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The Text of Peele's Edward I by Dora Jean Ashe
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Page 153

The Text of Peele's Edward I
Dora Jean Ashe [*]

PEELE'S Famous Chronicle of King Edward the First was published in quarto in 1593, with a second edition, printed from the first, appearing in 1599. The author's name is not given on the title pages of the two editions, but on the last page of text in each quarto appears the subscription, Yours. By George Peele Maister of Artes in Oxenford." The date of composition is believed to be 1590-91.[1] The text presented by the two quartos has long been recognized as a corrupt one. A. H. Bullen, who edited Peele's works in 1888, speaks with feeling of the "mutilated form" in which Edward I has come down to us, saying (I, xxxii), ". . . the text throughout is vile. It is only fit reading for students of the rudest build. The labour of the treadmill is child's play to the editing of it." An earlier editor, Alexander Dyce, who issued Peele's works in 1828, 1829, and, in combination with Robert Greene's, 1883, noted (1883 ed., p. 338) that "Both editions abound with the grossest typographical errors; here lines have dropped out, there verses are inserted where they ought not to stand: after a careful revision of the text, I have been obliged to leave some passages in a doubtful state, and others, which defy emendation, in all their old corruption." Sir Walter Greg, in the introduction to the Malone Society Reprint of Edward I issued in 1911, comments (p. vi), "The original [Q1] is a very ordinary piece of presswork of the time, composed with tolerable care but representing a very corrupt text. Moreover, in spite of the unusual length of the play as it has come down to us, it would yet seem that it has been mutilated and possibly some scenes altogether excised." All three of these editors of Edward I apparently believed that the manifest corruptions of the text can be explained in part by some kind of revision and in part by errors in printing, but none attempted to establish


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the exact nature of the mutilation. It remained for Leo Kirschbaum, in "A Census of Bad Quartos" (The Review of English Studies, XIV, 1938, 20-43), to advance the theory that Edward l represents a text reconstructed through the memories of reporters. According to Kirschbaum (p. 36), "Dyce (that excellent editor!) in the footnotes to his text of . . . King Edward the First . . . presents enough evidence to convince even the most conservative modern textual critic that Q is a bad quarto." Within the confines of his "Census," however, Kirschbaum is able to cite only two specific examples of what he believes to be bad-quarto corruption; hence his theory has not been presented in sufficient detail to establish its validity as the solution to the long-puzzling textual problems of Edward I.

The basic problem posed by this text has yet to be solved: granted that the one substantive edition is corrupt, what view of the text is in general best able to explain the kinds of errors with which the play abounds? The discussion which follows is an attempt to indicate a possible answer to this question. It is based on two principal beliefs: first, that a reported text, particularly of the unusual length of Edward I--2980 lines of print, including stage directions, in the Malone Society Reprint--ought to exhibit positive signs of memorial reconstruction, whereas such signs are almost entirely absent in this play; and second, that the hypothesis of a radical and somewhat unskillful stage revision of a Peele manuscript is more tenable in view of the textual evidence than is the hypothesis of reporting. Because the strength of the case for non-authorial stage revision from author's manuscript is in itself a refutation of the memorial-reconstruction theory, I shall in the main here present the affirmative case and point out only briefly the weakness of the case for reporting.

The two examples of bad-quarto corruption presented by Kirschbaum are a passage at lines 188-219 (MSR), illustrating blank verse supposedly mangled through reporting; and King Edward's final speech, at 2943-56, which together with an earlier passage at 2235-51 is cited as anticipation-recollection. The first passage- occurs in the section of scene 1 where various offers of largess are being made to the wounded soldiers who have just returned with Edward from a Crusade. Most of the speeches in this portion of the scene are clearly intended as prose, although Q1 presents them predominantly as extremely lame verse. The first four lines of the passage cited by Kirschbaum, however, appear in Q1 as prose; and both Dyce and Bullen present the passage as prose except for the last nine lines. It hence seems likely that this passage represents not blanks verse corrupted by reporting but, at least in part, prose mistakenly set as verse by the Q1 compositor. Verse throughout Edward I is uneven and often corrupt, but its dislocation can be satisfactorily explained on the basis of revision plus compositorial error and need not be taken as an indication that the text has been memorially reconstructed. King Edward's speech at 2943, cited by Kirschbaum as a recollection of an earlier speech at 2235, occurs in the final scene (25), where clear signs of radical cutting appear and where rewriting to gloss over omissions has almost surely taken place. Again it is not necessary to posit reporting to explain the "recollected" passage when another factor, revision, is clearly


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at work and is capable of offering an adequate explanation which is also consonant with the state of the text in other sections of the play.

In my own investigation of the play, I have found only one other possible anticipation-recollection, and here the passage involved is a "jingle" which could have been repeated intentionally in the two musical-farcical scenes in which it appears. The first occurrence is at 354-61, in scene 2:

Friar. Heere sweare I by my shauen crowne, VVench if I giue thee a gay greene gowne, Ile take thee vp as I laid thee downe, And neuer bruze nor batter thee.
Nouice. O sweare not maister, flesh is fraile, VVenche when the signe is in the taile, Mightie is loue and will preuaile, This Churchman dooth but flatter thee.
Three of these lines are repeated in scene 8, in a passage again involving the lecherous Welsh friar (1487-97):
(Lluellen) . . . O Frier wil nothing
serue your turne but Larkes.
Are such fine birds for such course Clarkes,
None but my Marian can serue your turne.

Eli. Cast water, for the house wil burne.

Frier. O mistres mistres flesh is fraile,
Ware when the signe is in the taile,
Mightie is loue and doth preuaile.
Lluellen. Therefore Frier shalt thou not faile,
But mightily your foe assaile:
And thrash this Potter with thy flaile,
Since the nearly identical three lines shared by these two passages in both cases are appropriate to the subject-matter and rhyming-schemes of the rest of the jingles in which they appear, the repetition is to that extent intentional. The substitution in the second passage of "ware" for "wench" is more likely an adaptation of the first passage to the different circumstances in scene 8 than a compositorial or scribal error.[2] In scene 2 the word "wench" is needed because in the preceding line the Novice is addressing the Friar, whereas in the last three lines he turns to the girl Guenthian. In scene 8 all the lines are addressed to Lluellen's wife Elinor, so that a second term of address is not necessary. There is no reason to suspect memorial reconstruction in the recurrence of these three lines; either Peele or a later reviser could be responsible. There are other


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repetitions of rhyming lines within scene 8 which seem clearly intentional, for example these two passages at 1423-26, and at 1431-34:
Eli. Now Frier sith your Lord is gone,
And you and I are left alone,
What can the Frier doe or saie,
To passe the wearie time away ?
Friar. What can the Frier doe or saie?
To passe the wearie time awaie:
More dare I doe then he dare saie,
Because he doubts to haue away.
Such repetitions differ from the "flesh is frail" passages by recurring in much closer proximity, but they bear out the impression of intentional repetition conveyed by all the musical-farcical scenes.

Inane repetition of single words or phrases, often a characteristic of bad quartos, is noticeable in Edward I chiefly in the frequent occurrence of the word "sweet," especially in forms of address like "Sweet Nell" and "Sweet Ned." This word (plus one "sweetly," one "sweetness," and one "sweetest") occurs 49 times in the play, according to my count. Scene 10, a long continuous-action scene of which part may be a later revisional addition, contains 16 "sweet's," more than twice the number to be found in any other one scene. Thirty of the 49 occurrences are in speeches of Edward (20) and Queen Elinor (10), usually in references to each other. It is true, however, that "Peele is fond of these tasteless repetitions."[3] and that many of the "sweet's" in Edward I must be the author's own, inserted principally to point up the ironic contrast between Edward's concept of his queen and her actual cruel nature. There are approximately 22 occurrences of "sweet" in Peele's Arraignment of Paris, in 1359 lines of print (MSR); and 31 in David and Bethsabe, in 2012 lines of print (MSR). "Fair" is the favorite descriptive word in The Arraignment appearing some 94 times. In view of Peele's predilection for repetition, some of it "tasteless" but some effective, there is no reason to suspect that the memory of a reporter is involved in the texts of any of these plays.[4]

In addition to the negligible signs of bad-quarto corruption exhibited by Edward 1, there is almost no evidence bearing on the identity of reporters. It is sometimes possible to determine the identity of bad-quarto reporters by tracing the patterns of anticipations-recollections and other significant repetitions through the parts of the various characters, noting which parts share lines with other parts and which borrow only-or principally- from their own previous


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or subsequent lines.[5] When significant repetitions are lacking, as in Edward l, it is necessary to apply almost exclusively the more subjective evidence of "well-reported" passages. Such evidence in the case of this play does not favor the hypothesis of memorial reconstruction. The most consistently "good" parts are those of lesser characters in the predominantly- historical scenes, notably Baliol and Lluellen. If these actors were the reporters, speeches by other characters would presumably improve when they were on or near the stage and degenerate when they were absent. But King Edward and Queen Elinor are sometimes good, as in scene I and, despite cuts, in scene 25, when no one present can be suspected of being the reporter(s); and they are sometimes bad, as in scenes 10 and 13, when the same situation obtains. If Edward I were a reported text, a logical pattern should emerge from the evidence either of repetitions or of good passages, if not from both.

The case against Edward I as a bad quarto is one of insufficient evidence: if a play 2980 lines long, exhibiting manifest textual corruption, were reported, there should be evidence of the kinds of memorial error to be found in other reported texts. When such evidence is lacking, reconstruction from memory cannot be postulated with any confidence; and when evidence strongly indicative of another type of textual history is present, the case for memorial reconstruction becomes progressively weaker as the alternative theory gains strength. There is evidence which permits these hypotheses about Edward I to be presented with considerably more confidence than the hypothesis of memorial reconstruction: (1) that parts at least of the text are based on Peele's own manuscript, either foul papers or an author's fair copy; (2) that the holograph has been revised by someone other than Peele for modified stage performance; and (3) that contemporary theatrical conditions provide the basis for an explanation of this thoroughgoing revision of Peele's manuscript.

There are three principal types of evidence suggestive of author's manuscript underlying parts of Edward I. The first is the subscription which appears on the last page of text in Q1 and Q2: Yours. By George Peele Maister of Artes in Oxenford." Greg's comment (MSR, vi), that this subscription was "evidently copied from the manuscript," is a reasonable one, since it is hardly the kind of flourish one would expect a compositor to add to his copy or a reporter to append to a memorially-reconstructed manuscript. A theatrical reviser, working from author's autograph, might just possibly copy such a signature; but the signature itself can best be explained as representing what it purports to be, Peele's own signature to his play, appended either to his foul papers or to his own fair copy made to be sent to the theatre. Hence author's manuscript would seem to underlie at least this last page of the printed text.

The second indication of author's manuscript is the phraseology of the stage directions. The directions in Edward I are in the main fairly long and noticeably descriptive, not only of action but also of the personal appearance or mental attitude of the characters. Some of the directions might be explained as examples


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of the usual bad-quarto descriptiveness, but an impressive number are suggestive not so much of action or appearances already witnessed on stage as they are of an author's imagination envisaging what he hopes can be conveyed in stage presentation. This is assuredly not an easy distinction to make, but these directions seem especially suggestive of author's manuscript:
46-55: The Trumpets sound, and enter the traine, viz. his maimed Souldiers with headpeeces and Garlands on them, euery man with his red Crosse on his coate: the Ancient borne in a Chaire, his Garland and his plumes on his headpeece, his Ensigne in his hand. Enter after them Glocester and Mortimer bareheaded, & others as many as may be. Then Longshanks and his wife Elinor, Edward Couchback, and lone and Signior Moumfort the Earle of Leicesters prisoner, with Sailers and Souldiers, and Charles de Moumfort his brother.
Especially noteworthy here is the tentative direction for supernumeraries, "as many as may be," and descriptive words like "maimed" and "bareheaded," as well as the unusual length of the direction. The last three lines list as entering Signior Moumfort and his brother, neither of whom is mentioned in the scene which follows. Later (613ff.) it is revealed that Lluellen's betrothed wife, Elinor, has been captured while on her way by ship from France and is being held by King Edward. According to Holinshed (1587 ed.),[6] Elinor's father was Simon de Montfort Earl of Leicester, who was slain at the Battle of Evesham in 1265 and whose family had fled to France. Elinor's brother Emerick accompanied her from France and was also captured. Hence some editors have interpreted the stage direction as referring to Elinor de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester's daughter, and her brother Emerick (see Bullen, I, 87, quoting P. A. Daniel). Such an interpretation presupposes that Peele ignored Holinshed's date for the capture, 1276, and considered that it occurred in time for the captives to be present in scene I, when Edward is returning to London in 1273 from his Crusade. Another possibility is that Peele intended the reference to mean two of de Montfort's older sons, perhaps Guy and Simon or possibly Guy and Charles of Sicily, his cousin. Guy, according to Holinshed (p. 275), had assassinated Edward's cousin and Crusade companion, Prince Henry of Germany, at Viterbo, Italy, in 1272. Edward, returning from his Crusade via Italy, requested Pope Gregory to send for Guy de Montfort to answer for the murder; Guy apparently ignored the command, however, and was excommunicated (p. 277). Perhaps Peele is here envisaging what might have happened if Edward had succeeded in capturing his cousin's assassin who was also an enemy of the English crown. Whatever the interpretation, the direction may well indicate foul papers by embodying a plot element left undeveloped by Peele.
117-19: The Queene Mother being set on the one side, and Queene Elinor on the other, the king sitteth in the middest mounted highest, and at his feete the Ensigne underneath him.


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130-1: Vse Drummes, Trumpets, and Ensignes, and then speake Edward.

467: Make as if yee would fight.

643: Lluellen reades his brother Dauids letters. (Identity of the writer is not given in the text-proper.)

1013-14: Then Lluellen spieth Elinor and Mortimor, and saieth thus. (No speech prefix for the ensuing speech.)

1100-1: Enter lack and thc Harper getting a standing against thc Queene comes in.

1368-9: They arc all clad in greene &c. sing &c. Blithe and bonny, the song ended Lluellen speaketh.

1897-8: Enter the Nouice and his company to giue the Queene Musicke at her Tent.

2133-36: After the Christening and marriage done, the Harrolds hauing attended, they passe ouer, the bride is led by two Noble men, Edmund of Lancaster, and the Earle of Sussex, and the Bishop.

2141-2: Then all passe in their order to the kings pauilion, the king sits in his Tent with his pages about him.

2182-3: After the showe, and the King and Queen with all the lordes and ladies in place, Longshanks speaketh.

2428-30: Exeunt ambo from Wales.
Heres thunder and lightning when the Queen comes in.
Enter Queene Elinor and lone.

2755: The King beholdeth his brother wofully.

2891: Shee sodainly dies at the Queenes beds feete.

The stage directions of other Peele plays, especially David and Bethsabe [7] and The Arraignment of Paris, share certain traits of the Edward I directions. "Dauid in his gowne walking sadly" (David and Bethsabe, D2, 6) is reminiscent of the Edward I direction, The King beholdeth his brother wofully" (2755). The two scenes being described in the following stage directions, the first from David and Bethsabe and the second from Edward 1, are similarly treated both in phrasing and in the amount of detail given:

B1v, 1-3: He [speaker of the Prologue] drawes a curtaine, and discouers Bethsabe with her maid bathing ouer a spring: she sings, and Dauid sits aboue vewing her.

1595-99: King Edward, Edmund, and Gloster, goes into the Queenes Chamber, the Queenes Tent opens, shee is discouered in her bed, attended by Mary Dutches of Lancaster. Ione of Acon her daughter, & the Queen dandles his [Edward's] young sonne.


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The Arraignment of Paris shares with Edward I a tendency to repeat, with variations, the pattern "after such-and-such an action so-and-so speaketh"; compare, for example, Edward I, 1369, ". . . the song ended Lluellen speaketh" with The Arraignment, A4v, 25, The songe being done, Iuno speakes and C1v, 7, The song being ended Helen departeth, & Paris Speaketh." Both plays employ directions which describe past action; similar to the Edward I direction at 2133-36, quoted above, is this direction from The Arraignment (B3, 29-30): The storme being past of thunder & lightning, & Ate hauing trudled the ball into place, crying Fatum Troie, Iuno taketh the bal vp & speaketh." The Arraignment is also the only Peele play besides Edward I which makes use of "ambo" in stage directions. This term, fairly frequent in Edward 1, occurs four times in The Arraignment, twice on B2v, 6 and 15, indicating the lines of a song which are to be sung as a duet, and twice in the direction Exeunt ambo" (B2v, 23; C1v, 38). A final point of similarity between the stage directions in the early quartos of Peele's plays is that characters' names are usually set in italic type, not in the roman type more frequently employed in such instances, a fact which suggests that the names appeared in the manuscripts in Italian rather than secretary (English) script. David and The Arraignment, like Edward 1, employ italic type almost without exception for all words in stage directions. So does The Battle of Alcazar for the directions which Greg believes are taken from MS; the rest, supplied according to Greg's theory by a theatrical reviser making an abridged stage-version from the full prompt book, are in roman type throughout.[8] The Old Wives Tale exhibits both roman and italic type for characters' names, with roman predominating. From these points of similarity it can at least be suspected that the Edward I directions preserve traits which are traceable to Peele himself.

A characteristic which has at times been advanced as indicative of author's manuscript, especially foul papers, is the use of different names or designations for the same characters in different portions of a play. This argument has been advanced particularly in connection with Romeo and Juliet Q2, as an aid in establishing the generally-accepted theory that the copy for this quarto was foul papers or a transcript of foul papers.[9] The same trait is seen in Edward 1, in the different designations for the King. Edward appears in ten of the play's 25 scenes and is designated in stage directions and speech prefixes as follows (scene divisions from MSR):

Scene 1: Longshanks in stage directions and speech prefixes, except on A4, where Edward appears in one stage direction and one speech prefix. These two occurrences follow a long speech by the King in which he refers to himself three times as Edward and only once as Longshanks.

Scene 3: Stage direction king Edward and the King; speech prefixes Longshanks.


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Scene 5: Stage directions and speech prefixes Longshanks.

Scene 6: Stage direction Edward Longshanks; speech prefixes Longshanks.

Scene 10: Stage directions once King Edward Longshanks, once King Edward, once Longshanks, once the king; speech prefixes Longshanks.

Scene 12: Stage directions once Longshanks, twice the King; speech prefixes Longshanks except on H2v and H3, where three Edwards occur (these are speeches in which the King reveals his identity to Lluellen and is immediately addressed as "Edward").

Scene 13: Stage directions the King twice, Longshanks twice, Edward King once; speech prefixes Longshanks.

Scene 21: Stage direction (one) King Edward and Edward; speech prefixes Edward.

Scene 23: Speech prefixes Edward, once K. Edward.

Scene 25: Stage directions the King twice, Edward once; speech prefixes King.
The King gains in dignity in the last three scenes in which he appears, the somewhat jibing designation "Longshanks" being finally dispensed with. In most of the scenes in which "Longshanks" is used as the predominant speech prefix for Edward, no one actually addresses him in this fashion. His mother refers to him as Longshanke your king" at line 39, and he calls himself "Longshanks" at 129; otherwise this designation is employed largely by his enemies.

The evidence of author's manuscript to be found in Peele's signature, the phraseology of the stage directions, and the varying designations for King Edward is strong enough, I believe, to serve as a foundation on which to base a second hypothesis, that a non-authorial revision of the manuscript is also involved in the textual history of Edward 1. There are three principal elements in the plot of this play: the basic historical events (predominant in scenes I, the first and last parts of 2, 3 except the last 21 lines of text, 4, 5, 9, 10, part of 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 21, 23, 24, 25); songs, dances, and farcical scenes involving Welsh characters (predominant in the middle section of 2, 7, 8, 11, part of 12, part of 24); and the vilification of Queen Elinor, a Spanish princess (last part of 3; parts of 6, 10, and 13; 16, 20, and 22). When the 25 scenes are considered from the standpoint of their predominant plot elements, this general pattern emerges: the historical scenes contain the best blank verse and the most satisfactory passages from a literary standpoint but also exhibit the most serious signs of cutting; the farcical scenes are at times confused because prose passages are set as verse, but the rhymed dialogue and the songs, where words are given, seem reasonably satisfactory, and no serious signs of cutting emerge, although comic additions are a strong possibility; the scenes having as their main purpose the vilification of the Queen are usually bad in all respects, presenting poor blank verse and often confused or inadequately explained plot-events. I believe that the historical scenes are in the main Peele's, although severe cutting has caused frequent and widespread textual garbling. The musical-farcical scenes also probably originated with Peele, whose predilection for such scenes is well illustrated in other plays, but comic and perhaps musical additions have very likely been made. The occasional criticism of the Queen to be found in predominantly


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historical scenes is almost certainly part of the original Peele play, but the scenes in which Elinor is most vilified I believe have been added, perhaps under the influence of a popular ballad which could have provided details for this further vilification.

A theatrical reviser has, I believe, altered the text of Peele's play in two ways -by cutting passages and incidents, especially in the historical scenes; and by adding other passages, particularly in the scenes vilifying the Queen. The motive for the abridgment was presumably to make room for the additions, which in turn present plot elements expected to popularize the play with audiences, very likely provincial ones.[10] Probable cuts have occurred in the following portions of the text:[11]

Lluellen's speech, 329-41; "her" in line 335 lacks an antecedent.

Scene 3: the initial stage direction calls for 23 people, 20 of whom are mute; lines 725-7 may be entirely out of place (Bullen's conjecture, 1, 115, n. 6); the awarding of the Scottish crown to Baliol is sudden and his acceptance speech brief and, at 752-3, doubtful in meaning.

1138, where Bullen suggests (1, 133, n. 2) that lines are omitted in Jone's speech before this surviving first line.

The compressed and terse middle-historical scenes, especially 9 and the first part of 10, where historical plot-elements are presented abruptly with little explanation or motivation, while the scenes involving the Queen and the Welsh sub-characters are presented in detail.

1677, where Edmund's question about "the Abbies here in Wales" is scarcely answered at all, whereas a fairly long and somewhat disjointed discussion of Lluellen and his Robin Hood disguise ensues.

2943-56 (the passage cited by Kirschbaum as memorially recollected), where at least part of Edward's speech is clearly out of place. Here a messenger has just arrived to tell the King of Baliol's renewed revolt in Northurnberland, whereupon Edward laments that Lluellen also is in renewed rebellion and that Mortimor must haste to Wales to oppose him while Edward, Elinor, Gloster, "and the rest" will deal with the Scots. Lluellen and Queen Elinor are both dead at this time. Dyce has suggested that the lines should appear at 2238, where Edward is making a similar disposition of his forces, some ("Edmund, Gloster, and the rest") to aid him in opposing the Scots while Mortimor leads the fight against Lluellen. Kirschbaum traces striking verbal similarities between this misplaced passage and the one at 2235, believing that its repetition at 2943 is a sign of memorial failure. But it seems doubtful that even a bad-quarto reporter


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would thus, in the last lines of the play, refer to people who are dead and to action which is long past. Historically, John Baliol actually did renew his enmity with Edward and had to be dealt with again. Perhaps the news of his rebellion, as brought by the messenger, is in its correct place and the ensuing lines about Lluellen (who at 2235 was rebelling anew) represent a misplaced manuscript fragment, possibly an alternative version of the earlier lines.

2964, where a similar error has taken place. This line, a stage direction, reads, Enter Mortimor with the head." The reference is presumably to Lluellen's head, which appeared on a spear at 2632. The direction is obviously out of place at 2964, because, in the play's final speech, Gloster is lamenting Jone's death, saying, ". . . how ought [oft] haue I beheld? / [stage direction here intervenes] Thy eies thy lookes thy lippes and euerie part." If Jone had been beheaded, one might wonder if her head is here brought out on stage to serve as a visual representation of Gloster's references to her eyes, her looks (perhaps "locks": Dyce, 1883 ed., p. 415, note), and so on. Since she was not, and since Lluellen's head has no place here, it seems that somehow a stage direction once belonging at an earlier point has crept in here. A badly confused manuscript must underlie Q1 in this final scene. The stage direction probably belongs at 2942, because a messenger there announces (2938-4I) that Mortimor "is here at hande in purpose to present your Highnes with his signes of victorie, ...." In Holinshed, Mortimor brings Leolin's (Lluellen's) head to the king in London on the end of a staff. There are indications at 2378-9 and 2632 that Lluellen's head was so treated in Peele's play. Hence this direction almost certainly points to cutting in the final scene, only the misplaced stage direction remaining to indicate that Lluellen's head, "the sign of victory," once was brought on stage again. Dyce (1829 ed., I, 201, n.) finds "very probable" the speculation of the editor of Dodsley's Old Plays (1827) that this stage direction indicates an ending for the play more in keeping with the bloody nature of the historical plot than the present ending of Gloster's lament for Jone. Since Peele's signature immediately follows this speech, however, I think that the speech may well represent the original ending and that cutting earlier in the scene is indicated.

Cutting of the type here cited was presumably done to make room for additions, which I believe occur most noticeably in scenes 3 (the last 21 lines of text only) and 16 (the Mayoress-of-London scenes); 20 and 22 (the sinking-of- theQueen scenes); and parts of 6, 10 and 13. Most of these scenes are part of the vilification of the Queen plot-element. The last part of scene 3, as it stands in QI, has no connection with the earlier portions of the scene, which depicts the crowning of John Baliol as King of Scotland and ends at 807, with the direction Exeunt." Then, at 808-9, appears the direction, Enter the Maris [Mayoress] of London from Church, and Musicke before her." The first speech, at 810, is Queen Elinor's; in it she addresses both Jone and Gloster, but Gloster remains mute throughout the brief scene. The final direction, after Exeunt Maris, & omnes" at 830, is "Exeunt Glocester and the Queene," with no reference being made to Jone's presence. Most modern editors add a Manent Elinor, Jone, and Glocester" to the simple Exeunt" at 807, and also an entry for Jone at the beginning of scene 3, because there is no indication of her presence in that


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scene. These emendations are of little help in clearing up the confusion here, since they assume that the crowning of Baliol took place in the London streets, an assumption which is neither historically true, according to Holinshed's account, nor likely from any point of view. Actually the scene in question has no connection with either scene 3 or scene 4 and exists for the sole purpose of paving the way for scene 16, another extraneous scene.

The situation in the first of these extraneous scenes, the last lines of 3, is so tersely presented that it leaves the intent in some doubt. The wife of London's Mayor, leaving church with musicians playing before her, is accosted by the Queen and her party and asked to explain the reason for her celebration. The Mayoress replies that she is giving thanks for the birth of a son and hopes that her action can in no way "offend the good." The Queen answers sharply, whereupon the Mayoress flees with the exclamation, "Alas I am vndone, it is the Queen, / The proudest Queene that euer England knew." The Queen's only comment is, "Come Gloster, lets to the court and reuel there." Thus the scene ends. Between it and scene 16 no further reference is made to the Mayoress except in scene 10, which may also in part be an added scene. An enigmatic four-line speech at 1869-72 in scene 10 is assigned to "L. Maris." It is apparently an aside and consists of a reproach to the Queen for ordering King Edward to leave her. Line 1869, "Proud incest in the craddle of disdaine," makes little sense unless it is an anticipatory reference to the Queen's confession in scene 25 that she and Edward's brother Edmund were once lovers. This line, and the fact that the entire speech is extraneous, suggest strongly that it is a later addition. In the stage direction at 1595-99, opening scene 10, one of the attendants of the Queen and the infant Prince is listed as Mary Dutches of Lancaster." Bullen's note (I, 154, n. 1, quoting P. A. Daniel) points out that neither of Edmund Duke of Lancaster's wives was named Mary and suggests that perhaps "Mary Mayoress of London" is meant, since this character refers to herself as Mary in scene 16.

Scene 16 presents the aftermath of scene 3. It occurs illogically between two terse scenes summing up, mostly in stage directions, the outcome of the battles in Wales. The Queen enters alone at 2306 and says, "Now fits the time to purge our melancholly, and bee / reuenged vppon this London Dame." Why this battle-scarred time is fitting and why revenge is indicated at all are not explained. The Queen sets herself to think of some tortures for the Mayoress, and then calls for the unfortunate lady. Her first words to the Mayoress (2317-19) do not seem to indicate that the latter has previously acted as an attendant for her and the Prince:

Now mistres Maris you haue attendance vrgde,
And therefore to requite your curtesie,
Our minde is to bestow an office on you straight.
The Mayoress is then offered her choice between the offices of nurse and laundress. When she elects to be a nurse to Prince Edward, the Queen has her Spanish attendant Katherina bind the Mayoress to a chair and apply an adder to her breast, saying sadistically, "why so now shee is a Nurse, sucke on sweet Babe" (2331). Thereupon the Queen and Katherina depart and the Mayoress,


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left alone, dies. No provision is made for removing the body, as scene 17, opening immediately after the Mayoress's last line, begins with an entrance for Lluellen and David and returns to the battle-scenes interrupted by this abrupt murder-scene.

The events so briefly covered in scenes 3 and 16 of Edward I are presented in logical if blood-chilling detail in an anonymous ballad called "A Warning-Piece to England Against Pride and Wickedness," which consists of a 20-stanza attack on Queen Elinor and her Spanish pride. Bullen (I, xxxiii) says that this ballad has been assigned to the days of Queen Mary, but he suspects it of being one of many such ballads written immediately after the destruction of the Armada. There seems no way of being sure whether the ballad antedated the play or vice versa.[12] In stanzas 9-14 (Bullen, I, 79-81) the ballad presents in logical sequence the story of the Queen's animosity toward the Mayor of London's wife (not herein called the Mayoress). It explains that the Queen's anger over seeing anyone except herself so full of mirth and joy motivated a resolve, taken immediately after the church- encounter, to murder the Mayor's wife. This murder the Queen devised carefully by inviting the Mayor's wife to become her attendant, then by forcing her to perform menial tasks, and finally, having sent her secretly to Wales, by binding her "at twelve a clock at night" to a post and applying two snakes to her breast. The clarity and detail of the ballad account of the murder, and the possibility that the ballad may antedate Edward 1, suggest that it was the source for the similar account given in the play, although of course both ballad and play may depend on a common source no longer extant.

It is possible that scenes 20 and 22 have also been added to Edward I in the course of a theatrical revision. These present the episodes which the Q1 title-page describes as "the sinking of Queene Elinor, who sunck / at Charingcrosse, and rose againe at Potters-/hith, now named Queenehith." Ballad stanzas 16-18 cover the same material, although in the ballad the Queen is accompanied to Charing Cross by Edward, whereas in the play Jone is with her. According to the ballad, a strange tempest arose as the Queen was returning by coach to London, presumably from Wales, and the horses were suddenly unable to make the coach move from the spot. This phenomenon was a judgment from Heaven sent because the Queen had murdered the Mayor's wife. When Edward thereupon accuses her of the deed, she hopes that the ground may open up and swallow her if she is guilty of so vile a thing.

With that at Charing-cross she sunk
Into the ground alive;
And after rose with life again,
In London, at Queenhithe.[13]


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Scene 20 of Edward I presents the episode of the sinking. As was true of scenes 3 and 16, it has no connection with the scenes before and after it, both of which are concerned with the struggle in Wales. The scene begins at 2429 with the direction, Heres thunder and lightning when the Queen comes in," followed by the direction at 2430, Enter Queene Elinor and lone." The 30-line scene (including stage directions) is set as prose, but could equally well be somewhat lame verse. No coach is concerned here, nor is a return to London mentioned. Jone makes the accusation which Edward made in the ballad, the Queen wishes that she may sink down to Hell if the charge is true, and forthwith she is swallowed up. Scene 22, presenting material covered in the ballad only by the two lines which state that the Queen "rose with life again . . . at Queenhithe," recounts in more detail this rising. The initial stage direction, at 2506-7, reads, Enter the Potter and the Potterswife, called the Potters hiue dwelling there, and Iohn her man." Confusion exists both in the phraseology and in the fact that no further reference is made to the Potter. The first 20 lines of dialogue consist of humorous exchanges between the Potter's wife and John. Then the Queen rises from the ground and is recognized by the Potter's wife, since the news of her sinking that same day has apparently spread rapidly. The wife offers aid to the Queen just as a shout "Westward ho" is heard, and the scene ends as John leads the Queen to a boat which will convey her back to court. This scene is apparently correctly printed as prose throughout.

A reference to the Queen's sinking occurs in scene 23, when messengers arrive in Wales to inform Edward of events in London. The message presumably containing news of the Queen's sinking is given by Edward to Edmund with the remark (2587-88):

Nobles my Queene is sicke but what is more,
Reed brother Edmund reede a wondrous chance.
The stage direction (2589) states, Edmund reedes a line of the Queens sincking." This "line" is not in the text and the reference to it may indicate that Edmund reads part of the ballad from a MS scroll. Edward exclaims that this sinking is a result of pride, and suggests that he and Edmund disguise themselves as the French friars whom the Queen has sent for to hear her dying confessions. Scene 25, the long continuous-action scene with which the play ends, presents these confessions with no further reference to the sinking. Such confessions are also briefly mentioned in the ballad, where few details are given. The confession-scene in Edward I is better than any of the earlier scenes concerning the Queen and is too integral a part of the denouement to be a later addition. There is no reason to believe that the story of the sinking was originally in any way connected with this later scene, however, and the reference to it in scene 23 could easily have been added. I believe, on the basis of both the internal evidence of the scenes themselves and their extraneous nature as regards the rest of the play, that scenes 3 (last part, as explained), 16, 20, and 22 were added to the version of Edward I which Peele originally wrote.

A case can also be made for the addition of part of scene so, a continuous


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action scene: which exhibits great textual confusion. It is the second longest scene in Edward 1, containing 301 lines of print in the text-proper, excluding stage directions. Only scene 2, with its three sections and 371 lines, is longer. Scene 10 presents mainly the christening of Prince Edward and the betrothal of Jone to Gloster.[14] The last portion of this extremely confused scene, approximately from 1801 to 1866, where the episode is concluded some thirty lines before the end of the scene, presents a situation which has its counterpart in the ballad. In Edward 1, the Queen has been accused by Edward of Spanish pride and in a fit of pique exclaims, "Fie fie me thinkes I am not where I shoulde bee" (1790-99). To make amends the King asks Elinor to request anything that will "perfect her content," whereupon she replies (1815-1827):

Qu. Elinor. Then shal my wordes make many a bosom bleede.
Reede Nedthy Queenes request lapt vp in rime,
And saie thy Nell had skil to
choose her time.
Read the paper Rice.
The pride of Englishmens long haire,
Is more then Englands Queene can beare:
VVomens right breast cut them off al,
And let the great tree perish with the small.
Longsh. VVhat means my louelie Elinor by this ?
Qu. Elinor. Not be denide for my request it is.
The rime is, that mens beards and womens breasts bee cutte off. &c.

Edward circumvents the Queen's diabolical suggestion by firmly maintaining that he and she shall be the first victims of the decree. Since Elinor is not willing to accede to this condition, she does not press her suit and the incident is closed.

The ballad version of this episode is much more clearly presented in stanzas 4-7. Here the Queen's requests are not made simultaneously. Edward proclaims throughout the land the Queen's first decree, that every man must "be cut and polled all, Or shaved very near." Then the Queen, still not content, requests that every woman's right breast be cut away, adding that burning irons should then be used to stanch the flow of blood. Edward, to foil this request, calls for burning irons and tells the Queen, "I will begin with thee," whereupon she relents and kneels to ask his pardon. Whether Peele intended to include this episode in his play cannot be determined with any certainty. The episode is without doubt


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presented in garbled form in the play. It looks as if someone inserted the lines, The rime is, that . . . ," in a desperate effort to explain what is going on. Rice, of course, has no business appearing in this scene; he is one of Lluellen's followers and an implacable enemy of Edward.[15] The episode is so garbled that neither Peele nor a reviser could have written it in its present form. Absurd as it is, it fits into the context of the scene better than the previously discussed ballad elements do-with the difference that the latter are whole scenes, while this is only one episode of a single long scene-and it is possible that it existed in some form in Peele's foul papers. In that case, the garbling could be due to the compression which a continuous- action scene often indicates.

The case for additions to Peele's play rests principally on the evidence of the vilification scenes here discussed. I believe that parts of scenes 6 and 13 may also have been added, these scenes being much like scene 10 in tone and subject-matter. Additions of "less seemly jests" (Greg's phrase in Two Elizabethan Stage Abridgements) and possibly of songs may have been made in the musical-farcical scenes, but there is little chance of distinguishing between the parts which Peele wrote and the parts which could have been added later. The Robin Hood scenes (7 and 8) might or might not be Peele's. The idea probably originated with him, because the scenes present a good opportunity for the kind of rhyming dialogue and interspersed songs which Peele liked. There are references to the Robin Hood disguises of Lluellen and his men elsewhere in the play, although the longest passage containing such references (1679-1710) comes in scene 10, a much-garbled scene.

The primary reason for the non-authorial revision of Peele's play must have been to offer Edward l as a stronger competitor of currently popular plays. The anti-Spanish element was emphasized much more strongly than Peele had originally intended, although this element must always have been present in the play. Crowd-pleasers like the murder scene and the Queen's mysterious sinking at Charing Cross, popularized by the ballad, were I think added. Coarse jests at the expense of, and by, the Welsh Friar were very likely added to the already existing ones. Possibly the Robin Hood scenes were augmented to compete with plays like George a Greene and even perhaps with a lost Robin Hood play.[16] The play that resulted has a bit of everything then popular on the Elizabethan


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stage-historical scenes with their battles and bloody heads on spears, songs, farcical scenes with broad humor, Robin Hood episodes, and hearty vilification of the pet abominations of the day, Catholicism and the Spaniards. The fact that the play is an unwieldy monstrosity would not be as apparent during stage presentation as it is when the text is read.

The revision must have been made sometime between the composition of Edward I by Peele in 1590-91 and its appearance in quarto form in 1593. References in Henslowe's diary to a play called Longshanks, acted by the Admiral's men as "ne" in 1595, may well relate to Peele's play. The designation "ne" may mean simply that the play was new to this company.[17] The Q1 title-page specifies no acting history. Greg believes Edward I to have been Edward Alleyn's personal property, since Alleyn sold a play called Longshanks to Admiral's in 1602 (MSR, vi). The question then arises of how Alleyn got possession of the play. A possible answer is that he got it from the Queen's men.[18] The Old Wives Tale, according to the title-page of Q1 (1595), belonged to Queen's. Greg, in Two Abridgements, has demonstrated that Robert Greene's Orlando Furioso was a Queen's play which came into the possession of Alleyn and Admiral's when the Queen's men went to the provinces. It is extremely doubtful that Peele wrote Edward I for Alleyn personally in 1590-91. I suggest that he wrote it for the Queen's men, as he did The Old Wives Talc in the same period (composition date ca. 1590). When the Queen's men departed for the provinces, they could have sold Edward I to Alleyn, as they did Orlando. It is possible that both sales occurred at the same time, in the summer of 1591.

The play thus sold to Alleyn would presumably have been the prompt book of Edward 1, made from Peele's manuscript. But the Queen's company, which according to Greg's hypothesis concocted the bad-quarto version of Orlando to act in the provinces after the sale of the prompt book to Alleyn, may well have engaged in additional double-dealing concerning the Edward I sale. I suggest that they retained Peele's manuscript, perhaps in a fairly muddled but reasonably complete state, and made it the basis of a revision on which they planned to base a new prompt book. Deficiencies in the manuscript may in part explain why the Queen's men bothered with revision at all, instead of simply basing a new prompt book on the manuscript. Another reason is that the Queen's men, since they had provincial performance in mind, were especially interested in audience-pleasers. Hence they cut Peele's historical scenes to the bone and added


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the other elements here discussed. Although there are places where the requirements of stage directions from Peele's manuscript would be impossible for a provincial company (the number of supernumeraries called for in scene 3, for instance), these requirements could be ignored or altered in the course of making a transcript to serve as prompt. The minimum cast for Edward 1, excluding supers, is approximately 12 actors, of whom 3 or 4 are boys. Being a company particularly interested in profit, as the low ebb of their fortunes at this time indicates, the Queen's men could easily have sold their revised author's manuscript to a publisher after making a prompt-book transcript from it. This theory, although of course speculative, is more credible than the alternative one that Alleyn himself authorized such a poor revision and then allowed it to be sold to a publisher-or the incredible possibility that the play as it stands in Q1 represents Peele's manuscript as he himself left it.



The present article was in the editor's hands before I had an opportunity to read an unpublished doctoral dissertation by Frank S. Hook, George Peele's Edward I (Yale, 1952). Mr. Hook's view of the text will, I understand, be presented in his proposed edition of the play, to be included in the Yale Works of Peele presently appearing under the general editorship of Charles T. Prouty. As I understand the positions, Mr. Hook and I are in substantial agreement that the text is non-reported yet revised; however, Mr. Hook believes that Peele himself made the revisions and that the extant text then served as the basis for London performances, whereas I feel very strongly that non-authorial revision, probably for provincial performance (as presented below) is responsible for the state of the Q1 text.


see E. K. Chambers, The Elizabethan Stage, III, 460; E. G. Fleay's earlier (1891) advocacy of the 1590-91 dating is here cited. Harold M. Dowling, in "The Date and Order of Peele's Plays," Notes and Queries CLXIV (March 18, 1933), 184, attributes Edward I to the winter of 1591, citing lines quoted from Peele's Polyhymnia (1590) and Descensus Astraeae (written before October 29, 1591), and literal parallels between Edward I and Marlowe's Edward II, a play which also contains echoes of Peele's Descensus.


Note however a similar variant in a repeated passage in Peele's Old Wives Tale where compositorial error in the first occurrence is likely (italics mine):

(D4v, 22-23) Head: Gently dip, but not too deepe, For feare you make the golden birde to weepe, (E4, 8-9) Voyce: Gently dip: but not too deepe; For feare you make the goulde beard to weepe.


Bullen, I, 98, n. 1. The reference is to the phrase, repeated in consecutive lines, "Sprung (descended) from the loins of . . ." (300-1). See also Bullen I, 111, n. 3, concerning the repetition of the word "welcome" twice in a single line (618).


Harry R. Hoppe has suggested in a brief footnote (The Bad Quarto of Romeo and Juliet, 1948, P. 76, n. 1) that Peele's The Old Wives Tale, Q1 1595, is a bad quarto, hut the general nature of the text does not seem to warrant such a designation. All five plays of Peele which survive appear to be abridged but non-reported acting versions.


This is the method employed, in the main, in Chapter IV of my unpublished doctoral dissertation, A Survey of Non-Shakespearean Bad Quartos, University of Virginia, 1953.


Historical facts in Edward I are only generally correct and do not correspond too exactly to the version given by Holinshed; however, no errors occur which cannot be attributed to the exigencies of dramatic presentation.


It has been suggested that David and Bethsabe represents an abridged (perhaps provincial) stage version, revised at least in part by Peele himself; see Arthur M. Sampley, "The Text of Peele's David and Bethsabe," PMLA, XLVI (1931), 659-671.


See Greg, Two Elizabethan Stage Abridgements (1922), pp. 99-100.


See G. I. Duthie, "The Text of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet," Studies in Bibliography, IV (1951-52), especially 17-18; and Richard Hosley, "The Corrupting Influence of the Bad Quarto on the Received Text of Romeo and Juliet," SQ, IV (1953), especially 11-12 and 16.


Note a comment on the Edward I text by Harold M. Dowling, op. cit., 184: "The text shows that the play has been ruthlessly revised, serious matter being wholly excised so as to allow for the inclusion of comic and farcical scenes."


This list is intended to be illustrative not exhaustive. Accidental dropping and misplacing of lines, suggested by Dyce, Bullen, and other editors, may enter into the explanation of some of these passages, as well as conscious revision. There is a clearly misplaced four-line fragment in David and Bethsabe, at the bottom of G4v, indicating some kind of confusion in the manuscript; and it may be that such misplacements occur in Edward 1. See the above discussion of the passage at 2943-56.


Holger Norgaard, in Notes and Queries, CXCVII (October 11, 1952), 443, states his impression that "the play must almost certainly have been the source of the ballad, which in places is barely understandable without reference to the play." My own impression reverses this pattern of influence, but there is no positive evidence either way.


Bullen, I, 82. The last word was probably once "Queenhive"; Potters Heath is three times called "Potters Hive" in Edward I, at 2506, 2543, and 2548.


Neither of these events is mentioned in the anonymous ballad. The only reference to any child of Queen is in stanza 19 of the ballad, where it is stated that Elinor confessed to having had o-a base-born child" by a friar. In Edward 1, scene 25, the Queen confesses that Jone's father was a French friar. This is one of two specific links between the ballad and portions of Edward I which I believe to be in the main Peele's. The other concerns Elinor's pride in dress, mentioned in stanzas 2-4 of the ballad and in the play in scene 1, at 223-233, and 285-92. Peele may have had a general knowledge of the anonymous ballad when he wrote his play, or he may merely have known the tenor of the current vilifications of Queen Elinor. I do not think, as I am attempting to demonstrate above, that he is responsible for the more extensive use to which the ballad has been put in other scenes of Edward 1.


Possibly the occurrence of Rice's name in this stage direction indicates that the actor who portrayed Rice earlier is here doubling as an attendant of King Edward's. The stage direction in such case would be a playhouse addition made by a theatrical reviser and/or bookkeeper. The apparent confusion between stage directions and dialogue reflected in this line has a counterpart in David and Bethsabe at F4v, 17, in the direction, Hence murtherer, hence, he threw at him." Presumably the first half of this line belongs to the text-proper, not to the stage direction. The curious use of past tense for stage directions occurs both in David and, more rarely, in The Arraignment, but not in Edward 1.


The reference in scene 7 of Edward I at 1293-4, to "the booke of Robin Hood" (i.e., the prompt book), suggests that there was in existence a Robin Hood play earlier than Anthony Munday's Death of Robert Earl of Huntington, printed in 1601, and longer than the play which occupies the last eight pages of "A mery geste of Robyn Hoode and on hys Iyfe, wyth a newe playe for to be played in Maye games . . . ," first printed in an undated quarto ca. 1561-69.


See MSR, vi. In Henslowe's Diary, 11 (1908), 148, Greg defines "ne" thus: "The occurrence of the letters against a performance may therefore indicate one of three things: (i) that the play was new to the stage and had never before been acted; (ii) that it was new to the company, but had been previously represented by some other body; (iii) that it was new in its particular form, having received alterations since it was last acted."


Greg, in Henslowe's Diary, II, 176, has suggested Strange's instead of Queen's as the original owner of Edward l: "The present play belonged to Alleyn and may very likely, therefore, have come from Strange's men [Fleay's suggestion], being marked as new on account of revision. The edition of 1599 appears to be a mere reprint of that of 1593, so that any additions made in 1595 have perished. The printed text is mutilated, and may have been cut down for country performance during the plague of 1592-3."