Page:A Census of Shakespeare's Plays in Quarto (1916).djvu/25

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old copies had been bound up for sale in 1619 by way of clearing off “remainders,” and the arguments which he advanced in the Library for January, 1910, though they were not left unanswered, were quite impressive. In October, however, of the same year, Mr. William J. Neidig, an instructor in English in the University of Wisconsin, in articles in Modern Philology and the Century Magazine, by a composite photograph in which the Merchant of Venice of “1600” was superimposed on the Pericles of “1619” proved that the words ‘‘Written by W. Shakespeare,” the “Heb Ddieu heb Ddim” device and the word “Printed” came in exactly the same positions in each title-page, and pointed out also identical flaws of one kind in the W of “Written” and of another kind in the W of Shakespeare’s initial in each case. It was thus made certain that portions of the title-page of Pericles had been used over again in the title-page of the Merchant of Venice, without having been shifted in the form, and the impossibility of the two editions being separated by nineteen years was demonstrated in a manner appreciable even by readers with no bibliographical training. In this Census the falsity of the dates 1600 on the Merchant of Venice and Midsummer Night’s Dream and 1608 on King Lear and Henry V has thus been regarded as definitely proved, the correct date, 1619, being added in each case in brackets.

It is obvious that editions printed for inclusion in a stout quarto volume are in a much better position for resisting wear and tear than those issued separately in paper wrappers. These five editions thus stand in a class by themselves. If we deduct them and the number of copies of them still extant from the totals of these Intermediate Quartos given above, we get 169 extant copies to be divided among twenty-one editions, or the same average of eight apiece as in the case of the First Quartos. These 169 copies, it is interesting to note, are divided between public and private collections, giving totals of a little over eighty and an average of four to each.

We now give our final table of editions.