University of Virginia Library

Search this document 


expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
collapse section 
Sprinklings of Authority: The Folio Text of Richard II by John Jowett and Gary Taylor
expand section4. 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 

expand section 


Page 151

Sprinklings of Authority: The Folio Text of Richard II
John Jowett and Gary Taylor

Authority, as Greg pointed out, is a comparative term.[1] As has long been recognized, Richard II belongs to a group of Folio texts printed from quarto copy, from an exemplar of an early print which had been annotated by reference to an authoritative manuscript (presumably the promptbook). It therefore derives from a text itself derivative, but sprinkled, so to speak, with authority—or at least with potential authority.

An editor's job is to isolate those sprinklings of authority from the surrounding drought of derivation and corruption. This can be done only by first determining where the Folio simply reproduces an earlier printed text, and then by analysing the pattern and the nature of its departures from that text. In the case of Richard II, there is general agreement that F for the most part reproduces the text of Q3 (1598); it has, however, been suggested that for two passages (4.1.154-318, 5.5.19-5.6.52; TLN 2074-2243, 2685-2849) F was set up from a copy of Q5 (1615). The claims for a direct bibliographical dependence upon Q5 are considered (and rejected) in the first two sections of this paper. In the third section we turn to an analysis of the Folio's departures from its Q3 copy in an attempt to discern where the manuscript was consulted; in the fourth we consider what authority should be accorded the readings apparently taken from that manuscript; in the fifth, we analyse in detail the textual problem of the so-called 'abdication episode' (present in Q4, Q5, and F, but not in Q1). As a result of these interrelated investigations, we offer, finally, a newly comprehensive account of the relationship between Q1, F1, and the manuscripts which must have lain behind them.

I. Q5 and the Abdication Episode

In 1953 Richard E. Hasker (developing a conjecture by Alfred W. Pollard) demonstrated that, contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy, the


Page 152
printer's copy for most of the Folio text of Richard II was Q3, not Q5.[2] The possible influence of the later quarto, he urged, need be suspected in only two passages. The first of these, the abdication episode, or 'deposition scene', is relatively straightforward. As Hasker said: 'Since the "deposition scene" occurs in the section of the play set from Q3, which lacks this passage, leaves could have been taken from the copy of Q5 which supplied the last leaves . . . or a transcript of the lines could have been made when Q3 was compared with the manuscript prompt-book' (p. 69). Although Hasker himself eventually favoured the second of these options, the first has been endorsed by G. B. Evans and Matthew Black.[3]

Hasker did not attempt to analyse spelling evidence in order to determine which of these two conclusions was the right one. Agreement of F with the spellings of Q5 would demonstrate nothing, since the manuscript might well have had many similar spellings; but spelling differences between the two texts are potentially valuable as negative evidence. If the Folio compositor never departs from his own spelling preferences except under the presumed influence of copy-spellings identical to those in Q5, then Q5—or something indistinguishable from it—was apparently his copy; on the other hand, if he repeatedly violates his own preferences against the spelling present in Q5, then he was apparently being influenced by copy spellings different from those in Q5, and hence was presumably setting the abdication episode (4.1.154-318; TLN 2074-2243) from manuscript copy. The following is a list of spellings in the abdication episode for which Folio Compositor A departs from the spelling of Q5, against his own preferences—or his own indifference—elsewhere.[4] (The figures in the third column indicate first how often he set the rejected alternatives present in Q5, then secondly how often outside this passage Compositor A set the form found here in F; 'j' indicates that the spelling occurs in a crowded line, where it may have been affected by the need to justify.)


Page 153
Q5   F   Compositor A  
graunt  grant  17; (1j) 
proceed  proceede  10; 1 
bow  bowe  5; 0 
tutor  tuture  4; 0 
haile  hayle  10; 7 
tend  'tend  3; 0 
Mannors  Manors  1; 0 
Reuenewes  Reuenues  1; 1 
read (4)  reade (4)  9; 7(+1j) 
Containing  Contayning  3; 1 
bate  bait  3; 0 
Oh  93(+22j); 66(+10j) 
banckrout  Bankrupt  0; 0; banqu'rout 1 
satisfied (2)  satisfy'd (2)  2; 1 
indeed  indeede  23(+6j); 7(+5j) 
Houshold  House-hold  unhyphenated 5; hyphenated 0 
need  neede  19(+1j); 2(+2j) 
The figures for Compositor A include all of his settings of the word in question. For most of these—those occurring in all of the plays he set from manuscript—we do not know the spelling of the word in his copy. For Richard II and Richard III, however, we can check the spelling in A's known copy, and see whether he altered or retained it. Such qualitative evidence somewhat diminishes the value of five of these anomalies. The only other example of 'proceede' occurs at Richard III 1819, where A's printed copy has 'proceed'. The participle 'Contayning' never appears elsewhere, but two of the three examples of the verb spelled 'contain' occur elsewhere in Richard II, and simply follow Q3; A's apparent preference for the 'contain' spelling may therefore simply derive from the influence of copy. Elsewhere Compositor A followed copy 'O' seventeen times, but he did alter to 'Oh' at least three times (Richard II 1215, 1426; Richard III 710); the odds are, nevertheless, still against printed copy here. The only other example of 'satisfy'd' occurs at Richard III 1958, and departs from copy 'satisfied'. And although A is known to have retained 'indeed' 3 times in setting from printed copy, he also changed it to 'indeede' once elsewhere (Richard III 2434). However, none of the other fifteen anomalies in the table is affected by the available qualitative evidence; and of those which are affected, both 'Oh' and 'indeede' remain good evidence so long as it is understood that all such spelling evidence depends on relative probabilities. This strong spelling evidence against the use of printed copy is reinforced by two other details of the Folio accidentals. Although Compositor A has a strong tendency to add emphasis capitals to his copy, on two occasions here he fails to supply them for words capitalized in Q5 (weau'd-vp, TLN 2151; follyes, TLN 2151).


Page 154

As a test of the validity of this evidence, one can examine Compositor A's departures from copy spellings in a passage of identical length which he is agreed to have set from Q3. This control was taken from the 82 lines preceding the deposition scene (4.1.72-153; TLN 1991-2073), and the 90 lines after (4.1.319-5.1.71; TLN 2244-2333).[5] It will be most convenient to treat these separately. For the 82 lines preceding, Compositor A departed from Q3, and his own quantitative preferences, only 5 times:

Q3   F   Compositor A Elsewhere  
Calice   Callis  0; 0; Callice 5 
banisht  banish'd  4; 4 
Appellants  Appealants  0; 2 
breath (noun breathe  1; 22 
kin (2)  Kinne (2)  1; 4 
Two of these are less significant than they appear. Though A set 'banisht' four times elsewhere, on each occasion he simply reproduced the spelling of his Q3 copy (TLN 1201, 1221, 1224); in contrast, one of his other 'banish'd' spellings departs from Q3 (1170). Qualitatively, A prefers the spelling adopted here. Likewise, all three occurrences of 'Kinne' (two here, and one elsewhere) occur in justified verse lines; all four uses of 'kin' in unjustified lines. This leaves only 3 genuine anomalies in the passage preceding the abdication. The last of these ('breathe') occurs 35 lines before the beginning of the abdication episode; though it is conceivable that the use of manuscript copy began here (perhaps at the beginning of a manuscript page), it seems more likely that 'breathe' is in fact a compositorial error, rather than an anomalous spelling. Compositor A elsewhere consistently used 'breath' for the noun (with only one exception) and 'breather' for the verb (with only one exception), and in setting 'Be iudg'd by subiect, and inferior breathe,' (TLN 2048) he might easily have misinterpreted or mis-memorized the last word as a verb.

The second half of the control passage contains five apparent anomalies:

pernitious  pernicious  1; 3 
pitty  pittie  8(+1j); 14(+2j) 
happy  happie  10; 21(+1j) 
he  hee  28(+74j); 604(+82j) 
worthy  worthie  29(+5j); 3(+1j) 
Two of these are in fact not anomalous at all. Though the quantitative figures indicate a preference for 'happy', in the plays where A's copy is


Page 155
known he twice alters 'happy' to 'happie' (Richard II 1321, 1424), and three times accepts copy 'happie' (Richard III 676, 1972, 2393); he also twice accepts copy 'happy' (Richard II 1155, 2297), and once alters 'happie' to 'happy' (Richard III 2392). This word is obviously a poor guide to Compositor A's copy. So is 'hee'. On five other occasions A set 'hee' in an unjustified line, where his copy is known; in all of them his copy had 'he' (Richard II 1139, 1456; Richard III 1754, 2023, 3233). As for 'pittie', A never elsewhere departed from copy 'pitty', but he did twice accept copy 'pittie' (Richard III 2567, 2659). He never elsewhere encountered the word 'worthy' in printed copy. The most serious anomaly is 'pernicious' at 2250: on the one other occasion where A encountered it when setting from printed copy, he altered copy 'pernicious' to 'pernitious' (the reverse of the change here). This may be another word where, if we had more evidence, we would see that A is simply inconsistent; but it is possible he was still working from manuscript copy. The interpolated episode ends only five lines before, and the annotator may have continued with manuscript copy until the (unknown) end of a manuscript page. This assumption might also explain the Folio's omission of a necessary 'Manent Westmorland, Carleil, Aumerle' after the 'Exeunt' at the end of the deposition scene (2245). Q3 contains this 'Manent' direction, clearly placed in the left margin opposite 2246-48; although its omission from the Folio may be a mere compositorial error, the omission would be easier to understand if A were working from a manuscript, in which the direction was either missing, or less conspicuously placed.[6] However, direct use of Q3 had clearly resumed by 2251, three lines before the end of this Folio page, where F follows Q3 in omitting 'My Lo:'. The resumption of printed copy thus cannot be related to the casting off of copy for the Folio.

As there are no substantive errors common to Q5 and F in the abdication episode, the compositor's copy can only be determined on the basis of agreements or disagreements in accidentals. For this purpose, we can take as significant all those departures from Q3 which violate A's preferences elsewhere, as defined by quantitative and (where available) qualitative evidence. The 20 such significant disagreements between Q5 and F in the abdication episode (21 if 'pernicious' is included) contrast strikingly with the 4 anomalies in a passage of similar length surrounding that episode (3 if 'pernicious' is excluded). This discrepancy is difficult to explain except on the assumption that manuscript copy was used


Page 156
for the abdication episode. This in turn makes it easier to explain the peculiarities at the end of the play.[7]

II. Q5 and Act V

Hasker proposed that Q5 was used again briefly at the very end of the play, from circa 2685 to 2849 (5.5.19-end); this hypothesis has been challenged by J. K. Walton.[8] According to Walton, Hasker's case for Q5 rests on three G5/F1 substantive agreements: euer (2738, for Q1-3 neuer), wer't (2769, for Q1-3 art), and thine (2777, for Q1-3 thy). Walton is right in objecting that these are indifferent variants. But, in the first place, Walton ignores a number of other Q5/F1 agreements in this passage, because he is himself only concerned with dialogue variants. Thus, at 2767 F1 agrees with Q5 on the positioning of the Groom's exit direction; Q3 places it (incorrectly?) after 2773. Then F1 agrees with Q5 on the word strikes in the stage direction at 2779 (Exton strikes him downe), where Q3 has the imperative strike. Then at 2790 F1 and Q5 agree on the necessary direction Exit (which should more properly be Exeunt), which Q3 omits. One must concede at once that these variants are also indifferent, and that the Folio readings could independently derive from the theatrical manuscript which was evidently available for comparison with Q3. One must also grant that the total of indifferent agreements with Q5 is entirely insufficient to establish the use of that quarto throughout the text; Walton persuasively demonstrates, by extensive comparison with other post-Folio quartos, that we should expect a certain number of coincidental indifferent agreements. But though this lateral evidence strongly supports Hasker's own rejection of the earlier orthodoxy (that F was set throughout from Q5), it does nothing to refute Hasker's contention that Q5 was used briefly at the end of the play. Walton can rightly claim that this number of indifferent agreements would be nothing unusual, if spread out over an entire play; but so many indifferent agreements within 53 lines (2738-90) is another matter altogether. We are here dealing with statistical probabilities, and the clustering of variants in close proximity to one another dramatically increases their evidential significance. One need not be a statistician to see this: 6 indifferent agreements within 53 lines are obviously more significant than 6 within 2850 lines. In fact, by even the simplest arithmetic, they are 57 times more significant. It is surely impossible to dismiss this as coincidence.


Page 157

However, Walton is quite right in objecting that Hasker's only accidentals evidence for Q5 influence—the Q5/Folio spelling tels (2721, where Q3 has tells)—is not convincing, since B prefers the shorter spelling. In fact, he sets tels 20 times elsewhere, and tells only twice, both in justified lines. Moreover, a comprehensive check of all differences in accidentals between Q3 and Q5 in this portion of the text does nothing to confirm the use of Q5 copy. We list only the significant agreements (i.e. disregarding spellings, or differences in italicization and capitalization, where B simply follows a strong preference). In the final column, we list first the occurrences, elsewhere in B's work, of the spelling found here in the Folio, then secondly the occurrences of the alternative spelling (found here in one or the other quarto).

Q3  F1  Q5  Compositor B Elsewhere  
1. (2694)  kinde  kind---  kind  15; 112 kinde 
2. (2699)  beggar---  Beggar  Begger  12; 54 -er 
3. (2700)  penurie---  penurie  Penurie 
4. (2708)  time---  time  Time 
5. (2723)  bell---  bell  Bell 
6. (2747-60)  horse (4)---  horse (4)  Horse (4) 
7. (2778)  hell---  hell  Hell 
8. (2783)  hell---  hell  Hell 

The accidentals evidence obviously conflicts with the substantive evidence, but the conflict can (we believe) be easily reconciled. Hasker's choice of 2685 (5.5.19) as the starting point for use of Q5 was, by his own admission, somewhat arbitrary, being based not on actual evidence for Q5 from that specific point onward but on the desire to have the Q5 stint begin at the beginning of a Q3 page, on the assumption that the exemplar of Q3 being used as copy lacked its two final leaves. In fact, the actual substantive evidence for the use of Q5 all falls within 53 lines, 2738-90, which include only the accidentals evidence nos. 6-8 above, and exclude four Q3-F1 substantive agreements: eare (2711, for Q5 care), their (2718, for Q5 there), haue (2728, for Q5 hath), and of (2796, not in Q5). In other words, all the Q5/F1 substantive agreements fall within 53 lines, while all the Q3/F1 substantive agreements fall either before or after those lines.

In short, substantive variants pointing to Folio dependence on Q5 cluster inexplicably in a brief passage where the Folio accidentals point to dependence on Q3; this brief passage is surrounded by both substantive and accidentals evidence pointing to Folio dependence on Q3 (as elsewhere throughout the play). The most plausible explanation for this otherwise-inexplicable pattern is that one page was missing from the original theatrical manuscript which was collated against Q3, and that this single missing page had been supplied (at some earlier date, by someone


Page 158
other than Jaggard) by a transcript of the relevant portion of Q5.

This hypothesis has the advantage of explaining all the conflicting substantive evidence; it also provides an explanation of the activities in both the playhouse and the printing shop much more plausible than Hasker's. Hasker proposes that an annotated copy of Q3 was itself being used as the promptbook, and that the two defective leaves at the end of that quarto were patched with leaves from Q5. But—in the first place—why should anyone in the King's Men have bothered annotating a quarto, if a manuscript promptbook was already available, and would itself almost certainly have contained, on its final page, the licence of the Revels office?[9] And if there were a gap in either a manuscript promptbook or a promptbook based on Q3, why repair that gap by spoiling an exemplar of Q5, merely for the sake of two leaves? The more so, in that the use of Q5 would necessarily involve—even if we presume a lacuna of only 53 lines—the recto and verso of a single page (K2 and K2v), which would make even cutting and pasting difficult: the small Q5 sheet would have to be inserted whole in the midst of a manuscript almost certainly written on full folio pages. Moreover, are we to imagine that the gap in the manuscript happened to coincide with the beginning and end of two Q5 pages? If not, the scribe repairing the gap would either have to cross out some of his surviving manuscript text, or cross out lines at the beginning and end of his Q5 insert. This would simply add to the messiness of an already messy, unsatisfactory, and implausible arrangement.

It would be much more sensible to replace the missing manuscript page with a new manuscript page, transcribed from Q5. This would repair the gap, without any need to collect and combine four or more actors' parts, but without destroying the exemplar of Q5, or inserting a quarto-sized leaf in the midst of a (presumably) folio-sized manuscript. And the hypothesis of a lacuna-repairing transcript of Q5 would also explain a number of anomalous differences between Q5 itself and the Folio text. If the book-keeper of the King's Men had simply inserted in the promptbook one or more leaves from Q5, why should he have bothered to cross out 'Enter [a] Groome [of the Stable]' (2733), or 'Exit [Groome]' (2767), or '[Heere] Exton strikes him downe' (2779), or 'Enter [Henrie] Percy' (2814)? His other changes to stage directions are more comprehensible: the specific actors called for in 'Enter Keeper' instead of 'Enter one' (2763), and in 'Enter Exton and Seruants' instead of 'The murderers rush in' (2779), perhaps even the specific property of 'with a Dish' instead of 'with meat' (2763). But there is no good reason for the first four changes, in terms of a specific theatrical function which Q5 as it stood did not serve. On the other hand, if the book-keeper were transcribing


Page 159
Q5, he might well have fidgetted with some of its wording of stage directions, even when this was strictly unnecessary. If leaves from Q5 were simply inserted in the promptbook, these changes could only have been made by an extraordinary intervention, which would in turn have produced a messier book; if Q5 were being transcribed, they could easily have been made in the course of transcription, without in any way affecting the legibility of the promptbook.

Let us now consider the situation from a publisher's or printer's point of view. If someone was preparing printer's copy for Richard II by collating a manuscript promptbook against an exemplar of Q3, and if that promptbook contained a few leaves from Q5, why damage the promptbook (presumably of some value to the theatre) by taking those leaves out? He already had a printed text for the compositors to use; there would be no need for those Q5 sheets, and the divergence in pagination between them and Q3 would add little to their attractiveness. Equally, if he did retain Q3 as the printer's copy, why should he be tempted to transfer indifferent dialogue variants from one printed text (Q5) to another printed text (Q3)? He might naturally transfer any manuscript alterations to the stage directions of Q5; but why go through the dialogue collating the one printed text against the other? On the other hand, if the book-keeper had (at some earlier date) transcribed parts of Q5, in order to replace a missing manuscript page, then when the collator came to that transcribed page he would only notice, at most, a change of hand, or of paper; he would have no reason to regard the page as of any less importance or authority than the rest of the manuscript.

The most plausible reconstruction of the activities of the King's Men's book-keeper and of the collator who prepared Jaggard's copy would thus lead us to expect that a one-page manuscript gap had been repaired by a transcript of the relevant portion of Q5, and that this portion of the text had then been treated by the collator just as he treated the remainder of the play, comparing the manuscript with Q3, and transferring any manuscript variants which he noticed onto the printed text.

Let us now return to the accidentals evidence. All ten variants in capitalization point to Q3, without any regard to quarto or Folio page-breaks, or to the pattern of substantive agreements. The two pieces of good spelling evidence are adjacent and conflicting; the Q5/F1 spelling agreement comes 44 lines before the first Q5/F1 substantive agreement, during which interval there are three Q3/F1 substantive agreements. Moreover, this agreement occurs in a phrase—'they finde a kind of ease'—where B's preferences may have been affected or confused by rhyme and repetition. The punctuation evidence (not listed above) falls into no significant pattern. Most of the punctuation variants are affected by


Page 160
the sense; in context, only twice does the Folio punctuation represent a choice between two equally-acceptable variants:      
Q3  Q5 
(2729)  mad:---  ˜:  ˜. 
(2817)  graue:---  ˜:  ˜; 
Both of these point to Q3—as Hasker himself noticed (p. 68).

In conclusion: Walton is right in contending that Q3 was the compositors' printed base for all of Richard II, and Hasker is right in contending that a short portion of the text at the end of the play (TLN 2738-90; 5.5.70-115) has been contaminated (at some point in its transmission) by Q5. The explanation offered here—that a one-page gap in the manuscript was at some time patched by transcribing the relevant lines from Q5—strongly suggests that the influence of the two quartos stems from two different phases and agencies of transmission: the annotation of Q3 copy for use by Jaggard, and the (earlier) patching of the promptbook by reference to Q5.[10]

This hypothesis also, necessarily, impinges on another aspect of the Folio text—the nature of the promptbook itself. Pollard suggested that the promptbook was a marked-up copy of Q1; Greg, Wilson, Hasker, and Ure all cogently challenged that conclusion.[11] But Hasker, puzzled by the need 'to explain why the copy for the First Folio Richard II should have been a made-up quarto' composed of leaves from two different editions (Q3 and Q5), adopted Fredson Bowers's (private) suggestion that the copy of Q3 used by the Folio compositors was 'itself the official prompt-book of the King's Company' (pp. 69-70). This conjecture becomes superfluous and implausible if our alternative explanation of Q5's local influence is adopted.[12]


Page 161

III. The Pattern of Annotation

Pollard's detailed study of the variants in Q1-5 and F drew attention to the large number of instances in which F restored a correct Q1 reading where Q3 had acquired an error, the latter originating either in the Q2 printer's copy for Q3, or in Q3 itself. In conjunction with the sweeping changes from typically authorial stage directions to typically theatrical directions made in F, this led Pollard to the conclusion that the printer's copy for F had been annotated with reference to the promptbook. F's accuracy in correcting Q3 could not be attributed to chance. Pollard also saw that such annotation could explain a number of Q/F variants which are unlikely to have arisen in the printing-house: F had acquired a promptbook reading which differed from that in Q. But this insight was not put forward as having much significance for the editor: Pollard explained most of the assumed textual variants between the promptbook and Q as actors' unauthorized departures from the true text, departures which had at some point been incorporated into the promptbook. The actual corrections of error in Q were therefore deemed to be few in number. Further, the process of annotation was declared to be 'very hastily and inadequately performed', words of caution that have sometimes been interpreted as words of denial.

In his new Arden edition, Peter Ure provided a detailed application of Pollard's analysis of variants, examining their implications for the authority of F. Ure suggested that Q1 was set from a non-authorial transcript which contained memorial errors; this unlikely hypothesis has since been questioned by both Charlton Hinman and Alan Craven.[13] Ure tends to discuss Q/F variants in terms of categories of F error—thereby assuming that the Folio variants are errors, which only need to be properly categorized. One such category is 'unauthorized editorial replacements'. These account for 'perhaps the majority of words of nearly equivalent meaning in the Folio', though 'some at least' can be ascribed to the actors (pp. xxi-xxii). This conjecture is not offered as an explanation for metrical sophistication (for instance), but simply as a reason for dismissing a group of variants that will prove of some interest, 'nearly equivalent words'.


Page 162

'Unauthorized editorial interference' is, of course, a real possibility, with Richard II as with other Folio texts. Since someone had to go through Q3 altering it by reference to the manuscript, that someone might well have made on his own initiative other changes not warranted by the manuscript. But though Ure may be right in believing that editorial interference took place, he is almost certainly wrong about the nature of such interference. An editor might add stage directions which he believed to be necessary, or modernize obsolete or obscure spellings, or provide act and scene divisions, or remove profanities; he might even, according to some textual scholars, regularize speech prefixes, or substitute commonplace words for rare or arcane ones. But why should he deliberately and randomly insert words of 'nearly equivalent meaning' to substitute for those in his printed and manuscript sources? Such a procedure would be particularly inane if, as Ure contends, these adjustments were made as part of the process of consulting the promptbook in order to modify Q3: in other words, the 'editor' is looking at a manuscript which might contain such variants, but none of them actually derive from that source, being instead unnecessarily and uncharacteristically intruded by the editor himself. Ure does not properly distinguish between the sort of change an actor would make and that which would be introduced in the printing house, or by a literary 'editor'; he does not explain how actors' verbal substitutions got into the promptbook;[14] he explains neither the necessity for supposing this additional stage of contamination nor the motives behind such a strange endeavour. The effect of his suggestion is to move a vital group of variants away from the potential authority of the manuscript.

Ure's attitude towards the Folio text is most apparent in his comment on the F readings he admits as potential emendations. Ure claims that, whether he accepts them in his edition or not, 'I do not think we need entertain the possibility of prompt-book provenance for any of them' (p. xxii). Even though his own theory of memorial transmission means that Q1 is imperfect, even though F can occasionally have correct readings, F is only admitted to preserve promptbook readings when they are wrong. This is an especially striking conclusion in light of Pollard's original rejection of chance as an explanation for the considerable Folio restoration of Q1 readings: F should be as effective in correcting Q1 error as it is in correcting Q3, especially as neither the Q3 copy for F nor the promptbook would distinguish between these classes of variant. In


Page 163
what amounts to a rejection of one of Pollard's most important and persuasive conclusions, Ure explains some of the F restorations of Q1 readings as chance, others as sophistication; 'a majority of other restorations may be ascribed to the unaided editorial acumen of the Folio' (p. xxiii).

Yet Ure is no conservative extremist: other editors have followed similar editorial procedures. Paradoxically, G. B. Evans in the Riverside edition admits that 'substantive readings which appear for the first time in F1 deserve some consideration as possible Shakespearean second thoughts' (p. 838), but in practice adopts fewer F readings than Ure. Evans recognizes not only that the promptbook is the most likely source for a number of F readings, but also that such readings are difficult to dismiss as corruptions of the text. The New Penguin text (1969) does not differ radically from the new Arden, but Stanley Wells similarly—if somewhat cryptically—remarks after discussing the variant stage directions, 'Other alterations were made, some of which may be considered improvements on Q1' (p. 270).

There are therefore two problems. First, the most respected commentators have cast doubts on F as a source of potentially authoritative readings. This scepticism begins with Pollard's criticism of the inefficiency of the collation of Q3 against the promptbook—cautionary remarks which have sometimes been more enthusiastically taken up than the implications of his more general observation, that such a collation must indeed have taken place. W. W. Greg described the collation as 'superficial'; this may be a fair summary of some of Pollard's words, but sounds more dismissive than Pollard intended.[15] Greg's view was endorsed by Walton (p. 243); Ure elaborates upon Greg. On the other hand, but still beginning with Pollard, some editors have recognized that F is likely to have rather more than the bare minimum of valid readings, and have noted the actual superiority of some F readings—without feeling they are in a position to adopt them. The view that F should be followed more often is a reasonable one, but it has been expressed only tentatively. Sympathetic editors have probably been deterred partly by lack of evidence and partly to avoid the accusation of opening the floodgates to personal whim.

Yet Pollard's comments are not the last possible word on the process of collation with the promptbook. Its linear progression can be investigated in some detail. The only such attempt has been Walton's study, which in a disappointing three-page discussion does not go beyond splitting


Page 164
up the variants according to the five acts. Walton at least shows that (as might be expected) the annotation was not uniform: Q1 readings are restored less effectively in the second and third acts. The simple expedient of plotting F's restoration of Q1 readings as they occur against its perpetuation of Q3 error gives a more localized picture. This is shown in Table 1.


Anyone who suspects that the alternation between correction and perpetuation of error is random should try tossing a coin and plotting the


Page 165
sequence of results. The average length of an unbroken sequence of heads or tails will be found to be about 1.5. This is far from the case in Table 1. This information alone allows us to establish that some parts of the text were more effectively corrected than others. Indeed some areas were completely corrected; others were untouched. If nothing else, this pattern points away from Ure's multiplicity of causes for Q1-F1 agreement against Q3. We see a single process, spasmodically careful and efficient. This can only make promptbook annotation more plausible.

Given this framework, the remaining indications of possible promptbook annotation can be set alongside it, as can contrary evidence of a failure to consult the promptbook. Each part of the promptbook manuscript would have been arranged in three vertical sections: speech-prefixes, text, and stage directions. All received attention from the annotator. Although he could have worked on the sections simultaneously, it is possible that he split his work into defined stages, handling the text separately from its adjuncts. For this reason, the evidence of speech-prefixes and stage directions is considered separately later, as is the evidence of another completely separable category of annotation, the marking of act and scene divisions. Many altered or added stage directions in F clearly derive from the promptbook, as do major Folio cuts. Editors agree on the need to adopt a number of F readings (though they disagree on whether those readings derive from the promptbook). The provenance of the alterations of God to heauen is uncertain, and needs investigating to establish whether some or all of the profanity had been eliminated in the manuscript. Some F variants appear to be manuscript misreadings; if so, they too derive from annotation. On the negative side, F occasionally attempts to emend Q3 without bringing it into line with Q1; elsewhere it perpetuates error in Q1-3 which cannot be expected to have stood in the promptbook. One further class of variants might be positive, negative or neutral in individual instances: F's relineation of Q3. Each of these categories of evidence will need to be discussed separately.[16]

Compounded Error

Whereas Table 1 expresses F's success as against its inaction in correcting Q3, it takes no account of actual failures. On nine occasions F compounds an error in Q3 which it apparently undertakes to correct. These are as follows:[17]


Page 166
TLN  Q1  Q2  Q3  F1 
1.1.71  82  spoke, or thou  spoke, or thou  spoke, or what  spoken, or 
canst worse  canst  thou canst  thou canst 
2.1.18  659  whose taste the  whose state the  of his state: 
wise are found  wise are found  then there are 
2.2.3  955  life-harming  half-harming  selfe-harming 
2.2.103  1058  there no  there two  there 
3.3.17  1601  our heads  your heads  your head 
3.3.119  1706  princesse  a Prince  a Prince, is 
3.4.24  1834  come  commeth  comes 
4.1.41  1964  to see that  I to see the  to see the 
5.3.63  2562  held  hald  had 
This category may contain readings where the promptbook has been consulted but inadequately represented or even readings where the promptbook differed from Q1, though one would not expect either of these to occur regularly. In other respects the group of nine should indicate lines which escaped collation. If the annotator overlooked a quarto error, which was then noticed by the compositor setting up the line, the compositor could either consult the manuscript himself, or correct on his own initiative. Compound errors could, of course, only occur if the compositor chose the second of these two options, and the presence of such errors in Richard II (and other Folio texts) suggests that re-consultation of the manuscript in such circumstances was rare, or non-existent. Indeed it is possible that the manuscript could not be consulted, because it was not in the printing house.

The small number of compounded errors is itself significant when compared with the number of correct restorations of the Q1 reading. But to compare figures directly would be misleading, if the hypothesis of relatively well-corrected areas of text has any validity: one would need to examine in turn the situation inside and outside those areas.

Shared Error

Errors common to all the quartos and F will be a reliable guide to lines not checked against the promptbook—if such errors can be securely identified, and if they do not originate with Shakespeare himself. No such list can be definitive. Ours includes editorial emendations which are usually accepted, together with one convincing emendation (932) introduced by Kenneth Muir in his 1963 Signet edition,[18] and 2 proposed


Page 167
readings (964, 2556) and a proposed alternative reading (1090) first put forward here.[19]                      
TLN  Q1-F1  Emendation 
1.1.163  168-9  obedience bids, | Obedience bids  Obedience bids 
2.1.283  932  Iohn  Thomas 
2.2.12  964  With . . . at  At . . . with 
2.2.110  1065  Thus disorderly thrust  Thus thrust disorderly or Disorderly thus thrust 
2.2.138  1090  Will the hatefull commons  Will the hatefull commoners or The hatefull commons will 
3.4.11  1817  griefe  ioy 
3.4.67  1879  you the  you then the 
4.1.148  2068  Preuent it  Preuent 
5.3.31  2528  my  the 
5.3.57  2556  lest thy  lest 
One odd variant does not quite fit into this category. Q1 has a self-evident dittography:
Landlord of England art thou now not, not King. (2.1.113; TLN 756)
F reads:
Landlord of England art thou, and not King:
F might have independent authority from the promptbook, though it surely gives the weaker reading. On the other hand, the simplest unauthoritative correction would have been to remove the first (nonsensical and extrametrical) 'not'. Perhaps an annotation was misunderstood by the compositor. In any case, this variant cannot confidently be put forward as a miscorrection resulting from failure to consult the promptbook.

Manuscript Misreadings

A number of errors in F are such that it is hard to imagine that they are misreadings of the printed quarto copy. They appear to be misread manuscript literals. These are easily explained as the annotator's misreadings of the promptbook or, if the book was a non-authorial transcript, as errors committed when the promptbook was prepared. In


Page 168
either case they will indicate annotation (however mistaken). Variants of this kind are:              
1.1.57  62  doubled/doubly 
1.2.42  259  complaine/complaint 
1.3.28  325  plated/placed 
1.3.71  368  vigour/rigour 
1.4.28  602  smiles/soules 
3.2.112  1470  beards/Beares 
4.1.33  1956  simpathie/sympathize 


Changes to lineation can be made for various reasons. The commonest cause is the need to accommodate a long line of print to the narrow Folio column. Like other texts, Q1 sometimes preserves the manuscript feature of a run-on part line at the beginning of a speech. When F splits such a line, it proves nothing about promptbook consultation. It does not constitute negative evidence because the alteration could originate from the promptbook; alternatively, the promptbook may not itself have changed the lineation.

In one instance the Folio relineation is not only unsatisfactory, but also disturbs the following two lines. Q has:

H. Bull. on both his knees doth kisse king Richards hand,
And sends allegeance and true faith of heart
To his most royall person: hither come (3.3.35; TLN 1620-22)
The F compositor failed to realize that the abbreviated name constitutes a mid-speech part line, and set as follows:
Henry Bullingbrooke vpon his knees doth kisse
King Richards hand, and sends allegeance
And true faith of heart to his Royall Person: hither come
The relineation tells us nothing about promptbook influence. Even if F's expansion of the name and variant vpon derive from the promptbook, the compositor was himself almost certainly responsible for the relineation.[20] Once the name had been expanded, Q's first line would not fit F's measure, and the Folio compositor probably altered the line-breaks in order to fit his text into three type lines (the same number as in Q). He would hardly have done this if the annotator had indicated a line-break after Bullingbrooke (as in all modern editions). We can thus be fairly confident that the annotator did not 'correct' Q's lineation; but


Page 169
of course the annotator's manuscript may have treated 'Henry . . . hand' as one line—just as Q's manuscript had apparently done.

A similar relineation occurs at 2.2.92-94, TLN 1048-49:

Q1: Hold take my ring.
My Lord, I had forgot to tel your Lordship:
To day as I came by I called there,

F: Hold, take my Ring.
My Lord, I had forgot
To tell your Lordship, to day I came by, and call'd there,

The verbal variants in F derive from Q2 by way of Q3. Q's lineation would fit the F measure, but it seems that the combination of a part-line at the end of the preceding speech and the metrical irregularity of To day . . . there induced someone in the printing-house to interfere with the lineation. In other words, relineation is here a direct consequence of an earlier failure to consult the promptbook.

Almost all the discrepancies between the lineation common to Q and F and that followed in modern editions are due to the different licences observed in early texts. In just one passage both texts are recognized as being seriously mislined:

I should to Plashie too, but time wil not permit:
All is vneuen, and euery thing is left at sixe and seauen.
(2.2.120-122; TLN 1074-75)
Line-breaks are required after too and vneuen in order both to regularize the metre and to establish the rhyming couplet. In Q1, 1074 appears at the end of sig. D4v. The book was set by formes, and the compositor had sufficient trouble with fitting the cast-off copy to his page to induce him actually to omit two full lines of text when setting the opposite (inner) forme of the same sheet.[21] Q1's lineation at 1074-75 is a printing-house expedient to save space. F thus perpetuates a layout which cannot have appeared in the promptbook. The same circumstances determine a less impressive example; in Q1 this occurs in the inner forme of sheet D, where the spacing problems were most acute. On D4 (1014) Q1 runs on a part-line at the end of a speech with the previous line; F does likewise.

The most obvious example of relineation deriving from the promptbook is in the adjustment to the text after the abdication episode. The changed wording saves a part-line, so the text is rearranged to take in the part-line at the end of the speech (2245-6; discussed below in Section V). Significantly, this is not the only case where verbal variation


Page 170
accompanies relineation. Even conservatively-minded editors accept F in one such instance.
Q: Yorke
The time hath bin, would you haue beene so briefe
He would haue bin so briefe to shorten you, (with him,

F: York.
The time hath beene,
Would you haue beene so briefe with him, he would
Haue beene so briefe with you, to shorten you,
(3.3.11-13; TLN 1594-96)

The significance of F's relineation here is not that it must be a promptbook feature itself. But the relineation shows how far the F compositor needed to alter the text in order to accommodate the addition of the two words. Such a change needs a definite external cause, especially as the text in Q1 is not noticeably corrupt.

Another case is structurally somewhat similar:

Q: Would they make peace? terrible hel,
Make war vpon their spotted soules for this.
F: Would they make peace? terrible Hell make warre
Vpon their spotted Soules for this Offence.
(3.2.133-134; TLN 1492-93)
Here editors sometimes approvingly repeat Pollard's view that F's Offence is 'pittifully weak'. To show that there is no offence metrically in Q1, Pollard explained: 'The words "make peace" are a cry of rage which can only be adequately rendered by giving to each the time of a full foot. The next two words are pronounced slowly, and after "hel" there is a slight pause marked by the dramatic comma, and then the next line follows with a swift rush' (A New Shakespeare Quarto, pp. 85-86). Despite this extraordinarily subjective apologia, Pollard may be right to accept Q1 as the wording in the printer's copy. If F gives the Q1 printer's copy reading, it is difficult to see how the Q1 compositor came to set the text he did. But Pollard and his followers require us to believe that an actor or someone preparing F both relined the passage and added to the wording, simply in order to eliminate a tetrameter in the preceding line.[22] Parallels for such an intervention are not easy to find, and those who were involved in the preparation of this and other Folio texts do not seem to have been unduly traumatized by the occasional tetrameter. If the Folio changes in these lines were deliberately introduced in the printing-house, then consultation of the promptbook provides a single, simple explanation for the change, an explanation which traces it to a source known to have been consulted elsewhere in this text; just as


Page 171
important, consultation of the manuscript provides a credible motive for the change. And if the F reading stood in the promptbook, it is perverse to attribute that variant to an actor when it could originate with the author himself. There might perhaps be some excuse for denying it to Shakespeare if F's reading was indeed 'pitifully weak'; but this is surely a case where Pollard's predisposition to blame the actors, or other agents of corruption, got the better of his critical sense. Offence gives the line a more positive ending; it brings out an otherwise latent irony, that the usual Christian virtue of making peace is here seen as a sin, an 'Offence'; it brings warre into more powerful juxtaposition with peace.

In these lines the relineation is a vital part of the evidence in support of promptbook annotation. Other instances of significant relineation do not involve verbal variants, and must be considered solely on their own merits. For example:

Q: King
Why Vnckle whats the matter?

Oh my liege, pardone me if you please,
If not I pleasd not to be pardoned, am content with all,

F: Rich.
Why Vncle,
What's the matter?

Oh my Liege, pardon me if you please, if not
I pleas'd not to be pardon'd, am content with all:
(2.1.186-188; TLN 833-836)

Line-breaks are required after liege and pleasd. Q1 is explicable: the copy probably ran on the part-line (writing 'Oh . . . pleasd' on one text line); the compositor began to do likewise, but had to improvise a relineation in order to adjust the lines to his measure. F makes a strange attempt to rectify this. But in Q3 the end of liege is just below the end of Vnckle.
Why Vnckle, whats the matter?

Oh my liege, pardon me if you please, (D1v)

A carelessly-placed line-break mark, intended to split the line after liege, could easily be misinterpreted by the Folio compositor as an instruction to introduce a break after Vnckle instead. Once the compositor had run on the line after Liege, he would find himself unable to fit 'pardon . . . pleas'd' on the same line. His compromise guaranteed no repetition of the problem on the following line. Surprisingly, the failed relineation is best explained as the result of an authoritative annotation.

Where the Q1 copy evidently ran on part-lines, a correction in F can plausibly be attributed to promptbook annotation if it was not undertaken to allow for the narrower F measure. There are three such examples:


Page 172
Q: And with vplifted armes is safe ariude at Rauenspurgh.
F: And with vp-lifted Armes is safe arriu'd
At Rauenspurg. (2.2.50-51; TLN 1003-4)
Q: The houshold of the King.
What was his reason, he was not so resolude,
When last we spake togither?

F: The Household of the King.
What was his reason?
He was not so resolu'd, when we last spake together.
(2.3.28-29; TLN 1135-37)

Q: To kill the king at Oxford.
He shal be none, weele keepe him heere,
Then what is that to him?

F: To kill the King at Oxford.
He shall be none:
Wee'l keepe him heere: then what is that to him?
(5.2.99-100; TLN 2473-75)

(It will be noticed that the second instance contains a transposition, apparently an error in F.)


Each of the classes of variant considered so far as potential additions to the picture established by Table 1 is in isolation too small to be of much statistical significance. This is not so for the God(s)/heauen(s) variants. There are 58 lines with God(s) in Q1; 26 of these are emended to heauen(s) in F1.[23] Another revision of profanity is Would God / I would (4.1.117; TLN 2037).


As there are no cuts introduced in F whose length is of 2-3 lines, the actual cuts may conveniently be divided into two groups: single-line cuts and those of four lines and more. The latter are almost certainly deliberate measures taken to bring the text into conformity with the promptbook. They are usually described as 'theatrical' cuts, as though this is all we know, and all we need to know. But to say that the cuts are theatrical in historical fact ( represent the text as performed) does not prove that they are theatrical in origin ( made by others, without Shakespeare's approval), or that they are 'theatrical' in nature ( cheap, melodramatic, coarse, or inartistic). Cuts made in the theatre by Shakespeare's company could have been made by Shakespeare himself, resident dramatist and sharer; even if he did not initiate them, it can be assumed


Page 173
(in the absence of evidence to the contrary) that he approved of them and lent them his authority by so doing.[24] There are five of these longer cuts: 1.3.129-133, 1.3.239-242, 1.3.268-293, 3.2.29-32 and 4.1.52-59 (following TLN 426, 531, 557, 1388 and 1974). The single-line cuts may have similar authority, but as they could easily arise through compositorial error, they are less reliable as evidence of manuscript consultation.[25]

Corrections of Q1 Error

The most crucial readings of all from the point of view of confirming the pattern established by the F correction of Q3 error are those which correct error in Q1-3. For the sake of objectivity, the readings considered at this juncture are only those accepted in one, two or all of three representative editions: the new Arden (A), New Penguin (P) and Riverside (R). There are 20 such readings:[26]

TLN  Q1   F   F accepted by  
1.1.118  123  by  by my  A P R 
1.1.139  144  Ah but (Q(a), Q2-3); But (Q(b))  But  A P R 
1.1.152  157  gentleman  Gentlemen  A P R 
1.1.192  201  parlee  parle  A P 
1.3.33  330  comes  com'st  A P R 
1.3.172  465  sentence  sentence then  A P R 
1.3.180  473  y'owe  you owe  A P 
1.3.222  515  nightes  night  A P R 
1.4.20  594  Coosens Coosin  Cosin (Cosin)  A P 
1.4.52  627  Enter Bushie with newes Enter Bushy
Bushy, what newes?  A P R 
2.1.48  687  as  as a  A P R 
2.1.102  747  inraged  incaged  A P R 
2.1.177  824  the  A P R 
2.1.284  933  Coines  Quoint   A P R 
2.2.16  968  eyes  eye  A P 
2.3.99  1210  now  now the 
3.3.13  1597  briefe  briefe with you  A P R 
3.3.31  1615  Lords  Lord  A P R 
3.3.206  1843  two  too  A P R 
5.6.8  2802  Oxford, Salisbury, Blunt  Salsbury, Spencer
(Oxford, Salisbury Q2-3)  Blunt   A P R 


Page 174

Preliminary Summary

The collation of all the above data needs some care. Table 1 is itself by no means definitive, for several reasons. It gives no indication of the spatial distribution of variants, which are sometimes tightly clustered and elsewhere completely absent. It has wide indeterminate areas between some of the areas of relative correction and uncorrection. And it contains several random elements: fortuitous unauthoritative correction, isolated correction, light annotation, and oversight. A mechanism needs to be introduced to handle the elements of randomness. To achieve this, quite simply, a run of two or more indications of correction may be regarded as an area of correction. Such an area may be allowed to extend over single indications of non-annotation, but ends when two such opposing items occur consecutively. The same rules therefore apply for the uncorrected areas. (The terms 'corrected' and 'uncorrected' remain relative, for there may actually be any number of interim degrees.) This procedure may sound, if anything, conducive to chaos, for the number that defines a group could literally not be smaller. In fact, the exercise confirms and only minimally redefines the situation in Table 1. When the new data is included, only 17 areas of correction are established. These are as follows:

  • 29-65
  • 144-260
  • 320-398
  • 414-557
  • 585-730
  • 747-836
  • 858-942
  • 968-1004
  • 1053-1055
  • 1210-1229
  • 1388-1415
  • 1470-1615
  • 1734-1798
  • 1974-2017
  • 2307-2368
  • 2446-2517
  • 2574-2716

The areas so defined give a working basis for describing the fluctuation within the process of annotation. But the approach remains explorative, and its limitations should be obvious enough. Most crucially, the guideline areas of correction fail to distinguish between the various degrees of consistency of annotation. Table 2, which gives the aggregated data, also gives a ready indication of the variation and of those areas of the text which remain indeterminate. For example, the passage from 1800 to 2100 might best be described as lightly annotated rather than corrected or uncorrected; this area alone accounts for over half the Q1-F agreements against Q3 that occur in passages defined as relatively uncorrected. The corollary is that elsewhere the distinction is sharper than the averaged-out statistics will suggest.

Corrected areas account for 51% of the available text.[27] This nicely medial figure may be compared with the proportions of the various categories of data to fall within these corrected areas.


Page 175


Page 176
{Major cuts  5/5  100% 
{A, P and R readings from F  18/20  90% 
{Manuscript misreadings  6/7  86% 
Evidence of consultation  {F restorations of Q1  64/76  84% 
{Significant relineation (positive)  5/6  83% 
{Emended profanity  22/27  81% 
{Compounded error  2/9  22% 
{Shared error  2/10  20% 
Evidence of failure to consult  {Q1 God(s) retained in F  6/32  19% 
{Uncorrected Q3 error  11/75  14% 
{Significant relineation (negative)  0/3  0% 
Individually the above figures demonstrate little. The bridging mechanism designed to compensate for randomness can enhance small groups whilst detracting from large groups where the individual items involved are of less statistical significance. But this criticism cannot apply to the comparison of corrected and uncorrected areas for the accumulated evidence for and against annotation, whereby each item is of equal value:    
Positive data in corrected areas  120/141  85% 
Negative data in corrected areas  21/129  16% 
Nor is the initial information from Table 1 unduly distorting the picture. Without it, the results are:    
Positive data in corrected areas  55/65  85% 
Negative data in corrected areas  10/54  19% 
Nevertheless Table 1 provided a remarkably useful starting point. The rest of the evidence confirms and refines what it suggested. The only way the demonstrated correlations make any sense is to suppose that the vast majority of the listed changes in F were made during a single process of annotation carried out with reference to the promptbook. Most important of all for the editor of Richard II is the irresistible association between (a) the most plausible emendations of Q1 in F and (b) other indications of annotation.


Page 177

Stage Directions

The stage directions are more enigmatic. Not only are added and changed stage directions no commoner in corrected areas than elsewhere, they actually occur in corrected areas noticeably less frequently than we should expect if they were randomly distributed. Only 34% of added and changed directions are found in corrected areas, suggesting the inverse of the expected relationship. The number of directions involved is too large for this proportion to be dismissed as insignificant. And the situation is not meaningfully alleviated by assuming that the more trivial changes were introduced by compositors. Even if we exclude another possibly untrustworthy group, the scene-break directions, we are left with a similar situation for the remaining minority of mid-scene directions. It is in their interaction with Table 2 that the added and changed directions can usefully be divided into two groups. In the first 1000 lines, 63% of them occur in corrected areas; this distribution is almost certainly random, as the area has a greater than average amount of correction. But only 20% of the altered directions in the rest of the text occur in corrected areas. Even though corrected areas account for only 36% of this second half of the play, this dissociation—only 1 altered direction in 5 occurring in an area which shows signs of corrections to dialogue—is unlikely to be random.

Speech Prefixes

No explanation of the anomalous distribution of stage-direction annotation can be offered without first considering the speech-prefix variation. The most striking instance of the latter is the reorganization of prefixes for Richard and Bolingbroke. For Richard, Q1 invariably has 'King' except for (a) the first prefix in 5.1, and (b) throughout 5.5, the prison scene. For the latter, he is unkinged 'Rich.'. Still in Q1, Bolingbroke's prefixes change from 'Bull.' or 'Bul.' (once 'Bulling.') to 'King H.' or 'King' for 5.3 and 5.6. F leaves 1.1 unchanged, but thereafter systematically (without exception) changes Richard's 'King' prefixes to 'Rich.' (occasionally 'Ric.' or 'Ri.').[28] Bolingbroke's 'King (H.)' prefixes all become 'Bul.' in F. These changes go far beyond anything that could be expected by way of regularization. They clearly must echo the pattern found in the promptbook; there is no other reason why the trouble should have been taken to effect such a detailed change when the prefixes


Page 178
in Q1 were perfectly logical according to their own system.[29]

Most of the 'King' / 'Ri(c)(h).' variants are in corrected areas, and many of those that are not do occur in indeterminate or bordering areas. This correspondence is probably not between the categories of variant themselves, but between areas of annotated text and scenes in which Richard is on stage. (There is no comparable patterning of 'King (H.)' / 'Bul.' variants.) At first sight this correspondence might appear to be explained by the coincidence of heavy annotation in the first 900 lines and the exceptional number of scenes in which Richard is present in the same part of the play. After 870 (2.1.222) Richard does not appear for almost 700 lines, and after 994 (2.1.295) there are only very brief snatches of correction until Richard returns to the stage. Such a situation may in itself be no coincidence. But even within the first 900 lines, the parts of the text with Richard present are more consistently annotated than the others. The same also holds true after 1000, when both Richard's appearances and the signs of annotation are scantier. The dramatic falling-off of annotation around 1000 may be a (belated) response to Richard's long absence. The presence of the play's principal character seems to have been one factor which influenced the annotator's fluctuations.

Other significant F alterations of Q speech prefixes are limited and localised. Some, such as 'Herald' / 'I Har.' (401), 'Herald 2' / '2 Har.' (407) and 'H. Per.' / 'Percie' (1130, etc.) suggest but do not demonstrate annotation. More definite are two altered character assignations, 'King' / 'North.' (2346) and 'yorke' / 'Bul.' (2612); a moved prefix ('Bag.', 1100-1); and the distinctive changes 'Welch' / 'Capt.' (1285, 1291) and 'Man' / 'Ser.' (1850, 1865, 2657, 2660). Of the changes more definitely associated with promptbook annotation, only those at 2346, 2612, 2657 and 2660 fall within corrected areas. Stage directions whose rewording may be connected with the speech-prefix variants are 'a Welch captaine' / 'a Captaine' (1284), 'Gardeners' / 'a Gardiner, and two Seruants' (1833), and '&c.' / 'and Seruants' (2651). However, the reassignations at 2346 and 2612 are not particularly near changed stage directions. There are some signs that the annotated speech prefixes resulted from quite careful collation; there is no reason to associate it with annotation of the dialogue, and little evidence for an association with the annotated stage directions—though if (as appears to be the case) both speech prefixes and stage directions were collated thoroughly and systematically, such an association


Page 179
could exist, without being detectable. If the collator caught all of the speech-prefix and stage-direction variants, then coincidence of annotation in the two categories would result only from coincidence of variation between Q3 and the manuscript. The lack of a discernible association between stage-direction and speech-prefix annotation therefore demonstrates nothing; but the lack of association between speech-prefix and dialogue annotation is significant.

Act and Scene Divisions

The Folio's introduction of act and scene divisions supplies the final piece in the jigsaw. They were almost certainly marked on to the quarto copy. The theatrical significance of act divisions remains in some doubt, but it is most probable that by 1610 the King's Men's promptbooks were regularly marked with act divisions.[30] There is no particular reason to doubt the validity of F's act division. (No one will doubt that the beginning of Act 4 at least is correctly positioned.) The scene divisions, on the other hand, include a generally-recognized error. Despite Q1's direction 'Exeunt. Manet sir Pierce Exton, &c.' (2651-52), almost all editors agree that the required staging is indicated in F: 'Exeunt. | Enter Exton and Seruants'. But F does not introduce a scene break, instead continuing its scene 5.3, and so misnumbering 5.5 and 5.6 as 5.4 and 5.5. This single anomaly can scarcely be unconnected with the form of the direction in Q.

The evidence of Richard II itself is here supported by an examination of other texts. The Folio contains eight plays set from lightly annotated quarto copy. One of these (Romeo and Juliet) has no act or scene divisions, and shows few if any signs of promptbook consultation;[31] five (Love's Labour's Lost, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, and Titus Andronicus), which were collated against theatrical manuscripts, provide act divisions only.[32] In Titus and Dream the text has been adjusted to accommodate an act division, which therefore seems likely to have come from the promptbook;


Page 180
the authority of the division in Love's Labour's Lost has been doubted, but the act divisions in the two other comedies are at least acceptable and may derive from theatrical manuscripts. On the basis of these six other plays we might expect consultation of a promptbook to result in the provision of act divisions, but not scene-breaks. Only Richard II and I Henry IV provide act and scene divisions; as with the other texts, the act divisions are sensible, but in both plays an error in the scene divisions results from a misleading quarto direction. In I Henry IV, after TLN 2890 Q5 (following Q1) has the stage direction,
Here they embrace, the Trumpets sound, the King enters with his power,
alarme to the Battell: then enter Dowglas, and Sir Walter Blunt.
Whether or not one accepts Rowe's interpolation of 'and exeunt' after 'embrace', the stage is evidently cleared at some point before the entrance of Douglas and Blunt; all editors mark a new scene (5.3). The Folio omits 'Here', substitutes 'entereth' for 'enters' and 'alarum vnto' for 'alarme to', but does not supply the missing scene division, and consequently mis-numbers the two following scenes. As with Richard II, it seems fairly evident that scene divisions were not marked in the annotator's manuscript, and that the annotator failed to mark a division here because he did not see the need for one. He could easily have been misled by the fact that Q5 does not contain the keyword 'Exeunt' or 'Exit'; either the manuscript also failed to supply the word, or he failed to transfer it from that source.


The Folio's printed copy (Q3) for Richard II received at least three kinds of annotation: the systematic provision of act and scene divisions (the latter apparently editorial), the systematic collation of stage directions and speech prefixes, and the sporadic collation of dialogue variants. The fluctuations of accuracy in this third stage are documented in Table 2. Explanations for that pattern of fluctuation are necessarily conjectural. To some extent, no doubt, they reflect the universal rhythm of alternating alertness and inattentiveness.[33] We have already suggested that the annotator may have been more alert to dialogue variants in scenes where the protagonist is present. From the beginning the annotator left some short passages uncorrected, with no obvious motive for his alterations in procedure. But just as the annotator of Love's Labour's Lost stopped his thorough collation shortly after TLN 977, so the annotator of Richard II after 1003-4 must have decided that it was necessary


Page 181
to lighten further the amount of attention he was giving the promptbook. The sudden slackening in his thoroughness is indeed quite dramatic (though not so total as in Love's Labour's Lost). The annotator apparently saved time partly by avoiding work on those parts of the play which had already received at least some annotation; that is, around the added and changed directions themselves. A few exceptions crept in between 2364 and 2704, but his basic approach remained the same until the end of the play. Such a procedure is not entirely illogical, and is psychologically plausible. It also fits neatly into the larger pattern of Folio annotation.

We have already pointed out that the layout of manuscript pages would have provided a physical encouragement and basis for separating the annotation of speech prefixes and stage directions from the annotation of dialogue. Such a separation also has an obvious basis in the nature of the two authorities the collator was comparing. His printed copy was a reprint of a good quarto, set from autograph or fair copy, presumably reliable in its verbal detail but deficient in the very theatrical features (stage directions and regularity of speech prefixes) supplied by a promptbook. Hemmings and Condell would have known very well the differences between these two kinds of documents, and even if they were not themselves responsible for collating quarto and manuscript, one would expect them to have discussed with the publishers, at least in general terms, the differences between the material in their possession and the printed texts already available. Finally, such a method of working would have been immediately attractive and intelligible to a printer or publisher: Moxon explains the normal two-step compositorial procedure for setting pages with 'Marginal Notes . . . down the Side or Sides of the Pages'.[34]

Before Richard II, four Folio texts had been set from annotated quarto copy: Much Ado about Nothing, Love's Labour's Lost, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Merchant of Venice. In each case, the annotation was sparse, chiefly affecting act divisions, stage directions and speech prefixes. But in the case of Richard II it seems to have been


Page 182
decided, for whatever reason, at whatever point in time, to attempt a more extensive collation of Q3 against the manuscript. This collation of dialogue variants was, by modern standards, unevenly, even 'superficially' carried out, but it nevertheless represents a clear departure from previous Folio practice. And I Henry IV, the next Folio play to be set from quarto copy, shows similar signs of two different kinds of annotation: again, directions and prefixes have been altered throughout the text (often in trivial ways), and act and scene divisions provided, but alteration of the dialogue is sporadic.[35] I Henry IV and Richard II both, in different ways, offer evidence of a transition in methods of Folio annotation, from the consistent practice in the Comedies to the more extensive annotation first undertaken in earnest in Richard III (up to the end of quire s).[36] After this experiment in extensive annotation, laziness returned: the end of Richard III (t1-2v), Romeo, and Titus are given the absolute minimum of annotation (again concentrating on stage directions, prefixes, and act divisions), and the same was clearly intended at first for Troilus. This reversion to the earlier procedure may have been connected with the introduction of Compositor E, who by all accounts was an inexperienced compositor who may not have been able to cope with heavily-annotated copy; or Compositor E may have been called in because a decision had already been taken to make do with sparsely-annotated copy. In any case, after this lapse the Folio finally reverts to extensively prepared quarto copy for both King Lear and Troilus, the last two plays to have been set from printed copy.[37] In short, the Folio itself, like the individual plays within it, shows a pattern of varying thoroughness in the annotation of quarto copy; within this pattern, Richard II and I Henry IV are pivotal, and both reveal a discrepancy between their treatment of, on the one hand, directions, prefixes,


Page 183
and act and scene divisions, and, on the other, their annotation of dialogue.

This apparent pattern in the nature of the copy from which Jaggard's compositors set inevitably raises a question about who prepared that copy. In the case of the 1647 Beaumont and Fletcher Folio, a single publisher (Moseley) provided copy for six different printers; all of the texts seem to have been set from manuscript copy, and the collection and preparation of the copy was clearly the publisher's rather than the printer's responsibility.[38] The 1616 Jonson Folio was both published and printed by William Stansby; Jonson himself was clearly instrumental in supervising the preparation of this volume, and hence was probably personally responsible for the annotation of those plays set from annotated quartos.[39] The Shakespeare First Folio falls somewhere between these two eminent stools. Rather like Stansby, Jaggard—the sole printer—was also co-publisher; but the 1623 Folio, like that of 1647, was a posthumous publication, and the collection of texts to print was at least partly and perhaps wholly the work of Heminges and Condell. Unlike Jonson, Shakespeare was not available to annotate quartos himself; yet like the Jonson Folio, Shakespeare's contains plays undoubtedly set from annotated quarto copy. Who annotated those quartos? Heminges and Condell may have done so; or the publishers may have. In this case, however, the printer was himself one of those publishers—indeed the senior partner in the syndicate: as Greg concludes, 'There can then be little doubt that . . . the moving spirit of the scheme on the publishing side was Isaac Jaggard' (First Folio, p. 6).

Jaggard's shop was clearly in a position to provide the skills of collating and proofreading, and to ensure that the quartos were annotated in the manner most convenient for the compositors. Three more specific arguments suggest that even if the annotator was not 'Jaggard's man', he nevertheless worked in association with the printers. First, it does not seem likely that theatrical professionals would have introduced act divisions as inept as those in The Taming of the Shrew, Henry V, and I Henry VI; the divisions in those plays, at least, seem to originate outside the theatre, and if so a similar origin for other editorial annotations of copy must be suspected. Secondly, it is certainly suspicious that the evidence for consultation of a manuscript in Folio Love's Labour's Lost ceases so abruptly only nine lines from the bottom of a Folio page—nine lines which would have required no other annotation. This might


Page 184
be a coincidence, but it suggests that annotation and casting-off of copy sometimes went hand in hand. Finally, a dramatic change in the character of the annotation at the end of Richard III coincides with an irregularity in the sequence of setting. After most of Richard III had been set up from heavily-annotated quarto copy, at the end of quire s work on the play was broken off, and setting of the Tragedies commenced. When eventually the compositors returned to Richard III, extreme variation from quarto copy continued for only half of the first column of t1; the remainder of the play was set from copy that had been only nominally edited, almost wholly in respect to speech prefixes and stage directions. This coincidence seems most plausibly explained in one of two ways, either of which presumes a close connection between the annotator of the quarto and Jaggard's compositors. The temporary abandonment of work on Richard III may have been due, as Hinman conjectured (II, 127), to difficulties in securing the copy for Henry VIII (which completes the Histories section of the volume). If this explanation is correct, then the drastic change in the level of annotation on column a of t1 may have occurred because the annotator had, in the interim, prepared copy for Titus and Romeo (already set or being set, when work on Richard III resumed), and as a result quickly decided to revert to the more economical degree of annotation employed for those two texts. This seems to us unlikely: why should the annotator stop work on Richard III just because copy for Henry VIII was not ready, why should there have been any problem about the copy for Henry VIII, and why when resuming Richard III should he extensively annotate half a column of Folio text before abruptly changing his methods? It seems likelier that the abrupt switch to the Tragedies occurred because the annotator had encountered some difficulty or deficiency in the manuscript he was consulting, halfway down the first page of a new quire, and that completion of Richard III was delayed while an attempt was made to rectify this difficulty. A full justification of this hypothesis would require an extensive investigation of the vexing problem of printer's copy for Folio Richard III; here we must limit ourselves to the statement that such an investigation has convinced us of the validity of this hypothesis.[40] Certainly, it would be most economical to assume that the change in the nature of Jaggard's copy at the end of Richard III bears some relation to the change in the order of Jaggard's setting. This does not prove that the annotator was employed by Jaggard, or worked in his shop, but it does suggest—like the other evidence—that he worked in close association with Jaggard's compositors, and that he may sometimes have cast off pages as he annotated them.


Page 185

Two further facts, specific to Richard II, support the same conclusion. First, it seems most likely (as we have suggested) that the apparent influence of Q5 in a 53-line stretch near the end of the play results from the fact that someone in the theatre transcribed that passage from Q5, in order to rectify a gap in the promptbook. If someone in the theatre also presented Jaggard with annotated printed copy, why was Q3 (rather than Q5) used? The most obvious agent to have performed both functions would have been the book-keeper, who would have done both jobs between 1615 and 1622; we would expect the same quarto to be used for both, even if (as is possible) there had been a change of book-keeper.

Secondly, we have already remarked on the fact that Folio Richard II betrays evidence of annotation more extensive than that in the Comedies; I Henry IV has been similarly annotated; Richard III, the next play set from quarto copy, was even more extensively annotated. Matthew Law, who was not a part of the syndicate which published the Folio, held the copyright to all three plays (and to no others printed in the Folio). One does not like to attribute such coincidences to coincidence. In the case of Troilus and Cressida, it has been widely accepted that the difference between Jaggard's abandoned first setting of the play (after Romeo, from quarto copy as minimally annotated as that for Titus and Romeo) and the second (between the Histories and Tragedies, from heavily annotated quarto copy) probably resulted from difficulties of copyright: the heavy annotation was, in other words, a ruse to evade someone else's copyright. (See Greg, First Folio, pp. 447-449.) We find it difficult not to see the same motive at work in the change in the level of annotation which takes place between the Comedies and Richard II.[41] And if the annotators were working closely in conjunction with Jaggard's compositors, then the irregularity in setting which interrupted work on Richard II may be related to that which interrupted work on Richard III. Henry V, 1 and 2 Henry VI, and part of 3 Henry VI (all from manuscript copy) were set before Richard II was completed and 1 Henry IV begun. Could this interruption be due to the fact that the annotator was not far ahead of the compositors whose copy he prepared, and that in order for him to have time to finish the (more extensive than usual) annotation of Richard II and 1 Henry IV, the compositors had to leapfrog him and begin work on Henry V? We cannot confidently answer this question, but it is surely legitimate to ask it.


Page 186

All of this evidence suggests that the man (or men) who annotated quarto copy for use by Jaggard's compositors worked closely with Jaggard's compositors. Jaggard's dual position as sole printer and co-publisher would have made this possible. But would the King's Men have turned any of their promptbooks over to Jaggard? Perhaps not. If Heminges and Condell would not let their promptbooks out of the theatre, then (obviously) the annotator must have performed the actual task of marking up a quarto in the theatre itself, rather than the printing house.[42] If the King's Men had no other manuscript of the play on hand, and if Jaggard for copyright reasons needed a source of variant readings, and if the King's Men wouldn't let go of their promptbook, then someone would have had to collate Jaggard's quarto against their promptbook.[43] Whoever that someone was, he must have worked, for a while, in close association with both the King's Men and Jaggard.

IV. Authoritative F Readings

The discussion so far has established a useful starting point for identifying readings in F which are likely to be authoritative. The annotation, we suggest, had the authority of the promptbook and was in places detailed and careful; moreover, we can identify where those places are. This does not leave us in a position mechanically to determine the authority of individual readings. Textual and even literary judgements will remain at the forefront. So, for example, Q's furbish at 373 (1.3.77) is undoubtedly richer and more unusual than F's mundane furnish; Q should be followed, even though the line occurs within a corrected area. In other cases the pattern of correction, combined with the critical argument, presents a convincing case for the reading in F. But the argument from corrected areas will not prove sufficient in itself in the case of truly indifferent readings.

Whereas some scenes are almost entirely corrected and others scarcely corrected at all, 3.2 shows a fairly representative mixture. From 1359 to 1387 (ll. 1-27) and from 1416 to 1473 (ll. 61-115) it contains no evidence


Page 187
of correction; the remaining areas, 1388-1415 and 1474-1580, contain variants from several categories suggesting annotation. What the tabulated list of corrected areas does not tell us is that after 1500 (l. 141) we enter a grey area where the evidence is thin and where two Q3-F agreements against Q1 suggest the absence of close annotation (1502, 1530).[44] In practice, the fifty lines after 1530 (l. 170) are indeterminate. It is worth spelling these details out, for this scene contains the most remarkable series of variants in the text.

The relineation and added Offence at 1492-3 (ll. 133-134) have already been put forward as attributable not only to the annotator, not only to the promptbook, but to the hand of Shakespeare himself. A variant of similar status allows us to plunge into the indeterminate area and claim at least some of it for the annotator:

sit and waile theyr woes

waile their present woes (l. 178; TLN 1538)

If Q had read, let us say, waile theyr passing woes, F could be satisfactorily explained as an anticipation of presently in the following line. Even so, one would have to admit that present makes excellent sense and gives effective word-play on presently: a happy accident. Q reading as it does, such an explanation of F will not suffice. The assumption that an actor or the annotator himself would take a dislike to the Q reading and substitute that in F is fanciful, if not perverse. The logical agent is again Shakespeare himself. If anyone is likely to indulge in textual changes which appear to us inscrutable, it is the author. Yet here the change is perhaps more scrutable than it at first appears. Editors have compared the line in Q with another Shakespeare had previously written, but without drawing any inference from the comparison:
My lord, wisemen nere sit and waile theyr woes, (Richard II)
Great Lords, wise men ne'r sit and waile their losse,
(3 Henry VI, 5.4.1; TLN 2884)
One might fairly surmise that the motive for the Folio change was an author's motive: to eliminate what had been an unconscious borrowing from an earlier play (and an earlier personal style).

There may be a similar instance within 3.2:

Crie woe, destruction, ruine, and decay,

Cry Woe, Destruction, Ruine, Losse, Decay, (l. 102; TLN 1460)

This variant has also been treated to inattention, or at least silence. The points to observe are obvious enough. Q's and could not possibly be


Page 188
misread Losse, nor, as we usually understand the psychology of the process, could the variant arise through substitution. F's reading is more concrete, forceful and specific; the metre is locked firmly into the sense, where a reading of Q must either thump and or hiccough to an end. Either Q has been weakened in transmission, or F has been improved. Given the example of sit and waile theyr woes, one may set Q by Richard III 4.4.409, TLN 3200:
Crie woe, destruction, ruine, and decay, (Richard II)
Death, Desolation, ruine, and Decay: (Richard III)
The extent to which Shakespeare was reworking the same ideas is even clearer in the light of the following line in Richard II: 'The worst is death . . .'. The reading F supplies not only strengthens the line, but also varies it where the resemblance with Richard III is most specific. Q drops from the formulaic to the merely repetitive; F does not. It is the variants themselves that pass judgement on Q's repetitions, and suggest that Shakespeare was not satisfied with them.

If substantiveness comes in degrees (the word perhaps misleadingly suggests that it does not), there are several other Q/F variants which could be called highly substantive. Some F readings will be rejected: hand for wound (l. 139; TLN 1498) is clearly a Folio compositorial error influenced by Hands in the previous line; at 1399 (l. 43) F describes how the sun 'darts his Lightning through eu'ry guiltie hole', where Q more meaningfully and metrically reads Light; Beares for beards (l. 112; TLN 1470) is, as suggested above, an annotator's folly, an easy manuscript misreading which produces a line of delightful nonsense ('White Beares haue arm'd their thin and hairelesse Scalps'). Variants such as power/friends (l. 35; TLN 1391) and partie/Faction (l. 203; TLN 1562) require more serious attention. At first sight they could be substitutions in either direction, though not of the commonest kind. But if compositorial substitution accounts for these variants, Q is more likely than F to have introduced them. Q's power and partie share in their neutral attitude. Folio friends is not only the more specific of its pair, but when set beside substance ('in substance and in . . .') it makes a meaningful distinction between material and human resources in a way that power does not. Furthermore, power occurs twice in previous lines (l. 27 and l. 28; TLN 1387 and 1388), whereas friends is nowhere in sight. Faction, too, is more precise and expressive than Q's partie; as may also have happened at Richard III 3447 (5.3.13), one explanation for the variant would be that manuscript factiō was misread partie, an error plausible in this direction but not in reverse.[45] With 'Is not the Kings name twenty/fourty thousand


Page 189
names?' (l. 85; TLN 1442), it is again F which is less easily explicable as error, for 20000 has already been cited (l. 76; TLN 1433). F's fourty continues the progressive exaggeration begun with 20000 itself; the first figure cited is twelue thousand (l. 70; TLN 1426). The Q compositor might (like modern editors) have corrected fourty as apparently a self-evident error. 'Awake thou coward/sluggard Maiesty thou sleepest' (l. 84; TLN 1441) in isolation is more difficult both to explain and to judge. Q's coward gives the easier antithesis with Maiesty, but cowards are not usually characterised by a propensity to sleep. It will be noticed that the two last-mentioned variants occur in adjacent lines; taken together, they suggest nothing so much as further instances of minor authorial alteration. Certainly the influence of Shakespeare's own hand best explains why so many significantly different variants occur in one scene—or, speaking more precisely of the valid F readings, in the corrected parts of one scene.[46] To reserve final judgement on Shakespeare's responsibility for a variant in a single instance such as 1410 (l. 55) is no contradiction of this view. Q's imperfection there is almost certainly illustrated by unmetrical and redundant off ('Can wash the balme off from an annointed King'); F's removal of the word looks like restoration, not revision or sophistication.

Only in the concentration of its attractive F variants is 3.2 unique. Examples of F giving a more specific or harder reading can be readily found elsewhere. Three F readings rejected by editors may be considered together.

Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,
Tell thou the lamentable fall of me, (5.1.44; TLN 2305)
Which then blew bitterly against our faces,
Which then grew bitterly against our face, (1.4.7; TLN 582)
Shorten my daies thou canst with sullen sorrowe,
Shorten my dayes thou canst with sudden sorow, (1.3.227; TLN 520)
In each of these lines, Q has a simple, acceptable and uncontroversial reading. One tells a tale, the wind blows, sorrow is sullen. But in each case F gives an unusual idiom which is nevertheless, to say the least, acceptable. Fall at 2305 gets away from a cliché that has already been used three lines above: tell the [i.e. thee] tales. Richard relates himself to a specific genre of narrative, the Falls of Princes, and in doing so he heightens the extent of his self-dramatization. Grew and sudden both


Page 190
concentrate upon a momentary transformation instead of a state of being; this more dynamically (one might almost again say 'more dramatically') gives rise to the tear, or the death caused by sorrow. At 520, Q's sullen is appropriate to sorrow as received, not as inflicted, whereas F's sudden, though a more unusual epithet for sorrow, is exactly appropriate to acts such as Richard's banishment of Bolingbroke.

Other variants have been attributed to the actors, but are much more likely to be authorial. In the line:

Coosin, throw vp your gage, do you beginne. (1.1.186; TLN 194)
F's variant downe for up probably represents, as Stanley Wells suggested in the New Penguin edition, a change in the envisaged staging. Editors follow F in correcting an historical error at 2802 (5.6.8), but they do not attribute the same authority to the F correction of Woodstockes to Glousters (1.2.1; TLN 218). There is admittedly a significant difference between these Q readings in that one is an error and the other no more than an inconsistency. Elsewhere in Richard II the character is called Gloucester, and Woodstockes is probably a first thought coming early in the play, when the play Woodstock, usually regarded as an antecedent to Richard II, would be still uppermost in Shakespeare's mind. It should probably be regarded as a foul-papers inconsistency which Shakespeare later eliminated.

Two transpositions may be set side by side:

fourth of that name

of that Name the Fourth (4.1.112; TLN 2032)

do these iusts & triumphs hold?

Hold those Iusts and Triumphs? (5.2.52; TLN 2421)

In 2032, the Q reading is metrically possible in that Henry was, in early Shakespearian usage, occasionally trisyllabic. Apart from this example and one in Richard III, all such instances are found in the Henry VI trilogy. A deliberate revision would therefore remove an outmoded metrical form. At 2421 Q has an acceptable hexameter. F gives a more compact line with a more unusual word order. Whereas a compositor might drop a word to create space—F's line fills the rule—a complete reshaping of the line for this reason is most unlikely, especially as the end of the line could have been turned up or down. The changes do not point to compositorial error in Q in that they are more extreme than one would expect, though this does remain a possible source of error. More likely, this is also an instance of authorial adjustment.

The variant at 1538 (3.2. 178), in which Q echoes an earlier line, is not unique. Remarkably similar is:


Page 191
the word it selfe
Against the word

the Faith it selfe
Against the Faith
(5.5.13-14; TLN 2680-81)

Shakespeare used exactly the same words at 2624 (5.3.122) as Q gives here. Although this has been noticed before, it has not been connected with the variant; editors have preferred to imagine that an actor or annotator introduced the F reading on religious grounds (though different views have been advanced as to why Q was found unacceptable).[47] It is more reasonable to suggest, especially in the light of the example of sit and waile theyr woes, that Shakespeare changed his text to avoid repetition. The superiority often attributed to Q's reading must be weighed against the fact that it perpetrates such a repetition, while Faith is certainly defensible on the grounds that it emphasises the supposed meaning of an equivalent word. Unlike Shakespeare, his editors are generously reluctant to find fault with the repetition; they therefore cannot admit that F could supply an authorial improvement.

One may compare the laugh/mocke variant at 1759 (3.3.171) with partie/Faction discussed above. In both instances F has the more emotionally precise expression. F's Queene (5.1.78; TLN 2340) is doubly advantageous over Q's wife in that it avoids a repetition from five lines above and encompasses the connotations of pompe as well as the concept of wife:

My Queene to France: from whence, set forth in pompe,
She came adorned hither like sweet May;
When Richard tells Northumberland that
The loue of wicked men conuerts to feare, (5.1.66; TLN 2328)
his observation is confusing: are the wicked men those like Northumberland, or those like Bolingbroke to whom they are obsequious? Richard intends both: that is, the love between wicked men. This is made clear in F, where men becomes friends.

Three substitutions involving units of time in fact vary in the certainty with which they can be identified as authorial alterations. At 162 (1.1.151) Q has:

Our doctors say, this is no month to bleede:
In F month becomes time. It may be suspected that this again is a deliberate alteration of the text, made to remove the unfortunate suggestion


Page 192
of menstruation that the original line may have been thought to elicit. An apparently similar variant is yeeres/dayes (5.3.21; TLN 2517), but this variant is probably connected with the presence of heere at the end of the following line. Either Shakespeare emended a jingle out of the text, or heere stimulated a compositorial substitution in Q. Another instance may be more safely attributed to compositorial error in Q. Ure recognized that Q gives an illogical sequence in:
Shew minutes, times, and hours (5.5.58; TLN 2724)
In F the second and third terms are transposed. Or, to express the situation more plausibly, F has the required text and Q contains a compositorial transposition.

With raise/reare (4.1.145; TLN 2065) F arguably gives the less usual idiom; it is reassuring to find that the variant ocurs in a carefully annotated area of the text. A similar case is throwne/stricken (5.1.25; TLN 2286). This is not in a corrected area, but F has a more significant advantage in that it completes an irregular nine-syllable line in Q.[48] Another metrical emendation supplied by F is tell me/tell (5.3.1; TLN 2497), where Q's me anticipates my two words later (and is in any case an easy interpolation).

In the last two instances we move from F readings which possibly or probably derive from Shakespeare's revising hand to those which are much more likely to preserve an original text which Q has corrupted. The preceding discussion has established or at least suggested the validity of some F readings which editors customarily reject, but there is a persistent difficulty in distinguishing between what must be Shakespeare's second thoughts in F and corruption in Q. Fortunately we have some detailed knowledge of the work and habits of the compositor who set most of the text in Q1: Simmes's Compositor A. Alan Craven has written a series of articles analyzing the types of error this compositor was prone to introduce, and the implications of such habits for an editor.[49] Contrary to the usual assertion that Q gives an accurate and reliable text, Craven observes that Simmes's Compositor A was particularly likely to introduce error that involved a change in wording: in Q2 Richard II, for example, which he set in its entirety, he introduced 63 substitutions and 30 omissions, as against 25 literals errors. Yet when Craven comes to discuss probable compositorial error in Q1 he covers very different


Page 193
ground from the present study. The reason is that Craven's evidence points consistently to the triviality of the compositor's many errors. 'The words thus affected are not usually nouns and verbs, but instead are connectives and qualifiers' ('Five Shakespeare Quartos', p. 56). Although Simmes's Compositor A was prone to substitute, he is unlikely to be responsible for the 'words of nearly equivalent meaning' noted by Ure and discussed above. The only comparable substitutions in the whole of Q2 are speak/said, fall/drop, sparks/sparkles, shock/smoke and slander/slaughter. If these were Q/F variants, it is unlikely that more than one of them would have been mentioned in this article: the first two appear completely indifferent, and the last three are self-evident errors of which the first might have been cited in passing as a metrical corruption. Simmes's Compositor S, who set the remainder of Q1, was 'much more accurate than A', though prone to errors of omission ('Five Shakespeare Quartos', p. 57,n. 9). Yet there are no indications that the variants discussed above are influenced in number or in kind by this compositor.

Assuming that the general tenor of the preceding critical comments proves acceptable, few or none of the variants discussed can be attributed to error on the part of the F compositors. But this assertion can be put on a more objective footing by considering the work of the F compositors elsewhere. Richard II was set by Compositors A and B, the latter taking the greater share of the work. Compositor B's efficiency in setting from printed copy has been examined by Paul Werstine, some of whose conclusions can be cited.[50] Although he sometimes substituted 'a more difficult word for the clear reading of his copy', Werstine's two examples—brawles/Broyles (Romeo and Juliet 91) and beastly/Beastlike (Titus Andronicus 2703)—are not remotely comparable with the variants in Richard II discussed above. Similarly, when Werstine attributes to Compositor B substitutions of 'words which are orthographically dissimilar to the words of his copy, but similar in meaning to the copy words' he is speaking in relative terms, and his examples again distance Compositor B's work from the distinctive substitutions in Richard II: smirched/smeered (Much Ado about Nothing 1796), curelesse/endlesse (Merchant of Venice 2051). These examples are drawn from a much wider body of work than his stints on Richard II. Transpositions prove to be Compositor B's rarest form of error, and interpolations almost as rare. Though he sometimes introduced metrical sophistications, he 'never added half-lines, adjectives, verbs, or expansions to his copy'. His omissions are 'too few to classify'. To summarize, the only discussed


Page 194
variants that Compositor B could normally be thought likely to have introduced are the metrical emendations at 1410 and 2497; Compositor A actually set the latter.

Of Compositor A's work set from minimally-annotated printed copy we know less, for the only passage so set outside Richard II itself is just over a single page in Richard III (1569-1735). His work there introduced the following changes: five minor rewordings of stage directions, five obviously necessary corrections of copy error, two metrically-required elisions, and one minor substitution or literal error (Nor/No at 1581). His propensity to correct on his own initiative is of some interest, but there are no hints here of the kind of substitutions and other alterations found in Richard II. His work setting from manuscript copy suggests that he was more accurate than Compositor B.[51] But 3.2 occurs in Compositor A's stint, with the result that he set more of the variants attributed to annotation than Compositor B, even though A set less than half the text.

This returns us to the pattern of annotation. Only 3 (12%) of the variants we have discussed lie outside the corrected areas. These provide the slight sprinkling of exceptions to the pattern that, on the basis of the other information, one would expect. As it has not been felt necessary to exclude such readings from consideration simply because they fall outside the corrected areas, and as the annotation of the surrounding area has not been put forward as a criterion for justifying most of the F readings, the new suggested readings from F lend further weight to the interpretation of the promptbook annotation. Or alternatively, the pattern of correction gives added authority to the advocated F readings.

The present discussion does not exhaust the number of F readings which should or might be adopted. The conclusions are twofold and mutually supporting. F is a rich source of readings that are both authoritative and radically different from Q. And even in Richard II, perhaps the most straightforward instance of an F text printed from annotated quarto copy, there are unmistakable indications that Shakespeare himself was responsible for some of these variants. We see clear evidence of the author in the process of making final adjustments to his play.

V. Censorship and the Abdication Episode

The most important single difference between Q1-3 and F is F's inclusion of the abdication episode, which the texts printed in Elizabeth's reign omit. This has implications for the stage history as well as the textual history of the play. Was the Folio-only passage a later addition —as most critics believe that the 'fly scene', present only in the Folio, was


Page 195
an addition to Titus Andronicus? Or was it always part of the original play, which should have been printed in Q1?

Although in other respects the superiority of Q1 over F is now generally accepted, few critics have been satisfied that Q1 here gives Shakespeare's original text intact. The most serious objection lies in Westminster's reference—found in all texts, just after the inserted episode—to A wofull Pageant (4.1.321; TLN 2246). It is difficult to apply this convincingly to any action that has just been staged according to Q1. The most obvious suggestion would be that the Pageant is Bolingbroke's ascent of the throne (4.1.113; TLN 2033). But does this actually happen? Q1-3 indicate only that Carlisle interposes and tries to prevent him. Here one must guard against accidentally using the F text in support of Q1. If we are familiar with the idea that Bolingbroke does ascend the throne, in spite of Carlisle's intervention, it is probably because nothing could be more dramatically effective (and in keeping with the pathos of the scene that follows) than for Richard to enter to find the accomplished fact, Henry on the throne. If Q1 is understood as an unbroken text, the circumstances are very different. Carlisle's intervention and arrest would lead directly into Bolingbroke's abrupt if not angry announcement of his intended coronation, dismissal of the lords, and exit. The potential Q1 text ends on a note of frustration. It would be consistent with this for Carlisle effectively to prevent Bolingbroke from ascending the throne: the scene would seem to require that an effective Pageant should be delayed to a more fitting time. Pageant is not, to judge from other instances, a word used casually by Shakespeare. It suggests something distinct, visual and theatrical: almost a play within a play. It can also imply a representation with allegorical meaning. All these qualities are appropriate to the abdication episode itself, and in particular to Richard's self-conscious and allegorizing mime with the crown and the mirror. Richard deliberately dramatizes, in symbolic form, his own fall. Moreover, it is Richard above all else who is wofull. These rich associations make the Q1 text look like an empty jar waiting to be filled.

Q1 thus appears to have omitted a passage; whatever the mechanism of that excision (and several are possible), the motive seems to have been anxiety about the political content of an episode in Shakespeare's foul papers.[52] But the inclusion of the episode in the first Jacobean edition of


Page 196
Richard II, Q4 (1608), both illustrates the acceptability of its printed text after Elizabeth's death and gives evidence that the abdication episode was, eventually at least, played in the theatre in the form F preserves: the title-page of Q4 was reset during the course of printing to read:
THE | Tragedie of King | Richard the Second: | With new additions of the Parlia-|ment Sceane, and the deposing | of King Richard, | As it hath been lately acted by the Kinges | Maiesties seruantes, at the Globe.
This form of phrasing may or may not imply that the additions were new to the acted text as well as the printed text. Two possibilities immediately suggest themselves: either (a) the Folio abdication episode was politically acceptable in 1608, as it had not been in 1597, or (b) the Folio abdication episode was always politically acceptable, but what stood in the foul papers was not. This second possibility of course assumes that the scene in F is different from what should have been printed in Q1 had there been no issue of censorship in Q1.

The lines immediately following the cut in Q1 are significantly different in Q1 and F:

Let it be so, and loe on wednesday next,
We solemnly proclaime our Coronation,
Lords be ready all. Exeunt. (H2)

On Wednesday next, we solemnly set downe
Our Coronation: Lords, prepare your selues. Exeunt. (2244-45)

The variants are in themselves a sufficient demonstration that the promptbook was consulted here in preparing F. But the most obviously directed change is Q1's introduction of Let it be so, and loe: if the abdication episode was cut in Q1, the context determines that the part-line cannot have been cut in F. In other words, it is possible that Q1's phrase was introduced to bridge over the gap created by the omission of the abdication episode. But as the other variants in these lines retain the same overall sense, they cannot, like Let it be so, and loe, have been introduced in Q1 specifically to mend the censorship gap; indeed they are of a kind such as has now been established as often indicating authoritative variants resulting from changes introduced in the promptbook. The bridging phrase mends the broken text in a contextually plausible and metrically invisible way; it is reasonable to suppose that blatant but equivalent substitutions would not be introduced at the same time, especially as no perceptible advantage is gained by them.

If proclaime/set downe and be ready all/prepare your selues are very similar in kind to other variants introduced in F from the promptbook, they too may be attributable to the revising hand of Shakespeare. As such they are consistent with a known stage in the development of the Folio


Page 197
text. Furthermore, reasons for the introduction of each alteration become evident. In the case of proclaime/set downe, the reading as preserved in Q1 is potentially ambiguous. It hovers between the interpretation 'we (now) proclaim that Wednesday next will be our coronation' and 'on Wednesday next we will proclaim ourselves crowned'. Set downe conveniently avoids this difficulty.

In the 1955 New Variorum edition (p. 278), Matthew Black conjectures that be ready all was emended to prepare your selues in order to avoid a repeat of the all/fall rhyme of 2242-43 (ll. 317-318). Black's word 'avoid' suggests that he believes that the all/fall/all chime was never allowed to stand in the text. But if, as he believes, the abdication episode was cut in Q1, and if the substitutions were introduced in the promptbook (as his conjecture presupposes), Shakespeare must have originally written something like this:

Oh good: conuey: Conueyers are you all,
That rise thus nimbly by a true Kings fall.

On Wednesday next, we solemnly proclaime
Our Coronation: Lords be ready all. Exeunt.

The repeated rhyme must, according to the logic of Black's conjecture, have stood in Shakespeare's original text, and it is necessary to suppose that its removal was a later, presumably authorial, change.

But is this conflated text likely to be what Shakespeare really wrote? We can see that he apparently revised the lines immediately after Q1's Let it be so, and loe. But we have no direct way of knowing what the text preceding this phrase was originally like, simply because Q1 does not print it. The conflated text rests on a large assumption: that F preserves what Shakespeare first wrote. As has been suggested, this is not necessarily the case. It is in fact decidedly awkward to suppose that the variants just after the abdication episode are unconnected, and that it is mere coincidence that we find two alterations introduced in the promptbook in close proximity to the only significant alteration introduced in Q1. By chance, it seems, the conjectured repeated rhyme in Shakespeare's original text was removed deliberately in the promptbook and also, quite fortuitously, in Q1. One must add to this circumstance the supposition that Shakespeare would write such an obvious but presumably unintended repetition of all in the first place. And, moreover, that he would make another misjudgement in the immediately preceding line. All of these difficulties would disappear if we assumed that the Folio text of the episode represents a text which has undergone—like other parts of the play—at least some verbal revision. If so, then even Let it be so, and loe might be part of Shakespeare's unrevised original, rather than a mere botched transition interpolated by whoever censored the text.


Page 198

We would not claim that any of this reasoning 'proves' that Shakespeare's original version of the abdication scene differed from that present in F: no one can legislate about the the exact content of the passage apparently missing from Q. But that very fact should make us sceptical of the assumption, hitherto almost universal, that F prints (unaltered) what originally appeared in Shakespeare's foul papers. The text cut from Q1 may well have been an earlier version of the episode, sporadically or even fundamentally different from that eventually printed in F. At the least, no one can rule out this possibility. The proposition is lent some support by a detail in the opening direction for 4.1. The Quarto calls vaguely for Bolingbroke to enter '. . . with the Lords to parliament', but usefully places 'Enter Bagot' after Bolingbroke's 'Call forth Bagot'; in the Folio, in promptbook fashion, the lords are named, and the direction ends '. . . Abbot of Westminster. Herauld, Officers, and Bagot'. The unexpected addition here is 'Herauld', for in neither text is a herald required. If the promptbook was originally prepared with a different text for part of the scene, the herald's presence is easily explained. When the substitution took place, the opening direction might not have been emended, leaving evidence of a character who would have spoken in the lost original text, but has no part in the extant version which replaced it. A herald would have an obvious role in a more explicit abdication. His omission in Q is merely typical of the authorial style of its directions: the heralds similarly are absent in Q's directions for 1.3 (Bolingbroke's banishment: a scene loosely parallel with Richard's abdication). Shakespeare's first draft may have been censored, and the text as it stands in F may be a rewritten version which actually avoids political controversy. Such an hypothesis is consistent with the view, sometimes expressed, that nothing in the episode as it stands would arrest the attention of the censor.[53] The Folio version of the episode might well have been used in the earliest performances of the play; but this does not mean it appeared, in its Folio form, in the play's earliest manuscript.

VI. Textual History of Richard II

If this hypothesis about Q1's omission and F's provision of an abdication episode is correct, then the relationship of the two underlying manuscripts becomes easier to understand. Scholars have generally agreed that Q1 was set from something other than a promptbook; whether the papers were foul or fair, whether autograph or scribal, has been disputed, but


Page 199
there seems little doubt that the manuscript was reasonably clean; Q1 shows no discernible evidence of extensive corruption or sophistication. The simplest assumption, one which at least accords with the available evidence, is that the manuscript was holograph; we may conveniently classify it as 'foul papers', so long as we recognize that some foul papers are much fairer than others.[54] As suggested above, the omission of the original abdication episode from Q1 can be explained as the result of censorship by one or other agent, directly interested in the printing rather than the performing of the text. Long before this manuscript was delivered to the printers, however, a transcript of Shakespeare's foul papers must have been prepared for use in the theatre. Such a transcript might be scribal or authorial; the number of minor verbal variants in F which seem to result from authorial tinkering suggests that Shakespeare at some stage made his own transcript of the foul papers. This autograph fair copy might have been transcribed yet again, or it might simply have been marked up for direct use as the promptbook; the latter is the more economical assumption (though not demonstrably the correct one). This promptbook (whether autograph or scribal) would then have been submitted to the Master of the Revels; he might well have demanded that the original abdication episode be altered. The play was revived in 1601 (at the time of the Essex rebellion) and at some time before 1608 (when Q4 refers to, and apparently acquires its text of the abdication episode from, recent performances). Some time after the publication of Q5 (1615), someone discovered that one page was missing from this manuscript, and patched the gap by transcribing the text of the affected passage from that edition, with some alterations to the stage directions which suggest that a performance was intended. Some time between 1615 and 1622, copy for Jaggard's compositors was prepared by marking up an exemplar of Q3 (1598), by reference to the promptbook. The annotator supplied act and scene divisions; the latter were almost certainly editorial, but the former may have been present in the manuscript. (Certainly, the King's Men were regularly providing act-intervals in performances after c. 1610, so that if a post-1615 revival did occur, the act divisions could have been supplied then.) The annotator also systematically collated stage directions and speech prefixes, transferring promptbook readings to Q3; he collated dialogue variants as well, but performed this function much less systematically.


Page 200

On the most economical assumptions, then, Q1 was set from foul papers, or a transcript of them, censored for printing; F was set from an exemplar of Q3 which had been collated against an autograph promptbook, containing a version of the abdication episode and one short passage transcribed from Q5.[55]

The consequence of such a textual history is that the Folio text demands more attention than it is usually accorded. Shakespeare may have revised the abdication scene; certainly, the absence of the episode from Q1 puts the state of the text in Shakespeare's original papers beyond confident recovery. And given that edited texts supply the Folio abdication scene, it would be logical for them to include other Folio readings which also seem to be Shakespeare's minor revisions. The state of innocence would appear to be unattainable. Besides, the Q1 text, though unsullied by the stage, had apparently not, in some of its finer details, reached maturity. Where we can find it, we may prefer to opt for the sprinkled authority of experience.



W. W. Greg, The Editorial Problem in Shakespeare: A Survey of the Foundations of the Text (third edition, 1954), p. xxx.


Hasker, 'The Copy for the First Folio Richard II', Studies in Bibliography, 5 (1953), 53-72; Pollard, A New Shakespeare Quarto: The Tragedy of King Richard II (1916).


Evans, ed., The Riverside Shakespeare (1974), p. 838; Black, Richard II, in The Complete Works, ed. Alfred Harbage (Pelican, 1969), p. 636.


For Compositor A's responsibility for this passage in Richard II, see Charlton Hinman, The Printing and Proof-Reading of the First Folio of Shakespeare, 2 vols. (1963), II, 74-79; for the latest investigation of Compositor A's work elsewhere in the Folio, see Gary Taylor, 'The Shrinking Compositor A of the Shakespeare First Folio', SB, 34 (1981), 96-117. The latter also contains a description of the computer concordances from which the evidence of A's quantitative preferences has been compiled; all statements about qualitative preferences are based on manual counts, assuming that Richard III was set from Q3 or Q6 copy, and the rest of A's Richard II stints from Q3.


The slight unevenness is caused by the fact that A did not set dlv; the sample therefore includes all of d2 before the added scene, and material from d2v and d3 after it. The order of setting was d3, d2v, d2 (Hinman, II, 76-77).


If we extend the limits of the passage from which A was setting from manuscript copy, then we expand the size of the disputed passage and contract the size of the control. In order to rectify this we would need to include TLN 2334-47 in the control. However, these lines contain no anomalies.


It also strikes another severe blow at the older hypothesis, that F was set throughout from a copy of Q5—an hypothesis still endorsed, inexplicably, by Kenneth Muir, in his Signet edition of the play (1963), p. 148. If Q5 were Folio copy, there would have been no conceivable reason for resorting to manuscript for this passage.


The Quarto Copy for the First Folio of Shakespeare (1971), pp. 116-117.


Richard II, ed. Peter Ure, new Arden Shakespeare (1956), p. xxv.


One might conjecture that if the annotator's copy of Q3 happened to be defective, he might have patched it with the last two leaves of Q5. But if Q5 was available, why not use it throughout—as the later edition, and one with the abdication episode? The accidentals evidence in any case militates against this conjecture, as does the fact that the clearest links with Q5 are not at the end of the play, or even confined to a single Q5 leaf.


Greg, Editorial Problem, p. 15, n. 1; Dover Wilson, Richard II, New Shakespeare (1951), p. 113; Hasker, pp. 56-57; Ure, p. xxv.


Professor Bowers now believes that the hypothesis of a marked-up quarto promptbook is too speculative to entertain. Hasker argued that his hypothesis provided a 'much simpler' explanation of the Folio cuts: 'because these passages were scored out of the promptbook which the compositor was using, he likewise left them out of the Folio as a result of a too scrupulous following of copy'; this seemed to Hasker more desirable than supposing that 'the editor, confronted with both a complete text and an abridged one, had chosen to follow the latter' (p. 70). But this second, 'less desirable' assumption must be embraced in the cases of Richard III, Troilus and Cressida, and King Lear (to mention only the most striking examples), and unless one is prepared to argue that all of these were set from quarto-based promptbooks, the argument from omissions carries no weight in Richard II. Moreover, the use of the word 'editor' betrays Hasker's bias: though a modern editor might assume that the fuller text was necessarily more desirable, printers and theatrical producers are well aware that the 'abridged' text often represents the final form of a work. Whether the author himself made the deletions is none of the printer's business. If the collator were told that the manuscript was more authoritative than Q3, he would have had no reason for treating cuts differently from additions or variants.


See the Shakespeare Quarto Facsimile Richard II, edited by W. W. Greg and Charlton Hinman (1966), pp. xv-xvi, and Alan Craven, 'Simmes' Compositor A and Five Shakespeare Quartos', SB, 26 (1973), 37-60, especially 57-58.


For an extensive discussion of the general issue of 'actors' departures from the text' being incorporated into promptbooks, see Gary Taylor's 'King Lear: The Date and Authorship of the Folio Version', in The Division of the Kingdoms: Shakespeare's Two Versions of 'King Lear', ed. Taylor and Michael Warren (1983), pp. 405-410.


W. W. Greg, The Shakespeare First Folio: Its Bibliographical and Textual History (1955), p. 237. Compare Hasker's assessment: 'although the editorial work of the Folio was in some respects exceedingly good, it was not, however, performed without some degree of carelessness' (p. 58).


The variants in the two lines immediately following the abdication episode are so closely tied up with the Folio text of the episode itself that discussion of these is held over; these lines do not figure in any of the statistics given.


The more obviously deliberate emendations are introduced by Compositor B. Compositor A is responsible only for 1601, 1706 and 1834. F's emendation at 1706 may, of course, be authoritative: certainly in this instance Q1 is wrong. But Sisson argued plausibly (apart from his failure to account for Q1's missing article) that Q1 is more likely to arise from a misreading of prince and than prince is (New Readings in Shakespeare, 2 vols. [1956], II, 24). One may suspect an error of composition which was miscorrected in proof.


Thomas is the historical name as given in Holinshed's Chronicles. The error arises from graphically similar abbreviations, and was sufficiently easily made for the same error to occur at Henry V 4.1.92. See the note in J. H. Walter's new Arden Henry V (1955).


At 964 Q2 and Q3 follow the corrected state of Q1, which is here cited; the compositor originally set At . . . at. The context strongly suggests that the wrong at was corrected: 'my inward soule, / With nothing trembles, at something it grieues, / More then with parting from my Lord the King'. One trembles at something; with agrees with the following line. Most editors adopt the transposition at 1090 ('The hateful commons will'), but this is unlikely, since Will is prominently positioned at the beginning of the line; on the other hand, commoners could easily be displaced by the similar term used just nine lines previously. At 2556, the omission of thy was conjectured by Craven; it emends the metre as well as strengthening the sense.


Paul Werstine, in 'Line Division in Shakespeare's Dramatic Verse: An Editorial Problem' (AEB, forthcoming), argues that mislineation creating 'irregular verse patterns' is characteristic of Compositor A, who set this passage; however, Werstine finds only one other example in Richard II (2022-4), and it also probably began with the compositor's inability to fit the first line ('Sweet . . . Bosome') into his measure.


See Shakespeare Quarto Facsimile Richard II, pp. ix-xiii. Hinman does not cite this example, but he attributes to space-shortage both the uncorrected lineation at 1014 and the corrected instance at 1003.


As an example of what such unassisted metrical emendation of Q1 might have produced, see Vaughan's insipid conjecture, 'terrible hel [do thou] . . .'


Possible complications are that: a) the promptbook may have been unaltered, and the variants introduced in the printing house without authority; b) the promptbook may have been unsystematically altered; c) the variants may originate partly in the promptbook and partly in the printing house. The occurrence of God(s) in clusters in Q may also confuse the issue.


On the general issue of Shakespearian cutting, see Taylor's discussions in Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, Modernizing Shakespeare's Spelling, with Three Studies in the Text of 'Henry V' (1979), pp. 155-6; Henry V, Oxford Shakespeare (1982), pp. 312-315; The Division of the Kingdoms, pp. 415-422.


In fact the four single lines omitted in F, 1031a, 1404a, 1541a and 2600a, would, if deliberate cuts, conform with the overall pattern of annotation established below: three of the four lie in well-annotated areas of the text. The exception, 1031a, was, with 2600a, set by Compositor B, who rarely omitted full lines when working from printed copy. A profanity is emended in 1031, an alteration which could be associated with a deliberate cut in the following line.


Parlee/parle (201) might be regarded as an emendation, a sophistication, or a spelling variant. Editors have treated the variant as substantive; their procedure is followed here.


This excludes, as well as the abdication episode and the two lines following, the 53-line passage in 5.5 without independent authority, and F's act and scene headings.


One Folio page, c2v, entirely avoids 'Rich.' in favour of shorter 'Ric.' or 'Ri.'. This anomaly is explained by the order of work on F. Compositor B had previously set 'Rich.' only once (863 on c3v), and evidently did not settle on this as his standard form until after setting c2v. His next page, c3, has 'Ric.' twice (731, 875) and 'Rich.' eight times.


The unchanged 'King' prefixes in Folio 1.1 are an inconsistency. The annotator may at first have thought the variant insignificant, or the inconsistency may be that of the playhouse scribe. A late printing-house correction would have been impossible as, after the printing of quire b, on which 1.1 appears, there was a substantial interruption before work was resumed on Richard II; type for quire b had, by then, already been distributed.


According to Wilfred T. Jewkes, plays acted before 1607 in the popular theatres would not have act divisions marked in the promptbook; if such a play was printed after 1616, the act divisions may have been introduced in the course of late theatrical revivals or in the printing house (Act Division in Elizabethan and Jacobean Plays, 1583-1616 [1958]). G. K. Hunter argues less plausibly that the change of practice took place only in the printing house, and that act pauses were generally observed in the theatre throughout Shakespeare's working lifetime ('Were There Act Pauses on Shakespeare's Stage?', in English Renaissance Drama, edd. Standish Henning, Robert Kimbrough, and Richard Knowles [1976], 15-35). For a reply to Hunter, with an expansion and modification of Jewkes's findings, see Taylor's 'The Structure of Performance: Act Intervals in the London Theatres, 1576-1642' (forthcoming).


See S. W. Reid, 'The Editing of Folio Romeo and Juliet', SB, 35 (1982), 43-66.


For the first of these, see Stanley Wells, 'The Copy for the Folio Text of Love's Labour's Lost', RES 33 (1982), 137-147.


For a detailed analysis of such rhythms in one text, see MacD. P. Jackson's 'Fluctuating Variation: Author, Annotator, or Actor?' in Taylor and Warren, The Division of the Kingdoms, 313-349.


Joseph Moxon, Mechanick Exercises on the Whole Art of Printing (1683-84), edd. Herbert Davies and Harry Carter (1962), pp. 228-229 (marginal notes). Proof-correction was also carried out in stages: 'Having Read the Matter of the Proof he examines again if the Form be right Impos'd, for though he before turn'd the Pages in the Proof as he read them according to their orderly places, yet he will scarce trust to that alone, but again examines them on purpose, and distinctly . . . [new paragraph] He examines that all the Signatures are right, and all the Titles and Folio's' (pp. 249-250). For the pertinence to Jacobean printing of Moxon's remarks on proof-correction, see Peter W. M. Blayney, The Texts of 'King Lear' and their Origins, Vol. I: Nicholas Okes and the First Quarto (1982), 188-218. (It is of course still true that collation—of which proofreading is a subdivision—is often most economically and accurately carried out by stages.)


One possible explanation for this pattern has recently been offered by Paul Werstine, in 'Folio Compositors, Folio Editors, and Folio King Lear', in Taylor and Warren, The Division of the Kingdoms, pp. 248-260. From our own work on I Henry IV for the Oxford Shakespeare we agree with Werstine that many dialogue variants cannot be, as A. R. Humphreys suggested in the new Arden edition (1960), pp. lxxiv-v, the work of the compositors (though we do not agree with Werstine's overall hypothesis). We arrived at a conclusion similar to the one S. W. Reid independently reached in an unpublished article: that a manuscript must have been consulted and readings from it annotated on to the copy for F.


This reconstruction assumes that Henry V was set from manuscript copy, rather than a heavily-corrected quarto: see Taylor, Modernizing Shakespeare's Spelling, 41-71.


For new evidence that Hamlet and Othello were set from manuscript copy, see Taylor, 'The Folio Copy for Hamlet, King Lear, and Othello', Shakespeare Quarterly 34 (1983), 44-61. This article also provides new evidence that Folio Lear was set, in part at least, from Q2. T. H. Howard-Hill's 'The Problem of Manuscript Copy for Folio King Lear', in The Library, VI, 4 (1982), 1-24, argues that a transcript of Q2 was made, incorporating promptbook readings; we find this implausible, but it would not affect our argument here, since some combination of Q2 and an authoritative manuscript clearly underlies F.


See The Dramatic Works in the Beaumont and Fletcher Canon, gen. ed. Fredson Bowers (Cambridge), I (1966), xxvii-xxxv. The only text possibly set from a marked-up print is The Masque of the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn; but see Bowers's textual introduction (I, 113-123).


Ben Jonson, Works, ed. C. H. Herford, Percy and Evelyn Simpson, IX (1950), 13-73.


See Gary Taylor, Toward a Text of Shakespeare's 'Richard III' (forthcoming).


If this explanation is correct, then problems of copyright account for four of the five Folio texts set from extensively-annotated quarto copy. The fifth is King Lear. The right to this was owned by Nathaniel Butter—the only play in the collection to which he could lay claim. He was not a part of the syndicate. Aspley and Smethwick (who were) owned Romeo, Love's Labour's, and Much Ado; Titus and Dream were derelict (Greg, First Folio, 61-9); all five plays were reprinted with minimal alteration.


This might explain why the Folio text of Richard II (like others set from quarto copy) contains some readings which look like miscorrections of quarto errors (see above, 'Compounded Error'). These might suggest that the manuscript, which had clearly been consulted at some stage in the preparation of F, was not readily available when the compositors noticed these errors in the print. However, press-variants in the Folio, and many other works of this period, clearly demonstrate that Jacobean printers often preferred to correct on their own initiative, even when a manuscript was clearly on hand somewhere in the shop.


Unless, of course, Jaggard merely faked variants. But the character of the variants themselves argues against this; so does the fact that the syndicate was apparently willing, at first, to abandon Troilus altogether when they ran into copyright difficulties, and only retrieved it, at the last minute, when a manuscript had clearly become available.


At 1502, Q1 has I, Q2 Ye, and Q3-F Yea. (Ye is a spelling variant of yea.) It is possible that the annotator regarded I/Yea as indifferent.


For the rather unusual p/f misreading, compare Q2 Hamlet 5.2.9, TLN 3508 (uncorrected 'pall', corrected 'fall'). Peter W. M. Blayney has pointed out to us that the same misreading is possible in Hand D of Sir Thomas More.


If we admit 1502-30 to be an uncorrected area, it still remains true that the readings fall in corrected areas.


Clarendon (1869) suggested that the substitution in F was 'to avoid the imputation of profanity'; Chambers (1891), on the other hand, considered that perhaps 'someone who objected to the Puritan habit of looking to the words rather than the spirit of the Scriptures' made the alteration.


In the New Cambridge edition (1951), Dover Wilson prints throwen in the belief that such a spelling indicates a disyllabic pronunciation. Ure is rightly sceptical about the validity of this assumption.


'Simmes' Compositor A and Five Shakespeare Quartos' (cited above); 'The Reliability of Simmes's Compositor A', SB, 32 (1979), 186-91; 'Compositor Analysis to Edited Text: Some Suggested Readings in Richard II and Much Ado About Nothing', PBSA, 17 (1982), 43-62.


'Folio Editors, Folio Compositors, and Folio King Lear', pp. 261-73. The usual quantities of compositorial error can be accounted for by variants in the corrected areas other than those discussed above.


This conclusion is based upon Gary Taylor's unpublished survey of unanimously-rejected readings in plays which A or B set from manuscript, or heavily-annotated, copy.


Possible agents for the excision are: (a) the actors, taking the easiest means to ensure that an offensive passage was not printed; (b) the Bishop of London, who censored books independently of the theatrical censorship exercised by the Master of the Revels; (c) the printer or publisher, taking his own preventative measures. The latter is not as improbable as it may at first appear: G. K. Hunter demonstrated in his Revels edition of The Malcontent (1957) that Simmes or his publisher must have cut potentially offending lines in that play on his own initiative (pp. xxviii-xxxi).


'Political conditions at the end of the sixteenth century had made any suggestion of the dethroning of a monarch dangerous. Most literary historians believe that the passage was excised for this reason, though Richard technically abdicates and the lines actually enlist sympathy on his side' (Hasker, p. 48).


As MacD. P. Jackson points out, Richard II differs from all the other 'good' quartos except Titus in preferring 'Oh' (28) to 'O' (8). See Studies in Attribution: Middleton and Shakespeare (1979), p. 215. The evidence of 'Oh' in Richard II thus suggests that copy for Q Richard II may have been a transcript, rather than foul papers. The exceptional clearness of the text would support this.


If the King's Men were unwilling to allow the promptbook out of the theatre, then the Folio text of the abdication episode must have been set from a transcript of that portion of the promptbook.