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Every Man In His Humour (Q): Textual Essay

David Bevington

Every Man In His Humour was published in quarto in 1601 and then in substantially revised form in the folio of 1616 . It is first mentioned in the Stationers’ Register, 4 August 1600: ‘Euery man in his humour / a booke . . . to be staied’ (Arber, Transcript, 3.37 ). As You Like It, Henry V, and Much Ado about Nothing are included in this entry. All are identified as ‘My lord chamberlens mens plaies’. The view once championed by A. W. Pollard (1937) that this staying entry was a device to forestall the tactics of would-be pirates is now discounted in favour of some more routine business arrangement as a possible explanation for a delay in printing. At any rate, the delay was brief. Ten days later, on 14 August, the S.R. contains the following entry:

Master Burby. Entred for yeir copie vnder the handes of
Walter Burre. master PASVILL and the Wardens.
a booke called Euery man in his humour. vjd
(Arber, Transcript, 3.169)

‘PASVILL’ is Zachariah Pasfield, a corrector of books. The quarto was published in 1601 with the title, ‘EVERY MAN IN / his Humor. / As it hath beene sundry times / publickly acted by the right / Honorable the Lord Cham- / berlaine his seruants. / Written by BEN. IOHNSON. / Quod non dant procures, dabit Histrio. / Haud tamen inuidias vati, quem pulpita pascunt. / Imprinted at London for Walter Burre, and are to / be sould at his shoppe in Paules Church-yarde. / 1601.’ Collation: A-A2, B-L4, M1-2. A1 contains the title page, with the verso blank; A2 gives ‘The number and names of the Actors’, with a blank verso. The play text runs from B to M2v. The book was co-printed, a common procedure at this time. Simon Stafford was the printer for sheets B-G; the printer of the other sheets has recently been identified by Adrian Weiss as Richard Read (cited in Miola, 2000, 38-9 ; see also Lavin, 1970 ). Fifteen copies of the quarto survive.

The quarto presents few challenges to the editor. The following press variants have been noted (for the distribution of variants, see the end of this essay):

State 1 State 2
Sig. C4v
2 stockada stockado
11 Phoebus Phoebus
34 wound, wound
29 abruptly? abruptly
4 neere vvere
33 the. thee.
20 messago message

On I4v (4.3.94), the ‘corrected’ reading seems in fact to be a mistake on the part of a proof corrector, who was misled by what appeared to be an incomplete thought. The change on G3 is not a correction but results from type being dislodged during the printing. The folio text provides a few necessary corrections to the quarto, as indicated in the textual notes. At the same time, care has been taken in this present edition not to conflate the two; wherever the quarto reading is defensible, it has been retained.

Unlike the 1616 folio text, which divides its text into scenes in the ‘continental’ style with a new scene at each significant entrance, the quarto text generally marks a new scene only when the stage is momentarily bare. The quarto scenes are apt therefore to be longer and fewer in number. Act divisions are affected as well: Act 2 in the quarto begins where the folio is at 2.4, Act 3 at folio 3.3, Act 4 at folio 4.6, and Act 5 at folio 4.10. In general, the quarto text is more governed by theatrical considerations, while the folio is prepared by Jonson as a literary text in the classical tradition. The quarto indicates many entrances in mid scene (such as ‘Enter Pizo, and Biancha’ at 5.1.13 SD2) whereas the folio groups the names of each scene’s participants in a massed entry at the head of the scene. When a scene begins with the entry of one or two characters, with others to follow later, only those entering are named at the start of the scene in Q. (e.g. ‘Enter Lorenzo senior’, 5.1.0 SD).

Indications of stage business are printed as stage directions in Q, within the body of the text, whereas F1 uses marginal notations. For example, Q prints ‘Claps to the doore’ on line 5.1.13, and ‘Enter Musco disguised like a soldier’ at the head of 2.1 (both of these are missing in F1), whereas F1 uses the margins: ‘Bobadill is making him ready all this while’ (1.5.58), ‘Bobadill beates him with a cudgell’ (3.5.87 SD), ‘Master Stephen is practising, to the post’ (3.5.109). Some marginal notations in F1 are imprecise, such as ‘Cash goes in and out calling’ (3.5.48 SD), whereas Q gives several entrances and exits for Cash’s Q equivalent, Piso. It as though Jonson, having abandoned most entrances and exits as inappropriate to his ‘literary’ folio text, realized at this point that the reader might have some trouble following Cash’s comings and goings, and accordingly supplied all that a reader really needs to know, which is that Cash ‘goes in and out’. Exits are regularly indicated in Q and omitted in F1.

Since Q does not feature many textual cruxes, the textual notes are chiefly concerned with noteworthy modernizations of spelling and punctuation, placement of stage directions, and lineation. Modernization of spelling is a subject on which editors often disagree in particular instances. The modernization in this present edition is fairly thorough, with commentary explanation where a resonance of original spelling is potentially diminished: Biancha/Bianca, Pizo/Piso, inow/enough, mary/marry, moe/more, affrayed/afraid, stonnd/stunned, thresh/thrash, bonefires/bonfires. Sometimes etymological information is lost in modernizing but is then explained in a commentary note, as with ‘Hartechocke’ for ‘artichoke’ (5.2.5), or ‘abhominable’ at 1.3.50 (a false etymology, presumably from ab + homine, away from the human) for ‘abominable’ (as corrected by Jonson in F1). To modernize ‘trauelling’ to ‘travailing’ at 4.1.44 is to lose a possible resonance of ‘travelling’, even if ‘travailing’ is here the dominant meaning. Bobadilla’s ‘neuer mistrust’ at 4.2.69 is open to a fencing interpretation that is recorded in F1’s ‘neuer misse thrust’; here the two versions are best kept separate.

Some modernizations are less problematic: geering/jeering, least/lest, course/coarse, couze/coz, cipresse/cypress, catzo/cazzo, bason/basin, pide/pied, venter/venture, looses/loses, assent/ascent, ordinance/ordnance, spittle/spital, powre/pour, rewme/rheum, patten/patent, Newcotian/Nicotian, lyne/lain, guilt/gilt, stay’d/staid, e’re/ere, e’re/e’er, hundreth/hundred, strooke/struck, sturde/stirred, ieast/jest, accompt/account, brize/breeze, arrenst/arrant’st.

Punctuation needs a considerable amount of attention, though not problematically in most cases: Q not infrequently omits needed commas and periods, uses a comma where we would expect a period, uses a period where we would expect a question mark, and so on. Prose is sometimes lined as verse and the other way around. Abbreviations are expanded, especially ‘M.’ for ‘Master’, as at 1.3.48. As mentioned above, F1 offers some useful corrections to the Q text (such as ‘of me’ for Q’s ‘of men’ at 4.1.9), so long as one is careful not to conflate these two very different versions of the play; F2 and F3 too provide occasional commonsense corrections, such as F2’s ‘the two’ in place of Q, F1’s ‘they two’ at 2.3.20. These later folios have no independent authority, however, and an occasional move in them can be misguided: F3’s substituting ‘flesh and blood’ for Q’s unconventional ‘fish and blood’ at 3.1.163-4 is very probably missing the point of witty wordplay.

The quarto version of EMI has not been edited as often as the folio text in modern times, though good texts of Q are available. It is not included in collected editions of Jonson by Peter Whalley (1756) or William Gifford (1816) , though Francis Cunningham printed act 1 in his 1875 revision . The whole play was printed in modern spelling in Felix Schelling’s edition of Jonson for the Everyman series (2 vols, 1910 , and in old-spelling in Herford and Simpson (1927) . Henry Holland Carter’s edition of EMI (1921) provides facing-page texts of Q and F1 in old spelling, with commentary that is judgmentally slanted toward a marked aesthetic preference for F1 as representing the more mature Jonson. J. W. Lever’s parallel-text edition (1971) is very useful and judicious, albeit marred by an unfortunate decision to renumber the act and scene numbering in the folio text, so that correlating this text with other editions is difficult. Most recent and complete is the Revels Plays edition of the quarto text by Robert S. Miola (2000) , with extensive introduction and critical apparatus. W. Bang and W. W. Greg’s diplomatic reprinting of the Bodleian Library’s copy of Q in modern type for Materialien zur Kunde des älteren Englischen Dramas (1905) [Bib. # 4196has been made largely unnecessary by the Scolar Press’s facsimile reprint of the British Library’s copy of Q (shelf-mark C.34.c.59), supervised by Claude J. Summers (1972) .

List of surviving copies of Q

1. British Library, London: C.34.c.59

2. British Library, London: 162.c.70

3. Bodleian Library, Oxford: Mal. 229

4. Bodleian Library, Oxford: Mal. 213

5. Eton College Library

6. Victoria and Albert Museum, Dyce Collection: D.25.A.76

7. Victoria and Albert Museum, Dyce Collection: D.25.A.77

8. Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC: STC 14766, copy 1

9. Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC: STC 14766, copy 2

10. Huntington Library, San Marino, California: 62055

11. New York Public Library

12. Pierpoint Morgan Library: W 04 C

13. Houghton Library, Harvard University

14. University of Texas, Austin: Pforz 545

15. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ: REng.JON.Every.1601

Distribution of variants in Q

C outer state 1: copy 11

state 2: the rest

G outer state 1: copy 2

state 2: the rest

I inner state 1: copy 11

state 2: the rest

I outer state 1: copy 1

state 2 the rest

L outer state 1: copies 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15

state 2: copies 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12

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