University of Virginia Library


Having now obtained some idea of the process of transmission from manuscript to print, and of the closeness with which the printed book of the sixteenth century may be expected to correspond with the author's manuscript, let us consider how the transmission actually worked—to what extent it succeeded or failed.

It is clear that all or almost all the older editors of our sixteenth and seventeenth century literature had a very low opinion of the original printers. Whenever they could not understand a thing, they assumed a misprint and tried to amend it, and that this habit of emendation was not confined to the less scholarly is evident from the well-known instances of Bentley's edition of Paradise Lost, a book which has become a byword for unnecessary and absurd tampering with the text. That the


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idea of the unreliability of Elizabethan and Jacobean printers is still prevalent may be seen in the occasional pronouncements of very competent scholars, who when they find any early work printed with care and accuracy seem to have a curious tendency to regard it as exceptional.

The fact is of course that we have all happened to direct our chief attention to that part of the output of the Elizabethan press which is the least correctly printed, namely the drama. I have already suggested what, in my opinion, may be one reason for this strange badness of the dramatic texts, and need say no more about it now. Even the dramatic texts are indeed hardly so bad as a hasty glance at the vast array of variant readings and conjectural emendations which encumber some modern editions would lead one to suppose.

The number of proposed emendations in the text of Shakespeare and his contemporaries which increased knowledge of their time and language have shown to be unnecessary, are certainly hundreds and perhaps thousands; but there still remain a very large number of errors in the early prints, and it is natural enough that those whose acquaintance with the printing of the Elizabethan period is mainly derived from the study of such texts should regard its standard as exceedingly low. I frankly admit that I have held the same opinion myself, though I do so no longer.

If however we omit for the moment from our consideration the whole body of dramatic literature, I believe that we shall come to a very different conclusion as to the general level of Elizabethan printing. Indeed if we allow for the less degree of legibility of black letter and for the comparative inferiority of much of the roman type owing either to bad casting or to wear, which must often have made letters difficult to distinguish from one another in proof, I do not think that we shall find the better-class printing of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries very much below the standard of accuracy of the nineteenth. One has only to take any of the more serious books of the time, works of history, of divinity, of science, or even those large translations from the classics such as North's Plutarch, or Holland's Pliny, and read a few pages carefully, as one would read a proof for press, to see that, inferior as they may be in their press work to what we are accustomed to nowadays—and even in press work some of them are not so bad—on the score of textual accuracy there is very little to complain of. Let us consider a few non- dramatic books of our period from this point of view.

To begin with one of the largest books of the first half of the sixteenth century, the edition of Malory's Morte d'Arthur printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1529, a book which I choose because we have a definite statement concerning the printing of it by one who collated the


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whole text. This was done by Dr. Oskar Sommer in the course of his work on the Caxton edition. He has listed the whole of Wynkyn de Worde's departures from Caxton's text, amounting to nearly 10,000 in number, and remarks that these were obviously introduced with the intention of modernizing the text, and of rendering it more readable. Though, however, as he says, Caxton's text was occasionally misunderstood and wrongly rendered, he “can hardly call to mind a misprint.” Actually, there were of course a few. Sommer's own collations show the omission of five whole lines in different parts of the book, all presumably accidental, but as the Morte d'Arthur contains not far short of 400,000 words, this is certainly not a high proportion of errors. On the whole, considering that this is a romance, and not any sort of work of divinity or statecraft or science to the correctness of which we might expect special attention to be paid, and that it cannot have been read in proof by its author or anyone to whom its accuracy was a matter of great personal importance, considering, in short, that it was apparently an ordinary trade reprint, it is surely by no means a discreditable production.

The Morte d'Arthur is a large folio. As a contrast let us next take the three small octavo volumes by Thomas Lupset, scholar and divine, of which the original editions were printed by Thomas Berthelet in 1533, 1534 and 1535, and which, I think, are fairly representative of the better-class printing of their time. Lupset died in 1530, so here again there is no question of any personal supervision of the printing by the author. The recent careful edition of Lupset by Dr. J. A. Gee of Yale makes it easy for us to examine the correctness of these texts and I think that whoever does so will admit that there is very little to complain of. The editor has, it is true, found it necessary to depart from the original punctuation in a number of places, but in many of these it is, I think, rather a matter of loose sentence construction than of actual misprints. In the Exhortation to young men of 1535 which the editor describes as “the most carelessly printed of all the first editions of Lupset's works” there appear to be about 19 errors in 80 pages, and it must be admitted that these are very small pages consisting of only about 130 words each. But of the 19 errors it cannot be said that there is one which causes any serious disturbance of the text. We find `this' for `thus,' `he' for `the,' `his' for `this,' `my' for `mo' (i.e. more), and `this' for `these', practically all correctable at first sight. The others are, I think, all errors of a single letter, or of the accidental dropping out of a letter or two, `ensampe' for `ensample,' `phylosothers' for `phylosophers' (`t' for `p') and so on. And this is the least correct of Lupset's three books. In the best of the three the most serious mistakes are no more than an `and' repeated, the word `god' once omitted in a passage where it occurs several times, and an `h'


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misprinted for a `b' in `neighbour,' an error which would be very easily overlooked in a black letter proof.

It would perhaps hardly be fair to take the large folio volume of the English Works of Sir Thomas More printed in 1557 as one of our examples, for since the time of Dr. Johnson, the volume seems to have enjoyed a reputation for especially accurate printing. Examination certainly shows it to be indeed a very careful piece of work, with few errors and those, as a rule, of little importance.

When we come to the Elizabethan work, we find, I think, in the output of all the more important presses, very much the same state of affairs. There is, for example, very little wrong with the text of such books as the 1587 edition of Holinshed's Chronicles or Holland's translation of Plutarch's Morals, to mention two which I happen to have used a good deal at different times; but I need not linger over these. Let us take, as an example, of a different class of work, Spenser's Faery Queene. In the one-volume Oxford edition of Spenser the text of the Faery Queene is based on the 1596 edition printed by Richard Field, one of the better, though by no means the best, of the Elizabethan printers, in which edition books IV to VI appear for the first time. If we examine book IV, the first of these new books, we shall find that the editor has thought it necessary to depart from the text as printed only in 21 places. Now of the 21 errors three at least, and probably four, must, I think, be misreadings of the original MS.—whether by a copyist or by the compositor we of course cannot say—`bravelike' for `beamlike,' `nearest' for `meanest,' `guest' for `quest' and `virtues' for `virtuous.' One, namely `three' for `seven' is probably a slip on the part of the author or copyist, as may be a `her' for `his.' Of the others, 11 consist of a single letter wrong, omitted or superfluous, such as `worst' for `worse,' `said' for `sad,' `repayred' for `repayed.' In passing we may note that, with a single exception, all these errors form real words, or in the case of the four proper names included among them, what may seem to be real words, a fact which indicates, I think, careful but not very intelligent proof-reading, and suggests a doubt whether Spenser read the proofs himself, although as he was apparently in England at the time he may have done so. Now these 21 errors are perhaps not quite all. In some half-a-dozen cases besides these, emendations have been proposed and some of them may be correct, but the text as it stands is nowhere else so evidently corrupt that the Oxford editor felt compelled to emend it. Further, there may be a few errors of punctuation and possibly some other trifling mistakes which the editor has not thought it worth while to notice, indeed three or four such minor errors are noted by Grosart, but even if we allow that there may be in all some 30 or 35 errors, we still have the remark-


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able fact that, in the whole of this book consisting of 5391 lines of verse, there are not more than two passages which contain such serious faults that an editor who had before him no other text than this first edition of 1596 need have had any real doubt as to the correct reading; and even in these two he might have guessed without any very great risk of error. And this, as I have said, is in a text of 5391 lines, whereas, I need hardly remind you, the average length of Shakespeare's plays is only some 2,800 lines—little more than half as much, the longest, Hamlet, having under 4,000.

Lastly, for the purpose of comparison with the First Folio of Shakespeare, it seemed well to look at some book from the same printing-house, and not far off in date. I therefore took the second volume of the prose compilation entitled The Treasurie of Anncient and Moderne Times which was printed by William Jaggard in 1619, and as an experiment read ten pages with as much care as I am capable of, noting down every misprint, however trivial, that I found. The book is a large folio and 10 pages contain some 7500 words. In the pages chosen I noted 18 errors of which only one is at all serious. The others consist of such trivial errors as the omission of commas in series of names, so that Suidas Strabo appears to be a single person, of single erroneous letters in Latin names so that we have `Titesias' for `Tiresias' and `Nenius' for `Neuius,' an `n' for `u' in `seuenth,' and the apparent mistaking of the English word `seaside' for a Latin place name `Seasia.' Considering the large number of classical and foreign names in the book, we have I think little cause for complaint here.

There is another and perhaps easier way in which we can estimate the accuracy of some at least of these early books, namely by examination of the lists of errata which many of them contain. When, as sometimes happens, such lists are long, we often find that an excuse is given. I am not thinking of those lists of errata compiled by an author which, as so many do, excuse the mistakes on the ground of his absence for some cause or another from the printing house, and inability to supervise the work as it went through the press, for such errata-lists often include corrections which are evidently afterthoughts on the part of the author, but of those lists which seem to include only actual departures from the MS. due to the fault of the printer. Some of these lists are quite worth looking at. There is, for example, one in John Whitgift's Defence of the Answer to the Admonition, as it is called, the official reply on behalf of the Bishops to the puritan Cartwright's Reply to the Answere against the Admonition to the Parliament. This, which was printed by Bynneman in 1574 is a folio of 812 pages. As an official work and one likely to be subjected to the minute scrutiny of the Bishops' opponents it would


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no doubt be printed with especial care, but we know that the work was put through as rapidly as possible. The printer apologizes for the errors in it on the ground that `it could not be but that in so great a volume some things should escape even those that are diligent and carefull, especially considering the speedie dispatch and other circumstances.' But yet the whole list of corrections for this volume of 812 pages only amounts to 33. The most serious is the omission of a whole line at the beginning of a page, the compositor having evidently missed his place. The others are mostly verbal, i.e. real words but the wrong ones, and, save for one or two which are due to the dropping of a letter—such as `paynly' for `playnly' and `eternal' for `external'—seem mostly due to misreading of the copy. Thus we have the common mistake of `any' for `my,' `more' for `move' and `service' for `sorowe,' the last two of which are in a secretary hand, not so different as one might suppose. There are probably a few other literal errors not thought worth pointing out, as they did not form words and could not therefore lead to any misunderstanding, but I have looked through a good many pages without finding any.

But I need not weary you with further discussion of particular books. What I have already said will, I hope, be enough to convince you that we cannot lump together all the work of all the early printing houses in one condemnation. We must distinguish, and I think, though I cannot go into the matter now, that investigation would show a very considerable difference of standard between the larger printing-houses, such as those of Day and Bynneman, which did their own publishing, and the smaller, so-called trade printers, who seldom if ever published books themselves but worked for the smaller publishers or book-sellers. It was these smaller publishing-houses which handled most of the popular literature such as pamphlets and plays and it was consequently the trade printers by whom they were produced. But even these trade printers, even those from whose presses came some of the worst play quartos, were capable of turning out far better work in other classes of literature.

It will have been gathered that in my view too great a share of the blame for the errors which we find in certain sixteenth and seventeenth century books has been laid on the printers and that in most cases when we get a really bad text the fault lies mainly in the copy supplied to the compositor and not in the carelessness or want of skill of the latter. Nevertheless there were then, as there are now, errors in printed books and it is part of the duty of the textual critic to make such study of these errors and their causes as may enable him to form some idea of how they may have occurred and thus place him in a better position to defend his own emendations of them. I propose therefore now to say something as


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to the common causes of errors in printed books—such errors I mean as are due to departure from the MS. before the compositor, for of antecedent errors due to mistakes in copying and the like I can add nothing to what I have said already. The obvious groups into which we can divide errors on the basis of their causation are as follows:

(1) Misreading of copy.

(2) Foul case, i.e. the presence of wrong type in the various divisions of the type- case.

(3) Failure of muscular co-ordination or of memory on the part of the compositor.

(4) Mis-correction.

At the present time, and especially with modern mechanical methods of type-setting, the commonest cause of misprints is, I suppose, misreading of the MS., at any rate in the case of books set up from a handwritten copy. The number of these which will appear in the proof sent to the author of a modern book depends of course mainly on the legibility of his writing, but it will also depend to a great extent on the intelligence of the printer's reader. It is, by the way, curious how insensitive readers at even the best presses become on the question of meaning or good sense, and what absurdities they will sometimes allow to pass, while at the same time correcting or querying the smallest abnormality in spelling or in grammar. A wrong word however nonsensical in its context, seems to be much more easily overlooked than a wrong spelling—a point of very great importance in textual criticism. As an example of what I mean, I may mention that a few weeks ago I happened to be reading the proofs of an elementary biology. These proofs were almost entirely free—so far as I remember quite free—from errors in spelling or `misprints' of the ordinary kind, but within a few pages I came across the statement that water was `incomprehensible,' where the author had written `incompressible,' and a reference to the habits of mice in `perpetrating' their kind, where the word should of course have been `perpetuating.' Now the author's MS. was by no means bad and the words were perfectly legible. The compositor had, I suppose, not really looked at them and the proof-reader had evidently not been thinking of the sense. But if the compositor instead of setting `incomprehensible' and `perpetrating' had set, say, `incompressable' with `able' instead of 'ible,' and `prepetuating' instead of `perpetuating' I have not the slightest doubt that the errors would have been noticed by the reader and corrected.

There is, I think, not much of a general nature that can usefully be said about errors which seem to arise from the misreading of copy,


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though a good deal of work has been lately directed to the question of what misreadings are most likely to occur in setting up from MSS. written in the current hands of the Elizabethan time. As you are doubtless aware, during the later part of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the traditional English script was giving place to an Italian script of the kind now used. Manuscripts of a more formal kind—such as those written by professional scribes—between say, 1580 and 1620, are normally in English script with proper names and quotations from foreign languages in the `Italian' hand, this differentiation corresponding to that ordinarily made in printed books by the use of black-letter, roman and italic types. The usage of the average non-professional writer was less fixed. Latin quotations and foreign names were, I think, almost invariably written in Italian script, but the practice as regards English names varied and only the more careful writers seem ordinarily to have written these in Italian. Now it is evident that, in order to judge what misreadings are likely to have been made by a compositor, it is necessary to know whether the particular word before him would be in the English or Italian hand, for the confusions possible in the two are quite different. For example in the English hand confusion is particularly likely between `d' and `e,' `p' and `x,' `r' and `v,' and `o' and `e;' while with Italian the most probable are perhaps `di' and `ch,' `ol' and `d,' `h' and `li.' Both in English and Italian, long `s' may be confused with `f' and it is often difficult to read correctly groups of minims such as `in,' `ui,' and `m,' especially when the `i's are not carefully dotted.

It is therefore essential that before we assume a misreading on the part of a compositor we should consider and come to some conclusion on the question of the script in which the particular word is likely to have been written in the copy. It is hardly necessary to say that if we are going to assume errors in reading the MS. they must be errors which could reasonably have arisen, a thing which seems generally to be forgotten by amateur textual critics. Further, the misreadings must be consistent with one another. Unless we have reason to suspect that the writing of the MS. was especially irregular or mixed, we must not assume in one line a misreading which could only arise from an Italian hand—say a misreading of `di' for `ch'—and in the next a misreading of `p' for `x' which could only occur in an English one—unless of course the words are such as would normally be written in different scripts.

As I have said, a good deal of recent textual criticism has been concerned with the possibility of misreadings by the compositor. By far the fullest exposition of the view that the great majority of misprints—at any rate in Shakespeare—are due to misreading of his writing, is to be


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found in the important book by Professor Leon Kellner, published in 1925 under the title of Restoring Shakespeare. Of this it need only be said that it is a most careful and elaborate piece of work, but that it seems to seek to prove far too much. Suppose that we were familiar with an author's handwriting, we might quite well observe in it peculiarities which might cause certain combinations of letters to be confused with certain others—for example, in the hand of a man who was careless about dotting his `i's, `un' and `im' might be quite indistinguishable, and knowing this, we might feel confidence in emending `unparted' to `imparted.' Perhaps I may be excused for mentioning a personal experience of my own which shows that we might sometimes go even further than this. A certain friend of mine used habitually to write the second limb of the capital `K' as an upstroke from the foot of the first, so that the letter looked like a capital `V' with an insignificant tail to it. Coming across in an anonymous review a reference to myself in which my name was printed as McVarrow, I was able at once to guess that this particular friend was the writer of it, as indeed he admitted when asked. We cannot of course expect to be often able to identify an anonymous author by the occurrence of a single misprint, but it is obvious that the study of an author's handwriting—if we can obtain specimens of it—may be of the greatest importance in textual criticism, and indeed there is nothing new in so using it. Even if we do not know an author's hand, but can be reasonably certain that his work, or at any rate that part—it must be a considerable part—of his work which we are studying was printed from his own MS. in the hand of a single copyist, we may from the occurrence of frequent errors which show the same confusion of letters and the emendation of which is obvious—suppose for example we find a proper name, the correct form of which we must have known, frequently misspelt—infer that in his, or the copyist's, hand certain particular letters might easily be confused, and assume the same confusion as possible in emending other errors. In the case, however, of work such as that of Shakespeare, where the history of the MSS. is so various, it is difficult to get much definite result from such studies, for it is quite possible that in some plays one or more copyists have intervened between Shakespeare and the compositor, and errors may be due to peculiarities of their writing and not of the author's. Proof of a misreading by the compositors due to their writing, would be of course no argument that a similar confusion is likely to occur in another play. It is therefore evident that though there are certainly, and have always been, words that can easily be confused in handwriting, as for example `any' and `my'—words which —as everyone who has had to do much proofreading knows—are con-


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stantly even now getting misprinted for one another, and though we must of course always take account of handwriting in considering an emendation, it does not seem likely that intensive study on the lines laid down by Kellner is likely to be very fruitful.

A second sort of error is due to what is called “foul case”—namely the presence of wrong letters in the divisions or `boxes' of the type case. That wrong types would occasionally get into the boxes by careless distribution of previous work or in other ways is obvious, and unless such a type was markedly thicker or thinner than the one intended, a compositor would not notice the error in putting it into the composing stick. An attempt to show that certain particular errors were likely to be due to this cause was made as long ago as 1872 by William Blades in his Shakespeare and Typography, where he pointed out that, seeing that the type-cases stood on a slope, there was, if the type-boxes happened to be at all over-filled, a certain likelihood of letters slipping down from their proper box into the one below; thus `o' might slip down into the `a' box, `b' into the `l' box, `l' into the `v' box, `d' into the `n' box, and so on. This would render such mistakes as `forced' for `farced,' `book' for `look,' `low' for `vow,' particularly likely. This is no doubt true enough, and there may be cases of error due to this cause, but it does not in itself carry us far and a little careless distribution of type from an earlier job would probably lead to many more wrong letters in the boxes than would arise from such a cause as this.

A few points we may, however, note. The letters `e,' `c,' and `o,' `b' and `h,' and `u' and `n' are very commonly interchanged in black letter, and `u' and `n' in roman. These confusions are probably due to mistakes in distribution and might easily be overlooked in a rough proof.

The very frequent cases of the use of an inverted `u' in place of an `n,' or an inverted `n' for a `u' are more difficult to account for. They may be due to an original error of a `u' set in place of an `n,' or vice versa, which being noticed in proof has been corrected by turning the letter instead of substituting the proper one. The difference in many founts is indeed so slight that in the case of worn type it may be very difficult to say what the letter really is. Occasionally the wrong matrix may have been used in casting.

More interesting than these purely mechanical matters are the errors due to failure of muscular co-ordination on the part of a compositor or to failure of his memory. By failure of co-ordination I mean the unconscious failure of the hand to make the movement intended, so that the fingers when moving across the case to pick up a type do not go exactly where they should and one is picked up from the wrong box; just as


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when in typing one, without knowing it, strikes the wrong key. Errors of this kind of course tend to increase with fatigue or when the attention happens momentarily to be diverted.

As is well known to those who have occasion to read many typewritten manuscripts, a large proportion of typists when tired or inattentive tend to interchange neighbouring letters, especially in common words, writing `hwen' for `when,' `hte' for `the,' `won' for `own' and so on, and the same error seems to be frequent in matter set with the modern type-setting machines worked by a key-board of the same kind as that of a typewriter. I had occasion recently to read the proofs of a book of passages from French authors. This was as a whole extremely well set, but it was noticeable that transpositions of the kind that I have mentioned were comparatively frequent. In the course of some 250 pages I counted at least 31 errors which could only be put down to this cause: `plien' for `plein,' `suele' for `seule,' `linge' for `ligne,' `etrre' for `terre,' `sceret' for `secret,' and so on. Such transposition errors were indeed as frequent as all other mistakes put together. Of course the proof that I read was not a first proof, so I cannot say anything as to the number of errors made in the original composition. No normally careful modern printer would fail to correct the majority of such errors in an English text before sending out a proof to his customer; but it might be worth while trying to discover before hand-setting disappears altogether, whether there are any special tendencies of what may be called a psychological character to certain errors or not. For example, it might be—I am only uessing—that when a man is tired the movement of the hand across the case might tend to be shortened, so that his fingers are likely to pick up a type from a division nearer to the centre or possibly lower than he thinks he is doing. If this is so, we should perhaps be able to make out a special tendency to the occurrence of certain misprints; thus we might find the long `s' ligatures substituted for the `f' ligatures (because they come nearer to the centre of the case) more commonly than the reverse error, or `c' might be used for `b' for a similar reason. But here again I doubt if we should get much positive result. On the other hand it does seem not impossible that investigation would show that the frequency of certain combinations of letters might cause them to be substituted by a careless or tired compositor for other less usual ones. It would at any rate be interesting to know whether or not any such tendency is to be detected.

It might seem that the kinds of error which I have been discussing—the simple substitution of one letter for another—are of no importance, because before a text is finally printed such obvious errors generally get corrected, or if not put right by the corrector they can be instantly


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emended by the reader. This is to a certain extent true. If one meets with the word `hte' where the sense obviously required `the' the error is of no importance whatever, one corrects it automatically in reading; possibly indeed one may not even notice it. But in the first place there are many words which by an error of a single letter are transformed into other words (especially was this the case when spelling was not as fixed as it is at present), and sometimes these words will give a kind of sense, so that the error is not noticed by the proof-reader; and secondly an error of a single letter may cause a corrector to correct in a wrong way altogether. Thus, suppose the word `obscured' to be printed `obseured' a corrector careless of the sense may alter it to `obserued' taking the fault to be in the transposition of `u' and `r' instead of in the `e'—or suppose we have the word `trueness' printed in error as `tureness' a corrector may alter it mistakenly to `sureness'—these, by the way, are genuine cases and not imaginary ones.

But seeing that in textual work our difficulty is nearly always with words which while being genuine words are the wrong words, rather than with collections of letters which are not words at all, the other sort of compositor's error which I have mentioned, due to failure of memory, is of more importance to us, when instead of unconsciously setting a wrong letter under the impression that it is a right one, he sets an altogether wrong word. It is, and presumably always has been, the practice of a compositor to read several words of his copy at a time and to keep them in his memory while setting them up. If he is not careful, he may very easily substitute a wrong word—especially a word of the same meaning—for what he ought to set, or a false analogy may lead him astray. To give a single instance of this sort of error, there occurs in Nashe's Unfortunate Traveller a reference to a person who had the beginnings of a beard `a sable auglet of excrements in the rising of the anckle of his chinne.' Now `anckle' is of course `angle'; the spelling has no authority and may itself be a mere slip on the part of the compositor, but having set up `ankle' his mind apparently began to run on feet and legs and instead of `chin' he set up `shin,' making the person described have a beard `on the ankle of his shin.' As the mistake was corrected in the errata of the book we know that it was a simple mistake and not any kind of intended jest.

The most famous examples of error attributable to the compositor's failures of memory occur, however, in the Faery Queene, where in nine places we find substituted for a rhyming word a metrically equivalent synonym which does not rhyme. Thus we have `chace' where the rhyme requires `prey;' `play' where `sport' is required; `make' (a feast) where rhyme requires `hold,' `vpreare' for `vpheaue,' `times' for `age' and so


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on. It has, I may say been regarded as questionable whether these readings are really errors or not. Some have regarded them as an intentional freakishness on Spenser's part, perhaps intended in some way to follow the precedent of the incomplete lines of Virgil, but it seems at least equally likely that they are due either to carelessness in copying or, yet more probably, to this failure of memory on the part of the compositor which we are discussing. In several of the cases the phrase printed is slightly more usual than the one required by the rhyme, while in one or two the previous rhyme word may have suggested the word printed, as when `spyde' in place of `saw' is printed immediately after a line ending `sight.'

It may be remarked that as Spenser's lines average eight words or more it might be not unreasonable to suppose that there may be seven times as many mistakes in words other than rhyme-words arising in a similar way, and in general we should, I think, expect a certain amount of vitiation of all texts, both MS. and printed, to arise from this kind of substitution of synonyms, which is of course, if the synonym is at all a reasonable one, exceedingly hard to detect. It is not at all unlikely that certain of the apparently pointless alterations which we sometimes find in reprinted texts are due simply to this failure of memory on the part of the compositor and have no significance whatever. Thus of the two editions of Nashe's Unfortunate Traveller, one of which is printed from the other, the first has `the campe or the court, or the court and the camp,' the second `the court or the camp, or the camp and the court,' simply interchanging in each phrase the words `camp' and `court;' one text has `ancenstrie' the other `ancestors;' one has `carelesnes' the other `forgetfulnes;' one has `rashly' the other `hastely' and so on. In such cases it is hardly possible to suppose deliberate correction, for the one phrase seems to be just as good as the other. On the other hand, it is easy to suppose that a careless or hurried compositor having read from his copy the first rather involved phrase would get it wrong way round, or that for the rarer form `ancestrie' he should set `ancestors.' So long as such deviations from the original appeared to make decent sense it is unlikely that a proof-reader would notice them, or if he did notice them would bother to correct them in work in which minute accuracy did not seem to him of especial importance.

We now come to what is, I believe, probably the most important cause of seriously bad texts—that sort of text, I mean, which is obviously corrupt, and in such a way as to defy emendation, namely bad correction. I cannot help believing that if we only possessed the first proofs of such things as the Shakespeare quartos, or of the First Folio, with all the mistakes of the original composition in them, we should be able without


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difficulty to construct a much better text than we now can compass. I believe that many of the worst difficulties in the text are the result of stupid and unintelligent attempts at correction rather than of the illegibility of the copy or the carelessness of the compositor. If one has before one simply a bad but honest attempt to decipher a difficult word, one can usually, or at any rate very often, make a better attempt oneself, or if a word has simply a letter or two wrong or out of place one can usually guess the right word, but when a fool has already been at work on these errors and has corrected them into something much more erroneous, emendation at this second stage is a far more difficult affair. I have drawn attention elsewhere to an example of this sort of erroneous correction which occurs in Nashe's Pierce Penniless but it is so exactly to the point that I must be pardoned for using it again. In three editions, each printed from the one before it, we have in a certain side-note the readings:

The confutation of Citizens obiections against Players.

The confutation of Citizens against Players.

The coniuration of Citizens against Players.

Now it is obvious that the first of these is correct. The second made nonsense of the note by omitting the word `obiections' whereupon the compositor or proof-reader of the third, seeing that the note was wrong, but not seeing wherein the error lay, altered rather ingeniously, `confutation' to `coniuration.' Supposing that we had only the second and third of these texts we should, I think, have little difficulty in guessing that some word similar in meaning to `obiections' had dropped out after `Citizens,' but if we had only the third edition, with `confutation' emended to `coniuration', he would be, I think, a critic of real genius who could guess what the original reading had been. I cannot help believing that in unintelligent correction we have the explanation of many of the obscure passages of sixteenth century dramatic literature. The compositor makes an error of some sort—perhaps merely a trivial one—the proof-reader sees something is wrong and not troubling to refer back to the copy makes the words into real words with little or no regard to sense or context, and thus transforms a little and probably easily corrected mistake into one which has defied generations of critics to put right.

But it will perhaps be said that the traditional method of proof correction is for a boy to read the manuscript aloud and for the corrector to follow the proof word by word at the same time, and I may be asked how, if this was done, such miscorrection could occur. This method is carefully set forth in Moxon's Mechanic Exercises of 1683, and a reading boy may be seen in the famous—though, I think, somewhat imagina-


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tive—engraving of a Dutch printing-house by Johannes Stradanus dating from about 1600. It is also described in most of the later treatises on printing.

No doubt such a method of proof-reading would be the ideal, and it is quite probable that it was used in good printing-houses when important work was in progress, but I confess that I have great doubts whether it was at any time much employed for the ordinary day by day printing of the smaller printing-houses. Serious errors and especially omissions are practically impossible by this method, for the chances of the compositor and the reading boy both missing the identical words is of course negligible, while even the same misreading is hardly likely to be made by two independent readers. But I cannot believe that any such care as this was taken over ordinary work such as pamphlets or plays. The obvious course was for a corrector to read the proof itself, only referring to the MS. when he found something that he could not correct by the light of nature, and I think that this is what was usually done and that the correction was often merely the most casual guess work, the corrector contenting himself with replacing evidently erroneous words by real words, neglecting the sense, and as I have said, often correcting the words into wrong ones.

It is of course impossible as a rule to be certain that an error was due to wrong correction, though many authors have at one time or another complained of incorrect alterations having been made in their work after they had passed the final proofs; indeed such well-meaning but unnecessary tampering with the text is not unknown even at present. I will venture to give you what I think is probably an example, and a somewhat curious one, of miscorrection from the advertisement columns of a London newspaper of some four years ago. It occurs in a series of advertisements of the firm of J. Lyons & Co. the caterers, written by a rather well-known literary man. He had occasion—I need not explain, indeed I do not think I could explain, the connection with his subject—to quote from Swinburne's famous `hounds of spring' chorus in Atalanta, in which occur the lines:

`And fruit and leaf are as gold and fire,
And the oat is heard above the lyre,
And the hoofed heel of the satyr crushes
The chestnut-husk at the chestnut-root.'

Now that second line—`and the oat is heard above the lyre'—must, I think, have puzzled someone in the printing office. You can imagine him expostulating `But you can't possibly hear oats. There must be something wrong there!' and running over in his head the words for which


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`oat' might be an error, `mat,' `rat,' `fat,' etc. no doubt rejecting `cat,' though indeed audible, as unlikely in high-class poetry, until at last the word `bat' occurred to him, and he perhaps remembered that the cheep of a bat on summer evenings is not without poetical associations—though indeed Swinburne was not writing about summer evenings—so down it went in the proof and the line appeared—

`And the bat is heard above the lyre.'

I wonder, by the way, if that advertisement version of Swinburne's lines had alone survived whether any textual critic would ever have guessed the correct reading, and if one did, whether others would have accepted it.

There is one frequent fault of correction which is not uncommon even at present and which is especially hard to notice. This is when a word in the proof is rightly marked to be corrected, and the compositor corrects the wrong one. Thus a certain word occurs twice within the space of two or three lines. In one case it is wrong in the other right. The corrector notices the error and duly marks it, but the compositor by inadvertence makes the correction in the wrong place. When the corrections come to be checked, the reader notices that the marked word has not been corrected, and marks it again in the revise, but unless he reads the whole passage through (as one always should do when one finds a correction apparently ignored), he will not notice that the correction has been made elsewhere. The result is that the correction gets made in two places, one of which is wrong. All who have had much to do with proof-reading will have met with instances of this annoying accident in work which they thought they had read with the utmost care.

Then of course there are the cases where a correction is misunderstood. I recall an amusing instance of this which happened to a friend of mine. He chanced to prefer a somewhat unusual spelling of a word—I think it was that disputed word `rhyme' which at one time it was the custom of many English scholars to spell `rime.' It happened that this occurred twice or thrice in a particular page and the printer's reader had carefully queried all the instances. The usual way of indicating that the text is correct as it stands is of course to strike out the query and write the word `stet' in the margin, but as there were several instances, my friend, perhaps somewhat pedantically, thought the plural should 7be used, and wrote `stent' in the margin—a word unfamiliar to the compositor, who promptly substituted `stent' for the word `rime' wherever it occurred, with very comic results. And there are cases too of comments of other kinds getting into the text in this way. I cannot, I regret to say, give you any certain example of this from early work, but one which


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was pointed out to me by the Librarian of the Taylor Institution at Oxford, Mr. L. F. Powell, as occurring in a book printed only three years ago is so nice that I cannot refrain from quoting it. It is to be found in Professor Ashton's translation of Mme de la Fayette's Princesse de Cleves published by Routledge in 1925, page 216. It seems that the printer's reader had annoyed Professor Ashton with constant queries as to his translation, until at last in exasperation the Professor added in the margin of the proof a somewhat forcibly expressed request to the proof-reader to desist from his interpolations. The result was the following curious passage. I need hardly say that as Mme de la Fayette was the author of the romance in question her own name does not occur in the narrative.

“As soon as this journey was mentioned, Madame de Cleves, who was still at home feigning illness, begged her husband to permit her not to go to Court, but to leave for Coulommiers, in order to get into the open air and care for her health. He told her that he did not want to pry into the question of whether it was her health that obliged her not to go on this journey, but that he consented to her not going, but for God's sake to stop bobbing up between Madame de la Fayette and me. He had no difficulty in consenting to something that he had already decided upon.” etc.

The translator's remark `for God's sake stop bobbing up between Madame de la Fayette and me' is so neatly inserted in the text that one cannot help suspecting that the compositor was not merely a simpleton!

But the possibility of error in a printed text is not limited to errors of actual composition or of corrections though these are undoubtedly the most important from the point of view of the textual critic. There are one or two errors of a larger kind which sometimes occur and of which a word may be said in conclusion.

Firstly, a compositor may get the leaves of his MS. in the wrong order, or he may overlook one or more leaves. I do not know of any book which has actually got printed with the whole of the matter inverted so that it began with the closing paragraphs, and ended with the opening ones, but there is a famous instance of a book being sent out in proof in that form, namely Goldsmith's Traveller, originally called `A Prospect of Society.' Presumably Goldsmith did not number the leaves of his MS. but simply handed them to the printer as written or fair copied, with the last on the top. The printer, who perhaps did not expect a poem to make sense, set them up as he found them, and the proof, a copy of which may be seen in the British Museum, began accordingly with lines 353-400 of the poem, these being followed by lines 311-352, these by 277-310 and so on, the whole thing being in a series of chunks of some 35 to 40 lines, no doubt each representing a page of MS. put together in


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the reverse order. It may be mentioned that Goldsmith made very extensive alterations in the poem in proof besides restoring the lines to their correct order, but it is clear on careful examination that the original setting of type was used.

Omissions of passages due to the loss of portions of text are, however, not uncommon. They are of course generally discovered and corrected by means of errata. What is perhaps the most important instance of this occurred in the first Quarto of 2 Henry IV in which, as first issued, the opening scene of Act III was omitted altogether. On the discovery of the error the sheet which should have contained the scene was reprinted with two additional leaves. There are also a few instances of blocks of matter which presumably represented an original page of MS. being inserted in the wrong place, but such gross errors are as a rule easily detected and give little trouble to the textual critic.

Secondly, in making up his pages into formes, i.e. in arranging them so that paper printed from them may, when folded, form sheets of the printed book, a compositor may get certain pages out of the proper order. This mistake is a rare one, for the arrangement of the pages in a forme is at the same time so important and so elementary a part of the printer's training, that error here must mean the greatest possible carelessness. Owing to the presence of catchwords in most early books it is also an error which as a rule can very easily be detected. It does, however, at times occur.

Lastly, there is a not uncommon fault due to what is called wrong perfecting, namely placing sheets one side of which has been already printed, on the machine the wrong way round. This results in confusion in the order of the pages. Thus in a quarto the pages, instead of running, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on, will run 1, 6, 7, 4, 5, 2, 3, 8. This is a very simple error which occasionally is found even in modern books, and though perhaps puzzling to those entirely ignorant of the way in which books are printed will trouble no one with the most elementary knowledge of the subject.

In concluding these lectures I cannot but feel that to some of you whose interest in literature is purely aesthetic—and ultimately what interest can there be in literature save the aesthetic?—much of what I have said must have seemed irritatingly trivial. To a great extent I sympathize with such a view. It is indeed irritating that we should have to go such a long way round and spend so much time in apparently irrelevant matters, in order to approach work which was written in order to be enjoyed, and which only in so far as it can be enjoyed is worth our attention to-day. It would have been so much better if impeccable texts of our


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early writers had been handed down to us together with all necessary biographical and other information to enable us to appreciate them to the full. Unfortunately none of Shakespeare's contemporaries saw the need of doing this. It is annoying, and I fear that some of the annoyance has been diverted from those careless people who neglected their duty to those of us who are doing the best we can to restore the damage due to their neglect.

But at least such detailed study of the transmission of a text as has been the subject of these lectures does no harm. There is a very real pleasure in the pursuit of truth, in whatever way and in respect of whatever subject we seek it; and there is certainly this to be said that although too much study of other peoples' opinions about a great writer may easily lead to boredom and to loss of interest in the writer himself, one's own investigations and attempt to form one's own opinions never do this. Rather, the further one goes, the more interesting does the subject of one's enquiry become.

Lastly, do not let us in the pursuit of truth be afraid of the charge of pedantry. It is, as a rule, a charge brought against a man who knows his job by one who is conscious of not knowing it and is secretly ashamed of this. But let us as editors and as textual critics, having learnt our job as well as we can, be humble about it; for knowledge is not everything in matters of this kind. As the most successful researcher in scientific matters is held to be the one who, having thoroughly mastered all the available data of his subject so that they have become a part of himself, then—and not till then—proceeds to use his imagination; so, I think, the most successful textual critic is one who having first thoroughly familiarized himself with what I may term the mechanical side of his subject, then, with this relegated, as it were, into the background, uses his literary judgement, and that alone. The really successful and convincing emendation of a corrupt passage, such an emendation as Theobald's famous `a babbled o' green fields' is indeed a form of inspiration; but such inspiration comes seldom to anyone save as a result of prolonged and intensive study of his problem, and of the careful consideration of every factor, however seemingly unimportant, which can in any way contribute to its effective solution.


10.33 ought to have written] In “Shakespeare's Text” (159-161), McKerrow displays a more cautious attitude, apparently sympathising more both with the needs of what he calls the “aesthetic reader” and with the work of Rowe and Pope. He takes a similar stance in Prolegomena, 33-36.

10.41 `stands' for `stand'st'] Cf. Coriolanus I.v.25, “Oh noble fellow / Who sensibly outdares


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his senseless sword / And, when it bows, stand'st up!” In his 1709 edition Rowe emended the Folio reading “stand'st” to “stands”. (This, incidentally, seems to confirm the word order given above, “`stands' for `stand'st'”.) McKerrow did not re-use this example in his later essays and in the Prolegomena.

11.35 other persons] See A. W. Pollard, Shakespeare's Folios and Quartos (London: Methuen, 1909) and, by the same author, Shakespeare's Fight with the Pirates (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1920; repr. 1937); J. Dover Wilson, “Bibliographical Links Between the Three Pages [of Harley MS. 7368] and the Good Quartos,” in Alfred W. Pollard, W. W. Greg, E. Maunde Thompson, J. Dover Wilson, and R. W. Chambers, Shakespeare's Hand in the Play of Sir Thomas More (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1923). Wilson and Arthur Quiller-Couch's New Cambridge Shakespeare had begun to appear as early as 1921.

13.26 some critics] While, as attested by “Elizabethan Printer,” 139, and “Shakespeare's Text,” 161-183, McKerrow was here referring to Shakespeare's earlier editors from Rowe to Capell, it should be pointed out that contemporary hearers may have also thought of later—and perhaps even recent—editors, such as Sidney Lee, whose edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare (London: Caxton) had appeared in 1910-14, and Dover Wilson. One wonders if this statement was left in its ambiguous form by chance, or if this was meant as a polemical hint. (See also the present editor's introduction.)

14.36-37 “I write... understood”] McKerrow is apparently quoting from Greville's original letter to Hickes of 18 January 1600/1 in British Library Lansdowne MS 88/1 (the manuscript reads, however, “annother”).

15.5 a pamphlet of his] The pamphlet in question is The Terrors of the Night; cf. The Works of Thomas Nashe, ed. R. B. McKerrow (5 vols., 1904-10), rev. Frank Percy Wilson (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1958), I, 341; cp. also IV, 450.

15.35-16.7 Thus Henry Chettle... into type] McKerrow re-used this section (the quote is not modernized) on p. 145 in “Elizabethan Printer,” where he provides the source for this passage: “`To the Gentlemen Readers' prefixed to Kind-Harts Dreame” (note 1, p. 156). The only significant variant in “Elizabethan Printer” is the smoothing of the passage “this was the copy which was afterwards printed from” to “it was from this copy that the work was afterwards printed”.

16.31 licenser's fair copy] For a recent account (still agreeing, on the whole, with McKerrow) of licensing and prompt-books in this period see David Bradley, From Text to Performance in the Elizabethan Theatre: Preparing the Play for the Stage (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1991), 62-63. See also H. R. Woudhuysen, Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts 1558-1640 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996) 109-115, 137- 138.

18.6 Prof. Dover Wilson] See the textual note in A Midsummer Night's Dream, ed. Arthur Quiller-Couch and John Dover Wilson (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1924), p. 80.

19.14 name of a character] McKerrow again discussed characters' names in his influential “A Suggestion Regarding Shakespeare's Manuscripts,” Review of English Studies, 11 (1935), 459-465. On this article, which has sometimes been considered the basis for Shakespearean textual criticism ever since, see Paul Werstine, “McKerrow's `Suggestion' and Twentieth-Century Shakespeare Textual Criticism,” Renaissance Drama, n.s., 19 (1988), 149-173.

24.21 Mr. F. P. Wilson] The reference is to Frank Percy Wilson's seminal article “Ralph Crane, Scrivener to the King's Players,” Library, 4th ser., 7 (1926-7), 194-215.

24.31 plays existing in transcripts] Some additions can be now made to this list, most noticeably the transcript of Ben Jonson's Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue. For an updated bibliography see T. H. Howard-Hill, Ralph Crane and Some Shakespeare Folios (Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1972) and Woudhuysen, Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts, 189-195.

24.38 Miss Frijlinck's edition of Barnavelt] The Tragedy of Sir John van Olden Barnavelt, ed. Wilhelmina P. Frijlinck (Amsterdam: H. G. van Dorssen, 1922).

27.23 proof-reader] Cf. also McKerrow's Introduction, 206-208. To understand to what


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extent McKerrow's observations on this point have been influential, cf. Gaskell, New Introduction, 110-116.

28.24 elsewhere] Introduction, 241-246.

28.30 To pacify... angry] The source for the quotation is given in Introduction, 242, as “Sir John Harington's Epigrams, ed. 1618, bk. ii, epigram 23”.

29.2 Mr. Pollard has remarked] “See [...] Professor A. W. Pollard's introduction to the facsimile of Mr. A. W. White's unique quarto of Richard II, 1916, p. 35” (Introduction, 244 n. 2).

29.11 I doubt it] The question marks together with the “a<nd>” found in the margins of CT may suggest that McKerrow had also thought of another explanation, namely that the manuscript originally read “and” but blotting or damage made it impossible for the compositor to discern the letters after the initial “a”.

29.17 J. C. Zeltner] “John Conrad Zeltner, in his book entitled C. D. Correctorum in Typographiis eruditorum centuria speciminis loco collecta, 1716, pp. 408-9” (Introduction, 243; see 244 for the text of the excerpt referred to here).

32.21 Dr. Greg] W. W. Greg, “An Elizabethan Printer and His Copy,” Library, 4th ser., 4 (1923), 102-118. On Greg's article cf. also Introduction, 217, 240- 241 and 247.

33.8 Miss Byrne] Muriel M. St. Clare Byrne, “Anthony Munday's Spelling as a Literary Clue,” Library, 4th ser., 4 (1923), 9-23. Cf. also Introduction, 248-249.

33.13 1586] McKerrow's question mark next to the date “1586” may be related to the uncertain date of Munday's John a Kent, perhaps staged by the Admiral's Men in 1589; see Alfred Harbage, Annals of English Drama 975- 1700, rev. ed., by Samuel Schoenbaum and Sylvia Stoler Wagonheim (London: Routledge, 1989).

34.20 Spenser] Edmund Spenser, Colin Clout's Come Home Againe, line 399.

34.24 Miss Byrne] Muriel M. St. Clare Byrne, “Thomas Churchyard's Spelling,” Library, 4th ser., 5 (1924), 243-248.

34.31 Earl of Essex] STC 5234.

39.9-10 a single compositor] McKerrow's own Introduction, at any rate, states that “the whole work may have been executed [...] by two or more sets of compositors and press-men working simultaneously” (129). See also Hinman, The Printing and Proof-Reading of the First Folio of Shakespeare, and D. F. McKenzie, “Printers of the Mind,” Studies in Bibliography, 22 (1969), 1-75.

40.16 early punctuation] For a modern history of punctuation, readers can now refer to M. B. Parkes, Pause and Effect (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1992).

40.29-30 Mrs. Percy Simpson] Evelyn Percy Simpson, “A Note on Donne's Punctuation,” Review of English Studies, 4 (1928), 295-300.

41.16 his duty] On this theme cf. also Introduction, 204-213; see, however, Gaskell, New Introduction, 110-116 and references quoted there.

42.38 Bentley's edition] Richard Bentley (1662-1742), classical scholar and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. His edition of Milton's Paradise Lost, bearing over 800 suggested emendations, was published in 1732.

44.1 Dr. Oskar Sommer] Thomas Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur. The Original Edition of William Caxton, ed. Oskar Sommer, 3 vols. (London: D. Nutt, 1891).

44.24 Dr. J. A. Gee] John Archer Gee, The Life and Works of Thomas Lupset (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1928).

45.16 Spenser] Edmund Spenser, Poetical Works, ed. J. C. Smith and E. de Selincourt (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1912). McKerrow re-used the section on Spenser (from “In the one-volume” to “under 4,000”) with minimal variations in “Elizabethan Printer,” 141-142. In the article he added, after this (142-143), an extra example from Robert Greene's News Both from Heaven and Hell, followed by virtually the same text found in the next paragraph (“Lastly... complaint here”; the only significant variant here may be “Titesius” for “Titesias”).

45.41 Grosart] Edmund Spenser, The Complete Works in Verse and Prose, ed. Alexander B. Grosart et al., 9 vols. ([London]: Printed for Private Circulation, 1882-84).

49.18 confusions possible] Cf. Introduction, 253-254.


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51.12 William Blades] William Blades, Shakespeare and Typography (London: Trubner & Co., 1872), 73-78; cf. Introduction, 256.

53.14-15 genuine cases] The case of “obscured” printed as “obserued” is, in fact, found “in the Interlude of Inpatient Poverty, 1560, l. 794” (Introduction, 258).

53.28 Nashe's Unfortunate Traveller] The Works of Thomas Nashe, ed. McKerrow, II, 227; interestingly, this edition reads, however, “anckle”, following the second edition of 1594, sig. C1v. One wonders if this is just a coincidence; McKerrow's insistence in these lectures on the errors in later “reprints” (i.e., editions), on the fact that spelling is more and more subject to normalisation as editions continue, and on the unlikely possibility that the authors would have read proofs of reprints, may point to an increasing dissatisfaction with his own practice in The Works of Thomas Nashe. Even when certain that there are authorial revisions in a later edition, that is, McKerrow might be implicitly questioning the theoretical validity of basing the whole text on that edition. For a comment of McKerrow's editorial principles—and on this edition in particular—see Greg, “Ronald Brunlees McKerrow 1872-1940,” 19-23.

55.13 using it again] Introduction, 198.

56.34-37 And fruit... chestnut-root] Algernon Charles Swinburne, “When the hounds of spring” in Atalanta in Calydon, first chorus, ll. 37-40.

58.39 in the British Museum] This set of proof-sheets is now British Library C. 58.g.7.

60.30 emendation] Lewis Theobald's emendation is now included in most editions of Henry V (II.iii.15-16: “For his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a babbled of green fields”). For an excellent discussion of this famous textual crux see Henry V, ed. Gary Taylor, The World's Classics (Oxford, New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1994), 292-295.


The following list records alterations made in the text by McKerrow or the editor. The nature of the changes and the criteria for recording them are explained in “A Note on the Text” in the Editor's Introduction, as are the abbreviations used here to designate the sources of readings: C (Cambridge University Library), CT (Trinity College Library, Cambridge), and L (British Library).

Title during] in C, CT, L. See Editor's Introduction

7.4 manuscripts] the final s inserted C, CT, L

7.11 convincing] ing written above convince C, CT, L

7.36 concerned,] the comma inserted C, CT, L

8.22 Shakespearian] the i written above cancelled e CT

8.26 his plays] written above cancelled Shakespeare CT

9.39 author's] authors' C, CT, L

9.41 used,] the comma inserted CT

10.37 own—] own, C, CT, L

10.41 `stands' for `stand'st'] question mark written in margin, 2 written above `stands', and 1 written above `stand'st' C, CT, L. See Editorial Commentary

10.42 (=of)] written in margin CT; written above text after `a' C, L

11.19 those] the o written above cancelled e C, CT, L

11.20 a single] written above cancelled one C, CT, L

11.31 Dover] written in space left by typist C, CT, L

12.23 at least be] be least be C, CT, L

13.3 him,... conform,] the commas inserted CT

13.10 remarkable] written above cancelled startling C, CT, L

13.27 lightly] written above cancelled likely C, CT; typewritten above cancelled likely L

13.34 day] s cancelled at end of word C, CT, L

14.4 seem—] seem, C, CT, L


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14.22 author] s cancelled at end of word C, CT, L

15.33 licenser] the r written above cancelled e C, CT; the r typewritten above cancelled e L

18.40-41 uncertain] written above cancelled changing L; written above uncancelled changing C, CT

19.33 are] followed by cancelled not C, CT, L

20.40 scans] written in space left by typist C, CT; typewritten later in space originally left by typist L

22.39 seldom,] the comma inserted CT

23.1 while] written above cancelled which C, CT, L

23.19 authors,] the comma inserted CT

23.38 our] written above cancelled one C, CT

24.22 much] written above cancelled a great deal CT

24.34 by] altered from of by strikeover C, CT, L

25.26 accessible—] accessible, C, CT, L

25.36 play—] play, C, CT, L

25.36 at] of C, CT, L

26.12 a copy] written above cancelled one C, CT, L

26.36 might,] the comma inserted C, CT, L

26.37 printing,] the comma inserted CT

27.23 save in the King's Printing house,] inserted above text after even C, CT, L

27.30 punctuation,] the comma inserted CT, L

27.34 own?] the question mark altered from a period CT, L

28.6-7 printed books] written above uncancelled them C, CT, L

28.8 1580,] the comma inserted C, CT, L

28.11-12 spelling] written above cancelled it C, CT, L

28.16 and important] written above text after real CT

28.16 is limited in its effects] written above cancelled comparatively unimportant C, CT, L

28.40 Ah] question mark followed by a<nd> written in margin CT. See Editorial Commentary

29.10 This also is possible] question mark in margin CT. See Editorial Commentary

30.22 hardly any vernacular ones] written above cancelled no others C, CT, L

30.23-24 apart... (ye, yt, wh)] not in C, L; apart from the contractions for a few small words such as the that, which ex. ye yt wh written in margin CT

30.30 say] written above cancelled so C, CT, L

31.4 mentioned,] the comma inserted C, CT

31.15 Euphues] the u written above cancelled n C, CT, L

31.15 Philautus,] the u written above cancelled n C, CT, L

31.23 to] written above cancelled of C, CT, L

31.23 Philautus,] the u written above cancelled n C, CT, L

32.2 can] underlined by hand CT

32.10 Furioso] the r written above c and the o written above s C, CT, L

32.36 `mynds,' `wynd,' `mynd,' `kynd,' `fayn,' `byte,' `playn,' `kynd,'] `mynds, wynd, mynd, kynd, fayn, byte, playn, kynd,' C, CT, L

32.37 `vile,' `time' and `birth'] `vile, time and birth' C, CT, L

33.5 those] the o written above cancelled e C, CT, L

33.13 1586] underlined, with question mark written in the margin CT. See Editorial Commentary

33.16 `doone,' `dooth,' `loove,' `woorthie,'] `doone, dooth, loove, woorthie,' C, CT, L

34.4 not] written in margin C, CT, L

34.16 manuscripts,] the comma inserted CT

34.18 poetaster] written across typed pre and in space left by typist C, CT, L

34.24 also] inserted above text after article C, CT, L

34.30 Bollifant] the f written above cancelled p C, CT, L

34.31 Earl] East C, CT, L

34.33 desire—] desire, C, CT, L

35.25 ciuill] written in space left by typist C, CT, L

37.25 Euphues] the u written above cancelled n C, CT

37.25 Philautus] the n written above cancelled n C, CT

37.31 with] written above cancelled and C, CT, L

37.32 with] written above cancelled and C, CT, L

38.9 Euphues] the u written above canceled n C, CT, L

38.25 strike us] written above cancelled sticks C, CT; strikes us written above cancelled sticks L


Page 65

39.33 perhaps after 1580—] inserted above text after 1590 CT

40.32 Donne] the first n written over u CT

41.37-38 printing-houses other than that of the King's Printer] houses other than that of the King's Printer written above cancelled trade C, CT, L

42.28 obtained] written above uncancelled formed CT

43.22 however] written above text after If C, CT, L

43.33 Pliny] the y written above cancelled g C, CT, L

43.34 that] followed by cancelled on the whole CT

43.36 bad—] followed by cancelled to convince oneself that C, CT, L

44.2-3 Wynkyn de Worde's departures] written above cancelled the variants C, CT, L

44.3 text] followed by cancelled made by Wynkyn de Worde, C, CT, L

44.10 not] followed by cancelled very C, CT, L

44.10 400,000] written above cancelled half a million C, CT, L

44.36 `these',] the comma inserted CT

46.21 `Nenius'] the n written above cancelled u C, CT, L

46.21 `Neuius,'] the u written above cancelled n C, CT, L

46.32 inability] written above cancelled unable C, CT, L

47.13-14 are... suppose] written above cancelled might easily be confused in an `English' hand CT

47.20 early] written above cancelled Elizabethan C, CT, L

48.20 meaning or good] inserted above text after of C, CT

48.24 very] inserted above text after of CT

48.40 of a general nature] inserted above text after much C, CT, L

49.7 between] inserted above text after scribes C, CT, L

49.20 `r' and `v,'] inserted above text after `x,' C, CT, L

49.22 Italian,] the comma inserted CT

50.10-11 Perhaps... own] written above cancelled Indeed, I can give from my own experience as [sic] example CT

50.35 peculiarities of] inserted above text after to C, CT, L

50.35 their] followed by cancelled illegible C, CT, L

50.36 of] written above cancelled to C, CT, L

51.9 a] inserted above text after such C, CT, L

51.19 `low'] written above cancelled `revive' C, CT, L

51.19 `vow'] written above cancelled `revile,' C, CT, L

51.32 one] question mark written in the margin CT

52.15 `etrre'] the second r written above cancelled s C, CT, L

52.15 `terre,'] the second r written above cancelled s C, CT, L

53.11 obserued] the u written above cancelled v C, CT, L

53.14 mistakenly] written above cancelled again C, CT, L

53.29 auglet] the u written above cancelled n C, CT, L

53.30 Now] written above cancelled but C, CT, L

53.42 `vpreare' for `vpheaue'] written above text after `hold,' C, CT, L

54.5-6 or,... probably,] the commas inserted CT

54.16 vitiation] written in space left by typist C, CT, L

55.2 worst] written in space left by typist C, CT, L

55.13 three] written in margin next to uncancelled these CT

57.2 in high-class poetry] written above text after unlikely CT

58.21-22 for... me] written above text after remark C, CT, L

58.22 in the text] inserted below text after inserted C, CT, L