Elizabethan scribes were not overfond of using abbreviations. It is not at all rare for a reader to go through a dozen folio pages without hitting on a single “ compendium ” or abbreviation. But the few that were in use led to a great many mistakes in the Elizabethan texts. These arose by the printer (or the copyist) failing to notice that an abbreviation was intended. The classical example of this sort of mistake is the famous prius in the Corpus Juris which for centuries baffled readers and critics, till Mommsen gave the simple solution-populi Romani ius. Swithold (in Lear) is an instance of the same kind. Shakespeare wrote -S’. Withold, and the copyist took this for a single word instead of reading Saint With old.