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Quire G
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Quire G

Compositors and Cases

Hinman's analysis of the type-recurrence evidence in quire G failed to yield any case identifications. Perhaps as a result, there has been considerable disagreement among scholars about compositor attributions in quire G. The range of opinion is charted below:

Hinman  Howard-Hill  O'Connor  Werstine 
G1  B/D  B/C  B/C/B 
G1v   D? 
G2  D/C  F/C  F/C 
G4  D?  C/F  C/F  C/F 
G4v   D?  F/C  F/C  F/C 
G6  F/C  F/C  F/C 
G6v   A?  F/C 
As the chart shows, Hinman and O'Connor found three different compositors in quire G, while Howard-Hill discovered four. This multiplicity of compositors again introduces the possibility that at least three cases may have been in use here as they were in work on quire H. The possibility is strengthened by Hinman's significant observation that in quire G, as in quire H, the same pages "were partly distributed into one case and partly into another" (II, 387). Table II, a revised form of Hinman's graph for quire G, presents evidence to confirm the possibility that quire G was set from three cases.[8]


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Compositor B

Hinman convincingly attributed pages G2v, 3, and 3v to Compositor B on the basis of the high frequency of do, go, heere, and Isa. spellings in these pages (I, 407-408). Confirming Hinman's attributions, Howard-Hill pointed to evidence in these pages of Compositor B's use of unitalicized forms of Duke, Prouost, and Friar, the speech prefix Duke. and spaced medial commas. This broader range of evidence also permitted both Howard-Hill and O'Connor to assign page G1v and column G1a to Compositor B, but not column G1b. Although column G1b contains one do spelling, eight unitalicized forms of Duke, and a preponderance of Duke. speech headings, it also has two goe spellings in short lines, a doe spelling in a long line that perhaps required spelling adjustment for justification, and four Frier spellings, three of them italicized. This conflicting evidence led Howard-Hill to assign the column to Compositor D, while O'Connor preferred Compositor C. Further analysis of the spelling patterns in the column resolves the disagreement. All the spelling evidence on G1b that conflicts with Compositor B's habits occurs in the first twenty-two lines of the column: doe (l. 17j), goe twice (l. 5), Frier italicized (ll. 2-3, 6, 18) and Frier unitalicized (l. 22). The last forty-four lines contain such abundant evidence of Compositor B's hand that they must be assigned to him: the speech prefix Duke. eight times, the unitalicized form of Duke six times, and the spelling do in a short line.

Attribution of lower column G1b to Compositor B is confirmed by type-recurrence evidence provided by Hinman. This evidence shows that all the pages and columns attributed to Compositor B on the grounds of spelling were set from the same case—all, that is, except G3v for which no reliable type-recurrence evidence is available. For example,

i) Lower column F6a furnishes a distinctive type to each of Compositor B's pages G2v and G3 (see Table II, ll. 6 and 12), but to no other page or column, although upper column F6a furnishes a distinctive type to each of columns G4va and G2a (see Table II, ll. 9.1 and 15.1).

ii) Column F6b supplies types to Compositor B's page G2v and to his column G1a, as well as to lower column G1b, just assigned to Compositor B (see Table II, ll. 11 and 18), but to no pages or columns not set by B.

iii) Column G3va also provides types to Compositor B's G1a and lower column G1b and to his page G1v (see Table II, ll. 1 and 2), but provides none to pages and columns set by other compositors. Compositor B must also have distributed column F5va (see Table II, ll. 6 and 7.1), lower F5vb (l. 8), F6va (ll. 11 and 12), middle G3vb (l. 1), middle G3a and all G3b (ll. 6 and 7.1), G2va and lower G2vb (l. 11), for types from these columns also appear only on pages G3, 2v, 1v, column G1a and lower column G1b, with the single anomalous exception noted below.

At this point in our analysis of type recurrences, there is but the slightest evidence that Compositor B stood at the same case for quire G that he used for quire H—that is, case t. Column G3b, which supplied distinctive types to Compositor B's page G1v and column G1a, also supplied a distinctive type


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to his page H6v (see Table I, l. 27). Yet the identification of case t in quire G will be confirmed repeatedly by recurrences found in the later quires I, M and N of types observed last in pages distributed by Compositor B to set quire G.

Compositor C

Hinman attributed to Compositors A and D the pages in quire G not set by Compositor B, but he acknowledged that the "spelling peculiarities in this quire are often far from conclusive" (II, 386). Howard-Hill and O'Connor have since agreed to assign G2b, 4a, 4vb, 5, 6b, and 6v to Compositor C. Evident in these pages and columns are C's characteristic spellings doe and goe, the speech prefixes Isab. and Duke., unitalicized forms of Prouost, Duke and Frier, and spaced medial and terminal commas. Based on this evidence (charted below), these attributions to Compositor C cannot be challenged except in the case of G6v, a part-page which contains the last twenty-two lines of the text of MM and "The names of all the Actors." There is, of course, some evidence of Compositor C's work on this part-page: two Duke. speech prefixes in the first column and, especially, the contraction wee'll in the second last line of the text in the second column. Although it is unlikely that any compositor but Compositor C would have set wee'll, it is equally unlikely that Compositor C set all of G6v, for the text in the first column contains the spelling here (in herein) and the second line of the second column includes an italicized form of Prouost, a word Compositor C never set in italics in quire G. It would appear then that Compositor C merely finished composition of G6v, setting the last few lines of the second column of text and, perhaps, "The names of all the Actors" as well. Part-page G6v belongs to the same forme as page G1, the second column of which, as already noticed, has been assigned to Compositor C by O'Connor. Although, as I have shown, the lower part of the column was Compositor B's, there is still much evidence to support attribution of upper column G1b to Compositor C: the spellings doe, in a long line, and goe, twice in short lines, the speech prefix Duke. in short lines, as well as two unitalicized forms of Duke/s and one of Frier. Here is enough to outweigh the three italicized forms of Frier in upper G1b, forms uncharacteristic of Compositor C who italicized Frier but one other time in quire G. It is difficult to say, however, precisely where Compositor C left off composition of G1b to allow Compositor B to finish the column. The last spelling in the column peculiar to Compositor C is Frier in l. 22, but the first distinctive type indicative of Compositor B's case is not found until l. 40. Thus Compositor C may have set as few as twenty-two lines or as many as thirty-nine lines of column G1b.

Type-recurrence evidence confirms that all the pages and columns now attributed to Compositor C were set from the same case, except for G6b, upper G1b and lower G6vb. With one anomalous exception, the distinctive types in G6b all come from column G4vb, which furnishes distinctive types to no other Folio page or column. The single distinctive type in upper G1b was last seen by Hinman in upper column G3a, which also provides no distinctive


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types to other Folio pages. Lower G6vb contains no distinctive types. Attribution of G6b, upper G1b, and lower G6vb to Compositor C must rest on spelling evidence alone. Type-recurrence evidence demonstrates the integrity of the case from which Compositor C set the remainder of his output in quire G:

i) Lower column F2a supplies distinctive types to Compositor C's page G5 and his columns G4a and G4vb (see Table II, ll. 4.1, 5.1, 9.2, 10, and 14), but to no other pages or columns, although the upper four lines of F2a supply one distinctive type to G4va (see Table II, l. 9.1).

ii) Column F1vb also supplies a distintive type to each of Compositor C's column G4vb and page G5, as well as another to his column G2b (see Table II, ll. 9.2, 14, and 15.2), but to no other columns or pages.

Compositor C also distributed the middle of column F5vb (see Table II, ll. 4.1 and 14), column F6vb (l. 14) and column G4a (l. 4.1), since distinctive types from these columns also recur on page G5 and columns G4vb and G2b. Like Compositor B, Compositor C set his stint on quire G from the same case he used for his pages of quire H: G4a, which supplies distinctive types to Compositor C's column G2b, also supplies a distinctive type to his page H2v and another to his column H3a (see Table I, ll. 11.1 and 18). Additional type-recurrence evidence from quire H has already indicated that Compositor C distributed the upper parts of columns G2vb and G3vb. Distinctive types from these partial columns re-appear in Compositor C's column H3a and his page H1 (see Table I, ll. 10 and 26), although no distinctive type from upper G2vb or upper G3vb recurs in pages of quire G.

Compositor F

The remaining pages and columns of quire G were assigned by Hinman to Compositors A and D, but have since been re-assigned by O'Connor and Howard-Hill to Compositor F alone. The single exception is column G2a, assigned by Hinman and O'Connor to Compositor A(F) and by Howard-Hill to Compositor D. While this disagreement over column G2a is indicative of the difficulty encountered by scholars in distinguishing between Compositors D and F, this problem need not delay us here. It is sufficient to note that the highly consistent spelling pattern in the remaining pages of quire G (charted below) indicates the presence of just one more compositor. Following O'Connor and Howard-Hill, I have called this workman Compositor F. These scholars have shown that, unlike Compositor B, Compositor F of quire G used the spellings doe, goe and here, italicized forms of Duke, Prouost, and Frier, the speech prefixes Duk. and Isab. and non-spaced medial commas. The italicized forms, the speech prefix Duk. and the infrequency of spaced terminal commas on Compositor F's pages are useful in separating him from Compositor C. Only the division of part-page G6v requires additional comment. Recurrence, in column G6va, of two distinctive types last seen in column G5b (distributed into Compositor F's case s), the spelling here (in herein) also in G6va, and the italicized form of Prouost in the second line of


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column G6vb all demonstrate that Compositor F set all of G6va and began G6vb. Exactly where he left off composition of G6vb so that Compositor C could finish the column is difficult to say. The last distinctive indication of Compositor F's hand occurs in the second of the eleven lines in column G6vb, the first distinctive indication of Compositor C's hand in the second last line. Thus Compositor F may have set as many as twenty lines of text on G6v or as few as thirteen lines.

Type-recurrence evidence shows that all pages and columns attributed to Compositor F were set from a single case, with the exception of column G6a for which no evidence is available. Column G6a takes its three distinctive types from column G4va, a column which provides identifiable types to no other Folio page or column. Attribution of column G6a to Compositor F thus must depend on spelling and spacing evidence alone. Such evidence has proved convincing to Howard-Hill and O'Connor who have agreed to assign the column to Compositor F. The integrity of the case from which Compositor F set the rest of his stint is readily demonstrable:

i) Column F1va supplies a distinctive type to each of Compositor F's column G4va and page G5v (see Table II, ll. 9.1 and 16), but none to any other column or page.

ii) Upper column F6a provides a distinctive type again to Compositor F's column G4va, as well as another to the same compositor's column G2a (see Table II, ll. 9.1 and 15.1), but to no other pages or columns, although lower column F6a does provide distinctive types to Compositor B's pages G2v and G3, as already noted.

iii) Column G4b also provides two distinctive types to Compositor F's column G2a (see Table II, l. 4.2), but none to any other page or column in quire G. However, as observed earlier, column G4b also furnishes identifiable types to two columns set by Compositor D in quire H (see Table I, ll. 8.2 and 23.2). Therefore Compositor F's columns G2a and G4va and his page G5v must have been set from the same case Compositor D used in his work on quire H, that is, case s.

iv) Alone of the columns in quire G, Compositor F's column G4b takes a distinctive type from upper column F5vb (see Table II, l. 5.2), which also supplies a distinctive type (Hinman's h4o) to Compositor D's column H4b set from case s. Thus column G4b too must have been set from case s.

v) Finally, Compositor F's column G6va takes both its identifiable types from column G5b (see Table II, l. 13), a column which provides distinctive types to no other column or page in quire G, but which supplies eight identifiable types to columns and pages in quire H set from case s by Compositor D (see Table I, ll. 2, 3, 7.1, 8.2, 9.3, and 11.2). Therefore column G6va, like Compositor F's G4b, G4va, G2a, and G5v, was also set from case s.

Into case s were also distributed page F1 (see Table II, l. 16), upper column F2a (l. 9.1), and column F2b (ll. 4.2 and 5.2). According to type-recurrence evidence observed in quire H, distribution of lower column G3a, upper column G4vb, and the middle of column G2vb also fell to Compositor


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F at case s, for distinctive types from these three partial columns are to be found again in the pages of quire H set from case s (see Table I, ll. 3 and 22). To account for all the distribution into case s during work on quire G, we must finally look as far ahead as quire I, where, in I3v, there reappears an identifiable type from lower G3vb. When I3v is also shown to have been set from case s, we may then confirm that lower G3vb, too, was distributed into that case as Compositor F worked on quire G.

Distribution and Order

Summary for Quire G

B distributed  -----  and set G3v(EI, free) 
C "  {most of F2a (AI)
{F5v middle b (FI) 
" G4a 
F "  {F2b and upper a (-)
{F5v upper b (-) 
" G4b(FI) 
B "  {F5va and lower b (-)
{F6 lower a and b (BI) 
" G3(AI) 
F "  {F6 upper a (-)
{F1va (DI) 
" G4v
C "  F1vb (-)  " G4vb(BI) 
B "  F6va (CI)
" G2v(CI) 
C "  F6vb (-)  " G5(DI) 
F "  F1 []  " G5v(FI) 
F "  G4b (FI)  " G2a 
C "  G4a (-)  " G2b (BI) 
B "  {G3va and middle b(EI)
{G3b and middle a (AI) 
" G1v (EI) 
F "  {G3 lower a (-)
{G4va and middle b (BI)
{G3v lower b (-) 
" G6a 
C "  {G4v upper and lower b (-)
{G3 upper a (-)
{G3v upper b (-) 
" G6b(AI) 
B "  G2va and lower b (CI)  " most of G1 (DI) 
C "  -----  " G1 upper b 
F "  G5b (DI)  " G6va, upper b 
C "  -----  " G6v lower b and
"The names of all the Actors" 

In quire G, Compositors B, C, and F co-operated in the distribution of the same wrought-off pages and columns, much as the three compositors of quire H did. Such abnormal distribution practices again raise questions about the relative order in which pages and formes were set and the extent to which different compositors worked simultaneously on different columns, pages and formes. Since none of the formes of quire G was the work of a single compositor, there was much opportunity for simultaneous composition sometimes by two workmen, sometimes by three. The two pages of forme G2v:5 may have been composed simultaneously, for each page was set by a different


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compositor from a different case, according to normal Folio practice. The two compositors who set G2v:5 shared distribution of page F6v and therefore were likely at work at the same time. Simultaneous composition of the pages of G1:6v is also probable for the same reasons, but with the minor variation that for a short time Compositor C aided Compositors B and F in setting both of the pages. However, the pages of forme G2:5v cannot have been set simultaneously. A single compositor, Compositor F, set both G2a and G5v from the same case. The columns of each of pages G4, 4v, 2, and 6 may have been composed at the same time: one column of each page was set by Compositor C from case r, the other by Compositor F from case s. Evidence that Compositors C and F shared distribution of the same wrought-off pages and columns in preparation for setting each of these four pages suggests they did indeed work on the pages simultaneously. Shared distribution of columns and pages also points to simultaneous composition of forme G1v:6 by three compositors.

Simultaneous composition of successive formes is a possibility in quire G, but not so strong a possibility as it was in quire H. Compositors B, C, and F each had a hand in the distribution of column F5vb. However, Compositors C and F were preparing to set page G4 of the first forme by distributing upper and middle F5vb, while Compositor B was readying his case to set page G3 of the second forme by distributing lower F5vb. Thus composition of the first two formes may have proceeded simultaneously, but such a conclusion is not inescapable. Perhaps Compositors C and F merely left lower F5vb for later distribution by Compositor B.

Of the method of production of quires F and G, Howard-Hill wrote: "The picture that this division of work presents of activities in Jaggard's printing-house is most unusual. It is scarcely to be conceived that the Folio would ever have been published had this been the ordinary method of working. . . . The irregular distribution of these quires arose, I suggest, not because Compositor D's practice was irregular (as Hinman thought) but because the division of setting amongst four compositors working from two cases led to unusual practices" (p. 80). The foregoing analysis has indicated that composition of quire G, at least, was divided amongst three different compositors, each at a separate case. Therefore activities in Jaggard's printing-house appear much less chaotic than Howard-Hill asserted. Instead, comparison of the methods used to produce quire G with those used to produce quire H suggests that a routine had been developed for setting by three compositors. In both quires, a single compositor set a whole page of each of the first two formes, while two compositors co-operated to set the forme-mates. Then Compositors B and C each set a full page in the third forme. Three columns of the fourth forme (almost three in quire H) were set by Compositor D in quire H and by Compositor F in quire G; the fourth column was, in each case, the work of Compositor C. The fifth forme in each quire was composed in exactly the same manner as the second forme, with Compositor B setting a full page of each forme and his fellow compositors sharing the forme-mate. Variations in the setting of the sixth formes of quires G and H


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may well have arisen because page G6v, unlike page H6v, is but a part-page. Thus the three compositors of quire G divided their labours in very nearly the same manner as the three compositors of quire H—not according to the "normal routine" that prevailed in the later two-case setting of the Histories and Tragedies, but in an orderly manner nevertheless.

Anomalous Types

Of anomalous appearances of distinctive types in the pages of quire G, Hinman wrote: "The distribution of most of the pages of quire F having been irregular, it is impossible to say which quire-F types, if any, appear anomalously in quire G. None of the types that are found in any two quire-G pages appears anomalously in the later of those pages" (II, 387). Re-examination of Hinman's type-recurrence evidence (exclusive of the first three formes of quire F distributed during work on quire F) reveals just one anomalous appearance of a distinctive type from quire F in quire G. Distinctive type p39 (see Table II, l. 17) is common to both F5va63 (distributed into Bt) and G6b53 (set by Cr). This single anomalous appearance of a distinctive type, of course, has no significance for the argument that Compositors C and F used different cases to set their portions of quire G, nor is one anomalous type sufficient evidence to question the use of separate cases by Compositors B and C.