The Collier controversy

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Title:
The Collier controversy a critical basis for understanding drama of the restoration period
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Popson, Joseph John, 1944-
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Subjects / Keywords:
English drama -- History and criticism -- Restoration, 1660-1700   ( lcsh )
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theses   ( marcgt )
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Notes

Thesis:
Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 154-162.
Statement of Responsibility:
By Joseph John Popson
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.

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University of Florida
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Full Text










COLLIER


CONTROVERSY:


A CRITICAL


BASIS FOR UNDERSTANDING DRAMA
OF THE RESTORATION PERIOD


JOSEPH JOHN


POP SON,


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO
THE UNIVERSITY


THE GRADUATE
OF FLORIDA


COUNCIL


IN PARTIAL


FULFILLMENT OF
DEGREE OF DOCTOR


THE REQUIREMENTS
OF PHILOSOPHY


FOR THE


UNIVERSITY


OF FLORIDA





































Joseph


J. Popson,


Copyright,


1974














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Of the many


people


who helped


me prepare


this


dissertation,


would


first


like


to thank


the Chairman


my Supervisory


Committee,


Professor


Aubrey


L. Williams.


Professor


Williams


not only


inspired


interest


in this


topic


and offered


valuable


criticism of


my work


it progressed,


but he has exemplified


what


me are the best


qualities


of teaching


and scholarship.


would


like


to thank


Professor


Melvyn


New,


first


interested


me in Restoration


and eighteenth-century


literature,


for his helpful


comments


on this


text


and throughout


stay


at the University


of Florida.


am grateful


to Father


Michael


Gannon


for serving


on my Supervisory


Committee


and taking


time


to read


comment


on my


dissertation.


for all his help


encouragement


during


the research


and writing


process


and for his time


spent


reading


the manuscript,


wish


to thank Professor


J. Ben Pickard.


Also


wish


to thank


Prof


essor


Ira Clark


for reading


the manuscript


and sitting


on my


oral


defense.


wish


to thank my


typist,


Ms. Oonagh


Kater,


Mr. Robert


Cody,


whose


help


in making


final


deadlines


is very


much


appreciated.


Finally,


am most


grat


eful to my wife,


Sandy.


Without


her heroic


efforts


at the typewriter,


help


in criticizing


my work,


and her interest


encouragement,


dissertation


would


be little more


than


note


cards


a shoe


box.


now

















TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.................................................

ABSTRACT.........................................................

INTRODUCTION....... ........................ ........... .... .....

Notes..................................................


CHAPTER


I... .....................................................


THE CRITICAL GROUNDS--NO NEED TO SHIFT THEM


Notes..................................................


CHAPTER II............. .........................................


ARTISTRY AND JUDGMENT: TEACHING VIRTUE BY EXPOSING
VICE


Notes...... ........................ ..................


PERSUASION OF THE UNKNOWING: THE SUCCESS OF COLLIER'S
VIEW


Notes.... ... ............................ .............


CHAPTER IV...... ..................a ....... ........................


THE STAGE/WORLD METAPHOR: MORAL DESIGN OR PATTERN FOR
VICE?


Notes...................... ..........................


BIBLIOGRAPHY...... ............ ............... ... .. .. ..............a


CHAPTER III......................................................













Abstract
of the Universi


of Dissertation
tv of Florida i


Presented
n Partial


to the Graduate
Fulfillment of t


Council


he Requirements


for the Degr

THE COLLIER
BASIS FOR
OF THE


of Doctor


CONTROVERSY:
UNDERSTAND
RESTORATION


of Philosophy

A CRITICAL
NG DRAMA
PERIOD


Joseph J. Popson,

March, 1974


Chairman:


Major


Aubrey


Department:


Williams
English


response


to Jeremy


Collier's


attacks


on the Restoration


stage


came


a number


of excellent


defenses


which


provide


a critical


basis


understanding


the drama


of the Restoration


period.


The defenders,


inclu-


ding


such


playwrights


and critics


John


Dryden,


William


Congreve


John


Vanbrugh


Thomas


D'Urfey,


John


Dennis


Elkanah


Settle,


James


Drake,


John


Oldmixon,


and Edward


Filmer,


have


given


us a very


complete


source


critical


information


about


Restoration


drama.


Faced


with


Collier's


essen-


tially


Platonic


view


of the stage,


these


writers


recognized


that


there


were


abuses


of the drama,


but they


also


saw therein


a moral


value


which


they


maintained


was


a necessary


part


of its artistic


value.


Unlike many


modern


critics


who have


rejected


Collier,


and with


consideration


of moral-


in their views


of the plays,


these


defenders


answered


Collier


on grounds


that


were


once


moral


and artistic.


Historically,


then,


they were


asser-


ting


their


beliefs


that


the drama


should


(and


that


the best


of it still


did)


, Sir







as Collier


did in his Platonic


reaction


to evil,


they


felt


the plays


fered


just


choices


for all whose


understanding


and judgment


were


depraved.


counter


Collier


s apparent


influence


upon


those


understand


the plays


or even


attend


the theatre,


these


critics


questioned


his authority


as a judge


of the morality


in the plays.


While


consistently


maintaining


the moral


value


of most


of those


plays


he attacked,


they


posed


gross


errors


in reading and


argument.


Among


the faults


they


noted


were:


inaccurate


and misleading


quotations


evidence,


logical


fallacies


in his reasoning,


an improper


tone


for a clergyman


ostensibly


interested


in improving


plays


and playwrights,


and a basic misunderstanding


of the effects


of drama


on a Christian


audience which


was aware


of English


dramatic


tradition.


success


of Collier's


works


(and


of others which


attacked


stage


stage


defenders


during


the controversy)


or to the strength


was


not due


of Collier's


moral


poor


responses


position,


as many


critics


theatre


have


stated.


audience


Rather


and the


was


concurrent


due to the changing


activities


taste


of the societies


of the


for the


reformation


manners,


which


threatened


citizen


whose


actions


or oc-


cupations


not exemplify


the kind


of righteous


living


they


deemed


proper.


In their


objections


to Collier's


view


of the


stage,


the critics


and playwrights


argued


from


important


critical


tenets.


Enough


evidence


obvious


in their


responses


to show


that


they


were


very


conscious


of the


roots


of English


drama and


thus


saw the Restoration


stage


as a "little


world"


upon which


the dramas


man


were


represented


to entertain


and in-


ex-














INTRODUCTION


On January


1698


the Palace


of Whitehall


burned.


One week


later


Peter


the Great


of Russia


arrived


in England


to study


shipbuilding


and navigation


for several


months.


As the


year


progressed,


a New


East


India


Company was


chartered,


the London


Stock


Exchange


was


formed,


Captain


Thomas


Savery


invented


a "heat-engine,


the first


treaty


partitioning


Spain


was signed,


the Tories


won


a bitter


political


struggle


for control


of Parliament


William


Warburton


was


born,


Daniel


Defoe


s The Poor Man's Plea


was published,


Ned Ward


started


a periodical


called


London


Spy;


Vanities


Vices


of the Town


Exposed


View,


the Society


for Promoting


Christian


Knowledge was


formed,


and King


William delivered


A Proclamation


Preventing


Punishing


Immorality


Prophaneness.


With


the spring,


and in the midst


of all this


activity,


Jeremy


Collier


s A Short View of the


Immorality


Profaneness


of the


English


Stage


hit the


pres


ses.


Though


Collier's


book


was in one


sense


a result


and a reflection


of the reformation


temper


which


existed


at the end of the


century,


it also


marked


the beginning


a critical


controversy


about


the drama


which


raged,


with


all the fury


of the fire


at Whitehall,


well


into


the eighteenth


century


There


were


three


editions


of A Short View


before


year


ended


(five


editions,


in all,


were published,


plus


two reissues


1740) ,


one recent


scholar









To find


out what


beliefs


led Collier


to this


attack


on the


stage


and how


those


beliefs


conflicted


with


those


of his


opponents,


brief


look


at what


known


of this divine's


life


and writings


is in


order.


at Stow Qui


was probably


determined


in Cambridgeshire


that


from his

Jeremy w


birth


would


on September


follow


1650


his grandfather


and father


as a member


of the clergy.


2 He


was first


educated


father,


besides


being


a divine


and a linguist,


was master


a free


school


at Ipswich.


Collier


went


on to receive


B.A.


and M.A.


from


Cambridge


was


ordained


a deacon


in 1676


and a priest


in the follow-


year.


After


officiating


for a short


time


at the Countess


Dowager


of Dorset


he moved


on to


a small


rectory


at Ampton


in 1679


where


stayed


for six years.


His experience


there may


not have


been


too happy


for in his later moral


essay


"Upon


the Office


a Chaplain


" (1697)


points


out how


curates


and chaplains


have


suffered


from


lack


respect

essay h


and material


e "advocates


benefits.


higher


As Kathleen


salaries


Ressler


to improve


notes,


the learning


in this


status


of the profession,


poverty


exposes


them


to contempt


and 'scurvy


temptation.


Ampton may


It also


have


seems


led to his


logical


comments


that


Collier's


in support


experience


status


and material


wealth


for the clergy


in his anti-stage


writing


case


, the


year


1685


found


in London,


where


he was made


a lecturer


at Gray


Inn.


With


the chan


in monarchs


in 1688,


Collier


began


career


as a devoted


and outspoken non-juror.


His "Desertion Discuss 'd


(1688)










write


political


pamphlets


until


next


arrest


in 1692,


when


he and


another non-juring


clergyman


were


accused


of trying


to communicate with


the exiled


James


Though


he could


have


gone


free


on bail,


refused


to accept it because

jurisdiction. Thus,


that

until


would


have meant


released


upon


a recognition


the appeal


of William


of his friends,


spent


about


a week


in jail


penning


still


another


bitter


attack


on the


government


entitled


"Remarks


on the London


Gazette.


Nothing


is known


of Collier


again


until


1696


when


he and


two other


non-jurin


clergymen


(Cook


and Snatt)


granted


absolution


to Sir


John


Friend


and Sir William


Perkins

universe


at Tyburn.


Public


not only


and governmental


had Friend


and Perkins


outrage


been


at this w

convicted


'as almost

of plot-


ting


the assassination


of William,


they


had made


no public


confe


ssion.


The feeling was


that


Collier


and the other


priests,


therefore,


consider


the plotting


sinful.


While


Cook


and Snatt


were


arrested


eventually


outlawed.


convicted


legally


and released,


remained


Collier


outlawed


went


for the


into


rest


hidin


was


of his life.)


His concealment


not stop


him from publishing


"A Defence


of the


Absolution"


only


six days


after


execution.


When,


on the day


follow-


the execution


"the


two archbishops


and twelve


bishops


were


then


in London


forth


a 'Declaration'


condemning


the action


of the three


clergyme

and 'as


an open


insolent


affront


to the laws


and unprecedented


in the


both o

manner


f church


state,


and altogether


irre-


ular


in the thin


Collier needed


only


two weeks


to provide


further


reply


in his


own defense.


Quite


clearly


he had already










That


Collier


felt


the need


to have


his ideas


and talents


constantly


before


the public


is also


indicated


the more


than


fifty


works--ranging


from sermons,


translations


of Cicero


and Marcus


Aurelius,


and An


Ecclesiastical


History


of Great


Britain


to political


pamphlets,


stage


criticism,


and The Great


Historical,


Geographical,


Genealogical


Poetical


Dictionary--which


were


published


through


year


seems


of his


that


death


he must


(1726).


have


From


been


the number


supremely


variety


confident


of his works,


in his abilities.


even more


important


in understanding


criticism


of the


stage


is his


unbending


attitude


controversy.


His stubborn


persistence


in having


the last


word


in his


arguments


with


the Restoration


dramatists


causes


later


admirers


see him as


a heroic


figure.


Thomas


Babington


Macaulay,


for example,


says


that


"we believe


to be


as honest


courageous


a man


as ever


lived"


and that


"the


spirit


A Short View


"is truly


heroic.


Johnson,


too


sees


him as


a warrior who


"walked


out to battle,


and assailed


at once most


of the living writers,


from


Dryden


to Durfey,


" and


was victorious


because


of his "unconquerable


pertinacity.


Though


stature


as a warrior may


be questioned,


certainly


indication


seemed


that


to relish


ever


the pamphlet


conceded


wars


any point


he fought,


for which


and there


was


arguing.


A key


to his vision


of himself


as a steadfast moral


crusader


comes


in his Moral


Essays


where


says


that


"Fortitude


is the Guard


moral


Advantage


and the Being


of Truth


and Justice


subsists


upon


'Tis


not possible


for a Coward


to be


a good


man.


But apart


from










comments


on the nature


man,


must


that


feel


he exemplifies


that


group


of later


seventeenth-century


divines


whom


Allison


calls


the "'holy


living'


school.


" In his


study


of the changes


Englis


Christianity


during


the seventeenth


century,


Professor


Allison


concludes


that


"the


view


the Gospel


held


in the first


half


of the


century,


dogma


votional


which


"manifested


and morals


literature


a blend


, justification


that


was


of doctrine


and sanctification,


profoundly


and ethics,


Christian


and produced


and functionally


a de-


pastoral,


" had


undergone


a significant


change.


Thus


sees


a new view


the Gospel


held


some


influential


divines


in the second


half


of the


century:


later


view rent


the fabric


sote


riolo


and split


elements


became


almost


f religion
irrelevant


so radically


and ethics


that


became


doctrine
so harsh


to be cruel.


from


the Chri


There
stian


was an ineluctable


faith


earlier


movement
divines


away
towards


a moralism mas


querading


as faith.


The divines


introduced


this trend


towards


moralism


postulated


a fr


eedom of


will


in sinners


that


was of
sisted


larg


ian proportions.
Iv of exhortations


Their
to 1


remedy


for sin


a holy


life.


con-
11


This


emphasis


on the freedom


of the human


will


was also


coupled


with


Pelagian


deemphasis


of original


sin as a condition


man.


Among


"holy


living"


divines,


then,


came


to be treated


almost


exclusively


an action


rather


than


as a condition,


which,


since


was willful,


could


be controlled


by man.


Obviously,


what


this


could


lead


to--and


did lead


to in Collier,


and his potential


for moral


hink--was

living i


a glorification


f he willfully


of man's


avoided


nature


sources


vice


and sinful


action.


was not corrupt


but corruptible.










Citing


two of Collier's


Sermons


goes


on to explain


belief


that


"Will,


which


stronger


than


reason,


is impelled


to direct


motion;


plus


understanding,


it inten


sifies


the power


of the soul


which


is determined


towards


good


. [Thus


when


both


will


reason


combine


to embrace


God,


man


approaches


nearest


earthly


happiness.


Collier


says


in his


essay,


Of Religious


Temper,


that


"the


Essense of


future


Happiness


will


consist


in the Knowledge


and Love


of God.


Powers


of the Soul


be all reduced


to the Understanding,


and the


Will:


When


exerc


these


is'd


two Faculties,


in the most


perfect


are


fix'd


manner,


upon


then


the noblest


the Mind


Object,


is compleatly


Happy.


And,


while


he recognizes


the necessity


for divine


grace,


diminishes


the importance


of it:


as far


as we


can guess


at the


erations


Humane


Nature,
Motion,
for this


Honou
some


'tis
than


more
to be


reason,


entertaining
altogether


'tis


Cooperating


little


share


probable,


with


in making


to mount
passive i


God has


our own


our Rise:


allowed


his Assistances,


our selves


us the
having


happy.


freedom


of the will


gives man


the opportunity


to live


a happy


life


here


on earth--"Station


and Happiness


lies


every


ones


power:


Management


of the Will


determines


Precedency"17--and


earn


his way


heaven:


"For


tho'


a Man is born


into


this


World


with


his Mother's


Labour


, yet '


tis his


own


that


must


carry


to the other.


Ressler


also


points


out "Collier's


tendency


towards


a less


literal


more


modern


Pelagian?]


attitude


. in his


treatment


of the Fall


and the


Devil.


" She cites


a statement


in his


essay


"Of Goodness"


which


dimini-


. r -_ - -.--


Ii


I


,t, ,,


,TTU I, ^ C-C-.-A










with


Trouble
noxious


Maker;
He was


to Pain,


was not supply'd


under


brought


a necessity


under


as formerly


of Labour;


the Force


without
was ob-


of Time,


Death
all,
State


and Diseases


this


SL rL L


was rather
r oar, "19


were


let loose


an Abatement


upon


Him.


of Happiness,


But after


than


This


essay


concentrates


on Adam's


prelapsarian


perfection,


not the Fall,


in di


scussing man


as a "Divine


Image


" which,


if kept


pure,


will


"natur-


ally"


draw


"God's


Favour.


This


combination


of Pelagian


tendencies


(emphasis


on man'


free


will


and a deemphasis


of original


sin)


leads


Collier


to view man


as capable


of living


a righteous


life,


even


of coming


close


per-


fiction.


says


for example,


that


"there


a Greatness


in Human


Nature


not to be over-awed


Death.


to be Possessed


of this


Quality


purpose,


is to live


well.


There


no such


Bravery


as that


a good


Chri


stian.


If people


would


"live


well"


and follow


"Golden


Rule,


he imagines


perfection


could


be achieved:


Things


would


look


as if the Millennium was


comment


or the Gates of Paradise


set


open.


What


inviolable


Friendship might


we then


expect,


what


Exactness


Commerce,


what


Easiness


in Conversation?


Want


would


be in


a great


Measure


removed,


and Envy


thrown


of Society:


nor


Thing


the Rich


as Fraud


The Poor would


starve


not


the Poor.


and Oppression;


steal


There


from


would


No Sallies


the Rich,
be no such
of Ambition,


no grasping


World.
Humours


What


what


at forbidden


Largeness


Peace


Greatn


of Mind,


in Families


ess,
what


to disturb


Harmony


and Kingdoms


Christendom would


no longer


be the S


cene


Confu


sion,


the Field


Devils:


of Blood,


There


would


and the Sport


no leading


of Infidel


into


Captivity;


no complaining
their Swords i:
Pruning-hooks:


n


in our Stree
.to Plow-shar


Nation


ts.
es,


would


Men might
and their


rise


then
Spears


against


beat
into
ation


neither
wnt l r1


r would they learn War any more. Then
rim rdnrnm 1-flcc WPtcn1 nin -tfchrtn nl cc 'c.


Justice


1ilrp


>4


out


,F M










man


(due


to the Fall)


as even


to imagine


such


paradisiacal


conditions


for earthly


creatures.


With


this view


man,


it is


not surprising when


Collier


quotes


Plato


to help


describe


a good man:


just


Person,


keeps

states


close


to the Rule


the Powers


above,


of Virtue,


can't


acts


but be lov'd


the best


them:


Precedents,


'Tis


and imi-


impossible


for the Gods


to overlook


a Man


so like


themselves:


To do this,


would


be in effect


to neglect


their


own Nature,


and disregard


the happ


Qualities


they


are possessed


'"23


This


Platonic


belief


about


imita-


ting


the Gods is


very


similar


to his


own view


of how man


can attain


virtue:


to resemble


God,


is the


Perfe


action


of Virtue;


'tis


doing


its Kind.
recommend


wisest
mention


our selves


and the Greatest
but one Advantage,


more


effectually


Action


We can't


to God Almighty,


than
Love


delighting


naturally


in the same Actions


arises


from


Likeness


which


he does.


Disposition.


Our Imitation


that


we value


of Another,
his Person,


an unques


and admire


tioned


Proof


his Choice;


which


lays
being


were,


a kind


an Obligation


same


engage


Temper with


his Inclinations


for a Return .
God Almighty,


to make


we do


us Happy.


While
cerned


we are thus affected,


about


a neglect


our Welfare,


upon his


own


can no more


than


Attribu


can deny
tes."24


uncon-


himself


This


link


to Plato


is only


part


a more


complex


connection


which


Pro-


fessor


Ressler


points


out in her study.


sees


Plato,


through


Cambridge


Platonists,


as the


source


for Collier


inner


certitude


his ideas


of free


will,


and his deemphasis


of the Fall


doctrine with


corollary


emphasis


on man's


divine


essence


, rather


than


the Pelagian


-Cl~~~~~~-, -' -- --- ---2 --hI -------


1 A- -t J A1 1


r i _


1


-1 -


1


_ ^ ..










would


have


been


for keeping man


out of the way


of those


sources


of evil


which


could


corrupt


his basically virtuous


nature.


Censorship would


necessary


if "good


living"


were


to flourish.


carry


Collier


s Platonism


one step


further--that


the danger


sees


in man's


imitation


of evil--it


is only necessary


turn


to A


Short


View


of the


Immorality


Profaneness


of the


English


26
Stage.


cites


Plato


early


in this


work


to make


the point


that


will


imitate whatever


human


behavior


they


see in a mimetic


repres-


entation.


This


belief


that


man


can only


benefit


from seeing


what


good


runs


counter


some


of the strongest


sentiments


expressed


obvious


Christian


writers,


such


as Milton


in Areopagitica:


Good


and evill


we know


in the field


of this


World


grow


up together


almost


inseparably;


and the knowledge


good


so involved


and interwoven


with


knowledge


of evill,


in so many


cunning


rese


mblances


hardly


to be
impose


discern'd,


sort


that


on Psyche
asunder,


can apprehend


that


those


confused


as an incessant


were


not


more


and consider


seeds


labour


intermixt.
vice with


which


to cull


all her


are


out,


baits


and seeming pleasures,


t ab


stain,


distin-


prefer


that


which


truly


better,


he is


true


wayfaring


Christian.


cannot


praise


a fugi-


tive
that


and cloister'd


never


sallies


vertue,
out and


unexerc


sees


is'd


unbreath'd,


adversary,


slinks
to be


out of


run for,


bring not


race,


not


innocence


where


without


into


dust


that


immortall


and heat.


the world,


we bring


garland


Assuredly we


impurit


much r
trial


father:


that
what


which


purifies


us is


trial,


is contrary.


Milton


feels


that


salvation


can only


won


through


temptation


and trial:


evil


must


be confronted,


recogni


and resisted;


and good must


chosen.


This


recognition


man


s fallen state


and his


necessity


-~~~~~~~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ .-: ar -.e. -- a--C- .naa C l c- -4\


- -, n a 9 -


men


q


1


I


j-i- -.rY-


,,~uL


I I- -I


..~










Commonwealth


which


he had


imagined,


" and


"he knew


this


licencing


Poems


reference


and dependence


to many


other proviso's


there


down


in his fancied


republic,


which


in this


world


could


have no


place.


Collier


sees


Plato's


"fancied


republic"


as what


seventeenth-century


England might


if censorship


of the playwrights


were


effective.


refuses


to recognize man's


fallen


condition


and thus


feels


that


some


properties


of Plato


s "imagin'd"


world,


such


as a preservation


of man's


purity


banning


lewd


books


and entertainment,


were


possible


without


the other


"proviso' s"


which Plato


called


for.


seems


oppose


those


views


man,


expressed


by writers


like


Swift


which


emphasize


man's


post-lapsarian,


flawed


nature


and the necessity


a struggle


toward


salvation.


That


Collier


can argue


that


"such


Entertainment


[plays]


does


in effect


degrade


Human


Nature,


sinks


Reason


into


Appetite,


breaks


down


the Distinctions


between


and Beast,


only


emphasizes


impression


that man


innocent


and virtuous


before


encounters


repres-


entations


of vice.


This


Platonic


rejection


of all that


is evil


from


stage


repeated


throughout


A Short View


and in his later


responses


to his


critics.


In his remarks


about


D'Urfey's


Quixote,


for example,


suggests


that


"Beastliness


in Behaviour,


gives


a disparaging


Idea


Humane Nature,


and almost


makes


us sorry we


are of the


same


Kind.


these


reasons '


a Maxime


in Good


Breeding never


to shock


the Senses,


or Imagination.


In A Defence


of the Short View


(1699)


he responds


to Congreve


stating


that


"Lussious


Descriptions,


and Common


Places


set










Characters


of Immodesty


there


must


any such)


should


only


hinted


in remote


Language,


and thrown


off in Generals.


In his


ans-


to James


Drake


he cites


Plato


again


concerning


the dan


of imi-


stating what


one sees


on stage:


Plato


s Opinion


then


that


Diversions


of the Stage


are dangerous


to Temper


and Sobriety;


they


swell


Anger


and Desire


too much.


Tragedy


is apt


to make


Man boisterous,


and Comedy


Buffoons.


Thus


those Passions


are cherished


which


ought


be checked


Virtue


loses


ground,


and Reason


grows


precarious.


basic


contradiction


in Collier


s view


man


seen


when


he minimizes


the danger


of confrontin


God has


ment


evil


furnish


in his


every


and Apprehension:


false Coyn,


to take


a Test


Check


the side of


essay,


one of
We have


for Right


a gross


Truth.


an Apostle"


us with
a Touch


and Wrong,


Fallacy,


Suppose


read


a share


stone


against


a natural


and to encline


a Book


acuity


us to


in whi


there


are false Notions,


and Lectures


Immorality;


aside


either


to believe


Pleasure:
Doctrine,


am not at all forced


or follow


the Advice:


nor yet


behaviour.


there


to disquiet


If I


either


see


myself


a Man


for imitation


with


the Author's


an ill Thing,
or disturbing


what


Mis-


Necess


Head


about


that


which


is out of


my power


A Man


has Light


in his


Understanding,


and Liberty


in hi


Will.


He is Master


his Conduct,


and by


Grace


of God ma


preserve


himself


a tolerable


Innocence.


concurrence with


the Assi


Privil


stance


of Heaven,


of this


we may


Liberty
give


Laws


our Passions


, and brin


them


under


Management


Discipline.


So that


to keep


our selves


harmless


compos


there' s


no nee


of footing


it into


the Forest.


To this


point


in the


passage


Collier


consistent


with


his other


state-


ments


about


man's


potential


for leading


a righteous


life


because of


natural


attributes


free will


and understanding.


He also


presents


very


reasonable


position o:


n censorship,


which


is not at all consistent


wer










only


for great minds


like


own.


He feels


that


"this


design


[virtuous


living]


will


be better


pursu'd


staying


at Home;


exerting


Native


Strength,


informing


our Understanding,


and by


calling


in the


Aids


of Religion.


" Ultimately,


then,


(except


for himself)


it is


best


to keep


out of the way


of vice


and to know


only


good


one


to "live


well.


" The contradiction


between


Collier's


belief


that


virtuous


living


comes


easy


(through man's


free


will


and natural


goodnes


and his desire


to keep men


from


evil


(thereby


limiting


his free will)


never


resolved


in his


arguments.


Indeed,


the contradiction


only


lends


credence


to the


view


that


his conception


man


as virtuous


was possible


only with


concomitant

(by those a


desire


.s wise


for a society


as himself)


like


would


Plato


protect


s Republic


the people's


where censorship

virtue. But in


response


to his Platonism,


many


critics


and playwrights


were


quick


point


out the faults


in using


Plato


as an authority.


Like


Milton,


John


Dennis


emphasizes


that


"the


Commonwealth


of Plato


a mere


romantic


Notion


, with


which


human


Nature,


human


Life,


and, by


consequence,


Dramatick Poetry,


cannot


possibly


agree.


Edward


Filmer


quotes


from


Sidney's


Defence


of Poesie,


in which


Plato's


veneration


poetry


poets


in his Ion


is noted.


Sidney


feels


this


attitude


reflects


Plato


true


feelings.


But whatever


Plato


s true


thoughts,


certainly


Filmer


notation


at least


places


Collier


s use of


this


ancient


philosopher


proper


perspective.


danger


of Collier's


Platonism


to the drama


is suggested


Filmer's


observation


that


Collier would


have


a character


"fix


a Paper


our










with


inscribed messages


would


serve


purpose,


for,


in Collier's


view,


a Man


has been


Prophane


in general,


and then


punish


is somewhat


Intelligible;


To make


Example without


Instance,


of Dramatick Justice:


and Particularity,
But when he is su


iffer


a safe
'd to


his Distraction,


practice


before


the Company


the Punishment


comes


too late.


Such


Malefactors


infection


and kill


at their very


execution.


'Tis


much


safer


suffer.


are acted


to not to hear


Some


Vices


in some measure


them
wont
when


talk
bear
they


than


the namin
are heark


see them
g: They
n'd to.36


This


kind


comment


leads


Drake


to state


that


Collier


"is all along


Platonis t


in his


Philosophy"


and that


"The whole


scheme


and strain


the Platonick


Philosophy


is very


romantic


and whimsical,


and like


Author's


works,


favours


every


particular more


strongly


of Fancy


than


Judgment.


Collier's


Platonism manifested


itself


in expressions


of dis-


gust


at the evil


corruption


was forced


see and hear


on the


stage.


He was


sensitive


only


to the ability


of the wicked


and foolish


characters


to corrupt


an audience;


therefore,


he wished


their


actions


and language merely


spoken


of--labelled,


seen


or heard.


His attempt


to muffle


and finally


remove


plays


as a form


entertainment


shows


that


his understanding


himself


and other men


presupposed


that


innocence


not only


existed


but could


be preserved


men


were


cut off enough


from


the evils


of the world.


Instead


of accepting


each man


as sinful


capable


of redemption,


Collier,


like


Plato,


chose


to envision a


world


(city,


country)


where men


could


live


in purity,


protected


from


those


things


which


gone


farthest


"in Debauching


"the


Stage


. t-J


are


our


"J


1









a Christian


humanistic


(and


orthodox Anglican)


point


of view while


Collier


(and others,


like


George


Ridpath,


Arthur


Bedford,


and William


39
Law) demanded


censorship


on the


basis


of a moralism


that


was


both


Pelagian


and Platonic.















NOTES


1James


Immorali
Edition,


ty and
" Diss.


Thorpe,


Profaneness


Yale,


III,


"Jeremy


of the


Collier's


English


Stage


A Short View of the
(1698): A Critical


1969,


2Most


biographical


information


which


follows


comes


from


William Hunt's


Biography


eds.


piece


on Collie


Leslie Stephen


r in The
and Sir


Dictionary
Sidnev Lee


of Nat
(1921-2


ional


rpt.


London


Oxford


Univer


sity


Press


1937


-38)


797-803.


Collier's


says,


Seventeenth


Century


Studies,


second
Press,


series
1937),


ed. Robert


Shafer


(Princeton:


Prin


ceton


University


257.


See A Short View of the


English Stage (London,
the Short View of the
(London, 1699), pp. 70


1698), pp.
Profaneness


Immorality
83-84 & 127


and
-129


Immorality


Profanenes s


) and A
of the


Defence
English


f the
of
Stage


117.


5According


loss
king


of Engl
at the


ish prop
battle o


to the DNB,


erty


on the


London"


the subject


coast


Spain


this attack was
and the defeat o


, 798).


6DNB,


798.


York:


7Lives of the Poets,
Octagon Books, Inc.


ed. George
1967), II


Birkb


eck Hill


(1905


rpt.


220-221.


Co.,


1898)


8The Works of Lord
, IX, 378.


Macaulay


(London:


Longman,


Green,


9Lives,


Fortitude


(London,


parts


essay


1709)


and the 2nd edition


"Upon


Pride"


(part


says


Upon


have used


(1707)


that


Several


Moral


the 6th edition


t part 3
humility


Subjects
n (1709)


Collier


should


part
of


says


not keep


person


from striking


out at those


are wrong.


from Hooker


iThe Rise of
to Baxter (


Moralism:


New


York:


The
The


Proclam
Seabury


ation of the
Press, 1966),


Gospel
D. 192.


I / <


Jeremy


m


_


10.of


nnn










15Moral


Essays,


part


125.


Of Fortitude,


" Moral


Essays,


part


206.


"Of Envy,


" Moral


Essays,


part


119.


18,,
of the other


are:


part


Of the Value
references i


Life,


n the


part


" Moral


Moral Es
132-133;


sa:


ssay


ys


part


to t
3.


part


power


Some


the will


171-172 &


19Ressler,


196-197.


0Moral

1Ibid.,

2Ibid.,


success


says


part


10-11.


part


part


of the Apostles


92-93.


confess


: 11


Elsewhere


their


Collier


Design


was


speaks
noble


of the


beneficial
retrieve t


Paradi


siacal


Happiness


in the highest


Dignity
State,
(Moral E


egree:


Human Nature


and oblige


part


says


people,


For,


what


can be


, to bring


in their best


greater
World to


capac


than


cities


238-239).


3Ibid.,

4bid.,


that
This
Offs


stand


argues


pring


generous


part


part


Adversity


the Soul of
the Deity.


Inclination


, 175-176
. is


a Heavenly
Where su


can neglect


He also


to be


great


Extraction,


ch a Prize han
it? Who would


states
above


Of Fortitude"


Title


and is worthy
gs in View, w


not be


and Fortune.


of the


hat


Ambitious


such
This?


a Blessin


" (part


and endeavour


to rise


so great


a Perfection


, 223)


5pp.


180,


181,


183,


190-193


, 195,


197,


222-223,


230-231.


makes


Essays,


part


references


240-241


part


to man'


tendency


to imit


16 and to the danger


ate in Moral
of imitating


evil


on stage


in A Short View,


71 &


204.


(New


York:


27The Works of John Milton,
Columbia University Press,


Frank Allen


1931),


Patterson,


et al


310-311.


8Ibid.,


316.


29A Short View,


2 fl n r~ -


r& A


nA*











the need
passage,
through


33Moral
for "the


says,


Grace


his emphasis,
his own will,


part
God"


273-274.


and "the Ass


as in the Moral Essays
o remain innocent.


Though
instance


, is


Collier


mentions


of Heaven"


upon


man's


in this


ability,


34The
(Baltimore:


has a similar


(London,


1699)


Criti
Johns


comment
, PP.


cal Works of John
Hopkins University


t in The Antient
34-35.


Dennis
Press


Modern


, ed. E
, 1939)


;dward
. 169.


Stages


Niles H
James


Surveyed


ooker,
Drake


(London,


Defence


of Plays


(London,


1707)


70-71.


36Defence,


37Drake,


38A Short View,


preface.


39Allison


for the "'holy
193-194).


points


living


out that Jeremy


' school,


" had


Taylor,


a tremendous


the leading


impact


spokes-


on Law


. 16.


man















CHAPTER


THE CRITICAL


GROUNDS--NO


NEED TO


SHIFT


THEM


To understand


the drama


of the Restoration


it is


necessary


to examine


carefully


the controversy which


raged


over


the morality


the plays


and which


found


its most


prolific


and vocal


spokesman


Jeremy


Collier.


controversy would


be of little


importance


if it


not show most


convincingly


the importance


of morality


as an element


which must


be considered


serious


critical


examination


of that


art.


There


was


(and


still


much


disagreement


about


whether


the drama,


and especially


the comedy,


is moral


or immoral,


many


recent


critics


seem


to feel


the moral


issue


is not even


important


in understanding


plays.


Eric


Rothstein


calls


Restoration


comedy


"one


of the


most


vious


attempt


bastions


of aristocratic


to divorce


amorality.


art and morality,


says


John


that


Palmer,


"art


a confusing


not primarily


concern

Collier


own


with


on moral


terms


morality "

grounds


saying


that


and that


Norman


"if a play


Congreve

Holland


is true


"foolishly"

redefines m


to its


argues


oralit


purpose


with

in his


the pleasure


of understanding,


then


think


it cannot


be called


immoral


Thus,


can examine


the plays


without


taking


into


account


the moral


attitudes


of the


contemporary


playwrights


and critics


toward


the drama.


Rose A.


Zimbardo


sees


issue


of morality


in Restoration


comedy


as "an


extra-


literary


question.


Joseph


Wood


Krutch


claims


that


in contrast











destroy"


morality,


"neither were


they


engaged


any attempt


through


the employment


satire,


or by


other means


, to recommend


see the


plays


basi


cally


as amoral,


however,


to miss


not only what


the playwrights


felt


was the intention


of their


plays,


but that


aspect


of their vision


of the world


which


helped


provide


very


structure


or pattern


of those


plays.


is my position


that


complete

the moral

the moral


understanding


of the plays


issue at the heart

concerns of all tho


can be obtained


of the Collier

se interested


without


controversy,

in the art of


considering


for it reflects


writing plays.


What


many


of the modern


critics


have


failed


to emphasize


perhaps,


not believe)


is that


late


seventeenth-century


England


was


still


dominated


a Christian world-view,


focused


on the workings


of Provi-


dence


and the destiny


of human


souls.


As G.


R. Cragg


points


out in his


historical


analysis


of religious


thought


during


the Restoration


period,


view


of the world


which


been


fashioned


in the


early


perfect


centuries


logical


of the


Christian


precision


era and redu


great


schoolmen


still


widely


current.


"This


strange medley


of fact


and fable,
represented


truth


the world


and falsehood,


view


of the


of good


vast


and evil"


majority


of the


contemporaries


might


never


have


Newton.
lived, a


For many


even


them


fellows


Copernicus


of the Royal


Society
thought.


could
7


retain


strange


fragments


from


the older


ethical


perspectives


of this world-view have


been


related


to the


Augustan


humanists


Paul


Fussell;8


certainly many


of these


same


per-


spectives


also


apply


to the best


post-Restoration


writers.


Fussell


sees


sources


of eighteenth-century


humanism


in the "Christian


humanism


was










or man,

allied,


with


an assumption


and with a


vision


"that

of "ma


ethics


and expression


not primarily


are closely


as a maker


or even


knower,


but rather


as a moral


actor"9--seems


not only


reasonable


obvious


with


a proper


understanding of


their works.


Evidence


for this


ethical

number


perspective


among


of publications


the writers


concerned


with


seen


God's


in the nature


relationship


to man


and

and the


universe.


Besides


the works


of Milton


and Bunyan,


sermons


Barrow,


Tillotson,


South,


Stillingfleet,


Burnet,


and Bentley


and the


scientific


and theological


writings


of Ray,


Boyle,


and Newton


were


among


the most


popular


and influential


works


of the


age.


Irene


Simon


not only points


out the influence


sermons


on the educated


public


well


into


the eighteenth


century,


but also


shows


"the


printed


versions


alone have


a right


to be treated


as a branch


of literature"


and how


that


"any


ignores


account


these


of the


facts


temper


[about


or intellectual


the importance


climate


of the


of the sermons]


is there-


fore


bound


to be distorted.


Edward Arber


also


points


out that


was the reli


gious


people


first


and the Scientists


next,


that


made


fortunes


of the London


Book


Trade.


When


Arber


speaks


of "Writers


Pure


and Applied


Science,


" he


is referring


to the scientists


Cragg


discusses:


"The


leading


scientists


of the period


were


for the


most


part


earnest


Christians,


and they


continually


related


their


discoveries


religious


interpretation


of the world.


The works


of all these


writers


share


with


the best


Restoration


drama


what


Aubrey


Williams


calls


"the


Renaissance


Christian


vision of human


experience,


however










the Englishmen


of the


age.


Such


views


also place


the Restoration


play-


wrights


who,


as poets,


traditionally


have


been


seen


as especially


sen-


sitive


to man


s nature


and the ways


it might


be improved,


outside


spirit


of the


times,


engaged


in writing which


does


not interest


itself


with


the most


fundamental


attitudes


of the


age.


Removing


from


issue


of morality,


as Zimbardo


wishes


to do,


may simplify


analyses


but it does


not


produce


a purely


"literary"


discussion


of the


plays


Indeed,


there


are not


literary


and moral


issues


for the


seventeenth-century


poet;


there


are literary


issues


which


include


important


moral


issues


the times:


the conduct


man


on earth


it is related


to his salvation


and the role


of Providence


in man' s


life


and the workings


of the


universe.


The propensity


on the


part


of modern


critics


to divorce


Restoration


like


drama


John Palmer's


from


that


the moral


"Jeremy


vision


Collier


of the


invented


has produced


the moral


judgments


test.


contrary,


that


traditional


critical


theory which


existed


in England


(expressed


Sidney,


Jonson,


Rapin,


Rymer,


and Dryden,


among


others)


always


made


clear


the moral


value


of literature,


specifically


the drama.


What


Ben Ross


Schneider


calls


"the Aristotelian-Horatian


principle


utile dulci"


was


commonly


asserted


the playwrights


when


they


talked


of the intention


of their plays.


Thus,


when


Collier


attacked


stage,


he was


not setting


completely new


ground


rules for criticism,


were


responses


to his attack


nearly


so weak


as some


modern


critics


would


have


us think.


Without


any convincing


analysis


, for example,


nor










a competent d

"competent"),


fencee


of the dramatist"


with no mention


(though apparently


of John Dennis's


still


Usefulness


not

of the


Stage


(1698)


James


Drake


s The Antient


Modern


Stages Survey


(1699),


Edward


Filmer


s A Defence


of Plays


(1707)


or Elkanah


Settle'


A Defence


Dramatick Poetry


(1698)


and A Farther


Defence


Dramatic


Poetry


(1698).


He probably


fails


to note


these


because


they,


like


the defenses


of the


stage


during g


controversy,


Collier


Collier's


ground,


that


on the evaluation


art in


terms


rather


than


in spite


its moral


position.


difficulty


of evaluating


apart


from its


moral


intent


seen


in Palmer's


definition:


not primarily


concerned


with morality.


It is


not the aim or


business


of comedy


to improve


world.


When


we say


that


art is


not primarily


conc
(the
cone


erned


with morality,


exceptions


erned


with


prove


we mean


the rule)


beautifully


that


in most


an artist


expressing


cases


is first


something


has felt


or seen.


He endeavours


to give


local


habi-


station


a name


a piece


of life


imaginatively


realized.


art is fashioned


in the heat


desire
not the
it is t


see life


impulse


he impulse


shape


of a morals


and form.
t to improve


an artist


express


His impulse


world;
21


Palmer


does


seem


to be


sure


of his


contentions,


for he


finds


necessary


to qualify


his first


assertion


with


"the


exceptions


prove


the rule"


and later


states


that


"morality


is his [the


artist


subject,


though


it is


not his object.


" He also


says


that


"the


greatest


artists


are also


those who


have


contributed


most


to the morality


of the


Commonwealth,


" and


that


"morality


an accident


of the artist's


accom-


plishment,


though


it is


not the intention.


" His statements


not


only










unconsciously


obey.


" In fact,


since


he cites


no sources


for this


theory


of atti


Palmer


seems


to be doing what


he has accused


other


critical,


especially


Macaulay,


of doing:


looking


at the drama


of the


late seventeenth


century


through


eyes


(and


critical


values)


of his


own age.


The modern


critic,


just


as the seventeenth


and eighteenth-


century


critic,


mus t


deal


with


Collier within


context


of Collier's


age,


center


that


within


as a way


to view


context


life


a world


create


with


art (which


Christianity


in Palmer


at its


s own


words,


represents


"life


in shape


and form").


While


it is certain


that


many


of Collier's


uments


in A


Short


View


not focus


on important


issues


for all of the plays,


work


unleashed


a rash


of publications


which


give


us the most


complete


source


of critical


information about


drama


the Restoration.


reactions


to Collier's


arguments


indicate


that


no play


in the late


seventeenth


or early


eighteenth


centuries


could


neglect


a moral


function


escape


criticism.


There was


an expectation


the general


audience


and critics


(just


as in the earlier


drama


in England)


a point


of view


which


recognized


a world


contingent


upon


Divine


order


and which


flected


God's


just


rewards


and punishments


as part


of the moral


code.


Collier,


himself


at least


as he begins


his Short View,


suggests


such


a moral


purpose:


The Business


countenance


Humane


Plays
Vice;


Greatness,


is to recommend


shew


suddain


Virtue,


the Uncertainty


Turns


and
of


Fate,


the Unhappy


Conclusions


Violence


and Injustice:


"Tis


expose


Singularities


of Pride


and Fancy,


4-4 -4 4 .


re-


* 9 1


Ir MW 4


S










Filmer


point


out,


Collier went


on to condemn


stage


entirely.


Assuming,


as Johannes


Ballein


indicates,


that


he changed


his mind


about


stage


as he wrote his


treatise,


one point


at least


he actually


felt


the purpose of


stage


was moral.


This


opinion


certainly


finds


good


critical


company


during


the Restoration


period


(even


though


some


critics,


like


Thomas


Rymer,


are very


critical


contemporary


and,


times,


earlier


drama)


A reexamination


of the


contemporary


critical


responses


Collier


is necessary


criticism of


the drama.


in order


Sister


to establish


Rose Anthony's


a historical


catalogue


basis


of works


related


to the


controversy,


though


deficient


in critical


commentary


about

number


the works,


is extremely


responses.


From


useful


in understanding


various


defenses


types


of the Restoration


stage


she cites,


have


organized


three


groups


based


upon


closely


the defenders


could


be related


to Collier's


attack


in A


Short


View:


first


is made


of the


responses


of those


playwrights


were


attacked


y Collier;27


the second


includes


the reactions


of playwrights


defended


stage


though


not individually


attacked


Collier;


final


group


includes


defenses


of the


stage


individuals


were not


primarily


playwrights


or who


have


remained


anonymous.


Some


overlapping


exists


since


some


of the anonymous writers


have


been


important


play-


wrights


and also


since


Dennis


maj or


importance


least


today)


a critic,


not


a playwright.


placed


group


two,


however,


cause he


did write


six plays


which were


produced


during


the height









of critical


thought


about


the drama


even


though


each


group


stands


different


distance


from


Collier's


attack.


Though


Collier


chose


to attack Otway


Wycherley,


Dryden,


Congreve


D'Urfey


and Vanbrugh,


only


the last


four


responded.


Most


critics


feel


that


the defenses


offered


Congreve


D'Urfey,


Vanbrugh


ter's

case


are weak


judgment t


there


and that


of him.


Dryden


even agrees


But in all of these


are complications),


there


with


answers


a basic


Collier


(though


concern


in the lat-


in Dryden


for defending


the moral


value


of the


stage


and especially


the plays


Collier


attacked.


To fault


these


responses


because


they


do not


adequately


ans-


all of Collier's


assertions


seems


wrong,


for as G.


F. Lamb


states,


"Their


task was


an impossible


one.


He feels


that


Collier's


document


was not


"intended


to stimulate


reasoned


argument.


Its aim was


to heckle


and victimize


the dramatists


and players.


What


should


be noted


the assumptions


these writers


make


about


their


plays


and the kind


corrections


they


attempt


to bring


about


in Collier's


readings.


They


not as concerned


with


general


argument


about


immorality


and profaneness


as with


the specific


evidence


he draws


from


their plays.


Their


defen-


ses focus


on specific


characters


or passages


which


Collier


has misunder-


stood


or misrepresented.


Though


these


defenses


are obviously


limited,


however,


they


provide


the kind


of reply


the more


general


responses


to Collier


usually


lack,


that


proof


that


Collier


misused


his evidence


from


con-


temporary


plays.


They


stress


their


beliefs


in the moral


purpose of


4 -s -4 ,- -


wer


are


are


*


I .. I









delight,

asham'd


as well

of their


as to instruct:


Follies


or Faults,


as vicio

seeing


People


them expos


are made

'd in a ridi-


culous


their


manner,


Expence.


so are good People at


similarity


once


between


both warn'd


Congreve


and diverted


s definition


Dryden 's


earlier


comments


in his


often


partially


quoted


preface


to An


Evening's


Love:


the Mock Astrologer


(1671)


should


noted.


What


Professor


Krutch


sees


as Dryden's


flat


repudiation


of "any


responsi-


ability


of the dramatist


to point


a moral"35


is actually


only


part


explanation


based


upon


Dryden


premise


that


the poet's


is to work


cure


on folly,


and the small


imperfections


of mankind.


Although


this


preface


it does


clarifies


remove


moral


Dryden


s distinction


instruction


from


between


comic


tragedy


realm.


comedy


In fact,


Dryden


goes


some


trouble


to explain


that


instruction


results


from various


factors


in the play


acting


upon


the audience.


Vanbrugh,


while


he does


not


attempt


to define


comedy,


does


assert


that


"what


have


done


is in general


a Discouragement


to Vice


and Folly;


am sure


intended


and I


hope


have


performed


Likewise


, D'Urfey


affirms


about


that


"the


the "Plots


depression


and designs"


of Vice


of his plays


encouragement


are intend


of Virtue.


to bring


Whether


these


playwrights


accomplished


their


intended


ends


is still


a hot


critical


issue,


one important


prerequisite


for judgin


accom-


plishments


is an understanding


of the plays


themselves.


Their


responses


at least


offer not


only


evidence


for their


intentions


but important


corrections


to Collier's


readings


(which


will


be taken


up later)










The second


group


of defenses


includes


both


creative


works


(satiric


dialogues,


poems,


and plays)


and treatises


and letters


written


playwrights


not directly


attacked


Collier.


creative


works


this


group


are similar


to Dryden' s


Friend,


the Author


[Peter


Motteux]"


in their


rebuke


of Collier


as an overzealous


clergyman


misinformed


critical


authority


of the drama.


Collectively,


these


works


are most


important


in showing


the playwrights


felt


about


Collier's


char


ges,


though


they


offer


less


in the


of reasoned


critical


theory


about


the drama


than


do the argumentative


responses


of the


treatises.


Three


full-length


plays


deal


with


Collier


and his


stage


attacks:


Charles


Gildon's


Stage-Beaux


Toss'd


Banket


(1704)


Elkanah


Settle


The City


Ramble:


Play-House


Wedding


(1711),


and Colley


Gibber


s The Non-Juror


(1718).


Though


these


plays


apparently


had little


effect


(Gildon's


play was


not performed


and Gibber's


was


not directed


specific


ally


at Collier),


they


do indicate


a willingness


the other


poets


to put


their


energies


into


defending


stage.


Other


creative


exercises


include


Thomas


Brown' s


Letters


from the Dead to the


Living


(1702)


and A


Legacy


for the


Ladies


(1706)


Gildon' s


The Post-Man


Robb


of His Mail


(1719)


Granville's


epilogue


to Jew of


Venice


(1701)


Farquhar' s


humorous


piece,


The Adventures


Covent-Garden


(1698)


Motteux


poem,


"The Poet's


Character


of Himself"


(1698).


Though


all of these


responses


reflect


important


attitudes


poets


even


present


specific


comments


on the


controversy


its participants,


the most


useful


arguments


in favor


of the


stage










while others


are extended


treatises,


such


as Settle


s A Defence


Dramatick Poetry


(1698)


and Dennis's


Usefulness


of the Stage


(1698)


Again,


these


playwrights


consistently


emphasize


the moral


function


they


see for drama


in their critical


remarks.


Two important


aspects


of all


of these


responses


are the


outrage


the playwrights


feel


at Collier's


apparent


desire


to end all drama


in England


and their


fear


that


zeal


would


excite


others.


The fear


seems


to result


from


Collier


desire


to abolish


stage


using


a moral


argument.


These


writers


knew


importance


of the moral


conscience


of the people


and the king,


and though


they were


willing


to grant


that


abuses


existed,


they


could


accept


Collier's


conclusions


or much


of his evidence.


That


they


chose


argue


with


Collier


on moral


grounds


is not due


a lack


ability


argument


nor


an inability


to understand


the drama.


Rather,


they were


aware


that


viable


art form


in the late


seventeenth


early


eighteenth


centuries


must


have


a moral


base,


that


part


of the


artist's


vision.


power


What


rested


this


in his moral


meant


vision


for the dramatist


and the expression


was


an expectation


of that


audi-


ences


and readers


(and


certainly


critics


and other


dramatists)


decency


and recognizable


moral


patterns


or conditions


in their plays.


Gildon,


Indecencies


for example,


driven


says


from


that


the English


wou'd


Stage,


more


than my


glad


self,


see all


" but


he also


indicates


that


"the


of Man


can invent


no way


so efficacious,


Dramatic


Poetry


to advance


Virtue


and Wisdom.


In the epistle


dedicatory


to The


Patriot


(1703)


he explains


more


fully


"Dramatick


not









Folly,


and makes


them subservient


our improvement,


and by


that means


robs

that


Vice


our looser


reform


necessary


Hours.

but n


Peter


lot complete


Motteux,


likewise,


suppression,


indicates


"For


certainly


they


[plays]


might be of


very


great use,


not only for the


Diversion


Pleasure,


but also for the


correction


information


Mankind.


Farquhar


in A Discourse


Upon


Comedy


(170


is intent


upon


showing


that


the "End"


of comedy


is moral,


and that


if the English


authors


left


Vice


unpunish


Vertue


unrewarded,


Folly


unexpos'd,


or Prudence


unsuc-


cess


ful let them be


lash'd


some


purpose.


Elkanah


Settle


considers most


of Collier's


arguments


in de-


tail


and is


in agreement


with


Collier


s initial


desire


for a regulated


stage:


shall


that both
Choice of
retrench'


might


join


farther with


the Levity
Debauch'd


and mended:


be always


given


Mr. Colli


of Expression,
Characters, in


That
some


also


er, and heartily wish,
and the too frequent
our Comedies, were


the Prize


deserving


Vertue


the Comedy
that wins


and consequently,


our


Comedies


even


Fiction


self


might


be made


more


Instructive,


Poetick Ju


stice,


rewarding


success


in


and crowning
nhfl r m 45


L.Jl LeI LJ L/LaLL ra.


the Vertuous


Characters


with


But Settle


is quick


to show,


through


evidence


and critical


theory


wrong


Collier


has been


in his


judgment.


Besides


defending


plays


like


The Old


Bachelor,


Amphitryon,


and The


Relapse,


which


Collier


attacked,


says


that


tragedy's


chief


work


to raise


Compassion"


and explains


it is


, therefore,


instructive:


And what is
Distresses,
Fidelity or
Fictitious,


it we pity
Calmities
Love, &c.
Historick


there


and Ruins


represented
or Romantic


a tragedy]


Honour,
in some
Subject


, but the
Loyalty,


True


of the


Play?


I


d


"have


=










suffering


Virtue,


to the Treachery


whence


and by whom


it raises
or Tyranny


that


VT irt


our Aversions


in the Trag4edy,
tI ciif fer H46


V .JAL I. UL L .JAI.LJ


and Hate


from


Such


an attempt


to explain


the effects


tragedy


certainly


comes


from


a thoughtful


process


approach

of creating


to the ends


of drama


In trying


a writer


to explain


familiar with


Aristotle's


"pity"


terms


of instructive


religion,


which


most


Christians


would


certainly


understand,


one example


of the artistic


vision


of the Restoration


expressed.


In the same


Settle


explains


that


in comedy


the play-


wright


must


"range


the Town


. for the Follies,


the Vices


Vanities


and the Passions


of Mankind,


which


we meet


with


every


Day.


Then,


acting


as a "satyrist,


the playwright's


is to


expose


fools


on stage


improve


except


those whose


"Opticks"


are too


"perverse


and deprav' d"


to "see


themselves


there.


Finally,


John


Dennis


whose


defenses


rival


Collier's


attacks


in number,

the drama


adds


his critical


saying


"That


clout


the Drama


to the playwrights

, and Particularly


theories


Tragedy,


about

in its


Purity,


so far from


having


that


Effect


[encouragement


vice]


that


must


of necessity


make Man


Virtuous.


Dennis


careful


to note


that


the drama


had the potential


to "make


Men Virtuous,


but for him


and those


defending


stage,


this


potential


was enough


preserve


and its best


products:


must


are crept


into


acknowledge' d
our Theatres,


there


are Corruptions


for into what


Human


which


Inven-


tions


they


will


not Corruptions


insensibly


creep


into


cree
Reli


since


gion


which


it is plain


that


is of Divine


establi


Sq


9


shment;


r


but wouldd


. a


monstrous Con


clusion,
r









response


to Mr.


Collier's


Dissuasive


from the


Play-House


(1703),


Dennis


remarks


in An


Essay


on the


Opera


s After the


Italian


Manner


(1706)


show


that


his belief


in the necessity


and value


of the


stage was


a carefully


considered


critical


opinion


rather


than


a self-interested


outburst


response


severe


attack.


In asserting


the "Importance


of the Stage


to the Publick,


says


That
best


the Drama,


that


and instruct
but in Three


been


since


flourishing


ever


all reasonable


been


the World;


or Four


the World


States


invented,


that


it has


the bravest


egan,


of those


and that
Nations;


Diversions


once


never


Nations
in the


and that


to delight
flourished


that
most


have


a People


mus t


have


a very


Understanding,


good


before


share
they


of Virtue,
can receive


as well


among


as
them.


Dennis's


comments


about


man's


need


for diversion


and the relationship


between


patriotism


and drama


are more


complex


than


those


of the other


playwrights,


but like


the others


he constantly


notes


importance


moral


instruction


as a necessary


any play.


From


arguments


of these


playwrights


comes


what


should


considered


a fundamental


critical


standard


for Restoration


drama,


that


that


one major


purpose


of that


drama


is moral


instruction.


though


the expression


of these


arguments


was probably


encouraged


Collier,


as were


responses


of playwrights


Collier


attacked


directly,


there


no reason


to doubt


the sincerity


of the defenders,


as some


modern


critics


have.


Rather


than


assuming


that


these


critical


state-


ments


are


fabrications,


seems


more


reasonable


assume


that


they


are honest


evaluations


and proceed


see if they


are consistent


with


the world-view which


the best


poets


presented


in their


works.









The final


group


have


established


is perhaps


the most


Impor-


tant,


but because


of its


nature,


some


caution


will


necessary


in dis-


cussing


the works


included


here.


One problem arises


in that


this


group


is comprised


responses


from


anonymous


writers,


and also


from


known


critics


are not primarily


playwrights.


Obviously,


is possible


that


some


of the


anonymous


writers


are playwrights,


my assumption


is that


in those


cases


they


have


not wished


to be identified


in the


controversy


and therefore may


be evaluated


from


more


objective


stance


they


tried


to establish.


Also,


though John


Oldmixon,


James


Drake,


and Edward


Filmer wrote


plays


, they


certainly


could


not be


considered


major


playwrights


of the period


Of these


only


Filmer


puts


name


to his defense


of the


stage,


again


perhaps


indicating


the wish


of these


critics


to dissociate


themselves


from


the playwrights


in actin


as critics.


authors


of the remaining works


have


been


identified


and thus


seem


to fulfill


the criteria


for this


final


group.


Not only


do all the critics


in this


group


find


value


in the


drama,


but their


arguments


are consistent


with


those


of the playwrights


groups


one and


two while


going


beyond


many


of them


(Dennis' s


exceptions)


to suggest


important


critical


concepts


for understanding


the drama


of the Restoration.


The shortest


piece


of this


group


exposes,


but does


not develop,


important


critical


points.


Visits


from the


hades:


Dialogues


Serious,


Comical,


Political


(1704)


includes


as its


first


dialogue


a conversation


between Jo


Hains


s ghost


and Jeremy


are










dialogue


is that


stage


not responsible


for the vice


which


exists


in England:


If the Stage


People


was overturned,


wou'd not


as Vicious


question
as they


whether


are.


part
their


of the Kingdom


Proficiency


are Strangers


in Immorality


to the Theatre,


as large


a size


as the frequenters


Pravity woven


the Drama.


the Constitution


There


of Mankind,


is a


which


neither the
can expel.54


force


Religion


nor the Power


Precept


Here


the author


not only


counters


Collier's


assertion


that


stage


causes,


rather


than


reflects,


vice,


but he also


expresses


what


Fussell


has called


the Christian


humanists


belief


about


corrupt


nature


man.


Ironically,


as will


be shown


later,


Collier


seemed


to reject


the Christian


tenet


concerning


the flawed


nature


man,


while


this


defender makes


it clear


that


he is


very


much


aware


of man's


natural,


immoral


state.


More


important,


however,


is the expression


of confidence


in drama


as a way


to help


and improve man:


"Just


Plays


and good


Poets


are so far from


destructive


a public


Community,


that


they


hold


the Balance


of good


Manners


and dare


speak


when


the Pulpits


silent.


Another


earlier


response


to Collier


, The Stage


Acquitted


(1699),


makes


use of the dialogue


format


(between


Fairly


and Lovetruth)


focuses


on the roles


stage


and the pulpit


in providing moral


instruction.


The author


believes


that


"the


Stage


does


not


presume


stand


in Competition


with


the Pulpit,


in that


peculiar


and sacred


vantage


of teaching


the Mystery


of Faith,


but only


pretends


to be


a A-- I .3_ _


. ... r 1


are


-1 1


t- - ^ A


1


m


L 1~-


1


A_ _










attempt


same,


to teach


men


the medium is


the way


to salvation.


different,


and this


Though


the message may


difference


justifies


need


for the


stage:


We have


an English


Proverb


a sort


Antichristian


Forewarn'd
barbarity


to deny


poor


heedless


unguarded


youth


so timely


a warning.


but,


say you


the Pulpit


will


give


this


warning


much


better,


and with


less danger.


That


is evidently


false,


for first


the Pulpit


barely


tells


that


there


such


things,


and that


they


are to be avoided,


leaves


draws


so many


in the dark what
you the picture


they


t


Characteristic marks,


:o the
by s


are while


life,
hewing


gives
their


practice


and their


dece


its,


their


Hypocrisies,


gaudy
that


outs


that


one


is not instructed


must


to know


3 very
'em wh


blind
ere-eve


indeed,


are seen;


avoid


their


them without


the Stage exposing
r imposition; for


so perfect


a de


their


'tis


Tricks


impos


scription


teaches


sible


of their


escape
roguer


ies.


This


passage


emphasizes


just


how moral


instruction


is achieved:


drawing


the "picture


to the life


of man's


vices


and follies.


likening


the ends


of both


stage


and pulpit


this


critic


is careful


give


to the preacher


the "serious


hours


to inculcate


[Pulpit


Doctrines,

present "u


" while


useful


reserving


precepts


the "hours


and examples


of pleasure

in the midst


for the


our


poet


diversion.


Other


arguments


concerning


the appearance


of vice,


opinions


Church


fathers,


and poetic


justice


are presented


in this


rather


lengthy


response


to Collier


and will


be referred


to in later


chapters.


very


similar


critical


stance,


though


presented


a much


briefer


form,


is the


anonymous,


Letter


to A.


Esq.


Concerning


Stage


(1698).


Here


the author


also


points


out that


certain


types


, forearm'd;


the Stage


are









or "the


Pleasures


of it;


both


of them are


to be kept


within


bounds,


both


subservient


to Religion.


" For the good


of the individual


as well


as the


state


says


that


"some


public


Exercise"


necessary


regu-


late


men's


passions.


For him,


the theatre


fulfills


this


purpose:


are there


structe


to Love,


and Fear within


measure,


how we may


and all this
stubbornness


by mov
will


men


without


ing Examples,
force its [si


debasing


which


Impres


our Souls;


spite
sions;


our own Fault


if th


are not lastin


certainly must


recommend


the Stage


to the


Vertuous


and Piety
of Vice,


can't


offended


and the insinuating


at the decent r
recommendation


eprovin


Vertue.


This


critic


goes


beyond mere


statements


praise


or blame


an ex-


planation


of how


the play


to work


on the emotions


of the audience,


making


it quite


obvious


that


each member


of that


audience


a respon-


sibilit


exercise


his moral


judgment while


seeing


the play


apply


what


he has learned


once


he leaves


the playhouse.


belief


the importance


of examples


on stage,


which


not only


reflect


life


provide

plays,


useful


guidance


is apparent


in hi


for the lives

s understanding


of those who

g of tragedy


see and read

and comedy:


short,


'tis


the Property


both


of Tragedy


and Comed


to instruct


Characters


in both


are to be Natural;


and the Persons


concern' d


in the


whole Action,


are to be such


whose


Vertues


ought


to deter


us from


imitating


their


Example.


" In making


this


statement


he has already


made


it clear


that


tragedy


proves


"that


Vice


never


goes


unpunished;


and that


true


Happiness


does


not


chiefly


consist


in the Enjoyment


of this


World,


while


comedy


exposes


"the


Faults


of Particular


Men in order


to correct


the Faults


of the Publick


. thro'


a fear


of bein


0


expos 'd.


O










and understanding


of the audience,


perhaps


because


he was meted


such


a small


quantity


of these


qualities


himself.


Another


anonymous


defender


of the


stage


stresses


the impor-


tance


of the


exposure


of "the measures


and folly"


of vices,


for "had


they


never


been


expos 'd,


they


had still


been


your


[audience's]


Darling


Companions,


tho' all


Pulpits


in Town


thunder'd


never


so loudly


against


them.


For as the Divine Herbert


says,


verse


may find him who


a Sermon


flies


And Turn Delight


into


Sacrifice.


opportunity


for instruction


apart


from


the pulpit


was based


upon


the recognition


that men


had need


for diversion


and pleasure


involving


stimulation,


within


limits,


of their


emotions.


Thus,


critics


stated


that


plays


could


supplement


sermons


providing


instructive


diversions,


and they


provided


extended


critical


arguments


showing


how instruction


took


place.


This


vindicator,


for example,


explains


the usefulness


of tragedy:


Which


so manifest,


that


wonder


ques


tion


the Intentions


can express


considers


Human


how well


Life,


the charms


Profit,
a well


adapted


and D


wrought


it is to
light.


Scene


livel


Represented?


The Motions


of the Actor


Charm


our Souls
Spirits,
but pleas


and mixes


so that


[sic]


with


we are carry'd


ing violence


into


our very


very


Blood


an irresistle


Passion


we behold.


What


Heart


can forbear


relenting


see an unfortunate


son,


some


unhappy


mistakes


his Conduct,


fall


into


irreparable Misfortunes?


This strikes


into


our Breasts


, by


a tender


insinuation


steals


into


Souls, a
us ready


nd draws a
to assist


Pity


from


all that


us;
we me


so conse
et with


quently making
in a like


Condition:
Miserable,


it teaches


when
cause


us to Judge


we see a small


heavy


Error


Misfortunes


Charitably


ignorantly
: it teacher


committed,
s us at


same


time


Caution,


and Circumspection


in the Manage-


men t


our selves.


who that


sees


a Vitious


Person


- -nr


one


can


our


I


T1t < t


* 1 -


*. 1 I


1 1 iTT '










reproves.


some


Darling


culousness


can forbear


Folly


tickles


exposed?
him into


blushing,
And tho'


that


sees


its ridi-


a laughter,


thne same
Guilt.62


time,


he feels


a secret


shame


for the


In detailing


the learning


process


of the audience,


this


critic


both


establishes


poetic


intent


expresses


a confidence


(not


shared


Collier)


in the moral


judgment


of that


audience.


As the


writer


of Some


Remarks


upon Mr.


Collier


s Defence


of his Short View of the


English


Stage


(1698)


states


appears


Mr. Collier


a very mean


Opinion


the Capacity


of the Audience,


when


he conceives


all the Poets


Flights


will


so far affect


them as


to practice


same;


like


Quixote,


cou'd


not read


Romances,


but he must


turn


Knight-Errant


John


Oldmixon


takes


Collier


to task


a series


of dialogues


entitled


Reflections


on the Stage,


and Mr.


Collyer's


Defence


of the


Short View


(1699).


Though many


of Oldmixon's


arguments


concern


specific


plays,


language


and characters


on the


stage


and the


nature


of Collier


attack


(all


of which


will


be taken


later)


he bases


his critical


theory


of drama


on moral


grounds.


After


allowing


that


there


is need


reform of


stage,


argues


that


the best


dramatic


art must


moral:


"This


is certain,


no Poet


ever


err'd


against


Manners


or Religion,


twas


at the


expence


of his Art;


those


who know nothing


of it can't


help


erring,


for which


reason


they


are not to be endur


But the


Masters


of the Science


will


observe


precepts


which


them


confine,


never


to please,


but in order


to instruct.


Oldmixon


also


translates


Moliere' s


preface


to L'Imposture


to represent


own feelings


about


*


--










their


defects.


'Tis


a great


mortification


to Vice


to be expos'd


to the


laughter


of the world.


can easily


enough


bear with


reproof,


can't


endure


raillery


and most


men


rather


be thought


wicked


than


ridiculous.


A somewhat


broader


defense


is Edward


Filmer's


A Defence


Plays


(1707)


which


includes


suggestions


for reforming


stage.


Filmer


, like


most


of the defenders,


admits


to "many


great


Abuses"


of the


stage,


but unlike


the other


defenders,


he gives


credit


to Collier


as "a


Person


great


Parts


and good


Learning"


and also


readily


admits


some


disagreement


with


Dennis


and Congreve


about


importance


of plays.


In addition,


agrees


with


Collier


(and


thereby


disagrees


with


at least


two other


defenders


of the


stage


in his desire


to keep


"anything


that


is either


Sacred


in it self,


or by


Custom appropriated


to sacred


Uses


" off


the Stage.


even


with


these


"softened"'


attitudes


toward


Collier


comes


down


hard


on the violent


attacks


which


he feels


unwarranted


in light


of his belief


in the moral


value


of the pl


ays:


concern


see the Stage


so violently


assaulted


on the


one hand,


so strangely


deserted


on the other,


was


that


which


first


tempted


me to


engage


in the Defence


a Diversion,


which


always


thought


might


so managed,


as to be


not only


innocent


but useful.


" He


goes


on to


point


out that


his disagreement


with


other


defenders


of the


stage


limited


allowed,


, for he is still


and tha t


the Opinion,


a Christian


that


Commonwealth


Plays


too;


very well


as a Diversion not


only


innocent


but instructive,


such


a one indeed,


as may


rather


con-


are


1 ,66











throughout


for the


importance


of "Stage-Discipline"


(poetic


justice)


as an artistic


tool


of the


poet


and a characteristic


of the plays


readily


recognized


the audience.


Had Collier


understood


"Stage-


Discipline,


" he


might


have


found


that


contemporary


plays


fulfilled


the moral


intent


he himself


saw for drama


in A Short View


James


Drake


presents


perhaps


the best


defense


of the


stage


in The


Antient


Modern


Stages


(1699).


Here


not only


refutes


many


of Collier's


arguments


and much


of his evidence,


he lays


down


some


of the


most


important


critical


tenets


of Restoration


drama.


He is


very


conscious


of the play


as a work


art created


the play-


wright


to fulfill


specific


artistic


purposes


He is also


well


aware


of the emotional


and intellectual


effects


of the play


upon


an audience,


assuming


that


the audience


is capable


of reacting


emotionally


and in-


tellectually.


agrees


with


the other


defenders


of the


stage


about


the moral


purpose


of plays


sees


"modern"


drama


as far


more


successful


at accomplishing


that


purpose


than


ancient


drama.


says


that


Collier


gives


the World


a false


alarm,


and endeavours


to set


upon
that


those as Subverters


have with


in their


service,


abundance


and rack'd


of Religion


art and
their


and Morality,
pains labour'd


Inventions


Weave


into


most


popular


diversions


and make


even


Luxury


and Pleasure


servient


and instrumental


to the establish
confirmation of


hment


of Moral


Virtuous


- __ -


Principle s,
j. *


Kesou ions.


and the


In trying


to show


that


many


of the modern


playwrights


achieved


this


moral


end,


Drake


carefully


distinguishes


between


tragedy,


. 1).


Surveyed












the moral


"Parts"


a play:


The Parts
of the Pla


and the


therefore
y appear,


Discou


rse.


a Play,


in which


are the Fable, the
Of these the Fable


the Morals
Characters,


Tragedy


especially
principal


purg


examples


Usurpation,


is the


Instrument


laying


the mi
Pride,


most


considerable


by which
before


serable


Cruelty,


the Passions


the Eyes


Catastrophe


. and the


are weeded


Spectators


Tyranny,


and Ambition,


crown
punish


suffering


the unjust


Virtue


with


Oppressors


cess


and Reward,


of it with


or to


Ruine


Destruction.


a similar


manner


comedy


corrects


"Knaves,


Misers,


Sots


, Coquets,


Fops


Jilts


and Cullies


. by


rendring


'em unsuccessful


, and submit-


ting


them


in her Fable,


to the Practices


and Stratagems


of others


after


such


a manner,


as to


expose


both


Knavery,


Vanity,


and Affectation,


in the conclusion,


or winding


" Drake


feels


that


the audience


will


heap


their


"Scorn


and Derision"


upon


these


vain,


affected


fools


seeing


ridiculous


they


appear


on stage.


In this


comedy


"stops


the contagion,


prevents


imitation


more


effectually


than


even


Philosophy


herself


"Fable"


(plot


or \story)


important


Drake because

he calls "the


was,


or ever


it employs

highest, a

can be made


poetic


justice


nd the most

of the Dram


expresses


serviceable


the "Moral


improvement


effort


that


throughout


which


ever

this


work


to show


that


the moral


aspect


of plays


is of


Modern


Extraction"


and particularly


part


of the tradition


of English


Drama,


and therefore


strongly


attempts


evident


prove


in the plays


what


says


Collier


attacks.


discounting


He is persistent


Collier


in his


, citing











Thus,


it is apparent


that


writers


in all three


of these


groups


chose


to recognize


the moral


purpose of


the drama


as basic


cri-


tical


understanding


of it.


Upon


this


point


their


defenses


agreed


with


Collier


troversy.


and established


contemporary


But for the defenders


of the


grounds


stage,


for the critical


the best


con-


playwrights


the Restoration


period


wove


their


Christian


ethic


into


the fabric


their


capable


plays


, to be enjoyed,


of judging


the beauty,


evaluated,


lasting


and used


quality,


those


and utility


were


of the


material.


That


the defenders


and Collier


(along


with


other


attackers)


parted


ways


comes


as no surprise


when


Collier's


arguments


and inter-


pretations


are examined


views


provided


ample


opportunity


for sharp


critical


reactions


which


should


further


our understanding


of those


"smutty"


Restoration


plays.














NOTES


therefore,


1Rather
perhaps


ironically,


less


there


interest


seems


to be


the moral


an acceptance


nature


of (and,


of tragedy.


However,


Eric


Rothstein's


recent


ideas


about


poetic


justice


in his book,


Restoration


Tragedy:


Form and


Process


of Change


(Madison:


University of Wisconsin Press,
of the moral perspective which


1967),
modern


exemplify
critics s


a rather


confusing view


ee in tragedy.


discussion


vances


see Aubrey


of Providence,
546-547.


Williams'


article,


and the Works


"Poetical


of William


Justi


Congreve,


the Contri-


ELH,


35(1968),


George


Farquhar


(New


York:


Twayne Publishers,


Inc.


, 1967),


Russell,


3The
Inc. ,


Comedy of
1962), p.


Manners


(1931;


rpt.


York:


Russell


282.


Wyche
1959)


The First
and Congrea


. 3-4


Modern


ve (


Holland


Comedies:


Cambridge,


also


cites


Mass.
modern


Signific
Harvard
critics


ance of Et
University


in his


her


Press


esti-


nation,


regard


Restoration


comedy


as amoral


259n.)


Malcolm Elwin,


Playgoer's


Handbook


to Restoration


Drama;


Henry


Adams


and B


axter


Hathaway,


"High


Dramatic


Comedy


in Terms


says


of the


Neoclassic


of Restoration


Practice,


Bartholow


11


8(1929)


V. Crawford,
: and Willard


Smith, Th
The Ethos


1971
Lamb


), p 4,
through


.e Nature


Comedy.


of Restoration


that
John


"the


Ross


Comedy


amoral


Palmer


(Urbana:


line


S. to Kathl


Schneider,


University


criticism


een


Lynch


runs


(The


says


of I
from


Social


in hi


llinois


book
Press


[Charles]


Mode


Restoration


Comedy,


York,


1926).


5Wycherley s


Satire
makes


(New
the s


Haven:


ame


kind


Yal
of


Drama: A Link in the
.e University Press, 1i


separation


between


,"'1


Development


965),
morals


English


1. L. C. Knights
and literary


criticism


in "Restoration


Comedy:


Reality


and the


Myth,


" Explor-


nations


Criti


(London,


cism,


1946


ed. John


); rpt
Loftis


in Restoration


(New


York:


Drama:


Oxford


Modern


University


Pres


ays in
s, 1966)


6Comedy


Conscience


, after the


Restoration


(1924;


rpt.


York:


Russell


& Russell,


1967)


Also


see p.


From Puritanism


RPl i i ntmi


Thoniht


within


tI l I


to the Age of Reason:
P Church of Enaland 1


A Study of
660 to 1700


Changes


I


,ondon:


Age;


I











9
Fussell,


pp. 11,


10Edward Arber


Number


vii.


for
Arber


Easter


says


Term,
that,


, The Term C
1711 A.D.,
based on the


atalogues,
III (London
writings,


1668-1709 A.D. with a
: Edward Arber, 1906),


the "Age


was


eminently


sober


one.


with much


The general
philosophical


11Irne


Tillotson,


Simon,


ecte


tone


of its books


Enquiry,

Three Re


ermons


and deep


-storation


(Paris:


was deeply


research

Divines:


Socidt6


religious;


into


Barr


Edition


mingled


Nature.


ow, South,
Les Belles


Lettres,


" 1967),


Arber,


III,


vii.


13Cragg,


From Puritanism


to the


Reason,


14Williams,


William


servation
Congreve


"Poetical
connection


demonstrate


Justice,


with


" 544.


argument


providential


Professor


that


Williams


makes


the works


order in human


event


that


is fully


analogous


to the greater world


of providential


order


insisted


upon
upon


not


only


contemporary


contemporary


literary


Anglican
critics


theologians


but also


as a fundamental


insisted


dramatic


principle.


Zimbardo,


been


press


ented


recently


An equally
Virginia Od


inaccurate


Bird


sall,


view


in


of morality
Wild Civilit


The En
Univer
heroes


do with


lish


sity
(and


Comic
Press,
heroin


Spirit
1970) ,


conventional


on the
p. 8.


"create
morals .


Restoration
She maintain


their


Stage
s that


own morality


Confronted


(Bloomington:
Restoration


which


with


Indiana
comic


has little


a world


which


lacks


sense


of cosmic


has committed


they make
orthodox


the authors


ment


with


itself


their


literary


orderlines
to civil


spirit


and abstract


zed forms


prevail.


and Chri


themselves
e Christian


stian


moral


largely


certainty


derivative


see a "new morality"


tradition


see as orthodox


world


-view negl


being


espoused


and which


and hollow,
outside


plays


an age fundamentally


ects


much


contemporary


which
agree-


evidence


and requires,


think,


creative


readings


the plays.


chneider,


viii.


Prof


essor


Schneider


points


out that


view
been
subj


Restoration


difficult


comedy


to fit "into


as repres


tentative


the existing


the Chri


structures


stian


ideas


ethic
on the


17palmer


18Schneider,


pp. 4-12.


, V,











20Palmer,

211bid.,


282.


288-289


291.


22A Short View of the
Together with a Sense of


Immorality
Antiquity


Profaneness


upon this


Argume


of the Engl
;nt (London,


Stage,
1698),


23The Campai
Works of John Dennis,
Hopkins University Pr
DD. 4-5.


gners
ed.
ess,


(London,


Edward
1939),


1698),


preface,


Hooker,


A Defence


Critical


(Baltimore:


of Plays


Johns


(London,


1707)


Jeremy


Heldt,


Collier


Chronological and


s Angri


Criti


ff auf de
cal Review


english


BUhne,


cited


the Appreciation


Condemnation


of the


Comic


Dramatists


of the Re


storation


and Oran


Periods


" Neophilologus


(1923),


(New


Haven


5The
: Ya


Critical


Univer


Works of
sity Pres


Thomas Rymer,
s, 1956), p.


Curt


Zimansky


6The


York:


Jeremy


Benj amin


Collier


Blom,


Stage


1966)


Controversy
296-297.


1698-1726


(1937


rpt.


criti


to Peter
preface


genia" (1
1700). D
and later
(London,


7Though
zes his


Motteux"
to Fables


1-41)


Dryden
attack


fixed


cient


not write


in each


a complete


of the following


to Beauty
nd Modern


in Fabl


'Urfey responded


in the
1709).


prologue
Congreve


in Distr
(London,


epilogue


in a rather
and epilogue


responded


long


wit


*ess


response
: "Poeti
(London,


1700),
to The


preface


to The
h his


"Cymon
Pilgrim


to The


Old Mode
Amendment s


to Colli


cal Epistle
1698), the


and Iphi-
(London,


Campaigners


and the New
of Mr. Collier's


False and


Imperfect


Citations


(London,


1698),


and Vanbrugh


answered


with


from


his A Short
Immorality


Vindication


Profaneness


"The


Rela


(London,


pse" and
1698).


"The


Provok


Wife,


28Peter


Motteux


responded


including


Father


Caffaro's


letter,


Dryden's
Himself,'
Distress.


"Poetical


and a criti
Charles Gi


Epistle,


own


cal prologue


Idon


defended


poem,


"The Poet's


and epilogue with


stage


in the


Chara
play


cter


Beauty


eface to Phaeton


(London, 1698)
dedicatory epi
of His Mail (L
The Usefulness


, The
style
ondon


Stage-B
to The P
, 1719).


of the Stage


eaux


'atriot (Londo


Dennis
(London,


in a Blanket
n, 1703), an


took


part


1698)


in the
Person


(London,


d The


1704),


Post-Man


Robb


controversy with


Quality's


Answer


to Mr.
Italian


Collier's


Letter


(London,


(London,
1706), a


1704),


An Essay


md The Stage


Defe


on the Operah
nded (London,


After
1726).


I *


a


ish


Manner


T:l 1 _


n-


1 1 'I *


^ r"


/"


II*


t


I


#--












1700).


Colley


Gibber


defended


stage


in the dedicatory


epistle


Love Makes a N


Love Makes apology
and An Apology


also


1718). Ge
of Venice
Adventures


(London,
Thomas


have
George


(London,


1700) ,


for the Life of Mr.
had Collier in mind
Granville sunoorted


(London,
of Coven


1702),


Brown


1701).
t Garden


L*
George F
(London


and the preface


struck


at Collier


the prologue


Colley


in
t

n


to Xerxes


Gibber


I his play


stage


ge Farquhar
ndon, 1698),
to The Twin
in Letters f


(London,


London,
1740);


Non-Juror


in the epilogue


defended


A Discourse
Rivals


from


stage
Upon


(London,


the Dead


1699),
he


(London,
to The Jew
in The
Comedy


1702).


to the


Living


(London,
Baker r


1702)


responded


and A Legacy
in the de


for the


dedicatory


Ladies


epistle


(London,


1706).


to An Act at


Thomas


Oxford


(London,


1704)


9The


A. H.
Stage
1698)


English


from the
addition,


1699);


(London,
of Plays


Esq.; C
(London,


Some


anonymous


Concerning


1698),


Remarks


Stage (
Shades


John


James


London,


the
The


defenses


of the


Stage (London,
Immorality of


Upon Mr.
1698),


(London,
Oldmixon


Drake


1699); a
(London,


Collier's


1704),


stage i
1698),


f the E
Defence


The Stage Ac
and Concio


responded


answered


nd Edward


in The
Filmer


include:


Vindication


Pulpit


English


Acquitted


Laici


in Reflection


Antient


tried


Letter to
ion of the
(London,


of His Short View of the
(London, 1699), Visits


(London,


s on the
Modern S


to correct


1704.


Stage (London,
tages Survey'd


Collier


in A


Defence


1707).


30"A Short


View


of Jeremy


Collier,


English,


7(1949)


31Congreve,


in his Amendments


of Mr.


Collier


s False and


Imper-


fect Citations,
Summers (London:


in The
The


Complete
Nonesuch


Works of Wi
Press, 1923),


William


III,


Congreve,


171,


says


ed. Montague


that


he has


Intention


Collier's


to examine


Book.


D'Urfey


all the Absurdities


spends


nearly


half


and Falsehoods
of his defense


in Mr.
in the


Campaigners


preface to The Camp
in his Vindication,


in The


discussing
Complete W


his play,


Works


Don Quixote.


of Sir John


Vanbrugh,


lanbrugh,
eds.


Bonamy


Dobr6e


and Geoffrey


Webb


(Bloomsbury:


The Nonesuch


1927),


195-196


feels


that


personal


morals


are in


question


and limits


his defense


defense


while


to those


saying


attacks
he will


on his plays.


not in his


And Dryden,


preface


to Fables,


who makes


in Dryden's


Dramatic
M. Dent


Poesy and other Critical
:Sons, Ltd., 1962), II,


Essays,


293,


says


ed. Geor


"Yet


Watson


were


(London:


not difficult


prove


that


many


places


and interpreted my words
not guilty."


into


he has


perverted


blasphemy


my meaning


and bawdry


an ing by
of which


losses,


were


32Dryden,


the "religious


though


lawyer"


answers


in his poetic


Collier
epistle


only


briefly,


to Motteux


criti


and then


cizes


defends


the moral


purpose


tragedy:











Tragedy"


(1679),


in E


says,


245-246,


and his preface


to Tyrannic


Love


(1670),


in Essays,


I. 138-139.


33Works,

34Essays


an accurate


III,


view


173.


146-147 &
Dryden's


His definition


151-152.


moral


continues


Also


intention


on 174.


important
in comedy


in arriving


is "The


Author's


Apology


for Heroic


Poetry


and Poetic


Licence,


in Essays,


199.


35Comedy

Essays

37Works,


Conscience,


, 152.


195.


3The


Campaigners,


preface,


39Though many


critics


have


identified


this


play


as Thomas


Brown's,
entation


Literature
Research,


James


copy


Fullerton Arnott


which


1559-1900


proves


Gildon


and John


to be


A Bibliography


William Robinson


the author.


(London:


cite


English


The Society


a pres-


Theatrical
for Theatre


1970),


example


is Farquhar's


The Adventures


Covent-Garden,


in Works,
the Stage"


207,


and mentions


refers


Collier,


to the "Battle


Vanbrugh,


between


Congreve,


the Church


Settle,


Dryden,


and Wycherley.


Dennis


Quality's
the zeal


Answer


Criti


to Mr.


and the danger


cal Works,
Collier's


of Collier


better


. Here,
(1704),


in The
Dennis


Person
attacks


of
both


s methods.


42Phaeton,

43Beauty i

4Works, I


preface.


Distress,


343.


45A Farther

46A Defence,


Defence


, p.


71-72.


Ibid.,


48Critical


Works,


153.


40An












51John
Houghton Mifflin
of Drama in the
pp. 238-239.


Harold Wils
Company, 1
Restoration


on, A
965),


Preface


p.


Period


Restoratio


Also,


(Bombay:


Sarup


Orient


n Drama
Singh,


Longmans,


(Boston:


The
196


Theory


52Oldmixon


(1700)


[this


was


wrote


an opera],


Amintas


(169


the first


8), The Grove or,
act of The Novelty


Love


s Paradice


(1697)


which


was entitled
Filmer wrote


called
Drake


The
wrote


U


the perform


Thyrsis:
The Unnat
unfortunate


A Pastoral,


ural


Brother


Couple


The Sham Lawyer;
since information


and The
(1697)


and used


or,
in Th


Governor


which


(1703).


Motteux


as the fourth


The Lucky
ie London I


Extravagan


Stage,


none


Cyprus
adapt


act of The
t (1697).


these


and
Novelty.


From
plays


could


be considered


successful.


53Evidence


controversy


for this


as an anonymo


view may
us critic


include
feeling


Settle's


that


attempt


positi


to enter
on as a


maj or


playwright


would


make


his defenses


look


less


ective


to the


reader.


54pp.


2-3.


55Fussell,


70ff.


6Visits,


57p.
p.


8Ibid.


, pp.


76-77


86-87.


18 &


60Ibid. ,
Ibid.,


Vindication


of the


Stage


(London,


1698)


62Ibid.,


25-26.


63p
p.


100 &


165.


write


like


Ibid.,
a good


167.


man


Oldmi


xon


because


also


says


"that


to instruct


a goo


as well


Poet


must


as please"


66Ibid., pp


139-140.


. 15.


I


C


64pp.











69Filmer,

70Ibid.,


preface


(The


entire


preface


is in italics,


which


have


removed


in my


quotations,)


71pp.


their
Poet


attempts


can't


offendin


117-118.


Drake


to follow nature


trespass
against t


against
e Laws


compares


points


Laws


poet


out,


Morality


and the painter


in part,
in this


that


nature,


"a Comick


without


own Art.


'mIbid.,

73Ibid.,

74Ibid.,


120 &

123 &


224.

122.


229-230.
















CHAPTER


ARTISTRY


JUDGMENT


TEACHING VIRTUE


BY EXPOSING


VICE


For Collier,


as for others,


the theatres


were


veritable


Syna-


gogues


of Satan,


to be entered


Christians


only


at the


greatest


risk


to their


souls.


Who would


dare


attend


these


gathering


places


of vice,


where


appearance,


language,


and actions


the characters,


not to


mention


the themes


enticing


them


the plays,


toward


were


sin and turning


intended


them away


to imperil


from


men's


God?


souls


What


danger


a playhouse


afforded:


a Place


seriousness


where


Impertinen


Thinking
t. Here


out of


our Reason


Doors,
is apt


surpri


our Caution


disarmed;


Here


Vice


stands


upon


Pres


cription,


and Lewdness


claims


Priv-


to Solicit.


Nay,


very


Parad


the Gaity,


and Pleasure


the Company,


not without


its dan


ger:


These
lively


Circumstances


Action,


height


and airy


Musick


with


Luscious


are very


Dialogue,


likely


to make


an unserviceable


Impression.


we sit in the


Seat
sion,
leave


of the


Scornfull,


Providence
us to the


and make


sure


we may


Government


Wikedness


will


of another


our Diver-


withdraw, a
Influence.


Collier's


Platonic


fear


that man


will


be "disarm'd"


and debauched


the playhouse


comes


partly


from not


knowing man


least


as the Chris-


tian


humanists


knew


him)


and partly


from not


understanding


the pl


ays.


He does


not


even


allow


the audience


same


ability


he feels


he has:


see,


to judge,


and to reject


the "evil"


stage.


reason,


probably,


is that


the audience was


not rejecting


stage


, for while


they


saw












From


these


critics


who could


judge


the plays,


a theory


drama


begins


emerge


in their


responses


to Collier's


attitudes


about


presentation


of characters


on stage.


These


responses


show


that


Collier's


thoughts


about


characterizations


as well


as his corollary


dis-


cus sons

religious


about


of the nature

aberrations w


Restoration


drama


of man


which


and Christian


have,


for nearly


morality


unfortunately,


three


are


dominated


centuries.


literary


much


Collier's


thinking

opinions


triggered


similar


and at times


even more


unorthodox views


of the


stage


from


pens


of journalist


George


Ridpath


and clergymen


Arthur


Bedford


and William Law


during


own


time.


influence


later


affected


critics


like


Samuel


Johnson


and Thomas


Macaulay


in their


reactions


Restoration


drama.


3 More


recently


critics


have


accepted


Collier's


label


of the plays


as immoral,


but have


either


tried


to justify


the immorality


(usually


as reflective


consideration

to Collier, a


of the times)


in understanding


11 of these reactions


or to dismiss


or evaluating


fail


as an unimportant


the plays.


to recognize


By yielding


the proper moral


purpose


observations


success


of the drama.


of character


(especially


Hopefully,


as related


examining

to immoral


Collier


or profane


language

nesses o

moral in


or actions)


f Collier'

tensions,


in light

dramatic


of the best


of his

theory


contemporary


critics,


and the strengths,


Restoration


playwrights


the weak-


including


will


be obvious.


In setting


out to


prove


that


"nothing


gone


farther


Debauching


the Age


than


the Stage-Poets,


and the Play-House,


" Collier












of Debauchery.


" Most


of his specific


examples


here


are women


forced


to "speak


Smuttily"


poets,


and thus


exhibit


the immodesty


which


he finds


so offensive.


Throughout


Short


View


he badgers


female


characters


and members


the audience,


as well


as actresses,


exhibiting


that


"Modesty"


which


says


"is the distinguishin


Virtue


of that


Sex,


serves


both


for Ornament


and Defence:


Mode


sty was


designed


Providence


as a Guard


to Virtue.


goes


on to call


desty


natural,


"wrought


into


the Mechanism of


the Body


as a kind


"Intuitive


knowledge,


" which


responds


to indecency


sudden


Instinct


and Aversion.


" To this


comment


Edward


Filmer


later


responded:


ever


looked


upon


great


Modesty


of the generality


our Women,


to have


been


the happy


Effect


rather


a pious,


careful,


wary


Education,


than


any thing


in the Contexture


of their


Bodies.


But Collier


observation


that


modesty


an instinctive


"Mechanism"


which


guards


natural


virtue


the danger


of the


women

stage.


is consistent

Ironically,


with hi

though,


.s view


his


of man's


view


nature


women


certain-


shows


no dependence on


the anti-feminist


attitudes


many


of the


Church


Fathers


are such


valuable


authorities


for him


later


in A


Short


View.


They


course,


saw women


as descendants


of Eve,


con-


sequently


closely


linked


to Satan


(through


deceit


and lust)


as instru-


mental


man's


fall.


But for Collier


the Fathers'


emphasis


on original


sin could


only weaken


position


that


women


are corrupted


theatre.


.1 1


C


1


- -r-


are


mo-


ml


m


t--


I*












women;


he is opposed


criticism


of people


of "Quality"


or men


the clergy.


In each


case


he is unable


see that


a playwright


only


be striking


at the


women


, people


of rank,


and clergymen who


foolish


or wicked.


His logic


leads


to conclude


that


stage


poets


"bring


Women


under


such


Misbehavior"


as to do "Violence


to their


Native Modesty"


and misrepresent


their


sex,


"give


Title


and Figure


Ill Manners


" and "attack


Religion


under


every


Form,


pursue


Priesthood


through


all the Subdivisions


of Opinion.


For Collier,


members


of the female


sex are disparaged


when


one of them


speaks


upon


stage.


Likewise,


a playwright


need


only


represent


one Lord


Foppington


for him


see the


entire


class


of noblemen


ridi-


culed


as fools.


As for the clergy


says


that


the playwrights


attack


not only


every


clergyman


every


religion,


but religion


and,


ultimately,


God himself.


Indeed,


this


eneralizing


of poetic


intent


part


of his


apparent


plan


win


a broad


following,


as the


next


chapter


will


attempt


to show.


grouping


those


sees


attacked \in


plays,


he hopes


arouse


a boycott


stage,


as well


as active


voices


to help


close


down


the theatres.


But when


he shows


these


groups


are abused,


does


not merely


focus


on the ill


manners


or immodesty


with


which


they


are represented.


Knowing


the value


his readers


place


upon


religion,


tries


to show


poets


go beyond


indecency


to immorality


pro-


fanity


in their


presentation


of characters.


Thus,


argues


they


bring


evil


on the


stage


for imitation


in order


to abuse


those


beliefs which


are


"Smuttily"












agreeing with


Collier


about


the value


(though


not


the inherence)


modesty


a woman:


For my


part


am wholly


of his


mind;


think


almost t


as valuable


a Woman


as in


a Clergyman


and had I


the ruling


of the Roast,


one should


neither


have


a Husband,


nor the


other


Benefice


without


But the "Relapser"1


goes


on to


that


Collier


fails


to explain Miss


Hoyden's


immodesty


in The


Relapse or


the reference


in The


Provok


Wife


which


seems


to discountenancee


Modesty


in Woman.


quotes


the questionable


passage


from


Provok


Wife--an


inter-


change


between Bellinda


and Lady


Brute


labelling women's


modesty


as af-


fectation


and seemingly


undesirable--in


an attempt


to clarify


position


and what


he felt


the audience's


reaction


would


After


pointing


out that


neither


of these


women


are over


Virtuous,


" and


there-


fore


less


modest


than


an ideal,


he shows


even


they


recognize


convey


to the audience


But lest


ideals


some


this


to be
part


in the

[that


imitated]


same


scenes


Bellinda


showed


of the Audience,


the value


and Lady
possibly


less


Brut


of modesty:

e are not


be mistaken


apprehensive


Right


and Wrong


at the same


their
'twas


Modesty,


than


Instant,


they


impossible


thing more


likely


That


lose


to put t
to make


rest,
(with
their


they


are put


the Men)
Charms:


Ladies


in mind


if th


ey quit
thought


in mind


em preserve


Again,


however,


Vanbrugh


(unlike


Collier)


assumes


that


the audience


will


be able


to understand


and judge


characters


for the ideas


which


they


present.


Similarly,


Congreve


defends


his portrayals


of Belinda


in The


Bachelor


and Miss


Prue


-a-..


Love for Love


effective


in showing


own


b- &^


Vj _J- %


UJ












the Impudence


one,


or the Affectation of


the other;


and whether


they


are not


both


ridiculed


rather


than


recommended.


Quite


obviously


feels


the audience


is capable


of understanding his


moral


intentions


even


though


Collier


sees


here


only


models


for immodesty


after which


women


of the audience will


pattern


their


behavior.


Of those


playwrights


directly


attacked


in A Short View,


Dennis


presents


Person


an excellent


Quality'


Answer


discussion


to Mr.


of women


Collier's


in his satiric


Letter,


letter,


Being


Disswasive


from the


Play-House


(1704).


In this


work


the "Person


daughter


calls


the theatre


the most


innocent


and valuable


diversion


which


town


affords


the ladies:


True,
which
think


Sir,


there


could


the Virtue


are


Passages


heartily wish


in some


were


out.


of the Ladies,


f our Plays,
But does he


frequent


Houses,


is so very weak,


as to be o'erthrown


Lusciousn


ess,


Entendres?


find


as he calls


What,


on the Stage,


have


a Scribler's


so many


great


so many noble


Examples
generous


Double
as we
Senti-


ments,
these


so accompli
no manner of


sh'd


Patterns


Power


rouze


Virtue;


have


, to strengthen


inflame


our Virtue?


happen


to find


themselves


infirm,


as this


worthy


S. let them,


our Theatres.


But I


Reformer
in God's


find


appears


Name,


no such


own that


keep


scandalous


ay from
Weakness


about


me.


can despise


a Fool


thinks


to entertain


me with


sordid


playing


on Words;


but at the


same


time


can be entertained


with


Wit and good


Sense,


more wit
be both


the Inno


pleas 'd


cence


and mov'd


of true writ


with


Humour;


the excellent


and I
Scenes


an Instructive


Tragedy:


Does


this


judicious


Person


really


believe,


that


the Conversations


which


we find


the World


are Virtue


and Purity


all?


The Food


of the


Mind,


like


that


of the Body,


not all of it fit for


Quality's"


can


_


__


--w











take
same


their


time


his noble


a Protestant


can secure


leaves
I would
Patrons


Nunnery


them.


of the Play-House.


advise


Collier


of the Reforming


for them,


For th


Club


But at the


rsuade


to erect


less


so strain


for nothing
are found


ly wea
can th


as to be warm'd


ever


stand


a meer


against


the real


painted


Flame


Fire
s of


how
Love?12


Here,


Dennis


clearly


defends


the women


attend


ays by


questioning


Collier


s limited


view


of how people


learn.


defense


not only


jects


Collier's


attitude


toward


women


in the audience


suggests


everyone


in the audience


can be moved


and instructed


rather


than


cor-


rupted


a play.


Responses


from


those writers


were


not primarily


playwrights


also


attacked


Collier's


attitudes


toward


women.


anonymous


author


Acquitted


(1699)


defends


the speech


and actions


women


stage:


"The Manners


our Stage


follows


the Manners


our Country,


no more


Immodest


in making


Women


talk


of Love


there,


than


are really


guilty


of Immodesty


in those


discourses


in Conversation.


Like


Vanbrugh's,


this


defense


is meant


to emphasize


the playwrights'


use


of the


women


stage


stage


in England,


becomes


as a mirror;


this


instructive


seeing


critic

through


is able


use


women


on stage


on and explain


of characters


as examples


how the


"Folly and


Falsehood"


are presented


to the audience,


not in bare


plain


the Sta


terms


and visible


when


which


ress,


you meet


wan t


a comment,


that


them


know


every day


in so


them


your


Conver


station,


inclinations


or in your
or practice;


Negotiations,


so that


after


in your


own


the Spectator


has been


shown


the lively


draught


of Folly


4 -. 4 4I 4


re-


and '


or Hearer


Stage


* *













degrade


the female


sex.


Such


characters


are there


to entertain


instruct


revelation


of all


too human


weakness


and folly.


James


Drake


also


discounts


Collier's


attack


on the playwrights


for allowing


their women


to act and speak


immodestly


on stage.


Collier


used


Rapin's


observation


that modesty


is the character


women


order


Drake


women


to emphasize


shows


what


Collier


on stage


using


monstrous


s reasoning


a statement


creatures


distorts


the playwrights


the effect


from Aristotle


similar


had created.


of immodest


to Rapin' s :


Aristotle


given


Characteristick


Courage


or Mark


or Valour


of distinction


as the
proper


the other


[men]


which


was a notion


so Antient,


and so universally


received,


that


most


Nations


have


given i
to it.
Manners
Cowards


a denomination


'tis


to represent


nor


from


the Sex,


no Solecism


sometimes


man


ever


as if peculiar


in Poetical


upon


think


the S
whole


tage


affronted


y it;


how near


soever


it might


touch


some


Individuals.


If the Poets


these


Women


of Liberty


the Representatives


to make


them Standards


their whole
to measure


Sex,


all the


or pretended


rest


the Sex wou'd


have


just


reason


to complain


abusive


a Misrepresentation.


'tis


just


contrary,
Vices of


the Sex has no Interest


any Individual,


either


in the Virtues


on the Stage,


or off


of it;


they


reflect


no honour


or disgrace


on the


Collective
Breeding o
Manners of


more


Body,


the Court


Billingsgate,


than


affect


the Neatness


the Nastiness


or are affected


and good
and ill
,~- 15


As Drake


argues,


the immodest


women


on stage


not represent


women


are not to be imitated;


rather,


they


are to be judged


as inferior


to those


standards


of decorum and


morality which


they


set off by


con-


1 a .9 1< r. 1


S11


'I .4


1


~












More


generally


concerned


with


people


of rank


than


with


women,


Collier


thought


that


the playwrights


should


"lash


the Vice


without


pointing


upon


the Quality,


" because


representing


them


as flawed


showed


a lack


proper


social


respect


was dangerous,


for the audience


would


then


imitate


the flaws.


Among


those


who took


issue


with


Collier's


comments


on the language


used


characters


, Vanbrugh


indi-


cates


that


Collier's


attack


on swearing


in his plays


is found


upon


philo


sophy


quite


different


from his


own,


Vanbrugh


is less concerned


with


"whether


such


Words


are entirely


justifiable


or not,


because


is sure


"That


People


of the Nicest


Rank


both


in their


Reli


ion and their


Manners


throughout


Christendom


use


Obviously,


the "Nicest


Rank"


does


not protect


individuals


from


the faults


of all


men.


Those who


thought


rank


could


remove


or mask


sin needed


to be reminded


that


their


fellow


Christians


scrutinized


speech


and actions


as well


as appearance


before


passing judgment.


Because


the audience


was largely


made


women


high


social


position


those wealthy


enough


to think


they


were)


the instructive


value


here


seems


clear:


the people


"quality"


must


not only


possess


social


rank


to be favorably


regarded;


they must


also


exhibit


those


qualities


which


befit


their


rank.


How-


ever,


as Congreve


suggests


Collier wishes


to protect


"Persons


Quality"


allowing neither


"their


Follies


nor their


Vices


to be


on stage.


Collier


s opinion


was


that


if people


of rank


appeared


foolish


or wicked,


the audience,


taking


them


as examples


men


ex-











further


expose


the vice


and lower


the audience's


opinion


of the vicious


characters


no matter what


their


rank.


As he replies


to Collier,


"When


Vice


shall


be allowed


as an Indication


of Quality


and good


Breeding,


then


also


in Quality:


pass


But till


a piece


then,


of good


humbly


Breeding


conceive,


to complement


that


expose


Vice


and ridi-


cule


will


altogether


do as well


For Congreve,


"Quality"


could


not hide


vice,


but through


exposure


on the


stage,


vice might


be turned


to virtue.


Speaking


for the playwrights,


John


Dennis


elaborates


upon


motives


for bringing


the nobility


upon


stage


for criticism:


a Lord


capable


of committing


Extravagancies


as well


as another


Man,


should


Collier


endeavour


to persuade


that


he is above


should


he would
he grows
tastick,
oblig'd


For since


hinder


imp ly,


that


extravagant,


from


bein


a Commoner may


but that


is altogether


to Mr. Collier


when


reclaimed?
be correct


a Lord


incorrigible.


any more


the bare Advantage


than
their


the Peer


rows


Unless


when
fan-


are we
s are.


Condition


makes


some


them


already


grow


almost


insupportable,


should


one endeavour


to add to their


Vanity


, by


exempting


them from


common


sure


Besid


Follies
most co


of the
nspicuo


since
Great
us and


Follies
are the
most co


to


fittest
ntagious


be exposed, t
, as being the


our Comick


resp
very


Poets


our Nobility more


well that


their


Titles


I dare
than th


illu


engage
ey do:


state


that
They


their


no Men
know


Merit,


and adorn


their


are such whose


Virtue;
Follies


but that
and whose


those whom


Vices render


they


expose,


their


Titl
more


ridiculous:


than


as well


falls


rest


as Vi


not


upon


And yet


of the


is pers


that


King


onal,


the Order of


they


expose


s Subjects.


and the
n out of


Satyr
which


them no


For Folly,
of Comedy
h the


1 -


* 1 Irfl


1


-1 1 n











For as the


greatest


and best


part


our Audience


are Quality,


we would make


our Comedies


Ins truc-


tive
Vices


in the exposing


at Wapping


of Vice,


to mend


we must


the Faults


not lash


at Westminster.


And as the


Instructive


Design


the Play must


look


as well


to the Cautioning


Virtue


from


ensnaring


Vice


Conv


it sel


a Person


ersation of V
f. Thus the
t and Honour,


rice,
Court


as [to] th
Libertine


and have
2 ve


all the


e lashing
must be


accom-


plishments


a Fine Gentleman.


many


of Collier's


opponents


suggest,


seems


odd that


a priest


would


defend


the privilege


of rank,


for as a Christian


leader,


he should


sume


men


capable


of sinful


actions


and speech.


Remarks


that


from


Collier misreads


critics


the effect


anonymous


a vicious


writers


or foolish


generally

character


agree

of rank


will


have


on an audience.


The author


of A Letter


H. Esq


. (1698),


for example,


tries


to show


that


the audience


is not swept


a feeling


that


"every


foolish Peer who


is brought


on the Stage"


mus t


seen


Reflection


of all


the Men of Condition":


'Tis
Vice


absurd


to make


in a particular


no distinction;


Man,


cou'd


as if


not be


a particular


expos


without


a designed


Reflection


on all who belong


to him.


ought


to touch


no bod


but whom


concerns;


and it


has its end,


it reclaims


where


was d


esign'd


prevents o
the Design


others,


of Comedy


shewing
23


the Dan


ger:


And this is


Thus,


far from serving


as model


representations


a class,


the Lord


Foppingtons


and Lady


Wishforts


were


seen


as disgusting,


and therefore


structive,


characters


Collier


s opponents.


Their mistakes


on stage


could


forewarn


those


susceptible


to similar


faults


while


showing others


1.'-


as-












seems


so sharp


it is difficult


to imagine


how Collier might


have


answered


effectively.


He begins


saying


that


Birth


or any


other


Chance


should make


a Lord


a Fool"


the other nobles


should


feel


guilty


or abused


unless


poets


"presume


to make


such


a one the


Representative


of his Order,


propose


him as


a common


Standard.


Drake


also


suggests


that


it would


be wrong


and dangerous


to "character-


too nearly


and particularly


of those


Noble


Persons.


But while
Persons,
pressing


singling
of what


self


Poet


and copies


upon


contents
closely


her in her


out Individuals


Quality


hims


after


private
from th


or Employment


elf with


Nature,
recesses


eign'd
without
and


herd,


soever,


in the representation,


fancies
let him


him-
spoil


the Picture


to be


by mending


blam'd


for the


the Original.
Resemblance.


For he only
If Men of


Honour
Virtues


a pretty


and Abilities


upon


sure


and Reverence


their
sign
that


cou'd


entail


Posterity,
of Personal


was


paid


their


then


Worth,


to the


Wisdom


a Title


wou'd


and the Respect


Founders


honourable


the heir


Families
one shou


ought


to follow


heir


the E


t'other


state
24


Collier was


incensed


that


a member


of the clergy


even


appears


on the stage,


especially


as a satirical


butt.


He devotes


an entire


chapter


of A Short View


an examination


of the abuses


of the clergy


on the


stage


, throughout


suggesting


that


the intention


and effect


showing


evil


or foolish men


of the cloth


to undermine


religion.


feels


that


"the


Holy


Function


the clergy]


is much


too Solemn


to be


play' d


with.


Christianity


is for


no Fooling,


neither


Place,


Occasion


nor


the Actors


are fit for such


a Representation.


To bring


Church


into


the Play-House.


is the


W y


to brine


the Play-House


into


, and


.. ,~


concerned













and Design.


" As he


sees


the playwrights'


"Aim


to destroy


Reli-


gion,


their


preaching


is against


Sermons.


response


Vanbrugh


cognizes


the "Holy


Function"


granting


that


the "Institution


of the


Clergy"


is "Both


in the Intention


and Capacity


most


effectual"


promoting


purpose


"the Practice


representing


of all Moral


the cler


Virtues.


gy through a


" But he


disguised


says


that


Sir John


Brute


(The


Provok


Wife,


was "to


the Audience


in mind,


that


there


were


Laymen


so wicked,


card


not what


they


did to bring


Religion


in Contempt,


were


therefore


always


ready


to throw


dirt


upon


Pilots


of it.


Obviously,


Vanbrugh


expects


the audience


to indict


the drunken Brute


(and


those


clergymen


would


similarly misuse


their


positions)


rather


than


religion,


the clergy,


or himself


as playwright.


Likewise,


deprecates

any Play e


such,


Congreve


anyone who


xpos 'd


his Character


has only


would


a Priest,


respect


ridicule th

as a Priest,


is ridiculous


for the office


ie priesthood:

and with an


will


of the clergy


Man has in


I intimation,


agree heartily


that


to condemn


both


the Play


and the Author.


am confident


no Man


can defend


such


Impiety;


and whoever


is guilty


of it,


Advice


to him


that


acknowledge


Congreve


his Error,


clarifies


that


the dramatic


repen t


of it and sin


intention


no more.


representing


clergymen


stage


by pointing


out what


Collier


should


have


been


keenly


aware


of--the


human


flaws


any man,


layman


or priest:


would


- -- --


ask Mr.


Collier whether


a Man,


I.--~~J -Ui- f


after
'--


re-


F%


" .. 1-1


L.


1











If he


found


to play


the Knave,


he is subject


to the Penalties


if he plays
the subject


of the Law,


the Fool,


Laughter


equally with


he is equally with


a Lay-man;
a Lay-fool,


Contempt.


this


Behaviour


the Man


becomes


alienated


from


the Priest;


separate


as such


very


Actions


far removed


are in their


from hi


own nature


function,


when


such


exposed,


a one


brought


the function;


on the S
the Man


tage,


the folly


ridiculed,


the Priest.


Such


sacred


a Character


Order


neither


esthood,


does


nor


neither


can asperse
does it at all


reflect


upon


as Ben


persons


Johnson


of the pious


observes


on the


and good


same


occas


Clergy:
ion from


Hierome,


where
Vice


Ubi generals
Ibi nullius e
the business


in general,


vitiis


sse
is


personae


expose


no particular


disputatio,


inj uriam,
and reprehend


person


ought


Folly


to take of-


fence.
Comedy


And
28


such business


is properly


the business


Congreve


asserts


not only


a Christian


humanist 's


view


man,


be


foolish


or vicious


no matter what


his office,


but also


a moral


purpose


exposing


flawed


clergymen


on stage.


even


uses


the twenty-sixth


of Religion"


to show


that


the church's


own laws


make


provisions


to locate,


and depose


"evil


Ministers.


Collier


s arguments


about


the clergy


reveal


both


inconsistencies


in logic


some


rather


unusual


views


man


for an apparently


devout


Christian.


priests


He spends


are different


ten


pages


from other


in A Short View


men


pointing


trying


to show


out "their


Relation


the Deity,


" "the


Importance


of their


Office,


" and


the "prescription


their


Privil


ege.


Thus,


while


he admits


that


"the


Clergy mismanage


"Article











though


"the


Clergy


have


their


Failings


sometimes


like others.


the Character


is still


untarnish'd.


The Men may


be Little


but the


Priests


are not


And therefore


like


other


People,


they


ought


to be


treated


their


best


Distinction.


He may


feel


this


a fine way


remove


the guilty


clergymen


from attack,


but he has


just


argued


length


that


the priests


are not


"like


other


People.


" First


seems


be saying


they


that


should not


the priests

be censured


are bette

. Then,


than


however


men not

. since


of the cloth;


evidence


thus,


contradicts


this


"fact"


in some


cases


he considers


the priests


equal


to other men--


though


they


still


must


be censured


and only


their


positive


attri-


butes


are to be represented.


implication


is that


men


are thus


to be judged


only


on their


"bes t


Distinction,


an attitude


Collier


certainly


forgets


when


evaluating


the playwrights.


A slightly


different


contradiction


appears


when


Collier


attempts


to defend


the clergy's


privilege


in his


Defence


of the Short


View.


In his reply


to Congreve


he explains


that


If you make


under
never


account
Civil,


the Man


a Knave,


the Imputation:


thought
Persons


ought


the Priest


a Fool


discreet


in Authority,


to be privileg'd


must


in his


in his Function.


whether


suffer


son,
Upon


will
this


Spiritual


from Abuse.


make


the Ministers


Laughter
renders


and
their


of Church
Contempt,
Commission


or State,
disables t


the subject


:heir


insignificant


Authority
32


But apparently


Collier was


confused


about


clergy


privilege,


for he later


defends


the acquisition


of "Riches


and Power"


the clergy


because


they


are so much


like most


men:











does


as ill with


a Priest,


as with


a Poet.


'Tis


to Sink


the Spirits,


to make


the Mind


grow


Anxious,


and Feeble


in the discharge


of Function.


Thus,


the images


of the priests


which


Collier


conveys


are contradictory:


image


depends


on a defense of


their


spiritual


nature which


should


keep


them


Immune


from


the critical


barbs


of other men;


the other


image


depends


on their very


human material


needs


and desires


which make


them


same


as other men.


Vanbrugh


focuses


on this


latter


image when


shows


how far


Collier


seems


to depart


from


some


obvious


Christian


amples


of self-denial


of worldly wealth


and position:


He is


Opinion,


That


Riches


and Plenty


Title


State an
Place fo
Apostles


d Dominion,


give


r it wherever


took


the thing


a Majesty
comes; Th


a


to Precept
t Christ a


the wrong Handle;


nd his
and that


the Pope and
in the Policy


his Cardinals


have


of Instruction.


much


That


refined


should


upon


a Vicar,


like St. John,


feed


on Locusts


and Wild


Honey,


Pari


wou'd


to cater


think


for them;


he had


and that


too ill


a taste


a Bishop,


who,


for himself,
like St.


Paul,
himself


should


decline


such an Ass


Temporal


Advice


Dominion,


wou'd


wou'd


shew


for nothing.


Congreve,


too,


says


that


own


respect


and admiration


for "many


Rever-


end Clergymen


now


living"


not due


to their


rank


or material


status


but to "their


Humility,


exceeded


their


their


Humanity,


Modesty;


their


their


exceeding Learning,


exemplary


Behaviour


which


in their


whole

Errors


Lives


and Conversations;


and Negligences,


their


their

father


Charitable C

y and tender


ensures,


of Youthfull


admonitions,


accom-


panyed


with


sweetness


of Behaviour;


and full


of mild


forcible


Perswasion.


one


ex-











with


the stage


also


saw problems


in his depiction


of the rights


privileges


clergymen.


Dennis,


like


Congreve,


emphasizes


"the way


a Clergyman

Advantages,


secure


which


himself


in him


from


is truly


Contempt,

ridiculous


is not to boa

but to shew


secular


his Meekness


and his Humility,


which


are true


Christian


Virtues.


The position


which


Collier


emphasizes


that


has elevated


they


the clergy


are still men


is depreciated


and certainly


James


not have


Drake,


as close


"Relation


to the Deity"


as A


Short View indicates.


suppose,


if Mr.


Collier's


Band


awry,


or his


Face


was dirty,


he would


use the


assistance


Glass
reject


to make


all right


use of


that


and clean.


which


then


might


same


does


office


for his mind,


management


and help
his Life?


to correct


case


the follies


is plain


to his


blind
should


their


own


see


failings,


Fault


and mad that


'his makes
exposing


call


the Cler


one else


the shewing any
y, as if thereby


only
Glass


they


shews


become


public,


our Faults


not considering


our selves


only;


that


other


people
its he


can see 'em


Ip.


wrong


proach,
than be


But Mr.
handle,


plainly
Collier,


looks


and had rather


taken


notice


and as readily


upon


a Fault
37


takes


a correct


should


every


tion


pass


without


thin


as a re-
unmended,


Again


again


Collier


shows


that


his understanding


of drama


is limited


to outra


at what


seems


to him a


portrayal


of evil.


Though


Collier's


hazy


critical


perception


of dramatic


purpose


be largely


behind


this


view


of the clergy


on the


stage,


Drake


suggests


that


Collier's


sense


of superiority


has allowed


to become


"the


first


bold


Mortal,


that


ever


pretended


to represent


person


of God Almighty


seriously.


This


me sounds


more


like


Blasphemy,


than


any thing


in the most


own












to affect men,


his observations were


not


isolated.


The anonymous


author


A Letter


H. Esq


Concerning


Stage


(1698)


points


out that


"'Tis


certain,


since


the Stage


has used


the Gown


freely,


and the Laity


have


not been


afraid


to look


into


their


Faults,


that


they


are more


humble,


and less


publicly vicious


This


defender


sees


not only


potential


for the


stage


but elaborates


on its


successes


ides


taught


their


them


Reforming


[clergymen]


Manners,


to speak


the S


English,


tage has
and preach


more


taught
their
short,


like Amb


them


Stile,


assa


dors


o argue
and Form


the Drunkenne


their


great


rationally,


their
Whorin


Master.


once


It has
mended


Sermons


Insolence,


Dulness
Stage,


that


have


has appear 'd


made


the Men


under
of the


a Black


same


Coat


Colour


on the


of it


keep


within


them with


appear


Bounds:


And that


the Representation,


in as differing


a Man might


they


a Form


have


as poss


not teize


endeavour' d
ible.


Collier's


vanity


insulated


him from


the education


which


this


critic


felt


stage


provided.


To correct


and guard against


mistakes,


however,


man


must


be humble


enough


to accept


the possibility


of his faults


discerning


enough


see them when


they


are presented


on stage.


Collier


and those


vigorously


supported


him,


often


seem neither


humble


discerning.


In Some


Remarks


upon Mr.


Collier's


Defence


of His Short


View


of the


English


Stage


(1698),


a vindicator


of Congreve


and Vanbrugh


takes


the position


that


good


clergymen,


like


good


kings,


need


not


fear


and have


not feared


the portrayal


an evil


priest


or prince


on stage:


"Why


not a good


Priest


see an ill


one


Characterized,


not be concerned,


nor












novels


of Spain


and Italy,


nations which


are most


under


"subjection


their


Ghostly


Fathers":


even


with


them


the Bad are exposed


reformations


and Amendments


came


from


scove


their


Fault


nor


can I


think


a Chaplain


Ridiculed


in such


more
city,


a Family


upon
than


several


as Sir Tunbelly's,


a sensible


Justice


Worthy


and learned


Clodpate


that


fill


Reflects
in that


in Epsom-Well
the Benches.


Capa-


does


upon


Through


his critical


spokesman,


Savage,


John


Oldmixon


justifies


the playwrights'


use of clergymen


on stage.


reasoning


corresponds


to almost


all of those who defended


the practice


A Poet


can't


set


a man


in the Stocks


for bein


drunk,


not break


an Officer


for being


a Coward,


nor fine


for Extortion,


neither


can he pull


the Gown


over


a disorderly


sons


ears;


but,


if he


can,


make
their


all asham'd


Characters


their


ridiculous.


faults,


Let a Cler


shewing
gy-man b


or a Rake,


a Pedant


or a Coxcomb,


he is


accountable


in the


puni


Poets


shment


can do


Court


is to


no more,


for his


expose him,


sometimes


Lewdness


and in many
so much.42


not


and Folly.


cases


Their
the Law


He feels


men


are taught


seeing


others


make


mistakes


which


they might


make


or have


already made.


Savage


comments


later


on Collier's


"sophistry"


in attacking


Clergy


the playwrights


be caught


on this


without


point:


concerning


have


their


seen


office


far the


or order


their

Clergy


ously


Quarrel


. and that


in general


as they


their


liv'd.


the Poet

treating


Through


never


those wh


the fear


intended

o deserve


of ridicule


to affront the

d it as scandal-


or the shame


recognition,


the clergymen


could modify


their


behavior


and thoughts.


this


wav a nlavwriaht


becomes


nart


a le islator work


through his


our


man


_ J


1 t:











of characters


and themes


(mainly


the evil


nature


of man)


on stage.


first


problem


an inability


see the play


as an artistic work,


distanced


Thus,


from


the artist


the thoughts


and the audience


and language


of the characters


emblematic


become


and allusive.


the thoughts


language


the playwrights


for him.


He lifts


passages


from


context,


examines,


and condemns


them as


profane,


with


no sense


that


he has dis-


turbed


Closely


an artistic


related


whole


to this


and thus


fault


distorted


is his Platonic


meaning


prejudice


amputations.


against


presentation


of evil


on stage.


This


prejudice


manifests


itself


in his


total


disgust


with


elements


of human nature


which


the playwrights


would


have


him witness


and thus


controls


his ideas


about


how man


can best


taught


to modify


his thoughts


and behavior.


In A Defence


of the Short View of the


Profaneness


Immoral-


ity of the


English


Stage


(1699)


he clearly


exposes


his first


problem.


Here,


sees


characterization


as an excuse,


a "pretence"


to justify


"profane


Sallies.


" He asserts


that


"'tis


the Poet


that


speaks


in the


Persons


of the S


tage


that


he who


makes


a Man Mad,


must


answer


his Distraction.


This


total


lack


of understanding of


the creative


process


runs


counter


to Congreve's


view


that


the playwright


creates


individuals


embody


traits


and ideas


sees


in life


around


him,


representatives


of and


spokesmen


for himself.


After


asserting


that


comedy must


expose


vice


and folly


portraying


"vicious


and foolish


Characters,


Congreve


desires


"that


it may not


be imputed


to the Per-












very


hard


that


a Painter


should


be believe' d


to resemble,


all the ugly


Faces


that


he draws.


In addition,


he remarks


that


"any


Expression


or Passage


cited


from any


Play"


Collier


cannot


be judged


"out


of its


proper


in that


Scene,


place


or alienated


alone,


from


the Character


and in his Mouth


alone,


which


can it have


it is spoken;


proper


true


Signification.


There


a conscious


distance


between


writer


and the characters


he draws,


and the artist


is in


part


dis-


tinguished


how well


his characters


fit the situations


or scenes


the play.


Dryden,


as if anticipating


Collier's


attacks


on him,


speaks


of what


poet


appropriately


treat


a play


so that


well


be conducing


to holiness


as to good


manners.


" He notes


that


he has


been


"charged


some


ignorant


and malicious


persons


with


no less


crimes


than


profaneness


and irreligion"


in his


play


Tyrannic


Love,


or the Royal


Martyr


(1670),


and he thus


answers


the charges,


made


mainly


against


Maximin,


the heathen


tyrant


in the play:


it be urged


that


a person


such principles


scoffs


any religion


ought


not to be


presented


the stage;
many wicked
Scriptures?


then


are


and profane


know


the lives


persons


it will


and sayings


recorded
answered


in the Holy


that


a due


use may


with


be made


a brand


of them;
infamy f


that


ixed


they
upon


are remembered


them


sea-marks


what
pose


other


for those
use have


as a pattern


behold


made


to be


them


Maximin?
imitated,


to avoid.


Have
whom


pro-


even


his impiety
punished.


to his


false


gods


have


so severely


Dryden


quite


clearly


expects


the audience


to understand


and learn


from












Art of


Painting


(1695)


he also


shows


different


from


Collier's


his view


man


and of


stage


characters.


He points


out that


idea
[and]


perf


section


little


in the characters


use


comedy


in portraits


and tragedy,


which


are never


to be made


perfect,


but always


be drawn


with


some


specks


frailty


and deficience


perfection


such


stage


-characters


consists


chiefly


their
their


likeness
original.


to the deficient
48


faulty nature,


which


It is in large


part


the depiction


of man's


nature,


in all its deformity


which


makes


the drama


both


instructive


and pleasing.


Other


playwrights


with


some


sense


of the artistic


importance


of presenting


Elkanah


like


a variety


Settle was


Vanbrugh


of characters


not directly


and Dryden


also


attacked,


pointing


into


he chose


out Collier's


the battle

to defend

imperfect


Though


writers

understand-


of their works.


In defending


Vanbrugh' s


choice


main


characters


in The


Relapse,


for example,


suggests


that


Collier


not expect
should be


that


the Chara


Virtuous:


A Compo


cters


sition


in the Comedy


that


kind


cannot
truly


well
reach


be made;
the whole


nor would


such


Instructive


a Comp


Ends


position


of the Drama.


Contraria


juxta


se posita magis


eluc


escunt,


very


great


Maxim,


The Foyl


sets


off the Diamond.


that


Foyl,


the Comedy,


I may


to make


venture
the Virtue


o say,
shine


is wanted


the brighter.


Settle


very


conscious


of the impact


a virtuous


character


can have


an audience,


but only


if the character


is presented


realistically


world


with


vices


to challenge


that


virtue.


The audience


interest will


focus


on the struggle


a character


like Amanda


(The


Relapse)


maintain


chastity.


effect


of the stru ele--Amanda'


success


U


U


L 1


L.J.












requires


presence


of vice,


as an abstract


concept,


but in the


of "the


World.


John


Oldmixon,


through


his critical


mouthpiece,


Savage


Reflections


on the


Stage


(1699)


affirms


the idea


poetic


justice


his defense


vice


on the


stage:


If Comedy


to correct


must


expose


and how


or actions:


would


can vitious


now


man


to make


to restore


oe expos
him act
Infamy o


d but by
his wick


words


ess,


the Pantomimes,


the Poets


to make


A man


must


have


talk


no other way


oose


not be punish'd


of dis


suitable


on the


covering
to his


Stage


him,


Character.


for nothing


A lewd
permit,


long
Poet


Fellow must


that


he ma


as he keeps
^__ __ 51


can L


err.


act his
suffer


to nature


part
for '
with


as far as d


t in the


this


ecency


will


end,


restriction,


Language


here


becomes


a way


of creating


a character who


"keeps


to nature"


and thus


recog


nizable


to the audience.


Like


Congreve,


Oldmixon


fur-


their


emphasizes


context


of language


in the play


askin


Collier:


Are there


not some p


passages


which


depend


entirely


on what went


before


and on the Character


persons


thing
have


spoke


but by
made th


'em?


the Character?


persons


they


can a man


judge


and all that


introduce,


ever writ


speak


according


to their


Characters.


Has not Milton


in the best


most


Reli


iours


gious
days,


Poem
made


that


has been


Devil


writ


since


our


of God Almighty?


who,
the
what


Sole
that
Author
went


reigning


should
guilty
before,


li


holds the T
.ht on this


of h
and


orrid


yranny


erse


Blasphemy,


consider 'd


Heaven.


would n
unless


ot think


read


spoke


A similar


Peter


attitude


Motteux


emerges


prefixed


in Father


to his Beauty


Francois


Distre


Caffero's

ss (1698).


letter,

Taking


which

a Thom-


pensions












without


Living

of evil


meeting with


in the world

is no necess


a thousand


necessitates

ary consequen


things


capable


a confrontation

ce. Likewise,


of exciting


with


evil,


he feels


the Passions.


but imitation


plays


are not


intended


to corrupt


the audience:


for tho they
and the like,


speak
'tis


Love,


not done


Hatred,


with


Ambition,


Revenge,


an Intention


exciting
are there


as wil
their


those
any


kinds
such s


1 infallibly
Minds.53


Passions


candalous


produce


such


in the Audience;


Circumstances


mischievous


nor


in them,
Effects


Additional


critics


in favor


of the presentation


of vice


stage


used


arguments


supporting


the ability


of the audience


to dis-


tinguish and


judge


properly


(rather


than


imitate


blindly)


based


upon


accuracy


the playwrights'


depiction


of the society


and 2)


argu-


ments


founded


primarily


upon


the artistic


necessity


of making


the play


a whole,


with


actions


and language


of each


character


logical


meaningful


to the unfolding


plot


and the ultimate


moral


intentions


the playwright.


James


Drake,


echoing


Congreve


and discussing


Collier's


misunderstanding


of Aristophanes,


explains


poet


not to be


identified


with


his characters:


The people


of Athens,


were


in these


matters


much


more


delicate,


niceness


than


to distinguish


Collier
justly


seems


between


to be,


had the


the Private


Sentiments
Poet. In
Characters


be frequently


of the Man,


this latter
belong'd t


necess


and the Publick


capacity


o him,


itated


almost


and he
to make


mus t


one's


of the


sorts


consequence


use of Thoughts


Expressions


very


contrary


to his


own proper


opinion.


The Athenians
of the Stage,


therefore


which


they


not lay


knew


these Liberties


nature


of those


Characters


which


he represented must


course


oblige


_











He later


criticizes


Collier's


reasoning


because


"Mr.


Collier


knows,


that


business


Comedy


is to


instruct


example;


and he mistakenly


imagines,


that


these


ought


to be Examples


for Imitation.


" Drake,


how-


ever,


feels


that


Comedy


presents


only


examples


caution,


not imi-


station.


He points


out Collier's


fear


that


since


poets


"Beauties"


and "Blemishes"


within


a work


or a character,


"Folks"


will


be tempted


the Deformities"


as well


as the admirable


qualities.


But Drake


feels


that


"the


Understanding


our Youth


so very


depress 'd


but they


can very


readily


distinguish


between


the obvious


Beauties,


and Defects


a Character,


are not to be fool'd


like


Dottrels


into


a vicious


reformation


sity


Imitation.


many


representing


Even


Edward


contemporary


evil


plays,


and foolish


Filmer,


agreed


carefully

characters


to the need


explained

acting an


neces-


d speaking


appropriately.


Presented


with


an accurate


depiction


of these


characters,


the audience,


then,


would


not be "judging


without


Process,


and condemning


without

Indeed,


Proof; w

justice,


rhich


is certainly


rendered


greatest


the audience


upon


Injustice


imaginable.


the characters


or by


playwrights


through


"Stage-Discipline"t


(poetic


justice),


was the key


sound


artistic


creation.


For Filmer,


the best


plays


were


those


which


involved


the audience,


through


the characters,


a process


of evalua-


tion;


the audience


could


then


understand


the moral


which


was not


only


part


of the


art,


but the basis


for the


art.


Against


these


justifications


for the


presentation


of evil


on i n nn i n T1 --Ti o i ni 1r n n L ri L I r-1 II I I* I i i ri l I I I I -j i-


-, 1-


nm 1 f -


"ape


-----A


t1 -


- -


rvl11to


T^, :e J- 4-1 A-u


.... I t


o t" or















NOTES


Second


Defence


of the Short View of the


Prophaneness


Immorality


Bedford ba
Abuse and
Concerning


Danger


of the Ch
(London,
Butolph's


of the

Ridpa


rrage
Effec


d


English


Stage


th's The Stage
the public with


ts of the Stage
Profaneness of


of Stage Plays


ristian
1711); a
Aldgate


(London,


Religion


nd A


(London,


Condemn' d


Serious


(London,


1700),


first


Reflect


1705)


the Playhouse(London,
1706); A Serious Rem


(London,


ermon


(London,


tage-Entertainment


Preached


1730).


Fully


Demonstr


1719); The G


reat


appeared


late in 1698.


ons on the Scandalous
Second Advertisement


1705);


ionstran


Abuse


The Evil
ce in Beh
of Music


alf


in the Parish-Church of St.
r's The Absolute Unlawfulness
*ated first appeared in 1726.


. ,


year


Collier's


death,


was reprinted


throughout


century.


3Joh


in both


"Comic


nson,
Dramat


in The Lives of the English
ists of the Restoration" and


Poets
The


, and Macaulay,
History of England,


show


respect


for Collier


and many


of his


views.


4John


Russell &


ssell,


cument,


'almer,
Inc..


MLR,


Comedy


Manners


-277


24),


150;


Maxmillian


(1913;


York:


. Stoll,
E. Novak


Literature
"The Artist


and the Cl


Coll


ergyman:


ege English,


Congreve,
(1969),


Collier


, and the World


the Play,


556.


A Short


View


of the Immorality


and Profaneness


of the


English


Stage (London, 1698), p.


6Ibid.,


7A Defence


of Plays,


(London


1707)


A Short View,


, 17 &


110.


Dobrde


9The Corn
and Geoffrey


plete
Webb


Works of Sir
(Bloomsbury:


John
The


Vanbrugh
Nonesuch


eds.,
ress,


Bonamy
1927),


196.


101bid.,


197.


Summers


11The
(London:


Complete
The No:


n


Works of Wil
suchh Press,


liam


1923),


greve,


III,


ed., Montague


175.


,











15The Antient
287-288.


and Modern


Stages


Survey


(London,


1699)


16A Short View,


17Works,


175.


197-198.


fense


18That
realism


Vanbrugh 's


rather


than


comment


here


as a moral


been


judgment


seen mainly


ased


upon


as a de-
realistic


observation,


indicate


effect


Collier


has had


on more


recent


critics


who have


dealt


with


controversy.


19Works,


177.


0Ibid.


21Critical


Works,


, 182.


. 89-90.

. 7-8.


persons
comedy


of
as b


unnatural.
Chattels c


long


as his


beyond hi
Judgment"


stages,
quality,
eing "of
In fact


. 365-366


espec
sound


, "Fool


the Stage"
"Appetites
discretion,
pp. 234-236)


ially
Sense


Drake


gentlemen, s
and perfect


of what


as well


are strong


and make


Quality


had earlier made


should


not be


Morals,
soever


as a "Gentleman


and irregular


him act


against


point


that


represent


for this


are proper


would
Goods


of Wit and Honour"


enough,


the Convi


to hurry


action


Short View,


6Works,

7Works,

8bid..


123-124.


202-203.


III,


191.


189-190.


9Ibid


reads:


enquiry


that


have


just


"'it


be made


190-191.
oertaineth


evil


know


Judgment


Mini
their
osed.


n part
to the


sters:


Offences


this


article,


Discipline
And that th


and finally


as Congreve
the Church,


accused


bein


found


quotes
that
those
Guilty


30p.


127.











33
33Ibid.,

34Works,


35Works, I

36Critical


117.

202-203.


II,


193.


Works,


37Stages

38Ibid.,


. 344-345.


346.


39p.
p.


Ibid.,


41p.
p.n


Short View


42
Reflections on the Stage,
(London, 1699), pp. 65-66.


and Mr.


Collyer's


Defence


of the


43Ibid.,


44p.


113.


108.


45Works,

46Ibid.


IIL 173.


Dramatic


Watson


(London:


Poesy


J. M. Dent


and Other


Sons,


Ltd.,


Critical


162) ,


Essays,
139-140.


ed. Georg
He also


suggests


method


of teaching


the audience: "


only


maintain,


against


enemies


stage,


that


patterns


piety,


decently


represented


and equally


be of


harmony


removed


excellent


words


solemn music,


lively


images


the soul;
hears, is
celestial,


which


from


use to


we elevate


which


extremes


second


the mind


is inarticulate


of piety,
h while i


struck at


and is wound


adorned


.t is charmed


same


time


superstition


precepts
o a sense


poesy,
action,


with


up insensibly


does


and profaneness,


our religion.


of devotion,
in churches;


through


a silent
a secret


into


senses


what


veneration


the practice


as our
and by
allure


sees


things


of that


admires" (139).


48Ibid.,


184.


49He


says


in the


same


preface


that


in comedy,


worst


like-


187.


47"0f


w












Oldmixon


also


stresses


that


a poet


must


show


audience


a character


deserves


punishment


116-117)


52Ibid.,


11-12.


XXV,.


of the
Concern


54
Some Remn
English Stage
ing the Stage


rks Upon Mr. C
(London, 1698)


(London,


'ollier


s Defence


and A


Lett


of his Short View
er to A. H. Esq.;


1698)


ages


327-328.


561bid.,

57Filmer,


pp.

pp.


270-272.


36 &


I


a:















CHAPTER


PERSUASION


OF THE


UNKNOWING


SUCCESS


OF COLLIER'S


VIEW


It might


be asked


two twentieth-century


critics


could


look


back at


the Collier


controversy


and draw


opposing


conclusions


about


Collier's


Collier


impact


on the drama.


and his followers


is it possible


little more


than


that


"temporary


F. Lamb


nuisances"


finds


to the


stage,


while


E. E. Stoll


suggests


that


"all


Jeremy


Collier


. had


appeal


to the old faith--their


faith


still--and


Congreve


Vanbrugh


were


routed,


and the


stage


1 To


purged"


arrive


some


reason


for this disagreement,

of Collier's arguments


and thus

the chan


an evaluation of

ges in the drama


the


success


as well


or failure


as the


popu-


larity


of Collier's


works


should


be considered.


Also,


it should


stressed


that


whatever


popularity


Collier's


views


have


achieved


among


some,


peatedly


his fallacious


methods


and accurately


argument


exploded


and his conclusions


contemporary


critical


were


re-


replies.


And because much


of his


popularity


depended


upon


his image


as an expert


on moral


reform,


these


replies


questioned


sincerity


as a reformer


and his authority


as a jud


of morality


in the drama.


Two questions


arise


when


trying


to understand


Collier'


impact


on the


stage.


Why,


for nearly


forty


years


after


the restoration


Charles


II and the theatre,


there


no significant


censure


of the


drama?


And how


can a work


like A Short View


suddenly


appear


was


I_












social


changes


occurring


in England,


especially


in London.


Some


of the


changes


would have


been


obvious


in the theatre


audiences,


who probably


bought


Collier's


treatise


and followed


the controversy with


interest.


Emmett

years


L. Avery

from 1660


and Arthur


-1700


H. Scouten


"essentially,


point o

appears


ut that

that b


during


oth


the forty


the audience


and its taste


altered


In 1660


spectators


were


principally


moderately


progressed,


cultured,


well-educated


and especially


after


persons.


Charles'


S. '."2


reign,


"the


As the


middle


century


classes,


citizens


, gentlemen,


and ladies,


the apprentices


even


servants


formed


a larger


portion


of the audience.


John


Loftis


is even more


specific

changing


in identifying


taste


the merchants


the audience.


as the most


These merchal


influential

nts were be


group


coming


increasingly wealthy


greater


in number--especially


in and around


London--as


had made


century


their money


drew


from


a close.


trade


a group


and industry,


of newly


could


rich,


afford


high-priced


admission


to the theatres


and occupi


seats


earlier


reserved


only


for landed


gentry


and members


of the


court


circle.


this


group


no way


of instantly


attaining


the knowledge


of literary


and dramatic


traditions


which


the people


of fashion


were


expected


possess.


Economically,


they


gained


status,


but their


lack


taste


and judgment


forced many


of the better


playwrights


to "lose"


this


part


of their


audience.


John


Dennis


is extremely


conscious


of this


new


element


in the audience


in A Large


Account


of the Taste in


Poetry,











Dancing,


in Love with


and the delightful


their


diversions


sports,


of Jack Pudding


encourage


. [are


these noble Pastimes


still]


still


upon


the Stage.


He also


devotes


much


of his letter


a comparison


between


contemporary


audiences


and those


immediately


following


the Res-


toration.


He finds


that


"the


taste


of England


for Comedy


. was


certainly much


better


in the Reign


of King


Charles


the Second,


than


is at present.


For it


was then


extremely


good,


and is


now


excessively


bad.


" In drawing


this


conclusion,


presents


two important


"Maxims" :


First,
taste


That


then


for Comedy,


there
when


is among any
a very consid


People
erable


a good


part


an Audience
and when th
themselves,


are qu
ey who


alified to judge
are not qualified


are influenced


for themselves


to judge


the authority


of those


are rightly


among


qualified.


any People


a bad


Secondly,


taste


that


for Comedy,


then


when


there
very


few of an Audience


are qualify'd


to judge


for them-


selves,


authority


and when


rest


those who


are influenced


are not rightly


qualified


He then


goes


on to state


that,


under


Charles,


the first


maxim


held,


while


presently


the second


true.


His proof


involves


an explanation


of those


qualifications


necessary


to judge


poetry,


qualifications


which


the good


poet


critic


must


share,


for "no


man


can judge


Beautiful


imagination


in another without


some


degree


of it in himself":


And as for the


judging


rightly


thin


without


Judgment,
philosophy


that


a contradiction


and a knowled


terms.


World


are necessary


a Comick


Poet,


for his


formin


Characters;


an acquaintance


with


best


Authors


among


the Antients


and Modern
and Grace


a true


s, be requisite
of the Dialogue


judgment t


of th


for the


why,


ese,


attaining


then


same


for the


Learning


the Viva
forming
and the


city


same


Experience


are necessary.


lastly,


if a Poet











this


or no,


must


enter


into


those


Passions and


Humours


In some


quently ou
avocations


proportionable


to have
Business


mind


and from


degree,


free


conse-


from all


all real


vexatious


assions.


Thus,


to be able


pass


accurate


judgment


upon


a play


, one had


pos-


sess


all of the following


some measure:


lively,


a warm,


a strong


imagination,


and a solid


and piercing


judgment,


" "a


knowledge


of things


. because


the ultimate


end of


Comedy


to instruct,


to instruct

"Leisure" a


all,


nd "Serenit


knowledge

y. The


of the World

reason Dennis


and of


sees


Mankind,


" and


considerable


part"


of the audience


of the Restoration


years


possessing


these


qualities


while


"in the


present


Reign


very


in an Audience"


have


them is


because


"Humane


Nature


[has]


decay


since


the Reign


of Charles


Second.


" Rather,


suggests


that


"the


faculties


of the Soul,


like


parts


of the Body,


receive


nourishment


from


use,


and derive


skill


well


as they


do force and


vigour


from


exercise.


If Dennis's


observation--that


this


new


class


of theatre-goers


helped


eclipse


qualified


judgment


of the pi


ays--is


accurate,


those


in the audience


could


be influenced


the thesis


of A


Short View


would


have


increased


1698.


This


is not to


that


merchants


took


over


the audience,


but as a developing


source


of wealth


(and


thus


theatre


revenue)


they were making


themselves


recognized.


though


small


percentage


shopkeepers)


of all merchants


attended


the theatre,


(both


those


wealthy


tradesmen


not seeing


or reading


poorer

g plays


1 __ _~ I












fact,

the s


according


itage


one


leads men,


anonymous


through an


spokesman

excitement


for the

of their


mercantile position,

imaginations, from


"the


People

Trade


Fatique


this


and Engagement


is a Mischief


requiring


Industry


of Business


. And


to be dreaded


and Application,


among


a trading


to the last


that


the Mind


sent


Degree:

to it


and engag'd


in it.


What


many


merchants


imagined


about


plays


perhaps


needed

man of


only


the c


the virulent

loth, no matt


confirmation

er his lack


a seemingly


of political


honest


popularity


and informed

at the


time.


James


Drake seems


to have


this


type


of merchant


in mind


when he


suggests


that


Collier


uses


his assured


attack


to influence


people


"whose


Fears


of this


are Stronger


body


than


of readers


their


for his


Judgments.


attacks


That


not


Collier was


assured,


but his


conscious


argu-


ments


and point


view were


far more


creditable


to them


than


to the


playwrights.


having


proper


tools


to understand,


judge,


appreciate


the performances


or published


versions


for themselves,


these


readers


of A Short View would


have


been


only


too willing


to accept


Collier


s vision


stage


corruption.


But perhaps


even more


significant


in accounting


for the sudden


popularity


of anti-stage


publications


are the societies


for the refor-


nation


manners


which


began


to form shortly


after


1688.


As Dudley


R. Bahlman


points


out,


two great waves


of enthusiasm for


the for-


mation


of these


societies


rolled


across


England


during


the 1690


Bahlman


accounts


for this


spirit


of reformation


part,


a reaction


shun'd











in that


time


been


a challenge


to both


churchmen


and dissenters.


Popery meant


tyranny,


while


protes-


tantism was


the bulwark of


traditional


rights


liberties
a stubborn


of Englishmen.


defiance


Therefore,


James'


rule


one way


was


to show


to thrown


churches


and chapels


of England.


wave


piety


that


resulted


from


disappear with


persist
mation


activities


this


form


accession


and manifested


societies


itself


resi


stance


William
not only


for reformation


other organize


nations


and Mary; it
in the for-


but in the


as well.


purpose


of the societies


for the reformation


manners


was not


only


to preach


against


the immorality


and profaneness


which


they


felt


had engulfed


England,


encourage


new


laws


and bring


to prosecution


those


breaking


to inform


against


existing


those


laws.


groups


who appeared


guilty


would march


of public


out like


cursing,


an army


swearing,


drunkenness,


or profanation


of the Lord's


day.


Their


hope,


not unlike


Plato


s in The


Republic


or Collier's


in A Short


View,


was


create


moral


paradi


through


the enforcement


of laws.


The version


para-


dise


brought


on by


this


"army


of reform"


caused


even


ministers


like


John


Ryther


to


so far for
the local


natural


reforming


society


depravity


pray


man


"that


as to tell


there


be in


many,


very many,


a reformation,


effect of


conversion,


that


we may


live


see that


joyful


when


profaneness,


banished
goodness


out of
shall


irreligion,


land;


flour


and immorality


and godliness,


shing,


spreading,


shall


religion an
prevailing


and in prospering


condition


everywhere.


These


Platonic


(and


Pelagian)


characteristics


of the movement


go totally


unnoticed


its members,


however,


for Bahlman


points


out that


William Bisset,


in hi


Plain


English


(London


1704) ,


elt that












"may be
please;


as secretly wicked,


we won't


force


them


lewd,
(they


and worldly


need


not


fea


as they
r it)


a heavenly mind,


liking.


civil


we would


upon


Earth


much


less


oblige


to Heaven


them


against


poss


and let their neighbors


ible)


live


their
to be
them


a quiet
honesty.


peaceful


life


in all


godliness


concentrated


effort


was made


remove


appearance


of evil


from


daily


life,


just


as Collier wished


remove


evil


characters,


language,


actions


from


stage.


This


being


done,


was supposed


England


would


be cleansed


of its vice


and wickedness;


Bisset,


obviously


saw a


fallacy


in this


kind


of attitude.


In addition


to the societies


zealous


concern


with


appear-


ance


of evil,


their


composition


would


have made


them particularly


ceptive


to Collier's


arguments.


They


were made


of individuals


felt


that


all of their members


were


virtuous,


untainted


the sins


they


were


fighting


Unlike


the other


societies--the


Society


for the


Promotion


of Chris


tian Knowledge,


the Society


for Propagating


the Gospel


in Foreign Parts,


and the religious


societies--the


societies


for the


reformation


manners


were not


strictly


Anglican.


And as Bahlman


says,


"they were


critics


of Church


and the State,


since


they


felt


neither


enforced

religious


the laws against

societies "were


immoralit

composed


Also,


primarily


both


the reform and


of tradesmen


some


apprentices,


who like


the wealthier merchants,


would


have


known


little


of literary


and dramatic


tradition


even


less


contemporary


plays.


Though,


as dissenters


and Anglicans,


these


reformers


not share


re-











understanding


as well


as his acquaintance


with


authorities


on the


stage


could


easily


have


convinced


the unknowing.


After


all,


not only


the end--


the abolition


of immorality


and prosecution--were


and profaneness--but


same


for Collier


the means--censorship


and the reform societies.


There


to link

motion


is further


the popularity

of Christian Kn


evidence


of Collier's


owledge


which

works


group


Professor


with


Bahlman


Scouten


the Society


says


has found

for the Pro-


between


religious


societies


and the reform societies


in its zeal as a reforming


force


among


the people).


Scouten


finds


evidence


in the minutes


of the


SPCK


that


they


purchased


at least


two hundred


copies


of Mr.


Collier


Dissuasive


from the


Play-House


(1703)


to be distributed.


Also


recorded


are large

passed ou


purchases


t at coffee


other


house


anti-stage


s, churches,


literature

and other


which


gathering


the society


places.


Scouten


does


not claim


to have


surveyed


all the records


SPCK,


nor is


it likely


that


all of their


purchases


tracts


and pamphlets


were


recorded,


but what


he has noted


indicates


a specific


interest


SPCK


in the


controversy


and a considerable


financial


investment


to help


keep


the anti-stage


material


rolling


off the


presses.


It certainly


seems


likely


that


more


active


more


numerous


reforming


societies


used


this


same


tactic


mass


purchase


and distribution


of anti-stage


works


to help


in their


battle


against


public


vice.


If this


is true,


Collier's


popularity


is probably


due less


a demand


a large


number


of readers


than


to the propagandistic


use by


the societies


cnn-I C


-a mr^T-


c nut f-n 4 t.nT c n r o fhr


at rchirrr


nrcc ao or


T.t-i c~hi ri f


rTn 1 ,t


ammll












works


little


effect


on the existence


of theatres


and the continued


popularity


of plays


which


were


attacked


a matter


of record.


The publication


of Collier's works


kept


pace


with


activities


of the reform


societies,


some


of his


opponents


had harsh


words


these


societies.


Thomas


Brown,


for example,


in his Letters


from the


Dead to the


Living


(first


published


in 1702),


describes


the societies


troops
serve


of informers,


God for


sistence.


both


Thi


churches,


sinners,


who are maintained


gain, and
s noble so
fanaticks


knights


ferret
city


as well


of the


out whor
consists


post,


perjury,
for sub-


of divines


as orthodox
and knights


saints
of th


elbow,


and they


are not


more


unanimously


against


morality
practice;


suffer


in their


information,


avoid


none


no sins


one


than


for it in their


in themselves


else.


These


and will


worthy


gentlemen,
Office, an


for promoting


some


such


honest


interest
place, p


of the Crown-


ick


harmless


words
twenty


out of plays


pound


exposing
cheating,


former,
without
cases wi


a week


pride,


, to indict


of them,


vanity,


and other


who
consi


.pes


the players


if th


hypocrisy,


darling


owe them a
derable of


ey can,
usury,


vices


grudge,
ferings;
ects.16


not to be
for money


and squeeze
for their
oppression,


master
appeals


re-


in these


off all def


In the epilogue


to The


Stage-Beaux


Toss


Blanket


(1704)


Gildon


also


comes


down


on the reformers,


among


whom


he numbers


Collier:


Gentlemen,


more


Each


briefly


for others


Man wou'd


save


himself


this
than


piously


he thinks


has been


our selves
reform his


not worth


our Fault,


have


Thought.


Neighbour;


his Labour


With
And


When


Zeal


and Sin


grow more


'tis
vice


at once we're


Wicked


a blessed Age,


walks


cheek


as we grow


strangely warm
Reform'd.


and blessed


jowl


with


Nation,


Reformation.


short,


let each Man's


Thoughts


first


look


at home,


And then


to Foreign


Reformations


roam.


I.


A--_ r _


-- 1 T-


TF l l1 +-b0 1n1 l f


___^ I


sn TI


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OCa I-' mnr C^T i~r c y _> Tf i











Reverend


Henry


Sacheverall


delivered


a caustic


sermon


against


societies


for the reformation


manners,


which


saw as a direct


threat


to the Church


of England:


[Our


random


religion]


upon


officiously


does


bare
into


not oblige


surmise


their


us to


and suspicion,


lives


secret


charge men


or to


affairs


and to invade
jurisdiction


their private


which


we have


rights


no title


usurping


to j


ustify,


with
upon


a rude
'em as


air of superiority


privy-couns


ellors


to obtrude
and dogmati


ourselves


cally


censure,


rebuke,


don't


or advise


belong


our neighbor's


neither


procee


lie under


dings
verge


that


our cognizance.


Whatever


godly


and fallacious


losses


such
ille


trouble


some


wasps


inquisitors


are doubtless
encroaching,


that


cast


erect
upon


the unwarrentable


impertinent,


themselves


their
fects


and meddling


into


action,


they


an idle


curiosity


It is
pride,


carry


slandering,


in short


the base


censoriousness,


on the bles


sperlng,


product


and sanctified


work of ref
backbiting,


ill-nature,


leen


formation by
and tale-b


spiritual


, pretending


lying,
hearing,


most


tically


express
styled t


character


he grand


of the devil,


accuser


the b


who is empha-
rv r~% 4- ftr w L .


SL C L


C: J Lr


Though


a Whig


administration


convicted


Sacheverell


opposing


refor-


mation,


he became


a popular


hero,


and his conviction


was the


issue


which


brought


the Tories


back


power


in the elections


of 1710.


Bahlman

cities


points

after


out,


1710


one could

for their


easily

ability


forget


the existence


arouse


public


of the


enthusiasm


so-

had


been


dealt


a fatal


blow.


That


Collier


sensed


the opposition


to the reform societies


be indicated


the date


of his last


claimed


contribution


to the


controversy,


Farther


Vindication


of the Short View of the


Profaneness


Immorality


of the


English


Stage,


published


in 1708.


The coinci-


__











noteworthy when


viewed


in light


of remarks


made


some


of the


stage


defenders.


author


of A


Vindication


of the Stage


(1698)


for example,


feels


that


Collier


not see virtue


as its


own reward;


rather,


suggests


"that


the Fifty


Pounds


a greater


influence


with


than


the stab


suppose


he should


give


to Vice


and Debauchery.


Thomas


Brown


also


speaks


of the lucrative


results


of Collier's


appeal


"fana-


ticks


presented


bountiful


rewards;


the nonjuror,


and misers


one .. laid


and extortioners


out threescore


pounds


gave


. [


him

for]


Impression


A Short View]


to distribute


among


the saints


that


zealous


for God and


mammon


at the


same


time,


Gildon


too thinks


of the main


results


of Collier's


writings


was


that


a great


deal


Money


what


he writ


against


Plays.


These


responses


to Collier's


motives


probably


overstate


concern


money,


but it is also


fact


that


large


sales


of his


works


were


due to the reform


societies


and that


when


they


became


less


active


so did his publications.


In addition


to the timing


of his writing


persistence


answering


stage


defenders


shows


how much


he wished


to keep


anti-stage


position


before


uncommitted


or sympathetic


readers.


After


success


of A Short View,


he waited


only


responses


from


Congreve


and Vanbrugh


before


rekindling


the reforming


fires


with


his Defence


of the Short


View


of the


Profaneness


Immorality


of the


English


Stage,


(1699).


apparent


strategy was


to have


the last


word


after


extensive


defense


stage


so that


the readers


would


feel


he had countered


are


one











Farther


Vindication


(1708);


he also


used


the occasion


of the storm in


1703


to publish Mr.


Collier


s Dissuasive


from the


Playhouse


(1703)


probably


Some


Thoughts


Concerning


the Stage in a
.- -


Letter


to a Lady


(1704)


It made


no difference


that


his defenses


A Short View were


essentially


repetitious


of initial


arguments


or that


they


avoided


or confused


important

important


considerations

rhetorically w


brought


'as that


up by


have


opponents.


the final


word,


What

that


seems

the necessity


for closing


the theatres


conclude


the reflections


of those


readers


were


following


controversy.


Closely


associated


with


the timing


persistence


of Collier's


attacks


is their


tone,


for it


too takes


into


account


the audience


to whom


the works


were


directed.


Ostensibley,


was


directing


his views


at the


playwrights


in order


to reform


their


writing,


reader


soon


recog-


nizes


he means


trying


raise


far beyond


a public


reform.


outcry


Like


against


the reform


stage


societies,


and eventually


draw


the law down


upon


actors,


playwrights


and theatres.


To stir


Christian


readers


were


not


familiar with


the plays


or the authorities


which


cites,


he had


convey


a feeling


of moral


outrage.


Thus,


tone


livid.


not merely


forceful,


One example


but indignant,


seen


in his reaction


emotionally


incensed,


to Vanbrugh


s The


even


Relapse


in A Short View:


am quite


tired


with


these wr


etched


Sentences.


The sight


willing


indeed is


to shew


horrible,
However


and I


they


am almost


shall


un-


produced


like Malefactors,


not for Pomp,


but Execution.


I r S


-


1 *1 i l


a


\ n ir n e, n r4 I a SA n n 4 n I.- j- a a n ^- n a a a I n a p. rt a r- *-%











than


Insolence


be better
executed!
the Blood,


shown,


and Atheism?


nor


Nature made


for such


Aversion


Resentment


more


the Ferment


occas


ions


can never


reasonably
and Rising


as This.


what


unhappy


Times


are we


fallen!


The Oracles


of Truth,


the Laws of
are Laught


Omnipotence, and
at and despis'd!26


the Fate


of Eternity


If this


reverend


critic


could


so outraged


at Vanbrugh's


lines,


cer-


tainly


the reader


of A Short View who


not know


the play


or was


unsure


of his


own


judgment


about


have


felt


the necessity


to share


Collier's


resentment.


After


all,


more


than


decorum is


at stake;


Christianity


itself


is being


"Hooted


off the Stage.


tone


could


become


even more


virulent,


as when


reacts


to the examples


of blasphemy


sees


in The


Relapse,


Provok' d


Wife,


and Love for Love:


They


[these


examples]


look


reekin


as it


were


from


Pandaemonium


and almost


smell


Fire and Brimstone.


This


wonder,
turned


an Eruption


the smoak
the Air to


of Hell with


of it has


Plagye


a witness


not darkened


and Poyson!


almost


the S


These


are out-


rageous
Revenge;


sink


Provocation
To exhaust


the Island


in t-


s; Enough


to arm all


the Jud ments,
ha CSn, 7


LLL .1-- tea I


Nature


of Heaven,


This


fury


is even more


amazing


in light


of the


sources


he cites,


for it


has taken


some


ingenious


extrapolation


see "intolerable


Abuses"


"outrageous


Provocation"


of the Christian


religion


in plays


whose


language


patterns


suggest


just


the opposite.


ster


Rose Anthony


sees


"his


vitriolic


sentences"


as "the


outcome


a temper maddened


what


he considered


indecency


and profanity.


" She does


feel


that


"occasionally,


too,


these


liberty


blunted


his judgment"


but that


many













not,


the impassioned


condemnation


functions


as a rhetorical


conclusion


to his


arguments


he is relying


on emotional


persuasion


to weld


together


the citations


from


the plays


and the catastrophic


threat


to religion


which


says


the plays


pose.


He need


not spend


time


proving


poetic


intent


or even


that


his examples


indeed


are a moral


threat,


for the


emotion


sweeps


other


considerations


reason


aside.


But the


especially


tone


in the form


outrage


of rhetorical


accentuated

questions.


one of

using


sarcasm

sarcasm


appears


confident


that


he is unquestionably


correct


in his criticism.


tone


most


used


when


he is speaking


about


specific


plays


or play-


wrights,


as when


comments


on Dryden 's


King Arthur:


Here


we have


Devils;
The Hell
A fit of
And why


Genii,


Venus and St. G
of Heathenism,


Smut,


are Truth


and Angels,


orge, Pan
and the He


and then


a Jest


and Fiction,


about


Cupids,


Syrens


and the Pars


, and
on,


Revelation;


Original


Sin.


Heathenism


Christianity,


the most


Serious


and the


most


Trifling


Things


blended


ether,


and thrown


onto


one Form


of Diversion


is all this done


unless


it be


ridicule
other?29


the whole


and make


one as incredible


as the


course


Collier


sees


no possible


reason


for Dryden 's


use of these


characters


and settings


except


to ridicule


Christianity,


but he provides


no proof.


sarcasm


He merely


rage


continues


and personal


his questioning until


incriminations


tone


of Dryden.


goes


naive


from


reader


could


become


involved


in the castigation,


never


questioning


its validity.


is not surprising


that


Collier's


diction


tone


drew


*1 1


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is too much


given


to horse-play


in his


raillery,


comes


to battle


like


a dictator


from


the plough.


will
up;
good


not say
but I am
manners


I S


The zeal of God's house has eaten him
iure it has devoured some part of his


and civility.


It might


also


be doubted


whether


were


his function


altogether


to rake


into


zeal which
the rubbish


prompted h
of ancient


modern


plays;


to better


and Ari


a divine might


purpose


stophanes,


me, so it might


than


whose


have


employed


in the nastiness


examples,


possibly


supg0
0n


as they
sed that


his pains
Plautus
excuse not


read


them not


without


some


pleasure.


The other


playwrights


were


no less


conscious


of Collier


s outrageous


tone,


as Thomas


D'Urfey


indicates


in his preface


to The


Campaigners


(1698):


Good


"instead


Nature,


of reproving us


gives


with


us the basest


a Pastorly


language,


Mildness,


and with


Charity


the most


scurillous


mouth.


expressions,


Congreve


sometimes


too produces


raging


even


"a Sample


some


foaming


of this


at [the]


Gentleman's


Figures"


and then


reflects


upon


them:


Methinks


hear


pronounce '


em every


time


behold


even
and I


they


in the Print.


find


he that


are almost


In short,


will


speak


Noisy


they


and Turbulent,
are Contagious


of them,


is in


great


danger
use all


were


to speak


this


like


Vehemence


to Preach,


to make


a Noise,


them.


But why


in a written


grant
that


it might
he might


does


Mr. Collier


Arguement?


necessary


sure


to be


heard:
is never
Mild.32


But why
Outrage


all this Passion upon
ous; and Christianity


Paper


is ever


Judgment
Meek and


With


a reference


to St. Chrysostom's


description


of the mildness


of the


prophets,


Congreve


goes


on to suggest


sarcastically


that


Collier's


bel-


lowing


was perhaps


inspired


the Devil


rather


than


the Holy


Ghost.


might


better


have


mentioned


the rhetorical


effectiveness


of these


passion-


JU


,











attacks,


is not unlikely


that


these e


sounds


found


their way


groups


of non-readers,


either


through


sermons


or informal


gatherings.


These


harangues


could


doubtless


arouse


the sleepiest


attendant


a meeting


hosted


the reform


societies.


These


comments


those


playwrights


attacked


in A Short View


are supplemented


remarks


from


other


defenders


of the


stage


also


very


interested


in Collier


s moral


authority.


Though


his position


as an active


non-juror


verifies


his label


as a Christian,


tone


his anti-stage


works,


like


his Platonic


view


of evil,


created


questions


in the minds


of his contemporaries


about


those


ethical


characteristics


they


felt


a model


Christian,


especially


a clergyman,


should


exhibit.


anonymous


writer


Some


Remarks


upon Mr.


Collier's


Defence


of His Short View of the


English


Stage


(1698),


for example,


first


says


that


Collier


rails


"with


a gust


the Christian


Religion


never


inspired"


he "forgets


the noblest


gift


of Heaven,


Charity;


proudly


Judges


and Condemns,


finds


Guilty


or Absolves


own Authority.


Likewise


, John


Dennis


feels


that


"Mr. Collier


so far from having


shewn


in his Book


[A Short View]


either


the Meekness


a true


Christian,


or the Humility


an exemplary


Pastor,


that


he has neither


the Reasoning


a Man


of Sense


in it,


nor the Style


a Polite


Man,


nor


the Sincerity


a Honest


Edward


Filmer


Man,


nor


the Humanity


and Elkanah


Settle make


a Gentleman,

similar obs


or a Man of


.ervations


Letters.

as does


Charles


Gildon,


says


in defense


of Congreve:


are











Congreve's


Name,


Assert


that


the impious


design


which


this


Author


from his


has coin'd


thought,


out of his


and where


own


there


head,


any way


was far
to think


well
both


of a Man,


a Chris


that
tian,


ought


and an ho


certainly to
4-, M^ 36


nIti L


Mail.


be taken,


Even


Collier


himself,


without


realizing


the self-incriminating


accuracy


of his


comment,


says


that


"Railing


a mean,


and unchristian


Talent,


and oftentimes


a sign


of a desperate


Cause,


and a desperate


Conscience.


That


Collier's


techniques


argument


have


been


generally


passed


over


modern


critics


accept


"moral


position,


be indicative


of the


rhetorical


effectiveness


rage


sarcasm


in the


tone


of any moral


argument


one


to why


he used


them.


But those


contemporaries


questioned


that


tone


argued


that


was not


an expert


on morality


in the


drama,


and that


his "railing"


should


not lend


credence


to his authority.


Perhaps


one of the main


reasons


for Collier's


employment


such


rhetoric


was that


it conveniently


thwarted


the reader's


concen-


tration


on his


use of evidence


and the logic


of his


arguments.


mentioned


in the last


chapter,


the defenders


of the


stage were


quick


obj ect


to Collier


s criticism of


language


and actions


in the plays


without


reference


to character


or context.


This


misuse


of evidence


compounded


by misleadin


and inaccurate


quotations


as well


as comments


about


passages


never


cited.


Congreve makes


"False


Imperfect


Citations"


clear when


he points


out such


things


as a partial


quotation


from


The Old


Bachelor,


which misrepresents


Bellmour


s attitude


about


salvation,


or a misquotation


from


The Double-Dealer,


which makes


was