IV.ii.28  Q: do  F: do  III.ii.56  Q: go  F: go 
IV.ii.28  Q: do  F: do  III.ii.56  Q: go  F: go 
V.i.30  Q: do  F: do  III.ii.62  Q: go  F: go 
I.i.42  Q: go  F: go  III.ii.204  Q: go  F: go 
III.i.73  Q: go  F: go  IV.ii.25  Q: go  F: go