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By John Updike

During this antic riff on Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, the Reverend Tom Marshfield, a latter-day Arthur Dimmesdale, is shipped west from his Midwestern parish in sexual shame. At a barren region retreat devoted to relaxation, activity, and non secular renewal, this fortyish serial fornicator is needed to maintain a magazine whose thirty-one weekly entries represent the publication you presently carry on your hand. In his splendidly overwrought variety he lays naked his soul and his past--his marriage to the daughter of his ethics professor, his affair along with his organist, his antipathetic conversations together with his senile father and his bisexual curate, his golfing rankings, his poker fingers, his Biblical exegeses, and his smoldering wish for the directress of the retreat, the impregnable Ms. Prynne. A testomony for our times.

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B. also used at the McKerrow and beginning of the section K. F. S. "A Short genealogi- Ferguson, Title Page Borders Used in England and Scotland (London, 1932), Nrs 271-273. ^^ Peter Blayney has traced it back to Beale's predecessors Robert Robinson, Richard Bradock, and William Hall; it is described in J. A. Lavin's "John Danter's Ornament Stock," Studies in Bibliography 23 (1970): 21-44, as Ornament 4 (Danter apparently only borrowed it for a time). I am very grateful to Peter Blayney for these references and for searching his archive for information on the blocks used by Beale in the King Henry volume.

Royal MS fol. fol. XII, 21v, p. 40, lines 3-4. 14-19. fhc jveuM^J rverc cur^ic fol. 2v, lines 23-24. INTRODUCTION xxxvi On the other hand, the corrector of The Reigne of King Henry the Second prefers an initial secretary b with indented straight shaft written by the otherwise by May himself; but bowl to the italic this small difference one with a is overridden similar duct. Peter Beal, Sotheby's manuscript expert and compiler of the Index ofEnglish Literary Manuscripts for the period, gave the two manuscripts a short examination and noted the discrepancy but saw no reason to doubt the identity of both hands.

Court of the Stationers' Company On He did this some- one occasion he was fined by the for a particularly bad job on the Pueriles confabulatiunculae: M"^ Beale haueing printed Puerilis in such fitt to be sould. ^^ Whatever caused the somewhat coarse appearance of the pages in the latter parts of the book (factors like worn type or uneven inking may have contributed), it was not occasioned, as might be supposed, by the use of different paper. Wherever an inspection was possible, a crown watermark (resembling mark 1031 listed by Heawood) appeared to run through the whole of the volume.

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