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The way of Ben Jonson's dramatic world Fredeman, Pat H. 1963

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i THE WAY OF BEN JONSON'S DRAMATIC WORLD by PAT H. FREDEMAN B.A., University of Oklahoma, 1956 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 September, 1963 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree that per-m i s s i o n f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representatives., I t i s understood that copying, or p u b l i -c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia,. Vancouver 8, Canada. Date i i ABSTRACT The Way of Ben Jonson's Dramatic World This thesis i s a study of Ben Jonson's point of view. It attempts to determine that point of view by evaluating two of his c r i t i c a l theories, that of the humours and c l a s s i c a l unity of action, and by examining t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to a selected number of h i s plays - The Case Is Altered. The  Alchemist. Every Man In His Humour. Every Man Out Of His Humour, and Volpone. Just as h i s plays are a r e f l e c t i o n of the times through his eyes, so too are these two c r i t i c a l theories h i s r e f l e c t i o n of general ideas current i n ' the age. The theory of humours derives from an Elizabethan concept of order in the universe and i n man, and unity of action from a c l a s s i c a l idea of unity and coherence. No attempt i s made to re-examine the 'Elizabethan World P i c t u r e ' or the c l a s s i c a l world view except.in so far as they r e l a t e to Jonson's p a r t i c u l a r views. Chapter I, " H i s t o r i c a l and Philosophical P e r s p e c t i v e d e a l s with some of the main influences of Jonson's own time which appear most pertinent to his point of view. Chapter II discusses relevant, l i t e r a r y and c r i t i c a l t heories, both Elizabethan and c l a s s i c a l . Chapter III explores the imagina-t i v e connection made by Jonson between the theory of humours and unity of actionj also i t attempts to show how t h i s connection enables Jortson to recreate interdependent character and action i n spite of a loss to the i i i imagination of a s p i r i t u a l l y u n i f i e d cosmos. The remaining chapters use the humour theory to examine Jonson's characters as i l l u s t r a t i v e of h i s point of view and considers unity of action as a guide to h i s developing technique. Although Jonson achieves f i n e s t t e c h n ical expression i n The  Alchemist, i t i s i n Volpone that one finds the f u l l e s t r e a l i z a t i o n of his point of view, and for t h i s reason Volpone i s the play most clo s e l y studied. ACKNOWLEDGMENT I wish to express my thanks to Dr. R. W. Ingram, my d i r e c t o r , for h i s patient and careful reading of t h i s t h e s i s , to Dr. W. R. Robbins for h i s w i l l i n g assistance as Head of the Graduate Committee, and to others who may have aided me without my knowledge. Deepest gratitude I owe to Dr. Roger L. Clubb, whose untimely death prevented the completion of t h i s work under his supervision, and whose unwearied kindness would "teach us a l l to have aspiring minds." i v C O N T E N T S Introduction Page . 1 Chapter I H i s t o r i c a l and Philosophical Perspective 4 II L i t e r a r y Perspective 18 II I The Marriage of Two L i t e r a r y Theories: the Theory of Humours and C l a s s i c a l Unity of Action 36 IV The Case Is Altered and The Alchemist 47 V Every Man In His Humour 59 VI Every Man Out Of His Humour 76 VII Volpone 93 A Selected Bibliography 114 INTRODUCTION This thesis i s a study of how Jonson's point of view influences h i s art form: i n p a r t i c u l a r i t t r i e s to understand t h i s point of view by examining his idea of unity of action and the theory of humours and t h e i r e f f e c t on c e r t a i n of his plays - The Case Is Altered, The Alchemist. Every  Man In His Humour. Every Man Out Of His Humour, and Volpone. Jonson's d e f i n i t i o n of these two c r i t i c a l theories are in turn derived from general ideas current i n the age. These general ideas are those summed up in the phrase, 'the Elizabethan world p i c t u r e ' . An e f f o r t i s made to r e l a t e Jonson's p a r t i c u l a r ideas to these general ones, but the concept of the 'Elizabethan World P i c t u r e ' i t s e l f w i l l not be re-examined here. Chapter I, " H i s t o r i c a l and Philosophical Perspective", deals with some of the main influences of Jonson's time which appear most relevant to his point of view. In Chapter II pertinent l i t e r a r y and c r i t i c a l - i n -fluences, both Elizabethan and c l a s s i c a l , are discussed. Chapter III attempts to examine more c l o s e l y the imaginative l i n k made by Jonson between the theory of humours and unity of action and i n the following chapters, concerning the plays themselves, the humour theory i s suggested as the barometer of h i s developing point of view, unity of action as the guide to his developing technique. As Jonson's art transcends hi s theories, i t becomes increasingly d i f f i c u l t sharply to d i s t i n g u i s h these two theories. Although the f u l l e s t technical expression i s achieved i n The Alchemist, i t i s i n Volpone. that the ultimate and l o g i c a l r e a l i z a t i o n of the world 2 which he chooses as h i s representation of r e a l i t y i s found, and for t h i s reason that play i s most c l o s e l y studied. Every age has c e r t a i n b e l i e f s about the nature of man and his universe; these b e l i e f s are the support of the s p i r i t u a l s e l f , that s e l f which often seeks realization-through poetry. Although the f u l l implications of these b e l i e f s are to varying degrees denied to characters within the plays, they nevertheless e x i s t as a penumbra within which the play as a whole has i t s being. An examination of the characters as embodiments of the humour theory and t h e i r actions as expressions of the unity of action theory w i l l help to demonstrate the nature of these b e l i e f s . It i s possible to do so, for j u s t as these b e l i e f s are ways of looking.at the universe, so' too these plays and the theories which help to form them are imaginative and c r i t i c a l expressions of a point of view about the world. Jonson's ideas must be considered in r e l a t i o n to those of the age. In the age man's place was d e f i n i t e and assured and his portion was neither small nor i s o l a t e d . The humour theory i s Jonson's view of man's portion or share of the world, but i t i s a small plot of earth upon which the humour character stands. Man's portion had always been less than the whole, but i t had not been dissociated from the whole, and when he c u l t i v a t e d his own garden he was c u l t i v a t i n g the world's garden. His character was s t i l l his destiny, and t h i s meaning of character r e l a t e d him to the gods and ca r r i e d him through the f u l l cycle of human existence from b i r t h to death to b i r t h again. But the humour character stands i s o l a t e d and d i s s o c i a t e d , 3 not only from the I n v i s i b l e world of the s p i r i t but from his fellow man as w e l l . Often i t seems that he f a i l s to stimulate or respond with any f e e l i n g and when he acts he does so as a p a r t i a l human being. Jonson's age was deciding that i t should discover the f a c t s ; i n so deciding, i t began to give i t s e l f over to a purely quantitative universe and to lose i t s sense of the "mystery of things". Jonson himself does not r e j e c t universals or the idea of the "mystery of things"; the mystery, however, comes to e x i s t as an idea only, an abstraction disconnected from i n t u i t i v e roots. The sense of a s p i r i t u a l r e a l i t y enveloping the universe wavers before the developing image of r a t i o n a l i s m . Jonson attempts to r e t a i n t h i s r e a l i t y , yet he cannot allow i t to constitute the major theme of h i s own world view: instead i t i s heard as a. troubled, recurring echo, suggesting a harmony no longer f u l l y r e a l i z e d . 4 CHAPTER I H i s t o r i c a l and Philosophical Perspective Una Ellis-Fermor in The Jacobean Drama points out that most dramatists of any stature succeed in making for themselves a form which mirrors t h e i r thoughts. With some reservations, Miss Ellis-Fermor grants Jonson t h i s accomplishment,"'' as does T. S. E l i o t when he says "... he not unnaturally 2 l a i d down i n abstract theory what i s i n r e a l i t y a personal point of view." For Jonson, however, ce r t a i n important elements of thought remain always i n the realm of abstract theory and never enter f u l l y into the imaginative l i f e of h i s plays. The dramatist's point of view i s important in determining the boundaries of the world which he creates, and t h i s world reveals h i s commitments to the nature of r e a l i t y . One f e e l s that Johnson, i n making his commitment to c e r t a i n ideals and ideologies, has l e f t one part of his emotional -equip-ment, his more susceptible f e e l i n g s , safely encased i n t r a d i t i o n ' s tomb.-The remainer, although concerned only with man the s o c i a l creature, are ^Una E l l i s - F e r m o r , The Jacobean Drama. An Interpretation. 4th ed. (London: Methuen &. Co. Ltd., 1958), p. 117. Her assessment i s that Jonson probably c r i p p l e s himself as an a r t i s t by his moral imposition. " C e r t a i n l y , " she says, "one of the r e s u l t s i s a deeply divided mind; though i t i s h a l f concealed by the u n i f i e d surface of purpose that he presents to us, i t i s t h i s fundamental d i v i s i o n that i s responsible for our i n a b i l i t y to conceive of h i s work as a whole." 2 T. S. E l i o t , The Sacred Wood. Essays on Poetry and C r i t i c i s m . (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1920), p. 107. 5 s t i l l powerful despite c e r t a i n l i m i t a t i o n s . C e r t a i n l y , his characters are r e s t r i c t e d i n t h e i r natures; nevertheless, they are a r t i s t i c a l l y conceived. Jonson d e l i b e r a t e l y chooses to harness h i s i n s p i r a t i o n to expressing only that to which he can give perfect t e c h n i c a l expression. His conscious a r t i s t r y r e c a l l s the controlled and exclusive tone achieved by the c l a s s i c a l dramatists of a n t i q u i t y . Usually, he does not pursue the mys-terious forces of l i f e and not u n t i l Volpone does he create a world.of magi-c a l l y interdependent r e a l i t i e s . In general i t i s the business of the a r t i s t to tear away the v e i l that hides the essence of things; Jonson tears away one of the fa l s e faces which hide man from a knowledge of himself. His a r t i s t i c endeavor i s one of i n t e g r i t y ; i t i s not a f a c i l e use of roo t l e s s emotions, but a strong, tough-fibered growth, rooted i n the r i c h earth of Elizabethan and c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n , and firmly c ontrolled by an unwavering i n t e l l e c t . This i n t e l l e c t compensates for h i s i n a b i l i t y to move fr e e l y i n two worlds at once, h i s f a i l u r e to rec o n c i l e the world of the s p i r i t with that of the external and the ma t e r i a l . The drama of the Elizabethan age proper, of Kyd, Peele, Marlowe, Greene, and the early Shakespeare, i s characterized by i t s f a i t h i n the glorious p o t e n t i a l i t i e s of man, i n the security of h i s p o s i t i o n i n the universe, and i n the richness and rightness of h i s prosperous, expanding society. There i s no s p i r i t u a l uncertainty, and the dramatists encompass with con-fidence and with e x h i l a r a t i o n the bloodshed, murder and mutilation of war on the one hand, and, on the other, the romantic land of f a i r y t a l e adventure, .6 of myth, of legend, and of love. And i t i s not j u s t a l i t e r a t u r e of escape; i t i s a l i t e r a t u r e which demonstrates a sincere b e l i e f in the v i t a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between things seen and things unseen, a b e l i e f in the intimate connection between s p i r i t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e and the world of actual fact and event. Towards the end of Elizabeth's r e i g n , however, the mood of the age begins to change, and the drama soon r e f l e c t s t h i s change. The size of i t s universe shrinks* man the s o c i a l , sophisticated, n o n - s p i r i t u a l creature takes the center of the stage, and the c r i t i c a l , s a t i r i c a l temper p r e v a i l s . The Elizabethan age proper i s passing, an age when " a l l the Muses s t i l l were i n t h e i r prime," an age which r e f l e c t s in i t s external world of everyday occurrence more nearly the aspirations of mankind than does the age which i s to follow. Drama had reached a stage where c r i t i c i s m and s e l f assessment were almost i n e v i t a b l e ; t h i s state, however, coincides with one wherein the world i t r e f l e c t s i s also undergoing a period of questioning and d i s -illusionment. The unity of medieval C h r i s t i a n i t y made possible by Aquinas' r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of Platonic and A r i s t o t e l i a n thought was perhaps best expressed for the Renaissance by Hooker's Laws of E c c l e s i a s t i c a l  P o l i t y . But t h i s unity was beginning to disappear, and despite the retention for a time of i t s cosmic e t h i c a l wealth, i t was not long before there appeared a r e l i a n c e on r a t i o n a l i s m and empiricism and an a b s o l u t i s t ordering of society. In addition to the d i s s o l u t i o n of medieval C h r i s -t i a n i t y , the p o l i t i c a l future of England i n the nineties was another 7 source of fear and uncertainty. Despite the successes of Elizabeth's r e i g n , such as the vi c t o r y over the Armada i n 1588, the order dependent on her person was endangered by the absence of a d e f i n i t e h e i r to the throne. There was the ever present threat of upri s i n g s , such as that led by Essex i n 1601, and a crowd of claimants to the throne foreshadowed c i v i l war on her death. Yet when she did die i n 1603, James VI of Scotland succeeded q u i e t l y . A period of r e l i e f followed, but James' personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and clumsy p o l i t i c a l machinations soon displeased. His e f f o r t s to reduce the Spanish threat were often construed as a merely dangerous placation of the Spaniards. Indeed h i s attitude towards Catholicism and r e l i g i o u s matters generally was ambiguous and managed to offend both r e l i g i o u s groups. His insistence upon divine r i g h t received some support, but t h i s insistence contributed to the i d e a l of order no longer being invested so completely i n the r u l i n g monarch. Somehow the• Tudors had f i t t e d quite e a s i l y into the medieval concept of order, but the authoritarian reign of James hastened a disillusionment with t h i s concept. The idea of the r u l e r as divine delegate continued to lose f o r c e . Natural law ceased to be clo s e l y a l l i e d with divine law and became pri m a r i l y a truth of science made knowable by the reason. In Bacon r e v e l a t i o n and i n t u i t i o n were disengaged from the f a b r i c of nature; by the time of John Locke i n the lat e seventeenth century, they had become purely r a t i o n a l concepts; and l a t e r i n the eighteenth century reason became the r u l e r of r e a l i t y . 8 Jonson could not, of course, l i v e i n London and remain unaffected by these matters. Nor could his temperament and po s i t i o n allow him to be unin-volved. He served i n the army for a time and i n matters of r e l i g i o n he accepted "on t r u s t " i n 1598 Roman Catholicism, only to abjure i t twelve 3 years l a t e r "on conviction". Generally he moved i n l o y a l i s t c i r c l e s . Providing courtly entertainments, c h i e f l y masques, drew him ever closer into court c i r c l e s and earned him the o f f e r of a knighthood, which he declined. As a leading playwright, c r i t i c , and c o n t r o v e r s i a l i s t i n London he was at the center of i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t i e s , holding h i s own high court in- the Apollo Room of the Devil Tavern. He l i v e d l i f e f u l l y , remaining mentally a l e r t even during h i s l a s t years when p a r a l y s i s confined him to his bed. T i l l y a r d judges the eminence of Elizabethan writers by the passion with "which they surveyed the range of the universe." He judges the most eminent to be Spenser, Sidney, Raleigh, Hooker, Shakespeare, and Jonson, and finds that " a l l these are united i n holding with earnestness, passion 4 and assurance to the main outlines of the medieval world picture Jonson does hold to the main outlines of the medieval world picture but with dogmatic tenacity rather than passion and assurance. For him i t 3 Arthur T. Sh i l l i n g l a w , "New Light on Ben Jonson's Discoveries," Englishche Studien /LXXl(l937), 356-359. 4 E. M. W. T i l l y a r d , The Elizabethan World Picture (London? Chatto & Windus, 1943), p. 100. 9 no longer affords a body of s p i r i t u a l and imaginative t r u t h . His attitude i s closer to the aut h o r i t a r i a n one assumed by James for his protection when he discovers the authority i s no longer there. Jonson discovers t h i s loss of a s p i r i t u a l imperative i n other l e v e l s of society. In Every Man In His Humour Knowell complains to Brainworm: But, now we a l l are f a l l ' n ; youth, from t h e i r feare: And age, from that, which bred i t , good example. Nay, would our selues were not the f i r s t , eueh parents, That did destroy the hopes, in our owne children* When i t vice i s gone into the bone alreadie. No, no: This die goes deeper then the coate, Or s h i r t , or skin. It staines, vnto the l i u e r , And heart, i n some. ( I I , v, 12-15; 28-31) In Every Man Out Of His Humour, the r e a l i z a t i o n of man's loss of d i v i n i t y and h i s ' i n e v i t a b l e degradation i s a b i t t e r l y imaginative one, far less • o b j e c t i v e l y set f o r t h than Knowell's complaint to Brainworm. Carlo Buffone addresses Macilente: Now nothing i n f l e s h , and e n t r a i l e s , assimulates or resembles man more, then a hog, or swine — Mary, I say, nothing resembling man more then a swine, i t followes, nothing can be more nourishing: for indeed (but that i t abhorres from our nice nature) i f we fed one vpon another, we should shoot vp a great deale f a s t e r , and thriue much better: I r e f e r r e mee to your vsurous Cannibals, or such like.: but since i t i s so contrary, porke, porke, i s your only feed. 10 Macilente makes the f a l l complete and points the morals I take i t , your d e u i l l be of the same diet;'he would ne're ha' desir'd to beene incorporated into swine els e . (V, v, 62-64; 69-77). Jonson stands a monument to h i s age - the s p i r i t u a l ravages of the times deeply engraved on his morosely impressive i n t e l l e c t and a r t . Despite the strength of t h i s i n t e l l e c t , the firm realism of h i s a r t , and h i s resolute concern with the immediate, his r e f l e c t i n g c r i t i c a l eye i s troubled s t i l l by the unseen world of the s p i r i t . One can speak of h i s moral seriousness, h i s o b j e c t i v i t y , h i s s c i e n t i f i c realism, but what of the emotional convictions of the man himself? The importance of h i s moral seriousness, so often alluded to, l i e s not so much i n h i s humility before his God, the strength of h i s character, the firmness with which he held and expounded c e r t a i n i d e a l s , but i n the brooding and t r a g i c awareness of a world which he can only t e n t a t i v e l y explore. No c l a s s i c a l doctrine, no moral dictum can disguise h i s imagination's grasp of his fellow men and of the age i n general. In the theory of humours i s h i s i n t u i t i v e assessment, i n a l l the r e s t h i s conscious a r t . The humour i n Jonson's work i s not a flaw i n character but character i t s e l f . It i s the inner structure of man and not something which rains down upon his head from the heavens, as i t does upon the humorous characters in Chapman's plays. Jonson's humorous man i s a negative creature struggling s t i l l i n the form and shape of a man, or what man i n the past has conceived .11 himself to be - and what Jonson's moral seriousness demands but w i l l not -allow that he be. Now his i s the emptiness which the collapse of the Elizabethan world picture has l e f t as man's s p i r i t u a l heritage. As man's s p i r i t u a l world shrinks, he shrinks, and h i s emotional range becomes l i m i t e d to what he can see d i r e c t l y before him. For a while he holds with i n t e l l e c t u a l tenacity to a code which has had a s p i r i t u a l b i r t h , and he wonders why knowing c e r t a i n things to be so, he cannot act as i f they were so; but he no longer believes them to be so. The reason, to which Jonson p a r t i a l l y commits himself, cannot always motivate the s p i r i t . The. new r a t i o n a l i s m which proposes to free man from s u p e r s t i t i o n and fear and to control the forces of nature does not free him from the destructiveness of his own nature. As the s p i r i t u a l bases for an e t h i c a l code vanish, the code i t s e l f weakens, and in Jonson's own world Volpone bursts upon the stage with an intense poetic r e a l i t y unwitnessed heretofore i n Jonson's work. In the realm of comedy Volpone stands a strange and impressive creation, with a stature of almost t r a g i c proportions. Some c r i t i c s ' ; have judged h i s punishment to be incompatible with the necessary happy conclusion of comedy, but t h i s i s no longer a comic world; i t i s rather a satanic one. And for once Jonson i s not c r i t i c a l l y detached. One perceives i n t h i s play an admiration for the i n t e n s i t y of Volpone's desire to l i v e . Jonson's imagination has transcended absolute moral imperatives. He withdraws from t h i s v i s i o n of e v i l which looms at the edge of the t r a g i c chasm, and, aft e r Volpone. the s p i r i t which animates h i s plays i s more t r u l y i n the nature of comic. In The Alchemist and Bartholomew F a i r there i s a less troubled 12 acceptance and a genuine l i k i n g for the rogues of h i s worldly g a l l e r y . . Beneath the polished surface of Jonson's early comedy flows a t r a g i c undercurrent, of which Volpone i s a product. Both tragedy and-comedy are art forms descended from r i t u a l , a r i t u a l marking off man's progress through the whole cycle of l i f e . That one begins in the cycle where the other leaves off does not ensure echoes of one w i l l not be heard i n the other. It i s not surp r i s i n g then, to f i n d the t r a g i c presence on a comic stage, but i t i s su r p r i s i n g to f i n d i t on Jonson's whose avowed purpose was to "sport with f o l l i e s , not with crimes." The f o l l i e s , however, too often " s t a i n , unto the l i v e r " and assume more serious proportions. His plays reveal an i n t e l l i g e n c e whose deeper animating s p i r i t stops short t h i s side of the t r a g i c chasm and whose reason escapes into c r i t i c a l theory, moral serious-ness, and vigorous humor. Jonsonian characters r a r e l y move f r e e l y on a l l planes of the E l i z a -bethan s p i r i t u a l hierarchy. The phantom shapes of t h i s hierarchy never-theless stalk the outer boundaries of Jonson's worlds t h e i r one-time presence i s remembered In t h e i r absence, although they are not always denied entrance. But they enter not with the same f l e x i b i l i t y and ease as i n -Elizabethan days; instead they make t h e i r entrance l i k e the abstractions of the old morality plays - s t a t e l y , with d i g n i t y , but more s t i f f l y . Something within them speaks of a faded glory, and they enrich, ennoble, and elevate, but they have become creations of the reason not r e a l i t i e s of the imagination. 13 The appearances of the Queen i n Cynthia's Revels and Every Man Out Of  His Humour, though e p i l o g a l , demonstrate the nature of these abstract r e a l i t i e s . Rather s i m i l a r in function i s another symbol of authority and order, J u s t i c e Clement, of Every Man In His Humour, who, although he has had l i t t l e to do with the action heretofore, helps to disperse the humours and bring the characters to t h e i r happy r e s o l u t i o n . It i s noteworthy that, the "Queenes I u s t i c e , " who on the one hand bears an a f f i n i t y with the rogue Brainworm and on the other i s the crown's dispenser of j u s t i c e , has h i s existence i n the play by means of a few b r i e f appearances ( I I I , v i i ; V, i ) and by dint of hints and a l l u s i o n s from the other characters. Generally he appears when he can act primarily i n h i s o f f i c i a l capacity. That -pale t r i b u n a l of j u s t i c e , the Avocatori of Volpone, plays a s i m i l a r r o l e i n helping to disentangle the knotted thread of actions and t h e i r engendering humours. In other respects Jonson often approaches those vaster realms of the imagination associated with the "great chain of being." In his dramatic 5 language he achieves both "gravity and height of e l o c u t i o n , " and nowhere i s i t more formal and more elevated than i n Volpone and The Alchemist. It i s , however, a formal elegance, not c o n s t i t u t i n g a natural extension of l o f t i n e s s of character but drained of f u l l n e s s and v a r i e t y of f e e l i n g , so that " A l l his e f f e c t s , his s p i r i t s , and h i s powers,/ In t h e i r c o n f l u c t i o n s , " Alexander H. Sackton, Rhetoric As A Dramatic Language i n Ben Jonson (New York: Columbia University Press, 1948), pp. 75, 146. 14 are drawn " a l l to runne one way." S i r Epicure Mammon's wooing of Doll Common i s f i l l e d with an Elizabethan richness of imagery* Wee'11 therefore goe with a l l , my g i r l e , and l i u e In a free statej where we w i l l eate our mullets, Sous'd i n high-countrey wines, sup phesants egges, And haue our cockles, b o i l d i n s i l u e r s h e l l s , Our shrimps to swim againe, as when they l i u ' d , In a rare butter, made of dolphins milke, Whose creame do's looke l i k e o p a l l s : and, with these Delicate meats, set our selues high for pleasure, And take vs downe againe, and then renew Our youth, and strength, with drinking the e l i x i r , Of l i f e , and l u s t . (IV, i , 155-166) Here i s passion, but a mean passion which, when i t i s contained i n such l o f t y speech, points i t s own i r o n i c contrast, and i t i s intended that i t should do so. It betrays him to the audience, not only because of the dramatic s i t u a t i o n i t s e l f , that i s , the fact that the "lady" i s simply Dol l Common, but also because he would disrupt nature and invert the system of order and of values, he would adorn her with jewels whose l i g h t should s t r i k e out the stars, he would place l u s t - h i s "high-countrey wines" and "phesants egges" - above l i f e , l i f e above Nature, and Nature above Art: And, thou s a l t ha' thy wardrobe, Richer than Natures, s t i l l to change thy s e l f e , And vary oftener, for thy pride, then shee: Or Art, her wise, and almost-equall seruant. (IV, i , 166-169) Like Volpone, who longs for "vertue, fame, honour," to be "noble, v a l i a n t , honest, wise," Mammon would aspire to a high seriousness, but i t i s a seriousness based on an inversion of the moral order. The language 15 which he uses in his f l i g h t s serves to indulge and feed his humour so that eventually i t exceeds i t s boundaries; i n running a l l one way, i t begins to "smell of sinne" and swells to a b o i l of excess which must be pricked. He would aspire, but i t i s aspiration-turned in upon i t s e l f , and there instead grows a humour. One i s l e f t only with man's i n f i n i t e s i m a l lowliness. His l u s t for d i v i n i t y and his appetite for l i f e have become objects of s a t i r e and condemnation. Jonson focuses on one-half of man's nature - the dark, the•perverse, the unenlightened, an emphasis not out of keeping with his own time. E l i z a -bethan moral philosophy had long been concerned with the "passions," the "perturbations" of the human soul. "They are the 'motions of the mind', not necessarily e v i l i n themselves, which may produce disorder in man's s p i r i t u a l c o n s t i t u t i o n , and they are often conceived to have a connection with the humours of the body, so that t h e i r consideration may be medical as well as m o r a l . T h e s e passions are conceived of as e x i s t i n g in p a i r s , such as love and hatred, desire and aversion, joy and sadness, hope and despair, courage and fears the members of each pair balance one another. In Jonson's conception of the humours there i s no balance. The humour i s not j u s t a perversion of p o t e n t i a l wherein a l l powers are drawn "to runne one way," but of the basic s e l f . One f e e l s that his characters could never be other-wise, although both reason and d i v i n i t y are appealed to as guides. The W i l l a r d Farnham, The Medieval Heritage of Elizabethan Tragedy (Berkeleys University of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1936), p. 349. 16 humour i n Jonson's work i s not a flaw which grows through an error i n judgment i n a s i t u a t i o n demanding action and thus making the flaw c r u c i a l at a p a r t i c u l a r moment. It i s already exaggerated at the soul's core. The humour assumes even graver proportions when one r e a l i z e s there i s no redemptive god present as there was in comic r i t u a l , nor i s there the lightness of a genuinely sophisticated detachment. As Jonson continues to write, and Volpone draws closer, the comic tone of his plays becomes consistently more Impaired.- In Every Man In His Humour and Every Man Out Of His Humour, Jonson i s a f o r c e f u l writer, i n Volpone he i s a powerful wr i t e r . The redemptive god of r i t u a l , preserved i n both tragedy and comedy, has retreated far"beyond man's grasp, but the humour character i s reminded always of that god's presence. In c l a s s i c a l times his presence within the framework of tragedy and comedy had made genuine p a r t i c i p a t i o n possible. Many thinkers had r e a l i z e d i t s importance. Pythagoras, i n h i s search for i n t e l l e c t u a l truth as opposed to r e l i g i o u s doctrine, retains the mystical content of t h e o r i a T or p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Plato r e l a t e s the One to the Many by means of methexis. or p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and A r i s t o t l e equates methexis with mimesis. In much of Elizabethan drama t h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s likewise possible, but i t becomes less so as the age draws to a close. In Jonson's time the humour theory s t i l l has currency, and i n h i s plays i t i s the w e l l -spring of l i f e or "passion"; i t re t a i n s i t s imaginative l i f e i n h i s work p a r t i a l l y because of the s p i r i t of the times and p a r t i a l l y because he i s a poet capable of expressing the s p i r i t which s t i l l e x i s t s . 17 Although Elizabethan moral philosophy shows a great variety of opinion, r a t i o n a l i s m continues to grow stronger among the Elizabethans, and a greater emphasis i s put upon the c l a s s i c a l golden mean. The Renaissance encourages greater v e r s a t i l i t y and autonomy in a r t , and the c l a s s i c s provide both subjects and rules for the writers of the period. Jonson, the Elizabethan and medieval moralist, already confirmed i n his convictions concerning men and manners, turns to the c l a s s i c s as the conscious i n -t e l l e c t u a l for general guidance i n the p r i n c i p l e s of art and s p e c i f i c i n s i g h t to the construction of action. J CHAPTER II L i t e r a r y Perspective 18 The a r t i s t ' s point of view, which i s his own peculiar possession i n intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p with his times, generally escapes the formulae which anyone, including the a r t i s t himself, can propose. Certain elements of form, such as recurring dramatic devices and conventions turned to the a r t i s t ' s personal use, do, however, proceed from more e a s i l y recognizable'; sources and can be more r e a d i l y traced. Jonson, perhaps more than others of the age, i s conscious of form and l i t e r a r y precedent. In addition, the drama, whose growth heretofore had been l a r g e l y spontaneous and u n r e f l e c t i n g , begins, by Jonson's day, to a t t a i n to a c e r t a i n . s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and to acquire a more d e f i n i t e shape. Form and the formal now begins to be considered more seri o u s l y i n general practice as well as i n theory. Jonson i s the heir of .the drama's period of u n r e f l e c t i n g growth and from i t he takes many elements of h i s form; he turns then to concentrate upon technical and aesthetic per-f e c t i o n , upon giving more perfect a r t i s t i c expression to elements which already f a l l within the general category of form. The p r i n c i p a l l i n e s of influence are, of course, c l a s s i c a l and E l i z a -bethan, the second of which extends back into medieval times. Jonson's connection with t h i s l a t t e r t r a d i t i o n i s evidenced by the kinship of his characters to the abstract vices and v i r t u e s of the old morality plays. In depicting the vices he i s most competent and can always imbue them with earthy realism. Most of the v i t a l i t y i n his plays, however, springs d i r e c t l y from the Elizabethan t r a d i t i o n , and i t i s from t h i s source that the element •19 of character receives i t s p r i n c i p a l impetus and ultimate r e s o l u t i o n i n the theory of the humours. From the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n Jonson abstracts most of hi s ideas about the purpose of art, the form of drama, the mechanics of construction. It i s here that he discovers f i n a l l y a key to the creation of action, action which i s not always constructed i n intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p with his characters. Despite Jonson's c l a s s i c a l learning, i t seems unreasonable to assume that he was unaffected by a native t r a d i t i o n to which he was closer i n time. From the early drama of his own country come echoes of a host of abstract v i r t u e s and v i c e s . Among these, i t i s the vices which f i n d , through farce and burlesque, the most l i f e l i k e expression i n the v i v a c i t y of rogues and knaves. It i s often through broad f a r c i c a l treatment that Jonson succeeds in drawing most adeptly characters from the lower strata of society. His a b i l i t y to do so i s one which l a t e r strengthens both his conception and presentation of the humour character. Juniper and Onion of The Case Is  Altered r e t a i n a sense of earthy j o l l i t y . Brainworm of Every Man In His Humour, i n addition to his c l a s s i c a l s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , r e c a l l s the untrammelled v e r s a t i l i t y of the medieval v i c e . Most of Jonson's credible women are drawn with a bold and in d e l i c a t e stroke - Tib of Every Man In His Humour. Ursula of Bartholomew F a i r . Lady P o l i t i c k Would-Be of Volpone, a l l r e c a l l the coarse and natural v i t a l i t y of medieval realism. Jonson's virtuous characters also remain close to t h e i r medieval heritage but i n a rather d i f f e r e n t way. They r e t a i n t h e i r abstract nature, but, unlike her roguish counterpart, a virtuous woman, such as Rachel i n The Case Is Altered, i s usually a shallow, f a i n t l y drawn, and i n e f f e c t u a l human character. If she 23: i s to be a more e f f e c t i v e dramatic agent, she may become the apotheosis of v i r t u e l i k e the Queen i n Cynthia's Revels, who moves about i n the manner of an ever-present dea ex machina"*" resolving the problems created by her subjects. Virtuous characters who do possess r e a l i s t i c q u a l i t i e s , l i k e J u s t i c e Clement of Every Man In His Humour and Bonario of Volpone, : may assume t h e i r r o l e s only for a b r i e f moment in the play's l i f e when they f r u s t r a t e an e v i l i n t e n t i o n or resolve a f o o l i s h action, but they do l i t t l e acting themselves. These characters are not generally l a b e l l e d as abstractions, but frequently they remain such. A character, on the other hand, who i s l a b e l l e d as a v i c e , such as Macilente i n Every Man Out Of His Humour. may emerge as the prime mover of the play's world and seethe with a l i f e which cannot f i n d i t s own boundaries. From the medieval t r a d i t i o n Jonson also i n h e r i t s a serious moral tone. A serious concern with moral values pervaded the-entire sixteenth century and continued well beyond i t . It was the legacy of early C h r i s t i a n i t y , l a t e r r e i n f o r c e d by c l a s s i c a l authors and c r i t i c s , and by the English 2 l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s as w e l l . From t h i s t r a d i t i o n likewise comes Jonson's Jonson himself deprecates the undisguised use of the deus ex machina. In the Prologue to Every Man In His Humour he l i s t s the " i l l customs of the age," and points to his own play as one such "as other plays should be," Where neither Chorus wafts you ore the seas; Nor creaking throne comes downe, the boyes to please;" (11. 15-16) 2 L i l y B. Campbell, Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes. Slaves of Passion (New York. Barnes 8, Noble, Inc., 1952), pp. 24, 30-38. 2L tendency to a l l e g o r i z e , and to u t i l i z e action on a symbolical l e v e l (the allegory of money i n Cynthia's Revels and The Staple of News, the compass of The Magnetic Lady, and the Prodigal Son motif of Eastward Hoe I ). In Cynthia's Revels one finds a bold mixture of mythological and a l l e g o r i c a l characters as well as characters from r e a l l i f e , a mixture which was not new to the Elizabethan mind, for Lyly's mythological play had already succeeded the a l l e g o r i c a l play. In t r y i n g to measure the influence of the Elizabethan t r a d i t i o n oh Jonson's drama, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to d i s s o c i a t e i t from the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n , a t r a d i t i o n with which Jonson i s perhaps more f a m i l i a r than others. In addition to Jonson's own l i t e r a r y acquaintance with the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n , there i s , of course, the evident s i m i l a r i t y i n the o r i g i n s and development of English drama and c l a s s i c a l drama. Both sprang from r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s intimately connected with the l i f e and b e l i e f s of the populace; both i n successive stages attempted to make more and more e x p l i c i t an interchange which at the beginning had been only i m p l i c i t , to r a i s e emotional p a r t i -c i p a t i o n to a high l e v e l of conscious awareness. What had been secret in 4 r i t u a l must in the drama be explained. When Jonson makes a move i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n , he i s attempting what the c l a s s i c a l drama had succeeded i n doing and what the Elizabethan drama was i n the process of doing. Jonson shared the authorship of t h i s play with Chapman and Marston. Without attempting to assign s p e c i f i c parts to s p e c i f i c authors, one can consider the play i n i t s t o t a l i t y as r e s u l t i n g from the collaboration of three men, each one of whom i s responsible, d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y , for the entire l i f e of the play. Jonson himself must have considered i t so when he i n s i s t e d on j o i n i n g his fellow authors in prison. 4 For a discussion of the evolution of t h i s conscious awareness in the Greek drama, see Gertrude R. Levy, The Gate of Horn (London: Faber & Faber Ltd., 1948), p. 316. £2 In the Greek drama the chorus was drawn from the c i t i z e n s or audience, not from the actors. This practice meant the continuation of a popular involvement in r i t u a l which marked the beginnings of the drama. It was a s t r u c t u r a l means by which the c l a s s i c a l dramatists acknowledged and evoked conscious p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n an a c t i v i t y which was becoming less a r e s u l t of the popular w i l l and more the product of an i n d i v i d u a l e f f o r t . In the beginnings of English r e l i g i o u s drama and i n folk dramatic a c t i v i t y , there had likewise been a more d i r e c t audience p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Elizabethan drama also r e t a i n s formal means of keeping i t s audience involved. An active involvement becomes a more purely empathetic one; with Jonson i t becomes primarily a c r i t i c a l one. The chorus, the c r i t i c - c h a r a c t e r , the prologue, the induction, are formal means by which the spectators are expected to p a r t i c i p a t e i n Jonson's plays. But they must respond c r i t i c a l l y as well as emotionally, a demand which Jonson makes because he wants h i s audience to accept the thought of his art as though i t were r e a l i t y , to f e e l action d i r e c t l y i n the realm of thought and to know quickly the thought of the .action. To accomplish t h i s , he i s forced to cut out a great deal of the world that i s usually the province of drama and of art generally where comprehension needs to be i n t u i t i v e . Because he allows l i t t l e i n t u i t i v e comprehension of the r e a l i t y which he creates, i t s boundaries can be more pr e c i s e l y marked by the l i m i t s he imposes on his form. S p i r i t u a l r e a l i t i e s are i m p l i c i t i n t h i s form, but they have become i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e d abstrac-tions not v i t a l l y available to his characters. The humour theory i s a good example of a development i n which both indigenous and c l a s s i c a l influences became intertwined. The Renaissance evaluation of the passions, t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to s i n , and t h e i r proper control attempted to combine the teachings of Plato, A r i s t o t l e , C h r i s t , Galen, and Hippocrates. The r e s u l t was a curious mingling of a l l , with many d e r i v a t i v e s . The Stoic attitude towards passion was that of complete r e j e c t i o n . The P e r i p a t e t i c s taught that passions were e v i l i f they were not governed by reason. Since the Scriptures a t t r i b u t e d certain passions to Chr i s t and to God himself, C h r i s t i a n authority usually upheld the P e r i p a t e t i c doctrine. Although the c l e a r l y u n i f i e d thinking of Thomas Aquinas was gone, his summary of the problem was s t i l l generally accepted: The passions of the soul, i n so far as they are contrary to the order of reason, i n c l i n e us to s i n : but i n so f a r as they are controlled by reason, they pertain to v i r t u e . ^ On the surface Jonson's theory of the humours would seem i n accord with t h i s generally accepted t h e o r e t i c a l evaluation by Aquinas. It i s the hard, polished surface of h i s plays which Jonson intends h i s audience to heed. Below t h i s l e v e l , however, there i s an emotional source, and at t h i s emotional source a l l passions would appear to be destructive and the reason i n e f f e c t u a l . In Every Man In His Humour K i t e l y describes h i s brain as an "hour-glass for the running sands of barren suspicion" and he laments h i s loss of "the mindes ere c t i o n " . The r e a l question, rather than any concern with the passions or the reason, seems to be, "Is i t possible for anything to redeem man from himself?" The answer seems to be, "No". Both God and the-reason prove powerless and i n e f f e c t i v e . In Jonson there i s not r e a l l y a Stoic contempt of the world, nor does the P e r i p a t e t i c Summa Theologica. v o l . VI, p. 296, i n Campbell, p. 97. idea of balance seem important. His theory of the humours i s closer to the C h r i s t i a n concept of o r i g i n a l s i n , unbalanced by other C h r i s t i a n teachings, a tendency not unknown i n the annals of C h r i s t i a n i t y . O r i g i n a l s i n i s i n f u l l bloom, a voracious plant i n control of man and h i s world. The d i f f i c u l t y which Jonson has i n coordinating character and action, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n h i s early plays, t e s t i f i e s to t h i s p a r t i c u l a r view of mankind. An i n d i v i d u a l who i s a mixture of "good" and "bad" i s much more e a s i l y and convincingly imitated i n action than an i n d i v i d u a l who possesses only one-half of l i f e ' s portion. In addition to the varying moral philosophies which helped to mold the humour theory, there were d i f f e r e n t types of l i t e r a t u r e which likewise contributed to i t s development. The humours had made t h e i r appearance i n the drama of Lyly, i n prose f i c t i o n , i n s a t i r e , and in the character sketch the l a s t of which C. R. B a s k e r v i l l , i n his analysis of Jonson's early comedy, sees as a p r i n c i p a l ingredient of Jonson's own theory of the humours.^ Closely r e l a t e d to and a f f e c t i n g the character sketch and the theory of humours was the Renaissance theory of decorum, an idea which helped to draw more d e f i n i t e outlines of character and to regulate the s t y l i n which that character f u l f i l l e d h i s l i m i t s . This further development of form owed much to examples from c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e . In both the Theophrastan character sketch and i n L a t i n comedy there were types which Charles R. B a s k e r v i l l , English Elements in Jonson's Early Comedy. B u l l e t i n of the University of Texas,. No. 178, Humanistic Series, No. 12, Studies i n English, No. 1 (Austin: University of Texas, 1911), p. 27. 2§ 7 i l l u s t r a t e d one peculiar q u a l i t y . Its contribution, however, was not simply i n the realm of aesthetic theory; i t was a law of moral philosophy as w e l l , and a popular concern of the age. Many works treated i t as a matter of great moral s i g n i f i c a n c e . Perhaps the best known was Cicero's De O f f i c i i s . In one passage on the subject of decorum, the author asserted that " i t i s inseparable from moral goodness; for what i s proper i s morally r i g h t , and what i s morally r i g h t i s proper". He continued with a discussion of propriety as i t was concerned with duty and the i n d i v i d u a l ; f i n a l l y g and most important, he r e l a t e d i t to the temperament. The conception of the humours also owed a debt to the abstractions of early E n g l i s h a l l e g o r i c a l drama and l i t e r a t u r e . C. R. B a s k e r v i l l sees these abstractions as d i r e c t l y antecedent to Jonson's theory of the humours: . . . before the conception of humour became prevalent, the closer approach of these abstractions of allegory, and e s p e c i a l l y of the morality, to r e a l l i f e had been leading d i r e c t l y toward a treatment of character that was s u b s t a n t i a l l y the same thing as Jonson's treatment of humour.9 For a discussion of Q u i n t i l i a n ' s idea of ethos, or the "set d e f i n i t i o n of a fixed p e r s o n a l i t y , " and Its influence on the conception of the nature of comedy, see Muriel C. Bradbrook, The Growth and Structure of Elizabethan  Comedy (London: Chatto &. Windus, 1955), p. 42. g Cicero, De O f f i c i i s . trans. Professor Walter M i l l e r , Loeb C l a s s i c a l L i b r a r y , Bk. 1, x x v i i f f . , in Campbell, p. 98. 9 B a s k e r v i l l , p. 26. Some of Jonson's characters, e s p e c i a l l y the virtuous ones or those without humours, are closer to abstractions than to r e a l characters. The humour type, however, does not remain an abstraction i n Jonson's hands. The humour may be organic or inorganic. It may be deeply rooted in the character's being or i t may f l o a t near the surface in extraneous t r a i t s ' but Jonson brings him to l i f e with the verve and vigor of the E n g l i s h types which he finds around him. This l i f e l i k e existence of characters owes much to Jonson's own Elizabethan passion for the spectacle of l i f e , together with his acute observation of i t , and something to the new desire for v e r i s i m i l i t u d e , a desire awakened by the new humanism of the Renaissance and i t s i n t e r e s t in the analysis of i n d i v i d u a l s from L i f e . The humanists, probably as a r e s u l t of t h e i r studies of V i t r u v i u s , were beginning to r e a l i z e that Roman drama had been acted in much the same manner as the farces and miracle plays. It i s not quite clear when the knowledge came, but towards the end of the f i f t e e n t h century there were performances in I t a l y of both c l a s s i c a l plays and neo-Latin imitations. The practice soon spread to other countries, and in theoearly part of the sixteenth century there was an outburst of dramatic a c t i v i t y i n the English schools. In 1527 and 1528 there were performances at Wolsey's house of the Menaechmi and the Phormio by the boys of St. Pauls. Others followed and soon there began a long series of English translations of c l a s s i c a l 10 plays. E. K. Chambers, The Mediaeval Stage (Oxford: University Press, 1903), I I , 214-215. The drama f l o u r i s h e d , and as the Elizabethan age progressed, there was more and more interplay between native and c l a s s i c a l forces. One trend interacted with another. Popular demand and the popular drama influenced and were influenced by the academic and the c l a s s i c a l . The playwrights succeeded i n t r a i n i n g public taste to a ce r t a i n extent, but the audience forced upon i t s writers more l i b e r a l a p p l i c a t i o n of the rules which the writers themselves not too un w i l l i n g l y abjured. To the observation of successful dramatic practices over the years and to the r e l a t i v e silence of the ancients concerning comedy, Jonson may owe in some measure the l i b e r a l and independent nature of h i s precepts and p r a c t i c e . Even concerning art in general Jonson accepts the d i c t a of the ancients in a rather broad ways he adopts the guiding p r i n c i p l e that form i s important as a concept and that to proceed towards form one should use " e l e c t i o n and a meane." For "men, who alwaies seeks to doe more then inough, may some time happen on something that i s good, and great; but very seldome: And when i t comes i t doth not recompence the rest of t h e i r i l l . " ' 1 " " ' ' Beyond t h i s p r i n c i p l e of exercizing the c r i t i c a l f a c u l t y sensibly Jonson does not proceed to evolve a c a r e f u l , precise, and o r i g i n a l theory of the drama, or more s p e c i f i c a l l y of comedy: h i s 'Discoveries made upon men and matter' are mostly t r a n s l a t i o n s from the works of others: S c a l i g e r , Q u i n t i l i a n , Cicero, Horace, A r i s t o t l e , Seneca, Plato, M a r t i a l , Juvenal, P a t r i c i u s , Possevino, V e l l e i u s Paterculus, Heinsius, J . L. Vives, The Alchemist. "To The Reade'r", 11. 21-24. This i s perhaps no more than another aspect of the old struggle between the c l a s s i c a l and the romantic points of view. In each case, the proponents of the two methods or attitudes may t h e o r e t i c a l l y emphasize one method to the excl usion of the other, yet in practice combine the two. ' 2 8 12 Bacon, Sidney, and many others. He c o l l e c t s , rearranges and adopts what he thinks best for p r a c t i c a l guidance. From his c o l l e c t i o n he takes c e r t a i n s p e c i f i c signposts for the construction of good drama. When he finds them d i f f i c u l t or impossible of a p p l i c a t i o n , he makes a momentary withdrawal but never a permanent renunciation. His c r i t i c a l i n t e l l i g e n c e . always finds i t necessary to j u s t i f y h i s deviation and re-emphasize the r u l e . Jonson's preoccupation with r u l e s , with finding a r i g h t way of doing things, t e s t i f i e s to his serious attitude towards the drama. He i s equally i n s i s t e n t upon the moral nature of art and i s i n c l i n e d towards the b e l i e f that there i s a r i g h t way of making i t moral. In d i r e c t i n g h i s e f f o r t s p r i m a r i l y towards comedy, he must have been aware of one of the common dilemmas of the day; how does one reconcile high moral purpose with a form which imitates the common " e v i l s " of humanity? In his exploration of the c l a s s i c s , he finds that tragedy, by im p l i c a t i o n , i s allowed to be the superior muse: i t possesses a more d e f i n i t e form and i t has attained to a higher morality. The basis for t h i s higher morality and t h i s more d e f i n i t e form seemed to rest upon some kind of l i t e r a l t r u t h . J. S. Sc a l i g e r , whose Poetice Sidney used so f r e e l y , was one of the most i n f l u e n t i a l c r i t i c s of the Renaissance. One of his pronouncements on the subject was "We are pleased with j e s t s as i n comedy, or with things serious, i f r i g h t l y ordered. For a l i s t i n g of researches made on Jonson's sources for t h i s work, see Herford. and Simpson, XI, 212. Disregard of truth i s hateful to any man." . Implicit i n t h i s statement i s the b e l i e f that things " r i g h t l y ordered" are the r e q u i s i t e of tragedy but not of comedy. For Sc a l i g e r , tragedy was most l i k e l y to be r i g h t l y ordered i f i t possessed "truth of argument", that i s an h i s t o r i c a l argument capable of being presented with v e r i s i m i l i t u d e . He i s echoed by many of Jonson's fellow countrymen, by Sidney and by S i r William Alexander, who thought that tragedy, because of i t s gravity, should be founded on true h i s t o r y , "when the Greatness of a Known person, urging Regard, doth work the more 14 powerfully upon the A f f e c t i o n . " Samual Daniel i n h i s "Apology" to Philotas says, "I thought so true a History, in the ancient forme of a Tragedy, could not but have had an unreproveable passage with the time, and the better sort of men, seeing with what i d e l f i c t i o n and grosse f o l l i e s 15 the Stage at t h i s day abused mens recreations." These men a l l equate tragedy with things " r i g h t l y ordered" and with h i s t o r i c a l t r u t h . The danger lay i n regarding something which was h i s t o r i c a l l y true as something which was r i g h t l y ordered - a d i s t o r t i o n of A r i s t o t l e ' s idea of the known fable forming the core of the t r a g i c t a l e . This danger was perhaps i n t e n s i f i e d by the desire of the age for a new kind of r e a l i t y , a r e a l i t y based on accurate knowledge and productive of concrete r e s u l t s . Quoted from'and discussed in Joseph Allen Bryant, J r . , "The S i g n i -ficance of Ben Jonson's F i r s t Requirement for Tragedy: 'Truth of Argument'," Studies i n Philology. XLIX ( A p r i l 1952), 199. 1 4 B r y a n t , p. 200. Bryant, p. 200. 30 Tragedy might e a s i l y become hi s t o r y accurately reproduced and not as Bacon evaluated the drama, l i k e h i s t o r y made v i s i b l e . Comedy, on the other hand, might be denied d i g n i t y and order, since i t was not clo s e l y linked with history and with things serious. Jonson f a l l s h e i r to the f i r s t mistake but not to the second. If tragedy could be equated with h i s t o r y , i t would approach closer to that Baconian palace of the mind i n which reason and h i s t o r y , by bowing and buckling man's mind to the nature of things, helped to restore his sovereignty i n the universe. But as Jonson i s to discover with Seianus, i t could e a s i l y lose that touch of d i v i n i t y , which Bacon by implication sets outside the bounds of hist o r y and reason. In the creation of Sei anus, "truth of argument" becomes an " h i s t o r i c a l l y v e r i f i a b l e argument", and Jonson, forgetting that the play-wright does not look for truth based upon fact alone, produces a play that gives no i n d i c a t i o n of the poet's imagination having penetrated the v e i l of the past."^ There are of course other reasons for i t s f a i l u r e to "preserve popular d e l i g h t . " One, posited by Herford and Simpson, i s Jonson's neglect of the unity of time and thus the lack of a concentrated action. Another i s h i s own emotional makeup, which despite h i s protestations of Leaue me. There's something come into my thought, That must, and s h a l l be sung, high, and aloofe, Safe from the wolues black iaw, and the d u l l asses hoofe, (The P o e t a s t e T , "Apologetical Dialogue," 236-239) could not iallow him, because of h i s adopted point of view, to give himself up completely to the t r a g i c a l dramatic world. For further comment on the f a i l u r e of Seianus. see Herford and Simpson, II, 27. Although le s s had been said about comedy than about tragedy, p a r t i c u -l a r l y by A r i s t o t l e , there was a general attitude towards i t and some attempt had been made to define i t . But i t was defined in terms a n t i t h e t i c a l to those of tragedy and i t was granted only a negative morality. Despite the current "Ciceronian" d e f i n i t i o n of comedy, as "an imitation of l i f e , a mirror of manners and an image of t r u t h , " comedy was generally construed ,to be something which by implication i t should not be. Even Sidney i n h i s Ao.dl-oqle f:or -jEe:d±Faa.echoes t h i s same strains Comedy i s an i m i t a t i o n of the common errors of our l i f e , which he representeth i n the most r i d i c u l o u s and most sc o r n e f u l l sort that may be; so that i t i s impossible that any beholder can be content to be such a one. Now, as in Geometry, the oblique must bee knowne as wel as the r i g h t , and i n Arithmetick the odde as well as the euen, so i n the actions of our l i f e who seeth not the f i l t h i n e s of e u i l wanteth a great f o i l e to perceiue the beauty of vertue. 1? Comedy should teach the moral nature of things, but i t can do so i n an oblique and negative way only. It lacks an inherent morality because i t casts an image of a truth which should not be. Jonson i s c l o s e l y a l l i e d with t h i s t r a d i t i o n of moral c r i t i c i s m and he so declares himself i n the dedicatory e p i s t l e to Volpones For, i f men w i l l i m p a r t i a l l y , and not a-squint, looke toward t h e . o f f i c e s , and function of a Poet, they w i l l e a s i l y conclude to themselves, the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of any mans being the good Poet, without f i r s t being a good man. (Vol. V, p. 17, 11. 20-23) S i r P h i l i p Sidney, An Apologie for Poetrie. Henry Olney e d i t i o n (1595), i n Elizabethan C r i t i c a l Essays, ed. G. Gregory Smith (Oxfords University Press, 1904), I I , 176-177. '32 In the same e p i s t l e there i s a recognition of a c o n f l i c t between the " s t r i c t rigour of comick law", that i s , the t r a n q u i l l a ultima r e q u i s i t e for comedy, and the f i n a l catastrophe of h i s own play. It i s an ultimate morality which emerges as triumphant: . . . my s p e c i a l l ayme being to put the snaf f l e i n t h e i r mouths, that c r i e out, we neuer punish vice i n our enterludes, & c. I tooke the more l i b e r t y ; though not without some l i n e s of example, drawne euen i n the ancients themselues, the goings out of whose comoedies are not alwaies i o y f u l l , but oft-times, the bawdes, the seruants, the r i u a l s , yea, and the masters are mulcted: and f i t l y , i t being the o f f i c e of-a-comick-Poet, to imitate i u s t i c e , and i n s t r u c t to l i f e , as well as p u r i t i e of language, or s t i r r e up gentle a f f e c t i o n s . (Vol. V., p. 20, 11. 115-123) Jonson asserts the morality and d i v i n i t y of poetry i n general. He thereby reasserts the dignity of comedy, and i t i s to comedy that he devotes h i s p r a c t i c a l e f f o r t s . For him the comic poet has as high and po s i t i v e a purpose as does the t r a g i c : h i s aim i s to "imitate i u s t i c e and i n s t r u c t to l i f e . " He i s not to give the populace the " r i b a l d r y , profanation, blasphemy, a l l licence of offence" and "such foule, and unwash'd b'audr'y, as i s now made the foode of the scene," a l l of which the popular taste demanded but had much d i f f i c u l t y i n j u s t i f y i n g ; he i s to s t i r up gentle a f f e c t i o n s as w e l l . When he proposes to s t r i p Poesie of those base rags with which the times have clothed her for so long, i t i s again i n preface to a comedy that he i s speaking. 33 . . . I s h a l l r a i s e the despis'd head of poetrie againe, and stripping her out of those rotten and base rags, wherwith the Times have adulterated her form, restore her to her primitiue habit, feature, and maiesty, and render her worthy to be imbraced, and k i s t , of a l l the great and masterspirits of our world. (Volpone. V o l . V, p. 21, 11. 129-134) Jonson i s keenly aware of c l a s s i c a l precept, but he always boldly asserts his r i g h t to independent p r a c t i c e : I see not then, but we should enioy the same l i c e n c e , or free power, to i l l u s t r a t e and heighten our inuentions as they Qthe ancients] did; and not bee tyed to those s t r i c t and regular formes which the nicenesse of a few (who are nothing but forme) would thrust vpon vs. (EMOH, 2nd Sounding, 266-270) The speech by Cordatus which immediately precedes the above conclusion concerning the freedom of the a r t i s t outlines the development of Greek comic form. In i t Jonson shows an acute and v i v i d sense of the evolution of comedy. He not only r e a l i z e s that t h i s was i n another time and i n another place, but that these "lawes were not delivered ab i n i t i o " . Even when he proposes the so-called "Ciceronian" d e f i n i t i o n of comedy, the one which i s so often c i t e d as the basis of Jonson's dramatic theory, he allows himself again wide l a t i t u d e i n the rather negative nature of i t s presentation. It i s offered to those who have not proposed a better. You say w e l l , but I would faine heare one of these autumne-judgements define once, Quid s i t  Comoedia? i f he cannot, l e t him content himselfe with CICEROS d e f i n i t i o n ( t i l l hee haue strength to propose to himselfe a better) who would have a Comoedie to be Imitatio v i t a e . Speculum  consuetudinis. Imago v e r i t a t i s ; a thing, throughout pleasant, and r i d i c u l o u s , and accommodated to the correction of manners: . . . . (EMOH. I l l , v i , 202-210) Jonson, however, remains a respector of rules of form and standards of morality. With comedy Jonson finds a sphere i n which rules and precepts are less operative: comedy has been allowed abasic immorality and i t has been les s subject to an accumulation of c l a s s i c a l dogma. It . i s not surprising that Jonson, with h i s respect for c l a s s i c a l i n j u n c t i o n , should attempt to apply to comedy ce r t a i n standards of dramatic construction which had been more d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to tragedy. He cannot apply to comedy the p r i n c i p l e of "truth of argument" and, as i t s c o r o l l a r y , the treatment of the l i v e s of great men; he can i n s i s t that i t tr e a t of things " r i g h t l y ordered" and he can make of i t a serious business, a way of looking at l i f e This conception of the drama as a mirror was c e r t a i n l y not uncommon to the day, and one may compare the above statement by Jonson with Hamibet's advice to the players: the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the f i r s t and now, was and i s , to hold, as 'twere 1 the mirror up to nature; to.show v i r t u e her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time h i s form and pressure. ( I l l , i i . 24-29) • 3.5 with a legitimate claim to t r u t h , a claim reinforced by the perfection of i t s form. He can give i t an honorable s t y l e , i f not a l o f t y one, he can declare i t s r i g h t to imitate j u s t i c e and l i f e , he can reduce the absurdities which bedevil i t s production, and he can assert i t s nature of s t i r r i n g the gentle a f f e c t i o n s to p r o f i t and d e l i g h t . He can divide a comic play into the r e q u i s i t e number of scenes and acts "according to the Terentian manner", he can on occasion provide i t with a Chorus, and he can apply the u n i t i e s of time and place. For unity of action he has h i s own i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n : a Jonsonian play i s not a plot i n imitat i o n of one action u n i f i e d in a l l i t s parts, but the imitat i o n of many actions, each created in accordance with an i n d i v i d u a l character and shaped with i n t e l l e c t u a l tenacity into an a e s t h e t i c a l l y pleasing whole. 436 CHAPTER III The Marriage of Two L i t e r a r y Theories: the Theory of Humours and C l a s s i c a l Unity of Action Jonson stands at the peak of his age, at a time when the growth of the greater Elizabethan and Jacobean comedies i s dependent on conditions e s s e n t i a l l y t r a n s i e n t , on the fusion of converging t r a d i t i o n s which are not permanently compatible. Muriel Bradbrook characterizes t h i s fusion concisely i n her study of Elizabethan comedy: Cut of t h i s tension, the greater E l i z a -bethan and Jacobean comedies were bred. Th e a t r i c a l and r h e t o r i c a l , organized and spontaneous, a r t i -f i c i a l and natural, they r e f l e c t e d a way of l i f e and of speech which were likewise of the hour. Formal manners and vi o l e n t passions, gravity and b r u t a l i t y , j e s t and dig n i t y might be exem-p l i f i e d i n the l i v e s of the great from S i r Thomas More to S i r Walter Ralegh; these vi r t u e s did not equally belong to the generation of St r a f f o r d and Laud, Pym and Milton.1 It i s t h i s peculiar s p i r i t u a l moment of the times which Jonson succeeds i n arresting i n a seemingly u n i f i e d and polished form. He weds native l i t e r a r y growth to c l a s s i c a l i d e a l s . He pushes .his inheritance to the point where technique i s exactly l e v e l with the thought.expressed and brings i t to i t s f u l l e s t technical expression. After him comes the decadence. "The 'Chinese w a l l ' which he b u i l t against barbarism remained to divide Elizabethan from a l l subsequent drama; after Jonson nothing was quite the • ..2 same again. Bradbrook, Elizabethan Comedy, p. 7. Bradbrook, p. 6. • :37 One of the s p e c i f i c ways i n which he marries the native t r a d i t i o n to the c l a s s i c a l one, and which r e f l e c t s the tension of disparate elements held i n solution, i s the subject of the following chapters. It shows him again crossing the boundaries between tragedy and comedy, of applying to comedy those rules intended for'the construction of tragedy. In comedy the inner being of a character i s less important than his outer mode of being. Man the s o c i a l creature i s generally more important, and there i s less e f f o r t to discern and depict his inner structure. Action 3 takes precedence: what matters most i s what he does, not what he i s . Jonson's comedy d i f f e r s , for his i s not simply a comedy of manners, a vehicle f o r expressing witty, i n c i s i v e views on s o c i a l men and manners. Despite the i r o n i c detachment which he forces upon his audience and the delight which t h i s detachment enables them to experience, h i s more earnest concern i s with man and his character. This concern brings him close to the s p i r i t Action, of course, i s most important to the dramatic mode i n general. A r i s t o t l e , i n his Poetics, points up the importance of action to tragedy: The most important of these i s the putting together <5f. the separate actions, for tragedy i s an imitati o n not of men but of actions and l i f e . And happiness and unhappiness reside i n action, and the end i s some sort of action, not a q u a l i t y , f o r according to t h e i r actions they are happy or the reverse. They do not, then, act i n order to represent character, but i n the course of t h e i r actions they show what t h e i r characters are; so in the actions and the plot i s found the end of tragedy, and the end i s more important than anything e l s e . A l l a n H. G i l b e r t , ed. L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m . Plato to  Dryden (New York: American Book Co., 1940), p. 77. 3£ of tragedy and to the t r a g i c mode as w e l l . In tragedy the protagonist must have a strongly r e a l i z e d character, for he himself aids in the subtle alchemy of his own misery. In contrast to the more accidental world of comedy, there e x i s t s between character and action a strong causal r e l a t i o n -ship. Jonson, i n his drama, likewise works to e s t a b l i s h a strong character-action nexus. Jonson, along with other Renaissance c r i t i c s and with the neo-c l a s s i c i s t s , has been accused of e n t i r e l y neglecting the most e s s e n t i a l and most important unity of a l l s the unity of action, p r i m a r i l y , i t i s said, because i t i s the one most d i f f i c u l t to understand and to apply, coming only to those nat u r a l l y endowed as dramatists. But Jonson does in f a c t comprehend A r i s t o t l e ' s notion of the unity of a c t i o n . In h i s Discoveries the section on action i s among the most lengthy and the most l u c i d l y written. More important s t i l l he see's the organic nature of i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to h i s theory of humours. A passage from the Discoveries w i l l i l l u s t r a t e the way i n which he makes the connection. From the fourth chapter of the Dutch scholar Daniel Heinsius' De traqoedioe constitutione. published in Leyden i n 1611, Jonson takes the whole of his f i n a l essay "Of the Magnitude and Compass of Any F a b l e . " 4 In the section on "What [is meant] by one and e n t i r e " concerning the madness of Sophocles' Aiax. Heinsius' text reads thus: J . E. Spingarn, "The Sources of Ben Jonson's 'Discoveries'", Modern Philology II ( A p r i l 1905), 451-462. Exempli g r a t i a , Sophoclis Aiacem videamus: Aiax armis priuatus, indignatur, & s i c erat contumaliae impatiens, r a b i t ac f u r i t . Ergo, quod pro t a l i est, haud pauca sine mente ag i t , & postramo pro Ulysse pecudes insanus mactat. Jonson tr a n s l a t e s t h i s passage i n the following Manner: For example, i n a tragedy, look upon Sophocles his Ajax: Ajax, deprived of A c h i l l e s ' armor, which he hoped from suffrage of the Greeks, disdains, and growing impatient of the i n j u r y , rageth, and turns mad. In that humor he doth many senseless things, and at l a s t f a l l s upon the Grecian flock and k i l l s a great ram for Ulysses:^ 1 He sees the necessary c o r r e l a t i o n between the humour, as a key to character, and the humour as an organizing source of action. He under-stands A r i s t o t l e ' s observation on the nature of t r a g i c action and the way i n which i t grows out of a flaw i n the nature of a man e s s e n t i a l l y good. What A r i s t o t l e lays out in formal analysis, and what Jonson rediscovers, i s rather aptly i l l u s t r a t e d by a work of l i t e r a t u r e which helped to mold Greek drama and which, l i k e the Elizabethan drama, had connections with popular t r a d i t i o n and with legend - the I l i a d , the subject of which i s rather e x p l i c i t l y stated as "the wrath of A c h i l l e s . " It not only deals with one action, i t deals primarily with one mood, one emotion, whose source i s a t tributed to an "unknown" quantity - ate - and which engenders a central l i n e of action. ^The I l i a d , i n contrast to the Odvssev. has the refinement of an art growing out of the personal and oral bardic t r a d i t i o n and develop-ing beyond i t i n s o p h i s t i c a t i o n of form. The Cdyssev. on the other hand, i s more clo s e l y a l l i e d to the older t r a d i t i o n i n possessing a loose, informal Spingarn, p. 458. 40. narrative thread whose winding path of action i s s i m i l a r to the organization a bard might aadopifc in s i t t i n g down to his harp. To i t belongs the search motif, involving many moods and many incidents that comprise the making of a better man, the shaping of a better character^ The character of A c h i l l e s i s already formed at the beginning of the I l i a d . The problem i s to f i n d within the character a mood or emotion of s u f f i c i e n t momentum to carry i t into action. Jonson faces t h i s same problem, and i t i s a problem more c r u c i a l to the drama than to the epic. A c h i l l e s ' one dominant emotion makes him stand out on the vast stage set for the Trojan War. In order to appear l i f e l i k e , he must loom larger than l i f e . An image of man i s caught from the f a s t , swift-flowing stream of l i f e . Jonson, i n r e s t r i c t i n g h i s imagination, cannot allow his characters, save for one, to flow with great passion, but they are not mere r i p p l e s i n a stream. They do stand o.ut with vigor and with force. Often they have been l a b e l l e d as mere car i c a t u r e s . A better word, perhaps, considering the derogatory connotations which have been attached to the former, i s conceits, elaborate conceits imbued with t h e i r own p e c u l i a r l i f e . Jonson's reason and " s c i e n t i f i c " realism do not thwart h i s poetic g i f t . A c h i l l e s , however^ i s not j u s t a man with a flaw, or with one mood. He also acts i n other ways. Hamartia in Greek tragedy was an "error in See discussion by Ray L. Heffner, J r . , "Unifying Symbols in the Comedy of Ben Jonson," 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 A. Barish (New Jerseys P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1963), p. 146. 41; judgment", a kind of catalyst between character and a c t i o n . C o n f l i c t , the interplay between good and bad, p o s i t i v e and negative, love and hate, i s , i n terms of character d e l i n e a t i o n , a l i f e l i k e source of action. For Jonson one-half of t h i s c o n f l i c t i s relegated to a t h e o r e t i c a l realm, and t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l realm, even though not dramatized, s t i l l plays a prominent part i n the l i f e of his characters and the structure of h i s plays. This omission from the l i f e of h i s stage makes i t more d i f f i c u l t for him to achieve the strong character-action r e l a t i o n s h i p which he seeks. He has some d i f f i c u l t y in defining the l i m i t s of his characters. Too often i n h i s early plays he simply displays character, but one sees him working towards a general conception of character. After Every Man Out Of His Humour, he has thought and written enough about his theory of humours to accept i t i n theory without too much further contention. Once he has accepted the humour i n theory and grafted i t to the unity of action, a growth does take place. A r i s t o t l e defines plot as the imitation of an action and states that i t "should be concerned with one thing and that a whole." .Plot, however, i s something more than the imitation of an action; i t i s a synthesis-of i n d i v i d u a l acts and i t i s given a separate and d i s t i n c t designation when he further says the thing imitated consists of plot,.character, and action. During the Renaissance, c e r t a i n elements were abstracted from A r i s t o t l e ' s Poetics and made c r i t i c a l e n t i t i e s i n themselves. The u n i t i e s of time and place and, to a l e s s e r extent, that of action, p a r t i a l l y created and greatly emphasized by the I t a l i a n c r i t i c s , soon found t h e i r way into English l i t e r a t u r e . Although Jonson's t r a n s l a t i o n of Heinsius preserves the idea 42j of the p l o t , or fab l e , as something more than an im i t a t i o n of action, i t would appear from his ap p l i c a t i o n of "truth of argument" to Seianus. d i s -cussed i n the preceding chapter, that he f a i l s to grasp the t o t a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of each part of the i m i t a t i o n . Imitation, as A r i s t o t l e and the Greeks understood i t , was an organic conception, and i t was a process during which natural growth occurred; once t h i s growth had occurred, no one part could be disentangled from another without there being damage to the whole. Action was but one of these parts. This was not to say that the process involved no conscious c o n t r o l : . . . for i t i s necessary that poems produce not any pleasure they happen to but such as I have spoken of.' A poem must have beauty, and beauty consisted of both magnitude and order. A poem must be well-ordered and i t must imitate l i f e . The Greeks perceived, or had perceived, order in the universe. This order was continually reaffirmed through r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l and imbedded i t s e l f i n both legend and myth, on which A r i s t o t l e observed the best tragedies to have been based. The r i t u a l embodied an universal experience with an order not that of h i s t o r i c a l time. The existence of r i t u a l , both i n Greek and i n Elizabethan times, proved important to the b i r t h of the drama as s i g n i f i c a n t art form. When i t l o s t i t s force, eventually the G i l b e r t , L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m , p". 115. 43 drama died as w e l l . Now, A r i s t o t l e says, the poet need not use the t r a d i t i o n a l myths, though they "please everybody". He may make his own p l o t s ; indeed he must be a maker of p l o t s , rather than meters. The i n d i -vidual poet i s now the creator and i n t e r p r e t e r . Heretofore, t h i s perception of a fourth dimension, embodied i n r i t u a l , myth, and legend, had been created, not feigned^ from out of the being and experience of the people. The dream, as some would choose to c a l l i t , was r e a l . That dream, a l i v i n g force, now elusive, now intensely present, could never be l o g i c a l l y formulated and defined by the discriminating i n t e l l e c t . It was expressible only i n the metaphor of poetry or the abstract language of philosophy; and Plato, the f i r s t to formulate the problem of i t s existence, resorts f i n a l l y to a metaphor to convey the fu l l n e s s of his meaning. It was through a continual pursuit of t h i s dream that man, the Greeks i n p a r t i c u l a r , emerged into f u l l e r awareness on the plot of earth which he did occupy. Through i t there came into being thought or reason, science, mathematics, philosophy, and r e l i g i o n as a mode of thought. Without i t thought would have found no s p a t i a l and temporal rhythm i n which i t could move, and without i t science today would have no idea upon which to base a " f a c t u a l " or "objective" pursuit of the atom. Greek r i t u a l , and the r i t u a l of preceding c i v i l i z a t i o n s , aligned man with a l l forces of the universe, i n an horizontal and c y c l i c a l movement within the order of nature and i n a v e r t i c a l and transcendent movement towards an absolute. The mythos of medieval C h r i s t i a n i t y , with i t s correspondences seeking to penetrate and incorporate every corner of the universe, did likewise. The Greeks' f i r s t philosophical statement of order had been a statement of moral order as w e l l . The medieval world picture also r e f l e c t e d a moral order, and t h i s morality was one aspect of nature, but not a substitute for nature i t s e l f . Morality was primarily the function of the reason, that a t t r i b u t e of man which set him apart from h i s fellow creatures, making him less perfect than they and at the same time d i v i n e l y p e r f e c t i b l e above them. The reason was opposed neither to nature nor to f a i t h , and e v i l was not the god of nature. As the Renaissance progressed, however, and man walked farther away from his s p i r i t u a l heritage, there grew a narrow and c o n s t r i c t i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of nature, p a r t i c u l a r l y man's s p i r i t u a l nature, of god and morality, of good and e v i l , and of s i n . As man achieved greater freedom in s c i e n t i f i c thought, i n p o l i t i c s , and i n society, he became the greater bondsman i n s p i r i t . Everything contains within i t s e l f the seeds of i t s own destruction, as well as the seeds of r e b i r t h , and C h r i s t i a n i t y grew s t e a d i l y towards a harvest of weeds. That Elizabethan world picture from which Jonson abstracts the t e l e o l o g i c a l implications of i t s frame of reference leads one to expect a f u l l e r representation of what was possible within t h i s frame. That morality towards which man might aspire with the f u l l n e s s of his senses becomes, however, only something which he should obey. Between morality and reason, the senses lose t h e i r r i g h t f u l place i n the scheme of things. Knowledge and awareness of the senses are keenly present in Jonson's plays, but they have become that which leads man only to the r i d i c u l o u s or the depraved. And so the dream i s l o s t too. When his characters seek to abide by or aspire to an absolute, as he impels them to do, they are doomed to f a i l u r e , not because man i s an imperfect, earthbound, creature, but because man i s b l i n d , and that blindness in Jonson's world view i s e v i l . Jonson gives them t h i s blindness. He chastises, and castigates, them for not being able to see, but he shows them no p o s i t i v e world that i s p o e t i c a l l y v i s i b l e . T. S. E l i o t says of Jonson that "he employs immense dramatic constructive s k i l l : i t i s not so much s k i l l i n plot as s k i l l i n doing without a p l o t . " With reference to the i n d i v i d u a l plots of Volpone. The S i l e n t Woman, and Q The Alchemist, he says " i t i s rather an 'action' than a p l o t . " Generally, the action i n Jonson's plays does not comprise d i s t i n c t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t and i n d i v i d u a l actions which add up to one body of action or p l o t . It i s rather an i n f i n i t e number of v a r i a t i o n s on the same, or a s i m i l a r , action. Instead of a plot or fable, one finds a magnificently ordered and highly wrought design i n which each scrap of material i s made to f i t and cohere in a d e f i n i t e way. In the r i c h l y colored tapestry of Jonson's work there i s no network of universal experience. The characters have no threads of i n f i n i t y to help sustain them. Nor do they have assistance from the concept, "A man's character i s h i s destiny," a philosophical statement not born of a c o n s t r i c t -ing world view. In Jonson, a man's humour i s h i s destiny, and that humour has only one plane of existence. The nature of that 'humour, which i s likewise a world view, disallows any r e a l "change" or transformation for hi s characters, for a l l i s firmly predetermined before the play begins. E l i o t , Sacred Wood, p. 105. 46 It also l i m i t s the nature and the extent of the acti o n : the action does not grow as the character unfolds; i t s p i r a l s with masterly inventiveness i n accordance with the organizing p r i n c i p l e of the humour. By a per s i s t e n t narrowing and l i m i t i n g of the humour character Jonson finds a suitable channel for h i s p a r t i c u l a r poetic i n s p i r a t i o n and thereby s u f f i c i e n t energy to infuse h i s characters with the emotional i n t e n s i t y required f o r acti o n . After The Case Is Altered, Jonson abandons the borrowing, refurbishing and re-organization of old p l o t s . He diverges to experiment and finds i n Volpone and The Alchemist a more completely i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c synthesis. The following chapters make an attempt to discover the nature of h i s point of view as i t grows out of h i s plays and to show the careful and conscious a r t i s t r y with which he weaves into his work the two strands of the humour theory and unity of action, the former symptomatic of h i s point of view, the l a t t e r i n d i c a t i v e of his deliberate a r t . CHAPTER IV The Case Is Altered and The Alchemist The Case Is Altered, f i r s t published i n 1609, i s dated by Herford and Simpson at 1597-98."'' It i s Jonson's only known attempt at using the double p l o t so much i n vogue in the Elizabethan drama and at borrowing readymade plots to t a i l o r to h i s own uses. Jonson takes his s t o r i e s from two con-t r a s t i n g plays of Plautus, the Captives and the A u l u l a r i a - the one a serious romance with comic r e l i e f , the other a s a t i r i c a l comic treatment of avarice with serious moments. Although both lend themselves to the Elizabethan love of mingling grave and gay, neither s a t i s f i e s the same taste for a plot f i l l e d with incidents and crowded with persons. In addition, both, more or less s t r i c t l y , adhere to the c l a s s i c a l u n i t i e s of time and place. Jonson attempts, with no great success, to s a t i s f y both his Elizabethan taste and h i s regard for c l a s s i c a l s t r i c t u r e s . He m u l t i p l i e s the characters, adds abundance of d e t a i l , and makes v a r i a t i o n s on the theme; he maintains the unity of place and to a lesser extent the unity of time; he does not yet have control of his characters nor does he achieve unity of action. Herford and Simpson state i n t h e i r introduction to t h i s work that Jonson m u l t i p l i e s the motives as he never does i n his mature plays, wherein 2 he uses a fundamental motive and m u l t i p l i e s the circumstances. Of The Case Is Altered i t would perhaps be truer to say that Jonson has Herford and Simpson, I, 305-306. Herford and Simpson, I, 307. 4.8 not decided whether to depict men as acting from base motives or from pure motives; he has not r e a l l y determined what the motives are to be, at least not i n strong enough l i n e s for him to manipulate dramatically; and, i n the early phases of his career, Jonson does need strongly outlined boundaries before he can see how to move within them. His f a i l u r e to fi n d these boundaries may r e s u l t from the borrowed double p l o t . At any r a t e , i t remains a borrowed one, even af t e r i t has passed through his hands. Jonson, due to h i s inexperience i n handling and his uncertainty at viewing the mater i a l , f a i l s to make of i t a creation p e c u l i a r l y his own. Since he has already before him the main l i n e s of h i s two p l o t s , he i s not forced to develop the strong character, strong, that i s , i n terms of one t r a i t or one motive, which, when i t becomes a humour, can express i t s e l f with passion - a passion of s u f f i c i e n t strength to give momentum to a fe a s i b l e l i n e of acti o n . In t h i s play Jonson experiments with the passion of love, but one fee l s t h i s i s e n t i r e l y a l i e n ground for him, because he imbues i t with l i t t l e sentiment, and with less passion. It i s a theme, s h i f t i n g and s u p e r f i c i a l , anchored only i n i t s concentration on the one person of Rachel de P r i e . It i s used to multiply action, but i t never possesses s u f f i c i e n t motivation i n any terms, ei t h e r l o g i c a l or i l l o g i c a l , to produce a coherent p l o t . Onion who would, to s a t i s f y h i s love, have a "prety Paradox or some A l i q o r y " made, i s e a s i l y turned aside from his wooing by the discovery of Jaques 1 treasure. One does not learn of Christophero 1s love u n t i l Onion has sought his help i n wooing Rachel. His prime consideration i n the matter seems to be only the p o s s i b i l i t y of an altered r e l a t i o n s h i p with his master the Count who, immediately upon hearing of h i s servant's 49 s u i t , expresses his own desire for the beggar maid: I spide her, l a t e l y , at her fathers doore, And i f I did not see in her sweet face Gentry and nobleness, nere trust me more: But t h i s perswasion, fancie wrought in me, That f a c i e being created with her lookes, For where loue i s he thinke[s] his basest obiect Gentle and noble: I am farre i n loue. (II, v i , 37-43) He analyses the basis of his emotion and then coolly discards i t . If the involvement of Onion and Christophero in the c i r c l e of love can, to some extent, be explained, but not so e a s i l y j u s t i f i e d , on the s t r u c t u r a l bases of comic parody and p a r a l l e l i s m of scene, the action of Count Ferneze i s not so e a s i l y accounted f o r . If i t i s only, as Herford and Simpson suggest, for the purpose of feeding Jaques' fear, the e f f e c t , revealed i n the actions of Jaques, may be dramatic, but the cause, contained i n the actions of the Count, i s neither dramatic or belie v a b l e . If one, on the other hand, sees love-betrayal, and the r e s u l t i n g entanglements, as the true comic motive, one can only say that the betrayals are committed most casually and without any r e a l conviction. Angelo, perhaps because his treachery i s greater, seems to make a better case for his b e t r a y a l : He*'is an asse that w i l l keepe promise s t r i c k t l y In any thing that checkes h i s priuate pleasure; C h i e f l y i n loue. S'bloud am not I a man? Haue I not eyes that are as free to looke? And bloud to be enflam'd as well as hi s ? ( I l l , i , 9-13) S t i l l , i n his vehemence, he can o f f e r no better motive than "am not I a man?" and the nature of his character i s only t h i n l y prepared for by Paulo's wondering h e s i t a t i o n at t r u s t i n g his fr i e n d and the Count's a l l u s i o n to Angelo's fourteen mistresses. The passions of love for these characters do not e x i s t . It i s love by every other name save that of love. Paulo would seem to be representa-t i v e of the passion i n i t s p u r i t y , but the importance of his r e l a t i o n s h i p with Rachel i s usurped on the stage, in his absence, by the rather more base connivings of his fellows. The love between him and Rachel provides the touchstone by which that of others i s judged, judged e i t h e r as black or white. Again, the choice for Jonson seems to be, "Do men act from base motives or pure ones?" He does not seem able to draw the character capable of encompassing both convincingly. When he does make the choice, he attacks the problem with more certainty, with more verve, and i t i s always the rogues who act most convincingly. Since the character motivation and delineation are d i f f u s e , one would expect the action to be likewise. Perhaps because of the already e x i s t i n g l i n e s of action Erom the borrowed plots and the symmetry achieved i n the p a r a l l e l i s m of the m u l t i p l i e d scenes, the r e s u l t i s not the same. Instead, as J . J . Enck describes i t i n his a r t i c l e on t h i s play, The plot and language both have a thorough-going s t r a t i f i c a t i o n which includes almost a l l the p r i n c i p a l characters and, furthermore, f u r -nishes them t h e i r main motivation. These e l e -ments r a r e l y infuse one another; rather they are p a r a l l e l l i n e s . Such perpendicularity con-t r i b u t e s something to the e f f e c t of puppets which i t i s claimed Jonson's characters often convey. They respond less to each other than to t h e i r own natures, which happen to be stimu-lated by other presences on the stage or j u s t off i t . At the same time the cause of t h e i r problems i s an incompleteness as human -beings, a deficiency either of knowledge or of the w i l l to determine i t : a lack either of the information to round out s e n s i t i v i t y or of the s e n s i t i v i t y to give meaning to i n f o r -mation. In The Case Is'' Altered, as i n a l l early Jonsonian drama, the c o n f l i c t s arise from a lack (a negative) which with practice breaks into a p o s i t i v e excess.^' This s t r a t i f i c a t i o n a r i s e s , as suggested above, from the incomplete fusion of the two p l o t l i n e s , which i n turn arises from his f a i l u r e to move his characters convincingly across these l i n e s . The perpendicular motion which the action describes in t h i s play i s an imposed one, for i t does not proceed e a s i l y or s t r a i g h t l y from the characters. Too often, character and action are sustained separately. In l a t e r plays the action proceeds more l o g i c a l l y from character, but i t s t i l l r e t a i n s the nature of the perpendicular: the characters are s t i l l responding more to t h e i r own natures than to each other, they are speaking s t i l l at cross purposes, they are yet acting from an incompleteness, a lack, an i n s u f f i c i e n c y of s e n s i t i v i t y and information. Now, however, they act upon these negatives i n a more p o s i t i v e way, and i n The Alchemist, when Jonson frees them completely from the abstract spectre of j u s t i c e and morality, they act with the gay abandon and the complete control of t h e i r negatively conceived (that i s , based on i n s u f f i c i e n t knowledge, wrong -assumptions, and i n s e n s i t i v i t y ) , but p o s i t i v e l y f u l f i l l e d convictions. Miss Una Ellis-Fermo apparently discerns a s i m i l a r perpendicularity i n The Alchemist and she likewise a t t r i b u t e s to t h i s play a s t r a t i f i c a t i o n ^ J . J . Enck, "The Case Is Altered: I n i t i a l Comedy of Humours," Studies in Philology. L ( A p r i l 1953), 209. 52 of action and character. She describes the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the structure of The Alchemist i n terms of a modernistic, non-representational p a i n t i n g : If we choose as our starting-point a picture that consists of s p i r a l s and related curves forming one design and underlying them or superimposed, two-dimensional blocks of colour forming another and apparently indepen-dent design-(as i n the manner of Picasso), we have a convenient starting-point for describing some of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the structure of the 4 Alchemist She sees the inte r a c t i o n s of the p l o t , the " s p i r a l s and related curves", as something e x i s t i n g quite separately from the characters and t h e i r moods, the "two-dimensional blocks of colour". The reason for t h i s e f f e c t she determines to be the occurrence of passages, such as the dialogue of Subtle and Face, the speeches of S i r Epicure Mammon, and the ravings of Dol (Act IV), which are " l i k e slabs of pure colour standing apart from and P. independent of the l i n e pattern i n a p i c t u r e . " ' The g l o r i o u s l y sensual speeches of Mammon may stand out i n massive color blacks, but they are not wholly i s o l a t e d from the action to form a completely separate design. When Mammon, i n a n t i c i p a t i o n of acquiring the wonder-working philosopher's stone, feeds h i s passion u n t i l i f flows with poetic e x a l t a t i o n through perfumed mists, gossamer and roses, to o s t r i c h fans and dishes of agate, emerald, .sapphire, to pheasants' eggs and cockles bo i l e d i n s i l v e r s h e l l s , he i s at one and the same time pouring out the 'Ellis-Fermor, p. 44. ''Ellis-Fermor, pp 47-48. substance of one of the "slabs of pure colour"; that i s , he i s f u l f i l l i n g h i s mood and feeding his humour in the realm of poetic language, and he i s also o u t l i n i n g graphic action in words, he i s conveying the f e e l i n g of action on another l e v e l - a l e v e l that, e x i s t s i n the mind alone. This action, although i t takes place i n the mind alone, does not do so i n the manner of Shakespeare and other dramatists, by carrying the c o n f l i c t to another l e v e l - the realm of c o n f l i c t i n g ideas, for example - so that t h i s realm in turn gives added dimension to the primary l i n e of action (that a c t u a l l y taking place before the eyes of the audience on the stage). Instead, i t uses action of the f i r s t kind (from the primary l e v e l ) to form a l a t t i c e work on which the humour grows upward to excess. When Mammon can construct a l i t t l e drama i n which he sees himself walking naked between his succubae to lose himself in rooms vapored and perfumed, to f a l l into baths of the enormity of p i t s , to emerge thence to dry in gossamer and roses, and a l l t h i s action m u l t i p l i e d by glasses cut in subtle angles, he i s o u t l i n i n g and feeding i n projected action the abnormality which, when fed in t h i s manner, w i l l r e s u l t in an act on the primary l e v e l of action. The lack of c o n f l i c t i n the realm of ideas i s the r e s u l t of the framework which Jonson sets himself. There does ex i s t a c o n f l i c t between the true and the f a l s e , but for the characters themselves there i s l i t t l e c o n f l i c t between the two. For them the f a l s e affords t h e i r p r i n c i p a l r e a l i t y , but the moral imposition of Jonson's frame of reference would suggest that the true i s the r e a l i t y . Within the frame, however, there i s no equal e x t e r n a l i z a t i o n of the two ideas; instead the true stalks the outer boundaries 54 l i k e a waiting actor deprived of his part. When an awareness of the two opposing ideas does occur in a character, the action seems to s u f f e r . Although K i t e l y , i n Every Man In His Humour, has reasonably strong motivation, he i s somewhat i n h i b i t e d by an awareness which transcends h i s humour and he cannot act with the ease of Subtle or Face or Volpone. Macilente usurps most of the action i n Every Man Out Of His Humour, and h i s motivation, af t e r h i s entry into the play, must take the name of humourous envy, rather than pure hatred. The frame of reference i s important i n that i t provides something against which to measure the humour. But the characters may only move from one side of the frame to the other, being thrown from t h e i r course by the impact of having h i t the opposite boundary of the con-s t r i c t i n g frame. In between these two points there has been no growth, no change, no development; there has been only acceleration along an already determined path. That which ex i s t s outside t h i s frame i s denied the characters; there i s no place to which they can aspire and so they.turn inward to feed upon themselves. Speeches such as those r e f e r r e d to above (p. 52) help then to f o r e -shadow and promote the action, or rather they help to bring the action into existence; S i r Epicure Mammon's speech outlines and indulges the abnormality and i n indulging the abnormality i t gives i t added impetus. Thus the ac c e l e r a t i o n becomes greater, u n t i l only a head-on c o l l i s i o n can meet the thrust with s u f f i c i e n t force to throw i t off i t s ironbound track. The s p i r a l s of the l i n e design then, to return to Miss Fermor's terms, are not independent of the slabs of c o l o r : they move with greater force because of them - with greater force and with a residue of t h e i r c o l o r i n g . The action may not seem to grow out of the character, but 35 i t does proceed in l o g i c a l agreement with the terms of that character's existence. The upward s p i r a l l i n g movement of action i n The Alchemist i s the f u l l e s t r e a l i z a t i o n of t h i s aspect of Jonson^'s a r t . Each i n d i v i d u a l character, because of the nature of his being, can never break out of t h i s s p i r a l l i n g movement in the i n t e r a c t i o n with other characters which one o r d i n a r i l y expects in the p l o t ; he can only come back down to earth. In the meantime they can a l l ascend together as invention follows invention. Face almost always finds a way out. One may not be prepared for t h i s in the l o g i c of the p l o t , but i t does conform to the l o g i c of Face's character. The s t r i c t channelling of the humour within l i m i t s sharply defined permits Jonson to achieve t h i s i n t e n s i t y of action which allows invention upon new invention i n the turns of the action. In The Alchemist the humours do not figure prominently, but Jonson has perfected a rhythm of action, hitherto generally a pattern of movement, most suitable to his type of character. In Volpone he taps the true depths of his stream of i n s p i r a t i o n and he finds s u f f i c i e n t momentum for v i r i l e and r e l a t e d action. In The Alchemist, i f there i s not much t a l k of humours, there i s much t a l k i n humour. With the exception of Volpone, such richness of language i s found nowhere else in Jonson. During the f i r s t half of Jonson's career, up to and including Volpone. one can see him evolving strong, " l o g i c a l " action in d i r e c t proportion to the strength with which he molds his characters, both of these a r t i s t i c ingredients depending in turn on the firmness with which he holds a point of view and being the means by which he r e a l i z e s that view i n an a r t i s t i c 56 creation. The. point i s not that the theory of humours affords a f a c i l e explanation of his technique but that he i s only able to mold strong character i n terms of one concentrated t r a i t or motive. In The Case Is Altered one can perceive the growth of the humour character and i t s enlivening e f f e c t on the action. The tempo of t h i s play increases to a more sp r i g h t l y and natural pace when a more strongly delineated character takes the center of the stage. When Count Ferneze enters for the f i r s t time, he does so in an impatient peremptory manner, i l l u s t r a t i n g h i s son's (Paulo's) d e s c r i p t i o n of him which precedes his entry: You know my father's wayward and his humour Must not receiue a check, f or then a l l obiects, Feede both his g r i e f e and h i s impatience, And those a f f e c t i o n s i n him, are l i k e powder, Apt to enflame with euery l i t t l e sparke, And blow vp reason, therefore Anqelo. peace. (I , v i , 85-90) He f i r e s a short quick dialogue and sends the servants f l y i n g about i n search of his son Paulo, upon which he concludes, Patience? a Saint would loose h i s patience to be crost, As I am with a sort of motly braines See, see, how l i k e a nest of Rookes they stand, Gaping on one another.' ( I , v i i , 17-20) At t h i s point there enters another character to whom there has also been at t r i b u t e d a humour: 0 he i s one as r i g h t of thy humour as may be, a plaine simple Rascal, a true dunce, marry he hath bene a notable v i l a i n e i n his time: he i s i n loue, s i r r a h , with a wench, & I have preferd thee to him, . . . (Juniper to Antony Balladino of Onion; I, i i , 11-14) Onion also possesses something of the Count's i r a s c i b l e nature and i s capable of f a l l i n g into a "prejudicate humour" which he does at t h i s moment. After having t r i e d to d e l i v e r a message to the Count, only to be fr u s t r a t e d into speaking at cross purposes by the Count's humour, he exclaims, Mary I say your Lordship were best to set me to schoole againe, to learne how to d e l i v e r a message. (I, v i i , 34-35) Correct him [himself, Onion] ? S'bloud come you and correct him and you have a minde to i t . Correct him, that's a good i e s t I faith,the Steward and you both, come and correct him. ( I , v i i , 45-47") Whereupon. Onion's threat i s met and he i s ejected from the scene. In Act II another strongly outlined character from the second plot (of the Aulular-ia) makes his appearance. Having spied Paulo and Angelo haunting h i s abode, Jaques immediately delineates his moving passion, i t s e f f e c t s upon him, and the object to which i t i s attached. He i s presented boldly from the f i r s t : What a could sweat Flow'd on my browes, and over a l l my bosome! Had I not reason? to behold my dore Beset with v n t h r i f t s , . . . . That I might l i u e alone once with my gold. 0 ' t i s a sweet companion! kind & true.' A man may t r u s t i t when his father cheats himj Brother, or f r i e n d , or wife! o wondrous p e l f e , ..That which makes a l l men f a l s e , i s true i t s e l f e . ( I I , i , 2-5, 27-31) In considering the possible motives for h i s two v i s i t a t i o n s he also outlines possible convolutions of the action. F i n a l l y he decides that lechery i s t h e i r motive, rather than gain, both of which motives are couched i n pejorative terms, and that i t i s h i s daughter Rachel they seek. Immediately following t h i s excessive fear i s a v i v i d b i t of dialogue i n which Jaques outlines Rachel's actions for her during h i s absence: Rachel I must abroad. Lock thy selfe In, but yet take out the key, That whosoeuer peepes i n at the key-hole, May yet imagine there i s none at home. I w i l l s i r . But harke thee Rachels say a theefe should come, And misse the key, he would resolue indeede None.were at home, and so breake in the rather: Ope the doore Rachel. set i t open daughter; But s i t in i t ibhy s e l f e : and talke alowd, As i f there were some more in house with thee: Put out the f i r e , k i l l the chimnies hart, That i t may breath no more then a dead man. The more we spare my c h i l d , the more we gaine. ( I I , i , .53-66) He takes h i s leave, and the e x c i t a t i o n of his humour has recreated l i f e , of a peculiar brand, upon the stage: he has been moved to an almost poetic e x a l t a t i o n i n protecting his gold and he has added measurably in a concen-trated moment to the f e e l i n g that here i s action being Imitated and not merely character alone. Jaques has for a moment begun to describe that upward, h e l i c a l s p i r a l , but i t i s not sustained and he f a l l s back into the s t r a t i f i e d l i m i t s of his own p l o t . Jaques. Rachel. Jaque s. CHAPTER V Every Man In His Humour This play, f i r s t acted i n 1598, was not printed u n t i l 1601 and was not again issued u n t i l the F o l i o e d i t i o n of 1616, at which time, before being placed f i r s t i n the e d i t i o n of Jonson's works, i t had undergone an elaborate r e v i s i o n . The r e v i s i o n , which probably took place about 1608-10, embraces an advance i n technical and s t y l i s t i c maturity; the general dramatic substance of plot and character, however, remains e s s e n t i a l l y the same. The most important change i s made in a p r a c t i c a l bow to the precept Truth to L i f e ; the se t t i n g , formerly I t a l y , i s now transferred to London. In r e l a t i o n to The Case Is Altered, some elements of Plautine comedy are s t i l l retained: "the pair of e l d e r l y c i t i z e n s , deceived and outwitted by a pair of l i v e l y young men; the shrewd serving-man who plays t h e i r game -i n the i n t e r v a l s of playing h i s own; and the bragging soldier.""'' Other l i t e r a r y influences, more d i s t i n c t l y Elizabethan, may have contributed to the nature of t h i s play, which, nevertheless, owes l i t t l e to the stimulus of previous l i t e r a t u r e . Chapman's Humourous Day's Mirth may have supplied some hints for the c i r c l e of g u l l s which Jonson introduces i n h i s play. The g u l l i s already a common l i t e r a r y type depicted often with the coarse-2 ness and cruelty of Roman s a t i r e . Chapman's Labesha, however, although Herford & Simpson, I I , 345. 2 See B a s k e r v i l l , pp. 108 f f . ; and Harold V. Routh, "London and the Development of popular L i t e r a t u r e , " Cambridge History of English L i t e r a t u r e , ed. A. W. Ward and A. R. Waller (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1907-17), IV, 362-415. 60 Possessing most of the t r a i t s of the witless pretender, i s not yet touched by the a c r i d i t y of the moral s a t i r i s t , which f i r s t entered the drama with the Stage Quarrel at the end of the decade. In l i k e manner, neither are Jonson's Stephen and Matthew of Every Man In His Humour i n h i b i t e d by the harshness of the moral censor; both move f r e e l y i n a purely comic world.' Influences aside, however, the important .considerations i n t h i s play are the advances Jonson makes in character development, l a b e l l e d by himself "the theory of humours," i n the s k i l f u l manipulation of plot i n t r i g u e , and i n the extent to which he brings the one into organic r e l a t i o n s h i p with the other. Jonson sees humanity i n broad, sharply defined o u t l i n e s ; for him the s u b t l e t i e s of human nature coalesce to form one animating t r a i t or humour. While t h i s attitude may simplify characterization by the mere fa c t of el i m i n a t i o n , i t nevertheless presents a problem of s e l e c t i o n . That i t constitutes a problem for Jonson i s , I think, r e f l e c t e d i n the imperfectly defined characters of h i s early plays. This ambiguity of being and the uncertainty of action r e s u l t from Jonson's indecisive view of man's nature and his d e f i c i e n t technique imperfectly r e f l e c t i n g t h i s blurred image. He has d i f f i c u l t y i n developing an action which w i l l appear organic and natural and at the same time reveal only what he wishes to r e v e a l . Jonson must r e a l i z e the deficiency, for in the early phases of h i s drama he continually explicates character by frequent r e p e t i t i o n and elaboration of the humours. He has not only to develop i n dramatically l o g i c a l terms a theory i n h e r i t e d from medieval physiology and already enjoying considerable vogue, but he must also, despite the theory's vogue, gain acceptance for i t i n the dramatic context. For t h i s he does not r e l y on h i s dramatic power; instead he buttresses himself uncertainly with the apparatus of the c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t and the c l a s s i c a l scholar. In t h i s play Jonson makes simultaneous advances i n both the delinea-t i o n of character and the manipulation of i n t r i g u e ; the advances are not always intimately r e l a t e d . In the character of K i t e l y , however, one can see an intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p between a humour and the growth of action. K i t e l y i s the single dominating image on the stage; he i s the character best i l l u s t r a t i n g the state wherein . . . some one peculiar q u a l i t y Doth so possesse a man, that i t doth draw A l l his a f f e c t s , h i s s p i r i t s , and his powers, In t h e i r confluctions, a l l to runne one way; (EMOH, 2nd Sounding, 105-108) Although he sometimes does so with d i f f i c u l t y , K i t e l y does originate h i s own action. That action which swirls arourid him, from the machinations of Brainworm and 1/fellbred, although s k i l f u l l y handled and f r e e l y moving, approaches closer to mere intrigue than to strongly motivated action. K i t e l y embodies the dominant t r a i t which controls the d i r e c t action and foreshadows the dominant character which, i n Jonson's l a t e r plays, provides a focus for synthesizing actions into an a r t i c u l a t e d p l o t . Others in the play do of course possess humours, but t h e i r s i l l u s t r a t e "the popular usage of the word" for the mere "apish, or phantasticke s t r a i n e " which leads a coxcomb to don "a pyed feather" or a "three p i l d r u f f . " Their humours are of an evanescent q u a l i t y . An exception to both these humour types i s B o b a d i l l , the braggart s o l d i e r , who stands caught somewhere between the strong, d i s t i n c t i v e l y dressed humour character and the s u p e r f i c i a l l y beribboned g u l l . His i s a more complex character, f o r , while his nature as a fraud and braggart leads him into r i d i c u l o u s and revealing action, Jonson at the same time allows him long set speeches i n which he builds an image of himself which threatens that revealed i n his actions. His self- p r o j e c t e d image gains credence by the r e a l i s t i c a l l y d e t a i l e d way i n which he approaches i t s construction and by the feigned h e s i t a t i o n of his re v e l a t i o n of prowess - a h e s i t a t i o n overcome by the i r o n i c queries of Edward Knowell and Wellbred. Bobadill does not quite f i t i n t h i s play; he i s not quite firmly imbedded i n the s a t i r i c r a t i o n a l e or the comic mode. In him there i s an element of aspi r a t i o n which i n the long set speeches unaccompanied by contradictory action almost escapes r i d i c u l e . The ambiguity of his being i s not to be found in l a t e r characters, such as S i r Epicure Mammon of The Alchemist, where condemnation i s inherent i n each l i n e of S i r Epicure's r i c h l y exotic and asp i r i n g speeches. The dominant t r a i t which might for a Tamburlaine l i f t him towards d i v i n i t y with a single-souled ardour i s in Jonson p a r a l l e l e d and supplanted by the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f o l l y . One sees now, as the Elizabethans were them-selves seeing, the other side of the coin, and the odor of cynicism d r i f t s to the f o r e f r o n t . The same problem which arose in The Case Is Altered here presents i t s e l f again: do men act from base motives or good motives? • Can men enjoy the fu l l n e s s of t h e i r natures and act s t i l l i n a morally sound way? In Every Man In His Humour there i s s t i l l present the implication that i f men but would, they could act i n accordance with nature and seem as "perfect, proper, and possest/ As breath, with l i f e . " Knowell gives good advice and so does K i t e l y ; Knowell would have Stephen be wise and contain himself and to make not a false "blaze of g e n t r i e " extinguishable by a " l i t t l e puffe of scorne;" K i t e l y can see i n Wellbred a course so 7@ i r r e g u l a r , so loose, so affected that nothing he now does becomes "him as h i s owne." Both are displaying f o l l i e s , which "by loving s t i l l " when they "know th'are i l l " can become crimes. Some of the characters then r e a l i z e t h e i r own f o l l i e s and they have s u f f i c i e n t insight to delineate the humours of others; they even have s u f f i c i e n t insight to delineate t h e i r own humours.: Knowell can say that too much a f f e c t i o n makes a father a fool and K i t e l y knows that his jealousy has turned his brain to a mere "houre-glasse" for the running sands of barren suspicion." But both seem unable to act upon t h i s knowledge i n a way which w i l l change the course of action. Knowell Senior's "too much a f f e c t i o n " leads him in suspicious pursuit of his son, and K i t e l y ' s jealousy continues to suspect and to scheme. Immediately after his wise advice to Stephen, Knowell i s revealed as a " c a r e f u l l Costar'monger" who "numbers his greene apricots, euening, and morning." K i t e l y , a f t e r his knowing de l i n e a t i o n of Wellbred's "loss of grace," succeeds only i n f i r i n g another humour as Downright explodes in "'Sdeath, he L Wellbred ] mads me . . .;" and he then proceeds to reveal a knowledge of his own humour. That humour nevertheless reasserts i t s e l f . There i s present in the play the wisdom of words, but i t i s to no e f f e c t , and the capacity for e n l i g h t -enment which can lead to the attainment of wisdom and grace seems not to e x i s t i n the nature of the characters' being, and so not i n the nature of t h e i r world. If wisdom or grace comes, i t comes as a "miracle," as i t does for Sordido in Every Man Out Of His Humour; i t i s an outside force having no p a r t i c l e of i t s existence i n the nature of things or men and i t shortly vanishes. 64 K i t e l y ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of his brain as an "houre-glasse,/ Wherein my' imaginations runne, l i k e sands," i s a testament to the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of w i l l and purpose. The humour growing and feeding on i t s e l f has brought about a destruction of moral f i b e r , and of reason, but the humour i t s e l f e x i s t s as the r e s u l t of a sharply divided nature. Measured against the dogmatic frame of Jonson's dramatic p i c t u r e , that nature has become a negative one, negative because the frame, but not the canvas, includes the p o s i t i v e elements of man's nature. In the Elizabethan world view these elements had been part of an organic whole - God and law and j u s t i c e had existed i n nature, in society, and in men. No matter how imperfectly r e a l i z e d , there had been r e c i p r o c i t y between man and the correspondences of his world as he conceived i t . Whereas Tamburlaine's single-souled ardours are " l i f t upward and di v i n e " , K i t e l y lacks the mind's erection to simply "shake the feauer o f f " and act: Ah, but what miserie' i s i t , to know th i s ? Or, knowing i t , to want the mindes erection, In such extremes? (II, i i i , 70-72) If K i t e l y cannot aspire i n the same way as Tamburlaine, he i s going to spend his passion on something, and he spends i t on a c a n n i b a l i s t i c d i s s i -pation which leads him to the verge of collapse. That collapse i s brought about simply by a " l i t t l e puffe of scorne" administered from without. The attitude exemplified by K i t e l y , and pervading the play in general, i s negative i n another way: i f one disallows man his capacity for a s p i r a -t i o n towards d i v i n i t y , one may too e a s i l y deny him his capacity for good as well as bad. The tendency i s to assume and to allow only the worst in -;6i5 man, and the mind gives i t s e l f over to base thoughts and suspicions. In his speech in Act I, scene i , K i t e l y assumes that once the opportunity presents i t s e l f h i s wife w i l l cuckold him and he would therefore be a fool to give her that opportunity. But he makes himself the greater fool by giving his jealousy the opportunity to construct an action which does not e x i s t . The action does not exi s t i n the world about him; i t exi s t s more i n t o l e r a b l y i n his mind. In the scene with Cash (Act I I I , sc. i i i ) K i t e l y attempts to i n i t i a t e a p a r t i c u l a r action. He wishes to have h i s wife watched, but he i s torn between his jealous suspicions of his wife and h i s fear of Cash's b e t r a y a l , with the consequent loss of "fame" in the ta l k of "th* Exchange." His jealousy and h i s fear are i n d i c a t i v e of a fundamental assumption about human nature. These two motives are the bases for his action, and i f they are not "base", they are negative, negative when measured against p o s i t i v e values which have by the advent of t h i s play retreated farther into the shadowy distance. In The Case Is Altered there was s t i l l a choice and the choice was a f a i r l y evident one; now i t occurs that a choice has been made, but a consciousness of the nature of that choice s t i l l remains. As a r e s u l t , K i t e l y has d i f f i c u l t y i n acting upon h i s negatively conceived p r i n c i p l e s . Both he and Knowell can s t i l l give seasonable, wise advice on " r i g h t " behavior and put some f a i t h s t i l l i n "the wit of humanitie." The accused characters are not g u i l t y of t h e i r imagined s i n s , and the comic tone remains p e r f e c t l y i n t a c t as the worldly-wise judge administers h i s shrewd, but humane j u s t i c e . The humour then i s the r e s u l t of a cer t a i n fundamental assumption about human nature. That assumption reveals i t s e l f i n a p a r t i c u l a r way, that i s , the humour, which i s dramatically embodied i n character and dramatically implemented through a s p e c i f i c o u t l e t . The s p e c i f i c o u t l e t , such as jealousy, fear, or avarice, generates action and language revealing the nature of the humour to the audience. The cl e a r e r , the stronger, and the more u n i f i e d the motive, or humour, the more d i r e c t , the more emphatic, and the more cer t a i n i s the l i n e of action. It i s notable i n t h i s play that the general plot l i n e s are s t i l l not intimately connected with or controlled by the f o r c e f u l humour character. Unlike Volpone and Mosca, K i t e l y and Brainworm are not partners i n mischief or i n crime. They do not make of e v i l a po s i t i v e good and imbue t h e i r cozening with the importance of an art or profession. K i t e l y and Brainworm do not occupy within the play the same c i r c l e from which radiate the spokes of a c t i o n : K i t e l y gives b i r t h to action i n close r e l a t i o n s h i p to his humour, but i t i s Brainworm who, from the sheer love of mischief, sustains, as did Juniper and Onion i n a more d i f f u s e way for the previous play, the general strands of the p l o t . It i s Brainworm who i s the o f f i c i a l and self-appointed stage manager of the dance of l i f e that whirls about him. At the beginning of scene iv i n Act II Brainworm appears to hold the center of the stage i n giving a summary of the action thus f ar and i n announcing the progress of future action: Well, the troth i s , my old master intends to follow my yong, drie foot, ouer More-Fields, to London, t h i s morning: now I, knowing, of t h i s hunting-match, or rather conspiracie, and to insinuate with myyyong master (for so must we that are blew-waiters, and men of hope and seruice doe, or perhaps wee may weare motley at the yeeres end, and who weares motley, you know) haue got me afore, i n t h i s desguise, determining here to lye i n ambuscade. and intercept him, i n the mid-way. (II , i v , 8-16) 67;. He reveals h i s function i n the play as one, who, having been transformed from "a poore creature," a created character acted upon rather than acting, i s now become a creator. But i t i s Brainworm who transforms himself into t h i s r o l e to insinuate himself with h i s young master. He, unlike K i t e l y , i s r e l a t i v e l y free of the magnetic f i e l d of humours and can act without a deeply engrained humour motivation. As a r e s u l t , there i s not the intimate connection between humour (or motivation) and action that i s found i n K i t e l y . Brainworm enjoys the role of creator, for he could well have chosen his old master i n whose services to insinuate himself. He simply acts from a rather general love of mischief. Like the vices of the morality plays, who likewise act from a pure love of mischief, he i s useful i n getting the plot going with a minimum of motivation. In t h i s sense he i s a stage convention. Unlike K i t e l y , h i s character does not grow from the thought of. the play, but he i s a suitable and e f f e c t i v e agent for comedy. His performance does i n fact conform to the nature which he ascribes to himself: he does d r i f t , anchorless and disembodied, about the p l o t , no longer "a poore creature", to materialize suddenly as"a poore souldier", as Formal1, and as an arresting o f f i c e r . The nature of Brainworm's s e l f -assumed role does not, however, require that he move in harmony with c e r t a i n pre-determining or self-determining motives, as does K i t e l y . His whims, his fancies, allow him reasonably " f r e e " movement. His i s the necessary counterpoint to K i t e l y * s s p i r a l l i n g , somewhat s t i l t e d , action. Jonson has not yet succeeded i n combining motivated character begetting u n i f i e d action with an o v e r a l l synthesis of these actions. In other words Jonson has not achieved a completely coherent p l o t , a plot in which a l l points touch on a l l - other points either l o g i c a l l y or i n t e l l i g i b l y or 3 n a t u r a l l y . Brainworm then holds up the general l i n e s of the p l o t ; he keeps the "unrelated" strands of action going when they threaten to collapse from lack of motivation. Through him, many of the characters are taken to where they must go; rather l i k e the pawns in chess they are picked up, transported, and guided by the manipulator's i n t e l l e c t , an i n t e l l e c t which knows where they should be placed, but does not communicate to them the knowledge of why they should be placed there. As a r e s u l t , they cannot possibly move there by themselves. Brainworm 1s p o s i t i o n as detached manipulator of the plot makes him appear twice removed from the creative force. Through him other characters are moved i n ways which seem three times removed from the informing power of t h e i r source. For instance, through Brainworm, Knowell, B o b a d i l l , Matthew, and Downright a l l eventually f i n d themselves before the J u s t i c e . Edmund Wilson describes transactions of t h i s kind in a most u n f l a t t e r i n g manner: Jonson also lacks natural invention, and his theatre has l i t t l e organic l i f e . His plots are incoherent and clumsy; his juxtapositions of elements are too often l i k e the mechanical mixtures of chemistry that produce no molecular reactions. His chief a r t i f i c e s for making something happen are to introduce his characters in impossible disguises and to have them play in c r e d i b l e p r a c t i c a l jokes One may r e f e r here to A r i s t o t l e ' s d e f i n i t i o n of the p l o t : "the plot i s the i m i t a t i o n of the action. By plot I mean the synthesis of the i n d i v i d u a l actions . . . ." G i l b e r t , p. 76. ^Edmund Wilson, "Morose Ben Jonson", The T r i p l e Thinkers. Twelve  Essays on L i t e r a r y Subjects (London: John Lehmann, .1952), p. 205. K i t e l y , however, moves himself along, no matter how uncertainly, up u n t i l Act IV, scene v i i i , when he begins to be acted upon. Brainworm, i n the disguise of Clement's man, lures K i t e l y away from his ( K i t e l y ' s ) house with a f a l s e message. Upon returning, he discovers his wife's absence. He i s informed by Wellbred of her whereabouts; as a r e s u l t of h i s previous attitudes and past actions and because of the f a l s e message, he goes to Cob's house with the preconceived certitude of his wife's g u i l t . Once there, despite the fact that the r e f u t a t i o n of his fears i s beginning to manifest i t s e l f , he s t i l l possesses enough of his b l i n d humour to i n i t i a t e the next ac t i o n : Well, good-wife BA'D, COBS wife; and you, That make your husband such a hoddie-doddie; And you, yong apple-squire; and old cuckold-maker; l i e ha' you euery one before a I u s t i c e : Nay, you s h a l l answere i t , I charge you goe. (IV, x, 55-59) Here towards the end of the play, Wellbred assumes part of Brainworm's function and manipulates the movement of t h i s portion of the p l o t . It i s he who sends Dame K i t e l y off to Cob's and he again who i s responsible for hurrying K i t e l y thence. He, together with Edward Knowell, has assisted i n displaying for the audience the humours of Matthew, Stephen, and B o b a d i l l . In' c.doing so, he s a t i s f i e s his own humour f o r a sport which sets off i n opposition to the foppish humours of the three g u l l s h i s own fancied s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , a s o p h i s t i c a t i o n as false i n i t s pretensions as those to which i t opposes i t s e l f . At^the beginning of the play he sets the stage for t h i s movement by marshalling together his characters and by i n v i t i n g a select audience - Edward Knowell, who brings with him another member of the dramatis personnae (Stephen) to a s s i s t his f r i e n d and s o c i a l mentor in the play business at hand. 70 The two p r i n c i p a l manipulators, Wellbred and Brainworm, and as a r e s u l t , the two movements, c r i s s - c r o s s at certain points. Although Brainworm himself decides to assume the r o l e of a "creator" and to follow Knowell, i t i s Wellbred who t e l l s him where Knowell i s to go (Cob's house) and i t i s Wellbred again who is responsible for Brainworm's l u r i n g K i t e l y from his home. On the other hand, although Wellbred and Edward Knowell have assisted at the coursing of the humours of Bobadill and Matthew, i t i s Brainworm who causes t h e i r appearance at Clement's. He does so unwittingly, i t seems, for by his physical presence alone and his sheer love of disguise, by his appearance to Matthew and Bobadill at no one's i n s t i g a t i o n , dressed as Formal1, without reason or provocation, he f i r e s o f f a series of actions which brings Matthew, Boba d i l l , and Downright to the court of J u s t i c e . K i t e l y remains the most strongly and sharply defined character, He alone originates most exclus i v e l y his own action, a l b e i t he does so with severe b i r t h pangs. Others, Matthew, Stephen, and B o b a d i l l , also suffer from humours, but t h e i r s are of the surface, l i g h t and s h i f t i n g ; they can be e a s i l y played upon, and consequently displayed, by the s l i g h t e s t prompting. Of these three g u l l s i t i s Bobadill who i s the most subtly and the most winningly drawn. Herford and Simpson in t h e i r introduction to t h i s play attempt to describe the nature of h i s a t t r a c t i o n : . . . Bobadill i s not the g u l l of pure breed any more than he i s the bragging s o l d i e r of t r a d i t i o n . The g u l l was a witless pretender to accomplish-ments and valour. B o b a d i l l , however empty his pretensions to valour, i s not without a c e r t a i n order of accomplishment . . . . The're i s talent in the design and handling of his camouflage.^ He approaches two or three conventional types, but i t i s to Jonson's c r e d i t that he f a l l s not within- any one of them; instead, he stands unique an independent and d i s t i n c t i v e creation. Of him, one might say, as Well-bred and Edward Knowell say of Brainworm, he i s an ar c h i t e c t rather than a mere a r t i f i c e r : Wellbred.' Why, BRAYNE-WORME, who would haue thought thou hadst beene such an a r t i f i c e r ? E. Knowell. An a r t i f i c e r ! An a r c h i t e c t ! ( I l l , v, 24-26) He constructs his own character, "the camouflage" of his character, with some o v e r a l l design; he erects an e d i f i c e : he does not on the one hand suspend himself i n mere f i l i g r e e , nor does he on the other simply stack br i c k upon b r i c k . Edward Knowell says again of Brainworm, He had so writhen himselfe, into the habit of one of your poore Infanterie. . . . . Into the likenesse of one of these Reformado's had he moulded himselfe so p e r f e c t l y , obseruing euery t r i c k e of t h e i r action, as varying the accent, swearing with an emphasis, indeed a l l , with so s p e c i a l l , and exquisite a grace, that (hadst thou seene him) thou would'st haue sworne, he might haue beene Serieant-Maior, i f not Lieutenant-Coronell to the Regiment. ( I l l , v, 10-11, 17-23) But t h i s praise might more aptly be applied to B o b a d i l l , for i t i s he who succeeds i n the actual language and action of the play i n constructing a many-faceted character for himself. One does not see Brainworm perform Herford & Simpson, I, 352. a s i m i l a r feat, and there i s only Edward Knowell's word for i t that he has done so. In the scene where Brainworm, in his newly-donned disguise, accosts Edward and Stephen, i t i s not by means of language or "varying the accent" but by a change in the habit of dress only. Brainworm i s an a r c h i t e c t of the p l o t , a contriver weaving the strands of action into something of an o v e r a l l design, but he i s only an a r t i f i c e r of character. Bobadill i s an a r c h i t e c t of character but only an a r t i f i c e r in action. He does not manipulate himself; he i s only manipulated. The moment he moves into action the e d i f i c e of his being collapses and he i s easy prey to Downright's bastinado and Brainworm's t r i c k s . Bobadill creates the image of himself, not as Brainworm does, i n terms of action to be performed In the plot (see Act I I , scs. Iv-v), but i n terms of f a n d i f u l past action and projected future action standing completely outside the regular plot l i n e s and having no p o s s i b i l i t y of consummation within the plays Bobadill to Edward -Knowell. Why thus, s i r . I would select nineteene, more, to my s e l f e , throughout the land; gentlemen they should bee of good s p i r i t , strong, and able c o n s t i t u t i o n , I would choose them by an i n s t i n c t , a character, that I haue: and I would teach these nineteene, the s p e c i a l l r u l e s , as your Punto, your Reuerso, your Stoccata, your Imbroccata. your Passada. your Montanto; t i l l they could a l l play very neare, or altogether as well as my s e l f e . This done, say the enemie were f o r t i e thousand strong, we twentie would come into the f i e l d , the tenth of March, or thereabouts; and wee would challenge twentie of the enemie; they could not, i n t h e i r honour, refuse vs, w e l l , wee would k i l l them: challenge twentie more, k i l l them; twentie more, k i l l them; twentie more, k i l l them too: and thus, would we k i l l , euery man, his twentie a day, that's twentie score; twentie score, that's two hundreth; two hundreth a day, flue dayes a thousand; f o r t i e thousand; f o r t i e times f i u e , fiue times f o r t i e , two hundreth dayes k i l l s them a l l vp, by computation. And t h i s , w i l l I venture my poore gentleman-like caracasse, to performe (prouided, there bee no treason p r a c t i s ' d vpon us) by f a i r e , and d i s c r e e t manhood, that i s c i u i l l y by the sword. (IV, v i i , 73-94) This speech cannot be described as simply pathetic, i n the sense of the merely t r a n s i t o r y or f l e e t i n g emotion, for i t adds strength to those permanent lineaments which make up h i s ethos.^ His i s not a f a n c i f u l dream, transplanted from the s o i l of Elizabethan heroics, mounting "upward and sublime" without considering the concrete steps on which i t must mount. He w i l l ask how as w e l l . He begins with an ingredient proper to Elizabethan h e r o i c s : he would choose his men by "an i n s t i n c t , a character, that I have;" but he s h i f t s i n midstream to another method which in i t s presentation seems a l i e n to the f i r s t : he w i l l not spur his men into b a t t l e with un-thinking, emotional E x c e l s i o r s ; he w i l l t r a i n them with s c i e n t i f i c accuracy and t h e i r feats of bravery w i l l be performed with a s i m i l a r pre-c i s i o n and c o n t r o l . For a moment he aspires and he does so not i n f u l l -bodied emotionalism but i n a severely factual manner - a manner which underlines the extent of his own b e l i e f and makes him look a l l the more r i d i c u l o u s when untwoard events l a t e r reveal him a coward. With Bobadill's speeches, however, an actor can momentarily usurp the stage, and the action which follows does not measurably reduce the image which he,can create. ^The words pathos and ethos would seem, l i k e so many other words, to possess t h e i r meanings in opposition one to the other. Pathos means the q u a l i t y of the transient or emotional, whereas ethos ref e r s to something of more permanence, that i s , a person's character or c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s p i r i t , h i s nature or d i s p o s i t i o n . 87j* To sum up, at t h i s early stage i n the development of Jonson's drama, the r e l a t i v e l y strong humour character s t i l l acts, but h a l t i n g l y so, upon negatively conceived values. His action i s h a l t i n g because a conscious-ness of t h e i r p o s i t i v e counterparts s t i l l remains in the background; yet his actions, unlike the e v e r - s h i f t i n g f r i v o l i t i e s of the g u l l s , are more p e c u l i a r l y h i s own. The g u l l s display t h e i r wares at the hint of an outside stimulus, but K i t e l y , although he too i s acted upon, has an opportunity in the f i r s t part of the play to e s t a b l i s h his own action, and he i s acted upon primarily by his humour. In t h i s play the strong humourist i s not yet his own stage manager; Brainworm, who acts simply from the general love of mischief, i s the " o f f i c i a l " manipulator of the , p l o t . Later, with Volpone, the strong dominating character assumes d i r e c t i o n of the play, although he possesses a more than competent " a s s i s t a n t " i n the person of Mosca. There i s no h e s i t a t i o n here and -no uncertainty; Volpone, and l a t e r Mosca, can p u l l the strings of the p l o t with the complete r e l i s h of a man who has decided the way of the world. Negative values, negative when measured against p o s i t i v e ones, have here, in Volpone. become p o s i t i v e , p o s i t i v e when the p r i o r set of p o s i t i v e s has been f o r -gotten - and the Fox has no d i f f i c u l t y i n acting. Jonson cannot, however, l e t him escape, despite the fact that he has endowed him with the strength to do so. The abstract spectre of Justice i s again introduced to d e r a i l the miscreant. In The Alchemist Jonson sets h i s rogues completely free. The s i n s i t e r f l a v o r of tragedy i s not as strong here, as i n Volpone. and the spectre of Justice has completely disappeared. In Every Man In His  Humour the comic tone i s p e r f e c t l y preserved: t h i s i s not yet a stricken society or an e v i l universe in which v i c e , animating the soul of things, can "Put motion in a stone, s t r i k e f i r e from i c e ; " the inhabitants are healthy and robust, f u l l of zest, merriment, and hearty good fun - and w i t h a l l quite harmless. CHAPTER VI Every Man Out Of His Humour This play, f i r s t entered in the Stationer's Register on A p r i l 8, 1600, and published i n that same year, was probably finis h e d towards the end of 1599. With the advent of t h i s play one witnesses i n Jonson's dramatic world a development of the s a t i r i c s p i r i t , a s o l i d i f i c a t i o n of the dramatist's point of view, and a d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of dramatic form. Jonson i s experiment-ing, but in traversing the t r a d i t i o n a l Elizabethan comic forms he does not, here at l e a s t , evolve a product s u f f i c i e n t l y dramatic. In the experiment one sees him attempting to f i n d a form adequate and appropriate to a point of view now becoming, as i t discards insoluble and alien': elements, tougher and stronger in i t s being, more passionate i n i t s implementation. The s a t i r i s t i s supposedly one who c r i t i c i z e s i n hopes of bringing about a reformation; he therefore believes a reformation i s possible. The mere fact of the creation of art would seem a testament to t h i s b e l i e f . In the Prologue to Every Man In His Humour Jonson states that his purpose i s to "sport with humane f o l l i e s , not with crimes;" again i n the Prologue to The Alchemist he reaffirms h i s purpose: Though t h i s pen Did never aim to grieve, but better men They are so natural f o l l i e s , but so shown, As even the doers may see, and yet not own. (11-12, 23-24) His stated purpose echoes the "Ciceronian" d e f i n i t i o n of comedy given by Cordatus i n Every Man Out Of His Humour as being "a thing throughout pleasant, and.ridiculous and accommodated to the correction of manners." •So It would seem then that Jonson proposes to s a t i r i z e those s u p e r f i c i a l , evanescent derangements which are r e l a t i v e l y harmless and can be e a s i l y discarded, bad habits which arise when " a l l are f a l l ' n 1 , youth from t h e i r f e a r : / And age, from that, which bred i t , good example."''" In Every Man In  His Humour the humours are s u p e r f i c i a l . Generally, they are not yet deeper "than the coate, or s h i r t , or skin;"'they have not yet gone into the bone or stained unto the l i v e r and heart. This may have happened, but i t has done so only " i n some" and i t i s s t i l l a "learn'd" thing. Youth learns i t s vices from the bad example of old age; in the cradle i t sucks i n with the mother's milk the " i l l customs" of i t s inadequate moral mentors. In Knowell's analysis of the time's f o l l i e s the burden of the blame rests with surrounding circumstances, with environment, but when he says "the die goes deeper then the coate" and "staines, unto the l i v e r , and heart" he comes dangerously close to saying i t i s born i n the heart and bred.in the bone. In t h i s play, however, the humour i s s t i l l a f o l l y which can be discarded l i k e a coat or s h i r t befouled by i l l use. In t h i s sense a permanent change, in character i s neither necessary nor possible. With the character of K i t e l y , the humour begins to assume a new i n t e n s i t y , but in general the f o l l i e s remain s u p e r f i c i a l and permanent change i s of l i t t l e consequence. The comic world, with i t s comic r e s o l u t i o n , emerges i n t a c t , i t s tone unim-paired by serious s a t i r e . In Every Man Out Of His Humour, however, Asper condemns the s u p e r f i c i a l or affected f o l l y ; again the imagery i s drawn from a r t i c l e s of c l o t h i n g : Every Man In His Humour. II, v, 12-13. This may be t r u l y said to be a Humour. But that a rooke, i n wearing a pyed feather, The cable hat-band, or the t h r e e - p i l d r u f f e , A yard of shooetye, or the Switzers knot On h i s French garters, should a f f e c t a Humour! 0, ' t i s more then most r i d i c u l o u s . (2nd Sounding, 109-114) Heretofore, characters have described the humour i n terms analagous to the p h y s i c a l , but i n t h i s play, the humour i s given for the f i r s t time <an e s s e n t i a l physical basis, and an analogy i s then drawn between the physical and the s p i r i t u a l . The humour now begins to "smell of sinne", and Macilente' " s t r i c t hand" i s "made to ceaze on v i c e " and "crimes". He inveighs against . . . such, whose faces are a l l zeale, And with the words of HERCVLES invade Such crimes as these! that w i l l not smell of sinne, But seeme as they were made of s a n c t i t i e ! Religion i n t h e i r garments, and t h e i r haire Cut shorter then t h e i r eye-browes! (2nd Sounding, 38-43) Cordatus t e l l s him the way of the world: Vnlesse your breath had power To melt the world, and mould i t new againe, It i s i n vaine, to spend i t in these moods. (2nd Sounding, 47-50) If he would have a change, there must be a new creation. In the meantime, there i s l i t t l e which can o f f e r assistance, except perhaps Poesy. Philosophy may be true, but its.s theories are impractical guides i n the actual world: V i r i est, fortunae caecitatem f a c i l e f e r r e . Ti s true; but, Stoique, where ( i n the vast world) Doth that man breathe, that can so much command His bloud, and his a f f e c t i o n ? There i s no taste i n t h i s Philosophie, I looke into the world, and there I meet With obiects, that doe s t r i k e my bloud-shot eyes Into my braine: ( I , i , 1-4, 8, 16-18) .Macilente must s a t i s f y himself with being a scourgea of the times, but he cannot give vent to the reforming s p i r i t i n purity of motive. He must partake of the corruption of the times and enter the dramatic world under the a f f l i c t i o n of the "new disease". When I see these [the fortunate ones] (I say) and view my s e l f e , I wish the organs of my sight were crackt; And that the engine of my gr i e f e could cast Mine eye-balls, l i k e two globes of w i l d - f i r e f o r t h , To melt t h i s vnproportion'd frame of nature. ( I , i , 24-28) The point i s re-emphasized by the Grex i n i t s d i s t i n c t i o n between envy and hate. The transformation of Asper, a member of the chorus, into Macilente, a member of the humour characters, makes i t possible for Jonson to greatly i n t e n s i f y the s a t i r e and yet remain within the comic mode. Macilente !s exclaims against his fellows cannot be taken too seri o u s l y , for he shares t h e i r humourous world. In addition, h i s condemnations, uttered with great passion, seem supported not by the r e a l i t y of the humour characterization but rather by the discussions of humour i n the choral interludes, p a r t i c u -l a r l y at the beginning of the play. When Macilente utters h i s imprecations, one does not see a j u s t i f i a b l e reaction to an outrageous humour; one i s instead reminded of sim i l a r remarks by Asper and the t h e o r e t i c a l discussions of humour. As a r e s u l t of t h i s f a i l u r e of integration the scourge seems not i n the nature of things; no moral order appears to pervade t h i s universe. O r i g i n a l l y , t h i s play ended with the appearance of the Queen, the sight of whom causes Macilente to exclaim, Neuer t i l l now did obiect greet mine eyes With any l i g h t content: but in her graces, A l l my malicious powers haue l o s t t h e i r s t i n g s . Enuie i s f l e d my soule, at sight of her, And shee hath chac'd a l l black thoughts from my bosome, Like as the sunne doth darkenesse from the world. (V, x i , 1-5) The representative of the moral order stands outside the play proper, and Jonson must have sensed i t s a r t i f i c i a l i t y i n removing i t from the f i n a l version. The disappearance of Sordido's humour e a r l i e r i n the play' ( i l l , v i i i ) seems likewise to depend on some kind of moral framework not inherent to the play. Echoes of the medieval scheme of divine redemption are heard i n Sordido's speech of repentance, and the r u s t i c s exclaim, "0 miracle! see when a man ha's grace!" The conversion remains, however, an inorganic f i x t u r e i n the play. The "knowledge" which leads to Sordido's repentance i s not that of a divine law and a divine plan of the universe. Even though Sordido concludes that "No l i f e , i s b l e s t , that i s not grac't with loue," there i s no preparation for t h i s enlightenment. The moment when love might have entered humanly or natu r a l l y immediately precedes t h i s speech. Sordido receives a l e t t e r from his son. After having read i t , he swears that "my son and daughter s h a l l starue ere they touch i t [ h i s gold]. This scene of Sordido's conversion does not emerge then with i t s suggested theological.framework i n t a c t , nor i s there s u f f i c i e n t motivation i n the human acti o n . His repentance i s brought about by a few curses from those he has j u s t c a l l e d " l i c e n t i o u s rogues," "poor wormes," and "Thred-bare horse-bread-eating r a s c a l s " : What curses breathe these men! how haue my deeds Made my lookes d i f f e r from another mans, That they should thus detest, and lothe my l i f e ! Out on my wretched humour. . . I'le make f a i r e amends For my foule errors past, . . . ( I l l , v i i i , 36-40, 42-43) 81 A "state of grace" i s something which descends from above upon one, who, within the play, has not been adequately prepared to receive i t . Its advent may be preceded by an uncomplimentary r e f l e c t i o n i n the eyes of others, but i t i s only a r e f l e c t i o n and the r e f l e c t i o n i s temporary. It does not lead to a permanent comprehension of the human part i n the miracl of grace, and no self-knowledge i s achieved. The "miracle" appears as something outside and a l i e n to the nature of the characters of t h i s dramat world. By implication the r e a l salvation remains outside the play i t s e l f . At the end of the play, when Macilente has been purged of h i s humour and h soul i s at peace, Jonson reaffirms through Macilente that he has indeed shown an image of the times* I am so farre from malicing t h e i r states That I begin to p i t t y them. It grieues me To thinke they haue a being. I could wish They might turne wise vpon i t , and be sau'd now, So heauen were pleas'd: but l e t them vanish, vapors. Gentlemen, how l i k e you i t ? has't not beene tedious? (V,xi, 61-66) Macilente reasserts that these vapors "have a being". He reaffirms the nature of the world he has had a part i n depicting. For the present t h i s world i s terminated, but he wishes that his fellows could now turn wise upon t h e i r lessons and be saved. The whole tenor of the play, including the ambiguity of Macilente's concluding "So heau'n were pleased", seems to imply that t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y has retreated beyond man's grasp and depend too e n t i r e l y on heaven's being pleased to grant a r b i t r a r i l y a state of humanly incomprehensible and humanly undeserved grace. 82 In Every Man In His Humour the f o l l i e s were of a s u p e r f i c i a l q u a l i t y , and many characters in the present play possess only s u p e r f i c i a l humours, but the tone of t h i s play, transmitted by the Grex and Macilente, indicates now a more serious and more permanent source. The reformation s t i l l touches only the t r a n s i t o r y manifestation of that permanent source of derangement. According to the humour theory in vogue, morality depended on a balancing of the humours. If no balance i s either p o t e n t i a l or possible, and i f the humour becomes i n i t s e l f a vice or s i n , and i f there i s no good a f f i x e d to t h i s negative state, then change i s both more important and more impossible. Jonson must r e a l i z e his predicament. In Volpone the characters themselves embody that which i s simply t h e o r e t i c a l discussion i n Every Man Out Of His  Humour. Volpone and Mosca remain absolutely- true to t h e i r negatives, and a strong, coherent dramatic world emerges. This play flows with a new i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g , unwitnessed heretofore i n Jonson's drama: Asper's f i e r c e indignation and Macilente's seething 2 envy are almost pure and undefiled, But in allowing these passions to flow so f r e e l y and strongly, Jonson has not made a commensurate adjustment i n form that w i l l give them adequate dramatic control and expression. The f i r s t two-thirds of the play i s occupied almost completely with character sketches, with providing a series of r e f l e c t e d images in a s t e r i l e glass of form. It i s not u n t i l the fourth act of the play that Macilente begins to E l i o t , i n his analysis of the s p i r i t of envy i n the Induction to the Poetaster, says, "It i s not human l i f e that informs envy and S y l l a ' s ghost, but i t i s energy of which human l i f e i s only another v a r i e t y . " E l i o t , The Sacred Wood, p. 100. p u l l the strings of action. In the "calme of h i s humour" he p l o t s , and hee i s so f u l l with 'hem [ malicious thoughts] that you s h a l l see the very torrent of h i s enuie breake forth l i k e a land-floud: and, against the course o f . a l l t h e i r a f f e c t i o n s oppose i t selfe so v i o l e n t l y , that, you w i l l almost have wonder to thinke, how 't i s , possible the current of t h e i r d i s p o s i t i o n s s h a l l receiue so quick, and strong an a l t e r a t i o n . (IV, v i i i , 154-159) It i s Macilente, the strongest humour i n the play, who i s c h i e f l y responsible, with the aid of his admiring implement, Buffone, for the name of action (with the exception of Sordido's purgation). He does not bring forth h i s own action In the way that K i t e l y does; instead he pushes others into actions which bring about his own purging. He combines in his function something of both K i t e l y and Brainworm, but i s not, l i k e Volpone, intimately involved i n the action which he implements. In the f i r s t . p a r t of the play when his envy burns with a self-consuming force, h i s energies are devoted ta standing on the s i d e - l i n e s and counterpointing the deformities of the other characters. He does t h i s with a wrath which would indeed seem to make his eye-balls crack and burst f o r t h into two globes of w i l d - f i r e . This v i o l e n t emotion, however, helps to maintain the. l i f e of t h i s portion of the play. The business of the chorus i s also to aid i n character building and to substitute for adequate dramatic structure and action an explanation by means of an appeal to c l a s s i c a l model and d e f i n i t i o n . In the opening scenes, when Carlo Buffone and Macilente are introduced, the Grex provides further sketches to round out what the characters have already revealed of themselves. ,Carlo i n his introductory speech has devoted his a b i l i t y as j e s t e r primarily to j i b i n g at the author rather than programming his own humour. Cordatus ' then supplies for M i t i s and for the audience a s t r i n g of epigrammatic t r a i t s i n which to clothe Carlos He i s one, the Author c a l l s him CARLO BUFFONE, an impudent, common i e s t e r , a v i o l e n t r a y l e r , and an incomprehensible Epicure; one, whose company i s desir'd of a l l men, but belov'd of none; hee w i l l sooner lose his soule then a i e s t , and prophane euen the most holy things, to excite laughters no honorable or reuerend per-sonage whatsoeuer, can come within the reach of h i s eye, but i s turn'd into a l l manner of v a r i e t i e , by h i s adult'rate s i m i l e ' s . (Prologue, 3rd Sounding, 356-364) Macilente, on the other hand, concentrates upon his s e l f - d e l i n e a t i o n , and the Grex merely announces "t h i s i s your enuious man". After the two p r i n c i p a l characters have made t h e i r debut, the Grex continues to control the play's movement and introduces them again, i n scene two, now i n company with Sogliardo who reveals the great a s p i r a t i o n of his l i f e -to be a gentleman at any cost. Both the Grex and Macilente then comment on the scene, Macilente with a fury which does not seem d i r e c t l y propor-t i o n a l to the f o l l y revealed: . 0, I could eate my e n t r a i l e s , And sinke my soule into the earth with sorrow. (I, i i , 35-36) Macilente now assumes control from the Chorus and makes the next i n t r o -duction - Sordido, who in turn introduces his own humour of avarice. A scream of pain i s wrung from Macilente, who, for the benefit of the, audience, outlines in indignation the f u l l e r implications of Sordido's a f f l i c t i o n : Is'-'t possible that such a spacious v i l l a i n e Should l i u e , and not be plagy'd? or l i e s he hid Within the wrinckled bosome of the world, Where heauen cannot see him? Sbloud (me thinkes) 85r 'Tis rare, and strange, that he should breathe, and walke, Feede with digestion, sleepe, enjoy his health, And ( l i k e a boist'rous whale, swallowing the poore) S t i l l swimme in wealth, and pleasure'. (I, i i i , 67-74) The Chorus takes the opportunity of t h i s fulsome expression by Macilente to explain the nature of envy as opposed to hate. Then they return to introducing - bringing forth again Buffone and a new "bright-shining g a l l a n t " Fastidious Briske. By the time Briske has indulged his humour in t a l k i n g of excellent hobby horses, the Chorus echoes the opinion of the auditors concerning the whole substance of the play thus f a r : Why, t h i s fellowes discourse were nothing, but for the word Humour. (I I , i , 56-57) Jonson's c r i t i c a l faculty t e l l s him how his play i s being received by his audience, and by the middle of the Third Act he f e e l s the necessity of o f f e r i n g , by his own admission for lack of a better, a " c l a s s i c a l " d e f i n i t i o n of comedy: You say w e l l , but I would faine heare one of these au_tumne-judgements define once, Quid s i t Comoedia? i f he cannot, l e t him content himself with CICEROS d e f i n i t i o n . ( t i l l hee haue strength to. propose to himself a better) who would haue a Comoedie to be Imitatio v i t a e . Speculum  consuetudinis. Imago v e r i t a t i s : a thing throughout pleasant, and r i d i c u l o u s , and accommodated to the correction of manners: -if the maker haue f a i l ' d i n any p a r t i c l e of t h i s , they may worthily taxe him, but i f not, why - be you (that are for them) s i l e n t , as I w i l l bee for him; and giue way to the actors. ( I l l , v i , 202-216) The author i s attempting an image of the times, but i t i s a rather roughly d i s t o r t e d image: his mirror f l i c k e r s with tongues of flame, trembling and threatening to burst into a conflagration; i t does not pulsate with the l i f e l i k e image of nature, nor show "the very age and body of the time h i s form and pressure." Jonson's "image of the times" r a r e l y lacks form, but frequently i t does want "body" and "pressure". Indeed, much of i t i s form, form rather than i m i t a t i o n or creation. It i s not form simply for the purposes of construction and technique; i t i s form as the substance of his art as well - a perversion of the creative process. Two c r i t i c a l terms often used in connection with the discussion of l i t e r a r y modes are essence, the "form-giving cause," and idea, the "form of a form-giving cause". Less abstract terms better applied to art i t s e l f might be generating idea and shape. The f i r s t has only a s p i r i t u a l b i r t h i n the a r t i s t . In the creation of art i t i s the intangible, s p i r i t u a l imperative and becomes an i n e x t r i c a b l e part of the shape, the r e s u l t or f u l f i l l m e n t of which i t controls. The shape i s the f i n a l outcome of i m i t a t i o n . Chartres. Venus de Milo. Madonna of the Rocks, each of these possesses a shape as the r e s u l t of a generating idea conceived by someone capable of conceiving. The most obvious part of that shape i s i t s physical mani-f e s t a t i o n , that phenomenal q u a l i t y which i s f i r s t to s t r i k e the eye. This physical manifestation can be copied-for instance, something may be r e -produced exactly according to certain physical proportions - but only the shape can be imitated. If art i s to be an i m i t a t i o n of l i f e , the generating idea must be caught from the shape of l i f e - a shape whose i n f i n i t y pervades l i f e ' s every physical manifestation. The kind of outlet i t chooses for expression does not matter, for the channels to l i f e ' s Truth are numberless. Though one may say no Truth i s there, one may yet 87 perceive the Truth, and s t i l l i t w i l l be there. And one may say Truth i s there, but not perceive the Truth, and yet i t w i l l be there. For Jonson the generating idea i s much constrained i n the early phases of h i s work. With Volpone i t f i n a l l y bursts f o r t h , only to be brought under the r i g i d control of h i s form again l a t e r . The "form of the form-giving cause" continually intrudes upon the "form-giving cause." As a r e s u l t , many of h i s characters emerge as amorphous in the f u l l a r t i s t i c sense. They possess the form but not the shape of l i f e . Jonson sees hi s fellow men assuming and personating empty forms, but he also chooses to see them thus. Empty forms do not e a s i l y generate action which can reveal character. Two examples from Every Man Cut Of His Humour w i l l i l l u s t r a t e how h i s excursions into characters, subtle as they may be, too often remain s t a t i c images for the mind's contemplation. In Act IV, scene v, Sogliardo appears with his newly bought tutor, Cavalier S h i f t , the man of many faces and many names, who swears that he i s , but i s not what he swears. Sogliardo begs his good Pylades to "discourse a robberie, or two,/ to s a t i s f i e these gentlemen of thy worth," and S h i f t completes the conceit by addressing his employer as "my deare Orestes." The other characters pick up the pattern and f i l l i t out with further examples: Carlo.. 0, i t ' s an old stale enterlude deuice* No, I'le giue you names my s e l f e , looke you, he s h a l l be your IVDAS, and you s h a l l bee h i s Elder tree, to hang on. Macilente. Nay, rather, l e t him be captaine POD, and t h i s his Motion: for he does nothing but shew him. Carlo. E x c e l l e n t : or thus, you s h a l l bee HOLDEN, and hee your Camel. 8&r S h i f t . You doe not meane to r i d e , gentlemen? Puntarvolo. F a i t h , l e t me end i t for you, g a l l a n t s : you s h a l l be his Countenance, and he your Resolution. Sogliardo. Troth, that's p r e t t y : how say you, Caualier, shalt be so? Carlo. I, I, most voices. S h i f t . F a i t h , I am e a s i l y yeelding to any good im-pressions . Sogliardo. Then giue hands, good Resolution. (IV, v, 59-74) Herein i s revealed something not only of Jonson's dramatic technique but also of the world's r e f l e c t i o n i n his eyes. The r e l a t i o n s h i p , i n c l a s s i c a l myth, legend, and l i t e r a t u r e , of Orestes to Pylades, l i k e that of Horatio to Hamelt, was a v i t a l and organic, a l b e i t a quiet, one. In the Choephoroe of Aeschylus, based both on c l a s s i c a l legend and early r i t u a l , Pylades, though he i s present throughout the play, speaks only three l i n e s . When Orestes i s carrying out the terms of his oath, sworn at Delphi, to avenge King Agamemnon's murder, and having s l a i n Aegisthus i s about to send his mother to the embrace of her dead lover, he pauses, he v a c i l l a t e s with misgivings: Orestes. Dare I to shrink and spare? speak, Pylades. Pylades. Where then would f a l l the hest at Delphi given, Yet u n f u l f i l l e d ? where then thine oath, sworn true? Choose thou the hate of a l l men, not of Gods. Pylades serves as Orestes's divine conscience and maintains for him In the face of the human p i t y of t h i s human agent h i s commitment to a higher design. Pylades i s not a man of action, he i s not even a man of words, but he i s Orestes's r e s o l u t i o n , the keeper of the s p i r i t u a l gates of r89 3 horn and ivory. He allows passage only to the true dreams, and i n allowing them issuance through the Gate of Horn, he helps Orestes r e t a i n his connection.with the Gods. Orestes then f u l f i l l s h i s oath, and i n doing so, i n imitating the gods rather than men, he reasserts the d i v i n i t y within him (that divine h a l f of h i s daimon or semi-divine nature), and 4 c a r r i e s out his Destiny. Shift,, i s Sogliardo's r e s o l u t i o n , but he, as h i s name implies, does not provide Sogliardo with a focus on which to f i x his countenance; he, Resolution, forms not for Sogliardo a countenance, an impression, a character, but rather e a s i l y y i e l d s himself to any good "impressions". Sogliardo seeks for his image or character, the passing face and show of a gentleman, from a s h i f t i n g phantom composed only of "shreds and patches". In personating such a phantom Sogliardo pursues a course as empty and senseless as that of Buffone, when he pledges himself into drunkenness at the Miter. The r e v e l a t i o n of character made here, however, i s done The name Pylades i s dervied from p u l o ( s i n g u l a r ^ meaning one wing of a pair of double gates. The s u f f i x means "man of". •I do not say that Jonson necessarily intended t h i s p a r a l l e l , at l e a s t not to the extent that I have drawn i t , but i t i s c e r t a i n l y well placed. ^In the Greek the word daimon means " s p i r i t u a l or semi-divine, being i n f e r i o r to the Gods," but It also means Destiny, and would i l l u s -t r a t e the H e r a c l e i t i a n concept of "A man's character i s h i s destiny." c9Q i n an action rather than in a conceit or image. The action i s an i s o l a t e d one, a scene constructed within a scene. Buffone, i t seems, imitates only the shadow of himself? he sets two cups apart, and f i r s t drinks with the one and pledges with the other: 1. The count FRVGALES health s i r ? I-'le pledge i t on my knees, by t h i s l i g h t . 2. W i l l you, s i r ? I'le drinke i t on my knee, then, by the l i g h t . 2. Nay, doe me r i g h t , s i r . 1. So I doe, i n good f a i t h . 2. Good f a i t h you doe not; mine was f u l l e r . 1. Why, beleeue me, i t was not. 2. Beleeue me, i t was: and you doe l i e . 1. .Lie, s i r ? 2. I, s i r . 1. S'wounds.' 2. 0, come, stab i f you haue a mind to i t . 1. Stab? dost thou thinke I dare not? Carlo. Nay, I beseech you, gentlemen, what meanes t h i s ? nay, looke, for shame respect your reputations. (V, i v , 73-76, 79-90) And Buffone i s the man who c a l l s no man his f r i e n d and can s t r i k e a f a l s e face which makes friendship no matter. He too has no countenance and no r e s o l u t i o n . These Jonsonian characters imitate for l i f e a shadow of things which are not (an eidolon) rather than the shadow of things which are (skia.). :91; Their characters are b u i l t for them of r i c h l y embroidered cloaks., but within the cloak i s often no more than swirling vapours. Jonson's imitations are the shades of l i f e , because those he imitated were shades, and while such e x i s t , they were also thus because he saw them thus. He saw them i n uncomprehending subjection to only a small portion of t h e i r being, a being u n a l l i e d to any higher conception of i t s e l f . Missing i s the spark of d i v i n i t y . By the time of t h i s play's composition, the gay temper surrounding Bridget, B o b a d i l l , and Clement has hardened to the lean bitterness of Macilente and the f o o l i s h pretentiousness of Sa v i o l i n a . And Carlo Buffone can f i n d nothing resembling man so much as a hog or s,wine: Carlo. 'Tis an Axiome i n n a t u r a l l philosophie, What comes neerest the nature of that i t feeds, conuerts quicker to  nourishment, and doth sooner essentiate. Now nothing i n f l e s h , and e n t r a i l e s , assimulates or resembles man more, than a hog, or swine -Macilente.- True; and hee (to requite t h e i r courtesie) often times d'offeth h i s owne nature, and puts on t h e i r s ; as when hee becomes as c h u r l i s h as a hog, or as drunke as a sow: but to your conclusion. (V, v, 60-68) Devoting so much of the play to t h i s v e r t i c a l movement of character delin e a t i o n makes i t d i f f i c u l t for Jonson to push such a s t o l i d structure into motion with any semblance of f l u i d i t y . There must be a momentary pause during which the movement- s h i f t s i t s d i r e c t i o n onto a hori z o n t a l plane. This change i s not accomplished by an overflow of Macilente's teeming humour. Instead, q u i e t l y and c o o l l y , i n the "calm of h i s humour," he draws the l i n e s of action: he sends Puntarvolo and Briske to prepare at Saviolina's court the scene of her purgation; he arrives himself with the country clown Sogliardo to preside over i t s enactment; he poisons Puntarvolo's dog and d i r e c t s the discovery of the c u l p r i t to S h i f t who, i n his own r e v e l a t i o n , d i s i l l u s i o n s Sogliardo of h i s gentlemanly pretensions; he d i r e c t s the cast, despite t h e i r lagging melancholy, to Buffone, waiting at the Miter, whom he then a s s i s t s i n administering his own coup de grace,} with a quickening step he dispenses Fungoso and leads D e l i r o , F a l l a c e , and Fastidious Briske through the paces of t h e i r motion, u n t i l he too, l i k e Sordido, can exclaim i n wonder: Why, here's a change! 'Now i s my soule at peace. I am as emptie of a l l enuie now, As they of merit to be enuied at. (V, x i , 54-56) . - mt CHAPTER VII. Volpone In the plays discussed e a r l i e r the flaw or humour made i t s appearance as ian aberration which was, i n f a c t , the equivalent of character. It appeared thus because of i t s deviation from a p o s i t i v e scale of values ' against which i t was continually measured. These p o s i t i v e values did not grow out of the l i f e of the plays but were instead morally imposed upon the characters. This imposition i n h i b i t e d free, natural movement on the basis of those negative values from which the characters were impelled to draw l i f e . A seemingly mechanical or s t i l t e d action was often the r e s u l t . In Volpone the characters are allowed the absolute truth of t h e i r deformities. E v i l i s the dominating force. It e x i s t s now i n the nature of things rather than i n the somewhat a r t i f i c i a l d e l i n e a t i o n of a humour. Powerful, natural action i s the r e s u l t . The good characters are i n s i p i d and t h e i r existence would seem to imply that good i s an accident of nature, a miracle of nature rather l i k e Sordido's state of grace, a state which, i n order for i t to e x i s t , must remain com-p l e t e l y secluded from the world around i t . There i s l i t t l e i n t e r a c t i o n between i t and the surrounding world: i t combats e v i l simply by shutting i t s e l f up i n a cocoon and appealing to "god and his good angels" for a miracle. Good, i t would seem, is. some men's "several"; i t would seem not to be a p o t e n t i a l in the nature of a l l things, towards which men can aspire by s t r i v i n g to know the f u l l n e s s of i t s nature. It i s an unalterable state which, i n order to preserve i t s e l f , constructs a wall of innocence. C e l i a and Volpone are good examples of two characters created from a dichotomous 943 world view. C e l i a descends from an abstract sphere of v i r t u e ; Volpone springs from the v i t a l i t y of e v i l . They e x i s t i n two completely d i f f e r e n t worlds: within two separate c i r c l e s each one closed to the other. It i s Volpone'.s speeches (in Act I I I . scene v i i ) which contain the beauty of l i f e and C e l i a ' s which contain the beauty of heaven. The world of man and the other heavenly one are completely d i s t i n c t and unrelated. In the exchange between Ce l i a and Volpone i t i s evident that there e x i s t no terms i n which C e l i a i s either capable of answering or which he i s capable of comprehending. Their fundamental assumptions are d i f f e r e n t , and neither character r e f l e c t s a genuine understanding of the other. That which i s a "cause of L i f e " for C e l i a , her honour, and for whose protection she pleads to "god and his good angels" i s to Volpone "the beggers vertue" lacking iri'Wisdome". Since t h e i r respective worlds, points of view, and languages neither overlap nor touch on the l e v e l of the mind or s p i r i t , Celia turns to a defense based on the purely p h y s i c a l , with regard to h e r s e l f as well as to Volpone: If you haue eares that w i l l be pierc'd; or eyes, That can be open'd; a heart-, may be touch'd; Or any part, that yet sounds man, about you: If you haue touch of holy saints, or heauen, Do me the grace, to l e t me scape. If not, Be b o u n t i f u l l , and k i l l me. Yet feed your wrath, s i r , rather than your l u s t ; . ( I t i s a v i c e , comes neerer manlinesse) And punish that vnhappy crime of nature, Which you miscal my beauty: f l a y my face, Or poison i t , with oyntments, for seducing Your bloud to t h i s r e b e l l i o n . Rub these hands, With what may cause an eating l e p r o s i e , E'ene to my bones, and marrow: any thing, That may disfauour me, saue i n my honour. ( I l l , v i i , 240-245, 249-257) If he w i l l do so small a thing, she w i l l kneel and pray for him and "pay downe/ A thousand hourely vowes" for his health. She has no perception of his world, nor he.of hers. Volpone, however,' assumes the worst - an assumption which both protects and betrays him: Thinke me cold, Fro.sen, and impotent, and so report me? That I had NESTOR'S hernia, thou wouldst thinke. I doe degenerate, and abuse my nation, To play with oportunity, thus long: I should haue done the act, and then haue parlee'd. Yeeld, or l i e force thee. ( I l l , v i i , 260-266) Here he reveals that a l l arguments and persuasions we're superfluous to h i s o r i g i n a l intent and he judges one who l i v e s outside his world by the assumptions on which h i s own r e s t s . His judgment betrays him, but h i s momentary r e t r i b u t i o n i s brought about with the rather a r t i f i c i a l appearance of a deus ex machina - Bonario, who leaps at th i s moment from behind the cur t a i n . His repentance does not, however, equal that of Sordido after the descent of grace: he fears only that he w i l l be betrayed to beggary and infamy. In Volpone's own world the assumption of the worst intent protects him from others of h i s kind. Later, his downfall i s brought about p a r t i a l l y by the betrayal of t h i s assumption: i n not assuming the worst of Mosca, he f a i l s to l i v e by one of the fundamental assumptions of his world. In t h i s scene then i s a s p e c i f i c moment in which the two worlds are juxtaposed: good, i n the person of C e l i a , i s protected i n Volpone's world, but i t i s done i n a mechanical way. Celia h e r s e l f f e e l s that she has no personal c o n t r o l , nor does she a c t i v e l y attempt to exercise c o n t r o l . She c a l l s to the heavens for her protection and f e e l s that a l l she has to lose i s her innocence, beyond that nothing els e . Her rescue passes to the hands of someone e l s e , but again i n a mechanical fashion. Knowledge of a wrong act, as well as p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n that act, would shatter the cocoon of innocence, and i t i s on the basis of the formal, rather than the organic, existence of innocence and honor that she makes her appeal. The appeal i s for a personal and physical a n n i h i l a t i o n or for a divine transformation. Never do her b e l i e f s partake of a v i t a l i t y which would enable her to act with the same effectiveness as do Volpone and Mosca. Later Volpone and Mosca meet t h e i r f i n a l r e t r i b u t i o n i n C e l i a and Bonario's world. That r e t r i b u t i o n does not r e s u l t from a p o s i t i v e force working within t h e i r world or outside i t , but from t h e i r betrayal of t h i s sphere i n which both have t h e i r being. They are summoned before a wraith-l i k e t r i b u n a l that does, in i t s o f f i c i a l decrees, l i t t l e to dissipate the pervasive odor of e v i l . Since Jonson generally presents characters who are either e n t i r e l y "good" or completely " e v i l " , and since he can present the " e v i l " ones with great effectiveness, one may r a i s e the question of why i t should be so d i f f i c u l t for him to present.good people acting from good motives. His s p i r i t u a l l y opposed characters seem caught on the horns of an old theological dilemma. In attempting to explain the nature of man, the theologians had abstracted from the subtle complexity of l i f e the r e l a t e d ideas of good and e v i l as the basic components. In so doing they did not d i f f e r greatly from e a r l i e r Greek thinkers who had endeavored to explain the e s s e n t i a l nature of the universe i n terms of love and hate, c r e a t i v i t y and d e s t r u c t i v e -ness. These terms had meaning in themselves, but because they were abstract-tions from l i f e observed they had f u l l e r meaning i n r e l a t i o n to t h e i r opposites. And in l i f e i t s e l f i t was recognized that the interplay of these opposites held the world in balance. In Jonson there i s no interplay of opposites. When e v i l occurs, i t does not appear as the p r i v a t i o n of good, as a negative, joined to a c e r t a i n good or p o s i t i v e . His r e s o l u t i o n of one-half of the puzzle remains forever in a t h e o r e t i c a l sphere, when i t should for the sake of h i s drama be of a more v i t a l c o n s t i t u t i o n . Jonson i s the h e i r of the s c h o l a s t i c philosophical t r a d i t i o n which defined e v i l as the absence of good, as a lack, as a negative, as the existence of a vacuum. The idea of being was p r i o r to the idea of goodness. No being was e v i l except i n so far as i t lacked being. If i t lacked being or form, i t could not therefore act, except by virt u e of some good attached to i t . Good possessed a due end by which i t was moved. The absence of a due end did not in i t s e l f constitute e v i l unless that absence was attached to an undue end. If then e v i l i s negative, a thing without being, i t should be d i f f i c u l t to present i n a dramatically e f f e c t i v e way an e v i l character acting p o s i t i v e l y . Those e v i l characters who are presented as acting, and with l e a s t d i f f i c u l t y , ' a r e those l i k e Iago who can say " E v i l be thou my good". A negative becomes a p o s i t i v e , and aspires within the r e l a t i v e l y free state of non-being beyond to an ultimate cause or end where i t would change the nature of i t s source. Volpone aspires and he has made of e v i l a p o s i t i v e good. He has decided that a l l i s baseness and has made of that a p o s i t i v e so that hee has no d i f f i c u l t y i n acting. He has created his own good to which he can aspire - the "son of S o l " , his gold. He i s completely devoted to hi's i d o l , : 9,8 to his uncaused cause, which makes a l l men f a l s e but remains always true to i t s e l f . It i s t h i s god that animates Volpone's world and controls the nature of the actions performed therein. But i t i s a man-made god, formed from the dross of h i s heart and created by an unnatural inversion of the nature of things, and i n the end i t plays a foo l of Volpone himself. Volpone not only worships i t but he also aspires to an a r t i s t r y i n worships he creates, but he creates mountebanks, eunuchs, hermaphrodities, f o o l s , he constructs a l i t u r g y of worship, he and his fellow celebrant, but i t i s a l i t u r g y p a r t i c i p a t e d i n by vultures, crows, and ravens. He aspires to create h i s own heaven and creates instead, l i k e L u c i f e r in h i s f a l l from the presence of God, his own h e l l - h i s creation i s not a mixture of good and e v i l , but pure e v i l only."'' But Volpone i s not overtaken by a Nemesis growing out of a world where there i s an interplay of opposites; he i s str i c k e n by the excesses of h i s own manipulations and by the desertion of his chosen god for h i s own unrestrained pleasure. The f e e l i n g concerning the previous plays that there i s no organic i n t e r a c t i o n between character and event i s i n Volpone far le s s evident. The l i n e of action seems less mechanical and less pre-determined and e x i s t s more i n the nature of things. For once a character i s carried away by a zest for l i f e , a l b e i t a perverted one, by a determination to action which "'"For a s i m i l a r consideration of t h i s element of perverted r e l i g i o u s worship on a symbolic l e v e l , see C. G. Thayer, Ben Jonson. Studies i n the  Piavs (Norman, Oklahomas The University of Oklahoma Press, 1963), pp. 50-111. At the writing of t h i s chapter, I had not read Mr. Thayer's book. ;9.?; springs from the f u l l n e s s , corrupt as i t i s , of his own being. Like Boba-dilL, Volpone aspires to a better l i f e , to a f u l l e r l i f e , but for him that better l i f e i s intimately connected with and dependent on material gain and success. For the early Elizabethans of a prosperous and expanding so:ciety, t h i s connection was perhaps i n e v i t a b l e , but with Volpone the s t r a i n of disillusionment and cynicism introduced into the drama with Marlowe's Machiavellian hero has come to f u l l f r u i t i o n , and now only the obverse side of the coin i s in view. Volpone seems for a time to be master of h i s w i l l , to i n fact possess free w i l l , but the moment he turns to take i t into his own hands, the moment at which his personal enjoyment of the thing becomes more important than the thing i t s e l f , that i s , h i s god, then at that moment does he run hi s head into a noose of his own making and a l l i s l o s t . The Spectre of Ju s t i c e materializes and the impotence to which he pretended "by faining lame, gout, palsey, and such diseases" becomes the impending r e a l i t y . The Venetian representatives of j u s t i c e are not, however, untouched by the moral disease and the t o t a l impression of vice i s not perceptibly a l l e v i a t e d by the assertion that "there i s force in the decrees of Venice" to punish even these e v i l - d o e r s . Volpone's image s t i l l rules the stage; C e l i a , Bonario, the Avocatori, remain i n s u b s t a n t i a l shadows that quickly f a l l i n darkness. With the advent of The Alchemist Jonson frees his characters e n t i r e l y from the abstract menace of r e t r i b u t i o n . In a sense Jonson here w i l f u l l y allows the strings of the puppets to s l i p from his hands and gives them for the f i r s t time free w i l l . They possess i t and they are masters of i t and they have no desire to go against t h e i r me'ros or portion; indeed they manage i t and maintain i t ; they themselves work out a l l the subtleties of shade and form to f i l l the canvas on which they have t h e i r being. Herford and Simpson r e f e r to the hi s t o r y of Se.ianus as the source for "the fundamental s i t u a t i o n of Jonson's two greatest comedies, the league of two able v i l l a i n s , master and servant, ending i n a deadly struggle 2 between them," and i t i s i n the partnership of Volpone and Mosca that the nexus of motivation and action e x i s t s . The d i f f i c u l t y of presenting i n a dramatically e f f e c t i v e way characters acting so l e l y and purely from e i t h e r good motives or bad motives was discussed e a r l i e r . In t h i s play Jonson i s faced with an even greater d i f f i c u l t y : when one omits from an intimate connection the i n t e r a c t i v e elements of good and bad, when one removes from the center of the stage the passive, but e s s e n t i a l l y good man, and retains only the active but bad man, there can be a s t i l l greater d i f f i c u l t y i n producing an organic i n t e r a c t i o n . It was also stated e a r l i e r that i n t h i s play motivation and action seem to e x i s t more in the nature of things and as a r e s u l t spring more natur a l l y into being, but with regard to the characters alone, i t i s necessary to attempt the assigning of s p e c i f i c motivation, and s p e c i f i c action, a l b e i t t h i s may involve an over-s i m p l i f i c a t i o n . In addition to Volpone's god, the "world's soule" and his own, Volpone himself may be said to provide the e s s e n t i a l motivation; his part i s the "Resolution" and Mosca's i s h i s "Countenance". His greed and h i s love of Herford & Simpson, I, 60. seeing others sweat under the.same feverish torment from which he suffers provide the immediate moving force for Mosca's actions. Rather, they are the seeming primary motivation for Mosca's actions i n the f i r s t part of the play. Mosca, however, desires h i s own r e s o l u t i o n , and i t i s Volpone'*s god, "the world's soule" and h i s , which i s also to Mosca "vi r t u e , fame,/ Honour, and a l l things e l s e " . It i s th i s which provides Mosca with his primary motivation and nurtures i n the f i r s t part of the play both the most apparent actions of a servant attempting to please h i s master and the embryonic action which i n the l a t t e r part of the play comes, to the forefront as Mosca parades i n a magnifico's a t t i r e . In Act I, scene i i , there i s a subtle hint of Mosca*s r e a l i n t e r e s t s and a preparation for his l a t e r treachery. After Voltore's departure, the following dialogue takes place: Volpone. I long to haue possession Of my new present. Mosca. That, and thousands more, I hope, to see you lor d of. Volpone. Thankes, kind MOSCA. Mosca. And that, when I am l o s t i n blended dust, And hundred such, as I am, i n succession -Volpone. Nay, that were too much, MOSCA. (I, i i , 116-121) Mo.sca i s st r a i n i n g so far to f l a t t e r Volpone that even Volpone recognizes "that were too.much." By saying to Volpone that he, Mosca, w i l l be blended dust, along with Corbaccio, Corvino,. and Voltore, while Volpone yet l i v e s to enjoy thousands of new possessions, he i s f i l l i n g out the pattern i n Volpone's mind with respect to himself. He i s including himself i n the iO£ succession of legacy-hunters on two d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s : ( l ) he implies that Volpone does not have to worry about him as a legacy-hunter and so can t r u s t him, and (2) he i s including himself i n a c t u a l i t y as a legacy-hunter. This one scene contains in a microcosmic way the essence of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Volpone and Mosca and at the same time illuminates the nature of a l l the other r e l a t i o n s h i p s within the play. One of the central themes of the play i s Volpone's desire to o u t l i v e a l l the r e s t and he attempts to prolong l i f e by feeding on his gold and on the base desires and f r u s t r a t i o n s of others. In Jonson's hands t h i s theme becomes more than a mere l i t e r a r y borrowing from c l a s s i c a l authors? i t achieves an imaginative l i f e which imposes a truth of i t s own. Volpone's desire to p r o l o n g . l i f e becomes one of the manifestations of the i n t e n s i t y of his e v i l , and of his god's e v i l , for he i s perverting nature. He perverts nature on a purely physical l e v e l by attempting to enjoy the f u l l n e s s of l i f e from within a "tombed sepulchre" and he perverts i t on another l e v e l by worshipping a f a l s e god. Mosca too wants from Volpone what Volpone wants from his worshippers. He i s using Volpone as his instrument j u s t as Volpone uses him. He i s " i n the succession" of legacy-hunters and he hopes to be " i n the succession" of Volpone's wealth. Mosca i s feigning impending death to Volpone as Volpone feigns impending death to his legacy-hunters. It should be obvious to Volpone that Mosca w i l l o u t l i v e him, but he, l i k e the r e s t , l e t s his desires perplex h i s judgment, and so, l i k e Corbaccio, his ears have grown stale with age. But h i s point of deafness i s far removed beyond that of Corbaccio or Voltore or Corvino. ; I ; Q 3 His point of deafness comes with the personal l i m i t a t i o n of an ego that believes i t s e l f invulnerable, that cannot conceive of that happening to i t s e l f which he sees happening to the others. Of these Mosca says True, they w i l l not see't the d u p l i c i t y . Too much l i g h t blinds 'hem, I thinke. Each of 'hem Is so possest, and st u f t with his owne hopes, That any thing, vnto the contrary, Neuer so true, or neuer so apparent, Neuer-so palpable, they w i l l r e s i s t i t -Volpone. Like a temptation of the d i u e l l . (V, i i , 22-28} It i s Mosca who not only provides for Volpone h i s f i n a l temptation bringing about h i s downfall but who also a r t i c u l a t e s what Volpone's response to that temptation should be. E a r l i e r , i n Act I, Mosca has likewise provided, i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of Corvino's wife, the essence of the temptation, i n a vocabularly suited to Volpone's understanding. The wily contriver describes C e l i a i n terms measured against Volpone's gold and against a f l e s h l y sensuality which promises the e t e r n i t y Volpone desires; a soft l i p , Would tempt you to e t e r n i t i e s of k i s s i n g 1 And f l e s h , that melteth, i n the touch to bloud! Bright as your gold! and louely, as your gold! ( I , v, 111-114) But i t i s Volpone here who a r t i c u l a t e s his own reaction when he says he must see her and that "I w i l l goe see her, though but at her windore." In Act V, sc. i i , however, immediately following the court scene when Voltore has performed so b e a u t i f u l l y for Volpone's sake, the r o l e s begin to s h i f t subtly. Mosca gives to the advocate high praises He' [ V o l t o r e ] has taken paines, i n faith,, s i r , & deseru'd, (In my poore iudgement, I speake i t , vnder vauour, Not to contrary you, s i r ) very r i c h l y -Well - to be cosen'd. (V, i i , 44-47) This he speaks, even af t e r his advice to the contrary: Why, now you speake, s i r . We must, here, be f i x t ; Here, we must r e s t j t h i s i s our master-peece: (V, i i , 12-13) And Volpone follows the lure to cozen: 'Tis r i g h t . I cannot answer him, MOSCA, as I would, Not yet; but for thy sake, at thy intreaty, I w i l l beginne, eu'n now, to vexe 'hem a l l : (V, i i , 53-56) As pointed out above, i t i s Mosca who not only suggests the fa c t of action but who also provides Volpone with the intent. Volpone f a l l s to the temptation and abrogates h i s w i l l . For Mosca's sake,, and not for h i s "world's soule" and his own, he w i l l "vexe 'hem a l l . " This may seem a fine point of subtlety, but i t i s at t h i s point that t h e i r r o l e s s h i f t i n action as well as in dialogue, and i t prepares the way for Volpone's eventual downfall. Volpone s t i l l remains the dominating genius of the- play, the f u l l e s t r e a l i z a t i o n of the s p i r i t of e v i l , and i t s source. As pointed out e a r l i e r , he provides the basic motivation, a monumental desire, godlike i n i t s proportions, for godlike mastery. The motivations::"; of the other characters are but shadows or extensions of his own. He approaches t h i s mastery with an h i s t r i o n i c genius for deception and a mirth both cosmic and satanic. He i s f f a r too cunning for the victims of h i s t r i c k e r y to bring about his f a l l . In addition to his own excesses and his hubris, he i s undone by one who has observed from behind the scenes and has had for teacher the master of them a l l . Volpone now begins, as Mosca has formerly done, to implement the action; he outlines the s p e c i f i c s of the proceedings by t e l l i n g Nano and Castrone to advertize that he i s dead and by t e l l i n g Mosca to present himself as the newly-made h e i r . The.spider's l a i r i s deserted and Volpone doffs h i s magnifico's a t t i r e to descend into the s t r e e t s , where Mosca once had worked h i s master's w i l l . Volpone plays h i s god f a l s e by giving l i p service to a natural rhythm which he had sought to pervert, that i s , his death. He deserts his s o c i a l p o s i t i o n and h i s shrine to gain his pleasure i n a "common way" upon the s t r e e t s . No longe'r does he aspire to and for his god i n i t s addition and possession; instead he taunts others i n t h e i r lack for h i s own personal s a t i s f a c t i o n . He has i n e f f e c t committed the crime of hubris* he has deserted his portion, he has trespassed h i s bounds, and exceeded his fate. When the legacy-hunters hear of h i s death and the death of t h e i r hopes, the s p e l l of e v i l and the hope of gain, which Volpone has helped to cast, i s broken. Volpone does i n e f f e c t become dead; h i s misfortune i s i n l i v i n g beyond his time, into a realm which i s r e a l i t y for his victims but i l l u s i o n for him. The i l l u s i o n i s his death, for he i s no longer i n a p o s i t i o n to impose his w i l l ; what i s r e a l i t y for the others becomes, because he has abrogated his w i l l and his power, likewise a r e a l i t y for him. The s h i f t i n Volpone*s r o l e and h i s subsequent downfall are fore-shadowed in several scenes: i n the mountebank scene when, aft e r assuming a disguise and mounting his bank, he i s drubbed by Gorvino; and j u s t a f t e r the court scene when Mosca points out, "'T seem'd to mee, you sweat, s i r . . . . Were you not daunted?" Volpone admits "In good f a i t h , I was/ A l i t t l e i n the mist" but swears "not deiected:/ Neuer, but s t i l l my s e l f e . " Immediately preceding t h i s avowal, however, i t has taken considerable drink to restore h i s v i t a l i t y , and h i s discourse has revealed more profound mis-g i v i n g s : 1(56 We'll, I am here; and a l l . t h i s brunt i s past: I ne're was i n d i s l i k e with my d i s g u i s e / T i l l t h i s f l e d moment; here, 'twas good, i n priuate, But, in your publike, Caue. whil'st I breathe. 'Fore god,- my l e f t legge 'gan to haue the crampe; And I apprehended, s t r a i g h t , some power had strooke me With a dead palsey: w e l l , I must be merry, And shake i t o f f . A many of these feares Would put me into some vill a n p u s disease, Should they come thick vpon me: I'le preuent 'hem. Giue me a boule of l u s t i e wine, to f r i g h t This humor from my heart; (V, i , 1-12) . In the public market place Volpone i s out of h i s element and there he does not breathe so e a s i l y . The camouflage which aids preservation i n h i s natural habitat provokes i n public those ailments held i n abeyance at his private haunts. This habitat in which Volpone f l o u r i s h e s i s for him a natural one, but measured against a wider frame of reference - that frame constituted by the values of the Elizabethan world picture - i t i s an unnatural, perverted, and a r t i f i c i a l l y created one. Tn V o l p o n e the humour has completely embraced Volpone's character and i t has grown beyond that to an organic v i s i o n of e v i l , f l o u r i s h i n g in a world of i t s own. It i s when Volpone begins to lose his adhesion to t h i s world that he f e e l s himself shake with a "dead palsey" and a deadly humour s t r i k e h i s heart with f r i g h t . The "thousand natural shocks that f l e s h i s heir t o " creeps back into r e a l i t y only when he deserts the "wholeness" of h i s chosen world. His f a l l comes about then not only by his commitment to that world in the f i r s t place, as i n medieval tragedy, but-by his unfaithfulness to that world. The world of j u s t i c e and r i g h t cannot i n f e c t his..world by Its presence there, j u s t as a l l of Celiac's pleas f a l l on deaf ears. His world can i n f e c t a h e a l t h i e r one with disease and sickness, j u s t as the fourth Avocatori can think of his personal gain i n having Mosca as a son-in-law. 107 The foreshadowing of Mosca's defection has already been discussed above. As for the flaw which brings about his f a l l , i t consists, l i k e that of Volpone, i n a personal point of deafness, which for Mosca r e s u l t s i n over-confidence, and in the perversion of a higher devotion for personal ends. By the commencement of Act III Mosca has begun to grow i n love with himself: I Feare, I s h a l l begin to grow in loue With my deare s e l f e , and my most prosp'rous parts, They doe so spring, and burgeon; I can feele A whimsey i ' my bloud: (I know not how) Successe hath made me wanton. I could skip Out of my skin, now, l i k e a s u b t i l l snake, I am so.limber. 0! Your Parasite Is a most precious thing, dropt from aboue, Not bred 'mong'st clods, and clot-poules, here on earth. I muse, the myst.erie was not made a science, It i s so l i b e r a l l y p rofest! almost A l l the wise world i s l i t t l e else, in' nature, But Parasites, or Sub-parasites. ( I l l , i , 1-13) Like K i t e l y and other humour characters he begins to feed upon himself, to batten upon the tumour of s e l f - l o v e instead of, in allegiance to his character of Parasite, fattening s o l e l y upon the hopes and fears of others • and upon-his patron and h i s patron's god. He too f a l l s short of the worship and turns toward becoming his own god, a "precious thing, dropt from above." The mystery of the universe has come to t h i s poor pass, to a world where the most precious creation i s a parasite, and a l l the world i s l i t t l e else save parasite and sub-parasite. E a r l i e r i n Act I, scene i i , man's previous conceptions of the mystery of things have been parodied by Volpone's zanies, the eunuch, the f o o l , and the hermaphrodite: the soul of Pythagoras "that juggler d i v i n e " has come from Apollo, has transmigrated through Pyrrhus and the sophists of Greece, and i s now i n t h i s age incarnate 108 in the body of an hermaphrodite. Mysteries of the universe have shrunk to the perversion of an hermaphrodite or the b r i l l i a n t cunning of a parasite or they have become the common trade of science. The spark of creation and i t s a r t i s t i c growth i n the nature of things i s reserved for the " f i n e , elegant r a s c a l l " : This Is the creature, had the art borne with him; Tories not to learne i t , but doth practise i t Out of most excellent natures and such sparkes, Are the true Parasites, others but t h e i r Zani's. ( I l l , i , 30-33) Yet i n the next moment, confronted with the accusations of Bonario, he pleads the excuse of h i s environment and of "strong necessity." On his environment rests h i s seeming sins but on his natural s e l f rests h i s s e l f -love. He intends to change that environment .and does i n fact skip out of his skin l i k e a " s u b t i l l snake" to don the robes of a magnifico. When, however, he and Volpone exchange t h e i r r o l e s , know d i v i s i o n one from the other i n personal diversion from t h e i r common purpose, and f a l l away from t h e i r higher goal, both f a l l together. Their respective rol e s slip-back into the o r i g i n a l positions of the r e l a t i o n s h i p ; Volpone i s punished i n accordance with h i s po s i t i o n and not' i n s t r i c t accordance with his crime; Mosca i s punished not only for being "chiefest m i n i s t e r " of the treachery but. also f o r , although being a fellow of no b i r t h and no blood, having abused the "habit of a gentleman." In Volpone the tension e x i s t i n g between a humour and a scale of po s i t i v e values, which gives to that humour i t s d e f i n i t i o n as a flaw or an aberration, -is no longer evident. Morality i s no longer imposed from without;, instead i t i s incorporated i n the structure of the play. Deviates from the f u l l implications of i t s tenets are embodied in the persons of the play, and the epitome of i t s perversion i s found in Volpone himself. In t h i s play one finds the l o g i c a l culmination of a dogmatic b e l i e f i n a morality which has l o s t i t s s p i r i t u a l force. Its emotional r e a l i t y i s the obverse of i t s r a t i o n a l d i c t a t e s , and i t i s perhaps i r o n i c that Jonson depicts so powerfully and so p o e t i c a l l y a r e a l i t y which he appears to condemn. The age was becoming increasingly cynical of the aspiring i n d ividualism of the early Elizabethans, but the dynamism of Volpone's a s p i r a t i o n makes one suspect i n Jonson both bitterness and sadness at the dream's disappearance. That which might shape man so l i k e a god might likewise twist him to deformity. Actually, Jonson's characters do not become less human by attempting to soar beyond t h e i r humanity. This humanity they never possess. Volpone begins i n error and ends i n error; error i s repeated again and again, and each r e p e t i t i o n adds to the enormity of the whole. In speaking of the s a t i r i c elements i n Shakespeare's T r o i l u s and Cressida and Timon of Athens. A l v i n Kernan points out that, There i s , as Shakespeare saw, a form of death wish lurking i n s a t i r e , a compulsive urge to destruction and nothingness. He also saw that the t i t a n i c fury of a great s a t i r i s t i s not innate but rather the perversion, the twisting, of a desire for goodness and for love.3 A l v i n Kernan, The Cankered Muse. Satire of the English Renaissance. Yale Studies In English, Vol.. 142 (New Haven:. Yale University Press, 1959), p. 204. In Volpone. however, there i s no explanation on the human l e v e l for Volpone's e v i l . Unlike Timon, he i s not a d i s i l l u s i o n e d man whose cynicism i s based on a knowledge of man's p o t e n t i a l i t y for both good and e v i l . He seems to have sprung full-grown from the womb of nature, her f u l l e s t expression of baseness. Aspiration i s inherent in man; i t i s natural for him to reach towards an affirmation of l i f e . Because Volpone seems an unaccountable growth of nature, because he seems t o t a l l y e v i l , and because he i s imbued with such v i t a l i t y , i t would appear that the creative force i s i t s e l f being characterized as e v i l or perverted. If there i s i n Volpone a defect i n vice c a l l e d v i r t u e , at l e a s t an affirmation of something p o s i t i v e , i t i s h i s t r u s t of Mosca. Volpone, walking the streets disguised as a"Commandadore'j learns from Nano that Mosca has taken the keys: Did master MOSCA take the keyes? wy, sol I am farder, In. These are my fine conceipts! I must be merry, with a mischiefe to me! What a v i l e wretch was I, that could not beare My fortune soberly? I must ha' my crotchets! And my conundrums! w e l l , goe you, and seeke him: His meaning may be truer, then my feare. Bid him, he s t r e i g h t come to me, to the court; . Thither w i l l I, and, i f 't be possible, Vn-screw my aduocate, vpon new hopes: When I prouok'd him, then I l o s t my s e l f e . (V, x i , 12-22) Volpone so often depends upon Mosca to save him. When Lady P o l i t i q u e Would-Be i s wordily prescribing her own physic for the r e s t o r a t i o n of Volpone's health, which she further impairs, Volpone utters a cry of r e l i e f as Mosca enters: Mosca? welcom, Welcome to my redemption. ( I l l , v, 2-3) Eventually, i t i s h i s own downfall, p a r t i a l l y p r e c i p i t a t e d and confirmed by Mosca, which Volpone must welcome. If the irony i s a double one and i f there i s here a moral echo, i t i s abortive and grimly humorous, for Volpone at the end of the play i s sent to the I n c u r a b i l i with his disease unremedied. Northrop Frye r e f e r s to t h i s play, as a "comic imita t i o n of tragedy," 4 but i t does not have the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of either comedy or tragedy. Often i t s structure p a r a l l e l s that of tragedy, but Volpone does not culminate in a deeper perception of the world. There i s no growth in a f u l l e r conception of human nature which incorporates i n i t s e l f something of p o s i t i v e values. There i s growth, but i t i s the humour which grows and expands into an organic world of e v i l . It i s against the backdrop of t h i s world that Volpone and Mosca move, and t h e i r primary humour consists i n t h e i r a f f i n i t y with and allegiance to t h i s world. In t h i s context, t h e i r flaw, or secondary humour, becomes a decline from,the f u l l n e s s of t h i s world to a humour of a purely personal nature, a s u b s t i t u t i o n of the microcosmic for the macrocosmic without any i n c l u s i o n of the greater within the l e s s e r . Neither Mosca nor Volpone, i n the l a t t e r part of the play, i s adding to the dimensions of the "son of S o l . " Volpone i s no • longer glorying in the glad possession of his gold nor i n i t s cunning purchase; he i s rather tormenting others for t h e i r having f a i l e d i n t h e i r i n t r i g u e s to obtain what i s h i s . Mosca now seeks only to add to himself a greater dimension by acquiring Volpone's wealth. This degeneration on both t h e i r parts c a r r i e s them, as pointed out in some d e t a i l above, out into an a l i e n world, where ce r t a i n natural•rhythms reassert themselves and where other values p r e v a i l . The natural rhythms that e x i s t i n t h i s world are not, however, depicted as flowing f r e e l y nor do the values appear to Northrop Frye, Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m . Four Essays (Princeton: University Press, 1957), p. 165. 1.1.2. possess much force. It i s the other world, that of Volpone and Mosca, which i s the more powerful one, powerful enough to hold a l l natural rhythms i n abeyance and to dispossess any values of a p o s i t i v e nature. Volpone's world., the world of e v i l , emerges as the organic, p o s i t i v e one. E v i l i s the p o s i t i v e and good i s the negative; good consists simply of the absence of e v i l . The Elizabethan world view had provided a moral framework within which man might aspire beyond himself and need not f a l l into destructive s e l f - l o a t h i n g or escape into quiescent acceptance. Perhaps the age's growing materialism, i t s s p i r i t u a l weariness, and h i s own rati o n a l i s m b l i n d Jonson to that mysterious force that moved the e a r l i e r Elizabethans to look u n f l i n c h i n g l y through the f i r e of l i f e into the face of death. Jonson cannot probe that mystery; generally f o r him the mystery i s not allowed. He i s concerned with the so-called "purely human condition" and he stops short of any extended questioning or broad i n v e s t i g a t i o n : For to utter truth of God, but as he [the servant of humility ] thinks only, may be dangerous, who i s best known by our not knowing. Some things of Him, so much as He hath revealed or commanded, i t i s not only lawful but necessary f o r us to know, for therein our ignorance was the f i r s t cause of our wickedness.'^ Man must neither soar too high, nor sink too low. In t h i s p o e t i c a l l y r e s t r i c t i v e attitude he symbolizes the new temper of the times and he foreshadows Pope's advice to a l a t e r age: % e n Jonson, Timber or Discoveries Made Upon Men and Matter, ed. F e l i x E. Schelling (Boston: Ginn & Company, 1892), p. 19. Know then t h y s e l f , presume not God to scan,. The proper study of mankind i s man. For a l l Jonson's self-imposed r e s t r i c t i o n s , h i s humour characters do spring into l i f e , l i f e of a peculiar brand. They survive h i s theorizing c r i t i c s and they survive more e a s i l y i n his plays when he himself begins to f e e l some sympathy for h i s creations. His lack, as well as h i s i n c l i n a t i o n , leads him to r e l y heavily on form. Through form he maintains the vigor of his characters by an action continual, i n t r i c a t e , complicated, and confined. Once he has found the l i m i t s of h i s world picture and has decided the nature of i t s canvas, h i s weakness becomes his strength, and he paints with an i n d e l i b l e stroke. A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY A r t i c l e s and P e r i o d i c a l s Adams, J . Q. "The Sources of Ben Jonson's Volpone." Modern Philology. II (1904), 289-299. Barish, Jonas A. "Baroque Prose i n the Theater.: Ben Jonson," Pub l i c a t i o n of the Modern Language Association, LXXIII (June 1958), 184-195. Blanshard, Rufus A. "Carew and Jonson," Studies i n Philology. LII ( A p r i l 1955), 195-211. Briggs, W. D. "Source Material for Ben Jonson's 'Underwoods' e t c . , " Modern Philology. XV (September 1917), 277-312. "Source Material f o r Jonson's Plays," Modern Language Notes. XXXI, i v , pt. 1 ( A p r i l 1916), 193-205; XXXI, v i , pt. 2 (June 1916), 321-333. "Sources of Jonson's Discoveries,".Modern Language Notes. XXIII (February 1908), 43-46. Brown, Huntington. "Ben Jonson and Rabelais," Modern Language Notes, XXXI ( A p r i l 1916), 6-13. " Bryant J r . , Joseph A l l e n . "The Significance of Ben Jonson's F i r s t Re-quirement for Tragedy: 'Truth of Argument'," Studies i n Philology. XLIX ( A p r i l 1952), 195-213. Campbell, Oscar James. "The Dramatic Construction of Poetaster." The  Huntington Library B u l l e t i n . No. 9 ( A p r i l 1936), 37-62. Draper, John W. "Theory of Comic in Eighteenth-Century England," Journal of English and Germanic Philology, XXXVII ( A p r i l 1938), 207-223. Enck, J . J . "The Case Is Altered: I n i t i a l Comedy of Humours," Studies  i n Philology. L ( A p r i l 1953), 195-214. Friedland, Louis Sigmund. "Dramatic Unities i n England." Journal of  English and Germanic Philology. X (January 1911), 56-89. K a l l i c h , Martin. "Unity of Time i n Every Man In His Humour and Cynthia's  Revels," Modern Language Notes. LVII (June 1942), 445-449. Knowlton, Edgar C. "The Plots of Ben Jonson," Modern Language Notes. XLIV (February 1929), 77-86. Levin, Harry. "Jonson's Metempsychosis," P h i l o l o g i c a l Quarterly. XXII (1943), 231-239. McCullen, J r . , Joseph T. . "Conference with the Queen of F a i r i e s : A Study of Jonson's Workmanship in The Alchemist," Studia Neophiloloqica. XXII (1949), 87-95. Marckwardt, A. H. "A Fashionable Expression; i t s Status i n Poetaster and Satiromastix." Modern Language Notes. XLIV (February 1929), 93-96. Potts, L. J . "Ben Jonson and The Seventeenth Century," English Studies. N. S. II of Essays and Studies (1949), 7-25. Shillinglaw,' Arthur T. "New Light on Ben Jonson's Discoveries," Englische  Studien. LXXI (1937), 356-359. Simpson, Percy. "Tanquam explorator: Ben Jonson's Method i n the Discoveries.^ Modern Language Review. II ( A p r i l 1907) 201-210. Snuggs, H. D. "The Comic Humours," Publications of the Modern Language  Association. LXII (March 1947), 114-122. . "The Source of Jonson's D e f i n i t i o n of Comedy," Modern Language Notes. LXV (June 1950), 543-44. Spingarn, J . E. "The Sources of Ben Jonson's 'Discoveries'," Modern  Philology. II ( A p r i l 1905), 451-462. Talbert, E. W. "New Light on Ben Jonson's Workmanship," Studies i n  Philology. XL ( A p r i l 1943), 154-185. • . "The C l a s s i c a l Mythology and the Structure of 'Cynthia's Revels'," P h i l o l o g i c a l Quarterly. XXII (July 1943), 193-210. . "The Purpose and Technique of 'The Poetaster'," Studies -i n Philology. XLII ( A p r i l 1945), 225-252. Walker, Ralph S. "Ben Jonson's Discoveries: A New An a l y s i s , " Essays and  Studies. N. S. V (1952), 32-51. . "Li t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m i n Jonson's Conversations with Drummond," English. VIII, 222-27. Warren, Austin. "Pope and Ben Jonson," Modern Language Notes. XLV (Feb-ruary 1930), 86-88. Weld, John S. "Ch r i s t i a n Comedy: Volpone," Studies i n Philology. LI ( A p r i l 1954), 172-193. Books  Works Jonson, Ben. Ben Jonson. ed. C. H. Herford and P. and E. M. Simpson. II v o l s . Oxfords Clarendon Press, 1925-52. Bibliographies Tannenbaum, Samuel A. Ben Jonson. A Concise Bibliography. New York; Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1938. Tannenbaum, Samuel A. and Dorothy R. Supplement to Bibliography of Ben Jonson. Elizabethan Bibliographies. New Yorks Samuel A. Tannenbaum, 601 West 113th Street, 1947. Biographical and C r i t i c a l Studies Aquinas, Saint Thomas. ' Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, ed. Anton C. Pegis. 2 v o l s . New Yorks Random House, 1945. Barish, Jonas A., ed. Ben Jonson. A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays. Englewood C l i f f s , New Jerseys P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1963. . Ben Jonson and the Language of Prose Comedy. Cambridges Harvard University Press, 1960. B a s k e r v i l l , Charles R. English Elements i n Jonson's Early Comedy. B u l l e t i n of the University of Texas, No. 178, Humanistic Series'No. 12, Studies, in E nglish, No. 1. Austin, Texas: University of Texas, 1911. Baum, Helena. W. The S a t i r i c and the Didactic i n Ben Jonson's Comedy. Chapel H i l l : University of North Carolina Press, 1947. Bentley, Gerald E. Shakespeare and Jonson, Their Reputations in the Seventeenth Century Compared. 2 vo l s . Chicago: University Press, 1945. . The Jacobean and Caroline Stage. 5 v o l s . Oxfords Clarendon Press, 1941-1956. Boas, F. S. An Introduction to Stuart Drama. Oxfords Clarendon Press, 1946. Bradbrook, M. C. The Growth and Structure of Elizabethan Comedy. Londons Chatto & Windus, 1955. Bush, -D. English L i t e r a t u r e i n the E a r l i e r Seventeenth Century. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1945. Butcher, S. H.,. ed. A r i s t o t l e ' s Theory of Poetry and Fine Art. With a  C r i t i c a l Text and Translation of the Poetics. 3rd ed. London: Macmillan & Co., 1902. Campbell, L i l y B. Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes. Slaves of Passion. With  Appendices on Bradley's Interpretation of Shakespearean Tragedy. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1952. Campbell, Oscar J . Comical! Satyre and Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida. Huntington Library Publications. Alhambra, C a l i f o r n i a : C. F. Broun & Co.,,1938. Chambers, E. K. The Elizabethan Stage. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1951 . The Mediaeval Stage. 2 v o l s . Oxford: University Press, 1903. Chute, M. Ben Jonson of Westminster. New York:,. Button, 1953. Coleridge, S. T. Coleridge's Miscellaneous C r i t i c i s m , ed. Thomas Middleton Raysor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1936. Craig, Hardin. English Religious Drama of the Middle Ages. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960. ; . The Enchanted Glass. The Elizabethan Mind i n L i t e r a t u r e . Oxford: B a s i l Blackwell, 1952. Dryden, John. Essays of John Dryden. ed. W. P. Ke.r. 2. v o l s . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1900. E l i o t , T. S. The Sacred Wood. Essays on Poetry and C r i t i c i s m . London: Methuen & Co., 1920. El l i s - F e r m o r , Una.- The Jacobean Drama. An Interpretation. 3rd ed. revised. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1953. Enck, John J . Jonson and the Comic Truth. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1957. Evans, B. I f o r . T r a d i t i o n and Romanticism. Studies in English Poetry  from Chaucer to W. B. Yeats. London: Methuen & Co., 1940. Farnham, W i l l a r d . The Medieval Heritage of Elizabethan Tragedy. Berkeley: University of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1936. 1TB F i g g i s , John N. The Divine Right of Kings. 2nd ed. with 3 additional essays. Cambridge: University Press, 1914. Frye, Northrop. Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m . Four Essays. Princeton: University Press, 1957. G i l b e r t , A l l a n H., ed. L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m Plato to Dryden. New York: American Book Co., 1940. Granville-Barker, Harley and Harrison, G. B., ed. A Companion to Shakespeare  Studies. Cambridge: University Press, 1934. H a z l i t t , William.' Lectures on the English Poets, and .the English Comic  Writers, ed. William Carew H a z l i t t . London: B e l l & Daldy, 1870. Hollander, John. . Ben Jonson. The Laurel Poetry Series. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1961. Johnson, G. B. Ben Jonson.: Poet. New York: Columbia University, 1945. Kernan, A l v i n . The Cankered Muse. Satire of the English Renaissance. Yale Studies i n English, V o l . 142. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959. Knights, L. C. Drama and Society in the Age of Jonson. London: Chatto & Windus, 1937. Kronenberger, Louis. The Thread of Laughter. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952. Le.avis, F. R. Revaluation: T r a d i t i o n and Development i n English Poetry. London: Chatto & Windus, 1949. Levy, Gertrude Rachel. The Gate of Horn. London: Faber &. Faber, Ltd., 1948. L i n k l a t e r , E r i c . Ben Jonson and King James. London: Jonathan Cape, 1938. Lovejoy, Arthur 0. The Great Chain of Being. A Study i n the History, of  an Idea. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1936. Lumley, Eleonor P. The Influence of Plautus on the Comedies of Ben Jonson. New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1901. Noyes, R. G. Ben Jonson on the English Stage. Harvard Studies in English, V o l . XVII. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1935. us Palmer, J . L. Ben Jonson. London: George Routledge, 1934. Partridge-, E. B. The Broken Compass: a Study of the Mai or Comedies of  Ben Jonson. London: Chatto & Windus, 1958.. Pennanen, Esko V. Chapters on the Language i n Ben Jonson's Dramatic Works. Annales U n i v e r s i t a t i s Turkuensis, Series B, Tome XXXIX. Turku: University Press, 1951. Peter, John. Complaint and Satire i n Early English L i t e r a t u r e . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956. Rossiter, A. P. English Drama from Early Times to the Elizabethans. London: Hutchinson's University Library, 1950. Rowse, A. L. and Harrison, G. B. Queen-Elizabeth and Her Subjects. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1935. Sackton, Alexander H. Rhetoric As A Dramatic Language i n Ben Jonson. New York: Columbia University Press, 1948. Saltey, F. M.. Mediaeval Drama in Chester. Toronto: University Press., 1955. S c h e l l i n g , F e l i x E. Elizabethan Drama 1558-1642. A History of the Drama  in England from the Accession of Queen Elizabeth to the Closing of  the Theaters, to which i s prefixed a Resume' of the E a r l i e r Drama from  i t s Beginnings. 2 v o l s . New York: Russell &. Russell, Inc., 1959. Smith, G. Gregory. Ben Jonson. London: Macmillan & Co., 1919. ' , ed. Elizabethan C r i t i c a l Essays. 2 v o l s . Oxford:-University Press, 1904. Spingarn, J . E. C r i t i c a l Essays of the Seventeenth Century. V o l . I: 1605-1650. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1908. Swinburne, A. C. A Study of Ben Jonson. London: Chatto & Windus, 1889. Sydney, S i r P h i l i p . Defence of Poetry. And. Observations on Poetry and  Eloquence. From the Discoveries of Ben Jonson. London: Printed for G. G. J . and J . Robinson, Pater-Noster Row;- and J . Walter, Charing-Cross, 1787. ' Thayer, C. G. Ben Jonson. Studies i n the Plavs 1. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963. T i l l y a r d , E. M. W. The Elizabethan World Picture. 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