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The evidence presented here, supported by the evidence that previous investigators have brought to light, demonstrates, I hope, that F was indeed set up from a copy of Q. The implications of this fact may now be briefly considered.

We can, first of all, define the authority of the two extant early printed editions of the play. W. W. Greg writes:

"In seeking to determine which is the most authoritative edition, an editor should distinguish between 'substantive' editions, namely those not derived as to essential character from any other extant edition, and 'derivative' editions, namely those derived, whether immediately or not and with or without minor intentional modification, from some other extant edition. It may be taken that the most authoritative edition will be a substantive one, but the distinction is in practice sometimes difficult to draw, so that this has less significance than at first appears."[33]

The 1609 quarto of Troilus and Cressida is a 'substantive' edition, and the 1623 folio text of Troilus and Cressida is a 'derivative' edition. But it is demonstrable that F is not wholly a derivative edition, for it has some thirty various lines that are not found in Q.[34] These lines are all clearly genuine and have been accepted as such by all editors. Since these lines were not in Q, from which F was set, they must have been supplied from some outside source, i.e. a manuscript.[35] This manuscript supplied not only the lines wanting in Q but also almost certainly some of the substantive variant readings found in F.[36] The folio text of Troilus and Cressida must therefore be defined as a derivative edition containing some substantive readings emanating from an independent source.


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But defining the authority of Q and F solves only the first of a series of problems confronting the editor of the play. He must next investigate the origin and nature of the manuscript behind the substantive readings in F, as well as the origin and nature of the manuscript from which Q was set; he should, however, make Q—the only substantive edition of the play—the copy-text for his edition. The use of F's variant readings, except to repair obvious corruption in Q, would be dependent on the editor's estimate of the nature and authority of the manuscript from which they come.[37]