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Every Man In His Humour (F): Textual Essay

David Bevington

In the 1616 folio, Every Man In His Humour occupies gatherings A1-F6v, pp. 1-72. A1 is the title page, with the verso blank; A2 gives the Dedication to William Camden; A2v lists ‘The Persons of the Play’ and identifies the scene; A3-F6 contains the text of the play; F6v provides information on the first date of performance, the name of the acting company, and a list of the ‘principall Comoedians’. The running title is ‘Euery Man in his Humour’.

Despite its position of first place in the folio volume, EMI (F) was not the first play to be printed by William Stansby. The first quire to go through the press was G, the initial quire of EMO (Gerritsen, 1959). One reason for the delay in printing EMI may have been that Stansby had to negotiate printing rights with William Burre, who had published the EMI quarto in 1601 and still retained half interest, and who may have intended to bring out his own collection of Jonson’s plays, many of which (including EMI, Cynthia’s Revels, Sejanus, Volpone, Epicene, and Alchemist) were his in whole or in part; John Smethwick, who owned the rights to EMO, was evidently more amenable (Bracken, 1988; Bland, 1998b). The deferred printing of EMI was done in two batches, suggesting that Jonson was still at work revising this play when the folio printing began, though some revision could have taken place earlier. Eager to achieve professional and social advancement through the publication of his plays in the handsome folio format, Jonson extensively revised the first plays in the volume, and none more so than EMI. Because Stansby appears to have printed by quires, proceeding from the inner to the outer sheets and with type left standing long enough to print six formes, Jonson would have had more time in which to correct proof than was normally available, and may indeed have been able to work on the proofs at home rather than in the Cross Keys shop (Gants, 1997). Press correction in EMI, on the other hand, is less common than in EMO, when the printers were still familiarizing themselves with their assignment; and the amount of press correction continued high in other plays printed early in the process, notably Cynthia’s Revels, Poetaster, and Sejanus. The first gathering of EMI seems to have been printed during the middle of Epicene (2X5-3D6), and the remainder after the completion of Epicene, The Alchemist, and Catiline – in other words, at the end of the plays in F1 but before the Epigrams, The Forest, the entertainments, and the masques. Authorial revisions during printing of the early plays (including EMI) are high compared with in-house press correction; authorial revisions are less common in the later plays, and rare in the poems, masques, and entertainments (Donovan, 1987, Gants, 1997 and 1999).

James Riddell (1997b) has advanced a powerful argument that the extensive cutting of quarto passages in Act 5, especially the long speech of Lorenzo Junior in defense of poetry, may have been necessitated by lack of space in the six full quires set aside for this play but printed only late in the process, when adjustments in the number of pages provided for this play would have required an anomalous discontinuity in the pagination of the volume. Although critics have speculated about Jonson’s possible literary reasons in making such cuts, the theories do not well account for the fact that the folio EMI still retains at the start of the play (1.1.7-24) the father’s worry that his son Lorenzo is wasting his time on ‘idle poetry’, whereas in the rest of the folio version this inclination toward poetry is no longer in evidence. The anomaly can be explained when we consider that the beginning of the play, down through 1.3.104, had indeed been printed early and could no longer be reset without considerable expense and adjustment. If, as seems likely, it was discovered late in the game that the printer, Stansby, had not allowed enough space for the entire play, we can see how Jonson may have been obliged to make sizable cuts in the very last pages. The fact that these pages are not crowded in the folio printing may simply mean that Jonson cut enough to make crowding unnecessary. Stansby’s miscalculation is plausible enough, given the crowded printing of the quarto and the fact that Jonson was extensively revising throughout. Most of Jonson’s revisions added material to long speeches; in the final pages, the reverse is true, not only of Lorenzo Junior’s defense of poetry, which is cut entirely, but also of other long speeches toward the end, which are shortened. Gants’s analysis of the use of paper stocks tends to support Riddell’s argument (1997).

See Textual Essay on EMI(Q) for information on Stationers’ Register entries and on publication history of that earlier text; and see the Introduction to EMI(F) for information on the likely date or dates of revision resulting in the folio text of 1616. The folio text is a substantial revision, with added passages, cuts of quarto material, and much rewording of similar speeches. The setting is shifted from Florence to London, and most of the characters are renamed with English names. The textual notes in this present edition do not attempt to catalogue all the many changes between Q and F1. They are best studied by comparing the two texts, side by side; this edition facilitates such a comparison by printing the two texts in different volumes.

Press corrections in F1 are as follows:

State 1 State 2
A2:5 (o)
A2 (3)
5 C LARENTIAVX [omitted]
A5v (10)
19 t’ haue than t’ haue
37 in-kind in kind
A3:4 (o)
A3 (5)
8 ſtage ſtage,
A4v (8)
9 vncle, here, vncle here
15 in a very in very
A1:6 (o)
A6 (11)
20 lettler letter
D1:6 (o)
D6v (48)
5 you your
D2:5 (o)
D5v (46)
31 Would W ould
40 To T o
F3:4 (o)
F4v (68)
21 metamorphoſis metamorphoſis

The variants in D2:5 (o) are not resettings, but type disturbance during printing. Additionally, at F6 line 12 (5.5.69), the word ‘fame’ is corrected in handwriting to ‘some’ in some copies (e.g. copies 2, 70, 73). The list of copies consulted and the distribution of variants are given at the end of this essay.

Care has been taken in this present edition not to conflate Q and F1. Only in the single instance at 5.5.69 is it necessary to emend F1 substantively with a Q reading – an indication, it would seem, of the care with which Jonson supervised the printing of EMI in the folio. Q is, to be sure, a useful source in determining where to place editorially added indications of entries and exits in lieu of F1’s massed entries; such indications are contained in square brackets whenever the language used is not that of F1.

F2, although providing no independent textual authority, does offer a few commonsense corrections. F1’s ‘the taste fruit’ at 3.3.19 is simply a typographical error, not caught in proofreading of F1, for ‘taste the fruit’, as corrected in F2. At 2.3.51, F1’s ‘harme in,’ is an error corrected in F2 to ‘harme, in’. At 3.5.45, F1’s ‘i’uniuersitie’ inadvertently omits the ‘the’ supplied by F2. So too at 1.4.61: F1’s ‘am gentleman’ is sensibly corrected to ‘am a gentleman’ in F2. At 4.6.27, F2’s ‘they’ corrects an easy and common misprint, ‘thy’, in F1. F2 also offers a few attractive modernizations, such as ‘ordnance’ for ‘ordinance’ at 3.1.120, ‘lose’ for ‘loose’ at 4.2.19, and ‘Whither’ for ‘whether’ at 4.8.113. F3 corrects F1’s ‘through’ at 3.1.7 to ‘throw’ in the phrase ‘to throw the least beam’.

In only a few instances, speeches printed as verse in F1 have been rendered as prose in this present edition, at 4.4.6-7, 4.5.1-2, and 5.1.7-8. The process is reversed by altering F1’s prose into verse at 4.8.28-9 and 117-18: the first of these is an error in F1, the printer having substituted, at the very last line on p. 56 and the first line on p. 57, a lowercase ‘for’ at the start of the second line (as catchword and then in the text) in lieu of Q’s capitalized ‘For’. These errors are all minor and sparse in number, pointing once again to Jonson’s care in seeing the folio EMI through the text.

Whereas indications of stage business are printed as stage directions in Q, within the column of text, F1 prefers marginal notations. For example, Q prints ‘Claps to the doore’ on line 4.10.13, and ‘Enter Musco disguised like a soldier’ at the head of 2.4 (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.

At two points, the folio scene division is at odds with the quarto and with the normal sense, in continental scene divisions, of where the scenes should begin. Act 5, scene 4 is marked in F1 with the massed entry ‘FORMALL’ and a marginal stage direction ‘To them’ after Clement has already said, to Formal, ‘What, drunk in arms, against me? Your reason, your reason for this?’ This edition moves Clement’s speech so that it follows the massed entry and stage direction, with a textual note to document the emendation, but retains the location of the scene numbering in order to preserve the line numbering called for in the original. Similarly, at Act 5, scene 5, the scene numbering in F1 is followed by a massed entry, ‘ED. KNO’WEL, WELBRED, / BRIDGET.’ with ‘To them’ in the right margin, after Clement has addressed these persons arriving and has wished them joy of marriage. This present edition transposes Clement’s speech to its logical position after the entry, with a textual note, while keeping the scene numbering as marked in F1 in order to preserve the original numbering. The phenomenon is not unknown elsewhere in F1; it occurs, for example, in Devil.

The folio version of EMI has been edited more often than the quarto text in modern times. It is included, of course, in complete editions of Jonson by Peter Whalley (1756), William Gifford (1816, with revisions by Peter Cunningham, 1871-2), W. Bang (1905), Herford and Simpson (1927), and G. A. Wilkes (1981). The learned commentary in Herford and Simpson is extensive. Henry Holland Carter’s edition of EMI (1921) provides facing-page texts of Q and F1 in old spelling, with commentary that is judgementally 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. Percy Simpson’s edition of the folio text for the Clarendon Press at Oxford (1919) was an important precursor for the complete Jonson that followed by H&S; its textual work and commentary have been subsumed into that complete edition. The edition of the folio text in the Yale Ben Jonson series by Gabriele Bernhard Jackson (1969) is admirably learned and well annotated, with a wealth of information on sources and contemporary references. The New Mermaids edition (ed. Martin Seymour-Smith, 1966) has been replaced with a revised edition by Robert N. Watson (1998). The folio text is included in a number of selected collections of Jonson’s plays, notably The Best Plays of Ben Jonson, ed. Brinsley Nicholson and C. H. Herford (1893; reissued 1961) and the World’s Classics Five Plays, edited by G. A. Wilkes (1988). Increasingly today it is omitted from such collections, however: it does not appear in the Norton Critical Edition of Ben Jonson’s Plays and Masques edited by Robert M. Adams (first edition, 1979) and then by Richard Harp (second edition, 2001), or Ben Jonson in the Oxford Authors series, edited by Ian Donaldson (1985), or The Selected Plays of Ben Jonson edited in two volumes by Johanna Proctor (vol. 1) and Martin Butler (vol. 2) (1989), or Jonson: Four Comedies, edited by Helen Ostovich (1997).

Copies of F1 consulted

1. Bodleian Library, Oxford, Douce.I.302

2. Bodleian Library, Oxford, AA 83 Art

3. Balioll College, Oxford, 525.C.1

4. British Library, C39.k.9

5. British Library, G 11630

6. University of Cambridge Library, Syn 4.61.19

7. University of Cambridge Library, Keynes D.6.21

8. Duke University A-23 f J81 WC

9. Duke University A-23 f J81 WD

11. English Faculty Library, Oxford, YK 26765

12. English Faculty Library, Oxford, YK 26766

13. Exeter College, Oxford, EX 142-k-g

14. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 31.F.5

15. Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 14751, copy 1

16. Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 14751, copy 2

17. Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 14751, copy 3

18. Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 14751, copy 4

19. Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 14751, copy 5

20. Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 14751, copy 6

21. Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 14751.2, copy 1

22. Folger Shakespeare Library, STC 14751.2, copy 2

23. Huntington Library, 499971

24. Huntington Library, 62104

25. Huntington Library, 499967

26. Huntington Library, 495467 (the Schlatter copy)

27. Huntington Library, 606200-201

28. Huntington Library, 606199

29. Huntington Library, 606202

30. Huntington Library, 606575

31. Huntington Library, 606576

32. Huntington Library, 606577

33. Huntington Library, 606578

34. Huntington Library, 606579

35. Huntington Library, 606580

36. Huntington Library, 606581

37. Huntington Library, 606583

38. Huntington Library, 606584

39. Huntington Library, 606585

40. Huntington Library, 606587

41. Huntington Library, 606594-5

42. Huntington Library, 606599

43. Huntington Library, 606600

44. Huntington Library, 62105

45. Huntington Library, 62100

46. Huntington Library, 499968

47. Huntington Library, 499969

48. Huntington Library, 606574

49. Huntington Library, 606582

50. Huntington Library, 606586

51. Huntington Library, 606596

52. Huntington Library, 600687

53. Huntington Library, 62101

54. Jesus College, Oxford, I Arch.3.6

55. King’s College, Cambridge, N.12.9

56. King’s College, Cambridge, Keynes C.10.3

57. Mark Bland personal copy, Graham Wenman bookplate

58. Mark Bland personal copy, Brooklyn Public Library bookplate

59. Mark Bland personal copy, to Capt. Harris from Wm Nickers

60. Newnham College, Cambridge, Young 381a

61. New York Public Library

62. Oriel College, Oxford, D.B.II.4

63. Pembroke College, Cambridge, LC.I.29

64. Shakespeare Memorial Library, Stratford-upon-Avon, SR 80 JON 615

65. Shakespeare Memorial Library, Stratford-upon-Avon, SR 80 JON 616

66. St John’s College, Cambridge, Aa.I.26

67. Trinity College, Cambridge, Capel: G:1

68. Trinity College, Cambridge, VI.6.116

69. University of London Library, B.S.1272, the Sterling copy

70. University of London Library, B.S.1272, the Bertram Thebold copy

71. University of London Library, B.S.1272, the Durning-Laurence Library copy

72. Worcester College Library, Oxford, Plays 9.6

73. Wadham College Library, Oxford, A39.12

Distribution of variants

A2:5 (o) state 1: all copies except those below

state 2: 3, 4, 26, 28, 32, 45, 51, 62, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71

A3:4 (o) state 1: 4, 66

state 2: the rest

A1:6 (o) state 1: 2, 9, 11, 27, 28, 30, 33, 40, 67

state 2: the rest

D1:6 (o) state 1: all copies except those below

state 2: 5, 10, 13, 23-31, 33, 34, 37-42, 44, 45, 47-53, 56, 57, 60, 72

D2:5 (o) state 1: 1, 4, 6, 23, 35, 37, 50, 54-6, 63, 73

state 2: the rest

F3:4 (o) state 1: 2, 6, 9, 11, 23, 28, 30, 33, 43, 47, 54, 59, 62, 67-9, 71, 73

state 2: the rest

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