When I was first learning to read closely, I dealt with a number of texts that way: Paradise Lost, Troylus
and Criseyde, The Prelude, Yeats's Collected Poems, Eliot's The Waste Land and Four Quartets, among others.
The stage direction for the first is merely "Enter the show of Troylus
and Cressida," and Mercury says "Beholde how Troylus
and Cresseda / Cryes out on Loue that framed their decay" (Blr).
Above Shakespeare's name, the first version reads, "The Historie of Troylus
20) One might object that this stanza, if "sincere," would run counter to the fastidiousness Chaucer expresses in "Adam Scriveyn": "Adam scriveyn, if ever it thee bifalle / Boece or Troylus
for to wryten newe, / Under thy long lokkes thou most have the scalle, / But after my makyng thow wryte more trewe" (1-4).
Indeed, when the reader reaches chapters 6, 'Searching for Peace: John Dryden's Troylus
and Cressida or Truth Found Too Late', and 7, 'Romances of Reconstruction: The Postwar Marriage Plot in Rebecca Harding Davis and John William De Forest', the impression is one of lack of continuity, notwithstanding the civil war element common to both adjoining chapters.
Adam Scriveyn, if ever it thee befalle Boece or Troylus
to wryten newe, Under thy long lokkes thou most have the scalle, But after my makyng thow wryte more trewe; So ofte adaye I mot thy werk renewe, It to correcte and eke to rubbe and scrape, And al is thorugh thy negligence and rape.
Hir comly corpes that Troylus
did delight All puft with plages full lothsomly there lay: Hir Azurde vaines, her Cristall skinne so whight, With Purple spots, was falne in great decay.
Then shall Troylus
vntrewe tremele the dayes For drede of a dede manne when thei here of speke And all the townys of Kente cast uppe the<>re kays The busshament of Brekyll there for to breke
But after the experience of Florence, Chaucer created The Knight's Tale and also Troylus
and Criseyde (the nice thing about Hobday's book is that the text has insertions of sign ificant poetry which allows interesting cross-referencing).
As far as Folio spelling is concerned, adherence to its practice elsewhere would give us a play called Twelfe Night, and a title-hero called Troylus
78) "The Historie of Troylus
and Cresseida" and "Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
William Shakespeare, The Famous Historye of Troylus
and Cresseid (London: George] Eld for R[ichard] Bonian and H[enry] Walley, 1609), sig.