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W. W. Greg, The Shakespeare First Folio: Its Bibliographical and Textual History (1955), pp. 231-232, 235. Two editors who have written extensively on the play concur. Richard Hosley, Yale edition (1954), p. 162, "The Corrupting Influence of the Bad Quarto on the Received Text of Romeo and Juliet," SQ, 4 (1953), 16; George Walton Williams, ed. (1964), pp. xi-xii. See also J. K. Walton The Quarto Copy for the First Folio of Shakespeare (1971), pp. 232-233. The New Cambridge editors (1955) call F1 "a mere reprint of Q2"; the statement is made in passing and appears to be a lapse, and what apparently is meant is that the Folio text derives (through Q3) from that of Q2 without any new authority. No substantiation of Q2 as Folio copy appears in articles by the editors on the text of Rom.: i.e., George Ian Duthie, "The Text of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet," SB, 4 (1951), 3-29; J. Dover Wilson, "The New Way with Shakespeare's Texts: II. Recent Work on the Text of Romeo and Juliet," ShS, 8 (1955), 81-89. Line references throughout are based on the through-line-numbering of Charlton Hinman's The First Folio of Shakespeare: The Norton Facsimile (1968), whereas the act and scene numbers are those of the Globe edition.


This last is clearly owing to justification, but as Greg points out it also involves the more complex alterations at 2680.


Greg's premises have most recently been attacked by William B. Long in an unpublished paper "Stage-Directions: A Misinterpreted Factor in Determining Textual Provenance" (delivered at the Shakespeare Association of America, April 1979). Greg, of course, was not unaware of the imperfections of the hypothesis, as his careful discussion and qualified statements in chapters 3 and 4 of The Shakespeare First Folio show, though in his examinations of particular plays he tends to be much more doctrinaire—as perhaps he has to be since he is trying to arrive at conclusions for editorial purposes: see Peter Davison's comments on this dilemma, "Science, Method, and the Textual Critic," SB, 25 (1972), 1-28.


George Walton Williams, "The Printer and the Date of Romeo and Juliet Q4," SB, 18 (1965), 253-254; Charlton Hinman, The Printing and Proof-Reading of the First Folio of Shakespeare (1963), I, 200-226 and passim. Hinman's assignments receive corroboration from the additional identification criteria developed by T. H. Howard-Hill, "New Light on Compositor E of the Shakespeare First Folio," The Library, 6th ser., 2 (1980), 156-178.


Brian Gibbons in his new Arden edition (1979), p. 2.


That the matter would be thought through this carefully is doubtful, but these seem to be the rational explanations for the Folio's change, which was probably motivated perceptually. Of course, 'off' could not have been a variant spelling of the Q3 compositor, since he would have set a ligature instead of the awkward double letters, but Q3's page gives this appearance. It is possible that Q3's reading is a result of transposition (of letter and space), but the medial position of the second f in this first line of Q3's sig. I4 suggests otherwise. An almost identical example of typographically caused amendment occurs earlier, in Romeo's climactic soliloquy, where Q2's 'got this' appears in Q3 as 'gott his' and F1 "corrects" to 'got his' (1544); in this instance, though, Q4 agrees with F1 and the variation only serves as another example of the Folio practice displayed at 2416. I have used microfilm of the Huntington Q3 and Q4 but have checked the readings of Q3 against an original in the British Library.


The type in this line appears to have been loose during printing, particularly on the evidence of the BL copy.


For a fuller discussion of the evidence, see "McKerrow, Greg, and Quarto Copy for Folio Romeo and Juliet," forthcoming in The Library.


For the record these occur at tln, 487, 763, 765, 1325-30, 1338, 1416, 1420, 1427, 1433, 1544, 1686, 1927, 2102, 2695-97, 3060, 3174.


Ronald B. McKerrow, Prolegomena for the Oxford Shakespeare: A Study in Editorial Method (1939), p. 106; see also Fredson Bowers, Bibliography and Textual Criticism (1964), pp. 158-171.


Quotations and citations of Q1 are from the diplomatic reprint in Horace Howard Furness's Variorum, 15th ed. (n.d.); this has been checked against an original in the British Library.


Hosley, "The Corrupting Influence of the Bad Quarto," p. 21, n. 29; see also Williams, ed. (1964), pp. xi-xii, Gibbons, p. 2. The three speech assignments already mentioned —those in II.ii, II.iii, III.v (992-998, 999-1009, 2215-19)—are the only significant instances of agreement between Q1 and Q4 that Professor Hosley cites, so far as I can tell; since there are only three (or perhaps two, as 992-998 and 999-1009 are contiguous and so related as to constitute practically one passage) and since they involve rather tangled and corrupt text, the evidence is less substantial for so broad a conclusion than might be desired. There is indeed other similar evidence, as well as conflicting evidence which poses problems for the theory analogous to those glanced at here.


As it should not be, since it is based largely on Alice Walker's extrapolation from the atypical evidence of 1H4: see Paul Werstine, "Compositor B of the Shakespeare First Folio," AEB, 2 (1978), 241-264.


The argument is of course somewhat circular, as must be any investigation of such evidence as survives, especially that of the text itself (less so of the proofreading or the mechanical botches exhibited decreasingly throughout E's earlier work). That is, any assessment of E's non-typographical errors must first exclude those changes attributed to annotation, but the attempt to identify the latter depends in part on some notions about the compositor. Still, some examination of the more clear-cut evidence of annotation in Rom. is possible; I hope to offer a preliminary assessment of E in the near future.


He may well have had a different function later on, as T. H. Howard-Hill argues in "A Reassessment of Compositors B and E in the First Folio Tragedies" (Columbia, S.C.: privately printed, 1977); this has lately been summarized in his "New Light on Compositor E of the Shakespeare First Folio." On Compositor A, see Gary Taylor's recent "The Shrinking Compositor A of the Shakespeare First Folio," SB, 34 (1981), 96-117.


This generalization may not hold for sig. ee2v of Tit.; Howard-Hill ("Reassessment," p. 8; "New Light," p. 174) argues that the evidence "strongly indicates" that this page was set by B, but analysis suggests that the attribution must remain tentative at present.


Hinman, I, 45. On the identification of the other men, see Taylor. That the process was quite as cut-and-dried as this seems doubtful, since E may well have been called on to set various portions of his next page at various times as a case became available—a hypothesis which would, by the way, explain certain curious evidence of his variable performance—but this kind of on-again, off-again procedure does not materially affect the basic argument made here.


Hinman, I, 360-362; Hinman (II, 249) expresses some reservations about E having typeset part of sig. ggl, but the comma spacing used by Howard-Hill to identify E elsewhere in F1 is alone enough to confirm Hinman's attribution of this page to E.


The inherent improbability of all this is of course highlighted not only by the fact that the Q4 editor—who noted the problems at 992-998, 999-1009, 2215-19—let this pass, but also by the fact that later readers, working at more leisure, have had difficulty comprehending the action in this scene.


George Walton Williams, "A New Line of Dialogue in Rom.," SQ, 11 (1960), 84-87. See Q1, 1109, 1143, which has 'Enter Tibalt', as well as 'and flyes' in an extended stage-direction.


As Greg must have assumed, since unfortunately his book could not benefit from Hinman's contemporaneous "Cast-Off Copy for the First Folio of Shakespeare," SQ, 6 (1955), 259-274, nor from his subsequent identification of Compositor E in 1957.


The other indefinite aspect of this stage-direction—'three or four Citizens'—is not altered at all; Greg mentions this as an example of foul-papers (p. 136). On B's practice of altering text to fit his measure, see Reid, "Justification and Spelling in Jaggard's Compositor B," SB, 27 (1974), 91-111.


The relatively curt instructions are as follows: 938: 'Cals within' (Q3 omits); 1881: 'Knocke' (Q3: 'They knocke'); 1885: 'Knocke' (Q3: 'Slud knocke'); 3035: 'Kils herselfe' (Q3 omits); 952, 954: 'Within' (Q3 omits). Greg misremembered the last two as the speech-prefixes 'Nurse'.


F1 does in fact alter Q3's roman in this letter to italic in accordance with its general style, but this must be put down to an editor also, or perhaps to the general rules of the house for the Folio, since it is found in stage-directions and elsewhere in Rom. and in the Folio as a whole. Comparable attention to such detail in dialogue occurs at 1H4, 226.


He has a tendency to regularize to 'Rom.' (especially from 'Ro'), but towards the end of the play particularly he follows Q3. Rarely does he expand a Q3 speech-prefix to give the full name of a character unless there is a special circumstance, such as the length of the typographical line: 171, 1151, 1220, 1876. For the same reason he follows Q3's full forms at 1205, 1290, 3032, 3038, 3050. He does the same with 'John' at 2833 and 2842, but he expands Q3's 'Joh.' to this full form at 2819 and 2824. These two regularizations are the only full forms E introduces towards the latter half of the play, but they may represent editorial annotation, as in the changes cited below.


This is true even though F1's solution seems unsatisfactory to modern editors; it represents an intelligent recognition of the problem and since its error suggests want of an authoritative manuscript, it reflects all the more highly on the Folio editor.


See Hinman, I, 282-330 and especially his 'The Proof-Reading of the First Folio Text of Romeo and Juliet," SB, 6 (1954), 61-70, supplemented by James G. McManaway, "Another Discovery of a Proof Sheet in Shakespeare's First Folio," HLQ, 41 (1977), 19-26. I believe something similar will account for lines 1062 and 1127, where E seems to have moved 'rest' directly across the column and replaced a word now lost. Whether this resulted from annotation and thus implies a previous but hidden round of proof-correction is a moot point.


For example the similar 'Tortyrs' > 'Tortoyrs', for the proofreader's 'Tortoys' at Rom. 2769, or those at Tit. 1171, 2554+1, Rom. 2686+1, though this last depends on the assumption of annotation of relined verse (see below). Interchanges of letters or spacing that were corrected rightly in Rom. may be seen at 343 and 2332 (of letters) and at 130, 197, 614, 2803, 2884 (of simple transpositions). The 'itli ght' at 2067 remained uncorrected.


Probably these annotations were aimed at not only inserting a query but also deleting the anomalous (for F1) apostrophe, but about the latter it is difficult to be sure.


Also perhaps for the omission of 'by' instead of 'Jesu', if we can again postulate E's misinterpretation of annotation; but cf. 1H4, 816, set by Compositor B.


See Fredson Bowers, "Establishing Shakespeare's Text: Notes on Short Lines and the Problem of Verse Division," SB, 33 (1980), 74-130, for comments on this general problem throughout F1, esp. pp. 110-122. The changes in Folio Rom. are too complex to be dealt with here and in any case ought to be discussed in conjunction with the similar ones in other Folio plays. For the record, see tln 31-32, 64-65, 1224-1225, 1226-1227, 1325-1327, 1369-1370, 1721-1722, 1727-1728, 1878-1879, 2717-2718, 3033-3034, to mention only those without a possible mechanical cause.


Greg himself eschews this simple formula in his general discussion (p. 121), though using it in discussing one or two plays (e.g., 1H6, AYL); his more qualified appraisal of the latter play in The Shakespeare First Folio (1955) offers an instructive contrast to the more confident assessment in The Editorial Problem in Shakespeare (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1942), p. 144. Others, however, have been less cautious: see the New Cambridge edition of AYL by J. Dover Wilson (1926) and the New Arden by Agnes Latham (1975). In the matter of speech-prefixes Greg is, as often, following McKerrow, specifically "A Suggestion Regarding Shakespeare's Manuscripts," RES, 11 (1935), 459-465.


Ed. Greg (Oxford: Malone Society, 1909), ll. 1325-1358. Here also occurs 'Knock wthin ' in the bookkeeper's hand, which is somewhat like Folio Rom. 952, 954; nevertheless, the main scribe writes 'With in' as a speech-prefix (SMT, 1336, 1381). One might also cite the F1 editor's 'Cals within' (938) as an "imperative," though the first word can be taken as a verb and thus as a part of a "descriptive" direction. However, conflicting evidence appears where the main scribe of SMT, not the bookkeeper, writes 'Kills her self' (1356), which parallels the same descriptive stage-direction added by the Folio editor (Rom. 3035). Such observations are of course subject to Greg's caveat that "there is hardly a stage-direction that has been cited as characteristic of the prompter that cannot be paralleled from texts for which the author was probably alone responsible" (p. 123), though practically all evidence for prompt-book disappears under this disclaimer.


The extent to which these may in fact represent E's botchings of annotations is a question, but it cannot be pressed too hard or too often.


E.g., the dagger in V.iii and the complicated business of the bed that probably was needed from IV.iii onward.


See Chambers, I, 237-242, whose point about the 1606 Act's pertinence to stage speeches rather than published prints is well taken. However, it does not necessarily follow that printers did not also expurgate, just to protect themselves.


Scribal transcripts intermediate between foul-papers and prompt-book have been posited of late for TN, AYL, and JC by Robert K. Turner, Jr., "The Text of Twelfth Night," SQ, 26 (1975), 128-138, Fredson Bowers, "The Copy for Shakespeare's Julius Caesar," SAB, 43 (November 1978), 23-36, and Richard Knowles, ed., As You Like It, New Variorum Edition (New York: MLA, 1977), 332-334, though both Turner and Knowles also suggest transcripts made specifically for F1. See also Fredson Bowers' general discussion of the matter in On Editing Shakespeare (1955; repr. 1966), 10-32. It is of course another thing to argue—as Alice Walker did in "Quarto 'Copy' and the 1623 Folio: 2 Henry IV," RES, 2 (1951), 217-225, repeated in Textual Problems of the First Folio (1953)—that such a manuscript would have been used to annotate a quarto, but this seems the only possibility if we assume there would have been a relatively close comparison of Q3 with a manuscript, as Greg appears to suggest in his comments on Rom. The other alternative is the use of the prompt-book occasionally in conjunction with the editor's own independent alterations, as discussed below. I wish to thank the Editor for much good counsel, especially in formulating several points in these last paragraphs.


Since analysis rules out the compositors, the only way to redeem Greg's belief is to argue for an editor in the playhouse, presumably Jaggard himself. This is a general notion that Greg briefly entertains (pp. 78-80), favoring Jaggard rather than Pollard's candidate Blount, though in the end he finds the case inconclusive. There is some particular evidence for this view in a few alterations in the Pavier quartos that anticipate later ones found in F1 and in Folio Rom. itself, where the two new alterations in Compositors B's Ggl (discussed below), certain altered stage-directions and speech-prefixes, and the general literary and literal concern with the readability of the text (manifested in the treatment of puns and attention to other minutiae of the dialogue) might suggest such an editor. All this evidence, however, is equally subject to other interpretations, and in general the notion of a printing-house editor faces the same objection as that raised above in the discussion of Jaggard's supposed use of Q4—the general question it raises about his motivation in undertaking so time-consuming, laborious, and costly a task, when in other plays he seems to have relied on Shakespeare's company for preparation of copy.


See 2924, 2861, 3036. At 2924, of course, Q3 omits the speech-prefix and F1 (E) adds the wrong 'Pet.', whereas Q1 has 'Boy:' and Q4 'Page.' at this point.


Fredson Bowers, "Foul Papers, Compositor B, and the Speech-Prefixes of All's Well that Ends Well," SB, 32 (1979), 79-81; Hinman, II, 280-285.


Further, because 'Exeunt omnes' in *gg3 as well as B's Gg1 and 'raie' / 'raise', 'Romeos' / 'Romeo', 'Ladies' / 'Lady' are probably editorial (3174, 3178, 3185).


Greg, p. 133; what he means by "texts" (whether only manuscripts or prints as well) I am not sure, but specified re-entries are not extraordinary in Shakespeare.