The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0563  Friday, 27 February 2004

From:           Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 27 Feb 2004 01:46:26 -0800
Subject:        A Trove of 19C Shakespeare Editions--And An Etext Scandal

I have stumbled on a trove of 19th century editions of Shakespeare
hidden in a nine-year-old project called "Making of America," a digital
text initiative of the universities of Michigan and Cornell, with
support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  For making photographic
facsimiles of the editions--and 8,580 other volumes and 2,457 issues of
journals--freely available online, MOA deserves high marks.  For the
attempt to create electronic text editions, however, MOA right now gets
a D minus--and no E for effort.

That such a mammoth amount of unusable etext is placed online by major
universities with financial support from major foundations is nothing
short of scandalous.  I wonder if it is not time for academic
communities to say, *Take these texts down* until you can put up work
that meets much higher standards of usability and reliability.  As the
Internet is rapidly maturing as a fundamental public information
utility, universities in particular have a burden to guarantee scholarly
quality.  Michigan and Cornell have not, with MOA, taken that burden.

Below I have the bibliographic details for the baker's dozen of
Shakespeare works in MOA; as some are multivolume, the total is 40
volumes, including one with apocryphal plays, a quotations book, and a
two concordance volumes.  For each of the 13 works I quote a random
selection of etext.

Here is the depressing final tally:
      1   totally unusable Shakespeare etext because it is actually
            another work called Georgia Scenes
      8    unreadable etexts:  the words are completely garbled
     31   somewhat unreadable texts:  the words are there, mostly--I
            think--but the lack of formatting is either an impediment or
            a real obstacle
       0   usable, reliable etexts

The MOA Books' home page is http://www.hti.umich.edu/m/moa/  (The
Cornell MOA page is at http://moa.cit.cornell.edu/moa/).  The best way
to get to these 40 entries is to do a Boolean bibliographic search on
Shakespeare as author ("or" Mary Cowden Clarke as compiler of the
concordances):  http://tinyurl.com/356vl  The URLs at MOA are monsters,
so I will use short versions for most of the volumes.

The MOA search page is at
http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?page=simple&c=moa  You can
also do Boolean, proximity, and bibliographic searches.  Of course, what
the search engine applies itself to is the slubbery etext, so results
will be unreliable.


Duyckinck, George Long, ed.  The works of William Shakespeare. The text
regulated by the folio of 1632; with readings from former editions, a
history of the stage, a life of the poet, and an introduction to each
play. To which are added glossarial and other notes, by Knight, Dyce,
Douce, Collier, Halliwell, Hunter, and Richardson.  8 vols.
Philadelphia:  Porter & Coates, [1859].  No general TOC.  Access from

Etext is somewhat readable; sample:
SO. II. TAMING OF THE SHREW. 155 Pet. Come, Kate, we'11 to bed.We three
are married, but you two are sped.;T was I won the wager, though you hit
the white: [To LUCENTIO Ind, being a winner, God give you good night.
[Exeunt PETRUCHIO and KATH. Hor. Now go thy ways, thou hast tam'd a
curst shrew. Lu:. 7T is a wonder, by your leave, she will be tam'd so.

Collier, John Payne, ed.  The works of Shakespeare: the text regulated
by the recently discovered folio of 1632, containing early manuscript
emendations with a History of the stage, a Life of the poet, and an
introduction to each play, by J. Payne Collier ... to which are added
glossarial and other notes and the readings of former editions.  NY:
Redfield, 1853.  TOC:  http://tinyurl.com/2etz3

Etext is unreadable; sample (from 1H4):
That's even as fair as-at hand, quoth the then we leak in the chimney;
and your chamber-lie chamberlain; for thou variest no more from picking
of breeds fleas like a loach. purses, than giving direction doth from
labouring; thou 1 Car. What, ostler! come away and be hanged; lay'st the
plot how. come away. Enter Chamberlain. 2 Car. I have a gammon of bacon,
and two razes3 Cham. Good morrow, master Gadshill. It holds of ginger,
to be delivered as far as Charing-cross. current, that I told you
yesternight: there's a franklin 1 Car.'Odsbody! the turkeys in my
pannier are in the wild of Kent, hath brought three hundred marks quite
starved.-What, ostler!-A plague on thee! hast with him in gold: I heard
him tell it to one of his 1 Folio: for I. 2 Measure. 3 Roots. 4 A
proverb of the time.

The dramatic works of William Shakespeare; illustrated: embracing a life
of the poet, and notes, original and selected.  8 vols.  Boston:
Phillips, Sampson, 1850-51.  General TOC:  http://tinyurl.com/2a7b4

Etext is somewhat readable; sample (from MV):
LAUNCELOT, zwith a Letter. Friend Launcelot, what's the news? Laun. An
it shall please you to break upl this, it shall seem to signify. Lor. I
know the hand: in faith,'tis a fair hand; And whiter than the paper it
writ on, Is the fair hand that writ. Gra. Love-news, in faith. Laun. By
your leave, sir. Lor. Whither goest thou? Laun. Marry, sir, to bid my
old master the Jew to sup to-night with my new master the Christian. 1
To break up was a term in carving.

White, Richard Grant, ed.  The works of William Shakespeare; the plays
ed. from the folio of MDCXXIII, with various readings from all the
editions and all the commentators, notes, introductory remarks, a
historical sketch of the text, an account of the rise and progress of
the English drama, a memoir of the poet, and an essay upon the genius;
by Richard Grant White.  12 vols.  Boston:  Little, Brown, 1861-71.  No
general TOC.  Access from http://tinyurl.com/2yavm

Etext is somewhat readable; sample (from A&C):
CCs. The power of Caesar, and His power unto Octavia. Ant. May I never
To this good purpose, that so fairly shews, Dream of impediment! Let me
have thy hand: Further this act of grace, and from this hour The heart
of brothers govern in our loves, And sway our great designs! Ctes. There
is my hand. A sister I bequeath you, whom no brother Did ever love so
dearly: let her live To join our kingdoms and our hearts; and never Fly
off our loves again! Lep. Happily, amen. Ant. I did not think to draw my
sword'gainst Pompey;


Singer, Samuel Weller, ed.  The dramatic works and poems of William
Shakespeare, with notes, original and selected, and introductory remarks
to each play, by Samuel Weller Singer, F.S.A., and a life of the poet,
by Charles Symmons.  2 vols.  NY:  Harper & Brothers, 1871.  Vol. I:
http://tinyurl.com/23gdw  Vol. II: http://tinyurl.com/2vyvy

Etext is unreadable; sample (from 3H6):
...all their pride 1 And thus I prophecy,-that many a thousand, Three
dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd * Which now mistrust no parcels of
my fear; For hardy and undoubted champions:' And many an old man's sigh,
and many a widow's, Two Clilbrds, as the father and the son,' And many
an orphan's water-standing eye,- And two Northumberlands; two braver men
I She alluites to the deserticn of Clarence. Ne'er spurr'd their
coursers at the trumpet's sound. 2 To misdlnotlt is to suspect danteir,
to fear. 3 The word mnicle is here used in an uncommon sense, 7' rurlis
indiestaque moles.' for the male parent: the sweet bird is evidently his
son Ovid. Met...

Hows, John W.S., ed.  The historical Shakspearian reader: comprising the
"histories", or, "chronicle plays" of Shakspeare; carefully expurgated
and rev., with introductory & explanatory notes...  NY:  D. Appleton,
1875.  http://tinyurl.com/25svx

Etext is somewhat readable--sample (from H8):
...Buck. I read in's looks Matter against me; and his eye revil'd Me, as
his abject object: at this instant He bores me with some trick: he's
gone t' the king; I'll follow, and out-stare him. Nor. Stay, my lord,
And let your reason with your choler question What'tis you go about: to
climb steep hills, Requires slow pace at first: anger is like A full-hot
horse, who being allow'd his way, Self-mettle tires him. Not a man in
England Can advise me like you: be to yourself, As you would to your

Shakspeare gems, by the author of 'The book of familiar quotations".
Boston: Lee & Shepard, 1872.  TOC:  http://tinyurl.com/2v9ny

Etext is unreadable; sample (from Lear):
...Methinks he seems no bigger than his head: The fishermen, that walk
upon the beach, Appear like mice; and yon tall anchoring bark,
Diminished to her cock;* her cock, a buoy Almost too small for sight:
the murmuring surge That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes, Cannot
be heard so high: I'11 look no more; Lest my brain turn, and the
deficient sight Topple down headlong. Glos'ter's Farewell to the World.
O you mighty gods I This world I do renounce; and, in your sights, Shake
patiently my great affliction off: If I could bear it longer, and not
fall * Cock-boat, a small boat belonging to the " anchoring bark."...

Clarke, Mary Cowden, comp.  The complete concordance to Shakspere: being
a verbal index to all the passages in the dramatic works of the poet.
One-vol. 1st ed. (Boston:  C.C. Little & J. Brown, 185?):
http://tinyurl.com/3co6l  Vol. I only of new, rev. ed. (Boston:  Little,
Brown, 1871):  http://tinyurl.com/2dcx7

Etext is unreadable; sample (from 1871 ed.):
AUSTEREV-wsith an austere regard. i dismiss this audience, and I sleahll
Love's L. L. iv. 3 indeed, in aught he merit noth...... Gsriotanus, i. 1
if-this austere insociable life.... Lsse's L. Lsst, v. 2 shall I have
audience; he shall..... - v. I article tying him So aught..... - i 3
with moot austere sanctimony....All's Wett, iv. 3 so, if any of She
audience hiss...... - v. I and never of me aught but whatis. - ivI as of
grave and austore quality.. Timsm sf Athens, iL 1 vouchsafe me en
audience for one word - v. 2 itb.uh.oad h eea odJut. Ctssar i. 2
AUSTERELY-if I have tos austerely. Tempest, iv. I rvs me audience, good
maclam.. As you Like it, iii. 2 heryuaghWfhrinyus.i 3 might'st thou
perceive ensterely.Com. sf Errors. i v.

Simms, William Gilmore, ed.  A supplement to the plays of William
Shakspeare: comprising the seven dramas, which have been ascribed to his
pen, but which are not included with his writings in modern editions ...
Ed., with notes, and an introduction to each play, by William Gilmore
Simms, esq.  Auburn and Rochester, NY: Alden & Beardsley, 1855.  No TOC
(The Two Noble Kinsmen; The London Prodigal; The History of Thomas Lord
Cromwell; Sir John Oldcastle--Lord Cobham; The Puritan, or the Widow of
Watling Street; A Yorkshire Tragedy; and The Tragedy of Locrine)

Etext is unreadable; sample (from Sir John Oldcastle):
...Sir Richard Cob.'Tis true, my lord, and God forgive him for it! So
let us hence. [Lee: Pow. Then let us hence. You shall be straight
[Exeunt all but Powis and COBHAM. provided Pow. But Powis still must
stay. Of lusty geldings: and once entered Wales, There yet remains a
part of that true love Well may the bishop hunt-but, spite his face, He
owes his noble friend, unsatisfied He never more shall have the game in
chase! And unperformed; which first of all doth bind me [Exeunt. E END

Shakespeare's Midsummer-night's dream. The designs by P. Konewka.
Engraved by W.H. Morse; vignette by H.W. Smith...  Boston:  Roberts
Brothers, 1870.  http://tinyurl.com/325j5

Etext is somewhat readable; sample:
...LYSANDER. How now, my love? Why is your cheek so pale? How chance the
roses there do fade so fast? HERMIA. Belike, for want of rain, which I
could well Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes. LYSANDER. Ah me!
for aught that ever I could read, Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth; But, either it was
different in blood, - HERMIA. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low!
LYSANDER. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years; - 6...

Rolfe, William J., ed.  The tempest.  NY: Harper & Brothers, 1872.  TOC:

Etext is somewhat readable; sample:
Prospero. By Providence divine. Some food we had, and some fresh water,
that A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo, Out of his charity (who being then
appointed Master of this design), did give us, with Rich garments,
linens, stuffs, and necessaries, Which since have steaded much. So, of
his gentleness, Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me, From mine own
library, with volumes that I prize above my dukedom. Miranda. Would I
might But evez see that man! Prospero. Now I arise:Sit still, and hear
the last of our sea-sorrow. Here in this island we arriv'd; and here
Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee more profit...

Rolfe, William J., ed.  Shakespeare's history of King Henry the Eighth.
NY: Harper & Brothers, 1872.  TOC:  http://tinyurl.com/2jehe

Etext is unreadable; sample:
...King Henlry. Proceed. Surveyor. Being at Greenwich, After your
highness had reprov'd the duke About Sir William Blomer,Kinzg Henry. I
remember Of such a time: being my sworn servant The duke retain'd him
his.-But on: what hence? Surveyor. " If," quoth he, " I for this had
been committed,As to the Tower I thought,-I would have play'd The part
my father meant to act upon Th' usurper Richard; who, being at
Salisbury, Made suit to come in's presence; which if granted, As he made
semblance of his duty, would Have put his knife into him."...

Rolfe, William J., ed.  Julius Caesar.  NY: Harper & Brothers, 1881.
TOC:  http://tinyurl.com/yqevq

Etext sample:
ap THE DANCE. "Yes, perfectly well; why, who are you'." Here we were
interrupted by one of the gentlemen, who had led his partner to the
floor, with, " Come, stran. ger, we're getting mighty tired o' standing.
-It won't do for old people that's going to dance to take up much time
in standing; they'll lose all their spryness. Don't stand begging Polly
Gibson, she never dances; but take my Sal there, next to her; she'll run
a reel with you, to old Nick's house and back agin."

(Yes, you see that this is not Julius Caesar; it is a book called
Georgia Scenes, by A.B. Longstreet.  I don't know where Caesar is buried
much less whether the good or bad text is interred with his bones.)

When you visit the Michigan-Cornell "Making of America" project, you can
be a bit post-modern and ask, Is *this* the text?

I think the answer is no:  there are images but no text.

Al Magary
Hall's Chronicle Project

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