Friedman The Plays of William Wyckerky, ed. Arthur Friedman ( Oxford English Texts; Oxford, 1979).
Holland The Plays of William Wycherley, ed. Peter Holland ( Plays by Renaissance and Restoration Dramatists; Cambridge, 1981).
Hunt The Country Wife, ed. John Dixon Hunt (The New Mermaids; London, 1973).
Ogden The Country Wife, ed. James Ogden ( The New Mermaids; London, 1991).
Revels The Country Wife, ed. David Cook and John Swannell ( The Revels Plays; London, 1975).
Simpson Claude M. Simpson, The British Broadside Ballad and its Music ( New Brunswick, NJ, 1966).
S.D. Stage direction.
Smith The Plain Dealer, ed. James L. Smith ( The New Mermaids; London, 1979).
Weales The Complete Plays of Wiliam Wycherley, ed. Gerald Weales ( Stuart Editions; New York, 1966).
Unless otherwise stated, dates given for seventeenth-century plays are those of publication, not first performance. Shakespeare is quoted from William Shakespeare: The Complete Works, ed. Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, with John Jowettt and William Montgomery ( Oxford, 1986).
in a wood: bewildered, in difficulties (a proverbial phrase). Excludit . . . Democritus: 'Democritus [the philosopher] bars sane poets from Helicon [the mountain sacred to the Muses]': Horace, Ars Poetica, 296-7. The relevance of the epigraph is obscure. Either 'You may find some wildness and extravagance in this play; if so, it suggests that I am a true writer.' Or, alluding to the end of the Prologue, 'Poets must be mad, because they press on, with irrational optimism, despite ill-success and opprobrium.'
Duchess of Cleveland: Barbara Palmer, née Villiers ( 1641-1709), recently created Duchess of Cleveland; celebrated beauty, and one of Charles II's