Second Experiment: Collating / Textual Variants

Second Experiment (14.06.15)

(Early Modern Editing Experiments Project)

(in preparation for the WISE workshop on Wednesday June 17th, 2015)

Collation Experiment as pdf

For this experiment I am focusing on the first twenty lines of verse from John Taylor’s travels to Prague. I’ve previously discovered that the first edition in 1620 (Q1) was used for the 1630 Works (F), and it is probable that Q1 was used, with additions, for the second edition in 1621 (Q2). Therefore, I have decided to base my edition on Q1 with additional passages from Q2 – there are no such additional passages in this section: that is, I am using Q1 as my copytext. I have used editions from Early English Books Online (details below).

For my first collation experiment, I typed out the texts from each edition as carefully as possible and then worked on my edition of the text with a collation underneath. I’ve noted substantive variants – that is, variants which could change the meaning – and a few accidental variants; I haven’t noted typographical changes such as the different use of upper or lower case, or the long ‘s’, or ‘u’ for ‘v’. This collation shows where I have inserted apostrophes for my modern edition to mark possessives.

My edited version

I come from Bohem, yet no news I bring,
Of business ’twixt the Kaiser and the King:
My muse dares not ascend the lofty stairs
Of state, or write of princes’ great affairs.
And as for news of battles, or of war,                               5
Were England from Bohemia thrice as far,
Yet we do know (or seem to know) more here
Than is, was, or will ever be known there.
At ordinaries, and at barbers’ shops,
These tiding vented are, as thick as hops,                      10
How many thousands such a day were slain,
What men of note were in the battle ta’en,
When, where, and how the bloody fight begun,
And how such sconces, and such towns were won,
How so and so the armies bravely met                             15
And which side glorious victory did get:
The month, the week, the day, the very hour,
And time they did oppose each other’s power.
These things in England prating fools do chatter,
When all Bohemia knows of no such matter.                     20

1 Bohem] Bohem Q1, Q2, F
2 Of] Q1, F; Or Q2
4 princes’] Princes Q1, Q2, F
6 England] England Q1, Q2, F 6 Bohemia] Bohemia Q1, Q2, F 6 far,] far; Q1, Q2, F
8 Than] Then Q1, Q2, F 8 will ever be] Q1, Q2; will be euer F
9 barbers’ shops] Barbers ʃhopps Q1; Barbers-ʃhoppes Q2; Barbar-ʃhops F
10 How] Q1, Q2; Hyw F
17 month] Q1, Q2; moneth F
18 time] time, Q1, Q2, F 18 other’s] others Q1, Q2, F
19 England] England Q1, Q2, F 19 prating] Q1, F; pratling Q2
20 Bohemia] Bohemia Q1, Q2, F

Q1

I Come from Bohem, yet no newes I bring,
Of buʃines ’twixt the Keyʃar and the king:
My Muʃe dares not aʃcend the lofty ʃtaires
Of State, or write of Princes great affaires.
And so for newes of battells, or of War,                             5
Were England from Bohemia thrice as far:
Yet we do know (or seeme to know) more heere
Then was, is, or will euer be knowne there.
At Ordinaries, and at Barbers ʃhopps,
There tydings vented are, as thick as hopps,                   10
How many thouʃands ʃuch a day were ʃlaine,
What men of note were in the battell ta’ne,
When, where, and how the bloody fight begun,
And how ʃuch ʃconces, and such townes were won;
How ʃo and ʃo the armies brauely met,                              15
And which ʃide glorious victory did get:
The month, the weeke, the day, the very houre,
And time, they did oppoʃe each others power,
Theʃe things in England, prating fooles do chatter,
When all Bohemia knowes of no ʃuch matter.

Q2

I Come from Bohem, yet no newes I bring,
Or buʃineʃʃe ’twixt the Keyʃar and the king:
My muʃe dares not aʃcend the lofty ʃtaires
Of State, or write of Princes great affaires;
And as for newes of battailes, or of War,                             5
Were England from Bohemia thrice as far:
Yet we do know (or seeme to know) more heere
Then was, is, or will euer be knowne there.
At Ordinaries, and at Barbers-ʃhoppes,
There tydings vented are, as thick as hoppes,                   10
How many thouʃands ʃuch a day were ʃlaine,
What men of note were in the battell ta’ne,
When, where, and how the bloodt fight begun,
And how ʃuch ʃconces, and ʃuch townes were won;
How ʃo and ʃo the Armies brauely met,                                15
And which ʃide glorious victory did get:
The Month, the weeke, the day, the very houre,
And time, they did oppoʃe each others power,
These things in England pratling fooles do chatter,
When all Bohemia knowes of no ʃuch matter.
F

I Come from Bohem, yet no newes I bring,
Of buʃines ’twixt the Keyʃar and the King:
My Muʃe dares not aʃcend the lofty ʃtaires
Of state, or write of Princes great affaires.
And as for newes of battels, or of War,                                 5
Were England from Bohemia thrice as far:
Yet we doe know (or seeme to know) more heere
Then was, is, or will be euer knowne there.
At Ordinaries, and at Barbar-ʃhops,
There tidings vented are, as thicke as hops,                         10
Hyu many thouʃands ʃuch a day were ʃlaine,
What men of note were in the battle ta’ne,
When, where, and how the bloody fight begun,
And how ʃuch ʃconces, and ʃuch Townes were won,
How ʃo and ʃo the Armies brauely met,                                   15
And which ʃide glorious victorie did get:
The moneth, the weeke, the day, the very houre,
And time, they did oppoʃe each others power,
Theʃe things in England, prating fooles doe chatter
When all Bohemia knowes of no ʃuch matter.

Overall, this experiment has made me realise how time consuming collating is, and how much attention you have to pay to detail. Providing information about the textual variants can be informative, but it can also detract from the experience of reading the text or be overwhelming for some readers. If I was to continue collating the text noting textual variants, I don’t think I would include information about the use of italics as this is not such a priority and provides too much information and is quite repetitive. Its use is also fairly noticeable when someone consults the original texts. Basically, I would need to consider what textual variants to highlight, and correct others (such as spelling) silently. I would also need to think about where the collation information would go on the page, below the text, or as endnotes. I also want to look into collating programs, although I’m not sure if I am willing to produce electronic texts of each witness text for the program. I also need to think carefully about the auto-correct function in Word.

Q1 Taylor his trauels: from the citty of London in England, to the citty of Prague in Bohemia [1620]. (From the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery: STC (2nd ed.) / 23802)

Q2 Taylor his trauels from the citty of London in England, to the citty of Prague in Bohemia [1621] (From Harvard University Library STC (2nd ed.) / 23802.5 (UMI reel 1859:06)

F All the vvorkes of Iohn Taylor the water-poet Beeing sixty and three in number. Collected into one volume by the author: vvith sundry new additions corrected, reuised, and newly imprinted, 1630. (From the British Library: STC (2nd ed.) / 23725)

Johann Gregory 14/6/15

@DrJ_Gregory

 

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