Stanley Wells, Gary Taylor, John Jowett, and William Montgomery (eds), The Oxford Shakespeare: A Textual Companion
pg 340THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR
The earliest text of Merry Wives (BEPD 187) is the First Quarto of 1602. This was printed 'for Arthur Iohnson' by Thomas Creede, following an entry in the Stationers' Register dated 16 January 1602:
Entred for his copie vnder the
hand of Mr Seton / A booke
called An excellent & pleaſant
conceited cõmedie of Sr Io Faulstof
and the merry Wyves of Windeſor
Q was reprinted in 1619 (Q2). In 1623 a considerably fuller text appeared in the First Folio (F); a quarto of 1630 (Q3) reprints F. As is usual, this edition takes F as its control text. Merry Wives, set by Compositors B and C, with some help from D, is the third of the opening four comedies in F, a group for which the copy was evidently transcripts prepared by Ralph Crane (see General Introduction). Crane was responsible for incidental features such as the widespread and distinctive use of parentheses, hyphens, and, to a lesser extent, apostrophes. He must also have introduced F's 'massed' entries: stage directions at the beginning of each scene listing all the characters who appear in that scene. These replace all other stage directions except the usual 'Exeunt' or 'Exit' at the end of a scene and two mid-scene directions in 5.5: 'Enter Fairies' (220.127.116.11–5/2531.1–4) and 'The Song' (18.104.22.168–2/2587.1–2). Crane may also have numbered F's scene divisions, which are followed in this edition.
Crane's sophistications make it difficult to establish the nature of his copy. It seems that most profanity has been removed or toned down in the Folio text. F is so clean of profanity that Crane cannot, to judge by his limited interferences in other texts, have been solely responsible: he was probably working from a manuscript which was itself expurgated. A prompt-book used after the 1606 Act disallowing profanity in the theatre might have been treated in this way (see Taylor, 'Zounds'). F's regular act divisions (followed in this edition) also suggest late theatrical copy underlying Crane's transcript, though one cannot rule out the possibility that Crane introduced them. The absence of serious staging problems may reflect a theatrical manuscript in which such problems had been resolved, though again any such conclusion must be tentative. One peculiarity, the reappearance of Pistol disguised as Hobgoblin in the final scene, is inter- preted in this edition as a consequence of doubling parts (see note to 5.5.40/2536); here at least a prompt-book feature may have survived into F.
Some controversy surrounds the status of the Quarto text (for a summary, see Roberts). The early view that it is a first draft is not now accepted. In their editions, Hart and Greg identified Q as a text based on memorial transmission. Greg pinpointed the actor who played the Host as the principal compiler of the report; he also recognized that the text has been subjected to theatrical adaptation and abridgement. Bracy, denying the memorial stage of transmission, believed that all features of the manuscript from which Q was set can be attributed to adaptation. Yet Bracy does not demolish Hart and Greg's considerable evidence for memorial error; nor does he adequately account for Greg's telling observation that the text is fuller, closer to F, and less prone to error in episodes where the Host is present, in particular in his own lines.
Major signs of adaptation are as follows. Apart from a recollection of 5.1.2/2426 in the beginning of Q's version of 5.5/Sc. 23, the first four scenes of Act 5 are omitted entirely. 3.4/Sc. 11 and 3.5/Sc. 12 are transposed in Q. Its omission of the following scene, F's 4.1/Sc. 13 (William's Latin lesson) and its rearrangement of dialogue elsewhere so as to avoid having Robin speak can be seen as associated changes which save two speaking parts, both for boy actors. Where F calls the inner room of Caius' house the 'Closset', Q consistently refers to the 'Counting-house'. This repeated variant in 1.4/Sc. 4 is probably connected with Caius' opening line in Q's version of 2.3/Sc. 7: 'Iohn Rugbie goe looke met your eies ore de stall'. The location of 2.3/Sc. 7 has evidently been moved to Caius' house, so making more of the innovation of representing this house as a quacksalver's shop or stall.
pg 341Q could conceivably be, as Greg originally believed, based on a report of an adapted version. But in Folio, p. 334, Greg revised his earlier opinion, declaring that deliberate abridgement took place when the report was compiled, in order to provide a new theatrical manuscript. This might have been used in provincial performances. The nature of the text indeed suggests that steps have been taken to turn a grossly inadequate report into a roughly intelligible and coherent text. Where there were lapses in the report, new material was evidently supplied, with the result that passages owing nothing to Shakespeare can make better sense than badly remembered passages which preserve a mangled caricature of the original. If the rewriting was subsequent to a surreptitious report, the new material could have had nothing to do with Shakespeare.
Q's patchwork of varyingly reported and new material gives way in the final scene to a completely rewritten text with only fleeting phrases in common with F. Unlike F, Q makes no allusions to the Order of the Garter. Such material would have quickly lost the topicality it had in the recorded court performance of 1597 for which the play was probably commissioned, and might have meant little to a provincial audience. But the scene cannot have been rewritten just in order to make limited cuts. Long's alternative hypothesis, that Q represents an earlier Shakespearian version played before Queen Elizabeth, and F a later revised text as played before King James, does not seem tenable, if only because the most distinctly 'occasional' material linking the text with court performance in 1597 has then to be seen as a Jacobean addition. As with the bad reporting of the final scenes of other reported texts (notably Q Henry V), the reporter behind Q presumably failed to reproduce any semblance of the original. In Merry Wives a new scene would therefore have been put together, based on the events, but few of the words, of Shakespeare's version.
Q is agreed to be based on a stage version; it is therefore of significance to the textual history of F that both texts have an almost unintelligible subplot whose deficiencies cannot be attributed to incomplete foul papers. Despite Green's plea to the contrary, the episode concerning the theft of the Host's horses was probably censored. Any cuts due to censorship must have been imposed before the texts diverged. Q accordingly must be based on a textual antecedent of F. If there were any differences between F and Q which arose through authorial revision, F should incorporate Shakespeare's later improvements. But identifiable signs of revision in F are limited and arise from particular historical exigencies. Its expurgation of profanity has already been mentioned. The profane reading can often be restored by reference to Q, though some careful editorial judgements are required: Q may itself alter the oath involved or (particularly in badly reported passages) introduce new oaths on its own account. God (or God's) only occurs 4 times in F; in the Henry IV plays it appears 113 times. On the evidence of Q, of Shakespeare's practice elsewhere, and of patterns of expurgation elsewhere, we have gone further than previous editors in attempting to restore profanity, but even so God is used sparingly in our text for a play in which Sir John appears; our text remains at the low end of the spectrum of profanity compared with Shakespeare's unexpurgated non-classical plays.
Two apparent satirical allusions to individuals have also disappeared in F. In view of the Cobhams' objection to Old-castle in 1 Henry IV (see Introduction), Ford's disguise as 'Brooke' in Q inevitably suggests a glance at the influential Brooke (Cobham) family; F systematically reads 'Broome'. The pun on brook as 'stream' at 2.2.146–7/930–1 confirms Q's name as the original reading. Editors who restore 'Brooke' do not usually accept Q's 'cosen garmombles' ('Cozen-Iermans' in F) at 4.5.72/2322. Here Q probably makes a joking allusion to the German prince Count Mömplegard, one which is unlikely to have been added after 1597. As Green realized, it was evidently an actor who recalled the satirical thrusts which survive in Q, so it may be inferred that they were not censored before the play reached the stage. Green argued that 'Brooke' was restored by an actor who remembered earlier performances. But the mere use of the name Brooke may have been insufficient pretext for Cobham to intervene when the play was originally performed in 1597, especially as he was then still, unlike Ford, unmarried. The name could have been censored at a later date. Shakespeare (or his company) may have wished to remove 'garmombles', perhaps never censored, because it had lost topicality and become meaningless.
If F was set from a transcript of the prompt-book and Q from a text adapted after a report had been prepared, Q is of particularly limited value, even compared with other bad quarto texts. In several instances it has been alleged that F omits lines which Q preserves. Errors of eyeskip or omitted verse lines may occur in any text, but there is no reason why F Merry Wives should be more deficient than other texts. We supply lines from Q at 1.3.20, 2.2.2, 3.1.97, and 4.4.42/323, 786, 1276, and 2201. The third of these is an incontrovertible omission which can be restored from Q with confidence; the fourth is in a passage which is almost certainly deficient in F but where the line in Q may be no more than the best approximation available to the words Shakespeare wrote.
Like any text which has been transcribed (probably more than once) and subsequently set in print, F has acquired some unintended corruptions. Occasionally F can be corrected with a reading from Q, though it is more usual to find that the passage in Q is insufficiently reliable. Q's stage directions are useful in the absence of mid-scene directions in F, but need not always be followed as they were in some cases supplied with a different staging in mind. A further use of Q lies in its capacity to confirm Folio readings: the very divergence between the texts gives a particular authority to their shared readings. As a source of alternative readings to F, Q must be treated with circumspection.
In this edition, rejected Quarto readings are only recorded where they offer likely alternatives to F in the light of the present account of the text, or where the reading requires discussion for other reasons. Q's profanity is regularly recorded except in the most widely divergent passages. On account of the nature of the Quarto text and its importance for restoring profanity, an unusual number of recorded readings from Q require discussion. For this reason, a separate list of rejected Quarto readings has not been compiled: such readings are included in the textual notes. Q's stage directions are uniquely important for a bad quarto; a list of them is therefore provided.
We have benefited from the comments of T. W. Craik, editor of the forthcoming Oxford edition of Merry Wives.
pg 342 works cited
Bowers, Fredson, ed., The Merry Wives of Windsor, Pelican (1963)
Bracy, William, 'The Merry Wives of Windsor': The History of Transmission of Shakespeare's Text (1952)
Green, William, Shakespeare's 'Merry Wives of Windsor' (1962)
Greg, W. W., ed., The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1602 (1910)
Hart, H. C, ed., The Merry Wives of Windsor (1904)
Hibbard, G. R., ed., The Merry Wives of Windsor, New Penguin (1973)
Johnson, Gerald D., 'John Busby and the Stationers' Trade, 1590–1612', The Library, VI, 7 (1985), 1–15
Lambrechts, Guy, 'Proposed New Readings in Shakespeare: The Comedies', in Hommage à Shakespeare: Bulletin de la Faculté des Lettres de Strasbourg (1965)
Long, John H., 'Another Masque for The Merry Wives', SQ 3 (1952), 39–43
Oliver, H. J., ed., The Merry Wives of Windsor, Arden (1971)
Proudfoot, Richard, 'The Year's Contributions to Shakespearian Study: 3. Textual Studies', SSu 25 (1972), 193–200
Roberts, J. A., 'Merry Wives Q and F: The Vagaries of Progress', SSt 8 (1975), 143–75
Wilson, John Dover, ed., The Merry Wives of Windsor, New (1921)
Title The Merry Wiues of Windsor] F; A | Most pleaſaunt and | excellent conceited Co-|medie, of Syr Iohn Falstaffe, and the | merrie Wiues of Windſor. | Entermixed with ſundrie | variable and pleasing humors of Syr Hugh | the Welch Knight, Iustice Shallow, and his | wife Cousin M. Slender. With the ſwaggering vaine of Auncient Pistoll, and Corporall Nym. Q (title-page); A pleaſant conceited Co-|medie, of Syr Iohn Falstaffe, and the | merry Wiues of Windſor. Q (head title); A pleaſant Comedie, of the merry Wiues of Windſor Q (running title); An excellent & pleaſant conceited cõmedie of Sr Io Faulstof and the merry Wyves of Windeſor S.R. (entry). Note the prominence of Sir John Falstaff in Q.
1.1.7/7 Rato-lorum] F(Rato lorum); Rotulorum Q3
1.1.16/16 Coad] This edition; Coat F. This is the logical extension of the emendation in 1.1.20/20: it is widely agreed that the humour depends on Evans mispronouncing 'coat' with a '-d' sound, though Johnson's conjecture 'is not an old coat' produces a reading that does not depend on such word-play. Shakespeare may not have indicated the Welsh pronunciation, in which case the text need only have been corrupted at 1.1.20/20. But conscious scribal regularization is also possible.
1.1.20/20 Code] wilson; Coate F. See Wilson and previous note.
1.1.21–2/21–2] There might be a lacuna here.
1.1.23/23 marring] F1; marrying F2
1.1.25 py'r Lady] F (per-lady)
1.1.30 compromises] F (compremiſes)
1.1.35 'visaments] F (viza-ments). Evans is attempting 'visements', a recorded aphetic form of advisements; z was a common variant for s in these words, and the only peculiarity of Evans's pronunciation is the intrusive sounding of a medial a.
1.1.38/38 sword] F; swort hibbard. There is no equivalent speech in Q. A pun on sort would give better sense to Evans's odd comment. Sort meaning 'destiny' is last recorded in OED in 1581, but the equivalent verb meaning 'come to a conclusion' was common. In Troilus 1.3.369/804 Shakespeare used sort to mean 'lot'. OED gives only one, Middle-English, precedent, but for Shakespeare the noun was probably a deverbal coinage. Similarly, perhaps, in Merry Wives. The swort/sort pun would be difficult if sword was always pronounced with a clear 'w', but the context in Troilus suggests that the unusual noun is used for the sake of similar word-play: 'make a lottry | And by deuice let blockish Aiax draw | The sort to fight with Hector'.
1.1.41/41 Geo.] theobald (George); Thomas F. The error in F may be an unresolved authorial inconsistency, but 'Geo.' in Shakespeare's handwriting could perhaps be misread 'Tho.'
1.1.44 woman?] F ( ⁓. )
1.1.45, 1.1.132, 4.4.79 fery] F (ferry). F's doubled consonant might be due to line-justification, to copy-spelling, or to compositorial association with ferry rather than very; but no characterizing pronunciation seems intended. The shorter spelling occurs at 1.1.234, 3.1.48, and 3.3.162.
1.1.53/53 slender] F (Slen.); Shal⟨low⟩. capell. See Oliver's note.
1.1.56/56 shallow] capell; Slen⟨der⟩. F
1.1.60 Master] F('Mr'). Similarly expanded throughout.
1.1.83 Cotswold] F (Cotfall)
1.1.98 Master] F (M). 'M' in dialogue is similarly interpreted throughout, unless separately noted. In speech-prefixes, Compositor C sets 'M.' for 'Master' on the first folio page; elsewhere, Compositor B reserves it for 'Mistress'. See note to 4.4.25/2184.
1.1.110 Council] F (Councell)
1.1.111 counsel] F (coun-|cell)
1.1.117–18/116–17 Bardolf, Nym, and Pistoll] F; Pistoll and Nym. They carried mee to the Tauerne and made mee drunke, and afterward picked my pocket Q. Editors have sometimes incorporated Q's added material, but it is less than necessary, and it is far from clear how such an omission would occur in F.
1.1.121 Mephistopheles] F (Mephostophilus)
1.1.130/129 Garter] Q3; Gater F
1.1.144 Ed] F (Yead)
1.1.152 advised] F (auis'd)
1.1.172–3/171–2 Nay … within ] F; No more now, | I thinke it be almost dinner time, | For my wife is come to meet vs Q. Q's alternative is 'theatrical' in that it allows Anne to remain on stage as the adaptation requires: after 1.1.180/179 Q has 'Exit all, but Slender and mistresse Anne.' and leads straight on to its own version of the dialogue following 1.1.245/243.
1.1.219 positable] F (possitable)
1.1.231/231 contempt] theobald; content F. It is not necessary to conjecture a misreading of unrecorded 'contemt'; the text could be corrupted from 'contempt' to 'content' through the familiarity of the proverb.
1.1.234 faul'] F (fall)
1.1.287/284 Mistris] F; Nay be God miiteris Q. In Q the line is part of Slender's last speech in the scene, and the conclusion is different: Anne, not Slender, backs down to avoid being troublesome.
1.2.3/293 o'man] Q (woman); Nurſe F. Even in the speech of Evans, 'dry-Nurse' is an implausible alternative to, or even clarification of, 'Nurse'. The catalogue of terms, each followed by 'or his', would encourage scribal or compositorial eyeskip, or momentary confusion. The original might conjecturally have been a third term: 'maide' could facilitate confusion with 'dry-Nurse' on account of the graphical similarity to 'nurse'. But there are insufficient grounds for rejecting Q in favour of such a reading.
1.3.9 kaiser] F (Keiſer)
1.3.9 pheezer] F (Pheazar). The Host clearly means vizier, but what he actually says is the comically inappropriate pheezer.
1.3.14/317 lime] Q (lyme); liue F
1.3.19/322 hungarian] F; gongarian Q
1.3.20/323 His minde is not heroick:] Q ( … heroick. ); not in F. Q Itself omits 'He was gotten in drink'. Nim's separate observations in Q and F are complementary; in particular, it is difficult to see a conceited humour In F alone. F's phrase is memorable, and is unlikely to have been misrecalled as the phrase in Q. Furthermore, Q is itself distinctive and witty. It is possible that Shakespeare originally wrote 'His minde is not heroick' and only later added 'He was gotten in drink'. Crane, or an earlier scribe, might have interpreted the addition as a substitution. Alternatively F suffers from omission through eyeskip ('drinck … heroick'). Q's omission is not in itself exceptional. For another instance where Q and F pg 343have distinct alternatives which evidently require conflation, see 2.2.2–5/786–9.
1.3.25/328 minutes] F; minim's collier 2 (Bennet-Langton). Q agrees with F; the emendation is otherwise attractive.
1.3.29/332 There Is no remedy] F; Well, afore God Q.
1.3.44/347 studied her well] Q; studied her will F. F's repeated 'will' is pointless, and suggests an error, pope'S repeated 'well' is little better, collier retained the first 'will' and emended the second to 'well', but this almost loses sight of the quibble on will as 'testament', and disagrees with Q.
1.3.48/351 he] F; She Q
1.3.48/351 a legion] rowe 3; a legend F; legians Q
1.3.77/380 oth'] F2; ith' F1
1.3.78/381 humor] Q; honor F
382 Page] F. Perhaps an error for the character, but compare 'Tapster' at 318.
1.3.85/388 Stars] collier 2 (Collier MS); Star F; Fairies Q. Q gives an unlikely memorial corruption. If it arises from a misreading, its plural substantiates Collier's emendation of F—though Greg believed that the reporter mistook Welkin for the name of a witch or spirit.
1.3.87, 92/390, 395 Ford] F; Page Q. Wilson, following Q, nevertheless recognized that it is Ford who will be possessed with yellowness. As Oliver observed, Shakespeare evidently changed his mind about which character visits which husband (or committed an oversight). Emendation probably departs from what Shakespeare wrote (F is difficult to explain in terms of errors of transmission) and creates a new inconsistency.
1.3.88/391 Page] F; Ford Q. See previous note.
1.3.94/397 this] pope; the F. F's peculiar construction is not typical of Nim's speech. Wilson, following a conjecture by Jackson, emended 'mine' to 'mind', retaining 'the'. The resulting expression remains unconvincing in its idiom.
1.4.20/420 wey-face] capell; wee-face F. In the following phrase Q describes Slender's beard as 'whay coloured', an unlikely substitution for 'yellow' unless Influenced by 'wey' in the misrecalled text. Shakespeare almost certainly never used the adjective wee (but see note to Dream 5.2.13), and the word may have been unknown to him. 'Whay-face', on the other hand, occurs in Macbeth 5.3.19/1914.
1.4.34/434 We … shent ] F; Ieshu blesse me, we are all vndone Q (after 1.4.64/465)
1.4.35/435 for Gods sake] Q ( For … ); not in F
1.4.42/442 vn boyteere] rowe; vnboyteene F; Une boltine craig; une boite en hart; une boite, une proudfoot (conj.). For the problems and methods of editing French passages In Shakespeare, see Taylor's note to the Oxford Henry V 3.4. Inconsistencies of number and gender are preserved in our old-spelling text but corrected in modernization.
1.4.42 vert] F (verd)
1.4.47/448 ma] rowe; mai F1; F gives a common misreading of Shakespeare's a, and is probably not a legitimate spelling.
1.4.47 fort] F (for)
1.4.47/448 chaude] rowe; ehando F
1.4.47 m'en] F (man)
1.4.47/448 vai] rowe; voi F; vais voir oliver
1.4.48 la Cour] F (le Court)
1.4.48/449 Court,] rowe; ⁓‸ F
1.4.48/449 affaire] rowe; affaires F
1.4.50 Mets-le] F (mette le). Alternatively, 'Mettez-le'.
1.4.50/451 a] This edition; au F. F is clearly incorrect, and may result from a misreading of Shakespeare's characteristic 'a' (as with 'mai' 3 lines above).
1.4.50/451 ma] F (mon)
1.4.50/451 pochet] This edition; pocket F. F sets the English word as If it were French, and needs emending either typographically or substantively. F's Italicization might derive from copy, though: Crane's usual handwriting was itself interspersed with Italic 'h'. The letter in the compositor's copy might therefore have borne a sufficient resemblance to 'k' to induce the compositor to set the familiar English word. The only defence of F's English word in a French sentence is that it is introduced as a comic mistranslation: Caius probably means his doctor's case. But it Is implausible for Caius to translate the sentence's most difficult word alone, and the effect of comic failure to understand can be achieved without this device.
1.4.54/455 and] Q3; aad F
1.4.58 qu'ai-j'] F (que ay ie)
1.4.63–4/464–5 O … Closset ] F; O Ieshu vat be here, a deuella, a deuella Q
1.4.64 larron] F (La-roone)
1.4.82/484 ballee] theobald; ballow F. Modernized baile.
1.4.88/489 your] capell; yoe your F1; for your F2. F1's 'yoe' is extremely suspicious. It gives a difficult and implausible reading. As a spelling of you it is found nowhere else in Shakespeare, and is not in OED. Furthermore, although the type line ending 'your' is regularly spaced, the lines immediately above and below are abnormally squeezed: There is no logic to this squeezing if it occurred during composition. The upper line is the less suspect, but abandons C's usually generous spacing around punctuation in order to fit just the first two letters of 'melancholly'. Towards the end of the lower line, which is also closely spaced around its punctuation, C set an ampersand; he ended the line with the contraction 'ye' With its sequence of short words, no line could be easier to justify. 'The', or even 'is', could have been set on the following line. The irregular setting suggests that the type has been adjusted after composition. The type line with 'yoe' in it may have originally begun with 'melancholly' and ended with a hyphen after the 's' or 't' of 'Master', the text reading, 'doe yoe Master'. Hence 'yoe' would be an error for 'your', Influenced by 'doe' (C's less usual spelling). The corrector would demand correction of 'yoe' to 'your', but the compositor, misunderstanding the corrector's mark, would, by this hypothesis, insert 'your' whilst leaving 'yoe' standing. To accommodate the new word, he would take back the first letters of 'melancholly' and take over the letters of 'Master' preceding the line break (replacing 'ſ' and 't' with a ligature). In the lower line he would first create space at the right hand end, then move along the standing type, then insert the letters for 'Master'. There is probable evidence of such a procedure: 'Master' is slightly Inset from the margin, suggesting that a thin quad was inserted to make the line tight.
Such an explanation is conjectural, but takes account of all the observed facts. Without it, it is not apparent why 'yoe' should be both an anomalous form and a superfluous word. But whatever Its origin, 'yoe' fairly clearly should not have been set.
1.4.90–100/490–500 I may … Page ] F. In a roughly equivalent passage located before Caius enters, Q has Quickly say 'For I tell you friend, he puts all his priuities in me'.
1.4.96 advised] F (a-uis'd)
1.4.111 matter-a] F (mattr'a). Lambrechts interprets 'a ver' as 'he were'.
1.4.114 Jarteer] F (Iarteer). Might alternatively be modernized to Yarteer (depending on whether 'I' for 'J' or 'I'). Compare note to 4.5.72/2322.
1.4.122–3/522–3 An— | Exeunt Caius and Rugby | ass] This edition (G.T. and Craik); An-fooles F. The double function of An as name and article Is completely spoiled by the following noun beginning with a consonant: as an article, An is puzzling if not incommunicable. The ass's head is particularly appropriate to Merry Wives as it anticipates Falstaff's antlers or deer's head in Act 5. 'A fool's head of your own' and 'An ass-head of your own' were parallel proverbial phrases, so substitution would be particularly easy (compare note to 1.1.231/231). Shakespeare concretizes the ass-head in Dream, but nowhere else alludes to the fool's head version of the proverb.
1.4.134/534 In truth Sir, and] F. In F 'and' is superfluous, though it might reflect Quickly's garrulous speech. The word might easily have been Interpolated in anticipation of the following phrases beginning 'and'. Alternatively, if 'In truth' replaces an earlier profanity, it could have been preceded by a reply to Fenton such as 'Well', which would have been accidentally deleted with the profanity or subsequently overlooked.
1.4.153/553 I will] hanmer; wee will F. Confusion of singular and plural pronouns is not typical of Mistress Quickly's verbal mistakes, but is a common error of transmission. F gives a particularly easy error in view of (a) the following word 'will'; (b) 'we' in the next line; (c) the preponderance of words beginning 'w' (7 in 3 lines).
2.1.1/561 haue I] Q3; haue F
2.1.5/565 precisian] F; physician collier 2 (Johnson)
2.1.22–3/582 ith Deuills] F3; with | The Deuills F1; a Gods Q. Though swearing by the Devil's opposite, Q gives some evidence that an oath was intended. F1's reading probably arises from a dittography: 'ith | The'. This could have stood in Crane's transcript (F's lineation, which takes prose as verse, almost certainly reflects the layout of the copy), or could have been first set by the compositor and later unauthoritatively 'corrected'.
2.1.28/587–8 O God that I knew how to] Q; how shall I F
2.1.31, 33/590, 592 by my faith] This edition (G.T.); trust me F. This passage is not in Q. Trust me is a weak asseveration often substituted for expurgated oaths, but rarely used by Shakespeare in reliable texts. See Taylor, 'Zounds'.
2.1.55/614 praisd] theobald; praiſe F (c.w. to D4 and text)
2.1.59/618 place] F; pace rann (Mason)
2.1.60/619 150 Psalms] This edition; hundred Pſalms F; hundredth Psalm rowe. Hart noted that, of all the psalms, the hundredth would be particularly Inappropriate here, for it is a psalm of praise and joy. It is also particularly short (5 verses), where F alludes to their length by compounding them. Rowe's emendation assumes an easy error if Shakespeare used hundred as an ordinal, but it is far from clear that he did so: OED gives only one example of the form after 1413, and even this may be an archaism. but F's 'the hundred Psalms' relates to no fixed group and amounts to only two-thirds of the total number, 150. If Shakespeare wrote '150', the middle numeral might easily be misread (the date below Munday's signature on the manuscript of John a Kent has been interpreted by modern scholars as 1590, 1595, or 1596). Or Shakespeare may have written 'cl', and the 'I' been subsequently overlooked. Though the Folio sometimes demonstrably expands to full words, both arabic and roman numerals are found in printed texts of Shakespeare's plays. One need only assume a single numeral error.
2.1.84/643 straine] F; stain pope
2.1.98 goodman] F (Good | man)
2.1.129/689 adieu] F; And theres the humor of it Q
2.1.136 Cathayan] F (Catalan)
2.1.149/708 Looke who comes yonder] F; God saue me, fee who yonder is Q. In Q, the line anticipates Mistress Quickly's entry. The line in the equivalent position is 'See where our husbands are'.
2.1.158/717 with you] F; for you G.T. conj. Compare Caesar 2.2.121/1016.
2.1.171/730 I marry do's he] F; perhaps | He hath spoke merrily, as the fashion of fat men | Are Q (location approximate). Greg thought Q's words had 'a genuine ring'.
2.1.179/738 ranting] F; ramping Q. F has the more unusual word: the first instance of ranting in OED.
2.1.182/741 God blesse you Bully-Rooke, God blesse you] This edition; How now Bully Rooke F; God blesse you my bully rookes, God blesse you Q. As the Host is the speaker, Q should be particularly reliable.
2.1.183/742 Gentleman.] hanmer (after Q); ⁓‸ F. In F, the word ends a type line.
2.1.199/758 guest-Caualeiro] kittredge; guest-Caualeire F. In Dream 4.1.22/1463 Shakespeare uses 'Caualery' as synonymous with cavaliero, but his only use of 'Caualier' is to mean a sprightly knight in the field, not an urban gallant. The Host elsewhere uses the '-o' form three times, two of them in the present passage (2.1.184/743, 2.1.188/747; 2.3.67/1156). The present exception is probably due to a simple o/e misreading.
2.1.200/759 ford] Q; Shal⟨low⟩. F. F extends the sequence of prefixes in which Shallow alternates with the Host—an easy error in working from a manuscript in which the speech-prefixes were in a separate column from the speeches themselves. As Crane usually did not arrange prefixes in a separate column, the error is probably scribal, not compositorial.
2.1.202/761 Brooke] Q (Rrooke); Broome F. Elsewhere Q has 'Brooke'; F has 'Broome' throughout. See Introduction.
2.1.206/765 min-heires] hanmer (Theobald); An-heires F; on here collier (Theobald); Ameers wilson (Hart). This crux is particularly difficult as it Is often thought to be linked to a similar crux in 1 Henry IV 2.1.76/689, where in a comparable though not wholly equivalent context Q1 reads 'Oneyres'. It is unsatisfactory to suppose that both forms represent a single word which is now lost. Capell was admirably consistent in emending both words in the same way, but it is grossly improbable that his 'mynheers' should be corrupted by different agencies in such a broadly similar way (in one instance by plausible misreading and the other not) on the only two occasions Shakespeare used the word. Similar objections apply to other words, and no other proposed emendation is as satisfactory for both contexts. It is more likely that the two forms represent corruptions of distinct words. If the problems are considered separately, different solutions are suggested; for example, an '-ers' type of termination is appropriate to 1 Henry IV, where '-heires' in Merry Wives invites interpretation as Dutch or German for 'gentlemen'. Copy 'min' would easily be read as 'ann'. The emendation anticipates 'mine Host' in Shallow's reply.
2.1.217 than] F (then)
2.2.2–5/786–9 I will retort … open ] This edition (G.T.); Why then the world's mine Oyster, which I, with ſword will open F; I will retort the ſum in equipage Q. Q's line is thoroughly typical of Pistol, and has often been thought genuine. It is not adequately explained as memorial recollection of Henry V 2.1.49/534, as that line offers no parallel for the distinctive use of equipage—a word found nowhere else in Shakespeare's plays, but once in the Sonnets (32.12). Both retort and equipage are typical of Shakespeare's comic use of military jargon. Wilson and Bowers conflated: WILSON supplied Q's line before Sir John's opening speech; bowers added it after 'open'. These reconstructions, especially Wilson's, do not suggest ready explanations as to how the line came to be omitted in F. (Q's omission requires no special explanation as it is a typical result of reporting.) If F omits a second speech In which Sir John says 'Not a penny', the Folio reading would easily result from eyeskip.
2.2.9/793 Coach-fellow] F; couch-fellow theobald
2.2.19/803 throng] F; thong pope. Shakespeare only used thong once, and then as a part of a horse's bridle.
2.2.23 Ay, ay, I] F (I, I, I)
2.2.26/810 you, you Rogue will] hibbard; you Rogue, will F; you Rogue, will you This edition conj. Mid-sentence vocative rogue without the second person pronoun is unexampled in Shakespeare. Sir John's 'you Rogue' particularly strongly suggests a vocative with attached pronoun, but 'you' in F must serve as subject of 'will en-sconce'. Q gives a reasonably good report up to 'lurch', then continues 'And yet you stand vpon your honor, you rogue. You, you.' This recapitulates the beginning of the speech, but may have been encouraged by vocative 'you Rogue' in the original. Hibbard's emendation addresses a genuine difficulty in F. Scribe or compositor would easily reduce 'yet you, you' to 'yet, you'. Arguably the interrogative would be more appropriate to the context. This too could be corrupted by simple error, though the error Hibbard assumes is an even easier one.
2.2.30/814 relent] F; recant Q. In defence of Q, compare Shakespeare's one other use of recant, Merchant 4.1.388/2197: 'I doe pg 345recant' (though the verb is there transitive). Shakespeare nowhere else has I do relent (though relent is always intransitive).
2.2.30/814 wouldst] Q; would F. The irregular reading was probably produced by contamination from 'would' immediately below In the following text line.
2.2.52/836 God-blesse] Q ( ⁓‸ ); heauen-blesse F. Q and F's 'his Seruants' (2.2.53/837) continues Q's reading.
2.2.66 rustling] F (rushling)
2.2.105/889 Blessing] F; Gods blessing This edition conj. Compare Quickly's 'Gods blessing of your good heart' in Q 2 Henry IV 2.4.307/1336, similarly altered to ''Blessing on your good heart' in F. Shakespeare's only use of blessing on your /his heart without God in an unexpurgated text is in verse (Richard II 5.5.64/2593) and may have been determined by metre.
2.2.108/892 O God no, sir] Q ( … no‸ … ); not in F
2.2.131/915 Puncke] F; pink warburton
2.2.147/931 ore'flowes] F; o'erflow with pope. Pope's 'with' is unnecessary, but his omission of F's terminal '-s' is plausible.
2.2.148 Aha] F (ah ha)
2.2.149/933 encompass'd you] F; caught you a the hip Q. Q has colloquial vigour, is an idiom used by Shakespeare, and is comically appropriate. It could represent an authorial reading, but is a common expression and may equally be seen as a substitution for F's more sophisticated witticism, which the reporter may have forgotten.
2.2.150/934 God blesse] This edition; 'Blesse F; God ſaue Q. The apostrophe is characteristic of Crane, and may here indicate that he saw a deleted profanity in his copy.
2.2.168/952–3 halfe, or all] collier 2 (Collier MS); all, or halfe F
2.2.170/954 I know … may ] F; O Lord, I would I could tell how to Q
2.2.199/983 Iewell. That] theobald; ⁓, that F
22.214.171.124/1008.1 He offers money] This edition; not in QF. Falstaff may actually accept the money here, depending on whether make bold with at 2.2.242/1028 means 'presume to take' or 'presume to use freely'.
2.2.225/1010 exchange] Q3; enchange F. F is contaminated by the previous word, 'in'.
2.2.233/1019 soule] F; suit collier 2 (Collier MS)
126.96.36.199/1029.1 He takes the money] This edition; not in QF
2.2.253/1039 spokes-mate] Q ( ⁓‸ ⁓ ); assi-|stant F. Q has a strong claim to be authorial on the basis of the word's appropriateness and rarity. OED cites one instance before Shakespeare wrote Merry Wives, in Stanyhurst's Aeneis (1582), which Shakespeare might have read. The only other quotation is 1640, where the word is associated with 'pander'. F's 'assistant' may be a substitution, perhaps influenced by the somewhat similar appearance of 'appointment'.
2.2.288/1074 Wittoll, Cuckold] F; wittold, godeſo Q. Q transposed this passage into Ford's speech beginning 3.5.128/1843. Q's profanity is nowhere found In a reliable Shakespeare text.
2.2.297/1083 God] Q; Heauen F. In similar expressions, Shakespeare invokes praise of God, the gods, the Lord, and Jupiter, but not heaven.
2.3.17/1105 God blesse] Q; 'Blesse F. Q makes the Host the third character to greet Caius, and attributes Shallow's greeting to Page, but the wording is sufficiently accurate to testify for the profanity.
2.3.18/1106 God saue] Q; 'Saue F. See previous note.
2.3.20/1108 'Giue] F; God giue This edition conj. This speech is not in Q.
2.3.23/1112 thee passe‸ ] FQ; thy passe, craik (conj.)
2.3.24 punto] F (puncto)
2.3.27 Galen] F (Galien)
2.3.52/1140 word] Q; not in F. Hanmer interpreted 'a' as ah, but Q (in a passage quite well reported) would be most unlikely to render the same word as an article if it were the interjection. F's omission was no doubt encouraged by the similarity of 'word' and the beginning of 'Mounseur' (presumably with lower-case initial).
2.3.52 Monsieur] F (Mounſeur)
2.3.73/1162 page, shallow, and slender] malone; All. F
2.3.80/1169 Cride-game] FQ; Cry aim warburton
2.3.84/1173 patiences] Q (patinces); patients F
3.1.5 Petty] F (pittie)
3.1.11/1189 Ieshu plesse me] Q (Ieshu pies mee); 'Plesse my ſoule F; Jeshu pless my soul riverside. My soul does not occur elsewhere in Shakespeare as the object of bless.
3.1.29/1207 God] This edition (G.T.); Heauen F. Shakespeare nowhere outside Merry Wives uses the expression Heaven prosper, but has God prosper in 2 Henry IV 3.2.289/1813 and Gods prosper in Lear: History 14.90/2013 and 20.29–30/2357–8, Tragedy 3.7.90/1993 and 4.5.29–30/2236–7.
3.1.33/1211 gowne] F; cowne Q. The mispronunciation suggested by Q gives an obscenity (coun, 'cunt'). However, the same quibble is possible with gown itself—given an appropriate context. The reporter may have been recalling and misplacing a quibble from 4.2.63/1997, where a joke is more likely.
3.1.39/1217 God saue] Q; 'Saue F
3.1.40/1218 God plesse] Q; 'Plesse F
3.1.59 pottage] F (porredge). OED describes porridge as an 'altered form' of pottage; its first recorded use is c.1532. In Shakespeare's time both had the single meaning 'thick soup'. Porridge/porredge is probably an indifferent spelling variant of pottage. In Shakespeare's works pottage is found only once (Lear: History 11.49/1672, Tragedy 3.4.52/1700), but porridge nine times, so there is no reason to consider Evans's 'porredge' a form deliberately altered for comic effect. Modern editions printing 'porridge' suggest a confusion that could not originally have existed.
3.1.71/1250 question: let] F; ⁓. | Shal⟨low⟩. Let Q. The prefix in Q is one of a series of evidently linked and deliberate changes. Shallow takes a role parallel to the Host's: before the Host's speech he says 'Keep them aſunder, take away their weapons'. Page's assistant in doing so must be Slender, who has no other role in the scene in Q.
3.1.75/1254 patience:] johnson; ⁓‸ F
3.1.81/1260 By Ieshu] Q; not in F
3.1.81/1260 Vrinal] F; vrinalls Q
3.1.83/1262 Diable] F; O leshu Q. F's oath (which occurs elsewhere in Caius' speeches at 1.4.63/464) seems too unusual and characteristic to be a substitution. Q simply echoes 'By Ieshu' three lines above.
3.1.86/1265 As … you ] F; So kad vdge me Q. F's reading again seems too characteristic to result from simple expurgation (and would itself have been objectionable to some Christians).
1270 excellant] F (excellant). F's anomalous spelling probably phonetically represents the French word.
3.1.93 Machiavel] F (Machiuell)
3.1.97/1276 Giue … (Terestiall) so: ] Q ( Giue …‸ terestiall, | So‸ ); not in F
3.1.103/1282 Lads] Q (lads); Lad F
3.1.104/1283 Afore God] Q; Trust me F. See Taylor, 'Zounds'.
3.2.26/1320 Has] F; Hath collier MS. Hath is Shakespeare's preferred form in reliable texts.
3.2.45/1339 By my faith] Q; Trust me F. See note to 2.1.31, 2.1.33/590, 592.
3.2.55/1349 Mr] F; ſonne Q. Slender might not be presumptuous enough to address Page as 'Father' if he could not expect recognition as potential son. Compare Page's sonne Slender at 3.4.74/1680 and 5.2.2./2455. 'Mr' could be read in from immediately below, but more plausibly 'sonne' results from memorial error.
3.3.3/1381 Robert] bowers; Robin F
3.3.13 Datchet] F (Dotchet)
3.3.38 pumpkin] F (Pumpion)
3.3.45/1423 Ile … Lord ] F; By the Lord Q; Ilee ſpeake it before the best Lord G.T. conj. If profanity has been expurgated, F's entire phrase seems too elaborate to be a substitution for an original pg 346simple 'By the Lord'. The simple addition of 'best' before 'Lord' could turn a religious statement into a social one. However, F is entirely in keeping with the social comedy of Merry Wives: Sir John projects himself as a man of the court, here as elsewhere.
3.3.52/1430 Tyre-valiant] F; tire vellet Q; tire-volant steevens (conj.); Tyre-gallant G.T. conj. 'Vellet' is an old spelling of velvet. Gallant has the right associations with both showy dress and ships, but can scarcely have been corrupted in both texts to words beginning with 'v'.
3.3.56/1434 By the Lord] Q; not in F. Sir John uses Q's phrase six times in 1 Henry IV and twice in 2 Henry IV—but never, according to F, in Merry Wives.
3.3.60/1438 with Nature] This edition (G.T.); not Nature F; Nature craik (conj.). alexander emended the punctuation alone but left a contrived reading which is difficult to convey: 'what thou wert, if Fortune thy foe were, not Nature, thy friend'. 'With' resolves the difficulty. The substitution is not arbitrary: a word graphically similar to the first syllable of the following word replaces a word graphically similar to the previous word, 'were'. Craik similarly sees anticipation of 'Nature' in 'not', but suggests dittography rather than substitution.
3.3.64/1442 thee‸ ther's ] Q ( ⁓ | Ther's ); ⁓. Ther's F
3.3.71 Mistress] F (M.)
3.3.74 kiln] F (kill).
3.3.117/1493 For shame] F; Gode body Q. Q is not sufficiently well reported hereabouts to warrant adoption of an asseveration Shakespeare elsewhere used once (1 Henry IV 2.1.26/639).
3.3.141/1518 Look] F; Lord G.T. conj.
3.3.147/1524 iohn] oliver; Ser⟨uant(s)⟩. F
3.3.157/1534 vncope] Wilson; vncape F; uncase sisson; escape hibbard. F can scarcely be right: Shakespeare never used cape to mean 'cloak', and OED suggests that there was no such sense at the time except in the set expression Spanish cape. 'Vncape' begins with a run of minims, but no emendation has been found which is based on misreading of minims. Hand D in More wrote 'p' both with and without a fore-limb, so an 'op'/'ap' misreading could be even easier than 'o'/'a'. Wilson understood uncope to mean 'unmuzzle', but this is a puzzling nonce-word, especially as Shakespeare never used cope in the appropriate sense. However, 'cope' is also a spelling of coop, a verb Shakespeare did use in the general sense 'to confine (persons) within small space … to cage, cabin', and in his own extension of this sense (K. John 2.1.25/301), 'to enclose for protection or defence' (OED). 'Vncope' as uncoop is immediately intelligible as an intransitive verb, for it is parallel and almost synonymous with 'vnkennell', which has an explicit direct object.
3.3.162/1539 This is] F; By Ieshu theſe are Q. Here and at 3.3.200/1575 'By Ieshu' seems to have been introduced in Q in a mechanical way at the beginning of Evans's speeches. Such characterization by verbal tag is typical of a reporter's work, though the repeated use of the expression is evidence that it was used in some instances in the original text (see 3.1.1, 3.1.81, 4.2.180/1189, 1260, 2116).
3.3.171/1548 what] harness; who F. Strictly speaking, as Oliver pointed out, Ford asked neither who nor what was in the basket. Whereas 'Whether beare you this?' may Imply a query as to the purpose of the basket, and therefore suspicion as to its contents, Ford cannot be understood to demand the identity of someone he suspects to be in the basket.
3.3.183/1560 foolish] F2; foolishion F1
3.3.193 Ay, I] F (I, I)
3.3.194/1571 me] This edition (Capell); you F. Q does not preserve the line. In F the contrast between 'you' and 'your thoughts' is strained, especially as Ford has been acting extravagantly and in full accordance with his suspicions. Capell's conjecture is more trenchant as well as more intelligible, particularly in the force it lends to Ford's 'Amen'. In context the error would be an easy one.
3.3.199 Ay, Ay, I] F (I, I: I)
3.3.200/1575 If] F; By Ieshu if Q. See note to 3.3.162/1539.
3.3.201–2/1576–7 heauen … iudgement ] F; I am an arrant Iew: Now God plesse me Q
3.3.217 heartily] F (hartly)
3.3.226 Master] F (M.)
188.8.131.52/1601.1 Exeunt … Caius ] hibbard; not in QF; Ford and Page go forth … wilson Wilson supplies an exit for Mistress Ford and Mistress Page at 3.3.217/1592, which is plausible. Other editions, for example new Arden and Riverside, less plausibly have Ford and Page leave at 184.108.40.206/1601.1 and their wives remain on stage until the scene ends.
3.3.230/1605–6 A … mockeries ] F; By ſo kad vdgme, M. Fordes is | Not in his right wittes Q. Q uses the oath twice elsewhere (3.1.86/1265 and 4.4.78/2238), but only here could it be justified as an attractive reading. One might suspect that, as with 'By Ieshu', the repetition of the oath as a characteristic of Evans's speech indicates that it was used somewhere in the original text. But whereas Shakespeare, on the evidence of other plays, used Jesu as a way of characterizing the speech of Welsh characters, he did not use So God judge me under any circumstances.
3.4.12/1618 fenton] Q3; not in F. F indents the line, so that 'No' is immediately below the prefix 'An.', but falls to supply a prefix.
3.4.12/1618 heauen] F; God G.T. conj. God speed is the usual expression.
3.4.21/1627 then: Harke] theobald; ⁓‸ harke F
3.4.37 Mistress] F (M.)
3.4.45/1651 by God] Q (be God); not in F
3.4.55/1661 Odd's-hart-lings] F; Godeſo Q. F is also profane and more unusual than Q (which, though common enough elsewhere, never occurs in a reliable Shakespeare text).
3.4.56/1662 God] Q; Heauen F
3.4.57/1663 God] This edition; Heauen F. Q omits the phrase. Consistency with 'God/Heauen' in the previous line seems desirable.
3.4.66/1672 Fenton] Q3; Fenter F1
3.4.88/1694 selfe‸ ] F; ⁓; warburton
3.4.96/1702 and] F; or hanmer. Mistress Quickly misquotes the proverbial 'a fool or a physician'. The misuse of a set expression gives some point to a misreading that would otherwise be merely confusing.
3.5.8/1723 'Sblood the] Q (Sblood, the); The F. Q's oath is one of the most objectionable in the period, and (along with 'swounds) was singled out for particular expurgation in the Folio.
3.5.8/1723 slighted] F; Aided Q. Q's facile sense and unusual past-tense form suggest it is a corruption, though F's 'slighted' requires a pun on, or at least an echo of, slided (as well as sleight, 'deceive, trick').
3.5.10/1725 blinde bitches] FQ; bitch's blind theobald. F may be understood as 'a (litter of) blind bitch's puppies', or as a transferred epithet.
3.5.16/1732 By the Lord] Q; I should haue beene F. See note to 3.3.56/1434.
3.5.18 Mistress] F (M.)
1744 Pullet-Spersme] F. The unusual form 'spersme' looks like a confusion on the analogy of 'spasme'.
3.5.33 Mistress] F (M.)
3.5.36/1751 Alas … good-heart ] F; O Lord sir Q. Q's common and summary profanity begins a badly reported passage. Alas the day also occurs at 4.2.62/1996, where Q part-verifies F with 'Alas'.
3.5.56/1771 By the Masse] Q; Oh F
3.5.56/1771 he] Q; be F
3.5.57/1772 God blesse] This edition; God ſaue Q; Blesse F
3.5.63/1778 sped] F; how sped Q
3.5.77/1792 God] Q; good lucke F
3.5.79/1794 by] Q; in F. F could easily have been influenced by 'intelligence' and 'lnuention'.
3.5.82/1797 By the Lord] Q; Yes F. See 3.3.56/1434. Something stronger than a lame 'Yes' is highly desirable.
3.5.88/1802 what] F; by the Lord for your fake Q. Q conflates material around 'sufferd' at 3.5.89/1803 and 'suffered' at 3.5.100/1814; it is not well reported. The reporter seems to have seized on 'by the Lord' as a typical oath for Sir John, with pg 347the result that it occurs three times in a single speech. We accept only the first as authoritative.
3.5.108/1822 it] F; by the Lord it Q. See previous note.
3.5.112/1826 serge] F; forge capell (conj.). Forges are associated with heat, not cooling.
3.5.112 surge] F (ſerge)
4.1.1 Mistress] F (M.)
4.1.55/1911 Genitiuo] douai MS, singer; Genitiue F
4.1.56 Jenny's] F (Ginyes)
4.1.60–1 hick … hack … whorum ] F ( hic … hac … horum )
4.1.63/1919 Lunatics] capell; Lunaties F
4.1.71/1927 que] F; quœ pope. Evans has difficulty with the Latin vowel in the following line, and above at 4.1.38/1894 ('hag' for 'hæc').
4.1.72/1928 Ques] F; quæs pope
4.2.5 accoutrement] F (accustrement)
4.2.18/1953 lines] F; vaine Q; lunes theobald
4.2.23/1958 this his] F; this collier (conj.). F's 'his' is redundant, and could have been interpolated by a scribe or compositor under the influence of 'this', 'dis-', and/or 'he is'.
4.2.50/1985 Birding-peeces. | ⌈mistris page⌉Creepe] dyce (Malone); ⁓-⁓: creepe F.
4.2.51 kiln-hole] F (kill-hole)
4.2.59/1994 page] malone; Ford. F1. F1 has two consecutive speeches attributed to Mistress Ford. F2 unconvincingly solves the problem by omitting the prefix at 4.2.61/1996. Wilson follows F1, but agrees with a private conjecture by Greg that there is a missing prefix for Mistress Page before 'vnlesse'. Simple substitution would be the easier error. Malone's emendation is supported by Q: 'Fal. Why then Ile goe out of doores. | Mi. Pa. Then your vndone, your but a dead man'. F's equivalent to the speech Q gives Mistress Page ('If … Iohn') is particularly appropriate to her, for it is she who has entered from outside with news of Ford's supposed ambushing brothers.
4.2.65/2000 Good hearts] F; For Gods ſake Q. There are parallels for F at 4.5.117/2367 and The Tempest 1.1.25/26–7. If Q preserves the original text, which is possible, Shakespeare himself is likely to have emended the profanity.
4.2.67–8 Brentford] F (Brain-|ford). Similarly throughout.
4.2.90/2025 direct] Q3; direct direct F
4.2.91/2027 straight.] F. Q adds: 'Fal⟨staffe⟩. Come for Gods ſake, any thing.' This is dramatically effective, and loss of such a line from F could, in particular, follow from deletion of profanity. However, Q's line is a mixture of phrases from preceding lines in Q—'Come goe with me', 'for Gods sake', and 'any extremitie'— and so may be a reconstruction.
4.2.93/2029 him] F2; not in F1
4.2.93/2029 Exit Mistris Ford] capell (after 4.2.91/2027); not in QF. Mistress Ford exits in order to fetch the servants, who otherwise appear without explanation. Compare 3.3/Sc. 10, where they have to be elaborately summoned from off stage, even though they are part of a preconcerted plan. Moreover, Mistress Page's couplets look like a scene-ending address to the audience; it would be surprising if anyone else were on stage. Their purpose is to cover the time between Mistress Ford's exit and her entrance with the servants. The staging would have the effect of clearing the stage and so creating a scene-break, were it not for the stage-property of the buck-basket, which is probably on stage already and so establishes continuity of time and place.
220.127.116.11/2033.1 Mist. Ford with] capell; not in FQ
4.2.101, 103/2037, 2039 iohn] oliver; 1 Ser⟨uant⟩. F
4.2.102/2038 robert] oliver; 2 Ser⟨uant⟩. F
4.2.103/2039 as lief] F2; lief as F1
4.2.106/2042 villains] collier 2 (Collier MS); villaine F
4.2.108/2043 ging] F2; gin F1
4.2.108 gang] F2 (ging)
4.2.115/2052 this is] Q3; thi is F1
4.2.121/2058 God be] This edition; Gods my Q; Heauen be F
4.2.132/2069 page] This edition (Lambrechts); M. Ford. F. F could result from two-stage error: (a) confusion with the prefixes above or below, giving 'Ford.', (b) the obvious correction to the obvious error of three successive prefixes for Ford.
4.2.152/2089.1 Exeunt … basket ] oliver; not in FQ
4.2.157/2094 Aunt] F; Ant, Giffiã Q. See note to 4.2.67/2002.
4.2.168/2104 not strike] Q3; strike F
4.2.173 runnion] F. The word occurs elsewhere only in Macbeth 1.3.5/83, and there has the form 'ronyon', which must therefore be regarded as an alternative modern spelling.
4.2.180/2116 Ieshu] Q; yea, and no F. OED describes F's phrase as 'a formula of asseveration in the form of, and substituted for, an oath', and cites no examples before Shakespeare. It is closest in sound to By Jesu. As Shakespeare associates the expression with the mealy-mouthed, not the Welsh, one would expect Jeshu here. If Jeshu is right, the substitution of a Shakespearian idiom in F is most straightforwardly explained if Shakespeare made the alteration, though as Shallow uses the expression at 1.1.80/79 this conclusion is not inevitable.
4.2.182/2118 his] F; her Q. F's 'his' could be an easy error for 'hir', but may quite plausibly be intended as what we might now call a comic Freudian slip.
4.2.188/2124 By my troth] Q; Trust me F. See note to 2.1.31, 33/590, 592
4.2.210/2146 it, then ‸ ] F; it‸ then, hanmer
4.3.1/2148 Germanes desire] capell; Germane defires F
4.3.7/2154 them] Q; him F
4.3.9/2156 house] Q; houſes F. F may be contaminated by 'horses' on the line above.
4.4.6/2165 Cold] rowe; gold F. An easy misreading of capital letters; compare 'cripple' for 'Gripple' in K. John 5.2.36/2166.
4.4.25/2184 mistris] F (M.). Apart from here and at 5.5.211/2707, 'M.' occurs in speech-prefixes either when the wife or husband is not on stage, or as 'Mistress' when the husband has an immediately adjacent speech.
4.4.27/2186 Herne] F; Horne Q. Similarly throughout. Greg believed that the name should be 'Horne', as in Q.
4.4.31/2190 trees] hanmer; tree F. The loss of the plural form would be encouraged by the singular 'Oake' in the previous line.
4.4.32/2191 makes] F2; make F1
4.4.42/2201 Disguis'd … head ] Q (Diſguiſed like Home, with huge horns on his head,); not in F. There is limited word-for-word correspondence between Q and F hereabouts. But, considered independently of Q, F appears to have omitted a line explaining the plot, whose contents are represented very plausibly by the line at the equivalent point in Q.
4.4.44/2203 shape. When] capell; ⁓, when F.
4.4.49 oafs] F (Ouphes)
4.4.60/2219 ⌈mistris⌉ford] rowe; Ford. F. Shakespeare or Crane may have written ambiguous 'M.'.
4.4.69/2228 That will be excellent] F; So kad vdge me the deulſes is excellent Q (as first line of Evans's preceding speech)
4.4.69 vizors] F (vizards)
4.4.72/2231 tire] theobald (after Q); time F. Q has: 'Mis. For. But who will buy the silkes to tyre the boyes? | Pa. That will I do, and in a robe of white | Ile cloath my daughter …'. 'Silke' and 'tyre' are in the same line in Q, and the sequence That will I … and in …' leads to a reference to a robe. Similarly, in lines influenced by the present speech, Q1 has Mistress Page say 'And in that Maske, Ile make the Doctor steale my daughter An': 'Maske', like 'robe', is a plausible substitution for 'tire', but not for 'time'.
4.4.81/2240 quickly] F; Quickly theobald. Except in stage directions, Quickly is always given the title Mistress or, once, 'nursh-a'.
4.5.41/2290 simple] rowe; Fai ⟨staffe⟩. F
4.5.51/2300 Sir‸ tike, ] reed; Sir: like‸ F; tike, Q; sir Tike; like steevens (Farmer). 'Tike' is an unlikely memorial substitution for 'like'. Misreading is possible in either direction, though like is pg 348by far the commoner word and therefore the more likely to be corrupt. Pistol uses tike as an insult in Henry V 2.1.29/514.
4.5.54/2303 art] Q; are F
18.104.22.168/2308.1 muddie] This edition; not in FQ. It would be odd if Bardolph were not muddy. Benvolio, Frederick, and Martino appear muddy in the episode of Doctor Faustus to which Bardolph alludes at 4.5.65/2314–15.
4.5.60/2309 O Lord] Q; Out alas F
4.5.71/2321 three] F; three forts of Q. Q may recall an authorial original (compare following note). Sort is used oddly, though the phrase may be Evans's way of saying 'a sort (i.e. disreputable band) of three'. But there has been some rewriting of this passage in Q, presumably after the report was made: for instance, the entries of Evans and Caius are transposed, both Caius and Evans have lines gloating on their revenge, and Evans's farewell is 'grate why', which has been interpreted as a rendering of Welsh cadw chwi, 'God bless you'.
4.5.72/2322 Cozen-Garmombles] Q; Cozen-Iermans F. Garmombles was a word used by Nashe, but Q contains an almost inescapable allusion to Count Mömplegard (see Introduction). Such a joke must have belonged to early performances. If Shakespeare himself voluntarily made the deletion, he was reacting to the lost topicality of the allusion, not seeking to improve the play in the normal sense. But anyone may have substituted 'Iermans' for 'Garmombles', having recognized that the characters are the 'Germane-diuels' of 4.5.65/2314, the 'Germanes' of 4.5.67/2317. The present line is the only time Germany or German(s) is spelt with 'I' except for Caius' comic pronunciation indicated by 'Iamanie' (4.5.81/2331; cf. 'Iarteer' for Garter). Late annotation by Shakespeare or someone else could possibly be indicated.
2323 Readins] F; similarly Q (Readings). Q and probably F give regular old spellings of Reading (Old English Readingas; Domesday Book Reddinges).
4.5.73 Colnbrook] F (Cole-Brooke)
4.5.96/2346 enough] F; inough to say my prayers Q
4.5.103/2353 O Lord sir, and] Q; And F. Compare the Hostess's 'O Lord I' in 2 Henry IV 2.1.7/617.
4.5.109–10/2360 Braineford. But] theobald; ⁓, but F
4.5.117/2367 here is] F. It is difficult to know how much licence to allow the speech of some characters in Merry Wives before corruption is suspected. In this instance, 'here is' could be a dittography of the same words in the line above. One might conjecture 'there is' or 'here'.
4.6.16–17/2386–7 fat … Scene ] F; Wherein fat Falstaffe had a mightie ſcare Q
4.6.26/2396 euer] pope; euen F. Q has 'still against that match'. Oliver claims that this could recall either reading, but it surely points more strongly to Pope's emendation, which makes better sense and assumes a very easy misreading.
4.6.38/2408 denote] capell; deuote F
4.6.39 visorèd] F (vizarded)
5.1.22 Goliath] F (Goliah). F gives a common old spelling (described as incorrect by OED).
5.2.2/2455 light] F; lights craik (conj.). Compare note to 5.2.11/2464.
5.2.2–3/2455–6 my daughter.] F2; my‸ F1
5.2.10 struck] F (strooke)
5.2.11/2464 Lights] This edition; Light F. F would give the commonest of errors in a text with several stages of transmission. 'Lights' is less ambiguous and more accurate than 'Light'. The plural is also suggested by its rhyme with 'Spirits' (compare 'euill' and 'deuill' in the same speech).
5.2.12/2465 God] This edition (G.T.); Heauen F. See note to 3.1.29/1207.
5.3.12/2479 Hugh] capell; Herne F; Evans theobald; not in hart
22.214.171.124/2491.1 disguls'd as a Satgr] dyce; not in FQ. Capell describes all who enter as 'vizarded, and dlsguis'd for Fairies'. Dyce introduced consistency with Q's direction at 126.96.36.199–5/2531.1–4. Oliver has insufficient confidence in Q to specify the disguise, but there are no good grounds for doubting it: a satyr makes an effective grotesque pair with a hobgoblin.
5.5.1 struck] F (stroke)
5.5.11 foul fault] F (fowle-|fault)
188.8.131.52/2524.1 A noise within] bowers; There is a noiſe of hornes Q; not in F. At 4.4.51/2210 Mistress Page plans for the fairies to have rattles in their hands, presumably to make a supernatural-sounding noise. The sound of hunting-horns is fitting in its way, but not particularly appropriate to Sir John's reaction to the noise or to the tone of the fairies'entry. Q may represent an alternative staging Introduced when the scene was rewritten, or simply anticipate the 'noyse of hunting' in the direction following 184.108.40.206/2597.5.
5.5.30/2526 God] Q; Heauen F
5.5.41, 5.5.82, 5.5.87/2537, 2578, 2583 hob-goblyn] This edition (following wilson (Harness): Puck.); Pist⟨oll⟩, F; Sir Hu⟨gh⟩. Q. Q simplifies the staging, but F clearly requires a speaker other than Evans (see 5.5.87/2583). It is scarcely credible that Pistol should, without explanation or comment, appear in disguise after an absence of over 1,600 lines. The best explanation, one rejected by Oliver, is that the prefix indicates the actor who played Pistol, and not the character. In F' massed entry for the scene, Pistol' name comes last: contrary to Crane' habit of listing groups of characters in order of appearance, it follows 'Slender, Fenton, Caius' who only enter later. Crane would have made up his massed directions by collating a scene's directions in his copy. Pistol inferably did not appear in the normal course of these. Crane probably added the name later when he found it as a speech-prefix or an annotation.
5.5.48 Bead] F (Bede), Q (Pead)
5.5.56 oafs] F (Ouphes)
5.5.67/2563 More] F2; Mote F1
5.5.69 em'rald tufts] F (Emrold-tuffes)
5.5.80/2576 God] Q; Heauens F. G.T. conjectures 'now' after 'me'. If this conjecture is right, disyllabic 'Heauens' is required. But Q's 'God blesse me from that wealch Fairie' concurs with F in denying such a reading. Shakespeare used the expression God defend someone many times and Heavens defend never. The plural is not, however, the usual or most obvious emendation of God, and, as Shakespeare uses Heavens in analogous phrases, he may have been responsible for making the alteration when profanity was removed.
5.5.116/2612 meat] wilson; meete F. Wilson pointed out that 'meat' was a recognized spelling of mate, and that meet and mate were therefore confusible.
220.127.116.11/2614.1 He … hornes ] Falstaffe pulks of his bucks head Q (following fairies' exeunt, 18.104.22.168–7/2597.6). Q's stage directions may indicate a different property from the pair of horns to which the text refers, and may reflect more general non-Shakespearian changes in the last scene. It seems theatrically pointless for Sir John to take off the horns immediately before he is mocked on account of them.
5.5.120/2616 By the Lord] Q; not in F. See note to 3.3.56/1434.
5.5.150/2646 ford] F; mistris ford This edition conj.
5.5.193/2689 white] rowe 3; greene F. Here and at 5.5.197/2693 and 5.5.203/2699 F is puzzlingly at variance with the text earlier: one would expect inconsistencies of staging to have been corrected. Q has its own scheme, evidently reflecting an alternative staging, whereby Caius takes a fairy in red; Slender, green; and Fenton takes Anne dressed in white.
5.5.197/2693 greene] rowe 3; white F
5.5.201 un garçon] F (oon Garſoon)
5.5.201 un paysan] F (oon peſant)
5.5.203/2699 greene] pope; white F
5.5.211/2707 mistris] F (M.). See note to 4.4.25/2184.
5.5.235/2731 so (Sir Iohn:)] F; ⁓:- Sir John, theobald
1–2 Star-Chamber] ⁓-|⁓ F; star-cham-|ber Q
7 Rato-lorum] Rato lorum
47–8 deaths-bed] ⁓-|⁓
92 betweene] be tweene
168 vertuous] vertuons
233 discretion-answere] diſcetion-anſwere
375 humor-Letter] ⁓-|⁓
384 And] & (see Lineation Notes)
411 breede-bate] ⁓-|⁓
440 adown'a] ⁓.
443–4 greene-a-Box] ⁓-|⁓-⁓
451 quickly] (italic)
465 La-roone] (roman)
540 Fenton] Feuton
558 him] hiim
594 beleeue] beleeee
615 wel-behaued] ⁓-|⁓
747 Bully-Rooke] ⁓-|⁓
806 honor] hononor
809 shuffle] shufflle
812 bold-beating-oathes] ⁓-|⁓-⁓
1025 too-too] ⁓-|⁓
1078 Welsh-man] ⁓-|⁓
1120 (Boy.)] (⁓‸)
1122 no-come] ⁓-|⁓
1123 Doctor) he] Docto)rhe
1138–9 Church-man] ⁓-|⁓
1141 Mocke-water] ⁓-|⁓
1194 Riuers] Ruiers
1242 acquainted] acquaiuted
1385 briefe.] ⁓,
1402 vs?] ⁓‸
1445 like‸ ] ⁓.
1507 Falstaffe] Faistaffe
1571 thoghts.] ⁓‸
1597 so?] ⁓:
1599 Companie.] ⁓‸
1600 make-a-the-turd] ⁓-⁓-theturd
1604 with all] withall
1635 you.] ⁓‸
1676 Fenton,] ⁓.
1781 Cornuto] Curnuto
1825 Dutch-dish] ⁓-|⁓
1827 Horse-shoo] ⁓-|⁓
1847–8 Buck-baskets] ⁓-|⁓
1851–2 Pepper-Boxe] ⁓-|⁓
1856 horne-mad] ⁓-|⁓
1893 hic,] ⁓‸ (?)
1903 O, Vocatiuo, O] O, ⁓, O
1919 O'man] F (text); 'Oman F (c.w.)
2007 Mistris] Mistriis
2032 often‸ ] ⁓,
2200 vs,] ⁓.
2367 good-hearts] ⁓-|⁓
2419 in] Fb; Id Fa
2477 heart-breake] ⁓-|⁓
2697 oon Garsoon … oon pesant ] (roman)
2705 pardon.] ⁓‸
2733 Ford.] ⁓:
QUARTO STAGE DIRECTIONS
22.214.171.124–2/0.1 Enter Iustice Shallow, Syr Hugh, Maister Page, | and Slender.
126.96.36.199/99.1 Enter Syr Iohn Falstaffe, Pistoll, Bardolfe, | and Nim.
188.8.131.52, 174.1–2/170.1, 173.1–2 Enter Mistresse Foord, Mistresse Page, and her| daughter Anne.
184.108.40.206/176.1 Syr Iohn kisses her.
220.127.116.11/179.1 Exit all, but Slender and | mistresse Anne.
1.1.279.1/277.1 Enter Maister Page.
1.1.293.1/290.1 Exit omnes.
18.104.22.168/290.2 Enter sir Hugh and Simple, from dinner.
1.2.13/303 Exit omnes.
22.214.171.124–2, 126.96.36.199/303.1–2, 304.1 Enter sir Iohn Falstaffes Host of the Garter, | Nym, Bardolfe, Pistoll, and the boy.
1.3.14/317.1 Exit Host.
188.8.131.52/321.1 Exit Bardolfe.
184.108.40.206/382.1 Exit Falstaffe, | and the Boy.
1.3.97/400 Exit omnes.
220.127.116.11/400.1 Enter Mistresse Quickly, and Simple.
18.104.22.168/436.1 He steps into the Counting-house.
22.214.171.124/440.1 And she opens the doore.
126.96.36.199/453.1 Enter Iohn.
188.8.131.52/485.1 The Doctor writes.
184.108.40.206/522.1 Exit Doctor. (after 1.4.121/521)
1.4.160/560 Exit omnes.
220.127.116.11/560.1 Enter Mistresse Page, reading of | a Letter.
18.104.22.168/589.1 Enter Mistresse Foord.
22.214.171.124–2/656.1–2 Enter Ford, Page, Pistoll and Nym.
2.1.120/680 Exit Pistoll:
126.96.36.199/689.1 Exit Nym.
188.8.131.52/707.1 Enter Mistresse Quickly, (equivalent position)
184.108.40.206–2/717.1–2 Exit Mistresse Ford, Mis. Page, and Quickly. (equivalent position)
220.127.116.11, 183.1/737.1, 742.1 Enter Host and Shallow.
18.104.22.168/751.1 Ford and the Host talkes. (omitting the Host's speech)
2.1.218/777 Exit Host and Shallow. (equivalent position)
2.1.225/784 Exit omnes.
22.214.171.124/784.1 Enter Syr iohn, and Pistoll.
126.96.36.199/816.1 Enter Mistresse Quickly.
188.8.131.52/913 Exit Mistresse Quickly. (after a farewell following Falstaff's speech)
184.108.40.206/923.1 Enter Bardolfe.
220.127.116.11–2/933.1 Enter Foord disguised like Brooke.
2.2.276/1062 Exit Falstaffe.
2.2.302/1088 Exit Ford.
18.104.22.168/1088.1 Enter the Doctor and his man.
22.214.171.124–3/1104.2 Enter Shallow, Page, my Host, and Slender. (equivalent position)
126.96.36.199/1162.1 Exit all but the Host and Doctor.
2.3.89/1178 Exit omnes.
188.8.131.52–2/1178.1–2 Enter Syr Hugh and Simple.
184.108.40.206–3/1212.2 Enter Page, shallow, and Slender.
220.127.116.11–2, 68.1/1246.1, 1247.1 Enter Doctor and the Host, they | offer to fight.
3.1.103/1282 Exit Host.
18.104.22.168/1294.1 (Exit omnes
22.214.171.124/1302.1 Enter M. Foord. (previous dialogue omitted)
126.96.36.199–3/1337.1–2 Enter Shallow, Page, host, Slender, Doctor, | and sir Hugh. (equivalent position)
188.8.131.52/1370.1 Exit Shallow and Slender,
3.2.80/1373 Exit host.
3.2.85/1378 Exit omnes.
184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11/1378.1, 1382.1 Enter Mistresse Ford, with two of her men, and | a great buck busket.
18.104.22.168/1395.1 Exit seruant (equivalent position)
22.214.171.124/1416.1 Enter Sir Iohn.
126.96.36.199/1463.1 Falstaffe stands behind the aras. (2 lines after Mistress Page enters)
188.8.131.52/1463.2 Enter Mlstresse Page. (equivalent position)
3.3.132/1509 (A side. (refers to following line)
184.108.40.206–220.127.116.11.3/1510.1–1519.2 Sir Iohn goes into the basket, they put cloathes ouer him, | the two men carries it away: Foord meetes it, and all | the rest, Page, Doctor, Priest, Slender, Shallow. (without intervening dialogue)
3.3.166/1543 Exit omnes.
18.104.22.168/1565.1 Enter all. (equivalent position)
22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199/1601.1, 1606 Exit omnes.
188.8.131.52/1606.1 Enter M. Fenton, Page, and mistresse | Quickly. (3.4 transposed with 3.5)
184.108.40.206–2, 63.1/1627, 1669.1 Enter M. Page his wife, M. Shallow, and Slender. (transposing dialogue of 3.4.22–64/1628–70) (they whisper.) (referring to Page and Slender, six lines after Page's entry)
220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168/1681.1, 1700.1 Exit Page and his wife. (staging reorganized)
22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199/1681.1, 1700.1 Exit omnes but Quickly. (before Quickly's speech)
188.8.131.52/1715.1 Enter Sir Iohn Falstaffe. (3.5 transposed with 3.4)
184.108.40.206/1738.1 Enter Mistresse Quickly. (equivalent position)
3.5.53/1768 Exit mistresse Quickly.
220.127.116.11/1770.1 Enter Brooke. (after 3.5.56/1771)
18.104.22.168/1843 Exit Falstaffe.
3.5.140/1856 Exit omnes.
22.214.171.124/1935 Enter Syr Iohn.
126.96.36.199/1944.1 He steps behind the arras.
188.8.131.52/1944.2 Enter mlstresse Page. (2 lines before next direction)
4.2.75, 97/2010, 2033 Exit Mis. Page, & Sir Iohn. (equivalent position; following passages omitted)
184.108.40.206–3/2039.1–2 Enter M. Ford, Page, Priest, Shallow, the two men | carries the basket, and Ford meets it.
4.2.187/2123 Exit omnes.
4.2.211/2147 Exit both.
220.127.116.11/2147.1 Enter Host and Bardolfe.
4.3.11/2158 Exit omnes.
18.104.22.168–2/2158.1–2 Enter Ford, Page, their wiues, Shallow, and Slen-|der. Syr Hu.
22.214.171.124/2247.2 Enter Host and Simple.
126.96.36.199/2269.1 Enter Sir Iohn. (after 4.5.23/2271)
188.8.131.52/2308.1 Enter Bardolfe.
184.108.40.206/2317.1 Enter Sir Hugh.
220.127.116.11/2326.2 Enter Doctor. (transposing Evans's and Caius' entries)
18.104.22.168/2346.1 Enter Mistresse Quickly. (after 4.5.97/2347)
4.5.120/2370 Exit omnes.
22.214.171.124/2370.1 Enter Host and Fenton.
126.96.36.199/2424.1 Exit omnes.
188.8.131.52–2/2493.1–2 Enter sir Iohn with a Bucks head vpon him.
184.108.40.206/2510.1 Enter mistris Page, and mistris Ford. (after Falstaff's speech)
220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124–5/2524.1, 2528.1, 2531.1–4 There is a noise of homes, the two women run away. | Enter sir Hugh like a Satyre, and boyes drest like Fayries, | mistresse Quickly, like the Queene of Fayries: they | sing a song about him, and afterward speake. (after 5.5.29/2525; without intervening dialogue)
126.96.36.199/2583.1 They put the Tapers to his fingers, and he starts.
188.8.131.52–2, 184.108.40.206–9, 220.127.116.11/2587.1–2, 2597.1–8, 2614.1 Here they pinch him, and sing about him, & the Doc-|tor comes one way & steaks away a boy in red. And | Slender another away he takes a boy in greene: And | Fenton steaks misteris Anne, being in white. And | a noyse of hunting is made within: and all the Fai-|ries runne away. Falstaffe pulles of his bucks head, | and rises vp. And enters M. Page, M. Ford, and | their wiues, M. Shallow, Sir Hugh. (after 5.5.91/2524; omitting words of song)
18.104.22.168/2669.1 Enter Slender. (omitting the line spoken by Slender)
22.214.171.124/2695.1 Enter the Doctor. (transposing the entries of Slender and Caius)
126.96.36.199/2702.1 Enter Fenton and Anne. (equivalent position)
5.5.237/2733 Exit omnes.
FOLIO STAGE DIRECTIONS
1.1.1–2/0.1 Enter Iustice Shallow, Slender, Sir Hugh Euans, Master | Page, Falstoffe, Bardolph, Nym, Pistoll, Anne Page, | Mistresse Ford, Mistresse Page, Simple.
188.8.131.52/290.2 Enter Euans, and Simple.
184.108.40.206–2/303.1–2 Enter Falstaffe, Host, Bardolfe, Nym, Pistoll, Page.
220.127.116.11/400.1 Enter Mistris Quickly, Simple, Iohn Rugby, Doctor, | Caius, Fenton.
18.104.22.168/560.1 Enter Mistris Page, Mistris Ford, Master Page, Master | Ford, Pistoll, Nim, Quickly, Host, Shallow.
22.214.171.124/784.1 Enter Falstaffe, Pistoll, Robin, Quickly, Bardolffe, | Ford.
126.96.36.199/1088.1 Enter Caius, Rugby, Page, Shallow, Slender, Host.
188.8.131.52–2/1178.1–2 Enter Euans, Simple, Page, Shallow, Slender, Host, Caius, | Rugby.
184.108.40.206/1294.2 Mist. Page, Robin, Ford, Page, Shallow, Slender, Host, | Euans, Caius.
220.127.116.11/1378.1 Enter M. Ford, M. Page, Seruants, Robin, Falstaffe, | Ford, Page, Caius, Euans.
18.104.22.168/1606.1 Enter Fenton, Anne, Page, Shallow, Slender, | Quickly, Page, Mist. Page.
22.214.171.124/1715.1 Enter Falstaffe, Bardolfe, Quickly, Ford.
126.96.36.199–2/1856.1 Enter Mistris Page, Quickly, William, Euans.
188.8.131.52/1935.1 Enter Falstoffe, Mist. Ford, Mist. Page, Seruants, Ford, | Page, Caius, Euans, Shallow.
184.108.40.206/2147.1 Enter Host and Bardolfe.
220.127.116.11–2/2158.1–2 Enter Page, Ford, Mistris Page, Mistris | Ford, and Euans.
18.104.22.168/2247.2 Enter Host, Simple, Falstaffe, Bardolfe, Euans, | Caius, Quickly.
22.214.171.124 /2370.1 Enter Fenton, Host.
126.96.36.199/2424.2 Enter Falstoffe, Quickly, and Ford.
188.8.131.52–2/2453.1 Enter Page, Shallow, Slender.
184.108.40.206–2/2467.1 Enter Mist. Page, Mist. Ford, Caius.
220.127.116.11–3/2491.1–2 Enter Euans and Fairies.
18.104.22.168–2/2495.1 Enter Falstaffe, Mistris Page, Mistris Ford, Euans, | Anne Page, Fairies, Page, Ford, Quickly, | Slender, Fenton, Caius, Pistoll.
22.214.171.124–5/2531.1–4 Enter Fairies.
126.96.36.199–2/2587.1–2 The Song.