The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0052  Thursday, 7 February 2013


From:        Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         February 7, 2013 2:06:57 PM EST

Subject:     Arden3 STM


Tom Reedy notes my comment on D’s replacement of ‘wars’ with ‘hurly.’


>> whose discipline is ryot., why euen yor [warres] -hurly-

>> cannot pceed but by obedienc . . .


>> Arden3 follows OED to define hurly as “commotion, uproar, 

>> turmoil.” Does that proceed by obedience? Not around my 

>> house. 


> Gerald, have you read much Shakespeare?


Read much, or much into? More than most, I suppose; it’s ‘quality vs. quantity,’ don’t you think? Yet we shouldn’t beg the question; whether this is Shakespeare hasn’t been decided.


> Back up a few words and parse the phrase “whose discipline is ryot”.


OK. Presuming we accept van Dam’s placement of ‘in, in to your obedience’ and his metrical redaction, the lines read (If you believe they’re Shakespeare’s, add them to your total; you may pass someone up):


    . . . To kneele to be forgyven

Is safer warrs, then euer you can make              235

Whose discipline is ry’t. Why, e’n your [warres] 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?


You rebels, in your estimation, are making war. Shrieve More suggests you’ll be safer to repent because your way of going about it (discipline) is a riot. Now to mention it, even war needs obedience for “Mission accomplished!” But rioters won’t obey traitorous, unauthorized leaders. Better to say you’re sorry. In, into the paddy wagons.


As Tom demonstrates, a scribe might understand More to exhort the rabble to riot obediently. That’s the Mubarek/Morsi mojo. Parsing along, ‘Why, even’ introduces a rhetorical example of mayhem done right. It’s not equivalent to the scornful ‘whose discipline is riot.’ More is teaching the rioters their place, not how to run a rout. He came red light & siren to a hurly in progress. It didn’t proceed by obedience, it stopped. As it gets on a riot may be led, or not; but like a bedbug it gets there just the same. I take it that any event proceeds until it stops. By D’s use of ‘hurly’ the mob requires a leader; but in this scene it did without, as Lincoln attests, until More stepped in.


Hurly is the wrong word. It must be defended, otherwise D isn’t the author and all the other characteristics of Hand D need explaining in some fashion other than, “That’s how Shakespeare wrote; discipline (scribal error, spelling, speech headings, meter, collaboration) is riot.” Now I convinced Parsin’ Tom years ago (as I recall) that Hand D is a copy. He sees Shakespeare copying his own work, where these features survive a “second heat.” I suggest they originate in their method of transmission.


Gerald E. Downs


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