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1) Conventions in the Modern Spelling Edition

My practice has been to give the modern spelling of each word, whenever possible. Diphthongs have been expanded, partly because they pose considerable problems when documents in HTML must have a uniform presentation across a variety of browsers and machines. Words for which no modern spelling exists - like 'moisty' and 'lithy' - have been given in the Oxford English Dictionary's basic spelling. This does not wholly solve the problems caused by the word 'moystie' but it is coherent. Words like 'wroth' and 'wrack', which have modern equivalents but are recorded as separate words (rather than variant forms) in the Oxford English Dictionary, are preserved. Past participles are treated as follows: 'stretched' is spelled in the same way when it has two syllables, but 'stretcht' and all one-syllable equivalents are rendered as 'stretch'd'. Punctuation is extensively changed: the text often uses a colon at the end of the line and although these are often feasible most of these have been changed in order to modernise the text fully. The line by line comments describe the most significant and most uncertain changes in modernisation.

The transcription is taken from the UMI microfilm of STC 18974, reel 855. The copy used for this film is Bodleian Library shelfmark Mal.332(2).

2) Line-by-line Comments

'Dido to Aeneas'

6 bid] bids [back to text]

16 loose] a modernised text must lose some of the ambiguity of lose/loose and in this case the latter has been chosen. See 'Aeneas to Dido', line 56, where a different decision is taken. [back to text]

21 Resolve] Resolu'd [back to text]

59 untroth] untroath; the OED has 'untroath' as a variant form of 'untroth' and not of untruth. [back to text]

70-1 boasted lies / Of mother's line. From] bosted lyes: / Of mothers line: from; it is just about feasible for 'Of mother's line' to go with what follows but far more likely that it goes with what precedes it. [back to text]

94 pierc'st] pearst [back to text]

131 then] original has the with bar over 'e', representing a suspended 'n'. This has been imperfectly notated here with a tilde, in order to reduce web browser confusion. [back to edition / transcription]

139 dishevelled] disheneiled [back to text]

145 rage,,] the typographical error here is that of the original [back to transcription] | [back to edition]

199 leafy] leauie [back to text]

214 lode] this could conceivably be an old variant spelling of 'load' (perhaps with a bawdy sense of something being borne on top) but it seems just as likely that it could be 'lode', as in OED sense 4 'A loadstone. Also fig. an object of attraction'. [back to text]

265 O wicked man] the transcription has a circumflex over the 'O' that cannot be reproduced reliably in HTML. [back to edition] | [back to transcription]

285 Troy] this line seems to lack a syllable, but it may be that 'Troy' here is pronounced with two syllables. Usually in these poems it is a monosyllable, but it seems to have two also at A-D, 113. [back to text]

287 whiles] according to the OED 'whiles' is not an alternative form of 'while', so it has been kept here and elsewhere. [back to text]

289 Scamander] Seamander [back to text]

325 O spare] the transcription has a circumflex over the 'O' that cannot be reproduced reliably in HTML. [back to transcription] | [back to edition]

334 but] cut [back to text]

342 hoise] hoyse; the OED has 'hoyse' as a variant form of 'hoise' (obs.) but not of 'hoist'. [back to text]

354 may? / Henceforth] may / Henceforth; the added question mark seems to make more sense than the original version. [back to text]

368 pight] archaic form of 'pitched', according to the OED. [back to text]

382 falt] again the OED has this as an obsolete word rather than a variant form. Preserving 'falt' also helps the rhyme. [back to text]

'Aeneas to Dido'

6 handiwork] handy worke; usually two words in the 16th and 17th centuries, according to the OED. [back to text]

32 bind?] binde. [back to text]

56 lose] loose [back to text]

64 leek] leeke; OED has 'leek' as an obsolete form of 'like'. However, the author has deliberately distinguished this word from 'like' in the same line in order to fulfil the rhyme. So, 'leek' has been preferred. [back to text]

76 mine] wine [back to text]

86 Aeol's] Aol's; i.e. belonging to Aeolus. [back to text]

113 Troy] see note to D-A, 285 above. [back to text]

126 life's] liues [back to text]

138 Unto] Honour unto; the word 'honour' in the previous line seems to have been erroneously repeated. Removing it makes more sense and preserves the metre. [back to text]

154 taking foil] see OED foil2, sense 2, where 'foil' means 'defeat or repulse', often in phrases e.g. 'to take foil'. [back to text]

161-2 thund'ring Jove / Destruction] thundering / (Iove destruction; the metre and rhyme demand the change, and the opened (and unclosed) bracket in the source text probably denotes a sign in the copy that the word Jove should be with the previous line (which takes up a lot of horizontal space). [back to text]

174 recklessness] retchlesnes; OED has 'retchlessness' as an obsolete variant of 'recklessness'. [back to text]

202 O Queene] the transcription has a circumflex over the 'O' that cannot be reproduced reliably in HTML. [back to edition] | [back to transcription]

206 vant-guarding] vauntgarding; the OED's only example of the verb is in this very text, and it treats 'vauntgard' as a variant of an obsolete verb 'vant-guard'. [back to text]

208 O Gods] the transcription has a circumflex over the 'O' that cannot be reproduced reliably in HTML. [back to edition] | [back to transcription]

217 When... told] a problematic line which does not scan or make much sense, and does not provide the name of the woman being described (Oenone), which one might expect this line to do. [back to text]

227 (quoth he)] (qd. he) [back to text]

241 in ure] means 'in use'. This line is hypermetric but there is no major problem with its meaning. [back to text]

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