Some more ramblings on Hypertext.
The work I did on the King James Bible was partly a result of wanting to reference a portion of a much larger work. After I was done with that, my eye then turned towards Shakespeare. It'd be nice to say something like:
To be, or not to be,—that is the question:—
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?—To die,—to sleep,—
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wisht. To die,—to sleep;—
Ah, but the problem with Shakespeare, or rather, with the notation used to reference part of his plays, deals with what constitutes a countable line:
Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!
In the same figure, like the king that's dead.
Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.
Most like:—it harrows me with fear and wonder.
It's basically lines that are spoken that are counted. So line 40 is actually “Pease, break thee off; look, where it comes again!” It's not the line that says MARCELLUS.
Makes for an interesting project.