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The Alchemist through the ages; an investigation of the stage history of Ben Jonson's play 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 of the stage h i s t o r y of Ben Jonson's play by JAMES CUNNINGHAM CARTER B.Sc., University of 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 accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1972 In present ing th i s thes i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i lment of the requirements fo r an advanced degree at the Un iver s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ib ra ry sha l l make i t f r e e l y ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fu r ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thes i s fo r s cho la r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives . It is understood that copying or pub l i c a t i on o f th i s thes i s fo r f i nanc i a l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permiss ion. Department of The Un iver s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date 2 7 QclAtt i i ABSTRACT THE ALCHEMIST THROUGH THE AGES An Investigation of the Stage History of Ben Jonson's Play This study was made to trace the stage h i s t o r y of The Alchemist 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 developing c r i t i c a l awareness of Jonson's dramatic s k i l l i n t h i s popular play. Therefore an attempt has been made to record a l l performances by major companies between 1610 and 197 0 with cast l i s t s and other pertinent information about scenery/ stage action and properties. The second part of the thesis provides 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 of acting and production, and o v e r a l l c r i t i c a l reception. Garrick's adaption, which dominated the stage during the eighteenth century, r e f l e c t e d the genius of i t s producer but also demonstrated the s k i l l with which Jonson balanced the p l o t . Garrick featured the part of Drugger, one of the minor g u l l s , but Jonson's p l o t structure remained i n t a c t as the r i d i c u l i n g of 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 . William Poel's production, on the other hand, emphasized the rapid p l o t development by use of a pseudo-Elizabethan stage, and he l a i d heavy stress on the elocution proving that the i i i alchemical jargon was an e s s e n t i a l element of the play and should not be cut because audiences could not understand i t . The Ashland production (1961) also demonstrated the e f f e c t i v e - ness of the pseudo-Elizabethan stage i n presenting the f a s t moving comic a c t i o n . I t emphasized the f a r c i c a l nature of the play and the repertory casting revealed the s k i l l with which Jonson balanced his characters. The Old Vic production (1962), directed by Tyrone Guthrie, assumed that Jonson had to be modernized to be understood by contempory audiences, but his tampering with the text d i s t o r t e d and weakened the play i n a number of ways. F i n a l l y , i n the concluding chapter, an attempt has been made to provide an analysis of The Alchemist based on in s i g h t s provided by the preceding material i n an e f f o r t to show that l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m of a play i s often c l o s e l y linked with t h e a t r i c a l experience. The complex interweaving of subplot with subplot, the f i n e l y etched characters, the colour- f u l language, the important t h e m e s — a l l are as t h e a t r i c a l l y e f f e c t i v e today as they were i n 1610. The stage h i s t o r y of The Alchemist demonstrates that i t i s one of Ben Jonson's most popular plays, and the reasons are v i s i b l y evident upon in 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 productions. i v .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 G. TWENTIETH CENTURY, 1899-197 0 26 CHAPTER TWO: INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTIONS OF THE ALCHEMIST 34 A. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 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 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. INTRODUCTION Although a vast increase of scholarly i n t e r e s t i n Ben Jonson i s evident i n the twentieth century there has been very l i t t l e attempt to follow the trend i n Shakespearean studies, where the contributions of t h e a t r i c a l h i s t o r y and t r a d i t i o n have thrown much.light on Shakespeare's a r t i s t i c method.. By investigating the e f f e c t of Jonson*s language and imagery i n the theatre, where text, actor and audience are drawn together to create and experience the phenomenon which i s known as drama, one might reach conclusions as to the reasons for the f l u c t u a t i n g public acceptance of Jonson as a dramatic a r t i s t — r e a s o n s which might a f f e c t our appraisal of his work today. Therefore the following study reviews the major productions of The Alchemist from i t s f i r s t production i n Jacobean London to the recent production by the National Theatre Company i n Stratford, Ontario and investigates the changes occurring i n text and presentation, the c r i t i c a l reaction to the productions, and f i n a l l y draws some tentative conclusions as to how these productions have affected our reaction to Jonson's play. 2 "Why i s drama studied without reference to t h e a t r i c a l q u a l i t i e s ? " i s one of the questions that prompted th i s study of the stage history of The Alchemist. Since drama i s a unique form of l i t e r a t u r e i n which the actor i s required to present the work, i t seems reasonable that an investi g a t i o n of performances w i l l reveal - facets of the drama unavailable to a student who i s r e s t r i c t e d to the text and scholarly c r i t i c i s m . And since interpretations change with d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l a ttitudes, a key to Jonson's genius may be found i n discovering when his plays were popular and why, what charac- ters or incidents received most attention, and what changes were made. In s i f t i n g through the wealth of material i n such 1 2 3 authorities as Chambers, Bentley, Noyes, and Herford and 4 Simpson, i t i s evident that Jonson would have been the greatest Elizabethan dramatist known today i f the plays of William Shakespeare had not survived, but.: i t i s only i n the twentieth century, through the c r i t i c a l editionr.of his works by Herford and Simpson, that Jonson has r i g h t f u l l y claimed his share of the academic spotlig h t focused on Elizabethan and Stuart drama. Modern c r i t i c s generally concede that to consider drama simply from the point of view of l i t e r a t u r e i s to miss many of i t s inherent.values, and that t h e a t r i c a l performances lead to a f u l l e r understanding. But i t i s an accepted f a c t that no t h e a t r i c a l production can possibly recreate a play 3 without imposing a point of view that may dis t o r t , t h e l i t e r a r y creation. 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 Alchemist was written no longer e x i s t , and the aim of producers, from Garrick to Guthrie,.has been to present the play i n a manner that w i l l create for t h e i r contempory audience the best 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 that which Jonson intended for his own audience. "In the theatre" according to John Russell Brown "everything i s subject to revaluation, every time a play 5 is-performed; t h i s i s the nature of the medium." Despite such revaluations one can consider many productions as o f f e r i n g new insights into the play. To do th i s one must separate the t h e a t r i c a l tastes and practices of the time from what i s known of the o r i g i n a l text, so as to di s t i n g u i s h what has been dis t o r t e d and what has been enhanced. Only then can one consider the play as a dramatic poem with elements of permanence that d i s t i n g u i s h a l l works of a r t , those elements that make the play as relevant to us today as i t was to Jacobean audiences, that make i t , as Jonson said of Shakespeare "Not of an age, but for a l l time." There are several reasons why there have been few stage h i s t o r i e s . o f Jonson's.plays. One important reason i s the f a c t that there have been few professional productions of his.plays i n the twentieth century and therefore c r i t i c s have not.been attracted.to the t h e a t r i c a l aspects of his 4 drama. But perhaps the root cause goes back to Jonson him- s e l f . He wrote his plays to f i t a c r i t i c a l doctrine he himself had l a i d down, so i t was natural to investigate his plays using l i t e r a r y rather than t h e a t r i c a l c r i t e r i a . Whereas Shakespeare wrote his plays to be acted, and cared l i t t l e about the published texts, Jonson conscientiously wrote with one eye on the l i t e r a r y product. This does not mean that Jonson neglected the t h e a t r i c a l elements, but his emphasis was placed on the text. For t h i s reason, i n s u f f i c i e n t attention was given to the t h e a t r i c a l e f f e c t s o f . h i s plays. Nevertheless several works deal s p e c i f i c a l l y with the stage hi s t o r y of The Alchemist, and some editions include b r i e f accounts of performances, but no one has investigated the e f f e c t of productions of the play on scholarly appreciation. Herford and Simpson (IX, 223-240) l i s t s most of the perfor- mances with casts, but provides l i t t l e c r i t i c a l comment, and t h e i r summary of twentieth century productions gives as much weight to univ e r s i t y productions as to professional ones, which i s unfortunate because professional productions have much more e f f e c t on c r i t i c a l appreciation and tend to be more e f f e c t i v e l y u n i f i e d . R.G. Noyes i n Ben Jonson on the English Stage, 1660-1776, provides 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 excellent account i s li m i t e d by the self-imposed dates and the date of publication (1935), while * 6 A.C. Spragues summary, although.providing a concise summary 5 of the play's stage history, i s marred by several inaccuracies and i s highly s e l e c t i v e . The best account is> the introductory 7 section to F.L. Bergmann1s master's thesis which provides an excellent synopsis of the stage his t o r y . His analysis of Garrick's production i s very clear as i s his discussion of the prompt book and the c r i t i c a l reports of Garrick's acting. The only f a u l t l i e s i n his making statements without giving proof or examples from the text, although upon invest i g a t i o n one finds that his observations are generally correct. A l l of the above sources have been invaluable i n pro- viding material for my thesis and my aim i s to provide s t i l l more information about performances and to come to an extended understanding of the play. B. STUART AND COMMONWEALTH PERIOD, 1610-1660 The early stage history of The Alchemist i s d i f f i c u l t to trace. On 3 October 1610 i t was entered i n the.Stationers \ Register by Walter Burre as a comedy written by Ben Jonson 8 and a quarto e d i t i o n was printed i n 1612. I t was also printed i n the 1616 F o l i o of Jonson's Works, where the t i t l e page gave the following information. THE ALCHEMIST. / A Comoedie. / Acted i n the yeere 1610. By the / K i n g s Maiesties Seruants. / The Author B.I. / Lvcret. / petere inde coronam, / Vnde prius n u l l i velarant tempore muja.~7 (rule) / London, / Printed . by William Stansby / (rule) -M.DC. XVI. 9 6 Therefore, although the exact date of i t s f i r s t performance i s uncertain, i t was probably produced i n 1610, and since the theatres were closed from 12 July to 29 November 1610 because.of the p l a g u e , t h e play probably was produced i n the f i r s t half of the year."'""'; This conjecture i s substantiated by Geoffrey T i l l o t s o n ' s discovery of a l e t t e r i n the Fulman Papers at 12 Corpus C h r i s t i College, Oxford. Dated September 1610, this letter is a copy of Henry Jackson's Latin correspondence made by William Fulman and i t gives d e f i n i t e proof that The Alchemist and Shakespeare's Othello were produced at Oxford i n September 1610. The King's men frequently made short p r o v i n c i a l tours during the autumn to escape the plague i n London and i n 1610 they played at Dover, Oxford and Shrews- 13 bury from July 12 to early i n December. Since i t i s unl i k e l y that a new play such as The Alchemist 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 that the play was o r i g i n a l l y performed i n London before the 14 theatres were closed. Jackson's l e t t e r exhibits great h o s t i l i t y to the performance: "non contenti Alcumistas perstringere ipsas sanctas Scriptas foedissime v i o l a r i n t . " This i s the sort of comment which might,account for Robert-Herrick's l i n e s , written a f t e r Jonson,'s death: 7 that monstrous s i n Of deep and arrant ignorance came i n Such ignorance as theirs was who once hiss'd At thy unequalI'd play, the Alchemist. —Hesperides (1648) , 1 5 Where the play was f i r s t performed i s open to conjec- ture. Besides the information that i t was performed i n Oxford during the summer p r o v i n c i a l tour of 1610, no d e f i n i t e facts e x i s t . In 1610 the King's Men were acting at the Globe and the B l a c k f r i a r s , so i t i s l i k e l y The Alchemist was produced at both theatres. However G.E. Bentley's assertion that numerous all u s i o n s show c l e a r l y that i t was written for the B l a c k f r i a r s " ^ has been generally accepted by modern 17 c r i t i c s , although Herford and Simpson maintain that i t 18 was f i r s t performed at the Globe. At.the end of the f o l i o text (1616), Jonson l i s t s the " p r i n c i p a l Comedians" who acted i n the f i r s t production. The exact d i s t r i b u t i o n of parts i s not known, but the cast 19 given below has generally been accepted. Richard Burbage - Face John Lowine - Mammon Henry Condell - • Surly Alexander Cooke - Ananias Robert Armin - Drugger John Heminge - Subtle William Ostler - Lovewit John Underwood - Dapper Nicholas Tooley - T r i b u l a t i o n William Ecclestone — K a s t r i l 8 This casting i s p a r t l y conjecture, although based on con- tempory reports and comparison with other parts played by the actors. When Burbage died i n 1619 for instance, Joseph Taylor was hired s p e c i f i c a l l y to play 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 well, Jago, Truewit i n The S i l e n t Woman and Face 20 i n The Alchymist." Wright also says "Lowin used to Act, with 2 mighty Applause, F a l s t a f f e , Morose, Volpone and Mammon. . . ." I t i s probable that Robert Armin, played Drugger. This would give added meaning to the l i n e s , [Face:] Hast thou no c r e d i t with the players? [Drugger:[ Yes, s i r , did you never see me play the foole? (IV. v i i . 68-69) for Armin was the " f o o l " of the King's Men. I t has been 22 argued that Alexander Cooke played Dol Common, since he frequently played female r o l e s , but he probably took the part of the petulant Puritan Ananias i n 1610, for he was too old to play to r o l e of a buxom p r o s t i t u t e . The play was revived at court during the Christmas season of 1612/13 and again on 1 January 1622/23. On 1 December 1631 the play was given at B l a c k f r i a r s i n accordance with an agreement made between the King's Men and S i r Henry Herbert who was to receive the receipts for "too days i n the yeare, the one i n summer, the other i n winter, to bee taken out of the second daye of a revived playe at my own choyse." The t o t a l receipts 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 for a winter performance. 24 Of t h i s , Herbert received thirteen pounds. The Alchemist must have been a.popular play since i t i s to be assumed that S i r Henry Herbert would choose plays which would provide him with a handsome p r o f i t - The f i n a l recorded performances i n London before the theatres were closed by the Puritans were on 21 January 1639 when a c e r t a i n Ann Merricke wrote that she wished she could have seen "The Alchymist, which I heare th i s tearme i s revived," and on 18 May 1639 when S i r Humphrey Mildmay saw 25 the play when his seat cost him f i v e s h i l l i n g s . The popularity of the play i n the Jacobean period i s attested to by the f a c t that i t was revived at court several times, and references made i n contemporary accounts, although 26 small i n number, are highly lauditory. According to Nielson i t was frequently produced u n t i l the close of the theatres and played a substantial r o l e i n ridding London of fake 27 alchemists. During the Commonwealth, the play was kept a l i v e by the s t r o l l i n g players i n the form of a d r o l l c a l l e d "The Imperick" which was l a t e r c o l l e c t e d by Francis Kirkman i n The Wits; or, Sport upon Sport (1672) . This d r o l l was made up of three scenes from The Alchemist, (I, i i i ; I I , v and v i ) , two of which involved Abel Drugger and one featuring Ananias. The argument i s given as "Under the nation of his knowledge 10 i n Chymistrie, he cheats a Grocer and a Precisian," and except for a few t r a n s i t i o n a l phrases, the text i s the same as i n Jonson's Works. This d r o l l emphasized the comic p o s s i b i l i t i e s inherent i n Jonson's characterization of the s i l l y tobaconist, and foreshadows Garrick's adaption which made the play into a comic farce dominated by the f o o l i s h g u l l i b i l i t y of Drugger. The Alchemist was performed during the Commonwealth period i n Dublin, at the only pre-Restoration theatre b u i l t outside of London. A prologue was written for the performances by James Shirley who arrived i n Dublin i n 1636 and stayed t i l l 2 8 1640, but since the Werburgh Street Theatre was not b u i l t 29 u n t i l 1637 the play must have been produced between then and 30 1640, when the prologue was published. Shirley's prologue i s f u l l of praise f o r Jonson's play as the opening l i n e s i l l u s t r a t e : The Alchemist, a play for strength of wit And true a r t , made to shame what hath been writ In former ages; I accept no worth Of what or Greek or Latins 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 his soul be f i t to be Judge of t h i s masterpiece of comedy. Poems (1646), ed. G i f f o r d , VI, 490-491. 11 C. RESTORATION 1660-1770 In the Restoration period The Alchemist became very popular, and was one of the f i r s t plays to be revived aft e r Charles II's return. By 1663 i t had established i t s e l f as one of the p r i n c i p a l stock plays of the King's Players, and many Restoration actors gained reputations by acting i n the play. Major Mohun as Face, Walter Clun as Subtle, John Lacy as Ananias and Mrs. Katherine Corey as Dol Common—all became known by the roles they took i n Jonson's play. In 1660 two dramatic companies were formed i n London: the Duke's Company, centered around the bright young star Thomas Betterton, and the King's Players run by Thomas Ki l l i g r e w and mainly made up of older, more experienced actors. I t was this company, headed by Micheal Mohun, Charles Hart and Nicholas.Butt, that revived the old Elizabethan and 31 Jacobean d-ocamas, among which Jonson's played a major part. The intense 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 United Company, and f o r the next thirteen years t h i s company provided the only professional stage for dramatic presentations i n London. The Alchemist was an immediate h i t with the Restora- ti o n audience. Although i t i s d i f f i c u l t to date the f i r s t r e v i v a l , a performance was given i n l a t e 1660 by the King's Company, according to an extant prologue that was undoubtedly 12 published i n 1660. This prologue i s the f i r s t d e f i n i t e record we have of a performance a f t e r the Restoration, and deserves to be quoted i n f u l l , since i t reveals the reasons for the play's popularity during the late seventeenth century: PROLOGUE To The REVIV'D ALCHEMIST. The Alchemist; F i r e , breeding Gold, our Theme: Here must no Melancholie be, nor Flegm. Young Ben, not Old, writ t h i s , when i n his Prime, Solid i n Judgment, and i n Wit sublime. The S i s t e r s , who at Thespian Springs their Blood. Cool with fresh Streams, A l l , i n a Merry Mood, Their wat'ry Cups, and Pittances declin'd, At Bread-street's Mer-maid with our Poet din'd: Where, what they Drank, or who p l a i d most the Rig, Fame modestly conceals: but He grew big Of t h i s p r i s ' d Issue; when a Fo v i a l Maid, His Brows besprinkling with Canarie, said. Pregnant by Us, produce no Mortal B i r t h ; Thy active Soul, q u i t t i n g the sordid Earth, Shall 'amongst Heav'ns g l i t t ' r i n g Hieroglyphicks trade, And Pegasus, our winged Sumpter, jade, Who from Parnassus never brought to Greece, Nor Romane Stage, so rare a Master-piece. This Story, true of f a l s e , may well be spar's; The Actors are i n question, not the Bard: How they s h a l l humour t h e i r o f t - v a r i e d Parts, To get your Money, Company, and Hearts, Since a l l Tradition, and l i k e Helps are l o s t . Reading our B i l l new pasted on the Post, Grave Stagers both, one, to the other said, The Alchemist? What! are the Fellows mad? Who s h a l l Doll Common Act? Their tender Tibs Have neither Lungs, nor Confidence, nor Ribs. Who Face, and Subtle? Parts, a l l A i r , and F i r e : They, whom the Authour did Himself i n s p i r e , Taught, Line by Line, each T i t t l e , Accent, Word, Ne're reach'd His Height; a l l a f t e r , more absurd, Shadows of fa i n t e r Shadows, wheresoe're A Fox he pencil'd, copied out a Bear 13 Encouragement for young Beginners small: Yet howsoe're we'll venture; have at A l l . Bold Ignorance (they say) f a l l s seldome short In Camp, the Countrey, C i t y , or the Court. Arm'd with the influence of your f a i r Aspects, Our Selves we'll conquer, and our own Defects. A thousand Eyes dart.raies into our Hearts, Would make Stones speak, and Stocks play well t h e i r Parts: Some few Malignanat Beams we need not fear, Where shines such Glory i n so bright a Sphere.32 The Prologue, extant i n a broadside i n the Worcester College Library, was o r i g i n a l l y attributed to Davenant, but i t i s u n l i k e l y that the manager of a r i v a l company would have written a prologue for his competition. However i t i s a vigorous poetic advertisement for Jonson*s masterpiece. The opening couplets introduce the subject and reassure the audience that t h i s i s not one of Jonson's "dotages." The prologue then goes on to ask who s h a l l act Jonson's vigorous 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 innovation adopted by the Restoration theatres of having women play female r o l e s . A probable cast can be reconstructed from the l i s t 33 supplied by Downs: Face - Mohum; Mammon - Cartwright; Surly - Burt; Ananias - Lacy; Wholesome - Bateman; Dame P l i a n t - Mrs. Rutter. Downes l i s t s Wintersel as Subtle but :Clun 34 probably acted the part u n t i l his death i n August 1664. The f i r s t dated performance i s 22 June 1661, when Pepys saw the play at the King's Theatre i n Vere Street. He 35 thought i t "a most incomparable play" and went to see i t . 1 4 again on 14 August. There was also a performance on 16 December 1661, by which time Mrs. Corey was playing Dol 36 ' 37 Common and Mrs. Rutter was playing Dame P l i a n t . The following year Dr. Edward Brown went to the New Theatre i n Lincolns Inne F i e l d s where he paid 2s. 6d to see The 38 Alchymist produced by the "K. P." (King's Players). On 13 February 166 2 the play was seen by Jacques Thierry and 39 W i l l S c h i e l l i n k s , while John Ward records a performance m September of the same year. His diary entry reads as follows: I saw Ben Johnsons play c a l l e d the Alchymist acted i n which 2 parts were acted wel, the Doctor and the puritan, the l a t e r incomparably a t t the play house which i s the Kings betwixt Lincolns 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, the diary entry, a l - though not dated, was probably written before September 1662 42 and on closer examination suggests that the entry was made between 1 and 25 September, 1662. He accepts Downes cast for a t t r i b u t i n g the parts of the Doctor (Subtle) to Wintersel and that of the Puritan, 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. However i t i s probable that Clun played the r o l e of Subtle since his name appears i n documents pertaining to 43 the King's Company at that time. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the Puritan as T r i b u l a t i o n i s also probably i n error, since the role of Ananias i s much more l i k e l y to catch the' eye of 15 44 the spectator. Therefore i t i s probable that i t was John Lacy who inspired Ward's comment, es p e c i a l l y since the role was one of his best. Pepys records other performances of The Alchemist for 3 August 1664 and 17 A p r i l 1669. The f i r s t entry records the death of Walter Clun: Clune, one of t h e i r [King's Players] best actors was, the l a s t night, going out of town (after he had acted the Alchymyst, wherein was one of his best parts that he acts) to his country-house, set upon and murdered. . . . The house w i l l have a great miss of him. Dairy, 4 August 1664 .^ 5 The second entry confirms the l a s t prediction, for when Pepys saw the play again he remarked, " i t i s s t i l l a good play . . . 46 but I So miss Clun for the Doctor." This r e v i v a l , and others on 12 November 1674 and 26 October 1675 were command performances which the King attended, and the company received 47 10 for each performance. No other,performance was recorded u n t i l the beginning of the eighteenth century, although the play was well known by contempory writers. For instance, Aphra Behn, i n reply to a harsh c r i t i c i s m of her play The Dutch Lover (1673) defends herself by attacking current t h e a t r i c a l tastes which considered Jonson as the i d e a l playwright. She says: I have seen a man the most severe of Johnson 1s. Sect, s i t with his Hat remov'd less than a hair's breadth from one s u l l e n posture for almost three hours at The Alchymist; who at that excellent Play of Harry the Fourth (which yet I hope i s far enough from Farce! Hath very hardly kept his Doublet whole. The Works of Aphra Behn, I, 224T8 16 D. EARLY EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 1700-1743 According to William van Lennep, The Alchemist was 49 revived at Drury Lane i n 1700 by Christopher Rich. Volpone and Epiceone were also revived, and according to the author 50 of A Comparison between the Two Stages (1702), a l l three had l a i n unacted for twenty years. This statement, at l e a s t as f a r as The Alchemist i s concerned, seems to be correct, for Gerald Langbaine does not mention the play i n h i s book, An Account of the English Dramatick Poets (1691) The f i r s t performances of The Alchemist for which there are records i n the eighteenth century were on 27 March and 1 A p r i l 1701, when Lady Morley saw the play at Drury Lane. No cast i s given but i t i s possible Colley Cibber played 51 Subtle. The following year i t was produced by Betterton's Company on 9 October "at the New Theatre i n Lincoln's Inn 52 F i e l d s , " the f i r s t time the play was attempted by players 53 not connected with Drury Lane. After t h i s r e v i v a l there were several lapses i n the acting of The Alchemist, but from 1721 u n t i l 1776 there were only eight seasons without a performance. In 1709 the f i r s t acting quarto of the play was published and the play was 54 performed seven times at Drury Lane, with the following cast: 17 Subtle - Co l l y Cibber Ananias - Benjamin Johnson Face - George Powell T r i b u l a t i o n - George Pack Mammon - Richard Estcourt Lovewit - John Bic k e r s t a f f Surly - John M i l l s K a s t r i l - William Bullock Drugger - William Pinkethman Dame P l i a n t - Mrs. Cox Dapper - Henry Norris Dol Common - Mrs. Saunders 55 To have six performances i n three months the play must have been very popular, a f a c t indicated by Co l l y Cibber's choice of i t for h i s benefit which netted him 1 Is. l/2d.^^ A special epilogue was written and delivered at that performance (26 March 1709) by Cibber himself. The f i n a l performance on 11 May was well reviewed by Richard Steele i n The Ta t l e r : This Evening The Alchymist was play'd. This Comedy i s an Example of Ben 1s extensive Genius and Penetration into the Passions and F o l l i e s of Mankind. The Scene i n the Fourth Act, where a l l the cheated People oppose the Man that would open their Eyes, has something i n i t so inimatably excellent, that i t i s c e r t a i n l y as great a Masterpiece as has ever appear'd by any Hand. The Author's great Address i n showing Coveteousness, the Motive of the Actions of the Puritan, the Epicure, 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, center only i n that one Point of Gain, shows he has to a great Perfection that Discernment of S p i r i t , which constitutes a Genius for Comedy. 57 During the 1709-1710 season, several players revolted against Rich's management at Drury Lane and performed at the 58 Haymarket where The Alchemist was presented twice with a modified cast. Wilks played Face while Dogget played Dapper. 59 The second performance was W i l l Pinkethman 1s benefit. The following season the players returned to Drury Lane where the play was performed on 10 February and 6 A p r i l , 1711 with the same cast as i n 1709. The 1711-1712 season saw two more 18 performances on 11 December 1711 and 19 February 1712 but there were no more u n t i l 22 December 1713. No cast i s given for t h i s performance, but with the death of Richard Estcourt i n 1712 there must have been a modified cast. The play then disappeared from the boards u n t i l i t was given at Drury Lane 6 0 "Not Acted these Ten Years, By Royal Command" on 25 October 17 21 when the Prince and Princess were present. The most in t e r e s t i n g feature of t h i s r e v i v a l i s the epilogue written e s p e c i a l l y for the occasion. An Epilogue spoke to a Play C a l l ' d the Alchymist. Old Surly Ben, to Night hath l e t us know, That i n t h i s I s l e a Plenteous Crop did Grow Of Knaves and Fools, a Hundred Years ago: Chymists Bawds, Gamesters £ a Numerous Train Of humble Rogues, Content with 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 e Stage; Our Knaves Sin higher Now then those of ..Old, Kingdoms, not Private Men, are Bought &_ Sold, Witness the South-sea Project, which hath shown How far Phylosophers may be out done By Modern S m n that hav'e found y e Stone. Well might i t take i t s T i t l e from the Main, That Rose so swift and Sunk so soon again; Fools have been always B i t by a r t f u l l Lyes, But here the Cautious were deceiv'd & wise, And Yet, i n these F l a g i t i o u s Monstrous Times, The Knves detected Triumph i n th e i r Crimes, Wallow i n Wealth, have a l l things at Command, And Brave the Vengeance of an Injur'd Land; Well 1 since wee've Learn'd Experience at our Cost, , Let us preserve the Remnant not yet Lost, ', Though L w, from France, be landed on the Coast, By Sober Arts Aspire to G u i l t l e s s Fame, And Prove that Virtue's not an Empty Name.61 -The^play ran three consecutive nights and was played again on 22 November. From t h i s epilogue, the reasons for the popular- i t y of the r e v i v a l can e a s i l y be asertained. Public resent- ment against f i n a n c i a l speculators, e s p e c i a l l y those connected with 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 , was s t i l l quite strong. Added to t h i s , the celebrated John 6 2 Law, founder of the M i s s i s s i p p i scheme, had just arrived back i n London and was present at the opening performance on 25 October. 6 3 The cast had many new faces, as can be seen from a comparison with the cast of 1709. Subtle Face Mammon Surly Drugger Dapper - C o l l y Cibber - John M i l l s - John Harper - Wilks, J r . - W. Pinketham - Henry Norris Ananias - Ben Johnson T r i b u l a t i o n - Benjamin G r i f f i n Lovewit - Shepard K a s t r i l - Josias M i l l e r Dame P l i a n t - Mrs. Markham Dol Common - Mrs. Wetherilt However t h i s cast remained stable for some time, as Robert 64 Noyes point out. The only major change was the appearance of Theophilus Cibber i n the ro l e of Drugger, a part he played from 1731 t i l l 1746 when the success of David Garrick forced him to r e l i n q u i s h the r o l e . From 1721 t i l l 1747 when the play became a vehicle for Garrick's Abel Drugger, Jonson's play was acted i n every season except three, 6^ reaching a peak of eight performances 6 6 i n the 1733-1734 season. Its popularity and success can be measured by the number of times i t was chosen by the actors for t h e i r benefits. An account of the comedy during th i s period i s given by Thomas Davies: 20 C o l l y Cibber I have seen act Subtle with great a r t ; the elder M i l l s at the same time played Face with much shrewd s p i r i t and ready impudence. The two Palmers have successively acted Face with 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 Johnson[sic] were much admired for th e i r just representation of the canting p u r i t a n i c a l preacher and his solemn deacon the botcher; there was an effected softness i n the former which was f i n e l y contrasted by the f a n a t i c a l fury of the o t h e r — G r i f f e n s features seemed ready to be relaxed into a smile, while the s t i f f muscles and f i e r c e eye of the other admitted of no suppleness of compliance. . . . I have never seen an adequate representer of S i r Epicure [Mammon], from Harper down to Love. The f i r s t seemed to have been taught by one who had juster concep- tions of what was to be done i n the part than the player could execute. 67 The popularity of the play i s indicated by the famous Dr. Arbuthnot: I therefore refer my Reader to the celebrated Comedy ca l l e d the Alchymist, which opens with a high Quarrel between Face and Subtle, wherein the l a t t e r s e l l s the other two Bargains almost i n a Breath . . . . I purposely forbear to quote th i s choice Passage, that I may the more excite my Reader's C u r i o s i t y , to be present at the Representation of the Play, which I doubt not, ,upon the Hint I have here given, w i l l be frequently c a l l e d f or be- fore, the End of the Season; as soon as the Curtain r i s e s , otherwise he w i l l be disappointed of his Expectation..68 On 15 September 17 35, the play "was performed to a crowded Audience with universal Applause," and had to be repeated the following evening for those "who could not get Places 69 Yesterday." About th i s time there were a few changes i n the cast. On 6 A p r i l 1736 Mrs. Pritchard f i r s t appeared as Dol Common, a part she played intermittently u n t i l 70 1768. In 1737 Macklxn assumed the r o l e of Face and William Havard took Surly, while K a s t r i l f e l l to Woodward 21 and Dapper to Yates i n the next two seasons, and i n 1742 Edward Berry took over the r o l e of Mammon. E. GARRICK ERA, 1743-1776 On Monday 21 March, 1743 a new era i n the stage history of The Alchemist was ushered i n . At a benefit performance for Charles Macklin, David Garrick acted Abel Drugger for the 71 f i r s t time at Drury Lane with an experienced supporting cast; Macklin playing Face, M i l l s playing Subtle and Mrs. Macklin playing Dol. There was a minor, incident even before the performance began, as the Daily Advertiser announced: As Mr. Macklin has reason to believe that several of his t i c k e t s are counterfeited, and w i l l be o f f e r * d for sale i n the streets and passages leading to the theatre, he begs leave to give t h i s publick caution of the fraud; and humbly desires that Gentlemen and Ladies who have taken places, to send f o r Tickets to the Theatre or to Mr. Macklin at his house i n Bow Street. 72 From the time Garrick f i r s t appeared i n the part of Abel Drugger u n t i l his retirement i n 1776, The Alchemist was presented i n a l l but f i v e seasons. During that time Garrick played Drugger ninety two times, and the f a c t that the play was not offered by the r i v a l company at Covent Garden during t h i s period indicates that no one dared attempt to match G a r r i c k 1 s performance. In his f i r s t two seasons Garrick shared the r o l e with Theophilus Cibber and C o l l i n s , but when he became j o i n t manager of Drury Lane i n 1747 the r o l e was reserved for him, the only exceptions being the two performances by Thomas 73 Weston whxle Garrxck was on his European tour i n 1763-1764. 74 Garrick considered Drugger one of his best parts, and so cl o s e l y was he i d e n t i f i e d with the r o l e that Samual Foote planned to write a burlesque play t i t l e d The Drugger's 75 Jubilee. During the Garrick era, Drury Lane operated on the repertory system, which meant that when a play was revived few changes of cast were necessary. Between 1747 and 1776 Garrick played Drugger every.time except when he was on his European tour; John Palmer was Face from 1755 t i l l 1769 and Packer played Lovewit.from 1759 t i l l 1776. Most of the other roles were the exclusive property of one or two actors. throughout the whole period. However, only Mrs. Bennett remained from the o r i g i n a l 1743 cast by the time Garrick made his European Tour i n 1763. M i l l s gave up acting Subtle i n 1749, when the part f e l l to Bridges. In 1753 Burton took on the r o l e and, except for several performances by Woodward, played the part u n t i l 1772. The play earned handsome p r o f i t s . Three performances 77 in the 1775-1776 season grossed 713 l i s . 6d. A single 23 performance on 20 March 1753 grossed ^ 330 and during the 1755-1756 season when i t was performed eight times i t earned 3̂  1350. The success, however, can best be judged from the f a c t that i t remained a stock play at the Drury Lane Theatre throughout the thirty-three.years that Garrick acted there, and during that time served as the mainpiece for sixteen benefit performances, a mark of i t s popularity with actors 7 8 and audiences a l i k e . F. LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY AND NINETEENTH CENTURY, 1776-1899 After Garrick's retirement i n 1776, the play was per- formed i n a shortened version on March 21, 1782 and i n A p r i l 79 1787. However, a poor imitation prose version by Francis Gentleman, c a l l e d The Tobacconist continued to be popular. This farce was based on Jonson's characterization of Abel Drugger, but has l i t t l e dramatic value being l i t t l e more than a vehicle for the actor taking the part of the t i t u l a r hero to e x h i b i t his s k i l l i n comic business. O r i g i n a l l y written for Thomas Weston who had been so successful as Abel Drugger i n Jonson's play while Garrick was i n Europe i n 1764, i t was f i r s t performed i n 1770. I t was probably t h i s farce that Mr. Kippling was r e f e r r i n g to i n 1788, when he spoke the Epilogue 8 0 "riding on an ass," and i t i s probably the a l t e r a t i o n that 24 Edmund Kean performed i n May, 1815 which Hazlett praised so 81 eloquently. 82 Robert Noyes summarizes the p l o t of The Tobacconist, and dismisses the play by quoting a contempory review from The London Evening Post. "To analyze [sic] t h i s 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 incoherent mixture of obsolete 8 3 humour and low buffoonery." However the play proved quite popular, being acted f i f t e e n times between 1770 and 17 75, two of which were benefit performances.^^ In 1773, Gentleman wrote The Pantheonites which has as i t s main character the grandson of Abel Drugger. Obviously written to c a p i t a l i z e on Weston's association with the past of Drugger, the farce was not a success and was performed only four times. 8^ Between 1815 and 1899 there i s no record of any per- formance, although the play was s t i l l held i n high regard by the l i t e r a r y f r a t e r n i t y of the age. In f a c t , Charles Dickens thought of producing the play i n 1848, with himself 8 6 as Mammon, but only got as f a r as two or three rehearsals. The reasons for the play's absence during t h i s period i s to be found by looking at the audience, for the nineteenth century theatre goers who frequented Drury Lane and Covent Gardens did not have the same tastes as the audience of Garrick's age. In an age of Romanticism and s e n s i b i l i t y , 25 Jonson's caustic, vigorous drama, i f not without merit, was at l e a s t without music. As William H a z l i t t phrased i t , Jonson's genius "resembles the grub more than the b u t t e r f l y , plods and grovels on, wants wings to wanton i n the i d l e 87 summer's a i r , and catch the golden l i g h t of poetry." Not only was the i n t e r e s t centered on poetry, but the school of c r i t i c i s m that emphasized characterization held f u l l sway, and Jonson's figures were i n s i g n i f i c a n t compared with the immortal g a l l e r y of characters created by Shakespeare. Jonson's play also did not f i t the taste of the general public. Its peculiar brand of realism was not appreciated, p a r t l y because the i n t e r e s t i n alchemy, astrology and Puritan- ism had become antiquated. But the main reason the play f e l l into disreputevwas, the language, which to the Victorians was highly offensive as well as u n i n t e l l i g i b l e . The oaths, not to mention the sexual fantacies of S i r Epicure Mammon, would have seared the ears of the genteel V i c t o r i a n s , while the c h a r a c t e r s — t h e whore, the procurer, the sexual f a n a t i c — would have held l i t t l e i n t e r e s t for an audience who preferred sentimental drawing-room dramas. The V i c t o r i a n attitude towards the play i s r e f l e c t e d i n the comments of A.W. Ward, who, while praising the play condemns i t for i t s immorality, maintaining that Jonson "was g u i l t y of a palpable error of omission i n allowing one of the conspirators [Face] to escape 8 8 with impunity," and Schlegel's opinion that of a l l Jonson's 26 plays "there i s hardly one which, as i t stands, would please 89 9 on the stage i n the present day" was u n i v e r s a l l y accepted. G. TWENTIETH CENTURY 1899-1970 91 On 24 February, 1899 the modern era of the stage history of The Alchemist was i n i t i a t e d by the Elizabethan 92 Stage Society. Produced by William Poel at Apothecaries' H a l l , B l a c k f r i a r s , The Alchemist was presented on a pseudo- Elizabethan stage from the quarto text of 1612. Although the c r i t i c from The Athenean complained that the play was " d e f i c i e n t i n almost everything that makes a great.play" he ended by saying that, the performance was "unique as i t was i n t e r e s t i n g , " and he gave special .mention- to the d i c t i o n which was "as a r u l e , good :—better even than i s often heard 93 on the regular stage." Poel also revived the play, again for the Elizabethan Stage Society, on the 11 and 12 July, 1902 at the Imperial Theatre, Westminster and on 4 August 94 1902 took the play to Cambridge where i t was performed i n the New Theatre under the auspices of the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ward. As usual, the play was given i n Elizabethan costume, but.the cast was s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t from that of the London production. The Marlowe Society produced the play i n March 1914 at Cambridge. They used f u t u r i s t i c settings and there was spe c i a l I t a l i a n music, but the major complaint of the c r i t i c s was the over-zealous pruning of the text. The reviewer for The Cambridge Magazine posed the r h e t o r i c a l question "when w i l l i t be possible to play our national drama from the text? . . . . [A] few cuts were undoubtedly desirable, but i t does not do to be unnecessarily squeamish i n a r e a l i s t i c picture 96 of low l x f e i n the metropolis." The Birmingham Repertory Company gave an outstanding 97 r e v i v a l on 8 A p r i l , 1916, with F e l i x Aylmer playing Subtle. In March 1923, the Phoenix Society revived the play at the Regent Theatre, King's Cross. Directed by Montague Summers and produced by A l l e n Wade, the play was an outstanding success. The c r i t i c of The Times considered i t one of the Society's best productions and drew attention to the "unusu- a l l y even balance" of the characters. Martin Armstrong, although admiring the performance of "the greatest farce of 98 the greatest English farce-writer," followed i n the foot- steps of T.S. E l i o t by drawing attention to the characteriz- ation which he believed was "two-dimensional," and to the 99 verse which he dismissed as " v e r s i f i e d prose." In August 1932, The Alchemist was performed at the Malvern F e s t i v a l with an outstanding cast, headed by Ralph Richardson as Face and Cedric Hardwicke as Drugger. 28 In March 1935,"^^ the play was performed at the Embassy Theatre, London directed by Olga Katzin,'''^ moving to Princes Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue i n A p r i l . The pro- duction received mixed reviews but the consummate roguery of Hugh M i l l e r as Subtle and the verse speaking a b i l i t y of Bruce Winston as Mammon were uni v e r s a l l y praised, and a l l reviewers thought the production highly entertaining. The Old Vic Company, directed by Tyrone Guthrie, performed a modern dress version at the Playhouse i n Liverpool during the 1944-1945 season, and the York Ci t i z e n ' s Theatre produced the play at the King's Theatre, Hammersmith 102 for a short run i n August 1945.. In 1947 the Old Vic Company revived The Alchemist at the New Theatre, St. Martin's Lane with George Relph as Subtle, Ralph Richardson as Face 103 and Ale:c Guinness as Drugger. Directed by John B u r r e l l , "the play was acted as a kind of harlequinade, swift and vigorous, but with a boisterousness hardly suited to Jonson.""'" However the major f a u l t lay i n the eighteenth century cos- tumes which were incongruous with Jonson's t o p i c a l s e t t i n g . A programme note explained that the play's "comment on l i f e can apply to any period not excluding our own, so prone to gambling, black-marketing, astrology, s p i r i t u a l i s m , psycho- analysis and other f i e l d s where charlatans practise cunningly, i l l e g a l l y , prosperously and.often amusingly" but t h i s does not excuse putting Jonson's seventeenth-century characters into eighteenth-century 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 dates the play so s p e c i f i c a l l y . Ale.e Guinness' Drugger was played with Cockney shyness that was both comic and touching, while Peter Copley's h y s t e r i c a l zeal as Ananias also caught the c r i t i c s ' eye. George Relph made a glorious alchemist and the r e s t of the cast f i t t e d i n w e l l . The play drew f u l l houses i n spite of snow and ice that temporarily halted rehearsals for the next production. In December, 1952 Dennis Carey directed the play for the B r i s t o l Old Vic at the Theatre Royal. This production was "a rapid series of s w i f t l y established, v i v i d impressions" and John Nev i l l e ' s cunning Face received excellent reviews. The reviewer i n The Stage gives a v i v i d pennail sketch of the performers . . . the dancing, black wisp with a chuckle l i k e crackling paper that James Cairncross makes of Subtle; the Cockney cunning of John Nev i l l e ' s Face; Robert Carfland puffed out with plum-coloured velvet and cut- ting an absurd caper as S i r Epicure Mammon; the "smock rampant" Pauline Jameson makes of Do l l Common; and the palsied crow—or a spectra from St. Trinian's cupboard, i f you l i k e — t h a t Peter Nicholls conjures out of the sable-clad Anaias. 106 In l a t e 1962, the Old Vic revived the play again, t h i s time modernized by Tyrone.Guthrie who had e a r l i e r directed i t at the Liverpool Old V i c . There.was much adverse comment about Guthrie's giving the play a contempory set t i n g , e s p e c i a l l y since the costuming ranged over a wide spectrum of periods. According to Ivor Brown, the play was so thoroughly altered that Jonson would scarcely have recognized i t , , but " i t was 107 v a s t l y amusing i n i t s audacious way." Guthrie inserted modern jokes, and changed anachronistic and obscure r e f e r - ences, but i n doing so he emphasised the oddness and quaint- ness of what was happening. Ivor Brown summarizes the production with the remark that "an admirer of Jonson's mordant exposure of,imposters and simpletons they prey upon could say that Guthrie had played with his author and not , n -i • ,,108 presented himj' The f i r s t recorded American performance of The Alchemist was given by the Fortune Players i n June 1931 at 109 the New School for Social Research. Directed by Olga Katzin, the production was acted with gusto, while the small auditorium and f l a t stage created an intimacy impossible on the t y p i c a l Broadway.stage. In May 1948, the New York C i t y Center Theatre Company revived the play but i t was not well r e c e i v e d . T h e play was compressed into two acts and an o r i g i n a l prologue added i n the b e l i e f that Jonson's exposition needed c l a r i f i c a t i o n . .There were also some d r a s t i c textual cuts while the r o l e of T r i b u l a t i o n was rewritten as that of a, parson. In August 1961, three performances were given by the Oregon Shakespeare F e s t i v a l Association at Ashland, Oregon, on the outdoor pseudo-Elizabethan stage. Hugh Evans' Drugger, a mixture of i n a b i l i t y and devoted a f f a b i l - i t y , again showed why Garrick was so successful i n the part, as the g u l l i b l e tobacconist quickly gained the sympathy and i n t e r e s t of the audiences. On 14 September 1964, Stephen Porter directed a r e v i v a l at the Gate Theatre, New York. Stage business dominated the play, but John Heffernan as the charlatan doctor gave a s t e r l i n g performance and P h i l i p Minor's f u l l y - fleshed Mammon relish e d every imaginative d e t a i l i n his H I speeches. The Lincoln Center presented The Alchemist i n the 112 Vivian Beaumont Theatre, New York, on 13 October, 1966, but reviews were generally unenthusiastic. In emphasizing farce at.the expense of Jonson's comedy, Jules Irving may have overcome the shortcomings of h i s cast but i n doing so he cheapened Jonson's subtle a r t . The only part praised by the c r i t i c s was that of Lovewit who emerged as Jonson's moral a r b i t r a t o r . Played by P h i l i p Bosco t h i s usually unrewarding part demonstrated the,force of Jonson's characterization. Irving followed Tyrone Guthrie's example by casting an actress as T r i b u l a t i o n Wholesome, an unfortunate abnormality,. anddhis choice for other parts l e f t much to be desired. In the twentieth -century there have also been several outstanding minor productions i n Great B r i t a i n and North America, minor i n status, though frequently not i n q u a l i t y . On 9 and 10 December.1927, Birkbeck College gave a performance with a prologue written by J.H. Lobban. The students of Kirkland House, Harvard University performed the play on 12 November 1934 under the d i r e c t i o n of Dr. Huntingdon Brown, 114 who acted Ananias. The Durham College's Dramatic Society presented The Alchemist on 2 December 1938 with Dr. C l i f f o r d Leech as producer and the Wadham College Dramatic Society 115 gave two performances on 19 and 25 May 1946. . In 1949, the Cambridge Amateur Dramatic Company produced the play with John Barton as Subtle and Tony Robertson as Face. In the autumn of 1956 there was a production at the University of Colorado, directed by Jack Crouch, and Stephen Porter directed 1 1 6 a r e v i v a l at Princeton i n 1962. On 18 January 1965 the Meadow Players performed the play at.the Playhouse Oxford with Judi Deneh as Dol, John Turner as Face and Alan MacNaughton as Subtle. I t was directed by Frank Hauser. The play has also been adapted for radio and t e l e v i s i o n . On 29 January, 1951 the B.B.C. Home Service broadcast a radio version of the play, adapted by Frank Hauser and produced by Donald McWhinnie. C e c i l Trouser played Subtle, Donald Wolfit Face and Betty Bascomb was Dol Common.. Leighton Lucus composed and directed s p e c i a l music. A t e l e v i s i o n production was broadcast from the B.fi.C.'s Midland Studios on 29 May 1961. In 1960 Robert B. Loper staged The Alchemist for the Actor's Workshop i n San Francisco, a production l a t e r televised over KQED t e l e v i s i o n i n the Bay c i t y . 33 A twentieth 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 received some success. Origin- a l l y performed at the Edinburgh F e s t i v a l i n 1950, i t was revived at the Duke of York's Theatre on 30 A p r i l , 1952 and a t e l e v i s i o n adaptation as seen on B.B.C. on 19 August 117 1962. ' From the above l i s t i n g s i t can be seen that Ben Jonson's Alchemist i s gradually gaining again i n popularity. In f a c t even as I write t h i s , The Young Vic Company i s preparing to bring The Alchemist to Canada and there was a production i n Chichester England i n 1970. The current i n t e r e s t i s a r e s u l t of the trend to s a t i r e i n theatre but i n t e r e s t i s also due to the f a c t that the play i s fun to ^ watch and i n an age of wars, p o l l u t i o n and automation the emotional catharsism of entertainment i s not to be. sneered at. For too long Jonson has been primarily the concern of the c r i t i c and the l i t e r a r y purist/ and only now are his talents as a popular dramatist being given t h e i r true consideration. CHAPTER TWO INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTIONS OF THE ALCHEMIST A. INTRODUCTION No c r i t i c has seriously challenged Coleridge's assumption that The Alchemist i s one of the three f i n e s t plots i n literature''" but few c r i t i c s have praised i t i n terms of i t s t h e a t r i c a l q u a l i t i e s . Yet the stage hi s t o r y of the play proves that The Alchemist i s a t h e a t r i c a l masterpiece as i t has i n e v i t a b l y been popular when produced, and i t i s by far the best example of Jonson's dramatic genius since i t comes closest to achieving Jonson's i d e a l of uniting education and entertainment i n dramatic form. According to L.C. Knights "The Alchemist . . . i s a morality play on the l u s t s 2 of covetousness and licentiousness," an opinion Alan Dessen 3 agrees with. But Brian Gibbons sees the play as a type of i r o n i c exemplum i n which the triumverate of rogues are exposed, forced to confess and made to return to the str a i g h t and 4 narrow path of crime which seems to agree with J.B. Bamborough's contention that i n The Alchemist, "Jonson has 5 begun to lose sight of his sterner moral purpose. These c r i t i c s emphasize the moral purpose behind Jonson's play. 35 Another group of c r i t i c s praise the play because of i t s s a t i r e . According to Robert Reed, The Alchemist i s "the most masterful s a t i r e on b l i n d c r e d u l i t y ever written by Q 7 an English playwright," an opinion shared by A l v i n Kernan. F e l i x Schelling said the play was an attack upon "a s p e c i f i c 8 class of sharpens," but t h i s narrow view of the play i s very r e s t r i c t i v e . Although no-one can deny that the play i s a s a t i r e on the pretentiousness, affectations and foibles of seventeenth century London, one would miss a great deal i f they considered t h i s ifche only purpose Jonson had. For s a t i r e , a f t e r a l l , i s simply a term applied to the a r t i s t ' s method. Satire i s used to f u l f i l l Jonson's desire to shatter and reform. The contempory fads such as alchemy and Puritanism, affected manners and dress^are but a slight.importance compared with the main s a t i r e targets—man's g u l l i b i l i t y and greed. Some c r i t i c s maintain that the ending holds l i t t l e hope of moral regeneration, and i n the world of the play t h i s i s true, but as Jonson points out i n the argument, at the end of the performance " a l l i n fume:-are gone . p . However the.conclusions 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 dramatist can do no more. Considered as a work of a r t , The Alchemist i s a remarkable blend of Horatian s a t i r e with moral comedy, c l a s s i c form with native material. I t i s impressive because 36 of the way i n which the simple theme of man's greed has been fleshed out into a vari e t y of images connected with, but not bound, by the central theme. Yet the images play a minor ro l e compared with the pl o t that seems to move i n ever tightning c i r c l e s to i t s in e v i t a b l e end. In the theatre however the play i s bound to be i n t e r - preted with emphasis on some s p e c i f i c aspect. D i f f e r e n t productions have often stressed d i f f e r e n t aspects of the play and an examination of what happens to i t i n several productions reveals the t h e a t r i c a l tastes of d i f f e r e n t periods i n history and throws in t e r e s t i n g l i g h t on the s k i l l with which Jonson constructed the play as s o c i a l s a t i r e , comedy and dramatic entertainment. B. EARLY PRODUCTIONS, 1610-1743 In the Jacobean period, the audiences were probably attracted by the play's r e a l i s t i c ^treatment of seventeenth- century London l i f e with i t s scheming knaves, r i s i n g middle class and h y p o c r i t i c a l puritans. The s a t i r e aimed at alchemy, practised by such men as Dr. John Dee and Edward Kel l y , would have appealed i n an age i n which s c i e n t i f i c i n v e s t i - gations were often equaled with black magic, and the exposure and r i d i c u l i n g of the Puritans would have been enjoyed by 37 many. The Elizabethan stage would have f a c i l i t a t e d a brisk pace for the comedy, while the conspirators' frequent disguises could e a s i l y have been costumed on that, type of stage. The metaphorical aspect of Jonson's comic world would have been better understood by an audience attuned to the poetic use of language, e s p e c i a l l y since they were conditioned to the conventions of the Elizabethan stage which implied that the stage was a microcosm of the world. The success of the play i n the Restoration was probably 9 due i n part to the sa t i r e of the Anabaptists, because even as l a t e as 1683 the authorities were suppressing the Anabaptist preachers.^"" The opportunities inherent i n the female roles of Dol Common and Dame P l i a n t also were a factor i n The Alchemist's popularity at a time when women playing female roles was s t i l l novel on the London stage."''"'" F i n a l l y the bawdy language and comic wooing scenes would have delighted Restoration audiences that were rediscovering the enjoyment of risque comedy a f t e r sixteen years of Puritan suppression. In the process of doing research for The Jacobean and Caroline Stage G.E. Bentley came to the conclusion that during the Restoration Jonson was mentioned at, l e a s t as often 12 as Shakespeare. Although The Alchemist only ranked t h i r d 13 i n the number of al l u s i o n s to Jonsonian plays, i t received f a r more s p e c i f i c praise, and Dol Common.was the most f r e - 14 quently mentioned Jonsonian character. However i t i s d i f f i c u l t to accept Bentley's statement that "Jonson, and not 38 Shakespeare, was the dramatist of the seventeenth century. Reputation and popularity must not be confused. Although acclaimed by the c r i t i c a l public of the seventeenth century as the greatest English dramatist, Jonson was not as popular i n the theatre, as more Shakespearean plays were produced than Jonson's i n the period 1660-1700. It i s in t e r e s t i n g to note that most of the all u s i o n s r e f e r to Jonson's a b i l i t y to follow pseudo c l a s s i c rules i n his drama. The c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n s of France were evident i n the refined tastes of the Restoration theatre public and Jonson's plays f i t t e d the b i l l better than Shakespeare's. But the al l u s i o n s . t o Jonson's characters are more revealing. Dol, Face and Subtle are frequently mentioned and so i s Ananias, but Mammon and Drugger receive no attention. The conclusion i s obvious. The Restoration productions emphasized the conspirators and the g u l l i n g of the Puritans while the poetic f l i g h t s of Mammon and the simple g u l l i b i l i t y of Drugger were neglected. The emphasis was on the p l o t which was manipulated by the conspirators, who therefore naturally became the dramatic focus. On the other hand, i n the early eighteenth century, the a c t i v i t i e s of Subtle became the fo c a l point of the play and C o l l y Gibber's portrayal of Jonson's charlatan was very popular. The supporting g u l l s were merely pawns i n the deceptive game played by the conspirators, although they 16 were i n d i v i d u a l i z e d to emphasize man's ri d i c u l o u s greed. In the. 17.20's the play'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 play. At that time, London was s t i l l recovering from the e f f e c t of the South Sea Bubble i n which thousands of innocent stock- holders had been defrauded of. t h e i r investment because of the i r erroneous b e l i e f s i n the extravagant riches of South American Trade. This f i n a n c i a l skuldruggery had several s i m i l a r i t i e s with the f a n t a s t i c a l claims attributed by Subtle and Face to the philosopher's stone and resembled the g u l l i n g of credulous people by the mischievous t r i o . The commercial implications of t h e i r compact i s evident where Jonson informs us that: A cheater and his punqjue |_ eaving t h e i r narrow pr a c t i s e , were become C os'ners at large: and, onely wanting some H ouse to set v.p, with him they here contract/ E ach for a share, and a l l begin to act. M uch company they draw, and much abuse, I n casting figures, t e l l i n g fortunes, newes, S e l l i n g of f l y e s , f l a t bawdry, with 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 "practise," "House to set vp," "contract," "share," "company," and " s e l l i n g " underline the commercial character of t h e i r venture, and the opening scene continues the economic tone. Face reminds Subtle that i t i s he who attracts.the "customers" so that Subtle can practise his 40 "trades"; i t i s his " c r e d i t " that furnishes the "coales." Dol reminds her warring partners of th e i r business obligations ( I . i . 131-136) and manages to persuade Subtle to "labour, kindly, i n . the commune worke" ( I . i . 156). Later, when Surley comes, to them disguised as a Spaniard, Face and Subtle agree to forget t h e i r quarrel over who w i l l marry Dame P l i a n t and decide to r i s k her i n a t r u l y / commercial venture by having her serve their immediate needs. According to Face " A l l our venter/Now l i e s vpon't . . . . The c r e d i t of our house too i s engag'd . . . . It is.the common cause" ( I V . i i i . 65-76). Although Subtle i s reluctant to give up his share i n such valuable property he eventually l e t s his commercial s p i r i t overrule his carnal i n s t i n c t s . The f i n a n c i a l skulduggery contributes greatly to the theme of greed that permeates the dramatic action. Subtle and his confederates set.up th e i r 'business' and do a t h r i v i n g trade u n t i l Lovewit returns home and claims the l i o n ' s share of their p r o f i t . The comic j u s t i c e of the play thereby becomes evident, for Subtle, who has preyed on the hypocrisy, greed and stu p i d i t y of the g u l l s , i s i n turn humiliated by Lovewit. Lovewit's greed, combined with i n t e l l i g e n c e , i s an even stronger weapon than Subtle's. But Face, unlike Mosca i n Volpone, i s w i l l i n g to take a moderate return for h i s r i s k s and therefore survives i n t h i s world of dog eat dog. As the performances of the early eighteenth century show, the play contains themes that are relevant i n times of economic i n s t a b i l i t y . 41 Up to 1721, a l l indications are that the play was performed primarily as a s a t i r i c comedy whose p r i n c i p a l target was man's.greed and g u l l i b i l i t y . Although some productions emphasized.the intrigue of the rogues while others emphasized the g u l l i b i l i t y of the dupes, the p r i n c i p a l object was s a t i r e . But the Commonwealth d r o l l The Imperick suggested a d i f f e r e n t aspect inherent i n Jonson's drama. This was the element of farce which provides another dramatic impetus i n Jonson's comedy. But i t was not u n t i l the eighteenth century that t h i s element began to play a dominant r o l e i n t h e a t r i c a l productions of the play. Theophilus Cibber prec i p i t a t e d the change when he took the r o l e of Drugger i n 1731. His "absurb grimace and r i d i c u l o u s t r i c k s " anticipated 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 to reach f u l l development i n Garrick's portrayal. Although Cibber's acting was i n f e r i o r 18 to Garrick's, even the contempory c r i t i c , Samual Foote, recognized Cibber's contribution to the play: . . . cast your Eye on the Abel Drugger of G. and the Abel Drugger of C. I c a l l the simple, composed, grave Deportment of the former Comic and the squint ey'd grinning Grimace of the l a t e r Comical. The f i r s t obtains your Applause, by persuading you that he i s the r e a l Man. The l a t t e r indeed opens your Eyes, and gives you to understand that he i s but personating the Tobacco-Boy: But then to atone for the Loss of the Deception, you are ready to s p l i t with Laughter, at the r i d i c u l o u s Variations of his Muscles. 19 From the time of i t s f i r s t appearance i n 1610, The Alchemist had caused no great s t i r and although i t appeared 42 frequently as a stock play a f t e r the Restoration, i t never had a long run. But with Garrick, a new era i n the stage hi s t o r y of The Alchemist began C. DAVID GARRICK'S PRODUCTIONS, 1743-1776 Garrick acted the ro l e of Abel Druggerfor the f i r s t time i n London on 21 March 1743 i n a benefit performance for Mr. Macklin, and although the performance did not create quite the same sensation as did his debut as Richard III on 19 October 1741, i t began the era of greatest popularity i n the stage h i s t o r y of The Alchemist. From 1743 to 1776 the play had a b r i l l i a n t record, appearing i n a l l but f i v e seasons, and Garrick was so domineering i n the part of Drugger that nc one else dared t r y to challenge him. Except for two performances by. f'Tf)d^y*s GtWeirS^an-.while Garrick was on his 21 European tour, the part remained the private property of Garrick from 1747 to his retirement i n 1776. No other company attempted to stage the play during t h i s period, because no other.actor f e l t capable of matching Garrick's 22 popularity i n the ro l e of ̂ Abel Drugger. Garrick brought his own inimitable s t y l e to Jonson*s play. According to Thomas Davies; 43 Mr. Garrick's easy and f a m i l i a r s t y l e i n speaking and acting f i r s t threw the c r i t i c s into some hes i t a t i o n concerning the novelty as well as the property of his manner. They had long been accus- tomed to an elevation of the voice, with a sudden mechanical depression of i t s tones, calculated to excite admiration and to entrap applause. To the just modulation of the words> and concurring expres- sion of the features from the genuine workings of nature, they had been strangers, at l e a s t . f o r some time. . . . 23 That t h i s natural s t y l e of acting proved very successful i n Jonson's play i s proved by the famous acedote related by Doctor Johnson concerning a L i c h f i e l d tradesman who had been urged by Peter Garrick to witness a performance by his famous brother. The tradesman saw David Garrick perform Abel Drugger and was not impressed, saying on his return: "Well, by God! Mr. Garrick, though he i s your brother, he i s one of the shabbiest, meanest, most p i t i f u l hounds I ever saw i n the 24 whole course of my l i f e . " This story i l l u s t r a t e s Garrick's a b i l i t y to invest a role with his whole body and soul so that he seemed to become the character he was acting. He could play heroic figures or low comedians equally well and frequently alternated roles i n tragedy and comedy to demon- strate his v e r s a t i l i t y . A f t e r seeing Garrick act Abel one evening and Richard III the next, the famous painter Hogarth was forced to say "you are i n your element when you are 25 begrimed with d i r t , or up to your elbows i n blood." The picture of Garrick as Abel Drugger with his tousled 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 of Jonson's simple, h o r r i b l y natural tobacconist. 44 The adapted text used by Garrick has been preserved 2 6 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 altered from Ben Jonson. / Distinguishing also the / Variations of the Theatre, / as performed at ithe / Theatre-Royal i n Drury Lane. / Regulated from the Prompt Book, / by Permission of the Managers, / by Mr. Hopkins, Prompter. / . . . MDCCLXXVII Since t h i s text i s regulated from the promptbook at Drury Lane less than one year a f t e r Garrick's l a s t performance i n the play, i t i s probably the version he used, e s p e c i a l l y since a picture e n t i t l e d "Mr. Garrick i n the Character of Abel Drugger" appears opposite the t i t l e page. The Advertisement on the next page informs the reader "that i t was impracticable to give the o r i g i n a l i n t i r e [ s i c ] , without greatly embarrassing the reader" so "Such l i n e s as could be restored (though omitted on the Stage) are printed with inverted commas, those i n I t a l i c s are added i n the presentation." However, the advertisement i s not wholly correct when i t says l i n e s added for the stage presentation w i l l be i n i t a l i c s . There are several l i n e s i n 27 i t a l i c s that are already i n Jonson's text, and others not 2 8 i n i t a l i c s have been added by Garrick. The prompt book follows Jonson's arrangement of scenes but scene d i v i s i o n s 29 are not always indicated, and there are many changes m s p e l l i n g and punctuation to make the text conform to eighteenth century stage and publishing p r a c t i c e s . The long "S" i s used throughout Garrick*s text but there i s a general modernizing of s p e l l i n g . For instance "businesse" becomes "bujine_f s. " Contrations are made consistent with eighteenth century usage; "and 11" Obecomes "an't." Each new speech i s begun on a new type l i n e . Brackets are not used consistently and punctuation probably represents stage practice for i t c e r t a i n l y does not follow Jonson's text. Stage di r e c t i o n s are added but are mainly r e s t r i c t e d to exits and entrances.^ Fredrick Bergmann has l i s t e d and c l a s s i f i e d most of 31 the changes Garrick made i n his adaption of the play. Some of the omissions were a r e s u l t of eighteenth century t h e a t r i c a l tastes which demanded a purer kind of language and a faster moving comedy. To accomplish t h i s , Garrick cut nearly a t h i r d of Jonson's text, eliminating single words, single l i n e s 32 and l e s s frequently entire speeches, but always excercis- ing the utmost care i n preserving the continuity of Jonson's p l o t . Coarse wording, obscure allus i o n s and phrases that might be r e l i g i o u s l y offending were neatly abolished and less i n t e r e s t i n g parts were cut i n the unrelenting pursuit of a shorter playing time. Other changes resulted from eighteenth century stage practices. For example, the f i n a l cue of Act Three was omitted ; so that the e f f e c t of Subtle's c l i m a t i c speech that immediately precedes i t was not undercut. On the Elizabethan 46 stage the cue was necessary to provide t r a n s i t i o n from Act Three to Act Four^ but on the eighteenth-century stage such verbal curtains were unnecessary. To improve an actor's e x i t , Garrick sometimes i n t r o - duced new business. For instance, i n Jonson's text, I . i i closes with Face's i n s t r u c t i o n to Dapper to "put on a cleane s h i r t : You doe not know / What grace her Grace may doe you i n cleane linnen." ( I . i i . 174-175). To t h i s , Garrick adds Dap. Hum .-- buz. E x i t . Fac. Hum — buz. E x i t . (p. 18) E a r l i e r i n the scene Subtle had given Dapper instructions to "cry hum, / Thrice and then buz, as often" ( I . i i . 169-170), i n preparation for his v i s i t with t'he Queen of the Fairies. Here th i s s i l l y i n s t r u c t i o n i s being followed, f o r as Dapper leaves the stage he begins his p r a c t i c i n g . The comic cincher however i s that when Dapper has gone, Face leaves the stage mimicing him. Moving now to a consideration of more substantive changes, i t i s clear from an examination of the text that Garrick changed the play so as to emphasize the r o l e of 33 Drugger. Other roles were d r a s t i c a l l y pared and incidents not connected with Drugger considerably shortened. For instance, the opening quarrel between Face and Subtle i s cut 34 by some t h i r t y eight l i n e s , while some twenty f i v e are 47 pared from the discussion between Face, Subtle and Dapper concerning the l a t t e r ' s chances at gaming. The Dapper subplot i s further reduced by the omission of Dapper's interview with Dol (dressed as Queen of the F a i r i e s ) i n V . i v . The Anabaptist p l o t i s also heavily cut, with I l l . i . and I l l . i i . being severely, abbreviated. According to Berg- 35 mann, most of the cuts i n t h i s area were because Puritanism no longer held any i n t e r e s t for theatre-goers, but some l i n e s were dealt with purely on r e l i g i o u s grounds. For example, the exchange between Ananias and T r i b u l a t i o n ( I l l . i . 7-14) i s omitted because i t casts "aspersions on a l l r e l i g i o u s sects that believe the end j u s t i f i e s the means, and i n the eighteenth century missionary c u l t s were b u s i l y at work i n many B r i t i s h Colonies. The emphasis on Drugger necessitated Garrick's omission of Drugger's f i n a l l i n e as i t appears i s Jonson's text. This a n t i c l i m a t i c entrance and e x i t would have destroyed the appeal of Garrick's portrayal, for.Drugger merely enters claiming that he i s not an Anabaptist before being driven o f f the stage by Lovewit. Such an episode would reduce Drugger to the stature of a mere dupe. Garrick's additions also contribute to the emphasis 36 placed on Drugger. I . i i . ends with an exchange between Dapper and Face, leaving Subtle alone on stage. In Jonson's text the next scene opens as Drugger enters without a word and he does not speak u n t i l Subtle questions him. Garrick 48 therefore interpolates the l i n e . "Within: I w i l l see the Doctor" (p. 18) which prepares the audience for Drugger's entrance, while adding a note of insistence to Drugger's otherwise meek dialogue with Subtle, conversation i n which the alchemist takes a l l the i n i t i a t i v e . The next change also adds depth to Drugger 1s character. In answer to Subtle's question "Free of the Grocers?" Jonson has Drugger answer "I, and't please you" ( I . i i i . 5), thereby emphasizing the f o o l i s h tobacconist's fear and respect of the learned Doctor. Garrick, while not neglecting t h i s aspect of Drugger's character, chooses to emphasize Drugger's middle class pride, so he changes the druggist's reply to "Yes, I'm free of the Grocers" (p. 19). Other additions also keep the sp o t l i g h t on Drugger. Face's description of Abel as an honest fellow ( I . i i i . 21-32) i s broken up by two i n t e r j e c t i o n s by Drugger defending his honour as a tobaccoman, and a r e p e t i t i o n by Drugger of Face's l a s t remark "No, I am no Goldsmith" (p. 19). Drugger's reluctance to part with his money i s comically emphasized by a one l i n e prose addition. To Jonson's simple admission by Drugger that "Yes, I have a portague, I ha' kept t h i s halfe yeere" ( I . i i i . 87) Garrick adds the aside "And I would f a i n keep i t half a year longer" (p. 21). When Face o f f e r s t o give Drugger's money to the Doctor, ( I . i i i . 88-89) Drugger i n his misery h e l p l e s s l y r e p l i e s "Will ye?" (p. 21), an a l t e r a t i o n which shows that Drugger's miserliness has been supplanted by his avarice and that he has been 49 completely taken i n by Face's argument. Sometimes Garrick interpolated l i n e s to f a c i l i t a t e stage business i n which Drugger i s involved. When Face asks "Why, thi s i s strange] I s ' t not, honest NAB?", Garrick has Drugger answer "Yes, very strange" (p. 20). Then Subtle says: There i s a ship now, coming from Ormus, That s h a l l yeeld him such a commoditie Of drugs—Come hither Abel; This i s the west, and this the south. (p. 20)37 The f i r s t two and a half l i n e s are addressed to Face, but to indicate that Subtle i s now addressing Drugger, Garrick inserts the l i n e "Come hither Abel." Another example occurs i n I I . i i i . , as Subtle casts Drugger's horoscope: A townsman, born i n Tourus, gives the b u l l , Or the b u l l ' s head. In Aries, the ram, A poor device. Come hither, Abel. No, I w i l l have his name Formed i n some mystic character. . . . (p. 40) Here, as previously, the interpolatedcline draws Drugger into the dramatic spotlight, and suggests some stage movement. Drugger i s often given one l i n e queries or s i l l y remarks to emphasis his s t u p i d i t y . Two examples from I I . v i . i l l u s t r a t e the point. Face. H'is busie with his s p i r i t s ; but wee'11 upon him. Drug. Where are they? Fac. Hush I Sub. How now!. What mates? What biards ha' we here? (p. 40) Snb. [sic] . . . That may r e s u l t upon the party owns i t Thus • -— Drug. I_ don't understand i t Fac. Nab! Sub. He s h a l l have a b e l l , that's Abel. Drug. And so i t i s . (p. 40) Later, Drugger interrupts Face's speech three times with short questions: "Is he?" "Has he?" and "Will he?" (p. 42). This tends to 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 that Garrick would have ample opportunity to ex h i b i t his stage business. Much of the new stage business was introduced to est a b l i s h the character of Drugger more e f f e c t i v e l y before the audience, and to give greater freedom to Garrick's a b i l i t y to f a r c i c a l l y portray the g u l l i b l e tobacconist. For example, when Face suggests that the f o o l i s h merchant send a hogshead of his wares to the Doctor ( I I . v i , p. 42), Drugger runs o f f - stage, only to be f o r c i b l y returned by Face. This gave Garrick an excellent opportunity to display his comic talents, while showing Drugger's b l i n d obedience to Face's suggestions. Another example can be found i n Face's account of Drugger's v i s i t to a tavern. Face says Drugger "has no head / To bear any wine" ( I l l . i v . 115-116). Here Garrick inserted a comment by Drugger "No, I have no head" (p. 52) which, i f accompanied by an appropriate gesture, was bound to cause gales of laughter. 51 The explosion i n the alchemist's laboratory was well known i n Garrick's time even.to p r o v i n c i a l audiences. This i s evident from the a l l u s i o n found i n the prologue for the opening of the B r i s t o l Theatre i n 1766, where Garrick r e c a l l s Subtle's attempts to f i n d the philosopher's stone: But i n projection comes the dreadful stroke The glasses burst, and a l l i s bounce and smoke! Tho' doubtful s t i l l our f a t e — I b i t e my thumbs And my heart f a i l s me,—when projection comes.38 A v i v i d description of Drugger's actions as he accidentally drops a u r i n a l while the other characters are speaking ( I . i i i . ) i s l e f t by Garrick himself i n his An Essay on Acting: "When Abel Drugger has broke the U r i n a l , he i s mentally absorb'd with the d i f f e r e n t Ideas of the invaluable Price of U r i n a l , and the Punishment that may be i n f l i c t e d i n consequence of 39 a C u r i o s i t y . " Garrick was adept at adding stage business not found i n Jonson's text. Not only was there the incident of the u r i n a l described above, but there was the famous boxing match i n which Drugger routed Surly. According to a l e t t e r printed i n the London Evening Post, Drugger "stripped o f f his clothes, rubbed his hands, clenched his f i s t s , and threw himself into 40 a l l the attitudes of a modern Broughtonian bruiser." And the e f f e c t was not merely i l l u s i o n a r y . George Lichtenberg, a German t r a v e l l e r who was also an enthusiastic theatregoer, assures us that Garrick was very strong and amazingly dextrous: 52 "In the scene from The Alchemist where he [Garrick] boxes, he runs about and skips from one neat leg to the other with such admirable lightness that one would dare swear that he . "41 was f l o a t i n g on a i r . Garrick*s additional stage business was not always 4 2 appreciated by the c r i t i c s . . If Mr., Garrick has any p a r t i c u l a r defect as a comedian, ' t i s barely t h i s , and from which few actors are exempt; namely an occasional compliance with the v i c i a t e d taste of too many of the audience i n i n t r o - ducing the outre, for the sake of a laugh, where the author never intended i t . The f i r s t i s that of boxing i n Abel Drugger. This character, as drawn by Johnson, i s that of a most credulous, timid, pusilanimous wretch; the Broughtoman attitudes into which Mr. Garrick throws himself, are u t t e r l y inconsistent with the part; and consequently the weakness of those who are pleased with, and applaud i t , i s obviously manifest. 43 This review i s echoed by "Rusticus Theatricus" who attended a performance on 6 February, 1770: The character of Abel Drugger I look upon, as drawn by the celebrated Ben Johnson, to be that of a credulous, timid, pusilanimous wretch, one who, by the most miserable economy, has scrapped together a l i t t l e m o n e y . . . . 44 Garrick'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 creation was attributed by the c r i t i c to Garrick's attempt to accommodate his powers to the vicious palate of the rabble, for the sake of r a i s i n g the momentary roar of vulgar applause. But, Garrick's a l t e r a t i o n s enhanced the dramatic e f f e c t - iveness of Jonson's p l o t and although over one thousand l i n e s were cut, the o r i g i n a l dramatic structure was not damaged. Noyes considered the a l t e r a t i o n "on the whole, dramatically 45 more compact" and Fredrick Bergmann concluded that G a r r i c k 1 s production may " i n some ways be considered a better playing comedy and one much better suited to the theatergoer witness- 46 ing i t a century and a half a f t e r i t s o r i g i n a l performance." Garrick himself praised The Alchemist for i t s "admirably constructed p l o t " and made special reference to the fourth act which he considered "perhaps one of the f i n e s t Contrivance 47 i n the English Drama." But i n the f i n a l analysis one must conclude that Garrick d i s t o r t e d the comic framework of Jon- son's play by making Drugger the central f i g u r e . By omitting much of the f i f t h act Garrick loses Jonson's perspective that l i f e i s a game i n which moral virtues can be tempered with human cunning to provide a golden mean. By reducing the other g u l l s to mere shadows of their former greatness, Garrick loses the vari e t y of Jonson's comment on man's avarice and much of the s a t i r e i s l o s t . On the other hand, Garrick's changes sp o t l i g h t the f a r c i c a l elements inherent i n Jonson's p l a y — t h e moments that make the play entertaining. The utter s t u p i d i t y of Drugger, his naivety, his complete f a i t h i n the Doctor as he i s being tricked out of everything i s farce at i t s best. But the i m p l i c i t c r i t i c i s m of human nature i n Jonson's creation i s overshadowed by Garrick's stage actions which were aimed at entertaining, not educating, the audience. Garrick proved that.the,piay could be extremely.popular and highly p r o f i t a b l e and i n the process provided a depth to Jonson's Drugger that was bound to r a i s e some profound questions about human nature, but his adaption i s i n many respects not Jonson's play. His Drugger, l i k e the tramp i n Charlie Chaplin's films, i s funny because he i s unaffected by the b u f f e t t i n g received at the hands of a c r u e l world. Jonson, on the other hand, wanted to show man's foolishness i n the hopes that i t would encourage selfawareness^ not just entertainment which i s the probable e f f e c t of Garrick's work. D. WILLIAM POEL'S PRODUCTIONS, 1899-1902 From G a r r i c k 1 s retirement i n 1776 to Edmund Kean's performance i n 1815 The Alchemist remained on the boards i n an adulterated form, but from 1815 to 18 99 no record of any production has been found. Although Jonson's plays remained popular among l i t e r a r y scholars, they did not conform to 48 V i c t o r i a n t h e a t r i c a l tastes, so .they were not produced. But early i n the twentieth century there was. renewed i n t e r e s t i n Jonson, and The Alchemist again drew special attention. The modern stage hi s t o r y of The Alchemist began with a nineteenth century production by the Elizabethan Stage Society under the d i r e c t i o n of William Poel. This society and i t s predecessor, The Elizabethan Reading Society, attempted to produce the Elizabethan dramatists' plays i n t h e i r o r i g i n a l texts, hoping to obtain a closer r e l a t i o n s h i p to the authors' o r i g i n a l intentions which were often obscure i n nineteenth century productions. Most of the plays produced were Shakespearean, but a wide se l e c t i o n of other Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists had t h e i r plays read and performed. These r e v i v a l s led to a renewed i n t e r e s t i n the plays and i n Elizabethan methods.of production which the.Stage Society attempted to reproduced. The Alchemist was performed on the 24 and 25 February, 1899 and received an i n t e r e s t i n g reaction. The c r i t i c s , for instance, enjoyed the production but attacked the play. According to the c r i t i c for The Times: The Alchemist i s probably the best of Jonson's dramas, but the best i s not very good. One or two of the scenes are c l e v e r l y managed, and the denouncement i s ingeniously worked out, but the action as a whole lacks v a r i e t y . The scenes seem at times almost to repeat each other, and the intrigue develops rather slowly. 49 This attack on the play's structure shows a lack of under- standing of Jonson's technique, for as Robert Knoll has pointed out, redundancy i s not synonymous with lack of v a r i e t y . Knoll says The Alchemist " i s a series of redundant comic incidents . .. .independent of one another . . . each contributing a 50 sjhare to a central st'a-ntlu'ng incident, " and convincingly shows that the apparent -lack of variety i s a myth, for Jonson de 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 opportunities for comparison and contrast. Knoll states that as "each new s i t u a t i o n is.introduced, i t s protagonist 51 appears more corrupt than those previously introduced." Although on the surface the p l o t elements appear complex, they are i n r e a l i t y quite straightforward. As Knoll says: Jonson uses a single technique throughour: F i r s t an introduction, then an i n t e r v a l of neglect, f i n a l l y the g u l l i n g . This duplication of action i s a triumph of dramatic a r t i f i c e , but i t . i s not com- p 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 his production received, Poel showed understanding of the play by using a psuedo-Elizabethan platform stage which allowed the action to flow quickly and f l u e n t l y . The comings and goings of the characters are ef f e c t i v e on the platform stage, as i t emphasizes the unity of place since a l l the action takes place i n or just outside Lovewit's house. This setting i s an i n t e g r a l part of Jonson's comic world, for the alchemist's l a i r implies a greater world of which i t i s but a microcosm. The comic world of The Alchemist i s selfcontained and p e r f e c t — a micronism of society which i s not so much the r e f l e c t i o n of the world of ordinary experience as one i n which the ordinary experience i s seen i n a peculiar l i g h t . Confined within the four walls of Lovewit's house, the world undergoes a change. That the implications of what happens i n the play are not confined to Lovewit's house i s evident i n Dol's comment "Haue yet, some care of me, o' your republique" ( I . i . 110). In 57 presenting the a c t i v i t i e s of the central t r i o of characters as they trade on the inherent greed and f o l l y that lurk 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 while operating i n a world of fantasy. Poel was the f i r s t person to demonstrate the advantages of Elizabethan staging, to i n s i s t that i t s speed and continuity were f a r more important than carloads of elaborate scenery which took the emphasis away from the actors. Simple proper- t i e s , suggestive costumes and good acting brought the play to l i f e : As a play i t l o s t nothing by the extreme s i m p l i c i t y with which i t was mounted. . . . On a small stage, before a background of tapestry, the actors performed t h e i r parts while a prompter, seated unblushingly before the foot- l i g h t s . . .knocked loudly.upon the f l o o r with a s t i c k on the frequent occasions when some one [sic] was supposed to be knocking at the door. 54 Bernard Shaw c o r r e c t l y saw the powerful impact of Poel's method of production, and c a l l e d i t "an a r t i s t i c rather than l i t e r a l presentation of Elizabethan conditions, the r e s u l t being . . . that the picture of the past was r e a l l y a 55 picture of the future." Few twentieths-century productions of Elizabethan plays have not been influenced by. Poel'1 s theories of Elizabethan staging, and even modern plays are adapting some of the Elizabethan techniques. The Times' c r i t i c asserted that Jonson was not a dramatist by nature and that his plays were not good because 58 of t h e i r s a t i r i c a l elements, while The Atheneaurn c r i t i c enjoyed the s a t i r i c a l elements but lamented the lack of morality. While admirable as a s a t i r e and ^unsurpassed as a picture of manners, i t i s , however, d e f i c i e n t i n almost everything that makes a good play. i t has scarcely a character that i s not contemptible; i t paints a world of rogues and fools without a redeeming t r a i t ; not ray of honesty steals into i t s p l o t , not one touch of love or a f f e c t i o n redeems or elevates piece or character . . . . 56 This c r i t i c , however thought the production was " i n t e r e s t i n g , " and he pointed out that Poel had taken great care with the dialogue, saying "that the elocution was, as a r u l e , good- 57 better even than i s often heard on the regular stage." To Poel, the presentation of dialogue was the most important part of Elizabethan drama and he championed, the theory that an actor should accent only the key words when de l i v e r i n g his speeches. He took great,care to orchestrate the voices of his actors, for he believed that the "atmosphere . . . of 58 Elizabethan drama i s created through the voice." According to Robert Speaight, who was taught by Poel, the mechanics of t h i s s t y l e were "not a labourio.us following of iambics, nor a mere r h e t o r i c a l or l y r i c a l self-indulgence, but a repro- duction-:-not i n the-least r e a l i s t i c — o f the - rhythms, and 59 emphasis of natural speech." But i t i s impossible to know exactly how t h i s method of speaking affected the acting since the promptbook used by Poel i s unavailable and no recordings of the production e x i s t . What he did to the text i s also open to conjecture. According to Speaight, Poel remained 6 0 f a i t h f u l to the quarto text of .1612, but although Poel l a i d great stress on f i d e l i t y to the o r i g i n a l text, he has been credited with some of the most notorious butchery ever perpetuated i n the guise of preparing a play for production.^ x But his b e l i e f that t h e a t r i c a l productions should be based on standard stage texts that are "the j o i n t work of scholars 6 2 and actors" has generally been accepted, although he himself 6 3 often neglected his own r u l e . Yet i n spite of major cuts r e s u l t i n g from his suppression of Elizabethan bawdy, the finis h e d result.was closer to the o r i g i n a l author's text than those used by Poel's contempory d i r e c t o r s . In summation then, the early twentieth century brought about a renewal of i n t e r e s t i n Elizabethan stage conditions, thanks to the researches of 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 of such p r i n c i p l e s by Poel and his d i s c i p l e s — G r a n v i l i e - B a r k e r , Martin Harvey, Craig and R e i n h a r t — t o make the ideas of the scholar palatable to t h e a t r i c a l audiences. Even though Poel's ideas were not t o t a l l y accepted, the main p r i n c i p l e s he i n s i s t e d upon—a f u l l text, continuity of action, permanent settings—have reestablished the o r i g i n a l intimacy between the actor and audience. What A.C. Darling said of Poel's work with Shakespeare.applies to almost,all of h i s productions, including The Alchemist: 60 He gave Shakespeare back to the stage. I t was his bold action, i n cutting away from Shakespeare's text the monstrous incrustations of three centuries of in 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" that f i r s t made c r i t i c s and managers.alike r e a l i z e that Shakespeare did not 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 playwright who, given a theatre something l i k e his own, could hold the stage by his own v i r t u o s i t y . 64 Poel's production made the c r i t i c s aware of the struc- t u r a l q u a l i t y of The Alchemist by emphasizing the r e p e t i t i v e pattern of each subplot. The use of.the platform stage helped th i s awareness for i t allowed the swift acceleration of the incidents that i s the hallmark of the play, reaching a climax with the explosion i n Subtle's laboratory. In Act Four a l l the dupes rush on stage and confront Subtle u n t i l i t looks as i f the game i s up, but Face ingeniously parries t h e i r threats, only to be confronted with the return of Lovewit. In Act Five the dupes again enter on each others heels to claim their goods, only to be repelled by Lovewit. The va r i e t y of ex i t s and lack of scenery changes allows t h i s rapid action to progress quickly and f l u e n t l y , and heightens the comic e f f e c t . The second important aspect of Poel's production was 65 that he used the o r i g i n a l quarto text. and thereby restored Jonson's o r i g i n a l emphasis on the spoken language.. The care with which Poel cast the play r e f l e c t e d the concern he had for the poetry of Jonson's l i n e s which united an extensive knowledge.of ancient l i t e r a t u r e with the c o l l o q u i a l erudition of early seventeenth.century London charlatans. As Poel's. programme notes.admit, "to be a mirer of Ben Jonson, one should c l a s s i c s and well versed i n the 6 6 of the Jacobean age." 61 thoroughly appreciative ad- be at once steeped i n the plays and ephemeral pamphlets E. ASHLAND PRODUCTION, 1961 The 1961 Ashland production, l i k e Poel's, was a psuedo- Elizabethan production u t i l i z i n g the world famous outdoor theatre which i s a r e p l i c a of the Fortune Theatre of E l i z a - bethan London.. But whereas Poel used Elizabethan stage prac- t i c e s to s a t i s f y his private theory of Elizabethan drama, which emphasized dramatic organization of voices, the Ashland production used Elizabethan techniques to emphasize the f a r c i c a l nature of play. F l u i d i t y of motion, comic stage t r i c k s , elaborate stage e f f e c t s — a l l contributed to a pro- 67 duction primarily aimed at entertaining the audience. Another aspect of Jonson's art.brought out by the Ashland production was the superb balancing of characters. Each i n d i v i d u a l character was thrown into sharpest r e l i e f by comparison with another. To begin with, a balance was maintained between the group of conspirators (Subtle, Face and Dol) and th e i r victims. But within these broad groupings 6 8 characters acted as f o i l s for each other. At the s t a r t Subtle and Face seemed to be almost i d e n t i c a l , but as the play progressed Face was seen to be i n f i n i t e l y more f l e x i b l e i n adapting himself to s p e c i f i c situations and gradually assumed command. Face was shown to be a wit; Subtle merely a con a r t i s t . Likewise the two dupes, Dapper and Drugger, were s i m i l a r . i n t h e i r desires, but whereas one was a simpleton, the other was merely a f o o l . These two, i n turn, contrasted with the "heroic humours" of Mammon and Tr i b u l a t i o n , which were developed i n d e t a i l . Mammon's sensual v i s i o n s were as fant a s t i c as Tribulations f a n a t i c a l delusions about Puritanism, yet both characters were shown to be h y p o c r i t i c a l and highly r i d i c u l o u s . These comparisons and contrasts between characters were expanded and developed as the play progressed u n t i l a r i c h , complex series of f o i l s were evident. The rel a t i o n s h i p between friends—between Subtle and Face, Surly and Mammon, Ananias and Tribulation—became a obvious part of the structure. The comparison between.the women-—Dol, the hardworking pert city-who.res and Dame P l i a n t , the p l i a b l e r i c h country widow— was exaggerated for comic e f f e c t , then there was the contrast between Drugger, Surly and Lovewit, a l l of whom aspired to the r i c h widow. And f i n a l l y there were Surly and Lovewit who both claimed the r i g h t to es t a b l i s h some kind of moral order. I t was upon t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p that the st r u c t u r a l balance of morality stood, for Surly, the humour character, 63 was shown to be i n s u f f i c i e n t i n dispensing comic j u s t i c e , for he was e a s i l y subdued by the shrew^d knaves. Lovewit, on the other hand, was presented as an urbane natural man of the world, an i d e a l figure to expose and judge the f o l l i e s of man. This structuring of characters was maintained i n the Ashland production by the repertory system, where no one actor 'stars, 1 a system that was operating i n Jonson's time also, and, although i n Jonson's time such figures as Burbage and Armin dominated the stage, there i s ample evidence that, when necessary, they submerged the i r t h e a t r i c a l talents for the good of the company or play. The Alchemist has ten good parts, no one or two dominate. Therefore an o v e r a l l balance i s desirable, for without i t the characterization becomes di s t o r t e d . The Ashland production used the Cr o f t C l a s s i c s e d i t i o n of The Alchemist as the basis for th e i r prompt book. Few additions were made, and there were only a few substitu- tions of i n d i v i d u a l words to c l a r i f y meaning. However there was extensive c u t t i n g . Most cuts involved alchemical and topical, a l l u s i o n s , although others eliminated redundant exposition. There was no cutting 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 trusted, the actors emphasized the bawdy jokes and insinuations with obvious r e l i s h . 64 Since alchemical terminology i s not e a s i l y understood by modern audiences, i t i s not surprising that some of the rogues' learned jargon was cut, although i n t h i s production, the cutting i n no way impaired Jonson's s a t i r i c a l attack on 6' alchemical canting. In I I . i P , f o r instance, out of 104 l i n e s , a t o t a l of 24 l i n e s were cut—19 of which contain alchemical terms. However i n the f i r s t f i v e scenes, most of the cuts involve excessive exposition or descriptions. Of 56 1/2 l i n e s cut, 30 were of t h i s type. For instance, Mammon's elaborate speech about the healing 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 of Subtle's o r i g i n ( I . i . 25-31) was cut to a mere two 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 description with which Jonson c a r e f u l l y d e l i n i a t e d his major characters. Contempory a l l u s i o n s , an i n t e g r a l part 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 impossible to comprehend; therefore they often f e l l to the d i r e c t o r ' s blue p e n c i l . I t i s understandable that such references to the "trietesirtR t e r t i o / ©,f HARRY/ the eight" ( I . i . 112-113) or to "The s p i r i t s of dead HOLLAND, l i v i n g ISAAC" ( I . i i . 109) were cut, but i t i s d i f f i c u l t to defend the omission of Dol's fear of the executioner ( I . i . 170-174) just because a modern audience does.not know what a "Don Provost" i s . On the other hand, the text was often emended i n order to c l a r i f y obscure terms, or to improve meaning. For instance, "Myrobalane" ( I V . i i . 42) was changed to "sugar plum," "scrupulous bones" ( I l l . i i . 78) to "moral scruples." Additions were even s l i g h t e r than emendations of the text. One l i n e was given 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 elaborite explanation of Drugger's name, based on h i l a r i o u s association of ideas that connects symbols with l e t t e r s , i s far too subtle for the simpleminded store-keeper, but the conclusion that "There's Drugger, Abel Drugger" promoted the excited tobaccon- i s t to chime i n with the l i n e "Drugger, my name, Drugger." This drew the dramatic focus back on to Drugger, so that the actor could exhibit, through the look of b l i s s f u l s t u p i d i t y , that Drugger i s taken hook, l i n e and sinker by his own f o o l i s h confidence i n the rogue's ingenious f a b r i c a t i o n . The only other addition c l a r i f i e d the s i t u a t i o n when Surly appeared dressed as a Spaniard, for the rogues' i n s u l t s addressed r i g h t i n front of Surly could seem r i d i c u l o u s , unless the audience understood that the rogues did not r e a l i z e that t h i s so-called Spaniard understood every word spoken. There- fore Face's warning "Peace Subtle" ( I V , i i i . 22) was followed by Subtle's answer, "'Tis no matter. He knows no English." This c l a r i f i e d the irony of the s i t u a t i o n , for the audience knows that Surly understands every word of what i s being spoken. In cutting the play, Brubaker, the d i r e c t o r , elimin- ated 256 1/2 l i n e s from Jonson's o r i g i n a l 3,059.- The longest cuts occurred i n Acts Two and Three, the smallest number i n Act Fi v e . Brubaker's aim was to eliminate obscure and re- dundant material but to remain true to Jonson's texts i n a l l es s e n t i a l s . The cutting was done s k i l f u l l y and i n no way int e r f e r e d with the plot , i n fa c t the .'paring-;' resulted i n a heightening of the suspense. The nearest the cutting 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 omission of six l i n e s i n V . i v . where. Face promises to help Lovewit to secure the r i c h widow i n exchange for clemency. This obvious bribe throws Lovewit's l a t e r actions into question, compromising his p o s i t i o n as a f i t moral judge. By omitting Face's l i n e s , Brubaker emphasizes Lovewit's r o l e as a judge, setting him up as a Justice Clements figure without the reservation that Jonson had suggested as to Lovewit's s e l f - i n t e r e s t . However the omission did not impare the subtle h i n t of Jeremy's influence over Lovewit, although i t did tend to whiten Lovewit's motives. Another example of tampering with Jonson's characteriz- ation occurs i n I I . i . where l i n e s 10-14 were cut. These l i n e s contain reference to Surly's previous career as a pander, and by cutting them Brubaker expertly removed the suggestion of hypocrasy that Jonson c l e a r l y exploits in.Surly's v i o l e n t reaction to the discovery that Subtle and Face are running a bawdy house. Surly's c r e d i b i l i t y as a moral spokesman loses much of i t s value when one r e l i z e s that he himself had previously made a p r o f i t a b l e l i v i n g at that old and ancient profession. 67 As far as the acting was concerned, the prompt book provided l i t t l e information beyond exi t s and entrances. General blocking of scenes was indicated but nothing of a s i g n i f i c a n t nature. However, from the newspaper reviews i t i s obvious that the actors 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 of the play. They "took p r a t f a l l s , walked into walls, did double takes, leered at bosoms, made o f f color puns, and gestured and postured 70 with rougish abandon" E s p e c i a l l y e f f e c t i v e was Nagle Jackson as Face who, according to Lenora Offord, was "as nearly perfect as one can imagine. . . . , nobody on earth can make a bawdy point more d e f t l y than he, and his pantomine extends even to his feet, which stay i n character and make 71 th e i r own comment." However the other parts were also well performed, and the o v e r a l l balance was an achievement of the production. Stage settings were kept to a minimum and were primar- i l y located within the inner stage. However hand props, smoking v i a l s , swords, even commercial plans for Drugger's shop were expertly u t i l i z e d to enhance the f a r c i c a l nature of the play. P a r t i c u l a r l y e f f e c t i v e was the explosion i n Subtle's laboratory (IV.v. 55). According to one reviewer " i t must.have,been dreamed up by a madman, but i t was sensational. In clouds of smoke and a b l a s t i n g sound, diagrams f e l l o f f the.wall, furniture overturned, ornaments teetered and swayed and actors were thrown to the stage by 72 the force of a p e r f e c t l y executed explosion." 68 The production was a success. I t pleased the c r i t i c s and was extremely popular with the public. In f a c t i t was the f i r s t ' play i n the twenty-one year history.of 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 persons,paid to see i t . This demonstrates once again that Jonsonian drama i s good entertaining theatre, and disproves the scholars who equate Jonson with the deadning b l i g h t of c l a s s i c a l learning. F. TYRONE GUTHRIE'S PRODUCTION, 1962 Si r Tyrone Guthrie's production at the Old Vic (1962) took a completely d i f f e r e n t approach than that at Ashland. Guthrie made extensive changes i n Jonson's play i n a misguided attempt to r e l a t e "the play more c l o s e l y to . . . everyday experience, so that i t can be more e a s i l y taken as a s l i c e 7 3 of l i f e than a s l i c e of l i t e r a t u r e . " . He.cut a great amOunt of verse, substituted modern idioms for obscure phrases, and a t t i r e d his characters i n modern dress (which included every- thing from Edwardian dinner jackets to mod leather jackets). 74 As Bamber Gascomgne pointed out such changes, while r e t a i n - ing the structure of Jonson's drama, played merry havoc with the d e t a i l s . In making the play more " r e a l i s t i c " Guthrie 69 l o s t the realism that Jonson himself had b u i l t i n . Although Guthrie's production was a t h e a t r i c a l success, i t s popular- i t y depended not so much on Jonson's drama but on Guthrie's resourceful comic d i r e c t i o n . The scene was set i n Glouster Road, which was i n a state of repair at the time, and Lovewit's house could be approached only by walking across a plank that spanned a hole i n front of the main doorway. Each character was introduced by the manner i n which he walked the plank, and Guthrie did not stop there. Dominating the set was a curving set of s t a i r s with a banister, 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. Frequent changes of costume accented the various disguises assumed by the characters, and Guthrie's i n s e r t i o n of modern jokes frequently brought, the house down. But such.treatment did not do j u s t i c e to Jonson's play, for i t wrenched the play from i t s seventeenth century setting, without increasing the so-called ' r e a l i t y ' that Guthrie thought was lacking. Many of Guthrie's cuts affected the characterization for most ;of the coarser d e t a i l s about characters were completely eliminated. For instance, the negative q u a l i t i e s of Surly's 75 character ( I I . i . 8-23), ( I I . i . 43-44) were cut. These changes speeded up the dramatic action at the expense of detailed d e scriptive characterization which i s f u l l of obscure a l l u s i o n s , but i t unfortunately also eliminated Jonson's c a r e f u l l y placed exposition that a l e r t s the audience 70 to Surly's shady past, and prepares us for his h y p o c r i t i c a l reaction to the a c t i v i t i e s of Face and Subtle. Surly's insistance that he i s loath to be gulled ( I I . i i i . 263) was also cut, and much of his mimicking of alchemical language ( I I . i i i . 282-288), aimed at demonstrating to his g u l l i b l e f r i e n d the danger of being taken i n by high sounding phrases, was also eliminated. In Guthrie's adaption, Surly's disguise took a d i f f e r e n t form. Jonson had h i s cynic dressed up as: A noble Count, a Don of Spaine . . . Who i s come hether, priuate, for his conscience, And brought munition with him, six great slopps, Bigger than three Dutch hoighs, besides round trunkes, Furnish'd with p i s t o l e t s and pieces of eight. I I I . i i i . 10-15 This Guthrie completely changed. In 1962, Surly disguised himself as "a millio n a r e from South America . . . coming i n s t r i c k private for h i s conscience, bringing munitions, t r a v e l l e r s checks and i s heir to the largest gold mine i n Peru" (p. 54). These changes are 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, but Jonson's s a t i r e directed at the 7 6 a f f e c t a t i o n of manners and dress, (which i n t h i s case i s p a r t i c u l a r l y aimed at the Stuart a f f e c t a t i o n of Spanish manners) i s completely negated. However Surly's supposed South American heritage accounts f o r his i n a b i l i t y to under- stand English (p. 76), and allows the conspirators to have fun at his expense. Face introduces the disguised Surly 71 as "South American Joe," which prompts Subtle to say "You mean speedy Gonzales" (p. 76). Later Face i n s u l t s Surly by c a l l i n g him an "American fiend" (p. 93) instead of "a proud Spanish fiend" ( I V . v i i . 57) which removes Jonson's s a t i r e on 77 Spanish manners. Due to thi s change i n disguise, Surly's monologue ( I I . i i i . 299-312) i n which he t e l l s the audience of his plan to trap the con s p i r i t o r s by donning the Spanish disguise, i s cut. The coarser aspects of Face's.character are toned down. In prompting Dol's seduction of Mammon, Face's opening d i r e c t i o n — " T o him, Dol, suckle him." ( I V . i . 3 2 ) — i s cut, leaving the more p o l i t e "This i s the noble knight / I to l d your ladyship" (p. 68). This change eliminates the bawdy aspect of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Dol and Mammon as envisioned by Face, a r e v i s i o n substantiated by the omission of a l l Face's asides.during the i n i t i a l stages of Mammon's wooing (I V . i . 38-64). These asides were meant by Jonson to bring Mammon's romantic hyperbole into proper perspective, to reveal Face's coarse nature and to. form a comic commentary on the actions presented. In l i n e with t h i s change, Surly's e a r l i e r d escription of Face's.reputation as the leading bawd in London ( I I . i i i . 310-311) had been omitted, depriving us 7 8 of a v i v i d picture of Face's more l u r i d pursuits. Subtle's character i s also a l t e r e d . Having been outmanoevered by Face, Subtle i s forced to r e l i n q u i s h his i n t e r e s t i n Dame Pl i a n t , which he had maintained i n spite of an o f f e r from 72 Face to buy his i n t e r e s t for 500 pounds (p. 76). In making the widow a whore Subtle reveals his v i n d i c t i v e nature since he sees such an action as a means of depriving Face of the opportunity of enjoying the widow. ( I V . i i i . 101-104). Guthrie cuts t h i s material, leaving the impression that Subtle, l i k e Face, i s s a c r i f i c i n g his i n t e r e s t , i n Dol Common for the good of the confederacy. Guthrie also cuts passages i n which Subtle employs his knowledge of chiromancy; for example, the forecast that Dame Pl i a n t ' s s u i t o r w i l l be a Spanish soldier of fortune ( I V . i i . 44-47) and the description of Subtle's metaphorical role i n the play (I V . i . 85-95) i s also r u t h l e s s l y eliminated. This l a s t cut, i n which Subtle is: "a divine i n s t r u c t o r " capable of extracting "the soul of things" i s i r o n i c i n context, because Subtle i s anything but "divine" and his aim "to teach d u l l nature / What her owne forces are" i s a comic v i o l a t i o n of the laws of decorum by which Jonson operates. In cutting such passages Guthrie loses important insights about the roles of Jonson's characters, weakens the thematic structure of the play and reduces Jonson's work to the l e v e l of farce. Small but v i t a l changes i n characterization r e s u l t from Guthrie's attempts at modernization. For instance, instead of coming to London "To learn the fashion" ( I I . v i . 38), Dame P l i a n t comes "to see the shops" (p. 44) ;with her brother>/ instead of being "a gentleman, newly warme i n his land" ( I I . v i . 57) i s . " h e i r to a fortune i n wool i n Bradford," making not "three," but "ten" thousand pounds a year." The fa c t that K a s t r i l has come up to London. "To learn to guarel and l i v e by his wits" ( I I . v i . 61) i s completely i r r e v e l e n t 79 as far as Guthrie was concerned, and the l i n e i s omitted. Instead of being."the angrie boy, the heire,/ That faine would q u a r r e l l ( I I I . i i i . 82-83), Kastrel i s "the poultry cousin, up for t h e s i g h t s of London" (p. 56) who would l i k e to own and know how to use a ' f l i c k k n i f e . ' The s a t i r e of dueling terms ( I I I . i i i . 17-99) i s omitted, as i s Face's; s k i l f u l e nticing of K a s t r i l ' s avaricious nature. Instead, Guthrie i n s e r t s the following prosaic dialogue: K a s t r i l : To teach a fellow how to . . . . Face:. Yes. S i r , what? • K a s t r i l : Well, for one thing, I'd l i k e ' t o have a f l i c k >\L".. " kn i f e . Face: Quite r i g h t . No gentleman i n town but has his f l i c k k n i f e . K a s t r i l : But w i l l the doctor 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 serious cut however i s Mammon's exquisite speech describing the c u l l i n a r y delights he would taste i f he was i n command of the philosopher's stone ( I V . i . 158-169). This gem of verse has been singled out.time and time again 8 0 by modern c r i t i c s as the best example of Jonson's poetic genius. Yet Guthrie cuts i t . In doing so he robs the play of i t s f i n e s t poetry and reduces Mammon's f l i g h t s of imagin- ation to an almost pedestrian l e v e l . 74 Also omitted i s Mammon's defence of Face against Subtle's charge that Face was responsible for l u r i n g Mammon into wickedness (IV.v. 42-51). This cut has two e f f e c t s . To begin with we lose the dramatic irony of the s i t u a t i o n , because the audience knows that Face d e l i b e r a t e l y played upon Mammon's sexual aspirations by setting up the meeting between Mammon and Dol. More important however i s the loss of Mammon's re s p e c t a b i l i t y , for i n defending Face he exposes his own base nature. This aspect of his character prepares the audience for Mammon's f i n a l resolve i n Act Five to "goe mount a turnep-cart and preach" (V.v. 81), for t h i s i s where he r e a l l y belongs. The comic effectiveness of the Puritans i s also blunted by Guthrie's tampering with the text. When Subtle and Ananias have their sharp exchange about Christmas ( I l l . i i . 43-45) Guthrie adds a further two l i n e s . T r i b u l a t i o n , who i s trying to apease Subtle says, "Do not mind him, s i r . I do command Ithee, s p i r i t of zeal. . . . " t o which Ananias answers, "But trouble to peace within him. Pray you s i r , go on." (p. 49) This accomplishes nothing except making T r i b u l a t i o n a more authoritive f i g u r e . Guthrie cuts a l l of I l l . i i . 48-83, 86- 103 losing Jonson's b i t i n g s a t i r e directed at Puritans 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 t i s l i k e l y Guthrie considered such s a t i r e archaic, but i t remains a necessary element i n the t o t a l picture Jonson presents of the Anabaptists. 75 Guthrie seems to omit much of Jonson's comedy. For instance, a l l Face's asides during the scene i n which he t r i e s to convince that Dapper's c r i e s are but the c r i e s of s p i r i t s are cut and th i s reduces the scene to a f u t i l e attempt by Face to deceive his master. The anxiety of Face's "Our clark within ; that I forgot" ( V . i i i . 63), his r e a l i z a t i o n that Dapper's gag " i s melted / and he sets out the throte" ( V . i i i . 66-67), his completion of Dapper's "I am almost s t i f f l e d — " with "Would you were altogether" ( V . i i i . 6 7 - 6 8 ) — a l l i s l o s t . These cuts frequently i n t e r f e r e with Jonson's r i c h dramatic irony. Subtle's- address to Mammon ( I I . i i i . 5-23) i s an excellent example. Guthrie cuts l i n e s 5-8, 12, 14-18, eliminating several important points. F i r s t , Subtle's i r o n i c questioning of Mammon's "importune and c a r n a l l appetite" i s a subtle means of forshadowing the t r i c k with which the conspirators trap the sensual knight. Second, Subtle's pretence that his work has cost long hours and taken a great, deal of patience i s f u l l of dramatic irony, since the audience know the whole scheme i s a figment of Subtle's imagination. Third, Subtle's plea to heaven to bear witness to his "publique",motives r e c a l l s the r e l i g i o u s undercurrent i n the play when one r e a l i z e d that what Subtle i s saying i s a down- ri g h t l i e . Another dramatic irony occurs when Mammon and Surly approach Lovewit, whom Face has managed to convince that the house i s haunted and the neighbors mad. Face says i n an 76 aside "Nothing's more wretched, then a g u i l t i e conscience" ( V . i i . 47). Now t h i s i s commically i r o n i c . I t i s not a guilty.conscience that makes Face uneasy but a fear of being exposed and punished. However Guthrie cuts t h i s l i n e . He also cuts Surly"s exclamation--"This"s a new Face?" ( V . i i i . 21) thereby losing one of the richest dramatic ir o n i e s i n the play, for Surly i s unable to r e l a t e the clean shaven Jeremy with the captain 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 his quarry. Some of Guthrie's cuts are completely inconsistent. Although he cuts much of the alchemical jargon, the argument between Surly and Subtle, i n which they debate the merits of hatching eggs i n a furnace ( I I . i i i . 126-170), i s kept p r a c t i c a l l y i n t a c t . The i n t r i c a t e elements of t h i s argument are too obscure to be followed c l o s e l y yet the f i n a l verse paragraph ( I I . i i i . 171-176), i n which Jonson's.conclusion i s presented, i s completely omitted. The passage i s worth quoting because i t epitomises Jonson's dramatic image: Art can beget bees, hornets, beetles, waspes, Out of the carcasses, and dung of creatures; Yea, scorpions, of an herbe,. being r i t e l y plac'd. And these are l i v i n g creatures, far more perfect, And excellent, then mettables. I I . i i i . 171-176 Here Jonson makes an important point: A rt can create l i v i n g animals out of decaying natural substance, or expressed another way, a r t can create something more perfect i n i t s own way than nature i t s e l f . Yet the creatures Subtle names are insects that thrive on decay, just as Subtle and his con- federates . thr i v e , through th e i r a r t , on the decay and corrupt- ion they f i n d i n society. Omission of such passages degrades 81 Jonson's r i c h metaphorical patterns. Guthrie often inserted short i n t e r j e c t i o n s which served several purposes. They reveal that there was an i n t e r - action between the characters, not always evident when one read a set speech. More importantly, they reveal facts of character. When Drugger interrupts Face with the simple word of agreement "yes" (p. 60), we r e a l i z e he i s completely under the influence of Face's rhetoric^able to be swayed at the s l i g h t e s t word of the master t r i c k s t e r . Or when Face of f e r s to give compensation i f Subtle allows him to pursue Dame P l i a n t unhindered, Subtle i s quick to ask "How much," to which Face r e p l i e s "500 pounds" (p. 76). This gives con- crete terms to Subtle's i n t e r e s t i n Dame P l i a n t , for we know what he i s re j e c t i n g i n the only terms that mean anything to him—money. Interjections are also used for comic emphasis, Wk§R Surly a r r i v e s , disguised as a m i l l i o n a i r e , Face announces th i s a r r i v a l with the l i n e "The dago i s come." To emphasize the derogatory appelation, Guthrie has Subtle ask "What?",, forcing Face to reply "The dago." (p. 74),.and then Guthrie goes on to explain the dramatically obvious point that the v i s i t must be kept secret, by having Face.explain that Surly i s "At the back. No one must know that he's come here" (p. 74) . 78 When Ananias explodes into a rage at the cost of Subtle's experiments, saying other alchemists have produced !the philosophers stone from a mere egg, Subtle repeats "an egg" ( I l . i v . 70, p. 42) as i f questioning the authenticity of Ananias' story. Yet when one r e c a l l s that i n the previous scene Subtle had lectured Surly on how the Egyptians hatched eggs i n a furnace, the repeated l i n e becomes very i r o n i c . The technique of repeated l i n e s nearly always brings a laugh. Another example occurs when Subtle asks Ananias "What's your name?" Guthrie has Ananias repeat "My name?" forcing Subtle to reply "Yes" and then Ananias f i n a l l y answers "My name i s Ananias" (p. 4 2). 1 Guthrie's use of short i n t e r j e c t i o n s i s very e f f e c t i v e , feut i t often r e s u l t s i n changes of characterization. When Dapper interrupts Face's explanation of the lawyer's desires, he acquires a forwardness not evident i n Jonson's characteriz- ation, thereby highl i g h t i n g his greed rather than his g u l l i b i l i t y . Yet Dapper's r e p e t i t i o n of the l i n e " S i r , I ' l l not be ungrateful" ( I . i i . 114) reinforces his humble g u l l i b i l - i t y , as does his i n t e r j e c t i o n "very sorry" (p. 14) l a t e r i n the same scene. S i m i l a r l y Surly's cynicism i s made more evident when he interrupts Subtle's assurance to Mammon: Sub: Well,son A l l that I can convince him i n , i s t h i s — Surly: Mml (Sub) The WORK IS DONE, br i g h t s o l i s . i n h i s robe Surly: Hal (Sub) We have the medicine of the t r i p l e soul, The g l o r i f i e d s p i r i t Surly: Prayer R 5 t ( I I . i i i . 113-117), p. 2 8 ] e z 79 Some additions r e s u l t i n c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the dramatic s i t u a t i o n . When Dol breaks out into her frenzied quoting from the r e l i g i o u s writers, Jonson has Mammon exclaim i n despair "What s h a l l I do?" (IV.v. 12). Guthrie adds the words "She's i n her f i t " ' ' ( p . 84), which t e l l s the audience why Dol i s scheming i n case they have not r e a l i z e d i t them- selves . Guthrie then proceeds to cut most of Dol's babblings, which would be meaningless to a modern audience. S i m i l a r l y , when Face returns without having met Surly, he says "Yond' caustive cheater / never came on" ( I I I . i i i . 2-3). Since i t . i s not clear who Face i s r e f e r r i n g to, Guthrie inserts 8 3 "Surly" a f t e r "cheater," which c l a r i f i e s the reference. Some changes strengthen the relevance of the play. When Dol announces the return of Lovewit, Subtle turns on Face with the charge "You said he would not come, / W h i l e there dyed one a weeke,.within the l i b e r t i e s " ( I V , v i i . 115- 116). This Guthrie changes to "You said he would not come, /. While there died 10 a week of the f l u " (p. 96). This emendation serves several purposes. I t increases the number of deaths to a more s i g n i f i c a n t figure and iden- t i f i e s the cause of them, which i s only implied i n Jonson's l i n e s . Added to that, by changing "within the l i b e r t i e s " to "of the f l u " Guthrie eliminates an Elizabethan reference to a place which would hold no si g n i f i c a n c e for modern audiences and modernizes the reference by making the cause of.the deaths a twentieth century i l l n e s s . 80 The discussion between Dapper and Face concerning what coins are to be paid to the servants of the f a i r y queen ( I l l . i v . 141-148) i s cut, since i t mentions currency un- f a m i l i a r to twentieth century audiences. In-.its place, Guthrie i n s e r t s the following: Dapper: Shall I see her grace Face: See her and kiss her too. Have you got the 20 pounds for her graces' servants. Dapper: Here (Music) Face: 'Tis the (fancy) of f a i r y (p. 61) In t h i s case, the.lines inserted provide the same basic material as Jonson's, without the Stuart d e t a i l s that would be obscure to modern audiences. S i m i l a r l y , instead of following the Stuart practice of drawing l o t s to see who w i l l have Dame P l i a n t , Subtle and Face "toss f o r her" (p. 72) . Instead of being seduced "behind the hanging" (IV. i v . 41) Dame P l i a n t w i l l be kissed and r u f f l e d "beneath the bed clothes" and w i l l have "three ladies maids, (a) butler and a footman" and six cars at her service (p. 81). Instead of "Hieronimo's cloake, and hat" (V.iv. 68), Drugger brings Face "a Spanish fancy dress" (p. 109) . These emendations were made i n an attempt.to make the play comprehensible to twentieth century audiences and i n many ways they were successful, but the.question i s "Was i t necessary?" Maybe a " f l u epidemic" would hold more meaning to a p o l l u t i o n 81 conscious Londoner i n 1962 than the "plague," and Face being threatened by Subtle 1s "brimming chamber pot":is much more comical than his being threatened by a " v i a l , " but are such changes required? I t i s doubtful. To summarize, Guthrie's a l t e r a t i o n s have several e f f e c t s on characterization. To begin with, the occupations and desires of the g u l l s are made more relevant to the twentieth century, Surly for instance,.disguises himself as a Peruvian m i l l i o n a i r e instead of a Spaniard. This makes him much better b a i t for the money hunting conspirators. K a s t r i l becomes an heir to a fortune i n wool.instead of land and no longer has the urge to learn to quarrel. The central c o n s p i r i t o r s become t r i c k s t e r s rather than immoral manipu- l a t o r s . Their upbringing i n the stews of London i s minimized, as are t h e i r more bawdy pursuits. F i n a l l y the characters become more s t a t i c comic types because Guthrie has eliminated many of the d e t a i l s necessary to appreciate the human q u a l i t i e s of Jonson's characters. In conclusion, one must evaluate the effectiveness of Guthrie's production. Undoubtedly i t was a success t h e a t r i c a l l y because the audiences enjoyed i t and c r i t i c s praised i t , but i n many ways i t was not Jonson's play that was being p r e s e n t e d — i t was Guthrie's adaption of Jonson's play. The same charge could be l a i d at Garrick's door, but whereas Garrick's version brought new insights to bear on the character of Drugger, Guthrie's adaption had no such 82 redeeming v i r t u e . In his misguided attempts to r e l a t e "the 84 play more c l o s e l y to our everyday experience" Guthrie disturbs Jonson's-metaphorical fab r i c and blunts Jonson's s a t i r e . He changes the characters so that they become pawns i n the comic action. By introducing twentieth century idioms he loses the peculiar flavour of seventeenth.century London that Jonson has so c a r e f u l l y presented, without enhancing the u n i v e r s a l i t y of Jonson's themes. The midas touch.that Mammon seeks i s as evident to the audience of Jonson's play as i t i s to those viewing Guthrie's a d a p t a t i o n — for the u n i v e r s a l i t y i s not "dated" by the play's seventeenth century s e t t i n g . Guthrie's assertion that a modern audience would be unable to appreciate Jonson's text because they lack knowledge of Jacobean slang i s r i d i c u l o u s , although one would not quarrel with the f a c t that some of the technical jargon.is unnecessary. Also a case can be made for changing a few words when the meaning i s obscure, i f the poetry would not suffer from the change, but Guthrie's adaption goes far beyond t h i s , bringing the play down to the l e v e l of farce, rather than making i t "the most masterful s a t i r e on b l i n d 8 5 credulty ever written by an English playwright." CHAPTER THREE A SUMMARY OF CRITICAL INSIGHTS PROVIDED BY AN EXAMINATION OF THE STAGE HISTORY OF THE ALCHEMIST Having given.a record of stage productions of The Alchemist and commented on the e f f e c t of the most important ones on our appreciation, i t i s now time to evaluate what such research contributes to understanding Jonson's a r t . The most important f a c t to emerge i s that when The Alchemist has been performed i t has frequently been a success. The reasons.for i t s popularity are not hard to f i n d . I t has a p l o t which, although simply constructed, 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 into an i n t r i c a t e pattern of balancing and contrasting components. Its characters are d i s t i n c t i v e for they are based on the human characterizations of greed and g u l l i b i l i t y and although they have similar motives they d i f f e r i n so many d e t a i l s that they emerge as unique i n d i v i d u a l s . The theme i s man's se l f - d e s t r u c t i v e desire to make money, but i t i s pursued with such comic r e l i s h that i t never tends.to become m o r a l i s t i c . So the t o t a l dramatic effectiveness of Jonson's 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 character, i t s moral and entertainment values. 84 Jonson balances his characters w e l l . No one figure dominates the action but each plays a unique and important function. The pl o t revolves around the conspirators. Subtle, the t i t u l a r hero i s a master swindler who can change his s t y l e to f i t any s i t u a t i o n . Face, the enterprising servant, manipulates the g u l l s and i n d i r e c t l y leads "the venter t r i - p a r t i t e . " Dol i s the mediating force holding the conspirators together but also playing a major r o l e i n deceiving the g u l l s . These three characters dominate the action but there would be no action without the g u l l s . Each g u l l i s f i n e l y etched. Dapper, the lawyer's clerk, who wants "a fa m i l i a r / T o r i f l e with, at horses, and winne cups" ( I . i . 192-193) i s a perfect contrast for Drugger, the simple tobacconist, who wants nothing more than to be successful at business. The puzzling question as to how>Garrick transformed Drugger's minor part into 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 of Garrick's performance or those of C e c i l Hardwicke and Alec Guinnes. For the puny tobacconist i s a d e l i c a t e mixture.of the comic and pathetic element i n man,- that handled 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 greatest f o o l i n Jacobean comedy. As Thayer puts i t , Mammon "knows a l l and understands nothing." x His sensual dreams of golden wealth and ero.tic d e l i g h t are expressed i n poetry equalled only by the raptures of Volpone to C e l i a . When reading The Alchemist, 85 2 one i s deeply impressed by Mammon's presence. Many c r i t i c s are dazzled by the b r i l l i a n c e of S i r Epicure Mammon, for instance,.John Palmer says: "No single episode i n our comic l i t e r a t u r e , outside the plays of Shakespeare, outshines the presentation and discomfiture of S i r Epicure Mammon. That 3 huge g l i s t e n i n g figure of greed i s unforgetable. . . . " But the impression Mammon makes on the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s i s not borne out i n stage productions. John Lowin was praised for his acting of the r o l e before the Commonwealth, but during the Restoration and eighteenth century the part re- ceives scant mention. However i n the twentieth century a few actors have been able to convey the b r i l l i a n c e of Jonson's c h a r a c t e r ^ Bruce Winston was praised for his portrayal i n 1935, p a r t i c u l a r l y for his a b i l i t y to the project the poetry of Jonson's verse over the c o l l o q u i a l dialogue of the con- spirators and Robert Cartland "puffed out with plum-coloured 4 velvet and cutting an absurd caper" was impressive i n the 1952 B r i s t o l Old Vic production^ but Mammon's ro l e i s not often t h e a t r i c a l l y dazzling. Balanced against Mammon i s his companion, the sceptic Surly. He serves as a b r i l l i a n t f o i l to Mammon^and his c y n i c a l comments provide a dramatic contrast to Mammon's praise of the philosopher's stone. Surly reveals a l l he discovers about the t r i c k s t e r s , only to fi n d himself i n turn humiliated by the very people he i s trying to expose. 86 Surly, although he i s not a spokesman for Jonson, i s a keen detector of t r i c k e r y and i s not a f r a i d to express his opinion.. Having heard Mammon's exaggerated claims about alchemy and then having seen the two "alchemists' i n action,, he f r e e l y expresses his opinion: I ' l l believe That ALCHEMY..is a pretty kind of game Somewhat l i k e t r i c k s o' the cards, to cheat a man. I I . i i . 179-181 Later spying Dol, he immediately l e t s everyone know his opinion.. '"Hart, t h i s i s a bawdy house!" ( I I . i i i . 226). His function i s to warn the audience not to be carri e d away from the f a c t s , either by Mammon's f l i g h t s of fancy or the well executed mumbo-jumbo of Subtle and Face. His comments, though c y n i c a l , are amusing and not scu r r i l o u s or savage, for one i s bound to laugh at his witty asides. For instance, when Mammon says "In eight and twenty dayes, / I ' l l make an ol d man of fourscore, a ch i l d e , " Surly w i t t i l y remarks "no doubt, he's that alreadie" ( I I . i . 52-54). Another pair of balanced characters i s the hypo- c r i t i c a l r e l i g i o u s fanatics, Ananias and T r i b u l a t i o n . During the early stage history of The Alchemist the s a t i r e leveled at these two figures and th e i r hypocracy was a major reason for the play's success. Although one would not completely agree with Montague Summers.' statement that "the episodes i n which the two Puritans . . . appear have always been accounted from the stage point of view the r i c h e s t scenes i n an admir- 5 able playj" i t i s true that there are excellent acting p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n the parts. Few t h e a t r i c a l c r i t i c s have reviewed a.production 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 Act Five to dissolve "the venter t r i p a r t i t e " and r e - e s t a b l i s h law and order. Lovewit i s the r e c o n c i l i n g s p i r that reasserts a semblence of normality to the comic world i n which normal moral values are held i n abeyance u n t i l the action i s nearly over. In spite of a l l i t s f a u l t s , the Lincoln Center production i n 1966 made t h i s point c l e a r . Played by P h i l i p Bosco, Lovewit took hold of the f i n a l act, dominating i t with an a i r of authority that showed that he was Jonson's moral a r b i t r a t o r , l i k e Justice Clements i n Every Man i n his Humour and Ambler i n The Devil i s an Ass. Bosco proved that Lovewit was a force to be reckoned with, which gives credence to Face's voltea-face. As Herford and Simpson aptly phrase i t : "Any dramatic exposure of alchemy was bound to s a t i r i z e i t s dupes; and with Jonson i t was equally as inev i t a b l e that the dupes should be sent o f f , 7 and the rogues exposed, by a more knowing s p i r i t . " Some c r i t i c s have questioned the morality of Lovewit's actions but.in 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 included i n the characterization. Lovewit i s the figure of authority who dispenses comic 88 j u s t i c e at the end of the play. As such he exposes the g truth and, unlike Surly, has the authority of his pos i t i o n as master of the house to punish the cons p i r i t o r s and g u l l s a l i k e . Although he does not punish Face, he does put him i n his r i g h t f u l place. Lovewit, true to his name, f o r - gives his wily servant, for he not only admires Face's wit but he p r o f i t s quite handily i n the bargain. Now t h i s conclusion, i f not 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 convincing than the s u p e r f i c i a l , highly i r o n i c a l application of j u s t i c e that ends Volpone. But even i n The Alchemist the f a u l t s and f o l l i e s of the dupes, hypocrits 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 conventional fashion. I t i s only i n the action of l e t t i n g Face go scot free that,Jonson has been c r i t i c i z e d , yet that i s completely i n keeping with his e a r l i e r plays where he makes the point that i n an a c q u i s i t i v e society the comic Machiavel i s bound to thrive, as long as man's f o l l i e s continue to f l o u r i s h . Although the f o l l i e s of the dupes are exposed there i s no assurance that they have been corrected. If Face was punished severely, some other Machiavel would emerge to ex p l o i t t h e i r weaknesses. I t i s better to have Face survive, because at le a s t he recognizes the ultimate law of Lovewit. Lovewit i s not the p e r f e c t l y moral man but his worldliness makes him a f i t judge of human society. The Lincoln Center production projected the authoritive aspect of Lovewit"s character t i l l i t dominated the scene; Lovewit, 89 and he alone, symbolized "normal society" and when he remarked to his servant "I w i l l be r u l ' d by thee i n any thing, Jeremie" (V.v. 143) one r e a l i z e d he was being i r o n i c for he, and he alone, directed,what was to be done and what was not to be done. The Ashland production also established Lovewit as the moral authority but chose to un d e r c u t : i t by playing Lovewit's l a s t remark "I; w i l l be r u l ' d by thee i n any thing, Jeremie" (V.v. 143) straight, leaving the impression that Face, not Lovewit, controls the action. This, i n my view, i s a d i s t o r t i o n of Jonson's comic perspective and therefore dramatically i n c o r r e c t . Over the centuries the emphasis of . d i r e c t o r s has shif t e d back and fo r t h between the dupes and dupers, often 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 directed at the profanity put into the mouths of the 9 Purxtans, but durxng the period the emphasxs seems to have been on the triumverate of rogues since most a l l u s i o n s to the play i n the Caroline period involve them. The dupes became preeminant-in*the Restoration, but Dol receives special emphasis and the Puritans are the major g u l l s . But in 1731 Theophilus Cribber began to play Drugger, and the role began to assume extra importance u n t i l Garrick made i t into the star r o l e . This action had been, foreshadowed as early 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 play. 90 In the twentieth century the dupes and dupers have been better balanced and no one dupe has been, dominant. This r e f l e c t s the attitude that the e f f e c t of the play i s a r e s u l t of.the i n t e r a c t i o n between the characters rather than a dramatic confrontation. In The Alchemist a l l the characters (with the possible exception of Surly and Dame Pliant) are motivated by greed, but they are a l l unique, i n d i v i d u a l s , each, with h i s own peculiar 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 i n none too gentle tones, but no one figure i s exposed to extra s a t i r e . The dupers motivate the action, but the play i s kept i n balance by the value given to the smaller parts which, though i n s i g n i f i c a n t i n themselves, are indispensible to Jonson's o v e r a l l dramatic pattern. Since the play requires swift action, with each scene following with s p l i t second timing, a permanent m u l t i l e v e l setting with several doors lends i t s e l f to such a performance. The 1947 Old Vic production, for instance, was praised for i t s p r e c i s i o n - l i k e action, which owed a great deal to Morris Kestelman's Augustan set which abounded i n doors and queer coigns, allowing the actors to bring each scene to a close with a bang as they slammed the doors when leaving. At the outset, one could see the street outside Lovewit-'s house,, the garden gate, and the privy i n which Dapper was imprisoned, and (by the mere removal of the facade of the.house) a s t a i r - 91 case, h a l l , study and the Alchemist's laboratory (with stuffed crocodile and retorts) within. Such a composite setting allowed i d e a l freedom of movement, es p e c i a l l y i n the , 1 0 openxng quarrel scene. The New York C i t y Theatre production (194 8) also used a permanent set showing three rooms an a staircase which provided, at l e a s t seven ex i t s plus a balcony and rooftop. According to the review i n the Commonweal, the "set contrib- uted more than f i f t y percent of the amusement of the a c t i o n " ^ since the stage business i s an a f f a i r of doors and crannies with a dupe securely hidden beyond each one. Even Tyrone Guthrie's production (1962) employed a permanent 12 set with several entrances. The point being made i s that an Elizabethan stage, or one designed using the same p r i n - c i p l e s , i s a great asset i n Jonson 1s play i n order to f a c i l i t a t e the multitude of comings and goings. The play must move along at a brisk pace. The Elizabethan stage f a c i l i t a t e d a brisk pace by i t s r e l a t i v e p l a s t i c i t y and s i m p l i c i t y which supplied many places.for entrance and exit-from the playing area. Even i n the eighteenth century, Garrick altered the text to speed up 13 exi t s and entrances, and modern productions have been noted for their imaginative manipulation of the playing area to f a c i l i t a t e the constant entrances and e x i t s that produce so much oftthe suspense i n the play. The Ashland production was praised for i t s f a s t pace which resulted from the use 92 of the psuedo-Elizabethan stage and the dramatic knowledge that speeding things up i n drama often creats comedy. Elizabethan costuming i s also necessary f o r a good production, as Jonson uses contempory seventeenth century costumes very e f f e c t i v e l y i n The Alchemist. The three con s p i r i t o r s don a varie t y of disguises to t r i c k t h e i r victims. Face for instance appears i n a captain's uniform to snare Dapper and Drugger, but i n front of Mammon he wears the workaday clothes of an alchemist's drudge. Dol appears i n the guise of a iady to impress Mammon and l a t e r dresses l i k e the Queen of the F a i r i e s to deceive Dapper. Subtle, the master of disguise, i s clothed i n velvet cap and gown for Drugger, yet doffs a more appropriate working costume as an alchemist to deceive Mammon. On the other hand, when the Puritans arrive he i s garbed i n a r i c h gown. Disguise i n Jonson's drama i s an indispensible means of representing the twin f o l l i e s of imposture and g u l l i b i l i t y , and much of Jonson's stage c r a f t i s l o s t i f one does not follow his costuming s t r i c t l y . C r i t i c s have censored Jonson's extravagent use of alchemical 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 to the advancement of p l o t . But they misinterpret the purpose of the jargon and f a i l to 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. Stuart theatre patrons no more understood the i n t r i c a c i e s of the alchemical jargon than we do today, although they probably had a firmer understanding of the p r i n c i p l e s and claims of alchemy than modern audiences. But the use of such language i s e s s e n t i a l to the t r i o ' s attempts to cheat the credulous out o f . t h e i r money. Each aspect of the alchemist's a r t — h i s a b i l i t y to make gold, his a b i l i t y to make the 'stone, 1 "the e l i x e r of l i f e " with i t s fabulous medical p r o p e r t i e s — i s revealed i n his language, and Jonson has manipulated the jargon to s u i t his dramatic purpose., 14 using the actual language of sixteenth century alchemists. The v i r t u o s i t y of t h i s high-sounding nonsence i s to be admired and although j u d i c i a l trimming, such as i n the Ash- land production, i s warranted, wholesale cuts deprive the play of much of i t s flavour and s a t i r e . Unfortunately both the Old Vic production (1962) and the Lincoln Center production (1966) d r a s t i c a l l y cut Jonson's text i n a misguided attempt to make the play more i n t e l l i g i b l e to modern audiences but i n doing so they destroyed the s c i e n t i f i c metaphor upon which Jonson builds his comedy. The Alchemist i s a drama i n which the s c i e n t i f i c authority of alchemy i s used to ex- plore human nature, and for too long have c r i t i c s and producers allowed the technical jargon, of alchemy to obscure the f a c t that Jonson i s primarily a man of the theatre who uses the alchemical metaphor dramatically. As with the humours i n his e a r l i e r plays, he has seized upon a s c i e n t i f i c idiom as a means of projecting his ideas of man and society. 94 As can be seen from the preceding chapters the stage his t o r y of The Alchemist has been highly c o l o u r f u l . I t has invari a b l y been a popular play even when i t was not performed, for i t s s t r u c t u r a l s i m p l i c i t y and ageless theme.strike respon- dent chords i n most audiences and readers. But through three centuries the t h e a t r i c a l reception to the play has varied. Even though most c r i t i c s have praised the play, they have praised i t for d i f f e r e n t reasons,. a l l of which should i n f l u - ence our reception of the play today. The t h e a t r i c a l productions have provided further dimensions from which we can evaluate Jonson's a r t , for i t must be stressed that the drama i s even more exciting when seen on the stage than i t i s when read i n the study. The a r t of The Alchemist i s not i t s exposure of seventeenth century c.on.cgames but i t s comic evaluation 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 far beyond a s u p e r f i c i a l reading of mere p l o t elements or even character development; one must r e l a t e the 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 action to appreciate the entire dramatic structure. That i s why the Ashland production with i t s r e l a t i v e l y untampered text, balanced acting company and psuedo-Elizabethan stage conditions came c l o s e s t to an i d e a l presentation of Jonson, at l e a s t for a twentieth century audience, since an o r i g i n a l production with i t s emphasis on anti-Spanish s a t i r e and a boy playing the part of Dol Common would not please a modern audience.. Nor would a la t e seventeenth century production, which probably highlighted the bigotry of the Puritans. Garrick's production with i t s emphasis on farce might be popular today but hardly does merit to Jonson's a r t i s t i c purpose. William Poel made a v a l i a n t attempt to rekindle Jonson's o r i g i n a l drama but his productions were hampered by his e c c e n t r i c i t y and by a s t i l l evident V i c t o r i a n morality that resulted i n several disastrous cuttings of l i n e s . Modern producers, such as Tyrone Guthrie and Jules Irving, tended to emphasize Ithe external q u a l i t i e s of the drama at the expense of Jonson's poetry. But a l l these productions prove that The Alchemist i s good theatre, f o r i n spite of d i f f e r e n t interpretations the u n i v e r s a l i t y of Jonson's expose of human f o l l i e s i s both entertaining and morally educational. The strength of Jonson's stagecraft l i e s i n his t i g h t l y constructed p l o t , careful characteriz- a t i o n — b u t above a l l , i n the strength of the spoken word, as he states i n "prologue for the stage" which prefaces The Staple of News: Would you were come to heare, not see a Play. Though we his actors must provide for those, Who are our guests, here, i n the way of - showes, The maker hath not so; he'Id have you wise, Much rather by your ears, than by your eyes. H&S, VI, 282 The Alchemist does not quite 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 verse, but combined, the eye and the ear of a member of a t h e a t r i c a l audience can be much better educated than the eye and the ear of a mere reader. The theatre brings The Alchemist to l i f e and the combined richness of t h e a t r i c a l experience gained from various productions has brought added depth to Jonson's drama. FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER ONE • E.K. Chambers, The Elizabethan Stage, 4 v o l s . (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1923). Cited hereafter as Chambers. 2 G.E. Bentley, Shakespeare and Jonson: Their Repu- tations i n the Seventeenth Century Compared, 2 v o l s . (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago^ 1 9 4 5 ) . 3 R.G. Noyes, Ben Jonson on the English Stage, 1660- 1776, (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1 9 3 5 ) . 4 C.H. Herford and Percy and Evelyn Simpson, Ben Jonson, 11 v o l s . (Oxford: Clarendon.Press, 1925-19527^ A l l quotations from Ben Jonson's plays are from this e d i t i o n (unless otherwise noted), although the upright and ligat u r e s are modernized. C i t a t i o n of Herford and Simpson notes and commentary are documented as follows: H&S, V, 112, where the volume number i s i n Roman numerals and the page references i n Arabic. 5 "Theatrical Element of Shakespeare C r i t i c i s m , " Reinterpretations of Elizabethan Drama, ed. Norman Rankin, (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1969) , p. 18 2. A.C. Sprague, "The Alchemist on the Stage," Theatre Notebook 17 (1962/1963) i~^-VT. 7 F.L. Bergmann, "David Garrick: Producer. A study of Garrick'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. Arber, Transcript of the Stationers' R e g i s t e r (1875- 1877; r p t . New York: Peter Smith, 1955) , I I I , 4 4 5 . g Reproduced i n H&S, V. 285. "*"̂ F.P. Wilson, The Plague i n Shakespeare 1 s London (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 196377 pp. 2 0 - 2 2 . 98 Chambers, I I I , 371: Herford and Simpson o r i g i n a l l y thought the play was written a few weeks before the r e g i s - t r a t i o n (H&S, I I , 87) but f i n a l l y agreed with Chambers' conclusion that the play was written and produced i n the- spring of 1610. 12 Times L i t e r a r y Supplement, 20 July 1933, p. 494. 13 J.T. Murray, English Dramatic Companies (New York: Russel & Russel, 1963) 1, 150-51. Murray l a t e r says the King's Men were at Oxford i n August 1610 (I, 184). 14 Since Othello was performed at the Globe i n A p r i l 1610 and both Othello and The Alchemist were taken on tour i n September, i t i s l o g i c a l to assume that The Alchemist was also performed at the Globe before the theatres were closed. 15 Quoted by G.E. Bentley 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 Alchemist (London: Methuen, 1967) p. x l v i i ; M. Summers, The Playhouse of Pepys (1935; r p t New York: Humanities, 1964), p. 29. 1 8H&S, IX, 223 & I I , 100. 19 See H&S, IX, 226; T.W. Baldwin The Organization and Personal of fche Shakespearean Company (Princeton, 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. Riddle, Shakespeare Studies 5 (1969? 285- 298, has the following cast written by at l e a s t two early hands. Face Nathan F i e l d Surly Henry Condell Subtle Richard Burbage Ananian Nick Tooly Dol Richard Birch Sastrel W i l l Eglestone Dapper John Underwood 20 Quoted by Bentley, Shakespeare and Jonson, I I , 14. 21 Shakespeare and Jonson, I I , 14. 22 See introduction to the play i n the Mermaid Series - The Best Plays of Ben Jonson, B. Nicholson and C.H. Hereford Teds.), (London, n.d.), I l l , 275. 99 23 Joseph Quincy Adams, ed., The Dramatic Records of Si r Henry Herbert (New Haven, 1917), p. 4~3~T 24 G.E. Bently, Shakespeare and Jonson, I I , 52 gives the figure for t o t a l receipts, while the second figure i s quoted by Herford and Simpson (H&S, IX, 225) . 25 G.E. Bently, "The Records of S i r Humphrey Mildman," The Jacobean and Caroline Stage, II (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. Press, 1922). 27 William A. Nielson (ed.), The Chief Elizabethan Dramatists, (Boston, 1911), p. 835. 2 8 Arthur Huntington Nason, James Shirley: Dramatist, (New York: 1915), pp. 91, 117. 29 William Smith Clarke, The Early I r i s h Stage (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955). H&S gives the opening date as 1635, but this i s contradicted by La Taurette Stockwell i n Dublin Theatres and Theatre Customs 1637-1820 (New York: Benjamin Blom, 1968), p. 2. 30 William Smith Clarke l i s t s performance of The Alchemist i n Dublin i n 1637/38 and c i r c a 1670/84 but gives no d e f i n i t e sources. Downes l i s t s f i f t e e n 'Principal Old Stock Plays' as being acted during the early years of the Restoration at the Theatre Royal; three by Shakespeare, three by Jonson (Epicoene, Volpone and The Alchemist), seven by Beaumont and Fletcher and two by Dryden"! He also gives a l i s t of old plays which "were Acted now and then," which included six more Jonsonian plays. See Roscius Anglicanus, ed. M. Summers, (London: [1929]), pp. 3-8, 17. 3 2 Oxford Bibl i o g r a p h i c a l Society, Proceedings and Papers (Oxford, 1927), I, 281-282. Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, pp. 105-06. H&S, IX, 227-228 also quotes the pro- logue, although there are a few minor textual differences, and i t i s reprinted i n Wiley, Rare Prologues and Epilogues (London: A l l e n and Unwin, 1940), pp. 16-17. 100 Roscuis Anglicanus, pp. 4-5. See also M. Summers "Mrs. Cory: Pepys 'Doll Common,'" Essays i n Petto (Freeport, New York: Library Press, 1967), p. 119. 34See below; p. 14. J.Q. Adams, The Dramatic Records of S i r Henry Herbert, p. 117. 3 6 Pepys nicknamed Mrs. Cory "Dol Common," an obvious compliment to her acting i n Jonson's play and t e l l s us of an incident i n which she deeply offended Lady Harvey by her acting of Sempronia i n Jonson's Cataline, wherein she imitated the courtly lady. According to Pepys, Lady Harvey "got my Lord Chamberlain, her kinsman, to imprison D o l l ; when my Lady Castlemayne made the King to release her, and to order her to act i t again, worse than ever, the other day, where the King himself was: and since i t was acted again and my Lady Harvey provided people to hiss at her and f l i n g oranges at her." I t seems that 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' Do l l Common" i n Essays i n Petto, pp. 111-132. 37 Downes, Roscius Anglicanus, p. 4. 3 8 B r i t i s h Museum M.S. Sloane 1900. Quoted by G.E. Bentley i n Shakespeare and Jonson, I I , p. 119. 39 Seaton, L i t e r a r y Relationship, pp. 333, 335. Quoted by William van Lennep, The London Stage, 1660-1700 (Carbondale: Southern Univ. Press, 1960), I, 47. Further references to th i s standard work w i l l be ci t e d as London Stage. I, 47 where the part number w i l l be i n Roman numerals and the page number i n Arabic numbers. A.L.D. Kennedy-Skipton, "John Ward and Restoration Drama," Shakespeare Quarterly 11 (1960): 494. 41 Kennedy-Skipton, p. 4 94. 42 A.L.D. Kennedy-Skipton, "A Footnote to 'John Ward and Restoration Drama,'" Shakespeare Quarterly 12 (1961): 1 43 London Stage, I, 54. Pepys also considered i t to be one of Clun's best parts; see Diary (London: Dent, 1953), 4 August 1664 and 17 August 1669. 44 See Montague Summers, "The Alchemist at 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 of Lacy as Ananias i s produced i n London Stage, I, 65. 45 For another account of Clun's murder see An Elegy Upon the most Execrable Murther of Mr. Clun (1664) which i s reprinted i n A L i t t l e Ark, ed. G. Thorn - Drury (London: Dobell, 1921), pp. 30-31. 46 Diary, 18 August, 1669. 47 These performances are l i s t e d i n royal warrents L.C. 5/12, p. 17; L.C. 5/141, p. 116; L.C. 5/141, p. 359 and are quoted by Allardyce N i c o l l i n A History of Restoration Drama (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1923), pp. 307-08, 315. Also quoted i n A. N i c o l l ' s A History of English Drama 1660-1900, I (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press 1952), 344-45. 4 8 Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 110. Also quoted by M. Summers i n The Playhouse of Pepys, (1935; r p t . New York: Humanities Press, 1964), p. 278. 49 The London Stage, I, 776. 50 Ed. S.B. Wells, 1942, p. 26. 51 Noyes reconstructs, a possible cast from the Drury Lane actors of 1709: Subtle,- Colley Cibber; Face - George Powell; Dapper - Henry Norris; Drugger - William Pinkethman; Surly -John M i l l s ; K a s t r i l - Christopher Bullock; Ananias - Benjamin Johnson and Dol Common was probably played by Mrs. Rogers. The other parts cannot be assigned. Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 110. 52 The Daily Courant, 8 October, 1702. Quoted by H&S IX, 229. 53 Two performances i n 1740 (10 and 31 December) at Covent-Garden, while Theophilus Cibber was connected with that company are the only other occasions The Alchemist 102 53 (continued) was performed by players not connected with the fortunes of Drury Lane. The two performances i n 1710 and f i v e i n 1733-1734 season, a l l at the Haymarket, were a r e s u l t of actors' revolts against the management at 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 History of English Drama, II , 130, also says there were seven performances but does not give dates or exact sources. 55 This i s the cast given by H&S, IX, 229. I t u t i l i z e s the b i l l s i n The Daily Courant and the cast given i n the acting quarto of the play. I t also corrects Montague Summers' misconception that "In February 1709 there seems to have been a curious r e v i v a l . . . when Dol Common was omitted," a falacy 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 , 188. 5 7No. 14 (ed.) G.A. Aitken, I [1898], 125-126. ^ 814 and 23 January, 1710. 59 • London, Stage, I I , 268 . 6 0 Actually only eight years. 61 Catalogue of Prints and Drawings i n the B r i t i s h Museum, D i v i s i o n I_, Satires, I I , 587-588; The Weekly Journal; or, B r i t i s h Gazetteer, December 16, 1721; [Richardson Pack], The Lives of Miltiades and Cimon, With Poems on several Occas- ions , 1725, pp. 48-50; The Gentleman's Magazine, XCV (18 25) , part i , 100-102. Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 117. 6 2 Scottish f i n a n c i e r and speculator, 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 for France, but which collapsed 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 his l i f e Law had k i l l e d a man i n a duel and had been forced to f e l l to Amsterdam. He died i n 17 29 i n Venice, a poor and neglected man. See DNB, XI, 674. 103 5 3 The Whitehall 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 parts u n t i l 1740, Harper i n his t i l l 1739. M i l l s played Face u n t i l 1737, Cibber played Subtle 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 playing the part 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. Butler, while Mrs. Wetherilt continued playing Dol Common u n t i l 1732. Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 119. 6 51722-1723, 1724-17,25, 1725-1726 . 6 6 A r e v o l t by some Drury Lane players, led by Theophilus Cibber resulted i n f i v e performances of The Alchemist being performed at the Haymarket.. 67 Dramatic Miscellanies, I I , 108-109. Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, pp. 119-120. 6 8 The Miscellaneous Works of the Late Dr. Arbuthnot, Glasgow, 1751, II, 166-167. Quoted by Noyes, Ben Jonson, pp. 120-121. 69 The London Daily Post and General Advertiser, September 16, 1735. Quoted i n London Stage, I I I , 511. 70 See Noyes, Ben Jonson, pp. 123-24. 71 Garrick had previously played Abel Drugger during his I r i s h tour. This f i r s t performance was on Friday. June 25, 1742. See Carola Oman, David Garrick (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1958), p. 54. 72 Quoted i n London Stage, I I I , 1042. 73 Kalman Burnim, David Garrick: Director (Pittsburgh: Univ. of Pittsburgh, 1961) , p. 23. Burnim says there were three performances.in which Garrick did not.play Drugger i n thi s period, but does not give dates. 74 Garrick, The Letters of David Garrick ed. by David M. L i t t l e and George M. Karol, "(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1963), I I , #393. 104 75 Restoration and Eighteenth Century Theatre Research 7 (Nov. 1968), 49. 7 61755 to 1758. 77 Treasurer's Account Books i n Folger Shakespeare Library; quoted by Bergmann, "David Garrick," p. 56. 7 8 Quoted by Bergmann, "David Garrick," pp. 54-55. Figures agree with those quoted i n London Stage, III & IV. 79 Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 170 gives the casts. 8 0 J.L. Hodgkinson and Rex Pogson, The Early Manchester Theatre (London: Anthony Blond, 1960), pp. 124, 178 . 81 See his review i n Examiner, May 28, 1815.. Also see Noyes, Ben Jonson, pp. 170-171. 8 2 Ben Jonson, p. 155. An even more detailed analysis, including a comparison with Garrick's performance i n Jonson's play, i s given by Richard J . Dirks i n "Garrick and Gentleman: Two Interpretations of Abel Drugger," RECTR, 7 (1968): 48-55. 8 3 Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 156.. 8 4 2 1 A p r i l 1772 and 17 A p r i l 1773. 8 5 Dirks, "Garrick and Gentleman," RECTR, 7 (1968): 51 8 6 See John Fprster, The L i f e of Dickens, 3 v o l s . [1872-74], ed. T.W.T. Ley. (London: Chapman and H a l l , 1928), II, 19. 87 Lectures on the English Comic Writers (London: 1819), p. 71. 8 8 History of English Dramatic L i t e r a t u r e , to the Death of Queen Anne, (1899; r p t . New York: Octagon Books, 1966), I I , 368. 105 89 August Wilhelm Schlegel, A Course of Lectures on Dramatic Poetry, trans. John Black TLondon, 1846) , p. 465~7 90 See Townsend, Apologie for Bartholomew F a i r (New York: M.L.A., 1947), pp. 15-17. 91 Cast i s given i n H&S, IX, 236-237 .- . 92 According to A.C. Sprague, "The Alchemist on the Stage," Theatre Notes, 17 (1962-63): 46, the play was given on 18 February, 1899, but no records e x i s t of a performance on that date. The play was performed on 24 and 25 February, 1899 however. 9 3March 4, 1899. 94 Cambridge Chronicle and University Journal, August 8, 1902. Cambridge Express, August 9,.. 1902. [Gives cast] . 9 5 5 , 6, 7 and 9 March, 1914; H&S, IX, 2371gives cast. 9 6Saturday, March 7, 1914. 97 A.C. Sprague, Theatre Notes 17 (1962-63): 46 gives 18 A p r i l as the date; H&S, IX, p. 237 gives f u l l cast. 9 8 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. 1 0 0A.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. x^ x01ga Katzin had previously directed the play i n New York, i n 1931. 102 Mares, ed'. The Alchemist,, p. lxx. 1 0 3 F u l l cast given i n H&S, IX, 238. 104 H&S, IX, 238. Peter Fleming, using the same vocabulary reaches a d i f f e r e n t conclusion, saying the play was "a kind of'harlequinade, swift but f u l l of l a s t i n g v e r i t i e s , seamy and sardonic but e s s e n t i a l l y gay. The Spectator, January 24, 194 7, p. 108. 105a 105" Never sxn' eighty-eight could I adibe *hem And that was some three yeare afore I was borne, i n truth." IV.iv. 29-30 . 106 Quoted by A. Williamson, 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 play?, p. 139 109 Francis Fergusson, "A Month of the Theatre,". Bookman 73 (August 1931): 632. l x^George Jean Nathan, The Theatre Yearbook, 1948- 1949, (New York: Knopf, 1949), pp. 12-14. 1 1 1Newsweek, September 28, 1964, p. 91. 112 Henry Hewes, "O, for a Philosopher's Stone!" Saturday Review, October 29, 1966, p. 49. 1 1 3H&S, IX, 238. 114 H&S, IX, 238. 115 H&S, IX, 238. Gives p a r t i a l cast. •I "I c P h i l o l o g i c a l Quarterly, 41 (Jan. 1962): 188. 117 F.H. Mares (ed.), The Alchemist, p. l x x i i . FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER TWO Samual Taylor Coleridge, The Complete Works of Samual Taylor Coleridge, W.G.T. Shedd, ed., (New York: Harper, 18 54), 6, 426 . The other two works Coleridge included were Oedipus Tyrannos and Tom Jones. 2 i L.C. Knights, Drama and Society i n the Age of Jonson, (London: Methuen, 1937), p. 208. 3 Alan Dessen, Jonson's Moral Comedy, (Northwestern Univ. Press, 1971), pp. 111-129. 4 Brian Gibbons, Jacobean C i t y Comedy, (London: Rupert Hart-Davies, 1968), pp. 169-78 . 5 J.B. Bamborough, Ben Jonson, (London: Hutchinson Univ., 1970) , p. 101. Robert Reed, The Occult on the Tudor and Stuart Stage, (Boston: Christopher, 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 Schelling, Elizabethan Drama 1558-1642, (London: Constable, 1908), I, 531. 9 For excellent discussion of Jonsoni's treatment of the Anabaptists see William Holden, Anti Puritan Sa t i r e ; 1572-1642, (New Haven: Yale Univ., 1954), pp. 133-137; Montague Summers, "The Alchemist at Oxford>" TLS, 7 September, 1933, p. 593; Maurice Hussey, "Ananias the Deacon: A Study of Religion i n The Alchemist," English ?9 (1953) : 207-212. "̂ M. Summers, The Playhouse of Pepys, (New York: Humanities, 1964), p. 121.. ''""'"For instance, around 1673 there was many con tempo ry a l l u s i o n s to the tantrams 1 of Dol Common; see G.E. Bentley, Shakespeare and Jonson: Their Reputations i n the Seventeenth Century Compared"^ (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1945) 107 12 Bentley, Shakespeare and Jonson, I, 139. 13 Ibid., p. 109. Cataline ranked f i r s t , Volpone second. 14 Ibid., pp. 124-125. Bentley believes the reason for t h i s was that Dol Common.had become a common term applied 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 popularity of Mrs. Corey who acted the r o l e so successfully, and the f a c t that i t i s the best female r o l e i n the Jonson canon. 1 5 I b i d . , p. 139. 16 See Richard Steele's review of the 1709 production quoted above,, p. 1*7. 17 -Partridge, The Broken Compass, (London: Chatto and Windus, 1958), pp. 143-144"! 18 See Thomas Davies, Memoirs of the L i f e of David Garrick (London: 1780), pp. 54-55; and -F.L. BergmannT "David Garrick: Producer. A Study of Garrickrs A l t e r a t i o n of Non- Shakespearean Plays , " Diss..George Washington Univ., 1953, pp. 55-56. 19 The Roman and English Comedy Consider'd and Compared (London: 1747), pp. 38-39. Quoted by Bergmann, "David Garrick," p. 67. 20 Act u a l l y Garrick f i r s t acted the r o l e during his Dublin tour of 1742. See Oman, David Garrick,(London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1958), p. 54. 21 In the 1763-17 64 season. 22 Unlike Garrick*s other popular r o l e , Richard I I I , which was constantly played i n other theatres by r i v a l actors such as Quin, Ryan, and Sheridan. II , 67. 23 Thomas Davies, Memoirs of the L i f e of-David Garrick, 108 24 Quoted by Carola Oman, David Garrick, pp. 63-64. 25 Quoted by Margared Barton, Garrick,(New York: Macmillan, 1949), p. 56. 26 Quotations from Garrick's promptbook are quoted from the text printed i n B e l l ' s B r i t i s h Theatre,17 (London: John B e l l , 1777), and are referred to by page number. The long "S" has been modernized. Quotations from Jonson's text are taken from Herford and Simpson, Ben Jonson, V o l . V, and are referred to by standard form, i . e . (IV . i . 26) . 27 For example, I . i v . 23-24. 28 For example, Drugger's r e p i t i t i o n of Face's l i n e , "No, I am a goldsmith," p. 19. 29 See below, p . 4 7 f for discussion of the t r a n s i t i o n from I . i i . to I . i i i . 30 One exception occurs i n the f i r s t scene:.the l i n e i n Jonson's text i s "Svd. Who's that? one ri n g s . To the windo', Dol." i('IKi';r, 18 0.) . There i s no stage d i r e c t i o n i n the F o l i o , but the promptbook adds,"One Knocks" a f t e r the preceding l i n e and a l t e r s the quoted l i n e to "Sub. Who's that? [Knocks] To the window," p. 12. 31 "David Garrick: Producer," pp. 52-72. 32 The lar g e s t cut occurs i n IV.iv. and extends for 69 1/2 l i n e s . 33 This charge i s also made by.Noyes, Ben Jonson, p. 144, although Bergmann does not agree (see Bergmann, "David Garrick: Producer," p. 60). However there i s no doubt that the changes Garrick^made emphasized the ro l e of the f o o l i s h tobacconist and whether t h i s was d e l i b e r a t e l y planned by Garrick i s immaterial to the fac t that the play's popularity i n Garrick's time was dependent on the r o l e of Drugger, although„Garrick's changes i n no way intered Jonson's subtle development of p l o t . 34 For a det a i l e d analysis of Garrick's handling of t h i s scene, see B.A.P. van Dam, "The Promptbook Text of The Alchemist and i t s Important Lesson," Neophilologus.19 (1934): 210-211. 109 35 "David Garrick: Producer," p. 61. 3 6 Garrick's text indicates no scene change here. See below, p.46. 37 Underlined words indicate Garrick's additions. 3 8 Mary E. Knapp, Prologues and Epilogues of the Eighteenth Century, (New Haven: Yale Univ., 1961), p. 46. 39 Garrick, An Essay on Acting, (London, 1744) , pp. 6-7. For more det&i' i>"e- ^ c l o v - : , z . 40 London Evening Post 10-13 February, 1770. Also see Universal Museum,! (Jan. 1762) : 46; London Chronicle, 31 December, 1768. 41 "Letters from England," Lichtenberg's V i s i t s to England as Described i n His Letters and Diaries,.ed. Margaret L. Mare and W.H. Quarrell.(Oxford: Clarendon, 1938), p. 7. 4 2 Universal Museum 1 (January, 1762):.46 c r i t i c i s e s the u r i n a l stage business. 43 Theatrical 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 Garrick: Producer," p. 59. 47 The London Chronicle, 5-8 March, 1757. ^ 8See above, pp. 24-26. 49 The Times, 25 February, 1899, p. 14. 50 Robert Knoll, Ben Jonson* s Plays: An.Introduction (Lincoln: Univ. .of Nebraska, 1964) , p. 118. 110 5 1 I b i d . , p. 118. 52 Ibid., p. 121. 53 In many ways thi s follows the Aristophanic method of Old 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 extention of human f a u l t s . See Coburn Gum,. The Aristophanic Comedies of Ben Jonson, (Paris: Moulton, 1969) . 54 The Times, 25 February, 1899, p. 14. 55 The Saturday Review, 11 July, 1896. 5 6The Atheneaun, 4 March, 1899, p. 283. Ibid. 5 8 William Poel, Monthly Letters, (London: T. Werner Laurie, 1929), p. 93. For d e t a i l s of.Poel's theory, see Glyn K e l s a l l ' s interview with Robert Speaight i n The Stage, 14 March, 1946 and Lewis Casson, The Shakespeare P i c t o r i a l Occassional Papers, Nov.-Dec, 1945. 59 Robert Speaight, "A Memory of William Poel," Drama Survey ?3, (1964): 501. 60 Robert Speaight, William Poel and the Elizabethan Revival (London: Heinman, 1954), p. 142. 61 Robert-Speaight, "A Memory of William Poel," Drama Survey 3 (1964): 500-506, and C. Glick, "William Poel: His Theories and Influence," Shakespeare Quarterly 15 (1964): 15-25. ' 6 2 William Poel, Shakespeare i n the Theatre, (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, _i91"3);.<,, p*. r-60 .. : , 6 3 One minute he says "If an actor wishes to in t e r p r e t the play i n t e l l i g e n t l y , he must.shut his eyes to a l l that has taken place on the stage since the poet's time, turning to the text and trusting to that alone for i n s p i r a t i o n " (Shakes- peare i n the Theatre, p. 60), while the next he i s tampering with the text to s u i t his own c r i t i c a l theories. For an example, see C. Glick, "William Poel: His Theories and I n f l u - ence," Shakespeare Quarterly 15, (1964) : 15-25. I l l 64 Poel' s obituary i n The Daily Telegraph, 14 December, 1934. ^Although the actual promptbook was unable to be located, i t was Poel's customary practice to use the e a r l i e s t printed version of the play. 6 6 Programme Notes for the 1899 production. 6 7 See below p. 67. 6 8 Paul Goodman, "The Alchemist: Comic Intrigue" 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 Barish (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.; Prentice-Hall, 1963), pp. 106-120 indicated the structure i s based on a platterhing °f characters, where each i n d i v i d u a l figure complements and contrasts with several others. 69 A l l l i n e counts according to Herford and.Simpson. Ben Jonson, Vol. V, pp. 273-408. 70 Medford Mail Tribune, 22 August, 1961. 71 Ashland Daily Tidings, 22 August, 1961. 72 Medford Mail Tribune, 22 August, 1961. 73 Bamber Gascoigne, " A l l that G l i s t e r s , " The Spectator, 7 December, 1962, p. 895. 74 Tyrone Guthrie, "Programme Notes." 75 This cut was also made i n the Ashland production. The e f f e c t gained i s one of making Surly appear as a moral commentator without the perspective of his motives that Jonson careful presents by interference.. Surly's attempts to expose the g u l l e r s i s not motivated by moral indignation as much as i t i s by envy at seeing someone more successful than he was. See I . i . 64-65 for another example. 112 The s a t i r e against the Spaniards would have been very popular i n the Stuart times when the average Englishman was s t i l l very antagonistic towards his r i v a l s from Spain, i n spite of James I's f r i e n d l y r e l a t i o n s with the Spanish court. For further s a t i r e directed at the Spaniards that Guthrie also cut, see (IV.iv. 7-15) and ( I V . v i i . 50-55). 7 8 Subtle's character i s also cleansed by omitting I . i . 38-42 & I . i v . 2-5. 7 9 • This i s obvious when one investigates Guthrie's cuts at ( I V . i i . 15-33) which involves a short lesson i n the art of quarreling given by Subtle. Instead, Subtle says: "Welcome, the captain t e l l s me of.your Wish. Take t h i s , I ' l l show you. shortly how to use i t " (p. 73) and places a f l i c k knife into K a t r i l ' s grasp. But no further action develops from the scene. 8 0 See L.C. Knights, Drama and Society i n the Age of Jonson (19 37; r p t . Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1962), pp. 174-175. 81 Another example occurs when Dol enters upon Mammon's l i n e "He would have made our common" ( I I . i i i . 210). Guthrie cuts t h i s , losing the r i c h dramatic impact of the word "common" just as Dol i s f i r s t seen by Mammon. 8 2 See p. 29 ( I I . i i i . 159) for another example. 8 3 Other example p. 34. 84 "Programme Notes." 8 5 R.R.. Reed, The Occult on the Tudor, and Stuart Stage, (Boston: Christopher, 1965), p. 138. FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER THREE ^Thayer, Ben Jonson: Studies i n the 'Plays, (Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1963), p. 13. 2 See L.C. Knights, Drama and Society i n the Age of Jonson, (1937,; r p t . Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1962), p. 208. 3 J. Palmer, Ben Jonson (London: Routledge, 1934) , p. 189 . 4 Quoted by Williamson, The B r i s t o l Old V i c , (London: M i l l e r , 1957), p. 117. 5 Summers, "The Alchemist at Oxford," TLS 7, September 1933, p. 593. 6Theatre Notebook 17, (1962-1963): 46-47. 7H&S, I I , p. 96. g Surly exposes the truth quite e f f e c t i v e l y but he i s incapable and morally unsuitable to punish the c u l p r i t s because.he lacks the moral c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of clemency, manliness and worldliness necessary to be a good judge of moral characters. 9 Geoffrey T i l l o t s o n , "Othello and The Alchemist at Oxford i n 1610," TLS, 20 July, 1933, p. 494. p. 204. "^Williamson, Old Vic Drama, (London: Macmillan, 1949) , 1121 May 1948, p. 139. 12 See above p. 69. 13 Bergmann, "David Garrick: Producer. A Study of Garrick's A l t e r a t i o n of Non-Shakespearean Plays," Diss. George Washington, 1953, p. 63. 114 A thorough study of books on alchemy such as M.P. 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