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Eastward Ho!: Textual Essay

Suzanne Gossett

The textual history of Eastward Ho! is intimately tied to other elements of the play’s creation and political impact. Questions about the printing and publication are complicated by the collaborative authorship, the unauthorized production, the imprisonment of Jonson and Chapman, the probable rush to print and the censorship evident in the survival of two obviously differing issues, censorship which may extend even further into the text.

On 4 September 1605 Eastward Ho! was entered in the Stationer’s Register by ‘William Aspley’ and ‘Thomas Thorp’:

Entred for their Copies vnder the handes of Master WILSON and Master ffeild warden A Comedie called Eastward Ho: . vjd (Arber, 1875-94, 3.128)

The title page provides additional information:

EASTWARD/ HOE. / As / It was playd in the / Black-friers. / By / The Children of her Maiesties Reuels. / Made by / GEO: CHAPMAN. BEN: IONSON. IOH: MARSTON. / [Device] / AT LONDON / Printed for William Aspley. / 1605.

By means of the ornamental device on the title page Greg identified the printer of this and subsequent quartos as George Eld (Greg, 1939-59, 1.344-5 ).

As described in the play introduction, the first quarto of Eastward Ho! exists in two issues, the second with a substitute half sheet replacing the original E3 and E4. Fourteen of sixteen surviving copies of Q are ‘corrected’ in this way; the corrected copy in the Dyce Collection has also had the original pages, taken from a different copy, inserted along with the substitute pages. The Freeman copy, previously unknown, is without either version of the E3 and E4 leaves and may have served as the source for the Dyce copy inserts (see below). Q1 was followed rapidly by Q2 and Q3, all dated 1605, which means that even if old style dating was used, demand for the play was so great that Eld printed three quartos between September of 1605 and 25 March of (modern) 1606. Q2 and Q3 reprint Qc, although Eld saved a sheet through various devices of compression and by increasing the length of the page. Q1 collates A-I4, 36 pages unnumbered; Q2 and Q3 collate A-H4, 32 pages unnumbered. These successive quartos do not introduce any obviously authorial material – the interventions, all minor, could have been made by Eld’s proof corrector or even an alert compositor – and thus the changes have no special textual authority. One example of successive error clearly demonstrates the unauthoritative nature of the modifications and also serves to discriminate between the almost identical second and third quartos. At 2.2.18-19 in Q1 Quicksilver tells Security that ‘tis the London high-way to thrift, if vertue bee vsde: tis but as a scrappe to the nette of villainie.’ Perhaps confused by the mispunctuation, Q2 has ‘but a scap’ and Q3 miscorrects to ‘but a scape’. Clearly, all inferences about the relation between the printed version of Eastward Ho! and the authors’ original must be based on Q1.

The trio of stationers who jointly produced the play, George Eld, Thomas Thorpe, and William Aspley, are most familiar from the printing, publication, and sale of Shakespeare’s Sonnets in 1609. The three men were close in age; George Eld, the printer, the youngest, was still in his late twenties, and had only been a Master for one year when he printed Eastward Ho!. Nevertheless, he had married into the trade (marrying the widow of Richard Read), and in his first year, 1604, printed volumes of religion, history, and politics, such as Sir William Cornwallis’s Miraculous and Happy Union of England and Scotland, Edward Grimeston’s True History of the Memorable Siege of Ostend and Matthew Sutcliffe’s Supplication of Certain Mass-priests. He also printed ephemera – he was fined for unauthorized printing of ballads in 1606 and twice in 1612 and eventually became one of the ballad partners.

Thorpe seems to have been the most intellectual of the three, as can be seen from his dedications. Besides the famous dedication ‘To the Only Begetter’, Thorpe wrote, for example, a sly and clever dedication to his ‘kind, and true friend’ Edward Blunt in his edition of Marlowe’s translation of Lucan, instructing Blunt on how to be a patron (‘One speciall vertue in our Patrons of these daies I haue promist my selfe you shall fit excellently, which is to giue nothing’) and a more learned dedication to John Florio in a translation of Epictetus (‘Sir, as distressed Sofratus spake to more fortunate Areius, to make him his mediator to Augustus The learned loue the learned, if they be rightly learned: . . . This Manuall of Epictetus . . . hath beene held by some the hand to Phylosophy’). As Katharine R. Pantzer explains in the Index of Printers and Publishers in the revised STC , although Thorpe ‘owned or shared many copyrights, he seems not to have been active in the retail trade.’ Perhaps for this reason, it was not uncommon for his name to disappear from the title page, as is the case with Eastward Ho!, even when he was engaged in publication. In 1617 he was in Antwerp buying books for the Latin Stock (an attempt by a group of Stationers to monopolize the purchase of books from abroad) (Roberts, 2002, 161 ). Towards the end of his life Thorpe’s business may have been struggling: the STC cites his name in the Poor Book 1623-5.

Aspley, on the other hand, was the most long-lived and successful of the three. He had a shop in Paul’s Churchyard from 1599-1640, and may have served more as bookseller than publisher. Patrick H. Martin and John Finnis note that ‘Thorpe’s first publication registered in his own name, a letter concerning the East Indies Merchants of London, was done with William Aspley in 1603’ (2003, 11 ). Aspley invested in the English and Latin stock, ‘belonged to the committee that oversaw the workmanship of almanac printing’ (David Gants, private communication), and eventually became a master of the Stationers’ Company.

All three men, separately and together, were engaged in the publication and dissemination of plays, including those by Eastward Ho!’s three authors. In 1604 Thorpe alone had entered Marston’s Malcontent in the Stationer’s Register, though his name again disappeared from the title page as it delineated the roles of publisher, printer and bookseller: the play was ‘printed by V[alentine] S[immes] for William Aspley, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules Church-yard’. Thorpe would go on to publish Histriomastix in 1610. In 1605 Thorpe published Chapman’s All Fools, which, like Eastward Ho!, he had printed by Eld. Aspley would publish Chapman’s Bussy D’Ambois in 1607; Thorpe’s plays of Chapman besides Eastward Ho! and All Fools included Charles, Duke of Byron (Eld, 1608) and The Gentleman Usher. Eld had printed Jonson’s King’s Entertainment in 1604, his first independent year; in 1605, after Eastward Ho!, he would also print Sejanus (Cain, Textual Essay). Eld printed Chapman’s Caesar and Pompey in 1607 as well as his Memorable Masque in 1613.

Unlike some authors, Jonson, Chapman, and Marston normally published their plays, usually within a few years of their performance. Jonson had published Every Man Out in 1600, Every Man In and Cynthia’s Revels in 1601, and Poetaster in 1602. Chapman had been publishing his plays since 1598 and Marston since 1601. Parrott points out that ‘Four of Chapman’s comedies appeared in two successive years: Eastward Ho and All Fools in 1605, Monsieur D’Olive and The Gentleman Usher in 1606’ (Comedies, ed. Parrott, 1914, 2.889n.2). Therefore, it may have been a combination of the authors’ normal practice with a desire to bring out the scandalous Eastward Ho! before, inevitably, the performances were suppressed and it became unobtainable that led them to give it to Thorpe and Aspley at the end of August 1605. Or the initiative could have come from the other side: Peter Blayney suggests that, as sometimes happened when a play was a cause célèbre, one or more of the stationers ‘may have approached the playwright[s] or the players to ask whether they could buy a text for publication’ (1997, 392 ). If our proposed timetable is correct and Murray complained to the King about the play soon after the monarch’s return at the beginning of September, entrance in the Register on 4 September looks like the publication was intended to exploit the scandal. The printing of the quarto may even have been begun but not completed when the authors were thrown into prison. James would have felt he had plenty of cause for anger just on the basis of what he learned about the performances, and it seems from Jonson and Chapman’s letters from prison as if the authors were not in a position to give Cecil a completed copy of the play to demonstrate their assertions of innocence (see Introduction).

But elements of the ensuing situation – two authors imprisoned and one absent, stationers frightened of losing their investment, and a company in the process of losing the Queen’s patronage – combine to obscure the history of the play’s printing. Certainly there is no parallel between Jonson’s supervision of his earlier publications or Marston’s publication of his satires and the production of Eastward Ho!. Katherine Duncan-Jones (1983, 156 ) shows that Thorpe frequently worked from authoritative texts purchased from the authors rather than from the players. But under these special circumstances responsibility for some of the key decisions about the text of Eastward Ho! remains uncertain.

The most notable of these decisions was that to cancel and replace four pages of the first issue of Q1, E3r-E4v, with a half sheet insert. The only surviving copy of this first version, Qu, is British Library Ashley 371, and even there the original title page has been replaced by a title page from the Wrenn copy of Q3 now at Texas. (The title pages are distinguishable because Q1 and Q2 have an italic colon after ‘BEN’ where the colon is roman in Q3; Greg also noted that only in Q3 is the capital B in By swash.) Ashley 371 formerly belong to T. J. Wise and it is to him that we owe this unfortunate manipulation of the copies. (See Foxon, 1959 , and Freeman, 1982, 2004 , for accounts of Wise’s thefts and his mutilation of early modern dramatic quartos.) The only other known copy containing the original sheets is in the Dyce Collection, National Art Library, at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In this copy the cancelled pages (collectively, the ‘cancellandum’) have been inserted before the pages which replaced them (collectively, the ‘cancellans’). Tabs where the cancel has been cut out are visible in the Bodleian copy, and in the Clark Library copy the half-sheet containing the revised signatures E3 and E4 has been mistakenly inserted before signatures E1 and E2. In the Yale copy the inserted sheet is visibly smaller than the surrounding sheets. This half-sheet insert was printed hastily: its text introduces a number of new, uncorrected errors (see the lists of variant states below).

The Freeman copy, not known to previous editors, is missing leaves E3, E4, and F4; these are precisely the leaves inserted in the Dyce copy, which lacks its original F4 but has the corrected version of E3-E4 following the inserted first state. A reasonable conclusion is that the Freeman quarto served as the source for the additions to the Dyce copy. Watermarks and chain lines are consistent throughout. The inserted pages are considerably smaller than those in the rest of the Dyce and have had extensions pasted on the bottom and the fore-edge. Leaves in the Freeman copy are also smaller than in the Dyce, but because they are heavily trimmed throughout it is difficult to determine whether the measurements match. Yet, despite the correlation of missing and added leaves there is reason to be less than absolute about the connection between the two copies. A conspicuous stain in the Freeman copy that begins on the top inner margin of F1 and runs through the rest of the quarto is not present in the F4 insert in Dyce; yet the stain may be recent or the leaf could have been washed at the time the inserts were mounted. Furthermore, in Freeman the remaining leaves of the E signature, E1-2, are notably smaller than the rest of that volume and may have a different watermark from the rest of the volume. But the likeliest explanation for this anomaly is that in its current state Freeman itself is a made-up copy, only partly reconstituted after it supplied the leaves missing in the Dyce.  

In the inserted half sheet E, the major deletions from the original version are in two passages sometimes identified with the ‘two clauses’ that Chapman, in his letter to James, calls the ‘chief offences . . . and both of them not our own’ (Letter (a)). Describing the wonders to be found in Virginia, Captain Seagull originally concluded that ‘you shall live freely there, without sergeants, or courtiers, or lawyers, or intelligencers; only a few industrious Scots, perhaps, who indeed are dispersed over the face of the whole earth. But as for them, there are no greater friends to Englishmen and England, when they are out on’t, in the world than they are. And for my part, I would a hundred thousand of ’em were there, for we are all one countrymen now, ye know, and we should find ten times more comfort of them there then we do here’ (3.3.32-8). The other offending clause followed fast, ‘You may be an alderman there and never be scavenger; you may be a noble man and never be a slave’ (39-40).

Who authorized the elimination of these passages by altering and reprinting the relevant signatures has never been satisfactorily determined. It is also unclear whether there was an attempt to suppress all copies of a fully printed first issue but a few copies nevertheless survived, or whether the decision to alter was made during the printing but copies already printed were allowed to stand. It is just possible that the first copies of Q1 had already been printed and sold before the authorities ordered the printer to pull two formes and make rapid substitutions. Gary Taylor (Wells et al, 1987, 559 ) assumes that the censorship was performed by the Master of the Revels; in a further complication this may not have been the Master, Edmund Tilney, but instead his Deputy, George Buc, who licensed plays for the press until Tilney’s death in 1610. (Chapman’s letter to the Lord Chamberlain makes it clear that the play was not licensed for the stage; see Dutton, 1997, 301-2. ) It seems, however, more likely that Chapman and Jonson, imprisoned during at least some of the printing, saw these pages late, realized how dangerous they were and insisted that they be changed. It is also possible that to gain their release from prison they agreed to omit the censored passages from the published version. As David Gants notes, although sixteen surviving copies is too few for statistical certainty, ‘the ratio of copies without the cancellans to those with it’ – that is, two to fourteen if one assumes the Freeman copy had only the original pages – suggests that the quarto was altered ‘before it hit the bookstalls’. Given the evident anger of the king, Aspley, Thorpe, and Eld could hardly protest even if reprinting meant extra expense.

Harder to explain is what does and does not remain in the text. The condition of Q1 even in its first issue may reflect a hurried and inadequate attempt to eliminate dangerous material in the course of printing. Herford and Simpson point out that the printer apparently reset three pages, A4v, C1v, and C2, where there are notable blank spaces and where at the end of Gertrude’s speech (1.2.42-50) prose lines are set as ‘verse’ to fill space:

Now (Ladyes my comfort)
What a prophane Apes here!
Tailer, Poldavis, prethee fit it
fit it: is this a right Scot?
Does it clip close? And beare vp round?

The ‘right Scot’ seems to be all that remains of a passage both longer and more pointed, as does the entrance of ‘Bettrice leading a Monkey after her’. Bettrice has only one line and there is no business with a monkey, though as Herford and Simpson suggest, there may originally have been some trick of the kind Jonson refers to in Bartholomew Fair, where the ‘well-educated ape’ will ‘come over the chain, for the King of England, and back again for the Prince, and sit still on his arse for the Pope and the King of Spain!’

C. G. Petter estimates that type hypothetically removed from A3, A4v, C1v, and C2 would equal fourteen lines; Herford and Simpson arrive at seventeen, and point out that the printer must have been responsible, as ‘any one of the authors, if he had been appealed to, could have supplied a stop-gap’ (H&S, 4.495). Certainly when it was necessary someone could do so, as there is a ‘stop-gap’ supplied in the second issue of Q, where ‘you may be a Noble man, and never be a slaue’ becomes ‘You may be any other officer, and neuer be a Slaue,’ and Seagull’s speech concludes with the sententious and rather meaningless filler phrases, ‘Besides, there, we shall haue no more Law than Conscience, and not too much of either; serue God inough, eate and drinke inough, and inough is as good as a Feast.’

On the face of it Petter appears to be more cautious than Herford and Simpson, proposing that the errors in printing could be merely the result of poor casting off, although even he concedes that the ‘strongest argument in favour of the revision theory is the spacing of C1v-C2r, two consecutive pages set by the same compositor. These pages have 37 and 35 lines respectively, in contrast with the usual 39, and the central topic is the affairs of the court. A gibe may well have been removed at II, ii, 80’ (that is, in the midst of Sindefy’s excoriation of favouritism at court) (1973, xliii ). But Petter’s caution rests on weak grounds. First of all, Eld, even if he was only at the beginning of his independent career, seems to have been a capable printer. He was able to deal in the same year as Eastward Ho! with the unusually challenging complications of printing Sejanus and in 1604 had printed the King’s Entertainment, full of difficult typography. He printed all or part of seventeen texts in 1605 (Cain, Sejanus Textual Essay) and his other texts do not show inexplicable white spaces. It seems unlikely that he would make basic errors in casting off. His compositors were experienced and, in an exhaustive study of Eld’s texts including some by Chapman and Marston, Peter Murray demonstrated that they ‘did not alter the forms in the texts brought to him for printing’. Instead, ‘for the most part Eld’s workmen simply reproduced the forms they found in the manuscripts presented to them for printing’ (Murray, 1962, 198-200 ).

Moreover, it does not appear that Eastward Ho! was printed from cast off copy. At the least, even if necessary estimates were made, the play was set seriatim. As in Bartholomew Fair (see Creaser, Bart. Fair Textual Essay), formes and gatherings end in mid phrase and mid word. Signature A ends ‘steele in-’ and Signature B begins ‘strument’; Signature B ends ‘ope the’ and Signature C begins ‘dores’; Signature E ends ‘I’ll be’ and Signature F begins ‘sworne’. Signature G ends ‘& lewd cour-’, with the catchword ‘ses.’ and Signature H begins ‘ses’. This pattern persists throughout the play: H ends ‘a little’ and I begins ‘craz’d’. No printer would cast off to the middle of a word or the middle of a phrase, so poor casting off alone cannot explain what happened to the oddly printed pages in Signatures A and C. In fact, because A4v is one of the pages with a lot of white space but still ends with a divided word, it seems almost certain that something was removed after the pages were laid out.

Furthermore, on C1 the last speech reads ‘Hyn. But ah-las Francke, how wil all this bee maintain’d now?’ followed by the catchword Quick. But C1v begins ‘Your place maintain’d it before’, which is the end of Sindefy’s speech. These words could easily have fit in the remaining space on C1. Here, then, is another suggestion that something of Quicksilver’s has been omitted (although a simple catchword error is always possible.)

It may be significant that these ‘edited’ sections are found in signatures A and C. Possibly Chapman and Jonson were still in prison and Marston away when these early sections were in press: they could not be consulted by Eld or his press corrector, either of whom might have felt able to make cuts but not similarly able or entitled to write substitute material. The ‘stop-gap’ filler occurs later, in signature E, and if it was indeed Chapman or Jonson who noticed the continuing presence of the offending original, he may also be the author of a rapidly tossed-off substitution.

Whoever was responsible for the censorship of the first issue – the newly-released authors, an increasingly frightened member of the Thorpe-Aspley-Eld trio, or, less likely, the authorities (who one might think would have suppressed the entire quarto, given the King’s anger) – the remaining material confirms that the printing was probably a rush job. Even with censorship presumably performed twice, once after setting but before printing and once after objections led to the reissue, either haste, carelessness or defiance is evident from the scandalous lines still present. The most striking example is the confrontation between the two Gentlemen and the penniless Sir Petronel Flash, shipwrecked on the notorious Isle of Dogs while trying to flee to Virginia (4.1.124-48). Here a knowing conversation about James’s sale of knighthoods at discount prices concludes with an open invitation for an actor’s mimicry of the king, ‘I ken the man weel, he’s one of my thirty pound knights’. It is intriguing that these lines occur on F4, missing from the Dyce copy until supplied from elsewhere. Just possibly someone reading the lines was either angry enough to tear the leaf out or so amused that he or she needed the page to share the joke.

Various attempts have been made to distinguish between Eld’s compositors. For Eastward Ho! such discrimination would be of particular interest if the effort helped determine which elements of the play’s style were attributable to the various authors and which to the printing house, or to determine what kind of copy was supplied to the printer. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The number of Eld’s presumed compositors has expanded and shrunk in various studies: Alice Walker, editing Troilus and Cressida in 1957, found two with differing preferred spellings (e.g. A shalbe, wilbe, ritch, els / B shall be, will be, rich, else). In 1964 Akihiro Yamada, studying Chapman’s All Fools , claimed to differentiate compositors not only by spelling, which he found equivocal, but by the measure of the composing stick, the number of lines to the page, the variety of running titles, the speech prefixes and the punctuation marks. Yamada arrived at four compositors, noting as important differentiating spellings A me, we, -ly / B mee, wee, -lie. However, analyzing the textual history of the same play in 1970 G. Blakemore found only three compositors. Evans found ‘no persuasive evidence’ that All Fools was set by cast off copy and also noted that the play was set on a single press (Evans, in Chapman’s Comedies, ed. Holaday, 1970).

The work of Walker, Evans, and Yamada was used by Petter, whose analysis again reduced the number of Eld’s compositors to two. Petter explained that ‘My Eld A is Walker’s Eld A, Yamada’s Eld D, and Evans’s Eld C; while Eld B is so called in all three earlier editions’ (1973, xii, n.50). Van Fossen , following Petter, lists the preferences of Eld A and Eld B as follows:

Eld A Eld B
Els Else
‘y’ endings ‘ie’ endings
‘e’ in ‘me’, ‘he’, etc ‘ee’ in ‘mee’, ‘hee’, etc
Ahlas Alas
Bene Bin
Lets let’s
Blood Bloud
Forth Foorth
i’faith y’faith
Hart Heart
Mist. Touch. Mistris Touch.
‘d’ in ‘praisd’, etc. ‘’d’ in ‘prais’d’, etc.
‘a’ in ‘change’, etc. ‘au’ in ‘chaunge’, etc.
‘i’ in ‘voice’, etc. ‘y’ in ‘voyce’, etc.
‘g’ in ‘voyage’, etc. ‘dge’ in voyadge’, etc.
Wolfe. Woolfe.
Careless setting of verse Careless setting of speech prefixes
Unintelligible punctuation

Most recently, however, Thomas O. Calhoun and Thomas L. Gravell , arguing that at least three compositors set type for Sejanus, found the most telling evidence for distinguishing one of Eld’s compositors from another to be the way spaces have been placed or omitted after a medial comma. One of the compositors tended to use either no space or a space before the punctuation mark; the other put the space after the comma in what has become the modern format. Calhoun and Gravell combine the information they gather from spacing with information based on six test words, we be he she me do vs. wee bee hee shee mee and doe. In conclusion they propose four compositors but concede that B and D may be the same.

About the evidence for the compositors of Eastward Ho! Richard Van Fossen comments that his analysis ‘led to conclusions somewhat at variance with Petter’s’ but neither pattern ‘makes much sense. . . . The evidence on many pages is highly contradictory’ (1979, 50 ). Tom Cain’s findings for Sejanus may suggest why. In Cain’s view, for Sejanus the compositors were following copy too carefully to let their spelling preferences emerge (thus confirming the comments of Murray quoted above). In fact, in his examination of All Fools Yamada long ago suggested that ‘many of these peculiar spellings represent the authorial spellings in the manuscript copy for the printer’ (1964, 90 ). The problem, then, is double. The assumed preferences of the Eastward Ho! compositors do not yield a coherent pattern of setting, and in addition certain spelling and elision preferences may come either from a compositor (one of two or three) or an author (one of three). ‘Ahlas’ is a good example. Eld A is presumed to prefer Ahlas, Eld B Alas. However, Ahlas is unquestionably Chapman’s preferred spelling, and Evans claims that when it appears in a printed text ‘the likelihood is great that such a text was printed from Chapman’s autograph (or, at least, a transcript directly from autograph)’ (in Holaday, 1970, 229 ). The form appears frequently in the Security/Winifred/Petronel subplot, which Thomas Marc Parrott attributed to Chapman although he, unlike Simpson, Petter, and Van Fossen, does not give Chapman 2.2 (Comedies, 1914, 2.844-48). Ahlas appears in 2.2 when Sindefy asks, ‘But ah-las Francke, how will all this bee maintain’d’ and in 3.3 when Security says ‘Ahlas Ahlas’. Strengthening the case, in 4.1, a scene of mixed or combined authorship, Slitgut says ‘Alas alas’, as does Quicksilver, but when the scene returns to Winifred she asks Security ‘Ahlas! Is this seemely for a man of your credit?’ Nevertheless, 2.2, the presumed Chapman scene, also includes the spelling ‘Alas’. Such inconsistency makes drawing conclusions a dubious undertaking.

The other characteristic Chapman usage Evans discussed was ‘am’ (for ‘’em’ = them) as a sure sign of underlying authorial papers. Van Fossen notes, however, that ‘Jonson’s characteristic use of ‘’hem’ as an abbreviation for ‘them’, a form which Petter has found only twice in the five Chapman comedies examined and not once in the four by Marston, appears seventy-five times in the first quarto of Eastward Ho!’ (1979, 9 ). It appears frequently in 2.2. Still, the significance of this ubiquitous ‘’hem’ is uncertain; it could mean that Jonson copied out the entire manuscript and consciously or unconsciously imposed his own preferences, but Petter rather thought that a scribe worked from the foul papers of the different authors (1973, xviii ). In any case, its presence is another indication that the compositors at least sometimes followed their manuscript(s) rather than their own spelling preferences.

In summation, the transmission of the text includes, probably, too many hands for clear determination of compositors. Attempts to apply the comma test of Calhoun and Gravell do not yield numbers consistent with theirs: for example, the ratio of unspaced to spaced commas on A3 (4/22 or approximately 1/6) combines with the presence of ‘bee’ and ‘shee’ in a pattern that does not match any of their four hypothesized compositors. The spelling of the six test words is also erratic, though more convincing than other spellings distinctions in the list (y’faith/ i’faith), which may be authorial. Van Fossen’s summary, hedged about with statements of uncertainty, is not unreasonable: ‘A set sheet A (except for A3); B2v; D1v-D4; E2v-E4; F1-F1v; F4-H2; H4v; I2v-I4v. Compositor B then would have set A3; sheet B (except B2v); C1-D1; D4v-E2; E4v; F2-F3v; H2v-I2 (except H4v). Compositor A seems to have set the first three pages of the cancel, compositor B the fourth’ (1979, 50).

One noteworthy characteristic of the printing is that, especially in the second part of the quarto, beginning in signature F, there was apparently a shortage of italic capitals. In F outer and inner there is a shortage of italic S; in G and H inner a shortage of italic T; in I outer a shortage of italic T and S and in I inner a shortage of italic W and S. But there is also a shortage of italic T on B inner. The frequent speech heads and stage directions for Touchstone aggravate the problem. Furthermore, Eld seems not to have had w or W in his smaller italic font, which is used to print the songs on I3-4. The substituted Roman capitals do not align with the proposed division of work between the compositors and presumably were a matter of supply, though why that became worse as the printing proceeded is uncertain.

More clearly, the play was printed on only one press, as the same headlines were repeatedly used for inner and outer formes. Petter made a table of the running titles based on the presence of swash capital letters: (swash letters are here indicated by a preceding #)








Petter implied that each pattern (i.e. 2, EASTWA#RD HOE) was unique, that is, that only one headline had that pattern, or, conversely, that each pattern equalled a headline. Consequently his table of head line recurrences did not make sense. For example, he showed pattern 3 recurring twice on the inner forme of C, at C2 and C3v. In fact, his patterns 1 and 3 each existed in two versions and his pattern 2 in four versions. Thus his table needs to be restructured. To show the relation to his earlier work the numbers 1, 2, and 3 are retained but here divided.

Inner formes

A1v B1v 1a C1v 2a D1v 1b E1v 2c
A2r B2r 2b C2r 3b D2r 2a E2r 7
A3v 2a Brv 5 C3v 3a D3v 5 E3v 1b
A4r 1a B4r 4 C4r 1b D4r 4 E4r 2d

Outer formes

A1r – B1r 2b C1r 3b D1r 2a E1r 6 (but see below)
A2v 2a B2v 1a C2v 2a D2v 1b E2v 2c
A3r – B3r 4 C3r 1b D3r 4 E3r 2d
A4v 3a B4v 5 C4v 3a D4r 5 E4r ?1b

Inner formes

F1v 2a G1v 1b H1v 2c I1v 1b
F2r 3b G2r 2b H2r 7 I2r 2b
F3v 3a G3v 5 H3v 1b I3v 5
F4r 1a G4r 4 H4r 2d I4v 3a

Outer formes

F1r 3b G1r 2b H1r 7 I1r 3b
F2v 2a G2v 1b H2v 2c I2v 2a
F3r 1a G3r 4 H3r 2d I3r 1a
F4v 3a G4r 5 H4v 1b I4r 3a

The reset was as follows:

E3v 3c
E4r 4
E3r 2a
E4v 1b

Headline 6, on E1, which appears in Ashley and thus in Petter’s chart, is in fact an uncorrected state: in the corrected state the second swash A disappears, and the headline pattern is thus 7, making the forme consistent with E inner and H outer and inner.

Despite the differences in our understanding of the headlines, Petter’s conclusions remain unchanged. Only one press was used, as the headlines were regularly recycled from the inner to the outer formes. There were three sets of headlines, one used for inner and outer A, C, and F as well as I outer, a second used for B, D, and G as well as I inner, and a third used for E and H.

The differences in the states of the E1 headline lead to a consideration of the proofing of Eastward Ho!. Press variants in the sixteen known copies of Q are listed below. It would appear that slightly more proofing was done at the beginning (or that the printing house was sufficiently busy with other work that more proofing could occur at that time). In summary, we find 3 states for A outer (but only the running title changed in 3); 1 state for A inner (apparent differences all concern commas and probably result from irregular inking); 2 states for B outer and B inner; 1 state for C outer; 2 states for C inner and D outer; 3 states for D inner, although only a stage direction is changed in the third state; 2 states for E outer, signatures E1 and E2v, and 2 states for E inner, signatures E1v and E2; 2 states for F outer; 3 states for F inner; 2 states for G outer and G inner; 1 state for H outer, H inner, and I outer. Due to moving type there appear to be 5 states for I inner, but only 2 show compositor’s intervention. For the cancellans: for E outer, E3 was reset in 1 state and E4v was reset in 2 states; for E inner, E3v and E4 were reset in 1 state. The proportion of surviving corrected to uncorrected copies is strikingly high for the early signatures, while for I inner there are only 3 corrected copies and those may merely reflect a hasty attempt to correct pulled and sliding type. This ratio of surviving corrected to uncorrected copies might imply that most correction occurred reasonably early in the print run.

The differences between corrected and uncorrected states are slight. Except for the new material in the cancel, none of these corrections look as if they necessitated the presence of one of the authors, although an author might be more likely to concern himself with some of the fine points of the punctuation that show correction. It seems possible that the later but not the earlier parts of the quarto were proofed by one of the collaborators. There is no sign that Marston had yet returned from ‘Westward’ (although by July 1606 he was restored to favour and writing a city pageant), so if authorial proofing did take place it was presumably done by Chapman or Jonson. If so this would be another sign that they were released and able to participate in some way in the printing only after it had begun. An author might be expected to catch certain obvious mistakes that remain in the first signatures, for example A4 ( girted in for ‘Gertrude in’; B1v (1.2.92) Cir. for Gir.; C1 (2.2.46) Hyn for Syn[defy]. On the other hand, on F2 at 4.1.130 a missing speech heading for Pet. has been inserted in the second state, someone has changed ‘thee yet; a’ to ‘thee. Yet a’ at 4.1.19-20, and the French on F4 is fussily corrected, in two states. Still, a speech heading for Slitgut remains missing at 4.1.221 (G1v); conversely, on B4v at 2.1.130 the mistaken speech prefix Con. is corrected to Goul. The most unexpected correction, D inner’s third state correction from Enter a Messenger. Exit to Exit. Enter a Messenger (D2; could indicate the intervention of an author or of a theatrically knowledgeable printer.

Basically, as the collation notes show, Q was a well-printed and carefully proofread text. There are few mistaken words, and some later ‘corrections’, like ‘shout/shoot’ at 1.2.20, are really just modernizations of spelling. The errors that remain in the final corrected states, with the exception of a few confused speech headings, are primarily typographical (such as double words, e.g. ‘to to’ 1.2.101, ‘make make’ 5.3.91). Some of the errors in speech headings are misspellings (Hyn for Syn at 2.2.46) and others are typical when a group of characters are known only by numbers, as the prisoners are here (5.5.10, 5.5.62; see Pericles, 5.1, for a similar confusion of sailors.) The exception to the essentially careful printing is the second issue’s cancellans, where the printing seems hasty and new errors are introduced (see the list of variants below). However, even in that case someone took the trouble to correct a mistaken speech heading at 3.3.70.

It is difficult to know just what the nature of the underlying manuscript(s) was. Petter and Van Fossen adduced from the absence of eleven exits and at least one entrance that the manuscript cannot have been a prompt copy. William Long (1985) has, however, demonstrated that such irregularity in directions was common and cannot be relied upon as an indicator of provenance. Nevertheless, as the play was produced without official approval (by either the Queen’s Master of the Revels or the Queen’s or King’s Lord Chamberlain), and had to be printed rapidly, we cannot assume that the theatre had a copy to submit or were willing to give up what they had. It is much more likely that manuscript material was obtained from the authors, whether or not it subsequently passed through the hands of a scribe.

As mentioned above, the difficulties in deciding about the underlying manuscript are complicated by the joint authorship. Petter claimed that ‘a large part of the printer’s copy was in Chapman holograph’ (1973, xviii ). Van Fossen, however, notes that ‘’hem’, found only twice in Chapman’s comedies, occurs eight times in 3.3, ‘given to Chapman by practically all analyses’ (1979, 9 ). On the other hand, we find frequent use of the italics and brackets dear to Jonson. These brackets are present from the beginning in scenes usually attributed to Marston and Chapman (e.g. in 1.2, around phrases such as ‘does he come’, ‘ladyes my comfort’, ‘I cannot faine’, ‘as her mothers gift’, ‘as I am an honest woman’; in 2.1 ‘Without any familiar addition’, ‘vmp’, ‘that I must know’; in 2.2 ‘the Groome of his close stoole’, ‘as Maister Francis sayes’, ‘for the more credit’, ‘I may say softly’), increasing the possibility that Jonson copied out the material.

As indicators of provenance the play’s massed entries are probably more significant than the missing exits. These entries include, ‘Touchstone, Quicksiluer, Goulding and Mildred, sitting on eyther side of the stall’, where Quicksilver enters (with a fresh entrance direction) at line 2. We believe the entrance for Golding and Mildred belongs at line 40 and that Touchstone enters alone. Other entries of this type are 4.2.85, ‘Touchstone, Mistresse Touchstone, Gyrtrude, Goulding, Mildred, Syndefie’, where Golding and Touchstone are already on the stage;, ‘Holdfast. Bramble. Security’, where Security is called out from his prison cell at line 4; and, ‘Enter Petronel, Bramble, Quickesiluer, Woolfe,’, where Wolf has another, correct entrance at 66.1. Such massed entrances are common in Jonson’s plays, and while 4.2 and all of act 5 are usually attributed to him, 2.1 is more probably a scene by Marston. Once again these entries suggest that at some point Jonson was in control of the copy for the play. Such directions would survive transmission through a scribe.

Otherwise the stage directions are brief but useful. Particular attention is given to necessary costumes (‘Quickesiluer in his Prentises Cote and Cap, his gallant Breeches and Stockings’ ‘Security without his hat, in an Night-cap, wett, band, &c.’). Nevertheless, the directions are not complete. Some necessary stage business is not explained, particularly the actions of Slitgut in 4.1 and the movements or entrances and exits of Sindefy in 2.2, Petronel in 2.3 and Touchstone in 5.4. It has been customary to assume that the lack of such directions indicates copy not used for the stage, but here again recent scholarship has suggested that such definite conclusions are unwarranted.

As described above, neither Q2 nor Q3 has any authority other than the corrector’s proximity to the language of the contemporary theatre. Q2 corrects obvious errors (e.g. 1.2. 101 ‘to to’ becomes ‘to’, 2.1.63 ‘ttade’ becomes ‘trade’). The corrector paid particular attention to errors in the directions and speech headings, so that at Q’s girted in became Girtred in; at 1.2. 92 Cir. became Gir.; at 2.2.46 Hyn. becomes Sin.; in 3.1.the mistaken or ‘ghost’ speech headings for Spoyl. become Spend. However, some of Q2’s ‘improvements’ were themselves errors and misreadings. For example, at 2.3.108 Gertrude tells Sindefy that she must be ‘of my fashion’ rather than, more pointedly, ‘of my faction’; at 3.2.197 Security asks Petronel who is ‘our friend’, thus obscuring the meaning of the question about ‘your friend’. Foul case causes new errors: at 2.3.45 ‘your wise lady’ becomes ‘your wife lady’, at 4.1.34 ‘that’ becomes ‘ihat’ (although in this case it is possible that the failure of the initial ‘t’ to ink properly in Q1 caused the compositor to misread).

Q3 is a close reprint of Q2 despite being ‘reset throughout’ (Greg, 1939-59, 345 ), and it makes fewer corrections than Q2. At 5.5.10 it sorts out the prisoners and introduces the correct speech heading, ‘Pri.2’ for ‘Pri.1’. Occasionally it recorrects Q2 back to Q. Once again the inking caused problems: at 4.2.136 Q3’s correction of ‘’hem’ to ‘them’ may arise from the compositor reading either the apostrophe or a line of the page frame as a ‘t’. Besides the swash B in By on the title page of Q3, Greg pointed out that in Q2, as in Q1, the epilogue is in smaller type than the rest but in Q3 it is larger; in Q1 and Q2 the verses of the songs are separated by rules but in Q3 they are separated by braces.

Press Variants in Q1

Copies consulted:
1. British Library, Ashley 371 (Wise copy)
2. Bodleian Library
3. British Library, C.56.d.32
4. Worcester College, Oxford
5. Boston Public Library
6. Folger Shakespeare Library
7. Yale University
8. Huntington Library
9. Dyce copy, Victoria and Albert Museum
9*. original pages of gathering E inserted in Dyce copy
10. Clark Library, University of California at Los Angeles
11. Pforzheimer Collection, University of Texas
12. Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
13. St. John’s College, Oxford
14. Silver copy, Newberry Library
15. Houghton Library, Harvard University
16. Freeman copy, collection of Arthur Freeman, London

Note: This scheme is based on Petter as corrected against the originals plus Library of Congress, St. John’s College, Newberry Library, Harvard University, and Freeman copies, which Petter did not examine. We have only been able to examine the Clark copy in photocopy.

+ = Additions and corrections to Petter

A outer: 3 states. State 2 changes text but not running title. Copy 10 is closely cropped at the top so the running head is not visible.

State 1 State 2 State 3

State 1 State 2 State 3
17 Boy? Boy. ~
A4v 1 smockes smocks ~
3 pipkines pipkins ~
3 bodkins: bodkins:-- ~
29 Apes Ape’s ~

State 1: copies 1, 7, 11, 12

State 2: copies 4, 8

State 3: copies 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 13, 15, 16

Note: Inking of colon at A4v3 ‘bodkins:[--]’ is defective in 5 [.] and missing in 7.

A inner: 1 state; differences in inking make commas invisible in 9 and 16 (and possibly 8) after A3v 18 idle; in 3, 8, 9 and 16 after 2A4 2 arme; in 8, 9, and 16 after A4 4 drunke; and in 3 and 16 after A4 14 Varthingall. In 16 A1 the title-page is substituted from Q3 and hence the Prologus on A1v includes small typographical variants.

B outer: 2 states

State 1 State 2

B outer: 2 states
State 1 State 2
B1 3 Tailer. Tailer!
17 [third] there, there!
25 it is, it is:
30 Baboone. Iesu. Baboone ? !
31 countrey countrey?
B3 36 euermore euer more
B4v 1 Con. Goul.
25 hords hoords

State 1: copies 1, 11

State 2: copies 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

B inner: 2 states
State 1 State 2
B3v 20 Am pum pull eo, Pullo; (Vmp) pulldo, Pulldo;
showse quot showse quoth

State 1: copies 3, 10, 13, 15

State 2: copies 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16

C outer: 1 state
C inner: 2 states:
State 1 State 2
C1v 23 craft craft,
C2 12 hundred, hundred:
13 perrill perill
34 be call me bee calme
C4 32 Angell : to Angell . To
32 too which to which

State 1: copies 1, 3, 10, 16

State2: copies 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

D outer: 2 states
State 1 State 2
D3r 1SD Hawlet Hamlet
1SD hast haste
15, 18,
22, 25SH Gaze. Gaz.
20 ’ith; ’ith’
+23 kild hem kild’hem
37 it has it’has
D4v 22 to too
28 show: show .
33 hast haste
39 Ladie Ladie,

State 1: copies 7, 11, 15

State 2: copies 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16

Notes: Variations in inking make D3 28 SH appear either as .Gaz. or as Gaz. in various copies. Inking problem in copy 12 makes D2v 34 read ‘[a] man’.

D inner: 3 states (second changes text but not stage direction at D2 37):

State 1 State 2 State 3
D2 7 some thing something ~
24 harts all hearts al ~
37 Enter a Messenger. Exit. Enter a Messenger. Exit. Exit. Enter a Messenger.
D3v 18 Honny Suckle Honny Suckle ~
24 Marry Mary ~
31 Madam Madam, ~
31 mary marry ~
36 Lady [faint [,] in 7, 15] Lady, ~
38 Quicksiluer. Quicksiluer. ~
+D4 12 precious? precious ! ~
+22 worship worship, ~ [see note]
+29-30 Pren-/tice Pren-/tise (swash s) ~
+30 say say it ~
+30-31 a Gen-/tle man , a / Gentleman, ~

State 1: copies 7, 11, 15

State 2: copy 12

State 3: copies 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16

Note: at D4 22, in State 2 the comma is faint; in State 3 the comma is visible in 1, 4, 10, and 13, but not in 6, 8, 9, 14 and 16

E outer: Signatures E1 & E2v -- 2 states. In Copy 10 these pages follow E3 & E4.

State 1 State 2
34 ende— ende!
39 eude ende

State 1: copies 1, 3, 11

State 2: copies 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

E inner: Signatures E1v & E2 -- 2 states. In Copy 10 these pages follow E3 & E4.

State 1 State 2
E1v 15 voyadge voyage
18 yonr your
31 enioy enioy
33 hunger! hunger
E2 1 sernice seruice
19 prettie pretie
27 praisd’e prais’de
33 eis his
33 Ielosie Ielosie;
37 To finde Two fine
37 Beastes! Beastes
37 Lawyer? Lawyer!

State 1: copies 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 15

State 2: copies 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16

E outer: Signature E3 – original plus E3 reset in 1 state. In Copy 10 this page precedes E1 & 2; paper in 7 is narrower for E3-E4. This resetting cannot truly be called a “corrected” state since it introduces as many errors as it corrects, and many changes are only due to the styles of the different compositors or to the need to make space for other corrections.

Original Reset
E3r 7 was shas
8 Gentlemen ! Gentlemen ?
9 Gossip: Gossip!
11 now now—
+12 twere ’twere (see note)
13 will wil
14 [first] Why why
14 musing? musing?
17 Gossip? Gossip?
20 wil will
21 by’th by th’
21 word, word
26 waite wait
26 sir, sir.
+30 I I
30 then them
30 seruice seruise
32SD Spendall & Spendall and
35 but bnt
c.w. Spend. Spend

Original: copies 1, 9*

Reset: copies 2 – 15

Not in copy 16

Note: In E3 12 reset ’twere the apostrophe is invisible in copy 6 and faint or misturned in other copies.

E outer: Signature E4v – original plus E4v apparently reset in 2 states. In Copy 10 this page precedes E1 & 2; paper in 7 is narrower for E3-E4. Second reset state affects only line 32 (you/you/you). Since many errors are introduced in the resetting, it seems strange that only this one was corrected, but on the evidence of the surviving copies this seems to be the case. Petter’s listing for l. 32 is not always correct.

The original, uncensored text contains two lines by Spendall printed on E4 in the reset version, and the slightly longer line in the reset version or cancellans shifts lineation throughout the page. Accordingly, included here are variants from the last two lines of E4 of the cancellans. Lines are numbered for both the cancellandum and the cancellans and all changes in line endings are indicated.

Original Reset State 1 Reset State 2
line 1 forhead E4 34 forehead ~
2 both. 35 both, ~
3 maister E4v 1 Maister ~
6 god 4 God ~
8-9 Coun-/saile 6-7 Coun-/saile, ~
9 Maister 7 M. ~
10 Maister 8 M. ~
10 do 8 doe ~
10-11 draw / us 8 drawe vs / ~
11 kindnesse ? 9 kindnesse ? ~
11 Captaine / Seagull, 9 Captain Seagull, ~
12-13 a / pricke 10 a pricke / ~
14SH 12 Sea. ~
17 Maister 15 M. ~
17 Bramble; 15 Bramble, ~
17-18 you / shall 15 you shal / ~
19 so 17 so, ~
19 maister 17 M. ~
19 he 17 hee ~
19 pledge 17 pleadge ~
21SH Secur. 19 Secu. ~
22SD disguisd disguis’d ~
+23 do 21 doe ~
24SH Quick: 22 ~
+24-25 whom / with 22 whom with / ~
+25-26 you / in a 23 you in a / ~
26-27 she / put not 24 she put not / ~
28 me 26 mee ~
28 Cosin, 26 Cosen ~
+28-29 see / you 26 see you / ~
29 me 27 mee ~
29 entreate 27 entreat ~
+29-30 your / presence 27-28 your pre- / sence ~
31 Maister 29 M. ~
+31-32 this / presence 29-30 this pre- / sence ~
33-34 not / be 31 not be / ~
34 you 32 you 32 you
35SH Secur. 33 Secu. ~
35 counsaile, 33 Counsaile, ~
35 Maister 33 M. ~
+35-36 I / hope 33 I hope / ~
37SH Quic. 35 Quick. ~
37 time; 35 time, ~
39SH Secur. 37 Secu ~
39 her, 37 her ~
39 be 37 bee ~

Original: copies 1, 9*

Reset State 1: copies 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14

Reset State 2: copies 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15

Not in copy 16

E inner: Signatures E3v and E4 – original plus reset in 1 state. In Copy 10 these pages precede E1 & 2; paper in 7 is narrower for E3-E4. As in E outer E3 and E4v, the resetting is not a corrected state since it introduces as many errors as it corrects, and many changes are only due to the styles of the different compositors.

Original Reset
E3v 1 Spend. Spend,
1 Slaue ? Slaue ?
4 Pewter Pewter,
5 And Aud
8 commaund command
9 snare share
+12 country conntry
+15 England: England:
21 vs : vs :
26 Gould Gold
28 stick sticke
28 Cappes Capps
28-29 com- / monly common- / ly
29-30 and / and groates and groates /
35 thē then
35 shal shall
35 Sergeants Sargeants
35-36 or Cour-tiers or / Courtiers
36 Intelligencers, Intelligencers.

E3v36-E4r5 onely a few industrious /
Scots perhaps, who indeed are disperst ouer the face of the /
whole earth. But as for them, there are no greater friends to / [page break]
English men and England, when they are out an’t, in the /
world, then they are. And for my part, I would a hundred /
thousand of ’hem were there, for wee are all one Countrey- /
men now, yee know; and wee should finde ten times more /
comfort of them there, then wee doe heere.
Reset [or censored] version continues line 36 with text from original E4r, line 5: ‘Then for your / meanes to aduancement . . .’

E4 8 a Noble man E4 2 any other officer
9 Slaue; 3 Slaue.
9 you 3 You
10 Pandar: 4 Pandar.
10 riches 4 Riches
10 fortune 4 Forune
10 enough, 4 inough
11 villanie 5 Villany
5-8 Besides, there, we shall haue / no more Law then Conscience, and not too much of either; / serue God inough, eate and drinke inough, and inough is as / good as a Feast.
13 indefferent 10 indifferent
14 And if 11 And If
16 continually 13 continuall
16 tell 13 \till
17 Urginia 14 Virginia
17 See 14 See,
18SD Petronell. 15 Petronell with his Followers.
20 Now 17 Nowe
+21 hand. Come 18-19 hand. / Come
21 Drawer, 19 Drawer.
22 mirthe 20 mirth
23 pretty 21 prety
24-25 com- / panie 21-22 com- / pany
31 Colonell 29 Collonell [corrects Petter]
32 it. 30 it,
33 one, 31 one
34 touche 32 touch
35 yee 33 ye
c.w. Spend, Enter

Original ends at line 35; reset version continues two lines through original E4v, lines 1-2. See collation for E outer, E4v.

Original: copies 1, 9*

Reset: copies 2 – 15

Not in copy 16

F outer:

State 1 State 2
+F2v 29 a nother another

State 1: copies 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14

State 2: copies 1, 4, 7, 9, 12, 15, 16

F inner: 3 states. Third state affects only ‘here’ at F4 7 and ‘souffri’l’ at F4 15.

State 1 State 2 State 3
F1v 1 hant haunt ~
22 Cuckholds-hauens Cuckolds-hauens ~
24 learned learn’d ~
34SD Exit. [omitted] ~
F2 7 aboate a boate ~
36 thee yet; thee; yet ~
F3v 3 Thanck Thanke ~
10 omenous ominous ~
12SD Euter Enter ~
22 rootes, rootes. ~
29 Bote Boate ~
F4 1SH Pe[reversed]t. Pet. ~
6 See? See! ~
7 heres hers here
7 Gentlemen;I Gentlemen; I ~
13 Pray you Pray you, ~
14 davoir d’avoir ~
14 infortunes, infortunes? ~
15 souffril’ souffril’ souffri’l
17SH I.Gen. I.Gent. ~
18SH [omitted] Pet. ~
18 Monsieuer Monsieur ~
20SH 2.Gen. 2.Gent. ~
22 y’are, y’are ~
22 are you are you, ~
25 ith, ith’ ~
28 bote boate ~
28 Farewell Farewel ~
28 farewell farewell ~

State 1: copies 3, 10, 11, 14

State 2: copies 2, 5, 6, 8, 13, 15

State 3: copies 1, 4, 7[?], 9, 12

Copy 16 is either state 2 or state 3; as it does not have F4 it is not possible to tell.

G outer: 2 states

State 1 State 2
G1 5 Ahcyme Achyme
13 shall asigne shal assigne
15SD Wynifred, Wynifrid,
18 nerae, neare,
21 k epe keepe
25 for for,
G2v 29 Brother,?(italic ? reversed) Brother,)
G3 8SH Gold. Gould.
13SD Golding Goulding
G4v 2 Thing. Thing,
10 withhis with his
G4v 14 so to
30 into a in a
31 Petrionell Petronell
33 thē thē:

State 1: copies 6, 9, 14

State 2: copies 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 [?], 13, 15, 16

Note: Apparent variation in G4v 15, where copies 1, 6, 11, and 5, with varying clarity, show ‘customers,’ and copies 15 and 8 (in photocopy) show ‘customers’, is probably due to variations in inking.

G inner: 2 states.

State 1 State 2
G1v c.w. ad,n and

State 1: copies 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14

State 2: copies 1, 2, 5, 7, 12, 15

Notes: The c.w. is cropped on copies 10, 11 and 16. At G3v line 2 there is an inking problem on ‘feather,’ in copies 9 and 10.

H outer: 1 state; see note.

+Note: At H1 27 Petter lists ‘fortune’ for copies 3, 7, and 9 and ‘fortune,’ [sic] for all other copies at H1 27. Close examination shows a faint mark, as likely to be a spot as a comma, in copies 7, 9, 13, and 14 but no trace of a comma in 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 15 or 16. It is unlikely that the forme was opened to correct only a single comma that does not change the sense.

H inner: 1 state

I outer: 1 state; see notes.

+Note: Comma after ‘me’ at I1 2 is faint but present in copies 3, 8, 11 and 16.

+Note: ‘Why’ at I1 26 has identical oval punctuation mark, somewhere between a period and a comma, in all copies.

I inner: 4 or possibly 5 states. Variations are caused not by correction but by progressive degeneration due to dropped type. State 2 reflects only a loosening of type at I1v 32; State 3 then drops the ‘i’ at I1v 32 and the ‘y’ at I2 29; and State 4 shows dropped type at the bottom of I4r, where the ‘i’ was apparently wrongly re-inserted. ‘Co mm t’ slides around in different examples, changing the spacing slightly.

State 1 State 2 State 3 State 4
I1v 32 commit co mmit comm t co mm t
I2r 29 your ~ our ~
I4r32 dower ~ ~ do wer
I4r c.w. restitu ~ ~ reisttu

State 1: copies 1, 7

State 2: copy 12

State 3: copy 11

State 4: copies 2?, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15

Copy 16 is anomalous, apparently showing co mmit; your; do wer; reisttu. But the catch word has been cropped and this reading, based only on the tops of the remaining letters, may be incorrect.

+Note: Apparent variant of relent,/relent at I2 10 is merely an inking problem.

The book came from the ancient Bridgewater library – it is stamped ‘Bridgewater Duplicate’—and entered the market of booksellers and collectors at Thomas King’s auction sale of 27 April 1802 (lot 47, 5 shillings 6 pence.) Dyce may have obtained it in a later sale or by exchange. Based on his experience with rare books, Arthur Freeman proposes that ‘Dyce or his maker-up’ would have removed ‘the entire sheet E, in order to maximize the inner margins of the desired leaves E3-E4. And having cannibalized the book further for F4 . . . the hulk, plus the left-over leaves E1-E2, would join other defective plays in some bookseller’s “hospital”.’ Later, to ‘improve’ a different quarto, the bookseller might have exchanged the E1-E2 from the Bridgewater copy with the cropped leaves now found in Freeman’s quarto. Such operations were not uncommon at a time when the beauty and completeness of a copy was valued more than maintaining its original integrity. In Wise’s workshop ‘as many as four copies of a given quarto had leaves upgraded or downgraded by consecutive exchange’. (AF, private communication.)

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