Abbildungen der Seite

Since therein she doth evitate and shun

A thousand irreligious cursed hours,
Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.
Ford. Stand not amazed; here is no remedy:

In love the heavens themselves do guide the state;
Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.



Fal. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced.

Page. Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee joy!

What cannot be eschew'd must be embraced.

Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chased. Mrs Page. Well, I will muse no further. Master


Heaven give you many, many merry days!
Good husband, let us every one go home,
And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire;
Sir John and all.

Let it be so. Sir John,
To Master Brook you yet shall
For he to-night shall lie with

223, 224 Well...embraced.] As in Rowe

(ed. 2). Prose in Ff Q3.
224 After this line Pope, followed by

Theobald, inserts from (Q1Q2):
Evans [aside to Fenton] I will

hold your word; Mistress Ford.




(Theobald adds also) dance and eat plums at your wedding. 225 When...chased] Prose in F,F2F3. 230 Let it be so. Sir John,] Let it be so (Sir Iohn:) Ff Q3



1. 1. 41. Master Page is called 'George' in three places, 11. 1. 134 and 142, and v. 5. 189, but we have left the text of the Folios uncorrected, as the mistake may have been Shakespeare's own. It is however possible that a transcriber or printer may have mistaken 'Geo.' for 'Tho.'

In 1. 3. 91, 92, on the other hand, we have not hesitated to correct the reading of the Folio, substituting 'Page' for 'Ford,' and 'Ford' for 'Page,' because, as the early Quartos have the names right, it seems likely that the blunder was not due to Shakespeare.




I. 1. 49. Here again, as in line 40, F.F.F, read 'good,' FQ, 'goot,' but we have not thought it necessary to do more than give a specimen of such variations. Capell, in order to make Dr Caius's broken English consistent with itself, corrects it throughout and substitutes 'de' for 'the,' 'vill' for 'will,' and so forth. As a general rule, we have silently followed the first Folio.


I. 1. 114. With regard to this and other passages which Pope, Theobald, Malone, &c. have inserted from the early Quartos, our rule has been to introduce, between brackets, such, and such only, as seemed to be absolutely essential to the understanding of the text, taking care to give in the note all those which we have rejected.

The fact that so many omissions can be supplied from such mutilated copies as the early Quartos, indicates that there may be many more omissions for the detection of which we have no clue. The text of the Merry Wives given in F, was probably printed from a carelessly written copy of the author's MS.


1. 3. 98. Perhaps, as in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, III. 1. 315, and other passages, some of which are mentioned by Sidney Walker in his 'Criticisms,' Vol. II. p. 13 sqq., this vexed passage may be emended by supplying a word. We venture to suggest 'the revolt of mine anger is dangerous.' The recurrence of the same letters anger in the word 'dangerous,' might mislead the printer's eye and cause the omission.


II. 1. 5. In the copy of Johnson's Edition, which belongs to Emmanuel College, there is a MS. note of Dr Farmer's referring to Sonnet CXLVII. in support of the conjecture 'physician' for 'precisian:' we find there

'My reason, the physician to my love,' &c. [Printed by Steevens.]


11. 1. 193, 195. Here again we have followed the early Quartos in reading 'Brook' instead of 'Broome,' the name given by Ff Q. That the former was the original name is proved by the jest in II. 2. 136, where the Folios make sheer nonsense.

Mr Halliwell suggests that the following lines, iv. 4. 75, 76, 'Nay I'll to him again in name of Broome ;

He'll tell me all his purpose: sure he'll come,'

were intended to rhyme and therefore favour the later reading. But in this scene there are no rhyming lines except the couplet at the end.

On the whole, it seems likely that the name was altered in the stage copies at the instance of some person of the name of Brook living at Windsor, who had sufficient acquaintance with the players, or interest with their patrons, to get it done.


III. 1. 74, 78. Mr Staunton is unquestionably right in supposing that one part of Evans's speech is spoken aside to his opponent, and the other part aloud. It is impossible else to account for the sudden change of tone. It might have been conjectured that, being a parson, he wished to appear peacefully minded, and therefore made his offers of reconciliation aloud and his menaces in an under tone, but Caius's reply shews that it was the threat which had been made aloud. Evans's valour, it would seem, had already evaporated when he had a great dispositions to cry' (III. 1. 20), and, besides, he had just begun to see that he was being made a laughing-stock. As his former speech (74, 75,) is also conciliatory, it was probably spoken so as to be heard by Caius only. He wished to keep up his credit for courage in the eyes of the bystanders. In the corresponding scene of the first Quartos we have the words 'Hark van urd in your ear,' and the meaning of the text may have been obscured by some omission in the Folio.


IV. 4. 41. No doubt there is an omission here in the Folio, which may be partly supplied from the Quarto. But it is probable that Mrs Ford gave a still fuller explanation of her device and the grounds on which the disguise was recommended to Falstaff, otherwise Page would not have been so confident of his falling into the snare.


Iv. 5. 49. In the edition of 1778 Steevens reads 'Ay, sir Tike, like'... but it is clear from Farmer's note that it should be 'Ay, sir Tike,'... and so it is corrected in the later editions of Steevens. In the edition annotated by Farmer, mentioned in note v., we find another conjecture of his: 'Ay, sir, if you like,'... or it may have been 'Ay, sir, an you like,' for the word preceding 'you' has been cut away by the binder.


v. 5. 34. The stage direction of the early Quartos is: 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.

« ZurückWeiter »