The Man of Mode
The Man of Mode
The last of Etherege's three plays, The Man of Mode was licensed for publication on June 3, 1676, and entered in the Stationers' Register on June 15: "a book or copy intituled The Man of mode or, Sir Fopling Flutter a comoedy, written byGeorge Etheridge, Esqr." It is unlikely that Etherege supervised the publication. The first edition (Q1) is carelessly printed, but it is more reliable than any other of the early editions. Etherege surely played no part in the publication of a quarto of 1684 (Q2), which introduces new errors. A quarto of 1693 (Q3), two years after Etherege's death, closely follows Q2; and the text in the collected works of 1704, though based on Q1, is corrupt in additional details. The present modernized edition uses Q1 as the copy-text and is based on a collation of Q1-3 and 1704. In cases of special interest, variants are recorded from later editions in the textual notes. All editions of the play through 1733 and all collected editions of Etherege have been consulted.
The play presents a problem in modernization because of its erratic and inaccurate use of accent marks on French words and phrases in the early editions. Modern editors have sometimes thought that forms such as coquetté for coquette indicate mispronunciations by Sir Fopling. No clear pattern exists, however, and the problems of accentuation in The Man of Mode are not unique: in early editions of Etherege's The Comical Revenge (1664), as in Wycherley's The Gentleman Dancing Master (1673), almost indiscriminate accents, especially on final e's, mark both French and English when spoken with a French accent. In the present text, the French has been corrected and modernized throughout.