Shakespearean Prompt-Books
Shakespearean prompt-books of the seventeenth century, vol. 3 (Midsummer Night's Dream) [a machine-readable transcription] Shakespeare, William Creation of machine-readable version: Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Creation of digital images: Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Conversion to TEI.2-conformant markup: University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center. 25 kilobytes University of Virginia Library. Charlottesville, Va. Bibliographic Society, ShaMndP

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URL: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/bsuva/promptbook/

1997

Shakespearean prompt-books of the seventeenth century

Shakespearean prompt-books of the seventeenth century, vol. 3 William Shakespeare Editor G. Blakemore Evans

Issued in portfolios. The prompt-books are reproduced in collotype facsimile.

University Press of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 1964 Print copy consulted: UVa Library call number PR 2757 .E9 1960 v. 3 pt. 1-2 Copy 3

Shakespearean prompt-books of the seventeenth century

Prepared for the University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center.

All quotation marks retained as data.

All unambiguous end-of-line hyphens have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.

The images exist as archived TIFF images, one or more JPEG versions for general use, and thumbnail GIFs.

Keywords in the header are a local Electronic Text Center scheme to aid in establishing analytical groupings.

Library of Congress Subject Headings 1960-1964 English drama; prose LCSH 24-bit color; 400 dpi July 1997 corrector Catherine Tousignant, Electronic Text Center
  • Corrected various transcription errors.
  • January 1997 corrector Catherine Tousignant, Electronic Text Center
  • Added TEI header
  • Image of the spine: Shakespearean Prompt-Books, The Comedy of
                            Errors and Midsummer Night's Dream

    Image of the cover, part 1: Shakespearean Prompt-Books, The Comedy
                            of Errors and Midsummer Night's Dream

    Image of the titlepage, part 1: Shakespearean Prompt-Books, The
                            Comedy of Errors and Midsummer Night's Dream

    Image of the cover, part 2: Shakespearean Prompt-Books, The Comedy
                            of Errors and Midsummer Night's Dream

    Image of the cover, part 1: Shakespearean Prompt-Books, The Comedy
                            of Errors and Midsummer Night's Dream

    SHAKESPEAREAN
    PROMPT-BOOKS
    of the SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
    Vol. III: Part i
    Introductions to the 'Nursery'
    The Comedy of Errors
    Midsummer Night's Dream
    Collations
    Edited by
    G. Blakemore Evans
    Published for
    The Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia
    University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville
    1964
    EDITORIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
    The Bibliographical Society Of the University Of Virginia
    ARTHUR F. STOCKER, Chairman
    FREDSON BOWERS
    JOHN COOK WYLLIE
    The production of this volume was supervised by Fredson Bowers

    Introduction
    A Midsummer Night's Dream
    First Folio

    THE 'Nursery' version of A Midsummer Night's Dream is not a prompt-book, but a simple cutting of the play.1 It contains no prompter's notations. It is possible, however, to link this cutting with the 'Nursery' promptbook of The Comedy of Errors by the appearance in it of a common hand (Hand I in Comedy of Errors) and by the general method of marking cuts. It is, moreover, fairly certain that at one time the two separately bound volumes were parts of the same copy of the First Folio. 2

    As the collations show there are almost no verbal alterations, but the hand in the three that do occur (see for example I.i.79), as I have noted, is the same as Hand I in The Comedy of Errors, and in both versions the cutting seems to be connected with this hand. It may also be observed that there is very little verbal alteration in The Comedy of Errors. Unfortunately everything from the end of act three (and a leaf containing parts of acts one and two) is missing, making it essentially impossible to say much about the cutting as a whole. Judging from what is left, however, the amount of deletion seems heavy: 511 lines in the first three acts, a figure which does not include what I suspect to be heavy cutting at the beginning of Act II and some probable cutting at the end of Act I.i. I should judge, therefore, a figure of 575 lines for the first three acts would be a fair estimate. With this we may compare the 460 lines cut in the first three acts of the Smock Alley prompt-book (in all, Smock Alley cuts around 611 lines), in itself an example of rather heavy cutting. The Smock Alley version thus runs to roughly 1,491 lines; allowing for around 575, lines in the first three acts and about 170 for the last two (by analogy with Smock Alley), the 'Nursery' version will work out at about 1,357. 3

    The most interesting cut is the attempt to get rid entirely of the character of Titania or at least so much of her role as is concerned with the quarrel with Oberon over the little Indian boy and the consequent Bottom-enchantment episode. It is unfortunate that even in this case the loss of the leaf containing the end of Act I and the beginning of Act II makes the full extent of the cut somewhat conjectural. But it is certain, that lines 60-97 must have been deleted since they are entirely concerned with the Titania-Oberon quarrel, and almost certainly lines 19-31. In fact as the cutting now stands Oberon's first speech comes at line 245" just after the exits of Demetrius and Helena. In the prompt-book, however, there is a cross in the left margin opposite this speech. Since, in order to make the speech, Oberon must have entered at least fifteen to twenty lines (perhaps more) earlier, this cross cannot indicate his point of entry. In the Smock Alley prompt-books a cross is frequently used to mark the place of an insertion. Here, although no insertion was written in, there is an obvious need for some explanation of the "flower" referred to by Oberon in line 247, Shakespeare's earlier handling of the matter having been cut entirely. It may be noticed that this drastic cut also removes the Bottom-Asshead incident and would necessitate the later cutting of Bottom's dream (IV.i.203-23). As a result it is not clear what exactly is supposed to frighten the "hempen homespuns" at III.i.108. Presumably, however, Puck, although both his speeches have been cut, was meant to appear and scare them away; his entry has been preserved at line 55. Such, at any rate, is the way ?Settle handles the situation in his operatic version of the play called The Fairy Queen (1692). Puck watches them perform the Pyramus and Thisbe parody (inserted here by ?Settle) and then without a word 'Robin runs in amongst them' and the mechanicals 'Exeunt, running several ways!'.

    Since like the Padua Winter's Tale, the 'Nursery' Midsummer Night's Dream is merely a cutting of the play which apparently never reached production, only two pages have been reproduced in facsimile: sigs. N1v (p 146) and N5v (p 154). The collation, however, records, as usual, all the cuts and notations for the whole play.

    The cutting of the 'Nursery' Midsummer Night's Dream has been compared throughout with: (1) the Smock Alley prompt-book (almost certainly before 1700); (2) The Fairy Queen (1692), an operatic version frequently attributed to Elkanah Settle; (3) David Garrick's operatic version, The Fairies (1755)4; (4) George Colman's and David Garrick's acting version (1763)5; (5) Francis Gentleman's suggested cutting in Bell's Shakespeare (1774), vol. VIII.

    1. For a discussion of the probable 'Nursery' provenience, see the Introduction to the 'Nursery' Comedy of Errors.

    2. This relationship can be deduced from the pattern of staining in the upper, outer corner of the leaves in both.

    3. The eighteenth-century acting versions have been so drastically shortened that comparative figures are not very helpful. Garrick's The Fairies (1755) reduces the play to about 695 lines (of which 133 are song lyrics) and omits the whole of the fifth act; the Colman-Garrick version (1763) runs to about "364 lines (of which 189 are again song lyrics) and also omits all but 18 lines of Act V. Francis Gentleman (Bell's Shakespeare, 1774, vol. VIII) marks only 176 lines for cutting, but the version he presents (despite William Jaggard's entry [Shakespeare Bibliography, 191 l, p. 410]) makes no claim to be 'regulated' from the prompt-book of either house. In a note at the end of Act I he adds; ". . . a little of the serious part might perhaps be spared, but so small a portion, we have not marked the different lines."

    4. There are actually two editions of Garrick's text, both dated 1755. See my note in Notes and Queries, N.S. (1959), X, 410-411.

    5. This version seems to owe its final published form to George Colman (see George Winchester Stone, "A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Hands of Garrick and Colman," PMLA (1939), LIV, 467-482). I have not included George Colman's A Fairy Tale (1763) in the versions examined.

    Collations
    A Midsummer Night's Dream
    Prompt-Book

    THE act, scene, and line numbering is that of the standard Globe text (1911 ed.) Angle-brackets are used to indicate (1) missing words or letters; (2) illegible words or letters; (3) doubtful or conjectural readings. The following abbreviations are employed:

    • Bell . . . . . . . text of Midsummer Night's Dream in Bell's Shakespeare(1774) Vol. VIII
    • Colman . . . . . . George Colman and David Garrick's acting version of Midsummer Night's Dream (1763)
    • F . . . . . . . . here used for First Folio (1623)
    • Ff . . . . . . . . the four Folios of 1623, 1632, 1664, 1685
    • Garrick . . . . . David Garrick's operatic version, The Fairies (1755)
    • PB . . . . . . . 'Nursery' Midsummer Night's Dream promptbook s.d...stage direction
    • Settle . . . . . . Elkanah Settle's (?) operatic version, The Fairy Queen (1692) Smock Alley PB...text of Midsummer Night's Dream in Smock Alley prompt-book, Dublin (almost certainly before 1700)

    I.

    I.i.

    Image of prompt-book page 146

    13-19 Awake the . . . reuelling.] Circled. Settle cuts 1-20; Garrick, 17.

    33-35 With bracelets . . . youth) ] Circled. Smock Alley PB cuts 34-38 (' . . . harshnesse.'); Settle, with some rewriting, 29-32, 34; Garrick, 28-35; Colman, 28-38 ('thou hast . . . harshnesse.') .

    48-51 One that. . . it:] Circled. Smock Alley PB cuts 48 ('yea ) -51; 48 ('yea ...') -55; Colman, 47-51.

    67-78 Therefore faire . . .blessednesse.] Circled. Smock Alley PB cuts 72-78; Settle, 72-92, substituting 6 lines of his own; Garrick, 67-70; Colman, 68, 71-73, 75.

    79 I will doe either] The PB reviser substitutes these words for F 'So will . . . Lord,' (crossed through.) Smock Alley PB cuts 'grow, so'.

    81-82 whose vnwished . . . soueraignty.] Crossed through.

    84-86 The sealing . . . day] Crossed through. Garrick and Colman cut 85.

    132-156 Lys.For ought . . . therefore] Circled (156 crossed through and separately circled). Smock Alley PB rewrites 132-134 ('I . . . did'), 151, 156 ('A . . . therefore') and cuts 135-149, 153-155; Settle, with some rewriting, 137-140, 144, 150-155; Garrick, 136, 138, 140, 145-149; Colman, 136, 138, 140, 151, 153-155.

    166-167 (Where I . . . May) ] Crossed through. Smock Alley PB cuts 167; Settle rewrites 166-168 (' . . . thee'.).

    I.i.205-II.i.97 O then . . . flocke, (pp. 147-148; sig. N2) is lacking, a page from another copy of F1 being inserted. For a discussion of possible cuts in these lines, see the Introduction, p. 28. The principal cuts in Smock Alley PB occur at I.i.230-245, II.i.9-l5, 35-42 (. . . he?), 48-57, 82-85 ('since . . . sea,'), 88-111 ('the winds . . . set.'); in Settle at I.i.203-207, 220-224 ('...Hermia.'),230-233, I.ii.92 ('What . . .')-114, II.i.54-57, 88-117; in Garrick at I.i.220-224 ('pray . . . Hermia.'),229-233, 240-251, I.ii (complete scene), I.i.10-13, 26-57, 63-118; in Colman at I.i.229-241, II.i.10-l3, 26-29, 34-42 ('Are . . . he?'), 64-68 ('but . . . Phillida.'),88-111('. . . set.').

    II.

    II.i.

    98-l87 The nine . . . conference.] Circled. Smock Alley PB cuts 88-111 ('the winds . . . set.'), 158 ('throned . . .')-165; Settle, 88-117, 124-135; Garrick, 63-118, 121, 126-134, 145, 149-168, 173-174, 180-181; Colman, 88-111 (' . . . set.'), 131, 144 (Fairies . . . )-145, 148 ('Thou . . .')-168, 181.

    208-210 What worser . . . dogge.] Crossed through. So Smock Alley PB; Settle and Colman cut 208-213; Garrick, 194-213.

    245] PB reviser places a cross in the left margin opposite this line. See Introduction, p. 28.

    249-258 I know . . . fantasies.] Circled. Smock Alley PB cuts 249-256, substituting 'ye place / I <kn>ow where / Titania / <slee>ps'; Settle cuts 258 and rewrites 264-267 completely; Garrick cuts 250-252, 254-256, 267-268; Colman, 251-252, 255-256, 265-266.

    259 & Take thou] PB reviser places '&' in left margin before F 'Take thou'.

    II.ii.

    1 s.d.-34 Enter Queen...neere.] Circled. Part of the cutting to get rid of Titania (see Introduction, p. 28). F, PB, and Smock Alley PB mark no new scene here. Smock Alley PB cuts 2-7, 16-26; Settle retains 1-8 and parts of the 'Song', but greatly expands with 'A Prelude', dances, elaborate scene change, etc; Garrick cuts 7 ('Sing . . .') -8, 25-26.

    98-99 What wicked . . . eyne?] Crossed through. Smock Alley PB cuts 94-99; Settle, 94-99; Garrick, 88-89, 94-99; Colman, 90-99; Gentleman suggests cutting 92-97.

    117-122 Things growing . . . booke.] Circled. Gentleman suggests cutting; Smock Alley cuts 117-120; Settle heavily re-writes; Garrick cuts 115-122; Colman, 117-119.

    143-144 And all . . . Knight.] Crossed through. So Colman; Smock Alley PB substitutes 'Ile all my powers addresse with love and might / To Ho<nour> Helle<na> / favor <me> ye nig<ht>'; Settle substitutes 'O may I never, never see thee more; / Helen the Goddess I must now adore.'; Garrick cuts 136-144.

    III.

    III.i.

    79 s.d-82 Enter Robin...cause.] Circled. Cut because of the reference to Titania (see Introduction, p. 28). Note that Puck's entry is retained above at 55 but that he says nothing since his speeches here and at go are cut. Garrick cuts III.i entirely and reports as part of Puck's speech in III.ii.6-34 (reduced to 6 lines) how Titania has fallen in love with a 'clown'.

    90 Puck. A stranger . . . here.] Crossed through. Settle cuts because he handles what follows quite differently.

    108 s.d.-III.ii.40 The Clownes...eyde.] Circled through 166; the remainder criss-crossed diagonally. The exit for the 'Clownes' should not presumably have been included in the cut. The cut as a whole gets rid of business relating to Titania (see Introduction, p. 28). Smock Alley PB cuts 143 and III.ii.20-23, 27-30; Settle, 157-162, 174, 182-201 and III.ii. 3, 7-30 (35-40 completely rewritten); Garrick, III.i entirely and III.ii. 1-4 (' . . . messenger:'), 8, 9-l 1 ('rude . . . to'), 12-32, 37; Colman, 143, 175-176, 181 and III.ii.9-11('Mechanicals . . to'), 13-16, 18-30, 32, 39-40; Gentleman suggests cutting III.ii.1-34.

    III.ii

    Image of prompt-book page 154

    42, 92, 100] PB reviser deletes F speech-heads 'Rob.' (42, 92) and 'Robin.' (100) and substitutes 'Puc' (42, 92) and 'Puck' (100). There is no entry marked for Oberon in this scene; Puck may be supposed to have remained on stage from III.i.55.

    128-129 You doe . . . fray!] Crossed through. Smock Alley PB cuts 122-148, substituting a few partly illegible lines; Garrick, 126-136; Colman, 129. 131-133 Weigh oath . . . tales.] Crossed through. See above for Smock Alley PB and Garrick; Settle and Colman cut 130 ('will...')-133. 138 thee.] PB reviser crosses through F 'shine eyne!' and, following, substitutes 'thee.'. Settle and Colman substitute 'Eyes' for 'eyne'.

    139-144 Christall is . . . blisse.] Circled. So Colman; Smock Alley PB cuts 122-148, substituting a few partially illegible lines; Garrick, 141-148.

    149-154 Can you . . . hearts.] Circled. Smock Alley PB cuts 152-154; Garrick, 151-162; Colman, 145-152 ('0 hell . . . not'), 153-154; Gentleman suggests cutting 149-161.

    157-161 A trim . . . sport.] Circled. So Smock Alley PB; Settle cuts 157-176; Colman, 156-157, 159 ('none . . .')-161; see above for Garrick and Gentleman.

    177-180 Dark night . . . recompence.] Circled. Settle cuts 179-181; Garrick, 179-182; Colman, 179-180.

    196-216 Haue you . . . friend?] Circled. Smock Alley PB cuts 193-216; Settle, 193,194 (telescopes 196-197), 198-231; Garrick, 192-194, 202-242; Colman, 193-194, 196-197, 205, 211-215, 217-21 (marking 198-210 as appropriate for cutting); Gentleman suggests cutting 210-214.

    222-231 Haue you . . . consent?] Circled. Smock Alley PB cuts 220-235; Garrick, 202-242; Colman, 225, 226-227 ('nimph . . . celestial!?'), 228-230; Gentleman suggests cutting 225.

    237-240 I, doe . . . chronicled.] Circled. Smock Alley PB cuts 238, 240-243; Settle, 236-242; Garrick, 202-242; Colman, 238-239.

    247-31 Hel. O excellent . . . am.] Circled. Smock Alley PB cuts 246-247 ('fair . . . excellent!'), 250, 254-343 (substitut- some lines only partly legible); Settle, 247-253, 260-268, 279, 288, 293, 297 ('I am . . .')-320; Garrick, 247-253, 257-272, 274-278, 279 ('of question . . . ') -280, 282-344; Colman, 247 Sweet . . .')-250, 256-335; Gentleman suggests cutting 247 (Sweet . . .') -284.

    325-335 And though . . . not,] Circled (325 perhaps separately crossed through) . Settle cuts 329-330 (' . . . acorne.'), 331-335 (' . . . it.'); see above for Smock Alley PB, Garrick, and Colman.

    374-394 Whiles I . . . notwithstanding] Circled (394 crossed through). 374-377 cut because of reference to Titania. Smock Alley PB cuts 386-393 (rewriting 394); Settle, 389-393 (with a new line after 388, rewriting 394); Garrick, 370-395 (adding some new lines to allow for the omission of Bottom); Colman, 373-374, 378-393; Gentleman suggests cutting 373-375.

    402, 403, 407, 4122, 421, 425, 437, 448] PB reviser deletes F speech-heads 'Rob.' and substitutes 'Puc.' or 'Puc:'.

    [PB lacks everything after III.ii.457 (' . . . former Ladies eye,'), pages 157-162 (sigs. O1- O3v); the missing leaves have been supplied from another copy of F1, the same copy used to supply the missing leaf, sig. N2.]

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