University of Virginia Library

Search this document 


expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 

expand section 

In preparing an edition of Edward Young's Love of Fame, I have encountered evidence that the author revised punctuation, capitalization, and italics throughout the 2534 lines of the satires for the Tonson octavo of 1728. These seven satires were first printed separately in folios entitled The Universal Passion from January 1725 to February 1728. They bear the imprint "Printed for J. ROBERTS in Warwick-Lane," yet the first five were entered in the Stationers' Company's Register to Jacob Tonson.[1] A month after the last was published, they were printed in octavo "for J. TONSON" (O1). Numerous ornaments shared between F1 and O1 suggest that the same printshop composed both editions.[2]

The title of O1 designates it "The SECOND EDITION Corrected, and Alter'd." Substantive changes in the text confirm Young's involvement: four lines moved, twenty-four lines removed, twelve lines and a preface added, and thirty changes in word and phrase, most of which are Young's. In addition to these changes, there is abnormal, indeed enormous, change in punctuation, decrease in capitals, and increase in italics. O1 has important textual consequences, for, with very few exceptions,[3] all subsequent editions of the satires derive from it. Rarely, at least for this period, has anyone made a strong case for an author's revision of accidentals in a revised reprint without


Page 188
considerably more substantive revision, which makes this hypothesis that Young did so suspicious but also significant. In his 1939 dissertation, Charles E. Frank first observed the relevance of the italic changes to editors of the satires. Although he did not collate the satires nor observe the changes in punctuation and capitals, he accepted the italics changes as Young's on the basis of their propriety.[4] In 1958 Bertrand Bronson offered the opinion that not only the italics but the capitalization changes were Young's: "Neither Tonson nor his printer can be accountable for the intimate appeal to the reader: only the author himself could be so officious."[5] This essay will offer textual evidence to substantiate these claims and to demarcate precisely which accidentals Young revised.

Since there is no external evidence about Young's revisions of F, the evidence that he revised his accidentals must come from the editions. The main reason for supposing Young revised accidentals involves the extensive and selective nature of the variants. As evidence that these changes far exceed the norm, we may compare them in number with the variants of the second and third Tonson octavos, published in 1730 and 1741 (O2, O3).[6] In O2's reprinting of O1, we find 3 changes to lower case, 14 to upper case, 29 in punctuation, 30 in spelling, 2 to roman font, and none to italic. In O3's reprinting of O2, we find added 6 changes to lower case, 8 to upper case, 15 in punctuation, 21 in spelling, 5 to roman font, and 1 to italic. The average of these variants for both reprintings is 4.5 changes to lower case, 11 to upper case, 22 in punctuation, 25.5 in spelling, 3.5 to roman font, and 0.5 to italic. In O1, by contrast, there are 152 changes involving 175 marks in punctuation, 667 to lower case, and 920 to italics. Moreover, there are qualitative differences in the two sets of variants. In O2 and O3 there is noticeably more movement to roman font and to upper case than to italic and to lower case; whereas, the reverse occurs in O1. O2 and O3's increase in upper case is typical of most reprints of the satires; for example, in the 1741 Works, published by Curll et al., which reprints O2, we find ten changes to upper case for every one to lower. Finally, in O2 and O3 there are far more compositorial errors in punctuation and spelling than in italics.

At times accidental changes can be assigned with probability to the author because they are found in great numbers near substantive changes that are clearly authorial. Unfortunately, there is no evidence in any of the twenty-two formes of O1 with poetic text that Young introduced the accidental changes while making substantive changes in the proofs. Inner and


Page 189
outer formes for the same gatherings have proportional numbers of changes.[7] Also, there are so many accidental changes that their introduction after the proof-stage would have required expensive recomposing. Apparently, Young introduced his emendations in a copy of F. My count, however, shows that often more accidental variants fall on F pages without substantive changes than on those with them. Within each satire, accidentals changed in O1 occur evenly throughout the pages of F, as can be seen from the following figures:                
per page with sub. var.   without sub. var.  
Satire I  12.5  14.0 
II  8.2  9.0 
III  7.7  8.3 
IV  8.6  10.7 
8.0  6.9 
VI  2.5  2.8 
VII  10.0  8.5 
Although these figures refer to the average number of lines with changes, not to specific changes, they show that only in Satire The Last (VII) is there any suggestion that Young spot-corrected accidentals in the vicinity of substantive changes, and they offer no help in determining which changes are Young's.

Since in O1 an extraordinary number of accidental changes are spread throughout, with equally distributed substantive changes, Young probably revised his accidentals. The question of exactly which changes in O1 are his remains, however. Professor Bowers has sketched a method for referring certain accidentals in the revised Folio edition of Jonson's Sejanus to the author. This method mimics the more commonly discussed process for assigning substantive changes to an author: identifying homogeneous classes of changes by consensus.[8] This argument from consistency of change is not so strong in O1 with accidentals as it is with substantives since each compositor behaves more systematically with accidentals than he does with substantives. The argument can be strengthened by considering whether these changes are typical of compositorial handiwork in unrevised editions. For instance, consistent movements to italics in O1 are likely to be authorial because,


Page 190
as a rule, unrevised reprints lose italic type. Also, a study of the author's holographs can be used to throw out certain spelling and punctuation changes as non-authorial. Thus, I attributed to the compositor consistent correction to readings at odds with Young's practice in his letters, as the introduction of apostrophes and the regularization of 'y' and 'ys' to 'i' and 'ies'. But there are three classes of consistent accidental changes that I accept as Young's: the introduction of commas for parentheses and compounds, of lower-case letters, and of italics for emphasizing common names.

There are 152 changes in syntactic punctuation, involving 175 marks, figures which do not include hyphens and apostrophes, which are more of the order of orthographic changes. The Tonsons' other octavos introduced so few punctuation changes that many of the 152 are probably authorial. This is perhaps also suggested by a rather high incidence of punctuation changes on pages with substantive changes. Of 29 pages with substantive change, 7 lack any punctuation change; whereas, of 129 pages of poetic text, 52 lack punctuation change. This means that only 24% of the pages with substantive alteration lack punctuation variants, but 40% of the total do. Young's involvement is further suggested by the fact that Satire VI, with almost one-quarter of the lines in the collected satires, has but seven punctuation changes, only one of which belongs to either class accepted as authorial.[9] Most likely, Young revised it apart from the other satires. The sudden decrease of punctuation variants in O1 when Satire VI begins does not correspond to a change in the formes set by compositors since it begins on I4. And, were the alterations primarily compositorial, we would expect them to occur more proportionately throughout the satires.

Only two classes of punctuation changes appear to be authorial: both involve commas primarily within the line. Given the great critical concern for the caesura, which is largely emphasized by punctuation, it seems likely that compositors would be careful to preserve it, certainly more so than with external punctuation. Furthermore, at the line-end, where independent clauses commonly conclude, five different punctuation marks may be appropriate and have little effect upon the reading. But internally nothing may be appropriate but a comma, as for parenthesizing a prepositional phrase. In general, punctuation changes at the line-end have almost no effect on rhythm or speech accent, for they usually entail the replacement of one mark for another, and the sense and syntax close off at least half the lines. But changes in internal punctuation do not usually involve replacement but the introduction and removal of commas, and they have a rhetorical effect. Thus, it stands to reason, and some evidence can be found to support


Page 191
the generalization,[10] that compositors were more faithful to the internal than to the external punctuation of their copy.

The two classes of internal punctuation that I find authorial are the introduction of a comma after the first word or phrase of a compound and the introduction or completion of parenthetic commas. The commas inserted in compounds involve marks like that after 'vice' in the line "All friends to vice, and folly are thy foes" (II.6). Not surprisingly, aside from within the first foot, these commas usually appear between feet. The comma-pause within compounds seems to be an idiosyncracy of Young's, occurring often in F and also in his Two Epistles to Mr. Pope (1730) and his correspondence; this pointing is frequently deleted in later reprints. The parenthetic commas are introduced around prepositional phrases, appositives, and adverbial and adjectival clauses. For instance, in F the line "And to this cost another must succeed" (II.89) lacks any pause; but in O1 commas were introduced after 'And' and 'cost' to create a word accent which slightly counterpoints the regular verse accent. There are some comma insertions that create pauses before surprising and antithetical words, which I have not accepted since they are not truly parenthetic. Although these offer similarly useful guidance to the reader, they are not abundant enough to treat as a class.[11] Six of the parenthetic changes involve marks at the line endings; however, in five of these cases, the external comma is introduced with an internal one.[12] Totalled, there are 49 parenthetic changes involving 72 marks, and 30 compound changes. The high incidence of these changes, 79 of 152 punctuation variants, with other internal marks being negligible, further argues their authority.

That Young expanded his use of italics for emphasizing common names is not so surprising as it may seem. Since verse satire closely approximates colloquial, dramatic speech, poets and printers recognized that it needed more italics than other kinds of publications.[13] To facilitate the reader's


Page 192
recreation of the satirist's voice, poets italicized many expressions that were to receive special speech accents. Even in F Young had, for logical and rhetorical reasons, italicized 567 common names. Italics also place stress on words that the eighteenth-century reader, indisposed to perceive trochees and pyrrhics, would not normally stress.[14]

More significantly, italics frequently influence the sense of the lines, often giving words a more pointed signification. For example, in Satire II's ridicule of Codrus' pretensions to learning through a library he never reads, Young wrote:

Editions various, at high prices bought,
Inform the world what Codrus would be thought;
And, to this cost, another must succeed,
To pay a Sage, who says that he can read. (ll. 87-90)
Were 'says' not italicized, the reader would probably not understand the sage also to be uneducated. Thus, the italics increase the irony and sarcasm, adding another satiric victim. When, as in Love of Fame, an ironic perspective, or tone, has been established, the reader will tend to read any italicized words as ironic or even unreliable, as can be seen in the following italics introduced in O1. Young mimicks those overly confident of the Lord's mercy: "Will the great author us poor worms destroy, / For now and then a sip of transient joy?" (VI.441-442). If 'now and then' or 'joy' were italicized instead of 'sip', the irony, and with it the meaning of the sentence, would shift considerably, directing our attention to a different self-deceit.


Page 193

There is a growing body of evidence that poets of Young's day cared for their accidentals and that, in particular, they underlined their manuscripts to determine italics and later revised accordingly. Pope's holographs of "An Essay on Pastorals," Epistle to Bathurst, and Essay on Criticism all contain underlining to indicate italics, and the underlining in the last, which served as printer's copy for the first edition, determines almost all the italicized words in the printed text.[15] There are two poetic holographs reprinted in Young's correspondence, both of which contain underlining, showing that he too wished to determine what common names would receive rhetorical emphasis.[16] The italics changes in the revised editions of Thomson's poems, in particular his Winter, cannot be explained with references to the habits of compositors.[17] Matthew Prior complained in his letters of spending months over the "commas, semicolons, italics, and capitals" of his Poems on Several Occasions (1718),[18] which Monroe K. Spears and H. Bunker Wright accordingly chose as copy-text for poems previously printed. Although the empirical evidence presented here is not that extensive, it does refer to the practice of Young's peers in poetry. Moreover, common sense suggests that a compositor was not likely to introduce italics in a reprint, for, being paid by piece-work,[19] he would unnecessarily lessen his wages if he tried to determine what else to italicize and his eye would not likely mistake roman type in a roman text for italic.

The main reason some scholars had assumed that compositors determined capitals and italics involves their frequent variation in editions of the same


Page 194
poem in different formats.[20] But David Foxon and Phyllis Guskin have recently argued that authors used more italics in texts directed at vulgar audiences, which would explain much of whatever increase in italics does occur in smaller formats. In his Lyell lectures at Oxford in 1976, Foxon showed how Pope altered his use of accidentals for emphasis in different editions of his Homer and his Essay on Criticism.[21] Similarly, Guskin has found that in the Drapier's Letters, Swift's "use of italics for emphasis was related both to the level of the audience and the complexity or subtlety of meaning to be communicated."[22] Thus, Young may have wanted more italic emphasis in the octavo edition because he distrusted its readers' ability to preceive his wit and irony.

Of the particular arguments for the authority of the italics introduced in O1, the foremost is their extraordinary frequency: 920 common names are italicized. None of the twenty-one reprintings before 1765 which descend from O1 introduces more than a dozen. A related argument for the italics' authority involves their permanence once introduced. Consider the italic variants found in the duodecimo Works of 1765, five reprintings away from O1.[23] A collation of this 1765 edition with O1 discovers that, after the text has passed through five different houses, twenty-six words have been erroneously placed in roman but only four in italic type. With the exception of two editions in 1750 and two others that descend from them, which eschew


Page 195
italics altogether,[24] italic and roman type of O1 was preserved but for occasional slips far more often to roman than to italic.

One of the strongest arguments for the authority of these new italics derives from their progressive increase in the folios and O1. A new heavily italicized style does not suddenly appear in 1728, a fact which reduces the possibility that Young or the house hired someone to make alterations for O1. The first five satires published, I—IV and The Last, were written and conceived earlier than V and VI and were published from January 1725 to January 1726. In these satires, where an average of 41 words per satire (excluding proper names) are italicized, italic type is used sparingly for emphasis. But in Satire V, published in February 1727, and in VI, published in February 1728, italics for accentuation substantially increase. We find 204 words italicized in Satire V and 156 in VI. These are longer poems, but, if we reduce these figures in proportion to the 290 lines of Satire I, we would still have 103 and 74 italicized common names for Satires V and VI. Consequently, a month after the folio of Satire VI was published, when the satires were reprinted in O1, italics increased dramatically only in the first five satires published: there are 120 changes to italics in Satire I, 132 in II, 136 in III, 187 in IV, 79 in The Last, 196 in V, and 70 in VI. One way of dramatizing this change is to note that in the folio of The Last there is one word in italics for every eight lines, in the folio of V there is one for every three lines, and in O1 as a whole there is one for every one-and-a-half lines. A related fact—which supports the hypothesis that Young himself added the italics—is that the new and revised substantives of O1 are often italicized and lines added all contain italics for emphasis.[25]

As Bronson perceived,[26] and as the statistics in Table I indicate, this is a complex change involving an increase in italics along with a concomitant decrease in capitals. In Satire IV of O1, 66 words were revised to lower case and 187 to italic in its 260 lines, but, in Satire V of O1, only 89 words were revised to lower case and 196 to italic in almost twice as many lines. Also,

Table I

The following table indicates the changes in capitals and italics in O1. Column one indicates the number of lines shared by F and O1. Columns two and three list


Page 196
respectively the total number of italicized common names in F and of common names first italicized in O1. Column four lists the number of common names capitalized for emphasis in the first 200 lines of F. Columns five and six list respectively the number of capitalized common names in F revised in O1 to lower case and of capitalized common names in roman type revised in O1 to lower case italics.

I, 286  55  120  331  248  117 
II, 290  47  132  121  80  74 
III, 284  58  136  47  33  29 
IV, 260  16  187  105  66  65 
Last, 234  31  79  145  150  66 
V, 574  204  196  127  89  49 
VI, 606  156  70  36 
---  ---  ---  --- 
Total:  567  920  667  401 
lines shared  ital. words in F  newly ital. words in O1  u.c. in ll. 1-200 of F  words changed to l. c. in O1  u.c. roman words changed to l.c. italics in O1 

the folio with the least indiscriminate and emphatic capitalization, Satire III, with only 47 words capitalized in its first 200 lines, received far fewer changes to lower case, 33, than did that with the most capitalization, Satire I, with 331 words capitalized in its first 200 lines, which received 248 changes to lower case. Thus, many figures that stand out as exceptions to the progressive replacement of capitals with italics reflect the inconsistent capitalization for emphasis in F. Only when F is revised, did the satires receive a coherent accidental style.

The authority of O1's 667 revisions to lower case is best considered within the context of these italics changes. In Young's poems before the satires, as in Pope's early poetry, nearly all substantives are capitalized. The folio of Satire I has that older style of capitalization, although it has been modified such that important verbs and adjectives are capitalized and less important substantives, especially in lines with several capitalized words, are in lower case. In all the later satires, capitalization is largely emphatic and most substantives are not capitalized. Although the more abstract and panegyrical Satire The Last breaks the pattern, we can see from the figures in column 4 of the table that Young progressively capitalized fewer common names. Capitalized substantives are especially rare in F's Satire VI, less than two for every dozen lines. Thus, O1's great decrease in capitalization, like the increase in italics, is part of a stylistic evolution and does not suggest the sudden interruption of a compositor or corrector. If the italics changes are Young's—and the evidence strongly argues that they are—then why not suppose that Young also felt the need to revise his capitals?

When Young introduced italics for emphasis, he would have reviewed all the emphatic devices and seen that he needed to decrease the capitals to prevent the text from being overloaded with accentual devices. Accordingly, we find that 401 of the changes to lower case also involve changes to italics. Virtually all the capitalized verbs and most of the capitalized adjectives


Page 197
were placed in lower-case italics. Also, almost all the capitalized common nouns in italics were changed to lower case. The fact that so many words simultaneously change case and font increases the probability that Young made both changes. The inter-relation of the italics and capitalization changes is evident in Satire I where 117 of the 120 newly italicized words are also changed to lower case or in Satire IV where 65 of the 66 words changed to lower case are also italicized. Although previously lower case words are italicized and some capitalized words are placed in lower-case roman, Young's intention seems to have been to make italics the primary emphatis device in O1; whereas, capitals had been such in F.[27]

The authority of the lower-case changes in O1 can be further argued on other grounds. Since he had abandoned the old style of capitalizing substantives after Satire I of F, Young probably would have changed to lower case the 131 capitalized words of that satire which are placed in lower case but not italicized. If we substract these changes and the 401 involving substitution of lower-case italics for upper-case roman from the total number of changes to lower case (667), we still have 135 changes. This figure is itself unusually high when compared to the 4.5 average changes in the other Tonson octavos. Also, the reduction to lower case of a single word and the raising to upper case of only three words in O1's reprinting of Satire VI argues strongly that the compositor was not regularizing capitalization. Parenthetically, putting aside the question of authority, an editor could accept the changes to lower case on the basis of Greg's belief that an edition should reflect the accidentals of its author's day.[28] To accept the italics of O1 while keeping the prolix capitals of F would produce a bastard accidental style that no compositor ever did or would impose.

In summary, I would accept as authorial the italics changes in the revised O1 edition of Love of Fame for a variety of reasons: the general interest in accidentals among major poets and the willingness of compositors to respect their intentions, Young's underlining in his holographs to determine italics for emphasis, the extraordinary increase in italics within O1, the permanence of these italics once introduced, and their progressive increase throughout F and O1. Although a few of the italics changes might well be compositorial, it would be, to borrow a phrase from Greg, "injudicious to make the attempt" to separate these variants from Young's revisions.[29] The same caveat applies to the changes to lower case and in internal comma pointing that have also been attributed to Young.