Friday, January 26, 2018

Different versions for sure. Different manuscripts too?

The version of "Poor Man's Pudding and Rich Man's Crumbs" that appeared in the August 1854 issue of The Western Literary Messenger shares many textual features with the printing of Melville's paired sketches in the Concord, New Hampshire Independent Democrat (June 29, 1854). How many? A lot more than I first realized. Before now I never bothered to read the Western Literary Messenger text closely, assuming it to have been reprinted straight from the June 1854 issue of Harper's magazine. Finding Melville's paired sketches in the Concord Independent Democrat (edited by George Gilman Fogg) made me look again at the known reprintings, in the Western Literary Messenger and also the Salem Register for June 19, 1854. The Salem Register version basically follows the text in Harper's. Not so for the later printings in Concord and Buffalo--which agree with each other in most of the places where they differ from the Harper's and the Salem printings.

The lists below identify many (not all) of the textual features that distinguish the Concord (C) and Buffalo (B) versions of "Poor Man's Pudding and Rich Man's Crumbs" from the printings in Harper's (H) and Salem (S).
  • H = Harper's magazine, June 1854
  • S = Salem Register, June 19, 1854
  • C = Concord [New Hampshire] Independent Democrat, June 29, 1854
  • B = [Buffalo, New York] Western Literary Messenger, August 1854
Where B departs from C the differences are mostly typos, mostly in B, for example: "mirrily" for "merrily" in "merrily dream of"; "Nw" for "No" in "No, said William, rising."; "haoked" for "hacked" in "hacked crust"; "in fouoled" for "is fouled"; "rack" for "reek"; and the misspelling "prooceed."

Of the numerous departures from the Harper's text that C and B share, some would appear, possibly, to reflect a manuscript exemplar at some stage of transmission, rather than or in addition to a printed one. The conjectured manuscript behind C and B was probably difficult to read in places, hence misreadings such as "earnestly" and "earnestness" for "enthusiastically" and "enthusiasm"; "thrice" for "trice"; and "magnificence" for "magnificoes." Not only that, the conjectured manuscript may have differed significantly in places from the printer's copy used by Harper's magazine. The availability of an alternate manuscript or manuscript stage might explain some of the more remarkable and suggestive variants in C and B, in particular:
  • "thro' kind Nature"; "thro'" for "through" being a characteristic spelling for Melville in manuscript.
  • extra dashes, again characteristic of Melville's narrative style. 
  • the expression "once in awhile" in the Concord version ("once in a while" in the Buffalo Western Literary Messenger) seems hard to account for, unlikely to be merely a mistaken reading or careless transcription of "sometimes."
Harper's magazine - June 1854
Concord Independent Democrat - June 29, 1854
  • friend Blandmour, "friend" being unexampled in the Harper's text.
  • "tho't" abbreviating "thought" in CB replaces "mused" in the Harper's text. The difference appears to reflect either an illegible exemplar, or a different base-text. ("Thought I" occurs repeatedly in Melville's published writings, including short stories Bartleby and Cock-a-doodle-doo!--don't know yet about this contracted form, "tho't".)
You find rare wisdom in the woods, tho't I.  -- Concord Independent Democrat; and Buffalo Western Literary Messenger
You find rare wisdom in the woods, mused I. --Harper's magazine
Concord Independent Democrat - June 29, 1854
  •  gulph, which Melville uses elsewhere, for instance in Moby-Dick chapter 3, "the Cape Horn measure, which you may gulph down for a shilling."
Western Literary Messenger - August 1854
Listed below are textual features shared by the Concord and Buffalo versions that distinguish them from the first known printing in Harper's magazine (June 1854), and the early reprinting from Harper's in the Salem Register (June 19, 1854).

  1. "earnestly" in CB replaces "enthusiastically" in HS
  2. no hyphens in CB for these: farm yard; spring snow; snow fleece; all bountiful; rain water; receipt book; wash tub; infirm looking; half rotten; heart trouble; washing day; picked up; dinner time; window sills; chimney shelf; stock still; maple sugar; good enough; up stairs; grindstone....
  3. "earnestness" (CB) for "enthusiasm" (HS)
  4. "Blandmour" in CB not "dear Blandmour"; 2x at least.  Thus: "...I presume, Blandmour" (but see the reverse below, #22: "dear Blandmour" for Blandmour).
  5. "winter" singular not "winters" in "long, long winter here"
  6. "itself" not italicized in "winter's snow itself"
  7. long dash after "dear Blandmour"; likewise dash not semicolon after "bodily harms"; dash after "poor man's house."; dash not semicolon after "give up the point altogether"; dash after "many autumns." dash after "aspect of the room." dash after "long way sir"; after shavings away"; dash after "footfall was heard"
  8. "ever" not "never" in "Did you ever hear of the Poor Man's Eye-water?"
  9. "there is" not conracted in "there is 'Poor Man's Plaster'"..."
  10. "feed" not fe'ed as in "feed physician" (capitalized "Physician" in B, but "physician" in C)
  11. Go on, go on (repeated expression in BC where HS have "Go on." once only.
  12. "thro' kind Nature" abbreviated form, instead of "through kind Nature"
  13. semicolon within parenthesis "for the benefit of my health;)"
  14. no parentheses around "for the snow had thawed"
  15. "1 o'clock meal" numeral in CB where HS versions spell out "one o'clock"
  16. no dashes setting off "unobservantly" (emended to "unobservedly" in the Northwestern-Newberry edition): "unobservantly as I could"
  17. CB have no comma after "old" in "old and constitutionally damp."
  18. "blue eyes" plural in CB instead of "blue eye" in "soft, sad blue eye"; B has "her soft, and blue eyes" giving "and" instead of "sad"; C has "her soft, sad blue eyes"
  19. CB have lowercase m's and t in "Poor man's matches" and "Poor man's tinder"
  20. CB use question mark instead of period: "Ah, what they call 'Poor Man's Pudding,' I suppose you mean?"
  21. "We" not italicized in "We do not call it so, sir...."; "must" not italicized in "must take all my meals at home"
  22. Added "dear" in CB, "what dear Blandmour would have said" instead of "what Blandmour would have said"
  23. "thrice" in CB for trice, "in a thrice"
  24. CB have "friend Blandmour" instead of "Blandmour"
  25. "But you don't eat pork" (CB) instead of "But you don't eat of the pork!"  (HS)
  26. extra "a" "with a sly significance" in CB, not "with sly significance" as in HS
  27. "I am off" in CB instead of "I'm off."
  28. Poor man, lowercase 'm' in CB where HS have "Poor Man"
  29. "But once in a while his man gives me a Sunday ride." (CB, with "awhile" as one word in C)
    "But sometimes his man gives me a Sunday ride." (HS)
  30. "friend Blandmour" in CB instead of just "Blandmour" as in HS
  31. "our wedding-day, sir" in CB instead of "the wedding-day, sir" as in HS
  32. same reversed and misplaced parenthesis in CB, thus: "(and the soft, blue, beautiful eyes turned into two well-springs, ("
  33. "self-upbraiding" singular in CB, instead of "self-upbraidings" as in HS
  34. "bade the dame good-bye" in CB, good-bye instead of "good-by" as in HS
  35. "ill-ventilated cold" in CB, mistake for "well-ventilated cold" in HS
  36. "ruddy children" in CB, not "ruddy little children" as in HS
  37. "tho't" not "mused" in CB, thus: "tho't I" instead of "mused I" (HS)
  1. "George and Prince Regent" not "George the Prince Regent."
  2. traveller (CB) not traveler (HS)
  3. past tense "forgot exactly what" (CB) instead of "forget exactly what" (HS)
  4. past tense came, "I came to roam and see" (CB) instead of "I come but to roam and see." (HS)
  5. exclamation mark (CB) not question mark in "I hope you have not on your drawing-room suit!"
  6. "a civil, as well as a civil guide" (CB) instead of "a civic, as well as civil guide" (HS)
  7. was (CB) not were in "just the same as if I was pressed by a mob of cannibals...."
  8. "; in the country it softens" (clause instead of new sentence: "In the country it softens." (HS)
  9. dash in CB instead of semicolon, thus "not a swordI know not"
  10. Frederick William in CB not Frederic William (HS)
  11. "mob of magnificence" (CB) instead of "mob of magnificoes"
  12. "no windows" in CB instead of "No windows...." (HS)
  13. splendid "everywhere" (one word in CB) instead of "every where" (two words in HS)
  14. "pine tables" no hyphen in CB; sidewalk in CB not side-walk
  15. "dined of that" in CB instead of "dined off that" (HS)
  16.  "one broad gulph" in CB for "one broad gulp"
  17. minus two "ands" in CB, thus: "Emperors, prince-regents, kings, and field-marshalls" instead of "Emperors, and prince-regents, and kings, and field-marshals...."
  18. ...plain beef and bread; so the leavings are accordingly." (CB)
    ...plain beef and bread. So the leavings are according. (HS)
  19. "red-gowned official near the board": near in CB instead of "nigh the board" (HS)
  20. "me" italicized only once in CB, not twice as in HS.
  21. "See!" with exclamation mark in CB, not "See?"
  22. "not only stands your hat away"; "away" in CB, not "awry" as in HS.
  23. added dash (no semicolon) in "an unfortunate friend--a simple spectator"; same in "You faint.--Ho!"
  24. "banquets of kings" with lower case nouns in CB, not capitalized as in HS, "Banquets of Kings"; typo in C only, "bonquets"
  25. CB have "mouthfulls" in "unsatisfying mouthfulls of disembowelled pasties...."; not "mouthfuls" as in HS.
  26. "answered my back" in CB, mistake for "answered my beck"
  27. "defined all tumblings and tearings" in CB; mistake for "defied all tumblings and tearings" (HS)
  28. "Good-bye" in CB for "Good-by" in HS.
  29. "addressing the driver on the box" set off by commas in CB, not dashes as in HS.
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