The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.207 Thursday, 13 July 2017
Date: July 4, 2017 at 7:57:17 PM EDT
Subject: Re: Texts of King Lear
These are my last posts on Q1 2.4 and its F additions (blue) and alterations (red), from the Blayney/Stone/Vickers continuum. I had intended shorter, separate analyses. I appreciate Hardy's patience:
Enter Lear and Gloster.
Lear. Denie to speake with mee, th'are sicke, th'are
They traueled hard to night, meare Iustice fetches, (weary,
I the Images of reuolt and flying off,
Fetch mee a better answere.
Glost. My deere Lord, you know the fierie qualitie of the
Duke, how vnremoueable and fixt he is in his owne Course. 90
Lear. Vengeance, death Plague, plague Death, confusion, what fierie quality,
Fiery? What quality?
why Gloster, Gloster, id'e speake with the Duke of Cornewall, and [E4v, outer]
[Glo. Well my good Lord, I haue inform’d them so.
Lear. Inform’d them? Do’st thou vnderstand me man.]
Glost. I my good Lord.
Lear. The King would speak with Cornewal, the deare father
Would with his daughter speake, commands her , tends, seruice,
[Are they inform’d of this? My breath and blood:]
Fierie Duke, tell the hot Duke that Lear, 100
Fiery? The fiery Duke, tell the hot Duke that ---------
. . .
Goe Tell the Duke and's wife, Ile Il’d speake with them
Now presently, bid them come forth and heare me,
Or at their chamber doore ile beat the drum,
Till it cry sleepe to death.
Glost. I would haue all well betwixt you.
Lear. O me my heart, my rising heart. But downe.
Foole. Cry to it Nunckle, as the Cokney did to the eeles, when
she put vm it h pâst aliue, she rapt vm knapt ‘em ath coxcombs with a stick,
and cryed downe wantons downe, twas her brother, that in pure 120
kindnes to his horse buttered his hay.
Earlier I’ve discussed both my agreement with Blayney on F’s derivation of ‘Fiery? The fiery Duke’ from Q miscorrection and my inference that F’s ‘commands, tends, seruice’ conflates Qu’s ‘come and tends seruise’ with Q2’s ‘commands her seruice’(from Qc). Uncorrected Q1 intended come and tend’s, just as ‘the Duke and’s wife’ means and his. F is understandably helpless in printing house mix-ups resulting in two faulty versions from which to choose.
Stone posits Gloster’s and Lear’s F additions as augmenting ‘I my good Lord.’ “That [the initial two] lines did not belong to the original text is shown by their association with the next addition . . . to suppose that both passages were omitted from Q would be virtually to assume a method and purpose in the omissions” (241). But if a separate Q omission had to be restored, the three lines would not be missed (by readers) if removed to obtain space. For example, eyeskip from one ‘Cornewall’ to the other would also omit two of the added F lines; removal of a third (‘Are they inform’d . . .’) allows room for a partial Q foul proof restoration. Some such accident and repair explains otherwise unlikely “revision” in the running stream of corruption in an obvious reprint. It’s not as if the lines couldn’t belong: expendable in a pinch, they were recovered in F; or so my hypothesis goes.
My last on Lear 2.4; Vickers’s One Lear led Blayney to impart his long-withheld conclusions on Q1 printing, which actually support Sir Brian’s hypothesis that Q printer’s copy was more like a Q/F conflation than recently supposed. Special circumstances in printing and reprinting a report indicate that F restored Q omissions. Upcoming editions (Variorum & Oxford) will probably stick to mistaken assumptions and resultant theories but a full statement of probabilities can wait on their publication. Q1 2.4:
. . . no you vnnaturall hags,
I will haue such reuenges on you both,
That all the world shall, I will doe such things,
What they are yet I know not, but they shalbe
The terrors of the earth, you thinke ile weepe, [F3r, outer]
No ile not weepe, I haue full cause of weeping, 280
But this heart shall breake, in a 100. thousand flowes
Or ere ile weepe, O foole I shall goe mad.
Exeunt Lear, Leister, Kent, and Foole.
Duke. Let vs withdraw, twill be a storme.
Reg. This house is little the old man and his people,
Cannot be well bestowed.
Gon. Tis his own blame hath put himselfe from rest,
And must needs tast his folly.
Reg. For his particuler, ile receiue him gladly,
But not one follower. 290
Duke. Gon. So am I puspos'd, where is my Lord of Gloster? Enter Glo.
Reg. Corn. Followed the old man forth, he is return'd.
Glo. The King is in high rage, & wil I know not whe- 293
Re. Corn. Tis good best to giue him way, he leads himselfe.(ther.
[Glo. The King is in high rage.
Corn. Whether is he going?
Glo. He cals to Horse, but will I know not whether.]
Gon. My Lord, intreat him by no meanes to stay.
Glo. Alack the night comes on, and the bleak winds
Do sorely russel, for many miles about ther's not scarce a bush.
Reg. O sir, to wilfull men
The iniuries that they themselues procure, 300
Must be their schoolemasters, shut vp your doores,
He is attended with a desperate traine,
And what they may incense him to, being apt,
To haue his eare abusd, wisedome bids feare.
Duke. Shut vp your doores my Lord, tis a wild night, 305
My Reg counsails well . . . Exeũt
Stone was convinced that redundant F additions are non-authorial, though his explanations are incautious: Q1 l. 293, “being hypermetrical, the reviser has split it . . . and, with the interpolated matter, makes . . . pentameters. Since the plot involves frequent journeys on horseback, he probably felt it safe to introduce the detail . . . . Subsequent events [show Lear] on foot” (242).
Hypermetrical lines are usually corrupt, pentameters correct. 3.1 shows Lear left an entourage that hadn’t departed afootback. With little reason for revision, F recovery is a likely alternative.
If outer F proofing wasn’t in reference to copy (Blayney), mishaps would compound. The margin was set by “quotation quadrants” that minimized space metal but cramped longer verse lines. Such a quad was used to set Gloster’s entry in the far right margin (a standard location for the device but here expediently supplying an entry missing from the text).
F and Q ascriptions (for Cornwall, Regan, and Goneril) play musical jeers. We shouldn’t assume correct/incorrect or alternate authorial versions; theatrical reporting of multiple speakers is conjectural without dialogue indication. Arden3 credits the “F editor,” implying non-authorial assignment. But both texts must be taken into account. Of course, Leister’s exit with Lear is a red flag. If a compositor failed to note Gloster’s reentry (whose line is squeezed in) or if he set line 291 as two (with two speakers, and included the set direction, Q1 evidence is consistent with reduction by a line. The F-only reading itself comprises a line-and-a-half and two prefixes. By omitting the Duke’s ‘Whether is he going’ and Gloster’s ‘He cals to Horse,’ Q1 will have made room for two lines, should we ‘reason the need.’
Experience shows eyeskip occurs almost anywhere, often to be caught by copyists themselves. For example, skipping from Regan’s to Cornwall’s ‘Shut up your doors . . .’ (301, 305) eliminates three lines while ‘My Reg counsails well’ warns that she is no longer the speaker. But proofing a filled-up forme would require reference to copy and room-making. Here’s possible (though not suggested) Q copy after speakers were assigned (some by the stenographer—mine in blue) and as Bordeaux predicts (where lineation, punctuation, and set directions were ignored and where words were turned up or down for placing some prefixes in the left margin):
no ile not weepe I haue full cause of weeping but this heart
shall breake in a 100 thousand flowes or ere ile weepe O foole
I shall goe mad )Duke )Let vs withdraw twill be a storme (bestowed
Reg this house is little the old man and his people cannot be well
Gon tis his own blame hath put himselfe from rest and must needs tast
Reg for his particuler ile receiue him gladly but not one follower (his folly
Duke so am I purpos'd )Regan) where is my Lord of Glo  (rage
Reg Duke followed the old man forth, he is return'd )Glo ) the king is in high
Duke whether is he going )Glo ) he cals to Horse but will I know not whether
Re Duke Gon [?] Tis good to giue him way he leads himselfe
Gon Reg my Lord intreat him by no meanes to stay )Glo) alack the night comes
on and the bleak winds do sorely russel for many miles about ther's not
Reg O sir, to wilfull men the iniuries that they themselues procure (a bush
must be their schoolemasters shut vp your doores he is attended with a
desperate traine and what they may incense him to being apt to haue his
eare abusd wisedome bids feare )Duke) shut vp your doores my Lord tis
a wild night my Reg counsails well come out at'h storme Exeũt
In this imagined circumstance, Cornwall has consecutive marginal prefixes (all guesses). If the Q1 compositor missed out ‘Duke whether . . . whether’, the easiest fix would be to add ‘& wil I know not whether’ to Gloster’s initial line, for which there’s little room. Repairing the lines, F would shuffle speakers, though Cornwall and Regan seem to rule this neck of the prairie.
Restoration of a substitute omission remote from an initial eyeskip can’t be proved. Revision is contradicted rather by dense, anomalous Q1 and numerous F additions more suited to earlier text. Still, eyeskip occurs enough to suggest other instances. At F2v, Blayney’s “correction in some fashion” may include “miscorrection of a particular kind [that] from the proof-reader’s point of view [is] misinterpreting the instructions . . . or carrying them out imperfectly” (221):
Lear. O reason not the deed need . . .
Allow not nature more than nature needes,
Mans life as cheape as beasts, thou art a Lady,
If onely to goe warm were gorgeous, [Q1, 2.4.265?]
Why nature needes not, what thou gorgeous wearest
Which scarcely keepes the warm . . .
Furness cites Walker on the first gorgeous, who “doubts if this word be the correct one.” I’m with him, though editors assume meaning merely because it’s ‘Shakespeare.’ If the copy read, ‘If only to go warm were what thou needst’; a skip to ‘what thou gorgeous wearest’ would be caught in proofing. But confusion about the error’s cause and repair could lead to interpolating ‘gorgeous,/Why nature needs not,’ instead of ‘what thou needst,/Why nature needes not,’ (or whatnot).
Gerald E. Downs