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The implications of this conclusion are naturally of considerable interest for the Folio, especially since all but one and one-half of its pages were typeset by Compositor E. If a copy of Q3, and not Q4, lies behind the Folio and if F1 nevertheless contains a number of variants that agree either with the reported text of Q1 (which, especially in its stage-directions, presumably represents a theatrical tradition of some kind), or with the apparently "edited" Q4 (which may or may not have consulted Q1 at a given point), or with both, then the question remains of the origin of the Folio's changes, which in fact are not unlike those that it introduces in other quarto plays. The two traditional responses would credit the prompt-book, against the considered judgment of generations of critics, or blame the compositors. The former is perhaps debatable at this point and cannot, in any case, be discussed until the compositorial alterations are factored out. As for the latter, invoking the Folio compositors simply will not work as an explanation in Romeo and Juliet. It might go to explain some of the more imaginative changes in the first page of the play, set up by B, if the traditional view of this workman


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were followed.[13] However, it will not explain similar alterations throughout the remainder of the play, set by the less competent E, nor the curious evidence of the last part-page, which was reset by B at a later time. Altogether there are, by conservative estimate, some seventy such alterations, the majority of them in the stage-directions and speech-prefixes but many in the dialogue as well, and they are often found elsewhere than in the attempts to correct Q3's errors and in the agreements with Q1 and Q4 so far discussed. We have yet much to learn about Compositor E (and Compositor B), but whether or not we identify him as the apprentice John Leason who joined Jaggard in 1622, we can all agree, I suppose, that his work on Tit. and Rom. was subject to unusual scrutiny in the proofreading, that he was incapable of performing certain elementary compositorial tasks satisfactorily, and that many of the changes introduced in Folio Rom. would appear to be beyond either his powers or his experience.[14]

Furthermore, whatever his capacities, the mode of operation that he was forced to adopt effectively thwarted any ability or inclination he may have had to improve the play while setting it. Hinman has shown that E's role, at least early in his work on the Tragedies,[15] was that of a substitute for the regular compositors (B and generally A), who were engaged in setting other plays from manuscript. When either workman was called away, E was to step in at the vacant cases and set up a portion of Tit. or Rom. in order to keep the printing of the Folio going forward. His work on Rom. was, therefore, very intermittent, and discontinuity was even greater than that normally occasioned by the alternation back and forth between various parts of the plays caused by setting by formes. This discontinuity was augmented in the first third of Rom. by the fact that four of the pages in quire ee (sig. ee5-6v, tln 493-1016) shared formes with the last four pages of Tit. and that consequently E was here


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alternating between two plays.[16] The same was true to some extent in the one-sheet quire gg. There current gg2v was originally a forme-mate of cancelled *gg5, which contained part of Tro., and the cancellation of this play caused a particularly long delay between E's composition of *gg2v ( gg2v) and of its eventual forme-mate gg1, though continuity appears to have held in the setting up of gg1v:2. Yet even in those formes not experiencing this kind of alternation between plays, the delay and discontinuity that plagued E's work was enough to disorient a more accomplished and experienced typesetter. In quire ff, for instance, which contains Acts II, III, and IV of Rom., E set the formes in "normal" order (i.e., from the inside, ff3v:4, out); yet he had to contend not only with the normal disorientation in the first half of the quire caused by setting these portions of the play in reverse order, but also with the discontinuities occasioned by delays: between ff6 and ff6v, for example, six formes of R3 and H8 set by B and others went through the press, by Hinman's calculations (II, 220-234), and it was thus about three days that E was away from the cases and from Rom. before resuming composition (with ff1 presumably).[17] These severe handicaps together with the weaknesses exhibited in his early work make it difficult to believe that many of the Folio's changes which aim at improving Q3's text originated with the main compositor of Rom., the tyro E.

These changes, which must therefore represent annotation of Q3 copy, include but go beyond those listed by Greg (p. 235). One added stage-direction, noted by Greg, appears in the ninth line of gg1, which E set up after the protracted delay occasioned by the setting and cancellation of part of Tro., about a week after he had completed ff6v and after he had composed what would have been the two last pages of Rom. and the first four of Tro.[18] This is the re-entry 'Enter Mother' (2592) omitted in Q2-3 and also in the intelligently edited Q4, which presumably failed to consult Q1 (which has it) or to notice independently that an entrance


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was required for the subsequent speaker. Indeed, the complicated and quick action—which involves entrances and departures of Capulet, Lady Capulet, and the Nurse, as well as the business of music and servants with logs and baskets—is enough to elude an editor reading consecutively. E, however, began his setting of gg1 in the middle of Q3's sig. K2; for him to have comprehended the action, we must suppose that he not only read through the facing page K1v, where Lady Capulet appears in the stage-directions and speech-prefixes in her alternate function as 'Lady' ('La.'), but also leafed back to I4v and K1 to get the full sequence of action, where she appears as 'Mother' ('Mo.').[19] This entry is the only change introduced in this page of Q3, and to argue that E made it independently and thus alone amongst the reprints provided for this entrance is to attribute to him a comprehension of the action of the play matched only by the actor-reporters of Q1.

Another interesting re-entry cited by Greg is that for Tybalt, which E sets early in column a of ff3 (1556); it pairs with the 'Exit Tybalt' that F1 substitutes for Q2-3's unusual 'Away Tibalt' (1522). E would have begun setting ff3 with tln 1542 on Q3's F4, and unless he looked across to F3v and read through it in order to gain a sense of the continuity of the action, he would not have had the opportunity to understand the flow of the staging until at least a day later, when he returned to set up ff2v, working his way from Q3's sig. F2 up through its F4. To argue that in fact E did both these things is, as is often the case, to argue that he took more care with and made better sense of the play than the editor of Q4, who failed to mend Q3's ambiguously centered words (either to an exit or a speech[20]) and to provide a re-entry, in spite of the fact that Q1 does both.

A third example comes to hand in the two expanded exits at 2465 and 2477 (IV.ii), which show great pains in specifying the departures of 'Juliet and Nurse' and later 'Father and Mother', though failing to do so for the 'two or three' servingmen that also appear in the scene. Both directions occur early in column a of ff6v; E began setting this page with the last two lines of Q3's sig. I4, which also contains the centered entry for all the characters but Juliet (2423-24), whose entrance is provided in a rather hidden direction sandwiched between long lines of dialogue (2438). Between the time he set these entries in sig. ff6 and added the


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specifics for the exits in sig. ff6v, some six formes went through the press in the course of about three days' work, before E returned to Rom. by setting up forme-mate ff1 and then ff6v. Hence, unless we suppose that he deliberately reread the rest of sig. I4 prior to setting its last two lines and digested them so thoroughly as to introduce the two sets of characters in the subsequent directions—where even the intelligently edited Q4 is satisfied with Q3's simple 'Exeunt' at 2465 (despite the 'Exeunt Nurse and Juliet' of Q1) and with changing its 'Exit' to 'Exeunt' at 2477 (more or less in accord with Q1)—we have to assume that these additions to Q3 represent annotations of a Folio editor.

Similar specification occurs halfway down column a of ff2 in the Folio's addition of 'Nurse and Peter' to Q3's 'Exit' (1309), which Q4 again found satisfactory even though Q1 offers a complete account of the departures—including Romeo's, which, as Greg points out, F1 fails to provide for. In this case, of course, E was to begin setting the preceding page (ff1v) four formes later and would have had to read not only the rest of Q3's E4—where he began with the short penultimate speech toward the bottom (1280)—but E3v as well and also would have then had to decide that Q3's 'Exeunt' at 1242 referred to both Mercutio and Benvolio, altering that stage-direction to read 'Exit. Mercutio, Benvolio' (substantially with Q1) when he returned to set it two days later. In this as well as the other cases, E faced considerable discontinuity owing to the mode in which he worked, and if we are to assign the Folio's alterations to him we must postulate his habitual reading of earlier pages of Q3 and attribute to him a comprehension of the play comparable to that of the Q1 reporters and exceeding that of the Q4 editor, who had the presumed advantages of working through Q3 consecutively and (perhaps) of consulting Q1.

This hypothesis, or set of hypotheses, is of course untenable, especially given E's observable failures in other, simpler tasks; and Greg's citations of these Folio alterations are virtual acknowledgements that none of the Folio compositors can be credited with such changes, even if seriatim setting were assumed.[21] Indeed just about all the stage-directions that he cites are open to one or more of the improbabilities so far discussed, if we attempt to trace them elsewhere than to a Folio editor. And this generalization applies to a few that he failed to notice. These must also represent annotation, although one or two that Greg cites are probably the result of compositorial justification.

As already suggested, the specification added to Q3's exit at 1309 inevitably


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involves comprehension of the total scene and identification of the characters at 1242; similar elaborations of a Q3 exit and of a Q3 entry occur elsewhere (2758, 3061, the latter involving the deletion of 3074+1). The gratuitous change 'Romeo' > 'Servant' at 568 no doubt represents a misunderstanding of Shakespeare's staging and an attempt to clarify it and to provide for the subsequent speaker, but the introduction of 'their' in the preceding entry (567) shows some detailed attention to the wording that finds a parallel in F1's 'a Servingman' (446). Somewhat comparable is the substitution of 'Peter' for 'Will Kempe' (2680). But the extent to which the annotator is responsible for the alterations of the exits in this part of the play is problematic. The preceding speech-prefix (2679) was also annotated, and all that marking up may have somehow helped distract E from the 'Exeunt omnes' (2679+1) that appears in the direction line of Q3's K3. Certainly, the earlier omission of 'manet' (2675) in an exit that also affects this sequence of action is to be put down to E's justification. There is some doubt, too, about part of another stage-direction which Greg mentions, the deletion of Q3's 'or partysons' at 71: although it could be argued that F1's omission represents a book-keeper's decision on an "indefinite" stage-direction, it might well exhibit anticipatory justification on the part of Compositor B aimed at centering the entry, in accord with his custom.[22] On the other hand, the "imperative" instruction 'Fight' in the preceding line almost surely represents an annotator, and it finds parallels in the stage-directions at 938, 1881, and 1885 (which Greg cites), at 3035 (which he fails to cite), and at 952 and 954 (which he confuses in a curious way).[23] The Folio editor even exhibits concern with the details of exits. The fairly straightforward 'Exit Tybalt' < 'Away Tibalt' (1522) must be laid to his charge by virtue of its subtlety, its positioning, and its coordination with Tybalt's later re-entry (see above). There is, though, also some attention to the somewhat formal question of exit/exeunt, which is displayed not only in the otherwise annotated departure at 2477, but at 1643 and 793 as well. This suggests that the added exits at 959, 450, and 330 are also the work of an editor, either because other annotation of the Q3 pages containing them makes insertion of them more probable or because the context requires more attention than we have a right to expect from E.


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If these stage-directions be acknowledged the work of a Folio editor, rather than Compositor E, then a number of the Folio's speech-prefixes must represent annotation also. Perhaps the clearest example is the series of regularizations in the divertimento between Peter and the musicians in IV.v (2679-2719), where F1 alters to 'Mu.' Q3's variable 'Min.' and 'Fid.' (and their formal variants). The last of these (2719) was set from Q3's K4 and alone appears on gg1v, which followed gg1 by some five formes (or two and one-half days). That E achieved this kind of uniformity on his own is incredible; the Folio's 'Mu.' is undoubtedly editorial, being derived from Q3's 'Musi.' on K3 (at 2676), which E would only have looked at a few days earlier, and the annotations were part of the same process that included the 'Will Kempe' > 'Peter' alteration (2680) if not the deletion of Q3's 'Exeunt omnes' (2679+1). To the editor must also be ascribed the long delayed romanization of the Nurse's speeches, which E first encountered at the top of B4 in Q3 and from then on uniformly altered from its italic, even though in setting the same column of ee4 he followed the italic of Capulet's "letter" as found on Q3's B3v.[24] No doubt the editor, rather than E, was also responsible for altering line 2924 to a speech, although as Greg remarks Shakespeare's own confusion at 2874 seems to have misled him into assigning it to Peter; this intelligent but probably wrong editing is comparable to the earlier mistreatment of similarly ambiguous words as a stage-direction rather than a speech (at 1522). Certainly the correct assignment to Juliet of the lines which conclude her soliloquy in II.v (1325-30) must be ascribed to an editor, and this finds a parallel not only in Q4's identical change but also at 2087. Here F1, like Q4 (and in accord with Q1), corrects Q3's 'Ro.' at the top of its sig. H3v, giving the speech to 'Juilet.' Since Q3's catchword is 'Ju.' and since the context makes the change relatively self-evident, the assignment itself is of less significance than the form it takes (even though crediting E with the change on these bases would seem unjustified). By and large E is rather faithful in reproducing the form of the speech-prefixes found in Q3,[25] and his only 'Juliet.' in a


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speech-prefix occurs the second time he sets it (at 359)—under the influence of Q3's first 'Juliet.' two lines earlier and perhaps of the distractions which the annotation of the Nurse's initial speeches might have caused him. In any case it seems probable that the speech-prefix 'Juilet.' represents a reproduction of an editorial notation, the transposition being typical of E's response to marked-up copy at this point in his career (see below). More or less formal concerns are also exhibited at 2221—where F1 makes one attempt at regularizing the "functional" speech-prefixes by altering Q3's 'Wi.' to 'La.' in accord with the other speech-prefixes on the page, though ignoring the 'Mo.' on the following page (2249)—in Compositor B's '2. Wife.' < 'M. Wife 2.' (81), in the addition (also found in Q4) of the fairly obvious prefix for Juliet after her entrance alone (1645), and in the 'Boy.' < 'Watch boy.' normalization in the last scene (3036). Particularly interesting is the regularization to 'App.' of the various Q3 forms ('Appo.', 'Poti.', 'Po.'), since all appear to have been coordinate with the addition of the entry at 2785 and since the first (2786) is not really called for and depends on someone desiring to regularize those (2795, 2804, 2806) that occur on the following Q3 page. Q4 follows these various forms, and it seems unlikely that E altered them on his own. The Folio editor, therefore, appears to have been concerned with such matters. He may even be responsible for the mistaken '3. Cap.' < '1. Capu.' early in the play (612) and the two curious changes at the end in B's Gg1 (3155, 3146), though these two are rather complex (see discussion below). But apart from these three changes, there is abundant evidence from the regularization of 'Mu.' < 'Fid.' ('Min.') to that of 'App.' < 'Appo.' ('Po.', 'Poti.') of editorial attention to the speech assignments of the play.

Since this is so, it may come as no surprise that there is some evidence of an editor's attention to and annotation of the dialogue itself. Here we are generally on less secure ground, because the context of the dialogue is much sooner grasped by a compositor setting by formes than is that of the action and because the changes themselves are by nature less easily assigned to a particular agent. However, with E's early work we may make some headway in trying to distinguish what can be laid at his door from what must be attributed to annotation. Two of the most helpful examples (495, 763) occur early in his pages ee5 and ee6; each is separated by intervening formes from the preceding page (i.e., ee4v and ee5v) and each follows its intervening forme-mate, ee2v and ee1v, both of which contain the end of Tit. In both instances F1 succeeds in mending a subtle Q3 error derived from Q2 in a witty or sophisticated context. In the case of 'Abraham Cupid' < 'Abraham: Cupid' (763), the Q4 editor also succeeds in correcting Q3, but at 495 he fails to make F1's generally


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accepted 'your' < 'you' alteration (Q1 provides neither correction). Moreover, F1's 'Lord' < 'L.' (951) seems to be superior to Q4's 'Love' (Q1: 'Lord'), and the Folio's attempt to deal with the Shakespearian duplication at 1843-45+2, derived from foul papers via Q2, shows attention to the dialogue superior to that exhibited by Q4, which follows Q2-3.[26] In each of these cases we would, I believe, be loathe to credit Compositor E with the alteration.

This view of E, which partakes no doubt of some prejudice, finds support in several other instances of change. One is particularly complex and somewhat inferential. It involves F1's curious lines

What? in a names that which we call a Rose,
By any other word would smell as sweete, (837-838).
These famous lines appear correctly in no early text, in the view of most editors, Q1 having 'name' for 'word' but also being the only text to provide the query after the first 'name'. F1's obviously botched line is puzzling, given Q3's basically satisfactory 'What's in a name that . . .', until it is seen to represent an interchange of the '?' and the 's' (both types one-en thick). But, this acknowledged, the question remains how the text came about. Had E recognized what was wanted in the course of setting the lines, his text should have come out right. The explanation appears to lie in a characteristic failure of E's that is exhibited several times in his attempts to introduce proof-corrections, where he seems to have transposed the changes called for, sometimes simply by alternating types. Perhaps the most serious is at Rom., 348: here E's 'shall scant shell' was marked to be corrected to Q3's 'shall scant shew' but E confused the '-all' and '-ell' letters that follow the identical ligatures and produced the irredeemable nonsense 'shew scant shell,' that now stands in examples of "corrected" ee4.[27] Three other instances exhibit a similar proclivity to interchanging types in response to marked-up print:        
F1 (u)   F1 (c)  
Rom. 229 wisewi:sely  wisewi : sely 
Rom. 1218 [qua-|] th aGentleman:  [qua-|] t ha:Gentlemen, 
Lr. 1787 skin. so'tis  skinso :'tis 


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Although other examples of E's botching annotation might be cited,[28] this particular disposition accounts, I suggest, for F1's curious line, which results from E's characteristic interchange in his attempt to carry out instructions given by the Folio editor in the form of an annotation in his Q3 copy.[29]

Other evidence of the editor's annotation of fine points in the dialogue are perhaps less inferential. Certainly F1's unique correction 'here, of' < 'hereof' shows sensitivity to subtleties comparable to that found at 763, as does 'counterfaits a' < 'counterfaits. A', though here Q4's 'counterfeits, a' is comparable (2010, 2170). Of interest, too, is the series of changes in lines 1956-61. Of the five, only 'or' is an outright spontaneous error, perhaps occasioned by the annotation that must have surrounded it. The last, 'puttest up', though wrong, was probably motivated by metrical considerations; Q3 needs correction and F1 does as well here as Q4 ('powts upon'). In the previous line both editors also take Q2-3's 'mishaved' for an error and alter it, F1 with perhaps a little more imagination (F1: 'mishaped'; Q4: 'misbehav'd). They discern that Q3's 'turne' is erroneous, but here Q4 restores Q2's 'turnes' while F1 alters to 'turn'd'; this presumably leads to the Folio change 'becomes' > 'became' in the previous line, which shows some concern with consistency of tenses and can hardly be attributed to E (who would have already completed the line before coming to Q3's 'turne', unless he memorized two lines at a time).

The attempt to correct Q3's 'puts up' at 1961 suggests a certain concern with meter, and elsewhere F1's 'Capulets' (also adopted by the Q4 editor) might yet stand had not Q1 provided the superior 'Capels are' (1433). Two other examples, a little less subtle, occur in ff2v, where Q3's grammatically satisfactory wording is deliberately altered ('Forbid' > 'Forbidden', 'both houses' > 'both the Houses') to make regular ten-syllable lines (1520, 1524). The even more gratuitous changes at 2153 nevertheless exhibit a similar, albeit misguided, concern with meter ('Shall happly make thee there a joyfull Bride' > 'Shall happily make thee a joyfull Bride'). Mild concern with censorship may be traced in the substitutions for 'zounds' and 'sounds', and this may also account in part for the alteration of the stage-direction 'Slud knocke' (1480, 1534,


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1885).[30] Less easily classified alterations appear elsewhere. In the compound variant at 3035, F1's ''Tis in' makes tolerable sense of Q3's 'Tis is', though Q4 succeeds in restoring Q2's 'This is'; here an editor also added the stage-direction 'Kils herselfe' and simplified the next speech-prefix to 'Boy.' (3036). Another example depends on Q3's paging: the addition 'grave' (2380) is not terribly imaginative and could have been made with a glance at the previous line, if that line were not on the previous page of Q3; Q2-3's text makes tolerable sense ('tomb', or Q4's 'shroud', or some other grisly word associated with burial being implied), but its defective meter signals the need for a monosyllable, and the Folio editor, rather than E, appears to have supplied it. Less imaginative but correct alterations are the changes 'Sycamour' < 'Syramour', 'jaunt' < 'jaunce', and 'denote' < 'devote' (123, 1338, 1927). These are all readings adopted by later editors; it may be noticed that Q4 fails to get the first, Q1 and F1 alone providing it. More questionable, indeed gratuitous, changes are found in 'o'th Collar' < 'of choller', 'done' < 'dun', and 'Coarse' < 'course' (9, 492, 1782); though all are wrong (and the last, perhaps, still a mere spelling variation in 1623), they all exhibit some elementary concern with double meanings and a tendency to pin down one of them, and all three find parallels in either Q4 or Q1. Other examples of Folio changes of Q3 dialogue might be brought forward: for instance, the oxymoron created by 'fire' < 'life' is difficult to attribute to E because it produces a highly conceited reading and represents a conscious attempt to improve Q3's quite acceptable passage (2497). But from the evidence just cited it would seem plain that the Folio's text exhibits a rather surprising attention to its dialogue, particularly since all but one (tln 9) of these thirty or so instances occur in the work of Compositor E.