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The Text of the Present Edition

Although until recently there were thought to be but four Quartos of Richard II (not counting that of 1634, derived from the Second Folio), A. W. Pollard has proved that it appeared in five Quarto editions in Shakespeare's lifetime. The characteristics of all these and their relations to each other and to the First Folio are discussed with great penetration by Mr. Pollard (Richard II: A New Quarto. 1916).

The First Quarto, without the author's name, had the following title-page:

THE / Tragedie of King Ri- / chard the se- / cond. / As it hath beene publikely acted / by the right Honourable the / Lorde Chamberlaine his Ser- / uants. [Simmes's device.] LONDON / Printed by Valentine Simmes for Androw Wise, and / are to be sold at his shop in Paules church yard at / the signe of the Angel. / 1597.

The Second Quarto, deriving from the first, and Pollard's newly established third, deriving from the second, were both printed in 1598, and bore on their title-pages the words, 'By William Shake-speare.'

The Fourth Quarto was the first to print the abdication scene (IV. i. 154–318). The earlier part of the edition, from which was drawn the copy in the Elizabethan Club of New Haven, supplying the title-page reproduced in facsimile in this volume, gave no notice of the fact on its title-page. That of the later part of the edition, however, read as follows:

THE / Tragedie of King / Richard the Second: / With new additions of the Parlia- / ment Sceane, and the deposing / of King Richard, / As it hath been lately acted by the Kinges / Maiesties seruantes, at the Globe. / By William Shake-speare. / AT LONDON, / Printed by W. W. for Matthew Law, and are to / be sold at his shop in Paules Church-yard, / at the signe of the Foxe. / 1608.

The Fifth Quarto (1615) followed the fourth, and seems to have become the basis of the First Folio text, supplemented and corrected by a purer version, which Pollard conjectures to have been a copy of the First Quarto annotated for use in the theater. The First Folio text, while full of inferior readings, supplies the division into acts and scenes, fuller stage directions, and a superior text of the abdication scene. From the Folio, however, are omitted about fifty lines printed in all the Quartos; the longer omissions seem to be in the nature of cuts to shorten the time of performance. They occur in nine places, as follows:

I. iii. 129–133 III. ii. 29–32
I. iii. 239–242 III. ii. 49
I. iii. 268–293 III. ii. 182
II. ii. 77 IV. i. 52–59
V. iii. 99

The present text is based on that of Craig's Oxford Shakespeare (Oxford, the Clarendon Press), which is eclectic between the First Quarto and the First Folio. Where practicable, the stage directions of the early editions have been restored. The list of dramatis personæ, the scene locations, and such stage directions as are supplied from later sources are inclosed in brackets. Certain spellings in Craig have been altered: naught for nought, whilst for while, antic for antick, forgo for forego, yon for yond. Other departures from the Oxford text are listed below, the reading of the present edition before the colon, the Oxford reading after it.

I. i. 51 this.: this:

72 except.: except:

168 death, that: death that

187 O God, . . . sin!: O! God defend . . . sin.

ii. 23 self mould Qq: self-mould F1

iii. 118 Stay Qq, F1: Stay, stay

II. i. 18 As praises, of whose taste the wise are fond; Q1: As praises of his state: then there are fond (sound F1)

20 listen;: listen:

121 son,: son,—

183 kindred Qq: kindred's F1

203 letters-patents Qq, F1: letters-patent

240 moe Qq, F1: more

II. ii. 15 shows . . . is Qq, F1: show . . . are

57 And all the rest revolted Q1: And all the rest of the revolted

112 T' one Q1: the one

113 t' other Q1: the other

iii. 5 Draws . . . makes Qq, F1: Draw . . . make

35 directions Qq: direction F1

80 self-borne F1 (selfeborne Q1): self-born F3–4

125 cousin Qq: kinsman F1

III. ii. 55 balm off from Qq: balm from F1

64 farther Qq, F1: further

iii. 52 this Qq, F1: the

62 S. d. Boling. Qq: H.Percy

91 stands Qq: is F1

202 hands Qq: hand F1

iv. S. d. Enter a Gardener &c., between 23 and 24 Qq, F1: between 28 and 29

IV. i. 33 sympathy Qq: sympathies F1

145 raise Qq: rear F1

263 good—: good,

276 that F1: the Q3–4

V. i. 39 thy Q1: my Q2–4, F1

43 quite their griefs Q1: quit their grief F1

ii. 18 from the one Qq: from one F1

58 see Qq: sees F1

67 himself?: himself!

iii. 1 tell me of Qq: tell of F1

21 sparks of better hope Qq, F1: sparkles of a better hope

22 years Qq: days F1

85 rest rest Qq: rest rests F1

112 Say Qq: But F1

iv. 9 heart,: heart;

v. 29 misfortunes Qq: misfortune F1

33 treasons make Qq: treason makes F1

69 hither, Qq, F1: hither, man,

94 spurr'd, gall'd, and tir'd Qq: spur-gall'd and tird F1

vi. 43 shades Q1: shade F1

47 what Qq: that F1