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commas and colons are not pressed too far; and the employment of the comma for elocutionary effect, to indicate a drop of the voice, has been retained. So, too, there has been no interference with the occasional practice of capitalizing common nouns or with the ordinary absence of capitals in proper adjectives. Errors in the division of lines have been corrected, but wherever the alteration amounts to much more than the mere substitution of a capital letter at the commencement of the line, the change is indicated in the critical apparatus. The long 's' is not retained, and black letter type is supplanted by roman. Words printed in roman in a black-letter setting are here given in italic. All further deviations from the editio princeps of each play or poem are recorded in the footnotes, which give also the variant readings of the other early editions, as well as a selection of the more valuable modern emendations.
The apparatus criticus is comparatively simple. Each separate division of the book is preceded by a list of sigla, enumerating chronologically first the early editions, which determine the text, and then the more modern versions. which possess in themselves no authority, and finally giving in alphabetical order the names and works of critics who have offered conjectural emendations. Bibliographical completeness is attempted in the case of the early editions alone. Only such modern reprints and critical writings are mentioned as there has been occasion to cite in the footnotes. The basis of the text is always the edition named first in the list of sigla, which, wherever the relative dates of editions can be ascertained, is the oldest except in the single case of the song of the Passionate Shepherd.
Certain well-known abbreviations are used throughout the critical apparatus: Conj. before the name of an editor or critic indicates that the change in question was merely suggested, without being introduced into the text. Add. means that the word or passage referred to was first inserted
by the editor whose name follows; when such new matter appears in the present text, it is enclosed in angular brackets. The abbreviation etc. after an editor's name signifies that the reading has been adopted in all later editions. Exc. stands for except'. The note thirst Dyce to Bull.' means that the reading 'thirst' in place of 'thrust' appears in all the editions from that of Dyce to that of Bullen inclusive.
This volume contains the plays and poems which must at present be regarded as making up Marlowe's extant works. The epigrams of Sir John Davies and Chapman's continuation of Hero and Leander are also included because of their close historical connexion with genuine poems. For the purpose of distinction these non-Marlovian pieces are printed in small type, and the same device is used to mark the supplementary portions of Doctor Faustus first found in the editions of 1616 and 1663 respectively, though it is possible, and even probable, that a portion of the new matter of the 1616 version represents Marlowe's own work. Two inconsiderable poems, printed by Dyce in his edition of Marlowe, have been omitted because the evidence in favour of their authenticity seems inadequate. A fourteenline Latin epitaph on Sir Roger Manwood († 1592) is written in manuscript on the back of the title-page of a copy 1 of the 1629 edition of Hero and Leander, whence Dyce incorporated it on the ground that Manwood, who was of Kentish origin, may have been a patron of Marlowe, and that the unknown scribe in copying the epitaph into a work of Marlowe's (and Chapman's) meant to imply the former poet's authorship. This reasoning is on the face of it rather weak, and the fact that the book containing the epitaph was not in existence till thirty-six years after Marlowe's death might cast doubt on much stronger evidence.
Dyce also inserted into his edition a Dialogue in Verse,
Last heard of in the possession of Colonel W. F. Prideaux of
consisting of about eighty lines, which Collier had first discovered and had printed in The Alleyn Papers (p. 8) from a single MS. folio at Dulwich College. This fragment, which is written in the MS. (Dulwich College MS. I. f 272) as prose and possesses neither any likeness to Marlowe's work nor any great poetic merit, has inscribed on the back in an unknown hand the words Kitt Marlowe. The folly of taking too seriously such vague hints, particularly in the case of suspected manuscripts like those at Dulwich, has often been made evident.
Only the most indispensable critical matter could be admitted into this volume. Each work is preceded by an introduction which sets forth briefly the facts of most importance and summarizes the editor's conclusions. For further details on all these points the reader must be referred to the library edition of Marlowe now in preparation. There will be found also the discussion of Marlowe's life and genius by Professor Raleigh, as well as the explanatory notes on the text and the investigation of Marlowe's claims to partial or complete authorship of Henry VI Titus Andronicus, The Taming of a Shrew, Lust's Dominion, and the other supposititious works.
The editor feels himself greatly indebted for the loan of early Marlowe editions to the kindness of his Grace the Duke of Devonshire, the Earl of Ellesmere, and the directors of numerous public and private libraries. He owes particular thanks for critical help and assistance to Professor Walter Raleigh, Mr. Percy Simpson, and Mr. J. Le Gay Brereton. To all of these and to others who have been generous of assistance he begs to offer his sincere acknowledgements, while awaiting the opportunity of a specific statement of indebtedness, along with bibliographical and textual details, in the forthcoming larger edition.
C. F. T. B.