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"Scorn all applause" : aspects of performance in the work of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester Bourne, Donald Victor 2007

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"Scorn All Applause": Aspects of Performance in the Work of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester by Donald Victor Bourne BA (Hons) Simon Fraser University, 2005 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (English) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA AUGUST 2007 © Donald Victor Bourne, 2007 Abstract This thesis examines Rochester's use of performativity in his deathbed repentance, his portrayal of Dr. Alexander Bendo, and his satire "A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to Chloe in the Countrey." Ill Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iii Acknowledgements i v Dedication v 1 Introduction 1 1.1 Works Cited 6 2 A "Petitioner in All Humility": The Re-framing of Forgiveness in Rochester's Deathbed Repentance 8 2.1 Works Cited 29 3 "If I Appear to Any One Like a Counterfeit": the Re-framing of Satire in "Alexander Bendo's Brochure" 33 3.1 Works Cited 57 4 "The Perfect Joy of Being Well Deceaved": Performance and Allusion in Rochester's "A Letter From Artemiza in the Towne to Chloe in the Country" 61 4.1 Works Cited 81 5 Conclusion 84 5.1 Works Cited 87 iv Acknowledgements I would like to thank the following people for their help in completing this thesis: Drs Leslie Arnovick, Nicholas Hudson, and Paul St. Pierre for acting as my committee, and guiding me through the various drafts of this project; Dr Jim Daems for his insightful comments on my work; Dr Nicky Didicher for insisting that I use active voice; Burkhard Kraas, Cilia Cox, Michael Gregory, Dave Salsman, Horia Buzgar, Mazen Fawwaz, Edward Chen, and the rest of the staff in Operations and Technical Support at Simon Fraser University for putting up with my poor work habits and frequent absences during this project; Dr Victor and Joan Bourne for supporting my education; and finally, Rebecca Campbell for copy editing and commiseration. V For Finnegan, who loves books. 1 1 Introduction My original intent when I set out to research this thesis was to examine how the poetry of John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, exploits performativity and performance centred on the use of wit. In doing so, Rochester creates a privileged social position for men of quality who recognize wit and can practice it. This performative aspect, where wit must be visibly practiced, is crucial to an understanding of Rochester. During the time of the Restoration, wit became a method of questioning the philosophy and discourse of the time and, because of this, wit was concerned with the conscious deployment of language. Therefore, it was Rochester's conscious use of language in the construction and defense of his own coterie within his social rank that I hoped to examine. But as I continued with my research this premise changed into an exploration of Rochester's use of performance. I had first thought to examine performance in his later satires, but I then decided to include "Alexander Bendo's Brochure" and Gilbert Burnet's record of Rochester's deathbed repentance, as these appeared to be other areas where his use of performance was evident.1 I also became interested in Rochester's incredible self-awareness in his deployment of performance techniques in both his texts and his construction of self. Where his self-awareness became clearest was in his production of liminality, or liminal spaces. These liminal states that Rochester produced left his audience in a state of anxiety and allowed him to benefit. And it was this approach to how he constructed his satires that I finally settled on examining, for Rochester's use of performance to create liminal states destabilizes his reader and leaves them anxiously 1 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "Alexander Bendo's Brochure," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 112-117; Gilbert Burnet, Some Passages of the Life and Death of the Right Honourable John, Earl of Rochester, (London, 1680). 2 wondering of they are in on the joke and I was fascinated by this event. As the author of this liminal state, Rochester can separate out his readers via social rank and ultimately exclude even those of his own rank, if he so wishes, producing a situation where he is the only one who arrives at a stable place. I chose to examine three areas where Rochester does this: his deathbed repentance, his performance as Dr. Bendo, and his satire "A Letter from Artemiza in the Town to Chloe in the Country." I decided to look at performance in these works because previous criticism appeared to relate performance primarily in terms of the stage. James Grantham Turner discussed libertine performance being "in real life" on the London streets, in the Court at Westminster, and on the Restoration stage, but he does not bring this discussion to looking at performance in verse.3 Similarly, Farley-Hills examined Rochester's poetry in terms of the theatre and then went on to examine allusions to and mentions of Restoration theatre in some of Rochester's satires but he never extended his work to the theatricality of the poems themselves.4 Even the most recent criticism, such as Harold Love's article on the variations of Rochester's play, deals with performance via Rochester's theatre scripts rather than his work overall.5 In this thesis, I am examining areas where Rochester's performance produces a liminal space for his reader and, in two of the cases, requires his reader to have the proper social rank and wit to recognize what he is doing. In other words, I am examining Rochester's 2 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to Chloe in the Countrey," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 63-70. 3 James Grantham Turner, Libertines and Radicals in Early Modern London: Sexuality, Politics, and Literary Culture, 1630-1685 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). 4 David Farley-Hills, "Rochester and the Theatre in the Satires," That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), 153-164. 5 Harold Love, "The Rapes of Lucina," Print, Manuscript, and Performance: The Changing Relations of the Media in Early Modern England, ed. Arthur F. Marotti and Michael D. Bristol (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2000), 200-214. 3 awareness of liminality, or how the liminal states that Rochester produced left his audience in a state of anxiety and allowed Rochester to benefit. One area of anxiety that I decided to concentrate on was that of the speaker in "Dr. Bendo's Brochure" and "Artemiza to Chloe" because the speaker in both of these poems is could be read as either Rochester or his character. This conflation of the speaker and the author produces a liminal space where the reader is left unsure of the authenticity of the speaker, leaving the reader anxious to prove they have understood the satire. Another area of anxiety that I chose to examine was the uncertainty of the audience in Rochester's work. Again in "Dr. Bendo's Brochure" and "Artemiza to Chloe," the audience is left uncertain whether they are in on the joke or the targets of the satire. Finally, with Rochester's deathbed repentance there is a third liminal space produced. Though the reader accepts that Rochester was speaking directly with Burnet, he or she cannot know if Rochester meant what was said or if Burnet is recording the truth. Again, the reader is left in a liminal space of uncertainty, in this case over whether to accept Rochester's repentance as genuine. Uncertainty is a common theme when reading Rochester and one area of uncertainty that I encountered in my research was the stability of the texts themselves, whether the modern compilations or the original manuscripts. Of the modern texts, the three major collections are Harold Love's, Keith Walker's and David Vieth's, and I eventually settled on Love's book due to problems with the other two works: Vieth's collection uses modernized spelling for the poems and Walker's includes a large number of disputed poems as "canonical" works. Of these three major collections, Love has provided the most rigorous scholarship surrounding word and punctuation choices between the various 4 extant manuscripts. Though none of his choices concerning the authority of the manuscripts used can be considered definitive, they are all best guesses as to Rochester's original intent. In addition, where there are too many variations between manuscripts Love has included all the variations as individual poems. This issue of variation between manuscripts is discussed at length by Vieth, who presents issues with the original printed and manuscript editions of Rochester's verse, including a comparison of the Yale manuscript with the original edition of Rochester's collected poems that was published shortly after his death.6 Both works show a common origin but there are differences ranging from variations in line and word choice to the choice of poems included in the work. As part of my research, I examined the newer Hartwell manuscript while I was visiting Yale and I found it enlightening.7 The most interesting aspect of the manuscript was the complete lack of punctuation throughout the text, which could lead to different interpretations of some lines. Other unstable features included lines that varied in length due to the recording hand, various pages that had been excised, and the resulting two sets of pagination that had been recorded by different hands. All of these features brought home to me just how unstable the whole of Rochester's writing is, for it was meant to be read in manuscript form by readers who would have a common background and not to be preserved for posterity. For my critical approach, I am examining these works primarily through the lenses of Richard Bauman's, Erving Goffman's and Victor Turner's work on performance and ritual, but I will also bring in J. L. Austin's use of performatives and Jacques Derrida's 6 David M. Vieth, "The Yale Manuscript and the Editions of 1680," Attribution in Restoration Poetry: A Study of Rochester's Poems of 1680 (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1963), 56-100. 7 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "Poems by the Right Honourable John, Earle of Rochester" [ca. 1680s], Osborn b334, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT. and John R. Searle's criticism and defense of the same.8 I will not go into a detailed discussion of theory here, for each article will discuss the theory used in that article. I set out to examine Rochester's use of performance to produce liminal spaces that leave his reader in a state of anxiety, and it is my hope that these three articles will help to shed some light on his techniques. 8 Richard Bauman, Verbal Art as Performance, (Rowley: Newbury House, 1977); Erving Goffman, Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974); Erving Goffman, The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life, (New York: Anchor, 1959); Victor Turner, The Anthropology of Performance, (New York: PAJ Publications, 1986); Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969); J. L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words, ed. J. O. Urmson and Marina Sbisa (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962); Jacques Derrida, Limited Inc, trans. Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988); John R. Searle, "Reiterating the Differences: A Reply to Derrida," Glyph 1: Johns Hopkins Textual Studies, ed. Samuel Weber and Henry Sussman (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977), 198-208. 6 1.1 Works Cited Austin, J. L. How to Do Things with Words, ed. J. O. Urmson and Marina Sbisa. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962. Bauman, Richard. Verbal Art as Performance. Rowley: Newbury House, 1977. Burnet, Gilbert. Some Passages of the Life and Death of the Right Honourable John, Earl of Rochester. London, 1680. Derrida, Jacques. Limited Inc. trans. Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988. Farley-Hills, David. "Rochester and the Theatre in the Satires." That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000, 153-164. Goffman, Erving. Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974. . The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor, 1959. Love, Harold. "The Rapes of Lucina." Print, Manuscript, and Performance: The Changing Relations of the Media in Early Modern England, ed. Arthur F. Marotti and Michael D. Bristol. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2000, 200 - 214. Searle, John R. "Reiterating the Differences: A Reply to Derrida." Glyph I: Johns Hopkins Textual Studies, ed. Samuel Weber and Henry Sussman. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977, 198-208. 7 Turner, James Grantham. Libertines and Radicals in Early Modern London: Sexuality, Politics, and Literary Culture, 1630-1685. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Turner, Victor. The Anthropology of Performance. New York: PAJ Publications, 1986. . The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969. Vieth, David M. "The Yale Manuscript and the Editions of 1680," Attribution in Restoration Poetry: A Study of Rochester's Poems of1680. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1963, 56-100. Wilmot, John, Earl of Rochester. "Alexander Bendo's Brochure." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999,112-117. . "A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to Chloe in the Countrey." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, 63-70. . "Poems by the Right Honourable John, Earle of Rochester." [ca. 1680s]. Osborn b334. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT. 8 2 A "Petitioner in all Humility": The Re-Framing of Forgiveness in Rochester's Deathbed Repentance1 Robert Parsons called the deathbed repentance of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester an event, "as remarkable as any place or age can produce."2 Rochester's act of repentance, despite and likely because of his reputation as the ultimate practitioner of debauchery, served to memorialize him as the exemplar of the Christian penitent until the end of the 1700s. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there was a decline in fear of eternal damnation in the doctrine of the English Church while, at the same time, there was also a rise in acceptance of the efficacy of deathbed repentance. Central to this acceptance was the repentance of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, arguably the Restoration's most famous sinner and certainly its most famous penitent. In this paper I shall examine the performativity of Rochester's repentance in order to show that it was not only central to this shift in the acceptance of deathbed repentance but also characteristic of Rochester's previous behaviour. I will also show that his repentance is in keeping with his embodied libertine performances and, in contrast to the current critical view that Rochester did not intend to repent, that it served to immortalize him for succeeding generations. Before going on to discuss Rochester's repentance though, I should take a moment to acknowledge the connection that James Grantham Turner has made between libertinism ' A version of this chapter has been submitted for publication in Eighteenth-Century Fiction, (Hamilton: McMaster University). 2 Robert Parsons, A Sermon Preached at the Funeral of the Rt Honorable John Earl of Rochester, Who Died at Woodstock-Park, July 26, 1680, and Was Buried at Spilsbury in Oxford-shire, Aug. 9, (Oxford, 1680), 2. 3 By performativity I mean both the performative aspect of language, as defined by Austin, and the performance of social communication, as defined by Goffman. These terms will be discussed in more detail in the body of the essay. 9 anci performance, for libertinism, as he argues, "was not so much a philosophy as a set of performances."4 His work concerning this connection deals primarily with the theatrical aspects of sexuality because he sees the Restoration display of sexuality as the defining performative, noting that libertine pornography was "an act of designation or marking, at once accusation, distinction, signage, and signature," which allowed for the use of those who were marked as tools for social and political criticism.5 Keeping in mind Turner's definition, I shall expand the scope of Turner's argument on performance to allow it to operate without a direct connection to sexuality, though Rochester's past actions would serve as an indirect form of sexual marking, and I will examine the representation of repentance and the repentance of Rochester's representation. In order to do so, I will begin with a look at repentance before Rochester and the contemporary view of the deathbed scene. The scene surrounding the moment of death became an area of common interest by the eighteenth century, whether these scenes concerned the deaths of famous Christians such as Addison or Johnson or the deaths of common criminals at Tyburn. Deathbed scenes, in particular, were of immense interest, with most educated eighteenth-century persons "interested in deathbed scenes" for their ability to provide moral instruction and illumination.6 This interest in the moment of death is centred on the act of repentance, for, as Stephen Miller observes, "preparation for death meant repentance - resigning 4 James Grantham Turner, Libertines and Radicals in Early Modern London: Sexuality, Politics, and Literary Culture, 1630-1685 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002), x. 5 ibid., 2. James Grantham Turner appears to be using Judith Butler's definition of performative here, where the self is constructed through the act of interpellation or designation through language. Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" (New York: Routledge, 1993), 121-124; There are differences between Butler's performative and my use of performativity, though they both have roots in Austin. 6 Stephen Miller, Three Deaths and Enlightenment Thought: Hume, Johnson, Marat (Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 2001), 30. 10 oneself to the will of God with a mixture of fear and hope, since everyone is a sinner."' Such a view of death as a moment of fearful repentance for unresolved past sins could only have come about through a change in how the English Church viewed the efficacy of such actions in the face of eternal damnation. The easing of doctrine concerning eternal damnation over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries came about initially through the removal of the concept of Purgatory from Protestant Doctrine. This change in doctrine was then followed by the Anglican Church's struggle to explain a protestant hell that was no longer connected to Purgatory, which caused a rise in the fear of eternal damnation among the laity. For, as Eamon Duffy writes of the pre-Reformation Church's practices, "the presence of the parishioner's name on the bede-roll is more than an assurance of continuing intercession," as it also affirmed "one's unity in salvation with the parish community, and [sought] to perpetuate that unity beyond the grave."9 Yet this salvation through prayers for the departed was then lost to the Protestant Church with its denial of Purgatory. Duffy observes that before the Reformation, Purgatory "featured only in passing in the Church's ministrations at the deathbed, and implicitly in the practice of praying for the dead. It loomed large, however, in lay awareness" and was viewed positively, for "all who entered Purgatory were ipso facto redeemed and, however prolonged their probation, 7 ibid., 22. 8 Peter Marshall, Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002); As Marshall notes, "reformers rejected purgatory because they could not find it in the Bible" and as D.P. Walker notes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, "we must bear in mind the exceptional importance of Scripture at this period. It was the only authority accepted by all churches and sects, and thus in polemics and apologetics tended to carry more weight than any other." Thus, having found no record of Purgatory in the Bible, the Protestants rejected it as being a product of mere Papal authority, as Marshall observes, "invented to serve the financial interests of the clergy" (Marshall, Beliefs, 53; D. P. Walker, The Decline of Hell: Seventeenth-Century Discussions of Eternal Torment (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1964), 20; Marshall, Beliefs, 55. 9 Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England c. 1400 - c. 1580 (New Haven: Yale UP, 1992), 337. 11 certain of salvation."10 With the advent of the English Church, this path to eventual salvation was closed, leading to the damnation of all those who had not reached salvation during their own lifetime.11 Given such harsh conditions for salvation, the laity became focused on repentance before death, as there was no place for repentance or intercession afterwards. But the seventeenth-century divine Jeremy Taylor cautioned against leaving repentance to the last minute, noting that if "our religion be taken care of, onely when we die; [then] the event is this, (of which I have seen some sad experience) that the man is deadly sick, and his reason useless, and he is laid to sleep, and his life is in the confines of the grave, so that he can do nothing towards the trimming of his lamp."12 For Taylor, repentance was an ongoing struggle lest one be caught a sinner at the time of death. While the laity focused on the need for a proper Christian life and last minute repentance viewed as ineffectual, theologians and divines wrestled with the nature of a God that enforced eternal damnation on those who died as sinners. Thomas Burnet argued that the damned would be capable of repentance and that "the conditions in hell will be peculiarly favourable to repentance" and John Tillotson observed "that God is not obliged to carry out His threats."13 The decline in the terror of hell appears to correspond with the rise in efficacy of the death-bed repentance. Though the Church of England began with an overwhelming fear of eternal damnation, with the lessening of this fear came a willingness on the part of the Church to accept deathbed repentance as genuine. If repentance could occur to those 1 0 Duffy, Stripping, 338; Duffy, Stripping, 345. " Marshall places the death of Purgatory in the 1580s, though he admits that there is no certainty as to when Purgatory left the minds of the laity and he notes that holdouts existed well into the reign of James I. Marshall, Beliefs, 132-141. 1 2 Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living and Holy Dying. Vol. II, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 177. 1 3 D. P. Walker, The Decline of Hell: Seventeenth-Century Discussions of Eternal Torment (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1964), 164; ibid., 131. 12 who died sinners while they suffered in hell then, it could be argued, God may also be forgiving of their sins at their death. D. P. Walker notes this position is argued by John Tillotson in a sermon preached in 1690, although the Scriptures plainly threaten the wicked with eternal punishment, God would not be breaking His word, if He did not carry out this threat; for the failure to execute a threat of vengeance is not considered morally wrong, as is the failure to fulfill a promise of reward. But at the same time he strongly urged that it would be unwise to disbelieve in the eternity of hell and pernicious to preach this disbelief.14 With this relaxation of concern over the efficacy of deathbed repentance, cautionary tales of young men dying after a misspent youth, such as those present in Threnoikos (An anthology of English funeral sermons published in 1640), take on new life. Originally serving as warnings in the way of Taylor above, these stories centred on Ecclesiastes 11.9 and became a common theme in sermons of the later seventeenth century. One of several such sermons in Threnoikos concerning death after a misspent youth warns of the sting of death, Secondly, a man shall know if Death come with a sting by this tryall that Solomon giveth us in Eccles. 11. 9. Rejoyce, oh young man in thy youth, and let thy heart cheare thee in the dayes of thy youth, and walke in the wayes of thy heart, 1 4 D. P. Walker, Decline, 6. 13 and sight of thine eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring thee to judgement. If thou live a voluptuous life, Death will certainly come with a sting. Dives, hee lived a voluptuous life, had he not a sting for it? So others in Scripture, did not their plentifull tables, and voluptuous courses bring a sting on them? A voluptuous life makes a sting for Death. When a poore wretch is a dying, and shall begin to reflect backe on his life, what have I done? how have I lived? so much time I have spent, or mispent in apparell, in vanitie, in eating, in drinking, in swaggering; What comfort is this to his soule? how can he answer this before God? this is the very thing that will sting him at such a day, when he can reade nothing in his life, but barrennesse, and unfruitfulnesse, nothing that hath honoured God in all his life. Certainly, my brethren, if there be an Epicurious, voluptuous life, this life will provide a sting for Death.15 With its focus on the evils of a lascivious lifestyle, this sermon could have been written by divines such as Taylor for libertines such as Rochester. But after Rochester's deathbed repentance the trope changes from one of eternal damnation for those practicing a 1 5 Fealty, Daniel, Martin Day, Richard Sibbs, Thomas Taylor et al. Threnoikos The House of Mourning; Furnished with Directions for Preparations to Meditations of Consolations at the Houre of Death. Delivered in XL VII. Sermons, Preached at the Funeralls of Divers Faithfull Servants of Christ (London, 1640), 129; The sermons in Threnoikos treat the warning in Ecclesiastes 11.9 to the young man on his deathbed as a trope. See also the sermon "Securitie Surprized: Or the Destruction of the Careless" on page 258 and "The Young Man's Liberty and Limits: Or God's Judgement on Man's Carriage" on page 365 for other examples of this theme. 14 voluptuous lifestyle to the repentance of the sinner on their deathbed, shamed by past actions. Here Rochester's performance re-framed the last minute repentance, for Tillotson appears to have viewed his deathbed repentance as "a moral exemplum of great importance, greater even than a major biblical paradigm of conversion, since Rochester, unlike Paul, was not an enemy to religion merely 'by mistake'."16 This view of Rochester as the new paradigm of repentance becomes a trope for the next century. Miller notes, "the typical eighteenth-century deathbed scene implied that a benevolent God would not let a virtuous person die in a state of fear and trembling even if the person's belief in orthodox Christianity was weak or wavering," which shows the change in doctrine toward eternal damnation since Rochester's time because someone of weak or wavering faith would have been as likely to have been damned as a sinner under the writings of hard-line divines.17 These later deathbed scenes also included references to Rochester, as in a pamphlet from London in 1791 arguing that Samuel Johnson's death paralleled that of Rochester.18 The performativity of Rochester's repentance consists of both a performative act, which I will show to be a form of performance in order for the performative to be read as genuine, and an act of performance. For the latter, I will show that Rochester's actions were in keeping with his past behaviour and, in a similar manner to his embodied performances, allowed for his authorial presence. The performative act consists of an 1 6 Robert G. Walker, "Rochester and the Issue of Deathbed Repentance in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century England," South Atlantic Review, Vol. 47, No. 1. (Jan., 1982): 21-37. 1 7 Miller, Three Deaths, 3). 1 8 R. G. Walker, "Rochester and the Issue of Deathbed Repentance," 21; Rochester's repentance even turns up in the late twentieth century, in a sermon on the same given by Richard Harries on the 350th anniversary of All Saints Church, Spelsbury, Oxon. Richard Harries, "Rochester's 'death-bed repentance,'" That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), 191-198. 15 utterance where, as Austin explains, the words spoken do the action rather than merely report the doing of it.19 But, in order for the speaker's utterance to be a performative, the action caused by the performative utterance must be understood to be undertaken 20 internally and then only made visible by the utterance. In other words, the performative is "the outward and visible sign" of an internal action, an illocutionary act - doing something in the uttering of the statement - or a speech act.21 This visible sign then must be recognized by the audience of the utterance or the speech act will not have succeeded. Yet the recognition of this action requires a totally known context that is unattainable because the speech act becomes subject to the same conditions of any other linguistic communication despite appearing to require the conscious presence of the speaker. As a linguistic use of signs, if we accept Jacques Derrida's argument, it obscures that same conscious presence and allows for the possibility of absence where the performative could be written and presented to the audience without the writer present, which ensures that absence. Derrida then extends this idea into the realm of ritualized performance when he asks, "could a performative utterance succeed if its formulation did not repeat a 'coded' or iterable utterance, or in other words, if the formula I pronounce in order to open a meeting, launch a ship or a marriage were not identifiable as conforming with an 77 iterable model, if it were not then identifiable in some way as a citation?"" The performative here not only becomes a citation but must also be identifiable as a citation. It takes on an implicit role as a performance because it must be recognized as such in 1 9 J. L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words, ed. J. O. Urmson and Marina Sbisa (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962), 6. 2 0 ibid., 9-10. 2 1 ibid., 9. 2 2 Jacques Derrida, "Limited Inc a b c Limited Inc. trans. Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988), 18. 16 order to be seen as a speech act that involves the outward visible sign of an internalized action.23 We have effectively come full circle here. With this in mind, Rochester's speech act of repenting becomes a speech act through its recognition by Burnet. Rochester's deathbed repentance was chronicled solely by Gilbert Burnet, so I shall rely heavily on Burnet's work as a record of Rochester's performance from Burnet's perspective. I shall also examine Robert Parsons's sermon at Rochester's funeral, but this work serves mainly to affirm Burnet's writings. Burnet himself views his writing as a performance, for in the preface to his work he includes what Bauman has termed a disclaimer of performance. In doing so, Burnet has keyed his readers to the performance frame of the narration, stating "I have written this Discourse with as much Care, and have considered it as narrowly as I could," before he frames Rochester's repentance in terms of the deathbed rites of the Church of England in order to do "what I can towards reforming a loose and lewd Age."24 This performance disclaimer is developed further by Richard Harries, who explains, Burnet was in my view a skilled apologist for the faith and a sensitive pastor to Rochester; he cared about Christian truth and wanted Rochester to believe. Not all his arguments are convincing, but the point is that he was seriously and thoughtfully engaged. This is vital, not as mere propaganda, which is always counterproductive, but 2 3 See Austin, Derrida and Searle for further reading on the performative and the issue of context; Austin, How, Derrida, "Limited Inc," 29-110; Jacques Derrida, "Signature Event Context." Limited Inc. trans. Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988), 1-23; John R. Searle, "Reiterating the Differences: A Reply to Derrida," Glyph I: Johns Hopkins Textual Studies, ed. Samuel Weber and Henry Sussman (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977), 198 -208. 2 4 Gilbert Burnet, Some Passages of the Life and Death of the Right Honourable John, Earl of Rochester. (London, 1680), Preface. 17 sincerely in the interest of truth; Rochester raised not just questions and difficulties about the faith but objection to it 7 S on both intellectual and moral grounds. In other words, Burnet's discussions with Rochester allowed a space where Rochester could internalize the teachings of the Church. Harries makes this point when he insists of Rochester's conversion, "it was not the result of rational reflection but of hearing Scripture read." The reading of scripture and the praying of the devoted were themselves acts of performance within the High Church. Ramie Targoff observes, "by the early eighteenth century, to pray in an English Church was always to perform," for the public performance of prayer creates a space where "the body now not only reflects, but helps to 'incite' the mind's inclination toward God."27 External signs of prayer leading to internal changes became part of the English service and became a means by which the Church could enact belief in the word of God through the exposure of the laity to the services and sermons of the Church. Burnet relates this internal change in Rochester, stating that Rochester initially said he "thought they were very happy whose fancies were under the power of such impressions [concerning the efficacy of prayer and devotion]; since they had somewhat on which their thoughts rested and centred: But when I saw him in his last sickness, he then told me, he had another sense of what we had talked concerning prayer and inward assistances." 2 5 Richard Harries, "Rochester's 'death-bed repentance,'" That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), 194. *ibid., 193. 2 7 Ramie Targoff, Common Prayer: The Language of Public Devotion in Early Modern England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 9; ibid., 10. 2 8 Burnet, Some Passages, 51. 18 Parsons also views his sermon on Rochester's death as a performance, noting that he is "to publish and tell abroad to the world" while disclaiming his abilities by stating of Rochester's repentance, "to describe this worthily, would require a Wit equal to that with which he lived." Here again the author, Parsons, is aware of the performance that he is embarking on so he feels a need to key the audience through the use of a disclaimer of performance that also serves, through the mention of wit, to highlight Rochester's previous embodied performances. Performances such as Rochester's repentance are the very examples by which the Church instructs the faithful, as Harries shows in his discussion of Rochester's own instruction, "in the end it is not intellectual arguments but the profound moral appeal of Christianity or moral revulsion against Christian practice or certain aspects of Christian doctrine that sways people" and people need to be keyed to act as a receptive audience.30 This idea of morality as performed works both ways, as not only can sinners be reformed by example but they can also show their reformation by similar performances. Parsons states this issue in reference to Rochester's repentance, noting "for the sincerity of it: that what was thus possible to be good and true, probably was so; which though none but God that sees the heart, can tell certainly, yet man even also may and ought to believe it; not only in the judgment of Charity, but of moral Justice, from all evident signs of it, which were possible to be given by one in his condition."31 Parsons places the qualifier "probably was so" on Rochester's act of repentance, unable to insist on the inner grace being presented by his outer contrition. But the question as to whether Rochester genuinely repented is answered through both the outward performance of his repentance and the speech acts that take place. It is not 2 9 Parsons, A Sermon, 2. 3 0 Harries, "Rochester's 'death-bed repentance,'" 195. 3 1 Parsons, A Sermon, 11. 19 necessary to qualify this as Harries does when he argues, "Rochester was a remarkable sinner who repented and, I believe, genuinely turned away from self-interest to move his life in accord with the music of God."32 The Church itself registers the felicity of Rochester's speech act, granting absolution for his sins upon the utterance of "All this I stedfastly believe" in answer to the Articles of Faith. The absolution given by the priest and, in particular, the act of his saying Amen serves as a speech act acknowledging the sinner's sincere repentance in his own speech act.34 The service of the Office of the Visitation of the Sick, where the Anglican communion of those who are seriously or deathly ill occurs, works as a series of scripted speech acts. It begins with a performative act, where the Minister of the Parish declares upon arrival at the sick person's house, "peace be to this house, and all that dwell in it." From the very beginning of the Office, the Church positions itself as performing a rite of passage, where the penitent is asked to undertake a ceremony, as Arnold Van Gennep explains, "whose essential purpose is to enable the individual to pass from one defined position to another which is equally well defined." The priest instructs the penitent, "if you truly repent of your sins, and bear your sickness patiently, trusting in God's mercy, ... submitting Harries, "Rochester's'death-bed repentance,'" 196. 3 3 "The Office of the Visitation of the Sick," The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, According to the Use of the Church of England, Together With the Psalter or Psalms of David, Pointed as They are to Be Sung or Said in Churches (London, 1665), 10. References are to this edition and denote verses within the "Office." 3 4 For more information on the saying of Amen see Targoff, Common Prayer, 27, for if the saying of Amen acts as method of affirming "that your personal voice has just been represented" then it should hold that the priest's saying of Amen should serve as the official recognition of the Church. 3 5 "The Office of the Visitation of the Sick," The Book of Common Prayer (London, 1665), 1. 3 6 Arnold Van Gennep, The Rites of Passage, trans. Monika B. Vizedom and Gabrielle L. Caffee (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960), 3. 20 yourself wholly unto his will, it shall turn to your profit, and help you forward in the right 37 way that leadeth unto everlasting life." Having submitted to God's will and undertaking the ritual of chastisement, the penitent enters a liminal space where they can undertake to enter into the communitas of those who have accepted chastisement, as shown by the exhortation's observation that "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastneth not?"3 8 The sick person is then shown the communitas available when the Curate remarks, "These words, good brother, are written in holy Scripture for our comfort and instruction, that we should patiently, and with thanksgiving bear our heavenly Fathers correction."39 Note also the italics that are present in the text, further stressing the communitas of brotherhood. The priest then goes on to exhort the sick person further, stating, "I require you to examine your self and your estate, both toward God and man; so that accusing and condemning your self for your own faults, you may find mercy at of heavenly Fathers hand for Christs sake, and not be accused and condemned in that fearful judgement."40 Here, the sick person must conduct a performative act on their own person, condemning their past actions and asking for mercy from the Lord. Finally, the Curate concludes this section by stating the performance that is ahead: "therefore I shall rehearse to you the Articles of our Faith, that you may know whether you do believe as a Christian man 3 7 "The Office of the Visitation of the Sick," The Book of Common Prayer (London, 1665), 6. 3 8 ibid., 7; For a discussion of liminality and communitas, see Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969), 95-97. Liminality is the state of being "betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremonial (ibid., 95)." Communitas is the modality which provides a "communion of equal individuals who submit together to the general authority of ritual elders (ibid., Ritual, 96)." In this case, the liminal state is between damnation and salvation and the elder authority is God's. 3 9 "The Office of the Visitation of the Sick," The Book of Common Prayer (London, 1665), 7. 4 0 ibid., 7. 21 should."41 The ritual must be rehearsed by the Curate and then performed by the sick person. The Curate having rehearsed the Articles of the Faith, the sick person is called upon, in the section entitled "The sick person shall answer," to answer, "All this I stedfastly believe."42 Here is another performative act, for the statement brings itself into being and the ritual proceeds into a rite of incorporation. This rite is a performative act on the part of the priest, who invokes the Lord Jesus Christ and then states, "by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost, Amen."43 These actions have then passed the sick person through the liminal space of repentance and into salvation, and they are followed by a collect, a psalm, and a prayer for the sick person. In the section entitled "A commendatory prayer for a sick person at the point of departure," the Priest states, "we humbly commend the soul of this thy servant, or dear brother, into thy hands," so communitas has been achieved and the penitent may take Communion 4 4 The taking of Communion is the performance that indicates the end of the ritual and the postliminal state of salvation of the penitent. For, as Taylor observes, if the sinner truly repents then the church must symbolically show absolution by the granting of Communion to the sick person.45 The Church signifies the successful transition of the penitent through this rite of passage by the granting of Communion, for the achievement of communitas allows for the postliminal recognition of that communitas in others who have successfully undertaken that rite of passage. 4 1 ibid., 7. 4 2 ibid., 9. 4 3 ibid., 9. 4 4 ibid., 17. 4 5 Taylor, Holy Dying, 196-97. 22 Rochester has undertaken such a rite of passage during the time of his final discussions with Burnet because he settles his past sins and debts. Burnet records of Rochester, "he had overcome all his resentments to the World; So that he bore no ill will to no Person" and that "he had given a true state of his Debts" and ordered them to be settled.46 Rochester also, as Burnet writes, "received the Sacrament with great satisfaction" and "that it was encreased by the pleasure he had in his Ladies receiving it with him."47 He was performing as a penitent should. In addition to this enactment of ritual, Rochester also argues for the efficacy of his performative in his Letter to Dr. Burnet, hoping "That [God] would mercifully accept of my Death-bed Repentance, and perform that Promise he hath been pleased to make, That at what time soever a sinner doth repent, he would receive him." He turns Burnet's earlier argument in favor of God's grace back onto Burnet, echoing Burnet's view that "it was also reasonable to suppose God a Being of such goodness that he would give his assistance to such as desired it" (49) and that his repentance should be taken as genuine.49 Rochester also makes similar statements in a letter to Dr. Thomas Pierce, where he begs that God "will accept my last gasp, that the smoke of my death-bed offering may not be unsavoury" to Him before asking Pierce to "pray for me fervently" so that he could enter into Heaven.50 Finally, having examined the performative of Rochester's repentance and having shown it to have been what Austin terms felicitous, I shall demonstrate that Rochester's 4 6 Burnet, Some Passages, 144. 4 7 ibid., 143. 4 8 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, A Letter to Dr. Burnet: From the Right Honourable the Earl of Rochester, as He Lay on His Death-bed... Printed From the Original, Wrote With His Own Hand, June 25. 1680, at Twelve at Night (London, 1680), 2. 4 9 Burnet, Some Passages, 49. 5 0 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, The Letters of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Jeremy Treglown (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980)246. 23 performance is consistent with his past actions.51 Samuel Johnson states of these events that Rochester, "often pursued low amours in mean disguises, and always acted with great exactness and dexterity the characters which he assumed" (220), so his awareness of theatre and performance is readily apparent.52 Throughout his life Rochester continually used such embodied performances to make statements about the cultural foundations of his society. Some of his most famous acts, or what Johnson terms "many wild pranks and sallies of extravagance" were (as related by Pinto): the abduction of his future bride Elizabeth Mallet, whom he seized from Lord Hawley's coach with a group of armed retainers and fled with to Uxbridge before being captured by Charles IPs men; his drunken destruction of the King's phallic sundial in the Great Privy Garden as he declared, "dost thou stand here to fuck time?"; and his masquerading as Dr. Alexander Bendo, a famous mountebank providing medicinal cures for various distempers and illnesses.54 The abduction of Mallet served to bring her attention to an otherwise destitute young Earl who was competing, up until that point, unsuccessfully for her hand in marriage, while the other acts listed above served as social commentary. These performances also extended into text. As Dr. Bendo, Rochester published a broadside entitled Alexander Bendo's Bill, where, "the profession of the 5 1 According to Austin, performatives that are successful are considered to be happy or felicitous while those that fail in some way are unhappy or infelicitous. See Austin, How, 14 and onwards for Austin's discussion of infelicities. 5 2 Samuel Johnson, "Rochester," Lives of the English Poets, ed. George Birkbeck Hill (New York: Octagon, 1967), 220. 5 3 I consider these performances to be embodied performances in the sense that they affirmed the presence of the performer and, in the textual performances, sometimes involved an attack upon the body of the performer. They were both embodied as physical performances and embodied the actor as a being through their enactment. 5 4 Johnson, "Rochester," 222; Vivian de Sola Pinto, Enthusiast in Wit: A Portrait of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester 1647-1680 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1962), 36-7; Pinto, Enthusiast, 80; Pinto, Enthusiast, 83; Johnson notes of Rochester's performance as Dr. Bendo, "he once erected a stage on Tower-hill, and harangued the populace as a mountebank; and having made physick a part of his study, is said to have practiced it successfully (Johnson, "Rochester," 220)." Here Johnson is citing Burnet as his source, so things start to get somewhat circular, in the manner of gossip. 24 Mountebank is defended by means of the ingenious fallacy that the more a man resembles a counterfeit, the more likely he is to be a true man, because the counterfeit necessarily resembles what he is supposed to imitate."55 In this bill he also conducts what Kirk Combe calls a "well-disguised satire on the political elite of the 1670s."56 That Rochester was in touch with the social norms of both the Restoration Court and the English Church can be inferred from these attacks upon the same. For, as Harries notes, "satire, however scurrilous or scatological, gets its energy not only from the views it attacks but from the sense of corresponding virtues which are betrayed."57 Thus, we can interpret the angry cry of Rochester in "A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind" as being supportive of those of true faith as well as railing against hypocrisy: Is there a Churchman, who on God relies, Whose life his Faith and Doctrine justifies; Not one blown up with vain Prelatick pride, Who for Reproof of sins does Man deride; Whose Envious heart makes preaching a pretence, With his obstreperous Eloquence, To chide at Kings, and rail at men of sense. Similarly, though Combe states, "Rochester died a martyr for sin," he also recognizes that this sin was only in opposition to the truths of the existing social order that he 5 5 Pinto, Enthusiast, 86; In other words, everything is performance. 5 6 Kirk Combe, A Martyr for Sin: Rochester's Critique of Polity, Sexuality, and Society (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1998) 124. 5 7 Harries, "Rochester's 'death-bed repentance,'" 191. 5 8 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 57-63, 191-97. 25 attacked so consistently in his satire.59 Through such satire, especially satire centred on Charles II and the Royal Court, Combe argues that Rochester "calls into question the very legal and cultural foundation of his society."60 Because of this aspect of Rochester's satirical performances one could argue that, as a libertine, Rochester already occupied a liminal space, for Victor Turner argues "if liminality is regarded as a time and place of withdrawal from normal modes of social action, it can be seen as potentially a period of scrutinization of the central values and axioms of the culture in which it occurs."61 Having operated within a liminal space that concerned a form of liminality of status reversal, where Rochester criticized the Restoration Court that he was a member of, his repentance allowed him to return to his proper place within both that Court and the English Church. In essence, the liminal space that Rochester entered as a penitent served to enact a ritual of status elevation, where he became both saved and written of positively by the very authority figures that he had criticized in the past. Rochester had used penitential rituals of status elevation in the past, for much the same purpose, in his returns to Charles's favour after several of his libertine performances. Once such performance occurs in a written petition to Charles, where Rochester displays "evident signs" of his contrition, stating "that your Petitioner in all Humility and sence of his fault casts himself at your Majesties feet, beseeching you to pardon his first error, and not suffer one offence to bee his Ruine" before successfully entreating Charles to "bee pleased to restore him / once more to your favour, that that he may kisse / your hand."62 Rochester had performed penitential signs in order to return to the good graces of the 5 9 Combe, Martyr, 146. 6 0 ibid., 23. 6 1 Turner, Ritual, 167. 6 2 Parsons, A Sermon, 11; Rochester, Letters, 247, ibid., 247. 26 Court in the past, so it is not surprising that he should do so on a somewhat larger scale to return to the good graces of all of upper-rank society on his deathbed. Rochester was clearly aware that his performance would be recorded and that it would be narrated by Burnet, for, as Burnet notes of their first meeting, "he was also then entertaining himself... with the first part of [Burnet's recently published] the History of the Reformation. Rochester even goes so far as to charge Burnet to "publish any thing concerning him, that might be a mean [sic] to reclaim others." Similarly, Rochester alludes to Burnet's intercession on his behalf in his Letter to Dr. Burnet, where he states to Burnet, "I hope in Your Conversation to be exalted to that degree of Piety, that the World may see how much I abhor what I so long lov'd, and how much I glory in Repentance in God's Service."64 This is how Rochester wished to be presented and he hoped that Burnet would do so. Jeremy Treglown notes that this letter is written in Rochester's mother's hand but carries his own signature, and then warns that Rochester was "under intense pressure to repent and to be seen to do so, and any decision he reached was not only to be influenced by these circumstances but reported to the outside world in a determinedly cosmetic way."65 Yet Treglown also observes that the phrasing of Rochester's insistence to Burnet of God's promise "that at what time soever a sinner doth repent, he would receive him" is taken "from the first Sentence before Matins and Evensong, but is a prayer-book version that went out of use when he was fifteen."00 In other words, the phrasing of the letter to Burnet carries the "religious structures of... Burnet, Some Passages, 147. Rochester, A Letter to Dr. Burnet, 1. Jeremy Treglown in Rochester, Letters, 258; ibid., 36. ibid., 15. 27 language" that Rochester learned in his childhood.67 Rochester's repentance may have been stage-managed by his mother and Burnet, but Rochester clearly was participating in the acts surrounding his deathbed and was willing to be presented as a penitent. Rochester's view of his interaction with Burnet in terms of a performance for Burnet, and thus for posterity, is apparent in their interaction at the time of Rochester's death. For once Burnet had taken leave of him for the last time, Rochester stopped his verbal performance, saying "has my friend left me, then I shall die shortly." Then, as Burnet records, "after that he spake but once or twice until he dyed."69 No longer in possession of an audience that was capable of narrating his performance, Rochester accepted his fate. With Burnet's account of Rochester's deathbed repentance, Rochester is shown to have undertaken a rite of passage that restored him to the ranks of institutionalized social order. Rochester's aristocratic rank and his friendship with Charles II allowed him the privilege of free action, though his name became synonymous with debauchery, but as an atheist he stood outside of the Church. Due to his published repentance, Rochester was reclaimed by an establishment that had avoided him for his lewdness and atheism. In effect, Rochester re-keyed the performance frame with his entry into a dialogue with 70 Burnet on religion and repentance. This particular re-keying, of the liminal figure of the libertine as that of the penitent worked well for all parties involved and re-framed the 6 7 ibid., 15. 6 8 Burnet, Some Passages, 157. 6 9 ibid., 157. 7 0 For re-keying, see Goffrnan: "the primary framework must still be there, else there would be no content to the re-keying; but it is the keying of that framework that is the material that is transposed" (Erving Goffrnan, Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974), 81. In other words, Rochester redefines the nature of the performance frame of deathbed repentance from something that is grasped at unsuccessfully by penitents to something that is celebrated by proper Christians and the English clergy. act of deathbed repentance from something that was seldom recognized as efficacious to something that became a trope within the next hundred years. Whereas Rochester had enacted performances of the body in the past with public acts such as that of Dr. Alexander Bendo, with his deathbed repentance he carried out a performance of the soul, moving from an embodied performance to a spiritual one, and putting his own authorial stamp on a ritual performance of the English Church. 29 2.1 Works Cited Austin, J. L. How to Do Things with Words, ed. J. O. Urmson and Marina Sbisa. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962. Bauman, Richard. Verbal Art as Performance. 1977. Long Grove: Waveland Press, 1984. The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, According to the Use of the Church of England, Together With the Psalter or Psalms of David, Pointed as They are to Be Sung or Said in Churches. London, 1665. Burnet, Gilbert. An Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England Written by Gilbert Bishop ofSarum. 2nd Ed. London: R. Roberts for R. Chiswell, 1700. . Some Passages of the Life and Death of the Right Honourable John, Earl of Rochester. London, 1680. Butler, Judith. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex". New York: Routledge, 1993. Combe, Kirk. A Martyr for Sin: Rochester's Critique of Polity, Sexuality, and Society. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1998. Derrida, Jacques. "Limited Inc a b c ..." Limited Inc. trans. Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988. 29 - 110. 30 . "Signature Event Context." Limited Inc. trans. Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988. 1 -23. Duffy, Eamon. The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England c. 1400 -c.1580. New Haven: Yale UP, 1992. Fealty, Daniel, Martin Day, Richard Sibbs, Thomas Taylor et al. Threnoikos The House of Mourning; Furnished with Directions for Preparations to Meditations of Consolations at the Houre of Death. Delivered in XL VII. Sermons, Preached at the Funer alls of Divers Faithfull Servants of Christ. London, 1640. Goffman, Erving. Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974. Harries, Richard. "Rochester's 'death-bed repentance.'" That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Ed. Nicholas Fisher. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2000. 191 - 198. Johnson, Samuel. "Rochester." Lives of the English Poets, ed. George Birkbeck Hill. New York: Octagon, 1967. 219-228. Marshall, Peter. Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Miller, Stephen. Three Deaths and Enlightenment Thought: Hume, Johnson, Marat. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2001. Parsons, Robert. A Sermon Preached at the Funeral of the Rt Honorable John Earl of Rochester, Who Died at Woodstock-Park, July 26, 1680, and Was Buried at Spilsbury in Oxford-shire, Aug. 9. Oxford, 1680. 31 Pinto, Vivian De Sola. Enthusiast in Wit: A Portrait of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester 1647 - 1680. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1962. Rochester, John Wilmot, Earl of. The Letters of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Jeremy Treglown. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980. . A Letter to Dr. Burnet: From the Right Honourable the Earl of Rochester, as He Lay on His Death-bed... Printed From the Original, Wrote With His Own Hand, June 25. 1680, at Twelve at Night. London, 1680. . "A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 57-63. Searle, John R. "Reiterating the Differences: A Reply to Derrida." Glyph I: Johns Hopkins Textual Studies, ed. Samuel Weber and Henry Sussman. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977. 198 - 208. Targoff, Ramie. Common Prayer: The Language of Public Devotion in Early Modern England. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001. Taylor, Jeremy. Holy Living and Holy Dying. Vol. II. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. Turner, James Grantham. Libertines and Radicals in Early Modern London: Sexuality, Politics, and Literary Culture, 1630- 1685. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Turner, Victor. The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969. 32 Van Gennep, Arnold. The Rites of Passage, trans. Monika B. Vizedom and Gabrielle L. Caffee. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960. Walker, D.P. The Decline of Hell: Seventeenth-Century Discussions of Eternal Torment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964. Walker, Robert G. "Rochester and the Issue of Deathbed Repentance in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century England." South Atlantic Review, Vol. 47, No.l. (Jan., 1982): 21 -37. 33 3 "If I Appear to Any One Like a Counterfeit": the Re-framing of Satire in "Alexander Bendo's Brochure"1 Rochester's performance in both person and in text as Dr. Alexander Bendo is frequently mentioned in both his biographies and in scholarship on his work. Yet as Kirk Combe observes (and having surveyed the available literature I am inclined to agree) there is little literary criticism of Rochester's pamphlet itself, with only Combe, Jeremy Lamb, and Paddy Lyons discussing the text in critical terms. Though Marianne Thormahlen also examines the pamphlet in its historical context, she primarily uses it to support Rochester's criticism of politicians in other satires or to show his awareness "of the state of medicine" in his satire "Tunbridge Wells."4 I hope to add to the existing critical work on this text by examining the textual performance within "Alexander Bendo's Brochure" to show that Rochester used performative techniques to produce a liminal space where his satire operates on several levels to destabilize the reader, reinforce his own social rank and the ranks of his readers, and ultimately create a venue for a successful critique of the Restoration Court.5 1 A version of this chapter will be submitted for publication in Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700, (Knoxville, University of Tennessee). 2 Kirk Combe, A Martyr for Sin: Rochester's Critique of Polity, Sexuality, and Society (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1998); Cephas Goldswprthy, The Satyr: An Account of the Life and Work, Death and Salvation of John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2001); Jeremy Lamb, So Idle a Rogue: The Life and Death of Lord Rochester (London: Allison and Busby, 1993); Paddy Lyons, Introduction, Rochester: Complete Poems and Plays, ed. Paddy Lyons (London: J. M. Dent, 1993); Charles Norman, Rake Rochester (New York: Crown, 1954); Vivian de Sola Pinto, Enthusiast in Wit: A Portrait of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester 1647-1680 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1962); Anne Righter, "John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester," Chatterton Lecture on an English Poet (January 18th, 1967); Marianne Thormahlen, Rochester: The Poems in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); David M. Vieth, Introduction, The Complete Poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. David M. Vieth, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962). 3 Combe, Martyr. 4 Thormahlen, Poems in Context, 154-5; ibid., 250; ibid., 258. 5 Love uses the title "Alexander Bendo's Brochure" to refer to what other critics have termed "Alexander Bendo's Bill." Love chooses to rename the bill as a brochure because it is a four page pamphlet and not a broadsheet. In this article I will refer to the physical text as a pamphlet instead of a brochure but I will 34 I am attempting to show how, as Combe suggests, Rochester's satirical performance works on at least two levels, satirizing both the credulous lower ranks who fall for such bills and the middle and upper-ranked political establishment.6 Because this satire openly operates on these two levels, while providing further hints to the identity and purpose of the writer, the satire targets all readers of the brochure, as each of these readers is left uncertain whether they are fully "in" on the joke. Rochester destabilizes the position of his readers, leaving them trapped in an unresolved liminal space. He creates a small coterie of wits who understand the point of his satire and then he leaves them unstable, wondering if there is another, smaller coterie that sees them as the "true" butt of the joke. He differentiates his readers via social rank and then elevates himself above his own social rank as the author of the satire and the gatekeeper for that coterie. By doing so, Rochester can satirize the whole of the aristocracy and the Court, leaving no one untouched, without becoming publicly seditious. As Combe has already deconstructed the pamphlet, I need not repeat his arguments here except as they reveal several layers of satire and illuminate the primarily political nature of the writing.7 Instead, I shall concentrate on Rochester's use of performance in the text to produce the conditions for his satire and show how his performance causes this satire to become a multi-layered event, separating and destabilizing his various audiences. I have chosen to use "audience" rather than reader to highlight the performance aspect of this interaction and to avoid confusion with reader response theory retain Love's title for the work, as that is the source I will be using. Quotations will use the title that the original source used. John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "Alexander Bendo's Brochure," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 112-117. References are to this edition. 6 Combe, Martyr, 125. 7 ibid., 124-132. 35 and reception theory. For the purposes of this satire, the audience can be divided into two groups: the "outside audience" and the "backstage audience." I have adapted these terms concerning different levels of audience from Goffman's idea of regions in the staging of a performance. The outside audience is the traditional audience, who inhabits the outside region of the performance space and is not privy to the actions occurring backstage between the performers when they are not on stage. The backstage audience is those members of the satire's audience who have understood the joke and demonstrate this to the performer. In other words, they act as if they are members of the performance team who are privy to backstage knowledge - a coterie.9 Rochester also develops his satire through several performance techniques: keying of his performance through special codes, figurative language, and disclaimers of performance, patterning of the performance through genre, and then producing an emergent performance by reframing the genre to produce a liminal space for his audience through uncertainty over the target of the satire.10 Before going on to examine Rochester's creation of this liminal space, I should take a moment to define the term. A term coined by Arnold Van Gennep and developed by Victor Turner, liminality refers to the state of being in a transition from a rite of separation to a right of incorporation." Liminality is experienced as being "neither here nor there" but being caught "betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by 8 Goffman, The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life, (New York: Anchor, 1959), 106-140. 9 ibid., 77-105. 1 0 These terms are developed by Richard Bauman. Richard Bauman, Verbal Art as Performance, 1977 (Long Grove: Waveland Press, 1984). " Arnold Van Gennep, The Rites of Passage, trans. Monika B. Vizedom and Gabrielle L. Caffee (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960), 11. 36 law, custom, convention, and ceremonial."12 Further, Turner says of liminality, "it is often the scene and time for the emergence of a society's deepest values in the form of sacred dramas and objects But it may also be the venue and occasion for the most radical skepticism...about cherished values and rules." Bendo's pamphlet becomes one such venue, allowing Rochester to take a skeptical approach concerning the nature and actions of the Royal government and Court. Rochester required Bendo's persona to do this, not only because he was being sought for arrest, but because even his own elevated status as a close friend of Charles would not allow him to make such criticisms directly, whereas the allusion to the doctor's role would allow him to do so. The doctor's privilege to criticize his patient is recognized by Dryden, who notes of the relationship of the poet to the physician, "he who writes Honestly, is no more an Enemy to the Offendour, than the Physician to the Patient, when he prescribes harsh Remedies to an inveterate Disease."14 By performing as Bendo, Rochester can make that analogy explicit and he can then conduct his criticism by entering a liminal space. For liminality serves as a venue for both skepticism and the emergence of social values, allowing Bendo's attack on politicians to both criticize the Court and to gesture toward its obligation to behave in a more honourable manner. The physical pamphlet itself also occupies a liminal space and serves as an emergent performance, poised betwixt and between the Royal Court's manuscript-centred coterie 1 2 Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969), 95. 1 3 Victor Turner, The Anthropology of Performance, (New York: PAJ Publications, 1986), 102. 1 4 John Dryden, "Absalom and Achitophel. A Poem: To the Reader," The Works of John Dryden: Poems 1681-1684, Vol. II, ed. H. T. Swedenburg, Jr (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), 43-5. 37 culture and the City of London's emerging print culture.15 The pamphlet was caught between manuscript and print culture and neither one nor the other, for, as Pinto observes, it was the first satire to use poker-faced irony and formed the basis for later printed texts such as Defoe's The Shortest Way with the Dissenters and Swift's A Modest Proposal}6 But it was also a manuscript in content, due to its having multiple layers of satire requiring the reader to be "in the know" in order to understand the joke in the manner of Rochester's other coterie satires such as "Satyr."17 Similarly, the criticism surrounding the pamphlet resides in a liminal space, trapped 1 o between anecdotal biographical information and conjecture. As a result of the pamphlet's anonymous publication, we have only anecdotal evidence of its publication date and its connection to Rochester, so the text becomes tied to secondary accounts of Rochester's performance as a mountebank. Because of this, the anecdotal evidence applies even to the date of publication of the pamphlet, with the events surrounding Dr. Bendo being contested by various critics as having occurred in the summer of 1675 or 1676. The initial source of Rochester's connection to Dr. Bendo's pamphlet is Gilbert Burnet, who states of the affair, "being under an unlucky Accident, which obliged him to keep out of the way; [Rochester] disguised himself, so that his nearest Friends could not have known him, and set up in Tower-Street for an Italian Mountebank, where he 1 5 Turner's phrase "betwixt and between" is important, for this phrase means neither one nor the other. The liminal space is a distinct location caught between the rite of separation and the rite of reincorporation. 1 6 Vivian de Sola Pinto, Introduction, The Famous Pathologist or The Noble Mountebank, ed. Vivian de Sola Pinto (Nottingham: Sisson and Parker, 1961) 17-18. 1 7 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "Satyr," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 85-86. 1 8 Though he is speaking of Rochester's obscene verse, Fisher sums up this universal problem with writings on Rochester's poetry: "the shadow of Rochester's non-poetical activities has continued to cloud critical judgement into modern times"; Nicholas Fisher, Introductory, That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), 1 - 6. 38 practiced Physick for some Weeks not without success."19 The nature of the accident itself is never explained by Burnet, leaving modern critics to guess at the events and timeframe of Rochester's disgrace. Because of this lack of clarification, Harold Love places the pamphlet's publication in 1676, while David M. Vieth suggests that it could have been published in either 1675 or 1676.20 Graham Greene also places the pamphlet in the summer of 1676 during Rochester's disappearance after the "Affray at Epsom," noting Burnet's phrase, '"unlucky accident' better fits the death of Downes at Epsom," where Rochester was involved in a brawl that ended with the murder of his friend Downes by the local watch.21 Yet the chronology is problematic, for it is based on connections that are circular, as shown by Paddy Lyons's observation that "Doctor Bendo's Bill confirms tales that [Rochester] set up a stage at Tower Hill and, disguised as a doctor, dispensed patent medicines - but the tales all date from after his death: there are no contemporary eyewitness reports."22 Similar circular examples also occur in unrelated work on mountebanks and medicine, where M. A. Katritzky cites Rochester's performance as one 23 * * of the examples of contemporary dress for a mountebank in London. The discussion again becomes meta-theatrical, or meta-parodic and the re-enactment affirms reality. In effect, the text confirms the biographical information that is used to infer Rochester's 1 9 Gilbert Burnet, Some Passages of the Life and Death of the Right Honourable John, Earl of Rochester (London, 1680), 27. 2 0 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "Alexander Bendo's Brochure," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), footnote 117 on 613. References are to this edition; David M. Vieth, Introduction, 777e Complete Poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. David M. Vieth, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962), xxvii. 2 1 Graham Greene, Lord Rochester's Monkey: Being the Life of John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester (London: Bodley Head, 1974), 105-106; Greene, Lord Rochester's Monkey, 106. 2 2 Paddy Lyons, Introduction, Rochester: Complete Poems and Plays, ed. Paddy Lyons (London: J. M. Dent, 1993), xi-xii. 2 3 M. A. Katritzky, "Marketing Medicine: The Image of The Early Modern Mountebank," Renaissance Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2, (June 2001): 143-144. 39 creation of the text. Another circular situation occurs when Jeremy Lamb places these events after the death of Downes, citing Graham Greene and Professor Pinto as sources.24 Lamb cites two sources that draw on Gilbert Burnet's account, so there is really only the one anecdote that is being recycled here. A second source, Thomas Alcock, is later uncovered by Pinto but this account is also somewhat problematic for it is again an anecdotal account published after Rochester's death.25 Other than these two contemporary biographical retellings of the Bendo affair, there are only Alexander Hamilton's imperfect recollection of the Bendo affair in his Memoires de Gramont and the implied comments of Rochester's friends to draw upon.26 Lamb notes one such comment in a letter from Henry Savile to Rochester in August 1676, where Savile speaks of how Rochester's "Chymicall Knowledge" should give him access to the King and Lamb then connects Savile's reference to the Bendo episode.27 Greene also cites Savile's letter to Rochester as mentioning Dr. Bendo, noting, "Monsieur Rabell was a famous empiric, the numeral 4 was an astrological symbol and stood for the word 'recipe.' It seems highly likely that these references are to Rochester's exploit as a doctor and 2 4 Lamb also observes, in his strange framing of Rochester as being motivated entirely by his being an alcoholic, "Rochester could never have performed as Bendo without drink. A jape of that nature would have seemed boring and unfunny if he had been abstaining at the time." Lamb, So Idle a Rogue, 142; Instead, Rochester's alcoholism notwithstanding, I would argue it was a clever and satirical social drama that displayed Rochester's wit. Righter takes this further, noting, "excess... was another kind of roleplaying, permitting him to assume manners and a persona heightened and more extravagant than normal." Righter, "John Wilmot," 54. 2 5 Thomas Alcock and John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, The Famous Pathologist or The Noble Mountebank, ed. Vivian de Sola Pinto (Nottingham: Sisson and Parker, 1961); Pinto states that Alcock gives "an amusing account of the Alexander Bendo frolic in which he himself had apparently taken part when he was in Rochester's service," so he shows an awareness of the uncertainty of attribution of the brochure, ibid., 10. 2 6 See Pinto's discussion of Hamilton's version of the Bendo affair in the introduction to Alcock . ibid., 11-13. 2 7 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, The Letters of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Jeremy Treglown (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980), 136; Treglown speculates that this remark of Savile's could be "a reference to the Bendo episode." ibid., note on 136. 40 astrologer" (113). Here we have criticism solely through the recognition of allusion, leaving us to wonder if the critic was operating as a member of the outside audience or as a member of the backstage audience. In order to illustrate such complications, I will further examine Greene's writings on Dr. Bendo here, for Greene appears to have relied on such recognition of allusion, though he also grasps at notions of voice or style when he observes, "in his answer to the charge of being a mountebank the unmistakable Rochester breaks through the jargon of the quack."29 Similarly, Greene argues, "if the authenticity of the address [by Dr. Bendo] had ever been seriously questioned, the Biblical phrase - 'He draws great companies to him' -would be worth noting as a parallel to passages in letters to Mrs. Barry and Savile" before noting, "the language of the Bible, however satirically used, is part of Rochester's style."30 Here we have Greene responding to figurative language in the text, determined to present himself as within the coterie before using that authority to place Rochester's text temporally.31 He then turns to the death of Downes at Epsom, finding further codes within the text for this connection when he observes, "what is more worthy of note is the passage relating to the valiant man and the coward. If I am right, he had just fled from Epsom where his companion lay dead." 2 8 Greene, Lord Rochester's Monkey, 113. Monsieur Rabell was also "an apothecary to the King." ibid., note on 136. 2 9 ibid., 111. 3 0 ibid., 113; ibid., 113. 3 1 In fairness to Greene, who I am using as one example among several, I should also mention that he shows an awareness of the theatricality that is ever present in Rochester's work. For Greene also supposes a connection between Rochester's performance of Dr. Bendo and his deathbed request of Dr Pierce, noting of Rochester's request to "let me enter [Heaven] with you, as it were in disguise" (Rochester, Letters, 219). 3 2 Greene, Lord Rochester's Monkey, 113; Rochester says of the valiant man and the coward in John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "Alexander Bendo's Brochure," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 51-56: they are the same in many things, and differ in but one alone: the Valiant man holds up his head, looks confidently round about him, 41 In contrast to Greene, who responds from within Rochester's liminal space, Lyons speaks of the dangers of both viewing Rochester's work as biographical and of viewing it as being narrated by a persona, for "neither view allows for the procedures of radical doubt which destabilize distance, leaving the speaker's stance unfixed."33 In other words, the critic must be aware of the unresolved liminal space created by Rochester's satire and avoid becoming trapped within it. Regardless of the exact timeline and accepting both Burnet's recounting of Rochester's participation and Alcock's later publication of his own part in the affair, in the summer of 1675 or 1676 Rochester published what became known as "Alexander Bendo's Bill" or "Alexander Bendo's Brochure." In this pamphlet, Rochester - posing as the mountebank Dr. Alexander Bendo - advertised his services as a physician, alchemist and astrologer. Rochester keys this performance in the pamphlet through the use of special formulae and disclaimers of performance.34 One of the special formulae that Rochester uses is the genre of the mountebank's address. By setting his pamphlet clearly within the genre of the mountebank's advertisement, and therefore also in the genre of the doctor's advertisement, Rochester enables the reader to understand the performance that is taking place and to contextualize that performance. He creates an advertisement that can be taken at face value, or read as a parody of those that can, but he also gestures towards a deeper satire than parody alone and he does so through disclaimers of performance. wears a Sword, Courts a Lords Wife, and owns it; so does the Coward, only one point of Honour, and that's Courage (which like false Metal one only trial can discover) makes the distinction. 3 3 Lyons, Introduction, xv. ' 4 Richard Bauman, Verbal Art as Performance, (Rowley: Newbury House, 1977), 21. 42 Rochester's disclaimers of performance work on two levels. Firstly, he disclaims his intents within the pamphlet, insisting that he will not do what he, in fact, does, which keys this as a performance. Secondly, when coupled with his observations concerning truth and falsehood, these disclaimers illuminate the meaning of the text for his intended reader. In his opening paragraph, Bendo states, Whereas I say this City (as most great ones are) has ever been infested with a numerous company of such whose arrogant Confidence, backing their Ignorance, has enabled them to impose upon people either premeditated Cheats, or at best the palpable dull and empty mistakes of their self-deluded imaginations, in Physick, Chymical and Galenick, in Astrology, Physiognomy, Palmistry, Mathematicks, Alchimy, and even Government itself; the last of which I will not purpose to discourse of, or meddle at all in, since it in no way belongs to my Trade or Vocation, as the rest do, which thanks to my God, I find much more safe, I think equally honest, and therefore more profitable.35 Yet this disclaiming of the knowledge of government by Bendo stands in marked contrast to Rochester, who, as a gentleman of the bed-chamber, had intimate contact with Charles II and would have been able to observe the actions of both the government and the Court. Rochester offers his audience a means to read the pamphlet as anti-3 5 Note that Bendo only goes so far as to say he would be a cheat if he talked of government. He says nothing about the truth of his statements concerning the other subjects. Rochester, "Alexander Bendo's Brochure," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999), 1-14. All references are to this edition. 43 government and anti-upper and middle rank satire through his performance disclaimers that insist he is not doing that. Bendo states of his disclaimers, "I hope you will not think I could be so imprudent, that if I had intended any such foul play myself, I would have given you so fair warning by my severe observation upon others," (36-8) before quoting Plautus's warning that one who accuses another of improper conduct ought to first look to himself (38-9).36 By pointing out, and then denying, the possibility of this reading to his audience, Rochester presents the possibility that he is, in fact, doing just that. Having suggested the conflation of quackery and government, Bendo states of his professions, "though originally products of the most Learned and Wise Mens Laborious Studies and Experiences,... seem by this Bastard Race of Quacks and Cheats, to have been run out of all Wisdom, Learning, Perspicuousness, and Truth" (19-23) and leaves it to the intended reader to make the connection between "Bastard Race of Quacks and Cheats" and Charles's ministers. Bendo also provides special codes that connect him with the life of Rochester, allowing a diligent observer to be in on the joke if they understand those codes. One such code is Bendo's hint that his chronology is similar to Rochester. Bendo says of himself, "the knowledge of these Secrets I gathered in my Travels abroad (where I have spent my time ever since I was fifteen years old to this my nine and twentieth year) in France and Italy" (169-171). Similarly, according to Burnet's brief biography of Rochester's life, he 37 traveled abroad as a teenager and would have been twenty eight in 1676. Of Bendo's recounting of his extensive travels abroad, Leslie G. Matthews notes, "many of the 3 6 The quote from Plautus is, "Qui alterum incusat probri, ipsum se intueri oportet." Rochester, "Bendo," 38-39. 3 7 Gilbert Burnet, Some Passages of the Life and Death of the Right Honourable John, Earl of Rochester, (London, 1680), 5-6; I realize that 1 am resorting to numerology concerning special codes here, but I am preceded by others and 1 will attempt to contextualize my reasoning. 44 mountebanks who issued handbills boasted of their former travels," so Bendo's comments are not out of keeping with his chosen genre and it would take an aware reader to connect the timeframe with Rochester.38 Bendo then reinforces this connection with Rochester by his promise to support his Arts and "take their parts against these Impudent Fops, whose saucy, impertinent Addresses and Pretensions have brought such scandal upon their most immaculate Honours, and Reputations" (32-5). Here is a coded moment that is more in keeping with Rochester's concern with what Kirk Combe calls the "target fop" circulating around the Royal Court than a mountebank's concern with charlatanry. Rochester's special codes also extend to the staging of his performance, as noted in Alcock's retelling of the affair, where Bendo dressed "in an old overgrown Green Gown which he religiously wore in memory of Rabelais his master."40 Here, Rochester acknowledges the theatre implicit in his performance of Bendo, by gesturing to Rabelais as his inspiration through the special formula of naming the playwright's name out of context. The diligent and properly ranked observer would note this keying of performance and become acutely aware of the situation of Bendo's actions and speech. For Richard Bauman defines a performance as "situated behaviour, situated within and rendered meaningful with reference to relevant contexts" and keying is one method of situating such a textual performance.41 This keying is the reason why Bendo's breaking 3 8 Leslie G. Matthews, "Licensed Mountebanks in Britain," Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, XIX, I (January, 1964): 40. 3 9 Kirk Combe, A Martyr for Sin: Rochester's Critique of Polity, Sexuality, and Society, (Newark: U Delaware P, 1998). 4 0 Alcock, The Famous Pathologist, 29. 4 1 Bauman, Verbal Art, 27. 45 of the frame with his unusual special formulas would be effective because it jars the reader into an awareness of the performance that is taking place.42 Another method of situating a textual performance is through patterns of performance, which is one way that genre works. Rochester uses a familiar genre, the mountebank's parody of a doctor's advertisement, as a different satirical form with his disclaimer concerning government, which he "will not purpose to discourse of (11). Similar satires or parodies in the style of the mountebank's address were contemporary with Dr. Bendo's Brochure, and at least one of these ("A Thousand Infallible Cures") was attributed to Rochester as noted by Love.43 However, these other parodies do not operate in the same manner as Dr. Bendo's does. Rochester's work moves beyond a simple parody, as it operates as a parody of a doctor's advertisement at the same time that it satirizes politicians. This satire re-frames the genre by changing its target while it retains a form that traces back to Commedia dell'Arte, which obscures the anti-government satire that it undertakes. Thus, Rochester re-frames his performance, keying it as both satire and the obfuscation of satire, hiding the text's most critical moments from those who do not have the wit to see through the ruse. So, as Combe observes, Rochester's satire operates on at least two levels and, because it does so, his performance destabilizes the audience and leaves them questioning whether there is yet another level of satire that they are not understanding.44 This doubt positions the audience in an uncertain, liminal space where they cannot be certain whether they are the audience of the joke or the victim. 4 2 Goffrnan, Erving, Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience, (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1974). 4 3 Rochester, "Alexander Bendo's Brochure," footnote 202 on 439. 4 4 Combe, Martyr, 125-6. 46 The use of the mountebank's address is appropriate for Rochester's anti-governmental satire, for though mountebanks served as a form of spectacle or theatre, traveling about to faires and carnivals, they also gained recognition from the authorities when they were licensed to practice their medicines. One mountebank, Cornelius of Tilborg, was appointed as a Royal Physician to Charles II, while another, Pier Maria Mazzantini, cited Rochester's friend Thomas Killigrew in his application for a Royal license to practice his medicine.45 With such connections between charlatanry, theatre, and the Royal Court, Rochester's performance as a mountebank implicitly criticizes Charles's Court while his political criticism appears out of place, for Dr Bendo is turning upon the very authority that permits him to practice.46 In keeping with this association with theatre, Katritzky observes that the mountebank "combined, to a greater or lesser extent, three elements: the medical, the itinerant, and the theatrical."47 The genre of the mountebank's address initially came out of the physician's advertisement, a commonly seen broadsheet or pamphlet, but it also incorporated aspects of itinerant theatre such as Commedia dell'Arte as shown by Matthews's presentation of an illustration from 1685 entitled "The Infallible Mountebank, or the Quack Doctor," where the Dutch mountebank Hans Buling is shown on his mountebank's stage with "his zany and monkey." Yet Commedia dell'Arte originated from Renaissance Italian mountebank stages, according to John H. McDowell, who inverts the relationship of the mountebank to Commedia dell'Arte, and traces the origins of Commedia to the opportunities presented by both mountebanks stages and 4 5 Matthews, "Licensed," 33; ibid.," 35; Killigrew operated the King's Playhouse, one of Restoration London's two licensed theatre companies. 4 6 One wonders if recognition of the mountebank's performance by the authorities was all that was required for him to practice. If so, then Charles's eventual recognition of Rochester's performance ironically makes Bendo a "true man." 4 7 Katritzky, "Marketing," 121. 4 8 The zany is also referred to in the contemporary literature as a merry-andrew and appears in the form of the harlequin of Commedia dell'Arte. Matthews, "Licensed," figure opposite page 31. 47 aristocratic masques. He notes of Commedia Dell'Arte, "the itinerant actors found themselves in the midst of intense theatrical activity, and readily appropriated available stages as a background for their buffoonery."49 McDowell also observes, "from about the middle of the sixteenth century to the end of the seventeenth century, the commedia dell arte players were particularly associated with the mountebanks," as Matthews shows.50 Both genres reference each other and become conflated if the observer is sufficiently educated and can make the connections, in much the same way that Rochester operates as Dr. Bendo. Further, if the observer comes from the right social rank or background and possesses the proper wit, they are able to understand the hints dropped by Dr. Bendo and connect him with Rochester, which produces a liminal space where the audience feels privy to backstage knowledge. But this liminal space is dangerous, for as Turner warns of liminality, ambiguity reigns; people and public policies may be judged skeptically in relation to deep values; the vices, follies, stupidities, and abuses of contemporary holders of high political, economic, or religious status may be satirized, ridiculed, or contemned in terms of axiomatic values, or these personages may be rebuked for gross failures in commonsense.51 In this way, Rochester uses his performance as a mountebank to discuss issues of social drama concerning the actions of Charles and the Royal Court. Through the satire of the 4 9 John H. McDowell, "Some Pictorial Aspects of Early Mountebank Stages,'" PMLA, Vol. 61, No. 1 (March, 1946): 84. 5 0 ibid., 84. 5 1 Turner, Anthropology, 102. 48 pamphlet, Rochester can produce a social drama that questions their actions without causing a true breach or crisis. Within the target group, he can "measure what its members, or some of its members, have done against its own standards of how they should or ought to have conducted themselves." Turner also notes, "social drama is the 'raw stuff out of which theatre comes to be created as societies develop in scale and complexity and out of which it is continually regenerated."53 Rochester's performance as a mountebank both comes out of such social drama, in the form of the mountebank's stage and Commedia dell'Arte, and creates such social drama. Additionally, Rochester embeds his criticism of his own rank within a performance aimed at the lower ranks and, by doing so, he both implicitly connects this criticism with the "threat" of the lower ranks and avoids explicitly doing so. He never directly criticizes the behaviour of the Court, preferring instead to present an embodied performance of the criticism that results from current Court behaviour. He also requires his audience to be of the right rank to be able to make the connection to his criticism of the Court, showing them the results of their current course of action and leaving it to them to effect change in their behaviour. His positioning of satirical criticism within another genre that operates as parody causes his actions to become an emergent performance. The key to the positioning of Rochester's social satire within the pamphlet is his use of what Vivian de Sola Pinto calls an "ingenious fallacy that the more a man resembles a counterfeit, the more likely he is to be a true man, because the counterfeit necessarily 5 2 Turner, Anthropology, 104; Rochester also measures members against standards of conduct in "Satyr," where he observes of Charles, "nor was his high desire above his Strength: / His Scepter and his Prick were of a length, / And she may sway the one who plays with t'other." Rochester, "Satyr," A10-A12. 5 3 Turner, Anthropology, 105. 49 resembles what he is supposed to imitate." Rochester, as Dr. Bendo, defends his performance by insisting, if I appear to any one like a Counterfeit, even for the sake of that chiefly ought I to be construed a true man, who is the Counterfeits example, his original, and that which he imploys his industry and pains to imitate and copy; is it therefore my fault if the Cheat by his Wits and Endeavours makes himself so like me that consequently I cannot avoid resembling of him (43-9)? Anne Righter observes, this "movement of mind described by Rochester's prose... is positively dizzying," for, as Combe explains, "in protesting that he is not a charlatan, Bendo in essence credits Rochester with absolute expertise at being a charlatan."55 Though I will discuss the social satire in more detail shortly, I will first examine how this statement by Rochester also shows an awareness of liminality through performance. For this fallacy destabilizes the space between stage actor and real person, as it also does between doctor and mountebank, suggesting that everything is performance and places him in a liminal space where his audience is unsure of his authenticity - if they could ever be sure of the authenticity or "honour of a mountebank" (70-71). Vivian de Sola Pinto, Enthusiast in Wit: A Portrait of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester 1647-1680, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1962), 86; Another interesting take on this fallacy of the counterfeit and the true man occurs in Alcock's recounting of the affair. Alcock relates that Bendo's crew "kept a perpetual Jangling to one another, as if we were mighty industrious, and intent upon our respective Operations" before going on to observe that these efforts were to " amuse the gentle Spectators, whom we freely admitted to our Labaratory, that they might see, we took pains for what we had, and consequently were no Cheats, as the Arbitrarious Apothicaries had edeavoured to represent us. But by this means alone we out-cheated them a bar and a half, which was a great part of our business and beneficial Recreation." Alcock, The Famous Pathologist, 29. 5 5 Anne Righter, "John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester," Chatterton Lecture on an English Poet, (January 18th, 1967), 48; Combe, Martyr, 124. 50 In this way, Rochester separates his audience via social rank, with the backstage audience required to have the correct distinction in the form of learning to understand both the nature of the mountebank's address and the political satire occurring in the text. But he also has another level of backstage audience, the reader who possesses the wit to see through the satire to the clues that Rochester has left concerning his own performance. For these readers, such as Rochester's close companions known as the Bailers, the connection to Rochester shows him thumbing his nose at the Court, as he was known for sending up courtiers without them realizing it. Or as Burnet recounts, "he would go about in odd shapes, in which he acted his part so naturally, that even those who were in on the secret, and saw him in these shapes, could perceive nothing by which he might be discovered."56 In this case, Rochester is sending up the Court by operating openly in London, for those who have the wit to recognize him, while a warrant was out for his arrest. Once this second backstage audience appears, the earlier backstage audience becomes the true outside audience, serving as the butt of a joke they were unable to understand. Or as Combe argues, "if one credulous reader's truth can be ridiculed by another as in fact mock-truth, then an even better reader can see that smug reader's world view as limited and pretentious in turn."57 In effect, Rochester leaves all of his readers in such a liminal space, uncertain as to whether they really understand the full satire. This leads to counter performances, or back channel communications, on the part of the audience to demonstrate that they are part of the performance team and in on the joke. One such back channel communication is Savile's comment to Rochester about his "Chymical 5 6 Burnet, Some Passages, 28. 5 7 Combe, Martyr, 125. 5 8 Goffman, Presentation, 79. 51 Knowledge," proving that Savile has understood Rochester to have been Dr. Bendo and placing him in the backstage audience.59 This action also works in a deconstructive fashion, as Combe observes, for the liminal figure of the speaker targets himself as well as his social peers. Lyons also notes this when he states, "there is a boomerang effect, as satire swings back against the satirist, a movement in which all assertions are demolished, leaving only raw fear."60 Destabilization affects everyone, as Bendo suggests when he disclaims the truth of his own argument, stating, "I will proceed faithfully to inform you, what are the things in which I pretend chiefly at this time to serve my Country" (86-88). By setting himself up as a mountebank who will not discourse on government while performing a criticism of the government, Bendo himself is trapped in the fallacy of counterfeiting himself. He uses this to great effect when he sets forth his social criticism when he states, Tie only say something to the honour of the Mountebanck, in case you discover me to be one" (70-71). Bendo then conflates the mountebank with the politician, suggesting the audience should "reflect a little what kind of creature 'tis, his is one then who is fain to supply some higher ability he pretends to, with Craft, he draws great companies to him by undertaking strange things which can never be effected" (72-75), before immediately noting, "the Politician, (by his example no doubt) finding how people are taken with specious, miraculous, impossibilities, plays the same game, protests, declares promises I know not what things, which hee's sure can ne're be brought about" (75-78). As a result of this, "the people believe, are deluded and pleased, the expectation of a future good which shall never befall them draws their eyes off of a present evil" (79-81) and "thus are they kept and establish'd in Subjection, Peace, and 5 9 Rochester, Letters, 136. 6 0 Lyons, Introduction, xiv. 52 Obedience; he in Greatness, Wealth, and Power" (81-82). Finally, Bendo concludes with an explicit connection between government and charlatanry, "so you see the Politician is, and must be a Mountebank in State Affairs; and the Mountebank (no doubt if he thrives) is an errant Politician in Physick" (82-85). Rochester has brought his audience into a liminal space where, as Combe notes, "Rochester's bill supports now three distinct levels of understanding, of being in on the joke."61 But Combe's understanding of the pamphlet differs from the one I am presenting here. For Combe explains of Bendo's satire, The lowest order of course is that reader - generally, the citizen of London - who does not realize that Bendo is a farcical creation. The middle rank is that reader who does understand that Bendo is in fact a creature of the mad earl in yet another of his disguises; this insight calls for the relative sophistication of the town and court. The highest level of discernment (i.e., until another critic dismantles my reading) would be the reader who recognizes the political innuendo of the otherwise whimsical tract. Such recognition might only have come to Rochester's close circle of friends, such as Henry Savile. In any event, the broad jest of clever deception foisted upon the unsuspecting citizen by Doctor Bendo's Bill is by comparison uninteresting when considered against the satiric trap set by 6 1 Combe, Martyr, 126. 53 the bill for that middle kind of reader - the west end patrician imagining that he or she is laughing at the east end clown.62 In contrast to Combe, I am arguing that the initial interpretation of the political satire is available to the middle-ranked reader and the truth of Rochester's participation is only available to those in the highest levels of discernment.63 Combe notes, "Rochester's major satires excel at manipulating various levels of awareness, of what might be termed true wit and false wit" and recognition of Rochester as the man behind Dr. Bendo required such true wit to understand the allusions and make the connection between the two men.64 In order to do so, the reader not only had to be of the correct social rank and have the required distinction to understand the references that Rochester used as Bendo, but they also had to have a connection to one of the social circles within which Rochester operated.65 The reader was required to have a background as a courtier, as a wit, or in theatre (with theatre being the most important for Rochester was fascinated with its liminality) and recognition of this would give the reader an awareness of Rochester's intent. That his audience recognized the special codes that Rochester left them is apparent in Savile's letter to Rochester, where he speaks of how Rochester's "Chymicall Knowledge will give [him] entrance" to the King's graces.66 If the reader manages to make the connection between Rochester and Bendo, they will then be able to make a 6 2 Combe, Martyr, 126. 6 3 As Combe appears to use them, the terms lower and middle rank only refer to levels of understanding of this satire. They are not terms for the various social ranks of the reader. The lower social ranks are likely to directly correspond with the lower ranks of understanding, but the middle and upper social ranks could fall into either of the other two ranks of Combe's hierarchy. 6 4 ibid., 126. 6 5 One point to consider is that no one managed to figure out the joke. We only know of Rochester's portrayal of Dr Bendo through Alcock and Burnet. Alcock was present as part of Bendo's retinue, while Burnet only learned of it through Rochester telling him... 6 6 Rochester, Letters, 136. 54 second connection between Bendo's criticism of the politician and Rochester's real target of the Court and a return to the King's graces. If, as Dryden states, "the true end of Satyre, is the amendment of Vices by correction" then Rochester's presentation of Bendo becomes an attempt at political correction through performance art.67 The politician that Rochester is targeting is not the career minister or secretary of Westminster, such as Samuel Pepys, but the Royal Court. By setting himself up as a republican sounding mountebank, Rochester can criticize the Court and, in particular, Charles for not living up to the roles they are required to fulfill. Charles is only a counterfeit King, more concerned with funding his extravagant lifestyle and acquiring absolute power, than in maintaining the position and role of the newly restored monarchy. If neither a mountebank nor a politician has any honour, then these are not roles for Charles, and he should elevate himself above such pettiness. Though Charles does so, through his disinterest in actual government, he leaves himself open to politicians through his need to sustain his lifestyle. Rochester's argument, given his interest in Thomas Hobbes, is that the Royal lifestyle should be one that is suitable for a Sovereign and supportable by the populace. Similarly, there is a connection between Rochester's allusion to the politician as mountebank and Bendo's listing of the cures he performs. For Dryden also argues, "if the Body Politique have any Analogy to the Natural, in my weak judgment, an Act of Oblivion were as necessary in a Hot, Distemper'd State, as an Opiate woud be in a 6 7 Dryden, "Absalom and Achitophel," 42-3. 6 8 See Leviathan for a discussion of the sovereign's role in producing a commonwealth. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. C. B. Macpherson, (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1986), 228-239. 55 Raging Fever" and Bendo is attempting just that.69 James Grantham Turner develops this connection of the ills of the body with the ills of the state further when he observes of Restoration Court culture, "the personal is always political, and private parts open into public issues," leading to sexuality erupting into all aspects of Restoration society.70 He also argues that this embodied sexual connection causes the body of the courtesan to become a "perfect vehicle for political commentary, a funhouse mirror of social corruption or cataclysm, at once trivializing and perpetuating its trauma."71 Rochester inverts this relationship and extends this aspect of the courtesan to all women when Bendo relates his cures for diseases "peculiar to Women" (123), such as the confusion of love and lust (129-131), after having invited the reader to view his brochure as political satire. Similarly, Bendo's preference for Galenic medicine can be read as a desire to keep the political humours of the state in balance, while his offer to cure that "grand English Disease, the Scurvy," (90) serves as an allusion to his treatment of those who are worthless and contemptible in their actions through the use of the "care, honesty and understanding" (110-111) present in his satire. But this liminal space is problematic, for the liminality does not properly resolve. For Rochester's reader, the rite of separation into a liminal space does not conclude with a rite of reincorporation into society. Instead, his reader is left in a state of anxiety concerning their status. Again, this is in keeping with Rochester's other satires and his interest in theatre, for as David Farley-Hills observes, "the feelings it inspires are shadows of our shadows, and the desire for the stage's truth is always, like human love's, infinitely 6 9 Dryden, "Absalom and Achitophel," 48-51. 7 0 James Grantham Turner, Libertines and Radicals in Early Modern London: Sexuality, Politics, and Literary Culture, 1630-1685, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2 0 0 2 ) , 14. 56 postponed by the abstractions of awareness."72 Like the mountebank's "strange things which can never be effected" (74-75) and the Politician's promises that "can ne're be brought about" (78), the liminality of Rochester's performance only produces an "expectation of a future good which shall never befall" (79- 80) his audience. All the audience is left with is anxiety. However, there was resolution for Rochester himself. The antics of Bendo and his crew travelled across London to the Court and one member of Rochester's audience recognized the special codes within his reframed performance. Word was sent out to Rochester and, as Alcock recounts of Rochester's return from playing Dr. Bendo, the noble Doctor, (with sorrow to his disponding Enemies & Joy to his Triumphing Friends) was now called Home; who made the Quickest Voyage from France that ever man did, which was the talk and admiration of the whole Town, for those that saw his Ostracism Cancelled this night at Whitehall, did the very next see him there in Splendor dancing at a Ball in as great Favour as ever: and nobody 73 knew what became of the Mountebanks. Charles's zany had been forgiven. Rochester returned to Court. 7 2 David Farley-Hills, "Rochester and The Theatre in The Satires," That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), 164. 7 3 Alcock, The Famous Pathologist, 29-30. 57 .1 Works Cited Alcock, Thomas and John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. The Famous Pathologist or The Noble Mountebank, ed. Vivian de Sola Pinto. Nottingham: Sisson and Parker, 1961. Bauman, Richard. Verbal Art as Performance. Rowley: Newbury House, 1977. Burnet, Gilbert. Some Passages of the Life and Death of the Right Honourable John, Earl of Rochester. London, 1680. Combe, Kirk. A Martyr for Sin: Rochester's Critique of Polity, Sexuality, and Society. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1998. Dryden, John. "Absalom and Achitophel. A Poem: To the Reader." The Works of John Dryden: Poems 1681 - 1684. Volume II. ed. H. T. Swedenburg, Jr. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972. 3 - 36. Farley-Hills, David. "Rochester and The Theatre in The Satires." That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000. 153 - 164. Fisher, Nicholas. Introductory. That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000. 1 -6. Goffrnan, Erving. Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974. . The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor, 1959. 58 Goldsworthy, Cephas. The Satyr: An Account of the Life and Work, Death and Salvation of John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2001. Greene, Graham. Lord Rochester's Monkey: Being the Life of John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester. London: Bodley Head, 1974. Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan, ed. C. B. Macpherson. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1986. Katritzky, M. A. "Marketing Medicine: The Image of The Early Modern Mountebank." Renaissance Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2. (June 2001): 121 - 153. Lamb, Jeremy. So Idle a Rogue: The Life and Death of Lord Rochester. London: Allison and Busby, 1993. Lyons, Paddy. Introduction. Rochester: Complete Poems and Plays, ed. Paddy Lyons. London: J. M. Dent, 1993. Matthews, Leslie G. "Licensed Mountebanks in Britain." Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, XIX, I. (January, 1964): 30 - 45. McDowell, John H. "Some Pictorial Aspects of Early Mountebank Stages." PMLA, Vol. 61, No. 1. (March, 1946): 84 - 96. Norman, Charles. Rake Rochester. New York: Crown, 1954. Pinto, Vivian De Sola. Enthusiast in Wit: A Portrait of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester 1647 - 1680. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1962. 59 . Introduction. The Famous Pathologist or The Noble Mountebank, ed. Vivian de Sola Pinto. Nottingham: Sisson and Parker, 1961. Righter, Anne. "John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester." Chatterton Lecture on an English Poet. January 18th, 1967. Rochester, John Wilmot, Earl of. "Alexander Bendo's Brochure." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 112- 117. . "Satyr." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 85 - 86. . Complete Poems and Plays, ed. Paddy Lyons. London: Everyman, 1993. . The Letters of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Jeremy Treglown. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980. . The Poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Keith Walker. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984. . "Tunbridge Wells." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester. ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 49-54. Savile, Henry. "To Rochester in the Country from Savile in London: August 15, 1676." The Letters of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Jeremy Treglown. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980. 60 Scurvy. Oxford English Dictionary Online. 2nd Ed., 1989. <http://dictionary.oed.com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/cgi/entry/50217334?query_type=word&qu ery word=scurvy&first= 1 &max_to_show= 10&sort_type=alpha&result_place=2&se arch_id=0Evg-X3 YfQH-3 811 &hilite=502173 34> Thormahlen, Marianne. Rochester: The Poems in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Turner, James Grantham. Libertines and Radicals in Early Modern London: Sexuality, Politics, and Literary Culture, 1630-1685. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Turner, Victor. The Anthropology of Performance. New York: PAJ Publications, 1986. . The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969. Van Gennep, Arnold. The Rites of Passage, trans. Monika B. Vizedom and Gabrielle L. Caffee. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960. Vieth, David. Introduction. The Complete Poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. ed. David Vieth. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962. 61 4 "The Perfect Joy of Being Well Deceaved": Performance and Allusion in Rochester's "A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to Chloe in the Country"1 In Rochester's "A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to Chloe in the Country," the speaker of the poem, Artemiza, satirizes the actions and behaviour of London society by recounting the actions and statements of an upper-ranked country woman who has recently returned to London.2 The poem masquerades as an epistolary poem from Artemiza to her friend Chloe, telling her the latest gossip from London, but it is really a set of interpolated tales in verse form. By looking at these tales and their use of allusion, I shall examine how Rochester uses the performed gender of an upper-ranked, country-dwelling Lady both to satirize the upper and middle-ranked men and women of London and make a statement concerning the role of the writer in Restoration society. In doing so, he repeats his attacks on the "target fop" of his other satires but presents these attacks in more palatable terms.3 Framing his argument concerning the behaviour of the middle ranks in terms of a female of upper-middle to lower-upper rank, Rochester enables himself to criticize those ranks without having to justify his own position as an upper ranked male. He can restate his concerns for both the behaviour of lower ranked persons and those of his own social rank and present them as moral truths coming from within the ranks being criticized. Having done so, through the use of the interpolated tales and 1 A version of this chapter will be submitted for publication in Eighteenth-Century Life, (Stanford: Duke University Press). 2 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to Chloe in the Countrey," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 63-70. References are to this edition; I will shorten the title of "A Letter from Artemiza in The Towne to Chloe in the Country" to "Artemiza to Chloe" in the reminder of this essay. I have left the spelling of Artemiza and the titles as is in the citations. 3 Kirk Combe, A Martyr for Sin: Rochester's Critique of Polity, Sexuality, and Society, (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1998). 62 allusion, Rochester's poem can then destabilize his reader and leave them uncertain as to whether they understand the satire. "Artemiza to Chloe" is another satirical performance in the style of "Alexander Bendo's Brochure," with Rochester performing a role that operates on several levels.4 But, in this case, Rochester has replaced a performance via both stage and text with a performance via the text alone. This performance in "Artemiza to Chloe" has more than two levels of satire, which leads to differentiation among members of the audience as those who only understand one level of satire can be excluded from those who have understood multiple levels of the satire. For the purposes of this discussion, I will label these two groups the "outside audience" and the "backstage audience." I have chosen to use audience rather than reader to highlight the performance aspect of this interaction and to avoid confusion with reader response theory and reception theory. In the case of "Artemiza to Chloe," the outside audience would read Rochester's satire as a critique of the middle ranks while the backstage audience could also read his satire as a critique of the role of the wit, and Rochester himself, in Courtly society. I have adapted these terms concerning the different levels of audience from Erving Goffman's idea of regions in the staging of a performance.5 The audience usually inhabits the outside region of the performance and is not privy to the actions occurring backstage between the performers when they are not on stage. However, with satire, audience members desire to show that they have understood the joke so they attempt to segregate themselves from audience members who have not understood and they respond 4 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "Alexander Bendo's Brochure," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 112-117. 5 Erving Goffman, The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life, (New York: Anchor, 1959), 106-140. 63 to the performer as though privy to backstage knowledge. In effect, the backstage audience's response to satire is a back channel for them to converse with the performer and show that they have understood the true target of the satire. The paradoxical term backstage audience does work literally in a sense, as the backstage involves both a relaxation of performance by the actor around other members of the performance team and it is often a performance of its own for an audience who may or may not be members of that team.6 In other words, the backstage audience becomes part of the performance team, they become a (self-elected) coterie of insiders who "get" the author's performance, but they are not openly recognized as such by the author.7 Criticism itself operates as a delayed back channel communication with the author, with the critic recognizing and developing aspects of the text to show that he or she has understood the meaning of the text. One example concerning "Artemiza to Chloe" is Howard D. Weinbrot, who argues that "Artemiza to Chloe" satirizes Restoration society as an apocalyptic satire. For, as Weinbrot observes, "instead of the country going to the city to seek news of debauchery, the city actively communicates debauchery; Artemisia sows infamous tales which Chloe will reap; the town and the country begin to blend; and the poem takes on a quality of rapidly spreading evil" (55). And it is this interpretation of the poem as a representation of urban evil spreading forth into the countryside that causes Weinbrot to argue, "the poem pictures venal and murderous women, stupid or foolishly 6 Goffman, Presentation, 77-105. 7 Goffman states that teams are "held together by a bond that no member of the audience shares," in the manner of a secret society, ibid., 104. 8 Weinbrot states of his term apocalyptic satire, "I use the term apocalyptic not in the biblical sense of destruction of the evil old world and the beginning of the purged new but as a prophetic revelation of darkness." Howard D. Weinbrot, "The Swelling Volume: The Apocalyptic Satire of Rochester's 'Letter from Artemisia in the Town to Chloe in the Country,'" Eighteenth-Century Satire: Essays on Text and Context from Dryden to Peter Pindar (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), footnote 2, 53. 64 clever men, the mere memory of what heavenly love could be, and the hellish actuality earthly love has become."9 In support of this reading, Weinbrot summarizes the poem as follows, with the exception of Artemisia early in the poem, women reveal themselves as destitute of divinely inspired love; they are contradictory, enjoyers of sin, foulers of their own nest, tasteless, passionless creatures motivated by fashion and desire for revenge, and reduce others and themselves to the sub-human. Man is either a blind, easily duped fool or a restless wit disturbed by the vision of harsh female reality he seeks, yet incapable of correcting it; he is also a prime cause of the revenge by women upon fools and their families. The poem portrays pleasureless adultery, a diseased and unattractive gallant, a murderous town wench, a murdered lover, a bastard child, and distortion of divine love and order. The true emblem of this world of bestial humans with a passion for the mode is the embrace of the Fine Lady and the monkey.10 This balanced summary of the poem would, at first glance, appear unarguable but Weinbrot's reading of "Artemiza to Chloe" helps to illustrate the unstable space that exists between the outside audience and the backstage audience. The backstage audience is always at risk of being interpreted as the outside audience by other audience members 9 Weinbrot, "The Swelling Volume," 55. 1 0 ibid., 63. 65 who wish to present their own credentials as backstage audience members. Weinbrot's interpretation of the poem is shown to be at odds with those of other critics due to his inability to separate Artemiza from the world she illustrates in her letter. Because of his refusal to view Artemiza as outside the world of the poem, Weinbrot's reading is taken as a misreading by Marianne Thormahlen, who states, "it is curious that a scholar of Weinbrot's stature should come close to willful misrepresentation of a Rochester speaker," though she admits that several critics have held similar views of Artemiza.11 In contrast to Weinbrot's view of Artemiza as complicit in the evils of her society, several authors have responded positively to Rochester's use of a feminine speaker. Even some of Rochester's contemporaries viewed his portrayal of Artemiza favourably, for as Gillian Manning notes, "there is evidence that he was regarded with affectionate respect, both as a friend and literary mentor, by at least two women writers: his niece, Anne Wharton, and Aphra Behn."12 Manning then goes on to speculate about a correlation between this affectionate respect for Rochester due to his relationship with these women and the effect of "Artemiza to Chloe" on female authors of the time before concluding, "several Restoration and eighteenth-century women poets read Artemiza to Chloe not as a satire relating primarily to the misogynistic tradition which includes Juvenal's sixth satire, Boileau's tenth satire and Pope's Epistle to a Lady, but as a less biased, though still complex and rigorous, assessment of the contemporary female condition." Once again, " Thormahlen states of what she terms Weinbrot, Wilson and Vieth's hostile attitude toward Artemiza, "It is difficult to avert a suspicion that Artemiza's peculiarly feminine, whimsical humour has failed to communicate itself to these men, all three of them eminent Restoration scholars, and that this accounts for their harshness towards her. Three hundred years after Rochester created her, Artemiza seems in this limited sense to fulfil her own prophecy and stand scorned though she succeeds." Marianne Thormahlen, Rochester: The Poems in Context, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 111. 1 2 Gillian Manning, "Artemiza to Chloe: Rochester's 'Female' Epistle," That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000) 101. 1 3 ibid., 103. 66 this is an argument for inclusion in the backstage audience, for Manning is attempting to present herself as understanding special formulae that the outside audience has not recognized. One method of proving one is a member of the backstage audience through the understanding of special formulae is the recognition of allusion - or indirect intertextual reference - in the text. Working in this manner, Thormahlen develops a direct connection between Artemiza and Rochester's female contemporaries. She observes, "Rochester's fine lady undoubtedly owes some features to Dryden's Melantha, but others may have been supplied by [the Duchess of Newcastle,] the most famous - or infamous -learned lady of the Restoration period."14 Here is an attempt to prove backstage knowledge by recognizing and explaining the allusions present in the poem. Continuing on in this vein Thormahlen also argues, "if the fine lady has certain traits in common with the Duchess of Newcastle, Artemiza herself resembles Aphra Behn in more ways than one. Her humour and intelligence, her aversion to marriage, and her conviction that love is the most important thing in life can all be paralleled in the 'incomparable Aphra' - and then, of course, she proves herself an accomplished poet."15 Through the recognition of allusion the audience can show an understanding of the figurative language used to key the performance.16 By recognizing this figurative language, the audience is also indirectly employing it and setting up an indirect dialog with the performer, which moves them from the outside audience to the backstage audience. Like Thormahlen, Manning also uses allusion to show her recognition of Rochester's performance. She notes of Rochester's use of Horace, that his "reference in Artemiza to Chloe to the famous first 1 4 Thormahlen, The Poems in Context, 130. 1 5 ibid., 134. 1 6 Richard Bauman, Verbal Art as Performance, 1977, (Long Grove: Waveland Press, 1984), 17-18. 67 line of Horace's Epistles I.vi could hardly be missed, and seems intended to be recognized, in contrast to some of the other allusions, such as that to the Sidney sonnet, or to Boileau's first satire, where recognition of the source may constitute more in the way of an additional bonus than an absolute requirement for readers."17 In either case, whether required or an additional bonus, recognized allusions serve to position the reader as a member of the backstage audience. In keeping with Manning and Thormahlen's work connecting Artemiza to women writers, or in this case their characters, Anne Righter says of Artemiza, she is "witty and self-aware, both amused and exasperated, delighted and saddened by the follies she describes, she is the sister of Jane Austen's heroines."18 But Righter also makes a connection between the character and the writer when she observes of Artemiza's relating of the fine Lady's story, "a generosity which is both Artemisia's and, ultimately Rochester's allows her, in what is in effect the play with the play of the letter, to relate with real understanding the scarifying story of Corinna, the girl undone by a Wit."19 Here Rochester is viewed as operating behind Artemiza, a situation that I will return to shortly. Having examined examples of close readings and allusion used to locate the critic within the backstage audience, I will move onto the play within the play within the letter, for this series of frames also works to destabilize the reader. "Artemiza to Chloe" is framed by Artemiza's epistolary comments to Chloe that frame her telling of the gathering where she meets the fine Lady and the retelling of the fine Lady's tale of Corinna, but there is also a further frame, that of Artemiza's persona, where Rochester 1 7 Manning, "Artemiza to Chloe," 113. 1 8 Anne Righter, "John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester," Chatterton Lecture on an English Poet, (January 18th, 1967), 55. 1 9 ibid., 56. 68 frames his criticism of middle-rank city life from a female perspective. The first, or epistolary, layer of this double framing is observed by Carole Fabricant, who notes, "that the poem should be called a 'letter' rather than an 'epistle,' for it eludes clearly-defined structural restraints and spills over the bounds of formal verse satire." For Fabricant, the looseness of the epistolary structure appears to work as a breaking of the frame. Yet Thormahlen sees this spill over as being within the genre of the contemporary letter, noting that "Artemiza to Chloe" operates as "a familiar letter to a friend or relative of the same sex. Such communications were, and are, rambling and informal by their very 21 nature." She also notes, "verse letters exchanged between dwellers in town and country formed something of a special genre."22 The framing of the poem as a loosely structured epistolary verse works to destabilize the genre, leaving the reader uncertain whether they recognize that special formula. However, regardless of which of these two genres the poem inhabits the framing allows Rochester's satire to climb "down through one level of fashion and fantasy to another, and then another as through a 'snare'" and trap the reader in an unstable space. Even if the framing technique of genre remains intact, the structure of the layered voices traps the audience in an uncertain space, unsure which voice - if any - to take at face value. The layering of voices through this framing of a tale within a tale also serves another purpose, for it allows the reader to examine how members of London's lower-upper and Carole Fabricant, "The Writer as Hero and Whore: Rochester's 'Letter from Artemisia to Chloe,'" Essays in Literature, 3, no. 2 (Fall 1976): 152. 2 1 Thormahlen, The Poems in Context, 105. 2 2 ibid., 137. 2 3 Barbara Everett, "The Sense of Nothing," Spirit of Wit: Reconsiderations of Rochester, ed. Jeremy Treglown (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1982), 31. 69 upper-middle ranks view each other's actions. Put another way, as David Farley-Hills does in The Benevolence of Laughter, Rochester adopts an ingenious structure that might be compared to a nest of Chinese boxes, in which the value of the contents of each box diminishes as we get nearer the centre. As each layer is exposed we see not only what basic materials the surface sophistication is formed over and supported by, but also the raw material out of which civilization is made. The poems progresses into the heart of sophistication's darkness.24 The surface sophistication and social raw material is presented by a succession of narrators, giving the reader an opportunity to view their interaction as the poem moves successively downward in social rank. Yet the poem also progresses outward, for the positioning of the fine Lady as a narrator being narrated by Artemiza casts a shadow back to Rochester's narration of Artemiza. In other words, I am arguing that the framing of a play within a play within a letter foregrounds the mechanics of the process and operates as mise en abime, leaving the audience aware of the ultimate narrator behind Artemiza: Rochester. My argument that Rochester is interchangable with the speaker of the poem, in this case Artemiza, is not to be taken lightly but Rochester can be observed through Artemiza, as Righter notes above. There is an emergent quality to Rochester's verse, where, as David Farley-Hills, The Benevolence of Laughter: Comic Poetry of the Commonwealth and Restoration, (London: Macmillan, 1974) 178. 70 Thormahlen observes "the poet's mastery of disguise" leads to an unstable text and reader and produces a space where the author is both obfuscated and clearly seen behind the persona of the speaker.25 Both Farley-Hills and Fabricant also recognize this quality of Rochester's verse. Farley-Hills notes that Rochester's poetry has a "satirical stance which encompasses even the speaker himself as representative of the poet," while Fabricant, in her connection of Rochester and his speaker, does not go as far as Farley-Hills does but she notes, "Artemisia's affinities with her creator become further evident through the • • "7 fit similarities between her letter and Rochester's own personal correspondence." Farley-Hills then says of this technique, it "allows [Rochester] to present his feelings directly, [while placing] them in a critical medium." The idea that Artemiza equates to Rochester is also taken up by Everett, who observes, from the beginning we hear Artemisia, for all the brilliance of the impersonation, as Rochester's voice at one remove, and gain perpetual pleasure at the paradoxical comparisons that continually arise from his two-faced mask of man of wit and woman; indeed the pleasure derives from the exact measuring of the distance of that remove.28 The uncertainty of the speaker's voice becomes a central pleasure of reading the poem, for as Everett notes, "this poem is as reductive, as self-underminingly self-consuming as anything Rochester ever wrote." It is this self-consuming aspect that is foregrounded Thormahlen, The Poems in Context, 4-5. Farley-Hills, Benevolence, 162; Fabricant, "The Writer as Hero," 164. ibid, 156. Everett, "Sense," 29. ibid., 28. 71 by the conflation of the speaker with the author, for the audience is left unstable by the apparent conflation of Rochester with the female narrator of the poem. The multiple voices of the fine Lady and, indirectly Corinna, being related by Artemiza double Rochester's relationship to the voice of Artemiza. Because of this arrangement the audience is left wondering whether they should accept Artemiza's voice as Rochester's or only as a performance by him. To return to Farley-Hills, who favours the latter, this unstable position is articulated in his discussion of mise en abime using his metaphor of Chinese boxes, "the outer box in the poem itself is provided by the 'writer' of the epistle, Artemisia. She is witty, detached, treating herself with a good deal of self-irony, and like her creator she is a passionate person whose outburst in praise of love makes one of the finest moments of 1 A the poem. She is not, however, the poet." Yet Farley-Hills only differentiates Artemiza from Rochester by her sex. In contrast to Farley-Hills, Thormahlen argues because Artemiza is impervious to the satire present in the poem, she operates as an ironic observer, which positions her as Rochester, capable of self-irony and critical of everything around her but Thormahlen is also not willing to accept a conflation of Artemiza with Rochester, arguing against seeing Artemiza as restating Rochester's beliefs: "this poem.. .never - in my view - supplies any tenable reason for regarding the speaker herself as [doing so]."31 Thormahlen is hedging her position here, as she can clearly see Artemiza operating in Rochester's role but she is unwilling to definitively state this. In fairness to Thormahlen though, despite this uncertainty concerning the speaker of the poem, she does not view this construction as the centre of the poem; instead, she 3 0 Farley-Hills, Benevolence, 178. 3 1 Thormahlen, The Poems in Context, 107-08; ibid., 110; ibid., 110-111. 72 argues, "skill in perfecting the voice-within-voice structure is not the quality most worthy of note in Artemiza to Chloe. Its most remarkable feature is the character of Artemiza herself." For Thormahlen, the enjoyment and understanding of the poem come from focusing on Artemiza and not from trying to look past her. However, Thormahlen demonstrates the difficulty for the reader to look past Artemiza to Rochester, due to the framing of the poem. A critic who accepts the view of Rochester being visible behind the narrator is Everett, who observes, "Rochester never, that is to say, writes like a woman, only like a man writing like a woman, and carefully selecting only such female attributes as may solidify the equation latent in the opening that women are to men as the individual man of wit is to the rest of society," so the male writer is brought into the foreground by his choice of a female narrator.33 This stance is further explained by Everett, who observes, "Artemisia [to Chloe] is a kind of undissembled dissembling, an owned disowning, because it is a social construct itself, and gives genuine pleasure thereby: it is a letter to a friend just like these often delightfully witty friendly letters Rochester wrote to Savile, of the usually charming kind and nonsensical notes he sent home to his wife."34 Everett sees the framing of the multiple voices within the epistolary poem as an artifice leading back to Rochester as the letter writer. For most critics, Rochester models Artemiza on his own position as a writer but they are not willing to leap the chasm and declare Artemiza to be stating Rochester's beliefs. Because of his penchant for disguise, critics are wary of taking that step, lest they be seen to have misread the figurative language and positioned themselves in the outside audience. But I shall return to this connection of Artemiza and 3 2 Thormahlen, The Poems in Context, 140. 3 3 Everett, "Sense," 28. 3 4 ibid., 31-32. 73 Rochester shortly, for it becomes clearer when the audience has recognized Rochester's self-referential comparisons concerning wits and whores. Artemiza's clearest echoing of Rochester occurs in her comparison of wits to whores. Artemiza initially compares herself unfavourably to the superior "Men of Witt" (5), who risk shipwreck in pursuit of the laureate, before going on to compare her role as a poet to that of an "Arrant Woman" (24). Though Artemiza initially disclaims her upcoming performance, insisting to Chloe that the talents of horseback riding and fighting, "better with Our Sexe agree, / then lofty flights of dang'rous Poetry" (3-4), she further disclaims her ability to perform when she asks, "how would a Woman's tott'ring Barke be tost, / Where stoutest Ships (the Men of Witt) are lost" (12-13)? Having twice shown herself as unready or unable to take on the role of poet, Artemiza warns "Poetry's a snare" (16) for "your Muse diverts you, makes the Reader sad; / you fancy you'r inspir'd, he thinks you mad" (18-19) before connecting her role as a poet to that of a whore by arguing that writing will, make your Selfe the Fiddle of the Towne, To find th'ill-humour'd pleasure att their need, Curst, if you fayle, and scorn'd, though you suceede. Thus, like an Arrant Woman, as I am, Noe sooner well convinc'd, writing's a shame, That Whore is scare a more reproachfull name, Then Poetesse: (21-27) 74 Here is Rochester's argument concerning wits and whores stated in brief by Artemiza. In both professions the performer is made the source of amusement for others, unable to control the time and place of their performance and unable to escape public opinion. Artemiza's statement on the fickleness of public opinion and the lack of agency of the poet, "Curst, if you fayle, and scorn'd, though you suceede" (23), echoes the speaker in "Satyr Against Reason and Mankind," who observes, Witts are treated just like common Whores, First they're enjoy'd and then kickt out of doors. The Pleasure past, a threatening doubt remains, That frights th' enjoyer with succeeding pains: Women and men of Witt are dangerous tools, And ever fatal to admiring Fools. Pleasure allures, and when the fops escape, Tis not that they're belov'd, but fortunate; And therefore what they fear, at heart they hate.35 Another comparison of wits and whores occurs in "Satyr [Timon]," where Rochester's speaker complains that his attempt to avoid a dinner invitation from his patron by claiming to be already engaged backfires because, "as a Whore, / With Modesty, enslaves her Sparke the more; / The longer I deny'd, the more he prest." Here, the wit operates 3 5 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 37-45. 3 6 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "Satyr [Timon]," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 9-11. 75 more in the manner of Corinna than Artemiza but the connection between Corinna and the narrator echoes the connection between Rochester and her, so the allusion still works. Artemiza also echoes Rochester when she observes the fine Lady praising and embracing the monkey, for she states, "I tooke this tyme, to thinke, what Nature meant, / When this mixt thinge into the World shee sent" (147^ -8). Her statement recalls Rochester's observation, "I'd be a Dog, a Monky, or a Bear. / Or any thing but that vain Animal / Who is so proud of being Rational" and his conclusion that "Man differs more from Man, than Man from Beast." This allusion is dealt with in detail by Walker, who notes, "Like many noblemen of his time, Rochester kept a pet monkey, and it is perhaps no coincidence that monkeys appear twice in significant passages in Rochester's verse: in A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind and in A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to T O Chloe in the Country." An Ape also appears in "Tunbridge Wells" when the speaker comes across a troop of horsemen, younger sons of the gentry who are economically forced to take up positions in the Army. The speaker says of them, this goes for Captain; that for Collonell. So the beargarden Ape on his Steed mounted no longer is a Jackanaps accounted Rochester, "Satyr Against Reason and Mankind," 5-7; ibid., 225. 3 8 Keith Walker, "Lord Rochester's Monkey (Again)," That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), 82; Rochester's most famous monkey is the one he posed with in the portrait by Huysmans. As Walker notes of this portrait, "so powerful a hold has this icon taken over Rochester scholars that Graham Greene entitled his biography Lord Rochester's Monkey, without ever discussing the meaning of the monkey in the picture..." (ibid., 84). Huysmans's painting was done around the same time as Rochester's four major satires so the allusion here is rather straightforward. In The Benevolence of Laughter, Farley-Hills states, "Rochester's four major satires Timon, Tunbridge Wells, The Satyr Against Reason and Mankind, and Artemiza to Chloe were written probably in that order between the spring of 1674 and the summer of 1675," while Huysman's painting is circa 1675. Farley-Hills, Benevolence, 157. 76 But is by virtue of his Trumpery then 39 Call'd by the name of the young Gentleman. Thematically, this passage works intertextually with the fine Lady's address to her monkey, where she states, "Kisse mee, thou curious Miniature of Man; / How odde thou art? How pretty? How Japan? / Oh I could live, and dye with thee" (143-145). The comparison of the men to the ape works as an inversion of the monkey's comparison to the Gallant. In all of these examples, Rochester uses allusion to tie together themes from his own texts, allowing the reader to make a connection between Artemiza and Rochester.40 Having examined the connection between Rochester and Artemiza within his poems, we can also find connections between Rochester as poet and Rochester as letter writer. This connection is brought up by Fabricant, who notes, in "examining his correspondence, we find many of the same ambivalences which mark Artemisia's verse. He too is both an ironically detached critic of, and an enthusiastic participant in, the prevailing customs of the age."41 Similarly, of Rochester's allusion to wits and whores being fellow travelers, Fabricant observes, "Artemisia's characterization of writing as an activity partaking both of heroism and whoredom applies equally to Rochester's epistolary endeavours."42 But again the critics are undecided on how to read Rochester, for Farley-Hills notes, "much of Rochester's verse is in some sense personal, and this 3 9 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "Tunbridge Wells," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 174-177. 4 0 Farley-Hills notes, "Rochester's four major satires Timon, Tunbridge Wells, The Satyr Against Reason and Mankind, and Artemiza to Chloe were written probably in that order between the spring of 1674 and the summer of 1675." Farley-Hills, Benevolence, 157. 4 1 Fabricant, "The Writer as Hero," 164. 4 2 ibid., 165. 77 alone marks him off from the majority of his predecessors and contemporaries. Usually, however, the personal element is distanced by the use of conventional devices."43 For Farley-Hills, the personal nature of Rochester's verse does not trump the ironic distance, whereas for Fabricant the connection between Artemiza and Rochester collapses that space. Rochester is constantly playing with boundaries in this poem, forcing his audience to locate themselves with respect to those he is satirizing. What I have attempted with this paper is to read how Rochester is read and, in doing so, I have concentrated on the unstable space created by his multi-layered satire. I will now attempt to position myself among the backstage audience with my own view on Rochester's poem, while keeping in mind that the danger here is positioning oneself in the outside audience instead of the backstage audience. Once a critic takes a stand, they, like Rochester's characters, risk condemning "themselves out of their own mouths."44 I will try to tread carefully lest I end up doing just that. In "Artemiza to Chloe," Rochester's satire also operates as moral policing, since the satirist comes from the same background as those being satirized. Both Artemiza and the fine Lady are speaking about others in their own social circle. Despite minor differences in rank, they are all largely of the lower-upper to upper-middle ranks so their criticism appears as internal criticism rather than criticism from an upper-ranked aristocratic male. Because Artemiza comes from a similar social rank she does not have to defend her own position. With this reframing, the posturing of the libertine against the hypocrisy of those of lower ranks becomes a damnation of the lower-upper and upper-middle ranks through 4 3 Farley-Hills, Benevolence, 134. 4 4 David Farley-Hills, "Rochester and the Theatre in the Satires," That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), 157. 78 their own actions. Rochester sets up the satire and then positions himself as an "Arrant Woman" (24) with his comparison of wits to whores. The allusion and epistolary framing reveals Rochester behind Artemiza while still allowing him to present his satire as originating within her social rank. Because of this revelation, the moral policing in the poem can then be turned outward to his own social rank. In other words, Rochester, as a libertine, inhabits a liminal space of his or her own but by reframing himself (the wit) as the whore, Rochester can illustrate this liminal space and criticize those who force him to behave as a wit when they do not behave properly rather than just those who seek to enter the space occupied by the libertine. The definition of the target fop expands outward to encompass all the persons mentioned by Artemiza within her social circle, and by extension it expands to include everyone in Rochester's social circle. For, as Manning notes of Artemiza's interpolated tale to Chloe, "in her own eyes, the teller is relating a common story of common and foolish people, the main purpose of which is to illustrate and confirm her own previously proclaimed views, and to enable her to display what she takes to be her own vastly superior wit, judgment, and accomplishments."45 But this interpolated tale is ultimately related by Rochester, so the backstage audience who understands the allusions within the poem is left unstable, forced to recognize Rochester's allusions to his own texts in order to continue to re-claim their position as backstage audience. This position of critic as potential backstage audience member also applies to my own reading of "Artemiza to Chloe," whether it is a close reading of the poem or the reading I have done above. Regardless, I will point out that there is one connection that has not Manning, "Artemiza to Chloe," 112. 79 been mentioned yet. That connection is the relationship of the fine Lady's monkey with Rochester. The monkey's role in the poem has him doubling for the now fashionable wit, for it was back when the fine Lady married that "Fooles were a la mode / The Men of Witt were then held incommode" (103), which suggests that their positions are reversed at the time of Artemiza's letter to Chloe. The monkey serves as the target for the fine Lady's passions; he becomes the wit at the centre of her attentions. Her embracing of the monkey (141) and her exclamation, "I could live, and dye with thee" (145) then echoes the treatment of Timon by his patron, who "runs upon [him], cryes, Dear Rogue, I'm thine" when they encounter each other."46 Timon becomes the target of his patron's attention in much the same way as the monkey does the fine Lady's; in both cases they are the centre of attention for their respective patrons. The wit and the monkey become equivalent; the wit becomes the fool. But the monkey and the wit also gesture toward Rochester, for the monkey recalls the monkeys and apes of Rochester's other satires and the wit, as whore, recalls Rochester's position. His speaker's declaration, "I'd be a.. .Monky," echoes back to the author behind the poem, showing Rochester crowning his speaker.47 No matter what the fashion of the time is concerning wits, they are separated from the upper and middle ranks, recalling Rochester's claim that "Man differs more from Man, than Man from Beast." As a wit, Rochester is free to comment on the behaviour of those he satirizes and he can step back from interaction with the lower ranks while they interact with beasts. In doing so, his presence bookends Artemiza's letter, for he is visible as the teller behind her tale and as the monkey present within her tale. These gestures never become entirely clear but, as I have shown, there are allusions between his 4 6 Rochester, "Satyr [Timon]," 7. 4 7 Rochester, "Satire Against Reason and Mankind," 5; Walker, "Lord Rochester's Monkey (Again)." 4 8 Rochester, "Satyr Against Reason and Mankind," 225. 80 major satires that shows him distinct from those he is writing about and visible to his reader. The indirect nature of allusion, however, never allows such connections to become concrete and Rochester never delivers such an explicit connection. Instead, his reader is left in the unstable position of having to justify his or her reasoning. Artemiza, like Rochester, does not deliver what she has promised. Instead she redirects the purpose of her letter with an "epistolary strategy of promising Chloe gossip, and in fact presenting her with entertaining, but morally (if obliquely) pointed portraits."49 Rochester acts in a similar fashion by promising a satire that should allow the reader to feel morally superior to the targets of the satire but leaving them unstable and attempting to justify their inclusion in the backstage audience. But inclusion in the backstage audience is only "the perfect Joy of being well deceaved" (115) as Rochester refuses to be pinned down. Walker, "Lord Rochester's Monkey (Again)," 109. 81 4.1 Works Cited Bauman, Richard. Verbal Art as Performance. 1977. Long Grove: Waveland Press, 1984. Combe, Kirk. A Martyr for Sin: Rochester's Critique of Polity, Sexuality, and Society. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1998. Everett, Barbara. "The Sense of Nothing." Spirit of Wit: Reconsiderations of Rochester, ed. Jeremy Treglown. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1982. 1 -41. Fabricant, Carole. "The Writer as Hero and Whore: Rochester's 'Letter from Artemisia to Chloe.'" Essays in Literature. Vol. 3, No. 2. (Fall 1976): 152 - 166. Farley-Hills, David. The Benevolence of Laughter: Comic Poetry of the Commonwealth and Restoration. London: Macmillan, 1974. . "Rochester and the Theatre in the Satires." That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000. 153 - 164. Goffrnan, Erving. Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974. . The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor, 1959. Manning, Gillian. "Artemiza to Chloe: Rochester's 'Female' Epistle." That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000. 101 - 118. 82 Righter, Anne. "John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester." Chatterton Lecture on an English Poet. January 18th, 1967. Rochester, John Wilmot, Earl of. "Alexander Bendo's Brochure." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 112- 117. . "A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to Chloe in the Countrey." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 63-70. . "A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 57 - 63. . "Satyr [Timon]." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester. ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 258-63. . "Tunbridge Wells." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester. ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 49 - 54. Thormahlen, Marianne. Rochester: The Poems in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Walker, Keith. "Lord Rochester's Monkey (Again)." That Second Bottle: Essays on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ed. Nicholas Fisher. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000. 82 - 87. Weinbrot, Howard D. "The Swelling Volume: The Apocalyptic Satire of Rochester's 'Letter from Artemisia in the Town to Chloe in the Country.'" Eighteenth-Century Satire: Essays on Text and Context from Dryden to Peter Pindar. Cambridg Cambridge University Press, 1988. 84 5 Conclusion In this thesis, I have only touched on Rochester's use of performativity in three specific instances but I have shown how, in each of these three examples, Rochester constructed a liminal space for his own benefit. In "Alexander Bendo's Brochure" and "A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to Chloe in the Countrey" he conflated his authorial presence with that of his speaker, creating a space of uncertainty for his audience that left them unsure of their response to the text because they could not disconnect the speaker's statements from Rochester.1 He also created a liminal space through his multi-leveled satire, so that his audience could never be sure of being in on the joke. This situation caused them to respond via back channels in an attempt to be recognized as being informed members of the performance team. The audience's desire to belong to the performance team also appears in Gilbert Burnet's retelling of Rochester's deathbed repentance. With his retelling of Rochester's last few days, Burnet becomes involved as a member of the performance team and participates in Rochester's re-framing of repentance. He also manages to present himself as an informed member of the audience with regards to Rochester's most famous performance, as Dr Alexander Bendo, with his retelling of Rochester's involvement in the affair. I have also shown, through my examination of the criticism surrounding all three works, that these liminal spaces both trap and enable Rochester's audience. All readers are complicit in their reading of his texts, whether divines seeking an example of the ' John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "Alexander Bendo's Brochure," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 112-117; John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to Chloe in the Countrey," The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 63-70. 2 Gilbert Burnet, Some Passages of the Life and Death of the Right Honourable John, Earl of Rochester, (London, 1680). 85 efficacy of deathbed repentance, critics seeking sources for information on mountebanks, or critics trying to connect their interpretation of Rochester's satire with his texts. Regardless of social rank or scholarly position, all of Rochester's readers become engaged with his performance. I believe that my examination of Rochester's use of performance in these three works reinforces this approach as a valid way to examine his writing. For Rochester was intensely aware of what Goffman calls the presentation of self in both his construction of the speakers in his poems and in his own personal performances; he was always pushing the boundaries of the genres that he worked in. Boundaries are an ever present problem with Rochester's writings. As manuscripts, they are unstable texts, which compound the lack of stability produced by Rochester's performance. There is a lack of source material in Rochester's own hand; in all but a few cases, we never have Rochester's writings but only manuscript copies and reprints. Because of this, we never know the "true" Rochester. But even if copies of his writings existed in greater quantities we would never know the true man, for Rochester's liminal spaces serve to protect his intent at the same time as they destabilize his audience. Rochester is always already backing away from a specific meaning even as he openly states his intent. Finally, I would like to apply this approach to using performance theory in the work of Rochester's heirs, the Scriblerians. Critics often see a connection between Rochester's writings and the work of the Scriblerians, in particular Jonathan Swift. Once such critic is David Farley-Hills, who observes, "like Hobbes, who was a major influence on 3 Erving Goffman, The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life, (New York: Anchor, 1959). 86 Rochester's thought, and like Swift after him, Rochester comes to assume in the satires that there is a possibility, through the exercise of reason and common sense, of mitigating the consequences of the fall."4 It is this connection between Hobbes, Rochester, and Swift that I would like to continue exploring in terms of performativity. 4 David Farley-Hil ls , The Benevolence of Laughter: Comic Poetry of the Commonwealth and Restoration, (London: Macmi l lan , 1974), 156. 87 5.1 Works Cited Burnet, Gilbert. Some Passages of the Life and Death of the Right Honourable John, Earl of Rochester. London, 1680. Farley-Hills, David. The Benevolence of Laughter: Comic Poetry of the Commonwealth and Restoration. London: Macmillan, 1974. Goffrnan, Erving. The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor, 1959. Wilmot, John, Earl of Rochester. "Alexander Bendo's Brochure." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, 112-117 . "A Letter from Artemiza in the Towne to Chloe in the Countrey." The Works of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, ed. Harold Love. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, 63-70. Copyright Act - F a i r Dealing F a i r Dealing from http://www.cb-cda.gc.ca/info/act-e.html#rid-33389 29. F a i r d e a l i n g for the purpose of research or p r i v a t e study does not i n f r i n g e c o p y r i g h t . R.S., 1985, c. C-42, s. 29; R.S., 1985, c. 10 (4th Supp.), s. 7; 1994, c. 47, s. 61; 1997, c. 24, s. 18. 29.1 F a i r d e a l i n g for the purpose of c r i t i c i s m or review does not i n f r i n g e copyright i f the f o l l o w i n g are mentioned: (a) the source; and (b) i f given i n the source, the name of the ( i ) author, i n the case of a work, ( i i ) performer, i n the case of a performer's performance, ( i i i ) maker, i n the case of a sound recording, or Civ) broadcaster, in the case of a communication s i g n a l . 1997, c. 24, s. 18. 29.2 F a i r d e a l i n g f o r the purpose of news r e p o r t i n g does not i n f r i n g e copyright i f the f o l l o w i n g are mentioned: (a) the source; and (b) i f given i n the source, the name of the ( i ) author, i n the case of a work, ( i i ) performer, i n the case of a performer's performance, ( i i i ) maker, i n the case of a sound recording, or ( i v ) broadcaster, i n the case of a communication s i g n a l . 1997, c. 24, s. 18. 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