Shakespearean prompt-books of the seventeenth centuryShakespearean prompt-books of the seventeenth century, vol. 8 William Shakespeare Editor G. Blakemore Evans
Issued in portfolios. The prompt-books are reproduced in collotype facsimile.Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 1996 Print copy consulted: First Edition provided by the BSUVA
Shakespearean prompt-books of the seventeenth century
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Library of Congress Subject Headings 1960-1996 English drama; prose LCSH 24-bit color; 400 dpi July 1997 corrector Catherine Tousignant, Electronic Text Center
SEVENTEENTH CENTURY Vol. VIII
King Lear, Henry VIII,
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors
The Winter's Tale Edited by
G. Blakemore Evans A Publication of
The Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia Charlottesville 1996
The Merry Wives
IN the absence of any actors' names in the Smock Alley prompt-book (PB) of The Merry Wives of Windsor, the presence of which can sometimes date a prompt-book within certain limits, what evidence there is for dating depends upon (1) handwriting links in the prompt notations with other Smock Alley prompt-books and (2) the probability that Francis Baker, -who was associated with Smock Alley from about 1670 to 1685 and who acted Falstaff in I and 2 Henry IV, also acted Sir John in Merry Wives.
Three hands can be distinguished in the Wives PB. Hand I, which appears also in the Smock Alley Hamlet (Hand III; c. 1676-79), Macbeth (Hand IV; c.1774-82) Othello (Hand VI; c. 1677-78or 1682-83), the Smock Alley acting list for Julius Caesar (before 1676), and perhaps as the main prompt-hand in John Wilson's Belphagor (probably 1677-78), a Smock Alley manuscript prompt-book now in the Folger Shakespeare Library (MS. V.b.109), is responsible for the prompt notations: scene settings, except probably two (I.ii and III.i), act and property notations, sound effects, advance character calls, added stage directions, resulting from the Third Folio's (F) use of "massed entries," almost certainly all textual cuts, textual changes, and a single four-word addition (I.iv.28). It is thus the only significant prompt-hand in the Wives PB. Hand II is the same intrusive eighteenth-century hand that appears in King Lear (Hand III), Hamlet (Hand IV), Midsummer Night's Dream (Hand II), and Twelfth Night (Hand II). Hand II emends the Folio text, at least for this play, by reference to a copy of Thomas Hanmer's edition of Shakespeare (Vol. I, 1744), a text that incorporates emended readings from Rowe, Pope, Theobald, and Hanmer himself. Two readings appear to be original with Hand II (see Textual changes, II.ii.142; V.V.107). There is no reason to suppose that Hand II's alterations have any connection with Smock Alley or with the theatre. Hand III is found only in those pages transcribed from a copy of F2 (1632) prepared to replace two leaves of the Wives Third Folio text (sigs. E3 and E4; pages 53-56; III.v.89-IV.v.4), leaves that had somehow been lost or seriously defaced. The same hand, a large, professional-looking Italian script, appears again as the main scribal hand in the Smock Alley prompt-book of Wilson's Belphagor (see note 3) and in the Smock Alley Hamlet (Hand VI). Hand III's fifteen manuscript pages retain the Folio massed entries (see note 4) and contain no prompt notations, suggesting that the Wives PB was never used after the additional leaves were inserted. This would in turn seem to suggest that Hand III made his transcription only shortly before or after 1685, the year in which Baker, Smock Alley's Falstaff, left Smock Alley to join the United Company in London, where, ironically, there is no record that he ever performed the role.
If, then, we accept the probability that Baker played Falstaff in the Smock Alley productions of Merry Wives and that the Henry IV plays, in which we know he played Falstaff and which can be dated after 1675 and before 1685, were more likely to have been produced before Merry Wives at Smock Alley (as I Henry IV had been in London), we may at least postulate date limits for the Wives PB as falling roughly within these same limits, though probably performed somewhat later than the first productions of I and 2 Henry IV. These suggested limits receive support from the dating of other Smock Alley prompt-books that share Hands I and III with the Wives PB and, as shown above, range in date from about 1674 to 1683.
The Wives PB is very lightly cut, only about fifty-two lines (including half-lines) being deleted, by circling, almost certainly by Hand I (compare his method of adjusting the F massed entries). Only Fenton's role is significantly cut (thirty-two lines), two cuts (II.i.52-53, 81-82) may represent some slight attempt at bowdlerizing, and all reference to the Garter ceremony (V.v. 67-77) has been omitted. Neither Hand I nor Hand III, however, makes any attempt to modernize syntax or substitute familiar for "hard" words, as happens in most of the other Smock Alley prompt-books.
W. S. Clark tells us that "The Merry Wives and Twelfth Night were as little cut for Dublin as for London performances." If this was, indeed, true of London performances, it would help to explain why the Smock Alley Merry Wives (and Twelfth Night, only about ten lines) was so lightly cut, but I know of no evidence to substantiate such a statement. Certainly, later theatre texts are much more heavily cut (e.g.,  as acted at Drury Lane, in John Bell's Shakespeare's Plays, As they are now performed at the Theatres Royal in London, Vol. III, 1773;  as revised by John Philip Kemble and acted at Covent Garden, 1804). Both Bell and Kemble omit IV.i and IV.vi (Kemble also omits V.i) and cut other scenes quite considerably (see Textual cuts for further details). The Wives PB has been compared throughout with the above two theatre texts and, where possible, with John Dennis The Comical Gallant; or The Amours of Sir John Falstaffe (1702), an extensively reworked adaptation of The Merry Wives. Also compared are the Folger MS of Merry Wives and the so-called Collier MS (the Perkins Folio , now in the Huntington Library), which contains no textual cuts.
Four of the scene settings ('Town', 'Tauern', 'Chamber', 'The Groue') may be considered as stock, appearing in other Smock Alley Shakespeare productions, but four other settings are found only in the Wives PB: 'Clouset' (I.ii,), 'Worst Chamber' (canceled and replaced by 'Tauern', I. iii), 'Chamber without ye Bed' (I.iv), and 'Great forres :' (V.iii). See Scene settings.
1. William Smith Clark, The Early Irish Stage: The Beginnings to 1720 (1955), pp. 75-76; Gunnar Sorelius, "The Smock Alley Prompt-Books of I and 2 Henry IV," Shakespeare Quarterly, 22 (1971), 123-124.
2. See General Introduction, Vol. I: Part i, pp. 17-18, of this series.
3. For a discussion of "massed entries" in the F text of Merry Wives and Hand I's solution to the problems the use of such entries raises, see Advance character calls and F stage directions altered (there treated as a single combined category).
4. Since in the Smock Alley Lear Hand II (there Hand III) makes use of Charles Jennens' edition of Lear ( 1770), he probably did not begin fiddling with these plays in the Smock Alley Third Folio (1663/64) until after 1770. One of Hand II's readings (see Textual changes, V.v.107) is found elsewhere only in the Collier MS, and perhaps a second (see Advance character calls, I.iv. 93, 112), though also found in Kemble, should be included in the same category. On the possibility that Collier may have known and used the Smock Alley folio, see Introduction to the Lear PB, note 5.
5. See the index to The London Stage 1660-1800, Part 1: 1660-1700 (ea. William Van Lennep, 1965), which lists all the roles Baker is known to have played in London.
6. Ibid., pp. 19-20. We are able to narrow the date limits from 1670-85 to 1675-85 because Joseph Trefusis who plays the 1. Carrier in I Henry IV, only began acting at Smock Alley about 1675 (see Clark, Irish Stage, pp. 77, 208). Pericles (season of 1659-60), Othello, I Henry IV, Merry Wives, Hamlet (season of 1660-61, and Twelfth Night (season of 1661-62) were the earliest of Shakespeare's plays performed after the Restoration (The London Stage, pp. 7, cxxix). Although 2 Henry IV, like I Henry IV, was assigned to the King's Company in 1668-69, it does not seem to have been acted in London during the Restoration (see The London Stage, Index). For once Smock Alley struck out independently in matters Shakespearean.
7. Clark, Irish Stage, p 73.
8. Because Merry Wives is largely written in prose, comparative line-counts between the Wives PB and later theatre versions are only misleading.
9. G. Blakemore Evans, "The Merry Wives of Windsor: The Folger Manuscript," in Shakespeare: Text, Language, Criticism: Essays in Honour of Marvin Spevack, ed. Bernhard Fabian and Kurt Tetzeli von Rosador (1987), pp.57-79.
10. See General Introduction, Vol. I: Part i, pp. 23-24, of this series.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
THE following collations are arranged by categories. The act, scene, and line numbering is that of the Globe text (1911 ed.). Angle brackets are used to indicate letters (or words) illegible or shaved in binding. Abbreviations employed are as follows:
- Bell . . . . . . . . . . The Merry Wives of Windsor, ed. Francis Gentleman, in Bell's Shakespeare's Plays, Vol. III (1773)
- Collier MS . . . . . . . . the Collier-Perkins Second Folio (1632), in the Huntington Library
- Dennis . . . . . . . . . John Dennis, The Comical Gallant; or The Amours of Sir John Falstaffe (1702)
- F . . . . . . . . . . .here used for Third Folio (1663/64)
- Ff....................indicates substantial agreement of all four Folio texts of The Merry Wives
- Folger MS . . . . . . . .manuscript copy of The Merry Wives, in the Folger Shakespeare Library (MS. V.a.73)
- Gentleman . . . . . . . . see Bell above
- Kemble . . . . . . . . . J. P. Kemble's acting version of The Merry Wives (1804)
- PB Smock Alley, The Merry Wives prompt-book
- Qq indicates substantial agreement of Q1 (1602) and Q2 (1619)
- Q3 . . . . . . . . . . based (1630) on the First Folio text of The Merry Wives
- s.d. . . . . . . . . . . stage direction (plural s.dd.)
All the scene notations, except probably two (I.ii; III.i), are made by Hand I, who, uniquely in the Smock Alley Shakespeare prompt-books, includes, in addition to a notation at the beginning of acts or scenes, an advance call (except for I.i; I.ii; II.i; V.i) anticipating the notation to follow (e.g., II.i.213-216 'Tauern / Redy' followed by 'Tauern' at the beginning of II.ii). The closest analogy is the use of 'scean' as an advance call signaling a change of scene in the Smock Alley Hamlet (see Vol. IV in this series). As shown by the contrasting lightness or darkness of the ink, the advance scene notations appear to have been added after the advance character calls were inserted. No scene notations are marked in the MS transcription of III.v.89-IV.v.41 (see Introduction, p. 42) or in the Folger MS.
(opening) Town (Dennis, 'Windsor Park', for all of Act I, which contains parts of Merry Wives I.i; I.iii; II.i-ii; Bell, 'Before Page's House in Windsor'; Kemble, 'Before Page's House').
(opening) Clouset (probably not Hand I, who presumably intended to continue the scene; no advance call). Bell continues the scene; Kemble, 'A Room in Page's House'.
(opening) Tauern (above a crossed through 'Worst Chamber', also in Hand I; advance call 'Tauern / Redy' above a crossed through '<W>orst / <Ch>amber'at I.i.279-286). Bell, Kemble, 'The Garter Inn'.
(opening) Chamber / without/ ye Bed' (advance call badly shaved, at I.iii.88-92). Dennis, scene omitted; Bell, Kemble, 'Doctor Caius' House'.
(opening) Towne (no advance call). Bell, 'A Street before Mr. Page's House'; Kemble, 'Befoe Page's House'.
(opening)Tauern (advance call Tauern / Redy' at II.i.213-216). Dennis, 'Scene Changes to the Gartir Inn'; Bell, Kemble, 'The GarterInn'.
(opening) The Groue (advance call, badly shaved, at II.ii.105). Dennis, 'Windsor Park' (Act II.i = F II.iii); Bell, Kemble, 'Windsor Park'.
(opening)Toune (probably not Hand I; advance call by Hand I above II.iii.59). Dennis, 'Scene changes to the Park'; Bell, 'Frogmore near Windsor'; Kemble, 'Frogmore'.
(opening) Town (advance call at III.i.105-106). Dennis, scene omitted; Bell, 'A Street in Windsor'; Kemble, 'A Street'.
(opening)Chamber (advance call at III. i.60). Dennis, 'BullInn'; Bell, Kemble, 'Ford's House'.
(opening) Chamber (advance call at III.iii.238). Dennis, scene omitted; Bell, Kemble, 'Mr. Page's House'.
(opening) Tauern (advance call at III.iv.91). Dennis, 'The Bull'; Bell, Kemble, 'The Garter Inn'.
III.v.89-IV.v.41 These scenes fall within Hand III's MS transcription from Fe (see Introduction, p. 000); it contains no scene or other prompt notations.]
(opening) No scene notation or advance call (IV.v was probably set in 'Tauern', and IV.vi would thus continue with the same setting). Bell, Kemble omit IV.vi.
(opening) Tauern (no advance call). Dennis, Kemble omit V.i; Bell, 'The Garter Inn'.
(opening) Great forrest (advance call at V.i.14-15; this setting is the last noted and serves for the remainder of the play). Dennis, Bell, 'Windsor Park'; Kemble, 'A Street' (combines F scenes ii and iii); iv, 'Windsor Park'; v, 'Another Part of the Park'.
Advance calls for act breaks ('Act / Redy'), all by Hand I, occur at I.iv. 134-135 (for Act II); II.iii.59 (for Act III; call in upper left corner of F p. 49, badly shaved); no advance call for Act IV, since the beginning of the act falls within Hand III's MS transcription from F2 of III.v.89-IV.v.41 (see Introduction, pp. 42); Hand III, however, adds 'The End of the Third Act.' at the conclusion of III.v (MS fol. 1v); IV.vi.15-16 (for Act V).
The following properties, all in Hand I. are called for:
122-124<Fo>rd / <....> mony (advance call for Ford's entry following 159, indicated by 'Enter' in left margin before 160. Hand I's notation probably read 'Ford / with mony' in preparation for 177, when Ford exhibits 'a bag of money').
52-56 Mrs ford / Mrs page / Seruants / Baskett (advance call for entry at III.iii [opening]; 'Seruants' not included by Hand I among characters in F massed entry who are supposed to enter here, which probably indicates that they should not enter until after line 3 [as in Capell], though Hand I does not mark their entry at that point. Bell follows Rowe, bringing 'Servants with a basket' on with Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page; Kemble follows Capell).
113-115 2 sru<ants> [sic] / a Bask<ett> / a Coulst<aff> (advance call for entry of John and Robert ['2 sru<ants>'] following 154, but no entry marked by Hand I). No entry after 154 (or 'Exeunt' at 2 ) above) for John and Robert in Bell; Kemble re-enters them after 154, following Capell. PB's repeated call for 'a Bask(et )' implies that John and Robert take it off with them when they first exit at 20; the 'Couls(taff)' here called for is referred to in 156.
227-236 <a> Ring / <Fe>nton / <A>nne / <Sh>allow / <Sle>nder / <Q>uickly (advance call for the opening of III.iv, though only Fenton and Anne Page are supposed to enter then, as Hand I's circling of names in the F s.d. indicates; the other characters here listed are brought on by Hand I after III.iv.21 by 'Enter' to left of right rule). A 'ring' is called for in 105.
See V.v.34 in the following combined categories.
Advance Character calls and F stage directions altered; new stage directions added
These two categories, ordinarily separate, have been combined because the F text of Merry Wives employs "massed entries" (see below), making it difficult to discuss one without the other. Hand I is responsible for the character calls, all of them advance calls. There are no advance calls for characters entering at the beginning of an act, but the following scenes in each act (except V.v) have advance calls for characters entering at the beginning of a scene, as well as for characters entering at later points in a scene. In Merry Wives Hand I's task was more than usually complicated because the printed text that serves as the basis for the Smock Alley PB (i.e., F, like F1-2, 4) uses massed entries (i.e., all characters who appear in a scene are included, often in order of entry, in the opening s.d. but without any indication of which characters enter initially and which enter at some later point in a scene). Hand I solved the problems posed by the use of massed entries by circling all characters not entering at the beginning of a scene; he then marked the points of entry for the other characters with 'Enter' and placed an advance call for the characters involved in each within-scene entry. Hand I's 'Enter' notations do not repeat the names of the characters then entering, the characters depending on the names listed in the relevant advance call, Even less specific, Hand I's use of 'Exett' or 'Exet' ('Exeunt' is not used), being without the benefit (as with 'Enter') of an advance call, fails to specify whether another character exits with the character whose exit is here indicated. Hand I sometimes fails to mark entries and is even less careful in marking exits, and when Ff2-4 insert an occasional 'Enter' or 'Exit / Exeunt' (rare except at the end of a scene), Hand I depends on the F s.d. and adds no further notation (except at III.i.74). Where a character is sighted as about to enter, he or she is usually brought on with 'Enter' at this point, a line or two earlier than in edited and other theatre texts.
74 Page is entered following 74 ('Enter'), but without an advance call. 110 <En>ter Sr / <Jo>hn (advance call for Falstaff, Bardolph, Pistol, and Nym at 76-81; same advance call [canceled] above 107 in top left corner of F p. 40). 196 No exit marked for Anne Page here, although there is an advance call for her re-entry following 267 ('Enter'). 204 No exit marked for all other characters except Shallow, Slender, and Evans. 206 The advance call for Simple at 174 has been crossed through, though his entry is marked ('Enter') following 206; probably crossed through because wrongly attached to the advance call for Anne Page, Mrs. Ford, and Mrs. Page at 170-173. If an advance call for Simple was restored, it must have been in the bottom left margin of F p. 40, where the corner has been torn off. 274 No exit marked for Shallow and Evans.
(opening) Enter . . . Page.] The advance call (at I.i.306-317) converts F 'Page' into 'Boy', i.e., Robin (Qq read 'the boy'; the change was presumably made to avoid confusion with Mr. Page; edited and theatre texts convert to 'Robin'). Bell begins I.iii with 39, thus omitting Bardolph from the scene; Kemble delays the entry of Pistol, Nym, and Robin until after 29 (cutting 30-38). 93 Robin is presumably included with Falstaff in Hand I's 'Exet' following 29. Bell, following Rowe, exits both at 95; Kemble, anticipating Dyce, first exits Robin after 89.
36 Hand I marks a re-entry here for Rugby, but there is no exit marked after 10 and no advance call for his re-entry following 36, though such a call may have been inserted on the missing bottom left corner of F p. 42. 93, 112 Hand I exits Caius and Rugby here, with an advance call at 92-93 for their re-entry after 112 (so Kemble); Bell omits both s.dd.; Collier MS apparently exits and re-enters only Caius after 93 and 112, but, nevertheless, exits both Caius and Rugby after 133. 119 No exit marked for Simple.
141 Hand I places 'Enters after 141 in error for 'Exet', apparently intending both Nym and Pistol to exit together, though an 'Exet' for Pistol may have preceded 129 on the torn-off left bottom corner of F p. 44; edited and theatre texts, following Rowe, exit Pistol and Nym separately after 129 and 141. 195 Hand I, with an advance call at 153-156, brings the Host and Shallow on together (so Bell, following Rowe; Kemble, anticipating Dyce, brings them on separately, the Host after 195, Shallow after 201). 240 No exit marked for Host, Shallow, and Page.
156 No exit marked for Bardolph, hence no re-entry marked after 159, no exit after 166. 139 No exit marked for Mrs. Quickly and Robin. 143 No exit marked for Pistol.
85 No exit marked for Page, Shallow, and Slender.
10 No exit marked for Simple (as in Qq) or for his re-entry after 26 (an arrangement followed by editors until Cambridge1 [Collier inserted 'Retiring' and 'Coming forward' (26)], though anticipated by Kemble). 35 Point of entry for Page, Shallow, and Slender (advance call at 1-4) marked with a crossed horizontal line in right margin opposite F s.d. 'Enter All.' ( a misleading s.d. first introduced in F2). 74 Rugby (later addressed in the text) not entered with Caius and Host (as in Qq) or included in the advance call at 31-33; Hand I here corrects the F s.d. (introduced in F2) 'Enter Caius.' by inserting 'Host' before and 'Enter' after it. 114, 116 Hand I exits the Host after 114 (as in Qq) and Shallow and Page after 116; Slender appears to be left on with Caius and Evans; edited (until Neilson) and theatre texts exit Shallow, Slender, Page, and Host after 117. 129 Hand I fails to supply the final 'exeunt.' omitted in Ff and Q3.
14-27 Hand I includes Ford, who has already entered after 8, in the advance call for Shallow, Page, Caius, Host, and Evans to enter after 50. As in all texts before Capell (including Bell), Hand I fails to enter Rugby (omitted in the Ff massed entry) with Shallow, etc. after 50, even though Caius addresses him at 87. 86 As in all texts before Capell (including Bell), Hand I exits all characters together at the end of the scene.
(opening) The advance call for Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page at III.ii.52-56 includes 'Seruants', but 'Servants' in the F s.d. in the massed entry is excluded in Hand I's selection of the characters initially entering. As in all texts before Capell (including Qq and Bell), Hand I, nevertheless, probably intended 'Seruants' to enter initially with Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page. 20 No exit marked for 'Servants' (so Bell), an arrangement followed by editors until Johnson; Qq exit one Servant; Folger MS exits both (as in Kemble). 38, 41 No exit marked for Robin after 38 or Mrs. Page after 41. 51-54 An advance call ('<Rob>in be / <Redy> to speak / <wit>hin') prepares for Robin's speech (92-95) and the F s.d. (introduced in F2) 'Within.' after gl; the point at which Robin speaks within is marked with a crossed horizontal line in left margin. 99 No exit marked for Falstaff, though there is an advance call at 111 for his re-entry after 143 (so Rowe, Bell); Falstaff, however, announces that he will hide behind the arras in 97, so presumably Hand I's 'Enter' after 143 means that he just steps out from behind the arras; Kemble exits Falstaff after 99 and re-enters him after 143. 100 No advance call for Robin to enter with Mrs. Page (so all edited texts and Bell before Dyce; Kemble anticipates Dyce). 154 No point of entry marked for the re-entry of '2 Serua<nts>' (so described in the advance call at 113). 184 Hand I fails to adjust the F 'Exeunt.' from 184 to 186 so as to include Page (as in Rowe, Bell); Kemble gives Page, Evans, and Caius separate exits.
21 As in Bell, no indication that Anne Page and Fenton stand aside. 70 Although the point of entry is indicated ('Enter'), there is no advance call for Page and Mrs. Page unless it was inserted in the bottom right corner of F p. 51, which has been torn off. 80 No exit marked for Page, Shallow, and Slender.
4 No exit marked for Bardolph after 4 or for his re-entry after 19 (his exit may have been inserted on the bottom left corner of F p. 52, which has been torn off). 26 No advance call for Mrs. Quickly's entry after 26 (see 4 above for possible explanation).
89-IV.v.41 These scenes fall within Hand III's MS transcription from F2 (see the Introduction, p. 42). Hand III retains the Ff "massed entries," except at IV.v, where he enters only 'Host: Simple: & ffalstaffe' (Falstaff is not entered in edited and theatre texts until after 19 or 24) in preparation for joining up with the F text at IV.v.41 ('go to ye printed page (57)'); he inserts no advance character calls or new s.dd. and omits five F2 s.dd. (III.v.155; IV.ii.1 1, 49, 113, 196), but adds 'The End of the Third Act.' at the conclusion of Act III.]
57 No exit marked for Simple. 94 No exit marked for Bardolph.
9 No exit marked for Quickly or entry for Ford (advance call at opening of scene).
(opening) No advance call for Falstaff's entry. 22-24 Hand I places 'Dauns / Redy' in left margin; an advance call for the dance following 106, which is there signaled by 'Dauns' (between horizontal lines) in right margin. 34 Hand I places 'Song heer' left of center rule; this anticipates Dennis' 'Terrible Symph.' and Rowe's 'Noise within.'; Kemble, 'Noise by the Fairies within.'; Qq, 'There is a noise of homes, . . .'. 41 Pistol and Anne Page are not included in the advance call at 8-10 for the entry here (so Qq), an entry signaled in Ff only by 'Enter Fairies.'; Bell, Kemble omit Pistol from the scene and Bell does not enter Anne Page until after 227. 78 Hand here places an advance call ('Song R<edy>' for 'The Song.') following 97; Bell omits the song; Kemble retains only the last two lines (99-100). 106 No advance call for the re-entry of Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford; only Page and Ford included in the advance call at 81-82. 175-179 In the advance call here for Caius' entry after 216, Hand I appears to include three other names ( <Ca>ius / < >on / < >e / < >s'); the first two could be Fenton and Anne Page, though there is an advance call for them at 187-188, but the fourth, of which even the final 's' is uncertain, may be '<Evan>s', although Evans is already on stage at least since 136, or '<Daun>s', although the only place a dance might later be executed would be at the end of the play just before all the characters make their final exit. 223 No exit marked for Caius (so Bell); Kemble, following Capell, exits Caius.
All cuts are almost certainly made by Hand I.
52-53 these Knights . . . Gentry.] Circled (Bell, Kemble cut 51 ['Sir Alice . . .']-53; Bell reads 'you jest'  for F 'thou liest'). 81-82 I hand . . . Pelion:] Circled (Bell, Kemble cut 77 [ (sue. . . ]-83).
83-86 In such . . . retire.] Circled (so Bell).
13-18 Of such . . . large] Circled (Bell, Kemble cut the whole scene, a scene described by Gentleman as "that scene which Shakespeare tacked to" the fourth act). 30-45 While other . . . him.] Circled (see 13-18; Folger MS omits 30).
19-24 Mist. Page. If he . . . trechery.] Circled (Bell, Kemble cut 'and their Lechery,' in 23).
67-77 Each fair . . . Characterie,] Circled (Bell cuts 38-106, omitting 'The Song.'; Kemble cuts 38-50, 53-78, 82-83, 87-104, retaining two lines of 'The song.'; both cut the whole Fairy Queen-Garter business). 238-243 Th'offence . . . her.] Circled (so Bell, though Gentleman notes: "These lines, tho' they usually are, should not be omitted."; Kemble cuts 239- 240).
Hand I makes relatively few textual changes. Hand II, an intrusive later eighteenth-century hand (see Introduction, p. 42), "corrects" the F text some thirty times, drawing almost entirely on eighteenth-century edited texts from Rowe (1709) to Hanmer (1744). Since there is no reason to suppose that Hand II's changes are in any way connected with theatrical performance, only those readings that are apparently original with Hand II, a few readings that are questionably Hand II's (possibly Hand I's), and readings where either Bell or Kemble, singly, disagrees with Hand I, are included in the following collation. For Hand III, responsible for transcribing from a copy of F2 four pages (pp. 53-56) missing from the Smock Alley PB, see Introduction, p.42. Hand III contributes occasional verbal variants and omits two lines (IV.iv.26-27). The lemmata for Hand III's variants are taken from the F2 text.
26 marrying] marring Hand ?II (so Folger MS, Rowe, Bell, Kemble). 121 it were known] it were not known Hand II (so Folger MS, Pope, Bell; Kemble, ' 'twere known'). 148 discreetly] discresions Hand II (so Pope, Bell).
27 Ba.] Falstaf Hand I (corrects an error first appearing in F). 54-55 will . . . will] well . . . well Hand II (so Pope, Bell). 67 examin'd] min'd Hand ?II (F 'ex' appears to be crossed through, but probably an accidental ink blot). 111 the revolt] this revolt Hand II (so Pope; Kemble cuts 109-114).
28 Warrener.] Warrener. But he Beat him Hand I (Hand I's sole addition to the text). 170 we will] I will Hand ?II (so Folger MS, Hanmer).
77 sue more] nay more Hand II (so Rowe; Bell, Kemble cut 77 ['sue more: . . .']-83). 116 thy wife] my wife Hand II (so F1-2,Rowe; Bellcuts 113-173; Kemble cuts 116-118). 148 English] Humour Hand II (so Qq, Pope, Kemble; Bell cuts 113-173). 145 affecting] affected Hand II (so Dennis, Hanmer; Bell cuts 113-173; Kemble cuts 145-146; Folger MS omits preceding 'a drawling'). 222 Shall.] Mr. Ford Hand I, heavily inked (so Q3, Rowe, Bell, Kemble).
7 Coach-fellow] Couch-fellow Hand II (so Theobald, Bell). 18 throng] thong Hand ?II (so Dennis, Pope; Bell, Kemble cut 18-19 ['a short . . . go,']). 142 fights] Lights Hand II (Bell, Kemble cut 141-143; Folger MS reads 'flags'). 151-158 Broom . . . Broomes] Brooks . . . Brookes Hand II (so Qq, Pope, Bell, Kemble; Hand II alters 'Broom' only in these two instances; Folger MS, Dennis retain 'Broom' throughout). 288 you] Accidentally blotted?
38 plots] Accidentally blotted?
[The following variants, for which the lemmata are taken from F2, record Hand III's substantive and semi-substantive changes in transcribing the text from III.v.89-IV.v.41 (see Introduction, p. 42).]
132 ambassie] Embassie (so Folger MS, Theobald, Bell, Kemble).
43 hæc] hec (the digraph æ is unclear in F2 (Bell, Kemble omit IV.i entirely).79 que] quæ (so Folger MS, Pope). 84 spray memory] Sprag Memory (so F4, Rowe).
5 Accoustrement] Accoutrement (so Capell, Kemble). 27 lines] runes (altered from 'lines' by Hand III; so Theobald, Bell, Kemble). 28 this his] his Hand III first wrote 'this' but alters to 'his (Kemble, Collier MS omit 'his'; Bell cuts 24-29 ['so curses . . . now:']). 56 creepe up into] creep into 78, 96 Brain-ford . . . Brainford] Branford . . . Branford (changed to 'Branford' only in these two instances; Bell, Kemble, following Capell, reed 'Brentford' throughout). 101 misuse] misse (Bell cuts 100-l05). 105 draugh] draught (Bell, see 101; Kemble reads 'draff', following Capell, who was anticipated by Folger MS). 108-l09 him: quickly, dispatch] him quickly, Dispatch 139 Heaven] Heavens 194 dove] doors (so Kemble). 232-233 unvertuous] adventurous 240-241 with it, then shape] with it, then, shape (Forger MS reads 'with it, there shape'; Kemble, 'with it then, shape', following Hanmer).
7 gold] Cold Hand ?III alters from 'gold'; so Rowe, Bell, Kemble). 28 M. Page.] Mrs Fford (altered because 26-27 are omitted by Hand III in error, F 'M. Ford.' being the speech-prefix for 26). 28-29 As two verse lines (so Pope, Bell, Kemble). 54 song] Songs (final 's' possibly crossed through). 61 sound] round (so Pope; Bell cuts 46 ['and thus . . .']-79). 65 nev'r] never (so Folger MS; Bell, see 61; Kemble cuts 63 ['The truth . . .']-65). 76 in name] in the name (so Q3, Folger MS; Bell, see 61; Kemble cuts 72-79). 85 Nann] Hand III first wrote 'Anne' but alters to 'Nann' (Bell cuts 82-90; Kemble here gives Evans' 'Let us about it,' to Mrs. Ford, adds 'All. Come, come.', cuts 82-90).
41 other things] other things &c. / go to ye printed page (57) (F text now resumes with p. 57).
20 black] Accidentally blotted? 55 Raise] Rein Hand II (so Hanmer; Bell cuts 38-106; Kemble cuts 38-50, 53-78, 82-83, 87-104). 81 Pray you] Crossed through by Hand III, following Pope (so Collier MS; Bell, Kemble, see 55). 87 Pist.] Ev. Hand ?II (the reading is uncertain, but if the line is reassigned to Evans it seems likely that the change was made in order to give Evans a rejoinder to Falstaff's reference to 'that Welch Fairie' in 85; Bell, Kemble, see 55). 107 watcht] match'd Hand II (so Collier MS). 120 M. Ford.] Ms Ford. Hand I (the change merely clarifies the F speech-prefix). 209, 215 green . . . white] white . . . green Hand II (so Pope , Rowe 3 , Bell, Kemble). 213 George] Thomas Hand I (Page is referred to as 'George' three times, here and in II.i.153, 161, but the earliest reference to Page calls him 'Thomas' [I.i.46], as does PB; Hand I alters F 'George' to 'Thomas' here only; Bell, Kemble, following Theobald, read 'George' throughout). 221 white] Green Hand I (so Pope, Bell, Kemble).