STAIRS ON THE TIRING-HOUSE FAÇADE
IN THE one earlier attempt to determine the nature and location of the actors' stairs W. J. Lawrence ( Pre-Restoration Stage Studies, pp. 16-23) brings together six citations implying movement from one level to another (but lacking the word "exit") in an effort to prove that "an outer visible staircase" (distinct from the actors' stairs inside) existed on the tiring-house façade. Relative to a passage of dialogue in The Sea Voyage, II. i, he writes: "Albert begins a speech on the lower level and finishes it on the upper," implying that during Albert's ascent there was no break in the speech caused by his leaving the stage. Both early editions of the play, however, read as follows:
Albert. Follow me, my Aminta: my good genius Shew me the way still; still we are directed; When we gain the top of this near rising hill, We shall know further.
Exit. And Enter above.
Albert. Courteous Zephyrus, . . .
Here Lawrence's reliance upon a sophisticated text has misled him. Again, commenting upon a line in the Rose play Englishmen for my Money, he writes:
[ Pisaro's] three daughters are on the upper stage and their three English lovers below. At line 1859 Mathea says, "Prepare your armes, for thus we flie to you." Evidently the girls all rush down the [outer] stairs, for we have at once the direction, "They embrace."
Now close reading of the dialogue of which this line forms a part reveals that the direction has been entered in the text at least five lines too soon (a type of error familiar to all students of Elizabethan bibliography). The Malone Society edition reads (at line 1918):
Matt. Prepare your Armes, for thus we flie to you. they Embrace. Walg[rave]. This workes like waxe, now ere to morrow day, If you two ply it but as well as I, [line 1920] Weele worke our landes out of Pisaros Daughters: