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Home :: Archive :: 2011 :: May ::
Arden3 More and Merchant


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0088  Sunday, 22 May 2011

[1] From        Gerald E. Downs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
     Date:        May 20, 2011 2:13:53 AM EDT
     Subj:        Re: Arden3 Sir Thomas More

[2] From       John Drakakis < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
     Date:      May 20, 2011 12:18:17 PM EDT
     Subj:      RE: SHAKSPER Thursday_May_19_2011


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:          Gerald E. Downs < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:           May 20, 2011 2:13:53 AM EDT
Subject:       Re: Arden3 Sir Thomas More

John Briggs calls attention to John Jowett's Arden3 More, which I have not yet seen. Briggs is
 
>completely baffled by Jowett's explanation, and the example he gives on pp.127-9.
>As far as I can tell, Shakespeare (or whoever) wrote lines 6.124-130 as (modernised):
>
>"...Lift up for peace, and your unreverent knees,

>Make them your feet. To kneel to be forgiven

>Is safer wars than ever you can make

>Whose discipline is riot.
>In, in, to your obedience! Why, even your hurly

>Cannot proceed but by obedience.

>What rebel captain,..."


>
>Hand C (don't ask!) was baffled by a lack of punctuation, and the interlinear additions, strangled syntax, and woolly thought processes. He altered this to:


>
>"Lift up for peace, and your unreverent knees,

>Make them your feet, to kneel to be forgiven.

>Tell me but this: what rebel captain,"


>But Jowett prints this as (with my conventions replacing his):


>"Lift up for peace, and your unreverent knees,

>Make them your feet. [To kneel to be forgiven

>Is safer wars than ever you can make

>Whose discipline is riot.

>In, in, to your obedience! Why, even your hurly

>Cannot proceed but by obedience.]

>{Tell me but this:} What rebel captain,"


>
>Where [] represents a deletion by Hand C, and {} an insertion by Hand C. Do you see my perplexity? I can't for the life of me decode this to get what either Hand C or Hand D/Shakespeare actually wrote. Can anyone help explain it?

>

>John Briggs

I quote below from my Article, "A Question (Not) to be Askt: Is Hand D a Copy?" The first section leads to the insights of B A P van Dam, to whom I credit my further comments. Van Dam posits a scribe imperfectly copying a scene he did not fully comprehend. That is also the gist of my article, which I will furnish to any who ask. It was accepted by Studies in Bibliography for v. 57 before its misappropriation elsewhere. I accept my explanation; don't know why. . . . . . . .

This analysis begins with what has been historically the most challenging passage in the Hand D pages, where C, a theatrical book-keeper (perhaps among other of his possible occupations), becomes Hand D’s first editor. Here Hand C crossed out two and a half lines by Hand D (235-37 in Greg’s 1911 edition), including the interlineated phrase ‘in in to yor obedienc’, all of which he replaced with a mere ‘tell me but this.’ The Oxford Textual Companion transcription of the passage reads:

he god hath not le only lent the king his figure 225
&
his throne his sword, but gyven him his owne name
calls him a god on earth, what do you then
rysing gainst him that god himsealf enstalls
but ryse gainst god, what do you to yor sowles
in doing this o desperat ar as you are 230
wash your foule mynds wt teares and those same hands
that you lyke rebells lyft against the peace
lift vp for peace, and your vnreuerent knees
that make them your feet to kneele to be forgyven
is safer warrs, then euer you can make 235
in in to yor obedienc
whose discipline is ryot, why euen yor warrs hurly
tell me but this
cannot pceed but by obedienc what rebell captaine (466)

Melchiori (coeditor of The Revels Plays Sir Thomas More) faults earlier editors for failing to restore ‘in, in to your obedience’ to their texts, and for retaining the word ‘why’ in line 236, claiming that ‘why’ was “not crossed out by C, but earlier by D, when he decided to insert at this point, and in its place, the new interlined sentence” (1985, 104). According to Melchiori, the author intended this corrected (modernized) passage:

233 . . . and your unreverent knees
234 Make them your feet. To kneel to be forgiven
235 Is safer wars, than ever you can make
236a Whose discipline is riot.
236b In, in to your obedience: even your hurly
237a Cannot proceed but by obedience.
237b What rebel captain,
238 As mutinies are incident . . .

This is by no means clumsy, as Greg puts it. Line 236a is left metrically short for dramatic emphasis . . . More begins a new and more elaborate argument with another short line – an arresting oratorical device (1985, 104-5).
 

Melchiori justifies a supposed authorial line division by praising its theatrical acuity, though others may believe the passage is still mislined and clumsy. More importantly, the Oxford editors observe, “Melchiori alleges that [‘why’] was deleted by Hand D . . . but we can see no evidence of any deletion mark other than C’s” (463). This dissent could be more strongly phrased. Examination of the manuscript reveals pens of different character: D’s left broad strokes that have faded to brown, while C’s strokes are relatively sharp, black, and evident in the strikeout of ‘why’ as part of his deletion of lines 235-37. Melchiori’s metrical rationale for placing the interpolation is confuted when retaining ‘why’ leaves line 236b (sandwiched between short lines) with twelve syllables, and with that count accomplished only by syncope (e’en) and synizesis (obed-yence).
Assuming then that modern scholars have not satisfactorily explained this crux, there can be little harm in approaching it from a direction suggested over eighty years ago, when the Dutch scholar B. A. P. Van Dam introduced the hypothesis that Addition IIc is a transcript:

An interlineation . . . is meant either to add something new, or to correct a mistake . . . . Here the latter is the case, for the insertion helps to put the blank verse in order, and, besides, there appears to be something that fully explains the omission. After having written l. 237 the scribe . . . reads that the word last written by him, obedienc, is followed by what rebell captaine, so he copies these words. In reading over what he has written he perceives that he has omitted nearly a whole line, and that the word obedienc occurs in two successive lines; he inserts the words omitted, but by mistake he places them between ll. 235 and 236 instead of between 236 and 237 . . . . An intelligent redaction . . . looks thus:

. . . To kneele to be forgyven
Is safer warrs, then euer you can make 235
Whose discipline is ry’t. Why, e’n your hurly
Cannot proceed but by obedi-enc. 237
In, in to your obedi-enc! What rebell, 237a
As mutynies ar incident, by ‘s name
Can still the rout? Who will obay a traytor?
     [The Text of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, (London: 1924), 369-70.]

This correction arguably improves the text, though the plausibility of ‘in, in to your obedience’ as an omission is somewhat diminished by the inference of its misplaced reinsertion and by the deletion (at 237a) of the extrametrical ‘Captain’. Here the lines revert to iambic pentameter and More’s rationale for obedience logically precedes his order to obey. Despite possible objections, Van Dam establishes the possibility of transcription, and it must be stressed that the strength of his case depends on the presence of the word obedience both at the end of the addition and in the body of the text.

. . . . . . . And my take . . . . .

Another alteration of one word in need of reconsideration as possibly a scribe’s creation after mistaking the grammar or syntax of his copy is the change in line 236 from ‘wars’ to ‘hurly’, in spite of John Jones’s description of Shakespeare at work:

The untidiness is also a question of Shakespeare’s relation with himself – as we saw when he wrote the word ‘wars’ twice in two lines and, realizing what he had done, struck out the second ‘wars’ and substituted ‘hurly’. Here is a man composing fluidly, making the slips that go with speed, and we can confidently read his mind.

Assuming that the phrase ‘in in to yor obedienc’ was interlined later than alterations made currente calamo, the manuscript at the moment of the deletion of ‘warrs’ will have originally read:

. . . o desperat ar as you are 230
wash your foule mynds wt teares and those same hands
that you lyke rebells lyft against the peace
lift vp for peace, and your vnreuerent knees
that make them your feet to kneele to be forgyven
is safer warrs then euer you can make 235
whose discipline is ryot, why euen yor warrs
cannot pceed but by obedienc what rebell captaine 237
as mutyes ar incident, by his name
can still the rout who will obay th a traytor

The verse is regular, excepting the fifteen syllables of line 237, where a ‘long line as oratorical device’ seems less likely than the corruption perceptively described by Van Dam. Still, after line 237a is reinstated (‘In, in to your obedience! What rebel captain,’) two anomalies remain. First, end-of-line alterations need not have been made currente calamo: ‘wars’ may have been deleted after some reflection when D, following the orator’s many uses of you and your, took the rioters as antecedent to ‘your wars’. Not understanding More’s use of an ‘ethical dative’ you (where your wars means any war), D was induced to substitute ‘your riot’ as more appropriately descriptive of the ‘rout.’ The author contrasted obedient soldiers to an undisciplined mob, but D’s change of subject from ‘any war’ to ‘this hurly’ contradicts More’s elaborate oration:

moor You that have voyce and Credyt wt the mv nvmber Comaund them to a stilnes 175
Lincolne a plaigue on them they will not hold their peace the deule Cannot rule them
moor Then what a rough and ryotous charge haue you
to Leade those that the deule Cannot rule . . . 179
and twer in no error yf I told you all 218
you wer in armes gainst God . . .
he god hath not le only lent the king his figure 225
&
his throne his sword, but gyven him his owne name

When More asks, ‘What rebel by his name can still the rout? Who will obey a traitor?’ he echoes words that had led to Lincoln’s admission of his inability to control the mob and recalls that only representatives acting in the name of the king may rightfully be obeyed. If ‘there is no addition [ranking official] but a rebel / to qualify a rebel’ (241-42), a ‘riot proceeding by obedience’ is antithetical to every word More speaks. But now the scribe, having replaced hypothetical ‘wars’ with a real ‘hurly’, is stuck with obedient rioters. His solution is the second anomaly; to ‘qualify a rebel’ by the (hypermetric, unordained) addition ‘captain’, a promotional possibility that More expressly denies. As Van Dam suggests, ‘captain’ looks to be another end-of-line elucidation gone awry. Recognition of both the misplacement of ‘in, in to your obedience’ above line 236 and the misunderstanding of the author’s phraseology in the same line makes C’s later deletion of the muddled passage much more understandable.
 
Gerald E. Downs

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         John Drakakis < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         May 20, 2011 12:18:17 PM EDT
Subject:      RE: SHAKSPER Thursday_May_19_2011

I’m sorry I can’t say anything in defence of John Jowett’s edition since I have only just received a copy of it, and so I shall leave John Briggs to get on with his ‘swipes’. I will say, however, that had ALL of my typescript found its way into the edition then he might have castigated me for producing a ‘bloated’ edition.  You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.
 
Let me respond, however to his comments on my summary treatment of the dating of MV. The sentence on p. 31 makes perfect sense if Mr Briggs is prepared to read through the parenthesis.  I see no reason to make a song and dance about something like the date of the play where the parameters are so clear and where there is very little to add to hat has already appeared in print.
 
Let me clear up the issue of the printer for MND. In my haste to respond in email discussion I may have conflated information that should have been kept separate. My apologies.  Roberts printed Q2 MND and Q2 Titus (see p.41 of my Intro).  The point I wanted to make to Mr Briggs is that there is a connection between these texts in terms of compositorial practice that is significant for MV. This is not a question of taking a holistic view of the concept of ‘relevance’ but of looking at as much of the evidence that is available as possible.
 
I am delighted that Mr Briggs takes an interest in matters bibliographical, but I wonder if I could ask him to turn his attention to my use of bibliographical evidence in the case of MV.  Maybe he has alternative suggestions to make, and if so then I for one would be delighted to hear them.
 
As ever,
John Drakakis
 
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