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Linguistic Evidence in APPIUS AND VIRGINIA 1654
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Linguistic Evidence in APPIUS AND VIRGINIA 1654

Table 4 (at the end of this article) presents the incidence per scene of the discriminators mentioned so far. As Heywood favours no contractions avoided by Webster, Webster markers predominate, and their absence from certain scenes must be an important part of the evidence for Heywood's hand. As far as Table 4 goes, the surest signs of Webster's presence are in II.ii, III.ii, and IV.i, with II.iii, the very short III.iii, IV.ii, and V.i also offering something of value; in V.ii a solitary Webster marker, stop's for stop his, occurs in the third speech from the end of the play. The frequent occurrence of betwixt and whilst confirms that Webster is not the sole author of the play, and is consistent with Heywood's responsibility for much that scholars have assigned him. The divisions suggested by Table 4 are quite independent of the compositorial stints. For example, of the eighteen speech prefixes set within the line, ten belong to Compositor A's pages, eight to B's. All but one of them (one of the two on E3) prefix a speech that continues a line of verse. However, it will be convenient to discuss the evidence of Table 4 section by section.

I.i—II.i: There is very little bibliographical or linguistic trace of Webster in the first Act or in II.i. The five instances of the less distinctive Webster contractions, and two 't contractions, within 514 lines of the first five scenes, contrast markedly with the nine Webster contractions, including the highly distinctive of't, from's, and in's, and four 't contractions, within 250 lines of II.ii, and the change is accompanied by a shift from Heywood's connectives (3 betwixt, 3 whilst) in the first 514 lines to Webster's (3 while, 1 among) in II.ii. Yet every scholar who has divided the play between the two dramatists assigns Webster I.i, and even Rupert Brooke nominated this as one of the two scenes that Webster might have revised, while Lucas, Lagarde, and Sternlicht all give Webster I.ii. There are passages in I.i that certainly seem to me more in Webster's than in Heywood's manner:

My Lord, my Lord, you dally with your wits.
I have seen children oft eat sweet-meats thus,
As fearfull to devoure them:
You are wise, and play the modest courtier right,
To make so many bits of your delight. (I.i.19-23)
I have heard of cunning footmen that have worne
Shooes made of lead some ten dayes 'fore a race
To give them nimble and more active feet:
So great men should, that aspire eminent place,
Load themselves with excuse and faint denyall,
That they with more speed may performe the trial. (I.i.55-60)


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In the first of the above passages, lines 20-21 are in fact repeated from The Duchess of Malfi, I.i.533-534. I would tentatively suggest that Heywood may have begun copying out the play, and that the first five scenes of the printer's manuscript copy were in his handwriting. Thereafter the handwriting of the authorial papers may have alternated with dominant authorship. In some scenes the work of the two dramatists would appear to be thoroughly mixed.[16] The short I.ii does carry at least an orthographical hint of Webster's presence in the two instances of to th' followed by a consonant. As we have seen, this type of contraction is confined to The Captives and 2 Fair Maid among Heywood's plays, and used in them only eight times altogether, but it is common in Webster's work; and of the first five scenes I.ii is the only one without any indications of Heywood.

There are some oddities about II.i. Hath and doth predominate throughout the play, except in this scene where, besides one hath, occur two examples of has and one of does (C2v-C3). There is one more has in IV.ii (G4). The opening of II.i between Corbulo and Virginia seems to be Heywood's; it is there that hath appears. The two instances of has and one of does are within the encounter between Clodius and Virginia in the second part of the scene. Lucas notes that metrically "it is peculiar owing to its high percentage of feminine endings and quite unlike anything else in the play" (III, 141). He perhaps exaggerates its metrical eccentricity: there are patches of verse elsewhere with many feminine endings, including the monosyllabic endings found here. But it is interesting that the encounter between Virginia and Clodius is introduced with the stage direction that Lucas found difficult to reconcile with that which opens the scene. Moreover, this episode has a heavy concentration of Clo. speech prefixes for Clodius: five of seven Quarto instances congregate here; Clodius is first given his full name, but is Clo. in his five other speeches in this scene. It is just possible that the Clodius-Virginia encounter, which is graced by two songs, is a relic of some third writer's participation. It may have been specially added to accommodate the musicians.

II.ii-II.iii: As noted above, II.ii is unmistakably Websterian, with a steady stream of his linguistic markers. Even the two instances of to th' are significant, each being followed by a consonant. So too is the instance in II.iii, where the evidence for Webster is sparse, but is countered by nothing pointing to Heywood. The contraction At's=at his on D2 is an especially clear pointer to Webster. Moreover, the contraction to'ave, which I have found in neither Webster nor Heywood, links the strongly Websterian II.ii (D1, Compositor


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B) with the less Websterian II.iii (D4v, Compositor A). Another possible trace of Webster in II.iii is the spelling I'ld for I should on D3v; this occurs several times in The Duchess of Malfi (where it may be Crane's, though you'ld and yee'ld appear in The White Devil, C3v and G4), but not in Heywood's plays.

III.i: Here the absence of Webster markers suggests Heywood's hand, and the single occurrence of whilst tends to confirm it. The 't contraction in this scene is the very common is't, which could as well be Heywood's as Webster's.

III.ii-III.iii: Act III, scene ii exhibits a wealth of diverse indications of Webster, including eight examples of i'th', two of 's, one of yon's, two of for't, the Websterian colloquialisms look you and by my life, and the connective while. The 't contractions are quite varied, including fear't, defer't, hear't, and obtain't. Supporting this evidence is a variation in the naming of Corbulo. In the first twenty lines of II.i (C2) and the first seventeen lines of III.i (D4v-E1) he is Corbulo. in speech prefixes, and in III.iv (F3-F4) his prefixes are abbreviated to Corb. Table 4 supports the generally held view that II.i, III.i, and III.iv are Heywood's scenes. When Corbulo speaks in III.ii, in contrast, he is Clown. or Clow. (E2v-E3v). Admittedly, pages E2v-E3 were set by Compositor B, while all but one of the Corbulo. pages were set by Compositor A, but B did set Corbula. (sic) in II.i at the top of C2v. The difference in naming is probably authorial, rather than compositorial, Webster not caring about this minor character's name. It seems to me obvious enough that the Clown of III.ii has a markedly more satirical, Websterian vein than the amiable punster of the other scenes.

In the very short III.iii deliver't and i'th' point to Webster, and perhaps outweigh the single Heywood marker, tush.

III.iv: The return to the name Corbulo is almost the only clue to the authorship of this scene. There is nothing to suggest Webster; the one instance of for't could easily be Heywood's.

IV.i-IV.ii: The Websterian markers in IV.i are not particularly frequent: i'th' three times, to th' before a consonant, and the expletive by my life. The 't contractions are of the kind that Heywood might have used. However the six speeches beginning within the line associate this scene with the markedly Websterian II.ii and III.ii, and the formality of this trial scene might have inhibited the use of many contracted forms.

One further link between presumptively Websterian scenes is the exclamation by the gods (10 times) or O the gods (4 times) or variant (4 times). This represents a rather perfunctory contribution to the Roman flavour of a play decorously devoid of the more colourful Jacobean expletives. The scenes in which evocations of "the gods" appear are II.ii (7 examples), III.ii (3), IV.i (5), IV.ii (1), and V.i (2). So this is another feature of IV.i connecting it with II.ii and III.ii.

Uncertain signs of Webster in IV.ii are limited to the opening and closing lines. The scene begins with a dialogue between two soldiers, in which 'tween occurs as well as betwixt, and there are three 't contractions suggestive


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of Webster—see't, hav't, and know't. Some thirty lines from the end of the scene occurs for't, and the last seven lines have while and Be't.

V.i-V.ii: The final Act is scarcely more Websterian than the first in its linguistic forms. The connectives are Heywoodian. The sprinkling of Websterisms in V.i are not among his most distinctive, but i'th', a couple of uses of to th' before a consonant, two instances of for't, and the colloquialism in sooth combine to make Webster's participation in the scene probable. Mixed authorship seems to be indicated. In V.ii the sole sign of Webster, but a clear one, is Stop's sixteen lines from the end.