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Guilty pleasures : the uses of farcical prints for children in early modern Amsterdam 1999

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GUILTY PLEASURES: T H E USES OF FARCICAL PRINTS FOR CHILDREN IN E A R L Y MODERN A M S T E R D A M by ENGELTNE CHRISTINE V A N H A E L E N B.A., University of Western Ontario M . A., University of British Columbia A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE F A C U L T Y OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Fine Arts; Art History Program) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1999 © Engeline Christine Vanhaelen, 1999 in presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date i m°[. DE-6 (2/88) 11 Abstract This thesis examines the remarkable range of farcical prints that were marketed for 1 children in late seventeenth-century Amsterdam. Evoking controversial theatre plays, these prints picture slap-stick, sexually nuanced comic scenarios that do not seem in keeping with contemporary' convictions that the up-bringing of children was a key means to secure the future of the state. Yet there is evidence to indicate that this printed imagery did play a role in the education of middle-class children. Such contradictions open up significant questions about the reshaping of middle-class identity at a crucial moment in the emergence of the capitalist state. Indeed, the problem that this study investigates emerges from late seventeenth-century debates about the didactic function of comic prints and plays. Defenders of these forms argued that they effectively inculcated social norms-particularly mercantile ethics, gender roles, and class distinctions—in young viewers. Those who attacked the social role of this material, on the other hand, stated that it provided viewing pleasures that actually subverted these pedagogical intentions. Through an analysis of the prints themselves, I examine the ways in which the visual pleasures of these forms lured viewers in order to trap them within moral meanings. While this may have been their intended function, however, I also found much evidence that the enjoyment of farcical forms could, and did, overflow didactic restraints. It was this subversive potential that made comic forms particularly threatening to civic and church leaders of the day. In fact, a number of children's prints were linked to a series of farces that were banned from Amsterdam's theatre in the 1670's. With this, children's prints can be situated in historically specific contests about the control of urban spaces and populations. iii Throughout this thesis, the function of children's prints is not discussed solely in terms of either discipline or subversion, however. Rather, I argue that it is precisely the unresolved tension between comic pleasure and didactic instruction that characterizes these prints and their uses. iv T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Abstract ii List of Illustrations v Acknowledgements x INTRODUCTION T h e C o n s e q u e n c e o f the T r i v i a l 1 The Audience for Farce 3 Consumption and/as Production 13 Spatial Stories 19 Pedagogical Processes 25 Notes 27 CHAPTER ONE T h e Uses o f C o m i c C h i l d r e n ' s P r i n t s i n P e d a g o g y 34 Small Saints in the Schoolroom: The Power of the Everyday 38 Farce as Weapon: Battling over the Public Theatre 50 Print and Private Life: Crossing the Threshold 74 Notes '. 86 CHAPTER TWO P l a y i n g the M a r k e t : T h e F o o l B e c o m e s a B u s i n e s s m a n 99 Merchants as Players 103 The Quack Who Deceives One and All 118 Madman or Rich man? The Deceiver Deceives Himself. 128 Notes 134 CHAPTER THREE H o m e T r u t h s : T h e B u s i n e s s m a n G e t s M a r r i e d 144 The Disciplinary Uses of Farcical Pleasure 147 Passion over Reason: Mercantile Marriage 163 Farce into Print: The Private Body 177 Notes 191 CHAPTER FOUR W h e r e D o B a b i e s C o m e F r o m ? T h e G a l l o w s F i e l d as a P l a c e o f O r i g i n s 203 Decomposing Boundaries: Mapping the City and Its Outside 208 Infant Bodies: The Other Within 222 The Genitals of the City: Maternal Excess 228 Conclusion: Children of Death ; 246 Notes 249 Bibliography 262 Illustrations 288 V List of Illustrations 1.1. Children. Here you See the Life of Jan and Griet. Catchpenny print published by J. Noman. Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 288 1.2. Salomon Saverij. Schouwburg Auditorium. 1637. Amsterdam Theatre Museum ...289 1.1. Jan Steen. The Village Schoolroom, c.1670. Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland 290 1.2. Pieter Breugel the Elder, The Ass at School. 1556. London, British Museum 291 1.3. Jan Miense Molenaer. Family Visiting a School. 1634. On loan to Staatliche Museen, Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, Kassel 292 1.4. Jan Steen, The Village Schoolroom, detail 293 1.5. Jan Steen, The Village Schoolroom, detail 294 1.6. Salomon Saverij, Schouwburg Auditorium. 1637. Amsterdam Theatre Museum : 295 1.7. Salomon Saverij. Schouwburg Stage. 1637. Amsterdam Theatre Museum 296 1.8. Frontispiece, Petrus Wittewrongel, Oeconomia Christiana ofte Christelicke Huyshoudinghe (Amsterdam: Wed. M . Jansz Brant, 1661). Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit 297 1.9. Caspar Netscher, The Reading Lesson, c. 1675. London, National Gallery 298 1.10. Peter Paul Rubens, The Brazen Serpent, c. 1635-1639. London, National Gallery 299 1.11. Jacob Ochtervelt, Family Portrait. 1663. Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University 300 1.12. Jan Luiken, De Leiband. from Des Menschen Begin. Midden en de Einde. 1712. Houghton Library, Harvard University 301 VI 2.1. Advertising print of a tapir from the White Elephant Inn, 1704. From Jan Velten's Album, "Wonderen der Natuur," c. 1700, p. 254. Universitiet van Amsterdam, Artis Bibliotheek 302 2.2. Jan Velten's sketch of a sea turtle, seen at the White Elephant Inn. "Wonderen der Natuur," c. 1700, p. 174. Universitiet van Amsterdam-, Artis Bibliotheek 303 2.3. Jan Velten's sketch of a four-horned sheep from Arabia. "Wonderen der Natuur," c. 1700, p. 155. Universiteit van Amsterdam, Artis Bibliotheek 304 2.4. Catchpenny print of Tetjeroen, published by Jan en Jacobus Bouman, Amsterdam. Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 305 2.5. Catchpenny print of Tetjeroen, published by Ratelband and Bouwer, Amsterdam. Collection Boerma 307 2.6. Catchpenny print of Tetjeroen, published by Kok-Van Kohn, Amsterdam. Atlas van Stolk, Rotterdam 308 3.1. Here is the Career and Life. Of Jan de Wasser and His Wife. Catchpenny print published by Rood en Zoon of Amsterdam. Collection Van den Berg 310 3.2. Here Young People may View at Leisure the Career and Life of Jan de Wasser. Catchpenny print published by Ratelband and Bouwer of Amsterdam. Collection Boerma 312 3.3. Children. Here you See the Life of Jan and Griet. Catchpenny print published by J. Noman. Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 314 3.4. The World Upside Down. Catchpenny print published by Ewout Muller of Amsterdam. Rijksprentenkabinet,Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 316 3.5. Title page, De Qua Grieten. Kluchtspel (Amsterdam: Erven J. Lescaillje, 1706). Rijksuniversiteit, Leiden .318 3.6. The Life and Career of Klaas and Griet. Catchpenny print published by Isaac van der Putte, Amsterdam. Collection Boerma 319 3.7. Title page, Cornelio de Bie, Jan Goedthals and Griet Syn Wyf. Klucht-spel (Antwerp: Wed. Thieullier, 1670). Rijksuniversiteit, Leiden 321 V l l 3.8. Frontispiece from Petrus Wittewrongel, Oeconomia Christiana ofte Christelicke Huyshoudinghe (Amsterdam: Wed. M . Jansz Brant, 1661). Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit 322 3.9 Jan Goedthals en Griet Syn Wyf. Image of Ratio and Voluntas, p. 3 323 3.10. Jan Goedthals en Griet Syn Wyf. Insert, woodblock print of a soldier, p. 10 324 3.11. Jan Goedhals en Griet Syn Wyf. Insert, watercolour painting, flyleaf 325 3.12. Title page, H. de Vrye, De Biegt der Getroude. zynde het Tweede Peel van de Tien Vermakelijkheden des Houwelijks (Amsterdam: H. Sweerts, 1679). Rijksuniversiteit, Leiden 326 3.13. Title page, P. Felicius, De Beurs der Vrouwen (Amsterdam: Sybrand Stepraed, 1690). Rijksuniversiteit, Leiden 327 3.14. Floraes Mallewagen. Crispijn van de Pas Younger, 1637. Kress Library, Harvard University 328 3.15. Catchpenny print of Spring in't Veld, published by the Heirs of Hendrik van der Putte, Amsterdam. Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 329 3.16. Here you have the Career and Life of Jan de Wasser and his Wife. Catchpenny print published by J. Kannewet, Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum voor Volkskunde, Het Nederlands Openluchtmuseum, Arnhem .331 3.17. Children. Here You See Before You the Life of Our Klaas and Griet. Catchpenny print published by the Heirs of the Widow G. de Groot and A. Van Dam of Amsterdam. Collection Boerma .332 3.18. The New Jan de Wasscher. Catchpenny print published by H. van Munster and Son, Amsterdam. Collection Van den Berg 334 4.1. Detail from The Career and Life of Jan de Wasser and His Wife. Catchpenny print published by H. van der Putte of Amsterdam. Collection Van den Berg 336 4.2. Volewijk. Pencil sketch by A. van Borssom. 1664. Rijksprentenkabinet. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 338 4.3. Map of Amsterdam. Panel painting by Cornelis Anthonisz, 1538. Amsterdams Historisch Museum 339 viii 4.4. Map of Amsterdam. Woodblock print by Cornelis Anthonisz, 1544. Amsterdams Historisch Museum 340 4.5. Amsterdam Harbour. Fold-out engraving found between pages 25 and 26 of O. Dapper. Historische Beschrijving der Stadt Amsterdam. 1663 (Amsterdam: B.V. Buijten and Schipperheijn, 1975) ....341 4.6. Volewijk. Pencil sketch by R. Vinkeles, 1790. Atlas Dreesman, Gemeente Arehief Amsterdam 342 4.7. View of Amsterdam from the North. Print by Pieter Bast. 1599. Atlas Dreesman, Gemeente Arehief Amsterdam 343 4.8. The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Frederik Ruysch. Oil painting by Jan van Neck, 1683. Amsterdams Historisch Museum 344 4.9. Amsterdam. As it was before the year 1400. Engraving, between pages 31 and 32 of O. Dapper, Historische Beschrijving der Stadt Amsterdam 345 4.10. Amsterdam, with the enlargement of the year 1482. Engraving, between pages 37 and 38 of O. Dapper, Historische Beschrijving der Stadt Amsterdam 346 4.11. A Neat Mapping Out of the Old and New Order of the City of Amsterdam- Engraving, between pages 49 and 50 of O. Dapper. Historische Beschrijving der Stadt Amsterdam 347 4.12. Amsterdam Maid. Engraved title print in Tobias van Domselaer, Beschryving der Stat Amsterdam van haar eerste beginselen. oudtheydt. vergrootingen. gebouwen en geschiedenissen tot op den Jare 1665 (Amsterdam: Marcus Willemsz Doornick, 1665) 348 4.13. Leviathan. Engraved title print in Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan. 1651, ed. R. Tuck (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) 349 4.14. The Seventh Pleasure of Marriage. Engraving illustrating chapter 7 of Hippolytus de Vrye, De Tien Vermakelikheden des Houwelyks. 1683, eds. E.K. Grootes and Rob Winkelman (Amsterdam: Querido, 1988) 350 4.15. The Ten Pleasures of Marriage. Engraved title print in Hippolytus de Vrye De Tien Vermakelikheden des Houwelyks 351 4.16. The Ten Delicacies of Marriage. Engraved title print in Petrus de Vernoegde, De Tien Delicatessen des Houwelicks of de Wederlegging van de Tien Vermakelijkheden des Houwelicks (Amsterdam: Thimotheus ten Hoorn, 1678). Rijksuniversiteit, Leiden 352 ix 4.17. The Ten Delicacies of Marriage. Engraving illustrating chapter 7 of De Tien Delicatessen des Houwelicks .....353 4.18. The Career and Life of Jan de Wasser and His Wife. Catchpenny print published by H. van der Putte of Amsterdam. Collection Van den Berg 354 X Acknowledgements Thank you to my thesis committee—Rose Marie San Juan, Maureen Ryan, and Elizabeth Honig~for their invaluable comments and advice. This thesis was written with the aid of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship. Research in the Netherlands also was partly funded by an Art History Travel Research Scholarship, awarded by the University of British Columbia for the year 1995 -1996. In the Netherlands, my research was enhanced by the helpful suggestions of Rudolf Dekker, Arie van den Berg, and Nico Boerma. Thank you to staff members of the Universiteitsbibliotheek, R U Leiden, the Gemeentearchief Amsterdam, the Arris Bibliotheek, U Amsterdam, the Theater Instituut Nederland, the Rijksprentenkabinet and the Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Atlas van Stolk, Rotterdam, the Museum het Princessehof, Leeuwarden, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Den Haag, and the Rijksarchief Utrecht. I also thank my family in Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States for their encouragement and interest. The members of my critical theory reading group, Bronwen Wilson, Denise Oleksijczuk, and Silvia Musto read and offered incisive critiques of early drafts. Leslie Nordtvedt and Christine Kooi also were generous with suggestions and support. Most of all, I thank Ray Geurkink for his understanding and flexibility, his help with photography, formatting, and photocopying, and for the many sacrifices he has made in order for this project to get done. 1 Introduction The Consequence of the Trivial Although those who concern themselves with details are regarded as folk of limited intelligence, it seems to me that this part is essential, because it is the foundation...1 In the city of Amsterdam in the final decades of the seventeenth century, a number of publishers began to produce a new type of print. The title of one such print addresses the intended audience and introduces the subject matter: "Children, With great pleasure you see before you / The Life of Jan and his Griet" (fig. LI). The format is quite distinct: woodblock images are arranged in a gridded pattern, and beneath each image is a line or two of text printed from moveable type.2 This creates an effective vehicle for representing stories. In the first image, we see the protagonists, Jan and Griet, locked in an embrace (fig. 1.1-1). They are seated in what appears to be an inn. The table in front of them holds a large goblet and two plates; a violinist at the left of the scene is balanced by a large fireplace on the right. The accompanying text describes the image: "Jan feels love for Griet, and fondles her bare breasts. Behind them is fiddler Piet, playing a love song, his very best". While the explicitness of this may shock, it certainly works to draw the reader into the story. In the next image, the couple has moved from the pub to the church, where they exchange marriage vows in front of a minister in a pulpit. Theirs is not to be a harmonious union, however, for in the following scene an enraged Griet jumps up from her chair when Jan comes home late for dinner. This makes Jan furious; he tells her to shut up, and grabs the shovel and tongs in order to beat her into silence. Angry and obstinate, Griet manages to wrest the tongs from him. As she bludgeons him, she lets him know that he had better fear her. In 2 the next scene a victorious Griet holds up Jan's trousers, while the humiliated Jan wears her apron. Then he cares for the baby and spins while Griet threatens him with a cudgel. The final image is anything but a happy ending, for Griet beats Jan with a stick and pulls his hair because the cakes he is cooking have not risen. The bed behind them implies that Jan has been made impotent by his wife in more ways than one, and maybe it is not just his cakes that refuse to rise. This print provokes a number of questions about its production, distribution, and consumption. The title clearly targets children as potential buyers and readers. Initially, this appears to fit with the findings of studies arguing that early modern Protestants used print technology as an ideal pedagogical tool for shaping the morals and controlling the behaviour of children.3 Produced in multiples, inexpensive and portable, print allowed identical images and texts to be circulated to a large group. Thus the dissemination of prints for children seems connected with contemporary convictions that the rigorous upbringing of children was a crucial means to secure the future, not just of the individual, but also of the household, the city, and the Dutch Republic. The printed story of Jan and Griet explicitly disrupts such assumptions, however. With its confusion of gendered domestic roles, and graphic scenes of violence, sex, and cross-dressing, this print seems strangely out of keeping within the context of seventeenth- century Amsterdam, a city dominated by a primarily Calvinist middle class. Moreover, this print was no mere aberration. The holdings of Dutch print collections attest that prints of Jan and Griet were best sellers; numerous versions were issued by scores of publishers for well over two hundred years.4 These same printers also produced divers other prints which addressed children and portrayed similarly irreverent comic themes. Could such disturbingly captivating images really have been directed at children? Prompted by this body of 3 imagery, my project undertakes a rethinking of the connections between children, print, and education. For if to shape a child was to fashion the future of the Republic, what role might these widely-published comic children's prints have played in this process? Why did they first appear in Amsterdam in the late seventeenth century? And what did children and their mentors make of this imagery? Such questions have not been asked of this material, and it is at the juncture, or disjuncture, between farcical prints and their intended audience that my study begins. The Audience for Farce Not surprisingly, scholarly literature has consistently linked the slap-stick, sex-tinged violence of these prints with the perceived immorality of their audience. Simon Schama's comments are representative of this trend. These types of woodcuts, he says, ...catered to the coarser end of the market-the same audience that still enjoyed the old- fashioned kluchtspel farces of domestic and peasant life when they could see them. And their contents were produced to formula, mixing recycled anecdotes with stock tales of gulled and cuckolded husbands, spendthrift wives who frittered away the family fortunes on whims and fashions.5 Some curious slippages occur in this brief description: prints for children become prints for the coarser end of the market, and the characters depicted in these farcical woodcuts could be confused with their buyers-gullible rubes who squandered money on whims. Indeed, "catchpenny," a late eighteenth-century word most often used to classify these prints, is defined as "something of little value, designed to attract purchasers; got up merely to sell".6 To categorize a print as a "catchpenny" (or "centsprent," in Dutch) thus seems to imply that canny printers directed cheap, frivolous material at an increasingly literate but unsophisticated audience with a few pennies to spend. 4 This argument is in keeping with approaches of the major works on these types of prints, such as Emile van Heurck and G. Boekenoogen's L'Imagerie Populaire des Pays-Bas: Belgique-Holland (Popular Imagery of the Low Countries: Belgium-Holland) of 1930; Maurits de Meyer's catalogue of this genre, De Volks en Kinderprenten in de Nederlanden fFolk and Children's Prints in the Netherlands) of 1962; and C F . van Veen's exhibition catalogue for the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, Catchpennyprints: Dutch Popular and Childrenprints of 1976.7 As even the titles imply, the folkloric approach of these studies locates Dutch children as a subgroup within a larger category: Dutch folk. Maurits de Meyer, to note one example, claims that it is difficult to distinguish between a folk print and a children's print because most of these inexpensive images were both for and about the masses, providing historians with a "deep well" of knowledge about seventeenth-century folk life.8 This conflation of folky children with childlike folk positions a somewhat uniformly "popular" group with their own cheap, crude and comic culture at the bottom of the social hierarchy. The efforts of these historical studies to establish exclusive relationships between distinctive cultural forms and specific social groups probably were influenced by seventeenth- century attempts to create a hierarchy of literary genres. While farcical children's prints do not emerge until the 1670's, it is important to consider earlier theorizations of genre, for throughout the seventeenth century, the division of comic kluchtspel farces from tragic drama was drawn along class lines. Cornells van der Plasse, who published the works of the comic playwright Bredero, mockingly laid out the following distinctions in 1638: Tragedies gave priority to dignity and stateliness, as was fitting for significant personages: kings, royalty, priests, magistrates, nobles, military commanders and such like; in castles, cities, palaces, town halls, armies and churches; and the language, like the characters, was also full of majesty and high-flown, the outcome bloody, terrible and important. 5 Comedies sprang lustily onto the stage, with lighthearted battles amongst the scum of the folk: shepherds, farmers, labourers, innkeepers, landladies, procuresses, prostitutes, midwives, sailors, spendthrifts, beggars and toadies; in fields, forests, huts, shops, inns, pubs, on the street, in alleys and slums, in the meat hall and at the fish market; the chatter that goes around there is true to life, and the outcome farcical and pleasant.9 According to van der Plasse, the contrast between the types of people, language and social spaces within each kind of play is clear: classical tragedy dealt with well-spoken upper-class people in remote and stately settings, while comedies about the everyday portrayed the rural and urban lower classes who inhabited a series of marginal sites associated with the vernacular. Intriguingly, the Republic's most dominant group, the urban middle classes, do not figure within this classification of people, genres, speech and space. This is not a mere oversight on the part of van der Plasse; indeed, this absence raises some questions about the consumption of these types of plays. For what was the precise location of the audience Schama describes: those at "the coarser end of the market" who enjoyed superficially attractive woodcuts and old-fashioned farces "when they could see them"? The implication is that this group was positioned somewhere outside of, or apart from, middle- class spaces of entertainment and education: perhaps in the bushes, huts, pubs and alleys described by van der Plasse. However, evidence about both theatre performances and print production in Amsterdam emphatically challenges the conclusion that farcical plays and comic prints were marginal forms for a distinctly lower-class audience. In fact, kluchtspel farces were anything but old- fashioned in the seventeenth century.10 To the contrary, these types of plays consistently drew large and diverse crowds into Amsterdam's public theatre, called the Schouwburg." Built on the Keizersgracht~one of the city's main canals-in 1637, the Amsterdam Schouwburg was constructed at a time of urban expansion, as the harbour city emerged as a prosperous 6 mercantile centre that increasingly dominated world trade. Along with other architectural monuments, the Schouwburg was proudly featured in a number of civic histories, published in the 1660's, that celebrated the city's accomplishments.12 Until the 1670's, the theatre was governed by a Board of Regents comprised of six prominent businessmen from the community. These men were appointed by magistrates of Amsterdam's city council, a group of patricians who were also mainly from the wealthy mercantile classes.13 Acting on behalf of Amsterdam's citizenry, and under the direction of the town council, it was the Regent's role to select which plays would appear on the Schouwburg stage. In a typical afternoon's performance, a tragedy about significant and dignified personages was followed by a shorter farce about the "scum of the folk". There is no evidence to support the notion that the Regents chose these comic plays only to appeal to the lower classes. While it is difficult to ascertain the precise make-up of the audiences who flocked to the public playhouse, given the low price of admission, it was undoubtedly a site where the consumption of plays was a practice shared by people from a range of socio-economic groups.14 Moreover, as I shall explore further in chapter one, official prints of the Schouwburg that were commissioned by the Regents in 1637 and republished throughout the century, pictured the theatre audience as a well-behaved, mainly middle-class group (see fig. 1.2). Farce, therefore, was anything but a peripheral form of entertainment that was for and about the folk. As I will argue, these types of plays were embedded in a mercantile middle-class context, where they certainly were directed at an audience beyond the lower classes. If farce performances reached a broad and diverse audience, so did inexpensive printed material. Almost all catchpenny prints display the name of the printer across the bottom 7 margin, together with landmarks that would help buyers to locate the print shop where they were sold.15 Loose-leaf printed images were displayed in print shop windows so that even the poor and non-literate could afford to stop and take a look. Peddlers were amongst the clientele; they bought inexpensive material from the printers and then resold these in the streets, and at markets and fairs.16 Repeated complaints by the bookseller's guild about itinerant hawkers who sold books, newspapers, songs, ballads, almanacs, prognostications, leaflets and folk tales in the public spaces of the city give some insight into the complicated distribution of inexpensive print.17 For example, in the mid-seventeenth century, the Amsterdam bookseller's guild protested: It is well known that more than ever complaints are heard among our guild brothers of the decline in the book trade...These complaints are legitimate, and can be redressed, namely, by STEMMING THE ILLEGAL BOOK TRADE. It is generally known that there are almost no bridges or canals without a table—in some places practically a shop- filled with books, where all can purchase books at a modest price, to their hearts' content.18 The fact that itinerant print sellers were perceived as unwelcome competition by the bookseller's guild implies that peddlers' wares were not restricted to the lower end of the market. Rather, the print peddler emerges as an urban figure who catered to and competed for the same clientele that patronized bookshops.19 Although the guild may have exaggerated the situation to argue their cause, their complaints indicate the extent of the print trade in Amsterdam, providing a glimpse of how the printing industry must have transformed urban spaces.20 Print was sold in the streets, on the bridges, and along the canals, posted on the walls of taverns, workshops and homes, carried on the person, passed from hand to hand and discussed in the markets and squares. Thus, printed material was visible and familiar to almost everyone who frequented the city.21 Like theatre 8 plays, print crossed social boundaries, making it impossible to link these forms exclusively with the "folk". Folkloric approaches that posit inexpensive woodcuts as repositories of folk beliefs and behaviour thus do not provide adequate methodology for considering this material and its audience. By constrast, I argue that the association of this material with a particular socio- economic group developed in response to an apparent dissimilarity between the prints and their audience. For imagery of the slap-stick sexual thrashing, deceit and disorder of controversial farces clearly does not fit with conventional notions of middle-class childhood. This disruptive discrepancy undoubtedly prompted studies that located the audience for farces and cheap prints in a group other than the middle classes. The notion of a separate and distinct "folk" serves this purpose well: stereotyped as hot-headed, wanton, lustful, deceptive, childlike and a-social, this group was often positioned as the "Other" of the middle classes, both in the seventeenth century, and in subsequent historical accounts.22 In this way, all of the characteristics that were repressed from "burgherlijk" cliches of modesty, frugality, cleanliness, honesty, and virtuous domesticity.could be projected onto a separate social group. The impulse to uphold notions of middle-class morality must account, at least in part, for the need to deflect these troubling images onto the Other. The definition of farce as both for and about the lower classes therefore works to preserve the integrity of the middle classes, who actually made up a large part of the market for this titillating material. Such an association also resonates with the widespread seventeenth-century notion that the ideal household was a model and molecule of the well-run Republic.23 At a time when norms of "burgherlijk" domesticity became central to the definition of national harmony, representations of the possible dissolution of the household abounded. The dangers of 9 exploring what must be repressed and avoided were mitigated somewhat by locating chaos, beatings and discord within the lower-class home. In this way, such images also worked to uphold stereotypes of a moral middle-class Republic. And yet, prints that graphically portrayed social disorder were given to middle-class children. To begin to understand this seeming incongruity, it is crucial to consider the peculiarity, in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic, of what has been described as a fixation on children.24 As Stephen Greenblatt reminds us, "intense paternal observation of the young is by no means a universal practice. It is, rather, learned by certain social groups in particular cultures and ages."25 While the obsessive attention paid to Dutch children often has been interpreted as a show of fondness, this type of affection was always intertwined with patriarchal concern to scrutinize, supervise and discipline. In fact, the doctrines of Calvinism, the Republic's dominant religious tradition, taught that all children were sinful from birth, and thus in need of continuous correction and rigorous reformation. This doctrine meshes well with the principles of merchant capitalism. As wealth and social position became less hereditary, the fortunes of the household increasingly banked on the preparation and training of the next generation. Significantly, part of that education was received in the public theatre.26 The Schouwburg often was described as a school, and defenders of the role of theatre in urban life characterized it as a site set apart for shaping the morals and influencing the behaviour of civic populations, particularly children and youth.27 The social functions of comic plays must be considered within this context. The pleasures of farce were multiple; tantalizingly sexual and unrelentingly brutal, farce certainly allowed the vicarious experience of taboo behaviour. On stage, the twists of plot turned on deception, disguise and mistaken identity. Men could play 10 female roles, women acted as men, and lower class actors transformed themselves into magistrates, doctors or preachers. Such flagrant flouting of gender norms and social boundaries opened up ways for audiences to explore the mutability of their own identities. Indeed, if the complaints of seventeenth-century detractors of farce are accepted at face value, then this was its only function: farce freed the folk to emulate immoral performances. Yet, as I shall argue throughout this study, the intense pleasures of farce always worked together with powerful constraints, forming a highly sophisticated disciplinary apparatus. The public performance and ridicule of private transgressions on the stage prompted spectators to examine their own guilty pleasures, including, ironically, the enjoyment of farce. The discipline of self-scrutiny was combined with other diversions—that of projecting immorality onto stock comic characters, who were often lower-class types, and that of associating the enjoyment of the genre mainly with lower-class spectators. Thus these comic plays allowed audience members to examine complex aspects of mercantile society, such as increasing social mobility. At the same time, spectators could deflect anxieties about social changes onto stock characters who were safely positioned outside of middle-class norms. If this rigorous pleasure was directed at the middle-class children in the audience as a means of initiating them into social hierarchies, it certainly was intended to reinforce social norms of behaviour for adults from diverse social groups as well.28 Flexible, ambiguous, and satirical, farce lacked didactic closure, making it a potentially threatening form. Not surprisingly, throughout the seventeenth-century, various powerful groups fought to control Amsterdam's public theatre, an important space of education within the city, and battles about the role of the theatre in civic life often converged on the functions of farce. The year 1677 marks a crucial turning point in these controversies about comic 11 performances. At this time, Amsterdam's civic magistrates appointed several members of a classicist literary society called "Nil Volentibus Arduum," or, "Nothing is Difficult for those who Will," to the Schouwburg's governing body. With the backing of the civic government, this new group of Schouwburg Regents attempted to radically redefine the role of the public theatre in civic life by changing the make-up of the theatre audience. In treatises published by Nil, the Schouwburg was explicitly redesignated as a school primarily for the children of Amsterdam's most powerful families—the sons and daughters of civic magistrates, regents, nobles and the wealthiest merchants.29 The growing social and economic divide between this mainly upper middle-class "patrician" group and the city's middle-class burghers was a source of great tension in the final decades of the seventeenth century.30 Contests between these groups were manifested in struggles over various social sites, and the demarcation of the theatre as a space dominated by the elite is clearly indicative of patrician distancing strategies. Until this time, the Schouwburg had been represented as a space of entertainment and education for a predominantly middle- class group—an important site within the city where burghers and their children could gather to discuss and explore issues of importance to mercantile society. As they forcefully redefined the Schouwburg as a school for the children of the elite, the new Regents undoubtedly sought to consolidate the monopoly of an increasingly powerful and prosperous patrician group within this important site of assembly. Intertwined with the demarcation of an exclusive new Schouwburg audience was the alteration of the traditional Schouwburg repertoire. Most notably, the new Regents censored vernacular farce performances. As a member of the classicist society put it, the Amsterdam theatre was no longer a place for "boorish stuff, full of vulgar Dutch sayings."31 Instead, as part 12 of an effort to fashion an international courtly identity for themselves, the elite actively promoted works of French classicism as part of the repertoire. By abruptly banning Dutch farce, a well-loved, centuries-old form of burgher entertainment,32 the increasingly "Frenchified" patricians undoubtedly struck a blow at ideals of burgher morality. In fact, a new genre of comic play came to the stage during the decades of Nil's greatest influence over the Schouwburg repertoire in the 1670's and 1680's. The stock comic characters of these updated comedies were no longer from "the scum of the folk", instead, these new plays featured the adultery, fraud and deception of immoral burgher characters in dissolute middle-class households.33 These pointed alterations to comic plays served to further denigrate burgher identity. Late seventeenth-century conflicts about farce performances are central to understanding the functions of farcical children's prints. For comic prints depicting the familiar antics of degenerate lower-class types probably first were published in Amsterdam at the time that traditional farces were censored from the Schouwburg. As these plays were banned as unfit for the children of the increasingly distant and powerful elite, this "boorish stuff began to circulate in inexpensive prints with titles that addressed "children". Thus it seems that the sudden and striking appearance of prints that reasserted the censored grotesque imagery of vernacular farce in a new form for children came as a deliberate rejoinder to the censorship of this well-loved form of burgher entertainment within the public theatre.34 For nineteenth- century folklorists, these explicit images seemed shockingly out-of-keeping with ideals of middle-class childhood. For late seventeenth-century audiences, however, comic children's prints reaffirmed the efficacy of the disciplinary pleasures of farce, so a long central means of shaping norms of behaviour in mercantile society. 13 Consumption and/as Production Although it is difficult to link farcical children's prints to the political aims of any particular individual or group, they certainly seem to play a role in the complicated social and political conflicts that converged on spaces such as the theatre in the final decades of the seventeenth century. Given this context, this study places more emphasis on the functions, uses and possible understandings of farcical children's prints than it does on the intentions of specific authors, artists or publishers. Such an approach is also prescribed by peculiarities of the prints' production. For although the exact origins of these prints remain uncertain, the bits and pieces that serve as possible sources certainly disrupt any notion of a single artist or print-maker impressing original ideas onto the blank receptive space of the page. Rather, the manner in which these stories were created has much in common with the process of seventeenth-century paper-making. Paper was produced from the residues of disparate pieces of cloth.35 Bits of bedding stained with the intimacies of people's lives and rags of clothing that survived the bodies that wore them were gathered and combined together to produce the thick greyish sheets onto which these stories were imprinted. A fictional rag collector in a seventeenth-century comedy graphically describes the procedure: "I find dirty old cloths, tattered rags soaked with puss and blood, that I wash and bleach in the canal, in my own way," he tehs the audience, "And I sell them to Ysbrangt, who makes fine and rough paper out of them."36 In a similar manner, scraps of ephemeral oral stories, proverbs and sayings, theatre performances, and civic and social rituals were patched together to create something new: a printed picture story. Although it has been argued that oral culture is fluid, alive and ever-changing, while print culture is dead and fixed upon the page,37 the process of producing prints certainly calls 14 such distinctions into question. For printers continuously amended and updated these prints according to their perceptions of the changing interests of the print-buying public. Therefore, these types of prints can be understood as repositories for a complex of collective memories, which, like oral traditions, were oriented to the concerns of the present and were constantly adapted and transformed. The complicated production of these prints poses a series of difficulties for a study that attempts to locate particular images within specific socio-political conflicts. Although publishers' names were almost always printed along the bottom margin, the prints were never dated. Approximate dates can be established if printed material such as books survive bearing publishers' names in combination with a date.38 Even so, many of the prints produced by printers known to be active in the eighteenth century appear to be pulled from seventeenth- century blocks. It was not unusual for printers to borrow and lend successful woodblocks. Blocks were also bought up and sold off with other stock if a firm liquidated. And, in the absence of clear copyright laws, prints that sold well were frequently duplicated by competitors, who would carve their own copies of the woodblocks.39 Each small scene in a children's print was pulled from a single block, while the text below was printed from movable type. Thus printers could change the order of the blocks and combine old blocks with new text, or new blocks with old text, to alter or update the meaning of a print. All of these practices make it extremely difficult to name original producers or to assign precise dates to specific images.40 In fact, very few seventeenth-century prints of this type actually survive. To give a pertinent example, there is only one extant catchpenny print published by Jan and Jacobus Bouman, who were active in Amsterdam in the late seventeenth century.41 Considering the number of images that could be pulled from a single woodblock, this indicates how extremely 15 ephemeral these forms must have been.42 It was an insult of the time to tell a printer that he or she worked for the "kruidenier"~sellers of spices who wrapped their wares in cone-shaped packets made from old prints.43 Treated as throw-away objects, inexpensive prints found many such reuses. Catchpenny prints specifically were associated with certain children's games in which users cut them apart and played with the pieces.44 The ephemerality of the objects combined with the persistence of the imagery results in a very partial picture of the range of prints that actually circulated in the seventeenth century. Because the visual conventions of these prints continued for centuries, addressed different audiences, had no named artists or patrons, and were copied by printmakers in varying social and political contexts, these objects do not fit neatly into existing modes of art historical analysis. In fact, they resist explanation in terms of pre-existing methodologies that focus on artist, oeuvre, style, movement, monument, or socio-political context. Pressing against these categories of investigation, the visual evidence of the prints themselves provokes questions that shift the focus of analysis to the ways that objects take on meaning as they circulate and become sites of social exchange. Therefore, this study examines audience interactions, uses and understandings of this printed imagery in order to determine the larger social and political interests at stake in forms that were inexpensive and ephemeral, yet tenaciously persistent. The uses of these prints were as ephemeral as the forms themselves, however. As Michel de Certeau has argued, reading is a practice that leaves few traces, and the same can certainly be said about viewing practices.45 Actual evidence of how people used inexpensive prints, or of how they interpreted the social functions of such objects, is extremely rare. There do not seem to be any seventeenth-century textual references to children's prints. There are, however, two oil paintings, Jan Steen's The Village Schoolroom, and Caspar Netscher's The 16 Reading Lesson, that picture children interacting with prints. These images, which will be explored further in chapter one, are both dated to the 1670's, and provide crucial commentary about the functions of children's prints. Significantly, both paintings register anxieties about this new genre and new audience, and emphatically demonstrate that an understanding of the consumption of print cannot be limited to the intentions of producers nor to the aims of those who used print to educate children. Given the few surviving seventeenth-century prints, the paucity of seventeenth-century commentary about them, and the fact that the same woodblocks could be reused for hundreds of years, this study also draws on evidence from a longer time span. There are two autobiographical references, both published in the nineteenth century, in which the authors actually describe their own childhood memories of comic catchpenny prints.46 A nineteenth- century social reformer, reflecting on his childhood, writes that scatological passages from children's prints would always be impressed in his mind where they could not be disentangled from his religious memory work. Deploring this jumble of comic and didactic images and ideas, he calls for the censorship of these prints.47 Here, evidence from a wider field sheds light on what surely would have been a central concern in the seventeenth century: what place did the sensual pleasures of farce have in Protestant education? When a nineteenm-century schoolmaster defends the uniquely Dutch character of these vernacular prints as "worthy and respectable material to keep into old age",48 we begin to get a sense of some of the possible merits of these prints for those who advocated their use in education. For the schoolmaster describes them as a preserve of authentic Dutch vernacular-significantly, one that was untainted by foreign French influences. These comments provide clues to how these prints might have been positioned in seventeenth-century contests between vernacular farce and 17 French classicism. Moreover, both references give insights into the historiography of the prints, indicating why they were taken up in nineteenth and early twentieth-century folkloric histories, which sought to describe what was considered a genuine national culture of seventeenth- century Dutch folk.49 Late seventeenth-century dissension about the influence of comic theatre performances on young spectators provides another key source of evidence about the perceived social functions of farcical children's prints. Although these prints are not mentioned in the theatre disputes, many commentators published their opinions on the uses of Dutch comic tradition in the up-bringing of children, and these controversies serve to illuminate some of the issues at stake in comic children's prints. Moreover, not only did these battles converge on the ambiguous uses of farce, but the satirical potential of this genre also was mobilized by its supporters to attack opposing groups, which may have been part of the initial impetus behind the circulation of these prints. Each chapter takes up the debates about the effects of comic theatre play on children, which were wide-ranging and complex, to investigate how comic prints directed at a young audience may have interacted in these contests. Exploration of the links between comic theatre and comic prints also serves to focus this study. Produced by hundreds of printers for almost three hundred years, the genre of catchpenny prints for children was extremely prolific.50 The format allows a range of subjects to be presented-different types of animals, soldiers, ships, trades and careers, street scenes, stories, proverbs, fairy tales, games-all could be inserted into the grid. However, a consideration of the subject matter of the earliest prints published specifically for children indicates the prevalence of themes from the theatre.51 The predominance of these themes at a time when vernacular farce was being censored from the Schouwburg points to 18 interconnections between the emergence of farcical children's prints and historically specific contestations about theatre play. Print provides a very different vehicle for farce than does theatre performance, however. Throughout this study it has been important to examine the various constraints that these printed forms imposed on their consumption. For the most crucial sources of evidence about both intended and unintended functions are the prints themselves.52 Prescribed meanings can often be deduced from the way that centuries-old characters and themes were altered and adapted into print in order to address the interpretive conventions and concerns of communities of readers. In conjunction with this, the titles, images, captions and format address a particular readership, implicitly and explicitly encouraging specific reading practices and understandings. The reaction of audiences to these strategies is more difficult to ascertain. Here, the proliferation of up-dated versions of certain printed stories provides important evidence to deduce both the preferences and interpretations of readers. Versions of the strange story of Jan and Griet, for example, were extremely successful; they were staples in the repertoire of almost every publisher of children's prints, and thus must have been well-liked by buyers of print. New versions of particular prints were often altered: printers combined old woodblock images with new texts, or had new blocks carved to up-date a familiar story. Other changes could be quite minute; alterations to the framing of a scene, the order of the blocks, or the wording of a title might seem insignificant, but even apparently trivial adjustments can often offer important glimpses into how readers may have defined their relationship with this material. For many of the ways in which the prints were edited worked to close off practices and understandings that were not in keeping with intended meanings. In this complex process of exchange between readers, prints and printers, readjustments to the forms, images and texts seem to answer to 19 rebel readings and uses. Here, eighteenth and nineteenth-century editing choices should not be discounted, for alterations made to later versions can reveal much about how seventeenth- century readers might have responded to certain images. For if pleasure and discipline converge in these forms, at times they also diverge, opening up a space for practices that differed from those imposed. The consumption of print thus cannot be opposed to the production of print.53 In the course of this study, reading and viewing practices emerge as creative acts that influenced both what was printed and how it was reprinted. Spatial Stories Finally, the stories themselves provide many insights into the social functions of these prints. For publishers never simply reproduced narratives from the stage in printed form. Editing choices were made about which themes, characters and settings were adapted into print. Moreover, familiar elements from theatre plays were combined with subject matter borrowed from festive traditions, social rituals, proverbs, oral tales, and visual representations. These traditional motifs were not just haphazardly cobbled together, but they were injected with new issues and characters, and the resultant forms were invested with new meanings and possibilities of understanding.54 Of particular importance are the ways that these printed pictorial narratives converge on specific social spaces. Controversies about the redefinition of the theatre, the home, the market, the harbour, and the city as an entity were extremely heated in the final decades of the seventeenth-century. As I argued above, this new genre of print first was produced around the time that the patrician elite took over the playhouse and censored farce performances, long a middle-class form of entertainment. With the closing off of these "symbolic outlets and 20 expectations of spaces,"55 to borrow the terms of Michel de Certeau, the proliferation of farcical prints appears as a move that both challenges the redefinition of this site, and keeps banned or threatened practices in circulation.56 In the final decades of the seventeenth century, the mercantile groups who once had commanded crucial social sites such as the theatre, the market, the harbour, and the city itself perceived that they were being squeezed out of them by an increasingly dominant patrician class. As economic historians have argued, the larger forces behind this shift, often termed "the decline of the Dutch golden age", were the new constraints of an international economy organized around state formation.57 Global forces were certainly a factor in the eclipse of Amsterdam as the world's largest trading centre. In a local context, however, economic decline was blamed on the new entrepreneurial practices of the elite, who were accused of preferring the easy money of speculative trading, often described as an effete activity, over the toil and hazards of sea-faring trade.58 As burgher identity became less central to the definition of Amsterdam's harbour and markets, many businessmen asserted that moral decay—specifically the abandonment of traditional burgher values—was the root cause of economic decay.59 As part of their attempts to redress a dramatic loss of power, it seems that this beleaguered group mobilized print, which is not constrained by boundaries of place or class, to keep traditional burgher forms of social critique—such as farce—in circulation. Each chapter of this study considers how interactions between these comic prints and their audience worked to define a series of social spaces and relations. Chapter One explores the functions of children's prints in connection to three sites of education: the public theatre, the schoolroom and the middle-class home. While there are few remnants revealing contemporary attitudes about the educational role of these prints, the evidence that does exist is characterized 21 by anxiety about the various pleasures they allowed. For if these forms were used to instruct children and thus fashion the future of a burgher-dominated society, they also offered ways for children to shape identities and futures that were not in keeping with the goals of mercantile Protestant instruction. Of particular concern was the ability of print to cross boundaries of space, gender and class, carrying the ambiguous imagery of farce beyond the theatre walls into places where its apprehension by a range of readers was not closely supervised and controlled. Chapter two takes up a specific series of catchpenny prints depicting an unscrupulous itinerant quack doctor who sells phoney wares in the market square. His huckster's stall doubling as a theatre booth, this trickster is also an actor. While the association of theatre play with marketing skills would have been familiar to a late seventeenth-century audience, these prints play on these connections. Exploring market practices at a moment when mercantilism was threatened by the increasingly place-less and time-less market of finance capitalism, they link theatrical artifice to the perceived duplicity of both itinerant market sellers and unscrupulous financial speculators. By mocking the extremes of unregulated entrepreneurial practices, these prints work to shape readers—addressed as "boys"-into critical and disinterested judges of mercantile ethics. At the same time, they also employ certain visual and textual devices that encourage readers to identify with the self-interested charlatan, covertly suggesting that deceptive ruses could be worthwhile tricks to learn. This certainly undermines ideals of a purely dispassionate moral merchant, and later versions of this print were edited to discourage this process of identification. However, the range of contradictory subject positions provided in the late seventeenth-century prints certainly works to hone the skills that young boys would need to prepare for their futures in an increasingly competitive market situation. 22 Rising tensions in the marketplace intertwined with anxiety about domestic life. Chapter three examines a number of catchpenny prints about married life that were addressed to both boys and girls. Like the trickster, the hen-pecked husband and domineering wife of these types of prints were adapted from centuries-old festive carnival figures and stock farcical characters from contemporary theatre plays. This chapter locates these children's prints within a peculiar historical phenomenon: the noticeable increase of satirical misogynist printed imagery in the late seventeenth century.60 It seems as if, when many misogynist farces were censored or banned from the public theatre in the 1670's and 1680's, their themes and characters were taken up in printed form. Adjusting familiar scenarios of a marriage-turned-upside-down to a new situation, this series of misogynist prints picture a market driven by the "female principals" of passion, greed and desire, and a home in which the effeminate merchant is dominated by his incorrigible wife. Such imagery seems to satirize the effete money-making practices of the elite. Moreover, as the uncontrollable forces driving the market were embodied as disorderly housewives, these images served to deflect anxieties about the changing power relations of public life into the private sphere. Directing imagery of violence and ridicule primarily at women, it is as if they seek to shore up a loss of middle-class control in the public spaces of the city by reasserting masculine authority in the home. Catchpenny prints of mismatched marriages that emerged at this time were continuously edited, adjusted, and republished for centuries. Thus it is also important to examine how this extremely persistent series of prints worked to socialize children by imposing the gendered division of public and private spaces and practices. Here, imagery that mockingly turns gender roles upside-down in order to regulate social practices actually betrays that gender 23 norms were not timeless and natural, but were continuously in flux and thus had to be repeatedly reexamined, revised, and reinforced. Not only this, but the gradual censoring of this print series can be understood as a response to readings and uses of the prints that were not in keeping with social norms. Thus, although the prints work to shape children into moral adults, this process does not follow a top-down model of power; rather, the prints themselves reveal that the education of children was a complex series of exchanges between the forms, their producers and their audience. A single scene from one of these prints of a marriage-turned-upside-down provides a departure point for an analysis of late seventeenth-century conflicts concerning shifts in the way civic space was defined through the workings of justice and commerce. Chapter four takes up imagery that is connected to an extremely strange folk tale about the origins of Amsterdam's children. These images picture the unruly housewife and hen-pecked husband sailing into the city with a baby they have just plucked from a special baby-bearing tree that grows on Volewijk, an island at the marine entrance to the city. Largely suppressed from interpretations of this story is the fact that Volewijk was actually Amsterdam's gallows field, used to display the gibbeted decaying corpses of executed criminals. Indeed, when looked at closely, the babies dangling on the "baby tree" clearly resemble corpses hanging on the gallows. Could it be that the residents of Amsterdam told their children that they originated, not just from the gallows field, but from the rotting cadavers of criminals? This chapter does not attempt to find the symbolic origins of this bizarre, almost unspeakable, story. Rather, it examines cases in which the satirical force of images and anecdotes that linked decaying criminal corpses, burgeoning maternal bodies, and the maritime borders of the city were appropriated in specific conflicts about civic, group, and individual 24 identity. Imagery of these rebel bodies at the city's edge was commandeered to disrupt the closed boundaries of new classical representations of the state city and to reassert the threatened identity of Amsterdam as a mercantile centre open to the flow of trade. In each case, official imagery responded to such attacks by repressing these bodies or replacing them with other types of bodies in order to deny the extremely disturbing problems that this strange story raised about the identity of Amsterdam and its citizens. Each chapter therefore examines the potential functions of these inexpensive comic prints for children. Emerging in the midst of complicated social, political and economic contests, these prints seem to snatch a moment in time in order to intervene in conflicts about space. Thus the resistance that these printed stories offer arises in battles between society's most powerful groups. If this was their intended function, then it is necessary to rethink Michel de Certeau's definition of everyday spatial stories as tactics used by the powerless against the powerful.61 For one of the ways in which these types of prints sought to rectify a loss of middle-class hegemony across a range of social sites was by viciously deriding some of society's weakest members. We have already begun to see how this material played upon and reinforced stereotypes of lower-class behaviour. A number of these prints-those of Jan and Griet, for instance—also were embedded in Netherlandish misogynist traditions. In this way, this imagery carefully guarded the boundaries of the social spaces depicted: their satirical appropriation of the marginal bodies of lower-class folk, itinerants, unruly housewives, effeminate men, and even pregnant mothers and decomposing corpses worked to maintain the social hierarchies of burgher society. For this was their primary purpose-by initiating burgher children into changing social spaces and practices, they attempt to seize control of the future of 25 the social order. The interventions of groups who were excluded from these power struggles were more fleeting and difficult to trace, and tend to occur in the ephemeral uses of print. Pedagogical Processes Central to understanding the operation of catchpenny prints in initiating children into the complex social and political issues of the day is Michel Foucault's argument about the consequence of the trivial in disciplinary strategies. In his analysis of the mechanisms for training docile subjects, the segregation of bodies in space is coupled with rigorous supervision of activity that defines every minute relation between subjects and objects within that space. As Foucault puts it, "...no detail is unimportant, but not so much for the meaning it conceals within it as for the hold it provides for the power that wishes to seize it."62 In the course of this study, it became evident that there were several junctions within this process of manipulating small things that worked to complicate the operations of pedagogy. The first centres on the inability of powerful forces such as capitalism and Calvinism to set aside and control spaces of initiation. The theatre, the school, and the home were all contested spaces in the late seventeenth century, as different groups struggled to regulate the bodies within them. These conflicts betray a lack of consensus among those in power, and often point, not just to differences between the goals of the church, the state, and the market, but also to schisms within each. Social commentary about these concerns also converged on the aptitude of those appointed to supervise the up bringing of children. The abilities and motivations of schoolteachers, preachers, parents, and theatre regents to train the children in their care were constantly questioned and debated, indicating awareness of possible discrepancies between the mandates of institutions and the actions of actual authorities. 26 Another difficulty in these initiatory processes is the refusal or inability of the body to conform to disciplinary norms. Images and texts of this time repeatedly returned to diverse bodies within the category "children". Prints directed at middle-class boys, for example, betray that they were not a uniformly compliant group. Intense scrutiny also was focused on girls, orphans, peasants, lower class and very young children, defining them as particularly prone to disobedience and in need of rigorous correction. Anxiety about bodies that refused to become objects of power intertwined with concern about the potential power of objects. Catchpenny prints had their own social lives, which sometimes conflicted with or exceeded their prescribed role as inexpensive commodities with educational use-value. This points to the ability of printed material, particularly comic prints, to generate meanings and uses that potentially differed from their intended pedagogical functions. Thus this investigation of the uses of these trivial printed stories in the up bringing of children opens up considerations of the conflicting capacities of print in the forging of social order. 27 Notes 1. Marshal de Saxe, quoted in Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish. The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1977) 139. 2. This print is approximately 41 cm x 33 cm. 3. See, for example, Carmen Luke, Pedagogy. Printing and Protestantism. The Discourse on Childhood (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989). 4. All surviving prints on this theme have been catalogued, both by subject matter and publisher, in Maurits de Meyer, De Volks- en Kinderprent in the Nederlanden van de 15e tot de 20e Eeuw (Antwerp: Uitgevers Standard-Boekhandel, 1962) 495-500, 514. The largest collection of catchpenny prints is housed in the print cabinet of Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. 5. Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (New York: Knopf, 1987) 447. Schama discusses children's prints of Jan and Griet together with a series of inexpensive illustrated books that played on the same themes of married woe. 6. Oxford English Dictionary, vol. II (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933) 178. The first english reference to the term-"a mere catchpenny"~appears in London Magazine in 1760. It seems likely that the nmeteenth-century folklorists who first took a scholarly interest in these prints coined the term "centsprent" as a Dutch translation of "catchpenny". In this way, the scholarship on these prints is intertwined with their denigration. These prints most definitely would not have been called "centsprenteri" in the late seventeenth century, since the "cent" did not yet exist as a unit of currency. 7. De Meyer; E.M. van Heurck and G.J. Boekenoogen, L'Imagerie Populaire des Pays- Bas: Belgique-Holland (Paris: Editions Duchartre et Van Buggenhoudt, 1930); C F . van Veen, Catchpennyprints: Dutch Popular and Childrenprints (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1976). All of these authors published more than one work on this genre. See Maurits de Meyer, Volksprenten in de Nederlanden. 1400-1900 (Amsterdam: Scheltema en Holkema, 1970); Van Heurck and Boekenoogen, Histoire de l'lmagerie Populaire Flamande et de ses Rapports avec les Imageries Etrangeres (Brussels: G. Van Oest, 1910); and C F . Van Veen Dutch Catchpenny Prints: Three Centuries of Pictorial Broadsides for Children (The Hague: W. Van Hoeve, 1971). Print collectors Arie van den Berg and Nico Boerma are in the process of planning a new catalogue that will update the standard work by de Meyer. 8. Meyer 9-13. 9. De treurspelen hadden de voortocht om hun deftigheid en statigheid, als bestaande uit aanzienlijke personagien: koningen, vorsten, priesters, ambtluiden, edelen, krijgsoversten en diergelijken; op sloten, in steden, paleizen, raadshuizen, legers en kerken; en gelijk de personen waren de redenen vol majesteit en hoogdravende, d'uitkomst bloedig, schrikkelijk en van belang. 28 De blijspelen sprongen lustig op het toneel, met de lichtsten slag en het schuim des volks: harders, boeren, werkluiden, waarden, waardinen, koppelaarsters, snollen, vroedwijven, bootsgezellen, opsnappers, schooisters en panlikkers; op akkers, in bossen, in hutten, in winkels, herbergen, kroegen, op straat, in steegjes en slopjes, in vleeshuis en op vismarkt; de praatjes die daar omgingen, na den man, d'uitkomstem kluchtig en genoegelijk. Quoted in E.K. Grootes, Het Literaire Leven in de Zeventiende Eeuw (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 1984) 64. As theatre historians have pointed out, the actual divisions between genres of plays were not always that rigid. Grootes 63-64. The differences and overlaps between comedy and farce have been analyzed by W.A. Ornee, "Gezichtspunten bij de Beoordeling van het Zeventiende- en Achttiende Eeuwse Klucht- en Blijspel," Handelingen van het Tweeendertigste Nederlands Filologencongres 32 (1972): 132-140. 10. Ornee argues that the height of klucht production was from 1650 to 1750. "Gezichtspunten" 134. 11. "Schouwburg" was a new word, coined by playwright Joost van Vondel. It designated a place where burghers could come together to "aanschouw" (behold), and "beschouw" (contemplate). Ben Albach, Langs Kermissen en Hoven: Ontstaan en Kroniek van een Nederlands Tooneelgezelschap in de 17de Eeuw (Zutphen: De Walburg Pers, 1977) 19. 12. See, for example, Tobias van Domselaer, Beschryving der Stat Amsterdam van haar eerste beginselen. oudtheydt. vergrootingen. gebouwen en geschiedenissen tot op den Jare 1665 (Amsterdam: Marcus Willemsz Doornick, 1665) 204-208. 13. Alfred Golding, Classicist Acting. Two Centuries of a Performance Tradition at the Amsterdam Schouwburg (Lantham, MD: University Press of America, 1984) 2-3. The standard works on the history of the Schouwburg are still C. Wybrands, Het Amsterdamsche Tooneel. 1617-1772 (Utrecht: J.L. Beijers, 1873); and J.A. Worp, Geschiedenis van den Amsterdamschen Schouwburg 1496-1772 (Amsterdam: S.L. van Looy, 1920). 14. Archival records often indicate the presence of notable people—such as royalty or foreign dignitaries—at the farces. As for the poor, E.K. Grootes argues that the low price of admission was probably still enough to hinder paupers, who made up a large part of Amsterdam's population, from entering the Schouwburg. He argues that it was mainly middle- class groups who filled the theatre. Grootes 57-59. It is also important to note that the Schouwburg players became a travelling troupe in the summer months, performing favourites from the repertoire at markets, fairs and town squares where society's poorest groups may have been able to see them. On the fluidity of cultural forms usually classified as "popular," see Roger Chartier, The Cultural Uses of Print in Early Modern France, trans. Lydia Cochrane (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987) 3-12. 15. The roles of publisher, printer and seller where not strictly separate in the seventeenth century. In smaller printing firms especially, one person might do all three jobs. The 29 convention of including the printer's name and address is also prevalent in book publishing. Grootes51. 16. Craig Harline, Pamphlets. Printing and Political Culture in the Early Dutch Republic (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1987) 87-88. 17. A number of these complaints are quoted in A.C. Kruseman, Aanteekeningen Betreffende den Boekhandel van Noord-Nederland in de 17de en 18de Eeuw (Amsterdam: P.N. van Kampen, 1893) 468-474. 18. Quoted in Harline 88. 19. Roger Chartier discusses the role of the peddlar in "Culture as Appropriation: Popular Cultural Uses in Early Modern France," Understanding Popular Culture: Europe from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century, ed. S. Kaplan (Berlin: Mouton Publishers, 1984) 231. 20. The Dutch printing industry was concentrated in Amsterdam. At mid-century there were over two hundred known publishers and booksellers in the city. J. de Vries and A. van der Woude, The First Modern Economy. Success. Failure and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy. 1500-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) 316-318. 21. Roger Chartier's argument that printed matter was prolific and visible in seventeenth- century urban settings certainly applies to Amsterdam. See Chartier, "Culture as Appropriation" 251. 22. For an example of such stereotyping in an influential study of Dutch popular culture, see A.Th. van Deursen, Plain Lives in a Golden Age: Popular Culture. Religion and Society in Seventeenth-Century Holland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), especially chapter 7, "The Natural Life." 23. Evidence for this view has been compiled and interpreted by Simon Schama in chapter six, "Housewives and Hussies: Homeliness and Worldliness" of The Embarrassment of Riches 375-480. Intriguingly, much of Sehama's evidence for the Dutch obsession with domestic cleanliness comes from late seventeenth and eighteenth-century sources. The question of how Dutch attitudes about domesticity may have changed at this time is currently being examined in a dissertation by Heidi de Mare. 24. Schama 486. 25. Stephen Greenblatt, "The Cultivation of Anxiety: King Lear and his Heirs," Learning to Curse. Essays in Early Modern Culture (London: Routledge, 1990) 86. 26. The observations of Henri Lefebvre are useful in thinking about the constitution of this site: ...all 'subjects' are situated in a space in which they must either recognize themselves or lose themselves, a space which they may both enjoy and modify. In order to accede to this 30 space, individuals (children, adolescents) who are, paradoxically, already within it, must pass tests. This has the effect of setting up reserved spaces, such as places of initiation, within social space. Henri Lefebvre. The Production of Space, trans. D. Nicholson-Smith (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991) 35. 27. There was some overlap between the terms children and youth, or "kinderen" and "jeugd". "Jeugd", however, was usually used to' designate children who had reached sexual maturity, but were not yet married. Theatre debates single out both as groups that required rigorous preparation for adulthood. Recent scholarship on issues of childhood is examined in Rudolf Dekker, Uit de Schaduw in't Grote Licht. Kinderen in Egodocumenten van de Gouden Eeuw tot de Romantiek (Amsterdam: Wereldbibliotheek, 1995) 11-21. 28. While the Schouwburg was described as a school for shaping the morals of Dutch children and youth, as noted above, the actual audience was probably comprised of a broad cross-section of the population. As I argue in chapter three, evidence of commonly-repeated proverbs and insults indicates that lower class people probably did not internalize the denigrating stereotypes of these plays, but did mockingly direct them at neighbours in efforts to impose norms of social behaviour. 29. Here it is important to distinguish between the intended and the actual theatre audience. There is no evidence to indicate that after 1677, the Schouwburg performances were only attended by the children of the elite. By defining the public theatre as a place dedicated to patrician education, the new Regents, many of whom were from this upper-class group, signalled the increasing power of their class in the city's social spheres. 30. While there was a degree of overlap between these groups, the social classes of the Netherlands have been divided as follows. The "patriciate" was made up nobles, regent families and wealthy merchants. The "grote burgherij," or eminent burghers, included merchants, master craftsmen, high officials, doctors, lawyers and professors, while the "brede burgherij," or broad burgher class, was comprised of groups such as small employers who owned their own house or business, wealthy farmers, skippers, specialized craftsmen, schoolmasters and preachers. The "gemeene," or common folk, designated servants, employees, soldiers, sailors. At the bottom of the social hierarchy were itinerant groups such as beggars, vagrants, hawkers and peddlers. Bert van Selm, Inzichten en Vergezichten (Amsterdam: De Buitenkant, 1992) 65-66. Two works that deal with the increasing social distance of the patricians are J.C. van Dillen, Van Rijkdon en Regenten. Handboek tot de Economische en Sociale Geschiedenis van Nederland Tijdens de Republiek (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1970) 461-480; and P. Spierenburg, Elites and Etiquette: Mentality and Social Structure in the Early Modern Northern Netherlands (Rotterdam: Erasmus Universiteit, 1981). 31. "...boertige stoffe, vol platte Hollandsche spreekwoorden." Quoted in A.G. van Hamel, Zeventiende-Eeuwsche Opvattingen en Theorieen over Litterature in Nederland ('s Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff, 1918) 92. L 31 32. The importance of fifteenth and sixteenth-century farces to burgher identity has been explored by Herman Pleij, Het Gilde van de Blauwe Schuit. Literatuur. Volksfeest en Burgermoraal in de late Middeleeuwen (Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 1979); and "The Function of Literature in Urban Societies in the later Middle Ages," Dutch Crossing 29 (1986): 3-22. A crucial study of middle-class understandings of comic imagery from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century is Paul Vandenbroek, Over Wilden en Narren. Boeren en Bedelaars. Beeld van de Andere. Vertoog over het Zelf (Antwerp: Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 1987). 33. The late seventeenth-century changes in farces about immoral households are explored by Maria-Theresia Leuker in, De last van 't huys. de wil des mans...' Frauenbilder und Ehekonzepte im Niederlandischen Lustspiel des 17. Jahrhunderts (Munster: Verlag Regensberg, 1992). 34. Indeed, the playhouse and print shop were interconnected sites: both were centred on literary production, and a number of playwrights and actors also worked as printers and booksellers. Therefore it is not surprising that controversies centred on changes in theatre play would find their way into printed form. Links between the theatre and the print shop are explored in Grootes 17-19; and G. Kalff, Literatuur en Tooneel te Amsterdam in de 17de Eeuw (Haarlem: de Erven S. Bohn, 1895) 23. 35. On the paper-making industry, see J.W. Enschede, "Papier en Papierhandel in Noord- Nederland Gedurende de Zeventiende Eeuw." Tijdschrift voor Boek- en Bibliotheekwezen 7 (1909): 97-111, 173-188, 205-231. Links between theatre, print and paper production in England, are explored in Peter Stallybrass, "Worn Worlds: Clothes and Identity on the Renaissance Stage," Subject and Object in Renaissance Culture, ed. M . de Grazia et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) 306-307. 36. "Vijndt ich dan ouwe feylen, etterighe of bloedighe doecken, Die wasch ick en blieck ick op de Cingel, op mijn benier, En ick ventse aen Ysbrangt, die maackter van fijn en gros papier." Quoted in Enschede 102, from Bredero's Spaansche Brabanter of 1617. 37. W. Ong, Orality and Literacy. The Technologizing of the Word (London: Methuen, 1982) especially 33-77. 38. While it was common practice to use the same woodblocks for single sheet prints and for book illustrations, I have not found any evidence of the blocks from children's prints being reused in this way. Two sources that have compiled approximate dates of activity for printers are J.A. Grays and C. de Wolf, Thesaurus 1473-1800 Nederlandse Boekdrukkers en Boekverkoopers. Met Plaatsen en Jaaren van Werkzaamheid (Nieuwkoop: de Graaf, 1989); and A . M . Ledeboer, De Boekdrukkers. Boekverkoopers en Uitgevers in Noord-Nederland (Deventer: A. Ter Gunne, 1872). 32 39. Printers usually hired artisans to carve blocks for them. The uses of woodblocks are described in Selm 15, and in E. de Bock, Beknopte Geschiedenis van de Boekhandel in de Nederlanden (Antwerp: N.V. de Nederlandsche Boekhandel, 1943) 130-131. 40. Recent work by Nadine Orenstein on Dutch prints tends to locate printed forms within the familiar art historical framework of artistic oeuvre. I argue, by contrast, that prints actually disrupt categories such as artist, oeuvre or stylistic innovation. N. M . Orenstein, "Marketing Prints to the Dutch Republic: Novelty and the Print Publisher," Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. 28. 1 (Winter 1998): 141-166. 41. Meyer 81. 42. The woodcut process is described in L. Febvre and H.J. Martin, The Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing. 1450-1800. ed. G. Novell-Smith et al., trans. D. Gerard (London: NLB, 1976) 92. 43. These were called "puntzaken," pointy bags, or "peperhuisjes," pepper houses. Grootes 7. 44. Meyer 19; Heurck and Boekenoogen 13-14. 45. Michel De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. S. Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984) 169. 46. These are W.H. Warnsinck, "Herinneringen uit mijne Kinderjaren," Vaderlandsche Letteroefeningen 2 (1849): 206-223, 383-396; and B.L. van Albada, Uit de oude en nieuwe doos. Herinneringen uit den school en het leven van een 80-jarige oud-hoofdonderwijzer. Ernst en Luim (Groningen: W. Versluys, 1875). Thank you to Rudolf Dekker for directing me to both of these references. 47. Warnsinck 210-211. 48. Albada 8-9. 49. Two nineteenth-century works that describe the national character of these prints are M . Kalff, Amsterdam in Plaatjes en Praatjes (Amsterdam: Scheltema en Holkema, 1878) 49-51; and G.D.J. Schotel, Vaderlandsche Volksboeken en Volkssprookjes van de Vroegste Tijden tot het einde der 18de Eeuw (Haarlem: A.C. Kruseman, 1873) 294. Nineteenth-century interest in folklore is discussed by Peter Burke, "In Search of Popular Culture," Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe (London: Temple Smith, 1978) 3-87. 50. The numbers are staggering. Maurits de Meyer estimates that most printers of this genre owned the blocks to make at least one hundred different prints. Each woodblock could be reused thousands of times. Therefore, millions of catchpenny prints were produced. Meyer 10. 33 51. There are several series of children's prints that deal with similar theatre themes, but seem to have emerged quite a bit later. The history of Urbanus and Isabel, Jan Klaassen and Saartje Jans, and Kloris and Roosje, for example, were all late seventeenth-century plays. The earliest children's prints depicting these characters can be dated to the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries, perhaps as part of an effort to revive these plays as authentic folk tradition at that time. Meyer 514-515, 525. 52. On the critical intersection of works, their circulation, and their meanings and interpretations, see Roger Chartier, "The Powers and Limits of Representation," On the Edge of the Cliff. History. Language and Practices, trans. L. Cochrane (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997) 90-103. 53. This important point has been argued in Roger Chartier's many works on early modern print culture. See his discussion of reading practices in The Cultural Uses 183-239. 54. For example, some the prints of Jan and Griet focus on issues of house-cleaning, which were new to the age-old theme of a marriage-turned-upside down; and although the quack doctor was a stock comic type, the character Tetjeroen seems to be an invention of print- makers. Roger Chartier describes this process of print production as a mixing of "forms and themes, invention and tradition, literate culture and folklore." See R. Chartier, "Texts, Printing, Readings," The Culture of Print: Power and the Uses of Print in Early Modern Europe, ed. R. Chartier, trans. L. Cochrane (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989) 169. ' 55. DeCerteau 130. 56. Everyday stories, according to Michel de Certeau, are "spatial stories": they work to regulate changes in social space. Each re-telling of a particular story is formulated for a specific audience and its circumstances, and the insertion of even a small detail can change the function. As De Certeau argues, stories seize a crucial moment in time to strike a blow in contests about space. See de Certeau, especially chapter 6, "Story Time" and chapter 9, "Spatial Stories". 57. A recent summary of these issues can be found in J. de Vries and A. van der Woude, The First Modern Economy. Success. Failure and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy. 1500- 1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) 147-158. 58. De Vries and Van der Woude 156. As I shall argue in chapter three, distinctions between the ease of speculation and the hardships of trade also were gendered. 59. De Vries and Van der Woude 156. 60. Schama 668. 61. "In short, a tactic is an art of the weak." De Certeau 37. 62. Foucault 140. 34 Chapter One T h e Uses o f C o m i c C h i l d r e n ' s P r i n t s i n P e d a g o g y To bring up a child is to shape the future of society. Beginning with this axiom, which may have been as widely repeated in late seventeenth-century Amsterdam as it is today, this chapter seeks to explore the role of catchpenny prints in the up-bringing of children. Comic prints with titles addressing children as both buyers and readers began to circulate in this city at the end of the seventeenth century. No sooner did this new genre and new public for print emerge, however, than they were censored, mocked, and trivialized. In fact, an analysis of diverse visual and textual commentary about the educational function of both farcical prints and the comic theatre plays that they evoked reveals that this material provoked a recurrent reaction of both pleasure and anxiety. What does this response of nervous enjoyment reveal about attitudes towards the conflicting potential of print and theatre? The purpose of this chapter is to investigate these attitudes as they were mobilized in political and religious contests to regulate social spaces set apart for the education of children, and thus to secure the future of the social order. I begin, however, not with the opinions of seventeenth-century commentators, but with a passage from the autobiographical writings of a nineteenth-century educational reformer. In 1849, Willem Hendrik Warnsinck, a retired sugar refiner, published his Memoirs of My Childhood, recalling his school years in Amsterdam in the late eighteenth century. In keeping with the agenda of the nineteenth-century Maatschappij tot Nut van't Algemeen. or Society for Public Welfare, of which he was a member, Warnsinck's narrative is a thinly-veiled call for reform of the Dutch education system. 35 Surprisingly, Warnsinck's recollections of his own, somewhat haphazard, schooling in an eighteenth-century Calvinist classroom draw attention to the uses—or, more accurately, misuses-of farcical catchpenny prints. And Warnsinck certainly does not remember these prints for their moral messages: In school we also had to learn to repeat good and useful things from our heads! The little books that we memorized were the questions of Borsius, and the Heidelberg Catechism. As reward for reciting the correct answers we were given prints. I can still see: the John the Washer and his wife; the history of Urban and Isabel; the history of Tetje Roen, and similar 'first-rate' prints. Jan here on his haunches sits, As he lets his child go shit, and Tetje Roen makes medicines from The cooking down of horses' dung These verses often came more quickly to childish minds than the sometimes very long answers of the Heidelberger. How curious, this jumble of ideas and images, as those rude prints mingled with the learned Catechism lessons! I don't really believe that the schoolmistress ever for a moment thought of this.1 As Warnsinck narrates, comic prints were given out in schools as prizes for correctly reciting the lessons of the Heidelberg Catechism and the work of Borsius, books which laid out the basic doctrines of Calvinism in easily memorizable question and answer format. Awarding memory work was a practice which undoubtedly functioned to encourage self-discipline by demonstrating that hard work promised material rewards. However, Warnsinck's memories of these prints are characterized by a push and pull between enjoyment and disgust. These prints, he says, are rude and need to be revised. At the same time, he can still see them clearly and quote scatological passages with ease, while remembering the laughter of replacing doctrinal memory work with these ludicrous verses. Warnsinck deals with this guilty pleasure by pointing to an irresponsible schoolmistress; due to her negligence, the farcical excesses of rude prints remained inextricably jumbled in the old man's mind with the didactic messages of good and useful books. It seems 36 as if Warnsinck's anxiety about the effects of this contradictory mishmash on his own sense of self prompts his call for educational reform: "The earliest imprints of childhood work powerfully on our feelings and imaginations," he moralizes, "and the traces they leave are not so quickly erased."2 If it was too late for Warnsinck to become a consistent and virtuous citizen, however, he still believed that with the rigorous censoring of school prints, the morals of future generations could be secured. And this is exactly what the Society for Public Welfare set out to do. Obviously, the aims of this nineteenth-century reform movement cannot be conflated with late seventeenth-century attitudes about education. I begin with Warnsinck, however, because his memoirs are an unusual source, articulating concerns about forms that are usually dismissed as both marginal and commonplace. Here, evidence from a longer time span may help to elucidate some of the specifics of these types of prints. First, Warnsinck's recollections of his childhood years reveal that although catchpenny prints may have been inexpensive, ephemeral forms, they also endured for a remarkably long time. Almost two hundred years after they first were published, comic prints were still being distributed to school children. The persistence of these forms in Dutch society is striking; apparently, they were known and well-loved by generations of children. And not only did these prints have exceptional social longevity, but, as Warnsinck's recollections attest, they also persisted in the minds of readers. Moreover, Warnsinck's impressions raise some interesting questions about the usage of comic prints in Protestant pedagogy. What was the appeal of these woodblock prints, still published and given out in schools long after they first were produced in Amsterdam's print shops? If these prints were so crude, why were they given to school children in the first place? 37 In whose interest was it to circulate these prints? If they were inconsequential, why were they a locus of reform: what was the threat of these prints for those who wished to shape children into the future of society? And how did children use this genre of print? While evidence of late seventeenth-century responses to these types of comic children's prints is scant, there is visual and textual commentary which allows an examination of attitudes and debates about the role of farcical prints and comic theatre plays in the up-bringing of children. These converge on three important spaces of education: the elementary school, the public theatre, and the middle-class home. As in Warnsinck's memoirs, these seventeenth- century sources also describe comic prints and plays as forms that were apprehended with pleasure. At the same time, and often within the same source, however, this material was repudiated as crude, disruptive, immoral, and even superstitious. This overlap between the seemingly contradictory responses of enjoyment and condemnation can be explored in terms of two methodological models that cultural historian Roger Chartier proposes in his studies of the uses of print in the early modern period.3 The first of these he describes as a tension between the constraint of freedom and the subversion of discipline. As the studies in this chapter demonstrate, both print and theatre were manipulated by authorities who wished to shape the identities and discipline the bodies of children. However, such attempts were continuously met with diverting tactics that worked to evade control. Late seventeenth-century commentary reveals an uneasy awareness that although print and theatre were effective means to regulate audiences, both also had the potential to disrupt relations of dominance, and could open up powerful possibilities for readers and viewers to shape themselves in a manner analogous to the role-play of actors. 38 A second related tension is characterized by Chartier as a push and pull between dissemination and distinction. Both theatre and print were forms that crossed socio-economic boundaries, reaching a broad and diverse audience. While a variety of social groups may have interacted with the same forms, however, this cannot be understood as a process of homogenization, for they often apprehended and appropriated them in different ways. As we shall see, in some cases the same groups who identified with comic tradition concurrently sought to distance themselves from it, associating farce solely with subordinate social groups in efforts to gain social distinction. Such contests between the imposition and evasion of discipline and between consensus and differentiation seem to evoke the peculiar anxious pleasure that recurs in responses to this material. If to bring up a child was to fashion the future, these interlinked tensions open up a consideration of the complicated, even contradictory, workings of comic prints and plays in pedagogical processes. Small Saints in the Schoolroom: The Power of the Everyday Jan Steen's The Village Schoolroom of c. 1670 (fig. 1.1), is a rare representation of children's prints in a specific seventeenth-century social setting, and provides a rich starting point for a consideration of these issues. Admittedly, it is somewhat unusual to use the analysis of a large oil painting to elucidate the specificities of print culture. Traditionally, historians of Dutch art have taken up prints as primary evidence, in some way closer to the life of the people, and used them to decipher the hidden meanings of genre paintings.4 I am interested in Steen's painting, however, not for its connections to authentic folk beliefs, but because it provides incisive commentary about pleasures and misgivings surrounding the conflicting capacities of print in the education of children and the forging of a moral social order. 39 For this complex image registers concern similar to Warnsinck's about the use and abuse of godly books and woodblock prints in the Calvinist classroom. The painting portrays the centrality of printed material in education, and indicates the increased importance of literacy and learning for peasant children in search of self-improvement. At the same time, Steen subtly mocks the efficacy of Protestant pedagogy by drawing attention to some highly improper uses of printed material within this rural schoolroom. In a notable departure from previous conventions of low-life painting, The Village Schoolroom thus takes account of the fact that although print may have been an effective means to shape morals and behaviour, it also potentially opened up ways for children to fashion identities and futures that were not in keeping with the dictates of a Calvinist upbringing. The Village Schoolroom is usually interpreted as a continuation of the satirical tradition of the sixteenth-century Netherlandish artist, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and compared specifically to a 1556 print of Bruegel's The Ass at School (fig. 1.2).5 This image of a turbulent peasant school illustrates the proverb: "Though an ass goes to school in order to learn, he'll still be an ass, not a horse when he returns."6 At the right of the print, a donkey bends over his papers, ignoring the candle and glasses on either side of him. As the verse by his head reads, "What good is candle or glasses, If the ass refuses to see."7 Evidently, these aids will not help the donkey in his futile endeavour, as no amount of education could ever change him. This message is implicitly extended to the peasant children, whose grotesque misshapen bodies are grouped together in an unindividuated mass. Although most of them hold books and prints, the image implies that increased literacy would no more ennoble peasant bodies than it would change an ass into a horse. Those born peasants were destined to remain peasants, and, as this print indicates, to think otherwise was clearly ridiculous. 40 Although Jan Steen's painting is definitely in dialogue with the Bruegel print, it also pointedly departs from this tradition. Most notably, in Steen's barn of a classroom, the asinine are not those who labour in vain. Rather, the painting mocks those who waste time sleeping, fighting, and revelling. At the right of the painting a boy holds a pair of spectacles up to an owl perched next to a lantern, possibly in reference to the proverb: "What good are a candle and glasses if the owl simply refuses to see?"8 While this is clearly connected to Bruegel's proverb of the donkey, in Steen's school, the imagery of the unwise owl is not directed at those who foolishly attempt to learn. Instead, it is the unwilling pupils and their unobservant teacher who are ridiculed. By playing on the tradition of Bruegel, therefore, Steen indicates to the viewer that the fools in this context are those who do not grasp the important opportunities provided by education. The asses in Steen's school are the ones who neglect to learn the skills needed to propel them out of the rural classroom and into the increasingly competitive world outside. For in Steen's time, rural groups were moving in great numbers to the Dutch cities.9 While increased geographical mobility did not guarantee the social mobility of migrants, betterment was certainly an impetus behind the influx of rural peoples into urban settings.10 And although amove to the city could result in downward social mobility, the motivation of seeking a better life exerted a strong pull.11 To play on a proverb of the time-as Steen's painting does—for an ass to become a horse could no longer be dismissed as completely absurd. Steen's painting refers not only to sixteenth-century peasant imagery, but also to the "low-life" painting tradition of his contemporaries, especially the peasant schoolroom scenes of Jan Miense Molenaer, Adriaen and Isack van Ostade and Gerrit Dou. 1 2 Molenaer's Family Visiting a School (fig. 1.3) serves as an example that foregrounds some of the pictorial strategies of this genre. In Molenaer's depiction, the middle-class buyers of low-life paintings 41 are portrayed within the rural classroom, where their noble bearing, elegant costumes and well- defined facial features are in marked contrast with the ragged clothing, distorted faces, and misshapen bodies of the peasant children.13 As in Bruegel's and Steen's images, the social status of rural children as outsiders is manifested corporeally. Marketed for urban buyers, and hung mainly in middle-class homes, low-life paintings perpetuated stereotypes that constructed peasant identity as innately different, inferior and a-social.14 In light of the influx of rural groups into the cities, such images may have worked to mediate the infiltration of the mobile, aspiring lower classes, and the concurrent threat of blurred social boundaries. By emphasizing and ridiculing the subordinate social status of these groups, they attempt to keep them in their place~a place usually depicted as a separate, disorderly, rural setting. Yet The Village Schoolroom also plays with the conventional assumptions of these low-life paintings, possibly in response to the changing social relations of the time. For, unlike Molenaer, Steen emphasizes the connections between education and the social mobility of the lower classes. At the centre of his composition, a group of rural students carries books and slates to gather around the schoolmistress for instruction in reading and writing. If looked at closely, these industrious children seem to be metamorphosing. Although they wear the tattered clothes of the rural poor, their postures and facial features distinguish them from the unruly group around them. This difference is strdcing when, for example, the grimacing face and contorted body of the boy who stands singing on the table in the background is compared with the more refined stance and countenance of the boy below him who approaches the schoolmistress. When contrasted with the disorderly children around them, the industrious children at the centre of the image appear to grasp the potential of education to fashion futures and identities beyond determinations of class. 42 With this comparison, we see that two different politics of the body are brought into play in this painting. One strategy, which draws on previous visual traditions, projects negative stereotypes onto peasants, constructing them as a naturally subordinate group who dwell outside of middle-class milieus. Alongside this, however, Steen demonstrates how, with rigorous training, unruly rural children could be converted into submissive and productive citizens.15 Significantly, The Village Schoolroom indicates the centrality of printed material and literacy in this process of transformation. As the obedient children look on, the attentive schoolmistress teaches a child to read from a small book. While in Bruegel's image, identity is determined by birth (once an ass, always an ass), Steen's painting implies that only those who refused to work diligently to better themselves would remain peasants. Of course, within this construct, success is equated with the perceived middle-class values of industry, reason, and ambition. This repositions stereotypes of lower-class rural identity as the result rather than the cause of negative cultural traits. In this way, while this painting may acknowledge the new fluidity of class relations, it concurrently places limits on social mobility. The Village Schoolroom therefore marks a break with the past—a moment of rupture when received wisdom no longer holds true. Moreover, the specific inclusion of children's prints in this painting works to further emphasize this moment of discontinuity. Looking closely at The Village Schoolroom (fig. 1.4), we see that the loose printed sheets are largely clustered around a group of six children in the left corner of the picture.16 Here, a wide-eyed girl watches a group of three children in the foreground, and tugs at the coat of the boy next to her. He seems to ignore her, however, and rolls his eyes up to the teachers' desk. Another boy in a large hat crouches below them, holding a print in one hand while sliding the lid of his school box with the other. In front of him, a child in a black hat leans forward, intently 43 watching a girl who kneels holding a small book up to a very young child. This infant appears to poke something into the corner of the book. The kneeling child looks up with furled brow and her gaze leads back to the absent authority at the centre of the painting, the preoccupied schoolmaster. While the two oldest children in this group appear to stare somewhat anxiously towards the master, the three younger ones seem fascinated by the mysterious activity with the book. The directions of these five gazes create a network of enjoyment, apprehension, and suspense. What exactly is going on here? A seemingly trivial bit of evidence serves to explain this scene. Handwritten in the margins, or on the reverse side of a number of surviving catchpenny prints are phrases such as, "This is my sanctje." or "Here is Abe Ruurd's heilig."17 This is curious, for sanctje and heilige can be translated as "small saint," or "little holy thing," a label that does not seem to fit particularly well with the often irreverent subject matter of comic prints. The explanation usually given is that although sixteenth-century woodblock prints frequently depicted saints, in post-Reformation Amsterdam, such imagery shifted, not surprisingly, to encompass more secular subject matter, while the no-longer-descriptive name "small saint" endured for three centuries longer.18 What this explanation overlooks are the implications of thinking of these inexpensive prints as "small saints"; as personified objects in some way holy or sacred to their users. A variation on this name, also scribbled on the edges of these types of prints, was steek sanctje. Steek means to poke or to stab, and the term steek sanctje refers specifically to a game played with catchpenny prints. In this game, prints were cut into pieces and tucked between the leaves of a book. While one person held the book, other players poked randomly with a key or pin attempting to dislodge hidden fragments. Such games were played to divine the future, or 44 discover the secrets of the past. They also were used to predict the future careers of young children.19 How, then, does the depiction of this game signify in the context of Jan Steen's chaotic classroom? If, through reference to Bruegel and the conventions of low-life paintings, Steen departs from axioms of the past, this foregrounded portrayal of a game of chance could be pointing to the future. As Mikhail Bakhtin argues in his influential work on early modern festive practices, the imagery of games often was used to signal changes in history and time, and thus was linked to destiny and to power.20 Jan Steen's multiple connections to Netherlandish comic traditions are well-documented,21 and possibly this painting draws on the imagery of fortune-telling to complicate the axiom that to educate a child is to shape the future of society. For in contrast to the pupils at the centre of the painting, whose disciplined use of print prepares them for middle- class milieus, these children at the margins subversively use printed material to divine their own futures. This practice resonates with the chaos of this rural space. We have the sense that a gesture from the schoolmaster would have the power to bring the turmoil of the schoolroom to order. The girl holding the book and the boy behind her look apprehensively in his direction; although the master's power to dictate morals and behaviour is suspended, their unabated reverence for his control ensures the continuation of authority. At the same time, these children surreptitiously usurp his role. In the noticeable abeyance of the schoolmaster's command, this child's game turns to the laws of chance to determine meaning, and to bring order out of the chaos of the classroom. Picturing a break with the past, Steen's image remains enigmatic, for the precise instant when one thing ends and another begins is virtually unrepresentable. The game of divination 45 that attracts the gazes of the schoolchildren and the viewer also eludes scrutiny: we see only the small gesture made before the future is revealed. In disrupting the linear progress of time, this image pictures a moment of uncertainty when social identities are not already determined by pre-given cultural traits but are being produced performatively.22 By moving backwards to draw upon and transform past traditions, this painting concurrently moves forward in an attempt to make sense of the present and future. In the moment depicted, past, present, and future collide as the traditional practice of divination intervenes in the present creating a moment of suspense about prospects which were not preordained, fixed and already in place. This reading of The Village Schoolroom prompts a reconsideration of the question posed above: what does it mean to call an inexpensive woodblock print a small saint? This term seems to endow these objects with a power in excess of the subjects who owned and used them. As the children take advantage of the schoolmaster's inattentiveness, the prints take on a life of their own. The kneeling child looks anxiously towards the master who has abdicated his power over the subordinate children in his charge: will he notice the objects that have appropriated his role? Paradoxically, the divining gesture that attempts to found order is precisely that which is excluded from the future, for, throughout the seventeenth century, beliefs granting the animating force of prophesy to material objects increasingly were repressed. This becomes apparent as early as 1602, in an unusual reference to children's games found in the travel account of the Dutch Protestant merchant, Pieter de Marees.23 Confronted with the beliefs of the Akan peoples of West Africa, Marees draws certain comparisons to make their traditions of fetish worship understandable to his Dutch readers. The fetish objects, or "fetissos," of this 46 indigenous population, he states, are like Roman Catholic saints; they are no more than child's toys, trifles sold by Dutch pedlars.24 In an abrupt encounter with a radically different culture, the Calvinist trader thus concurrently recognizes and disavows difference as he pejoratively likens African fetish worship to Roman Catholic religious practices and, surprisingly, to games played by Dutch children. The logic behind this conflation of African peoples, Roman Catholics, and Dutch youngsters, is that all are accused of wrongfully believing that mundane objects had worth and power in excess of their commercial exchange value. For Protestant traders such as Marees, the personification of material objects to embody religious and social values was profoundly contrary to the ethics of merchant capitalism, which depended on the demystification of objects for their circulation in economic as opposed to religious activity.25 Thus, as Pieter de Marees recognizes the dangers of fetish worship as a rite that endowed objects with deceptive value, he concurrently repudiates this practice by associating it with a childish, primitive past. Confronted with alterity, this trader therefore reassures his middle-class Dutch readers of their own advancement by engaging in a process of separating self from other, reason from superstition, Protestant from Catholic, masterful European from slavish African, adult from child, present from past, and real value from false value. Fetisso (or saint), therefore, was a term used by Dutch merchants in a process of understanding and rejecting the different social values and religious beliefs of non-capitalist African societies in order to secure the dominance of Protestant individuals and the smooth functioning of trade.26 A similar renunciation of irrational behaviour takes place in The Village Schoolroom. In Steen's classroom, it is peasant children-notably little girls~who are depicted foolishly turning to the power of objects and the laws of chance as a basis for social order. The few 47 children who realize that it is in their own best interest to work diligently and use print in rational ways stand out as successful individuals who will move beyond this school of fools. The Village Schoolroom thus equates games that rely on the caprice of contingency with the break-down of social order. These practices and beliefs are pushed into an infantile, feminine, chaotic, rural past. Like Marees, Steen's painting draws on the binary opposition of rational and irrational to reassert distinctions between such categories as middle class and peasant, urban and rural, masculine and feminine. Such a process of separation is more than just the disavowal of alien beliefs, however. For as the trader Pieter de Marees engages in the repudiation of fetish worship, this procedure simultaneously prompts him to personally identify with these values.27 The fetish objects of the West Africans, he claims, are "apenspel, guychelspel en kinderspel": they are foolish, superstitious children's games.28 In the process of likening fetish worship to games played by Dutch children, however, Marees seems to imply that his understanding of these practices lies in his own childhood experiences. Indeed, games of chance in which trifling objects were used to tell the future were widespread in the Netherlands in the early modern period.29 Thus, the faulty definition of objects that inhibits the functioning of trade returns, as familiar as his own boyhood, to trouble Marees' identity. In the very act of rejecting the irrational, the merchant betrays that his own origins were not rooted in reason and objectivity, but were a mix of often antagonistic practices and beliefs. Like Marees' writings, Steen's painting also exposes the impossibility of neatly dividing people and objects along lines of reason and superstition. For with The Village Schoolroom. Steen, himself a Roman Catholic, satirizes the inability of the Calvinist church to turn all children into reformed adults. 48 By the late seventeenth century, Calvinist elementary schools that taught the basics of religion, reading, and math to both boys and girls were established throughout the Dutch Republic.30 In principle, these schools were open to all Christian children, regardless of denomination or social class. However, it has been argued that the elementary schools were geared mainly to the needs of Calvinist children from the broad middle class, providing moral and practical training to equip boys for commercial and vocational careers and girls for their futures as wives and mothers.31 To ensure the quality of this education, schoolmasters were required to be respectable members of the Reformed church.32 The hourglass and collection bag behind the master in The Village Schoolroom link the school to the church, and remind viewers that teachers often also served as church custodians.33 As we have noted however, Steen portrays a rural schoolmaster who is anything but a moral exemplar for the children in his care. In this way, the painting pointedly draws attention to discrepancies between the dictates of Calvinism and discordant pedagogical practices. The inclusion of children's prints in Steen's painting also serves to emphasize these contradictions. Not only are prints being used to divine the future, but in the foreground at the far right of the painting lies a small discarded print of a bearded man who resembles John Calvin (fig. 1.5).34 Calvin, of course, was one of the most outspoken reformers to counter Catholic claims for the sacred status of objects such as bread, crosses, rings, and religious images.35 Integral to Calvinist doctrine, therefore, was the repudiation of the divine power of any material object. To enforce these precepts, the Reformed church actually forbade Roman Catholic children from bringing "Popish" books, images, crucifixes, and prints into the schools.36 What then would it mean to name a printed image of Calvin himself a "small saint" 49 and, furthermore, to use such an object in divination practices? The inclusion of a small print of Calvin thus seems to accentuate the fact that the magical uses of school prints were profoundly antagonistic to Calvinist doctrines. Calvinist schools can be understood as sites of passage, set apart for youth undergoing the important transition into adulthood. Recent studies have demonstrated, however, that the Reformed schools did not always uphold orthodoxy.37 Jan Steen's painting satirizes a schoolroom where recalcitrant bodies and the strange powers of printed images spring into the gap between imposed precepts and the schoolmaster's lack of command. As in the memoirs of the nineteenth-century reformer Willem Warnsinck, in this painting, the Calvinist classroom emerges as a heterogeneous space where inimical practices and beliefs intersect to make a mockery of the efficacy of the uses of print in Protestant pedagogy. The hybrid mix of Calvinist doctrine, merchant ethics, magical practices, and comic conventions, and the vacillation between attraction and disavowal that it seemed to evoke, are central to my understanding of the workings of these prints in the education of children. Children's prints were not simply objects that permitted youth to rebel against the strict codes of a Calvinist upbringing, nor were they images of deviance allowed by authorities in order to reinforce norms. The process of denigrating these prints as trivial, and associating them exclusively with subordinate social groups served as a means to enforce hierarchies of class, race, religion, gender, and age. This can be understood as a defensive reaction against the power of these prints to call into question the coherence, of identity, which is always forged out of heterogeneous elements. Memorized in childhood, mingled with Reformed doctrine, permeated with the magic of the everyday, these prints produced subjects who were divided against themselves. This is 50 what Warnsinck betrays with the confession that, "The earliest imprints of childhood work powerfully...and the traces that they leave are not so quickly erased." Comic prints, he seems to say, were vital, almost animate objects with the capacity to indelibly imprint themselves on their readers. Readers in turn reacted to the prints in various ways; the reformation of Warnsinck, repudiation of Marees, and the divination of Steen's children being but a few examples that reveal the threat of such seemingly innocuous everyday objects. Farce as Weapon: Battling over the Public Theatre The specific prints that Willem Warnsinck condemned in his Memoirs of My Childhood were connected to farcical plays, or kluchten. which were staples in the repertoire of the Amsterdam theatre in the late seventeenth century. "I can still see: the John the Washer and his wife; the history of Urban and Isabel, the history of Tetje Roen and similar 'first-rate' prints.... How curious, this jumble of ideas and images, as those rude prints mingled with the learned Catechism lessons!"38 As a member of the Society for Public Welfare, Warnsinck argued that the common good depended upon the censorship of these rude prints. This attempt to secure the future hinged on repudiations of the past: Warnsinck evaluates Amsterdam's comic tradition and judges it uncivilized. The writing of history is never a disinterested practice, however, and in 1875, about thirty years after the publication of Warnsinck's memoirs, a retired schoolmaster, Bruno Lieuwes van Albada, issued his autobiographical Memories of the School and Life of an Eighty-Year-Old Headmaster. Significantly, these memoirs directly contradict Warnsinck's interpretation of comic tradition. Albada's description of how school prints impressed 51 themselves in his memory is remarkably similar to Warnsinck's narrative. The moral conclusions he draws about this process are notably different however: In the summer months I played outside. And when I tired of playing, then I studied my 'heiligen' (school prints): Jan de Wasscher, Tetje Roen...and similar ones.... My mother sought to encourage this studiousness, and allowed me to buy a couple of 'Heiligen' every day at Iedema's bookshop. Then I memorized them, with Mother playing the role of prompter. These rhymes and captions became so fixed in my memory that at the age of eighty, I can still recite them; the impressions engraved in early youth are so tenacious; how important therefore, that they are from respectable alloy and worthy to keep into old age.39 While Warnsinck lamented that "rude prints" of Jan de Wasser and Tetje Roen were engraved in his mind where they muddied his doctrinal memory work, here Albada lauds the very same prints as "heiligen", "small saints": respectable and worthy material to study and remember into old age. In subsequent pages of his memoir, Albada further explains the merit of these inexpensive prints. Lamenting that the purity of Dutch culture was contaminated by the influence of French classicism, and the mother tongue tainted by foreign words, he exclaims: "Even our 'heiligen,' or school prints, were given French captions!"40 This is the last straw, for Albada describes children's prints as a preserve of authentic Dutch language and culture. The opinions of this retired schoolmaster are revealing, therefore, for they indicate that not every authority who sought to secure the future well-being of society through education thought of comic print as a corrupting influence. Like Warnsinck's memoirs, Albada's writings draw attention to the remarkable persistence of these ephemeral prints, both in Dutch society, and in the memories of readers. Unlike Warnsinck, however, Albada praises the educational purpose of the prints, indicating why they may have been republished for such an exceptionally long time. 52 With this, I return to the questions posed by Warnsinck's writings: Why were these prints given to children, and whose interests did this serve? Here, it is important to recognize that Albada's strategy of opposing vernacular comic prints to French classicism is strikingly similar to late seventeenth-century debates about the role of farce in Dutch society. Children's prints conveying farcical scenarios about stock theatre types—the battling married couple, the deceptive quack doctor—were first published at a time when controversy about the role of comic plays in the make-up of a moral middle-class public was particularly heated.41 Two different groups attempted to prohibit farce. Throughout the seventeenth century, Calvinist churchmen argued that public opinion on moral issues should be shaped, not in the theatre, but in the church. In the 1670's and 1680's, these debates shifted as a classicist society took over the governance of the public theatre, and censored farce in an attempt to refine this space into an exclusive site of assembly for Amsterdam's increasingly French-speaking elite. Farcical plays had long been an integral part of Netherlandish cultural traditions.42 In the manner of Jan Steen's painting, farce allowed the urban middle classes the pleasure of exploring uncertainties about the social relations of merchant capitalist society through the actions of stock comic characters. Thus, it is not surprising that the classicist's efforts to ban farce were opposed by groups who supported Amsterdam's middle-class theatre traditions.43 In the late 1670's, at about the time that the performance of Dutch farces was restricted in favour of French theatre traditions, the themes and characters of these well-loved plays began to circulate in prints directed at children. Thus, it is plausible that these prints first were published in efforts to keep vernacular traditions in circulation. I now turn to a closer examination of the role of late seventeenth-century debates about children and comic farce in conflicts about the public theatre. Representatives of three 53 powerful groups—the merchant middle classes, the Calvinist church, and the governing elite—all had different interests at stake in controlling the municipal theatre, and each used farce as a weapon in battles about the education of children, the make up of the civic community, and the definition of the common good. Indeed, Amsterdam's theatre was often described as a "school" for shaping the morals of the children in the audience, and disagreements about the role of farce in this process converged around the question of how best to shape children into society's future. As in Jan Steen's painting, I found that patriarchal interest in manipulating the young intensifies around the bodies of children who were perceived as different. The presence of lower-class children, young girls, and orphans within the theatre audience was met with two overlapping politics of the body: one that attempted to ostracise these groups on the basis of their corporeal specificity; another that tried to transform diverse bodies into uniformly docile bodies. Just as Steen's painting registered anxiety about the contradictory capacities of print, however, social commentary about the theatre reveals that awareness of the power of theatre play to discipline diverse theatre-goers into conformity coexisted and conflicted with apprehension about the subversive potential of these plays, particularly the farces. While these transgressive possibilities were mobilized in struggles to keep this public sphere open to some, this coexisted with strategies in which the censorship of farce and its denigration as material for and about the uncivilized can be understood as moves to exclude certain groups from political power. Intriguingly, very few visual images of Amsterdam's civic theatre circulated at a time when it was one of the city's most contentious sites.44 Perhaps because there was so much dissension about the place of the theatre in civic life, any representation of this space would be seen to be fraught with difficulties. Indeed, as we shall see, even the most controlled images of 54 the public theatre contained ambiguities, hinting at the impossibility of controlling the consumption of plays. At the inauguration of the public theatre, or Schouwburg, in 1637, its regents—a group of prominent businessmen and literary figures-commissioned two large engravings of the building's interior (figs. 1.6 & 1.7).45 These official images, engraved by Salomon Saverij, continued to circulate in various forms throughout the seventeenth century, shaping the meaning of this space even after the Schouwburg was renovated in 1664.46 One of Saverij's engravings is a view of the audience (fig. 1.6). This image offers an entry into debates about the role of theatre in the formation of a civic community, as it seems to mount a defence of this space as a refined middle-class sphere of public opinion. At first glance, the beholder takes in balanced architecture containing a well-behaved audience. Looking more closely, the static harmony of this scene is only slightly disrupted by a movement in the bottom right-hand corner of the image. Cutting through the darkest shadows of the pit, a diagonal shaft of light widens as a small figure opens the door leading into the theatre. This movement of light across shadow introduces a moment of time and suspense into the otherwise static closure of this determined space. For here comes the subject of so much debate—a child is about to enter the theatre. This is what Stephen Greenblatt-would describe as a "kairotic moment": a critical point in child rearing "upon which a whole train of subsequent events depends, [a] moment whose enabling conditions may be irrecoverable and whose consequences may be irreversible."47 Such a moment must be seized by those wishing to shape the well-being of children and thus secure the future of the community. We have already seen how the schoolmistress in The Village Schoolroom grasped a similar opportunity, while the 55 neglect of the schoolmaster had chaotic consequences for the morals of the peasant children and the order of the school. The moment depicted here is equally fraught. For, like the peasant children in Steen's painting, the boy on the threshold of the theatre is positioned outside of middle-class norms. Diagonal lines of light and shadow connect him to another boy at the bottom margin of the engraving, who is also placed both within and outside of the theatre. This child rests one arm on a cartouche containing the emblem of the Schouwburg: an image of bees storing honey in a hive. Leaning up against the other side of this symbol is a bent old man. A seventeenth- century viewer would have identified these figures as inhabitants of two of the city's charitable institutions, the Orphanage and the Old People's Home. And this orphan and homeless old man are represented here, underneath the theatre audience, because revenues from the stage went to support these two charities. Although the child who opens the door to the audience hall cannot be immediately identified, he bears striking similarities to the orphan boy at the bottom of the print. Both are the same size, and wear similar tunics, breeches and hats. Both also are linked to the theatre emblem, for a large bee hovers on the lintel above the boy who enters the theatre. Is this child also an orphan? If he is, then he is probably a specific class of orphan, for the theatre had particular connections with the Burgerweeshuis, or Civic Orphanage. This institution provided care for burgher orphans-children whose parents or grandparents had been citizens of the city of Amsterdam.48 As children of citizens who had contributed to civic charity during their lifetimes, the inmates of the Civic Orphanage were classed as deserving poor.49 Indeed, the verse carved above the portal of the Orphanage reminded passers-by: Here the little orphan patiently languishes, He is not to blame for his own destitution, 56 And will perish in poverty If men refuse to stand by him: So, you who call yourselves Godly, Solace us with the surplus of your wealth.50 The Orphanage building itself attested that the godly had responded generously with the surplus of their wealth. For, like the theatre, Amsterdam's civic charities stood as architectural monuments to the munificence of the city.51 These were lavishly built institutions; their histories and management were detailed in civic histories, and they were much admired by foreign visitors to Amsterdam.52 At the same time, the civic charities functioned to enclose groups who were difficult to classify in the social structure: the ill, the aged, the homeless and parentless children, all of whom were not contained by family or home. The distinctive two- toned uniform of the Burgerweeshuis made visible its inhabitants' paradoxical insider/outsider status. This conspicuous costume seemed to brand burgher orphans as citizens without residence who both belonged and yet did not quite belong in the civic community. Significantly, this is also the position of the burgher orphan in the engraving of the theatre interior: neither in nor out, he pauses on the threshold, light from behind throwing his shadow onto the door jamb. What is his place in this refined middle-class sphere? The structure of the theatre interior that the orphan boy enters dictates the distribution of bodies within it, for the architecture forms a rigid hierarchical grid, organizing audience members according to income and status. The most elegantly dressed citizens take their place in the expensive private boxes. A scattering of respectable commoners perches precariously on the long benches in the less costly gallery. Except for the small boy, the inexpensive standing room in the pit in front of the stage is curiously empty, however.53 This is especially noticeable, given the fact that those who advocated for the theatre's closure consistently complained of the rowdy behaviour of the mainly lower-class crowds who routinely filled this space. Indeed, this 57 representation of an orderly theatre audience is markedly different from contemporary descriptions of crowds who smoked, ate, screamed, pushed, crowded, and threw things at each other.54 In the conspicuous evacuation of the pit, the aims of this representation to particularize the Schouwburg audience therefore become clear. With the exception of the small figure in the doorway, there is no place in this orderly representation of a refined public theatre for those who could only afford to stand in the pit. Restrained by the balanced grid of the architecture, the depicted members of a complacent audience are also hemmed in by moralizing texts that run along the lintel separating the boxes from the gallery, and across the lower margin of the print. For according to this engraving, and to descriptions in the civic histories, the theatre was a textual space.55 The architectural interstices of the playhouse—its lintels, mantels, entablatures, thresholds and beams—all were inscribed with verses that spelled out partisan justifications for the role of theatre in Dutch society. This textual fiirnishing functioned emblematically: like the printed emblems that circulated at the time, these were moral messages to be decoded by theatre-goers. In this way, the whole building was inscribed with meaning, and even those audience members who were not fluent readers must have been able to repeat these much-cited verses. Thus the power of rhetoric, a crucial element in theatre, was strategically deployed by the space itself in order to present an argument in defence of its purpose.56 At the same time, the deciphering of these devices was itself a kind of play, which allowed audience members to establish and debate their own positions on the theatre. The place of the orphan within the theatre is explained by a didactic text written in the rafters of the playhouse. Craning their necks upwards, theatre-goers would have been able to read the following verse: 58 The bees deposit here the finest of what they gather, To feed and guide the old man and parentless orphans.57 This rhyme connects the beehive emblem of the theatre with the recipients of charity. It constructs the theatre as a storehouse of knowledge that was needed to direct the passages of the orphan into society, and the old man into death. The theatre's generous contribution to their material sustenance is also implied. While the charities actually founded the theatre, and paid huge sums for its renovation in 1664, here the dynamic of dependence between the two institutions flows in one direction only: the material and cultural wealth of the theatre goes out to the least fortunate in Dutch society. This logic forms a powerful argument for the place of the stage in civic society; not only does the theatre support charity, but it coheres the community by reforming and guiding dubious groups such as orphans and impoverished old people. The inclusion of these figures in the engraving thus serves to visualize and publicize the moral, charitable role of the theatre in urban life. The redundancy of the phrase "parentless orphans" seems to register contemporary misgivings about this group. Without parents to supervise their up-bringing, orphans were thought to be in great danger of going astray, and the function of the Burgerweeshuis was to protect against their downward social mobility.58 Thus these civic institutions~the theatre and the orphanage—positioned themselves as surrogate parents, who would wisely guide orphaned burgher children.59 Indeed, in the engraving, as the, orphan steps over the threshold of the playhouse, he seems to step into his rehabilitation as a virtuous burgher.60 The mechanisms of his improvement were two-fold: the moral lessons of the plays combined with the influence of a well-behaved audience to teach conformity to social norms. The verses surrounding the orphan 59 boy and old man in the bottom margin emphasize this message. This poem by Jan Vos, who was both a theatre regent and a playwright, didactically lays out the purpose of the theatre: The theatre was founded for the folk's eye and ear, Through the plays, they learn useful, clever things here. Burgher duty praised, unfaithfulness revenged, Rhetoric has power to knead the heart like wax, And thus impress the brain with virtue and wisdom, Slander may pour poison to violate the playhouse, But it reveals earthly deceit and its uncertainty, As theatre play teaches the folk to know their own vanity.61 Vos' poem resonates with another text, inscribed across the frieze below the gallery, which is also reproduced in the engraving. These verses assert that theatre play came to light as an instructive pastime, which, in mimicking the world, displays human idleness for moral improvement.62 The placement of the orphan boy and the old man in the midst of Jan Vos' verses certainly seems to extend this message to them. The implication is that the plays performed in the Schouwburg would provide these recipients of charity with a moral foundation, teaching them to recognize and turn away from their own faults. Significantly, although the engraving pictures an audience made up mainly of middle- class burghers, the didactic verse concentrates on the effects of theatre on the folk, or ordinary people. The educational importance of theatre, according to this poem, was that it paired praise of the morals of burghers with condemnation of the faults of the folk, teaching all audience members to separate virtue from vice. Not coincidentally, this moral division follows class lines. Indeed, as we shall see, many of the plays, especially the farces, associated social ills with groups outside the burgher class, as stock lower-class comic characters acted out scenarios of dissolution within the market and the home. By projecting such concerns onto lower-class groups, these plays allowed viewers the pleasure of working through contemporary anxieties about the morals of merchant behaviour while maintaining social hierarchies. Indeed, Jan Vos' 60 poem does the same work, implying that theatre play provided negative examples from the everyday life of the lower classes in order to teach them to turn from their own immoral behaviour and espouse middle-class virtues. The engraving's visual arrangement of bodies in the playhouse indicates that contact with middle-class theatre goers also would work to civilize the folk. We have already noted how this image constructs a deferential, receptive, and hierarchically ordered audience located in a public sphere of refinement and taste. Anyone entering this space, by implication, would be taught to obey these rules of bodily decorum. In fact, the boy who comes into the theatre would have just encountered this poetic warning, printed in gold letters next to the playhouse entrance: No child in the Schouwburg must ever be rowdy, No pipes of tobacco, no mugs of beer, and certainly no candy, But especially refrain from unruly bouts, For if you do not, you will be sent out.63 This prominently placed admonition to censor disruptive behaviour in the theatre is directed at children, singling them out as an especially undisciplined group within the audience. Of course, tobacco smoking and beer drinking were not associated solely with children, and the implication is that anyone engaging in these activities would be treated like an undisciplined child, and put out of the theatre. Clearly the message of this text is that those who did not conform to certain standards of conduct would be excluded from this public meeting place. In a similar manner, the commissioned engraving of the Schouwburg interior represents the theatre as a space that cohered diverse urban populations by either disciplining or excluding those who did not comply with its codes of behaviour. However, even this controlled representation of the theatre hints that the procedure of regulating bodies and identities within the playhouse could never be entirely straightforward 61 and successful. Looking deep into the darkest theatre boxes above the orphan boy on the threshold, the viewer can just detect the outlines of a few shadowy figures, dressed in comic theatrical costumes. The intimation of these costumed figures introduces a slight, almost imperceptible ambiguity into this otherwise orderly image. Who are these shady figures? If they are players, why are they among the audience? And if they are disguised audience members, why are they play-acting? Who is acting a role and who is not? Who is looking and who is being looked at? The inclusion of these costumed characters in the theatre boxes may have called up early alterations to the architecture. When the Schouwburg first opened, each box was hung with curtains or shutters. By 1639, however, a poem by Mattheus Tengnagel indicates that these screens had afforded too much privacy, especially to courting couples, and thus had been removed.64 The poem laments that because of the loss of these impromptu sideshows, many no longer attended the theatre. The implication is that each private box, hung with its own curtain, functioned as a small stage, where spectators willingly or unwittingly performed for each other. Such ambiguity between stage and audience hall, and between players and spectators, jeopardized the spatial and social hierarchies that the architecture works to construct. This is clearly a case where the burghers in the private boxes could not have been held up as moral exemplars for the folk in the pit and gallery. If sexually improper behaviour occurred within the theatre boxes, then this distraction was blamed mainly on women who attended the theatre. Such concerns focused on young women, who were no longer children, but not yet constrained by marriage.65 As one male theatre-goer, recommending a trip to the Schouwburg, commented: "There men see the maiden chorus.... Primped and delighted to attend such plays, they come to see and to be seen."66 Such 62 a scene is depicted in the upper theatre box to the left of the orphan boy, next to one of the boxes containing the costumed characters. In this compartment, a well-dressed man turns his back on the stage to face the woman next to him. This elegant figure holds up an object that is either a mask, mirror, or fan between herself and her admirer. Ignoring her companion, she appears to be looking out at the stage. Her coy gesture associates her with the professional actresses whose performances in the Schouwburg drew crowds who admired their attractions as much as they disparaged their morals.67 Indeed, the opinion that young women should not attend the theatre because of its dangerous influences was expressed even by men who otherwise promoted the Schouwburg. As playwright Thomas Roodenburg noted, "Upstanding men forbid their daughters to attend certain plays, because of the lecherous examples that they saw in them."68 Thus, young women were singled out as another group whose presence in the theatre caused a double concern: the fear that they would distract the audience intertwined with anxiety that certain plays encouraged such disruptive behaviour. Unlike the rowdy noise making of children and folk, however, young women in the theatre threatened the visual disruption of this space. Entering this public site of assembly, women who came to "see and be seen" were not only vulnerable to the sexual gazes and judgements of men, but they also were empowered to actively look at both the stage and the audience, and judge for themselves.69 Indeed, almost all of the women in the Saverij engraving of the audience are accompanied by men, as if to imply the necessity of male chaperons to mitigate some of the dangerous freedoms of the playhouse. The inclusion of the woman who rebuffs her male companion as she looks elsewhere thus may hint at some of the transgressive pleasures that the theatre provided. 63 In this way, the inclusion of a few barely discernable costumed and masked figures around the orphan boy in the doorway complicates the "kairotic moment" of this parentless child's entry into the theatre. For the ambiguous theatrical figures inserted within the theatre boxes around the entrance intrude upon the moral middle-class politeness of the depicted audience by introducing uncertainties about the effects of theatre on audience members. These shadowy figures hint that Amsterdam's municipal theatre was anything but a stable architectural monument that ordered civic populations according to clear standards of rank, gender, and status. In fact, they reveal that true and false identities could be difficult to decipher within the playhouse. Theatre play, after all, was a medium that explored human identity in terms of the fluid processes of role-play, which blurred social categories. Thus, rather than being kneaded like wax and impressed with virtue and wisdom, the orphan boy is in a position to learn the tricks of theatre to shape and manipulate his own identity. Saverij's somewhat ambiguous engraving of the theatre audience was commissioned together with a view towards the empty stage (fig. 1.7). Significantly, this image of an unpeopled playhouse was chosen to illustrate the civic theatre in guidebooks to Amsterdam, which celebrated the city's many municipal institutions. Therefore, the image of the audience hall, with its extremely subtle allusions to the ambivalent status of the playhouse, was not circulated as widely as the paired image of the empty stage. One of these civic histories was written by theatre regent Tobias van Domselaer, and in his Beschryving der Stat Amsterdam, this view has been cropped slightly so that the audience members on either side of the unoccupied stage have been completely excised from the image.70 It is as if any representation of bodies within this social space-even decorous middle-class bodies-would indicate the flux of performance and audience participation in a theatre which was never a stable architectural 64 monument, but an ever-changing ephemeral experience. In this way, the image of an unpeopled stage in a vacant auditorium constructs the theatre as fixed and controlled by denying that this space was produced moment by moment through the appropriations of the people who used it.71 Only through the repudiation of the very practice of theatre could its contradictory possibilities be managed. * Saverij's official representations of the theatre construct it as a source of charity and a monument worthy of civic pride. They picture the Schouwburg as a meeting place where Amsterdam's middle classes could debate ideas, and where groups such as orphans, children, young women, and lower-class folk could learn refined manners. Undoubtedly, the engravings that the theatre regents commissioned functioned to defend the theatre in response to a powerful anti-theatre discourse. For throughout the seventeenth century, Calvinist churchmen denounced theatre play as dissident practice, and made it their mission, not only to close down the Schouwburg, but also to ban all theatre from Dutch society.72 The frontispiece of The Christian Household73 (fig. 1.8) of 1661, a treatise on righteous living by Amsterdam preacher Petrus Wittewrongel, pictures the public playhouse literally as a stopping place on the road to hell. The difference between this Calvinist image of the theatre and those commissioned by the regents is striking. Here, the theatre is pictured, not as an ordered sphere of middle-class decorum, but as a dark cavern where an unruly audience gathers to watch two half-dressed actors cavort on the stage. Obviously, church leaders such as Wittewrongel had a very different ideal of the make- up of the civic community than did the governors of the Schouwburg. The title print of The Christian Household visually presents this model by eschatologically categorizing a number of 65 social spaces and the activities in each. Flanking the book's title and author are two Old Testament patriarchs: Moses holds the ten commandments, and David his lyre, reminding viewers of their roles in writing the law and the psalms. Directly beneath the author's name, in the centre of the earthly realm, is the Christian household. The head of this household-the father, husband, and master—sits at a table and reads from a large book, probably the Bible.74 Standing respectfully around him are his children and servants. The mother breast feeds a baby before the hearth, while at the right of the scene, a maid sweeps away a clutter of morally threatening objects such as playing cards, dice, and prints. Clearly this represents an ideal Protestant household, presided over by a patriarch who teaches Christian values to his wife, children, and servants. The maps hanging in the background of this scene imply that such a household was the foundation of a godly nation. The smaller scenes on either side of the domestic interior emphasize this message. At right, a family does devotions before bed, while at left, a preacher sermonizes from a pulpit to an attentive congregation below. Central to this nexus of social relations is the Book. Authority flows from God, to Moses and David, to the Bible, to the preacher, to the male head of the household, to his dependants. The crucial role of the preacher in this chain of influence is emphasized by the title page's description of the author Wittewrongel as a "servant of the Holy Scripture". In this way, everyone in the home, even the patriarch, is made subservient to the biblical teachings of the minister. From here, we begin to see the threat of the civic theatre for Amsterdam's church leaders. In an ideal Reformed society, the only places of public assembly where moral issues would be shaped and discussed were the Calvinist churches and schools. The municipal theatre therefore stood as an alternate public meeting place where the people of Amsterdam could 66 gather to debate political and ethical issues of the day apart from the pastor's interpretation. At mid-century, Reformed preachers of a movement called the "Further Reformation" intensified attacks on the theatre, calling it a school of the Devil which incited the spiritual and moral backsliding which they saw everywhere in Dutch society.75 Leaders of the Further Reformation, as the name suggests, believed that the Protestant Reformation had not gone far enough and that reform, and further reform of manners, morals, and family life was desperately needed. While they conveyed these views to church-goers through sermons and theological publications, their arguments would have reached a broader segment of the population by way of the elementary schools.76 Children were singled out as a group especially endangered by theatre, for key to Calvinist doctrine is the belief that all children are born into sin and naturally inclined to do evil. The Christian Household advises schoolmasters of their duty to teach children to avoid the playhouse, and pastors such as Cornelius Poudroyen and Petrus de Witte wrote catechisms specifically for elementary school children, instructing them to commit condemnations of theatre to memory.77 Taking issue with the notion that "theatre play teaches the folk to know their own vanity," these Calvinists asserted that the theatre was quite simply a "school of vanity." Thus it was the role of Christian teachers and parents to protect "the tender ears and eyes of young children" from the sights and sounds of the playhouse.78 Through reiteration of the term vanity, they implied that theatre was insubstantial, empty show: playing was nothing but fraudulent surface appearance. In keeping with these views, these church fathers repeatedly condemned vernacular farces—which often played on the deceptive behaviour of husbands, wives, children, and servants within dissolute households—as especially corrupting to malleable young sensibilities. 67 Indeed, theatre audiences were likened to impressionable children, engaged in "childish wasteful vanity"79 that would lead them, not to repudiate, but to emulate the irnmorai behaviour enacted on the stage. As preacher Casparus Streso asserted, the young, who had not yet reached an "age of discretion", especially had to fight against vain insincerity. If, on their journey to adulthood, they once missed the narrow path of wisdom and chose folly's way, they would remain vain and foolish for the rest of their lives. For this reason, God had set aside the church and the school—but not the theatre—as places to educate children.80 In these Reformed guides to right living, attending the theatre was catalogued as a sin that broke the seventh commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Collapsing theatre- going with fornication, these treatises argued that the sexual passions acted on the stage had the power to mutate from feigned emotion to real emotion, causing both actors and beholders to burn with lust and commit sins of the flesh in their own lives. More broadly, theatre performance itself was conceived of as a sin of the flesh. To put on a new persona as easily as a costume was described as a sort of bodily betrayal, a fleshly vanity which no Christian should take pleasure in. The threat of disguise seemed to be that it confused social hierarchies, especially those of class and gender. Almost every Calvinist condemnation of theatre used the same two examples to argue that theatre went against the laws of God: it was unnatural for a lower-class player to act as a king, and for a male actor to play a female role.81 Within this anti-theatre discourse, young girls were singled out as a group particularly susceptible to the lure of the stage. And Calvinist preachers were not above using some of the conventions of theatre to get this message across. A booklet suggestively entitled The Persuasion of Dina resembles a printed comedy at first glance, but actually presents a dialogue between a young girl and a preacher, in which the minister convinces the girl that her 68 enjoyment of farce is sinful behaviour.82 The pastor is especially censorious of the confusion of gendered identity in stock comic scenarios where male actors played female parts and female actors took on male roles. Quoting biblical passages, he argues that women had no place in the public theatre, either as actors or audience members: "...it goes directly against the word of the Holy Apostle, who wills that women be silent in public, because it is unseemly, he said, for women to speak in public."83 A woman's proper place, as depicted on the title print of The Christian Household, was at her own hearth. In contrasting the home to the theatre, this image draws boundaries between moral private space and sinful public space, defining not only the types of people and objects proper to each, but also their eternal destinies. Across the top of the title page are three godly women: one prays, one reads the Bible, while the central figure cares for children. The wings of angels faintly visible behind them imply that these domestic women are in heaven. They are opposed to the figures at the bottom of the page, tormented by devils within the gaping mouth of hell. The implication is that the damned have spent their everyday lives congregating in the tavern and the playhouse, while the elect have stayed close to home and church. These pure spaces, positioned nearest heaven, are centred on the Bible. All other printed material—the playing cards and prints—are being pushed out of the domestic sphere. They belong to the pub and playhouse pictured below, and the maid seems to be sweeping these prints and games straight into the fires of hell. Not only is such a distinction drawn between moral private space and degenerate public space, but, in contrasting pub and theatre to the church interior, this image also works to oppose different sites of communal assembly. In an attempt to close off sites of public opinion not controlled by church leaders, the tavern and theatre are pictured as places frequented by the 69 damned. Calvinist preachers often drew attention to contests between the church and the public playhouse, complaining that many people seemed to choose plays over sermons on Sunday mornings. However, in picturing these two spaces together, this title print inadvertently draws attention to similarities between church and theatre and between preachers and actors. For both the pastor and the players are depicted standing above a crowd of people, employing the power of rhetoric and gesture to sway their audiences. Conceivably, this was part of the threat of the theatre for Calvinist polemicists: in the playhouse, dramatic interpretations of biblical stories and of everyday life within Amsterdam's homes were pleasurably apprehended by audiences without the explication of the church. In the same vein, these churchmen took issue with the connection between the Schouwburg and the civic charities, arguing that the theatre was anything but a wise guardian for urban populations. Asserting that Amsterdam's poor would be better looked after if the theatre was closed, they advocated that money wasted on ungodly entertainment should instead be donated to the church, which would take over control of charity work in the city.84 Again, this reveals that the practices of church and theatre were not as separate and opposite as the Wittewrongel title print would indicate. Indeed, the areas of overlap between the two may have caused the most anxiety to those who had much at stake in defining these boundaries. At the same time, the Calvinists' detailed condemnations of theatre practices, which sometimes drew on conventions of theatre itself, betray a deep familiarity with all aspects of theatre. Certainly this indicates that even the most vocal enemies of all things theatrical were not immune to the lure of the stage. The heatedness of these debates suggests that the status of the theatre in Amsterdam may have had more in common with the position of recipients of charity than it did with the situation of philanthropic middle-class citizens. Founded in part out of society's need to 70 accommodate dispossessed burghers, the Amsterdam Schouwburg seems to share the equivocal status of a citizen who does not really belong. For the theatre was described as both a manifestation of civic pride and a threat to social hierarchies. This peculiar insider-outsider status made it a troubling presence within civic identity. Like the burgher orphan caught on the theshold of Saverij's engraving, the Schouwburg's place within the social structure was difficult to classify.85 * Battles between the public theatre and the church were on going and acrimonious, for the church never had the power to abolish the playhouse.86 Thus when Amsterdam's civic magistrates closed the Schouwburg in 1672, there must have been much rejoicing among Calvinists of the Further Reformation. While this was certainly a victory for the churchmen, the sudden banning of theatre cannot be interpreted in terms of a rise in religious sentiment. For the impetus behind the governors' decision to shut down the theatre was not so much to appease church leaders, as it was an attempt to mediate the political upheavals of 1672, the infamous rampjaar. or year of disaster.87 In the panic following the invasion of the Dutch Republic by France, England, and their allies, an angry mob murdered the leaders of the regent oligarchy, Grand Pensionary Johann de Witt and his brother Cornells. To stabilize the situation, William JJI was brought to power as the traditional Stadholder, the quasi-monarch and military leader of the Netherlands. This position, which counterbalanced the powers of Amsterdam's magistrates, had been vacant from the time of the death of William's father, William II in 1650. As the tide of public opinion turned against Amsterdam's oligarchs, they reacted by closing the civic theatre, a place where crowds could gather to discuss divisive political controversies of the day. 71 The Schouwburg was not reopened until 1677, and at that time, the civic governors chose a new group of men to oversee the running of the theatre.88 A number of these new regents were members of a classicist society called "Nil Volentibus Arduum," "Nothing is Difficult for Those who Will." The views of this society were put forth by Andries Pels, a leading member of Nil, in his Use and Abuse of Theatre89: written during the Schouwburg's closure. From their establishment in 1668, this group had criticized the aims of the theatre's middle-class regents, and this pamphlet called for a new theatre in which politically and religiously sensitive issues were neither performed nor discussed.90 Although the model they proposed was not centred on the Bible, but based on adherence to the formal rules of French classicism, in many ways, Nil's mandate resembles that of the Calvinists. Notably, attempts to clean up performances intertwined with efforts to refine audiences. And, like the church, Nil singled out the kluchtspel farces as especially depraved, while the audience members perceived as particularly susceptible to corruption were children. However, unlike the church, Nil did have the power to ban the performance of Dutch farce. And so, from the late 1670's into the 1680's, these vernacular plays, which had been an integral part of the culture of the Netherlandish merchant classes for centuries, were censored within the Amsterdam Schouwburg.91 To account for this sudden turning away from Dutch comic tradition, historians have tended to accept the views of Nil and the Calvinists at face value.92 For example, Pieter Geyl writes: [Nil's] chief ambition was to reform the theatre, and it must be admitted that the theatre urgently needed reform.... The farces and comedies for their part were, with all their amusing lifelike quality, unbelievably coarse, even foul. The urgency with which the ministers kept admonishing the Burgomasters to close down the theatre becomes understandable in the light of such outrageous licence.93 72' However, this does not explain why plays that were staples in the Schouwburg's repertoire were pointedly redefined as unfit for consumption. Archival records of theatre revenues and audience attendance at mid-century indicate that farce performances consistently drew large crowds into the playhouse.94 How did the pleasurable suddenly mutate into the vulgar? The answer to this lies—not so much in an abrupt discovery of the true nature of the plays—as it does with a crucial shift in theatre audiences. For under Nil's administration, the definition of the civic theatre changed from a public sphere of merchant middle-class opinion to a preserve of the elite. As Nil replaced farce performances with classical French plays, new distinctions were made among audience members. Within this construct, those that preferred the formal aesthetics of French classical theatre were defined as connoisseurs, or "kenneren", in opposition to ignorant "onkundigen" who enjoyed the vernacular farces.95 In this way, Nil's aesthetic theories were very much allied to the political aims of Amsterdam's governors. For in spurning traditional Dutch plays in favour of French language and culture, the members of Nil participated in a larger social movement that sought to establish a cultural cleavage between an elite, quasi-aristocratic, French-speaking upper middle-class group and the merchant middle classes.96 The underlying impetus behind the classical theatre, therefore, was to create and reinforce new distinctions within the middle classes through the formation of a public sphere presided over by a social elite. Or, in the words of Andries Pels, the primary purpose of the civic theatre would be to teach good morals, proper bodily decorum, and refined language to "the noblest, most distinguished burgher children"97—to shape the offspring of Amsterdam's governing families. Efforts to teach the children of the elite to distance themselves from plays traditionally associated with the merchant classes were linked with attempts to secure the future economic 73 and political dominance of this group. While many of Amsterdam's governing families had made their fortunes in trade, in the late seventeenth century, these prosperous merchants withdrew capital from active buying and selling of goods in order to reinvest in finance, stock market, and banking interests.98 Among the wealthiest members of this new elite merchant- financier group was Andries Pels.99 With this important shift from merchant capitalism to finance capitalism, members of Amsterdam's merchant and trader class increasingly complained that the policies of the governors favoured international investment over mercantile activity. Not only this, but the elite were accused of closing off political offices, reserving these positions as birthrights for their own children. While in the early seventeenth century, civic officials were mainly elected from the merchant class, by the end of the century, a small social elite had begun to monopolize these positions of power.100 As political chronicler Lieuwe van Aitzema observed: Decent people now don't mind indulging in reflections like the following: 'I must help my children into offices while I live. Here I haven't much opportunity for advancing my children. There are few vacancies...'. Just as if it had been written that none but these or those families should govern!... And if they were only content with one office! As a rule they get too much, but think it too little. This must in course of time create an impatient citizenry.101 The closure of public offices did indeed create an impatient citizenry.102 And one of the ways that members of the merchant classes fought back was by mobilizing the satirical power of farce, so long a vehicle of protest, to attack the increasing financial, political, and cultural monopoly of Amsterdam's oligarchy.103 Significantly, at about the time that farces were censored as unfit material for children of the elite, the contents of these controversial plays began to circulate in new forms~as catchpenny prints. We can now begin to see the role that this new genre of print may have played in struggles over the definition of the public sphere. Keeping censored middle-class 74 traditions in circulation, comic children's prints also may have mobilized the derisive laughter of farce to attack the increasingly inflexible boundaries that governed participation in public life. However, such a strategy was an uncertain process at best. As the following chapters demonstrate, the depiction of trickery in the market and chads in the home could also be read as critiques of merchant behaviour. And while these prints may have attempted to break down barriers between the middle classes and the elite, they conversely worked to shore up boundaries between the middle classes and subordinate social groups. Like the plays, the farcical scenarios in these prints often associate disruptive social behaviour with female, lower class, or itinerant comic types. This strategy, I will argue, worked to maintain the exclusion of these groups from public life. Once again there seems to be a complicated push and pull between pleasure and repudiation in response to the functions of these prints. The impetus behind the initial circulation of this new genre of print may have been to fight against the exclusion of merchant interests from public life. However, members of this group concurrently distanced themselves from comic tradition in efforts to gain new distinctions within a rapidly changing social, cultural, and economic situation. Print and Private Life: Crossing the Threshold Late seventeenth-century battles about the position of comic theatre traditions in the civic community reveal that farce, so often dismissed as boorish lower-class entertainment, was integral to the identity of the urban middle classes. Not only this, but controversies about how farce would prepare children to take up future social roles indicate multiple divisions of religion, politics, wealth, gender, and age within the broad middle class. The dissemination of farce material in printed forms marketed specifically for children undoubtedly played a part 75 within these struggles. Moreover, with the circulation of the new genre of children's prints came new anxieties about how diverse children would interpret this material. We have already seen how Jan Steen's The Village Schoolroom of c. 1670 (fig. 1.1) negotiates these concerns by associating the misuse of catchpenny prints with rural outsiders. There is another oil painting, Caspar Netscher's The Reading Lesson of c. 1675 (fig. 1.9), which also pictures interactions between children, educators, and printed material in a specific social setting. Like Steen's painting, Netscher's image similarly .connects children's prints with the negative moral traits of their users. By marking out "low" art—inexpensive prints-and associating them with groups that do not adhere to middle-class codes of morality, both oil paintings thus situate themselves as "high" art, which encourages thoughtful debate on social issues. In marked contrast with The Village Schoolroom, however, The Reading Lesson depicts the uneasy place of children's prints within a stereotypical middle-class milieu, the domestic interior. This complicates the assumption that genre paintings were for middle-class audiences, while catchpenny prints were for outsiders. Providing visual commentary about the role of education within the middle-class home, Netscher's image focuses concerns about children's consumption of print around the gendered division of public and private space. In this painting, the medium of circulating print, so instrumental in establishing boundaries between public and private life, also appears as a threat. It is pictured as a form that brings the public debates of church, theatre, and school into the private sphere, where they could be consumed without the supervision of authorities such as preachers, teachers, and theatre regents. 76 Painted at about the same time as The Village Schoolroom, at first glance Netscher's depiction of children's uses of print seems strikingly different from Steen's. For The Reading Lesson moves us from Jan Steen's boisterous rural schoolroom into the tranquillity of a middle- class home that appears to fulfil the injunction of seventeenth-century moralists that an ideal household should function as a small school where parents, especially mothers, worked to educate their children.104 The three figures in this painting, a woman and her two daughters,105 are arranged in a triangular composition. Light from the window at the left of the composition illuminates the mother's head at the apex of the triangle. Her face, turned towards the viewer, is positioned just above the head of her older daughter, who, with her mother's help, reads intently from a small book. The mother's left arm leads the eye down the slope of the triangle to her younger daughter who kneels behind them and plays with a puppy. Like her mother, she too meets the viewer's gaze. The puppy's dangling leash, the chair leg, and the child's skirt are arranged in a series of verticals; a visual device that draws attention to a cluster of objects scattered in a pool of light on the floor below them. Here, in the foreground of the painting, closest to the picture plane, we see a gridded children's print together with two children's games, a top and a knuckle bone. The base of the triangle runs from these toys back to the table where the reading lesson takes place. The painting's careful arrangement of bodies and objects in space employs various visual strategies that encourage the viewer to speculate about the uses of print in education. One of these is a device often used by Dutch genre painters: the depiction of a painting-within- a-painting. The image hanging above the mother and her studious daughter in the background of this scene can be recognized as Peter Paul Rubens' The Brazen Serpent (fig. 1.10). This painting represents a Biblical Old Testament story of discipline and redemption in which God 77 punishes the rebellious Israelites with a plague of venomous snakes.106 On the wall beside this image, above the playing child, hangs a map of the Dutch Republic. The contrast between The Reading Lesson's domestic scene and the portentous background images interacts with the distinction between the obedient industrious girl who receives moral instruction from her mother, and her idle disobedient sister who turns her back on this lesson. In this play of divergent motifs, the viewer can begin to make out a didactic message: if children were not disciplined when going astray, consequences for the future of both the household and the Republic would be serious.107 But surely Rubens' image of violent retribution appears excessive in contrast with the quiet domestic scene of a mother teaching her children to read. In the Rubens' painting, disobedient bodies become suffering bodies: God's punishment is corporeal, and the writhing figures of the dying Israelites can be made out in the foreground. This image of brutal physical chastisement seems oddly juxtaposed with The Reading Lesson's main theme of the education of middle-class children, pictured as a gentle disciplining of the mind. Here it is useful to consider Michel Foucault's work on late seventeenth-century disciplinary strategies. Foucault points out that at this time, discipline appears to shift its locus from spectacles of physical suffering to subtle manipulations of the soul. While this new model of training may seem less corporeal, however, he argues that it is nothing other than a new politics of the body.108 We see this type of corporeal discipline depicted in both The Reading Lesson and in Jan Steen's The Village Schoolroom. Steen's schoolmistress and Netscher's mother are similarly positioned bending over a child while pointing to the pages of a small book.109 As Foucault notes about such pedagogical procedures: "Over the whole surface of contact between the body and the object it handles, power is introduced, fastening them to one another".110 The obedient children 78 in both paintings follow printed texts with their fingers, a small gesture indicating the physical control needed to master this task. Their bodies follow the text. In each scene, the job of helping children with the hard work of learning to read is analogous to the process of shaping norms of moral behaviour. In this disciplinary procedure, docile bodies are produced through the control of minds.111 The corporeal nature of this type of training becomes more explicit when we consider how in Netscher's painting, the compliant child is contrasted to the idle child with the puppy. Simon Schama has argued that the motif of a little girl with a puppy appears repeatedly in Dutch visual culture to signify the importance of correct training.112 In Jacob Ochtervelt's Family Portrait of 1663 (fig. 1.11), to note one example, the viewer's eye is led through the painting, connecting the patriarch at centre, to the Bible, to the wife and mother, who gestures to their kneeling daughter and her docile dog. "Leerzugtigheid," or Christian aptitude, is founded on obedience to the Word, and the motif of the well-trained puppy seems to denote that this training is as physical as it is spiritual.113 In contrast, the puppy in The Reading Lesson is not being trained: its leash dangles from the chair, echoing the leading bands which hang limply down the little girl's back. These leading bands were used to teach young children to walk. We see them being wielded in Jan Luiken's emblem De Lieband (fig. 1.12) by a mother who holds the straps of a toddling child.114 Just behind the woman and child runs an unleashed dog—a motif that provides a foil for the depiction of correct training. In Luiken's image, as in Netscher's and Ochtervelt's, a comparison is drawn between the physical and moral disciplining of small children, especially girls, and the training of unruly animals. In this way, the leading band seems to work as a pictorial motif that draws attention to the widespread belief that the natural wilfulness of children had to be 79 harnessed at an early age.115 Certainly this is the message oflhe Reading Lesson: the little girl and the dog both resist obedience training, and their neglected moral instruction is represented by their untethered bodies. Within the moral contrast that Netscher sets up, the colourful catchpenny print lies near the rebellious child and her puppy, in opposition to the small book, possibly a catechism, which the submissive older sister reads. As in Steen's Village Schoolroom. Netscher also draws the viewer's attention to a conflict between proper and improper uses of printed material. In both paintings, print functions as an effective tool to manipulate the attitudes and deportment of children. However each painting also demonstrates that print could work in ways that contradicted behavioural norms. We already have examined how in Steen's painting, the small gestures of playing the superstitious game of steek sanctjes was used to satirize the pedagogical intentions of the Calvinist school. The Reading Lesson similarly associates catchpenny prints with toys and games, and with a young child who avoids moral instruction and uses her time unwisely. Both paintings picture disobedient little girls turning their backs on the authority of educators and godly books to play with prints. There is one crucial difference between these two images, however. As I argued about The Village Schoolroom, the manner in which this image projected irrational, chaotic practices onto lower-class groups in a rural setting served to secure the middle-class identity of the painting's intended audience, and to define the spaces they inhabited. In the case of The Reading Lesson, by contrast, both the intended audience and the subjects depicted are middle class, and the idle practice of playing with prints is positioned as an activity that threatens domestic identity from within. 80 That such a seemingly trivial practice was viewed as an extremely weighty matter is affirmed by the picture of divine retribution that overhangs Netscher's ostensibly tranquil domestic scene. This is reminiscent of the frontispiece of Petrus Wittewrongel's The Christian Household (fig. 1.8), another image where a scene of judgement and a map of the Republic interact with a middle-class domestic interior. As I argued above, the title print of Wittewrongel's book works to delimit clear eschatological frontiers between moral and immoral spaces: the home and church are nearest to heaven, while tavern and theatre are in proximity to hell. There was much at stake in fixing the meanings of these spaces and the identities of the people within them in such a way. As the map hanging above the Christian interior indicates, a righteous, smooth-functioning patriarchal household was a microcosm for the Republic as a whole. As in Ochterveld's portrait (fig. 1.11), such a Christian home is centred on the male head who instructs his household from the Bible,1 1 6 Moreover, in the Wittewrongel title print, biblical teaching conflicts with the prints and games that are being swept into the nether regions of tavern and playhouse by an obedient servant. The manner in which these objects disrupt the home can be understood in terms of de Certeau's argument about the impossibility of controlling and securing social space: Things extra and other (details and excesses coming from elsewhere) insert themselves into the accepted framework, the imposed order.... The surface of this order is everywhere punched and torn by ellipses, drifts, and leaks of meaning: it is a sieve- order.117 In The Reading Lesson, the moral boundaries of the home are not depicted as impermeable, and prints and toys remain scattered on the floor, where they distract from godly instruction. While being in contrast with Wittewrongel's image, The Reading Lesson also resonates with the themes of contemporary Dutch genre imagery, which repeatedly depicted scenes of housewives caring for home and family in the absence of male householders.118 Specifically, 81 Netscher's image takes up the issue of women's authority over the education of young children within the private sphere. And, as we are beginning to see, the specific visual strategies which the artist employs to describe the moral order as sieve-order turn on misgivings about the possible consequences of unsupervised interactions between women, children, and printed material. The representational device of imaging a painting-within-a-painting disrupts the serene surface of this depiction of maternal instruction within the home to register uneasiness about the repercussions of undisciplined behaviour. For in the absence of the male head of the household, the blame for spiritual and physical insurrection is hung, in the form of the Rubens' painting, squarely over the head of the mother. Imaged as a parent, an educator, and a consumer of print, this woman does not seem to use her powers wisely, for she neglects one of the children left in her care. Anxiety about her inattentiveness is heightened by another pictorial strategy commonly deployed in Dutch genre paintings. For Netscher creates a sense of intrigue by situating beholders as if they have just intruded on a private moment. In The Reading Lesson, this positioning of viewer-as-voyeur not only enhances the on-looker's enjoyment of the painting, by it also sets up a complicated series of exchanges between the viewer and the image, drawing attention to the manner in which the observer both enters, and is barred from the scene. Momentarily distracted from their activities, the mother and younger daughter glance out of the painted scene to meet the interloper's eye. In this way, their gazes break across the surface of the painting to include the onlooker. The older daughter, by contrast, refuses to be disturbed. Reading attentively from the small book, she does not look up, and her very absorption in her task seems to protect her from interference from the outside world. Her 82 activity—private, docile reading-is in fact a practice that functions to constitute, not only an interiorized subject, but also a sphere of private life.119 In this way, the inner concentration of the older daughter does not allow the onlooker to intrude on the scene. This acts as a foil for the actions of the mother and younger child, who, in meeting the viewer's gaze, invite the exterior world into the private interior. In this push and pull between gazes that attract and rebuff lies the paradoxical message of The Reading Lesson. Painted for display within a middle-class home like the one depicted, this painting both functions to define the domestic interior as an enclosed feminine space, while concurrently raising doubts about the very boundaries of the private. Within this paradox, we can begin to comprehend the place of print in private life. For while the solitary consumption of print works to regulate behaviour within the home, the medium of print can also act as an intruder. Bringing the outside world into the household, print mediates between the exterior and the interior, the public and the private, the community and the individual. Netscher painted The Reading Lesson during the 1670's, at a time when comic children's prints were beginning to circulate in Amsterdam. Although one cannot read the catchpenny print in the foreground of this painting, it is tempting to view it as an example of the best-selling prints that represented theatrical farce material in just such a gridded format. For the 1670's was also a decade of controversy about the effects of theatre play, especially farce, on Dutch children.120 While these plays were increasingly censored within the civic theatre, Netscher's image of a catchpenny print indicates how the process of printing provided a means to disseminate the themes of these comic plays, often described as hostile to moral family life, to children. In this way, material that excited much public controversy found its 83 way into private life. Like the viewer who trespasses on this private scene, these prints have the power to disturb the virtuous interiority of the home and the subjects within it. . The tension between pleasure and anxiety evoked by this image is connected to the painting's visual strategies. Both convey, not only the power of print to impose disciplines, but also the ways in which print could mitigate such controls. The device of including an image of divine retribution within a representation of a middle-class home interacts with the positioning of the viewer as intruder. Surprising the inhabitants of the domestic sphere, the beholder apprehends a contrast between cloistered, virtuous, and passive consumption of print, which secures domestic interiority; and idle, negligent, undisciplined uses of print, which interferes with the shaping of private morality. The intruder thus apprehends guilty behaviour that must be punished. This situates the viewer, not just as a disruptive interference, but also as a somewhat God-like figure, in a position that resonates with Calvinist beliefs that an omniscient God apprehends and demands retribution even for small and secret sins.121 In this way, The Reading Lesson registers profound uneasiness about the dissemination of printed material into a space largely defined in terms of feminine activities. Clearly the moral message of this painting was intended to instil internal discipline within private life, thus supporting patterns of domination even in the absence of patriarchal authorities. While the painting certainly works to secure and constrain domestic activities, however, it also points to powers and freedoms, which existed within these restraints. Indicating the extent of women's and children's participation in print culture, The Reading Lesson depicts the home as a space of reading, education, and subject formation.122 It concurrently demonstrates that the dissemination and consumption of print were activities that could never be completely regulated by those who wished to impose behavioural norms. Thus, Netscher's Reading Lesson 84 both imposes constraints, and concurrently hints at the limitations of control, and the pleasures that print could introduce, even within subservient social positions. * Thus far, I have argued that comic catchpenny prints played a central role in the up- bringing of children. Printed material, mass produced and disseminated to a wide audience, was seized upon as an ideal tool for shaping the young into virtuous and hard-working citizens, a process thought to be crucial in the fashioning of a prosperous future for the Dutch Republic. However, commentary about this new genre of children's print indicates that it also was perceived as a medium that opened up new ways for readers to shape their own identities. The interactions between children and printed material initiated new concerns about audiences and practices, especially when the users of these prints were lower-class or female children. Emphasis on the strict supervision of education by authority figures such as parents and teachers can thus be seen as a response to these concerns. For in the absence of control, children are shown using prints in idle and superstitious ways that subvert some of the most basic teachings of mercantile Protestantism. Connected to the pleasures of both theatre play and games of chance, these prints could infuse the home and the school with activities that were commonly associated with the theatre or the tavern. Such practices often were described as antagonistic to a moral Republic: theatre play because it distorted genuine identity, and could confuse categories of rank and gender; and games of chance because they endowed cheap prints with values in excess of their commercial worth. To be able to distinguish between the true and false identities of people and objects was a crucial operation within a mercantile society based on exchange. In this way, commentary about the contradictory functions of catchpenny prints often intersected with larger debates 85 about the difficulty of deterrnining authentic identity within the rapidly changing social and economic situation of the late seventeenth century. In the following chapter, we shall see how tensions between the persuasive power of representation and its potential failure are heightened in a series of children's prints that connect theatrical duplicity with the skills needed to succeed in an increasingly placeless and timeless market. Making connections between the deceptive strategies employed by printed representations, theatre performances, and market practices, these farcical prints draw attention to gaps between artifice and its exposure, and to conflicts between the tricks of persuasion and the canniness of beholders. 86 Notes 1. "Moesten wij in de school ook wat goeds en huttigs, uit het hoofd, leeren opzeggen! De Heidelbergschen Catchismus. De belooning, voor het goed vragen opzeggen, bestond in het uitreiken van prenten. Nog zie ik: den Jan de Wasser en zijn wijf; de geschiedenis van Urbanus en Isabel; de historie van Tetje Roen, en dergelijke uitmuntende prentwerken. Het Jan die zit hier op zijn hakken, Enhij laatzijnkindjek....n. en Tetj e Roen kookt paardevij gen, Om daar drankjes van te krijgen. kwam veel spoediger in het geheugen van het kleine goedje, dan de soms lange antwoorden uit den Heidelberger; maar hoe wonderlijk haspelden zich de denkbeelden, aan die onkiesche uitdrukkingen verbonden, dooreen met de geleerde Catechismusles! Ik geloof echter niet, dat de goede Antjemeu ooit daarover, een oogenblik, heeft nagedacht." W. H. Warnsinck, "Herinneringen uit mijne Kinderjaren," Vaderlandsche Letteroefeningen (1849) II, 210-211. Thank you to Rudolf Dekker for drawing my attention to this reference. On Warnsinck, see Rudolf Dekker, Uit de Schaduw in 't Grote Licht. Kinderen in Egodocumenten van de Gouden Eeuw tot de Romantiek (Amsterdam: Wereldbibliotheek, 1995) 170-174, 276. 2. "De vroegste mdrukken ons, in de dagen der ldndschhied, gegeven, werken krachtig op gevoel en verbeelding, en de sporen, die zij trekken worden niet zoo ras uitgewischt." Warnsinck 211. 3. Models contrasting dissemination and distinction, and discipline and invention in cultural forms and practices have been developed in Roger Chartier's important works on early modern print culture. These theories are summarized in Roger Chattier, "Introduction," The Cultural Uses of Print in Early Modern France, trans. Lydia Cochrane (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987) 3-12. 4. This approach was pioneered by Dutch art historian Eddy de Jongh. See his essay in the exhibition catalogue, Tot Leering en Vermaak: Betekenissen van Hollandse Genrevoorstelling uit de Zeventiende Eeuw (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1976) 14-28. 5. Christopher Brown, Dutch Painting (London: Phaidon, 1993) 64-65; Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches (New York: Knopf, 1987) 558-559. Bruegel's image circulated as a print by Pieter van der Heyden. Reproduced in Brown 64. 6. "Al reyst den esel ter scholen om leeren, Is't eenen esel, en sal geen peert wederkeeren." This verse is written in Latin and Dutch along the bottom of the print. Translated in Brown 64. 7. "Wat baet keers oft bril, Als den esel niet sien en wil." 8. Perry Chapman et al., Jan Steen: Painter and Story Teller (exh. cat.; Washington D . C : National Gallery of Art and Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1996) 233. 87 9. Indeed, the populations of seventeenth-century Dutch cities reached their peak in the 1670's. This urbanization process in Holland is discussed in J.L. van Zanden, The Rise and Decline of Holland's Economy (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993) 35-46. 10. To quote Jan de Vries, "The flows of migration sustaining Europe's cities and allowing them to grow were an integral part of a larger process of geographical mobility, and geographical mobility of all types was intimately related to the achievement, or imposition, of occupational and social mobility." Jan de Vries, European Urbanization. 1500-1800 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984) 213. 11. De Vries 218-219. The new possibilities of seventeenth-century social mobility also are discussed in A. Th. van Deursen, Plain Lives in a Golden Age: Popular Culture. Religion and Society in Seventeenth-Century Holland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) 78; and Jonathan Israel, The Dutch Republic: Its Rise. Greatness and Fall. 1477-1806 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995) 330-339. 12. Connections between the work of these artists are explored in Chapman 231. 13. See Mariet Westermann's discussion of this painting, The Art of the Dutch Republic. 1585-1718 (London: Orion. 1996) 129. 14. The social distance between the urban consumers of comic representations of peasants and the "city sins clothed in country dress" depicted in low-life imagery has been discussed by Svetlana Alpers, "Realism as Comic Mode: Low-life Painting seen through Bredero's Eyes," Simiolus 8. 3 (1975-76): 115-144. 15. The workings of these disciplinary procedures are discussed in Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish. The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1977), particularly in Part Three, "Docile Bodies," 135-169. 16. These prints are clearly depicted. Most of them are of images of animals with texts across the bottoms. These types of prints are often classified as "Kermis" prints, as they were given to children at fairs. The major catalogue of children's prints is Maurits de Meyer, De Volks- en Kinderprent in the Nederlanden van de 15e tot de 20e Eeuw (Antwerp: Uitgevers Standard-Boekhandel, 1962). 17. These are quoted in Meyer 20. The catchpenny print collection of the Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam contains examples of these sorts of inscriptions as well (although, unfortunately, one cannot examine the verso of any of the prints). A print of the quack doctor Tetjeroen, published by J. Thompson, no. 52, in Waller 9, for example, has the following lines written in the left margin: "Vierentwentig Prentjes. Ao. 1812. Klaas de Geus, zijn Hilliggie." As late as 1812, buyers of catchpenny prints continued to call them small saints. 88 18. Meyer 19-20. E. M . Van Heurck and G. J. Boekenoogen, Histoire de l'lmagerie Populaire Flamande et de ses Rapports avec les Imageries Etrangeres (Brussels: G. Van Oest, 1910)13-14. 19. Meyer 19. On similar games of chance played in England, see Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic. Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England (London: Penguin Books, 1971) 254-255. According to Thomas, often psalters or Bibles were used in divination practices because they were believed to have more power. 20. Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, trans. Helene Iswolsky (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1968) 234-5. 21. See the essays in Chapman. 22. On performative identity, see Homi Bhabha, "Introduction," The Location of Culture (Routledge: London, 1994) 1-18. 23. Pieter de Marees, Beschryvinghe ende Historische Verhael van het Gout Koninckrijck van Gunea ('s Gravenhage: Nijhoff, 1912). This text was first published in Dutch in 1602, and translated into English in 1625. The English version has been republished as: Pieter de Marees, "A description and historical declaration of the Golden Kingdom of Guinea," in Samuel Purchas, Hakluytus Posthumus. or Purchas His Pilgrims, vol. VI (Glasgow: MacLehose, 1905) 289-297. My understanding of Marees' writings on fetish worship is indebted to the interpretations of William Pietz, "The Problem of the Fetish," Res 9 (1985) 5-17; 13 (1987) 23- 45; 16 (1988) 105-23. 24. Marees repeats such comparisons throughout his account. See Purchas 271,294,296. 25. Pietz 40. On the shift from religious fetishism to commodity fetishism in seventeenth- century Dutch art and society, see Hal Foster, "The Art of Fetishism: Notes on Dutch Still Life," Fetishism as Cultural Discourse, eds. E. Apter and W. Pietz (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993)251-265. 26. Of course, this process was also crucial to justifying the slave trading activities of Dutch traders on the coast of West Africa. 27. See Pietz 7-8, 12. ' 28. See pages 72-73 of the Dutch version. Marees also calls fetish objects "cramerye" and "beuzeling": pedlar's trifles. 29. The major catalogue of Netherlandish children's games is A. de Cock and I. Teirlinck, Kinderspel en Kinderlust in Zuid-Nederland (Gent: A. Siffer, 1902) 9 vols. The game of "steeksanctjes" is described in vol. IV, 91-93. The fortune-telling and magic practices which pervaded Amsterdam's neighbourhoods, and the attempts of church consistories to censure 89 these are detailed in Herman Roodenburg, Onder Censuur. De Kerkelijk Tucht in de Gereformeerde Gemeente van Amsterdam 1578-1700 (Hilversum: Verloren, 1990) 205-228. 30. The history of the Reformed schools is explored in E.P. de Booy and P. Boekholt, Geschiedenis van de School in Nederland vanaf de Middeleeuwen tot aan de Huidige Tijd (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1987). A more general work on the importance of education and print in Protestant efforts to reform is Carmen Luke, Pedagogy. Printing and Protestantism. The Discourse on Childhood (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989). 31. The poorest groups in society probably could not afford tuition payments, while young boys from elite families usually attended the more prestigious Latin schools in preparation for university. E.P. de Booy, "Naar School: Schoolgande Kinderen in de Noordelijke Nederlanden in de Zeventiende en Achtiende Eeuw," Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 94 (1981) 427-428. While Roman Catholic and Anabaptist children also attended these schools, Amsterdam's Jewish community had separate educational institutions. Deursen 117; Schama 587-596. 32. Repeated complaints to the church Synod reveals that these laws were not strictly enforced, and that a number of Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Remonstrant schoolteachers continued to work in the elementary schools. H. van Gelder, Getemperde Vrijheid (Groningen: Wolters Noordhoff, 1972) 198-199. 33. The hourglass was hung across from the pulpit, so that the preacher could time his sermon, making sure it was the required length. The bag on the end of a long stick was held in front of everyone in the congregation to collect their tithe. 34. The entry on The Village Schoolroom in the recent Jan Steen catalogue describes this as a print of Erasmus. Chapman 233. Erasmus is not usually portrayed as a bearded man, however. Working from a reproduction of the painting, I can only tentatively suggest that it may be Calvin. 35. An interesting essay that examines Calvin's views on the value of objects in transubstantiation debates is Stephen Greenblatt, "Remnants of the Sacred in Early Modern England," in Subject and Object in Renaissance Culture, eds. M . de Grazia et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) 340-345. 36. Decisions regarding the schools were made at the annual church synods. Gelder 201. 37. E.P. de Booy and P. Boekholt, Geschiedenis van de School in Nederland vanaf de Middeleeuwen tot aan de Huidige Tijd (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1987) 25-21. 38. Warnsinck 210. 39. "Kwam ik daarno tot rust, dan bestudeerde ik mijn heiligen (schoolprenten): Jan de Wasscher, Tetje Roen...en dergelijk....Dien leerlust zocht Moeder te bevredigen en liet mij elken dag een paar "Heiligen" koopen bij Iedema. Deze leerde ik van buiten, waarbij moeder de rol van souffleur speelde. Die rijmpjes en onderschriften kwamen mij zoo vast in 't 90 geheugen dat ik ze nog op mijn 80 jarigen leeftijd reciteeren kan; zoo vasthoudend zijn de indrukken, die der vroege jeugd worden ingegrift; hoe belangrijk derhalve, dat ze van degelijk allooi zijn en waardig, om tot op hoogen ouderdom te blijven bewaard." B.L. van Albada, Uit de oude en nieuwe doos. Herinneringen uit den school en het leven van een 80-jarige oud-hoofdonderwijzer. Ernst en Luim (Groningen: W. Versluys, 1875) 8-9. Albada's memoirs are discussed in Dekker, Uit de Schaduw 170-173. 40. Albada 18. 41. A theoretical study, which considers the role of theatre in the formation of a bourgeois public sphere, is Jurgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. In Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. T. Burger and F. Lawrence (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989). Maria-Theresia Leuker draws on Habermas' theories to analyse Dutch theatre as the expression of an urban middle-class value system in 'De last van't huys. de wil des mans...' Frauenbilder und Ehekonzepte im Niederlandischen Lustspiel des 17. Jahrhunderts (Munster, 1992). My analysis of the role of the Amsterdam theatre indicates a lack of consensus and homogeneity among the middle classes, thus departing from Habermas' and Leuker's reassertion of this category. An influential study of similar issues in England at this time is Peter Stallybrass and Allon White, The Politics and Poetics of Transgression (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986), especially chapter two. 42. A key work on earlier Netherlandish comic tradition and its urban burgher audience is Herman Pleij, Het Gilde van de Blauwe Schuit. Literatuur. Volksfeest en Burgermoraal in de late Middeleeuwen (Amsterdam: Meulenhoff. 1979). 43. On the opposition to these theatre reforms, see Maria Schenkeveld, Dutch Literature in the Age of Rembrandt. Themes and Ideas (Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Co., 1991) 16-25. 44. For an overview of images of the theatre from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, see Bamber Gascoigne, "On Stage: Dutch Theatrical Prints," Delta vol. 12, no. 3 (Autumn 1969): 4-20. 45. The regents were chosen by the civic government. Their job included financial management, the purchase of costumes and sets, and also the allotment of roles and the selection of plays. All plays performed in the Schouwburg were first read by the regents, whose duty it was to ensure that they contained no criticisms of the state, the city, or the church, nor anything immoral that would harm the "tender ears" of children and other susceptible groups. Tobias van Domselaer, Beschryving der Stat Amsterdam van haar eerste beginselen. oudtheydt. vergrootingen. gebouwen en geschiedenissen tot op deh Jare 1665 (Amsterdam: Marcus Willemsz Doornick, 1665) 204-205. 46. These two prints are of Jacob van Campen's 1637 theatre, and were published together with a ground plan of the Schouwburg. Large engraved versions of these views (approx. 51 x 72 cm) were probably directed at wealthier theatre patrons, while smaller, less expensive 91 versions (12 x 14 cm) would have reached a broader audience. A number of these prints were published by the printing house of the Lescaille family (for example, T L 66-14 in the collection of the Amsterdam Theatre Museum, and F M 1779 in the Rijksprentenkabinet), to whom the regents had granted the privilege to print plays performed in the Schouwburg. Possibly, like the printed plays, these prints of the theatre were sold within the building during performances. See J. A. Worp, Geschiedenis van den Amsterdamschen Schouwburg 1496-1772 (Amsterdam: S.L. yan Looy, 1920) 127. The Saverij engravings are discussed in Gascoigne 9-11; and in F.W.H. Hollstein et al., Dutch and Flemish Etchings. Engravings and Woodcuts. 1450-1700. 43 vols. (Amsterdam: Menno Hertzberger, 1949- ) vol. 24, no. 15 and no. 16. 47. Stephen Greenblatt, "The Cultivation of Anxiety: King Lear and his Heirs," Learning to Curse. Essays in Early Modern Culture (London: Routledge, 1990) 87. 48. Sheila Muller, Charity in the Dutch Republic: Pictures of Rich and Poor for Charitable Institutions (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1985) 229. The importance of poorterschap, or citizenship, in urban communities is discussed in Schama 386, 582. For a correction of Schama's definition of poorterschap which takes issues of gender into account, see Els Kloek et al., Women of the Golden Age: An International Debate on Women in Seventeenth-century Holland. England and Italy (Hilversum: Verloren, 1994) 32. An interesting exploration of the links between poorterschap and notions of honour and shame can be found in Lotte van de Pol, "Prostitutie en de Amsterdamse Burgerij: Eerbegrippen in een vroegmoderne stedelijke samenleving," Cultuur en Maatschappij in Nederland. 1500-1800. eds. P. te Boekhorst et al. (Amsterdam: Boom, 1992): 179-218. 49. According to Anne McCants, the civic orphanage had a dual function: it acted as social insurance against the downward mobility of middle-class children, and it promoted notions of public harmony, in order to placate society's middling groups. Anne McCants, Civic Charity in a Golden Age. Orphan Care in Early Modern Amsterdam (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997) 1-17,102-104. 50. Hier treurt het Weesken met gedult, Dat arm is zonder zijnen schult, En in sijn armoedt sou vergaen, Indien men't weygerd bij te staen: Zoo ghij gesegend zyt van Godt, Vertroost ons met U overschot. Quoted in M . Fokkens, Beschryvinge der Wijdt-vermaarde Koop-Stadt Amstelredam (Amsterdam: Marcus Willemsz. Doornik, 1662) 265.n 51. Poor relief was provided for orphans who did not have poorter parents by other, far less lavish institutions, such as the Aalmoezeniersweeshuis. McCants 23-25. 52. Schama 572-579; Muller 7-10. 92 53. In 1678, the least expensive places cost 6 stuivers, about the price of a loaf of bread—a price that was still prohibitive to Amsterdam's many poor. Worp 123-124. 54. Complaints about this type of behaviour persisted throughout the seventeenth century. In 1687, printed posters were hung in the Schouwburg warning: "That no one in the Schouwburg shall raise a ruckus, swear or engage in an kind of rowdiness either with actions or words or they will pay a fine of three guilders..." "Dat niemand eenig geraas getier of eenige andere baldadigheid het zy met actien of woorden in de Schouwburg sal mogen maken op een boete van drie guldens..." Familiearchief Huydecoper. no. 314, Rijksarchief te Utrecht. The rowdiness of crowds is also discussed in Worp 85-88; and G. Kalff, Literatuur en Tooneel te Amsterdam in de 17de Eeuw (Haarlem: de Erven S. Bohn, 1895)305. 55. Domselaer's detailed account of the theatre describes the architecture and also reproduces these texts, pp. 203-206. Similar descriptions can be found in Fokkens 249-251; and O. Dapper, Historische Beschrijving der Stadt Amsterdam (Amsterdam: Jacob van Meurs, 1663)442. 56. I am drawing on Michel de Certeau's definition of a strategy: "...every 'strategic' rationalization seeks first of all to distinguish its 'own' place, that is, the place of its own power and will..." The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. S. Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984) 36. 57. "De byen storten heir het eelste datse lesen, Om d'oude stock te voen, en ouderloose Wesen." The poem can't be seen in the engraving, but is described in the civic histories.. See Domselaer 206; Fokkens 249. This is a difficult verse to translate, for, like many emblems, it plays on the multiple meanings of words. For example, "lesen" can mean either gather or read; "voen", feed or guide; and "stock", in seventeenth-century Dutch could refer to a stick, an old man, or a hive. My thanks to Christine Kooi for her help with the translation. 58. McCants 25-26. 59. McCants 31-33. 60. I have not been able to find evidence of the actual attendance of orphans in the Schouwburg, although Ben Albach tentatively speculates that they may have appeared on the stage, performing in children's roles or in crowd scenes. The children of the Schouwburg's actors and actresses also filled these roles. Ben Albach, Langs Kermissen en Hoven: Ontstaan en Kroniek van een Nederlands Tooneelgezelschap in de 17de Eeuw (Zutphen: De Walburg Pers, 1977) 76. J.A. Worp claims that residents from the Old Men's Home also were used as extras. Worp 117. 61. "De Schouwburg is voor't oor en oog van't Volk gesticht, Men leert hen door het spel huisnutte schranderheeden. \ 93 Zij wraakt de trouwloosheidt en roemt de burgerplicht, Welsspreekentheidt heeft macht om't hart als was te kneederi. Zo wordt het brein doorzult in deught en wijsbeseit, De Laster bruit vergeefs om't schoutooneel te schennen, 't Ondekt het aardtsch Bedrogh en haar onzeekerheidt, Tooneelspel leert het volk hun ydelheeden kennen." The poem is by regent playwright Jan Vos, whose works were often disparaged as vulgar spectacle by detractors of Amsterdam's theatre tradition. 62. The poem, depicted across the frieze of the audience hall in the engraving, is by playwright Joost van Vondel: "Play acting came to light to be an instructive art, Which beats all other kinds of sport, a very royal invention, It mimics every worldly thing, it tickles soul and heart, And sweetly goads and wounds us—to advantage, I should mention! It reveals in brief, in human life, all vanity entailed, At which Greek Democritus laughed and Heraclitus railed." Translated in Alfred Golding, Classicist Acting. Two Centuries of a Performance Tradition at the Amsterdam Schouwburg (Lantham, MD: University Press of America, 1984) 20. 63. The verse is also by Joost van Vondel: "Geen kint den Schouwburg lastigh zy, Tobackpijp, bierkan, snoeperij, Noch geenerlei baldadigheit, Wie anders doet, wordt uitgeleyt." Domselaer 205. 64. As Tengnagel mockingly pointed out, "If people wanted to have a bit of a romp, they would snap the shutters closed." "Had men lust om wat te stoejen, Met een snap de vensters toe." Quoted in Worp 126-127. 65. "Youth," or "jeugd," was the term most often used to categorize children ("kinderen") who had reached sexual maturity, but were not yet married. As E.K. Grootes points out, there was much variety in the use of this term, as it designated a broad group that was divided by differences of gender, social status, religion, region, morals, etc. E.K. Grootes, "Literatuur, Historic en Cats visie op de Jeugd," Spektator 9.6 (1979-1980): 477-493. 66. "Soo siet men't Maeghde-rey.... Gepronckt en op-getoyt na sulcke spelen treden, sy komen om te sien en om gesien te zyn." Quoted in Kalff 304. 67. The first actress to perform in the civic theatre was Adriana van den Bergh-Noozeman in 1655. On attitudes towards actresses, see J.A. Worp, Geschiedenis van het Drama en van het Tooneel in Nederland. vol. 2. (Rotterdam: Langerfeld, 1908) 32-38; Worp, Amsterdamschen Schouwburg 116-117,157-159; and Kalff 302-304. 94 68. "Treffelycke mannen hunnen dochters het bezoek van sommige tooneelen verboden, wegens de ontuchtige voorbeelden die zij daar gezieri hadden." Quoted in Kalff 265. 69. Jean Howard's insights into the tensions surrounding the presence of women in England's playhouses seem to apply to Amsterdam as well. Jean Howard, "Scripts and/versus Playhouses," Renaissance Drama, ed. M.B. Rose (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1989): 33-47; and "Women as Spectators, Spectacles and Paying Customers," Staging the Renaissance: Reinterpretations of Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama, eds. D. Kastan and P. Stallybrass (New York: Routledge, 1991): 68-74. 70. Domselaer's account of the Schouwburg is found on pages 203-206. 71. For the difference between "place," which is defined as fixed, dead and controlled, and "space," produced by the practices of users, see de Certeau 117. 72. Chapter three, "De Tooneelspelers en de Geestelijkheid," of G.D.J. Schotel's Tilburgsche Avondstonden (Amsterdam: J. Stemvers, 1850) is still an excellent overview of the Calvinist anti-theatre discourse. 73. Petrus Wittewrongel, Het Tweede Boek van de Oeconomia Christiana ofte Christelicke Huys-Houdinghe (Amsterdam: Weduwe van Marten Jansz. Brant, 1661). The frontispiece is from the third enlarged edition of this work, published by Abraham van den Burgh in 1661. On Wittewrongel's theology, see L.F. Groenendijk, De Nadere Reformatie van het Gezin. De Visie van Petrus Wittewrongel op de Christelijke Huishouding (Dordrecht: Uitgeverij J.P. van den Tol, 1984). 74. On the significance of family devotions, see Wayne Franits, Paragons of Virtue- Women and Domesticity in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993) 141-160. 75. See L.F. Groenendijk, "De Nadere Reformatie en het Toneel," De Zeventiende Eeuw 5, no. 1 (1989): 141-153. 76. The Further Reformation has had a lasting impact, for the texts of these seventeenth- century church leaders formed much of the basis for the doctrines of the Gereformeerde Kerk in the Netherlands and the Christian Reformed Church in North America. 77. Wittewrongel 1191; Cornelius Poudroyen, Catechisatie. dat is. een grondige ende eenvoudige Onderwijsinge over de Leere de Christelicken... (Amsterdam: Weduwe van Joost Broersz, 1659) 898-905; and Petrus de Witte, Catechizatie over den Heydelbergschen Catechismus der Gereformeerde Christelicke Religie (Enkhuisen: Rieuwert Jansz. Landtman, 1656) 877-881. 78. Wittewrongel 1167,1186. 95 79. In the words of Casparus Streso, "kintse verquistige ydelheyt," Christelyck en Bescheyden Oordeel. over Dansseryen. en Schou-spelen. Die onder de Litmaten vande Gereformeered Kercke gepleegt werden ('s Gravenhage: Jasper Doll, 1680) 16. 80. Streso 15-18,40. 81. See Wittewrongel 1178-1180. 82. Antoninus Sleidanus, D'Overtuyghde Dina of Korte en Nodige Waerschouwing tegen't besien vande hedens-daegsche Schouw-Spelen so in't ghemeen. als wel bysonderlijk in dese Bloedighe Oorloghs-Tijden (Amsterdam: Willem van Havert, n.d.). 83. Sleidanus 45: "...regelrecht tegen't woort van den Heyligen Apostel, die wil, dat de Vrouwen inde Gemeynte swijgen sullen, want et staet lelijk, seyd hij, voor de Vrouwen, datse in de Gemeynte spreeken." The popularity of female actresses only increased during the 1660's, and certainly, many women did attend the theatre. As Thomas Roodenburg's comments, quoted above, imply, young women brought up in orthodox households probably were forbidden to attend the theatre. Kalff. Literatuur 265-268. 302-304. 84. Sleidanus 57-59; C.N. Wybrands, Het Amsterdamsche Tooneel. 1617-1772 (Utrecht: J.L. Beijers, 1873) 121-123. 85. This interpretation is influenced by Steven Mullaney's insights about the function of London's Elizabethan playhouses in The Place of the Stage: Licence. Play and Power in Elizabethan England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988) 7-9. 86. Gelder 183-185. 87. The Schouwburg was also closed in 1665, during conflicts with the British. Wybrands 104. 88'. Mieke Smits-Veldt, Het Nederlandse Renaissance Toneel (Utrecht: Hess Literatuur, 1991) 118-120. 89. Andries Pels, Gebruik en Misbruik des Tooneels. 1677, ed. M . Schenkeveld-van der Dussen (Culemborg: Tjeenk Willink, 1978). 90. On Nil's influence in the theatre, see Wybrands, chapter 3; and J. te Winkel, Geschiedenis de Nederlandsche Letterkunde van" de Republiek der Vereenigde Nederlanden (Haarlem: de Erven F. Bohn, 1924) vol. IV, 412-513. 91. This does not necessarily mean that these plays were no longer performed. During the governance of Nil, a number of the Schouwburg's actors left the theatre to join itinerant troupes that travelled to various Dutch and European cities. In this way, although the farces were banned, they may still have been performed outside of the Schouwburg walls. A detailed study 4 96 of the successful travelling company of actor Jan Baptist van Fornenburgh, which includes important information on its links to the Amsterdam theatre, is Ben Albach's Langs Kermissen en Hoven. On the situation during the Nil years, see pp. 114-124. , 92. Indeed, the historiography of Dutch theatre is imbued with a Calvinist bias. The first major work on the Amsterdam theatre was written in 1873 by C.N. Wybrands, a theology student at Leiden's Calvinist university. Wybrands' book makes many Calvinist judgements, particularly about the immorality of farces and their audiences (91,118). Numerous subsequent studies of Dutch theatre unquestioningly reiterate this interpretation. Although Wybrand's ground breaking study won a prestigious award, his theology professors insisted that an examination of theatre was incompatible with Calvinist doctrines. Wybrands thus gave up his work on theatre, but impeded the work of other theatre historians by monopolizing important archival sources until his death. Wybrand's control of the orphanage archive is discussed in Ben Albach, "De Amsterdamse geschreven Bronnen van de Nederlandse Toneelgeschiedenis," Scenarium 1 (1977): 92-113; and in Worp 1-2. 93. Pieter Geyl, The Netherlands in the Seventeenth Century. Part Two. 1648-1715 (London: Ernest Benn, 1964) 246. 94. Most of the records of the civic theatre were lost when the Schouwburg was destroyed by fire (seen by some as an act of God) in 1772. Theatre finances were recorded in the books of the civic orphanage, however, which are housed in Amsterdam's municipal archive as Burgerweeshuis oud-archief 425. Many stopped attending the theatre during the governance of Nil, resulting in a significant drop in revenues, which led to conflicts with the regents of the charities. M . Schenkeveld-van der Dussen, preface, Gebruik en Misbruik des Tooneels by Andries Pels (Culemborg: Tjeenk Willink, 1978) 21. 95. G. Kalff, Geschiedenis der Nederlansche Letterkunde. Boek V. (Groningen: J.B. Wolters, 1910) 285-286. Significantly, similar distinctions were made about the uses of language at this time. As the upper-class Dutchman Pieter de Groote noted in 1673, "Enfin Monsieur, vous verres s'il est besoing qu'on s'en server dans le francois, qui est fait pour les intelligents, aussy bien que dans le Flament, qui n'est que pour les ignorants..." "In short, Sir, you will see that it's necessary that one uses French, which is for intelligent people, as much as Flemish, which is for ignoramuses..." Quoted in Price 224. 96. On this movement, see Geyl 195-202, 246-253; P. Spierenburg, Elites and Etiquette: Mentality and Social Structure in the Early Modern Northern Netherlands (Rotterdam: Erasmus Universiteit, 1981). While the upper middle classes had begun to emulate the courtly manners of the French aristocracy before the 1670's, the social tensions surrounding this distancing strategy were certainly heightened after the French invasion in 1672. 97. "De edelste en voornaamste burgr'en kind'ren," Pels 22. 98. This important social, economic and political shift is discussed in J.C. van Dillen, Van Rijkdon en Regenten. Handboek tot de Economische en Sociale Geschiedenis van Nederland 97 Tijdens de Republiek (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1970) 461-480. See also, Charles Wilson, The Dutch Republic and the Civilisation of the Seventeenth Century (Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1968) 236-243; and J.L. Price, Culture and Society in the Dutch Republic During the 17th Century (London: B.T. Batsford, Ltd., 1974) 213-217. 99. Dillen 456-457. 100. Dillen 467-468. 101. Quoted in Geyl 202. 102. Schenkeveld 16-25. 103. As I shall argue in chapters three and four, satirical works such as Hippolytus de Vrye's De Tien Vermakelikheden des Houwelyks (Amsterdam: H. Sweats, 1683) participated in these conflicts. 104. On the importance of home as school, see Franits 111-160; Schama 559-561. 105. Although art historians have claimed that the younger child in the painting is a boy, the gender of this child seems ambiguous at best. Christopher Brown, Images of a Golden Past: Dutch Genre Painting of the Seventeenth Century (New York: Abbeville Press, 1984) 49-50; Mary Frances Durantini, The Child in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1983) 114. 106. The biblical story is found in the book of Numbers 21: 4-9, and is discussed by Brown 49-50, and Durantini 114-116. 107. This is in keeping with Simon Schama's argument that the Dutch often defined themselves as God's chosen people, the children of Israel, rewarded when following God's ways, and chastised when going astray. See Schama 93-125. 108. Foucault 103. 109. Both of these figures could be based on traditional depictions of Grammar, often personified as a maternal and threatening figure who teaches the young to read. See Durantini 97. 110. Foucault 153. 111. Foucault 102. 112. Schama 547-550. Wayne Franits also takes up this type of imagery in Paragons of Virtue 154-160. 113. Schama 547. 98 114. From Jan Luiken. De Menschen Begin. Midden en de Einde. 1712. Schama 547-9. 115. The unwhipped top, which lies idle in the foreground of The Reading Lesson, could convey the same moral message about the importance of discipline. Durantini 114. 116. As Richard Helgerson points out, the male householder appears most often in family portraits; he is noticeably absent from most late seventeenth-century genre imagery of Dutch homes. Richard Helgerson, "Soldiers and Enigmatic Girls: The Politics of Dutch Domestic Realism, 1650-1672," Representations 58 (Spring 1997): 55. 117. De Certeau 107. 118. Schama's chapter, "Housewives and Hussies: Homeliness and Worldliness," 375-429 in The Embarrassment of Riches addresses this body of imagery, as does Franits' book, Paragons of Virtue. Both works make an overly straightforward distinction between images of female virtue and vice,1 when, in fact, many of the images display ambiguity about women's domestic. roles. See Angela Vanhaelen, "Dutch Culture and the Politics of Difference. Review of Wayne Franits, Paragons of Virtue: Women and Domesticity in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art, and Els Kloek et al., eds, Women of the Golden Age: An international Debate on Women in Seventeenth-Century Holland. England and Italy." RacjrXXI, 1-2(1994): 137-143. 119. See Roger Chattier, ed., Passions of the Renaissance (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989), vol. 3 of A History of Private Life, gen. eds. Philippe Aries and Georges Duby, trans. Arthur Goldhammer, 1-11 and 111-59. 120. It is difficult to make direct connections between this painting and the theatre. However, it is intriguing to note a possible connection to a proverb that was written upon the fireplace mantel of the regent's chamber of the civic theatre: "A curse shall light upon that land, In which a child can scorn its mother." Domselaer 206. 121. Such connections between Calvinism and the definition of private life are discussed in Barker 8-10. 122. See T. Lovell, "Subjective Powers? Consumption, the Reading Public and Domestic Women in early 18th-century England," The Consumption of Culture. 1600-1800. Image- Object. Text, ed. A. Bermingham. (London: Routledge, 1995) 23-41- 99 Chapter Two P l a y i n g the M a r k e t : T h e F o o l B e c o m e s a B u s i n e s s m a n Nineteenth-century folklorists recount that when Czar Peter the Great of Russia went to Amsterdam in the late seventeenth century, he took great pleasure in visiting the weekly Butter market. One could purchase much more than butter at this Monday market, described in Tobias Van Domselaer's guidebook to Amsterdam as "a Noah's ark, where one sees well nigh everything for sale that is imaginable".1 A Noah's ark, for at the edge of the market square was the inn the White Elephant, where exotic animals, like the tapir pictured on a seventeenth- century advertising poster, were for sale (fig. 2.1). Here the sailor Jan Velten recorded wonders such as a large sea turtle and a four-horned sheep in his sketchbook of curiosities seen in Amsterdam (figs. 2.2 & 2.3).2 And possibly this is where Rembrandt, who lived not far away, encountered the elephant that he drew in 1637.3 But, Czar Peter, an avid collector of all things strange and wonderful, did not come to the Butter market to amass a Noah's ark of tapirs, turtles, elephants, or even four-horned sheep. Rather, it was an Amsterdam-born street performer that attracted his attention. As the story goes, the Czar was so taken by the antics of the market player Tetjeroen, that he offered the comedian a small fortune to accompany him back to Russia and serve as a court jester there. With all of the cunning of a fool, however, Tetjeroen refused this princely offer, and carried on selling quack medicines in the market square. From there, we are told, he went on to make his own fortune, not in the Butter market, but in the Stock market; for mastering the tricks of speculative trading came easily to one with such long experience of playing the market. 100 Tetjeroen lived happily ever after in Amsterdam. He married, bought a house, had two children, and then retired as content and as wealthy as any successful Amsterdam businessman.4 Numerous historical sources from the nineteenth century to the present reiterate versions of the life and success of the street player Tetjeroen.5 However, fruitless searching in the archives of Amsterdam led me to wonder about the truth Of these tales.6 In the responses of various archivists I thought I detected what Foucault has termed "the laughter of the fool," directed at the inability to separate reality from illusion, or history from fiction.7 In a circular movement, my research led me from catchpenny prints of "the life and career of Tetjeroen", to detailed accounts of his experiences in folkloric histories of Amsterdam, to the municipal archives, where the dearth of information suggested that perhaps the folklorists had used the prints themselves as the primary source of their accounts. These prints do not picture Tetjeroen's encounter with the Czar, his stock market activities, or his married and family life. It seems that, in keeping with traditions of oral story telling, historians had patched together bits and pieces from various folk tales, anecdotes, farces, and prints to make up the historical details of Tetjeroen's life.8 This chapter, which examines the story of Tetjeroen as it was shaped by catchpenny prints, is structured by questions raised in the convoluted process of researching the history of this character. What is it that makes these prints of Tetjeroen seem "true?" In other words, what types of traps do these prints lay for their readers? The truth of the tale of Tetjeroen, I shall argue, does not lie in the historically verifiable details of his life (archival facts such as the date of his marriage, the birth dates of his children, the purchase transactions and address of his home on the Raamsgracht). As Michel de Certeau points out, stories do not merely describe practices, they make them, for stories themselves are practices and each re-telling is designed 101 for a specific audience and its circumstances. In de Certeau's view, there is always something at stake in the re-telling of a story, for they work to regulate changes in social spaces.9 Drawing on the work of de Certeau in his studies of early modern print culture, Roger Chattier emphasizes that it is important to be attentive to the form that conveys a story, for it both shapes and constrains meaning as it defines an audience. The strategies of printed material, Chartier argues, are tailored to the rebel inventiveness that the reader is presumed to possess.10 Thus, an exploration of the functions of these particular prints begins by asking who these forms were meant for. What specific historical and spatial changes did they address? And how did the skills and cultural habits of the intended interpretive community allow them to respond to the tricks these catchpenny prints play? The prints themselves offer some clues about their intended audience. Various printers from the seventeenth to the twentieth century published about ten different catchpenny prints of the life of Tetjeroen.11 The oldest surviving version of this type of print was produced by Jacobus and Jan Bouman (fig. 2.4), printers active in the city of Amsterdam in the last few decades of the seventeenth century. Diverse prints of Tetjeroen are fairly consistent: in most, twenty-four woodblock images, each accompanied by a rhyming couplet, are arranged in a grid format. The use of simple wording, rhymes, and images implies that these prints were aimed at an audience of rudimentary readers. Indeed, the titles of the prints address just such a group. With the voice of a vendor, they cry: "Boys, if you want to increase your Pleasure, study this print, Because it is Tetjeroen, Who can persuade one and all"12 (figs. 2.4 and 2.5). Promising pleasure, these rubrics urge boys to study the print of Tetjeroen, who, it enigmatically states, "can persuade one and all". How Tetjeroen manages to convince everyone is revealed in the prints: he concocts phoney medicines, and then entertains market-goers from 102, his stall, using the skills of theatre play to coax on-lookers into giving him money for worthless wares. The enjoyment these prints promise, therefore, seems to be the pleasure of examining the slippery identities of both objects and people in market practices: by horning horse turds into tooth-powder, a clown is able to transform himself into a doctor and then a rich man. And in naming a gendered audience, the titles imply that such explorations of the intricacies of entrepreneurial transactions were especially worthwhile for boys, particularly boys whose future interests were located in the market.13 These catchpenny prints, therefore, do not simply reflect the reality of the life of an actual street performer, but act as sites where young viewers could work out the possibilities as well as the potential dangers of their futures within the rapidly changing marketplace of the late seventeenth century. This chapter explores these issues by examining the multiple identities of the mercurial Tetjeroen, who theatrically shifts between the roles of player, merchant, doctor, rich boss, and madman. Section one considers the ways in which Tetjeroen's roles as seller and entertainer interlink market exchanges with the practices of theatre. While such comparisons would have been familiar to a seventeenth-century audience, this new genre of print takes up the trope of merchant-as-actor for a specific community of readers at a time when contestations about changes in both market and theatre practice were particularly heated. The forms of the prints themselves, and the manner in which they address their audience seem to intervene in these debates as they work together with the comic story to encourage readers to make critical judgements about the theatrical and immoral excesses of unregulated commercial transactions. Section two examines contemporary fears about uncontrolled market practices by turning to Tetjeroen's role as a quack doctor who uses artifice and illusion to deceive child-like customers in the market square. His self-interested desires threaten public well-being, and also " 103 implicate viewers, who are covertly persuaded to identify both with the trickster and with his victims. This draws attention to the visual and rhetorical tricks that the prints themselves play on their audience. The final section goes on to explore the possible consequences of risks taken in the market. Tetjeroen's identity as a successful rich boss, who rides about town in a horse-drawn carriage may well be the fantastic imagining of a madman who falls victim to his own deceptions. The confusion between the roles of rich man and madman reveals misgivings about merchant identity. Demonstrating the body's power of self-transformation, these prints both point to the importance of mobility within merchant identity, and express enormous anxiety about the fluid artifice integral to the devices and desires that drive the market. Indeed, the changing performances of Tetjeroen are interconnected with the various roles that the prints play, as they shift between objective reflections of actual practices, persuasive vendors, and attractive commodities. The conflicting identities of the prints in turn construct various subject positions for viewers, ranging from disinterested critics of mercantile ethics, to self-interested or exploited buyers and sellers in a competitive marketplace. In this way, the actual consumption of these prints indicates the often-contradictory subject positions necessary to negotiate the changing social relations of Amsterdam's mercantile society in the final decades of the seventeenth century. Merchants as Players If Tetjeroen was not an actual historical figure, then how was he devised? And if he was not real, why was he mistaken for a genuine person? Printers who first published these catchpenny prints probably did not invent this character. Tetjeroen's distinctive motley costume 104 and pointed hat with dangling bell visually call up the tradition of the Fool (see fig. 2.4).14 As the personification of Folly in the static emblematic tableaus of the rederijker theatre, sailing with the mad crew in images of the Ship of Fools, and cavorting as the Lord of Misrule in carnival festivities, the Fool was long familiar in Netherlandish theatrical, festive, visual, and oral traditions.15 As Herman Pleij has argued, in the sixteenth century, an increasingly dominant middle class appropriated the medieval tradition of folly. It was the role of the Fool to mock socially threatening behaviour; thus this comic figure served as a vehicle for moral instruction, and played an important role in the formation of a middle-class system of values.16 However, the Fool often derided immorality by praising it, and his message could never be taken seriously because he embodied folly and sinfulness. Thus the tradition of folly was inherently ironic. Using entertainment to admonish, the Fool was a paradoxical figure, who elicited a contradictory response of both laughter and censure.17 Prints of Tetjeroen present new variations on this flexible and familiar theme. Notably, the distinctive gridded format of these prints facilitates the transformation of a stock comic character into a named individual who moves through the space and time of a narrative.18 Allowing different moments to be represented on one sheet, the grid works to reproduce the flow of narrative as it introduces notions of time, movement, and change. In this way, the characteristic comic strip composition of these prints permits a presentation of the self as a series of successive performances; as Tetjeroen, the Fool takes on a life of his own, with a performative identity that changes in each scene. This introduces the twists of theatre plot into printed form: disguised identity, deception, misplaced trust, suspense, betrayal, and reversals of fortune can all be represented in sequence. Thus the very structure of the prints imitates 105 seventeenth-century notions of identity, allowing an exploration of possible discrepencies between the external appearances and internal intentions of an individual.19 Not only this, but prints of Tetjeroen make specific comparisons between theatrical, ever-changing identity, and the identity of merchants. Using the huckster's stall as a theatre booth, Tetjeroen combines commerce with comedy as he amuses audiences to sell his wares. By mixing the roles of seller and player in a theatre in and of the marketplace, the character of Tetjeroen demonstrates complex connections between the social relations of commercial capitalism and those of theatre play. Visually, the prints portray both mercantile and rhetorical exchanges through the gestures of the figures. As Joseph Roach argues in his study of seventeenth-century theories of the passions and their links to theatre performance, dramatic gestures were understood as physical expressions of desire: The passions of the mind were generally thought to be of two types, concupiscible or irascible, caused either by the desire to attain or to avoid some object or entity: the former draws the body and spirits toward the exciting object, as in love or joy; the latter repels them, as in fear, or churns them up, as in hate.20 Prints of Tetjeroen demonstrate that passion and desire were driving forces, not just on the stage, but in every mercantile exchange. In scenes where agreements are forged between people, as money, goods, or promises are exchanged, the contract is signified by characters extending their arms towards each other, their hands meeting in gestures of transaction. This theatrical gesture is repeated throughout the prints. We see it, for example, when Tetjeroen is hired as an assistant by a doctor (fig. 2.4-10), as he sells medicines to the sick (fig. 2.4-6), and again when he brings money to his master. Performing farces from the stage, he reaches out to the audience, and a hand stretches toward his from the cluster of spectators below (fig. 2.4-18). In all of these scenes, two hands meet in dramatic gestures of give and take, and in this way, the body draws toward its desire. 106 These physical gestures forge strong visual links between performer and audience, merchant and buyer, master and hireling, as they come together in mutual expressions of need. When contracts break down, this is signified by the repelling gestures of irascible passion: when Tetje is fired for swindling his master, for example, we see the comedian run away from his employer's outstretched arm (fig. 2.4-15). Thus, all social relationships seem to take on a transactional quality in these prints. Moreover, these gestures of desire and interchange are rhetorical, and stand in for the persuasive words that are uttered in order to win over the other party. Whether Tetjeroen sells himself to his boss or hawks his nostrums to his customers, the compelling use of gesture indicates the command of language necessary for effective marketing. Such mastery of gesture and rhetoric is, of course, the actor's art. But, as these prints demonstrate, a silver tongue and a convincing manner are also the tools of the successful salesman. While the idea that skilful marketers use rhetoric and gesture to sell themselves as well as their products is commonplace today, to draw such parallels between the merchant and the player would have caused some contention in seventeenth-century Amsterdam. Indeed, to readers of these prints, images of Tetjeroen's theatrical marketing ploys probably would have called up specific contests about the changing spaces of the market and the theatre. For while the figure of the comic fool was widespread throughout Western Europe, in seventeenth- century Amsterdam, this character was adapted to address the particular concerns of this mercantile city. In order to understand the ways in which prints of Tetjeroen confronted the cultural habits and expectations of a particular cornmunity of readers, it is important to examine how perceived links between theatrical performance and mercantile identity had previously 107 been the grounds of dissention between groups who disagreed about the identity of the city itself. Early in the seventeenth century, the harbour city began to emerge as the hub of a powerful trading empire, and comparisons between business skills and the arts of comedy were drawn by groups who sought to define Amsterdam as a vital centre of both commerce and learning. Notably, such connections were made at the inauguration ceremonies for Amsterdam's new university. There were strong connections between the university and the theatre. Before this, courses in sciences and arts were offered at the "Nederduytsche Academie", founded in 1617 through the merging of Amsterdam's two main theatre companies. In 1632, this academy split: the Amsterdam University or "Athenaeum Illustre" was dedicated to the study of the sciences, while the Amsterdam Schouwburg, or public theatre, was built as a centre for literary activities.21 In his inaugural speech, founding professor Caspar van Baerle lectured "on the wise merchant". He made the following connections: "Merchants require wisdom and eloquence, the former to distinguish honest from dishonest gain, the latter in order to use the enticements of language to praise the wares which they so eagerly endeavour to sell." The art of winning over by words, he continued, which would-be preachers and barristers also had to master, was traditionally used in markets and fairs by quacks, charlatans and players.22 A comparison of the player's manipulative eloquence with the skills of the businessman was not new in 1632, for the notion of merchant-as-actor was long familiar in the Low Countries.23 It is a somewhat startling analogy, however, given the fact that the career of strolling. player was considered one of the most dishonourable occupations of the time. Harassed by church authorities, players were refused church membership and denied Christian burial.24 It often was difficult for travelling troupes to obtain permission to play in Dutch cities, 108 and Amsterdam's magistrates pointedly discouraged itinerant companies from entering the city by granting a monopoly to the Schouwburg's professional actors.25 Eking out a precarious living on the outskirts of Dutch cities and towns, the strolling player came to symbolize social and cultural marginality.26 As playwright Jan Vos put it, "A travelling player has much in common with the wind; one sees him everywhere: but nowhere is his home."27 This must have been part of the appeal of this figure for the burgher classes. Repeatedly represented in plays, prints, paintings and poems, itinerant players, quacks and charlatans were described as homeless figures who were perpetually in motion. The strolling comedian was thus a figure that the middle classes both identified with and distinguished themselves from. In pointing out similarities between merchants and players, for instance, Caspar van Baerle could not help but draw attention to the fact that middle-class merchants did not share the social status of travelling market performers. Burghers thus could project anxieties about the ethics of merchant behaviour—such as using theatrical enticements both to sell their wares and to disguise dishonest gain—onto these marginal itinerant comic types.28 This allowed an exploration of dubious mercantile practices without jeopardizing the perceived moral and social superiority of the middle classes. By emphasizing the theatrical nature of mercantile identity, Barlaeus' speech also may have been a defence of the role of Amsterdam's theatre traditions. For struggles between the powerful Calvinist church and the newly empowered burgher class converged on the playhouse as a site within the city where issues pertinent to Amsterdam's commercial society were performed, explored, and discussed. Not long before he made this speech, Barlaeus had been dismissed from his chair at Leiden's orthodox Calvinist university because of his Remonstrant beliefs.29 A schism within Dutch Calvinism pitted Remonstrants, who believed that people had been given free will to 109 choose the faith that led to salvation, against the dominant Counter-Remonstrants, who upheld the doctrine of predestination, which taught that God had divided the elect from the damned before creation. The new university in Amsterdam was established to rival the Leiden university,30 and Barlaeus' appointment as professor in Amsterdam was considered a triumph for the Remonstrants. In light of these controversies, Barlaeus' comparison of would-be preachers to quacks, charlatans and players would have been a highly charged insult.31 For, as we have seen in the previous chapter, Amsterdam's church leaders fought tirelessly to ban theatre play from the city. Theatre was threatening to the power of the church in civic life, as it provided an alternative site where public opinion on political and religious issues was influenced. Indeed, the church was most threatened by overlaps between the activities of pulpit and stage: from both, the power of rhetoric was deployed to sway large audiences through the manipulation of their emotions. Not only this, but theatre play itself contradicted the doctrine of predestination, for to watch an actor fashion new identities upon the stage was a powerful indicator of human agency in the rest of life. Engraved above the entrance to Amsterdam's municipal theatre, where it served to define and obscure the boundary between the city and the playhouse, was the motto: "The world is a theatre play. Each plays his role and receives his part."32 Barlaeus' statement seems to elaborate on this maxim, as it points to the theatricality that imbued the particular social relations of Amsterdam's urban consumer culture. Such comparisons would have been anathema to Amsterdam's church leaders. Thus when Barlaeus drew attention to the drama of everyday life upon the worldly stage that was Amsterdam, he challenged the precepts of orthodox Calvinism. Moreover, such a comparison linked Amsterdam's university, theatre, and 110 markets as social spaces that were more allied to Remonstrant beliefs, thus striking a blow at the authority and influence of orthodox Calvinism within civic life.33 The Calvinist church continually attempted to eradicate theatre practice throughout the seventeenth century, while supporters of the theatre reiterated the importance of connections between theatre play and burgher identity.34 Children's prints of the market player Tetjeroen thus would have called upon readers' previous knowledge of these debates. However, the question still remains: why were issues of theatre and market practice taken up in catchpenny prints and directed at a new audience of middle-class boys in the late seventeenth century? Before returning to the prints, it is important to examine how the interests at stake in battles about theatricality and merchant identity changed dramatically in the final decades of the seventeenth century, as a powerful new group entered the fray. In the 1670's and 1680's, the definition of the theatre was irrevocably altered, not by church leaders, who failed to prevent the reopening of the playhouse in 1677, but by the city magistrates, who appointed a newly formed classicist society to govern the civic theatre. As I argued in the previous chapter, radical changes in the way the theatre was run were linked to contestations about the redefinition of the market. The financial policies of Amsterdam's wealthy upper middle-class regents increasingly overlooked the trading and shipping of goods generated by the harbour in favour of international banking, investment and speculative trading opportunities provided by the city's exchange bank and stock market.35 As they reinvested their capital in international finance, Amsterdam's elite also actively promoted international culture, especially the classical traditions fostered in the French court of Louis XTV. 3 6 By annexing the civic theatre and designating it as a refined sphere for the classical education of their own Ill children, this group increasingly espoused courtly identity in order to distinguish themselves from Amsterdam's merchant classes. A booklet on the stock market entitled Confusion de Confusiones.37 was written by Joseph de la Vega, and published in 1688. This work serves as an introduction to the manner in which the metaphor of merchant-as-player was appropriated and transformed in order to mock finance trading as a practice that threatened traditional ways of doing business at this time.38 For Vega's satirical descriptions of the abstractions of speculative market processes provoke troubling questions about the mutability of personal identity, the formlessness of capital, and the very nature of reality within a transformed marketplace. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange was the nerve centre of international trading in company shares, government bonds, and commodities.39 Comparing these activities to theatre play, Vega writes: Amongst the plays which men perform in taking different parts in this magnificent world theatre, the greatest comedy is played at the [Amsterdam Stock] Exchange. There, in an immitable fashion, speculators excel in tricks, they do business and find excuses wherein hiding places, concealment of facts, quarrels, provocations, mockery, idle talk, violent desires, collusion, artful deceptions, betrayals, cheatings, and even the tragic end are to be found.40 Speculators, in other words, were dipping into the actor's bag of tricks, for as capital became more mobile, so, it seems, did human identity, imbuing all of life with a sense of risk. Connected to this anxiety about the duplicity of stock traders was bewilderment about the reality of capital. As a Dutch merchant, seemingly puzzled by speculative trading, pondered in 1699, "The seller, so to speak, sells nothing but wind and the buyer receives only wind."41 As goods were replaced by promises, the very definition of reality came into question. This same merchant also expressed concern about the intangibility of currency. Summarizing a description of methods of establishing credit, he wrote: 112 Up to this point, one sees that there is as much reality in this as there could well be, nothing being more real than ingots of gold, bars of silver, paistres, ducats, ducatons, and suchlike, but the method of payment in bank, as it is called, has not the same reality. One could, on the contrary, call it a veritable illusion; since for the gold and silver taken to the bank it gives only a line of writing in a book. This line may be transferred to another, and this second transfers it to a third...and this can go on, so to speak, to infinity.42 In a complicated sleight of hand, the bank appears to exchange money for words, as it both keeps the bullion in its vaults and pays it out again. As the merchant notes, this makes for a strange reality, as cold hard currency is transformed into a line of writing in a book. Indeed, much of the anxiety surrounding finance capitalism seems engendered by the ways that changing market practices continuously shifted the threshold between the visible and the invisible, and between reality and abstraction. If capital became a veritable illusion as money and goods disappeared from view, and if speculators were charlatans who excelled in tricks, hiding places, concealment of facts and artful deceptions, then who or what could be trusted? This was a very real problem in the Exchange, and throughout the seventeenth century, the States General of the United Provinces passed various edicts prohibiting activities such as "trading in wind".43 The phrase "trading in wind", or windhandel. was used to describe the selling of shares that the trader did not possess or had not yet paid for.44 An increase in speculative trading in the 1680's was accompanied by the escalation of such abuses, and in 1689, Amsterdam's government levied a new tax on stock transactions in an effort to curtail these fraudulent practices.45 This legislation may have come, at least in part, in response to lively public debate about the problems of speculative trading.46 Joseph de la Vega's pamphlet participated in this controversy, and so, I would argue, did children's prints of Tetjeroen, which mockingly address the practice Of using theatrical tricks to sell empty promises. 113 Vega's book, written in the form of a dialogue between a shareholder, a philosopher, and a merchant, is a detailed description of the stock business, which is clearly differentiated from mercantile practices.47 As the merchant character explains, it is his wish to learn about stock trading because, ...the importunities of instructions, the shipment of goods, and the circulation of bills of exchange are all so burdensome to me. The load of work leads me to look for another means of acquiring a fortune and, even at the risk of loss, to slough off these many wearisome activities.48 In the end, after hearing the stockholder's complicated description of the irrational behaviour and multiple misuses of stock trading, both the philosopher and the merchant declare that they would never participate in these practices. The philosopher claims that philosophical speculation suited him better than speculation in stocks, for "what is fair in the latter is dubious in the former." The merchant concurs: "I esteem business but hate gambling. It is possible that I shall become a holder of shares and shall deal [in shares] in an honest way, but I am very sure that I shall never become a speculator."49 Thus Vega's pamphlet constructs stock market speculation as an activity that threatened honest business practices and raised pointed questions about personal accountability in the market. Of course, these types of moral questions about business dealings were not new to Amsterdam's mercantile society. While the wind trade was an abuse of the system, as Simon Schama points out, "it was in fact only a more extreme form of the practices which arose naturally in an economy where delivery times were bound to be uncertain and prolonged."50 It seems that the real threat of financial speculation was not so much that it endangered morality as that it jeopardized commercial capitalism.51 Indeed, historians have pointed to the changing financial policies of Amsterdam's elite as a possible factor in the drastic decline of trade and 114 industry in the final decades of the seventeenth century, as merchant capitalism was eclipsed by the new trading practices of finance capitalism.52 From here we can begin to understand why children's prints of Tetjeroen, which poke fun at the extremes of speculative market practices, may have emerged at this time. As vernacular farce was censored from the new classicist theatre as unfit for the children of wealthy financiers, this material was disseminated in prints for the sons of merchants. Manipulating the interpretive conventions of the mercantile community, prints of Tetjeroen seem to appropriate the familiar farcical figure of the merchant-as-player in order to strike a blow in battles over the redefinition of the market and the theatre. As we shall explore in more detail in the following section, in a manner similar to Joseph de la Vega's satirical booklet, children's prints of Tetjeroen strategically mock the selling of empty promises in order to castigate the extremes of unethical financial practices, which were difficult to regulate, and posed new threats to mercantile identity. Indeed, by employing specific visual and rhetorical strategies, the prints position their readers as a community of disinterested critics of market ethics. Like the merchant character in Vega's dialogue, these boys were encouraged to survey the money-making possibilities of new market practices, judge them unscrupulous, and opt to remain honest traders. With rhetorical immediacy, the titles of the prints explicitly address the intended audience in order to persuasively influence the ways in which these prints were used.53 The rubric, "Boys, if you want to increase your Pleasure, study this print, Because it is Tetjeroen, Who can persuade one and all," is followed by a subtitle, which instructs the boys: "And if you want to have even more fun, Then make little Paintings out of this. Cut them out carefully, and then stick them down onto stiff paper" (see figs. 2.4 and 2.5). As I argued in the previous 115 chapter, gridded catchpenny prints were associated with steek sanctjes. In this game of chance, prints were cut apart, and the segments either thrown in the air or poked from between the pages of a book with a pin, knife, or key in order to predict the future. Jan Steen's painting, The Village Schoolroom of c. 1670, positions this collective use of print as a superstitious game played mainly by peasants and little girls~a practice that not only fragmented the prints, but also seemed to divide the community. In the painting, the irrational abuse of print was opposed to the docile bodies and private reading practices of rational individuals. Significantly, the Tetjeroen prints seem to make the same types of distinctions between readers and uses of the prints. In Jan and Jacobus Bouman's version of the printed story of Tetjeroen, each scene is bordered by heavy dark lines (fig. 2.4), emphasizing the grid format and encouraging fragmentation. This print must have sold well, for Bouman's competitors copied, adapted, and distributed their own versions of the career of Tetjeroen.54 Significantly, in all subsequent versions of this print, a small picture frame borders each scene (see figs. 2.5 and 2.6). It is as if textual directions were not enough to discourage the subversive game of steek sanctjes. The addition of picture frames visually embeds the didactic message of the verse in the form itself. This curtails the reader from fragmenting the print in order to play games of chance, and redirects this practice by instructing boys to treat each scene in the print as a little painting to be cut out carefully and then glued directly onto another piece of paper. The grid composition typically was used to organize diverse children's prints from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.55 However, the strategy of turning the squares of the print into picture frames in combination with specific instructions about what type of game to play with these fragments is peculiar to prints of the trickster Tetjeroen. 116 For although the,grid format was an effective means for representing narrative sequences, it also encouraged the practice of disrupting and shuffling the sequence of events. Explicit instructions to cut up prints and then glue them back down thus reassert the linear narrative of the story. This reinforces a certain type of reading practice by implicitly advocating the silent, interiorized reading of an isolated reader.56 And, significantly, the rubrics encourage a specific group—middle-class boys—to consume the prints in this way. Indeed, prints that were not cut into bits and thrown away actually bear testimony to the privatization of the act of reading. FOr example, the marks of use on the Bouman print indicate that the reader had carefully folded the print in four (fig. 2.4). Possibly this was so that he or she could fit the print into one of the wooden boxes that children carried to and from school.57 Intimate in size, inexpensive and portable, this print was treated as a private possession. Yet, these prints do not address an individual reader, but target a collective audience: "Boys, if you want to increase your pleasure, study this print". The title mimics the cries of vendors who sold inexpensive wares, such as woodblock prints, at markets.58 This device situates the audience for these prints in the marketplace, where people were bound together through processes of buying and selling. In order to address a consistent print-consuming public, therefore, the prints must reconcile the push and pull between the solitary rational reading of the private individual and the communal experience of the group.59 The characteristic gridded format of these catchpenny prints appears to negotiate such tensions between the individual and the collective. In the production process, twenty-four individual woodblocks were locked into a chase, inked and then impressed onto a piece of paper 31 x 40 cm in dimension. The result is a pictorial narrative sequence that presents itself all on one large page. Unlike the format of a book, which requires that an individual reader turn 117 pages to reveal the story, catchpenny prints lend themselves to communal visual consumption, in which readers could gather around to see the contents. Moreover, the presentation of diverse individual viewpoints within one form also seems to call up a collective. Just as the format brings together individual woodblocks to make a cohesive narrative, an intersubjective community could come together to collectively consume the print. Ideally, such activities forged a sense of shared identity. In this way, the message of the prints is embedded in the forms themselves, which organize the subject matter in a manner that both engages individuals and connects them to other readers.60 The consumption of print—the buying, viewing, reading aloud and discussion of printed material—is thus implicitly posited as a consensus-building activity among individuals. From here we begin to get a sense of the type of reader that these prints attempted to fashion. This reader is discouraged from engaging in collective and irrational games of chance, which were increasingly associated with girls of the urban and rural lower classes. Instead, the title and even the format of the prints seem to encourage different types of collective uses, which brings together a community of readers made up of the subjective opinions of private individuals. This audience is persuaded to study the farcical marketing tricks of the charlatan Tetjeroen, indicating their interest in entrepreneurial practices. Moreover, as they are urged to take pleasure in vernacular farce, the readers are distinguished from the children of the classicizing elite, who increasingly spurned these comic traditions. The prescribed reader thus begins to emerge as a rational, masculine, middle-class subject who critically discussed moral issues about market practice in a public made up of bis peers. However, as we turn to analyze Tetjeroen's role as quack doctor in the next section, we begin to see that the very strategies that 118 direct the consumption of the prints concurrently undermine prescribed readings and call into question the coherence of a mercantile community. The Quack Who Deceives One and All The opening scene of these prints depicts Tetjeroen, wearing his fool's costume, performing together with a monkey on a pedestal. The accompanying caption tells readers, "Tetjeroen has decided that he wants to try and learn the doctor's art" (fig. 2.4-1). In the next two scenes, we see him apprenticing with a doctor, and then he drags his medicines and equipment into the market. From here it becomes clear that Tetjeroen does not take up the doctor's art for altruistic reasons, but because there is money to be made. "Tetjeroen informs the peasant, that his elixir is exorbitant" is followed by "Tetjeroen makes tooth powder from, the cooking down of horse's dung" (fig. 2.4-6, 2.4-7). Here we begin to see a crucial difference between the career of strolling player and Tetjeroen's new occupation as a quack doctor. A comedian for his times, Tetjeroen revels in the free enterprise of the markets of seventeenth- century Amsterdam; the fool becomes a businessman who uses deception and laughter to sell sham merchandise at excessive prices. The story of Tetjeroen, as the titles of the prints tell readers, is worth studying: he will please you for he is able to satisfy one and all. Part of the pleasure the prints promise is that they teach methods of persuasion. And one of the secrets of Tetjeroen's success is humour. He pleases and persuades the readers and his patients alike because he makes them laugh: "Tetje's master takes him on, because he's such a joker. Tetje causes great roars of laughter, and follows his master to the theatre" (fig. 2.4-10, 2.4-11). Bouts of laughter were considered therapeutic in the early modern period, breaking up the black bile that could congeal into melancholy.61 But 119 the doctor who hires Tetjeroen is probably more interested in the persuasive, rather than the healing powers of the jester's art. For his traditional comic antics work well as mechanisms to cultivate consumerism. And so Tetjeroen begins a short career as the doctor's zany.62 Unexpectedly, he uses laughter to trick, not only his customers, but also his boss: "His master's ointment he commends, says it will sort of help you mend. Here Tetjeroen is selling a lot, but most of it is from his own stock. Then Tetjeroen sells out you see, and his master makes him leave" (fig. 2.4-13, 14, 15). Making jokes about the potency of his master's remedies allows him to sell his own merchandise, concocted from horse manure. Like the speculators at the Amsterdam stock exchange, taken in by a veritable illusion, Tetje's audience is cheated by the comic deceptions of the merchant-player into buying empty promises, nothing but wind. Like every speculative exchange, this one has its winners and its losers. The doctor, outsmarted by a hired stooge in a competitive marketplace, and the sick, who bought and swallowed the medicinal manure, have definitely been duped. While Tetje loses his job, he comes out ahead in the next frame (fig. 2.4-16), where he appears with horse and carriage: "Tetjeroen becomes his own Boss, See him riding in a coach." But how. are the readers situated in Tetjeroen's tricky transactions? "Boys, if you want to increase your Pleasure, study this print, Because it is Tetjeroen, who can satisfy one and all." Cajoled into buying the prints, have they been satisfied? If we look closely at the group of spectators that gathers to watch Tetje play from the market booth, these on-lookers seem to resemble children (fig. 2.4-12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24). Picturing the print's intended audience within the story is a visual device that engages viewers in the action. As they are prompted to identify with the group in front of the salesman's 120 booth, young viewers become self-consciously aware of their own role as spectators and consumers. Locating themselves in front of the huckster's stall, beholders must scrutinize the charlatan's act as they decide whether or not to trust and invest in his wares. This conflation of onlooker with potential costumer draws attention to one of the most important faculties needed in consumer society—the skill of careful observation.63 While the texts allude to the quack's compelling cant, they do not reproduce his words, thus placing emphasis on the power of images to attract, amuse, and convince.64 Indeed Tetje attempts to exert a captivating power over his audience through the visual enticements of his colourful costume, sweeping theatrical gestures, quick action, and packaged merchandise. As the saying goes, however, appearances can be deceiving. We have already seen how the peasant was taken in by Tetje's convincing facade. This would be understandable to readers, for peasants traditionally were positioned as rural rubes easily swindled by slick urban types.65 Significantly, the other individual that Tetjeroen is able to hoodwink is a blind man (fig. 2.4-19). Here blindness is equated with ignorance: unable to see, or to see through, Tetje's act, the blind man is easily misled. In this way, viewers could comfortably distinguish themselves from the inexperience of the foolish peasant and the oblivion of the sightless man. For the viewers, after all, have seen more than these characters. Privy to pictures of Tetje concocting his phoney elixirs behind the scenes, they will be harder to cheat, for they have seen that he sells nothing but wind. In this way, as the prints expand upon the familiar trope of merchant-as-player, they seem to address the problems of rapidly shifting boundaries between the visible and the invisible in a changing market situation. In the context of Amsterdam in the final decades of the seventeenth century, the exploits of Tetjeroen could have been linked to controversies 121 surrounding the windhandel. the selling of empty promises, which continued in spite of deterrent regulations. These insights endow beholders with discernment and point to the crucial role of vision in cultivating informed judgement in the marketplace. Not only should this prevent viewers from being deceived by the trickster, but their shared knowledge binds them together, challenging them to perceive, reflect upon and dispassionately judge the morality of these transactions. Until they start to laugh. The role of humour in these prints collapses the distance between virtuous viewers and the unscrupulous quack. For the pleasure of this printed story does not really lie in its serious moral lesson, but stems from seeing Tetjeroen deceive one and all. Because the readers are given insights that should prevent them from being deceived, they can safely laugh at Tetje's victims. No sooner do viewers begin to laugh, however, than they are implicated in the very practices they condemn. In fact, as the prosperous Tetjeroen rides through one of the. final scenes on horseback, the text directly addresses its audience: "Boys, you can join in the fun, because you will ride with Tetje" (fig. 2.4-23). Having learned Tetje's tricks, the boys are now ready to share his success. As they ridicule his customers and identify with the trickster, the readers seem to have the last laugh. This is certainly a topsy-turvy world, however, in which master, peasant, and blind man alike are taken in by a duplicitous itinerant quack doctor, who rides off in a horse-and-carriage. In fact, this ending departs from the conventions of Dutch comic tradition. Practitioners of medicine, from the poorest quack to the most learned surgeon, were stock comic characters in seventeenth-century visual imagery, farces and oral tales.66 As Rudolf Dekker and Herman Roodenburg argue, within comic tradition, doctors were most often positioned as the butt of jokes.67 Prints of Tetjeroen are distinctive within this tradition, therefore, because they 122 encouraged readers to identify and laugh with, rather than at, the doctor. To understand the implications of this, we must explore the function of this comic type in more detail. Why was the doctor such a consistent figure of fun? Consider the following joke. Amsterdam university's prestigious Doctor Nicolaas Tulp and his son-in-law, also a doctor, lived next door to each other in two fine houses. Despite their financial success, their medical abilities were in question, as the story goes, since above Tulp's door stood the motto "Walk with God" while his son-in-law's lintel proclaimed, "Seek eternal life."68 Jokes, as Mary Douglas argues, provide "glimpses of a truth which escapes through the mesh of structured concepts,"69 and the one about Tulp and his son-in-law certainly gets to the heart of the matter. The doctor, after all, profited from, suffering and from death. Like mercantile exchanges, medical transactions also had their winners and their losers. And while the sick needed to depend on doctors, it was with the knowledge that a self-interested doctor could manipulate life and death to his own advantage, and that a healthy patient meant a loss of revenue.70 Which is why, as the joke suggests, it may have been wiser to walk with God, who had absolute power over life and death, and to seek eternal life, rather than to put faith in doctors. While university doctors such as Tulp were not spared, quack doctors especially were singled out within comic tradition as profiteers who exploited sickness.71 In his character sketches of seventeenth-century types, for example, the writer Richard Verstegen describes the quack as an enterprising silver-tongued vagabond: It's enough for him just to know the names of people's infirmities because if he can name them, then he immediately can cure them with his tongue. He knows that people have no stable place in the world, and therefore when he's deceived the people of one city as much as he can, he picks up and moves to another place.72 This description links the empty promises of the quack doctor to his extreme mobility. Like Tetjeroen, Verstegen's quack escapes the bonds of neighbourhood, family, kin, and guild. 123 Travelling from place to place to sell their wares, quacks were not guild members, and therefore had no professional status. Indeed, in 1675, the charter of the Amsterdam surgeon's guild ordered: ...that no bunglers, adventurers or quacks, or anyone else under any title whatsoever should be allowed to practice their so-called art, unless they have first done the appropriate proof, and also contributed to the burden of the guild...73 Repeated regulations of this sort indicate that the practices of those who operated on the fringes of the sanctioned medical profession were difficult to control. Like the strolling player, the quack doctor was socially and professionally marginal. However, the quack differed from the player in that he used theatre play, not just to entertain, but also to hawk his bogus wares. Unfettered by community, he was not commercially, ethically or medically accountable to any regulating body; moving with ease between towns and identities, he cared for no one but himself. The quack, therefore, emerges in comic tradition as a social type who demonstrates the selfish individualism engendered by excessive mobility and unregulated commercial practices.74 This type of freely moving individual has no home other than the market square. Indeed, one of the most curious scenes in the Bouman print is the image of Tetjeroen shaking hands with the doctor who has just hired him (fig. 2.4-10). The master stands in front of the door of his house on top of a black and white checked floor, which hovers like a floating carpet above the horizontal lines that represent the exterior world of the market in every other scene. The bizarre disjunction between this patterned tiled floor, evoking the domestic interior and the surface that Tetje stands on seems to emphasize the quack's homeless status. It is as if he is so estranged from domestic space that he cannot enter or even approach it. Manoeuvring within the market, Tetjeroen hawks his wares from a table (fig. 2.4-5,6,22), a booth (2.4-12,13,14), a 124 podium (2.4-17), a platform (2.4-18), a barrel (2.4-20, 21), and a peculiar wheeled pyramid (2.4-24). These temporary, portable structures could be loaded onto his cart and moved easily from market to market, city to city; they do not anchor his body in space. Moreover, the quack's mobile body is pictured as estranged from the bodies of others. In many scenes where he sells his merchandise, the figure of Tetjeroen is strikingly disproportionate in contrast to the bodies of his audience (see especially fig. 2.4-13, 17). Even if these on-lookers are children, the discrepancy in size alienates the enormous charlatan from his tiny customers. This jarring visual disharmony emphasizes the distance between audience and quack, whose ability to fashion constantly shifting identities facilitates the exploitation of physical suffering for profit and pleasure.75 In this way, the estranged body-in-motion of the quack doctor has very little physical awareness of other bodies. With the lack of sympathetic contact between buyer and seller, and doctor and patient in these scenes, the market emerges as a space powered by the forces of greed and aggression, desensitizing individuals to the bodies around them.76 As a marginal itinerant type who escapes professional and commercial regulations, Tetjeroen demonstrates the dangerous extremes of the personal freedom, individuality and self- interest generated by commerce. Indeed, printed stories of his career illustrate how the money- making practices of the street vendor could contribute to the breakdown of traditional class distinctions.77 This startling possibility is illustrated by Tetjeroen's sudden transformation into a rich man with a horse-drawn carriage (fig. 2.4-16).78 However, these printed stories concurrently worked to curtail the threatening mobility of lower-class individuals. Depicting commercial abuses committed by a quack operating outside of the guild system, prints of Tetjeroen resonate with increasing restrictions on the practices of itinerant medical . 1 2 5 practitioners.79 Moreover, as they associate the immoral excesses of commerce solely with these types of marginal, unregulated practices, the prints create and secure the moral and social position of their intended audience. Not only this, but as tensions about increases in speculative trading escalated in the late seventeenth century, readers also could have compared the tricks of the travelling quack doctor with the unethical trading activities of speculators who sailed close to the wind in their business dealings. As we have seen, at the time that these prints of Tetjeroen first were published, stock market trading was burgeoning, and there was much public debate about the destructive dangers of unbridled economic competition. Abuses such as trading in wind were met with demands for greater controls on stock trading, which was pointed to as a cause for drastic declines in mercantile trade. Distributed to middle-class boys at a time when elite financiers were spurning Amsterdam's comic traditions, these prints appear to address concerns about the growing separation between middle-class merchants and wealthy investors. Encouraging readers to disparage unregulated money-making, prints of Tetjeroen thus posit conventional mercantile activity as the only respectable practice. However, while prints of Tetjeroen use satirical mockery to attack the activities of groups whose increasing fluidity posed a threat to merchant practice, as we have seen, protean theatricality was also central to mercantilism. Exposing a deep contradiction, the prints reveal that mobility was both the ideal and the nightmare of merchant identity.80 While the exemplary reader is positioned as a disinterested critic of the unethical or ignorant practices of others, it is significant that the prints simultaneously prompt readers to subvert this distanced position. For they also encourage readers to identify with the unprincipled quack. 126 "Boys if you want to increase your pleasure, study this print because it is Tetjeroen who can satisfy one and all." In the ambiguity of the title, contradictory subject positions come into play. This rubric could indicate that readers should study the dissolute career of Tetjeroen in order to improve their critical faculties. But, with the sly wink of the Fool, it also could imply that if the boys wanted to increase their pleasure, they needed some of Tetje's tricks in order to survive and prosper in an increasingly competitive market. Thus, as the boys laugh at Tetje's deceptions, their laughter takes on a somewhat subversive quality, for it undermines the disinterested viewer position. Identifying with Tetjeroen's triumphs, the sons of merchants were prompted to realize that they had much at stake in a changing mercantile situation, and that their own future success lay in their ability to manipulate the market where they would need, in the words of Barlaeus, "to distinguish honest from dishonest gain,...[and] to use the enticements of language to praise the wares they so eagerly endeavour to sell."81 "And if you want to have even more fun," the rubrics urge, "Then make Paintings out of this print." In the spirit of the tale of Tetjeroen, a penny print masquerades as a series of framed paintings. Here, the artful practices taught by the prints are demonstrated by the form, which ludicrously attempts to sell itself as something else. Just as Tetjeroen turns horse manure into medicine, the boys laughingly are encouraged to transform prints into paintings. Acting as repositories for deceitful tactics, the prints thus invite boys to study and absorb the everyday know-how that they convey.82 And toying with the value of objects is offered as a worthwhile trick to know. With this comes the betrayal that while commercial transactions may bind merchants together, it also pits them against each other in competitive relations of exchange. As viewers assimilate the tricky practices of both Tetjeroen and the prints, the ideals of the 127 shared knowledge, compassion and disinterested consensus of a model public begin to break down. The small picture frames also draw attention to the relationship between the viewer and the prints as material objects that were bought and sold.83 Indeed, at the bottom margin of these catchpenny prints is the name of the publishers and specific coordinates that locate their shop: "In Amsterdam, Printed by Jacobus and Jan Bouman, on the New dike, between the two Haarlem locks." A common device used by printers to advertise their location, this line of text encourages readers to come and buy more merchandise.84 In conjunction with this, the text across the top margin attempts to sell the print by impersonating the persuasive voice of a vendor. Along the edges of the prints, therefore, the reader is reminded that these objects were commodities sold in printers' shops and at markets and fairs by peddlers.85 This positions readers as consumers in a competitive marketplace,86 where it was imperative that they be careful observers, able to detect fraudulent practices in order to protect their own self-interests. In their role as potential buyers, viewers thus shift from identifying with Tetjeroen to situating themselves among his audience. As they take this position, however, they discover that if they laugh at the trickster's victims, they may well be laughing at themselves. While Tetje cheats the peasant, the blind man and his boss, the prints also include a scene with the caption, "Tetjeroen sells his wares, to one and all in public," that pictures boyish clients reaching up to buy the phoney merchandise (fig. 2.4-18, 2.5-18). Here, the duped begin to look uncomfortably like the readers. No longer disinterested, they too could be deceived by slick marketing techniques. Indeed, the rubric's promise of pleasure and worthwhile knowledge in exchange for money may have prompted canny readers to wonder about the voice that addressed them. The 128 compelling language of salesmanship forms a collusion between marketer and customer, between the prints and their buyers, between Tetjeroen and his readers. In this way, the forms as well as the subject matter of these prints demonstrate modes of exercising power in market relations. Buying a print, after all, is a transaction in which money is exchanged for goods. And reading a print is also a form of exchange between the intended meaning and the reader's own interpretative skills.87 As they teach readers to judge theatrical marketing techniques, the prints self-consciously draw attention to their own powers of persuasion—to their status as representations. By aligning viewers with the trickster's victims, catchpenny prints of Tetjeroen emphasize their own compelling visual power, as well as the possibility of erroneous viewing, or faulty judgement on the part of readers. This reveals the conflicting possibilities of print's capacity to influence audiences, and allows that readers potentially could see through the traps they lay. Astute readers, who understood the role of trickery in market exchanges, must have wondered if, like Tetjeroen, the prints themselves could be employing entertainment and rhetoric to deceive one and all. "Boys if you want to increase your pleasure, study this Print, because it's about Tetjeroen, who can satisfy everyone" might indicate that the readers who learn the skills of persuasion would share in Tetje's success, riding off on horseback with him at the end. However, this rubric certainly also implies that prints of Tetjeroen could satisfy the readers in the same way that Tetje tricks his boss and his patients: by beguiling them to collaborate in their own deception. Madman or Rich man? The Deceiver Deceives Himself Tetjeroen has one more trick that raises troubling questions about the manipulative strategies of market practices and representations. Certain versions of these prints end with an 129 image of Tetje hobbling on a crutch followed by one of him riding with his sweetheart in the horse and carriage: "Tetjeroen! well this is sad, through his art, he's gone quite mad. Now Tetje's a boss with lots of money, Riding in the coach with his honey" (fig. 2.6-23, 24).88 Juxtaposing these very different conclusions to Tetjeroen's career seems like a strange way to end the story, for the contradictions of these two scenes are quite obvious. How does Tetjeroen move so quickly from madman to rich man? According to Michel Foucault, in the seventeenth century, madness, brought about by an excess of passion, was characterized by the inability to distinguish between reality and illusion.89 In this sense, madman is quite a fitting role for Tetjeroen; through his self-interested artifice, he finally dupes himself. For madness, argues Foucault, begins with a surrender to one's own desires: .. .because a man is attached to himself...he accepts error as truth, lies as reality.... The symbol of madness will henceforth be that mirror which, without reflecting anything real, will secretly offer the man who observes himself in it the dream of his own presumption. Madness deals not so much with truth and the world, as with man and whatever truth about himself he is able to perceive.90 If madness is a case of the self-interested deceiver deceiving himself, then the happy-ending image of Tetjeroen as a rich boss could be read as the hallucination of a lunatic. The madman's delusive self-attachment, says Foucault, "enables him to grant himself all the qualities, all the virtues or powers he lacks.... Poor, he is rich; ugly, he admires himself'.91 Is this then a real horse and carriage, or a mere chimera? By ending the narrative with these two scenes, this version of the printed story of Tetjeroen posits madness as a risk of trickery. As we have seen, in mercantile exchange, feigned or theatrical identity was understood as a powerful tool to captivate others. However, the scene of Tetjeroen's madness demonstrates that deception could also seize upon and possess the deceiver himself, who was particularly vulnerable to the forces 130 he played with.92 "Tetjeroen! well this is sad, Through his art he's gone quite mad." The trickster's artfulness finally catches up with him, leaving the reader to wonder if the passions of the itinerant quack bring prosperity, or if they actually lead to impoverished insanity. And what does this imply for the readers' own expectations of success? Easily memorizable and captivatingly dramatic, these prints transmit vestiges of theatre performance, and possibly cue readers to mimic the duplicitous gestures and repeat the familiar patter of the trickster. Coaxing readers, not only to believe in Tetjeroen, but also to physically embody his actions and his passions, the prints turn readers into actors. As they identify with a fictional character, however, readers also run the risk of being seized by the passions they impersonate,93 and of losing the ability to distinguish between reality and the strategic inventions of print. For to think that an itinerant player is really a rich boss is possibly as foolish as accepting the clumsy trompe l'oeil of a cheap print that vainly presumes to be a series of framed paintings. And to be completely taken in by the persuasive powers of representation is also a form of madness.94 Indeed, as reworked versions of the prints incorporate conspicuous framing devices around each scene, they emphasize the boundary between the viewer and the Active realm of Tetjeroen. For the frames accentuate the status of the prints themselves as representations that used artifice to convince readers of their truth. In this way, the deliberate addition of frames to later versions may have been intended as a device that distanced viewers from the image.95 Ideally, such a strategy would have worked to reassert a coherent viewing subject who did not identify with the trickster, but stood outside of the image in order to judge delinquent practices.96 131 Significantly, edited versions of this printed story contain a number of devices that work to encourage a distanced viewer position. In later versions of the print, for example, the scene of Tetjeroen's madness occurs at the end of the narrative (fig. 2.6-24). Here it is placed exactly where, in earlier versions, viewers saw the image of Tetjeroen riding on horseback and were encouraged to identify with him: "Boys, you can join in the fun, because you will ride with Tetje" (figs. 2.4-24 and 2.5-24). This equestrian scene now comes much earlier in the story, and has been altered to read: "Tetje's art is worthy of praise, He rides a horse like a gentleman" (fig. 2.6-10). Readers still see the signs of Tetje's good fortune in these revised versions, but they are discouraged from the madness of identifying with the fictional trickster. Instead they must wonder how praiseworthy his art really is. Moreover, in the revised versions, the on-lookers who gather around Tetjeroen's booth no longer are depicted as a group of children (see fig. 2.6-5, where a single child stands among the adults). This works to dissuade viewers from situating themselves in the story and from identifying too closely with Tetjeroen's customers. The titles of these later versions do not refer ambiguously to the need for boys to study Tetje's ability to satisfy one and all, but simply state, "Here, oh Youth! you are given the farcical life of Tetjeroen." In this way, readers cease to act as Tetjeroen's understudies. Instead, the printed story is presented as a comic fictional account for a general audience.97 In the earlier Bouman version, by contrast, the image of Tetjeroen's madness is presented in quite a different way. Here, it is elucidated by the suggestive caption: "Tetjeroen is grunting strangely, He wants to go out and be hired as a zany" (fig. 2.4-9). This scene follows images of Tetje making his fake medicines, and comes just before scenes where he is hired by the doctor and then gets carried away and deceives one and all from the market booth. 132 "Zany" does not quite capture the nuances of the Dutch word "gek", used to designate both a clown and a lunatic. Do Tetjeroen's strange grunts imply that he is feigning madness in order to play the fool? Or is he really mad? Is the player nothing more than a lunatic? And what about the merchant? A silver-tongued self-made man driven by selfish passions into an endless series of deceitful performances, Tetjeroen, as we have seen, has already lost a stable sense of place and identity. This makes him insane, for madness is the confusion of role-play with true identity, of representation with reality. It is believing that you are what you want to be; it is mistaking a succession of theatrical roles for the authentic self. And herein lies the problem, for what is Tetjeroen's true self? It is impossible to judge if he is actually mad in this scene, or if his craziness is just the calculated pretence of insanity—a ruse to help Tetje find work as a joker. With this, the reader sees that madness may not just be a risk of unregulated commercial practices; rather, it seems inextricably intertwined with the passions that drive the market. In the viewer's inability to distinguish between an essential inner self and an unauthentic representation of self, a disturbing possibility begins to present itself: perhaps there is no true Tetjeroen behind the fool's facade. This prompts a reconsideration of the questions that began this chapter: Who was Tetjeroen? Did he truly exist? Following the strange twists of this story, it becomes evident that the truth of the tale of Tetjeroen is located in the specific ways that it conveys itself to readers by both producing and destabilizing conditions for the suspension of disbelief. This generates contradictory viewer positions. An engaged viewer position is created as readers are encouraged to identify with the characters in the prints and participate in market practices. However, the prints also provide a distanced position that differentiated viewers from the 133 action. In this position, they could evaluate the delinquent activities of unprincipled market activities, such as selling empty promises~a practice that Amsterdam's merchants commonly associated with itinerants and speculators. By becoming absorbed in the fictional story, viewers ran the risk of falling victim to the extremes of mercantile practice: greed, deception, callousness, poverty, homelessness, madness, loss of identity, and the fragmentation of social cohesion. To counter these hazards, the prints concurrently attempted to fashion dispassionate and judicious readers who would understand the need to regulate the excesses of commerce. In this way, readers could take up conflicting subject positions, enabling them to learn the various and inconsistent skills they needed to participate in market practices. Revised versions of this printed story increasingly discouraged the audience from identifying too closely with the trickster or his clients.98 Closing off these possibilities, they work to safeguard the integrity of the distanced viewer. These alterations to the prints betray the problem created by the ceaseless vacillation between the disinterested and self-interested subject positions of earlier versions. As the readers constantly shift identities—a process necessary to succeed in Amsterdam's competitive markets-they become like Tetjeroen, immersed in continual role-play, with no coherent sense of an essentially moral self. Perhaps this is why nineteenth-century folklorists, in search of authentic national characteristics, chose to believe that the unscrupulous Tetjeroen was not a fictional character who exposed the dilemmas of mercantile identity, but was merely an eccentric entertainer who played Amsterdam's markets as the golden age of merchant capitalism waned. 134 Notes 1. "...een Noach's ark, waar man schier alles te koop ziet wat bedenkelijk is." Quoted in J. ter Gouw, De Volksvermaken (Haarlem: Erven F. Bonn, 1871) 469. 2. A Jan Velten (alias van Valenkijn) is listed as a sailor (varensman) from Bergen op Zoom in Amsterdam's Poorterboek no. 4, p. 636, housed in the Gemeente Archief Amsterdam. The date of poorterschap, January 30, 1679, coincides with the time that a Jan Velten was compiling a sketchbook of exotic animals and peoples seen in Amsterdam. Indeed, the occupation of sailor is in keeping with these interests. 3. F. Pieters, "De Dieren in de Menagerie van 'De Witte Oliphant' te Amsterdam zoals gezien door Jan Velten rond 1700," Over Beesten en Boeken. eds. K. van der Hprst et al. (Rotterdam: Erasmus Publishers, 1995) 165-180. Jan Velten's sketchbook is in the collection of the Artis Bibliotheek of the Universiteit van Amsterdam. Thank you to Florence Pieters for sharing her research on this work with me. 4. The story of Tetjeroen and the Czar seems to originate in J. Scheltema's Peter de Groote, Keizer van Rusland. in Holland en te Zaandam in 1697 en 1717. vol. 1 (Amsterdam: Hendrik Gartman, 1814) 198-199. Scheltema also wrote about Tetjeroen in Volksgebruiken der Nederlanders bij het Vrijen en Trouwen (Utrecht: J.G. van Terveen en Zoon, 1832) 171, 224-225. 5. Versions of Scheltema's account have been repeated in numerous folkloric studies from the nineteenth century to the present. J. ter Gouw, De Volksvermaken (Haarlem: Erven F. Bohn, 1871) 656-677; G.D.J. Schotel, Vaderlandsche Volksboeken en Volkssprookjes van de Vroegste Tijden tot het einde der 18de Eeuw. (Haarlem: A.C. Kruseman, 1873) vol. 1, 294- 297; M . Kalff, Amsterdam in Plaatjes en Praatjes (Amsterdam: Scheltema en Holkema, 1878) 49-51; and E. Kappers and R. Erenstein, "Theatre in the Kaart Gekeken," Scenarium 8 (1984): 97-100. 6. The only evidence I found is a chalk drawing, dated to the early eighteenth century, in the collection of the Atlas van Stolk in Rotterdam (no. 3042). It is of a street performer, and has the name "Tiat jeroen" along with a poem written in ink across the bottom. However, it's difficult to tell whether this name was written by the artist, or if it was added later by someone who thought that the figure in the sketch was Tetjeroen. G. Van Rijn and C. van Ommeren, Katalogus der Historie- Spot en Zinneprenten Betrekkelijk de Geschiedenis van Nederland. Verzameld door A. van Stolk ('s Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff, 1933) vol. 3, 352. 7. Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization. A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Vintage Books, 1988) 14-16. 8. Scheltema seems to draw on familiar school prints of Tetjeroen and augments them with anecdotes, prints and farces about quack doctors and market players. In order to explain why details about the Czar, the stock market, his house, wife and children are not depicted in the prints, he argues that the children's prints only deal with Tetjeroen's youth. On Scheltema's r 135 unreliable use of legends and stories in his history of the Czar, see Boris Raptschinsky, Peter de Groote in Holland. 1697-98 (Zutphen: W.J. Thieme, 1926) vii-ix. 9. Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. S. Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984) 77-90,115-130. 10. Roger Chartier, Forms and Meanings: Texts. Performances and Audiences from Codex to Computer (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995) 1-2. 11. The Tetjeroen prints are catalogued by Maurits de Meyer, De Volks- en Kinderprent in the Nederlanden van de 15e tot de 20e Eeuw (Antwerpen: Uitgevers Standard-Boekhandel, 1962) 467-8. The earliest known version is published by Jan and Jacobus Bouman (fig. 4); very few of their prints survive and this one has been dated to the 1690's, although the blocks may have been older. Meyer 81. The printers de Groot, Kannewet and van der Putte each published a similar version in the early eighteenth century (fig. 5 is by van de Putte). The Belgian firms of Brepols, Glenisson and Van Genechten, and Beersmans published late nineteenth and early twentieth-century versions. These prints are also discussed in E.M. van Heurck and G. J. Boekenoogen, Histoire de rimagerie Populaire Flamande et de ses Rapports avec les Imageries Etrangeres (Brussels: G. Van Oest, 1910) 182. For information on printers, A . M . Ledeboer, De Boekdrukkersr Boekverkoopers en Uitgevers in Noord-Nederland (Deventer: A. Ter Gunne, 1872). 12. "Jongens wilje vreught vermeeren, wilt in dese Print stuhdeeren. Want het is Tetjeroen, die een yder kan voldoen." This rubric appears on most seventeenth and eighteenth-century versions. 13. While this may have been the intended audience for the prints, the actual audience would obviously have included girls, as well as children and adults from other social groups. The work of Roger Chartier has been instrumental in examining the ability of print to cross social boundaries. See The Cultural Uses of Print in Early Modern France, trans. Lydia Cochrane (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987) 3-12. 14. Netherlandish imagery of the fool is catalogued in Paul Vandenbroek, Over Wilden en Narren. Boeren en Bedelaars. Beeld van de Andere. Vertoog over het Zelf (Antwerp: Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 1987) 40-56. 15. Much has been written about the Fool. Of particular importance for this study are: Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, trans. Helene Iswolsky (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1968); Natalie Zemon Davis, "The Reasons of Misrule," Society and Culture in Early Modern France (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975) 97-123; Foucault, Madness 14-22; Keith Moxey, "The Ship of Fools and the Idea of Folly in Sixteenth-Century Netherlandish Literature," The Early Illustrated Book. Essays in Honor of Lessing J. Rosenwald. ed. Sandra Hindman (Washington D . C : Library of Congress, 1982) 26-104; Herman Pleij, Het Gilde van de Blauwe Schuit. Literatuur. Volksfeest en Burgermoraal in de late Middeleeuwen 136 (Amsterdam, 1979); Herman Pleij, "Volksfeest en Toneel in de Middeleeuwen," De Revisor 3 (1979): 52-63; and Vandenbroek 40-56. 16. See Pleij. Het Gilde. 17. Moxey 95-100. 18. The narrative function of the comic strip format is examined in J. Goody, The Interface between the Written and the Oral (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987) 8-10. Bakhtin discusses the transformation of festive forms in the seventeenth century, 24-30; Jean- Christophe Agnew expands upon his theories in Worlds Apart: The Market and the Theatre in Anglo-American Thought, 1550-1750 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986) 60-67. 19. As Agnew argues, while the medieval Fool mocked those who overstepped their social rank, in the seventeenth century, the Fool exposed the misrepresentation of private meanings in social and economic transactions. Agnew 60-67. 20. Joseph Roach, The Player's Passion. Studies in the Science of Acting (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1985) 31. 21. Construction of the new theatre was completed in 1637. Maria Schenkeveld, Dutch Literature in the Age of Rembrandt. Themes and Ideas (Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Co., 1991) 13-14; J.A. Worp, Geschiedenis van den Amsterdamschen Schouwburg 1496-1772 (Amsterdam: S.L. van Looy, 1920) 40-43. 22. Parts of Barlaeus' speech are quoted in Dutch Arts. Theatre in the Netherlands (Rijswijk: Dutch Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 1992) 15; Gary Schwartz describes the political controversies surrounding Barlaeus' appointment in Rembrandt: His Life. His Paintings (New York: Viking, 1985) 144. 23. Elizabeth Honig discusses sixteenth-century Flemish uses of this convention in Painting and the Market in Early Modem Antwerp (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998). 24. The church excluded both strolling and professional actors from Christian rites. Calvinist condemnations of players are detailed by G.D.J. Schotel in chapter 3, "De Tooneelspelers en de Geestlijkheid," of Tilburgsche Avondstonden (Amsterdam: J. Stemvers, 1850). Also of interest is the career of the successful strolling player, Jan Baptist van Fornenburgh, who gave up acting, formally repented, and became a church member in 1681, perhaps in an attempt to gain social acceptance for himself and his family. Ben Albach, Langs Kermissen en Hoven: Ontstaan en Kroniek van een Nederlands Tooneelgezelschap in de 17de Eeuw (Zutphen: De Walburg Pers, 1977) 128-133. 25. In 1662, the magistrates legislated that no other troupes could perform plays from the Schouwburg repertoire in the city, as this would take profits away from the charities. Worp 119. The distinction between professional and wandering actors was in fact not great: in the summer months, the Amsterdam troupe joined forces with itinerant groups as they performed 137 together at markets and fairs throughout the Netherlands. Albach Langs Kermissen 111-123. Other studies of travelling players include Ben Albach, "Vondel's Stage Brothers," ed. P. Binnets et al. Essays on Drama and Theatre: Liber Amicorum Benjamin Hunningher (Amsterdam: Moussault, 1973) 9-22; J. van Dalen, "Rederijkers en Comedianten in de 2de helft der 17de Eeuw te Dordrecht," Pud Holland XVII (1899): 47-52; Barbara Sierman, "Paulus Hilverding en de Vier Kronen," Scenarium 5 (1981): 69-72; J.A. Worp, "Varia uit de Amsterdamsche Tooneel Wereld in de 17de Eeuw," Pud Holland XXII (1904): 39-47. 26. Albach 11-12. For the similar status of common players in England, see Agnew 103. 27. "Een reizendt speelder heeft gemeenschap met de winden, Men ziet hem overall: maar hij is nergens thuis." Quoted in G. Kalff, Literatuur en Tooneel te Amsterdam in de 17de Eeuw (Haarlem: de Erven J.Bohn, 1895)294. 28. The use of stock characters to explore themes of economic abuses and manipulations of the market was common in seventeenth-century farces. Johan Snapper, "The Seventeenth- Century Dutch Farce: Social Refractions of a Golden Age," Barocker Lust-Spiegel. Studien zur Literatur des Barock Festschrift Fur Blake Lee Spahr. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi. Vol. 3 of Chloe Beihefte zum Daphnis. ed. Martin Bircher et al., 1984. 67-71. 29. Schwartz 144. 30. While the Leiden University was an elite institution where classical subjects were taught in Latin, the Nederduytsche Academie fashioned itself as a university for the people, with Dutch as the official language. Schenkeveld 13-14. 31. Indeed, it could have been understood as a deliberate dig against orthodox Calvinists: both those in Leiden, who had deposed Barlaeus, and those on Amsterdam's church council, who bitterly attacked his new position in their city. Schwartz 186. 32. This poem is attributed to poet Joost van Vondel: "De weereld is een speeltooneel. Elck speelt zijn rol en krijght zijn deel." Quoted in Worp 82. Pn the significance of this oft-repeated motto in mercantile protestant society, see Agnew 14-17,118; Albach Langs Kermissen 11-12. 33. Moreover, he did so as a Remonstrant who publicly opposed the doctrine of predestination. 34. I argue this in Chapter Pne, section two, "Farce as Weapon: Battling over the Public Theatre," of this thesis. 35. J.L. van Zanden describes the effects of the changing financial policies of the civic elite on Holland's economy in The Rise and Decline of Holland's Economy (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993) 136-140. See also Charles Wilson, "The Economic Decline of the Netherlands," Economic History Review 9 (1939) 111-127; and J.A. van Houtte, 138 An Economic History of the Low Countries. 800-1800 (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1977)303-304. 36. A detailed account of the increasing social differentiation of the elite in the second half of the seventeenth century is found in J.C. van Dillen, Van Rijkdon en Regenten. Handboek tot de Economische en Sociale Geschiedenis van Nederland Tijdens de Republiek (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1970) 461-480. Pieter Spierenburg links the new courtly identity of the patricians with a distance from mercantile trading practices in Elites and Etiquette: Mentality and Social Structure in the Early Modern Northern Netherlands (Rotterdam: Erasmus Universiteit, 1981) 23-27. 37. Joseph de la Vega, Confusion de Confusiones. 1688. Ed. Hermann Kellenbenz (Boston: Harvard University Printing Office, 1957). Vega was a member of Amsterdam's Sephardic community, and his pamphlet seems, at least in part, to respond to printed allegations that abuses of stock trading were committed mostly by Jewish speculators. 38. Neil De Marchi and Paul Harrison examine the threat posed by speculative trading to conventional mercantile practices in their essay, "Trading 'in the Wind' and with Guile: The Troublesome Matter of the Short Selling of Shares in Seventeenth-Century Holland," Higgling. Transactors and Their Markets in the History of Economics. Neil De Marchi and Mary S. Morgan, eds. History of Political Economy 26, special issue (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1994) 58-63. Although Agnew's study of the links between late seventeenth- century shifts in market practice and theatre practice focuses mainly on England, he does make some references to the Dutch situation, ix-xi, 143-144. 39. J. de Vries and A. van der Woude, The First Modern Economy. Success. Failure and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy. 1500-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) 147. 40. Vega 16. 41. Quoted in Violet Barbour. Capitalism in Amsterdam in the 17th Century (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1963) 79. 42. Quoted in Barbour 45. 43. De Vries and Van der Woude 151. 44. A detailed description of the practice of short selling can be found in De Marchi and Harrison 48-49. 45. De Vries and Van der Woude 151. 46. See Kellenbenz' introduction to Confusion de Confusiones xi-xiii. Prints that satirized the problems of the windhandel during the early eighteenth-century speculative manias are 139 catalogued in A.H. Cole, The Great Mirror of Folly (Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid). An Economic-Bibliographical Study (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1947). 47. As De Marchi and Harrison point out, that fact that De la Vega's share trader has to explain these transactions to the others implies a considerable gap between ordinary trade and the traffic in shares. De Marchi and Harrison 61. 48. Vega 3. 49. Vega 42. 50. Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (New York: Knopf, 1987) 350. De Marchi and Harrison claim that the practice of short selling commodities dates from at least the sixteenth century, if not earlier. De Marchi and Harrison 49. 51. Here, merchants who were threatened by speculative trading could draw on the arguments of Calvinist preachers, who condemned the immorality of these practices throughout the seventeenth century. De Marchi and Harrison 56-57. 52. Wilson 113-121; Zanden 136-140. 53. On the mechanisms that constrain the meanings of representations, see Roger Chartier, On the Edge of the Cliff. History, Language, and Practice, trans. Lydia Cochrane (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997) 102. 54. Subsequent versions were distributed by most late seventeenth and eighteenm-century producers of children's prints in Amsterdam: the printing firms de Groot, Kannewet, van der Putte, van Egmont and Ratelband en Bouwer. Meyer 468. 55. See de Meyer's catalogue. 56. On reading practices and private identity, see Roger Chartier, "Texts, Printing, Readings," The Culture of Print: Power and the Uses of Print in Early Modern Europe, ed. Roger Chartier, trans. Lydia Cochrane (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989); Francis Barker, The Tremulous Private Body: Essays on Subjection (London: Methuen, 1984) 3-7. 57. C. F. van Veen describes these school boxes in Catchpennyprints: Dutch Popular and Childrenprints (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1976) 15. They also are depicted in Jan Steen's The Village Schoolroom, which is discussed in Chapter One of this thesis. 58. On the distribution of print in the Netherlands, see Craig Harline, Pamplets. Printing and Political Culture in the Early Dutch Republic (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1987) 87-88. 59. Chartier explores the overlap between oral and written forms in "Texts" 158-164, 170- 171. 140 60. Hubert Damisch makes a similar argument about the multiple vam^hing points characteristic of early Flemish paintings in The Origin of Perspective, trans. J. Goodman (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1994) 131. 61. Rudolf Dekker and Herman Roodenburg, "Sickness, healing and death in the jokes of Aernout van Overbeke (1632-1674)," Curing and Insuring. Essays on illness in past times: the Netherlands. Belgium. England and Italy. 16th-20th centuries, ed. H. Binneveld et al. (Hilversum: Verloren, 1993) 69. 62. Quack doctors actually did hire comedians to help them sell their wares. K.S. Grooss et al., Van Piskfjkers en Heelmeesters. Genezen in de Gouden Eeuw (Leiden: Museum Boerhaave, 1994) 8-9. 63. Agnew 83. 64. Celeste Brusati examines seventeenth-century discourse that links the captivating power of images, particularly paintings, with the theatrical self-fashioning of artists in Artifice and Illusion. The Art and Writing of Samuel van Hoogstraten (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995). 65. The boer was repeatedly depicted as one of the quack's standard victims. Carol Fresia, Quacksalvers and Barber-Surgeons: Images of Medical Practitioners in 17th-Century Dutch Genre Painting, diss! Yale University, 1991 (Ann Arbor: UMI, 1997) 190. 66. On the function of the doctor in genre paintings, see Fresia; in theatre plays, J.B.F. van Gils, De Doktor in de oude Nederlandsche toneelliteratuur (Haarlem: F.Bohn, 1917); in jokes and anecdotes, Dekker and Roodenburg; in prints, M . van Vaeck, Adriaen Van de Vennes 'Tafereel van de Belacchende Werelt' (Den Haag 1635). 3 vols. (Gent: Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlandse Taal en Letterkunde, 1994) 3: 665-755, and J.G. de Lint, Geneeskundige Volksprenten in de Nederlanden (Gorinchem: J. Noorduyn en Zoon, 1918). 67. Dekker and Roodenburg 69-70. 68. Cited in Dekker and Roodenburg 75. 69. Mary Douglas, "Jokes," Rethinking Popular Culture. Contemporary Perspectives in Cultural Studies, ed. C. Mukerji et al. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991) 306. 70. Agnew 80; Gils 2-3. 71. With the rise of modern medicine in the late seventeenth century, distinctions between guild members and quacks were more sharply defined. However, as Roy Porter argues, there was also a great deal of overlap between orthodox and quack medicine at this time. Roy Porter, "The Language of Quackery in England, 1660-1800," The Social History of Language, ed. P. Burke and R. Porter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987) 76-77. On different types of medical practitioners in the Netherlands, see Grooss; and M.A. van Andel, Chirurgijns. Vrije 141 Meesters. Beunhazen en Kwakzalvers. De Chiriirgijnsgilden en de Practijk der Heelkunde 1440-1800 (Amsterdam: P.N. van Kampen en Zoon N.V., 1941). 72. "T is hem ghenoech dat hy maer de naemen van des menschen ghebreecken mach weten want als hijse noemen can, soo can hijse met de tongh terstonts cureren. Hy weet datmen inde werelt gheen blijvende stede en heeft, ende daerom als hij de menschen in d een Stadt soo veel bedroghen heeft als hy can, dan treckt hy naer een ander." From "De Character van eenen Quacksalver," 1622. Quoted in E. Rombouts, Richard Verstegen: Een Polemist der Contra- Reformatie (Brussels: Algemeene Drukinrichting, 1933) 214. 73. Quoted and translated in Fresia 188. 74. Fresia 173-174, 187-189. 75. The important concept of disinterested love in burgher and civic identity is discussed in Joanna Woodall, "Love is in the Air—Amor as motivation and message in seventeenm-century Netherlandish painting," Art History 19. 2 (1996): 222-224. Once again, Tetjeroen's characteristics position him outside of middle-class identity. 76. These aspects of market practice are discussed in Richard Sennet, Flesh and Stone. The Body and the City in Western Civilization (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1994) 21, 200-208. 77. David Harvey describes the democratizing effects of money in Consciousness and the Urban Experience. Studies in the History and Theory of Capitalist Urbanization (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985) 3-5. 78. It is interesting to compare this scene to a story told about the well-known eighteenth- century actor Jan Punt, who was scorned by Amsterdam's wealthy citizens when he took to driving about town in a horse and carriage. Because he was from a lower-class background, Punt was accused of the theatrical sin of attempting to appear greater than he actually was. Undoubtedly, these taunts were meant to curtail his troubling social mobility. Punt's career is discussed in Martin Corver, Tooneel-aantekeningen vervat in een Omstandigen Brief aan den Schrijven van het Leven van Jan Punt (Leiden: Cornells Heyligert, 1783). 79. These legislations are connected to the increasing professionalization of medicine in the late seventeenth century, and are discussed in Fresia 187-189. 80. Agnew 14. 81. Dutch Arts 15. 82. De Certeau argues that a story does not act as a manual to learn behaviour, but can be understood as a form of "living memory" which says exactly what it does, and thus keeps practices in circulation for future use. De Certeau 80-89. 142 83. On the power of the frame to undermine a disinterested viewer position by connecting the object with its historical and economic milieu, see Jacques Derrida, The Truth in Painting, trans. G. Bennington and I. McLeod (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987) 61-63. 84. The printer's name and location are prominently displayed in this way on most seventeenth-century books, pamphlets, and prints. 85. Harline 87-88. 86. There is evidence that buyers of these prints actually did haggle over the price. In the collection of the Rijksprentenkabinet (Waller S, Ratelband and Bouwer no. 37) is a half-sized print of Tetjeroen that includes the title, but reproduces just the bottom three rows of the print. Undoubtedly, these half-prints cost less than the full prints. 87. . Chartier, Forms and Meanings 1-2. 88. This version, published by Kok and Van Kolm, is the same as editions printed by Wendal and Rynders, and can roughly be dated to the late eighteenth century. Meyer 467-468. 89. Foucault 14, 85, 104. 90. Foucault 26-27. 91. Foucault 29. 92. Roach 27-28. 93. Roach 45. 94. Foucault 29. 95. Such a device has contradictory possibilities. As Derrida argues, the frame is a hybrid site. It creates a dispassionate observer who judges the intrinsic qualities of an object. Concurrently, it links the object with its historical, economic and political context. Derrida 37- 82. 96. However, by isolating each scene, the frames also fragment the flow of the narrative, thus disrupting a smooth, coherent reading of the print. 97. By the mid-eighteenth century, the Amsterdam printing firm of Kannewet issued a print entitled, "Here is Tetjeroen, A respectable man, Who is now dead. And all the crazies with their insults, who were there, at his funeral." In the nineteenth century, the Belgian publishers Noman produced a version entitled, "Hans Beuling comes onto the stage, He plays his role and receives his part. He no longer wants to be called Tetjeroen, Wherever his work is not forgotten." Meyer 467-8, Lint 99-102. Both of these versions also work to discourage viewers 143 from identifying with Tetjeroen. In one, his identity is erased by death; in the other, he denies his own identity and plays the role of a German quack. 98. Undoubtedly, there were specific historical reasons for these shifts in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. For the purposes of this study, the censorship of later prints reveals much about how seventeenth-century versions would have been read. 144 Chapter Three H o m e T r u t h s : T h e B u s i n e s s m a n gets M a r r i e d In late seventeenth-century Dutch comic prints of domestic life, the word most often rhymed with marriage, or "trouwen," was "rouwen:" regret. "Trouwen doet rouwen." Marriage leads to regret. This catchy doggerel was repeated in a range of printed images of marriage turned-upside-down that proliferated at this time, presenting readers with "home truths": unpleasant worries about the character of social relations in private life.1 For the homes represented are not static oases of calm where the hard-working man of business could find respite from the cares of the market. Rather, in these prints, the merchant brings his problems home with him, and the domestic is pictured as a site of struggle, where deceit and desire are as troublesome as they are in the marketplace. Consider, for instance, the much-published children's print of Jan de Wasser and his wife Griet. While opening scenes of the wedding ceremony and banquet appear harmonious enough, the text warns, "Jan de Wasser die zal trouwen, Maar ik vrees het zal hem rouwen"- "John the Washer is getting married, But I fear that he will regret it" (fig. 3.1-1). And regret it he does, for no sooner does the newly married couple arrive home, than we see them exchanging costumes; Jan ties on his wife's apron, while Griet holds up Jan's trousers (fig. 3.1- 3). From then on, she wears the pants in their family, while Jan submits to a seemingly endless routine of household chores. He cooks, stokes and cleans out the hearth, serves dinner to his seated wife, washes dishes, cleans the windows, scrubs and wipes the floors, and does the laundry (fig. 3.1-4 to 12). Then the couple makes a curious voyage across the Amsterdam harbour to the island of Volewijk to pick a baby from a special baby-bearing tree that grows 145 there, a scene we will return to in the following chapter (fig. 3.1-13). The second half of the print catalogues Jan's childcare duties. He rocks, feeds, and plays with the baby, teaches it to walk and takes it for rides in a wagon. We even see him holding the infant while it defecates (fig. 3.1-20). It's important that Jan keep the baby happy, the prints tell us, because whenever the child cries, Griet comes after Jan brandishing cudgel and whip (fig. 3.1-17, 23). The tale ends with the couple arguing about the future of their child. It is a very curious story. However, when seventeenth-century readers encountered the devastating transformation of Jan de Wasser's wife into a virago, this would not have come as a shock to them, for the unruly woman had been a prevalent figure in Dutch visual culture for centuries. Students of Dutch cultural history also will not be surprised by the appearance of this alarmingly violent figure, for a number of recent studies explore the role of disorderly women in prints and paintings, as well as in theatre plays, and in actual riots and protests.2 As Simon Schama points out, the figure of the wily, duplicitous woman was a stock character in misogynist satire that flourished in Western Europe, especially in the Netherlands, at the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries.3 Included in this genre were a number of catchpenny prints that depict marriages turned-upside-down.4 Why a sudden rise in misogynist printed images at this time?5 Moreover, how did the imagery of violence, sex and deception function in prints for children? This chapter begins by locating children's prints of the mismatched Jan and Griet within misogynist traditions connected to Netherlandish theatre. Plays about chaotic households are explored in terms of how they used the visual, sensual and ludic pleasures of farce to define domestic life by encouraging both men and women in the theatre audience to scrutinize their own private behaviour. Significantly, this traditional form of social critique underwent dramatic changes in 146 the 1670's and 1680's. As governance of the Amsterdam theatre was taken over by the classicist society Nil Volentibus Arduum, farcical plays about dissolute households were revised to become increasingly didactic, or they were banned altogether. Misogynist prints must be considered within this context, for the sudden proliferation of this material coincided with the increasing censorship of farce in the Amsterdam theatre. The second section of this chapter takes up this series of late seventeenth-century prints in more detail. Like Tetjeroen, the fool transformed into a market seller, in these prints, the familiar festive figures of the domineering woman and her hen-pecked husband were adapted in ways that linked the theatre, not only with the home, but also with the market. The unruly woman was recast as the merchant's wife, and the profit-seeking trader was given the role of her farcical; effeminate husband. These adaptions signal new uses of stock types, which intervened in contests between Amsterdam's elite and burgher classes. In this way, the satirical potential of these up-dated characters was appropriated to address drastic shifts in economic power at this time, and to raise pointed questions about who wore the trousers in the Amsterdam marketplace. The final section considers the ways in which the numerous children's prints of Jan de Wasser and his wife Griet were edited and adapted. Continuous readjustments to the prints indicate that the definition of private life was never just the imposition of social norms by those who vied for authority. Rather, the ways in which these prints attempted to shape children often met with the contradictory practices and understandings of communities of readers, which in turn spurred increasingly didactic revised versions. This series of moves and counter-moves reveals the complex process of exchange between producers and consumers of print, signaling 147 that the role of these prints in the socialization of children cannot be understood soley in terms of its success. The Disciplinary Uses of Farcical Pleasure Catchpenny prints of Jan de Wasser and Griet undoubtedly were the most commercially successful Dutch children's prints. First published in Amsterdam in the late seventeenth century, these types of prints were printed and reprinted until the beginning of the twentieth century, as more than forty different publishers produced a version of this well-loved theme.6 Unlike prints of Tetjeroen, which singled out boys as the intended audience, prints of the domestic life of Jan de Wasser almost always were addressed to "kinderen," indicating their significance for girls as well as boys. Printers produced three different variations of the story of Jan and Griet in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, indicating its wide appeal. One of the earliest editions, comprised of forty-eight wood blocks, is entitled: "Here the youth may view at leisure, the career and life of Jan de Wasser" (fig. 3.2).7 In this version, Jan undertakes all of the housework and childcare without being forced. In fact, he beats his wife in several scenes, but she does not retaliate, nor does she don the pants. There is no easily discernible narrative sequence, and the disjointed nature of the story probably indicates its connection to oral tales and theatre plays familiar to readers, who would have been able to fill in the gaps in the story from the highlights depicted.8 A roughly contemporaneous eight block print presents a pared down version of a similar story: "Children, here you see the Life of Jan and Griet" (fig. 3.3).9 It begins with the courtship and marriage of Jan and Griet. Then their relationship sours as Jan comes home to find that 148 supper is not ready. He goes after his wife with the shovel and tongs, but she manages to get the upper hand and batters him with her distaff. In the next scene, Jan is wearing an apron, while Griet brandishes her husband's trousers. From then on, she has the upper hand, and forces him to spin, cook, and care for the baby, beating him with a cudgel if he does not comply. By the early eighteenth century, printed stories of Jan and Griet took on a more definitive form as a twenty-four block linear story with introduction, climax, and conclusion (fig. 3.1).10 After the wedding ceremony and feast, the couple quietly exchanges pants and apron. Griet then calmly instructs Jan to do a series of household chores. He becomes immersed in domestic routine, punctuated only by Griefs beatings, and the boat trip to the baby island. Jan no longer batters his wife in this version. Indeed, this is the least violent and sexual of the prints, and variations of it were published until the early twentieth century. While the precise origins of these different Jan de Wasser prints are difficult to determine, it is clear that the Amsterdam printers who first published these broadsheets did not invent this subject matter. For the theme of marital inversion certainly was familiar to seventeenth-century readers. Derived from centuries-old carnival traditions, comic farces and oral tales, marriages turned-upside-down appeared in divers forms of visual representation throughout Western Europe." The grid format of these prints, for example, may have reminded viewers of the well-established broadsheet tradition of the World Upside Down (fig. 3.4). Gridded prints of the "topsy-turvy world" circulated throughout Europe from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, and Dutch versions of this theme were often printed by the same Amsterdam firms that published the Jan de Wasser prints.12 These types of broadsheets consisted of a number of motifs depicting symbolic reversals. The inversion of gender roles 149 was a popular topos, and most often was portrayed by women engaged in traditional masculine activities, such as going off to battle, while their husbands stayed behind and cared for the children and the home (see fig. 3.4-3, 23). By placing these themes of what historian Natalie Zemon Davis has termed "Women on Top" in the "World Upside Down" grid format, Dutch printers fashioned from these genres a continuous, linear narrative about the domestic life of two individuals named Jan and Griet.13 As we noted about prints of Tetjeroen in chapter two, the grid format also serves as an effective means to represent the flow of narrative, allowing the depiction of movement through time and space. In all of the Jan de Wasser prints, the scenes are contained in shallow box-like spaces, which resemble stage sets (see especially fig. 3.3-4). The action is directed outward for the audience through the vivid rhetorical gestures and expressions of the characters, which recalls comic dialogue. In the eight block version, Jan and Griet wear different costumes in every scene; in one of these episodes, the two struggle so wildly that Jan's wig is knocked off and can be seen laying on the floor beneath him (fig. 3.3-4, 5). All of these visual strategies call up theatre performance. In fact, narratives about Jan and Griet would have been familiar to all that attended the Amsterdam theatre, for these characters were stock comic figures in numerous farces that consistently drew large crowds to the Schouwburg.14 Theatre historians have noted that these plays were derived from Southern Netherlandish theatre traditions.15 For example, a farce published in Antwerp, Cornells de Bie's Jan the Good Simpleton and Griet his Wife of 1670, about a battling shoe-maker and his wife, bears strikingly similarities to the Jan de Wasser prints.16 And in the foreword to the printed copy of this play, we find a valuable clue about the function of these types of farces in the Southern Netherlands. The prologue tells readers that 150 this comedy first was performed in the town of Lier on June twenty-third and twenty-fifth of 1669.17 This information is not incidental to the meaning of the work. Associating the printed play with these specific dates, the preface embeds this farce of Jan and Griet within the festive life of the town, for these performance times coincide with the annual feast days of St. John the Baptist. St. John the Baptist day occurred near the feast day of St. Margriet, and in Netherlandish festive tradition, particularly in the predominantly Roman Catholic south, these saints' days were celebrated together as a summer carnival at the end of June.18 Could it be that Jan and Griet, the battling married couple, find their ancestors in these two saints? In the northern Protestant city of Amsterdam, the story of Saint Margriet was circulated in an anti-Catholic book entitled The Popish Owl's Mirror or the Catholic's Maze. Collected from various old Roman Catholic Legend books, and other Writers, published in 1671.19 It is worth summarizing this version of the old tale of St. Margriet, especially since an edition of this work was published by the printing firm of the de Groot family, who were among the first printers to publish catchpenny prints of Jan de Wasser.20 A chapter of the book is devoted to re- telling the story of the beautiful Margriet, who guards her virginity against an arranged marriage by dressing as a man and fleeing her parents' home the night before her wedding. Calling herself Pelagius, she retains her masculine disguise and seeks shelter in a cloister, where she eventually is appointed male Abbot over the nuns. Her excessive holiness attracts the attention of the devil, however, who comes to torment her. The story continues: Once when he [the devil] came into her room, she made him so afraid, that he was forced to creep into a barrel which stood there, on top of which she threw a cushion, in order to smother him. At the same time, or at another time (for this is uncertain) she took the devil and bound him on a cushion. (For hardness must be won over by the softness of women.)21 151 The devil then lays another trap for Margriet. One of the nuns becomes pregnant, and accuses the Abbot Pelagius as her violator. Banned to a rocky cave, Pelagius/Margriet dies, and only when they find her body do the nuns realize, too late, that their Abbot was actually an innocent virgin. The Popish Owl's Mirror follows the tale of St. Margriet with a mocking poem that links the saint to the unruly wife of farce. The final verse warns male readers: It is weighty, So choose carefully, Men, choose a funny creature, If she's a Saint Or a Fool, Everyone finds his Griet here.22 In this way, this Protestant work retells the story of St. Margriet to reflect or "mirror" the foolishness of Roman Catholic practices and beliefs.23 Indeed, St. Margriet had both positive and negative connotations within Roman Catholic traditions. The medieval cult of St. Margriet venerated her as the patron saint of pregnancy and childbirth, a connection that will be explored further in the next chapter.24 However, Margriet, a cross-dressing woman strong enough to defeat the devil himself, was also the prototype for "Griet," the most common Netherlandish appellation for a shrewish, disorderly woman. Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries especially, Griet appears in festive celebrations, proverbs, anecdotes, paintings, and farces as a disruptive female force.25 In children's prints and farces, the unruly Griet usually is espoused to the absurdly effeminate Jan, often called "Jan de Wasser." This male character seems to be derived from St. John, for during the summer carnival, Saint John the Baptist was mockingly referred to as "Sint Jan de Wasser." "Wasser," of course, in this case refers to the washing away of sins by the 152 waters of baptism. Indeed, during the St. Jan's festival, it was believed that water had special healing powers, and symbolic links to purification and renewal.26 Coinciding with the summer solstice, St. Jan's was also a fertility festival, which both celebrated and mocked the marital relationship. As Mikhail Bakhtin has argued in his work on the symbolic importance of early modern carnival traditions, in such a festive context, violent beatings took on a broad and ambivalent meaning. They killed and regenerated; ended the old life and started the new. As such, these thrashings had sexual connotations; for example, brides traditionally received erotic, or "bridal creative blows".27 The ambiguous associations of these types of beatings are especially evident in the earliest versions of the Jan de Wasser prints, where no sooner do Jan and Griet get married than they begin their furious struggle for the trousers (fig. 3.3). In the context of St. Jan's Day, battles between the two symbolized, not only the reproductive aspects of marriage, but also the cyclical regeneration of the seasons, as Old man winter suffered his annual defeat by the force of summer's powerful fertility. As ancient fertility rites were combined with Christian feast days, the cross-dressing, devil-routing St. Margriet was coupled with John the Baptist, the saint who was beheaded at the request of a woman.28 In children's prints, these characters are adapted once again to address the concerns of a middle-class Protestant audience. And so Sint Jan de Wasser becomes the impotent, hen-pecked Jan de Wasser, reduced to washing the floors, the street, the laundry, the dishes and the baby's bottom, while the fearless St. Margriet is transformed into his uncontrollable domineering wife Griet. As the example of Comelis de Bie's farce Jan the Good Simpleton and Griet his Wife of 1670 demonstrates, these old traditions of mocking the saints were an integral part of the festive life of the4 predominantly Roman Catholic towns in the Southern Netherlands. In the opening 153 scene of this short play, Griet rushes on stage and shouts at Jan, "Watch out...or I'll smother you!"29 This scene must have invoked laughter because of its obvious associations with the well-loved story of St. Margriet vanquishing the devil with a cushion. Farces about Jan and Griet that were performed in Protestant Amsterdam, on the other hand, were no longer linked specifically to festive celebrations of the saints' days of John the Baptist and Margriet at the summer solstice. Surviving records of the Amsterdam theatre indicate that these types of plays were performed regularly throughout the Schouwburg's season. In 1658, to note one pertinent example, The Farce of the Mean-Tempered Griets was offered at diverse times of the year: on the seventeenth of February, the first of April, the fifth of August, the seventeenth of October, and the thirtieth of December.30 Severed from the festive calendar, this play did retain connections to traditions of saints Jan and Margriet, however. In the centre of the frontispiece of copies of this oft-performed and much-published play is the rhyme: "The best Griet that men ever found in creation, Was the one who bound the Devil onto a cushion" (fig. 3.5).31 The printers De Groot produced a version of this play. This was the same firm that published The Popish Owl's Mirror and disseminated early versions of the Jan de Wasser prints.32 Indeed, a number of Jan de Wasser prints contain scenes that make explicit references to the same episode in the story of St. Margriet. The forty-eight woodblock version, for example, contains an image of Jan chasing his wife with a broom, followed by a picture of him sticking his head into a barrel: "Jan the Wasser hits his wife, Because she wants to smother him" (fig. 3.2-13, 14). At the edge of this scene, his wife lays in bed, perhaps a reference to the implicit sexuality of female softness quelling male hardness. An unusual eight-block version of this story (fig. 3.6) contains a scene where Griet, holding a cushion and a stick, fights a devil-figure 154 whose pitchfork extends from between his legs towards Griefs skirt (fig. 3.6-7). It is a curiously explicit image, especially considering the intended audience of children. Moreover, the festive fertility traditions of Jan and Griet do not seem to fit particularly well within the context of Calvinist Amsterdam. Indeed, it often has been argued that Protestantism suppressed the vibrant, free and popular carnival traditions of late medieval culture in the seventeenth century.33 More recent studies on the theatre and festive customs of Flemish cities deflate the notion of a spontaneous folk culture that flourished freely before the Reformation, however. The work of cultural historian Herman Pleij in particular has been influential in demonstr