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The Alchemist through the ages; an investigation of the stage history of Ben Jonson's play Carter, James Cunningham 1972

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f [  THE ALCHEMIST THROUGH THE AGES An i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f the stage h i s t o r y of Ben Jonson's p l a y  by JAMES CUNNINGHAM CARTER B.Sc., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 196 8  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT. OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  i n the Department of English We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1972  In p r e s e n t i n g  this  thesis  an advanced degree at the L i b r a r y s h a l l I  by h i s this  make i t  written  freely available  It  for financial  i s understood that gain shall  permission.  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada  2 7  for  I agree  r e f e r e n c e and  f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f  Department of  Date  the requirements f o r  this  that  study. thesis  purposes may be granted by the Head o f my Department o r  representatives. thesis  fulfilment of  the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia,  f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n  for scholarly  of  in p a r t i a l  QclAtt  Columbia  copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n  not be allowed without my  ii  ABSTRACT THE ALCHEMIST THROUGH THE AGES An  I n v e s t i g a t i o n o f the Stage H i s t o r y o f Ben Jonson's P l a y  T h i s study was made t o t r a c e the stage h i s t o r y o f The A l c h e m i s t and to see what e f f e c t t h e a t r i c a l  productions  can have i n d e v e l o p i n g c r i t i c a l awareness o f Jonson's skill  i n t h i s popular p l a y .  dramatic  T h e r e f o r e an attempt has been  made to r e c o r d a l l performances by major companies between 1610  and 197 0 w i t h c a s t l i s t s and o t h e r p e r t i n e n t i n f o r m a t i o n  about scenery/ The  stage a c t i o n and p r o p e r t i e s .  second p a r t o f the t h e s i s p r o v i d e s a d e t a i l e d  analysis of four s p e c i f i c productions considered i n l i g h t of t h e i r prompt books, d e t a i l s o f a c t i n g and p r o d u c t i o n , and overall c r i t i c a l  reception.  G a r r i c k ' s a d a p t i o n , which  dominated the stage d u r i n g the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y ,  reflected  the genius o f i t s producer  b u t a l s o demonstrated t h e s k i l l  w i t h which Jonson balanced  the p l o t .  G a r r i c k f e a t u r e d the  p a r t o f Drugger, one o f the minor g u l l s , b u t Jonson's p l o t s t r u c t u r e remained i n t a c t as the r i d i c u l i n g o f human greed and s t u p i d i t y continued to be the dominant c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . W i l l i a m P o e l ' s p r o d u c t i o n , on the o t h e r hand, emphasized the r a p i d p l o t development by use of a p s e u d o - E l i z a b e t h a n and he l a i d  stage,  heavy s t r e s s on the e l o c u t i o n p r o v i n g t h a t the  iii a l c h e m i c a l j a r g o n was  an e s s e n t i a l element o f the p l a y and  should not be c u t because audiences c o u l d not understand i t . The Ashland  production  (1961) a l s o demonstrated the  ness o f the p s e u d o - E l i z a b e t h a n moving comic a c t i o n .  effective-  stage i n p r e s e n t i n g the  fast  I t emphasized the f a r c i c a l nature o f  the p l a y and the r e p e r t o r y c a s t i n g r e v e a l e d the s k i l l which Jonson balanced h i s c h a r a c t e r s .  with  The Old V i c p r o d u c t i o n  (1962), d i r e c t e d by Tyrone G u t h r i e , assumed t h a t Jonson had to be modernized to be understood but h i s tampering  by contempory  audiences,  w i t h the t e x t d i s t o r t e d and weakened the  p l a y i n a number o f ways. F i n a l l y , i n the c o n c l u d i n g c h a p t e r , an attempt  has  been made to p r o v i d e an a n a l y s i s of The A l c h e m i s t based i n s i g h t s p r o v i d e d by the p r e c e d i n g m a t e r i a l  i n an e f f o r t to  show t h a t l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m o f a p l a y i s o f t e n c l o s e l y with t h e a t r i c a l experience.  on  linked  The complex i n t e r w e a v i n g o f  s u b p l o t w i t h s u b p l o t , the f i n e l y etched c h a r a c t e r s , the c o l o u r f u l language,  the important t h e m e s — a l l are as  e f f e c t i v e today as they were i n 1610.  The  theatrically  stage h i s t o r y of  The A l c h e m i s t demonstrates t h a t i t i s one o f Ben most p o p u l a r p l a y s , and  Jonson's  the reasons are v i s i b l y e v i d e n t upon  i n v e s t i g a t i o n of some of the t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n s .  iv .TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE CHAPTER ONE:  STAGE HISTORY OF THE ALCHEMIST, 1610-1970  1  A.  INTRODUCTION  1  B.  STUART AND COMMONWEALTH, 1610-1660 . .  5  C.  RESTORATION, 1660-1700  11  D.  EARLY EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, 1700-1743  16  E.  GARRICK ERA, 1743-1776 .  21  F.  LATE EIGHTEENTH AND NINETEENTH CENTURY, 1776-1899 . . . . . .  23  TWENTIETH CENTURY, 1899-197 0  26  G.  CHAPTER TWO:  INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTIONS OF THE ALCHEMIST  34  A.  INTRODUCTION  B.  EARLY PRODUCTIONS, 1610-1743  36  C.  DAVID^GARRICK'S PRODUCTIONS, 1743-1776  42  D.  WILLIAM POEL'S PRODUCTIONS, 18 99-1902  54  E.  ASHLAND PRODUCTION, 1961  61  F.  TYRONE GUTHRIE'S PRODUCTION, 1962  68  CHAPTER THREE:  . . . . . . . . . . . .  A SUMMARY OF CRITICAL INSIGHTS PROVIDED BY AN EXAMINATION OF THE STAGE HISTORY OF THE ALCHEMIST  34  83  FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER ONE  97  FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER TWO  106  FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER THREE  113  SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . .  115  CHAPTER  ONE  STAGE HISTORY OF THE ALCHEMIST, 1610-1970  A.  Although  INTRODUCTION  a v a s t i n c r e a s e of s c h o l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n  Ben Jonson i s e v i d e n t i n the t w e n t i e t h century t h e r e has been very l i t t l e attempt to f o l l o w the t r e n d i n Shakespearean studies, where the c o n t r i b u t i o n s of t h e a t r i c a l h i s t o r y t r a d i t i o n have thrown much.light  on Shakespeare's  and  artistic  method.. By i n v e s t i g a t i n g the e f f e c t o f Jonson*s language and imagery i n the t h e a t r e , where t e x t , a c t o r and are drawn together to c r e a t e and experience  audience  the phenomenon  which i s known as drama, one might reach c o n c l u s i o n s as to the reasons dramatic of  f o r the f l u c t u a t i n g p u b l i c acceptance  of Jonson as a  a r t i s t — r e a s o n s which might a f f e c t our a p p r a i s a l  h i s work today.  Therefore the f o l l o w i n g study reviews  the  major p r o d u c t i o n s of The A l c h e m i s t from i t s f i r s t p r o d u c t i o n i n Jacobean London to the r e c e n t p r o d u c t i o n by the N a t i o n a l Theatre Company i n S t r a t f o r d , O n t a r i o and  i n v e s t i g a t e s the  changes o c c u r r i n g i n t e x t and p r e s e n t a t i o n , the c r i t i c a l r e a c t i o n to the p r o d u c t i o n s , and c o n c l u s i o n s as to how  f i n a l l y draws some t e n t a t i v e  these p r o d u c t i o n s have a f f e c t e d  r e a c t i o n to Jonson's p l a y .  our  2 "Why i s drama s t u d i e d without r e f e r e n c e qualities?"  i s one o f the q u e s t i o n s  to t h e a t r i c a l  t h a t prompted t h i s  o f the stage h i s t o r y o f The A l c h e m i s t .  study  Since drama i s a  unique form o f l i t e r a t u r e i n which the a c t o r i s r e q u i r e d to present  the work, i t seems reasonable  t h a t an i n v e s t i g a t i o n  o f performances w i l l r e v e a l - f a c e t s o f the drama u n a v a i l a b l e to a student who i s r e s t r i c t e d t o the t e x t and s c h o l a r l y criticism.  And s i n c e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s change w i t h  different  s o c i a l a t t i t u d e s , a key t o Jonson's genius may be found i n d i s c o v e r i n g when h i s p l a y s were popular  and why, what  charac-  t e r s o r i n c i d e n t s r e c e i v e d most a t t e n t i o n , and what changes were made.  I n s i f t i n g through the wealth o f m a t e r i a l i n such  a u t h o r i t i e s as Chambers, 4 Simpson,  1  Bentley,  2  Noyes,  3  and H e r f o r d and  i t i s e v i d e n t t h a t Jonson would have been the  greatest Elizabethan dramatist  known today i f the p l a y s o f  W i l l i a m Shakespeare had n o t s u r v i v e d , but.: i t twentieth by Herford  century,  i s o n l y i n the  through the c r i t i c a l editionr.of h i s works  and Simpson, t h a t Jonson has r i g h t f u l l y claimed h i s  share o f the academic s p o t l i g h t focused  on E l i z a b e t h a n and  S t u a r t drama. Modern c r i t i c s g e n e r a l l y concede t h a t t o c o n s i d e r drama simply  from the p o i n t of view of l i t e r a t u r e i s to miss  many o f i t s i n h e r e n t . v a l u e s ,  and t h a t t h e a t r i c a l performances  lead to a f u l l e r understanding. t h a t no t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n  But i t i s an accepted  fact  can p o s s i b l y r e c r e a t e a p l a y  3 without imposing a p o i n t o f view t h a t may d i s t o r t , t h e creation.  literary  The o r i g i n a l stage and the o r i g i n a l audience f o r  which The A l c h e m i s t was w r i t t e n no l o n g e r e x i s t , and the aim of producers, from G a r r i c k t o Guthrie,.has been to p r e s e n t the p l a y i n a manner t h a t w i l l c r e a t e f o r t h e i r contempory audience the b e s t e f f e c t s they can, and these e f f e c t s have i n many cases d i f f e r e d from t h a t which Jonson own audience.  intended f o r h i s  "In the t h e a t r e " a c c o r d i n g t o John R u s s e l l  Brown " e v e r y t h i n g i s s u b j e c t to r e v a l u a t i o n , every time a p l a y 5  is-performed; t h i s i s the nature o f the medium." D e s p i t e such r e v a l u a t i o n s one can c o n s i d e r many p r o d u c t i o n s as o f f e r i n g new i n s i g h t s i n t o the p l a y .  To do  t h i s one must separate the t h e a t r i c a l t a s t e s and p r a c t i c e s o f the time from what i s known o f the o r i g i n a l t e x t , so as t o d i s t i n g u i s h what has been d i s t o r t e d and what has been enhanced. Only then can one c o n s i d e r the p l a y as a dramatic poem w i t h elements  o f permanence t h a t d i s t i n g u i s h a l l works o f a r t ,  those elements  t h a t make the p l a y as r e l e v a n t to us today as  i t was to Jacobean  audiences, t h a t make i t ,  as Jonson  said  of Shakespeare "Not o f an age, but f o r a l l time." There a r e s e v e r a l reasons why t h e r e have been few stage h i s t o r i e s . o f J o n s o n ' s . p l a y s .  One important reason i s  the f a c t t h a t there have been few p r o f e s s i o n a l p r o d u c t i o n s of h i s . p l a y s i n the t w e n t i e t h century and t h e r e f o r e c r i t i c s have not.been  a t t r a c t e d . t o the t h e a t r i c a l aspects o f h i s  4 drama. self.  But perhaps the r o o t cause goes back to Jonson himHe wrote h i s p l a y s to f i t a c r i t i c a l d o c t r i n e he  h i m s e l f had  l a i d down, so i t was  n a t u r a l to i n v e s t i g a t e h i s  p l a y s u s i n g l i t e r a r y r a t h e r than t h e a t r i c a l c r i t e r i a . Shakespeare wrote h i s p l a y s to be a c t e d , and cared  Whereas  little  about the p u b l i s h e d t e x t s , Jonson c o n s c i e n t i o u s l y wrote w i t h one eye on the l i t e r a r y product.  T h i s does not mean t h a t  Jonson n e g l e c t e d the t h e a t r i c a l elements, but h i s emphasis was  p l a c e d on the t e x t .  a t t e n t i o n was  For t h i s reason,  g i v e n to the t h e a t r i c a l e f f e c t s o f . h i s p l a y s .  Nevertheless  s e v e r a l works d e a l s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h  stage h i s t o r y o f The A l c h e m i s t , and b r i e f accounts  insufficient  the  some e d i t i o n s i n c l u d e  o f performances, but no one has i n v e s t i g a t e d  the e f f e c t of p r o d u c t i o n s o f the p l a y on s c h o l a r l y a p p r e c i a t i o n . H e r f o r d and  Simpson  (IX, 223-240) l i s t s most of the p e r f o r -  mances w i t h c a s t s , but p r o v i d e s l i t t l e  c r i t i c a l comment, and  t h e i r summary of t w e n t i e t h century p r o d u c t i o n s g i v e s as much weight to u n i v e r s i t y p r o d u c t i o n s as to p r o f e s s i o n a l ones, which i s u n f o r t u n a t e because p r o f e s s i o n a l p r o d u c t i o n s much more e f f e c t on c r i t i c a l a p p r e c i a t i o n and effectively unified.  R.G.  Noyes i n Ben  have  tend to be more  Jonson on the E n g l i s h  Stage, 1660-1776, p r o v i d e s d e t a i l e d comments from The  Jonson  A l l u s i o n Book, but t h i s e x c e l l e n t account i s l i m i t e d by s e l f - i m p o s e d dates and A.C.  the  the date of p u b l i c a t i o n (1935), w h i l e  * 6 Spragues summary, a l t h o u g h . p r o v i d i n g  a c o n c i s e summary  5 of the p l a y ' s and  stage h i s t o r y , i s marred by s e v e r a l  i s highly selective.  s e c t i o n to F.L.  The b e s t account is> the i n t r o d u c t o r y 7  Bergmann s master's t h e s i s 1  an e x c e l l e n t synopsis Garrick's production  inaccuracies  which  o f the stage h i s t o r y .  provides  His a n a l y s i s o f  i s v e r y c l e a r as i s h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f  the prompt book and the c r i t i c a l r e p o r t s o f G a r r i c k ' s The  only  acting.  f a u l t l i e s i n h i s making statements w i t h o u t g i v i n g  proof o r examples from the t e x t , although upon i n v e s t i g a t i o n one  f i n d s that h i s observations  are g e n e r a l l y  correct.  A l l o f the above sources have been i n v a l u a b l e viding material more i n f o r m a t i o n  f o r my t h e s i s and my aim i s t o p r o v i d e  i n prostill  about performances and to come t o an extended  understanding o f the p l a y .  B.  The to t r a c e .  STUART AND COMMONWEALTH PERIOD, 1610-1660  e a r l y stage h i s t o r y o f The A l c h e m i s t i s d i f f i c u l t On 3 October 1610 i t was entered i n t h e . S t a t i o n e r s \  R e g i s t e r by Walter Burre as a comedy w r i t t e n by Ben Jonson  8 and  a quarto e d i t i o n was p r i n t e d i n 1612.  I t was a l s o p r i n t e d  i n the 1616 F o l i o o f Jonson's Works, where the t i t l e page gave the f o l l o w i n g  information.  THE ALCHEMIST. / A Comoedie. / Acted i n the yeere 1610. By the / K i n g s M a i e s t i e s Seruants. / The Author B.I. / L v c r e t . / p e t e r e inde coronam, / Vnde p r i u s n u l l i v e l a r a n t tempore muja.~7 (rule) / London, / P r i n t e d . by W i l l i a m Stansby / (rule) M.DC. XVI. 9 -  6 Therefore,  although the exact date o f i t s f i r s t  performance i s u n c e r t a i n , i t was probably produced i n 1610, and  s i n c e the t h e a t r e s were c l o s e d from 12 J u l y to 29  November 1610 because.of the p l a g u e , t h e p l a y probably was produced i n the f i r s t h a l f o f the year."'""'; This c o n j e c t u r e  i s s u b s t a n t i a t e d by G e o f f r e y  T i l l o t s o n ' s d i s c o v e r y o f a l e t t e r i n the Fulman Papers a t 12 Corpus C h r i s t i C o l l e g e , Oxford.  Dated September 1610,  t h i s l e t t e r i s a copy o f Henry Jackson's L a t i n correspondence made by W i l l i a m Fulman and i t g i v e s d e f i n i t e proof Alchemist  t h a t The  and Shakespeare's O t h e l l o were produced a t Oxford  i n September 1610. The King's men f r e q u e n t l y made s h o r t p r o v i n c i a l tours d u r i n g  the autumn t o escape the plague i n  London and i n 1610 they played  a t Dover, Oxford and Shrews13  bury from J u l y 12 t o e a r l y i n December.  Since i t i s  u n l i k e l y t h a t a new p l a y such as The A l c h e m i s t  would have  f i r s t been performed on a p r o v i n c i a l tour i t i s probable t h a t the p l a y was o r i g i n a l l y performed i n London b e f o r e the 14 t h e a t r e s were c l o s e d . Jackson's l e t t e r e x h i b i t s g r e a t h o s t i l i t y to the performance: sanctas  "non c o n t e n t i A l c u m i s t a s  S c r i p t a s foedissime  violarint."  perstringere ipsas T h i s i s the s o r t o f  comment which might,account f o r R o b e r t - H e r r i c k ' s w r i t t e n a f t e r Jonson,'s death:  lines,  7 t h a t monstrous s i n Of deep and a r r a n t ignorance came i n Such ignorance as t h e i r s was who once h i s s ' d At thy unequalI'd p l a y , the A l c h e m i s t . —Hesperides Where the p l a y was ture.  Besides  (1648) ,  f i r s t performed i s open to c o n j e c -  the i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t i t was  performed i n  Oxford d u r i n g the summer p r o v i n c i a l tour of 1610, facts exist. and  In 1610  the King's Men  the B l a c k f r i a r s , so i t i s l i k e l y  produced a t both t h e a t r e s .  1 5  no  definite  were a c t i n g a t the Globe The A l c h e m i s t  However G.E.  was  Bentley's a s s e r t i o n  t h a t numerous a l l u s i o n s show c l e a r l y t h a t i t was the B l a c k f r i a r s " ^ has been g e n e r a l l y accepted  written for  by modern  17 critics, was  although  Herford and  Simpson m a i n t a i n 18  that i t  f i r s t performed a t the Globe. A t . t h e end of the f o l i o t e x t (1616), Jonson  the " p r i n c i p a l Comedians" who  acted i n the f i r s t  lists  production.  The exact d i s t r i b u t i o n of p a r t s i s not known, b u t the c a s t 19 g i v e n below has g e n e r a l l y been accepted. Richard Burbage  -  Face  John Lowine  -  Mammon  Henry C o n d e l l  - •  Surly  Alexander Cooke  -  Ananias  Robert Armin  -  Drugger  John Heminge  -  Subtle  William Ostler  -  Lovewit  John Underwood  -  Dapper  Nicholas William  Tooley Ecclestone  —  Tribulation Kastril  8 This c a s t i n g i s p a r t l y c o n j e c t u r e , although tempory r e p o r t s and actors. was  based on  con-  comparison w i t h other p a r t s played by  When Burbage d i e d i n 1619  the  f o r i n s t a n c e , Joseph T a y l o r  h i r e d s p e c i f i c a l l y to p l a y Burbage's r o l e s , and  according  to James Wright i n H i s t o r i a H i s t r i o n i c a  (1699) "acted Hamlet  incomparably w e l l , Jago, Truewit  S i l e n t Woman and  i n The  Face  20 i n The A l c h y m i s t . "  Wright a l s o says "Lowin used to A c t ,  with 2  mighty Applause, F a l s t a f f e , Morose, Volpone and Mammon. . . ." I t i s probable  t h a t Robert Armin, played Drugger.  g i v e added meaning to the  T h i s would  lines,  [Face:] Hast thou no c r e d i t w i t h the p l a y e r s ? [Drugger:[ Yes, s i r , d i d you never see me p l a y the f o o l e ? (IV. v i i . f o r Armin was  the  68-69)  " f o o l " of the King's Men.  I t has  been  22 argued t h a t Alexander Cooke p l a y e d Dol Common, f r e q u e n t l y played female r o l e s , but he probably of the p e t u l a n t P u r i t a n Ananias i n 1610,  s i n c e he took the p a r t  f o r he was  too o l d  to p l a y to r o l e o f a buxom p r o s t i t u t e . The p l a y was  r e v i v e d a t c o u r t d u r i n g the Christmas  season o f 1612/13 and December 1631  again on 1 January 1622/23.  the p l a y was  the yeare,  was the  1  g i v e n a t B l a c k f r i a r s i n accordance  w i t h an agreement made between the King's Men Herbert who  On  and  S i r Henry  to r e c e i v e the r e c e i p t s f o r "too days i n one  i n summer, the o t h e r i n w i n t e r ,  to  taken out of the second daye of a r e v i v e d p l a y e a t my  bee own  choyse."  The  t o t a l r e c e i p t s were f i f t e e n pounds, f i v e  s h i l l i n g s , which was' about average f o r a w i n t e r  performance.  24 Of t h i s , Herbert r e c e i v e d t h i r t e e n pounds.  The  Alchemist  must have been a.popular p l a y s i n c e i t i s to be assumed t h a t S i r Henry Herbert would choose p l a y s which would  provide  him w i t h a handsome p r o f i t The  f i n a l recorded  performances i n London b e f o r e  the  t h e a t r e s were c l o s e d by the P u r i t a n s were on 21 January when a c e r t a i n Ann M e r r i c k e wrote t h a t she wished she  1639  could  have seen "The A l c h y m i s t , which I heare t h i s tearme i s r e v i v e d , " and on 18 May  1639  when S i r Humphrey Mildmay 25  the p l a y when h i s seat c o s t him  five  saw  shillings.  The p o p u l a r i t y of the p l a y i n the Jacobean p e r i o d i s a t t e s t e d to by  the f a c t t h a t i t was  revived at court several  times, and r e f e r e n c e s made i n contemporary accounts, although 26 small i n number, are h i g h l y l a u d i t o r y . A c c o r d i n g to N i e l s o n i t was f r e q u e n t l y produced u n t i l the c l o s e o f the t h e a t r e s and played a s u b s t a n t i a l r o l e i n r i d d i n g London o f  fake  27 alchemists. During  the Commonwealth, the p l a y was  kept a l i v e  the s t r o l l i n g p l a y e r s i n the form o f a d r o l l c a l l e d Imperick" which was  by  "The  l a t e r c o l l e c t e d by F r a n c i s Kirkman i n  Wits; o r , Sport upon Sport  (1672) .  of three scenes from The A l c h e m i s t ,  T h i s d r o l l was (I, i i i ;  The  made up  I I , v and v i ) ,  two  of which i n v o l v e d Abel Drugger and one  f e a t u r i n g Ananias.  The  argument i s g i v e n as "Under the n a t i o n of h i s knowledge  10 in Chymistrie,  he cheats  except f o r a few  a Grocer and a P r e c i s i a n , " and  t r a n s i t i o n a l phrases,  as i n Jonson's Works.  the t e x t i s the same  This d r o l l emphasized the comic  p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n h e r e n t i n Jonson's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f silly  t o b a c o n i s t , and  the  foreshadows G a r r i c k ' s adaption which  made the p l a y i n t o a comic f a r c e dominated by the  foolish  g u l l i b i l i t y o f Drugger. The A l c h e m i s t was  performed d u r i n g the Commonwealth  p e r i o d i n D u b l i n , a t the o n l y p r e - R e s t o r a t i o n t h e a t r e o u t s i d e of London. by James S h i r l e y who  A prologue  was  built  w r i t t e n f o r the performances  a r r i v e d i n D u b l i n i n 1636  and  stayed  till  28 1640,  but s i n c e the Werburgh S t r e e t Theatre was  not  built  29 u n t i l 1637 1640, is  the p l a y must have been produced between then 30  when the prologue  was  published.  and  S h i r l e y ' s prologue  f u l l o f p r a i s e f o r Jonson's p l a y as the opening  lines  illustrate: The A l c h e m i s t , a p l a y f o r s t r e n g t h o f w i t And t r u e a r t , made to shame what hath been w r i t In former ages; I accept no worth Of what or Greek or L a t i n s have brought f o r t h ; Is now to be presented to your ear For which I wish each man were a Muse here, To know, and i n h i s s o u l be f i t to be Judge o f t h i s masterpiece of comedy. Poems (1646), ed. G i f f o r d , 490-491.  VI,  11 C.  In  RESTORATION 1660-1770  the R e s t o r a t i o n p e r i o d The A l c h e m i s t became v e r y  popular, and was one o f the f i r s t p l a y s to be r e v i v e d a f t e r Charles II's r e t u r n . of  By 1663 i t had e s t a b l i s h e d i t s e l f  as one  the p r i n c i p a l stock p l a y s o f the King's P l a y e r s , and many  R e s t o r a t i o n a c t o r s gained r e p u t a t i o n s by a c t i n g i n the p l a y . Major Mohun as Face, Walter Clun as S u b t l e , John Lacy as Ananias  and Mrs. K a t h e r i n e Corey as Dol Common—all became  known by the r o l e s they took i n Jonson's p l a y . In  1660 two dramatic companies were formed i n London:  the Duke's Company, centered around the b r i g h t young s t a r Thomas B e t t e r t o n , and the King's P l a y e r s r u n by Thomas K i l l i g r e w and mainly made up o f o l d e r , more experienced actors.  I t was t h i s company, headed by M i c h e a l Mohun, C h a r l e s  Hart and N i c h o l a s . B u t t , t h a t r e v i v e d the o l d E l i z a b e t h a n and 31 Jacobean d-ocamas, among which Jonson's p l a y e d a major p a r t . The  i n t e n s e r i v a l r y between these two companies dominated  the London scene u n t i l 1682 when the King's  Players.absorbed  t h e i r r i v a l s to form the U n i t e d Company, and f o r the next t h i r t e e n years t h i s company p r o v i d e d the o n l y p r o f e s s i o n a l stage f o r dramatic p r e s e n t a t i o n s i n London. The A l c h e m i s t was an immediate h i t w i t h the R e s t o r a t i o n audience.  Although i t i s d i f f i c u l t  t o date the f i r s t  r e v i v a l , a performance was g i v e n i n l a t e 1660 by the King's Company, a c c o r d i n g to an e x t a n t prologue t h a t was  undoubtedly  12 p u b l i s h e d i n 1660.  T h i s prologue i s the f i r s t  definite  r e c o r d we have o f a performance a f t e r the R e s t o r a t i o n , and deserves for  to be quoted  infull,  s i n c e i t r e v e a l s the reasons  the play's p o p u l a r i t y d u r i n g the l a t e seventeenth  century:  PROLOGUE To The REVIV'D ALCHEMIST. The A l c h e m i s t ; F i r e , b r e e d i n g Gold, our Theme: Here must no M e l a n c h o l i e be, nor Flegm. Young Ben, n o t Old, w r i t t h i s , when i n h i s Prime, S o l i d i n Judgment, and i n Wit sublime. The S i s t e r s , who a t Thespian Springs t h e i r Blood. C o o l w i t h f r e s h Streams, A l l , i n a Merry Mood, T h e i r wat'ry Cups, and P i t t a n c e s d e c l i n ' d , A t B r e a d - s t r e e t ' s Mer-maid w i t h our Poet d i n ' d : Where, what they Drank, o r who p l a i d most the R i g , Fame modestly c o n c e a l s : b u t He grew b i g Of t h i s p r i s ' d Issue; when a F o v i a l Maid, His Brows b e s p r i n k l i n g w i t h C a n a r i e , s a i d . Pregnant by Us, produce no M o r t a l B i r t h ; Thy a c t i v e S o u l , q u i t t i n g the s o r d i d E a r t h , S h a l l 'amongst Heav'ns g l i t t ' r i n g H i e r o g l y p h i c k s t r a d e , And Pegasus, our winged Sumpter, jade, Who from Parnassus never brought t o Greece, Nor Romane Stage, so r a r e a M a s t e r - p i e c e . T h i s S t o r y , t r u e o f f a l s e , may w e l l be s p a r ' s ; The A c t o r s a r e i n q u e s t i o n , n o t the Bard: How they s h a l l humour t h e i r o f t - v a r i e d P a r t s , To g e t your Money, Company, and Hearts, Since a l l T r a d i t i o n , and l i k e Helps a r e l o s t . Reading our B i l l new pasted on the Post, Grave Stagers both, one, to the o t h e r s a i d , The A l c h e m i s t ? What! a r e the Fellows mad? Who s h a l l D o l l Common Act? T h e i r tender T i b s Have n e i t h e r Lungs, nor Confidence, nor R i b s . Who Face, and Subtle? P a r t s , a l l A i r , and F i r e : They, whom the Authour d i d Himself i n s p i r e , Taught, L i n e by L i n e , each T i t t l e , Accent, Word, Ne're reach'd H i s Height; a l l a f t e r , more absurd, Shadows o f f a i n t e r Shadows, wheresoe're A Fox he p e n c i l ' d , c o p i e d o u t a Bear  13 Encouragement f o r young Beginners s m a l l : Yet howsoe're w e ' l l v e n t u r e ; have a t A l l . Bold Ignorance (they say) f a l l s seldome s h o r t In Camp, the Countrey, C i t y , o r the C o u r t . Arm'd w i t h the i n f l u e n c e o f your f a i r A s p e c t s , Our S e l v e s w e ' l l conquer, and our own D e f e c t s . A thousand Eyes d a r t . r a i e s i n t o our H e a r t s , Would make Stones speak, and Stocks p l a y w e l l t h e i r P a r t s : Some few Malignanat Beams we need n o t f e a r , Where shines such G l o r y i n so b r i g h t a Sphere.32 The Prologue, e x t a n t i n a b r o a d s i d e i n the Worcester C o l l e g e L i b r a r y , was o r i g i n a l l y a t t r i b u t e d t o Davenant, b u t i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t the manager o f a r i v a l w r i t t e n a prologue f o r h i s c o m p e t i t i o n .  company would have  However i t i s a  v i g o r o u s p o e t i c advertisement f o r Jonson*s m a s t e r p i e c e . The opening c o u p l e t s i n t r o d u c e the s u b j e c t and r e a s s u r e the audience t h a t t h i s i s n o t one o f Jonson's  "dotages."  The  prologue then goes on to ask who s h a l l a c t Jonson's v i g o r o u s characters.  L i s t i n g Dol Common f i r s t i s an obvious attempt  to  e x p l o i t the i n n o v a t i o n adopted by the R e s t o r a t i o n t h e a t r e s  of  having women p l a y female r o l e s . A probable c a s t can be r e c o n s t r u c t e d from the l i s t 33  s u p p l i e d by Downs:  Face - Mohum; Mammon - C a r t w r i g h t ;  S u r l y - B u r t ; Ananias - Lacy; Wholesome - Bateman; Mrs. R u t t e r .  Dame P l i a n t -  Downes l i s t s W i n t e r s e l as S u b t l e b u t C l u n :  34 probably a c t e d the p a r t u n t i l h i s death i n August 1664. The f i r s t dated performance i s 22 June 1661, when Pepys saw the p l a y a t the King's Theatre i n Vere S t r e e t . He 35 thought i t "a most incomparable p l a y " and went t o see i t  . again on 14 August. December 1661, Common  36  There was  a l s o a performance on  by which time Mrs. ' R u t t e r was  and Mrs.  1  Corey was  playing  p l a y i n g Dame P l i a n t .  f o l l o w i n g year Dr. Edward Brown went to the New L i n c o l n s Inne F i e l d s where he p a i d 2s. 6d to see  4 16  Dol  37  The  Theatre i n The 38  Alchymist  produced by the  "K.  13 February 166 2 the p l a y was  P."  (King's  Players).  On  seen by Jacques T h i e r r y  and  39 Will Schiellinks,  w h i l e John Ward r e c o r d s  September o f the same y e a r .  a performance  m  His d i a r y e n t r y reads as  follows: I saw Ben Johnsons p l a y c a l l e d the A l c h y m i s t acted i n which 2 p a r t s were acted wel, the Doctor and the p u r i t a n , the l a t e r incomparably a t t the p l a y house which i s the Kings b e t w i x t L i n c o l n s Inne f i e l d s and Vere s t r e e t . (Folger MS, V.a. 292). 40 41 According  to A.L.D. Kennedy-Skipton,  though not dated, was and  probably w r i t t e n b e f o r e 42  on c l o s e r examination  between 1 and  the d i a r y e n t r y , a l -  suggests t h a t the e n t r y was  25 September, 1662.  1662 made  He accepts Downes c a s t  f o r a t t r i b u t i n g the p a r t s o f the Doctor and  September  (Subtle)  to  Wintersel  t h a t of the P u r i t a n , which he i d e n t i f i e s as T r i b u l a t i o n  to Bateman. o f Subtle  However i t i s probable t h a t C l u n played  the r o l e  s i n c e h i s name appears i n documents p e r t a i n i n g to 43  the King's Company a t t h a t time.  The  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of  the P u r i t a n as T r i b u l a t i o n i s a l s o probably i n e r r o r , s i n c e the r o l e of Ananias i s much more l i k e l y to c a t c h the' eye  of  15 the s p e c t a t o r . Lacy who was  44  Therefore i t i s probable  t h a t i t was  John  i n s p i r e d Ward's comment, e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e the r o l e  one of h i s b e s t . Pepys r e c o r d s o t h e r performances o f The  f o r 3 August 1664  and 17 A p r i l 1669.  r e c o r d s the death of Walter  The  Alchemist  first  entry  Clun:  Clune, one of t h e i r [King's P l a y e r s ] b e s t a c t o r s was, the l a s t n i g h t , going out o f town ( a f t e r he had a c t e d the Alchymyst, wherein was one o f h i s b e s t p a r t s t h a t he a c t s ) to h i s country-house, s e t upon and murdered. . . . The house w i l l have a g r e a t miss o f him. D a i r y , 4 August 1664 .^  5  The  second e n t r y confirms the l a s t p r e d i c t i o n , f o r when Pepys  saw  the p l a y a g a i n he remarked, " i t i s s t i l l  a good p l a y . . .  46 but I So miss C l u n f o r the Doctor." o t h e r s on 12 November 1674  and  This r e v i v a l ,  26 October 1675  and  were command  performances which the King attended, and the company r e c e i v e d 47 10 f o r each performance. No other,performance  was  recorded u n t i l  of the e i g h t e e n t h century, although the p l a y was by contempory w r i t e r s .  the  beginning  w e l l known  For i n s t a n c e , Aphra Behn, i n r e p l y to  a harsh c r i t i c i s m of her p l a y The Dutch Lover  (1673) defends  h e r s e l f by a t t a c k i n g c u r r e n t t h e a t r i c a l t a s t e s which c o n s i d e r e d Jonson as the i d e a l p l a y w r i g h t . She says: I have seen a man the most severe of Johnson s. Sect, s i t w i t h h i s Hat remov'd l e s s than a h a i r ' s breadth from one s u l l e n posture f o r almost t h r e e hours a t The A l c h y m i s t ; who a t t h a t e x c e l l e n t P l a y of Harry the F o u r t h (which y e t I hope i s f a r enough from Farce! Hath v e r y h a r d l y kept h i s Doublet whole. The Works o f Aphra Behn, I, 224T 1  8  16 D.  EARLY EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 1700-1743  A c c o r d i n g to W i l l i a m van Lennep, The A l c h e m i s t was 49 r e v i v e d a t Drury Lane i n 1700 by C h r i s t o p h e r R i c h .  Volpone  and Epiceone were a l s o r e v i v e d , and a c c o r d i n g to the author 50 of A Comparison  between the Two  Stages  had l a i n unacted f o r twenty y e a r s .  (1702),  a l l three  T h i s statement, a t l e a s t  as f a r as The A l c h e m i s t i s concerned, seems to be c o r r e c t , f o r G e r a l d Langbaine does not mention the p l a y i n h i s book, An Account o f the E n g l i s h Dramatick Poets  (1691)  The f i r s t performances o f The A l c h e m i s t f o r which there are r e c o r d s i n the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y were on 27 March and 1 A p r i l 1701, when Lady Morley saw the p l a y a t Drury Lane. No c a s t i s g i v e n but i t i s p o s s i b l e C o l l e y C i b b e r p l a y e d 51 Subtle.  The f o l l o w i n g year i t was  Company on 9 October "at the New  produced by B e t t e r t o n ' s  Theatre i n L i n c o l n ' s Inn  52 Fields," not  the f i r s t time the p l a y was 53 connected w i t h Drury Lane.  attempted by p l a y e r s  A f t e r t h i s r e v i v a l t h e r e were s e v e r a l l a p s e s i n the a c t i n g o f The A l c h e m i s t , but from 1721 u n t i l 1776 o n l y e i g h t seasons without a performance. a c t i n g quarto o f the p l a y was  the  p u b l i s h e d and the p l a y 54  performed seven times a t Drury Lane, cast:  In 1709  t h e r e were first  was  w i t h the f o l l o w i n g  17 Subtle Face Mammon Surly Drugger Dapper  -  C o l l y Cibber George Powell Richard E s t c o u r t John M i l l s W i l l i a m Pinkethman Henry N o r r i s  Ananias Tribulation Lovewit Kastril Dame P l i a n t D o l Common  -  Benjamin Johnson George Pack John B i c k e r s t a f f William Bullock Mrs. Cox Mrs. Saunders 55  To have s i x performances i n three months the p l a y must have been very popular,  a f a c t i n d i c a t e d by C o l l y C i b b e r ' s  f o r h i s b e n e f i t which n e t t e d him  1 Is. l/2d.^^  choice o f i t A special  e p i l o g u e was w r i t t e n and d e l i v e r e d a t t h a t performance (26 March 1709) May  by Cibber h i m s e l f .  The f i n a l performance on 11  was w e l l reviewed by R i c h a r d S t e e l e i n The T a t l e r :  T h i s Evening The A l c h y m i s t was p l a y ' d . T h i s Comedy i s an Example o f B e n s e x t e n s i v e Genius and P e n e t r a t i o n i n t o the Passions and F o l l i e s o f Mankind. The Scene i n the Fourth A c t , where a l l the cheated People oppose the Man t h a t would open t h e i r Eyes, has something i n i t so i n i m a t a b l y e x c e l l e n t , t h a t i t i s c e r t a i n l y as g r e a t a Masterpiece as has ever appear'd by any Hand. The Author's g r e a t Address i n showing Coveteousness, the Motive o f the A c t i o n s o f the P u r i t a n , the E p i c u r e , the Gamster, and the Trader; and a l l t h e i r Endeavours, how d i f f e r e n t l y soever they seem to tend, c e n t e r o n l y i n t h a t one P o i n t o f Gain, shows he has to a g r e a t P e r f e c t i o n t h a t Discernment o f S p i r i t , which c o n s t i t u t e s a Genius f o r Comedy. 57 1  During  the 1709-1710 season, s e v e r a l p l a y e r s r e v o l t e d  a g a i n s t Rich's management a t Drury Lane and performed a t the 58 Haymarket where The A l c h e m i s t was presented modified c a s t .  twice  with a  Wilks played Face w h i l e Dogget played  Dapper. 59  The  second performance was W i l l Pinkethman s b e n e f i t . 1  f o l l o w i n g season the p l a y e r s r e t u r n e d  The  to Drury Lane where  the p l a y was performed on 10 February and 6 A p r i l , 1711 w i t h the same c a s t as i n 1709.  The 1711-1712 season saw two more  18 performances  on 11 December 1711  and 19 February 1712  there were no more u n t i l 22 December 1713. f o r t h i s performance, i n 1712  but  No c a s t i s g i v e n  but w i t h the death of R i c h a r d E s t c o u r t  t h e r e must have been a m o d i f i e d c a s t .  disappeared from the boards u n t i l i t was  The p l a y then  g i v e n a t Drury Lane  60 "Not Acted these Ten Years,  By Royal Command" on 25 October  17 21 when the P r i n c e and P r i n c e s s were p r e s e n t . interesting especially  The most  f e a t u r e o f t h i s r e v i v a l i s the e p i l o g u e w r i t t e n f o r the o c c a s i o n .  An E p i l o g u e spoke to a P l a y C a l l ' d the A l c h y m i s t . Old S u r l y Ben, to N i g h t hath l e t us know, That i n t h i s I s l e a Plenteous Crop d i d Grow Of Knaves and F o o l s , a Hundred Years ago: Chymists Bawds, Gamesters £ a Numerous T r a i n Of humble Rogues, Content w i t h moderate Gain, The Poet had l i v ' d to see t h i s Age Had brought Sublimer V i l l a i n s on y Stage; Our Knaves S i n h i g h e r Now then those o f ..Old, Kingdoms, not P r i v a t e Men, are Bought &_ S o l d , Witness the South-sea P r o j e c t , which hath shown How f a r Phylosophers may be o u t done By Modern S m n t h a t hav'e found y Stone. Well might i t take i t s T i t l e from the Main, That Rose so s w i f t and Sunk so soon again; F o o l s have been always B i t by a r t f u l l Lyes, But here the Cautious were d e c e i v ' d & wise, And Yet, i n these F l a g i t i o u s Monstrous Times, The Knves d e t e c t e d Triumph i n t h e i r Crimes, Wallow i n Wealth, have a l l t h i n g s a t Command, And Brave the Vengeance o f an I n j u r ' d Land; Well 1 s i n c e wee've Learn'd Experience a t our C o s t , , L e t us p r e s e r v e the Remnant not y e t L o s t , ', Though L w, from France, be landed on the Coast, By Sober A r t s A s p i r e to G u i l t l e s s Fame, And Prove t h a t V i r t u e ' s not an Empty Name.61 e  e  -The^play ran t h r e e c o n s e c u t i v e n i g h t s and was 22 November.  p l a y e d a g a i n on  From t h i s e p i l o g u e , the reasons f o r the p o p u l a r -  ity  o f the r e v i v a l can e a s i l y be a s e r t a i n e d .  Public resent-  ment a g a i n s t f i n a n c i a l s p e c u l a t o r s , e s p e c i a l l y those connected with was  the French M i s s i s s i p p i Company and the South Sea f a i l u r e , still  quite strong.  Added to t h i s , the c e l e b r a t e d  John  62 Law,  founder o f the M i s s i s s i p p i scheme, had j u s t a r r i v e d  back i n London and was p r e s e n t 25  October. The  a t the opening performance on  6 3  c a s t had many new f a c e s , as can be seen from a  comparison w i t h the c a s t o f 1709. Subtle Face Mammon Surly Drugger Dapper  -  Ananias Tribulation Lovewit Kastril Dame P l i a n t Dol Common  C o l l y Cibber John M i l l s John Harper Wilks, J r . W. Pinketham Henry N o r r i s  -  Ben Johnson Benjamin G r i f f i n Shepard Josias M i l l e r Mrs. Markham Mrs. W e t h e r i l t  However t h i s c a s t remained s t a b l e f o r some time, as Robert 64 Noyes p o i n t out. of Theophilus from 1731 t i l l him  The o n l y major change was the appearance  Cibber  i n the r o l e o f Drugger, a p a r t he played  1746 when the success  forced  to r e l i n q u i s h the r o l e . From 1721 t i l l  for  o f David G a r r i c k  1747 when the p l a y became a v e h i c l e  G a r r i c k ' s Abel Drugger, Jonson's p l a y was acted  i n every  season except t h r e e , ^ r e a c h i n g a peak o f e i g h t performances 66 6  in  the 1733-1734 season.  I t s p o p u l a r i t y and success can  be measured by the number o f times i t was chosen by the actors for their b e n e f i t s .  An account o f the comedy d u r i n g  t h i s p e r i o d i s g i v e n by Thomas Davies:  20 C o l l y Cibber I have seen a c t S u b t l e w i t h g r e a t a r t ; the e l d e r M i l l s a t the same time played Face w i t h much shrewd s p i r i t and ready impudence. The two Palmers have s u c c e s s i v e l y a c t e d Face w i t h much archness and s o l i d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c bronze. Ben G r i f f i n and Ben J o h n s o n [ s i c ] were much admired f o r t h e i r j u s t r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the c a n t i n g p u r i t a n i c a l preacher and h i s solemn deacon the botcher; there was an e f f e c t e d s o f t n e s s i n the former which was f i n e l y c o n t r a s t e d by the f a n a t i c a l f u r y o f the o t h e r — G r i f f e n s f e a t u r e s seemed ready to be r e l a x e d i n t o a s m i l e , w h i l e the s t i f f muscles and f i e r c e eye of the o t h e r admitted o f no suppleness o f compliance. . . . I have never seen an adequate r e p r e s e n t e r o f S i r E p i c u r e [Mammon], from Harper down t o Love. The f i r s t seemed to have been taught by one who had j u s t e r concept i o n s o f what was to be done i n the p a r t than the p l a y e r c o u l d execute. 67 The p o p u l a r i t y of the p l a y i s i n d i c a t e d by the famous Dr. Arbuthnot: I t h e r e f o r e r e f e r my Reader t o the c e l e b r a t e d Comedy c a l l e d the A l c h y m i s t , which opens w i t h a h i g h Q u a r r e l between Face and S u b t l e , wherein the l a t t e r s e l l s the other two Bargains almost i n a Breath . . . . I p u r p o s e l y f o r b e a r to quote t h i s c h o i c e Passage, t h a t I may the more e x c i t e my Reader's C u r i o s i t y , to be p r e s e n t a t the R e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the P l a y , which I doubt not, ,upon the H i n t I have here g i v e n , w i l l be f r e q u e n t l y c a l l e d f o r before, the End o f the Season; as soon as the C u r t a i n r i s e s , otherwise he w i l l be d i s a p p o i n t e d o f h i s Expectation..68 On 15 September 17 35,  the p l a y "was performed t o a crowded  Audience w i t h u n i v e r s a l Applause," and had to be repeated the f o l l o w i n g evening  f o r those  "who c o u l d n o t g e t P l a c e s  69 Yesterday." in  the c a s t .  About t h i s time there were a few changes On 6 A p r i l 1736 Mrs. P r i t c h a r d f i r s t  as D o l Common, a p a r t she played i n t e r m i t t e n t l y  appeared  until  70 1768.  In 1737 Macklxn assumed the r o l e o f Face and  W i l l i a m Havard took S u r l y , w h i l e K a s t r i l f e l l  t o Woodward  21 and  Dapper to Yates i n the next two  Edward Berry  seasons, and  in  1742  took over the r o l e of Mammon.  E.  GARRICK ERA,  1743-1776  On Monday 21 March, 1743 of The A l c h e m i s t  was  for Charles Macklin,  a new  ushered i n .  e r a i n the stage h i s t o r y  At a b e n e f i t performance  David G a r r i c k acted Abel Drugger f o r  the  71 f i r s t time a t Drury Lane cast; Macklin Macklin  w i t h an experienced  supporting  p l a y i n g Face, M i l l s p l a y i n g Subtle and  playing Dol.  There was  Mrs.  a minor, i n c i d e n t even  before  the performance began, as the D a i l y A d v e r t i s e r announced: As Mr. M a c k l i n has reason to b e l i e v e t h a t s e v e r a l o f h i s t i c k e t s are c o u n t e r f e i t e d , and w i l l be o f f e r * d f o r s a l e i n the s t r e e t s and passages l e a d i n g to the t h e a t r e , he begs l e a v e to g i v e t h i s p u b l i c k c a u t i o n o f the f r a u d ; and humbly d e s i r e s t h a t Gentlemen and Ladies who have taken p l a c e s , to send f o r T i c k e t s to the Theatre o r to Mr. M a c k l i n a t h i s house i n Bow S t r e e t . 72 From the time G a r r i c k f i r s t appeared i n the p a r t o f Abel Drugger u n t i l h i s r e t i r e m e n t  i n 1776,  presented i n a l l but f i v e seasons. played  Drugger n i n e t y two  p l a y was during  times, and  The A l c h e m i s t  was  During t h a t time G a r r i c k the f a c t t h a t  the  not o f f e r e d by the r i v a l company a t Covent Garden  t h i s p e r i o d i n d i c a t e s t h a t no one  match G a r r i c k s 1  performance.  dared attempt to  In  h i s f i r s t two  seasons G a r r i c k shared the r o l e  w i t h Theophilus Cibber and C o l l i n s , b u t when he became j o i n t manager o f Drury Lane i n 1747 the  the r o l e was  r e s e r v e d f o r him,  o n l y e x c e p t i o n s being the two performances by Thomas 73  Weston whxle Garrxck was  on h i s European  t o u r i n 1763-1764. 74 G a r r i c k c o n s i d e r e d Drugger one o f h i s b e s t p a r t s , and so c l o s e l y was he i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the r o l e t h a t Samual Foote planned to w r i t e a burlesque p l a y t i t l e d  The  Drugger's  75 Jubilee. During the G a r r i c k e r a , Drury Lane operated on the r e p e r t o r y system, which meant t h a t when a p l a y was few changes of c a s t were n e c e s s a r y . G a r r i c k p l a y e d Drugger European  Between 1747  tour; John Palmer was  Face from 1755 till  1776.  till  throughout the whole p e r i o d .  in  However, o n l y Mrs.  from the o r i g i n a l 1743 Tour i n 1763.  1749, when the p a r t f e l l  1776 on h i s  1769  and  Most of the other  r o l e s were the e x c l u s i v e p r o p e r t y o f one or two  made h i s European  and  every.time except when he was  Packer played Lovewit.from 1759  remained  revived  actors. Bennett  c a s t by the time G a r r i c k M i l l s gave up a c t i n g S u b t l e  to B r i d g e s .  In 1753  Burton took  on the r o l e and, except f o r s e v e r a l performances by Woodward, played the p a r t u n t i l  1772.  The p l a y earned handsome p r o f i t s . in  the 1775-1776 season grossed  713  lis.  Three 77 6d.  performances A  single  23 performance on 20 March 1753  grossed ^ 330  1755-1756 season when i t was  performed e i g h t times i t earned  3^  1350.  The  success,  and  however, can b e s t be  during  the  judged from  the  f a c t t h a t i t remained a stock p l a y a t the Drury Lane Theatre throughout the t h i r t y - t h r e e . y e a r s t h a t G a r r i c k acted and  during  t h a t time served  there,  as the mainpiece f o r s i x t e e n  b e n e f i t performances, a mark o f i t s p o p u l a r i t y w i t h  actors  78 and  audiences a l i k e .  F.  LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY AND  NINETEENTH CENTURY, 1776-1899  A f t e r Garrick's retirement  i n 1776,  the p l a y was  formed i n a shortened v e r s i o n on March 21, 1782  and  per-  in April  79 1787.  However, a poor i m i t a t i o n prose v e r s i o n by  Gentleman, c a l l e d The T h i s f a r c e was  Tobacconist  continued  to be  Francis  popular.  based on Jonson's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f Abel  Drugger, but has  l i t t l e dramatic value being  l i t t l e more than  a v e h i c l e f o r the a c t o r t a k i n g the p a r t o f the t i t u l a r hero to e x h i b i t h i s s k i l l for in  Thomas Weston who  i n comic b u s i n e s s . had  K i p p l i n g was  written  been so s u c c e s s f u l as Abel Drugger  Jonson's p l a y w h i l e G a r r i c k was  f i r s t performed i n 1770.  Originally  I t was  i n Europe i n 1764,  i t was  probably t h i s f a r c e t h a t  Mr.  r e f e r r i n g to i n 1788, when he spoke the E p i l o g u e 80 " r i d i n g on an a s s , " and i t i s probably the a l t e r a t i o n t h a t  24 Edmund Kean performed i n May,  1815  which H a z l e t t p r a i s e d so  81 eloquently. 82 Robert Noyes summarizes the p l o t of The  Tobacconist,  and d i s m i s s e s the p l a y by quoting a contempory review The London Evening  Post.  "To analyze  from  [sic] this piece  p a r t i c u l a r l y , would be s o i l i n g the pen of c r i t i c i s m , as i t was  nothing more than an i n c o h e r e n t mixture o f o b s o l e t e 83  humour and low b u f f o o n e r y . "  However the p l a y proved  popular, being acted f i f t e e n times between 1770  quite  and 17 75,  two  of which were b e n e f i t performances.^^ In 1773,  Gentleman wrote The Pantheonites which has  as i t s main c h a r a c t e r the grandson o f Abel Drugger.  Obviously  w r i t t e n to c a p i t a l i z e on Weston's a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the p a s t of Drugger, the f a r c e was o n l y four  not a success and was  times. ^ 8  Between 1815  and  1899  there i s no r e c o r d o f any  formance, although the p l a y was  still  thought  of producing  per-  h e l d i n h i g h regard  by the l i t e r a r y f r a t e r n i t y o f the age. Dickens  performed  In f a c t ,  the p l a y i n 1848,  Charles  with himself 86  as Mammon, but o n l y got as f a r as two o r three r e h e a r s a l s . The  reasons  f o r the p l a y ' s absence d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d i s to  be found by l o o k i n g a t the audience, c e n t u r y t h e a t r e goers who  f o r the  nineteenth  frequented Drury Lane and  Gardens d i d not have the same t a s t e s as the audience G a r r i c k ' s age.  In an age o f Romanticism and  Covent of  sensibility,  25 Jonson's c a u s t i c , v i g o r o u s drama, i f not without at  l e a s t without music.  merit,  As W i l l i a m H a z l i t t phrased i t ,  Jonson's genius "resembles the grub more than the plods and  was  butterfly,  g r o v e l s on, wants wings to wanton i n the  idle  87 summer's a i r , and o n l y was  c a t c h the golden l i g h t o f p o e t r y . "  the i n t e r e s t centered  Not  on p o e t r y , but the s c h o o l o f  c r i t i c i s m t h a t emphasized c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n h e l d f u l l  sway,  and Jonson's f i g u r e s were i n s i g n i f i c a n t compared w i t h immortal g a l l e r y of c h a r a c t e r s c r e a t e d by  the  Shakespeare.  Jonson's p l a y a l s o d i d not f i t the t a s t e of the public.  I t s p e c u l i a r brand o f r e a l i s m was  not  appreciated,  p a r t l y because the i n t e r e s t i n alchemy, a s t r o l o g y and ism had  become a n t i q u a t e d .  But the main reason  general  Puritan-  the p l a y  fell  i n t o disreputevwas, the language, which to the V i c t o r i a n s was h i g h l y o f f e n s i v e as w e l l as u n i n t e l l i g i b l e . to  The oaths,  not  mention the sexual f a n t a c i e s of S i r E p i c u r e Mammon, would  have seared  the ears of the g e n t e e l V i c t o r i a n s , w h i l e  c h a r a c t e r s — t h e whore, the p r o c u r e r , the sexual would have h e l d l i t t l e  fanatic—  i n t e r e s t f o r an audience who  sentimental drawing-room dramas.  preferred  The V i c t o r i a n a t t i t u d e  towards the p l a y i s r e f l e c t e d i n the comments of A.W. who,  the  Ward,  w h i l e p r a i s i n g the p l a y condemns i t f o r i t s immorality,  maintaining omission  t h a t Jonson "was  i n a l l o w i n g one  g u i l t y of a palpable e r r o r of  of the c o n s p i r a t o r s  [Face]  t o escape  88 w i t h impunity,"  and  S c h l e g e l ' s o p i n i o n t h a t o f a l l Jonson's  26 plays  "there i s h a r d l y one which, as i t stands, would  on the stage i n the p r e s e n t day"  G.  89  was  universally  please  accepted.  TWENTIETH CENTURY 1899-1970  91 On  24 February, 1899  h i s t o r y of The A l c h e m i s t was  the modern e r a o f the i n i t i a t e d by the  stage  Elizabethan  92 Stage S o c i e t y .  Produced by W i l l i a m Poel a t  H a l l , B l a c k f r i a r s , The A l c h e m i s t was E l i z a b e t h a n stage from the quarto the c r i t i c  presented  Apothecaries' on a pseudo-  t e x t of 1612.  Although  from The Athenean complained t h a t the p l a y  " d e f i c i e n t i n almost e v e r y t h i n g  was  t h a t makes a g r e a t . p l a y "  ended by s a y i n g that, the performance was  he  "unique as i t was  i n t e r e s t i n g , " and he gave s p e c i a l .mention- to the d i c t i o n which was "as a r u l e , g o o d — b e t t e r even than i s o f t e n heard 93 :  on the r e g u l a r stage."  Poel a l s o r e v i v e d the p l a y ,  f o r the E l i z a b e t h a n Stage S o c i e t y , on the 11 and 1902  a t the Imperial  1902  took the p l a y to Cambridge  the New  Theatre  Dr. Ward.  Theatre,  July,  Westminster and on 4 August 94 where i t was  performed i n  under the auspices o f the V i c e C h a n c e l l o r ,  As u s u a l , the p l a y was  costume, but.the  12  again  c a s t was  the London p r o d u c t i o n .  given i n Elizabethan  s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t from t h a t o f  9  The Marlowe S o c i e t y produced the p l a y i n March 1914 a t Cambridge.  They used f u t u r i s t i c  s e t t i n g s and there was  s p e c i a l I t a l i a n music, b u t the major complaint o f the c r i t i c s was the over-zealous pruning o f the t e x t .  The reviewer f o r  The Cambridge Magazine posed the r h e t o r i c a l q u e s t i o n "when will  i t be p o s s i b l e t o p l a y our n a t i o n a l drama from the t e x t ?  . . . .  [A] few c u t s were undoubtedly d e s i r a b l e , b u t i t does  not do to be u n n e c e s s a r i l y squeamish i n a r e a l i s t i c p i c t u r e 96 of  low l x f e i n the m e t r o p o l i s . " The Birmingham Repertory Company gave an o u t s t a n d i n g 97  r e v i v a l on 8 A p r i l ,  1916,  w i t h F e l i x Aylmer p l a y i n g S u b t l e .  In March 1923, the Phoenix S o c i e t y r e v i v e d the p l a y a t the Regent Theatre, King's C r o s s .  D i r e c t e d by Montague Summers  and produced by A l l e n Wade, the p l a y was an o u t s t a n d i n g success.  The c r i t i c o f The Times c o n s i d e r e d i t one o f the  S o c i e t y ' s b e s t p r o d u c t i o n s and drew a t t e n t i o n to the "unusua l l y even b a l a n c e " o f the c h a r a c t e r s . although admiring  M a r t i n Armstrong,  the performance o f "the g r e a t e s t f a r c e o f 98  the g r e a t e s t E n g l i s h f a r c e - w r i t e r , "  f o l l o w e d i n the f o o t -  steps o f T.S. E l i o t by drawing a t t e n t i o n t o the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n which he b e l i e v e d was "two-dimensional," v e r s e which he d i s m i s s e d as " v e r s i f i e d  and to the 99  prose."  In August 1932, The A l c h e m i s t was performed a t the Malvern F e s t i v a l w i t h an o u t s t a n d i n g c a s t , headed by Ralph Richardson  as Face and C e d r i c Hardwicke as Drugger.  28 In March 1935,"^^ the p l a y was  performed  a t the  Embassy Theatre, London d i r e c t e d by Olga Katzin,'''^ moving to P r i n c e s Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue i n A p r i l .  The  pro-  d u c t i o n r e c e i v e d mixed reviews but the consummate roguery of Hugh M i l l e r as S u b t l e and  the v e r s e speaking a b i l i t y o f  Bruce Winston as Mammon were u n i v e r s a l l y p r a i s e d , and a l l reviewers thought  the p r o d u c t i o n h i g h l y e n t e r t a i n i n g .  The Old V i c Company, d i r e c t e d by Tyrone G u t h r i e , performed  a modern d r e s s v e r s i o n a t the Playhouse  L i v e r p o o l d u r i n g the 1944-1945 season, and Theatre produced  in  the York C i t i z e n ' s  the p l a y a t the King's Theatre, Hammersmith 102  f o r a s h o r t run i n August 1945..  In 1947  Company r e v i v e d The A l c h e m i s t a t the New  the Old V i c  Theatre, S t . M a r t i n ' s  Lane w i t h George Relph as S u b t l e , Ralph Richardson as Face  103 and Ale:c Guinness as Drugger. "the p l a y was  D i r e c t e d by John B u r r e l l ,  acted as a k i n d of h a r l e q u i n a d e , s w i f t  v i g o r o u s , but w i t h a b o i s t e r o u s n e s s h a r d l y s u i t e d to However the  and Jonson.""'"  major f a u l t l a y i n the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y cos-  tumes which were incongruous  w i t h Jonson's t o p i c a l  setting.  A programme note e x p l a i n e d t h a t the p l a y ' s "comment on can apply to any p e r i o d not e x c l u d i n g our own, gambling,  life  so prone to  black-marketing, a s t r o l o g y , s p i r i t u a l i s m , psycho-  a n a l y s i s and o t h e r f i e l d s where c h a r l a t a n s p r a c t i s e c u n n i n g l y , i l l e g a l l y , p r o s p e r o u s l y and.often amusingly"  but t h i s does  not excuse p u t t i n g Jonson's seventeenth-century  characters  i n t o e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y costumes, e s p e c i a l l y when Dame  P l i a n t ' s a l l u s i o n to the Spaniards and the Armada the p l a y so s p e c i f i c a l l y .  dates  Ale.e Guinness' Drugger was p l a y e d  w i t h Cockney shyness t h a t was both comic and t o u c h i n g , w h i l e Peter Copley's h y s t e r i c a l z e a l as Ananias a l s o caught the c r i t i c s ' eye.  George Relph made a g l o r i o u s a l c h e m i s t and  the r e s t o f the c a s t f i t t e d houses  i n well.  The p l a y drew f u l l  i n s p i t e o f snow and i c e t h a t t e m p o r a r i l y h a l t e d  r e h e a r s a l s f o r the next p r o d u c t i o n . In December, 1952  Dennis Carey d i r e c t e d the p l a y f o r  the B r i s t o l Old V i c a t the Theatre R o y a l . was  This production  "a r a p i d s e r i e s of s w i f t l y e s t a b l i s h e d , v i v i d i m p r e s s i o n s "  and John N e v i l l e ' s cunning Face r e c e i v e d e x c e l l e n t r e v i e w s . The reviewer i n The Stage g i v e s a v i v i d p e n n a i l s k e t c h o f the performers . . . the dancing, b l a c k wisp w i t h a c h u c k l e l i k e c r a c k l i n g paper t h a t James C a i r n c r o s s makes o f S u b t l e ; the Cockney cunning o f John N e v i l l e ' s Face; Robert C a r f l a n d p u f f e d out w i t h plum-coloured v e l v e t and c u t t i n g an absurd caper as S i r E p i c u r e Mammon; the "smock rampant" P a u l i n e Jameson makes of D o l l Common; and the p a l s i e d c r o w — o r a s p e c t r a from S t . T r i n i a n ' s cupboard, i f you l i k e — t h a t Peter N i c h o l l s c o n j u r e s out of the s a b l e - c l a d A n a i a s . 106 In l a t e 1962, modernized  the Old V i c r e v i v e d the p l a y a g a i n , t h i s  by Tyrone.Guthrie who  the L i v e r p o o l Old V i c .  time  had e a r l i e r d i r e c t e d i t a t  There.was much adverse comment about  G u t h r i e ' s g i v i n g the p l a y a contempory s e t t i n g ,  especially  s i n c e the costuming ranged over a wide spectrum o f p e r i o d s .  A c c o r d i n g to Ivor Brown, the p l a y was  so thoroughly a l t e r e d  t h a t Jonson would s c a r c e l y have r e c o g n i z e d i t , , but " i t  was  107 v a s t l y amusing i n i t s audacious way."  Guthrie inserted  modern j o k e s , and changed a n a c h r o n i s t i c and obscure  refer-  ences, but i n doing so he emphasised the oddness and q u a i n t ness of what was  happening.  I v o r Brown summarizes the  p r o d u c t i o n w i t h the remark t h a t "an admirer o f Jonson's mordant exposure  o f , i m p o s t e r s and simpletons they prey upon  could say t h a t G u t h r i e had p l a y e d w i t h h i s author and ,,108 ,  n  -i  not  •  presented himj' The f i r s t recorded American performance A l c h e m i s t was the New  of  The  g i v e n by the Fortune P l a y e r s i n June 1931 109  School f o r S o c i a l Research.  K a t z i n , the p r o d u c t i o n was  D i r e c t e d by  at  Olga  acted w i t h gusto, w h i l e the s m a l l  a u d i t o r i u m and f l a t stage c r e a t e d an i n t i m a c y i m p o s s i b l e on the t y p i c a l Broadway.stage.  In May  1948,  the New  York C i t y  Center Theatre Company r e v i v e d the p l a y but i t was received.The  p l a y was  not w e l l  compressed i n t o two a c t s and  an  o r i g i n a l prologue added i n the b e l i e f t h a t Jonson's e x p o s i t i o n needed c l a r i f i c a t i o n .  .There were a l s o some d r a s t i c  c u t s w h i l e the r o l e o f T r i b u l a t i o n was  textual  r e w r i t t e n as t h a t o f  a, parson. In August 1961,  t h r e e performances  were g i v e n by  the Oregon Shakespeare F e s t i v a l A s s o c i a t i o n a t Ashland, Oregon, on the outdoor pseudo-Elizabethan s t a g e .  Hugh  Evans' Drugger, a mixture o f i n a b i l i t y and devoted  affabil-  i t y , again  showed why  G a r r i c k was  so s u c c e s s f u l i n the  part,  as the g u l l i b l e t o b a c c o n i s t q u i c k l y gained the sympathy i n t e r e s t of the On  audiences.  14 September 1964,  Stephen P o r t e r d i r e c t e d a  r e v i v a l a t the Gate Theatre, New  York.  Stage b u s i n e s s  dominated the p l a y , but John Heffernan as the doctor  and  gave a s t e r l i n g performance and  charlatan  P h i l i p Minor's  f l e s h e d Mammon r e l i s h e d every i m a g i n a t i v e  fully-  detail i n his  HI speeches. The  L i n c o l n Center presented The A l c h e m i s t  i n the 112  V i v i a n Beaumont Theatre, New  York, on 13 October,  but reviews were g e n e r a l l y u n e n t h u s i a s t i c .  1966,  In emphasizing  f a r c e a t . t h e expense of Jonson's comedy, J u l e s I r v i n g  may  have overcome the shortcomings of h i s c a s t but i n doing so cheapened Jonson's s u b t l e a r t .  The o n l y p a r t p r a i s e d by  c r i t i c s was  emerged as Jonson's moral  arbitrator.  t h a t of Lovewit who Played  he  the  by P h i l i p Bosco t h i s u s u a l l y unrewarding  p a r t demonstrated t h e , f o r c e of Jonson's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . Irving followed  Tyrone G u t h r i e ' s  example by c a s t i n g  an  a c t r e s s as T r i b u l a t i o n Wholesome, an u n f o r t u n a t e a b n o r m a l i t y , . anddhis c h o i c e  f o r other  p a r t s l e f t much to be  In the t w e n t i e t h -century outstanding  minor p r o d u c t i o n s  desired.  there have a l s o been s e v e r a l  i n Great B r i t a i n and  North  America, minor i n s t a t u s , though f r e q u e n t l y not i n q u a l i t y . On  9 and  10 December.1927, Birkbeck C o l l e g e gave a performance  w i t h a prologue w r i t t e n by J.H. Lobban.  The students o f  K i r k l a n d House, Harvard U n i v e r s i t y performed the p l a y on 12 November 1934 under the d i r e c t i o n o f Dr. Huntingdon Brown, 114 who a c t e d Ananias.  The Durham C o l l e g e ' s Dramatic S o c i e t y  presented The A l c h e m i s t on 2 December 1938 w i t h Dr. C l i f f o r d Leech as producer and the Wadham C o l l e g e Dramatic  Society  115 gave two performances on 19 and 25 May 1946. .  I n 1949,  the Cambridge Amateur Dramatic Company produced the p l a y w i t h John Barton as S u b t l e and Tony Robertson as Face.  In the  autumn o f 1956 t h e r e was a p r o d u c t i o n a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f Colorado, d i r e c t e d by Jack Crouch, and Stephen P o r t e r d i r e c t e d 116  a r e v i v a l a t P r i n c e t o n i n 1962.  On 18 January 1965 the  Meadow P l a y e r s performed the p l a y a t . t h e Playhouse Oxford w i t h J u d i Deneh as D o l , John Turner as Face and A l a n MacNaughton as S u b t l e .  I t was d i r e c t e d by Frank Hauser.  The p l a y has a l s o been adapted f o r r a d i o and television.  On 29 January, 1951 the B.B.C. Home S e r v i c e  b r o a d c a s t a r a d i o v e r s i o n o f the p l a y , adapted by Frank Hauser and produced by Donald McWhinnie.  C e c i l Trouser  played S u b t l e , Donald W o l f i t Face and B e t t y Bascomb was D o l Common.. L e i g h t o n Lucus composed and d i r e c t e d s p e c i a l music. A t e l e v i s i o n p r o d u c t i o n was b r o a d c a s t from the B.fi.C.'s Midland S t u d i o s on 29 May 1961.  In 1960 Robert B. Loper  staged The A l c h e m i s t f o r the A c t o r ' s Workshop i n San F r a n c i s c o , a p r o d u c t i o n l a t e r t e l e v i s e d over KQED t e l e v i s i o n i n the Bay  city.  33 A t w e n t i e t h century adaption by E r i c L i n k l a t e r c a l l e d The Mortimer Touch (1950) has r e c e i v e d some success.  Origin-  a l l y performed a t the Edinburgh F e s t i v a l i n 1950, i t was r e v i v e d a t the Duke o f York's Theatre  on 30 A p r i l ,  1952 and  a t e l e v i s i o n a d a p t a t i o n as seen on B.B.C. on 19 August 1962.  117 ' From the above l i s t i n g s i t can be seen t h a t Ben  Jonson's A l c h e m i s t  i s gradually gaining again i n p o p u l a r i t y .  In f a c t even as I w r i t e t h i s , The Young V i c Company i s preparing  to b r i n g The A l c h e m i s t  to Canada and there was a  p r o d u c t i o n i n C h i c h e s t e r England i n 1970.  The c u r r e n t  i n t e r e s t i s a r e s u l t o f the trend to s a t i r e i n t h e a t r e b u t i n t e r e s t i s a l s o due to the f a c t t h a t the p l a y i s f u n to ^ watch and i n an age o f wars, p o l l u t i o n and automation the emotional at.  catharsism  o f entertainment  i s n o t to be. sneered  For too long Jonson has been p r i m a r i l y the concern o f  the c r i t i c and the l i t e r a r y p u r i s t / t a l e n t s as a popular consideration.  and only now a r e h i s  d r a m a t i s t being g i v e n t h e i r  true  CHAPTER TWO INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTIONS OF THE ALCHEMIST  A.  INTRODUCTION  No c r i t i c has s e r i o u s l y c h a l l e n g e d C o l e r i d g e ' s assumption  t h a t The A l c h e m i s t i s one o f the three f i n e s t p l o t s  i n literature''" b u t few c r i t i c s have p r a i s e d i t i n terms o f its theatrical qualities. proves  Yet the stage h i s t o r y o f the p l a y  t h a t The A l c h e m i s t i s a t h e a t r i c a l masterpiece  has i n e v i t a b l y  as i t  been popular when produced, and i t i s by f a r  the b e s t example o f Jonson's dramatic genius s i n c e i t comes c l o s e s t to a c h i e v i n g Jonson's i d e a l o f u n i t i n g and entertainment Knights of  i n dramatic  form.  education  A c c o r d i n g to L.C.  "The A l c h e m i s t  covetousness  . . . i s a m o r a l i t y p l a y on the l u s t s 2 and l i c e n t i o u s n e s s , " an o p i n i o n A l a n Dessen  3  agrees w i t h .  But B r i a n Gibbons sees the p l a y as a type o f  i r o n i c exemplum i n which the t r i u m v e r a t e o f rogues a r e exposed, f o r c e d t o c o n f e s s and made t o r e t u r n t o the s t r a i g h t and 4  narrow path o f crime which seems to agree w i t h J.B. Bamborough's c o n t e n t i o n t h a t i n The A l c h e m i s t , "Jonson has 5 begun to l o s e s i g h t o f h i s s t e r n e r moral purpose.  These  c r i t i c s emphasize the moral purpose behind Jonson's p l a y .  35 Another group of c r i t i c s p r a i s e the p l a y because o f its satire.  A c c o r d i n g to Robert Reed, The A l c h e m i s t i s "the  most m a s t e r f u l s a t i r e on b l i n d c r e d u l i t y ever w r i t t e n by an E n g l i s h p l a y w r i g h t , "  Q  an o p i n i o n shared by A l v i n Kernan.  F e l i x S c h e l l i n g s a i d the p l a y was  7  an a t t a c k upon "a s p e c i f i c  8 c l a s s of sharpens," very r e s t r i c t i v e .  but t h i s narrow view of the p l a y i s Although  no-one can deny t h a t the p l a y i s  a s a t i r e on the p r e t e n t i o u s n e s s , a f f e c t a t i o n s and f o i b l e s seventeenth  of  c e n t u r y London, one would miss a g r e a t d e a l i f  they c o n s i d e r e d t h i s ifche o n l y purpose Jonson had.  For  satire,  a f t e r a l l , i s simply a term a p p l i e d to the a r t i s t ' s method. S a t i r e i s used to f u l f i l l reform.  Jonson's d e s i r e to s h a t t e r and  The contempory fads such as alchemy and  Puritanism,  a f f e c t e d manners and d r e s s ^ a r e but a s l i g h t . i m p o r t a n c e compared w i t h the main s a t i r e t a r g e t s — m a n ' s and greed.  gullibility  Some c r i t i c s m a i n t a i n t h a t the ending holds  hope o f moral r e g e n e r a t i o n , and  little  i n the world of the p l a y  t h i s i s t r u e , but as Jonson p o i n t s out i n the argument, a t the end of the performance " a l l i n fume:-are gone . p . However t h e . c o n c l u s i o n s to be drawn by the audience  are what  r e a l l y matters, and here the aim to d e l i g h t and p r o f i t i s l e f t up to the audience-—the Considered  d r a m a t i s t can do no more.  as a work of a r t , The A l c h e m i s t i s a  remarkable blend of H o r a t i a n s a t i r e w i t h moral comedy, c l a s s i c form w i t h n a t i v e m a t e r i a l .  I t i s i m p r e s s i v e because  36 of  the way i n which the simple theme o f man's greed has been  f l e s h e d o u t i n t o a v a r i e t y o f images connected w i t h , b u t not bound, by the c e n t r a l theme.  Yet the images p l a y a minor  r o l e compared w i t h the p l o t t h a t seems t o move i n ever t i g h t n i n g c i r c l e s to i t s i n e v i t a b l e end. In  the t h e a t r e however  the p l a y i s bound to be i n t e r -  p r e t e d w i t h emphasis on some s p e c i f i c a s p e c t .  Different  p r o d u c t i o n s have o f t e n s t r e s s e d d i f f e r e n t aspects o f the p l a y and an examination of what happens t o i t i n s e v e r a l p r o d u c t i o n s r e v e a l s the t h e a t r i c a l t a s t e s o f d i f f e r e n t p e r i o d s i n h i s t o r y and throws i n t e r e s t i n g l i g h t on the s k i l l w i t h which Jonson c o n s t r u c t e d the p l a y as s o c i a l s a t i r e , comedy and dramatic entertainment.  B.  In  EARLY PRODUCTIONS, 1610-1743  the Jacobean p e r i o d , the audiences were probably  a t t r a c t e d by the p l a y ' s r e a l i s t i c ^treatment o f seventeenthcentury London l i f e w i t h i t s scheming knaves, r i s i n g c l a s s and h y p o c r i t i c a l p u r i t a n s .  middle  The s a t i r e aimed a t alchemy,  p r a c t i s e d by such men as Dr. John Dee and Edward would have appealed i n an age i n which s c i e n t i f i c  Kelly, investi-  g a t i o n s were o f t e n equaled w i t h b l a c k magic, and the exposure and r i d i c u l i n g of the P u r i t a n s would have been enjoyed by  37 many.  The E l i z a b e t h a n  stage would have f a c i l i t a t e d a b r i s k  pace f o r the comedy, w h i l e the c o n s p i r a t o r s '  frequent  d i s g u i s e s c o u l d e a s i l y have been costumed on that, type o f stage.  The m e t a p h o r i c a l aspect  o f Jonson's comic world would  have been b e t t e r understood by an audience attuned t o the p o e t i c use o f language, e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e they were to the conventions o f the E l i z a b e t h a n  conditioned  stage which i m p l i e d  t h a t the stage was a microcosm o f the w o r l d . The due  success of the p l a y i n the R e s t o r a t i o n was probably 9  i n p a r t t o the s a t i r e o f the A n a b a p t i s t s ,  because even  as l a t e as 1683 the a u t h o r i t i e s were suppressing preachers.^""  The o p p o r t u n i t i e s i n h e r e n t  the  Anabaptist  i n the female r o l e s  o f Dol Common and Dame P l i a n t a l s o were a f a c t o r i n The A l c h e m i s t ' s p o p u l a r i t y a t a time when women p l a y i n g r o l e s was s t i l l  novel on the London stage."''"'"  female  F i n a l l y the  bawdy language and comic wooing scenes would have d e l i g h t e d Restoration  audiences t h a t were r e d i s c o v e r i n g the enjoyment  of r i s q u e comedy a f t e r s i x t e e n years o f P u r i t a n In the process o f doing r e s e a r c h and  C a r o l i n e Stage G.E. Bentley  suppression.  f o r The Jacobean  came to the c o n c l u s i o n  that  during  the R e s t o r a t i o n Jonson was mentioned at, l e a s t as o f t e n 12 as Shakespeare. Although The A l c h e m i s t o n l y ranked t h i r d 13 i n the number o f a l l u s i o n s t o Jonsonian p l a y s , i t received f a r more s p e c i f i c p r a i s e , and D o l Common.was the most f r e 14  quently  mentioned Jonsonian c h a r a c t e r .  d i f f i c u l t to accept Bentley's  However i t i s  statement t h a t "Jonson, and not  38 Shakespeare, was the d r a m a t i s t o f the seventeenth Reputation acclaimed  and p o p u l a r i t y must n o t be confused.  century. Although  by the c r i t i c a l p u b l i c o f the seventeenth  as the g r e a t e s t E n g l i s h d r a m a t i s t ,  century  Jonson was n o t as popular  i n the t h e a t r e , as more Shakespearean p l a y s were produced than Jonson's i n the p e r i o d 1660-1700. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note t h a t most o f the a l l u s i o n s r e f e r t o Jonson's a b i l i t y to f o l l o w pseudo c l a s s i c r u l e s i n h i s drama.  The c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n s o f France were  evident  i n the r e f i n e d t a s t e s o f the R e s t o r a t i o n t h e a t r e p u b l i c and Jonson's p l a y s f i t t e d the b i l l b e t t e r than Shakespeare's. But  the a l l u s i o n s . t o Jonson's c h a r a c t e r s a r e more r e v e a l i n g .  Dol, Face and S u b t l e a r e f r e q u e n t l y mentioned and so i s Ananias, b u t Mammon and Drugger r e c e i v e no a t t e n t i o n . The conclusion i s obvious.  The R e s t o r a t i o n p r o d u c t i o n s  emphasized  the c o n s p i r a t o r s and the g u l l i n g o f the P u r i t a n s w h i l e the p o e t i c f l i g h t s o f Mammon and the simple were n e g l e c t e d .  g u l l i b i l i t y o f Drugger  The emphasis was on the p l o t which was  manipulated by the c o n s p i r a t o r s , who t h e r e f o r e n a t u r a l l y became the dramatic  focus.  On the other hand, i n the e a r l y e i g h t e e n t h  century,  the a c t i v i t i e s o f Subtle became the f o c a l p o i n t o f the p l a y and C o l l y Gibber's p o r t r a y a l o f Jonson's c h a r l a t a n was very popular.  The supporting  deceptive  game played  g u l l s were merely pawns i n the  by the c o n s p i r a t o r s , although they  were i n d i v i d u a l i z e d to emphasize man's r i d i c u l o u s greed.  16  In the. 17.20's the p l a y ' s success seems to have been 17 based on the s a t i r e of commerce i m p l i c i t i n Jonson's p l a y . A t t h a t time, London was  still  r e c o v e r i n g from the e f f e c t o f  the South Sea Bubble i n which thousands  of i n n o c e n t s t o c k -  h o l d e r s had been defrauded of. t h e i r investment because o f t h e i r erroneous b e l i e f s i n the extravagant r i c h e s of American Trade.  T h i s f i n a n c i a l skuldruggery had  South  several  s i m i l a r i t i e s w i t h the f a n t a s t i c a l c l a i m s a t t r i b u t e d by S u b t l e and Face to the p h i l o s o p h e r ' s stone and resembled of c r e d u l o u s people by the mischievous  trio.  the g u l l i n g  The  commercial  i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h e i r compact i s e v i d e n t where Jonson us  informs  that: A cheater and h i s punqjue |_ eaving t h e i r narrow p r a c t i s e , were become C os'ners a t l a r g e : and, o n e l y wanting  some  H ouse to s e t .p, w i t h him they here c o n t r a c t / v  E ach f o r a share, and a l l begin to a c t . M uch company they draw, and much abuse, I n c a s t i n g f i g u r e s , t e l l i n g f o r t u n e s , newes, S e l l i n g of f l y e s , f l a t bawdry, w i t h the stone: T i l i_t/ and  they, and a l l i n f_ume are gone. Argument, 11.  5-12  Such words as " p r a c t i s e , " "House to s e t vp," " c o n t r a c t , " "share," "company," and  " s e l l i n g " u n d e r l i n e the  c h a r a c t e r o f t h e i r venture, and the opening the economic tone. attracts.the  commercial  scene c o n t i n u e s  Face reminds S u b t l e t h a t i t i s he  "customers"  who  so t h a t S u b t l e can p r a c t i s e h i s  40 " t r a d e s " ; i t i s h i s " c r e d i t " t h a t f u r n i s h e s the " c o a l e s . " Dol reminds her warring  p a r t n e r s o f t h e i r business  obligations  ( I . i . 131-136) and manages t o persuade S u b t l e to "labour, k i n d l y , i n . the commune worke" ( I . i . 156). comes, to them d i s g u i s e d as a Spaniard,  L a t e r , when S u r l e y  Face and S u b t l e  agree  to f o r g e t t h e i r q u a r r e l over who w i l l marry Dame P l i a n t and decide  t o r i s k her i n a t r u l y / commercial venture by having  her serve t h e i r immediate needs. venter/Now l i e s vpon't i s engag'd  . . . .  . . . .  According  to Face " A l l our  The c r e d i t o f our house too  I t i s . t h e common cause"  (IV.iii.  65-76).  Although S u b t l e i s r e l u c t a n t to g i v e up h i s share i n such v a l u a b l e p r o p e r t y he e v e n t u a l l y l e t s h i s commercial  spirit  overrule his carnal i n s t i n c t s . The  f i n a n c i a l skulduggery c o n t r i b u t e s g r e a t l y to the  theme of greed t h a t permeates the dramatic a c t i o n . and h i s confederates  set.up t h e i r  'business'  Subtle  and do a t h r i v i n g  trade u n t i l Lovewit r e t u r n s home and c l a i m s the l i o n ' s of t h e i r p r o f i t . becomes e v i d e n t ,  The comic j u s t i c e o f the p l a y  share  thereby  f o r S u b t l e , who has preyed on the h y p o c r i s y ,  greed and s t u p i d i t y o f the g u l l s , i s i n t u r n h u m i l i a t e d by Lovewit.  Lovewit's greed, combined w i t h i n t e l l i g e n c e ,  even stronger weapon than S u b t l e ' s .  i s an  But Face, u n l i k e Mosca  i n Volpone, i s w i l l i n g to take a moderate r e t u r n f o r h i s r i s k s and t h e r e f o r e s u r v i v e s i n t h i s world o f dog e a t dog. As  the performances o f the e a r l y e i g h t e e n t h  play contains instability.  century  show, the  themes t h a t a r e r e l e v a n t i n times o f economic  41 Up to 1721,  a l l i n d i c a t i o n s are t h a t the p l a y  was  performed p r i m a r i l y as a s a t i r i c comedy whose p r i n c i p a l was man's.greed and g u l l i b i l i t y . emphasized.the the  target  Although some p r o d u c t i o n s  i n t r i g u e o f the rogues w h i l e o t h e r s  emphasized  g u l l i b i l i t y o f the dupes, the p r i n c i p a l o b j e c t was  satire.  But the Commonwealth d r o l l The Imperick suggested a d i f f e r e n t aspect i n h e r e n t i n Jonson's drama.  T h i s was  f a r c e which p r o v i d e s another dramatic impetus comedy.  But i t was  the element o f i n Jonson's  not u n t i l the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y t h a t  t h i s element began t o p l a y a dominant r o l e i n t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n s o f the p l a y .  Theophilus C i b b e r p r e c i p i t a t e d the  change when he took the r o l e o f Drugger  i n 1731.  His  "absurb  grimace and r i d i c u l o u s t r i c k s " a n t i c i p a t e d the f a r c i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n which was Garrick's portrayal.  to r e a c h f u l l development  Although C i b b e r ' s a c t i n g was  in inferior  18 to  Garrick's,  even the contempory c r i t i c , Samual Foote,  r e c o g n i z e d C i b b e r ' s c o n t r i b u t i o n to the p l a y : . . . c a s t your Eye on the A b e l Drugger o f G. and the Abel Drugger o f C. I c a l l the simple, composed, grave Deportment o f the former Comic and the s q u i n t ey'd g r i n n i n g Grimace o f the l a t e r C o m i c a l . The f i r s t o b t a i n s your Applause, by persuading you t h a t he i s the r e a l Man. The l a t t e r indeed opens your Eyes, and g i v e s you to understand t h a t he i s but p e r s o n a t i n g the Tobacco-Boy: But then to atone f o r the Loss o f the Deception, you are ready to s p l i t w i t h Laughter, a t the r i d i c u l o u s V a r i a t i o n s o f h i s Muscles. 19 From the time of i t s f i r s t appearance  i n 1610,  The  A l c h e m i s t had caused no g r e a t s t i r and although i t appeared  42 f r e q u e n t l y as a stock p l a y a f t e r the R e s t o r a t i o n , had  a l o n g run.  But with G a r r i c k , a new e r a i n the stage  h i s t o r y o f The A l c h e m i s t  C.  i t never  began  DAVID GARRICK'S PRODUCTIONS, 1743-1776  G a r r i c k acted  the r o l e o f Abel D r u g g e r f o r the f i r s t  time i n London on 21 March 1743 i n a b e n e f i t performance f o r Mr. M a c k l i n ,  and although  the performance d i d n o t c r e a t e  q u i t e the same s e n s a t i o n as d i d h i s debut as Richard  I I I on  19 October 1741, i t began the e r a of g r e a t e s t p o p u l a r i t y i n the stage h i s t o r y o f The A l c h e m i s t . p l a y had a b r i l l i a n t  From 1743 to 1776 the  r e c o r d , appearing  i n a l l but f i v e  seasons, and G a r r i c k was so domineering i n the p a r t o f Drugger t h a t n c one e l s e dared t r y t o c h a l l e n g e him.  Except f o r two  performances by. 'Tf)d^y*s GtWeirS^an-.while G a r r i c k was on h i s f  21 European t o u r ,  the p a r t remained the p r i v a t e p r o p e r t y o f  G a r r i c k from 1747 to h i s r e t i r e m e n t company attempted to stage because no o t h e r . a c t o r  i n 1776.  the p l a y d u r i n g  No other  this  period,  f e l t capable o f matching G a r r i c k ' s 22  p o p u l a r i t y i n the r o l e o f ^Abel Drugger. G a r r i c k brought h i s own i n i m i t a b l e s t y l e t o Jonson*s play.  According  to Thomas  Davies;  43 Mr. G a r r i c k ' s easy and f a m i l i a r s t y l e i n speaking and a c t i n g f i r s t threw the c r i t i c s i n t o some h e s i t a t i o n concerning the n o v e l t y as w e l l as the p r o p e r t y o f h i s manner. They had long been accustomed to an e l e v a t i o n o f the v o i c e , w i t h a sudden mechanical d e p r e s s i o n of i t s tones, c a l c u l a t e d to e x c i t e a d m i r a t i o n and to entrap applause. To the j u s t modulation of the words> and c o n c u r r i n g express i o n o f the f e a t u r e s from the genuine workings of nature, they had been s t r a n g e r s , a t l e a s t . f o r some time. . . . 23 That t h i s n a t u r a l s t y l e of a c t i n g proved v e r y s u c c e s s f u l i n Jonson's p l a y i s proved by the famous acedote r e l a t e d Doctor Johnson concerning a L i c h f i e l d  tradesman who  urged by Peter G a r r i c k to witness a performance brother. and was  by  had been  by h i s famous  The tradesman saw David G a r r i c k perform Abel Drugger not impressed,  saying on h i s r e t u r n :  "Well, by  God!  Mr. G a r r i c k , though he i s your b r o t h e r , he i s one of the s h a b b i e s t , meanest, most p i t i f u l hounds I ever saw  i n the  24 whole course of my  life."  This  story i l l u s t r a t e s Garrick's  a b i l i t y to i n v e s t a r o l e w i t h h i s whole body and t h a t he seemed to become the c h a r a c t e r he was  s o u l so  acting.  c o u l d p l a y h e r o i c f i g u r e s or low comedians e q u a l l y w e l l  He and  f r e q u e n t l y a l t e r n a t e d r o l e s i n tragedy and comedy t o demonstrate his v e r s a t i l i t y .  A f t e r seeing G a r r i c k act Abel  one  evening and R i c h a r d I I I the next, the famous p a i n t e r Hogarth was  f o r c e d to say "you are i n your element when you  are 25  begrimed w i t h d i r t , or up to your elbows i n b l o o d . "  The  p i c t u r e o f G a r r i c k as Abel Drugger w i t h h i s t o u s l e d wig and crumpled  smock i s a s t r i k i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Jonson's  simple, h o r r i b l y n a t u r a l t o b a c c o n i s t .  44 The adapted t e x t used by G a r r i c k has been p r e s e r v e d 26 i n B e l l ' s B r i t i s h Theatre.  The t i t l e page reads as  follows: The / ALCHYMIST. / A comedy. / As a l t e r e d from Ben Jonson. / D i s t i n g u i s h i n g a l s o the / V a r i a t i o n s of the Theatre, / as performed a t ithe / Theatre-Royal i n Drury Lane. / Regulated from the Prompt Book, / by P e r m i s s i o n of the Managers, / by Mr. Hopkins, Prompter. / . . . MDCCLXXVII Since t h i s t e x t i s r e g u l a t e d from the promptbook a t Drury Lane l e s s than one year a f t e r G a r r i c k ' s l a s t performance the p l a y , i t i s probably the v e r s i o n he used, since a picture e n t i t l e d Abel Drugger"  "Mr.  in  especially  G a r r i c k i n the C h a r a c t e r o f  appears o p p o s i t e the t i t l e page.  The Advertisement on the next page informs the reader " t h a t i t was [sic],  i m p r a c t i c a b l e to g i v e the o r i g i n a l  without g r e a t l y embarrassing  l i n e s as c o u l d be r e s t o r e d are  intire  the r e a d e r " so "Such  (though omitted on the  Stage)  p r i n t e d w i t h i n v e r t e d commas, those i n I t a l i c s are  added i n the p r e s e n t a t i o n . " However, the advertisement i s not w h o l l y c o r r e c t when i t says l i n e s added f o r the stage p r e s e n t a t i o n w i l l be i n i t a l i c s . italics  There are s e v e r a l l i n e s i n  27 text, and o t h e r s not 28 have been added by G a r r i c k . The prompt book  t h a t are a l r e a d y i n Jonson's  in italics  f o l l o w s Jonson's  arrangement o f scenes but scene  divisions  29 are  not always i n d i c a t e d ,  and t h e r e are many changes  s p e l l i n g and p u n c t u a t i o n to make the t e x t conform  to  m  e i g h t e e n t h century stage and p u b l i s h i n g p r a c t i c e s . long "S"  i s used  throughout  g e n e r a l modernizing becomes "bujine_f s. "  G a r r i c k * s t e x t b u t there i s a  of s p e l l i n g .  F o r i n s t a n c e "businesse"  C o n t r a t i o n s a r e made c o n s i s t e n t w i t h  e i g h t e e n t h century usage; "and 1" becomes "an't." 1  O  new speech  The  i s begun on a new type l i n e .  Each  Brackets a r e n o t  used c o n s i s t e n t l y and p u n c t u a t i o n probably r e p r e s e n t s stage p r a c t i c e f o r i t c e r t a i n l y does n o t f o l l o w Jonson's t e x t . Stage d i r e c t i o n s a r e added b u t are mainly r e s t r i c t e d t o e x i t s and  entrances.^ F r e d r i c k Bergmann has l i s t e d and c l a s s i f i e d most o f 31  the changes G a r r i c k made i n h i s adaption o f the p l a y . of the omissions were a r e s u l t o f e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y  Some theatrical  t a s t e s which demanded a purer k i n d o f language and a f a s t e r moving comedy.  To accomplish  t h i s , Garrick cut nearly a  t h i r d o f Jonson's t e x t , e l i m i n a t i n g s i n g l e words, s i n g l e 32 and l e s s f r e q u e n t l y e n t i r e speeches,  lines  b u t always e x c e r c i s -  i n g the utmost care i n p r e s e r v i n g the c o n t i n u i t y o f Jonson's plot.  Coarse wording, obscure  a l l u s i o n s and phrases  that  might be r e l i g i o u s l y o f f e n d i n g were n e a t l y a b o l i s h e d and l e s s i n t e r e s t i n g p a r t s were c u t i n the u n r e l e n t i n g p u r s u i t o f a s h o r t e r p l a y i n g time. Other changes r e s u l t e d from e i g h t e e n t h century practices.  F o r example, the f i n a l cue o f A c t Three was  o m i t t e d so t h a t the e f f e c t of S u b t l e ' s c l i m a t i c speech ;  immediately  stage  precedes  i t was not undercut.  that  On the E l i z a b e t h a n  46 stage the cue was  necessary to p r o v i d e t r a n s i t i o n from A c t  Three to A c t Four^ but on the e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y stage such v e r b a l c u r t a i n s were  unnecessary.  To improve an a c t o r ' s e x i t , G a r r i c k sometimes i n t r o duced new  business.  For i n s t a n c e , i n Jonson's t e x t ,  I.ii  c l o s e s w i t h Face's i n s t r u c t i o n to Dapper to "put on a c l e a n e shirt: in  You doe not know / What grace her Grace may  cleane l i n n e n . "  (I.ii. Dap. Fac.  174-175). Hum Hum  doe  you  To t h i s , G a r r i c k adds  .-- buz. — buz.  Exit. Exit. (p.  18)  E a r l i e r i n the scene S u b t l e had g i v e n Dapper i n s t r u c t i o n s to "cry in  hum,  / T h r i c e and then buz, as o f t e n "  (I.ii.  169-170),  p r e p a r a t i o n f o r h i s v i s i t w i t h t'he Queen of the F a i r i e s .  Here t h i s s i l l y  i n s t r u c t i o n i s b e i n g f o l l o w e d , f o r as Dapper  l e a v e s the stage he begins h i s p r a c t i c i n g .  The comic c i n c h e r  however i s t h a t when Dapper has gone, Face l e a v e s the stage mimicing  him. Moving now  to a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f more s u b s t a n t i v e  changes, i t i s c l e a r from an examination of the t e x t t h a t G a r r i c k changed the p l a y so as to emphasize the r o l e of 33 Drugger.  Other r o l e s were d r a s t i c a l l y pared and  not connected w i t h Drugger c o n s i d e r a b l y shortened.  incidents For  i n s t a n c e , the opening q u a r r e l between Face and S u b t l e i s c u t 34 by some t h i r t y e i g h t l i n e s , w h i l e some twenty f i v e are  47 pared from the d i s c u s s i o n between Face,  S u b t l e and Dapper  concerning the l a t t e r ' s chances a t gaming. is Dol  f u r t h e r reduced  The Dapper s u b p l o t  by the o m i s s i o n o f Dapper's i n t e r v i e w w i t h  (dressed as Queen of the F a i r i e s ) i n V . i v . The A n a b a p t i s t p l o t i s a l s o h e a v i l y c u t , w i t h  and  Ill.ii.  b e i n g severely, a b b r e v i a t e d .  Ill.i.  A c c o r d i n g to  Berg-  35 mann,  most of the c u t s i n t h i s area were because P u r i t a n i s m  no l o n g e r h e l d any i n t e r e s t f o r t h e a t r e - g o e r s , but some l i n e s were d e a l t w i t h p u r e l y on r e l i g i o u s grounds. the exchange between Ananias and T r i b u l a t i o n  For example, (Ill.i.  7-14)  is  omitted because i t c a s t s "aspersions on a l l r e l i g i o u s s e c t s t h a t b e l i e v e the end  justifies  the means, and  i n the e i g h t e e n t h  c e n t u r y m i s s i o n a r y c u l t s were b u s i l y a t work i n many B r i t i s h Colonies. The emphasis on Drugger n e c e s s i t a t e d G a r r i c k ' s omission of Drugger's f i n a l l i n e as i t appears i s Jonson's text.  T h i s a n t i c l i m a t i c entrance and e x i t would have  destroyed the appeal of G a r r i c k ' s p o r t r a y a l ,  for.Drugger  merely e n t e r s c l a i m i n g t h a t he i s not an A n a b a p t i s t b e f o r e being d r i v e n o f f the stage by Lovewit.  Such an episode would  reduce Drugger to the s t a t u r e o f a mere dupe. G a r r i c k ' s a d d i t i o n s a l s o c o n t r i b u t e to the emphasis 36 p l a c e d on Drugger. Dapper and Face,  I.ii.  ends  w i t h an exchange between  l e a v i n g S u b t l e alone on stage.  In Jonson's  t e x t the next scene opens as Drugger e n t e r s without a word and he does not speak u n t i l S u b t l e q u e s t i o n s him.  Garrick  48  t h e r e f o r e i n t e r p o l a t e s the l i n e . Doctor"  "Within:  I will  see the  (p. 18) which prepares the audience f o r Drugger's  entrance, w h i l e adding a note o f i n s i s t e n c e to Drugger's otherwise meek d i a l o g u e w i t h S u b t l e , c o n v e r s a t i o n i n which the a l c h e m i s t takes a l l the i n i t i a t i v e .  The next change  a l s o adds depth to D r u g g e r s c h a r a c t e r .  In answer to S u b t l e ' s  1  q u e s t i o n "Free o f the G r o c e r s ? " "I,  and't p l e a s e you" ( I . i i i .  Jonson has Drugger answer  5 ) , thereby emphasizing the  f o o l i s h t o b a c c o n i s t ' s f e a r and r e s p e c t o f the l e a r n e d Doctor. G a r r i c k , w h i l e n o t n e g l e c t i n g t h i s aspect of Drugger's c h a r a c t e r , chooses  to emphasize Drugger's middle c l a s s p r i d e ,  so he changes the d r u g g i s t ' s r e p l y to "Yes, I'm f r e e o f the Grocers"  (p. 1 9 ) . Other a d d i t i o n s a l s o keep the s p o t l i g h t  on Drugger. (I.iii.  Face's d e s c r i p t i o n o f A b e l as an honest  fellow  21-32) i s broken up by two i n t e r j e c t i o n s by Drugger  defending h i s honour as a tobaccoman, and a r e p e t i t i o n by Drugger o f Face's l a s t remark "No, I am no Goldsmith"  (p. 1 9 ) .  Drugger's r e l u c t a n c e to p a r t w i t h h i s money i s c o m i c a l l y emphasized by a one l i n e prose a d d i t i o n .  To Jonson's simple  admission by Drugger t h a t "Yes, I have a portague, kept t h i s h a l f e yeere" "And  (I.iii.  87) G a r r i c k adds the a s i d e  I would f a i n keep i t h a l f a year l o n g e r " (p. 21). When  Face o f f e r s t o g i v e Drugger's money to the Doctor, 88-89) (p.  I ha'  Drugger i n h i s misery h e l p l e s s l y r e p l i e s  (I.iii. "Will ye?"  21), an a l t e r a t i o n which shows t h a t Drugger's m i s e r l i n e s s  has been supplanted by h i s a v a r i c e and t h a t he has been  49 completely  taken i n by Face's argument.  Sometimes G a r r i c k i n t e r p o l a t e d l i n e s to f a c i l i t a t e stage b u s i n e s s  i n which Drugger i s i n v o l v e d .  "Why, t h i s i s strange]  When Face asks  I s ' t not, honest NAB?", G a r r i c k has  Drugger answer "Yes, very strange"  (p. 20). Then S u b t l e  says: There i s a s h i p now, coming from Ormus, That s h a l l y e e l d him such a commoditie Of drugs—Come h i t h e r A b e l ; This i s the west, and t h i s the south. (p. 20)37 The f i r s t  two and a h a l f l i n e s a r e addressed  to Face, b u t to  i n d i c a t e t h a t S u b t l e i s now a d d r e s s i n g Drugger, G a r r i c k i n s e r t s the l i n e in  II.iii.,  "Come h i t h e r A b e l . "  Another example occurs  as S u b t l e c a s t s Drugger's horoscope:  A townsman, born i n Tourus, g i v e s the b u l l , Or the b u l l ' s head. In A r i e s , the ram, A poor d e v i c e . Come h i t h e r , A b e l . No, I w i l l have h i s name Formed i n some mystic c h a r a c t e r . . . . (p.  40)  Here, as p r e v i o u s l y , the i n t e r p o l a t e d c l i n e draws Drugger i n t o the dramatic  s p o t l i g h t , and suggests  some stage movement.  Drugger i s o f t e n g i v e n one l i n e q u e r i e s o r s i l l y remarks to emphasis h i s s t u p i d i t y .  Two examples from  II.vi.  i l l u s t r a t e the p o i n t . Face. Drug. Sub.  H ' i s b u s i e w i t h h i s s p i r i t s ; b u t wee'11 upon him. Where a r e they? F a c . Hush I How now!. What mates? What b i a r d s ha' we here? (p.  40)  Snb. Drug. Fac. Sub. Drug.  [ s i c ] . . . That may r e s u l t upon the p a r t y owns i t Thus • -— I_ don't understand i t Nab! He s h a l l have a b e l l , t h a t ' s A b e l . And so i t i s . (p. 40)  L a t e r , Drugger i n t e r r u p t s Face's speech three times with short questions:  "Is he?"  "Has he?" and " W i l l he?"  (p. 4 2 ) . This tends t o break up Face's monologue, s h i f t i n g the dramatic focus from the speaker to the l i s t e n e r so t h a t G a r r i c k would have ample o p p o r t u n i t y to e x h i b i t h i s stage business. Much o f the new stage b u s i n e s s was i n t r o d u c e d to e s t a b l i s h the c h a r a c t e r o f Drugger more e f f e c t i v e l y b e f o r e the audience, and to g i v e g r e a t e r freedom to G a r r i c k ' s to f a r c i c a l l y p o r t r a y the g u l l i b l e t o b a c c o n i s t . when Face suggests t h a t the f o o l i s h merchant o f h i s wares to the Doctor  ability  For example,  send a hogshead  ( I I . v i , p. 42), Drugger runs o f f -  stage, o n l y to be f o r c i b l y r e t u r n e d by Face.  This gave  G a r r i c k an e x c e l l e n t o p p o r t u n i t y to d i s p l a y h i s comic  talents,  w h i l e showing Drugger's b l i n d obedience to Face's s u g g e s t i o n s . Another example can be found i n Face's account o f Drugger's v i s i t to a t a v e r n . any wine" by Drugger  Face says Drugger  ( I l l . i v . 115-116).  "has no head / To bear  Here G a r r i c k i n s e r t e d a comment  "No, I have no head"  (p. 52) which, i f accompanied  by an a p p r o p r i a t e g e s t u r e , was bound to cause g a l e s o f laughter.  51 The  e x p l o s i o n i n the a l c h e m i s t ' s l a b o r a t o r y was w e l l  known i n G a r r i c k ' s time even.to p r o v i n c i a l audiences. i s e v i d e n t from the a l l u s i o n found opening o f the B r i s t o l Theatre  i n the prologue  f o r the  i n 1766, where G a r r i c k r e c a l l s  S u b t l e ' s attempts t o f i n d the p h i l o s o p h e r ' s But The Tho' And  This  stone:  i n p r o j e c t i o n comes the d r e a d f u l s t r o k e g l a s s e s b u r s t , and a l l i s bounce and smoke! d o u b t f u l s t i l l our f a t e — I b i t e my thumbs my h e a r t f a i l s me,—when p r o j e c t i o n comes.38  A v i v i d d e s c r i p t i o n o f Drugger's a c t i o n s as he a c c i d e n t a l l y drops a u r i n a l w h i l e the other c h a r a c t e r s a r e speaking  (I.iii.)  i s l e f t by G a r r i c k h i m s e l f i n h i s An Essay on A c t i n g : Abel Drugger has broke the U r i n a l , he i s m e n t a l l y  "When  absorb'd  w i t h the d i f f e r e n t Ideas o f the i n v a l u a b l e P r i c e o f U r i n a l , and  the Punishment t h a t may be i n f l i c t e d  i n consequence o f  39 a Curiosity." G a r r i c k was adept a t adding i n Jonson's t e x t .  stage b u s i n e s s n o t found  Not o n l y was t h e r e the i n c i d e n t of the u r i n a l  d e s c r i b e d above, b u t there was the famous boxing match i n which Drugger r o u t e d S u r l y . London Evening  Post,  According  to a l e t t e r p r i n t e d i n the  Drugger " s t r i p p e d o f f h i s c l o t h e s ,  rubbed h i s hands, clenched h i s f i s t s , all  and threw h i m s e l f 40  the a t t i t u d e s o f a modern Broughtonian b r u i s e r . "  the e f f e c t was n o t merely i l l u s i o n a r y .  into And  George L i c h t e n b e r g ,  a German t r a v e l l e r who was a l s o an e n t h u s i a s t i c t h e a t r e g o e r , assures us t h a t G a r r i c k was v e r y s t r o n g and amazingly  dextrous:  52 "In  the scene from The A l c h e m i s t  where he [Garrick] boxes,  he runs about and s k i p s from one neat l e g to the o t h e r w i t h such admirable l i g h t n e s s t h a t one would dare swear t h a t he was  . "41 f l o a t i n g on a i r . G a r r i c k * s a d d i t i o n a l stage b u s i n e s s was  not always  42 a p p r e c i a t e d by the c r i t i c s . . I f Mr., G a r r i c k has any p a r t i c u l a r d e f e c t as a comedian, ' t i s b a r e l y t h i s , and from which few a c t o r s are exempt; namely an o c c a s i o n a l compliance w i t h the v i c i a t e d t a s t e o f too many of the audience i n i n t r o ducing the o u t r e , f o r the sake o f a laugh, where the author never intended i t . The f i r s t i s t h a t of boxing i n Abel Drugger. This c h a r a c t e r , as drawn by Johnson, i s t h a t o f a most c r e d u l o u s , t i m i d , pusilanimous wretch; the Broughtoman a t t i t u d e s i n t o which Mr. G a r r i c k throws h i m s e l f , are u t t e r l y i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the p a r t ; and consequently the weakness of those who are p l e a s e d w i t h , and applaud i t , i s o b v i o u s l y m a n i f e s t . 43 This review i s echoed by a performance  "Rusticus T h e a t r i c u s " who  on 6 February,  attended  1770:  The c h a r a c t e r o f A b e l Drugger I look upon, drawn by the c e l e b r a t e d Ben Johnson, to be t h a t c r e d u l o u s , t i m i d , pusilanimous wretch, one who, most m i s e r a b l e economy, has scrapped together a money.... 44  as of a by the little  G a r r i c k ' s d i s t o r t e d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Jonson's o r i g i n a l c r e a t i o n was to  a t t r i b u t e d by the c r i t i c  to G a r r i c k ' s attempt  accommodate h i s powers to the v i c i o u s p a l a t e of the  r a b b l e , f o r the sake of r a i s i n g the momentary r o a r o f vulgar  applause. But, G a r r i c k ' s a l t e r a t i o n s enhanced the dramatic  i v e n e s s of Jonson's p l o t and although over one were c u t , the o r i g i n a l dramatic s t r u c t u r e was  thousand  effectlines  not damaged.  Noyes c o n s i d e r e d 45  the a l t e r a t i o n  "on the whole, d r a m a t i c a l l y  more compact" and F r e d r i c k Bergmann concluded t h a t p r o d u c t i o n may " i n some ways be considered  Garrick s 1  a better playing  comedy and one much b e t t e r s u i t e d to the theatergoer i n g i t a century  and a h a l f a f t e r i t s o r i g i n a l performance."  G a r r i c k h i m s e l f p r a i s e d The A l c h e m i s t constructed  witness46  f o r i t s "admirably  p l o t " and made s p e c i a l r e f e r e n c e  to the f o u r t h  a c t which he c o n s i d e r e d "perhaps one o f the f i n e s t 47 i n the E n g l i s h Drama."  Contrivance  But i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s one must  conclude t h a t G a r r i c k d i s t o r t e d the comic framework o f Jonson's p l a y by making Drugger the c e n t r a l f i g u r e .  By o m i t t i n g  much o f the f i f t h a c t G a r r i c k l o s e s Jonson's p e r s p e c t i v e l i f e i s a game i n which moral v i r t u e s can be tempered human cunning to p r o v i d e  a golden mean.  By r e d u c i n g  g u l l s to mere shadows o f t h e i r former g r e a t n e s s ,  that  with the o t h e r  Garrick  l o s e s the v a r i e t y o f Jonson's comment on man's a v a r i c e and much o f the s a t i r e i s l o s t .  On the o t h e r hand, G a r r i c k ' s  changes s p o t l i g h t the f a r c i c a l elements i n h e r e n t i n Jonson's play—the  moments t h a t make the p l a y e n t e r t a i n i n g .  The u t t e r  s t u p i d i t y o f Drugger, h i s n a i v e t y , h i s complete f a i t h i n the Doctor as he i s being i t s best.  t r i c k e d out of everything  i s farce a t  But the i m p l i c i t c r i t i c i s m o f human nature i n  Jonson's c r e a t i o n i s overshadowed by G a r r i c k ' s stage a c t i o n s which were aimed a t e n t e r t a i n i n g , n o t educating,  the audience.  G a r r i c k proved t h a t . t h e , p i a y c o u l d be extremely.popular and h i g h l y p r o f i t a b l e and i n the process  provided  a depth to  Jonson's Drugger t h a t was  bound to r a i s e some profound  q u e s t i o n s about human nature, but h i s adaption i s i n many r e s p e c t s not Jonson's p l a y .  His Drugger, l i k e the tramp i n  C h a r l i e C h a p l i n ' s f i l m s , i s funny because he i s u n a f f e c t e d by the b u f f e t t i n g r e c e i v e d a t the hands o f a c r u e l Jonson,  world.  on the o t h e r hand, wanted to show man's f o o l i s h n e s s  i n the hopes t h a t i t would encourage selfawareness^  not  just  entertainment which i s the probable e f f e c t of G a r r i c k ' s work.  D.  WILLIAM POEL'S PRODUCTIONS, 1899-1902  From G a r r i c k s r e t i r e m e n t i n 1776 1  performance i n 1815  to Edmund Kean's  The A l c h e m i s t remained on the boards i n  an a d u l t e r a t e d form, but from 1815 p r o d u c t i o n has been found. popular among l i t e r a r y  to 18 99 no r e c o r d of  Although  any  Jonson's p l a y s remained  s c h o l a r s , they d i d not conform to 48  Victorian theatrical tastes,  so .they were not produced.  But e a r l y i n the t w e n t i e t h century there was. renewed i n t e r e s t i n Jonson,  and The A l c h e m i s t again drew s p e c i a l  attention.  The modern stage h i s t o r y o f The A l c h e m i s t began w i t h a n i n e t e e n t h century p r o d u c t i o n by the E l i z a b e t h a n Stage S o c i e t y under the d i r e c t i o n o f W i l l i a m P o e l . and i t s predecessor,  This society  The E l i z a b e t h a n Reading S o c i e t y ,  attempted  to produce the E l i z a b e t h a n d r a m a t i s t s '  plays i n t h e i r  t e x t s , hoping to o b t a i n a c l o s e r r e l a t i o n s h i p to the o r i g i n a l i n t e n t i o n s which were o f t e n obscure i n century  productions.  authors'  nineteenth  Most o f the p l a y s produced were  Shakespearean, but a wide s e l e c t i o n o f o t h e r and  original  Jacobean d r a m a t i s t s  had  Elizabethan  t h e i r p l a y s read and  performed.  These r e v i v a l s l e d to a renewed i n t e r e s t i n the p l a y s and  in  E l i z a b e t h a n methods.of p r o d u c t i o n which the.Stage S o c i e t y attempted to reproduced. The A l c h e m i s t 1899  and  was  performed on the 24 and  r e c e i v e d an i n t e r e s t i n g r e a c t i o n .  i n s t a n c e , enjoyed the p r o d u c t i o n According  to the c r i t i c  f o r The  The  but a t t a c k e d  25 February,  critics,  the  for  play.  Times:  The A l c h e m i s t i s probably the b e s t of Jonson's dramas, but the b e s t i s not very good. One or two o f the scenes are c l e v e r l y managed, and the denouncement i s i n g e n i o u s l y worked out, but the a c t i o n as a whole l a c k s v a r i e t y . The scenes seem a t times almost to repeat each o t h e r , and the i n t r i g u e develops r a t h e r s l o w l y . 49 T h i s a t t a c k on the p l a y ' s s t r u c t u r e shows a l a c k of understanding  of Jonson's technique,  f o r as Robert K n o l l has  out, redundancy i s not synonymous w i t h l a c k of v a r i e t y . says The A l c h e m i s t  pointed Knoll  " i s a s e r i e s o f redundant comic i n c i d e n t s  . .. . i n d e p e n d e n t of one  another  . . . each c o n t r i b u t i n g a 50  sjhare to a c e n t r a l st'a-ntlu'ng i n c i d e n t , "  and  convincingly  shows t h a t the apparent -lack o f v a r i e t y i s a myth, f o r Jonson d e l i b e r a t e l y used the technique o f - " d u p l i c a t i o n " to  provide  56 more o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r comparison and c o n t r a s t .  Knoll states  t h a t as "each new s i t u a t i o n i s . i n t r o d u c e d , i t s p r o t a g o n i s t 51 appears more c o r r u p t than those p r e v i o u s l y  introduced."  Although on the s u r f a c e the p l o t elements appear complex, they a r e i n r e a l i t y q u i t e s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d .  As K n o l l  says:  Jonson uses a s i n g l e technique throughour: F i r s t an i n t r o d u c t i o n , then an i n t e r v a l o f n e g l e c t , f i n a l l y the g u l l i n g . This d u p l i c a t i o n of action i s a triumph o f dramatic a r t i f i c e , b u t i t . i s not comp l i c a t e d . A simple s i t u a t i o n i s repeated f i v e times. 52 Despite  the c r i t i c i s m h i s p r o d u c t i o n  received,  Poel  showed understanding of the p l a y by u s i n g a psuedo-Elizabethan p l a t f o r m stage which allowed fluently.  the a c t i o n to flow q u i c k l y and  The comings and goings o f the c h a r a c t e r s a r e  e f f e c t i v e on the p l a t f o r m stage, as i t emphasizes the u n i t y o f p l a c e s i n c e a l l the a c t i o n takes p l a c e i n o r j u s t Lovewit's house.  outside  T h i s s e t t i n g i s an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f Jonson's  comic world, f o r the a l c h e m i s t ' s  l a i r i m p l i e s a g r e a t e r world  of which i t i s b u t a microcosm.  The comic world o f The  Alchemist  i s s e l f c o n t a i n e d and p e r f e c t — a micronism o f s o c i e t y  which i s n o t so much the r e f l e c t i o n o f the world o f o r d i n a r y experience  as one i n which the o r d i n a r y experience  in a peculiar light.  Confined  i s seen  w i t h i n the four w a l l s o f  Lovewit's house, the world undergoes a change.  That the  i m p l i c a t i o n s o f what happens i n the p l a y a r e n o t c o n f i n e d to Lovewit's house i s e v i d e n t i n Dol's comment "Haue y e t , some c a r e of me, o' your r e p u b l i q u e "  ( I . i . 110). In  57 presenting  the a c t i v i t i e s o f the c e n t r a l t r i o o f c h a r a c t e r s  as they trade on the i n h e r e n t greed  and f o l l y t h a t l u r k i n  a l l men, Jonson i s able to comment d i d a c t i c a l l y on the r e a l 53 world w h i l e o p e r a t i n g i n a world  of fantasy.  Poel was the f i r s t person to demonstrate t h e advantages o f E l i z a b e t h a n s t a g i n g , to i n s i s t t h a t i t s speed and c o n t i n u i t y were f a r more important  than c a r l o a d s o f e l a b o r a t e  which took the emphasis away from the a c t o r s . t i e s , suggestive to  scenery  Simple  proper-  costumes and good a c t i n g brought the p l a y  life:  As a p l a y i t l o s t nothing by the extreme s i m p l i c i t y w i t h which i t was mounted. . . . On a small stage, b e f o r e a background o f t a p e s t r y , the a c t o r s performed t h e i r p a r t s w h i l e a prompter, seated u n b l u s h i n g l y b e f o r e the f o o t l i g h t s . . . k n o c k e d loudly.upon the f l o o r w i t h a s t i c k on the fr equent o c c a s i o n s when some one [ s i c ] was supposed to be knocking a t the door. 54 Bernard Shaw c o r r e c t l y saw the powerful method o f p r o d u c t i o n ,  impact o f P o e l ' s  and c a l l e d i t "an a r t i s t i c r a t h e r than  l i t e r a l p r e s e n t a t i o n o f E l i z a b e t h a n c o n d i t i o n s , the r e s u l t being  . . . t h a t the p i c t u r e of the p a s t was r e a l l y a 55  p i c t u r e o f the f u t u r e . "  Few twentieths-century  productions  of E l i z a b e t h a n p l a y s have n o t been i n f l u e n c e d by. Poel' s 1  t h e o r i e s of E l i z a b e t h a n s t a g i n g , and even modern p l a y s a r e adapting  some o f the E l i z a b e t h a n The  Times' c r i t i c  d r a m a t i s t by nature  techniques.  a s s e r t e d t h a t Jonson was n o t a  and t h a t h i s p l a y s were n o t good because  58 of t h e i r s a t i r i c a l  elements, w h i l e The Atheneaurn c r i t i c  enjoyed the s a t i r i c a l  elements but lamented the l a c k o f  morality. While admirable as a s a t i r e and ^unsurpassed as a p i c t u r e of manners, i t i s , however, d e f i c i e n t i n almost e v e r y t h i n g t h a t makes a good p l a y . i t has s c a r c e l y a c h a r a c t e r t h a t i s not contemptible; i t p a i n t s a world of rogues and f o o l s without a redeeming t r a i t ; not ray of honesty s t e a l s i n t o i t s p l o t , not one touch of l o v e o r a f f e c t i o n redeems or e l e v a t e s p i e c e or c h a r a c t e r . . . . 56 T h i s c r i t i c , however thought the p r o d u c t i o n was and he p o i n t e d out t h a t Poel had dialogue,  saying  "interesting,"  taken g r e a t care w i t h  "that the e l o c u t i o n was,  the  as a r u l e , good57  b e t t e r even than i s o f t e n heard on the r e g u l a r stage." P o e l , the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f d i a l o g u e was  the most  To  important  p a r t of E l i z a b e t h a n drama and he championed, the theory  that  an a c t o r should accent o n l y the key words when d e l i v e r i n g his  speeches.  He  took g r e a t , c a r e  to o r c h e s t r a t e the v o i c e s  of h i s a c t o r s , f o r he b e l i e v e d t h a t the  "atmosphere . . . 58  E l i z a b e t h a n drama i s c r e a t e d through the v o i c e . " to  Robert Speaight,  who  was  According  taught by P o e l , the mechanics of  t h i s s t y l e were "not a labourio.us f o l l o w i n g o f iambics, a mere r h e t o r i c a l o r l y r i c a l duction-:-not  e x a c t l y how  nor  s e l f - i n d u l g e n c e , but a r e p r o -  i n the-least r e a l i s t i c — o f 59  emphasis o f n a t u r a l speech."  of  the - rhythms, and  But i t i s i m p o s s i b l e  t h i s method o f speaking  to know  a f f e c t e d the a c t i n g s i n c e  the promptbook used by Poel i s u n a v a i l a b l e and  no  recordings  of the p r o d u c t i o n e x i s t . open to c o n j e c t u r e .  What he d i d to the t e x t i s a l s o  A c c o r d i n g to Speaight, Poel remained 60  faithful  to the quarto t e x t o f .1612,  b u t although P o e l  laid  g r e a t s t r e s s on f i d e l i t y to the o r i g i n a l t e x t , he has been c r e d i t e d w i t h some o f the most n o t o r i o u s butchery perpetuated  ever  i n the g u i s e of p r e p a r i n g a p l a y f o r p r o d u c t i o n . ^  x  But h i s b e l i e f t h a t t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n s should be based on standard  stage t e x t s t h a t a r e "the j o i n t work o f s c h o l a r s 62  and a c t o r s "  has g e n e r a l l y been accepted, although he h i m s e l f 63  o f t e n n e g l e c t e d h i s own r u l e .  Yet i n s p i t e o f major cuts  r e s u l t i n g from h i s s u p p r e s s i o n o f E l i z a b e t h a n bawdy, the f i n i s h e d result.was c l o s e r to the o r i g i n a l author's  t e x t than  those used by Poel's contempory d i r e c t o r s . In summation then, the e a r l y t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y brought about a renewal of i n t e r e s t i n E l i z a b e t h a n stage c o n d i t i o n s , thanks to the r e s e a r c h e s o f such people as S i r Edmond Chambers and W.J. Lawrence.  But i t took the p r a c t i c a l a p p l i c a t i o n o f  such p r i n c i p l e s by Poel and h i s d i s c i p l e s — G r a n v i l i e - B a r k e r , M a r t i n Harvey, C r a i g and R e i n h a r t — t o make the i d e a s o f the s c h o l a r p a l a t a b l e to t h e a t r i c a l audiences. Poel's ideas were not t o t a l l y accepted, he i n s i s t e d u p o n — a f u l l  Even though  the main p r i n c i p l e s  t e x t , c o n t i n u i t y o f a c t i o n , permanent  s e t t i n g s — h a v e r e e s t a b l i s h e d the o r i g i n a l i n t i m a c y between the a c t o r and audience.  What A.C. D a r l i n g s a i d o f P o e l ' s  work w i t h Shakespeare.applies i n c l u d i n g The A l c h e m i s t :  to a l m o s t , a l l o f h i s p r o d u c t i o n s ,  60 He gave Shakespeare back to the s t a g e . I t was h i s b o l d a c t i o n , i n c u t t i n g away from Shakespeare's t e x t the monstrous i n c r u s t a t i o n s o f three c e n t u r i e s o f i n t e r p o l a t i o n , emendation and t r a d i t i o n a l stage "business" t h a t f i r s t made c r i t i c s and managers.alike r e a l i z e t h a t Shakespeare d i d n o t need a s s i s t a n c e — t h a t he was a p r a c t i c a l p l a y w r i g h t who, g i v e n a t h e a t r e something l i k e h i s own, c o u l d h o l d the stage by h i s own v i r t u o s i t y . 64 Poel's p r o d u c t i o n made the c r i t i c s aware o f the s t r u c t u r a l q u a l i t y o f The A l c h e m i s t by emphasizing p a t t e r n o f each s u b p l o t .  the r e p e t i t i v e  The use o f . t h e p l a t f o r m stage  t h i s awareness f o r i t allowed  helped  the s w i f t a c c e l e r a t i o n o f the  i n c i d e n t s t h a t i s the hallmark o f the p l a y , r e a c h i n g a climax w i t h the e x p l o s i o n i n S u b t l e ' s l a b o r a t o r y .  In A c t Four a l l  the dupes r u s h on stage and c o n f r o n t S u b t l e u n t i l  i t looks  as i f the game i s up, b u t Face i n g e n i o u s l y p a r r i e s t h e i r t h r e a t s , o n l y to be c o n f r o n t e d w i t h the r e t u r n o f Lovewit. In A c t F i v e the dupes again e n t e r on each o t h e r s h e e l s to c l a i m t h e i r goods, o n l y to be r e p e l l e d by Lovewit.  The  v a r i e t y of e x i t s and l a c k of scenery changes allows t h i s  rapid  a c t i o n t o progress q u i c k l y and f l u e n t l y , and heightens the comic e f f e c t . The  second important  aspect o f Poel's p r o d u c t i o n was 65  t h a t he used the o r i g i n a l quarto t e x t .  and thereby r e s t o r e d  Jonson's o r i g i n a l emphasis on the spoken language.. The c a r e w i t h which Poel c a s t t h e p l a y r e f l e c t e d t h e concern he had f o r the poetry of Jonson's l i n e s which u n i t e d an e x t e n s i v e knowledge.of a n c i e n t l i t e r a t u r e w i t h t h e c o l l o q u i a l o f e a r l y seventeenth.century  London c h a r l a t a n s .  erudition  As P o e l ' s .  61 programme notes.admit, "to be a thoroughly  a p p r e c i a t i v e ad-  m i r e r o f Ben Jonson, one should be a t once steeped i n the classics  and w e l l versed  i n thep l a y s and ephemeral pamphlets  66 of the Jacobean age."  E.  The  ASHLAND PRODUCTION, 1961  1961 Ashland p r o d u c t i o n ,  Elizabethan production  l i k e P o e l ' s , was a psuedo-  u t i l i z i n g the world famous outdoor  t h e a t r e which i s a r e p l i c a of the Fortune Theatre o f E l i z a bethan London..  But whereas Poel used E l i z a b e t h a n stage  prac-  t i c e s to s a t i s f y h i s p r i v a t e theory o f E l i z a b e t h a n drama, which emphasized dramatic o r g a n i z a t i o n o f v o i c e s , the Ashland production  used E l i z a b e t h a n techniques  f a r c i c a l nature o f p l a y . t r i c k s , elaborate  to emphasize the  F l u i d i t y o f motion, comic stage  stage e f f e c t s — a l l c o n t r i b u t e d t o a p r o 67  d u c t i o n p r i m a r i l y aimed a t e n t e r t a i n i n g the audience. Another aspect o f Jonson's a r t . b r o u g h t  o u t by the  Ashland p r o d u c t i o n was the superb b a l a n c i n g o f c h a r a c t e r s . Each i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r was thrown i n t o s h a r p e s t r e l i e f by comparison w i t h another.  To begin w i t h ,  maintained between the group o f c o n s p i r a t o r s and  Dol)  and t h e i r v i c t i m s .  a balance was (Subtle, Face  But w i t h i n these broad groupings 68 c h a r a c t e r s acted as f o i l s f o r each o t h e r . A t the s t a r t  S u b t l e and Face seemed to be almost i d e n t i c a l , b u t as the p l a y progressed  Face was seen t o be i n f i n i t e l y more f l e x i b l e  i n a d a p t i n g h i m s e l f to s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n s and g r a d u a l l y assumed command. a con a r t i s t .  Face was shown t o be a w i t ; S u b t l e merely  Likewise  the two dupes, Dapper and Drugger,  were s i m i l a r . i n t h e i r d e s i r e s , but whereas one was a simpleton, the other was merely a f o o l .  These two, i n t u r n , c o n t r a s t e d  with the " h e r o i c humours" o f Mammon and T r i b u l a t i o n , which were developed  in detail.  Mammon's sensual v i s i o n s were as  f a n t a s t i c as T r i b u l a t i o n s f a n a t i c a l d e l u s i o n s about P u r i t a n i s m , y e t both c h a r a c t e r s were shown t o be h y p o c r i t i c a l and h i g h l y ridiculous. These comparisons and c o n t r a s t s between c h a r a c t e r s were expanded and developed  as the p l a y progressed  r i c h , complex s e r i e s o f f o i l s were e v i d e n t . between f r i e n d s — b e t w e e n  The r e l a t i o n s h i p  Subtle and Face, S u r l y and Mammon,  Ananias and T r i b u l a t i o n — b e c a m e The  until a  a obvious  p a r t o f the s t r u c t u r e .  comparison between.the women-—Dol, the hardworking p e r t  city-who.res and Dame P l i a n t , the p l i a b l e r i c h country was  widow—  exaggerated f o r comic e f f e c t , then there was the c o n t r a s t  between Drugger, S u r l y and Lovewit, a l l o f whom a s p i r e d t o the r i c h widow.  And f i n a l l y there were S u r l y and Lovewit  who  the r i g h t to e s t a b l i s h some k i n d o f moral  both claimed  order.  I t was upon t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t the s t r u c t u r a l  balance o f m o r a l i t y stood, f o r S u r l y , the humour c h a r a c t e r ,  63 was  shown to be i n s u f f i c i e n t i n d i s p e n s i n g comic  f o r he was  e a s i l y subdued by the shrew^d knaves.  the o t h e r hand, was  Lovewit,  presented as an urbane n a t u r a l man  the world, an i d e a l f i g u r e to expose and of  justice,  judge the  on  of  follies  man. T h i s s t r u c t u r i n g of c h a r a c t e r s was  maintained  Ashland p r o d u c t i o n by the r e p e r t o r y system, where no actor  'stars,  1  a system t h a t was  i n the one  o p e r a t i n g i n Jonson's time  a l s o , and, although i n Jonson's time such f i g u r e s as Burbage and Armin dominated the stage, t h e r e i s ample evidence t h a t , when necessary, they submerged t h e i r t h e a t r i c a l t a l e n t s f o r the good of the company or p l a y . p a r t s , no one o r two dominate.  The A l c h e m i s t has ten good Therefore an o v e r a l l  balance  i s d e s i r a b l e , f o r without i t the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n becomes distorted. The Ashland p r o d u c t i o n used  the C r o f t C l a s s i c s  e d i t i o n o f The A l c h e m i s t as the b a s i s f o r t h e i r prompt book. Few  a d d i t i o n s were made, and  there were o n l y a few  t i o n s o f i n d i v i d u a l words to c l a r i f y meaning. was  extensive c u t t i n g .  substitu-  However t h e r e  Most c u t s i n v o l v e d a l c h e m i c a l and  t o p i c a l , a l l u s i o n s , although o t h e r s e l i m i n a t e d redundant exposition.  There was  no c u t t i n g on moral or r e l i g i o u s  grounds; i n f a c t , i f the newspaper reviews can be the a c t o r s emphasized the bawdy jokes and obvious  relish.  trusted,  insinuations with  64 Since a l c h e m i c a l terminology by modern audiences,  i s not e a s i l y understood  i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t some o f  rogues' l e a r n e d jargon was the c u t t i n g i n no way  c u t , although  impaired  i n this  the  production,  Jonson's s a t i r i c a l  attack  on 6'  alchemical canting.  In I I . i , f o r i n s t a n c e , out o f 104  a t o t a l of 24 l i n e s were c u t — 1 9 o f which c o n t a i n terms.  alchemical  However i n the f i r s t f i v e scenes, most of the  i n v o l v e e x c e s s i v e e x p o s i t i o n or d e s c r i p t i o n s . cut, 30 were of t h i s type.  cuts  Of 56 1/2  lines  For i n s t a n c e , Mammon's e l a b o r a t e  speech about the h e a l i n g power of the e l i x e r was  reduced to  the f i r s t three l i n e s .  S i m i l a r l y , Face's expose o f  origin  c u t to a mere two  ( I . i . 25-31) was  lines,  P  Subtle's  l i n e s , and  this,  tended to o b l i t e r a t e the r i c h wealth of d e s c r i p t i o n w i t h which Jonson c a r e f u l l y d e l i n i a t e d h i s major c h a r a c t e r s . Contempory a l l u s i o n s , an i n t e g r a l p a r t of Jonson's t o p i c a l . s a t i r e , are d i f f i c u l t and  sometimes i m p o s s i b l e  comprehend; t h e r e f o r e they o f t e n f e l l pencil.  to the d i r e c t o r ' s b l u e  I t i s understandable t h a t such r e f e r e n c e s to  "trietesirtR t e r t i o / ©,f HARRY/ the e i g h t " "The  s p i r i t s of dead HOLLAND, l i v i n g  ISAAC"  (I.ii.  Provost"  is.  o f t e n emended i n order  obscure terms, or to improve meaning. "Myrobalane"  of  109)  to  were  Dol's  ( I . i . 170-174) j u s t because a modern  audience does.not know what a "Don other hand, the t e x t was  the  ( I . i . 112-113) o r  c u t , but i t i s d i f f i c u l t to defend the omission f e a r of the e x e c u t i o n e r  to  ( I V . i i . 42) was  For  On to  the clarify  instance,  changed to "sugar plum,"  "scrupulous bones"  (Ill.ii.  78) t o "moral s c r u p l e s . "  A d d i t i o n s were even s l i g h t e r than emendations o f the text.  One l i n e was g i v e n to Drugger to emphasize the f o o l i s h  s i m p l i c i t y of the l i t t l e  tobacconist.  Subtle's e l a b o r i t e  e x p l a n a t i o n o f Drugger's name, based on h i l a r i o u s  association  of ideas t h a t connects symbols w i t h l e t t e r s , i s f a r too s u b t l e f o r the simpleminded s t o r e - k e e p e r , but the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t "There's Drugger, A b e l Drugger" promoted i s t to chime i n w i t h the l i n e  the e x c i t e d tobaccon-  "Drugger, my name, Drugger."  T h i s drew the dramatic focus back on to Drugger, so t h a t the a c t o r c o u l d e x h i b i t , through the look o f b l i s s f u l  stupidity,  t h a t Drugger i s taken hook, l i n e and s i n k e r by h i s own c o n f i d e n c e i n the rogue's ingenious f a b r i c a t i o n . other a d d i t i o n c l a r i f i e d  foolish  The o n l y  the s i t u a t i o n when S u r l y appeared  dressed as a S p a n i a r d , f o r the rogues' i n s u l t s addressed r i g h t i n f r o n t o f S u r l y c o u l d seem r i d i c u l o u s , u n l e s s the audience understood t h a t the rogues d i d not r e a l i z e  that  t h i s s o - c a l l e d Spaniard understood every word spoken. f o r e Face's warning "Peace S u b t l e "  ( I V , i i i . 22) was  by S u b t l e ' s answer, " ' T i s no matter. This c l a r i f i e d  There-  followed  He knows no E n g l i s h . "  the i r o n y of the s i t u a t i o n , f o r the audience  knows t h a t S u r l y understands every word o f what i s being spoken. In c u t t i n g the p l a y , Brubaker, the d i r e c t o r , ated 256 1/2  elimin-  l i n e s from Jonson's o r i g i n a l 3,059.- The l o n g e s t  c u t s o c c u r r e d i n A c t s Two Act F i v e .  and Three, the s m a l l e s t number i n  Brubaker's aim was  to e l i m i n a t e obscure and r e -  dundant m a t e r i a l but to remain t r u e to Jonson's essentials.  The c u t t i n g was  texts i n a l l  done s k i l f u l l y and i n no  way  i n t e r f e r e d w i t h the p l o t , i n f a c t the .'paring-;' r e s u l t e d i n a h e i g h t e n i n g o f the suspense.  The n e a r e s t the c u t t i n g came  to d i s t o r t i n g Jonson,'s o r i g i n a l aim was  the o m i s s i o n o f s i x  l i n e s i n V . i v . where. Face promises to h e l p Lovewit to secure the r i c h widow i n exchange f o r clemency.  T h i s obvious b r i b e  throws Lovewit's l a t e r a c t i o n s i n t o q u e s t i o n , compromising h i s p o s i t i o n as a f i t moral judge. Brubaker emphasizes  By o m i t t i n g Face's  Lovewit's r o l e as a judge, s e t t i n g  up as a J u s t i c e Clements  lines, him  f i g u r e without the r e s e r v a t i o n t h a t  Jonson had suggested as to Lovewit's s e l f - i n t e r e s t . the o m i s s i o n d i d not impare  However  the s u b t l e h i n t o f Jeremy's  i n f l u e n c e over Lovewit, although i t d i d tend t o whiten Lovewit's motives. Another example of tampering w i t h Jonson's a t i o n occurs i n I I . i . where l i n e s 10-14  were c u t .  characterizThese  lines  c o n t a i n r e f e r e n c e to S u r l y ' s p r e v i o u s c a r e e r as a pander,  and  by c u t t i n g them Brubaker e x p e r t l y removed the s u g g e s t i o n o f hypocrasy t h a t Jonson c l e a r l y e x p l o i t s i n . S u r l y ' s v i o l e n t r e a c t i o n to the d i s c o v e r y t h a t S u b t l e and Face are running a bawdy house.  S u r l y ' s c r e d i b i l i t y as a moral spokesman  l o s e s much of i t s v a l u e when one r e l i z e s t h a t he h i m s e l f had p r e v i o u s l y made a p r o f i t a b l e l i v i n g a t t h a t o l d and a n c i e n t profession.  67 As f a r as the a c t i n g was provided l i t t l e  concerned, the prompt book  i n f o r m a t i o n beyond e x i t s and e n t r a n c e s .  General b l o c k i n g o f scenes was s i g n i f i c a n t nature.  i n d i c a t e d but nothing o f a  However, from the newspaper reviews i t  i s obvious t h a t the a c t o r s used every t h e a t r i c a l t r i c k i n the book to emphasize the f a r c i c a l nature o f the p l a y . "took p r a t f a l l s , walked at  They  i n t o w a l l s , d i d double takes, l e e r e d  bosoms, made o f f c o l o r puns, and g e s t u r e d and postured  70 w i t h r o u g i s h abandon" Jackson as Face who,  E s p e c i a l l y e f f e c t i v e was  Nagle  a c c o r d i n g to Lenora O f f o r d , was  n e a r l y p e r f e c t as one can imagine.  "as  . . . , nobody on e a r t h  can make a bawdy p o i n t more d e f t l y than he, and h i s pantomine extends even to h i s f e e t , which s t a y i n c h a r a c t e r and make 71 t h e i r own  comment."  w e l l performed, of  However the o t h e r p a r t s were a l s o  and the o v e r a l l balance was  an  achievement  the p r o d u c t i o n . Stage s e t t i n g s were kept to a minimum and were primar-  ily  l o c a t e d w i t h i n the i n n e r stage.  smoking v i a l s ,  However hand props,  swords, even commercial  p l a n s f o r Drugger's  shop were e x p e r t l y u t i l i z e d to enhance the f a r c i c a l of  the p l a y .  P a r t i c u l a r l y e f f e c t i v e was  Subtle's laboratory  (IV.v. 55).  nature  the e x p l o s i o n i n  A c c o r d i n g to one  reviewer  " i t must.have,been dreamed up by a madman, but i t was sensational. diagrams  In clouds o f smoke and a b l a s t i n g sound,  f e l l o f f t h e . w a l l , f u r n i t u r e o v e r t u r n e d , ornaments  t e e t e r e d and swayed and a c t o r s were thrown to the stage by 72 the f o r c e of a p e r f e c t l y executed e x p l o s i o n . "  68 The p r o d u c t i o n was a s u c c e s s . and was extremely  I t pleased the c r i t i c s  popular w i t h the p u b l i c .  In f a c t i t was  the f i r s t ' p l a y i n the twenty-one year h i s t o r y . o f the Oregon Shakespearean F e s t i v a l to be completely  sold out before i t  opened.  During three performances, 3,641 p e r s o n s , p a i d to  see i t .  This demonstrates once a g a i n t h a t Jonsonian drama  i s good e n t e r t a i n i n g t h e a t r e , and d i s p r o v e s the s c h o l a r s who equate Jonson w i t h the deadning b l i g h t o f c l a s s i c a l learning.  F.  Sir  TYRONE GUTHRIE'S PRODUCTION, 1962  Tyrone G u t h r i e ' s p r o d u c t i o n a t the Old V i c (1962)  took a completely d i f f e r e n t approach than t h a t a t Ashland. G u t h r i e made e x t e n s i v e changes i n Jonson's p l a y i n a misguided attempt to r e l a t e  "the p l a y more c l o s e l y to . . . everyday  e x p e r i e n c e , so t h a t i t can be more e a s i l y taken as a s l i c e 73 of  life  than a s l i c e o f l i t e r a t u r e . " .  of  v e r s e , s u b s t i t u t e d modern idioms f o r obscure  a t t i r e d h i s c h a r a c t e r s i n modern dress  He.cut a g r e a t amOunt phrases, and  (which i n c l u d e d every-  t h i n g from Edwardian d i n n e r j a c k e t s to mod l e a t h e r j a c k e t s ) . 74 As Bamber Gascomgne p o i n t e d out ing  such changes, w h i l e  retain-  the s t r u c t u r e o f Jonson's drama, played merry havoc w i t h  the d e t a i l s .  In making the p l a y more " r e a l i s t i c "  Guthrie  69  l o s t the r e a l i s m t h a t Jonson h i m s e l f had b u i l t i n . G u t h r i e ' s p r o d u c t i o n was a t h e a t r i c a l success,  Although  i t s popular-  i t y depended n o t so much on Jonson's drama b u t on G u t h r i e ' s r e s o u r c e f u l comic d i r e c t i o n . The  scene was s e t i n G l o u s t e r Road, which was i n a  s t a t e o f r e p a i r a t the time, and Lovewit's house c o u l d be approached o n l y by walking  a c r o s s a plank t h a t spanned a h o l e  i n f r o n t o f the main doorway.  Each c h a r a c t e r was i n t r o d u c e d  by the manner i n which he walked the plank, not stop t h e r e .  and G u t h r i e d i d  Dominating the s e t was a c u r v i n g s e t o f  s t a i r s with a b a n i s t e r , which was e f f e c t u a l l y used by Dol when she made her f i r s t entrance. accented and  Frequent changes o f costume  the v a r i o u s d i s g u i s e s assumed by the c h a r a c t e r s ,  Guthrie's  i n s e r t i o n o f modern jokes f r e q u e n t l y brought,  the house down.  But such.treatment d i d n o t do j u s t i c e t o  Jonson's p l a y , f o r i t wrenched the p l a y from i t s seventeenth century  s e t t i n g , without  i n c r e a s i n g the s o - c a l l e d  'reality'  t h a t G u t h r i e thought was l a c k i n g . Many o f G u t h r i e ' s c u t s a f f e c t e d the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n for  m o s t o f the c o a r s e r d e t a i l s about c h a r a c t e r s were ;  eliminated.  completely  For i n s t a n c e , the negative q u a l i t i e s o f S u r l y ' s  75 character  ( I I . i . 8-23),  ( I I . i . 43-44) were c u t .  changes speeded up the dramatic  These  a c t i o n a t the expense o f  d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i v e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n which i s f u l l of obscure a l l u s i o n s , b u t i t u n f o r t u n a t e l y a l s o e l i m i n a t e d Jonson's c a r e f u l l y p l a c e d e x p o s i t i o n t h a t a l e r t s the audience  70 to  S u r l y ' s shady p a s t , and prepares us f o r h i s h y p o c r i t i c a l  r e a c t i o n to the a c t i v i t i e s o f Face and S u b t l e . i n s i s t a n c e t h a t he i s l o a t h to be g u l l e d a l s o c u t , and much o f h i s mimicking (II.iii.  Surly's  (II.iii.  263) was  o f a l c h e m i c a l language  282-288), aimed a t demonstrating  to h i s g u l l i b l e  f r i e n d the danger of being taken i n by h i g h sounding  phrases,  was a l s o e l i m i n a t e d . In  G u t h r i e ' s a d a p t i o n , S u r l y ' s d i s g u i s e took a  d i f f e r e n t form.  Jonson had h i s c y n i c dressed up a s :  A noble Count, a Don o f Spaine . . . Who i s come hether, p r i u a t e , f o r h i s c o n s c i e n c e , And brought munition w i t h him, s i x g r e a t s l o p p s , Bigger than three Dutch hoighs, b e s i d e s round trunkes, F u r n i s h ' d w i t h p i s t o l e t s and p i e c e s o f e i g h t . I I I . i i i . 10-15 This G u t h r i e completely changed.  In 1962, S u r l y d i s g u i s e d  h i m s e l f as "a m i l l i o n a r e from South America  . . . coming i n  s t r i c k p r i v a t e f o r h i s c o n s c i e n c e , b r i n g i n g munitions, t r a v e l l e r s checks and i s h e i r to the l a r g e s t g o l d mine i n Peru"  (p. 5 4 ) .  These changes a r e i n s i g n i f i c a n t as f a r as  p l o t i s concerned,  b u t Jonson's s a t i r e d i r e c t e d a t the 76  a f f e c t a t i o n of manners and d r e s s ,  (which i n t h i s case i s  p a r t i c u l a r l y aimed a t the S t u a r t a f f e c t a t i o n o f Spanish manners) i s completely negated.  However S u r l y ' s supposed  South American h e r i t a g e accounts f o r h i s i n a b i l i t y to understand E n g l i s h (p. 76), and allows the c o n s p i r a t o r s t o have fun  a t h i s expense.  Face i n t r o d u c e s the d i s g u i s e d S u r l y  71 as "South American Joe," which prompts S u b t l e t o say "You mean speedy Gonzales"  (p. 76).  L a t e r Face i n s u l t s S u r l y by  c a l l i n g him an "American f i e n d " (p. 93) i n s t e a d o f "a proud Spanish  f i e n d " ( I V . v i i . 57) which removes Jonson's s a t i r e on 77  Spanish manners. monologue ( I I . i i i .  Due to t h i s change i n d i s g u i s e , S u r l y ' s 299-312) i n which he t e l l s the audience  of h i s p l a n t o t r a p the c o n s p i r i t o r s by donning the Spanish disguise, i s cut. The down.  c o a r s e r aspects o f F a c e ' s . c h a r a c t e r  In prompting Dol's  d i r e c t i o n — " T o him,  s e d u c t i o n o f Mammon, Face's opening  D o l , s u c k l e him."  l e a v i n g the more p o l i t e  a r e toned  (IV.i. 3 2 ) — i s  cut,  "This i s the noble k n i g h t / I t o l d  your l a d y s h i p " (p. 68).  T h i s change e l i m i n a t e s the bawdy  aspect o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Dol and Mammon as e n v i s i o n e d by Face, a r e v i s i o n s u b s t a n t i a t e d by the of a l l Face's a s i d e s . d u r i n g the i n i t i a l wooing  ( I V . i . 38-64).  r e v e a l Face's coarse nature  on the a c t i o n s presented.  i n t o proper  London  (II.iii.  perspective,  and to. form a comic commentary  In l i n e w i t h t h i s change, S u r l y ' s  e a r l i e r d e s c r i p t i o n of Face's.reputation in  stages o f Mammon's  These a s i d e s were meant by Jonson t o  b r i n g Mammon's romantic hyperbole to  omission  as the l e a d i n g bawd  310-311) had been omitted, d e p r i v i n g us 78  o f a v i v i d p i c t u r e o f Face's more l u r i d p u r s u i t s . character i s also a l t e r e d .  Subtle's  Having been outmanoevered by  Face, S u b t l e i s f o r c e d to r e l i n q u i s h h i s i n t e r e s t i n Dame P l i a n t , which he had maintained  i n s p i t e o f an o f f e r  from  72 Face to buy h i s i n t e r e s t f o r 500 pounds (p. 76). the widow a whore Subtle he  I n making  r e v e a l s h i s v i n d i c t i v e nature  since  sees such an a c t i o n as a means o f d e p r i v i n g Face o f the  opportunity  o f enjoying  the widow. ( I V . i i i .  101-104).  Guthrie  cuts t h i s m a t e r i a l , l e a v i n g the impression  that  Subtle,  l i k e Face, i s s a c r i f i c i n g h i s i n t e r e s t , i n D o l Common  f o r the good o f the c o n f e d e r a c y . Guthrie  a l s o c u t s passages i n which Subtle  employs  h i s knowledge o f chiromancy; f o r example, the f o r e c a s t  that  Dame P l i a n t ' s s u i t o r w i l l be a Spanish s o l d i e r o f f o r t u n e ( I V . i i . 44-47) and the d e s c r i p t i o n o f S u b t l e ' s r o l e i n the p l a y  metaphorical  ( I V . i . 85-95) i s a l s o r u t h l e s s l y  eliminated.  This l a s t c u t , i n which Subtle is: "a d i v i n e i n s t r u c t o r " capable of e x t r a c t i n g  "the  c o n t e x t , because Subtle  soul of things" i s i r o n i c i n  i s anything b u t " d i v i n e " and h i s aim  "to teach d u l l nature / What her owne f o r c e s a r e " i s a comic v i o l a t i o n o f the laws of decorum by which Jonson o p e r a t e s . In c u t t i n g such passages G u t h r i e  l o s e s important i n s i g h t s  about the r o l e s of Jonson's c h a r a c t e r s ,  weakens the thematic  s t r u c t u r e o f the p l a y and reduces Jonson's work t o the l e v e l of farce. Small b u t v i t a l changes i n c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n r e s u l t from G u t h r i e ' s  attempts a t m o d e r n i z a t i o n .  For instance,  i n s t e a d o f coming to London "To l e a r n the f a s h i o n " 38), Dame P l i a n t comes "to see the shops"  (II.vi.  (p. 4 4 ) w i t h her ;  brother>/ i n s t e a d o f being "a gentleman, newly warme i n h i s  land"  ( I I . v i . 57) i s . " h e i r to a f o r t u n e i n wool i n B r a d f o r d , "  making n o t " t h r e e , " b u t "ten" thousand pounds a y e a r . " The f a c t t h a t K a s t r i l has come up t o London. "To l e a r n t o g u a r e l and  l i v e by h i s w i t s " ( I I . v i . 61) i s completely  irrevelent  79 as f a r as G u t h r i e was concerned, Instead o f being."the a n g r i e boy, would q u a r r e l l  (III.iii.  and the l i n e i s o m i t t e d . the h e i r e , / That  faine  82-83), K a s t r e l i s "the p o u l t r y  c o u s i n , up f o r t h e s i g h t s o f London" (p. 56) who would to  own and know how to use a ' f l i c k k n i f e . '  d u e l i n g terms ( I I I . i i i .  like  The s a t i r e o f  17-99) i s omitted, as i s Face's;  s k i l f u l e n t i c i n g of K a s t r i l ' s a v a r i c i o u s nature.  Instead,  G u t h r i e i n s e r t s the f o l l o w i n g p r o s a i c d i a l o g u e : Kastril: Face:. Kastril: >\L".. Face:  To teach a f e l l o w how t o . . . . Yes. S i r , what? • W e l l , f o r one t h i n g , I'd l i k e ' t o have a f l i c k " knife. Quite r i g h t . No gentleman i n town b u t has h i s f l i c k knife. K a s t r i l : But w i l l the d o c t o r teach me how to use i t ? Face: He w i l l do more, S i r . H e ' l l s t i c k i t . . . . Why Nab here known him. (p. 57) The most s e r i o u s c u t however i s Mammon's e x q u i s i t e  speech d e s c r i b i n g the c u l l i n a r y d e l i g h t s he would t a s t e i f he was  i n command o f the p h i l o s o p h e r ' s stone  ( I V . i . 158-169).  T h i s gem o f v e r s e has been s i n g l e d out.time  and time  again  80 by modern c r i t i c s genius. of  as the b e s t example o f Jonson's p o e t i c  Yet Guthrie cuts i t .  In doing so he robs the p l a y  i t s f i n e s t p o e t r y and reduces Mammon's f l i g h t s o f imagin-  a t i o n to an almost p e d e s t r i a n l e v e l .  74 A l s o omitted  i s Mammon's defence o f Face a g a i n s t  S u b t l e ' s charge t h a t Face was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r l u r i n g Mammon i n t o wickedness  (IV.v. 42-51).  T h i s c u t has two e f f e c t s .  begin w i t h we l o s e the dramatic  To  i r o n y o f the s i t u a t i o n ,  because the audience knows t h a t Face d e l i b e r a t e l y played upon Mammon's sexual a s p i r a t i o n s by s e t t i n g up the meeting between Mammon and D o l .  More important  however i s the l o s s o f Mammon's  r e s p e c t a b i l i t y , f o r i n defending base n a t u r e .  Face he exposes h i s own  T h i s a s p e c t o f h i s c h a r a c t e r prepares the  audience f o r Mammon's f i n a l r e s o l v e i n A c t F i v e to "goe mount a t u r n e p - c a r t and preach" really  (V.v. 81), f o r t h i s i s where he  belongs. The comic e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f the P u r i t a n s i s a l s o b l u n t e d  by G u t h r i e ' s tampering w i t h the t e x t .  When S u b t l e and Ananias  have t h e i r sharp exchange about Christmas G u t h r i e adds a f u r t h e r two l i n e s . to apease S u b t l e says, Ithee, s p i r i t o f z e a l .  s i r . I do command  . . . " t o which Ananias answers, "But Pray you s i r , go on."  (p. 49)  nothing except making T r i b u l a t i o n a more  authoritive figure. 103  43-45)  T r i b u l a t i o n , who i s t r y i n g  "Do not mind him,  t r o u b l e to peace w i t h i n him. This accomplishes  (Ill.ii.  Guthrie cuts a l l o f I l l . i i .  48-83, 86-  l o s i n g Jonson's b i t i n g s a t i r e d i r e c t e d a t P u r i t a n s  i m p l i c i t i n Ananias'  h i l a r i o u s outburst against b e l l s .  i s l i k e l y Guthrie considered remains a necessary  such s a t i r e a r c h a i c , b u t i t  element i n the t o t a l p i c t u r e Jonson  p r e s e n t s o f the A n a b a p t i s t s .  It  75 Guthrie  seems to omit much o f Jonson's comedy.  For i n s t a n c e , a l l Face's a s i d e s d u r i n g  the scene i n which he  t r i e s to convince t h a t Dapper's c r i e s a r e b u t the c r i e s o f s p i r i t s are c u t and t h i s reduces the scene to a f u t i l e by Face t o deceive  h i s master.  c l a r k within that I forgot" ;  attempt  The a n x i e t y o f Face's "Our  (V.iii.  63), h i s r e a l i z a t i o n  t h a t Dapper's gag " i s melted / and he s e t s o u t the t h r o t e " (V.iii. —"  66-67), h i s completion o f Dapper's "I am almost  w i t h "Would you were a l t o g e t h e r "  lost.  (V.iii.  stiffled  67-68)—all i s  These cuts f r e q u e n t l y i n t e r f e r e w i t h Jonson's r i c h  dramatic i r o n y .  S u b t l e ' s - address t o Mammon  i s an e x c e l l e n t example.  Guthrie  c u t s l i n e s 5-8, 12, 14-18,  e l i m i n a t i n g s e v e r a l important p o i n t s . questioning  ( I I . i i i . 5-23)  F i r s t , Subtle's  ironic  o f Mammon's "importune and c a r n a l l a p p e t i t e " i s  a s u b t l e means o f forshadowing the t r i c k w i t h which the conspirators  t r a p the sensual  knight.  Second,  Subtle's  pretence t h a t h i s work has c o s t long hours and taken a great, deal o f patience  i s f u l l o f dramatic i r o n y , s i n c e the audience  know the whole scheme i s a figment o f S u b t l e ' s Third, Subtle's  imagination.  p l e a t o heaven t o bear witness t o h i s  "publique",motives r e c a l l s the r e l i g i o u s u n d e r c u r r e n t i n the p l a y when one r e a l i z e d  t h a t what S u b t l e i s s a y i n g i s a down-  right l i e . Another dramatic i r o n y occurs when Mammon and S u r l y approach Lovewit, whom Face has managed to convince t h a t the house i s haunted and the neighbors mad.  Face says i n an  76 a s i d e "Nothing's  more wretched, then a g u i l t i e c o n s c i e n c e "  ( V . i i . 47). Now t h i s i s commically  ironic.  I t i s not a  g u i l t y . c o n s c i e n c e t h a t makes Face uneasy b u t a f e a r o f being exposed and punished.  However G u t h r i e c u t s t h i s l i n e .  a l s o c u t s S u r l y " s e x c l a m a t i o n - - " T h i s " s a new Face?" thereby l o s i n g one o f the r i c h e s t dramatic for  S u r l y i s unable  He  ( V . i i i . 21)  i r o n i e s i n the p l a y ,  t o r e l a t e the c l e a n shaven Jeremy w i t h  the c a p t a i n bawd whom he i s seeking, even though he senses a r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h i s knave and h i s q u a r r y . Some o f G u t h r i e ' s c u t s are completely  inconsistent.  Although he cuts much of the a l c h e m i c a l jargon, the argument between S u r l y and S u b t l e , i n which they debate the m e r i t s o f h a t c h i n g eggs i n a furnace practically intact. are too obscure paragraph is  (II.iii.  126-170), i s kept  The i n t r i c a t e elements of t h i s argument  t o be f o l l o w e d c l o s e l y y e t the f i n a l  (II.iii.  171-176), i n which J o n s o n ' s . c o n c l u s i o n  presented, i s completely o m i t t e d .  The passage i s worth  q u o t i n g because i t e p i t o m i s e s Jonson's dramatic Art Out Yea, And And  verse  image:  can beget bees, h o r n e t s , b e e t l e s , waspes, o f the c a r c a s s e s , and dung of c r e a t u r e s ; s c o r p i o n s , o f an herbe,. being r i t e l y p l a c ' d . these a r e l i v i n g c r e a t u r e s , f a r more p e r f e c t , e x c e l l e n t , then m e t t a b l e s . I I . i i i . 171-176  Here Jonson makes an important p o i n t :  A r t can c r e a t e l i v i n g  animals o u t o f decaying n a t u r a l substance, o r expressed  another  way, a r t can c r e a t e something more p e r f e c t i n i t s own way than nature i t s e l f .  Yet the c r e a t u r e s S u b t l e names are  i n s e c t s t h a t t h r i v e on decay, j u s t as Subtle  and h i s con-  f e d e r a t e s . t h r i v e , through t h e i r a r t , on the decay and c o r r u p t i o n they f i n d i n s o c i e t y .  Omission o f such passages degrades 81  Jonson's r i c h m e t a p h o r i c a l Guthrie served  patterns.  o f t e n i n s e r t e d s h o r t i n t e r j e c t i o n s which  s e v e r a l purposes.  They r e v e a l t h a t there was an i n t e r -  a c t i o n between the c h a r a c t e r s , n o t always e v i d e n t when one read  a s e t speech.  character.  More i m p o r t a n t l y ,  they r e v e a l f a c t s of  When Drugger i n t e r r u p t s Face w i t h the simple  word o f agreement "yes"  (p. 60), we r e a l i z e he i s completely  under the i n f l u e n c e o f Face's r h e t o r i c ^ a b l e t o be swayed a t the s l i g h t e s t word o f the master t r i c k s t e r .  Or when Face  o f f e r s t o g i v e compensation i f Subtle  him t o pursue  Dame P l i a n t unhindered, Subtle  allows  i s quick  to ask "How much,"  to which Face r e p l i e s "500 pounds" (p. 7 6 ) . T h i s g i v e s conc r e t e terms t o S u b t l e ' s  i n t e r e s t i n Dame P l i a n t , f o r we know  what he i s r e j e c t i n g i n the o n l y terms t h a t mean to him—money.  anything  I n t e r j e c t i o n s a r e a l s o used f o r comic emphasis,  Wk§R S u r l y a r r i v e s , d i s g u i s e d as a m i l l i o n a i r e , Face announces t h i s a r r i v a l w i t h the l i n e  "The dago i s come."  the derogatory a p p e l a t i o n , G u t h r i e  has Subtle  To emphasize  ask "What?",,  f o r c i n g Face to r e p l y "The dago." (p. 74),.and then  Guthrie  goes on t o e x p l a i n the d r a m a t i c a l l y obvious p o i n t t h a t the v i s i t must be kept s e c r e t , by having F a c e . e x p l a i n is  "At the back.  74) .  that Surly  No one must know t h a t he's come here" (p.  78 When Ananias explodes  i n t o a rage a t the c o s t o f  S u b t l e ' s experiments, saying other a l c h e m i s t s have produced !the p h i l o s o p h e r s stone from a mere egg, S u b t l e repeats "an egg" of  ( I l . i v . 70, p. 42) as i f q u e s t i o n i n g the a u t h e n t i c i t y  Ananias'  story.  Yet when one r e c a l l s t h a t i n the p r e v i o u s  scene S u b t l e had l e c t u r e d S u r l y on how the Egyptians eggs i n a f u r n a c e , the repeated The  technique  o f repeated  l i n e becomes v e r y  hatched  ironic.  l i n e s n e a r l y always b r i n g s a laugh.  Another example occurs when Subtle asks Ananias "What's your name?"  G u t h r i e has Ananias r e p e a t  "My name?" f o r c i n g  S u b t l e to r e p l y "Yes" and then Ananias f i n a l l y answers "My name i s Ananias" 1  (p. 4 2 ) .  G u t h r i e ' s use o f s h o r t i n t e r j e c t i o n s i s v e r y  effective,  feut i t o f t e n r e s u l t s i n changes o f c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . When Dapper i n t e r r u p t s Face's e x p l a n a t i o n o f the lawyer's d e s i r e s , he a c q u i r e s a forwardness not e v i d e n t i n Jonson's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , thereby h i g h l i g h t i n g h i s greed r a t h e r than h i s gullibility.  Yet Dapper's r e p e t i t i o n o f the l i n e  "Sir, I ' l l  not be u n g r a t e f u l " ( I . i i . 114) r e i n f o r c e s h i s humble g u l l i b i l ity,  as does h i s i n t e r j e c t i o n "very s o r r y " (p. 14) l a t e r i n  the same scene.  S i m i l a r l y S u r l y ' s c y n i c i s m i s made more  e v i d e n t when he i n t e r r u p t s S u b t l e ' s assurance  to Mammon:  Sub:  Well,son A l l t h a t I can convince him i n , i s t h i s — S u r l y : Mml (Sub) The WORK IS DONE, b r i g h t s o l i s . i n h i s robe S u r l y : Hal (Sub) We have the medicine o f the t r i p l e s o u l , The g l o r i f i e d s p i r i t S u r l y : Prayer t ( I I . i i i . 113-117), p. 2 8 ] R  5 e z  79 Some a d d i t i o n s r e s u l t i n c l a r i f i c a t i o n o f the situation.  When Dol breaks out i n t o her f r e n z i e d  dramatic  quoting  from the r e l i g i o u s w r i t e r s , Jonson has Mammon e x c l a i m i n d e s p a i r "What s h a l l  I do?"  (IV.v. 12).  G u t h r i e adds the  words "She's i n her f i t " ' ' ( p . 84), which t e l l s the why  audience  Dol i s scheming i n case they have not r e a l i z e d i t them-  selves .  G u t h r i e then proceeds to c u t most o f Dol's  which would be meaningless to a modern audience. when Face r e t u r n s without having met c a u s t i v e c h e a t e r / never came on" i s not c l e a r who  Similarly,  S u r l y , he says  (III.iii.  2-3).  Face i s r e f e r r i n g t o , G u t h r i e  babblings,  "Yond' Since i t .  inserts 83  "Surly" a f t e r  "cheater," which c l a r i f i e s the r e f e r e n c e .  Some changes strengthen the r e l e v a n c e o f the p l a y . When Dol announces the r e t u r n of Lovewit, Face w i t h the charge "You t h e r e dyed one 116).  S u b t l e turns on  s a i d he would not come, / W h i l e  a weeke,.within the l i b e r t i e s "  T h i s G u t h r i e changes to "You  (IV,vii.  115-  s a i d he would not come, /.  While there d i e d 10 a week of the f l u " (p. 96). T h i s emendation serves s e v e r a l purposes.  I t increases  the number of deaths to a more s i g n i f i c a n t f i g u r e and tifies lines. "of  iden-  the cause of them, which i s o n l y i m p l i e d i n Jonson's Added to t h a t , by changing  " w i t h i n the l i b e r t i e s "  to  the f l u " G u t h r i e e l i m i n a t e s an E l i z a b e t h a n r e f e r e n c e to  a p l a c e which would hold no s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r modern  audiences  and modernizes the r e f e r e n c e by making the cause o f . t h e deaths a t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y  illness.  80 The d i s c u s s i o n between Dapper and Face  concerning  what c o i n s are to be p a i d to the s e r v a n t s o f the f a i r y queen ( I l l . i v . 141-148) i s c u t , s i n c e i t mentions c u r r e n c y f a m i l i a r to t w e n t i e t h century audiences.  un-  In-.its p l a c e ,  G u t h r i e i n s e r t s the f o l l o w i n g : Dapper: Face: Dapper: Face:  S h a l l I see her grace See her and k i s s her t o o . Have you got 20 pounds f o r her graces' s e r v a n t s . Here (Music) ' T i s the (fancy) o f f a i r y (p.  the  61)  In t h i s case, t h e . l i n e s i n s e r t e d p r o v i d e the same b a s i c m a t e r i a l as Jonson's, without be obscure  the S t u a r t d e t a i l s t h a t would  to modern audiences.  S i m i l a r l y , instead of  f o l l o w i n g the S t u a r t p r a c t i c e o f drawing l o t s to see w i l l have Dame P l i a n t , S u b t l e and Face "toss f o r her"  who (p.  72) . Instead of being seduced i v . 41)  "behind  the hanging"  Dame P l i a n t w i l l be k i s s e d and r u f f l e d  bed c l o t h e s " and w i l l have "three l a d i e s maids, and a footman" and  Face "a Spanish  "beneath the (a) b u t l e r  s i x c a r s a t her s e r v i c e (p. 81).  of "Hieronimo's c l o a k e , and hat" fancy d r e s s "  were made i n an attempt.to  (IV.  Instead  ( V . i v . 68), Drugger b r i n g s  (p. 109) .  These emendations  make the p l a y  comprehensible  to t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y audiences  and  s u c c e s s f u l , but t h e . q u e s t i o n i s "Was  i n many ways they were i t necessary?"  Maybe  a " f l u epidemic" would h o l d more meaning to a p o l l u t i o n  81 c o n s c i o u s Londoner i n 1962 threatened by S u b t l e s 1  comical  than the "plague,"  "brimming chamber p o t " : i s much more  than h i s being threatened  changes r e q u i r e d ?  and Face being  by a " v i a l , " but are such  It i s doubtful.  To summarize, Guthrie's a l t e r a t i o n s have s e v e r a l e f f e c t s on c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . To begin w i t h , the  occupations  and d e s i r e s o f the g u l l s are made more r e l e v a n t to the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , S u r l y f o r i n s t a n c e , . d i s g u i s e s h i m s e l f as a Peruvian m i l l i o n a i r e i n s t e a d o f a S p a n i a r d .  T h i s makes  him much b e t t e r b a i t f o r the money hunting c o n s p i r a t o r s . K a s t r i l becomes an h e i r to a f o r t u n e i n w o o l . i n s t e a d and no longer has  the urge to l e a r n to q u a r r e l . The  of land central  c o n s p i r i t o r s become t r i c k s t e r s r a t h e r than immoral manipulators.  T h e i r u p b r i n g i n g i n the stews o f London i s minimized,  as are t h e i r more bawdy p u r s u i t s .  F i n a l l y the c h a r a c t e r s  become more s t a t i c comic types because G u t h r i e has e l i m i n a t e d many of the d e t a i l s necessary  to a p p r e c i a t e the human  q u a l i t i e s of Jonson's c h a r a c t e r s . In c o n c l u s i o n , one must e v a l u a t e the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of  Guthrie's production.  Undoubtedly i t was  t h e a t r i c a l l y because the audiences p r a i s e d i t , but i n many ways i t was was  b e i n g p r e s e n t e d — i t was  play.  The  enjoyed  a  success  i t and  critics  not Jonson's p l a y t h a t  G u t h r i e ' s a d a p t i o n of Jonson's  same charge c o u l d be l a i d a t G a r r i c k ' s door,  but whereas G a r r i c k ' s v e r s i o n brought new  i n s i g h t s to bear  on the c h a r a c t e r of Drugger, G u t h r i e ' s a d a p t i o n had  no  such  82 redeeming  virtue.  In h i s misguided attempts  to r e l a t e "the 84  p l a y more c l o s e l y to our everyday e x p e r i e n c e "  Guthrie  d i s t u r b s Jonson's-metaphorical f a b r i c and b l u n t s Jonson's satire.  He changes the c h a r a c t e r s so t h a t they become  pawns i n the comic a c t i o n .  By i n t r o d u c i n g t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y  idioms he l o s e s the p e c u l i a r f l a v o u r o f seventeenth.century London t h a t Jonson has so c a r e f u l l y p r e s e n t e d , w i t h o u t enhancing  the u n i v e r s a l i t y o f Jonson's  themes.  The midas  touch.that Mammon seeks i s as e v i d e n t t o the audience o f Jonson's  p l a y as i t i s to those viewing G u t h r i e ' s a d a p t a t i o n —  f o r the u n i v e r s a l i t y i s n o t "dated" by the p l a y ' s seventeenth century  setting. G u t h r i e ' s a s s e r t i o n t h a t a modern audience would be  unable to a p p r e c i a t e Jonson's of Jacobean  t e x t because  they l a c k knowledge  s l a n g i s r i d i c u l o u s , although one would not  q u a r r e l w i t h the f a c t t h a t some o f the t e c h n i c a l unnecessary.  jargon.is  A l s o a case can be made f o r changing a few  words when the meaning i s obscure, i f the p o e t r y would not s u f f e r from the change, b u t G u t h r i e ' s a d a p t i o n goes f a r beyond t h i s , b r i n g i n g the p l a y down t o the l e v e l o f f a r c e , r a t h e r than making i t "the most m a s t e r f u l s a t i r e on b l i n d 85 c r e d u l t y ever w r i t t e n by an E n g l i s h p l a y w r i g h t . "  CHAPTER THREE A SUMMARY OF CRITICAL INSIGHTS PROVIDED BY AN OF THE  EXAMINATION  STAGE HISTORY OF THE ALCHEMIST  Having given.a r e c o r d o f stage p r o d u c t i o n s o f  The  A l c h e m i s t and commented on the e f f e c t of the most important ones on our a p p r e c i a t i o n , i t i s now  time to e v a l u a t e what  such r e s e a r c h c o n t r i b u t e s to understanding Jonson's a r t . The most important f a c t to emerge i s t h a t when The A l c h e m i s t has been performed  i t has f r e q u e n t l y been a s u c c e s s .  r e a s o n s . f o r i t s p o p u l a r i t y are not hard to f i n d .  The  I t has a  p l o t which,  although simply c o n s t r u c t e d , i s so c a r e f u l l y  manipulated  that i t s surface s i m p l i c i t y quickly radiates  i n t o an i n t r i c a t e p a t t e r n o f b a l a n c i n g and components.  contrasting  I t s c h a r a c t e r s are d i s t i n c t i v e f o r they are  based on the human c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s of greed and and although they have s i m i l a r motives  gullibility  they d i f f e r i n so many  d e t a i l s t h a t they emerge as unique i n d i v i d u a l s .  The theme  i s man's s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e d e s i r e to make money, but i t i s pursued w i t h such comic r e l i s h t h a t i t never tends.to become moralistic.  So the t o t a l dramatic e f f e c t i v e n e s s of  comedy l i e s i n i t s . d e l i c a t e balance.between  p l o t and  c h a r a c t e r , i t s moral and entertainment v a l u e s .  Jonson's  84 Jonson balances h i s c h a r a c t e r s w e l l .  No one f i g u r e  dominates the a c t i o n but each p l a y s a unique and important function.  The p l o t r e v o l v e s around the c o n s p i r a t o r s .  Subtle,  the t i t u l a r hero i s a master swindler who can change h i s s t y l e t o f i t any s i t u a t i o n . manipulates partite."  Face,  the e n t e r p r i s i n g  servant,  the g u l l s and i n d i r e c t l y leads "the v e n t e r D o l i s the mediating  tri-  f o r c e h o l d i n g the c o n s p i r a t o r s  t o g e t h e r but a l s o p l a y i n g a major r o l e i n d e c e i v i n g the  gulls.  These t h r e e c h a r a c t e r s dominate the a c t i o n but there would be no a c t i o n without the g u l l s . Dapper, the lawyer's  Each g u l l i s f i n e l y  etched.  c l e r k , who wants "a f a m i l i a r / T o r i f l e  w i t h , a t horses, and winne cups"  ( I . i . 192-193) i s a p e r f e c t  c o n t r a s t f o r Drugger, the simple t o b a c c o n i s t , who wants nothing more than t o be s u c c e s s f u l a t b u s i n e s s . q u e s t i o n as to how>Garrick transformed  The p u z z l i n g  Drugger's minor p a r t  i n t o a major comic r o l e i s not d i f f i c u l t . t o understand  when  one has read the reviews o f G a r r i c k ' s performance o r those of C e c i l Hardwicke and A l e c Guinnes. i s a d e l i c a t e mixture.of man,-  t h a t handled  F o r the puny  tobacconist  the comic and p a t h e t i c element i n  c o r r e c t l y touches  the human s p i r i t .  Then there i s Mammon, perhaps the g r e a t e s t f o o l i n Jacobean comedy. understands  As Thayer puts i t , Mammon "knows a l l and  nothing."  x  His sensual dreams o f golden  and ero.tic d e l i g h t are expressed the r a p t u r e s o f Volpone to C e l i a .  wealth  i n p o e t r y e q u a l l e d o n l y by When r e a d i n g The A l c h e m i s t ,  85 one  i s deeply impressed  by Mammon's presence.  Many c r i t i c s  2  are d a z z l e d by the b r i l l i a n c e o f S i r E p i c u r e Mammon, f o r i n s t a n c e , . J o h n Palmer says:  "No s i n g l e episode i n our comic  l i t e r a t u r e , o u t s i d e the p l a y s of Shakespeare, o u t s h i n e s t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n and d i s c o m f i t u r e o f S i r E p i c u r e Mammon.  That 3  huge g l i s t e n i n g f i g u r e o f greed i s u n f o r g e t a b l e . . . . " But the i m p r e s s i o n Mammon makes on the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s i s not borne o u t i n stage p r o d u c t i o n s .  John Lowin was p r a i s e d  f o r h i s a c t i n g o f the r o l e b e f o r e the Commonwealth, b u t d u r i n g the R e s t o r a t i o n and e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y the p a r t r e c e i v e s scant mention.  However i n the t w e n t i e t h century a  few a c t o r s have been a b l e t o convey the b r i l l i a n c e o f Jonson's c h a r a c t e r ^ Bruce Winston was p r a i s e d f o r h i s p o r t r a y a l i n 1935,  p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r h i s a b i l i t y to the p r o j e c t the p o e t r y  of Jonson's v e r s e over the c o l l o q u i a l d i a l o g u e o f the cons p i r a t o r s and Robert C a r t l a n d "puffed o u t w i t h 4 v e l v e t and c u t t i n g an absurd caper" 1952  B r i s t o l Old V i c p r o d u c t i o n ^  plum-coloured  was i m p r e s s i v e i n the  b u t Mammon's r o l e i s n o t  often t h e a t r i c a l l y dazzling. Balanced Surly.  a g a i n s t Mammon i s h i s companion, t h e s c e p t i c  He serves as a b r i l l i a n t f o i l  comments p r o v i d e a dramatic the p h i l o s o p h e r ' s stone.  to Mammon^and h i s c y n i c a l  c o n t r a s t t o Mammon's p r a i s e o f  S u r l y r e v e a l s a l l he d i s c o v e r s  about the t r i c k s t e r s , o n l y to f i n d h i m s e l f i n t u r n h u m i l i a t e d by the very people he i s t r y i n g t o expose.  86 S u r l y , a l t h o u g h he i s n o t a spokesman f o r Jonson, i s a keen d e t e c t o r o f t r i c k e r y and i s n o t a f r a i d t o express his  o p i n i o n . . Having heard Mammon's exaggerated c l a i m s about  alchemy and then having seen the two " a l c h e m i s t s ' i n a c t i o n , , he f r e e l y expresses h i s o p i n i o n : I ' l l believe That ALCHEMY..is a p r e t t y k i n d o f game Somewhat l i k e t r i c k s o' the c a r d s , t o cheat a man. II.ii.  179-181  L a t e r s p y i n g D o l , he immediately l e t s everyone know h i s opinion..  '"Hart, t h i s i s a bawdy house!"  (II.iii.  226). H i s  f u n c t i o n i s t o warn the audience n o t t o be c a r r i e d away from the  f a c t s , e i t h e r by Mammon's f l i g h t s o f fancy o r the w e l l  executed mumbo-jumbo o f S u b t l e and Face.  H i s comments,  though  c y n i c a l , a r e amusing and n o t s c u r r i l o u s o r savage, f o r one i s bound to laugh a t h i s w i t t y a s i d e s .  F o r i n s t a n c e , when  Mammon says "In e i g h t and twenty dayes, / I ' l l make an o l d man  o f f o u r s c o r e , a c h i l d e , " S u r l y w i t t i l y remarks "no doubt,  he's t h a t a l r e a d i e "  (II.i.  52-54).  Another p a i r o f balanced c h a r a c t e r s i s the hypoc r i t i c a l r e l i g i o u s f a n a t i c s , Ananias and T r i b u l a t i o n . the at for  e a r l y stage h i s t o r y o f The A l c h e m i s t the s a t i r e  During  leveled  these two f i g u r e s and t h e i r hypocracy was a major reason the p l a y ' s s u c c e s s .  Although one would n o t completely  agree w i t h Montague Summers.' statement t h a t "the episodes i n which t h e two P u r i t a n s . . . appear have always been accounted  from the stage p o i n t o f view the r i c h e s t scenes i n an  admir-  5  able playj"  i t i s true t h a t there are e x c e l l e n t a c t i n g  p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n the p a r t s .  Few  t h e a t r i c a l c r i t i c s have  reviewed a . p r o d u c t i o n without commenting on the comedy of Ananias' P u r i t a n i c a l greed. F i n a l l y there i s Lovewit, the deus ex machina  who  appears i n A c t F i v e to d i s s o l v e "the v e n t e r t r i p a r t i t e "  and  r e - e s t a b l i s h law and o r d e r .  spir  Lovewit i s the r e c o n c i l i n g  t h a t r e a s s e r t s a semblence of n o r m a l i t y to the comic world i n which normal moral v a l u e s are h e l d i n abeyance u n t i l the a c t i o n i s nearly over.  In s p i t e of a l l i t s f a u l t s , the  L i n c o l n Center p r o d u c t i o n i n 1966 made t h i s p o i n t c l e a r . Played by P h i l i p Bosco, Lovewit took h o l d o f the f i n a l a c t , dominating i t w i t h an a i r of a u t h o r i t y t h a t showed t h a t he was  Jonson's moral a r b i t r a t o r , l i k e J u s t i c e Clements i n  Every Man  i n h i s Humour and Ambler i n The D e v i l i s an A s s .  Bosco proved t h a t Lovewit was  a f o r c e to be reckoned w i t h ,  which g i v e s credence to Face's v o l t e a - f a c e . and Simpson a p t l y phrase i t :  As H e r f o r d  "Any dramatic exposure o f  alchemy was bound to s a t i r i z e i t s dupes; and w i t h Jonson i t was  e q u a l l y as i n e v i t a b l e t h a t the dupes should be sent o f f , 7  and the rogues exposed, by a more knowing  spirit."  Some c r i t i c s have questioned the m o r a l i t y of Lovewit's a c t i o n s b u t . i n doing so they f a i l  to r e a l i z e the  s a t i r e that.Jonson has i n c l u d e d i n the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . Lovewit i s the f i g u r e of a u t h o r i t y who  d i s p e n s e s comic  88 j u s t i c e a t the end o f the p l a y . g t r u t h and, u n l i k e S u r l y ,  As such he exposes the  has the a u t h o r i t y o f h i s p o s i t i o n  as master o f the house to p u n i s h the c o n s p i r i t o r s and g u l l s alike.  Although he does n o t punish Face, he does put him  i n his r i g h t f u l place.  Lovewit, true to h i s name, f o r -  g i v e s h i s w i l y servant,  f o r he n o t o n l y admires Face's  w i t b u t he p r o f i t s q u i t e h a n d i l y i n the b a r g a i n . conclusion, convincing  Now  this  i f n o t moral, i s c e r t a i n l y c o n v i n c i n g — f a r more than the s u p e r f i c i a l , h i g h l y i r o n i c a l a p p l i c a t i o n  of j u s t i c e t h a t ends Volpone. But even i n The A l c h e m i s t the f a u l t s and f o l l i e s o f the dupes, h y p o c r i t s and t r i c k s t e r s are exposed, judged and r i d i c u l e d i n the c o n v e n t i o n a l fashion.  I t i s only i n the a c t i o n o f l e t t i n g Face go s c o t  f r e e that,Jonson has been c r i t i c i z e d , y e t t h a t i s completely i n keeping w i t h h i s e a r l i e r p l a y s where he makes the p o i n t t h a t i n an a c q u i s i t i v e s o c i e t y the comic Machiavel i s bound to t h r i v e , as long as man's f o l l i e s c o n t i n u e t o f l o u r i s h . Although the f o l l i e s o f the dupes a r e exposed there i s no assurance t h a t they have been c o r r e c t e d .  I f Face was punished  s e v e r e l y , some other Machiavel would emerge t o e x p l o i t t h e i r weaknesses.  I t i s b e t t e r to have Face s u r v i v e , because a t  l e a s t he r e c o g n i z e s  the u l t i m a t e law o f Lovewit.  Lovewit i s not the p e r f e c t l y moral man b u t h i s w o r l d l i n e s s makes him a f i t judge o f human s o c i e t y .  The  L i n c o l n Center p r o d u c t i o n  aspect  of Lovewit"s c h a r a c t e r  projected  till  the a u t h o r i t i v e  i t dominated the scene; Lovewit,  89  and  he alone,  symbolized  remarked to h i s servant t h i n g , Jeremie"  (V.v.  f o r he, and he alone,  "normal s o c i e t y " and when he "I w i l l be r u l ' d by thee i n any  143) one r e a l i z e d he was being  ironic  directed,what was to be done and what  was n o t t o be done. The Ashland p r o d u c t i o n  a l s o e s t a b l i s h e d Lovewit  as the moral a u t h o r i t y b u t chose t o u n d e r c u t i t by p l a y i n g :  Lovewit's l a s t remark "I; w i l l be r u l ' d by thee i n any t h i n g , Jeremie"  (V.v.  143) s t r a i g h t , l e a v i n g the impression  Face, n o t Lovewit, c o n t r o l s the a c t i o n .  that  T h i s , i n my view,  i s a d i s t o r t i o n of Jonson's comic p e r s p e c t i v e  and t h e r e f o r e  dramatically incorrect. Over the c e n t u r i e s the emphasis o f . d i r e c t o r s has s h i f t e d back and f o r t h between the dupes and dupers, o f t e n with i n t e r e s t i n g r e s u l t s .  Henry Jackson's h o s t i l i t y i n 1610  was d i r e c t e d a t the p r o f a n i t y p u t i n t o the mouths o f the 9 Purxtans,  b u t durxng the p e r i o d the emphasxs seems to have  been on the triumverate  o f rogues s i n c e most a l l u s i o n s to  the p l a y i n the C a r o l i n e p e r i o d i n v o l v e them.  The dupes  became preeminant-in*the R e s t o r a t i o n , b u t D o l r e c e i v e s s p e c i a l emphasis and the P u r i t a n s a r e the major g u l l s .  But  i n 1731 Theophilus C r i b b e r began to p l a y Drugger, and the r o l e began t o assume e x t r a importance u n t i l G a r r i c k made it  i n t o the s t a r r o l e .  T h i s a c t i o n had been, foreshadowed  as e a r l y as the 1640's when the d r o l l The Imperick had, as i t s foundation,  the Drugger scenes from Jonson's p l a y .  90 In the t w e n t i e t h century been b e t t e r balanced  and no one  the dupes and dupers have dupe has been, dominant.  T h i s r e f l e c t s the a t t i t u d e t h a t the e f f e c t o f the p l a y i s a r e s u l t o f . t h e i n t e r a c t i o n between the c h a r a c t e r s r a t h e r than a dramatic  confrontation.  In The A l c h e m i s t  (with the p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n o f S u r l y and motivated  a l l the  characters  Dame P l i a n t ) a r e  by greed, but they are a l l unique, i n d i v i d u a l s , e a c h ,  with h i s own  p e c u l i a r v a r i e t y of covetousness.  The  love  of money i s a common human r e a l i t y which Jonson expresses none too g e n t l e tones, but no one satire.  The  in  f i g u r e i s exposed to e x t r a  dupers motivate the a c t i o n , but the p l a y i s  kept i n balance  by the v a l u e g i v e n to the s m a l l e r p a r t s which,  though i n s i g n i f i c a n t i n themselves, are i n d i s p e n s i b l e to Jonson's o v e r a l l dramatic  pattern.  Since the p l a y r e q u i r e s s w i f t a c t i o n , w i t h each scene following with  split  second t i m i n g , a permanent m u l t i l e v e l  s e t t i n g w i t h s e v e r a l doors lends i t s e l f The  1947  Old V i c p r o d u c t i o n ,  to such a performance.  f o r i n s t a n c e , was  praised for  i t s p r e c i s i o n - l i k e a c t i o n , which owed a g r e a t d e a l to M o r r i s Kestelman's Augustan s e t which abounded i n doors and  queer  c o i g n s , a l l o w i n g the a c t o r s to b r i n g each scene to a c l o s e w i t h a bang as they slammed the doors when l e a v i n g .  At  the  o u t s e t , one c o u l d see the s t r e e t o u t s i d e Lovewit-'s house,, the garden gate, and and  the p r i v y i n which Dapper was  (by the mere removal o f the facade  imprisoned,  of the.house) a  stair-  91 case, h a l l ,  study and the A l c h e m i s t ' s l a b o r a t o r y (with  s t u f f e d c r o c o d i l e and r e t o r t s ) w i t h i n .  Such a  composite  s e t t i n g allowed i d e a l freedom of movement, e s p e c i a l l y i n the , 1 0 openxng q u a r r e l scene. The New  York C i t y Theatre p r o d u c t i o n (194 8)  also  used a permanent s e t showing three rooms an a s t a i r c a s e which provided, a t l e a s t seven e x i t s p l u s a balcony and r o o f t o p . A c c o r d i n g to the review i n the Commonweal, the " s e t c o n t r i b uted more than f i f t y p e r c e n t o f the amusement of the action"^  s i n c e the stage b u s i n e s s i s an a f f a i r o f  doors  and c r a n n i e s w i t h a dupe s e c u r e l y hidden beyond each  one.  Even Tyrone G u t h r i e ' s p r o d u c t i o n (1962) employed a permanent 12 set  with several entrances.  The p o i n t being made i s t h a t  an E l i z a b e t h a n stage, o r one designed u s i n g the same p r i n c i p l e s , i s a g r e a t a s s e t i n J o n s o n s p l a y i n order to 1  facilitate  the m u l t i t u d e of comings and  goings.  The p l a y must move along a t a b r i s k pace. E l i z a b e t h a n stage f a c i l i t a t e d p l a s t i c i t y and  The  a b r i s k pace by i t s r e l a t i v e  s i m p l i c i t y which s u p p l i e d many p l a c e s . f o r  entrance and e x i t - f r o m the p l a y i n g a r e a .  Even i n the  e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y , G a r r i c k a l t e r e d the t e x t to speed 13 e x i t s and e n t r a n c e s , for  and modern p r o d u c t i o n s have been noted  t h e i r i m a g i n a t i v e m a n i p u l a t i o n o f the p l a y i n g area to  facilitate  the c o n s t a n t entrances and e x i t s t h a t produce  so much o f t t h e suspense i n the p l a y . was  up  The Ashland  production  p r a i s e d f o r i t s f a s t pace which r e s u l t e d from the use  92 of  the p s u e d o - E l i z a b e t h a n stage and the dramatic knowledge  t h a t speeding t h i n g s up i n drama o f t e n c r e a t s comedy. E l i z a b e t h a n costuming  i s a l s o necessary f o r a good  p r o d u c t i o n , as Jonson uses contempory seventeenth century costumes v e r y e f f e c t i v e l y i n The A l c h e m i s t .  The three  c o n s p i r i t o r s don a v a r i e t y o f d i s g u i s e s to t r i c k victims. to  Face f o r i n s t a n c e appears  their  i n a c a p t a i n ' s uniform  snare Dapper and Drugger, b u t i n f r o n t o f Mammon he wears  the workaday c l o t h e s o f an a l c h e m i s t ' s drudge.  Dol  appears  i n the g u i s e o f a iady to impress Mammon and l a t e r d r e s s e s l i k e the Queen o f the F a i r i e s to d e c e i v e Dapper.  Subtle,  the master o f d i s g u i s e , i s c l o t h e d i n v e l v e t cap and gown for  Drugger, y e t d o f f s a more a p p r o p r i a t e working  as an a l c h e m i s t to d e c e i v e Mammon. the P u r i t a n s a r r i v e he i s garbed  costume  On the o t h e r hand, when  i n a r i c h gown.  Disguise  i n Jonson's drama i s an i n d i s p e n s i b l e means o f r e p r e s e n t i n g the twin f o l l i e s o f imposture and g u l l i b i l i t y , and much o f Jonson's stage c r a f t i s l o s t i f one does not f o l l o w h i s costuming  strictly.  C r i t i c s have censored Jonson's extravagent use o f a l c h e m i c a l language  because i t i s d i f f i c u l t to understand  and b a s i c a l l y unnecessary  t o the advancement o f p l o t .  But  they m i s i n t e r p r e t the purpose o f the j a r g o n and f a i l t o understand  the r i c h e f f e c t i t has on the t o t a l atmosphere  of.the play.  S t u a r t t h e a t r e patrons no more understood  the i n t r i c a c i e s of the a l c h e m i c a l jargon than we do  today,  although they probably had a f i r m e r understanding o f the p r i n c i p l e s and c l a i m s o f alchemy than modern audiences. the use o f such language  i s e s s e n t i a l to the t r i o ' s  to cheat the credulous out o f . t h e i r money. the a l c h e m i s t ' s a r t — h i s to make the  'stone,  1  attempts  Each a s p e c t of  a b i l i t y to make g o l d , h i s a b i l i t y  "the e l i x e r o f l i f e " w i t h i t s f a b u l o u s  medical p r o p e r t i e s — i s r e v e a l e d i n h i s language, has manipulated  But  the jargon to s u i t h i s dramatic  and  Jonson  purpose., 14  u s i n g the a c t u a l language  of s i x t e e n t h c e n t u r y a l c h e m i s t s .  The v i r t u o s i t y of t h i s high-sounding admired  nonsence i s to be  and although j u d i c i a l trimming,  land p r o d u c t i o n , i s warranted,  wholesale c u t s d e p r i v e the p l a y  o f much o f i t s f l a v o u r and s a t i r e . Old V i c p r o d u c t i o n (1962) and  such as i n the Ash-  U n f o r t u n a t e l y both the  the L i n c o l n Center p r o d u c t i o n  (1966) d r a s t i c a l l y c u t Jonson's t e x t i n a misguided  attempt  to make the p l a y more i n t e l l i g i b l e to modern audiences  but  i n doing so they d e s t r o y e d the s c i e n t i f i c metaphor upon which Jonson b u i l d s h i s comedy.  The A l c h e m i s t i s a drama  i n which the s c i e n t i f i c a u t h o r i t y o f alchemy i s used to exp l o r e human nature, and f o r too l o n g have c r i t i c s  and  producers allowed the t e c h n i c a l jargon, o f alchemy to obscure the f a c t t h a t Jonson i s p r i m a r i l y a man  o f the t h e a t r e who  uses the a l c h e m i c a l metaphor d r a m a t i c a l l y . As w i t h the humours i n h i s e a r l i e r p l a y s , he has s e i z e d upon a s c i e n t i f i c idiom as a means o f p r o j e c t i n g h i s i d e a s of and  society.  man  94  As can be seen from the p r e c e d i n g chapters the stage h i s t o r y of The A l c h e m i s t has been h i g h l y c o l o u r f u l . i n v a r i a b l y been a popular p l a y even when i t was for  not  I t has performed,  i t s s t r u c t u r a l s i m p l i c i t y and a g e l e s s theme.strike respon-  dent chords i n most audiences and r e a d e r s .  But through three  c e n t u r i e s the t h e a t r i c a l r e c e p t i o n to the p l a y has v a r i e d . Even though most c r i t i c s have p r a i s e d the p l a y , they have p r a i s e d i t f o r d i f f e r e n t reasons,. a l l of which should ence our r e c e p t i o n of the p l a y today.  The  influ-  theatrical  p r o d u c t i o n s have p r o v i d e d f u r t h e r dimensions  from which  we  can e v a l u a t e Jonson's a r t , f o r i t must be s t r e s s e d t h a t the drama i s even more e x c i t i n g when seen on the stage than i t i s when read i n the study. The a r t o f The A l c h e m i s t i s not i t s exposure  of  seventeenth c e n t u r y c.on.cgames but i t s comic e v a l u a t i o n of man's greed and g u l l i b i l i t y .  However to understand  i t s merits  one must go f a r beyond a s u p e r f i c i a l r e a d i n g of mere p l o t elements  or even c h a r a c t e r development; one must r e l a t e  f i g u r a t i v e language,  the a r t i s t i c use of sound and even the  stage a c t i o n to a p p r e c i a t e the e n t i r e dramatic That i s why  the  structure.  the Ashland p r o d u c t i o n w i t h i t s r e l a t i v e l y  untampered t e x t , balanced a c t i n g company and  psuedo-Elizabethan  stage c o n d i t i o n s came c l o s e s t to an i d e a l p r e s e n t a t i o n o f Jonson, a t l e a s t f o r a t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y audience, s i n c e an o r i g i n a l p r o d u c t i o n w i t h i t s emphasis on a n t i - S p a n i s h s a t i r e  and  a boy p l a y i n g the p a r t o f D o l Common would not p l e a s e  a modern audience.. Nor would a l a t e seventeenth p r o d u c t i o n , which probably Puritans.  century  h i g h l i g h t e d the b i g o t r y o f the  G a r r i c k ' s p r o d u c t i o n w i t h i t s emphasis on f a r c e  might be popular a r t i s t i c purpose.  today b u t h a r d l y does m e r i t t o Jonson's W i l l i a m Poel made a v a l i a n t attempt t o  r e k i n d l e Jonson's o r i g i n a l drama b u t h i s p r o d u c t i o n s  were  hampered by h i s e c c e n t r i c i t y and by a s t i l l e v i d e n t V i c t o r i a n morality that r e s u l t e d i n several disastrous cuttings of lines.  Modern producers, such as Tyrone G u t h r i e  and J u l e s  I r v i n g , tended to emphasize Ithe e x t e r n a l q u a l i t i e s o f the drama a t the expense o f Jonson's p o e t r y . productions  prove t h a t The A l c h e m i s t  But a l l these  i s good t h e a t r e , f o r i n  s p i t e o f d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s the u n i v e r s a l i t y o f Jonson's expose o f human f o l l i e s i s both e n t e r t a i n i n g and morally educational.  The s t r e n g t h o f Jonson's s t a g e c r a f t  l i e s i n h i s t i g h t l y constructed ation—but  plot, careful characteriz-  above a l l , i n the s t r e n g t h o f the spoken word,  as he s t a t e s i n "prologue f o r the stage" which p r e f a c e s The S t a p l e o f News:  Would you were come t o heare, not see a P l a y . Though we h i s a c t o r s must p r o v i d e f o r those, Who a r e our guests, here, i n the way o f - showes, The maker hath n o t so; he'Id have you wise, Much r a t h e r by your e a r s , than by your eyes. H&S, V I , 282  The A l c h e m i s t does not q u i t e f i t t h i s i d e a l , because stage e f f e c t s undoubtably  enhance Jonson's dramatic v e r s e , but  combined, the eye and the ear of a member o f a t h e a t r i c a l audience  can be much b e t t e r educated  ear of a mere r e a d e r .  than the eye and  The t h e a t r e b r i n g s The A l c h e m i s t to  l i f e and the combined r i c h n e s s of t h e a t r i c a l gained from v a r i o u s p r o d u c t i o n s has brought Jonson's drama.  the  experience added depth  to  FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER  •  ONE  E.K. Chambers, The E l i z a b e t h a n Stage, 4 v o l s . (Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1 9 2 3 ) . C i t e d h e r e a f t e r as Chambers. 2  G.E. B e n t l e y , Shakespeare and Jonson: T h e i r Reput a t i o n s i n the Seventeenth Century Compared, 2 v o l s . (Chicago: Univ. o f Chicago^ 1 9 4 5 ) . 3  1776,  R.G. Noyes, Ben Jonson on the E n g l i s h Stage, 1 6 6 0 (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. P r e s s , 1 9 3 5 ) . 4  C.H. H e r f o r d and Percy and E v e l y n Simpson, Ben Jonson, 11 v o l s . (Oxford: Clarendon.Press, 1925-19527^ A l l q u o t a t i o n s from Ben Jonson's p l a y s a r e from t h i s e d i t i o n (unless otherwise n o t e d ) , although the u p r i g h t and l i g a t u r e s are modernized. C i t a t i o n o f H e r f o r d and Simpson notes and commentary a r e documented as f o l l o w s : H&S, V, 112, where the volume number i s i n Roman numerals and the page r e f e r e n c e s in Arabic. 5  " T h e a t r i c a l Element o f Shakespeare C r i t i c i s m , " R e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of E l i z a b e t h a n Drama, ed. Norman Rankin, (New York: Columbia Univ. P r e s s , 1969) , p. 18 2. A.C. Sprague, "The A l c h e m i s t on the Stage," Theatre Notebook 17 (1962/1963) i~^-VT. 7  F.L. Bergmann, "David G a r r i c k : Producer. A study o f G a r r i c k ' s A l t e r a t i o n of Non-Shakespearean.Plays" (George Washington Univ., 1 9 5 3 ) , pp. 52-7 2. 1877;  A r b e r , T r a n s c r i p t o f the S t a t i o n e r s ' R e g i s t e r r p t . New York: P e t e r Smith, 1 9 5 5 ) , I I I , 4 4 5 . g Reproduced  i n H&S,  (1875-  V. 2 8 5 .  "*"^F.P. W i l s o n , The Plague i n Shakespeare s London (London: Oxford Univ. P r e s s , 196377 pp. 2 0 - 2 2 . 1  98 Chambers, I I I , 371: H e r f o r d and Simpson o r i g i n a l l y thought the p l a y was w r i t t e n a few weeks b e f o r e the r e g i s t r a t i o n (H&S, I I , 87) b u t f i n a l l y agreed w i t h Chambers' c o n c l u s i o n t h a t the play was w r i t t e n and produced i n thes p r i n g o f 1610. 12  Times L i t e r a r y Supplement,  20 J u l y 1933, p. 494.  13 J.T. Murray, E n g l i s h Dramatic Companies (New York: Russel & R u s s e l , 1963) 1, 150-51. Murray l a t e r says the King's Men were a t Oxford i n August 1610 ( I , 184). 14 Since O t h e l l o was performed a t the Globe i n A p r i l 1610 and both O t h e l l o and The A l c h e m i s t were taken on tour i n September, i t i s l o g i c a l to assume t h a t The A l c h e m i s t was a l s o performed a t the Globe b e f o r e the t h e a t r e s were closed. 15 Quoted by G.E. B e n t l e y i n Shakespeare and Jonson, I,  113. 16  "Shakespeare and the B l a c k f r i a r s Theatre," Shakespeare Survey 1 (1948), 44. 17 F.W. Mares (ed.), The A l c h e m i s t (London: Methuen, 1967) p. x l v i i ; M. Summers, The Playhouse o f Pepys (1935; r p t New York: Humanities, 1964), p. 29. 18  H&S, IX, 223 & I I , 100.  19 See H&S, IX, 226; T.W. Baldwin The O r g a n i z a t i o n and P e r s o n a l of fche Shakespearean Company ( P r i n c e t o n , 1927), pp. l x i i - l x i i i . However, a 1616 e d i t i o n of Jonson's F o l i o i n v e s t i gated by-James A. R i d d l e , Shakespeare S t u d i e s 5 (1969? 285298, has the f o l l o w i n g c a s t w r i t t e n by a t l e a s t two e a r l y hands. Face Nathan F i e l d Surly Henry C o n d e l l Subtle R i c h a r d Burbage Ananian Nick Tooly Dol Richard B i r c h Sastrel W i l l Eglestone Dapper John Underwood 20 Quoted by B e n t l e y , Shakespeare and Jonson, I I , 14. 21 Shakespeare and Jonson, I I , 14. 22 See i n t r o d u c t i o n to the p l a y i n the Mermaid S e r i e s The Best P l a y s o f Ben Jonson, B. N i c h o l s o n and C.H. H e r e f o r d Teds.), (London, n.d.), I l l , 275.  99 23  Sir  Joseph Quincy Adams, ed., The Dramatic Records o f Henry H e r b e r t (New Haven, 1917), p. 4~3~T 24  G.E. B e n t l y , Shakespeare and Jonson, I I , 52 g i v e s the f i g u r e f o r t o t a l r e c e i p t s , w h i l e the second f i g u r e i s quoted by H e r f o r d and Simpson (H&S, IX, 225) . 25 G.E. B e n t l y , "The Records of S i r Humphrey Mildman," The Jacobean and C a r o l i n e Stage, I I (Oxford, Clarendon, 1941) 678 . J.F. Bradley and J.Q. Adams (eds.), The Jonson A l l u s i o n Book (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. P r e s s , 1922). 27 W i l l i a m A. N i e l s o n (ed.), The C h i e f E l i z a b e t h a n Dramatists, (Boston, 1911), p. 835. 28 (New  A r t h u r Huntington Nason, James S h i r l e y : York: 1915), pp. 91, 117.  Dramatist,  29 W i l l i a m Smith C l a r k e , The E a r l y I r i s h Stage (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955). H&S g i v e s the opening date as 1635, but t h i s i s c o n t r a d i c t e d by La Taurette S t o c k w e l l i n D u b l i n Theatres and Theatre Customs 1637-1820 (New York: Benjamin Blom, 1968), p. 2. 30 W i l l i a m Smith C l a r k e l i s t s performance o f The A l c h e m i s t i n D u b l i n i n 1637/38 and c i r c a 1670/84 but g i v e s no d e f i n i t e sources. Downes l i s t s f i f t e e n ' P r i n c i p a l Old Stock P l a y s ' as being acted d u r i n g the e a r l y years of the R e s t o r a t i o n a t the Theatre Royal; three by Shakespeare, three by Jonson (Epicoene, Volpone and The A l c h e m i s t ) , seven by Beaumont and F l e t c h e r and two by Dryden"! He a l s o g i v e s a l i s t of o l d p l a y s which "were Acted now and then," which i n c l u d e d s i x more Jonsonian plays. See Roscius A n g l i c a n u s , ed. M. Summers, (London: [1929]), pp. 3-8, 17. 32 Oxford B i b l i o g r a p h i c a l S o c i e t y , Proceedings and Papers (Oxford, 1927), I, 281-282. Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, pp. 105-06. H&S, IX, 227-228 a l s o quotes the prologue, although t h e r e are a few minor t e x t u a l d i f f e r e n c e s , and i t i s r e p r i n t e d i n Wiley, Rare Prologues and E p i l o g u e s (London: A l l e n and Unwin, 1940), pp. 16-17.  100  Roscuis A n g l i c a n u s , pp. 4-5. See a l s o M. Summers "Mrs. Cory: Pepys 'Doll Common,'" Essays i n Petto (Freeport, New York: L i b r a r y P r e s s , 1967), p. 119. 34See below; p. 14. J.Q. Adams, The Dramatic Records o f S i r Henry Herbert, p. 117. 36 Pepys nicknamed Mrs. Cory "Dol Common," an obvious compliment to her a c t i n g i n Jonson's p l a y and t e l l s us of an i n c i d e n t i n which she deeply o f f e n d e d Lady Harvey by her a c t i n g of Sempronia i n Jonson's C a t a l i n e , wherein she i m i t a t e d the c o u r t l y l a d y . A c c o r d i n g to Pepys, Lady Harvey "got my Lord Chamberlain, her kinsman, to imprison D o l l ; when my Lady Castlemayne made the King to r e l e a s e h e r , and to order her to a c t i t a g a i n , worse than ever, the o t h e r day, where the King h i m s e l f was: and s i n c e i t was acted again and my Lady Harvey p r o v i d e d people to h i s s a t her and f l i n g oranges a t h e r . " I t seems t h a t Mrs. Corey was a Dol Common i n her own r i g h t . See M. Summers' a r t i c l e "Mrs. Corey: Pepys' D o l l Common" i n Essays i n P e t t o , pp. 111-132. 37 Downes, Roscius A n g l i c a n u s , p. 4. 38 B r i t i s h Museum M.S. Sloane 1900. Quoted by G.E. B e n t l e y i n Shakespeare and Jonson, I I , p. 119. 39 Seaton, L i t e r a r y R e l a t i o n s h i p , pp. 333, 335. Quoted by W i l l i a m van Lennep, The London Stage, 1660-1700 (Carbondale: Southern U n i v . P r e s s , 1960), I , 47. F u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s to t h i s standard work w i l l be c i t e d as London Stage. I, 47 where the p a r t number w i l l be i n Roman numerals and the page number i n A r a b i c numbers. A.L.D. Kennedy-Skipton, "John Ward and R e s t o r a t i o n Drama," Shakespeare Q u a r t e r l y 11 (1960): 494. 41 Kennedy-Skipton, p. 4 94. 42 A.L.D. Kennedy-Skipton, "A Footnote to 'John Ward and R e s t o r a t i o n Drama,'" Shakespeare Q u a r t e r l y 12 (1961):  1 43  London Stage, I, 54. Pepys a l s o c o n s i d e r e d i t to be one of Clun's b e s t p a r t s ; see D i a r y (London: Dent, 1953), 4 August 1664 and 17 August 1669. 44 See Montague Summers, "The A l c h e m i s t a t Oxford," Times L i t e r a r y Supplement, 7 September 1933, p. 593. A p o r t r a i t o f Lacy as Ananias i s produced i n London Stage, I, 65. 45 For another account o f Clun's murder see An Elegy Upon the most E x e c r a b l e Murther of Mr. C l u n (1664) which i s r e p r i n t e d i n A L i t t l e Ark, ed. G. Thorn - Drury (London: D o b e l l , 1921), pp. 30-31. 46 D i a r y , 18 August,  1669.  47 These performances are l i s t e d i n r o y a l warrents L.C. 5/12, p. 17; L.C. 5/141, p. 116; L.C. 5/141, p. 359 and are quoted by A l l a r d y c e N i c o l l i n A H i s t o r y o f R e s t o r a t i o n Drama (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. P r e s s , 1923), pp. 307-08, 315. A l s o quoted i n A. N i c o l l ' s A H i s t o r y o f E n g l i s h Drama 1660-1900, I (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press 1952), 344-45. 48 Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 110. A l s o quoted by M. Summers i n The Playhouse of Pepys, (1935; r p t . New York: Humanities P r e s s , 1964), p. 278. 49 The London Stage, I, 776.  50 Ed. S.B. W e l l s , 1942, p. 26. 51 Noyes r e c o n s t r u c t s , a p o s s i b l e c a s t from the Drury Lane a c t o r s o f 1709: S u b t l e , - C o l l e y Cibber; Face - George Powell; Dapper - Henry N o r r i s ; Drugger - W i l l i a m Pinkethman; S u r l y -John M i l l s ; K a s t r i l - C h r i s t o p h e r B u l l o c k ; Ananias Benjamin Johnson and Dol Common was p r o b a b l y p l a y e d by Mrs. Rogers. The o t h e r p a r t s cannot be a s s i g n e d . Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 110. 52 The D a i l y Courant, 8 October, 1702. IX,  Quoted by  H&S  229. 53  Two performances i n 1740 (10 and 31 December) a t Covent-Garden, w h i l e T h e o p h i l u s C i b b e r was connected w i t h t h a t company are the o n l y other o c c a s i o n s The A l c h e m i s t  102 53  (continued) was performed by p l a y e r s not connected w i t h the f o r t u n e s of Drury Lane. The two performances i n 1710 and f i v e i n 1733-1734 season, a l l a t the Haymarket, were a r e s u l t of a c t o r s ' r e v o l t s a g a i n s t the management a t Drury Lane. 54 19, 21, 22, 28 February; 26 March; 4 A p r i l ; 11 May. A. N i c h o l l , A H i s t o r y o f E n g l i s h Drama, I I , 130, a l s o says there were seven performances but does not g i v e dates or exact sources. 55 T h i s i s the c a s t g i v e n by H&S, IX, 229. It u t i l i z e s the b i l l s i n The D a i l y Courant and the c a s t g i v e n i n the a c t i n g quarto of the p l a y . I t a l s o c o r r e c t s Montague Summers' m i s c o n c e p t i o n t h a t "In February 1709 there seems to have been a c u r i o u s r e v i v a l . . . when Dol Common was o m i t t e d , " a f a l a c y r e s u l t i n g from r e l y i n g on the newspaper advertisements. See Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 111. 56 London Stage, I I , N o . 14  5 7  ^ 14 8  and  (ed.)  G.A.  23 January,  188. Aitken,  I  [1898], 125-126.  1710.  59 • London, Stage, I I , 268 . 60 A c t u a l l y only eight years. 61 Catalogue o f P r i n t s and Drawings i n the B r i t i s h Museum, D i v i s i o n I_, S a t i r e s , I I , 587-588; The Weekly J o u r n a l ; o r , B r i t i s h Gazetteer, December 16, 1721; [Richardson Pack], The L i v e s of M i l t i a d e s and Cimon, With Poems on s e v e r a l Occasions , 1725, pp. 48-50; The Gentleman's Magazine, XCV (18 25) , p a r t i , 100-102. Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 117. 62 S c o t t i s h f i n a n c i e r and s p e c u l a t o r , John Law engineered the famous M i s s i s s i p p i scheme which was intended to r a i s e money f o r France, but which c o l l a p s e d i n 17 20 f o r c ing Law to leqve France s e c r e t l y . E a r l i e r i n h i s l i f e Law had k i l l e d a man i n a duel and had been f o r c e d to f e l l to Amsterdam. He d i e d i n 17 29 i n V e n i c e , a poor and n e g l e c t e d man. See DNB, XI, 674.  103 5  3  The W h i t e h a l l Evening Post, October 26, 1721. Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 118. 64 Johnson and G r i f f e n continued i n t h e i r p a r t s u n t i l 1740, Harper i n h i s t i l l 1739. M i l l s played Face u n t i l 1737, C i b b e r played S u b t l e t i l l 17 33. M i l l e r continued as K a s t r i l u n t i l 1726, and resumed p l a y i n g the p a r t from 1733 t i l l 1738. Mrs. Markham played Dame P l i a n t u n t i l 1726 when she was succeeded by Mrs. B u t l e r , w h i l e Mrs. W e t h e r i l t continued p l a y i n g D o l Common u n t i l 1732. Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 119. 65  1722-1723, 1724-17,25, 1725-1726 .  66 A r e v o l t by some Drury Lane p l a y e r s , l e d by Theophilus Cibber r e s u l t e d i n f i v e performances o f The A l c h e m i s t being performed a t the Haymarket.. 67 Dramatic M i s c e l l a n i e s , I I , 108-109. Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, pp. 119-120. 68 The M i s c e l l a n e o u s Works o f the Late Dr. Arbuthnot, Glasgow, 1751, I I , 166-167. Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, pp. 120-121. 69 The London D a i l y Post and General A d v e r t i s e r , September 16, 1735. Quoted i n London Stage, I I I , 511. 70 See Noyes, Ben Jonson, pp. 123-24. 71 G a r r i c k had p r e v i o u s l y played Abel Drugger d u r i n g his I r i s h t o u r . T h i s f i r s t performance was on F r i d a y . June 25, 1742. See C a r o l a Oman, David G a r r i c k (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1958), p . 54. 72 Quoted i n London Stage,  I I I , 1042.  73 Kalman Burnim, David G a r r i c k : D i r e c t o r ( P i t t s b u r g h : Univ. o f P i t t s b u r g h , 1961) , p. 23. Burnim says there were three performances.in which G a r r i c k d i d n o t . p l a y Drugger i n t h i s p e r i o d , b u t does n o t g i v e d a t e s . 74 G a r r i c k , The L e t t e r s o f David G a r r i c k ed. by David M. L i t t l e and George M. K a r o l , "(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. P r e s s , 1963), I I , #393.  104 75  7  R e s t o r a t i o n and E i g h t e e n t h Century Theatre Research (Nov. 1968), 49. 76  1 7 5 5 t o 1758.  77 T r e a s u r e r ' s Account Books i n F o l g e r Shakespeare L i b r a r y ; quoted by Bergmann, "David G a r r i c k , " p. 56. 78 Quoted by Bergmann, "David G a r r i c k , " pp. 54-55. F i g u r e s agree w i t h those quoted i n London Stage, I I I & IV. 79 Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 170 g i v e s the c a s t s . 80 J.L. Hodgkinson and Rex Pogson, The E a r l y Manchester (London: Anthony Blond, 1960), pp. 124, 178 . 81 See h i s review i n Examiner, May 28, 1815.. A l s o see Noyes, Ben Jonson, pp. 170-171. Theatre  82 Ben Jonson, p. 155. An even more d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s , i n c l u d i n g a comparison w i t h G a r r i c k ' s performance i n Jonson's p l a y , i s g i v e n by Richard J . D i r k s i n " G a r r i c k and Gentleman: Two I n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of Abel Drugger," RECTR, 7 (1968): 48-55. 83 Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 156.. 2 1 A p r i l 1772 and 17 A p r i l 1773. 85 D i r k s , " G a r r i c k and Gentleman," RECTR, 7 (1968): 8 4  51  86 See John F p r s t e r , The L i f e o f Dickens, 3 v o l s . [1872-74], ed. T.W.T. Ley. (London: Chapman and H a l l , 1928), I I , 19. 87 L e c t u r e s on the E n g l i s h Comic W r i t e r s (London: 1819), p. 71. 88 H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h Dramatic L i t e r a t u r e , to the Death o f Queen Anne, (1899; r p t . New York: Octagon Books, 1966), I I , 368.  105 89  August Wilhelm S c h l e g e l , A Course o f L e c t u r e s on Dramatic Poetry, t r a n s . John Black TLondon, 1846) , p. 465~7 90 See Townsend, A p o l o g i e York: M.L.A., 1947), pp. 15-17.  f o r Bartholomew F a i r  (New  91 Cast i s g i v e n i n H&S,  IX, 236-237 .-  .  92 A c c o r d i n g to A.C. Sprague, "The A l c h e m i s t on the Stage," Theatre Notes, 17 (1962-63): 46, the p l a y was g i v e n on 18 February, 1899, but no r e c o r d s e x i s t of a performance on t h a t date. The p l a y was performed on 24 and 25 February, 1899 however. M a r c h 4,  9 3  1899.  94 Cambridge C h r o n i c l e and U n i v e r s i t y J o u r n a l , August Cambridge Express, August 9,.. 1902. [Gives c a s t ] .  8, 1902.  5,  9 5  6, 7 and  9 March, 1914;  H&S,  IX, 2371gives  cast. 9 6  Saturday,  March 7,  1914.  97 A.C. Sprague, Theatre Notes 17 (1962-63): 46 g i v e s 18 A p r i l as the date; H&S, IX, p. 237 g i v e s f u l l c a s t . S p e c t a t o r , March 24,  1923,  p.  513.  " s p e c t a t o r , March 24,  1923,  p.  513.  9 8  A . C . Sprague, Theatre Notes 17 (1962-63): 47 i n c o r r e c t l y dates t h i s performance i n 1934. 1 0 0  ^ 0 1 g a K a t z i n had p r e v i o u s l y d i r e c t e d the p l a y i n York, i n 1931. x  New  x  102 Mares, ed'. The 1 0 3  Full  Alchemist,, p. l x x .  c a s t g i v e n i n H&S,  IX,  238.  104 H&S, IX, 238. Peter Fleming, u s i n g the same v o c a b u l a r y reaches a d i f f e r e n t c o n c l u s i o n , s a y i n g the p l a y was "a k i n d o f ' h a r l e q u i n a d e , s w i f t but f u l l of l a s t i n g v e r i t i e s , seamy and s a r d o n i c but e s s e n t i a l l y gay. The S p e c t a t o r , January 24, 194 7, p. 108.  105a 105" Never sxn' e i g h t y - e i g h t c o u l d I adibe *hem And t h a t was some three yeare a f o r e I was borne, i n t r u t h . " I V . i v . 29-30 . 106 Quoted by A. W i l l i a m s o n , The B r i s t o l Old V i c , (London: M i l l e r , 1957),p. 117. 107 What i s a Play? (London: Macdonald, 1964), p. 139. 108 Brown, What i s a p l a y ? , p. 139 109 F r a n c i s Fergusson, "A Month o f the Theatre,". (August 1931): 632.  Bookman 73  ^ G e o r g e Jean Nathan, The Theatre Yearbook, (New York: Knopf, 1949), pp. 12-14. lx  1949,  111  Newsweek, September  1948-  28, 1964, p. 91.  112 Henry Hewes, "O, f o r a P h i l o s o p h e r ' s Stone!" Saturday Review, October 29, 1966, p. 49. 113  H & S , IX, 238.  114 H&S,  IX,  238.  H&S,  IX, 238.  115 •I "I  c  Gives p a r t i a l c a s t .  P h i l o l o g i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , 41  (Jan. 1962):  188.  117 F.H. Mares (ed.), The A l c h e m i s t , p.  lxxii.  FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER  TWO  Samual T a y l o r C o l e r i d g e , The Complete Works o f Samual T a y l o r C o l e r i d g e , W.G.T. Shedd, ed., (New York: Harper, 18 54), 6, 426 . The o t h e r two works C o l e r i d g e i n c l u d e d were Oedipus Tyrannos and Tom Jones. 2 i L.C. K n i g h t s , Drama and S o c i e t y i n the Age o f Jonson, (London: Methuen, 1937), p.  208.  3 A l a n Dessen, Jonson's Moral Comedy, (Northwestern Univ. P r e s s , 1971), pp. 111-129. 4 B r i a n Gibbons, Jacobean C i t y Comedy, (London: Rupert H a r t - D a v i e s , 1968), pp. 169-78 . 5 J.B. Bamborough, Ben Jonson, (London: Hutchinson Univ., 1970) , p. 101. Stage,  Robert Reed, The O c c u l t on the Tudor and S t u a r t (Boston: C h r i s t o p h e r , 1965), p. 138.  7 A l v i n Kernan, The Cankered Muse, (New Haven: Yale Univ., 1959), p. 141. g F e l i x S c h e l l i n g , E l i z a b e t h a n Drama 1558-1642, (London: C o n s t a b l e , 1908), I, 531. 9 For e x c e l l e n t d i s c u s s i o n o f Jonsoni's treatment of the A n a b a p t i s t s see W i l l i a m Holden, A n t i P u r i t a n S a t i r e ; 1572-1642, (New Haven: Yale Univ., 1954), pp. 133-137; Montague Summers, "The A l c h e m i s t a t Oxford>" TLS, 7 September, 1933, p. 593; Maurice Hussey, "Ananias the Deacon: A Study of R e l i g i o n i n The A l c h e m i s t , " E n g l i s h 9 (1953) : 207-212. ?  "^M. Summers, The Playhouse o f Pepys, Humanities, 1964), p. 121.. ''""'"For i n s t a n c e , around 1673 t h e r e was a l l u s i o n s to the tantrams of Dol Common; see Shakespeare and Jonson: T h e i r Reputations i n Century Compared"^ (Chicago: Univ. o f Chicago 1  (New  York:  many con tempo r y G.E. B e n t l e y , the Seventeenth P r e s s , 1945)  107 12  B e n t l e y , Shakespeare and Jonson, I , 139.  13 I b i d . , p. 109.  C a t a l i n e ranked f i r s t ,  Volpone  second. 14 I b i d . , pp. 124-125. B e n t l e y b e l i e v e s the reason f o r t h i s was t h a t Dol Common.had become a common term a p p l i e d to any p r o s t i t u t e (See OED, I I I , 589). A more obvious reason would be the p o p u l a r i t y of Mrs. Corey who a c t e d the r o l e so s u c c e s s f u l l y , and the f a c t t h a t i t i s the b e s t female r o l e i n the Jonson canon. 1 5  I b i d . , p. 139.  16 See R i c h a r d S t e e l e ' s review of the 1709 p r o d u c t i o n quoted above,, p. 1*7. 17 - P a r t r i d g e , The Broken Compass, (London: Chatto and Windus, 1958), pp. 143-144"! 18 See Thomas Davies, Memoirs of the L i f e o f David G a r r i c k (London: 1780), pp. 54-55; and F.L. BergmannT "David G a r r i c k : Producer. A Study o f G a r r i c k r s A l t e r a t i o n o f NonShakespearean P l a y s , " Diss..George Washington Univ., 1953, pp. 55-56. -  19 The Roman and E n g l i s h Comedy C o n s i d e r ' d and Compared (London: 1747), pp. 38-39. Quoted by Bergmann, "David G a r r i c k , " p. 67. 20 A c t u a l l y G a r r i c k f i r s t a c t e d the r o l e d u r i n g h i s D u b l i n tour of 1742. See Oman, David G a r r i c k , ( L o n d o n : Hodder and Stoughton, 1958), p. 54. 21 In  the 1763-17 64 season.  22 U n l i k e G a r r i c k * s o t h e r popular r o l e , R i c h a r d I I I , which was c o n s t a n t l y p l a y e d i n o t h e r t h e a t r e s by r i v a l a c t o r s such as Quin, Ryan, and S h e r i d a n . 23 II,  67.  Thomas Davies, Memoirs of the L i f e o f - D a v i d G a r r i c k ,  108 24  Quoted by C a r o l a Oman, David G a r r i c k , pp. 63-64.  25 Quoted by Margared Barton, Garrick,(New York: Macmillan, 1949), p. 56. 26 Quotations from G a r r i c k ' s promptbook a r e quoted from the t e x t p r i n t e d i n B e l l ' s B r i t i s h Theatre,17 (London: John B e l l , 1777), and a r e r e f e r r e d to by page number. The l o n g "S" has been modernized. Q u o t a t i o n s from Jonson's t e x t are taken from Herford and Simpson, Ben Jonson, V o l . V, and are r e f e r r e d t o by standard form, i . e . (IV . i . 26) . 27 For example,  I . i v . 23-24.  28 "No,  For example, Drugger's r e p i t i t i o n o f Face's l i n e , I am a g o l d s m i t h , " p. 19. 29  See below, p . from I . i i . t o I . i i i .  4 7 f  f o r d i s c u s s i o n o f the t r a n s i t i o n  30 One e x c e p t i o n o c c u r s i n the f i r s t scene:.the l i n e i n Jonson's t e x t i s "Svd. Who's that? one r i n g s . To the windo', D o l . " i('IKi'; , 18 0.) . There i s no stage d i r e c t i o n i n the F o l i o , b u t the promptbook adds,"One Knocks" a f t e r the p r e c e d i n g l i n e and a l t e r s the quoted l i n e t o "Sub. Who's t h a t ? [Knocks] To the window," p. 12. r  31 "David G a r r i c k : Producer," pp. 52-72. 32 The l a r g e s t c u t o c c u r s i n I V . i v . and extends f o r 69 1/2 l i n e s . 33 T h i s charge i s a l s o made by.Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 144, although Bergmann does n o t agree (see Bergmann, "David G a r r i c k : Producer," p. 60). However t h e r e i s no doubt t h a t the changes Garrick^made emphasized the r o l e of the f o o l i s h t o b a c c o n i s t and whether t h i s was d e l i b e r a t e l y planned by G a r r i c k i s i m m a t e r i a l t o the f a c t t h a t the p l a y ' s p o p u l a r i t y i n G a r r i c k ' s time was dependent on the r o l e o f Drugger, although„Garrick's changes i n no way i n t e r e d Jonson's s u b t l e development o f p l o t . 34 For a d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s o f G a r r i c k ' s h a n d l i n g o f t h i s scene, see B.A.P. van Dam, "The Promptbook Text o f The A l c h e m i s t and i t s Important Lesson," Neophilologus.19 (1934): 210-211.  109 35  "David G a r r i c k : Producer," p. 61.  36 G a r r i c k ' s t e x t i n d i c a t e s no scene change h e r e . See below, p.46. 37 U n d e r l i n e d words i n d i c a t e G a r r i c k ' s a d d i t i o n s . 38 Mary E . Knapp, Prologues and E p i l o g u e s o f the E i g h t e e n t h Century, (New Haven: Yale Univ., 1961), p. 46. 39 6-7.  G a r r i c k , An Essay on A c t i n g , For more det&i' i > " e - ^ c l o v - : , z .  (London,  1744) , pp.  40 London Evening Post 10-13 February, 1770. A l s o see U n i v e r s a l Museum,! (Jan. 1762) : 46; London C h r o n i c l e , 31 December, 1768. 41 " L e t t e r s from England," L i c h t e n b e r g ' s V i s i t s t o England as D e s c r i b e d i n H i s L e t t e r s and D i a r i e s , . e d . Margaret L. Mare and W.H. Q u a r r e l l . ( O x f o r d : Clarendon, 1938), p. 7. 42 U n i v e r s a l Museum 1 (January, 1762):.46 the u r i n a l stage b u s i n e s s .  criticises  43 T h e a t r i c a l Review, 1 February, 1763. Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, pp. 13 9-140. 44 London Evening Post, 10-13 February, 1770. 45 Ben Jonson, p. 146. 46 "David G a r r i c k : Producer," p. 59. 47 The London C h r o n i c l e , 5-8 March, 1757. ^ S e e above, pp. 24-26. 8  49 The Times, 25 February, 1899, p. 14. 50 Robert K n o l l , Ben Jonson* s P l a y s : A n . I n t r o d u c t i o n ( L i n c o l n : U n i v . .of Nebraska, 1964) , p. 118.  110  5 1  I b i d . , p. 118.  52 I b i d . , p. 121. 53 In many ways t h i s f o l l o w s the A r i s t o p h a n i c method of O l d Comedy, which presented a c l e a r l y understandable symbolic r e a l i t y i n a world turned upside down by the l o g i c a l e x t e n t i o n o f human f a u l t s . See Coburn Gum,. The A r i s t o p h a n i c Comedies o f Ben Jonson, ( P a r i s : Moulton, 1969) . 54 The  Times, 25 February, 1899, p. 14.  The  Saturday Review, 11 J u l y , 1896.  55  5 6  The  Atheneaun, 4 March, 1899, p. 283.  Ibid. 58 W i l l i a m P o e l , Monthly L e t t e r s , (London: T. Werner L a u r i e , 1929), p. 93. F o r d e t a i l s o f . P o e l ' s theory, see Glyn K e l s a l l ' s i n t e r v i e w w i t h Robert Speaight i n The Stage, 14 March, 1946 and Lewis Casson, The Shakespeare P i c t o r i a l O c c a s s i o n a l Papers, Nov.-Dec, 1945. 59 Robert Speaight, "A Memory o f W i l l i a m P o e l , " Drama S u r v e y 3 , (1964): 501. 60 Robert Speaight, W i l l i a m Poel and the E l i z a b e t h a n R e v i v a l (London: Heinman, 1954), p. 142. ?  61 Robert-Speaight, "A Memory o f W i l l i a m P o e l , " Drama Survey 3 (1964): 500-506, and C. G l i c k , " W i l l i a m P o e l : H i s Theories and I n f l u e n c e , " Shakespeare Q u a r t e r l y 15 (1964): 15-25. ' 62 W i l l i a m P o e l , Shakespeare i n the Theatre, Sidgwick and Jackson,i91"3);.<,, p*. -60 .. : , _  (London:  r  63 One minute he says " I f an a c t o r wishes to i n t e r p r e t the p l a y i n t e l l i g e n t l y , he must.shut h i s eyes to a l l t h a t has taken p l a c e on the stage s i n c e the poet's time, t u r n i n g to the t e x t and t r u s t i n g to t h a t alone f o r i n s p i r a t i o n " (Shakespeare i n the Theatre, p. 60), w h i l e the next he i s tampering w i t h the t e x t to s u i t h i s own c r i t i c a l t h e o r i e s . F o r an example, see C. G l i c k , " W i l l i a m P o e l : H i s T h e o r i e s and I n f l u ence," Shakespeare Q u a r t e r l y 15, (1964) : 15-25.  Ill 64  Poel' s obituary 1934.  December,  i n The  D a i l y Telegraph,  14  ^ A l t h o u g h the a c t u a l promptbook was unable to be l o c a t e d , i t was Poel's customary p r a c t i c e to use the e a r l i e s t p r i n t e d v e r s i o n of the p l a y . 66 Programme Notes f o r the 1899  production.  67 See  below p.  67.  68 Paul Goodman, "The A l c h e m i s t : Comic I n t r i g u e " i n Ben Jonson: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays, ed. Jonas B a r i s h (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.; P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1963), pp. 106-120 i n d i c a t e d the s t r u c t u r e i s based on a platterhing °f c h a r a c t e r s , where each i n d i v i d u a l f i g u r e complements and c o n t r a s t s w i t h several others. 69 Ben  A l l l i n e counts a c c o r d i n g to H e r f o r d and.Simpson. Jonson, V o l . V, pp. 273-408. 70 Medford M a i l Tribune, 22 August, 1961. 71 Ashland D a i l y T i d i n g s , 22 August,  1961.  72 Medford M a i l T r i b u n e , 22 August,  1961.  73 Bamber Gascoigne, " A l l t h a t G l i s t e r s , " The 7 December, 1962, p. 895.  Spectator,  74 Tyrone G u t h r i e ,  "Programme Notes."  75 T h i s c u t was a l s o made i n the Ashland p r o d u c t i o n . The e f f e c t gained i s one of making S u r l y appear as a moral commentator without the p e r s p e c t i v e o f h i s motives t h a t Jonson c a r e f u l p r e s e n t s by i n t e r f e r e n c e . . S u r l y ' s attempts to expose the g u l l e r s i s not motivated by moral i n d i g n a t i o n as much as i t i s by envy a t seeing someone more s u c c e s s f u l than he was. See  I . i . 64-65 f o r another example.  112  The s a t i r e a g a i n s t the Spaniards would have been v e r y popular i n the S t u a r t times when the average Englishman was s t i l l very a n t a g o n i s t i c towards h i s r i v a l s from Spain, i n s p i t e o f James I's f r i e n d l y r e l a t i o n s w i t h the Spanish c o u r t . For f u r t h e r s a t i r e d i r e c t e d a t the Spaniards t h a t G u t h r i e a l s o c u t , see ( I V . i v . 7-15) and ( I V . v i i . 50-55). 78 I.i.  S u b t l e ' s c h a r a c t e r i s a l s o c l e a n s e d by o m i t t i n g 38-42 & I . i v . 2-5. 79  • T h i s i s obvious when one i n v e s t i g a t e s G u t h r i e ' s c u t s a t ( I V . i i . 15-33) which i n v o l v e s a s h o r t l e s s o n i n t h e a r t o f q u a r r e l i n g g i v e n by S u b t l e . Instead, S u b t l e says: "Welcome, the c a p t a i n t e l l s me o f . y o u r Wish. Take t h i s , I ' l l show you. s h o r t l y how t o use i t " (p. 73) and p l a c e s a f l i c k k n i f e i n t o K a t r i l ' s grasp. But no f u r t h e r a c t i o n develops from the scene. 80 See L.C. Knights, Drama and S o c i e t y i n the Age o f Jonson (19 37; r p t . Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1962), pp. 174-175. 81 Another example occurs when Dol e n t e r s upon Mammon's l i n e "He would have made our common" ( I I . i i i . 210). Guthrie c u t s t h i s , l o s i n g the r i c h dramatic impact o f the word "common" j u s t as D o l i s f i r s t seen by Mammon. 82 See p. 29 ( I I . i i i .  159) f o r another  example.  83 Other example p. 34. 84 "Programme Notes." 85 R.R.. Reed, The O c c u l t on the Tudor, and (Boston: C h r i s t o p h e r , 1965), p. 138.  S t u a r t Stage,  FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER THREE  ^Thayer, Ben Jonson: S t u d i e s i n the 'Plays, Univ. o f Oklahoma P r e s s , 1963), p. 13.  (Norman:  2 See L.C. K n i g h t s , Drama and S o c i e t y i n the Age o f Jonson, (1937,; r p t . Harmondsworth, M i d d l e s e x : Penguin, 1962), p. 208. 3 J . Palmer, Ben Jonson (London: Routledge, 1934) , p. 189 . 4 Quoted by W i l l i a m s o n , The B r i s t o l O l d V i c , (London: M i l l e r , 1957), p. 117. 5 Summers, "The A l c h e m i s t a t Oxford," TLS 7, September 1933, p. 593. 6  T h e a t r e Notebook 17, (1962-1963): 46-47.  7  H&S, I I , p. 96.  g S u r l y exposes the t r u t h q u i t e e f f e c t i v e l y b u t he i s i n c a p a b l e and m o r a l l y u n s u i t a b l e to p u n i s h the c u l p r i t s because.he l a c k s the moral c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f clemency, manliness and w o r l d l i n e s s n e c e s s a r y to be a good judge o f moral c h a r a c t e r s . 9 G e o f f r e y T i l l o t s o n , " O t h e l l o and The A l c h e m i s t a t Oxford i n 1610," TLS, 20 J u l y , 1933, p. 494. p. 204.  "^Williamson, O l d V i c Drama, (London: Macmillan, 1949) ,  21  11  May 1948, p. 139.  12 See above p. 69. 13 Bergmann, "David G a r r i c k : Producer. A Study o f G a r r i c k ' s A l t e r a t i o n o f Non-Shakespearean P l a y s , " D i s s . George Washington, 1953, p. 63.  114  A thorough study of books on alchemy such as M.P. C r o s s l a n d , H i s t o r i c a l S t u d i e s i n the Language of Chemistry, (London: Heinemann, 1962) ; E.H. Duncan') ^Jonson' s TKe A l c h e m i s t and the L i t e r a t u r e o f Alchemy," PMLA,61, (1946): 699-710; H. Patcher, P a r a c e l a u s : Magic i n t o Science, (New York: Schuman, 1951) and John Read,. The A l c h e m i s t i n L i f e , L i t e r a t u r e and A r t , (London: Nelson, 1947] r e v e a l s the accuracy of S u b t l e ' s hocus pocus and the a u t h e n t i c i t y of the a l c h e m i c a l d e t a i l s employed by Jonson.  SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY Adams, Joseph Quincey. ed. Henry H e r b e r t . 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