University of Virginia Library


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Petruccio And The Barber's Shop

In Act 4 of The Taming of the Shrew Petruccio orders a tailor and a haberdasher to present their commissioned clothing designs—designs which Petruccio will ultimately deny Katherine. The haberdasher displays his cap, is insulted by Petruccio, and departs (TLN 2045-70; 4.3.62-85).[1] The tailor then presents his gown, a "loose bodied gowne" with trunk sleeves "curiously cut" (TLN 2117, 2126) which Petruccio also criticises and rejects. Petruccio's sartorial criticisms include a perplexing simile:

Whats this? a sleeue? 'tis like demi cannon,
What, vp and downe caru'd like an apple Tart?
Heers snip, and nip, and cut, and slish and slash,
Like to a Censor in a barbers shoppe: (TLN 2073-76)
Editors from Rowe on have accepted the orthographic alteration of "Censor" to "censer," a noun which "is usually explained as 'fumigator.'. . . though OED gives no examples of this, quoting this line from Shr. under Censer, sb. 11.b and stating 'commentators are not agreed as to what exactly is referred to.'"[2] Despite the uncertainty, "censer" appears to gain additional weight from Doll Tearsheet's insult to the beadle in 2 Henry 4, "thou thin man in a Censor" (TLN 3190); this line also requires the sense of "censer," although, as Brian Morris points out, "neither [use] sheds light on the other."[3] Ann Thompson admits that "[t]he use of such objects in barbers' shops is not supported by any other contemporary reference," but concludes plausibly that it was "presumably important to sweeten the air" since barbers' shops "were used for minor surgery as well as hairdressing."[4] Most editors concur. Thus, "censer" has made its way into almost all modern-spelling editions of The Taming of the Shrew.

The Oxford Complete Works is the first edition to tackle the problem by emendation rather than rationalisation. The editors offer scissor for Censor, an attractive emendation which can be defended on grounds of logic, at least initially. On closer scrutiny however, the Oxford emendation cannot


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be right, because it offers the wrong kind of noun. The sleeve is like a demi- cannon, like a tart, like a specific object that is big, carved, and cut and slashed; my reading would therefore disallow the meaning "cut and slashed as if by scissors" to favour the meaning "like an object which has itself been cut and slashed."[5]

I suggest that the original reading was cittern (or a spelling variant of that noun). Cittern (a musical instrument with a grotesquely carved neck) makes good sense in the context, is used elsewhere by Shakespeare and at least ten of his contemporaries in similarly derogatory contexts, and can be amply documented as a standard item in barbers' shops. I begin by considering the cittern, its association with barbers' shops, and the metaphoric insults which arise from the instrument's engraved neck: having established the appropriateness of the cittern metaphor to Petruccio's sartorial criticism, I defend the need for emendation by considering the nature and rate of compositor B's typesetting errors in F Shrew.


The musical instrument familiar to us as the cittern is a member of the lute family. This pear-shaped, shallow-bodied instrument enjoyed great favour during the sixteenth century, particularly among amateurs who "must at all times have formed the majority of cittern players."[6] There are several reasons for the instrument's popularity: the wire strings (plucked by a plectrum) stayed in tune much longer than the cat-gut strings of the sibling lute; the right-hand playing technique was easy to learn; and the instrument was relatively inexpensive. Perhaps for these reasons, the cittern quickly became a standard item in barbers' shops, where it was provided for the pre-tonsorial enjoyment of waiting customers (a Renaissance equivalent of magazines or newspapers).

The presence of citterns in barbers' shops is widely referred to by Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists, so much so that the association can be considered part of the stock dramatic parlance of the period. In Jonson's The Staple of News Pennyboy Junior recounts how his "barber Tom, . . . one Christmas, . . . got into a masque at Court, by his wit, / And the good means


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of his cittern, holding up thus / For one o' the music."[7] In Lyly's Midas (3.2.35) Motto, the barber, reminds his man that he has taught him several skills of the trade, including "the tuning of a cittern" ("tune" has the dual meaning "play" and "put in tune"; see OED tune 3a).[8] Oliver the weaver, in Middleton's The Mayor of Queenborough, tells how he helped a poor barber who, it seems, was forced to pawn his cittern: "I gave that barber a fustian-suit, and twice redeemed his cittern: he may remember me."[9] In Jonson's Epicoene Morose chooses his silent [sic] bride on the advice of Cutbeard the barber. When his bride proves talkative, Morose exclaims "That cursed barber! . . . I have married his cittern, that's common to all men."[10] The equation of silence with chastity and speech with promiscuity was a Renaissance commonplace; Morose's cittern analogy subtly links his wife's noise- making capacity with her presumed general availability. Dekker and Middleton similarly suggest sexual availability in 2 Honest Whore when Matheo denounces Bellafront as a whore, "A Barbers Citterne for euery Seruingman to play vpon."[11]

The above references show that cittern playing in barbers' shops was a firmly entrenched custom.[12] But what relevance do citterns have in the context of Petruccio's criticism of sartorial slashing? It is here that the engravings on citterns are of relevance.

Besides being known for its presence in barbers' shops, the cittern was


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renowned for its exaggerated decorative carvings, usually of heads or gargoyle-like figures, situated on the instrument's neck at the top of the peg-box. It is these carvings which, I suggest, Petruccio has in mind when he condemns Katherine's dress for the elaborate slashing and pinking on the sleeves: "Here's snip and nip and cut and slish and slash, / Like to a [cittern] in a barber's shop."

The cittern differs from the lute in being a carved instrument made from one piece of wood -- a skilled, but also a practical method of creation in days of unstable glue, damp interior storage conditions, and plentiful trees. (The less hardy lute is a constructed instrument.)[13] Although the precise development of the English cittern is unclear,[14] there is no doubt that, in terms of decoration, in England and on the continent, from medieval times onward, the instrument was characterised by "a crude figure-head on its narrow end."[15] So standard was it that books of cittern music included carvings of gargoyles, animals, and clowns in their illustrations of fretting: see the illustration, reproduced from Thomas Robinson, New Citharen Lessons (London, 1609),sigs H4v and I1r.

The earliest recorded dramatic reference to a cittern-head comes from Shakespeare. In Love's Labour's Lost Holofernes (as Judas Maccabaeus) is interrupted and taunted by the on- stage audience:


I will not be put out of countenance.


Because thou hast no face.


What is this?


A cittern-head.


The head of a bodkin.


A death's face in a ring.


The face of an old Roman coin, scarce seen. (5.2.602-608)

When Clara beats Bobadilla in Fletcher's Love's Cure, "Cittern-head" is included in her terms of abuse.[16] Ford twice uses cittern-head as an insult. In The Fancies Secco, the barber, is denounced as "a cittern-headed gewgaw,"[17] and when Cuculus in The Lover's Melancholy hopes to be a "head-piece" in


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the Chronicles, Rhetias retorts that his head-piece shall be "Of woodcock without brains i't. Barbers shall wear thee on their citterns."[18] Marston talks of fools as "brainless cittern-heads" in The Scourge of Villainy,[19] while an extended discussion of citterns and their heads in Massinger's The Old Law concludes with a derogatory equation of cittern-heads with fools. Gnotho, having asked if the tavern boasts music, is answered in the affirmative: "here


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are sweet wire-drawers in the house" (the reference to wires clearly identifies the instruments as citterns or gitterns). A conversation begins concerning the similarities between cittern playing and wine drawing (for example, both require pegs). But, says the butler, "the heads of your instruments differ; yours are hogs-heads, theirs cittern and gittern-heads." The bailiff concludes the discussion with "All wooden heads; there they meet again."[20] It is clear that English Renaissance dramatists did not intend comparison to a cittern or a cittern-head to be flattering. All the above references occur in sequences of abuse. Petruccio's sartorial railing is, I believe, part of the traditional derogatory association. And given other Renaissance dramatists' regular specification of the carved cittern head as the area of ridicule, Petruccio's insult is surely the comparison of the tailor's elaborate pinking with the cittern's grotesque wooden carvings.


F1 sig.T4v was set by compositor B. Knowledge of the First Folio's compositors and their characteristics has advanced considerably since Fredson Bowers, following Alice Walker's lead, wrote that "B was . . . slapdash, . . . prone to omit words, and also to alter his text both through memorial failure and his attempts to improve it."[21] Paul Werstine's two major studies[22] have shown that B's error- ridden work on 1 Henry 4 is untypical: in the six Folio plays which B set from largely uncorrected printed copy the errors are neither as many nor as serious as Walker's study, based only on B's performance in 1 Henry 4, supposed.[23] In the 2360 lines which he set in the six plays studied by Werstine (Ado, LLL, MND, MV, TA, R&J,) B made 169 errors (this figure, and the following, are Werstine's). Of the forty-seven literal changes, thirteen are probably "legitimate corrections of error," thus reducing the total of literal changes to thirty-four (literal errors are, as Werstine explains, the least serious, because they are often easily corrected: for example, "nine of those listed result in obvious nonsense in the context"[24] ). Of the fifty-nine substitutions, six have been generally accepted by editors and two are probably the result of censorship, thus reducing the total to fifty-one (of which eight are clearly nonsense). There are eleven omissions, ten interpolations, six transpositions, twenty semi-substantive changes, and twenty-three alterations in stage directions.


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No comparable study can be made of B's levels of accuracy in The Taming of the Shrew, since, unlike the six plays studied by Werstine, the Folio provides our only text of The Shrew. Thus, only manifestly obvious errors can be detected, as when the Folio stage direction at S3v (TLN 348) introduces "Hortensio sister to Bianca" for "Hortensio suitor to Bianca." The error is probably the result of graphic confusion in Elizabethan secretary hand (suter/sister); compositors, like typists, tend to take in the overall shape of a word rather than sound out a letter-by-letter correlation. Nonetheless one must conclude that compositor B was not paying much attention to the sense of the line he was setting.

Compositor B set thirteen pages of the Folio Shrew—sigs S2v-S6v, T3r-T4v, and sig. V1r—a total of 1723 lines of type. Of these 1723 lines editors have introduced over fifty substantive emendations.[25] Ten of B's perceived errors are the result of simple misreading:[26] F "Brach" for "Breathe" (Ind.1.15/TLN 20); F "sister" for "suitor" (1.1.123/TLN 348); F "Conlord" for "coloured" (1.1.207/TLN 513); F "Hath promist me to helpe one to another" for "Hath promised me to help me to another" (mee/one: 1.2.171/TLN 738); F "Butonios" for "Antonio's" (1.2.189/TLN 756); F "do this seeke" for "do this feat" (feete/seeke; 1.2.267/TLN 839); F "we may contriue" for "we may convive" (1.2.276/TLN 849; this suggestion by Theobald has not been adopted in any edition, even Theobald's: see Textual Companion 1.2.276/802/p. 171); F "flatter'd them" for "flattered her" (4.2.31/TLN 1879); F "Take me your loue" for "Take in your loue" (inne/mee; 4.2.72/TLN 1924). Theobald's emendation of F "goods" to "gauds" at 2.1.3/TLN 858, although attractive and often accepted by editors, is not necessary: it is rejected by the two recent Oxford editions with a convincing defence of F's reading by H. J. Oliver.[27] As mentioned above, all editors alter F "Censor" to "censer"(4.3.91/TLN 2076), with the exception of the Oxford Complete Works which emends to "scissor."

One apparent error is plausibly explained by eyeskip: F "Vincentio's come" for "Vincentio come" (1.1.13/TLN 312) is probably the result of the compositor seeing "Vincentio's sonne" at the beginning of the next line.

Five probable and three possible errors are the result of omission (I bracket the omitted word or phrase): "with-holds from me. [and] Other more" (1.2.119/TLN 686); "I charge [thee] tel" (2.1.8/TLN 863); "I . . . giue


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vnto [you] this yong Scholler" (2.1.76, 79/TLN 939, 942); "it is [a] paltrie cap" (4.3.81/TLN 2066);"'tis like [a] demi cannon" (4.3.88/TLN 2073). F2 regularised the metre at 1.2.251/TLN 823 by adding an auxiliary to the infinitive: "let me be so bold as [to] aske you," although this addition seems unnecessary (the short line is neither unusual nor ineffective). At 1.2.223/TLN 792 the Oxford Complete Works conjectures (but does not emend) "Even he Biancas father Biondello" for F "Euen he Biondello," arguing that "Mention of Bianca's name seems necessary to account for Gremio's 'her', and the compositor's eye could easily have skipped from Bianca to Biondello" (1.2.223/749/p. 171). At 1.1.209/TLN 517 the Oxford editors conjecture (but do not emend) that F "sith it" should be "sith yt it" (p.171); Malone had earlier emended this metrically short line by postulating an omitted adjective: "In breefe [good] Sir, sith it your pleasure is."

Compositor B seems to insert an otiose word on one occasion (I bracket the insertion): "Were she [is] as rough" (1.2.72/TLN 639). On one occasion he presents "mistris" for "master" (1.2.18/TLN 585), presumably an incorrect expansion of the manuscript's "M.." Incorrect expansion also explains F "Lord" at Ind.2.2/TLN 154 where the metre requires "Lordship." B makes five errors in speech prefixes, possibly the result of authorial error or unclear revision in the MS copy: see Gru.[mio] for Cur.[tis] at 4.1.23/TLN 1664, Gre.[mio] for Gru.[mio] at 4.1.104/TLN 1744, Luc. for Hor. at 4.2.4/TLN 1850, Hort. for Luc. at 4.2.6/TLN 1853 and 4.2.8/TLN 1855, and Par. (for ?) at 4.2.72/TLN 1924.

Apparent errors in pronouns, verb mood and number, and adverb appear on ten occasions: F "could" for "would" (1.1.237/TLN 547); F "you" for "your" (1.1.242/TLN 552); F "at least" for "at last" (1.2.133/TLN 700; this emendation appears only in Hosley's edition[28] ); F "my" for "his" (1.2.190/TLN 757; this emendation appears only in the Oxford Complete Works); F "yours" for "ours" (1.2.213/TLN 781); F "wooing neighbors" for "wooing. Neighbour" (2.1.75-76/TLN 938); F "me" for "none" (4.2.13/TLN 1861); F "brough" for "brought" (1.1.14/TLN 313); and F "them" for "her" (4.2.31/TLN 1879). F2 changed F1 "shakes" (2.1.141/TLN 1006) to "shake" to avoid false concord, although plural subjects with singular verbs are not uncommon in the Elizabethan period.

Several miscellaneous emendations are not strictly necessary. F2 "corrected" F1's "Christopher" to "Christophero" (Ind.2.72/TLN 225)—a metrical improvement if one elides "tinker" in the same line to "tink'r," but not essential. Editors sometimes expand F "Alce" to "Alice" (Ind.2.107/TLN 264), again an unnecessary expansion. Pope's "thirdborough" for F "Headborough" (Ind.1.10/TLN 13-14) seems unhappily literal; his "it is" for F's perceived transposition "is it" (Ind.2.26/TLN 179) is likewise unnecessary, as is F2's alteration of F1's perceived transposition "wilt thou" to "thou wilt" (4.1.37/TLN 1678). The Arden edition's "you mean not her too" for F "you meane not her to—" (1.2.224/TLN 793) is not a significant improvement: F's strained sense reads logically if one accepts the problem as being in the previous


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line, where Gary Taylor's suggested expansion ("Even he, Bianca's father, Biondello"; see above: 1.2.223) smoothes any apparent difficulty. More difficult to explain is F "Soud, soud, soud, soud" at 4.1.128/TLN 1769. Oliver conjectures that this sequence of nonce words is an indication of Petruccio's humming or singing.[29] Some editors (Dover Wilson,[30] Brian Morris) emend to "food" but acknowledge that a problem remains "as to what the compositor who misread 'food' in his copy thought he was setting up";[31] however, the compositor seems untroubled by the problem of "Censor" or of "sister" for "suitor." F "heere's none will holde you: Their loue is not so great" (1.1.106/TLN 411-412) has occasioned a variety of emendations from the Q of 1631 ("there loue") and F3 ("Our loue") to Malone ("Your love")[32] and Sisson ("you there. Love"),[33] but the reading is satisfactory as it stands. Sisson emended F1 "rope trickes" to "rhetricks" (1.2.111/TLN 677-678), making Grumio's corruption of "rhetoric" more obvious, although F's malapropism seems clear as it is.

It is evident that there may be many more possible or actual errors in F The Shrew not detectable to us; and it is equally clear that several of the above "errors" are indicative more of editors' need for logic and metrical smoothness than of B's carelessness. What is of particular relevance to us is the sequence of error and difficulty on sig. T4v. Compositorial errors "tend to come in batches," notes Gary Taylor, citing the four errors in three lines of compositor A in F Macbeth, and the three errors in eight lines of compositor C in F Love's Labour's Lost.[34] The problematic reading "Censor" occurs in a passage where B's accuracy levels had dropped noticeably: he omitted indefinite articles before "demi cannon" 3 lines above (TLN 2073) and before "paltrie" 10 lines above (TLN 2066). Editors have good reason to suspect that "Censor," which has at best only strained relevance, is a mistake.

Censor is a plausible graphical confusion of Cittern, particularly if the latter were spelled Cither.[35] In LLL, the only other play in which the word appears in Shakespeare, the compositor of Q1 set "Cytterne" (sig. I2r), which may indicate the spelling he found in his manuscript copy. Like all Renaissance words, the spelling of Cittern was fluid; furthermore, almost any word ending in -er/ern was likely to be abbreviated (Cith/Cytt) with a superior anticlockwise loop for -er/ern. In setting F The Shrew, compositor B's hasty, tired, or careless eye would see a four-letter word commencing with C. He


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may have taken the concluding abbreviation loop to be a tilde indicating omission of a medial n, with the descender of secretary u or y (or possibly a hastily executed t) being mistaken for a medial long s. Even without a letter-by-letter correlation it is clear that the overall shape of the word, which is what compositors take in, could result graphically in the misreading Censor. Whether B made sense of what he saw and subsequently set, or whether he paid no attention to sense whatsoever, as in the sister/suitor error, cannot be known. Censor is the reading enshrined in F, a word which, as editors have been at pains to point out, yields no graspable meaning at all.


W. W. Greg wrote that "To be critically acceptable an emendation must satisfy two criteria: it must afford an absolutely satisfactory text, and it must explain the corruption."[36] Misreading explains the corruption in The Shrew: Cittern/Censor is a likely graphic confusion; and, as we have seen from the many references linking citterns with barbers' shops, "Cittern" provides "an absolutely satisfactory text."[37]



TLN quotations are taken from the Norton Facsimile of the First Folio prepared by Charlton Hinman (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1968). All modern-spelling quotations are taken from The Complete Works of Shakespeare, ed. Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor with John Jowett and William Montgomery (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986); references are cited parenthetically in my text.


The Taming of the Shrew, ed. Brian Morris (London: Methuen, 1981), 4.3.91n.


Ibid., 4.3.91n.


The Taming of the Shrew, ed. Ann Thompson (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1984), 4.3.91n.


While it is true that the singular noun "scissor" is recorded as an obsolete usage in the OED, it is noteworthy that the noun appears in the plural in all barbers' references I have come across. See, for instance, Randle Holme, The Academy of Armoury (Chester, 1688), III,iii,127: "a pair of Cisers" and "A Set of Cisers"; Stubbes, Anatomie of Abuses, ed. F. J. Furnivall (London, 1877-82), II,i,50: "what snipping & snapping of the cysers is there"; Ben Jonson, Epicoene, ed. R. V. Holdsworth (London: Ernest Benn Ltd., 1979) 3.5.79: "his scissors rust"; J. A. Comenius, Orbis Pictus (facsimile of first English edition of 1659, intro. John E. Sadler; London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1968), p. 263: "a pair of Sizzars"; John Ford, The Fancies in Works, ed. W. Gifford, rev. Alexander Dyce, vol. II (London, 1869), 5.2., p. 310): "scissors." The only Shakespearean usage occurs in the plural at The Comedy of Errors 5.1.176: "His man with scissors nicks him like a fool."


John M. Ward, Sprightly & Cheerful Musick. Notes on the Cittern, Gittern and Guitar in 16th-& 17th- Century England, Lute Society Journal 21 (1979-81):40.


Ben Jonson, The Staple of News, ed. Anthony Parr (Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press, 1988) 1.5.127-130.


John Lyly, Gallathea and Midas, ed. Anne B. Lancashire (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1969) 3.2.35.


The Mayor of Queenborough in The Works of Thomas Middleton, ed. A. H. Bullen, vol.II (New York: AMS Press, 1964), 3.3.166-167.


Epicoene, ed. Holdsworth, 3.5.58, 60.


2 Honest Whore in The Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker, ed. Fredson Bowers, vol. II (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1964), 5.2.151. The association of barbers' shops with music continued for many years. See The Diary of Samuel Pepys, ed. John Warrington (London: Dent, 1906, repr. 1966), vol. I, 5 June 1660, p. 70; The Complete Works of Thomas Shadwell, ed. Montague Summers, vol. I (1927; reissued New York: Benjamin Blom, 1968), 4.1, p. 71; Middleton, More Dissemblers Besides Women in The Works, vol. VI, 5.1.70-84; Ben Jonson, Vision of Delight line 93, in Ben Jonson vol. VII, ed. C. H. Herford and P. and E. Simpson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1941).


In a nice economy, the teeth extracted by the barber-surgeons were hung up for display on discarded cittern strings. See anon., Wit's Triumvirate, ed. Cathryn Anne Nelson (Salzburg: Institut für Englische Sprache und Literatur, 1975), 5.1.288-290; The Knight of the Burning Pestle 3.338; The Woman Hater in The Dramatic Works in the Beaumont and Fletcher Canon, gen. ed. Fredson Bowers, vol. I (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1966) 3.3.109-110; and Epicoene 3.5.87-88. This last reference is to a lute string. This may be a careless reference to a cittern; but lutes were apparently available for music making as well. See Margaret Pelling, "Occupational Diversity: Barbersurgeons and the Trades of Norwich, 1550-1640," Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 56 (1982): 484-511 (esp. p. 504), and cf. Roger Sharpe, More Fooles Yet (1610): "Here comes old Spunge the Barbor with his Lute" (sig. D2r). An engraving of the interior of a sixteenth-century Dutch barber's shop shows a recorder as well as a stringed instrument hanging on the wall (see Ward, Plate X, between pp. 40 and 41).


Robert Hadaway, "The Cittern," Early Music 1 (1973): 77-81. See also Francis W. Galpin, Old English Instruments of Music (London: Methuen, 1910, rev. and repr. 1965), pp. 15-27.


For a discussion of the development of the cittern, see "The Survival of the Kithara and the Evolution of the English Cittern: a Study in Morphology," in Emanuel Winternitz, Musical Instruments and their Symbolism in Western Art (London: Faber and Faber, 1967), pp. 57-65, and Ward, passim. The cittern's history is complicated by the existence of the semantically and musically similar gittern (which may or may not be the forerunner of the modern guitar; for differing views on this subject see David Munrow, Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance [London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1976] p. 26 and Ward, passim).


Henry H. Carter, A Dictionary of Middle English Musical Terms (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1961), p. 77.


Love's Cure, ed. George Walton Williams, in The Dramatic Works in the Beaumont and Fletcher Canon, gen. ed. Fredson Bowers, vol. III (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1976), 2.2.108.


The Fancies, in The Works of John Ford, ed. W. Gifford, rev. A. Dyce, vol. II (London, 1869), 1.2, p. 234.


John Ford, The Lover's Melancholy, ed. R. F. Hill (Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press, 1985), 2.1.36- 39.


John Marston, The Scourge of Villainy, ed. A. H. Bullen, vol. III (London, 1887), p. 301.


The Works of Massinger, ed. W. Gifford, vol. IV (London, 1813; reprinted New York: AMS Press, 1966), 4.1., pp.533-534. In 1 Henry 4 Hal relies on the association between tavern drawers and citterns when he boasts that, by fraternising with "loggerheads" and "hogsheads," he has "sounded the very bass-string of humility" (2.4.4-6).


Fredson Bowers, On Editing Shakespeare (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1966), p. 56.


Paul Werstine, "Compositor B of the Shakespeare First Folio," AEB 2 (1978): 241-63, and "Folio Editors, Folio Compositors, and the Folio Text of King Lear," in The Division of the Kingdoms, ed. Gary Taylor and Michael Warren (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983), pp. 247-312.


See especially Werstine, "Compositor B."


Werstine, "Compositor B," p. 246.


In calculating this total I exclude corrections to the Italian and Latin in the text, and modernisations (e.g. the Oxford Complete Works "pip" for F "peepe" at 1.2.33/TLN 600). Where an emendation is universally rejected by editors, I identify the proposer and/or the sole edition in which the emendation appears; I omit this information when an emendation is generally accepted. Where an emendation seems gratuitous I indicate as much.


An obvious caveat is necessary: the alleged misreadings may be those of a scribe making a transcript, with B faithfully reproducing the errors in his MS copy. The nature of the underlying copy for F The Shrew is not clear, but "scribal copy, or some combination of scribal and autograph copy, cannot be ruled out"(Gary Taylor and Stanley Wells with William Montgomery and John Jowett, William Shakespeare. A Textual Companion [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987], p. 169).


The Taming of the Shrew, ed. H. J. Oliver (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1982); The Taming of the Shrew in The Complete Works, ed. Wells et al.


The Taming of the Shrew, ed. Richard Hosley, (Harmondsworth: Pelican, 1964).


The Shrew, ed. Oliver, p. 183.


The Taming of the Shrew, ed. John Dover Wilson (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1928; rev. 1953).


The Shrew,ed. Morris, p. 247.


The Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare, ed. Edmond Malone, 10 vols (London, 1790).


C. J. Sisson, New Readings in Shakespeare, vol. I (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1956).


Gary Taylor, "Textual and Sexual Criticism," Renaissance Drama 19 (1988): 195-225 (p. 217).


The modern instrument known as the zither derives from the cittern only in etymology, not morphology. Confusion arises because modern German has only the one word to designate two separate instruments.


W. W. Greg, "More Massinger Corrections," Library 4th ser. 5 (1924): 59-91 (p. 91).


I am grateful to Thomas L. Berger, Lynn Hulse, Richard Proudfoot, and George Walton Williams for helpful comments on earlier versions of this essay.