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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


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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


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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


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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:


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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.)