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NOTES ON RESTORATION PLAYS by Robert N. E. Megaw, Homer Goldberg, Frederick O. Waller
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by Robert N. E. Megaw, Homer Goldberg, Frederick O. Waller

(1) The Two 1695 Editions of Wycherley's Country-Wife

The first edition of William Wycherley's Country-Wife appeared in 1675 with the collation 40, [A]2 B-O4. Before the end of the century four more quarto editions were published, each regularly derived from its predecessor: 1683, collating A2 B-K4; 1688, a line-for-line paginal reprint of 1683; and two editions in 1695 collating [A]2 B-I4, one a line-for-line paginal reprint of the other.

Before the appearance of the Woodward and McManaway Check List of English Plays 1641-1700 the fact that there were two editions, not one, in 1695 had not been recognized; but the Check List separated them, assigning no. 1325 to the edition with "Country Wife" (no hyphen) in the running-titles, and no. 1326 to the edition with the hyphenated running-titles "Country-Wife."[1] Other


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differences may be added for identification. In 1325 the imprint contains plain italic caps; on sig. C4, line 33, Pinchwife's aside "Will nothing do?" is enclosed in parentheses; and on sig. D1v the first speech-heading reads "Sr. Jas." In 1326 swash italic caps head the imprint names Briscoe, Russel-street, and Daniel Dring; the aside is bracketed; and the speech-heading reads "Sir Jas."

These two 1695 editions have not previously been subjected to bibliographical examination to determine their order, but when this is done it is seen that the Woodward and McManaway order should be reversed: 1326 is the true fourth and 1325 the true fifth edition. Since one is a paginal reprint of the other, independent derivation is eliminated and the question resolves itself to the simple determination of which edition was set from 1688 and which was not. Of 86 variations between the two 1695 editions in Act II, for example, 77 in no. 1326 follow 1688 where no. 1325 differs. Three of these are substantives:

  • 1688-no. 1326: that is no wit, out of friendship to me? (C3v, line 47)
  • no. 1325: that is no whit out of Friendship to me.
  • 1688-no. 1326: to our honours (C4v, line 38)
  • no. 1325: to our honour
  • 1688-no. 1326: do not use that word naked. (D1, line 3)
  • no. 1325: do not use the word naked.
In 46 cases, no. 1326 follows 1688 in spelling, capitalization, or contraction where no. 1325 differs; and in 28 punctuation variants no. 1326 conforms to 1688, where no. 1325 does not. In the light of this overwhelming evidence that no. 1326 was printed from 1688 and that, as a paginal reprint, no. 1325 must derive from 1326, the four minor examples of spelling and punctuation variants in which no. 1325 and 1688, but not no. 1326, agree may readily be dismissed as fortuitous.

Collation against the 1675 and the 1683 editions discloses that no. 1326 did not consult these editions and that it is a straight reprint of 1688.

Robert N. E. Megaw

(2) The Two 1692 Editions of Otway's Caius Marius

The first edition of Thomas Otway's History and Fall of Caius Marius, listed in the Woodward and McManaway Check List as no. 880, was published by Thomas Flesher in 1680. The Check List follows with no. 881, an edition for Robert Bentley in 1692, which has a long "s" printed in the word "eft" on the title-page; no. 882, with a short "s", or "est" in the quotation on the title, thereupon follows in the listing as "another issue" of no. 881, with the same date and publisher. This listing as an issue is in error, for no. 882 is throughout


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in a completely different typesetting from 881, and is the true third edition of the play.[2]

The order 880, 881, and 882 is readily established by collation. Nos. 881 and 882 agree in their makeup (a slight condensation of 880), one being a paginal reprint of the other. That edition, therefore, which derives directly from 880 must be the earlier. Various substantive readings point to the agreement of 880 and 881 in cases where 882 differs.

  • 880-881: Lay my gray Hairs low (page 8, line 4)
  • 882: Lay my gray Heirs low
  • 880-881: This Dæmon (page 8, line 15)
  • 882: The Dæmon
  • 880-881: its most dear-bought Honours (page 11, line 29)
  • 882: its more dear-bought Honours

This same line of derivation is clearly exemplified by the accidentals, as well:

  • 880-881: my wish'd-for Peace (page 9, line 4)
  • 882: my wish'd for Peace
  • 880-881: Sh'has bin with Sylla (page 10, line 46)
  • 882: Sh'has been with Sylla

The second instance is especially good evidence, for although "bin" is the invariable spelling of 880, "been" is the normal form in 881; hence, the few cases in 881 of "bin" reflect its copy-text, and 882 quite naturally normalizes the form to "been."

The whole trend of the evidence demonstrates this order without question, and the expected few cases of agreement in accidentals between 880 and 882 against 881, resolve themselves without difficulty into normal corrections by the compositor of 882.[3]

The seventeenth-century history of this play may be continued by remarking that no. 883, listed as a 1692 issue for Flesher, is a "ghost," the single recorded copy, that at Northwestern University, being in fact no. 882. No. 884, a 1694 edition reported by Montague Summers but without confirmation, has no recorded exempla and very likely does not exist. Finally, collation establishes that no. 885, the 1696 edition for Bentley, is a reprint of no. 882, a fact which points to 882 as an authorized edition and not a piracy.

Homer Goldberg


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(3) Three 1695 Editions of Jevon's Devil of a Wife

Following the first edition in 1686 (no. 662) and the second in 1693 (no. 663) of Thomas Jevon's farce The Devil of a Wife, the Woodward and McManaway Check List records as no. 664 an edition for James Knapton in 1693 (4 preliminary leaves, 47 p.) and another (no. 665) in the same year, also for Knapton (3 preliminary leaves, 42 p.). Under no. 664 it is noted that the Henry E. Huntington Library has another copy of this edition with variant readings. This second copy, which is the same as that held by Chicago and Duke, is, on the contrary, a completely new reset edition and should be assigned the number 664a.

Collation establishes that no. 664, the first of the 1695 editions, was set in a condensed makeup from a copy of Knapton's 1693 edition (no. 663), and that 664a is a paginal and line-for-line reprint of 664.

664a  663, 664 
C4, line 6  Witnesses to my Proceedings  Witnesses of . . . 
D2, line 11  Nadir Ah come, come.  Nadir. Ay, come, come. 
D3v, line 28  what Dog is this, where is my Bell?  what Dog is this? . . . Bell? 
G4, line 9  buskins empty smelling   buskins empty swelling  

The similar title-pages and makeup of 664 and 664a furnish no points of identification, but the two editions may be distinguished on the basis of the above readings, although other points may be mentioned. Thus 664 has the correct page number 19 but 664a transposes this in the copies seen to 91. In the persons, in 664 Lovemore is described as "beloved for good old Engl. House-keeping" whereas 664a reads "House-keeper."

Various unique readings confirm the evidence of its compressed makeup to indicate that the third 1695 edition, no. 665, did not precede 664. Collation establishes, moreover, that it is derived directly from 664 and not from 664a or from any earlier edition, for it follows the major readings in which 664 varies from 663 but ignores the variants in 664a from 664.

Frederick O. Waller



In the Check List entry for 1325, confirm CSmH and TxU, and add CLUC and ICU. In the entry for 1326 capitalize "wife" and add IU, MB, MH, MiU, and OCU.


As a further identifying point, no. 881 reads "Russel-Street" in the imprint, but 822 "Russel-Street." Under 881 confirm PU and add CtY, ViU; under 882 add IEN, IU, and MH.


That these few agreements of 880 and 882 do not result from the setting of 882 by two compositors, one holding a copy of 880 and the other 881, is demonstrated by the fact that elsewhere on the pages containing these variants, the pattern of the other accidentals derives from 881 and not 880.