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The Ethics of speech in the plays of William Wycherley

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Title:
The Ethics of speech in the plays of William Wycherley
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Thompson, James Peter, 1951-
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1978
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English
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v, 185 leaves : ; 28 cm.

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Facsimiles ( jstor )
Language ( jstor )
Metaphors ( jstor )
Morality ( jstor )
Poetry ( jstor )
Rhetoric ( jstor )
Spoken communication ( jstor )
Stoicism ( jstor )
Theater ( jstor )
Words ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- English -- UF
English thesis Ph. D
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 172-184.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by James Peter Thompson.

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University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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THE ETHICS OF SPEECH IN THE PLAYS OF WILLIAM WYCHERLEY


By

JAMES PETER THOMPSON





















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY





UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1978





































Copyright 1978

by

James Peter Thompson















TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT ......................................................... iv

CHAPTER ONE: WYCHERLEY AND THE SENECAN ETHICS OF SPEECH......... 1

Notes....................................................... 31

CHAPTER TWO: DECORUM AND LOVE IN A WOOD......................... 39

Notes .................. ................................ 63

CHAPTER THREE: PARADOX AND THE GENTLEMAN DANCING-MASTER......... 70

Notes............................... .... ... ................ 92

CHAPTER FOUR: FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE IN THE COUNTRY WIFE............ 98

Notes............................ .... ... .................. 127

CHAPTER FIVE: THE PLAIN-DEALER AND THE CONCEPT OF CORRECTNESS... 133

Notes................. ....................................... 159

CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSION: TRYAL MAKETH TRUST.................... 165

Notes ..................................................... 170

BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................... .......................... 172

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............................................. 185











Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in P'irtial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



TIIE ETHICS OF SPEECH IN THE PLAYS OF WILLIAM WYCHERLEY

By

James Peter Thompson

June 1978

Chairman: Aubrey L. Willians
Major Department: English

This stylistic and thematic study of Wycherley's language argues

that there is implicit in his plays an ethically correct manner of

speech, and, consequently, that a man's moral essence can be determined

from his words. Confirmation for my thesis is sought in seventeenth-

century devotional and courtesy writers, as well as in linguists and

rhetoricians, all of whom write with surprising frequency and urgency

of the necessity of speaking properly, decently and morally. Features

of speech, in these writers, are commonly described in ethical terms,

and "correct" often encompasses moral as well as grammatical rectitude.

In addition, after tracing the concept, "Style is the man," from its

classical sources, I also argue that the popularity of Senecan style

promoted an expressive theory of speech, identifying the speaker and

his words, and coloring those words with his essence. Changing concepts

of the nature and function of words are investigated, because such

shifts are bound to affect the ethical constraints thought to govern

speech; exactly what these writers feel a sentence can or does accom-

plish goes hand in hand with what they feel ought to be done with words.

iv











However ambiguous words can be, and however their meanings change, most

language theorists of the period seem confident that intended meanings

are reasonably self-evident. The maintenance of such a "rectitude of

words" is the subject of much speculation, for the preservation of the

right meanings of words is perceived as the foundation of common coher-

ence.

Various aspects of the ethics of speech are examined in each of

Wycherley's four plays. In Love in a Wood, the concept of decorum is

analogous to prudence; the one is to speech what the other is to conduct,

both governing appropriate behavior. Differing ethical values in The

Gentleman Dancing-Master reflect conflicting concepts of signification,

while differing uses of figurative language suggest alternative attitudes

towards social constraints and rules in The Country Wife. The Plain-

Dealer anatomizes the concept of correctness, questioning Manly's

authority to judge and correct others' speech and action. Of partic-

ular interest in all the plays is metalanguage, because a large part of

Wycherley's dialogue consists of remarks about remarks. His characters,

for example, complete, expand, emend, or reject one another's simili-

tudes. Such passages often indicate a character's conception of what

his own words accomplish, and may reveal a tactic of expression. The

abuses of speech are also closely examined, as aberrations or rejections

of a rectitude of words. Dissimulation and deception, the ways charac-

ters mislead themselves and others, are consistently contrasted with

proper communication; a correct use of words becomes a metaphor for

cooperation, an attempt to reach, or aid, or inform another, rather

than to deceive or attack him.















CHAPTER ONE
WYCHERLEY AND THE SENECAN ETHICS OF SPEECH

Wycherley's characters congregate in French houses, St. James Park,

the New Exchange, or the Cock in Bow Street, to talk about the talk of

the town. Conversation in Restoration comedy, as Alan Roper remarks,

is often about conversation; characters relate what others have said

in order to anatomize the substance and style of such discourse. Novel's

and Olivia's exchange in The Plain-Dealer ( pp. 413-422)2 is represen-

tative of the reflexive nature of much of Wycherley's dialogue; Novel

describes the dinner he just left so he and Olivia can comment. At the

same time, Olivia and Eliza animadvert upon the present conversation;

the dialogue consists of self-referential remarks upon remarks, for

they comment upon their own and others' words.

The amount of animadversion in Restoration dialogue indicates an

extraordinary self-consciousness about speech and language; as Joan

Webber has said, the seventeenth century is "an age tremendously

conscious of its language: the individual writer, in every paragraph

he sets down, reveals his anxiety to understand the character of words."3

Her subject, the projection of self in words, is especially appropriate

for Wycherley's characters, because they are usually highly aware of

the impression they hope to create with their words, but indeed much

of the popular literature of the Restoration also exhibits a corre-

sponding self-consciousness about speech. Thus Swift's Polite

Conversations parodies a number of courtesy works that claim to teach







2

their reader to speak cleverly and impressively. The Mysteries of Love

and Rhetoric Revealed (London, 1658) includes whole conversations to

be used on one's mistress in the pit, the Ring, or at tea. The Art of

Complaisance, or the Means to Oblige in Conversation (London, 1673) is

a rhetoric of conversation, adapting the art of persuasion to "casual"

speech. Richard Allestree's The Government of the Tongue (Oxford, 1674)

teaches verbal prudence, while other works "Remarque" upon or "Vindi-

cate" "The Conversation of the Town."4 It may be supposed, in the light

of such works, that Restoration comedy elevates conversation to an art

form in part because much of the audience valued skilled, successful

speech. Pepys, for one, equally admires conversation on the stage and

in the pit, and often divides his attention between the two. And as

James Sutherland has argued, the verbal qualities of conversation were

also valued in written prose; the most admired Restoration prose is "a

slightly formalized variation of the conversation of a gentleman,"

characterized by ease, studied underemphasis, imperturbable nonchalance

and breeding.6

However studied or self-conscious Restoration speech may have been,

conversation has been the measure of social grace from the Symposium

to the Cocktail Party. Samuel Johnson gives a sense of the social

nature of the man by closing each of his Lives of the Poets with a

sample of the poet's conversation. But while Johnson characterizes

poets by their conversation, in Restoration or Augustan literature men

are more likely to be defined by their speech; from Mac Flecknoe to the

Dunciad, men are defined and judged by the way they use words, because

speech was thought to reveal the essence of the man, not just his social







3

grace. It was, in fact, during the seventeenth century, according to

the OED, that the meaning of "conversation" shifted from "living amongst

people," or "mode of Life" to its present, specialized sense of

"talk."7 In Restoration comedy, conversation is a significant part of

action. It is by use of words that man deals with other men, by words

that he projects his self, his purposes and intentions; it is by words

that he persuades others of these intentions. Speech was considered a

moral act, as well as the means of revealing and exerting the will.

Although this moral view of speech is not unique to Restoration litera-

ture, divines, moralists, scientists and poets of this period write with

a surprising frequency and urgency of the necessity of speaking properly,

decently, and morally.

Seventeenth-century prose has been the subject of much study in the

last sixty years, from all critical persuasions, but studies have

increasingly turned to historical and theoretical linguistics. Though

these studies focus on the most basic language texts of the period,

grammars and spelling books, they still ignore relevant material. As

important as language training was, it was but half of the grammar

school master's responsibility, for he was to teach religion as well as

right speaking, and his students were to learn their catechism along

with their accidents. The two subjects went hand in hand; while Lily's

grammar demonstrated how language worked, religious and moral literature

explained why it worked or ought to work. Lily defines grammar as

recte scribendi atque loquendi ars; I wish to show that recte was

understood to encompass moral as well as grammatical rightness.8







4

This chapter traces, therefore, the ethical aspects of speech in

conjunction with changing language theory in the seventeenth century.

Morris Croll, George Williamson, and R. F. Jones have isolated three

types of prose style, arguing that the first half of the century was

dominated by anti-Ciceronian or Senecan style, while in reaction to both

Senecan and Ciceronian style, there appeared after 1650 a "plain style"

associated with new science. All three styles have persuasive purposes,

and I will treat them in terms of rhetoric in order to avoid the

suggestion that any one style is more "rhetorical" than the others.

Because these three are always more distinctive in theory than in

practice, they are best distinguished by their dominant interest or

aim: Ciceronian oratorical style is the most openly intended to sway

an audience; Senecan essay style is designed to reflect and display

its author's mind; scientific plain style tries to efface both audience

and author in order to present its subject matter, the close descrip-

tion of natural phenomena. These three rhetoric are essentially

analogous to critical categories established by M. H. Abrams, for

Ciceronian rhetoric is "affective," Senecan is "expressive" and scien-

tific is "mimetic."10 It is not my intention to prove that Senecan

rhetoric either replaced Ciceronianism or turned into Scientific

rhetoric. I am more concerned with the relative popularity of these

three aims of discourse, aims that are perennial, and though one may

seem more popular for a time, it can never eclipse the others.

My purpose in distinguishing these three rhetorical modes is to

show how differing concepts of what can or ought to be done with words

necessarily affect the moral constraints thought to govern speech.







5

Further, not all aspects of these rhetoric are exclusive, and through

the century different facets of the theories shift, conflicting or

aligning with each other, often in unpredictable ways. I will argue

that Wycherley found most congenial the Senecan theory of speech, a

speech that is ethical in its essential conformity with Stoic morality.

It is also ethical in the etymological sense of "ethos": the peculiarly

Senecan and Stoic influences lie in the emphasis on the ethos or charac-

ter or essence of a man contained in and revealed by his words. Of the

three, only Senecan rhetoric is truly comfortable with the idea that

speech reveals the inner man.


I

The idea that men are characterized by their speech is of course

proverbial, with the first known example of speech as the image of the

mind appearing as a received opinion in Dionysius of Halicarnassus: "it

is a just and general opinion that a man's words are the images of his

mind." In the Tusculan Disputations, Cicero credits Socrates with the

analogy between speech and character: Qualis autem homo ipse esset,

talem eius isse orationem.12 The analogy is often expressed epigram-

matically, as in Quintilian, ut vivat, quemque etiam dicere, or in

Seneca, Qualis vir, talis oratio,3 and passed into Renaissance prover-
14
bial lore through Erasmus's Adagia.4 In Robert Greene's proverb

collection, The Royal Exchange, speech reveals the heart, significantly

indicating virtues and vices: "Ex abundantia cordis os loquitor: allud-

ing to our Olde Englishe proverbe, what the heart thinketh, the tongue

clacketh: meaning heerby, that the affections of man are known by his

speech, as favoring of wisdom or follie, of envie, as loving to backbite:









of wrath, as uttering cholcrick terms and such like."15 Such views

were commonplace, and found throughout seventeenth-century literature,

from Ben Jonson to Thomas Sprat.16 To Isaac Barrow, for example,

Speech is commonly judged the truest character of the mind,
and the surest test of inward worth, as that which dis-
closeth the hidden man of the heart, which unlocketh the
closets of the breast, which draws the soul out of her
dark recesses into open light and view, which rendereth
our thoughts visible, and our intentions palpable.
Hence Loquere, ut to videam, Speak, that I may see you,
or know what kind of man you are, is a saying which all
men, at first meeting, do in their heart direct one to
another: neither commonly doth any man require more to
ground a judgment upon concerning the worth or ability of
another, than opportunity of hearing him to discourse for
a competent time.17

As proverbial as this analogy is, it is somewhat at odds with tradi-

tional Ciceronian rhetorical theory. Consider George Puttenham's

version of style as the man:

.there be that have called stile, the image of man
[mentis character] for man is but his minde, and as his
minde is tempered and qualified, so are his speeches and
language at large, and his inward conceits by the metall
of his minded, and his manner of utterance the very warp
and woofe of his conceits, more plaine or busie and intri-
cate, or otherwise affected after the rate. Most men say
that not any one point in Phisiognomy is so certain, as
to judge a mans manners by his eye: but more assuredly
in mine opinion, by his dayly manner of speech and
ordinary writing.

There is nothing unusual here, but Puttenham adds an es'sntial qualifi-

cation: "And yet preadventure not altogether so, but that every mans

stile is for the most part according to the matter and subject of the

writer, or so ought to be, and conformable thereunto."18 If each man

had a unique, individual style, then style would be the man; the concept

of decorum, however, dictates that each man adapt his style to subject








7
and situation. Puttenham thus suggests the divergence between Ciceronian

and Senecan concepts of style is the man. Ciceronian rhetoric, taught

on the basis of imitation, provides a spectrum of styles designed for

public speaking; appropriating these communal styles, each orator may

speak like Cicero. Senecan rhetoric, however, places a much greater

emphasis on the uniqueness of individual style; the Senecan stylist

theoretically speaks like himself, not like Seneca.

Even though Ciceronian rhetoric is unconcerned with individuality,

it still deliberately connects speech and conduct. Thus, in order to

refute the Platonic charge that rhetoric deceives and makes the worse

seem the better case, Quintilian, following Cicero, makes virtue insepa-

rable from eloquence. Borrowing Cato's definition of the orator, vir

bonus dicendi peritus, Quintilian insists that it is the orator's duty

always "to act and speak as befits a man of honor," because "no one can

be a true orator unless he is also a good man."19 Furthermore, from

classical antiquity through the Renaissance, Ciceronian rhetoricians

described features of speech in ethical or moral terms, as in the four

Theophrastan "virtues" of style.20 Cicero writes of the orator's

"religious obligation" toward correct style, and Quintilian makes purity

of style and conduct equivalent forms of correctness. Peripatetic

philosophy, which I will shortly associate with Ciceronianism, postu-

lates an "essential identity in the principle of the virtue of style

with moral virtue."22

Where Ciceronian rhetoric provides an external model of style for

imitation, Senecan rhetoric insists that style emanates from within, a

distinction which reflects conflicting Peripatetic and Stoic attitudes









toward the community. Ciceronian rhetoric is devoted to law, politics

and government: it stresses above all civic and social responsibility.

At the opening of The Rhetoric of Alcuin and Charlemagne, the king

reminds his rhetorician, "I remember you once said that the strength of

this art [rhetoric] lay wholly in dealing with public questions."23

Senecan and Stoic theory proposes a style for philosophy, not public

oratory, a style that comes not from the community but from the soul.

Constancy, the most important of Stoic virtues, dictates that style and

conduct be consistent, as Seneca instructs his correspondent:

Philosophy teaches that he [the philosopher] should live
according to his own standards, that his life should not
be out of harmony with his words, and that, further, his
inner life should be of one hue and not out of harmony with
his activities. This, I say, is the highest duty and the
highest proof of wisdom,--that'deed and word should be equal
to himself under all conditions, and always the same.24

Ciceronian rhetoric and its corresponding Peripatetic philosophy provides

a public, communal code of style and ethics, whereas Senecan rhetoric

and its corresponding Stoic philosophy provides a private, individual

style and ethic; Ciceronian style is theoretically external, Senecan

internal. Further, the popular, public style of Ciceronianism is openly

persuasive, whereas Senecanism asserts that persuasion is a function of

the truth of its facts, not the wording of its argument's.

Ironically, Buffon's famous phrase, "Le style est l'homme meme,"

is appropriate to both views, though for different reasons. Style is

the man himself in Castiglione's Courtier or Oscar Wilde; where style

is everything, each man is an artwork, the construct of style. Con-

versely, Stoicism posits an essential self, an inner man, a soul: here







9

style is the man when speech and soul harmonize. Richard Lanham draws

the contrast between Ciceronianism and Senecanism in terms of two views

of self; the former denies the concept of central self, while the latter

insists upon fidelity to a central identity.25 In view of its public

responsibilities, Ciceronianism is much more concerned with the many

roles an orator must play, in contrast to the Senecan and Stoic impera-

tive to individual consistency and continuity; the Ciceronian can be a

good man in many different ways, the Senecan in only one way. The

student of Ciceronian rhetoric is taught to argue both sides of any

dispute because his science is argumentation; the function of rhetoric,

as Aristotle defines it, is simply "to find out in each case the means

of persuasion."26 The Ciceronian world view is consequently more rela-

tive and fluid than the Senecan commitment to the pursuit of absolute,

self-evident, transcendental truth. Of the Courtier Lanham writes,

"Pose, not central self, victory, not truth, pleasure, not improvement

prevail;" these are also the aims Lanham associates with the Ciceronian

orator.27 Both Cicero and Seneca are interested in truth, but theirs

are different truths. Cicero draws a distinction between Prudentia,
28
or practical wisdom, and Sophia, or speculative wisdom,28 and his

rhetoric would be concerned with the former, Senecan with the latter.

Their subjects differ as do rhetoric and analytics; according to

Aristotle, rhetoric deals with probable truth through commonplaces.29

The subject of Senecan inquiry is closer to analytics, that is, absolute

truth.







10

The contrast Cicero draws between Peripatetic and Stoic philosophy

again turns on public and private, communal and individual.30 Peripa-

tetic philosophy is the most suited to Ciceronianism because it is

based on community standards and public views; Cicero observes in

De oratore that orators are not, in contrast to philosophers, given to

arcane knowledge:

. the whole art of oratory lies open to the view, and is
concerned in some measure with the common practise, custom,
and speech of mankind, so that, whereas in all other arts
that is most excellent which is farthest removed from the
understanding and mental capacity of the untrained, in
oratory the very cardinal sin is to depart from the
language of everyday life, and the usage approved by the
sense of the community.31

Stoicism, on the other hand, committed to ideal truth, is more special-

ized, remote, technical and individualistic, if not idiosyncratic.

Anthony Le Grand, in Man Without Passion: Or, The Wise Stoic, According

to the Sentiments of Seneca (1675), writes of the "Peripateticks," who,

"leaning on the Opinion of the People," "affirmed that what was

generally received could not be faulty." On the contrary, "Truth,"

which Le Grand associates with Stoicism, "seeks not to please many."32

The point is a critical one for popular, public Ciceronian oratory, the

art designed to please many; its function, as Aristotle argues, is to

make the truths of analytics and dialectic understandable to the

untrained.33 Bacon's justification for rhetoric is similar to

Aristotle's but essentially Christian and Augustinian; if men were

perfect, persuasion would be unnecessary because they would always

respond to what is right, but because men are fallen and flawed, their

emotions must be swayed along with their reason:









Again, if the affections in themselves were pliant and
obedient to reason, it were true there should be no great
use of persuasions and insinuations to the will, more than
of naked propositions and proofs; but in regard to the
continual mutinies and seditions of the affections
Video meliora, proboque,
Deteriora sequor,
reason would become captive and servile, if eloquence of
persuasions did not practise and win the imagination from
the affections' part, and contract a confederacy between
the reason and imagination against the affections.

Where popular rhetoric is a mechanism designed to deal with the imperfec-

tions of men, Bacon writes that Stoic discourse "thought to thrust virtue

upon men by sharp disputations and conclusions, which have no sympathy
34
with the will of man."34 Cicero observes that "Stoic oratory is too

closely knit for a popular audience"; the language of philosophy is not

intended for instruction, and if it is not adapted to the level of the

audience, it will not be forceful enough for the moving persuasion of

oratory.3

Cicero records that the Stoics were notoriously hostile to his
36
type of rhetoric, and for obvious reasons. With their stress on the

control and mastery of emotion, Stoics necessarily found the emotional

appeal of openly persuasive rhetoric repugnant. Antonius, the more

practical orator in De oratore, says "it was rather by working upon,

than by informing, the minds of the tribunal" that he Pon his case.3

This type of claim invites the Platonic objection to the rhetoric Plato

connects with sophists: real knowledge is irrelevant to oratory when

its aim is not instruction but persuasion. In The Gorgias, Socrates'

statement that rhetoric "has no need to know the truth about things but

merely to discover a technique of persuasion," leads to the analogy








12

between rhetoric and other superficial skills that deal with appearance

and impression rather than real knowledge: "Sophistic is to legislation

what beautification is to gymnastics, and rhetoric is to justice what

cookery is to medicine."38 Cicero refutes this attack with the insis-

tence that eloquence must be founded upon wisdom. Crassus, Cicero's

spokesman in De oratore, claims that the true orator, "whatever the

topic that crops up to be unfolded in discourse, will speak thereon

with knowledge, method, charm and retentive memory, combining with

these qualifications a certain distinction of bearing." This orator

should command "the subtlety of a logician, the thoughts of a philoso-

pher, a diction almost poetic, a lawyer's memory, a tragedian's voice,

and the bearing almost of the consummate actor." (Under questioning,

however, Crassus admits that he is describing an impossible ideal,

and Antonius counters with the claim that only eloquence is necessary;

the forensic orator need not even have an extensive knowledge of the

law.)39

The Stoic fondness for plainness is also at odds with the highly

figurative Ciceronian style, because figures can be used to darken an

argument. Seneca writes, veritas simplex oratio est, and "Besides,

speech that deals with the truth should be unadorned and plain. This

popular style has nothing to do with the truth; its aim is to impress

the common herd, to ravish heedless cars by its speed; it does not offer

itself for discussion, but snatches itself away from discussion."40

While plainness is a Stoic virtue, clarity is not, because the Stoic

speaker's ultimate responsibility is to the pursuit of truth, not to

easy comprehension. The Ciceronian orator must always answer to his







13

audience; where he is forced to adapt his speech to the situation, the

Stoic's speech must always be consistent if he is to have one true style

that emanates from the soul. Seneca tells Lucilius to "take'care of

the soul; for from the soul issue our thoughts, from the soul our words,

from the soul our dispositions, our expressions, and our very gait.

When the soul is sound and strong, the style is vigorous, energetic,

manly; but if the soul loses balance, down comes all the rest in
,,42
ruins."

Stoic philosophy also has physical and metaphysical imperatives to

style. The Stoic theory of language is Realist; that is, words are not

arbitrary or accidental but God-given signs wherein the signifier is

naturally and inherently connected with the signified. Their concept

of the Logos extends through all features of the created world; the

Logos is the informing, divine, structural principle in all things. As

A. C. Lloyd summarizes in "Grammar and Metaphysics in the Stoa", "The

Stoics shared Heraclitus's belief that Logos was part of nature, with

the result that everything natural possessed some properties which it

possessed. But they interpreted Logos more plainly, as sounds which

signified by describing. Features of description were features of

nature, so that their [grammatical] categories were, like Aristotle's,

facts of nature."43 Meaning or signification, the conjunction of signi-

fier and signified, is neither arbitrary nor extrinsic, but the intrinsic

spark of divine presence. The misuses of speech, catechresis, solecism,

or worse, deceit, are then a denial or rejection or a tacit rebellion

against the divine principle. Every sentence uttered is informed by the

Logos, the word and reason of God, and so Montaigne can thus write









To lie is a horrible-filthy vice; and which an ancient
writer setteth forth very shamefully, when he saith,
that whosoever lieth, witnesseth that he contemneth God
and therewithall feareth men. It is impossible more
richly to represent the horror, the vilenesse and the
disorder of it: For, what can he imagine so vile, and
base, as to be a coward towards men, and a boaster towards
God? Our intelligence being only conducted by way of
the Word: Who so falsifieth the same betraieth public
society. It is the only instrument, by means wherof
our wits and our thoughts are communicated: it is the
interpretour of our soules: If that faile us we hold
our selves no more, we enter-know one another no longer.
If it deceive us, it breaketh al our commerce, and
dissolveth al bonds of our policies4 4

These contrasts between Ciceronian and Senecan, Peripatetic and

Stoic schools, are pertinent to the history of seventeenth-century

prose, for the early decades witness the predominance of a private,

personal, subjective, idiosyncratic essay style over a public, communal,

objective, oratorical style.45 A contrast illustrative of the change

may be drawn between the two extremes of Castiglione and Montaigne;

in Castiglione one makes himself, in Montaigne one is himself. The

rise of Senecan style brings a renascence of the Senecan concept of

speech as the index of the soul, and English aphorisms connecting style

and self blossom after 1590.

English interest in continental Neostoicism also began at this

time.47 Juste Lipsius's Latin Two Books of Constancy (1584) was

translated into English in 1594, and Du Vair's French Moral Philosophy

of the Stoicks (1585) was Englished in 1598. Joseph Hall, "Our English

Seneca," published his explicitly Stoical Heaven Upon Earth in 1606;

this saw print twenty-four times by 1637, and Earl Miner has shown that

the number of Stoical works published remained constant throughout the







15
48
century. Such works aimed, furthermore, to reconcile Stoicism and

Christian doctrine, adapting Stoic ethics to Christian faith and Stoic

fate to Christian Providence. Lipsius's Manuductio ad stoicam

philosophiam and Physiologia stoicorum (1604) made available the frag-

mentary Stoic teachings on ethics, physics and metaphysics; he is

particularly concerned to harmonize the Logos of the Old Stoa and the

Logos of St. John: Vides dare, hanc Naturam, Mentem esse Dei et
49
Rationem, uno verbo Deum.49 Seneca and Epictetus had long been

regarded as no ordinary heathens, and Etienne Gilson writes that "the

Middle Ages regarded them as precursors to Christianity and occasionally

as saints."50 Peacham thus recommends "the virtuous and divine Seneca"

for morality, the Seneca "who, for that he lived so near the times of

the apostles, and had familiar acquaintance with St. Paul (as it is

supposed by those epistles that pass under either their names) is

thought in heart to have been a Christian; and certes so it seemeth to

me, by that spirit wherewith so many rules of patience, humility,

contempt of the world are refined and exempt from the degrees of

paganism."51 Seneca, indeed, was thought a crypto-Christian through

the nineteenth century.

The Senecan revival in England produced a prose style that is, in

one form, rough and tumbling, crabbed, convoluted, paratactic, lacking

in connectives, paradoxical, sententious.52 Robert Burton, in

"Democritus to the Reader," provides the most felicitous description

and example of this style when he claims to write









in an extemporcan style, as I do commonly all other
exercises, effudi quicquod dictavit genius meus [I
poured out whatever came into my mind], out of a
confused company of notes, and writ with as small
deliberation as I do ordinarily speak, without all
affectation of big words, fustian phrases, jingling
terms, tropes, strong lines, that like Acestes' arrows
caught fire as they flew, strains of wit, brave heats,
elogies, hyperbolical exornations, elegancies, etc.,
which many so much effect. I am aquae potor [a water-
drinker], drink no wine at all, which so much improves
our modern wits, a loose, plain rude writer, ficum voco
ficum ligonem ligonem [I call a fig a fig and a spade
a spade], and as free, as loose, idem calamo quod in
mente [what my mind thinks my pen writes], I call a
spade a spade, animis haec scribo, non auribus [I
write for the mind, not the ear], I respect matter, not
words; remembering that of Cardan, verba proper res,
non res proper verba [words should minister to matter,
not vice versa], and seeking with Seneca, quid scribam,
non quem ad modum, rather what than how to write: for
as Philo thinks, "he that is conversant about matter
neglects words, and those that excel in this art of
speaking have no profound learning."

The manner conforms to Stoic theory; it is designed to express an inner

realism by following the action of the mind, and it is natural for

Burton to hold that style is the man: "It is most true, stilus virum

arguit, our style betrays us, and as hunters find their game by the

trace, so is a man's genius described by his works; multo melius ex

sermone quam lineaments de moribus hominum judicamus [we can judge a

man's character much better from his conversation than his physiognomy];

'twas old Cato's rule. I have laid myself open (I know it) in this

treatise, turned mine inside outward."53

The most perfect Renaissance expression of Senecan stylistic theory

and practice is found in Montaigne's essays. As Montaigne's subject is

the self, so his style emanates from the self; it is an exact meeting of










manner and matter. In "A Consideration Upon Cicero," he can be seen to

contrast public and politic language with the familiarity and sincerity

of his own writing:

I have naturally a comical and familiar stile: But after
a manner peculiar unto my selfe, inept in all publicke
Negotiations, answering my speech, which is altogether
close, broken and particular: I have no skill in cere-
monious letters, which have no other substance, but a faire
contexture of complimental phrases and curteous words.
I have no taste nor faculty of these tedious offers of
service and affection. I believe not so much as is said,
and am nothing pleased to say more than I believe. . I
offer my selfe but faintly and rudely to those whose I
am indeed, and present my self at least, to such as I have
most given my self. Me thinks they should read it in my
heart, and that the expression of my words, wrongeth my
conception.

In "Of Presumption," Montaigne explores the ethical implications of the

exposure of self, comparing the dissimulation necessary to the politi-

cian or courtier with his own honesty and openness. The Senecan style

and theory in Montaigne yield nothing short of an ethical imperative

toward the true and sincere language of the heart:

For, touching this new-found vertue of faining and
dissimulation, which now is so much in credit, I hate it
to the death: and of all vices, I finde none so much
witnesseth dimissenesse and baseness of heart. It is
a coward and servile humour; for a man to disguise and
hide himself under a make, and not dare to shew
himself as he is. Thereby our men address themselves
to treacherie: Being trained to utter false words, they
make no conscience to break them. A generous minde
ought not to belie his thoughts, but to make shew of
his inmost parts: Ther al is good, or at least all is
humane.54

Montaigne's assumption that ethical qualities such as generosity

and baseness can be determined from a man's speech is based upon

Senecan and Stoic concepts of speech; this ethical hermeneutics of







18

language argues, on the one hand, that there exists a morally correct

manner of speech, and, on the other, that a man's moral essence can be

determined from his speech.


Ii

In literary histories, it is axiomatic that by the Restoration,

Senecan style was as outmoded as the witty style of preaching; the

Latinate periods of Milton, the o altitude of Browne, the "extemporean

style" of Burton, and the strong lines of Donne were superceded by some

consensus of a "modern" plain style as "polite and as fast as Marble."55

However much these changes have been exaggerated, scientific language

theory must have had a significant effect on the conception of language.

The language schemes of George Dalgarno and John Wilkins project a new

theory of signification in their attempts to forge a rigorously non-

figurative language that would resist any implication beyond literal,

denotative meaning. Yet their ambitious attempts to rectify the diffi-

culties and uncertainties inherent in discourse demonstrate how much

they, like earlier linguists, were concerned with moral aspects of

language. New scientists are, if anything, more explicit about the

ethical implications of speech. Throughout the century, to Ciceronian,

Senecan, or scientific theorist alike, the preservation of common signi-

ficance is perceived as the foundation of common coherence and under-

standing, while the subversion of the agreed meanings of words undermines

social and moral order; it is "ill governed speech," according to Isaac

Barrow, "which perverteth justice, which soweth dissentions, which

raiseth all bad passions and animosities, which embroileth the world








19
in seditions and factions, by which men wrong and abuse, deceive and

seduce, defame and disgrace one another."56 Though the government of

the tongue remained a prominent concern of linguistics, how scientific

theorists proposed to govern it was radically different from their

predecessors. Seventeenth-century scientific language theory is

essential to any understanding of Restoration philosophy of language,

because the schemes of Wilkins and others make explicit the writer's

most basic assumptions about the capacity and function of words.

Whether scientific plain style is an outgrowth of or a reaction

to Anti-Ciceronian style has been disputed. According to either

interpretation, the history of seventeenth-century prose style parallels

the gradual erosion of the classical and medieval curriculum of

language arts.57 According to D. C. Allen, Ciceronian, oratorical

style, based as it was on conventional wisdom, was suited to describe

the certitude of the ordered, hierarchical cosmos Ulysses traces in

Troilus and Cressida, while F. P. Wilson suggests that Senecan style

was suited to a "skeptical, tentative and self-conscious" Jacobean
58
age.8 Demetrius's contrast of periodic and paratactic structure

illustrates the distinction these historians draw: the former is like

the support of a vaulted dome, the latter like stones thrown in a

heap.59 Croll's connection of Senecan and scientific plain styles is

based on the Senecan rejection of the traditional wisdom of Ciceronian

oratory, the abandonment of generalities and probable truths, the

Aristotelian topics so suited to popular audiences. In other respects,







20
the causal connection between the two styles is, as R. F. Jones and

Robert Adolph point out, tenuous at best.60 Clarity or ease of compre-

hension is essential to scientific writing, but is of little importance

to Senecan stylists.61 Further, Bacon's plain style is designed, in

Adolph's terms, to be a "styleless style," the antithesis of the self-

revelatory Senecan style.62

Humanists and scientists alike employ the metaphor of the trivium

as the key to the door of knowledge, but the latter argue that humanists

were only interested in the key itself, and never passed into the realm

of true knowledge. Queen Elizabeth's tutor, Roger Ascham, described

the student's end as "a true choice and placing of words, a right

ordering of sentences, an easy understanding of the tongue, a readiness

to speak, a facility to write, a true judgment both of his own and

other men's doings, what tongue soever he doth use."63 Seventy years

later, these are not the skills John Dury, a follower of Comenius,

expects his pupils to master; Dury envisions a much curtailed language

curriculum in The Reformed School (London, 1651): "Whatsoever in the

teaching of Tongues doth not tend to make them a help unto Traditional

Knowledge by the manifestation of Real Truths in Sciences, is super-

fluous."64 The devaluation of the trivium reflects new scientists'

devaluation of disputation. The mastery of argumentation, in formal

disputation, is the crowning achievement of the trivium (the locus

classics is Isocrates' Antidosis, where "the power of speech allows

us to dispute, to resolve, to understand all issues").65 New science,

on the other hand, "proceeds on Trials, not on arguments."66 Glanvill








21
writes that the old methodology is ineffectual: disputation "runs

round in a Labyrinth of Talk, but advanceth nothing." Nullius in

Verba is the motto of the Royal Society.

The scientists reveal their most profound break with the past in

their attitude toward eloquence. In a Renaissance translation of

Isocrates' Nicholes, it is Eloquence that "reproveth and correcteth

the wicked, encourageth and imboldeth the godly, instructeth the

foolish, craveth the counsel and judgement of the wise; dissolveth

and dispatcheth all quarrells and controversies, and procureth the

knowledge of things unknowne."8 New science treats this eloquence

with contempt; even though Sprat recognizes that the persuasive techni-

ques of rhetoric cannot be abandoned, he still writes that "eloquence

ought to be banished out of all civil societies." New scientists

value a different eloquence that consciously rejects two millenia of

rhetorical technique. According to Sprat, it was the "constant

Resolution" of the Royal Society "to reject all the swellings of style:

to return back to the primitive purity, and shortness, when men

delivered so many things, almost in an equal number of words. They

have exacted from all their members, a close, naked, natural way of

speaking: positive expressions; clear senses; a native easiness:

bringing all things as near the Mathematical plainness, as they can."69

Sprat envisions a discourse so clear that no interpretation would

be necessary, and it was dissatisfaction with the existing language

that made scientists propose a new system, a Real Character.70 Such

projectors did not condemn language, as Jones argues;1 rather, they







22

ambitiously sought to rectify its defects, the "fallacies and sophistrie,

through Tautologies, ambiguous words, darke sentences,"72 that man had

endured since the fall. The Real Character is a synthetic lingua

humana, the Edenic speech with which Adam named the creatures according

to their kind.7 "Return to primitive purity" suggest the attractions

of the schemes: they will lead back to the golden age of language

before the fall and confusion. In The Court of the Gentiles, Theophilus

Gale describes Adam's speech as "the first rectitude of words,"74 a

phrase which exemplifies the fundamental desire to go back to or to

forge anew the correct meanings of words, thereby eliminating verbal

misunderstanding.

Thirty-two schemes for Real Characters and/or Universal Languages

appeared in Wycherley's lifetime.75 The most elaborate, Bishop John

Wilkins' An Essay towards a Real Character and A Philosophical

Language (London, 1668), explains the psychological rational: "As

men do generally agree in the same Principle of Reason, so do they

likewise agree in the same Internal Notion or Apprehension of Things ..

So that if men should generally agree in the same way or manner of

Expression, as they do agree in the same Notion, we should then be free

from that Curse in the Confusion of Tongues, with all the unhappy

consequences of it."76 If all men think alike, and have the same

conceits or pictures in the mind, then difficulty and misunderstanding

are caused by words themselves and occur in the translation from mental

to verbal discourse. An advertisement to George Dalgarno's Ars Signorum,

entitled "News to the Whole World, of the discovery of an Universal








23

Character, and a new Rational Language" (1657), promises a system that

will "deliver Truth in plain and downright terms."77

Vivian Salmon separates three levels of seventeenth-century

language projects that naturally escalate from the less to the more

ambitious.78 Common writing or universal language schemes propose a

lexicon of symbols into which all languages could be translated in

order to be made mutually intelligible. Philosophic schemes organized

the lexicon into philosophical or conceptual categories, from Ramon

Lull or Aristotle. Real Characters tried to make the philosophically

organized symbols naturally or intuitively significant, on the analogy

of Egyptian hieroglyphs, Chinese ideograms or the lingua humana. The

Real Character would forge an indestructible bond between the signifier

and the signified, making misunderstanding impossible by excluding
79
ambiguity and choice in meaning.79 Once one word clearly and precisely

signifies one thing, language would accurately reflect the created

world. As Knowlson puts it, "Language would not only be a means of

acquiring knowledge: it would itself be knowledge."80

Realist systems were clearly more ideal than languages that

employed nominal, arbitrary signs, and the Realist ideal persisted as long

as it was believed that language, like everything else, was created and
81
sustained by the Logos. Bacon, who is usually thought a nominalist,

can write of the error that words are "derived and deduced by reason

and according to signification," and then turn around and write, "The

true end of knowledge . is a restitution and a reinvesting (in

great part) of man to the sovereignty and power (for whensoever


1







24

he shall be able to call the creatures by their true name he shall be

able to command them) which he had in his first state of creation."82

The lingua humana provides more than a myth of a linguistic golden

age: it offers divine sanction for a concept of a Real Character

where the signifier and the signified are perfectly conjoined. The

Real Characters were thought necessary partly out of despair of re-

covering the perfect, first speech. Unable to reach the unfallen

Realism, Thomas Urquhart intends a synthetic solution, "to plainly

setteth down the analogie, that ought to be betwixt things and words."83

Nominal, arbitrary signs are reluctantly employed because "no language

ever hitherto framed, hath observed any order relating the things

signified."84

In attempting to fuse the signifier and the signified, these

systems tacitly admit the void between them. There is an ironic dis-

placement apparent here; Wilkins does not seem to believe that

communication is more dependent upon the ethics of the speaker than

upon his language itself, and scientists in general attempt to rectify

the speech perhaps because they cannot reform the speaker. Wilkins

asks us to consider "the common mischief that is done, and the many

impostures and cheats that are put upon men, under the disguise of

affected insignificant phrase."85 He goes on to blame the phrase, not

the speaker, "equivocals," not equivocation, trying to make honesty

an externally imposed phenomenon. The Real Character ultimately tries

to make truth and clarity mandatory by making deceit and ambiguity

impossible, and this constitutes a major shift from the older theory









of language. New science believes that correct and unequivocal

signification can be maintained by a mechanical device that prevents

deviation from the normative value or meaning; significance is deter-

mined and locked in by the Real Character. Responsibility is external-

ized, and the speaker is absolved when language is blamed for misunder-

standing (willful deception does not enter into scientific discussions

of language). Traditional rhetorical theory insists upon the virtue

of the speaker, holding him responsible for any misunderstanding; where

speech is the index of the mind or soul, flaws and falsity come from

within. In his attack on Alexander More, Milton expresses the older,

rhetorical concept of the speaker's responsibility, arguing that words

are neutral, and receive their ethical coloring from their speaker:

"Yet not in a word or a thing, but in you consists every vice and

obscenity. Fouler than some faun or naked satyr, by your manners you

have changed innocent words into unchaste ones."86

Scientific language theorists of the Restoration attempted to

objectify discourse by disassociating the speaker from his speech.

Where classical and Renaissance language theory drew a correspondence

between language and the mind, asserting that words signified or stood

for ideas, Restoration linguists saw a correspondence between language
87
and nature, claiming that words signified or stood for things. The

catch phrase, res et verbal, serves as a model for language, bringing

together as it does the signified, that which is understood, and the

signifier, that which is said; in the seventeenth century, the meaning

of res changes from concepts or ideas to things or quiddity.88







26

The classical meaning of res ct verba is closer to thought and speech,

not word and thing, and Swift parodies this shift in the Academy of

Lagado, where words are reified into physical objects. In Cowley's

"Ode to the Royal Society," affixed to Sprat's History, Bacon is

credited with making the signified relate to things, not thoughts:

From Words, which are but Pictures of the Thought,
(Though we our Thoughts from them perversely drew)
To Things, the Minds right Object he it brought.

If words stand for or signify things, the auditor does not need to

interpret or imagine the thoughts of the speaker. It is almost as if

scientists viewed language as a tool extrinsic to man, a tool that

would be exchanged at will as soon as a better language was invented.

In consequence, none of the scientific linguists draw the analogy

between speech and conduct or style and the man; to them speech does

not image the heart or mind, or emanate from the soul. The universal

language would function exactly the same for every speaker; it is, in

fact, designed to eliminate individual variations.

There is no evidence in Restoration scientific language theory

of the classical concept of the perfect union between word and thought;

words are no longer thoughts realized or thoughts the soul to the

words' body. Cato's adage, rem tene, verba sequentur, had exemplified

the classical vision of the harmonious marriage of matter and manner,

the most perfect expression of which occurs in De oratore:

Every speech consists of matter and words, and the words
cannot fall into place if you remove the matter, nor can
the matter have clarity if you withdraw the words. And
in my own view the great men of the past, having a wider
mental grasp, had also a far deeper insight than our
minds eye can achieve, when they asserted that all this









universe above us and below is one single whole, and is
held together by a single force and harmony of nature:
for there exists no class of things which can stand by
itself, severed from the rest, or which the rest can
dispense with and yet be able to preserve their own
force and everlasting existence.89

The sentence almost becomes an emblem of the marriage of spirit and

substance, of body and soul; the synthesis of matter and manner

illustrates a doctrine of utility, plenitude and cosmic harmony, where

everything in the universe has its place and purpose. Res, the order

of concepts, is not only uncommunicable but unimaginable without the

form and expression of words. Quintilian warns that words have no

merit save in context, and "when we praise words, we do so because

they suit the matter."90 His point, however, is not to denigrate

words, but to celebrate the rhetor's mastery of expression. The most

often repeated version of Cato's phrase is from Horace, Ars Poetica,

verbaque provisam rem non invita sequentur, when the matter is in hand,

the words will not be loath to follow.91 To John Brinsley, in 1612,

Horace's words embody the very goal of education:

These three verses of Horace were worthy to be written in
letters of golde, and to be imprinted in the memories of
every one who is desirous to get the best learning. . To
attaine to this facultie, to be able to write or speak of
anie matter, and so to come to all excellent learning, the
very first and chief fountain, and that which is all in
all is to understand the matter well in the first place.
As for store of matter the writings of learned men (such
as Socrates was) will furnish you abundantly therewith.

And when you have the matter throughly in your
head, words will follow, as waters from a fountain even
almost naturally to express your mind in any tongue
which you study in any right order.92









New scientists, by contrast, sought a discourse of such "signi-

ficance, perspicuity, brevity and constant facility," that they would

not need to hunt after words and the fine placing of them.93- At the

same time, they lost the sense of the mastery of words. In Quintilian

and throughout classical and Renaissance rhetoric, words are the

servants of the thought, but words come to be regarded as rebellious

servants by Restoration scientists. In his version of rem tene, Milton

expresses all that the scientists reject; in this sentence, he displays

the mastery of words that the scientists at once seem to feel is

unnecessary but regret not having:

For me, Readers, although I cannot say that I am
utterly untrained in those rules which best
Rhetoricians have giv'n, or unacquainted with those
examples which the prime authors of eloquence have
written in any learned tongue, yet true eloquence I
find to be none, but the serious and hearty love of
truth: And that whose mind so ever is fully possest
with a fervent desire to know good things, and with
the dearest charity to infuse the knowledge of them
into others, his words (by which I can express) like
so many nimble and airy servitors trip about him at
command, and in well ordered files, as he would wish,
fall aptly into their own places.94


III

It is against this background of conflicting attitudes toward

language that I wish to read Wycherley's plays. Though I have described

the Ciceronian, Senecan, and scientific modes of rhetoric as antago-

nistic, on certain points they are at one, the most important of which

is the concern for the maintenance of the rectitude of words, a concern

that scientists, rhetoricians, divines and dramatists shared. This

passage from Richard Allestree is characteristic in its focus on the


Ij







29
righteousness of words: ". .. for tho in our depraved estimate the

Eloquence of Language is more regarded then the innocence, tho we think

our words vanish with the breath that utters them, yet they become

records in Gods Court, are laid up in his Archives as witnesses either

for or against us, that By thy words thou shalt be justified and by

thy words, thou shalt be condem'd, Mat. 12:37."95 The preceding verse

from Matthew is "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men

shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

God's attention to every idle word in the theatre of the world is

analogous to the audience's attention to words in the world of the

theatre. In either case words are to be weighed for more than amuse-

ment or eloquence: in the last act, they are evidence for judgment.

Wycherley's plays were written and performed when Allestree was the

most popular author in England; his plays reflect an age highly conscious

of the moral significance of words.

Wycherley's use of dialogue to indicate moral characteristics,

along with his suggestion that there is a morally correct manner of

speech, are based upon Senecan and Stoic concepts of speech. It does

not necessarily follow that his plays are Stoical, though he treats

Stoic subjects in his verse.96 Nor do Wycherley's plays exhibit

Senecan style, though they are often paradoxical and sententious; as

Dryden observes, such difficult and compressed prose is inappropriate

for the stage: "A poet cannot speak too plainly on the stage: for

volat irrevocabile verbum; the sense is lost if it be not taken

flying."97 Wycherley's nondramatic prose is, on the other hand,







30

highly Scnccan, and his verse seems to reveal a Senecan poetic (if

there is such a thing). His insistence on the ethical conformity of

speech and self informs Vincent's question in Love in a Wood, "Is this

the stile of a woman of honour," and it can be seen also in his

frequent use of the cliche, "a man is as good as his word."

Wycherley is usually regarded as a crude stylist; W. R. Chadwick,

for example, writes of the "rough texture" of Wycherley's prose, and

the best he can say is that, like Wordsworth's, Wycherley's is the
98
language of ordinary men. Wycherley's contemporaries, however,

praised him for his verbal characterization, and John Dennis believed

that, in this respect, The Plain-Dealer was superior to classical

drama:

For the Style of the Comedy of the Ancients, and
particularly of Terence his Comedy, does not seem to
me to be varied enough, nor proportioned enough to the
characters. The Slave in Terence speaks with the same
Elegance, and the same Grace, for the most Part, that
his Master does. But look into the Plain-Dealer, and
you shall find as many styles in it, as there are
Characters. For Manly, Freeman, Plausible, Olivia,
Novel, Elisha, and the Widow Blackacre and Jerry, have
each of them a different Dialect, which, besides the
Variety, must be farther delightful, because 'tis an
exact Imitation of Nature. For as every Man has a
Different Form of Face, he has a different Turn of Mind,
and consequently, a different Cast of Thought, and a
different Manner of Expression.99

The tag loguere ut te videam, which Wycherley himself quotes (IV, 48),

is essential to the theatre, and Ben Jonson provided for Wycherley the

most outstanding model for characterization by speech; in Discoveries,

Jonson writes that "Language most shewes a man: speaker that I may see

thee. It springs out of the most retired, and inmost part of us, and







31

is the Image of the Parent of it, the mind. No glasse renders a mans

forme, or likenesse, so true as his speech."00 Jonas Barish, in

Ben Jonson and the Language of Prose Comedy, observes that "Jonson's

moral and linguistic judgments coincide," and he finds the same coinci-

dence in Wycherley's most Jonsonian play, The Plain-Dealer: in the

Widow Blackacre, "Corruption of style and corruption of manners coincide

with something like Jonsonian exactness."101 In all his characters,

Wycherley observes a constant coincidence of stylistic and ethical

qualities, through a parallelism of moral and verbal conduct. Donne

had written of his text, "We consider in the words, The maner and the

matter, How it is spoken, And what is said"; in Wycherley's plays,

how it is spoken reveals as much of the moral argument as what is

said.102


Notes

1. "Language and Action in The Way of the World, Love's Last Shift
and The Relapse," ELH 40 (1973), pp. 44-69.

2. All quotations from Wycherley's plays are from Gerald Weales'
edition (Garden City: Doubleday and Co., 1966), and those from
Wycherley's verse are from Works, 4 Vol., ed. Montague Summers
(1924, rpt. New York: Russell and Russell, 1964).

3. The Eloquent "I:" Style and Self in Seventeenth-Century Prose
(ladison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968), p.. 10.

4. See Remargues on the Humours and Conversation of the Gallants of
the Town, London, 1673, and Remarks Upon Remarques: or a Vindica-
tion of the Conversation of the Town, London, 1673.

5. Pepys's admiration for Sedley's witticism is paradigmatic, in the
entry for Oct. 4, 1664. Helen McAfee, Pepys on the Restoration
Stage (1916, rpt. New York: Benjamin Blom, nd.), pp. 175-6.









6. "Restoration Prose," in Stuart and Georgian Moments, ed. Earl Miner
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), pp. 113-4.

7. See John E. Mason, Gentlefolk in the Making: Studies in Courtesy
Literature (1935, rpt. New York: Octagon Books, 1971), p. 35.

8. This is the first sentence of William Lily's Brevissima Institudio,
(1567), facsimile ed. Vincent Flynn (New York: Scholars' Facsimiles,
1945), np.

9. Morris Croll, Style, Rhetoric and Rhythm, ed. J. Max Patrick and
Robert 0. Evans (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966),
pp. 7-233, George Williamson, The Senecan Amble (Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1951), passim, and R. F. Jones, The Seventeenth
Century (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1951), pp. 10-160.
For important differences amongst these three, see pp. 19-20.

10. The Mirror and the Lamp (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1953),
pp. 3-29.

11. Roman Antiquities, 7 Vol. trans. Earnest Cary, (Cambridge: Loeb
Classical Library, 1937), Vol. I, p. 5.

12. Tusculan Disputations, 5.16.47.

13. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, 4 Vol., trans. H. E. Butler,
(Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1935), Vol. IV, p. 172.
Seneca, Epistuale Morales, 3 Vol., trans. Richard M. Gummere,
(Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1961), Vol. I, p. 300-1.

14. In A Dictionary of Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and
Seventeenth Centuries, Morris Tilley cites seven examples of
"Speech is the picture (index) of the mind," seven examples of
"As the man is so is his talk," and five examples of "A bird is
known by its note and a man by his talk." (Ann Arbor: University
of Michigan Press, 1950), S735, M75 and B365.

15. London, 1590. Facsimile ed. Charles Speroni, University of
California Publications in Modern Philology, Vol. 88 (1968),
Proverb #50.

16. Ben Jonson, Works, ed. Herford and Simpson, (Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1947) III, 625, and Thomas Sprat, The History of the Royal
Society, facsimile ed. Jackson I. Cope and Harold Jones (St. Louis:
Washington University Press, 1958), p. 36. See also Henry Peacham,
The Complete Gentleman, ed. Virgil B. Heltzel (Ithica: Cornell
University Press, 1962), p. 54; John Hewes, A Perfect Survey of the
English Tongue (London, 1624) facsimile edition (Menston: Scolar
Press, 1972) epilogue, np.; Richard Head, Proteus Redivius: Or,
The Art of Wheedling, or Insinuation, London, 1675, p. 53.


I









17. Works, 3 Vol., New York, 1845. Vol. I, p. 141.

18. The Art of English Poesie (London, 1589), facsimile (Scolar Press,
1968), p. 123.

19. Quintilian, Vol. IV, p. 355, Vol. II, pp. 313-5 and I, 41, and IV,
163.

20. George Kennedy considers the Theophrastan virtues, The Art of
Persuasion in Greece (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
1963), pp. 273-284. Among the Renaissance rhetoricians who write
of the "vertues" of style are Richard Sherry, A Treatise of Schemes
and Tropes, London, 1550, facsimile ed. Herbert Hildebrant
(Gainesville: Scholar's facsimiles, 1961), p. 40; Angel Day, The
English Secretorie, London, 1586, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1967),
p. 13; Thomas Blunt, The Academy of Eloquence London, 1654,
facsimile (Scolar Press, 1971), pp. 1-46; John Barton, The Art of
Rhetorick Concisely and Completely Handled, London, 1634, "To the
Reader," np.

21. Brutus, trans. G. L. Hendrickson, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical
Library, 1952), p. 247, and Quintilian, I, 131.

22. G. L. Hendrickson, "The Peripatetic Mean of Style and the Three
Stylistic Characters," AJP XXV (1904), p. 135.

23. Trans. Wilbur Samuel Howells, (1941, rpt. New York: Russell and
Russell, 1965), p. 67. It may seem odd to oppose Stoicism with
social responsibility, especially since, by the eighteenth century,
Stoicism was regarded as the philosophy of public commitment, as
opposed to Epicureanism. There is, however, a vast difference
between Addison's Cato and Lipsius or the Old Stoa, and Wycherley's
concept of Stoicism would have been closer to Lipsius's than
Addison's. The ethics of classical Stoicism are fundamentally
self-centered; though familial and social ties have value, the
only true good is personal virtue. There is, needless to say, no
nature dependent upon grace: everything is dependent upon the
individual will. See Ludwig Edelstein, The Meaning of Stoicism
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966), passim.

24. Epistles, I. 133-5.

25. Landam makes his point a little too strongly: the Ciceronian
"stylist has no central self to be true to. In the Arnoldian,
highly serious sense of self, he boasts no self at all. At his
center lurks a true Ciceronian vacuity. He feels at home in his
roles and to live must play them. When he poses, he is being
himself." The Motives of Eloquence (New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1976), p. 27.









26. The Art of Rhetoric, trans. John Henry Freese, (Cambridge: Loeb
Classical Library, 1926), p. 13.

27. Lanham, pp. 47-8.

28. De officiis, trans. Walter Miller, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical
Library, 1947), p. 157, De oratore, 2 Vol., trans. E. W. Sutton
and H. Rackham, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1948), I, 137.

29. Rhetoric, pp. 11-15.

30. De finibus, III-IV and Tusculan Disputations, IV-V; on this point,
I am indebted to Jerrold Seigel's fine discussion of Cicero,
Rhetoric and Philosophy In Renaissance Humanism (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1968), pp. 22-8.

31. De oratore, I, 11. Again, see Seigal, pp. 1-30.

32. Trans. G. R., London, 1675, "Author's Preface," np.

33. Rhetoric, pp. 19, 287 and 347.

34. The Advancement of Learning (London: Oxford University Press,
1960), pp. 169-70.

35. Brutus, pp. 103-9, and Orator, trans. H. M. Hubbell, (Cambridge:
Loeb Classical Library, 1952), pp. 353-5. Cicero's justification
of rhetoric is fundamentally different from Aristotle's,
St. Augustine's and Bacon's; he does not, like them, separate
rhetorical truths from "higher," transcendent truth, nor conse-
quently, does he rank these two types of truth hierarchically.
Rather, he fuses wisdom and eloquence, rhetoric and philosophy,
almost as if they were manner and matter: either one alone is
inadequate.

36. De oratore, I, 161ff, and II, 131ff.

37. II, 347.

38. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns, ed., Plato: The Collected
Dialogues (New York: Pantheon Books, 1961), pp. 242 and 247.

39. De oratore, I, 49, 89-91 and 160ff.

40. Epistles, I, 331 and 365-7.

41. Croll, p. 89.


42. Epistles, II, 315.









43. A. A. Long, ed., Problems in Stoicism (London: Athlone Press,
1971), pp. 70-1.

44. John Florio, trans., Montaigne's Essayes, 3 Vol. (London: John
Dent, 1910), II, 393-4.

45. Again, see Croll, p. 61.

46. Rosalie L. Colie, Paradoxica Epidemica (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1966), p. 378.

47. My understanding of Neostoicism is indebted to Jason Lewis, Justus
Lipsius, The Philosophy of Renaissance Stoicism (New York: The
Liberal Arts Press, 1955), Rudolf Kirk, ed., Sir John Stradling,
trans., Two Books of Constancie by lustus Lipsius (New Brunswick:
Rutgers University Press, 1939) and Kirk, ed., Joseph Hall,
Heaven Upon Earth and Characters of Vertues and Vices (New Brunswick:
Rutgers University Press, 1948).

48. "Patterns of Stoicism in Thought and Prose Styles," PMLA 85, (1970),
pp. 1023-34. Though Miner's conclusions have been justly censured,
his data are nonetheless useful.

49. Quoted from Jason Lewis, Justus Lipsius, p. 125, n. 10. This work
contains a very detailed description of Lipsius's work on Stoicism.

50. The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy (New York: Scribners, 1940),
p. 190.

51. Peacham, p. 64.

52. George Williamson still provides the best analysis of Senecan
style, pp. 61-149.

53. Holbrook Jackson, ed., The Anatomy of Melancholy (1932, rpt.
New York: Random House, 1977), pp. 31-2, and 27. Burton's note
here refers to Lipsius; ut ventatores feram e vestige impresso,
virum scriptuncula.

54. Essayes, I, 267-8, and II, 373.

55. Joseph Glanvill, Plus Ultra, facsimile, ed. Jackson I. Cope,
(Gainesville: Scholars' facsimiles, 1958), p. 84.

56. Barrow, Vol. I, p. 143.

57. For the influence of Ramism on curriculum reform, see W. J. Ong,
Ramus, Method and the Decay of Dialogue (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1958), and Wilbur Samuel Howells, Logic and
Rhetoric in England, 1500-1700 (Princeton: Princeton University
Press, 1956), pp. 146-281.









58. F. P. Wilson, Seventeenth Century Prose (Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1960), p. 12, and D. C. Allen, "Style and Certi-
tude," ELH 15 (1948), pp. 167-175: both are based on Croll's work.

59. Demetrius, On Style, trans. W. Rhys Roberts, (Cambridge:' Loeb
Classical Library, 1927), p. 307.

60. Robert Adolph provides a useful summary of the disagreements
between Croll, Jones and Williamson, The Rise of Modern Prose
Style (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1968), pp. 10-25.

61. Bacon eventually thought Senecan style was as excessive as
Ciceronian copies: "Little better is that kind of stile (yet
neither is that altogether exempt from vanity) which neer about the
same time succeeded this Copy and superfluity of speech. . it hath
been deservedly dispised, and may be set down as a distemper of
Learning, seeing it is nothing else but a hunting after words, and
fine placing of them," The Advancement of Learning and Proficience
of Learning, trans. Gilbert Wats, Oxford, 1640, p. 29. Quoted from
Croll, p. 38, n. 40.

62. Adolph, pp. 39 and 76-77.

63. The Schoolmaster, ed. Lawrence V. Ryan, (Ithaca: Cornell Univer-
sity Press, 1967), p. 14.

64. Facsimile edition (Scolar Press, 1972), p. 49.

65. Trans. George Norlin, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1939)
p. 327.

66. History, p. 332.

67. Plus Ultra, p. 7.

68. Thomas Forest, A Perfect Looking Glass for all Estates (1580),
quoted from Donald Lemen Clark, John Milton at St. Paul's School
(1948, rpt. Hamden: Archon Books, 1964), p. 9.

69. History, p. 11, and 113.

70. I am indebted to four recent works on seventeenth-century language
theory: Murray Cohen, Sensible Words, Linguistic Practise in
England, 1640-1785, (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press,
1977); Vivian Salmon, The Works of Francis Lodowick, A Study of his
Writing in the Intellectual Context of the Seventeenth Century
(London: Longman, 1972); James Knowlson, Universal Language
Schemes in England and France, 1600-1800 (Toronto: University of
Toronto Press, 1975); Russell Fraser, The Language of Adam, On the
Limits and Systems of Discourse (New York: Columbia University
Press, 1977).









71. "Science and Language in England of the Mid-Seventeenth Century,"
in The Seventeenth Century, pp. 143-160.

72. Godfrey Goodman, The Fall of Man, 1616, p. 294. Quoted from
Beverley Sherry, "Speech in Paradise Lost," Milton Studies VIII
(1975), p. 252.

73. According to Salmon, p. 85, the phrase lingua humana comes from
Athanasium Kircher, Polygraphia, Rome, 1663.

74. Oxford, 1672, 2 Vol., Vol. I, pt. 1, p. 53.

75. Knowlson, Appendix B, pp. 224-232.

76. Facsimile (Scolar Press, 1968), p. 20. Knowlson suggests, p. 61,
that this concept derives from the Dutch Jesuit Herman Hugo,
Do prima scribendi origine, Antwerp, 1617.

77. Broadside, facsimile included in Ars Signorum, Scolar Press, 1968.

78. Salmon, pp. 12-42.

79. Typical of what Wilkins would eradicate are "Equivocals, which are
of several significations, and therefore must needs render speech
doubtful and obscure." Real Character, p. 17.

I use signifierr" and "signified," not in the specific Saussurean
sense, but in the older sense of that which conveys meaning and
that which is meant.

80. Knowlson, p. 8.

81. Knowlson, pp. 14-15, Salmon, pp. 87-98, and Fraser, pp. 142-194
demonstrate the Realist nature of these schemes. Following the
work of Francis Yates, they also indicate how dependent these
schemes are upon mysticism; there are Hermetic, Lullist, Cabalis-
tic, and Rosicrucian elements found throughout. Particularly
influential was Jacob Boehme's Signatura rerum, where the Real
essence of words and things is revealed to the adept.

82. James Spedding, et al., ed., Works, 14 Vol., (London, 1858-74),
Vol. III, pp. 400-401, and 222. Cf. the ambiguity in the goal of
Dalgarno's Didascalophus, (Oxford, 1680): "That primative and
Divine, or purely rational Sematology, taught by Almighty God,
or invented by Adam before the Fall," pp. 101-2.

83. Logopandectieson, or an Introduction to the Universal Language,
London, 1653, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1970), np.

84. Urquhart, p. 2.

85. Wilkins, dedicatory, np.









86. Don M. Wolfe, ed., Complete Prose of John Milton (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1955-), Vol. IV, pt. II, p. 743.

87. Cohen, pp. 1-42.

88. See A. C. Howell, "Res et Verba: Words and Things," ELH VIII
(1946), pp. 131-42, and Salmon, pp. 72-82.

89. II, 17-19.

90. I, 79.

91. Trans. II. R. Fairclough, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library,
1926), pp. 476-7, I. 311. Bacon quotes this, Advancement, p. 4,
as does Peacham, p. 55.

92. John Brinsley, Ludus Literarius, London, 1612, facsimile (Scolar
Press, 1968), p. 43.

93. Wilkins, p. 443.

94. Yale Prose, Vol. I, p. 143.

95. Richard Allestree, The Government of the Tongue, Oxford, 1676,
fourth edition, p. 6.

96. "To an Unhappy, Impatient, Querelous Friend," for example, chides
the friend's lack of "constancy," while recommending the expli-
citly Stoic virtues of patience and trust in a just Providence,
III, 116-9.

97. George Watson, ed., Dryden's of Dramatic Poesy, 2 Vol. (London:
John Dent, 1962), Vol. II, p. 233.

98. W. R. Chadwick, The Four Plays of William Wycherley (The Hague:
Mouton, 1975), pp. 123 and 39.

99. Edward Miles Hooker, ed. The Critical Works of John Dennis, 2 Vol.
(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1939),- I. 224-5.

100. Works, III, 625. The editors, IX, 270-2, cite Vives, De ratione
dicendi as a source.

101. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960), pp. 94 and 288.

102. Janel M. Muellcr, ed., Donne's Prebend Sermons (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1971), pp. 74-5.














CHAPTER TWO
DECORUM AND LOVE IN A WOOD

Love in a Wood (1670) was an exceptionally successful first play;

if John Dennis is to be believed, it brought Wycherley fame, a titled

mistress and recognition from the court. Today the play is dismissed

as energetic but uncontrolled; Anne Righter judges it "confusing and

centerless," and to W. R. Chadwick, it is an unsuccessfully synthesized

"melange," "a Jonsonian--Fletcherian-Shirleyan-platonic-intrigue-wit-

farce-comedy."2 Nevertheless, some of the chaos apparent in Love in a

Wood is purposive and controlled, for Wycherley finally restores order

in his intrigue plot in the process of righting inverted values. Both

formal and thematic unity, moreover, can be discerned, as in the arrange-

ment of characters in the scale of love that Rose Zimbardo has demon-

strated. My particular concern is to show how a parallel scale of

ethical and aesthetic values is revealed in the dialogue itself.

The ethics of speech can be determined by asking what types of

verbal behavior characters consider permissible, and by this I mean

not only what they feel they may say, but also what they can say. The

latter concerns what the speaker thinks he can do with words and,

further, what success his sentences meet. In this respect, the

language of deception is especially revealing and significant, because

any disparity between intent and statement provides the best opportu-

nity to investigate the tactics of expression. My first section







40

examines the ways characters mislead themselves and others; the second

section deals with the plot or action precipitated by lying; and the

last section questions the significance of lying in terms of the values

presented in the play.


I

In all of Wycherley's comedies, the language of his fools is the

most distinctive; their speech is obtrusive, conspicuously distorting

the normative modes of speech. The protagonists' speech is unexcep-

tional, appearing "natural" or "correct" compared to the exaggerated or

debased features of foolish talk. In Love in a Wood, it is Dapperwit's

speech that stands out, calling attention to itself and serving as a

false standard against which others' linguistic skills can be measured.

Bonamy Dobree finds in Dapperwit's speech alone the brilliance of the

later plays, and singles out for praise this promising exchange between

Dapperwit and Martha, when, just as they are about to elope, Dapperwit

pauses to complete a similitude:4

Martha. Let us go before my Father comes, he will soon have
the intelligence.

Dapperwit. Stay, let me think a little. (Pauses.)

Martha. What are you thinking of? you should have thought
before this time, or I should have thought rather.

Dapperwit. Peace, Peace.

Martha. What are you thinking of?

Dapperwit. I am thinking, what a Wit without vanity is like;
he is like--

Martha. You do not think we are in a public place, and may be
surpriz'd, and prevented by my Father's Scouts.










Dapperwit. What, wou'd you have me lose my thought?

Martha. You wou'd rather lose your Mistress, it seems.

Dapperwit. He is like--I think I'm a Sot to night, let me perish.

Martha. Nay, if you are so in love with your thought. (Offers
to go.)

Dapperwit. Are you so impatient to be my wife? he is like--he is
like--a Picture without Shadows, or, or--a Face without
Patches--or a Diamond without a Foyl; these are new
thoughts now, these are new.

Martha. You are wedded already to your thoughts, I see, good
night. (94).

The characteristic improprieties of Dapperwit's speech are exhibited

here in several ways. His wit is, as always, ill-timed, leading Ranger

to complain in another context, "S'death, is this a time for simili-

tudes?" (79). Martha suspects that Dapperwit's delay results from some

reluctance to marry, yet he is only searching for a vehicle to complete

his simile; the coxcomb labors to give forth typically stale similitudes.

It is this labor that draws attention to his wit and words, character-

izing him as a "Witwould."5 Exposure of the machinery of art is a sign

of crudity. Elsewhere, in his poetry, Wycherley writes of the conven-

tional aim: wisdom "plays Discretion's part,/ Since the best skill is,

to conceal one's Art" (III, 29, recalling the Latin tag, ars celare

artem).6 Dapperwit's art is marked by effort, whereas Wycherley himself

would consider a graceful ease and negligence as the sign of natural

genius. And despite his own reputation as a slow, painstaking craftsman,

Wycherley argues in "Against Industry: To a Laborious Poetaster, who

preferred Industry to Wit" that the effect of art or wit is vitiated

by obvious labor:









For Wit, to gain Esteem, like Beauty too,
Must seem, an Artful Negligence, to show;
Must, for its Fame on Nature, more rely,
Than either upon Art, or Industry. (IV, 17).

The exhausting industry of Dapperwit's wit is again seen in his repartee

with Lydia, where he admits defeat after a vain struggle to extend his

cliched conceit on the light of her countenance: "I dare not make use

again of the lustre of her face" (37).

If wit should be striking or novel, Dapperwit's belabored simili-

tudes are entirely predictable, and his auditors so expect his compari-

sons that Ranger calls him "Mr. or as" (62). The trivial nature of

Dapperwit's bon mots reflects, moreover, Wycherley's basic disassocia-

tion of wit from wisdom: this goes beyond the conventional distinction

of true and false wit, because throughout his plays and verse, Wycherley

usually uses "wit" to mean false wit. In "Upon the Folly of Wit," he

claims that the struggle for wit is inevitably foolish:

Thus Wit, as more, but less Discretion is,
Which makes it of the Praise it seeks, to miss;
Most often too, but for its seeking it,
So proves least Wisdom, as it is most Wit:

So Wit, as more 'twou'd prove it self, proves less,
By its degrading Self-conceitedness;
The Praise it seeks, to lose by seeking it,
So proves more Nonsense, as it wou'd, more Wit. (Ill, 144, 147).

It is almost as if true wit is a contradiction in terms, and therefore

does not appear in Love in a Wood; any expression that identifies itself

as "wit" or "art" is necessarily self-defeating. Dapperwit has no

conception of finesse, and his excess causes Vincent (19) and Ranger (54)

to demand that he leave off his inappropriate similitudes. The folly

of excessive wit is, indeed, a common Restoration topic; in his sermon







43

on wit, Barrow could be describing Dapperwit or many similar figures

in Restoration comedy:

A man of ripe age and sound judgment, for refreshment to him-
self, or in complaisance to others, may sometimes condescend
to play in this or any other harmless way: but to be fond
of it, to prosecute it with a careful or painful eagerness,
to doat and dwell upon it, to reckon it a brave or a fine
thing, a singular matter of commendation, a transcendent
accomplishment, anywise preferable to rational endowments,
or comparable to the moral excellences of our mind (to solid
knowledge, or sound wisdom, or true virtue and goodness),
this is extremely childish or brutish, and far below a man.

Wit and humor are pleasant, diverting and useful, but Barrow condemns

wit when it is profane, slanderous, or in as Dapperwit's case, excessive.

Dapperwit's foolish lingering while Martha awaits is above all

inappropriate and indecorous in the classical sense of the failure to

suit subject and style to the situation. Aristotle discusses decorum

in terms of the orator's ability to make himself credible to each partic-

ular audience, but Dapperwit is unable to fit his words to his auditor:

"now I call her Whore in plain english, she thinks I am jealous" (25).

Seneca similarly exhorts his reader to "Let the words be fitted to the

matter,"10 so that no element calls attention to itself by appearing

unsuitable or inappropriate, but it is inappropriate words that often

lead Sir Simon into difficulty: "A pox I must be using the words in

fashion though I never have any luck with 'em" (24). (In The Country

Wife, Harcourt understands that the success of his disguise as a parson

is dependent on his observation of the proper decorum, for he says, "I

must suit my Stile to my Coat" 315.)

Decorum, however, concerns more than stylistics: to Cicero, "The

universal rule, in oratory as in life, is to consider propriety."11







44

In his examination of Milton's decorum, Thomas Kranidas shows that it

represents a "concern for the relation of poetry to the total culture,"

and is most often "an ethical or religious problem rather than a

literary one."12 Decorum may be seen, in fact, to bridge ethical and

aesthetic concerns in an effort to harmonize all aspects of a man's

life. Quintilian shows this concern for harmony in his insistence that

a good orator always "act and speak as befits a man of honour."13 "In

short," Cinthio writes, "decorum is nothing other than the grace and

fitness of things."14 This same concern is exhibited by English

Renaissance writers; Charles Hoole urges the grammar school master "to

minde his Scholars of the true decorum of both things and words."15

George Puttenham puts it most succinctly in his chapter on "decency,"

a word, like decorum, derived from deceo, to be fitting, or seemly,

or proper; that which is decent is in keeping with accepted and expected

behavior, "And there is a decency to be observed in every man's action

as well as his speech and writing."16

Dapperwit's words and action display similar features. As Norman

Holland has observed, his name suggests the fusion of foppish behavior

and witty speech.17 Both are suspect in light of the nature of wit in

this play, for according to all internal definitions in Love in a Wood,

wit is vicious. In his taxonomy of wits, Dapperwit says that "all Wits

rail" and concludes that the end of "the true Wit . lies in damning

all but himself" (38). Even Ranger says that their duty is "to talk, cen-

sure, and speak ill of all [they] meet" (31). This essential equivalence

of wit and slander is also prevalent in Wycherley's verse, where wit is









defined as ill-natured fault-finding (III, 33 and 160). Barrow

emphasizes the danger of the mistaken identifaction of wit and slander:

When men, to raise an admiration of their wit, to please them-
selves, or gratify the humour of other men, do expose their
neighbor to scorn and contempt, making ignominious reflections
upon his person or his actions, taunting his real imperfec-
tions, or fastening imaginary ones upon him, they transgress
their duty, and abuse their wits; it is not urbanity, or
genuine facetiousness, but uncivil rudeness, or vile malignity.
To do thus, as it is the office of mean and base spirits, unfit
for any worthy or weighty employment, so it is full of in-
humanity, of iniquity, of indecency and folly.18

Gripe's attitude towards wits is ironically fitting; he calls Dapperwit

"an idle, loytering, slandering, foul-mouth'd, beggarly Wit" (108).

Joyner's description of wits' activity is similarly appropriate: they

condemn, defame, deflower, affront and break (52). Both Joyner and

Dapperwit associate wit with thoughtless and gratuitously destructive

window breaking, a practice symbolic of the malicious nature of

insulting or slanderous wit.19

If wits misuse language to slander others, their praise is para-

doxically similar. In the tavern scene, when Vincent leaves, Dapperwit

abuses him and flatters Ranger to his face. When Vincent returns and

Ranger leaves, Dapperwit abuses Ranger and praises Vincent. Praise and

blame, equally void of sincerity and meaning, become interchangeable,

because they are both designed for self-elevation.20 As Wycherley

explains in the dedication to the play, praise springs from vanity:

poets "but begin praise to others, which concludes in themselves. .

they offer Laurel and Incense to their Hero's, but wear it themselves,

and perfume themselves" (6). The self-interest of praise is evident

when Joyner and Gripe try to out-flatter each other.21 Their







46

stichomythic praise of each other is so echoic and indistinguishable

they could be speaking into mirrors, and their flattery is also so

exaggerated and ambiguous that Weales terms it "lightly masked insult"

(12n). There is, in fact, little distinction, because, in Pope's

version of the commonplace, "Praise undeserv'd is scandal in disguise."

The self-interest of praise is most pointed in Sir Simon, who, disguised

as Jonas, praises Sir Simon: "faith, 'tis a pretty jest; while I am

with her, and praising my self to her, at no ordinary rate" (61). The

other person praised is patently a fiction, and Sir Simon is literally

praising himself. As insult of another is really praise of self, so

praise of another is really reflective of self. The purpose of communi-

cation with another is lost or subverted as the language becomes an

entirely self-referential tool of vanity. Like the characters wandering

in the dark of Act Five, they end up talking of and to themselves.

Dapperwit recognizes the self-interest of wit, as is clear from

his similitude, "you can no more find a man of wit without vanity, than

a fine woman without affectation" (94). He then presents a double

indecorum; as his overly figurative style is excessive, inappropriate

and indecorous, so the substance of his remarks is indecorous, for

self-praise is always improper. Demetrius remarks that the style of

boasting and boasting itself are inherently inappropriate: "There is a

sort of general analogy between imposture and frigidity [of style].

The impostor boasts, facts not withstanding, that qualities belong to

him which do not. In like manner, also, the writer who invests trifles









with pomp resembles one who gives himself airs about trifles."22

Dapperwit's foppish self-satisfaction and foolish witty style are

perfectly analogous; they are trifles invested with pomp. He presents

himself as a man of parts when he is a fool, while his words suggest

weighty thought when they are nonsense. In Dapperwit, style is the man:

he is a trifle dressed with pomp.

It is a short step from Dapperwit's self-deception to the actively

and intentionally false facade that Lady Flippant presents when she

images herself as a walking false signifier: "'Tis well known, no Woman

breathing could use more Industry to get her a Husband than I have; Has

not my Husband's Scutcheon walked as much ground as the Citizens Signs

since the Fire, that no Quarter of the Town might be ignorant of the

Widow Flippant" (10). Flippant's clapboard advertizes her as a rich

widow, uninterested in remarriage, whereas actually she is impoverished

and anxious to remarry. The Widow does not endeavour to deceive about

her reluctance to marry; indeed, she wants her availability known. But

her "wealth," however, is a lying claim, and, in the words of Robert

South, is "an outward signification of something contrary to, or, at

least beside the inward Sense of the Mind."23

Distinctions of this sort, in the seventeenth century, frequently

became casuistical. Bacon thus distinguishes between a type of dissimu-

lation that withholds truth, a dissimulation that leads others astray,

and simulation which actively deceives.24 Lady Flippant's impression

of wealth falls somewhere between the second and third levels. In fact,

most of the deception in this play similarly encourages others to







48

misinterpret. Like the equivocal constructions that Wilkins condemned,

the language of deception is largely dependent upon the natural ambi-

guity of the "sign." "Sign" is a complex word in Wycherley, particularly

in The Country Wife, where Horner is "the Sign of a Man" (267). In Love

in a Wood the word is used nine times, as in Sir Simon's defense of

himself: "that he [Sir Simon] is not married, is a sign of his Wit"

(77). Every "sign" in the play is, like this one, false in itself, or

misinterpreted. Like the shop signs in which Pinchwife reads his own

horns, Wycherley's sign is a tabula rasa in which characters read what

they want.

Wycherley's characters try to exploit similar properties of words

as signs when they speak ambiguously, hoping to entrap their listener

in any one of their possible meanings. Flippant tries to engage Ranger

in this manner, but she cannot quite master her words. She wants her

reputation for aversion to marriage understood as coyness, but Ranger

refuses to understand:

Flippant. ...Sir, pray tell me is your aversion to marriage real?

Ranger. As real as yours.

Flippant. If it were no more real than mine. [Aside.)

Ranger. Your Servant, Madam.

Flippant. But do you hate marriage certainly? (Plucks him back.)

Ranger. Certainly.

Flippant. Come, I cannot believe it, you dissemble it, only
because I pretend it.

Ranger. Do you but pretend it, Madam?

Flippant. I shall discover my self--- (Aside.) I mean,
because I hold against it, you do the same in compliance.
(27).







49

Flippant expects her language simultaneously to conceal and reveal her

intentions, but her message is too dependent upon her auditor, and

Ranger rejects her intimations, willfully interpreting her Words

literally.

When the refusal to understand meets the refusal to be understood,

communication comes to a complete standstill, as in the following

exchange between Ranger and Lydia:

Ranger. [The reason] I did not wait on you was, my apprehension,
you were gone to the Park, notwithstanding your promise
to the contrary.

Lydia. Therefore, you went to the Park, to visit me there, not-
withstanding your promise to the contrary.

Ranger. Who, I at the Park? when I had promised to wait upon you
at your Lodging; but were you at the Park, Madam?

Lydia. Who, I at the Park? when I had promised to wait for you at
home; I was no more at the Park than you were; were you
at the park? (68).

Both are lying and each knows the other is lying, but is unsure to what

extent; Lydia knows that Ranger was at the Park, but she is unsure

whether he knows that she knows, and Ranger knows he was at the park

but is unsure whether Lydia knows. They each expect their words to

conceal their own guilt and still elicit a revealing response. But this

verbal sparring only produces echoes of their own words, reminding us

of the indistinguishable compliments Gripe and Joyner exchange; again,

Lydia and Ranger could be speaking into mirrors, for question and

response are identical. Communication is frustrated as the words become

less meaningful with each repetition; the conversation stagnates, unable

to move beyond the repeated phrases, and confusion has replaced

enlightenment as the end of speech.








50

Double meanings and implications are lost when one or both of the

participants is uncooperative; in the first case, Ranger is unreceptive

to Flippant's attractions, and in the second, Lydia and Ranger refuse to

understand and to be understood. The most extreme example of such

refusals occurs between Christina and Ranger; while she refuses to

accept his implied message, he refuses to accept her apparent message:

Ranger. Madam, I understand you--- (Apart to Christina.)

Christina. Sir, I do not understand you.

Ranger. You wou'd not be known to Mr. Vincent.

Christina. 'Tis your acquaintance I wou'd avoid.

Ranger. Dull Brute, that I was, to bring her hither: (Aside.)
I have found my error, Madam; give me but a new appoint-
ment, where I may meet you by and by, and straight I will
withdraw, as If I knew you not. (Softly to her.)

Christina. Why, do you know me?

Ranger. I must not own it. (Aside.)
No, Madam, but--- (Offers to whisper.)

Christina. Whispering, Sir, argues an old acquaintance; but I
have not the vanity to be thought of yours, and resolve
you shall never have the disparagement of mine. (88).

The drama here is played out in the stage directions; the asides and

whispers signify the illicit nature of Ranger's message, a message

Christina refuses to accept. She diverts his private message to public

knowledge, making explicit what Ranger tries to keep implicit. She

returns with directness all he tries to achieve by indirection, answering

double-dealing with plain dealing.

According to Vincent, Christina employs "the stile of a woman of

honour" (83), using the "plain english" that eludes Dapperwit (25) and

Sir Simon (74). Her speech is characterized by simplicity and clarity,







51

as in her direct statement, "The Paper is a stranger to me, I never

writ it; you are abused" (88). She counters Ranger's elaborate

language of deception with simple honesty. Several times in the play,

characters claim, "I take you at your word" (73, 77, 105, 110), a

cliche underlining the ethics of speech; but while Christina demonstrates

that she is as good as her word, Ranger's word is, by his own admission,

worthless: "My perpetual ill luck in lying, should break me of the

quality; but like a losing Gamester, I am still for pushing on, till

none will trust me" (45).


II

The complexity of the intrigue plot of Love in a Wood is generated

in part by an extraordinary amount of lying. Ranger is certainly not

the only mendacious character; with few obvious exceptions, all deceive

and cheat one another, almost effacing credibility with their cross-

biting. Words must be tested and validated before they can be believed,

and validation takes the form of a trial, where character's statements

are treated as if they were testimony to be evaluated. Thus Ranger's

word and character are suspect due to his "perpetual ill luck in lying"

(45), and he finds himself on trial:

Leonore. Why do you not put him to his tryal, and see what he
can say for himself?

Lydia. I am afraid lest, my proofs, and his guilt, should make
him desperate, and so contemn that pardon, which he could
not hope for.

Leonore. 'Tis unjust to condemn him, before you hear him.

Lydia. I will reprieve him till I have more evidence. (71).







52

Valentine and Christina are also tried: "S'death, what have I giddily

run my self upon? 'Tis rather a tryal of my self than her" (103, see

also 78, 85).

Trials in this play are accompanied with legal language and argu-

ment, raising questions of evidence that ultimately become epistemolog-

ical, asking what can be known and what must be taken on faith.25

Valentine and Vincent's debate over Ranger's credibility is essentially

evidentiary:

Vincent. Why do you believe him [Ranger]?

Valentine. Shou'd I believe you?

Vincent. 'Twere more for your interest, and you wou'd be less
deceiv'd; if you believe him, you must doubt the
chastity of all the fine women in Town, and five miles
about.

Valentine. His reports of them will little invallidate his
testimony with me. (50).

Vincent may allude to the distinction between inartificial and artifi-

cial proofs, or in Bacon's terms, matters of fact and matters of art and

opinion; inartificial proofs are apparently incontrovertible facts like

contracts, while artificial proofs are impressions created by the

speech, and depend upon the character of the speaker.26 Vincent

establishes Christina's innocence by undermining Ranger's credibility;

to Valentine, Ranger's evidence is an inartificial proof, the testimony

of a sworn witness, whereas to Vincent it is a question of Ranger's

character and the ethos of his speech. The orator, as Aristotle saw

him, "persuades by his moral character when his speech is delivered in

such a manner as to render him worthy of confidence," and this confi-

dence is "due to the speech itself."27 Vincent tries to refute Ranger's

ethical proof:









Valentine. Will not Chamber-maids lye Vincent?

Vincent. Will not Ranger lie, Valentine?

Valentine. The circumstances of his story proved it true.

Vincent. Do you think so old a Master in the faculty, as he, will
want the varnish of probability for his lies?

Valentine. Do you think a Woman, having the advantage of her Sex,
and Education under such a Mistress, will want impu-
dence to dis-avow a Truth, that might be prejudicial
to that Mistress? (81).

Ethical proof brings us back to the morality of speech, for ethos

is not simply a matter of cunning and rhetorical art, but is also part

of the moral defense of oratory and rhetoric. Quintilian's concept of

ethos follows his argument that only a good man can be a good orator:

"ethos denotes moral character," and, "requires the speaker to be a

man of good character and courtesy."28 Similarly, in Hobbes, ethical

proof rests on character, because "it is the speaker, or person we

believe in, or trust in, and whose word we take, the object of our

Faith; and the Honour done in Believing is done to him onely."29

Ethical proof lies at the heart of Christina's defense, for she is not

answering any particular charge so much as defending her honor and

honesty.30

Christina's case ascends the three stages of defense: the defense

first questions whether the alleged event ever occurred; if it occurred,

whether it was indeed a crime; and finally, if it was illegal, whether

the defendant was not justified.31 Vincent first questions whether

Ranger ever met Christina, suspecting that Ranger is either lying or

mistaken about the identity of "Christina."32 Vincent then admits the

meeting, but still denies her guilt. When it is determined that she







54

did break her vow to Valentine, Vincent argues that she must have been

justified, forcing Valentine to transcend mere questions of fact and

mundane legality. Valentine must believe her word as a woman of honor,

dispense with proofs, and have faith in Christina herself.

The darkness of Act Five is emblematic of the falsity of some

proofs and the frailty of the senses, because when the "night blots out

all distinctions" (43), "you cannot distinguish a Friend from a Fop"

(31). Because there is much that Valentine cannot know with any

certainty, Vincent argues that he must accept some things on trust.

In all his works, Wycherley insists that love is based on faith and

trust, "Since Love is Faith, as Faith, we Love/ More, by mad Zeal, than

reason, prove" (II, 7), and faith in love and religion is not, by defini-

tion, provable (see III, 41).

The word "faith" occurs forty-eight times in Love in a Wood, but

it is misused more often than not. P. F. Vernon has observed the repe-

tition of a "network of trust words," like Sir Simon's "faith and troth,"

which are often used when the characters are the least truthful.33

Despite these negative citations, however, faith or willingness to

trust acquires significance, and becomes, indeed, an index of the worth

of the characters. If there is a high and a low plot, each is managed
34
by the "eiron" figures, Joyner and Vincent;34 where Joyner trusts no

one and cheats everyone, Vincent is the only one to believe Christina.

The lower characters like Gripe and Crossbite are suspicious of every-

one, exhibiting only a vain faith in themselves; Sir Simon and

Dapperwit try to exploit each other's trust, because "every Wit has his








55

Cully, as every Squire his lead Captain" (17). Boasting that "Women

are poor credulous Creatures, easily deceived" (21), Ranger is also too

willing to exploit others' trust, and in learning to trust Lydia, he is

disabused of his selfish attitude towards others.

Faith and trust demand that Ranger and Valentine transcend the

apparent and learn to discern and respect inner, true values. Holland

has explored the contrast between real and apparent values in terms of

masking and disguise, concluding that the prevalence of disguise and

deceit reveals Wycherley's doubt that real, natural,or inherent values

can exist.35 Disguise, however, usually fails in Wycherley's plays,

and there is little successful deception here; only Joyner's schemes

prosper, while Gripe's pose of piety, Lucy's of virginity, Flippant's

of wealth, and Dapperwit's of wit deceive none but themselves.

The futility of disguise is best demonstrated by Sir Simon's

confused pride in his disguise as the clerk Jonas: "Then you shall see

when I am Sir Simon Addleplot and my self, I'll look like my self, now I

am Jonas I look like an Ass; you never thought Sir Simon Addleplot

cou'd have looked so like an Ass by his ingenuity" (18). As Joyner

points out, Sir Simon can not make a fool of himself, when he already

is a fool. He is obviously an ass, whether disguised as Sir Simon or

Jonas:

Ranger. What fellow's that?

Dapperwit. A Servant, to a friend of mine.

Ranger. Methinks, he something resembles our acquaintance, Sir
Simon, but it is no compliment to tell him so; for that
Knight is the most egregious Coxcomb, that ever plaid
with Ladies Fan.








56
Sir Simon. So; thanks to my disguise, I know my Enemies. (Aside.)

Ranger. The most incorrigible Ass, beyond the reproof of a kicking
rival, or a frowning Mistress. (61).

Sir Simon's unmistakable folly shines forth even in the dark, when the

moon "scarce affords light enough to distinguish a man from a tree"

(102). In Act Two, Flippant quotes the proverb, "Jone's as good as my

Lady in the dark certainly" (33).36 Sir Simon tries to demonstrate that

"Jonas is as good as the Knight in the dark," only to disprove it, for

even though he dresses as a knight rather than a clerk, Martha refuses

him: "Let me tell you, Jonas, 'tis not your borrow'd clothes and

title, shall make me marry my Fathers man" (97-8). As Dapperwit claims,

"You have carry'd your self so like a natural Clerk" (99); there are

natural, inherent values that even Martha recognizes, and Sir Simon will

remain a fool no matter how he is dressed, or what title he buys. Jone

is not as good as my lady in the dark. A more appropriate proverb is

quoted by Don Diego in The Gentleman Dancing-Master: "The Hood does not

make the Monk, the Ass was an Ass still, though he had the Lyons Skin

on" (194).

Sir Simon alludes to another night proverb: "Well, after all my

seeking, I can find those I wou'd not" (97). Rather than the proverbial

"He that gropes in the dark finds that he would not," in this play

characters find what they should, or what they deserve.3 As

Righter puts it, "the whole comedy presents an ironic view of charac-

ters desperately rushing forward who nevertheless remain, despite their

efforts, in exactly the place to which their own value assigns them."38

The result of deception, disguise and darkness in Love in a Wood is not








57

confusion but clarity, for the true worth of characters is revealed

when there is no constraint. In this play, the truth will out, in words

as well as actions; Sir Simon can act and speak as none other than a

fool:

Sir Simon. There is a Proverb, Mrs. Joyner, you may know him
by his company.

Joyner. No, no, to be thought a man of parts, you should always
keep company with a man of less wit than your self.

Sir Simon. That's the hardest thing in the world for me to do,
faith and troth. (16).

In Flippant's line, "I never admitted a man to my conversation, but for

his punishment" (42), the words reveal an unintended truth. Though

Ranger is more adept at deception, all his lying also comes to naught:

"A pox, I have hang'd myself in my own line" (45); he is so accustomed

to concealing his thoughts that his fondness for Lydia is only revealed

by the device of the overheard aside: he who gropes in the dark not

only finds what he would not, but reveals what he would not.


III

Christina's constancy, in her faith in Valentine and her rigid

honor, contrasts sharply with the more compliant and often deceitfully

submissive behavior of the others. Lydia and Ranger are much more

practical; rather than uphold principle, they always yield to expedi-

ency. Christina demonstrates little social resiliency or compliance

in her rigid adherence to fixed ideas of conduct, ideas that do not

alter with the situation. If she is idealized, or at least less

imperfect than the other characters, we must ask whether her rigidity

is congruent with the concept of adaptability that is associated with









decorum above, and whether inflexible, absolute rules of honor or

practical compliance is the ethical ideal of Love in a Wood. This ethi-

cal crux runs through all of Wycherley's work; Alithea and Harcourt's

debate over her rigid honor, and Manly's refusal to comply with social

conventions, involve the same difficulty of conforming principles with

pragmatism. Holland believes that Christina compromises her ideals

when she is forced out of her house, and Cynthia Matlock goes further,

arguing that Christina, Alithea and Fidelia are introduced only to be
39
undercut.39 The place and meaning of these ideal characters is central

to any interpretation of Wycherley's plays, so it is essential to

determine whether ethical values rest on a practical mean or an ideal,

on resilient pragmatism or rigid principles.

To some extent, the problem is inherent in the concept of decorum,

for Kranidas has argued that there were two recognizable and conflicting

types of decorum in the seventeenth century. First, the concept of

adaptability, which "demands from the parts of a work of art consis-

tency with established traditional social forms," is a limited or lower

decorum, associated with Anglicanism.40 Such social adaptability or

compliance with custom is best exemplified by Balthazar Gracian's

manual of prudence; Maxim LXXVII is entitled To be company for all

sorts of Men:

lie is a wise Proteus that is holy with the holy, learned with
the learned, serious with the serious, and jovial with the
merry. That is the way to gain all hearts, similitude being
the bond of good will. To discern tempers, and by a politick
transformation to suit the humour and character of every one
is a secret absolutely necessary for those who depend on
others.'11







59

Richard Baxter's justification for the Puritan plain style of preaching

is similarly rooted in this limited decorum; we must adjust our words

to suit the audience: "All our Teaching must be as Plain and Evident

as we can make it. For this doth must suit to a Teacher's Ends. He

that would be understood, must speak to the Capacity of his Hearers, and

make it his Business to make himself understood."42 Kranidas' second

type of decorum is not concerned with the audience and their under-

standing; it is a cosmic decorum which insists upon the harmony of one's

speech and behavior with the highest ideals, conforming not with social

circumstance, but with God's word. Kranidas finds this rarefied decorum

in the writings of Milton, Stanley Fish in George Herbert and Joan
43
Webber in John Lilburne.43 The conflict between these two types of

decorum, the lower Aristotelian and practical, the higher Platonic and

transcendent, is mirrored in the contrast between Lydia's practical

adaptability and Christina's adherence to high-minded principles.

Though I have described Christina's honest, open speech as an

ethical ideal in the play, such a transparency is not approved by all

the characters. Martha regards Sir Simon's openness as a flaw: he is

"so perspicuous a Fop, the women find him out, for none of 'em will

marry him." In the word "perspicuous" she attacks the'transparency of

both his person and his speech, while Sir Simon defends his "darkness:"

"for his being perspicuous, 'tis false, he is as mysterious as a new

Parliment man" (77). As Dapperwit is foolishly unable to conceal his

art, Sir Simon is unable to conceal his artifice, that is, his intrigues;

the former is perspicuous in his verbal scheming, the latter is perspic-

uous in his actual scheming.







60

It is not only fools and knaves who defend dark speech; after

deceiving Ranger, Lydia boasts to her maid, "have I not dissembled

well, Lenor?" (71). And it is by no means clear that blunt 'truth was

always regarded as best; the motto of The Art of Complaisance or The

Means to Oblige in Conversation (London, 1677), is Qui nescit dissimu-
44
large, nescit vivere. This book teaches the limited decorum, how to

be politic, circumspect and polite by adjusting our conversation to

fit the particular audience: "This Complaisance, which I pretend to

teach, is an Art to regulate our words and behaviour, in such a manner

as may engage the love and respect of those with whom we converse."45

The author would agree with Lydia on the necessity of dissimulation:

we must learn the discretion how to conceal secrets, in order not to

betray or compromise our trust. He teaches the dexterity of how to

avoid telling unpleasant truths without actually lying, equivocating

carefully between truth and lies:

We ought always in our discourse to have regard to Truth, as
the ground of Conversation, but to avoid involving my self in
those great questions concerning truth, I shall content my
self to say, that it is conformity of our words, with our
thoughts, without determining whether there ought to be a
precise similitude of the thoughts we express to the thing we
have in our mind.46

The truth must be carefully guarded in Gracian's Maxim CLXXI, Not to

tell a lie, and yet not to speak all the truth neither: "Nothing

requires more circumspection than truth. For to tell it, is to draw

the hearts bloud. There needs as much skill to know when to tell it,

as when to conceal it."47








61
According to G. A. Starr, the favorite text for sermons on dissimu-

lation was Matthew 10.16: "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and

harmless as doves."48 As in Bacon's essay, "Simulation and Dissimu-

lation," the arguments are often casuistical; any form of deceit is

forbidden, be the cause ever so good, though wisely withholding infor-

mation is permissible. As Edward Stillingfleet puts it, we are allowed

"49
"so much Wisedom as is consistent with innocency."49 The same may be

said for the ethical ideals Christina represents; as much expediency is

allowed as is consistent with honesty. How far one may trim and still

maintain moral rectitude is not so important as the hierarchical rela-

tionship, the subordination of the means to the ideal.

Honesty and dissimulation are never satisfactorily reconciled, by

Wycherley or any other moralist. Gracian's work is entitled The Art of

Prudence, and there is a clear analogy between decorum and prudence:

decorum is to speech what prudence is to conduct. They are both, in

Cicero's words, ars vivendi, and like rhetoric, which is based on

decorum and adaptability, the means to live in an imperfect world.50

That prudence is a necessary evil is dramatically embodied in the

unhappy lesson of deception that is forced on Margery at the close of

The Country Wife. Christina's conduct is clearly imprudent, particu-

larly in her bluntness with Ranger and Valentine, for she does not heed

appearances, and Fielding's narrator's advice may be as appropriate for

her as for Tom Jones: "Prudence and Circumspection are necessary even

to the best of Men. They are indeed as it were a Guard to Virtue,

without which she cannot be safe. It is not enough that your Designs,

nay that your Actions, are intrinsically good, you must take Care that







62

they shall appear so."51 Like Alithea's, Christina's honor is a matter

of internal worth rather than reputation, and both, at least initially,

lack the guard of prudence. To a limited extent, Lydia and Christina

move toward each other, for Lydia gives up intriguing as Christina

learns to adapt her honor. Holland's argument that Christina is forced

to compromise her principles, however, does not accurately describe her

progress. Again, like Alithea, she must choose between true honor and

a vow of lesser importance, and even though she ventures out, she

remains true to Valentine. Her active defense of her virtue is much

more admirable than her simple notion of retreat, a type of cloistered

virtue; from her first entrance, which is to her disadvantage, Christina

rises in our estimation, and rather than compromise her ideals, she

refines them, adapting her honor to save Valentine.

The ability to adjust is perhaps the most distinguishing mark of

intelligence in this play; Gripe and Crossbite are never able to

transcend their selfishness and greed, and Sir Simon represents the

foolish inability to adjust to any situation: "What, ruin'd by my own

Plot, like an old Cavalier: yet, like him too, I will plot on still"

(99). Ranger learns to throw over his plots when the situation demands:

"of Intrigues, honourable or dishonourable, and all sorts of rambling,

I take my leave; when we are giddy, 'tis time to stand still" (91).

The issue of adaptability dovetails with trust and faith in the final

conception of marriage. Christina's last line, "I had rather suspect

your faith, than you should mine" (111), suggests that her virtue rests

not only on prudence and appearance but also on Valentine's trust in

her. Ranger and Valentine learn to trust and accept another under the








63

conditions of marriage: "The end of Marriage, now is Liberty/ And

two are bound--to set each other free" (112). These lines are not, as

some have claimed, cynical, but rather follow the conventions of love

poetry, as in Donne's paradox, "To enter in these bonds is to be

free."52

Wycherley has made speech a metaphor for cooperation; where Gripe,

Sir Simon, or Dapperwit never hear anything beyond echoes of their own

words, Christina, Valentine, Ranger and Lydia simply learn to talk to

each other. At first Lydia and Ranger's inability to communicate is

caused by wilful self-enclosure, just as Valentine and Christina are

also unable to speak with each other when they first meet (85ff). Such

mutual obfuscation adumbrates the selfishness and egotism of the

interruptions in The Plain Dealer (413ff), where Olivia will not suffer

anyone else to speak. In Love in a Wood, characters learn to use words

to reach others, rather than to cheat, slander or attack others. When

they learn to speak correctly, they arrive at the understanding and

cooperation promised in the last couplet.


Notes

1. Works of John Dennis, II, pp. 409-411.

2. Anne Righter, "William Wycherley," in Restoration Theatre, ed. John
Russell Brown and Bernard Harris, (New York: Capricorn Books,
1967), p. 72, and W. R. Chadwick, The Four Plays of William
Wycherley (The Hague: Mouton, 1975), p. 18.

3. Wycherley's Drama (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965),
pp. 21-48.

4. Restoration Comedy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1924), pp. 82-
3.









5. I wish to avoid attempting to define "wit," with the attendant
problems of fancy, imagination and judgment. I use the term in its
modern sense of verbal ingenuity, clever or striking remarks,
because I believe this is quite close to Wycherley's meaning in
the plays. Wycherley almost always uses the term satirically,
ironically, and negatively, signifying the over-ingenious use of
words. For a positive contemporary definition, Dryden's in
"Apology for Heroic Poetry" (1677) is most fitting: "...the
definition of wit (which has been so often attempted, and ever
unsuccessfully by many poets) is only this: propriety of thoughts
and words; or, in other terms, thoughts and words elegantly adapted
to the subject." George Watson, cd., John Dryden's of Dramatic
Poesy (London: John Dent, 1964), Vol. I, p. 207.

6. The inability to conceal art recalls the play's Horatian motto and
its distinction between natural and excessively artful poets.

Though Wycherley's verse was written long after his plays, it very
often deals with the same subjects, and I feel it is illuminating.
His poems often state explicitly themes only implicit in the plays.

7. For "slow Wycherley" see Rochester's "Allusion to Horace:"

But Wycherley earns hard what'er he gains
He wants no judgment, nor he spares no pains.

Complete Poems, ed. David M. Vieth (New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1974), p. 123. Pope refers to this passage in "To Augustus,"
Epistle II i, 1. 85.

8. Eugene McCarthy has noticed the negative implications of wit in
Wycherley, "Wycherley's Plain-Dealer and the Limits of Wit,"
English Miscellany 22(1971), pp. 47-92.

9. Barrow, Works, I, pp. 159-60.

10. Rhetoric, pp. 377-9; trans. Roger L'Estrange, Seneca's Morals,
London, 1682 (second edition), p. 245.

11. Orator, p. 359. cf. Thomas Farnaby, Index Rhetoricus, London, 1625:
Caput artis est, decere quod facias. Sic igitur eloquentiam prudent-
aimque miscebit orator, sic decoro scenaeque inserviet. p. 19.

12. The Fierce Equation: A Study of Milton's Decorum (The Hague: Mouton
1965), pp. 13, 14.

13. Quintilian, IV, p. 163.









14. On the Composition of Romances, trans. Allan II. Gilbert, in
Literary Criticism from Plato to Dryden (Detroit: Wayne State
University Press, 1962), p. 273. This passage is cited by
Kranidas.

15. A New Discovery of the Old Art of Teaching School, London, 1660,
facsimile (Scolar Press, 1969), p. 139.

16. The Arte of English Poesie, London, 1589, facsimile (Scolar Press,
1968), p. 231.

17. The First Modern Comedies (Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
1967), p. 39.

18. Barrow, I, p. 156.

19. Window breaking and wit are again equated in The Plain-Dealer, pp.
500-1. See also Dryden's "Prologue to the Wild Gallant, Reviv'd"
(1669), 1. 10, for a similar use of window breaking.

20. The self-interest of praise is hardly new with Wycherley. In the
Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle writes: ". . honor seems to depend
on those who confer it rather than on him who receives it." Trans.
Martin Ostwald, (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1962), p. 8.
Wycherley's contemporary, Samuel Butler, writes of praise of the
dead:

And those Romances, which we frame,
To raise ourselves, not them, a name.

Butler's Satires, ed. Rene Lamar, (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1928). p. 97. To Obadiah Walker, flattery is "an abusing
of Language, a putting together many good words to signify nothing."
Of Education, Oxford, 1673, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1970), p. 224.

21. This scene may owe something to similar flattery in Shadwell's The
Miser Act two, Scene one, Works, ed. Montague Summers CLondon:
Fortune Press, 1927), Vol. III, p. 38 ff.

22. On Style, trans. W. Rhys, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1927),
p. 377.

23. Robert South, Forty Eight Sermons and Discourses, London, 1715,
Sermon XII, Vol. I, p. 462.

24. Francis Bacon, Essays (London: Oxford University Press, 1937),
"Of Simulation and Dissimulation," (1625), pp. 22-6.









25. Wycherley's familiarity with forensic rhetoric is not unusual; like
many of his fellow dramatists, he studied at the Inner Temple.
Furthermore, any well-educated theatregoer would have known something
of the subject from his studies of the trivium, which were still
dominated by forensic oratory, and children were still taught to
plead legal cases like Cicero. Thomas Farnaby's Index Rhetoricus
(1625) is the best example of a popular, Ciceronian rhetoric. For
seventeenth-century education I have consulted Sir Thomas Elyot,
The Bringing up of Children (1533), Roger Ascham, The Scholemaster
(1570), and William Kempe, The Education of Children (1588).
Particularly useful and detailed are John Brinsley, Ludus Literarius
(1612), and Charles Hoole, A New Discovery in the old Art of Teaching
School (1660). T. W. Baldwin, William Shakespeare's Small Latine
and Lesse Greeke (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1944) and
D. L. Clark, John Milton at St. Paul's School (1948, rpt. Hlamden:
Archon Books, 1964) are also informative.

26. Bacon, Advancement, p. 34.

27. Rhetoric, p. 17.

28. Quintilian, Vol. II, p. 427.

29. Leviathan, ed. W. G. Pogson Smith, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967),
51.

30. Christina's defense is classically Ciceronian, winning favour through
mild tone, modesty, gentle language and seeming reluctance, all of
which serve to display good nature, calmness and loyalty. De
oratore, I, 325ff.

31. See Cicero's De partition oratorio, chap. xxxv ff., or the pseudo-
Ciceronian Rhetorica ad herennium, book II.

32. Notice the skeptical repetition of "Christina," pp. 83-4.

33. "Wycherley's First Comedy and Its Spanish Source," Comp. Lit 18
(1966), pp. 139-40.

34. I use Northrope Frye's terms "eiron" or "gracioso" figure for those
characters who manipulate others, and bring about action, without
really participating in it. Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1957), p. 173.

35. See particularly the chapter "Disguise Comic and Cosmic," pp. 45-63.

36. Cf. Edward Phillips, The Mysteries of Love and Eloquence, London,
1658, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1972): "There is a Proverb that tells
the Gentleman, that Jone is as good as my Lady in the dark: and why
should there not be another Proverb to tell the Gentlewoman, that Tom









is as good as my Lord in the Dark." p. 150. For other examples,
see Tilley, J 57.

37. Tilley, D 39.

38. Righter, p. 72.

39. Holland, p. 44, and Matlock, "Parody and Burlesque of Heroic Ideals
in Wycherley's Comedies." PLL 8:3 (1972), pp. 273-286.

40. Kranidas, pp. 47-8. The whole of chapter one is relevant, pp. 13-
48.

41. Balthazar Gracian, The Courtier's Oracle, Or The Art of Prudence,
London, 1694, p. 74. Cf. I Cor. 9:22: "To the weak became I as
weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men,
that I might by all means save some."

Pope told Spence that Gracian was one of Wycherley's favorite
authors. The Art of Prudence, written in 1647, was translated in
1694; however, Wycherley clearly read Spanish, and there is a
distinct possibility that he was in Spain on a diplomatic mission
in 1664, where he could have read or acquired an edition of Gracian.
See John Loftis, The Spanish Plays of Neoclassical England (New
Haven: Yale University Press, 1973), p. 121, for a review of the
evidence.

42. Gildas Salvianus (1658) in Works, London, 1707, Vol. IV, p. 358.

43. See Stanley Fish, Self-Consuming Artifacts (Berkeley: University
of California Press, 1972), pp. 156-223, and Joan Weber, The
Eloquent "I" (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968), pp.
53-79.

44. The Latin is translated in anon., An Essay in Defense of the Female
Sex, London, 1696: "it has been Proverbially said of Old, that He
that knows not how to dissemble, knows not how to live." This writer
is careful to distinguish dissimulation from "criminal Deceipt,"
pp. 113-4. To Gracian, dissembling is a form of self-control, and
mastery of the will in Maxim XCVIII, To Dissemble: "Passions are
the breaches of the mind. The most useful knowledge is the art to
dissemble. He that shows his Game, runs the risque of losing it.
Let circumspection combat against curiosity. Cover your heart with
a hedge of diffidence and reserve, from those who nibble too nicely
at words. Let them never know your disposition lest they prevent
you either by contradiction, or flattery.

He who yields to his passions, saith the Authour, Chap. 2 of his
Hero, stoops from the state of a man, to the condition of a beast;
whereas he that disguises them, preserves his credit at least in
appearance. Our passions are the swoonings of our reputations.









lie that can make a sacrifice of his will is Lord over himself. To
dive into the will of another, is the mark of a sublime wit; to be
able to hide ones own, is to get the superiority over another. To
discover ones thought, is to open the gate of the fort of the mind:
Here it is that politick Enemies give the assualt, and most fre-
quently with success too. When once the passions are known, all the
avenues and sally-ports of the will are known and by consequence it
may be commanded upon any occasion. A complete man must then in the
first place apply himself to the subduing of his passions, and then
to the dissembling of them so artfully, that no spy can ever be able
to unmask his thought. This Maxim teaches one to become an able
man, when he is not; and so cunningly to hide all his imperfections,
that all the sharp-sighted spies of another man's road, lose their
way in seeking it." pp. 90-1.

Tilley includes eighteen examples of this proverb, D 386. For
others, see Sir Walter Raleigh, The Arts of Empire, London, 1658,
p. 68, and Florio's translation of Montaigne, Vol. II, p. 374.

45. The Art of Complaisance, p. 2.

46. Ibid., p. 54.

47. Gracian, p. 161. For the opposite view of dissimulation, see
Richard Head, Proteus Redivivus: Or The Art of Wheedling, or
Insinuation, London, 1675: "This art of Wheedling, which some
would have called complaisance, is in plain terms, nothing else
but the Art of Insinuation or Dissimulation, compounded of mental
reservation, seeming-patience and humility, (self-obliging) civil-
ity, and a more than common affability, all which club together to
please and consequently to gain by conversation." p. 3. Complai-
sance viewed negatively is wheedling, an art of self-interested
hypocrisy, the means to thrive by pretence. The wheedle is a
Restoration Uriah Heep, and more than a little dishonest: "Lyes he
looks not on as half so sinful, and sometimes questions whether
they are a sin or not, when a round sum hath been the product of
their falsity." p. 25.

48. G. A. Starr, Defoe and Casuistry (Princeton: Princeton University
Press, 1971), pp. 191-3. Sampson Letsome, The Preachers Assistant,
London, 1753, refers to thirteen sermons on this text, pt. 1,
pp. 117-8. See also Gracian's proverb CCXLII, Not to be a Dove in
all Things:

"Let the cunning of the Serpent go in course with the simplicity of
the Dove. There is nothing easier than to deceive a good man. He
that never lyes, easily believes; and he that never deceives, con-
fides much. To be deceived, is not always a sign of brutishness;
for goodness is sometimes the cause of it. There are two sorts of
people that well knew how to prevent a mischief, the one, because
they have learned what it is at their own cost; and the others,







69

because they have learned it at the expense of others. Prudence
ought then to be as careful to caution it self, as cunning is to
cheat. Have a care not to be so good a man, that others may take
occasion from it of being bad. Be a composition of the Dove and
Serpent; not a Monster but a Prodigy." p. 215.

49. A Sermon Preached before the King at White-Hall, London, 1679, p. 4.

50. Cicero, De finibus, 5.16: sic vivendi ars est prudential. My under-
standing of pnidence is greatly indebted to Martin Battestin's
discussion in The Providence of Wit (Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1974), pp. 164-179.

51. Martin Battestin, ed., Tom Jones (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
1975), I, p. 141.

52. Elegy XIX, "Going to Bed," 1. 31.















CHAPTER THREE
PARADOX AND THE GENTLEMAN DANCING-MASTER

Wycherley's second play, The Gentleman Dancing-Master, has never

been revived since it opened in 1672, a fact that may support Courtall's

complaint in She Would If She Could: "A single intrigue in love is as

dull as a single plot in a play, and will tire a lover worse than

t'other does an audience." The slight plot unfortunately continues to

tire readers, who, taking simplicity for simple mindedness, term the

play meaningless farce. In all fairness, The Gentleman Dancing-Master

does seem to lack the wit and significance that characterizes Wycherley's

other plays. But its simplicity and apparent meaninglessness are decep-

tive, resulting from the failure to apprehend its language of paradox,

a mode of discourse present in all of Wycherley's work, but more pro-

nounced here. The ethical foundation of this play is congruent with

Wycherley's other comedies; indeed, those scenes which appear the most

farcical, Monsieur's undressing and dressing, in fact demonstrate the

playwright's consistent focus on a language ethically correct and

responsible.


I

Most of the farcical action follows Don Diego's demand that his

prospective son-in-law Monsieur de Paris "Leave off French Dress,

Stammering and Tricks" (177), and wear Spanish clothes. This "meta-

morphosis" (189 and 199) reaches a climax in Act Four when Monsieur

puts on a Golilia, the paradigmatic Spanish garment:









Don Diego. Off, off, off with it I say, come refuse the
Ornamento principal of the Spanish Habit. (Takes
him by the Crevat, pulls it off, and the Black puts
on the Golilia.)

Monsieur. Will you have no mercy, no pity, alas, alas, alas,
Oh I had rather put on the English Pillory than this
Spanish Golilia, for 'twill be all a case I'm sure;
for when I go abroad, I shall soon have a Crowd of
Boys about me, peppering me with rotten Eggs and
Turneps, helas, helas. (Don Diego puts on the Golilia.)

Don Diego. Helas again?

Monsieur. Alas, alas, alas. (193).

Monsieur's removal of his French crevat parallels his suppression of the

hypercorrect French aspiration in "helas," underscoring the identity

between his affected dress and his affected language. He had earlier

pointed to the similarity, asking "must I leave off all Franch Beautes,

Graces and Embellishments, bote of my Person and Language?" (177).

Wycherley has enacted a literal, visual and audible parallel to the

familiar metaphor of language clothing thought in words, and an under-

standing of this metaphor reveals much about the language of The

Gentleman Dancing-Master.3

The "garment" metaphor is common in rhetorical descriptions and

definitions of style. Erasmus offers a representative analogy between

word and thought and body and dress in De duplci copia: quod est

vestis nostro corpori, id est sententiis, elocutio. Negue enim aliter

quam forma dignitasque corporis, cultu habitugue, itidem et sententia

verbis vel commendatur, vel deturpatur. In Ramistic rhetoric the

word most often used for elocution is "garnishing," which ornaments or

covers as does clothing.5 Thomas Wilson's version of the metaphor







72

describes the difference and distance between the rich clothing of word

and bare thought: "Elocution commenteth the matter, that seemeth to be

clad in Purple, walking afore both bare and naked."6 In a twentieth-

century discussion of the clothing metaphor, Holland mistakenly thinks

of language as mere cover or disguise and deceit: "Language was itself

regarded as an outside--clothing, ornament, or, in general a shell of

accidents--within which the real substance, thought, lay hidden."7

Implying, in Wilson's words, that the "naked" thought is superior,

Holland fails to realize that themetaphor has both positive and negative

connotations, as is explicit in this analogy of Quintilian's:

Again a tasteful and magnificent dress, as the Greek poet tells
us, lends added dignity to its wearer: but effeminate and
luxurious apparel fails to adorn the body and merely reveals
the foulness of the mind. Similarly, a translucent and iri-
descent style merely serves to emasculate the subject which it
arrays with such pomp of words.8

Speech should be thought to advantage dressed, but like dress, speech

can be elegant or vulgar, appropriate or mismatched; in "An Epistle to

Mr. Dryden," Wycherley compliments Dryden on the propriety and harmony

of his language:

Such is your Sense, which you so well express,
Each Thought is brilliant in its proper Dress. (IV, 159).

Furthermore, as Rosemond Tuve explains, the garment of style often

indicates the ideal fusion of word and thought, "in the sense that the

flesh is the soul's garment, its bodying forth or manifestation."9

Words realize or give life to thought, as Ben Jonson asserts in Dis-

coveries: "In all speech, words and sense are the body and the soul.

The sense is, as the life and soule of language, without which all words

are dead."10







73

The positive and negative connotations of the clothing metaphor

correspond to the two poles of language in The Gentleman Dancing-Master:

in Gerrard's normative speech, words harmoniously fit the thought and

speaker, and in Monsieur's affected speech, word, thought and speaker

are unrelated, if not warring, elements. Above all, the metaphor under-

scores the superficial nature of the French features of Monsieur's

language. As David Rhodes points out, unlike Sir Fopling Flutter's

correct French, Monsieur's is a bastardization of two languages: he

debases English sentences with French morphology, syntax and pronunci-

ation.11 Monsieur offends according to all four classical criteria of

style, the Theophrastan virtues of correctness, clarity, propriety and

ornament.1 His speech is not grammatically correct, but deliberately

broken; not perspicuous, but confused and incoherent; not brief, but

prolix; not decorous, but grotesquely inappropriate for a native English

speaker.

In the Tavern scene, Monsieur's speech and Gerrard's speech

contrast sharply:

Monsieur. Auh--his Son (for he had but one) was making de Toure
of France, Espaigne, Italy, an' Germany in a Coach
and six, or rader now I think on't, gone of an Embassy
hider to dere Master Cromwell, whom dey did love and
fear, because he was sometinge de greater Rebel bute
now I talk of de Rebelle, none but de Rebel can love
de Rebelled, and so mush for you and your Friend the
Dushe I'le say no more, and pray you say no more of
my friend de Franch, not so mush as of my Friend the
Franch-Foot-man-da-

Gerrard. No, no; but, Monsieur, now give me leave to admire thee,
that in three months at Paris you could renounce your
Language, Drinking and your Country (for which we are
not angry with you as I said) and come home so perfect
a French-man, that the Dreymen of your Father's own
Brew-house wou'd be ready to knock thee in the head. (143).







74

Monsieur's speech is very confused; the eleven clauses, progressing

only through non sequitor, seem to parody the rambling, associative

parataxis of Senecan style. Gerrard's speech, made conspicuous only

by contiguity, is a model of logicality and perspicuity. The suspended

hypotaxis of evenly spaced members separates admiration and insult at

either ends of the sentence, balanced by a parenthetical expression.

The contrast, of course, suggests that only Gerrard has the intelli-

gence to construct a complicated or even coherent sentence.

Monsieur's Gallomania and the contrast between English clarity and

French confusion may derive from two characters, M. Galliard in the

Duke of Newcastle's The Variety or The French Dancing-Master, and

Frenchlove in James Howard's The English Monsieur.13 Monsieur's speech

is, however, quite different from these two. M. Galliard is French-

born, so his French pronunciation is not affected; using incorrect

pronouns and substituting "de" for "the" and "vat" for "what," he is a

social climbing dancing-master who is tricked into marrying the chamber

maid rather than the rich widow. Frenchlove, on the other hand, is "an

affected English man translated into a ridiculous French man."14 Like

Sir Fopling or Melantha, Frenchlove speaks correct English with an

occasional French idiom. But in Howard, Dryden and Etherege, the

language/ garment equation is much reduced; Sir Fopling sprinkles his

conversation with French phrases as delicately as he scents his gloves

with orange, affecting, as the author of Remarques on the Iumours and

Conversation of the Town writes, "the beautiful trimming of foreign

words."15 His French is more like a cosmetic or accessory than a full







75

suit of clothes. Of the five playwrights, only Wycherley creates a

language unique to his character.

Many of the features of Monsieur's and Don Diego's speech reflect

contemporary English views of continental languages. Thus the prolixity

of French was an English commonplace; in a preface to a translation

from French, John Evelyn apologizes for the original, which is "somewhat

verbose, according to the style of that overflowing nation."16 Accord-

ing to Roscommon, the opposite translation from English to French would

necessarily be prolix: "The weighty Bullion of One Sterling Line,/

Drawn to French Wire, would thro' whole Pages shine."17 If French was

thought florid and wordy, Spanish was antithetically grave and dull,

corresponding to Don Diego's "Spanish Care, Circumspection and Prudence"

(188). These conflicting qualities are personified in James Howell's

prefatory poem to his Lexicon Tetraglotton:

The smooth Italian, and the nimble Frank,
The long-lunged Spanish march all in a rank,
The English leads them, so commands the Van
And reason good in this Meridian,
But Spain brings up the rear, because we know
Her Counsels are so long, and pace so slow.18

By asserting the self-sufficiency of English, especially by disparaging

loan words, Seventeenth-century writers assert the independence of their

speakers and their nation.19 Undisguised patriotism prompts the viru-

lence of Thomas Sprat's attack on the French language in his Observations

(1665) on Samuel Sorbiere's A Voyage to England, where he defends the

"Ornaments and Copiousness" of his native tongue, "comparing the Chas-

tity, the Newness, the Vigour of many of our English Fancies, with the

corrupt and swelling Metaphors wherewith some of our Neighbors do still







76

adorn their books."20 Linguistic chauvinism is most extreme in L. S.'s

Remarques, where his ancestors, refusing to debase their speech with

French, "were careful of the true glory of English men, to justifie the

Dominion of their Language, equal to the Dominion of their Seas."21

Underlying this implausible synecdoche is the idea that style or

language is the index of the soul, so that the greatness of the English

language is ineluctably connected to the greatness of the English

people.

The connection between the man and his speech also underlies

Wycherley's characterization of Monsieur and Don Diego; his satire

is not, of course, directed at the French or the Spanish, but at those

English speakers who affect other languages. The Romance features of

their speech is like clothing in the worst taste, that which is com-

pletely inappropriate to the body dressed. Don Diego and Monsieur have,

in effect, subverted the function of language by asserting the primacy

of the signifier, because their signifiers take precedence over the

signified. In the following dialogue, both behave as if the change of

names will produce a change of nature or reputation:

Don Diego. Do'st thou call me Monsieur (voto a St. Jago.)

Monsieur. No, I did not call you Monsieur veto a St. Jago, Sir,
I know you are my Uncle, Mr. James Formal-da-

Don Diego. But I can hardly know you are my Cousin, Mr. Nathaniel
Paris; but call me Sir Don Diego henceforward, look
you, and no Monsieur, call me Monsieur Guarda.

Monsieur. I confess my errour, Sir; for none but a blind man
wou'd call you Monsieur, ha, ha, ha--But pray do not
call me neder Paris, but de Paris, de Paris (si vou
plai'st) Monsieur de Paris! (174-5).








77
Monsieur's unmasking of his uncle demonstrates that no matter what

accent they employ, their coat will still be a merchant's sign, their

relatives will still be buried in the yard, not the church, and they

will still be middle-class Englishmen, not European gentility (224).

It is not enough to say that a change of name or dress will no more

change a man than a change of word will transform the thing it was

thought to signify, for there are clearly two opposing systems at work

here. Monsieur apparently does believe that his new name transforms

him; Gerrard, on the other hand, knows that Monsieur was a fool before

and after his trip to Paris. Don Diego, with typical myopia, quotes

the appropriate proverb, but only for Monsieur: "The Ass was an Ass

still, though he had the Lyons Skin on" (194).

Uncle and nephew are so concerned with externals that they take

care of the words and dress, but let the thought and man shift for

themselves. In Don Diego's words, "the incongruous match of Spanish

Doublet and French Pantaloons" (190) parallels his incongruous match of

Spanish oaths and English merchant. If asides conventionally represent

a character's thought, it is telling that Monsieur employs perfectly

acceptable English in his asides; his French accent is then a dupli-

citous facade. In Monsieur, the aside and regular speech represent

two different languages, an internal language of thought, English, and

an external language of speech, French. Wycherley here follows the

traditional idea that thought is internal discourse. In Plato, "think-

ing and discourse are the same thing, except that what we call thinking

is, precisely, the inward dialogue carried on by the mind with itself

without spoken sound."22 The difference between speech and thought







78

is only sound; it is this essential identity in Stoic metaphysics that

invests speech with the properties of the mind and soul.23 To Saint

Augustine, thought, the "inward and mental word," is the discourse of

the inner man, and audible language, the "outward and sensible word,"
24
is the discourse of the outer man. Communication was therefore

conceived as the process of translation from internal to external

speech; in Hobbes's words, "the general use of Speech, is to transfer

our Mentall Discourse into Verbal."25 Monsieur's audible speech does

not emanate from the soul, and there is no consistency or correspondence

between the inner and outer man. The folly of Monsieur's speech differs

from that of Wycherley's "witty" fools, Dapperwit, Sparkish and Novel,

for they exhibit a correspondence between exterior, linguistic folly,

and interior, inherent folly. Monsieur's speech produces a curious

suggestion of emptiness; having rejected his country, his language and

his nature, it is as if there is nothing behind his words and dress:

style is all there is to such a vacuous man. Dapperwit's dull simili-

tudes always make some obvious cliched sense, but Monsieur's macaronic

utterances are very difficult to follow. Like the Norman French legal

language of The Plain Dealer, Monsieur's is a language which resists

comprehension.

Monsieur's and Don Diego's attitude toward language is the same as

their attitude toward clothing. To Monsieur, who will "live and die for

de Pantaloon against de Spanish Hose" (175), clothing becomes an end in

itself. He and his uncle are no longer concerned with Hippolita,

marriage, family honor, or even religion--Monsieur "could kneel down

and varship a pair of jenti Pantaloons" (175). As dress becomes an end







79

rather than a means to social grace or comfort, words also become ends

in themselves; their "jernis" and "votos" lose referents, and are

rendered meaningless out of their proper cultural and linguistic context.

When Don Diego refuses him "one little Franch Oate" (178), Monsieur

produces a word heap, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing:

"Helas, helas, den I shall take my leave, morte teste, venture, Jernie,

teste-bleu, ventre-bleu, ma foy, certes" (178). We witness a process

of reification, as Monsieur's and Don Diego's words become things; their

words are like physical souvenirs brought back from a grand tour,

objects of status rather than means of communication. Words to Monsieur

are like Mallarme's radiant jewels, valuable, not simply for significa-

tion, but in and of themselves, an attitude woefully out of accord with

the prevailing Restoration language theory.

Uncle and nephew value words for their social or national status

rather than accepted, normative meaning, imposing a private or idiomatic

value on words that is always consistent with Don Diego's or Monsieur's

vanity. In consequence, they not only misuse words, but they misconstrue

everyone else's, for everyone says exactly what these two would like to

hear. Monsieur, Hippolita claims, "is as apt as an ill Poet to mistake

the contempt and scorn of people for applause and admiration" (171).

Don Diego's wilful misinterpretation and self-deception are even more

brazen: "Be a Spaniard like me, and ne're think people laugh at you:

there was never a Spaniard that thought any one laughed at him" (194).

The false Spaniard and Frenchman's devotion to words allows them

to be manipulated, not by meaning but by sound and association:

Gerrard. But indeed, methinks, you are not slovenly enough for
a French-man.









Monsieur. Slovenly! you mean negligent?

Gerrard. No, I mean slovenly.

Monsieur. Then I will be more slovenly. (144).

Because Gerrard associates "French" and "slovenly," Monsieur will

endeavor to be slovenly, no matter what the word means, just as he is

victimized by the accent rather than the substance of the Scullion's

words (149). He who directs words, in turn directs people, and through

their exploitations of ambiguity, Gerrard and Hippolita talk rings

around these dupes. Virginia Birdsall has observed that Hippolita

"manipulates words, artistically playing with their variable meanings

and deceiving all those incapable of recognizing a double entendre

either in word or in action when they are faced with one."26

Gerrard and Hippolita exercise these verbal powers on each other

at first; when they meet, Gerrard uses an inflated, "precieuse" style:

"My Soul, My Life, 'tis you have Charms powerful as numberless,

especially those of your innocency irresistable, and do surprise the

wary'st Heart; such mine was, while I cou'd call it mine, but now 'tis

yours for ever" (158). The lovers must purify their language, partic-

ularly their oaths; when the mutual distrust between Hippolita and

Gerrard is greatest, she calls attention to the misuse 'of "faith:"

Gerrard. Cou'd all that so natural Innocency be dissembl'd?
faith it cou'd not, dearest Miss.

Hippolita. Faith it was, dear Master.

Gerrard. Was it, faith?

Hippolita. Methinks you might believe me without an Oath. (205).







81

EIippolita reintroduces "faith" once again when she and Gerrard reach

their understanding: "faith, here's my hand now in earnest, to lead

me a Dance as long as I live" (218). The word has been validated, for

the concept has been realized between them. Their linguistic reform

follows a pattern predictable in Wycherley; a more precise use of words

leads to a more truthful and honest correspondence between speech and

thought; the more honest and open their speech, and the more exposed

their true thought, the more dependent upon trust they become, achieving

eventually the "language of the heart." They must purify their language,

for it is only when they mean what they say that Hippolita can give her

"self and fortune away frankly" (220).


II

Monsieur's speech can be characterized by his affectation of

"agreeable ill Englis'" (143), and rejection of "base good Englis'"

(134); these oxymorons, like the "incongruous match" between his clothes

and person, accentuate the disparity between his nature and appearance.

Don Diego and Monsieur are not, however, the only characters whose

chosen role contradicts their actual station, for Gerrard is a gentle-

man imitating an imitation gentleman. The title itself is oxymoronic

because dancing-masters were considered only gentlemen in appearance.

Usually "better dress'd and prouder than many a good Gentleman" (164),

Don Diego claims that dancing-masters have but the "outsides of Gentle-

men" (161). In their first exchange, Prue and Hippolita construe

Monsieur as a type of dancing-master: this apishh Kind of Gentleman"

has "Civility and good Breeding more than a City Dancing-master" (131).

C. J. Rawson explores the problems that dancing-masters create:







82

Dancing-masters were a special and embarrassing case, because
they were a necessary part of a genteel education. Not only
did one therefore see them a good deal, but they were pro-
fessionals who taught gentlemen some of the marks of gentility.
.The gentleman thus had a painful obligation to the
dancing-master, and the dancing-master must have acquired
pretensions of gentility which exacerbated the situation; the
gentleman had to learn from a laboured specialist the graceful
ease which was supposed to be his birthright, and the dancing-
master could feel that he did things better than his pupils.
Hence part of the insistence that a gentleman should learn to
dance well, yet not like a dancing-master, and, more generally,
the obsessional frequency with which writers of the period keep
mentioning dancing-masters, often with edgily ambiguous or
over-aggressive contempt. The title of Wycherley's Gentleman
Dancing-Master must have derived much piquancy from this whole
situation.27

Monsieur and dancing-masters raise the question of what constitutes

gentility, innate breeding, or acquired characteristics like manners,

wealth and appearance. Following centuries of courtesy literature,

Wycherley suggests that though gentility is in part inherited, it is
28
above all earned by gentle conduct.28 Monsieur sums up Gerrard's

situation: "Well, thou art a generous man, I vow and swear, to come

and take upon you this trouble, danger, and shame, to be thought a

paltry Dancing-master, and all this to preserve a Ladies honour and

life" (200).

The oxymoronic title describes the apparently contradictory and

paradoxical action of the protagonist, who demeans and shames himself

for an honorable cause. I emphasize oxymoron because Rosalie Colie

has observed that this is the central trope of paradox, and I wish to

demonstrate that the language and action of this play is paradoxical.29

Though Pope was referring to Wycherley's verse when he told Spence that

Wycherley "loved paradoxes," the plays also reveal a love of paradox,

and The Gentleman Dancing-Master in part may be seen as a kind of







83
30
Encomium Moriae, or Praise of Folly. The word "fool" is used eighty-

six times in the play, mostly of Gerrard and Monsieur. But while

Monsieur and Don Diego are anxious to deny their folly--"I am no fool,

Look you" (152)--Gerrard willingly and deliberately "plays the fool:"

"To be caught in a Fool's Trap--I'll venture it" (141), he says, and he

is "Fooled and abused" (208), and "made a Fool" (213) by Hippolita. It

is only when he consents, moreover, to "be such a fool as to steal a

Woman with nothing" (206) that he wins her and a "Fools Paradise"

(172). Gerrard plays the fool by playing a dancing-master; where

Monsieur tries to appear better by imitating his betters, Gerrard

becomes better by imitating his inferiors.

The ironic reversal of wisdom and folly has long been a comic

convention designed to express the self-awareness of limitation; as

Touchstone says, "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows

himself to be a fool" (5.1.33). Similarly, the Socratic docta ignoran-

tia, of which Montaigne provides a famous statement, is based on the

humble declaration of ignorance: "The wisest that ever was being

demanded what he knew, answered, he knew that he knew nothing."31 The

primary source of Erasmus's wise fool is, of couse, Saint Paul:

"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Rom. 1.22), or

"If any man among you seemeth to be wise, let him become a fool that

he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God"

(I. Cor. 3.18-9). On this text, John Webster writes, "This is the whole

knowledge of man, to know that it is nothing of itself, and whatsoever

it is, it is of God and for God."32 Wycherley's familiarity with

the docta ignorantia is clear from his poems "Upon the Impertinence of







84

Knowledge," andl "In Praise of Ignorance"; in "Upon the Discretion of

Folly," he writes that "the greatest Folly is to be Wise," and "Folly

Proves Wisedom" (III, 28).

According to Pope, Wycherley's favorite authors were those most

paradoxical: "He used to read himself to sleep o'night, either in

Montaigne, Rochefoucault, Seneca, or Gracian, for those were his four

favorite authors."33 Further, Wycherley would have been familiar with

paradox from grammar school, because paradox remained an integral part

of education in rhetoric.. While we may associate paradox with the

complexities of the Parmenides, it was also the subject and method of

epideictic or demonstrative oratory, because the contoversiae or

practice cases for student declamations often were based on paradox.34

Practice declamations were collected in progymnasmata, which were still

in use through the eighteenth-century; in the sixteenth and seven-

teenth centuries, Aphthonius's progymnasmata went through thirty Latin

and twenty Greek editions, not including English versions by Richard

Rainolde and William Fullwood.35 Rainolde's A Booke Called the

Foundation of Rhetorike (1563) contains nineteen declamations, about

which questions are posed, including confirmation and confutation,

praise and dispraise; such questions were intended to form topics for

the student's compositions.3 John Brinsley, in Ludus Literarius,

recommends Cicero's Paradoxa Stoicorum for model themes, and the most

famous and complete Renaissance collection of paradoxes, Ortensio

Landi's Paradossi (1543), was presented as a formulary rhetoric: Thomas

Lodge's translation, Paradoxes Against Common Opinions (1602), advertises







85
its contents as "Debated in the form of Declamations," to be used for

schoolboy exercises.

Wycherley's knowledge of such material is clear from his many

paradoxical encomiums; he has poems in praise of Ignorance, Folly,

Poverty, Old Age, Laziness, Avarice and Dullness, and with the exception

of that on laziness, there are analogues for each of these in the Landi

collections, all with similar arguments.38 Even these few examples do

not, however, reveal the extent of paradox in Wycherley's verse, for

almost half of the poems (all those in heroic couplets) are based on

paradox, often arguing the opposite of what the reader expects, revers-

ing their own argument, turning inward, and playing orthodoxy against
39
heterodoxy in the manner of a Stoic dialectician.3

Skepticism notwithstanding, Colie argues that paradox is "often

designed to assert some fundamental and absolute truth," and the truth

asserted by the encomium moriae is the necessity of humility.40 Webster

quotes Nicholas of Cusa's dialogue between an Idiot and a Doctor,

wherein the Idiot says, "This perhaps is the difference betwixt me and

thee, thou thinkest thy self knowing, when thou art not, from hence

thou art proud; I truly know my self to be an Idiot, from hence I am

humbled, in this perhaps I am more learned."41 Vain an'd proud pre-

tensions to knowledge are paradoxically countered by a humble awareness

of frailty and limitation. In Erasmus, to the philosophers' objection,

"'tis a miserable thing for a man to err, mistake and know nothing

42
truly," Folly answers, "Nay rather, this is to be a man." In the

play before us, the folly of wisdom is typified by Don Diego's claim to

"ha'no body wiser than my self" (211).







86

The importance of humility is best represented in Hippolita's

explanation of Gerrard's jealousy. Unlike the excessive jealousy of

Valentine in Love in a Wood or Pinchwife in The Country Wife, jealousy

here serves as proof of love: "jealousy in a Gallant is humble, true

Love, and the height of respect, and only an undervalueing of himself

to over value" his mistress (219). While Gerrard plays the fool and

adopts the relatively humble pose of a dancing-master, his rival over-

values himself: "Cousin, I doubt not your amour for me, because I

doubt not your judgment" (133). Monsieur's indifference indicates that

he is too self-centered to ever think of another's affection, but

Wycherley was later to write, in poems and a letter, that there could
43
be no love without jealousy.43 And in one of his better poems,

Wycherley argues that jealousy elevates the mistress and humbles the

lover, because it witnesses that she is worthy to be beloved by others,

while he is unworthy to monopolize her affections. Further, his

assurance of her love would be impertinent and offensive (III, 178-

80).44

The most important distinction between Gerrard and Monsieur,

therefore, lies in love of others and love of self, the distinguishing

basis for so much Restoration and eighteenth-century psychology and

characterization, from Tom Jones and Blifil to Clarissa and her brother
45
James. Gerrard, Jones and Clarissa, in their several ways, are

raised by falling, becoming worthy by admitting their unworthiness.

That these characters function in part as moral exempla, and that their

conduct is based on theological virtues, makes them no less interesting;







87

here the moral significance of Gerrard's generosity and humility only

adds depth and richness to this supposedly thin play.


III

If The Gentleman Dancing-Master is paradoxical and oxymoronic, it

is the more noteworthy that the language is relatively non-metaphoric.

Compared to the other plays, there is a striking absence of elaborate

similitudes and conspicuous metaphors; there are only about ten, and

almost all of these are spoken by Gerrard and Hippolita. Such economy

is partly explained by the fact that Monsieur's "wit," such as it is,

is expended simply in French expressions. More important, similitude

and metaphor necessarily illustrate similarity and conjunction, whereas

oxymoron exhibits contradiction, dissimilarity and disjunction. With

the exception of the isolated protagonists, this play is peopled with

characters whose dress and language do not fit their nature or station.

Hippolita in effect summarizes the design of the play when she contrasts

French levity and Spanish gravity: "We shall have sport anon, betwixt

these two Contraries" (174).

One contrary that runs through all of Wycherley's work, beginning

with Lady Flippant's first line in Love in a Wood, is the choice of

marriage for love or for money. Like the paradoxical contrast of

spiritual and mundane values, mercenary self-interest of vicious

characters competes with the idealistic, selfless values of love;

Monsieur is only attracted to Hippolita's fortune, while Garrard is

foolish enough to marry her portionless. Gerrard and Hippolita are

not, however, untainted, because when she first reveals her fortune,







88

he can only repeat, "Twelve hundred pound a year--" (158), just as

Hippolita can only repeat "A Coach and Six" (185). Both are swayed by

material considerations, but Gerrard eventually agrees to "be such a

Fool as to steal a Woman for nothing" (206).

Contrasting values are most vivid in the last scene; the articles

of keeping between Monsieur and Flirt there appear as a grotesque

parody of the lovers' proviso scene, where Hippolita proposes, "Let us

have a good understanding betwixt one another" (218).46 Though Monsieur

is unable to see the difference, kept mistress and wife form the two

extremes of greed and generosity, or self-love and love of others.

Flirt's articles symbolize, moreover, the disjunction rampant in the

play, for they all deal with some type of separation. She and Monsieur

doubtless stand at opposite sides of the stage:

Monsieur. . there's no difference betwixt a Wife and a Wench.

Flirt. Only in Cohabitation, for the first Article shall be
Against Cohabitation; we Mistresses suffer no Cohabi-
tation.

Monsieur. Nor Wives neither now.

Flirt. Then separate Maintenance, in case you should take a Wife,
or I a new Friend.

Monsieur. How! that too? then you are every whit as bad as a
Wife.

Flirt. Then my House in Town, and yours in the Country if you
will.

Monsieur. A mer Wife.

Flirt. Then my Coach apart, as well as my Bed apart. (230).


__









Surrounded by such disjunction and disharmony, Gerrard and

Hippolita appear remarkably well matched. Wycherley neatly demon-

strates how well they compliment each other in the passages on modesty.

Hippolita is always in danger of seeming "a confident coming piece"

(220), although the two prostitutes provide a beneficial qualification

to her forwardness, because their exaggerated aggression tempers her

appearance of immodesty. Gerrard, however, believes that modesty is

only important for the lady, claiming that "modesty in a man is as ill

as the want of it in a Woman" (184), and that "Modesty between Lovers

is as impertinent as Ceremony between Friends" (204). He is mistaken,

for some diffidence is necessary in both lovers; moreover, the for-

wardness of both is dissembled; when they first meet, he says, "Love

and Modesty come together like Money and Covetousness, and the more we

have, the less we can shew it" (155). When they put aside dissembling,

modesty reasserts itself, suggesting that they elicit the best in each

other: "Well, though you are so modest a Gentleman as to suffer a Wife

to be put upon you with nothing, I have more conscience than to do it:

I have the twelve hundred pounds a year out of my Father's power, which

is yours, and I am sorry it is not the Indies to mend your bargain"

(220).

I stress modesty because it is a particular source of misinter-

pretation.4 Birdsall is so taken with Ilippolita's dominance that she

is disappointed when she eventually gives her hand to Gerrard.48 Dobrce

believes that Wycherley had an underlying "hatred" for llippolita, and

the usually sensible Weales concludes that "after watching Hippolita







90

for five acts, one wants to congratulate Monsieur on escaping marriage

with her."49 These harsh judgments result from a misunderstanding or

disregard for the "trial" plot common to so many Restoration'comedies;

lippolita admits to Gerrard, "I confess I had a mind to try whether

your interest did not sway you more than your love" (220). Because her

future and fortune are completely in Gerrard's hands, her prudence in

testing his honor and love before accepting him is only sensible; while

avoiding the aggressiveness of Flirt and Flounce, she must actively

"try" her choice while she has the chance. Ironically, Hippolita must,

to some degree, imitate her "precise" (129) aunt Caution. The epithet

is used again twice; before meeting her, Gerrard refers to Hippolita as

"a new City-Mistress, and you know they are as inquisitive as precise

in the City" (147); and Hippolita is a city mistress, even though she

herself says they "are never precise but at a Play" (220). Wycherley

plays upon the two concurrent meanings of the word, scrupulous and over-

scrupulous (O.E.D.); Hippolita must modulate between the two meanings,

acting neither too easily like Prue, nor too punctiliously like Caution.

She validates a positive, correct meaning of the word, exercising true

judgment; when Gerrard proves his love, she gives her "self and fortune

away frankly" (220).

The interplay between contradictory significations parallels the

fundamental action of The Gentleman Dancing-Master; the play dramatizes

a series of binary opposition, homologous to the contrast of folly and

wisdom, including French levity and Spanish gravity, innocence and

experience, and passivity and aggression. In scene after scene, pairs

of characters play out these contrasts, often switching roles, like the







91

way that Don Diego and Caution exchange their antithetical acceptance

and suspicion of Gerrard. Though characters switch sides, the cate-

gories are immutable; Hippolita successfully oscillates between

innocence and experience, or between activity and passivity, without

moderation or compromise. Nor can Gerrard, the English gentleman, be

considered a compromise between French levity and Spanish gravity; he

is at times frivolous and other times serious. Protean and adaptable,

the lovers are the only characters capable of navigating deftly between

the contrarieties; though a gentleman, Gerrard, when necessary, becomes

a dancing-master. While Monsieur is unable to adapt his speech even

momentarily to gain Hippolita's fortune, Gerrard is willing to learn a

new language: "A Dancing-School in half an hour will furnish you with

terms of the Art" (167). Gerrard and Hippolita embody the spirit of

paradox because they are not rigidly bound to any extreme. Transcending

the constrictions of contradiction, they understand that it is at times

wise to be foolish, and at times foolish to be wise.

The synthesis of conflicting qualities, such as modesty and

forwardness, is symbolized by their dance. Dance is burlesqued and

frustrated for four acts, until Gerrard and Hippolita reach an under-

standing: "faith here's my hand now in earnest, to lead me a Dance as

long as I live" (218). The significance of such a dance may be seen

in the words of Sir Thomas Elyot: "the association of a man and a

woman in dancing may be signified matrimonie. . which betokeneth

concorde." This concord is a concordia-discors, formed of masculine

and femine qualities:







92

Wherefore whan we behold a man and a woman daunsing to gether,
let us suppose there to be a concorde of all the side quali-
tites, being joyned to gether as I have set them in ordre.
And the moving of the man wolde be more vehement, of the woman
more delicate, and with lasse advancing of the body, signi-
fieing the courage and strength that ought to be in a man,
and the pleasant sobernesse that should be in a woman. And
in this wise fiersenesse, joined with mildnesse maketh severitie;
Audacitie with timerositie maketh magnanimitie .

He continues with the synthesis of the virtues Constance, Honour,

Sapience and Continence: "These qualities, in this wise knitte to

gether, and signified in the personages of man and woman daunsinge, do

express or sette out the figure of very nobilitie."50 Wycherley

dramatizes a similar synthesis of virtues, carefully reversing, confus-

ing, and finally correcting Gerrard's and Hippolita's qualities.

Separately they are not perfect characters, and indeed, exemplary

characters were considered inappropriate for comedy; but together, they

represent as perfect a couple as can be found in Wycherley and in

Restoration comedy.


Notes

1. George Etherege, She Would If She Could, ed. Charlene Taylor,
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1971), 3.1.107ff, p. 46.

2. Dobree, Rogers and Chadwick, pointing to the play's Horatian motto,
term the play a farce. Only Holland and Righter find any meaning
or value here.

3. Following Holland, Klara Boyd notes the equation of clothing and
language, "A Study of the Imagery in the Plays of William Wycher-
ley," Diss. Florida State University, 1970, p. 58.

4. Opera Omnia, Leiden, 1703, Vol. I, p. 8.

5. See Dudley Fenner's translation of Talon, The Artes of Logicke and
Rhetorike (1584): rhetoric is "an Arte of speaking finely. It hath
two parts, Garnishing of speech, called Eloquution [and] Garnishing
of the maner of utterance, called Pronunciation." Four Tudor Books
on Education, ed. Robert Hood Bowers, (Gainesville: Scholars'
facsimiles, 1966), p. 168.









6. G. 11. Mair, ed., (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909), p. 160.

7. First Modern Comedies, p. 51.

8. Institutio Oratoria, III, 189.

9. Elizabethan and Metaphysical Imagery (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1947), p. 61.

10. Works, VIII, p. 621.

11. "William Wycherley's Love in a Wood and The Gentleman Dancing-
Master: A Critical Edition," Diss. Stanford, 1969, pt. II,
p. 586.

12. Thomas Wilson translates the virtues as Plainness, Aptness, Composi-
tion (correctness) and Exornation (ornamentation); by the seventeenth
century, the four were often reduced to three: in Farnaby's Index
Rhetoricus (1625) the virtues are Elegantia, Compositione and
Dignitare, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1970), p. 16.

13. Rhodes, pt. II, p. 524. The Variety was performed in 1641, 1661,
1662, and printed in 1649. The English Monsieur was performed in
1663, 1666, 1667, 1668, and printed in 1674.

14. The English Monsieur, London, 1674, p. 1.

15. London, 1673, p. 94. R. F. Jones discusses Restoration neologism
in The Triumph of the English Language, (Stanford: Stanford Univer-
sity Press, 1953), pp. 214-271, but he does not give enough weight
to the evident resistance and hostility to this practice. Dryden
typically expresses a moderate and sensible view in the "Defense of
the Epilogue:" "For I cannot approve of their way of refining, who
corrupt our English idiom by mixing it too much with French; that is
a sophistication of language not an improvement of it; a turning
English into French, rather than a refining of English by French."
Watson, I, p. 176.

16. Miscellaneous Writings of John Evelyn, ed. William "Upcott, (London:
Henry Colburn, 1825), p. 559.

17. "An Essay on Translated Verse," in J. E. Spingarn, ed., Critical
Essays of the Seventeenth Century, (1907, rpt. Bloomington:
Indiana University Press), II, p. 198. This passage, with others,
is cited by William H. Youngren, "Generality, Science and Poetic
Language," ELH 35 (1968), p. 164.

18. Lexicon Tetraglotton, An English-French-Italian-Spanish Dictionary,
London, 1660. Cf. L. S., Remarques: "the Spaniard . scorns to
truckle under the laws of their [French] Mode; and sullenly keeps









to a fashion of some hundreds of years, rather than appear inclined
to the lightness of his neighbors." p. 98.

19. George Herbert's "The Sonne" opens

Let Forrain nations of their language boast,
What fine varieties each tongue affords:
I like our langugae, as our men and coast:
Who cannot dresse it well, want wit, not words.

Works, ed. F. E. Hutchinson, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1941),
p. 167.

20. A Voyage to England, with Observations on the Same Voyage by Doctor
Thomas Sprat, London, 1709, pp. 170 and 172.

21. Remarques, p. 96.

22. Sophist, 263e, Collected Dialogues, p. 1011.

23. For internal discourse in Stoicism, see A. A. Long, "Language, and
Thought in Stoicism," in Problems in Stoicism, p. 82.

24. On the Trinity, book XV, chap. X-XIV, Basic Writings of St. Augustine,
ed. Witney Oates, (New York: Random House, 1948), Vol. II, p. 847.

25. Leviathan, ed. W. G. Pogson Smith, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967),
p. 24. cf. John Hoskyns: "The conceits of the mind are pictures of
things and the tongue is interpreter of these pictures." Directions
for Speech and Style, ed. Hoyt Hudson, (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1935), p. 2. This work, written circa 1600, was
not printed until this century, but whole sections, including the
passage quoted, found their way into Jonson's Discoveries and Thomas
Blount's Academy of Eloquence, London, 1654. Blount has similar
commonplaces: "Speech is nothing else but an expression to another
man of the images one hath within himself," p. 97; "Thoughts are
but over-flowings of the minde and the tongue is but a servant of
the thought," p. 98; "Speech and Thought are two sisters, the
youngest created, that the eldest may be known," p. 98. See also
Thomas Wilson, p. 2, John Hewes, A Perfect Survey of the English
Tongue (1624, 1632 and 1658), epilogue and Cowley, "Ode to the
Royal Society," stanza IV.

26. Wild Civility (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1970), p. 131.

27. Henry Fielding and the Augustan Ideal Under Stress (London:
Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972), pp. 27-8.

28. John E. Mason, Gentlefolk in the Making, Studies in the History of
Courtesy Literature (1935, rpt. New York: Octagon Books, 1971), pp.
6-12 and 293-4. Gentle birth was often regarded as conferring a









debt or obligation to virtuous conduct. Mason, p. 163, quotes
William de Britaine, Humane Prudence (1680): "Urbanity and
Civility are a debt you owe to Mankind."

29. Paradoxica Epidemica (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966),
Introduction, pp. 1-38.

30. Joseph Spence, Observations, Anecdotes, and Characters of Books and
Men, ed. James M. Osborn, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), Vol. I,
p. 38. Wycherley wrote Pope about his letter of praise, "It is not
the first, you great Wits have gain'd Reputation by their paradoxi-
cal or ironical Praises; your Forefathers have done it, Erasmus and
others." The Correspondence of Alexander Pope, ed. George Sherburn,
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956), Vol. I, p. 69, 11 August 1709.

31. "An Apology of Raymond Sebond," Vol. II, p. 202.

32. John Webster, Academiarum Examen London, 1654, facsimile, ed.
Allen G. Debus (New York: Elsevier Inc., 1970), p. 4.

33. Spence, p. 37.

34. I have used the following surveys of classical education: George
Kennedy, The Art of Persuasion in Greece (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1963) and The Art of Rhetoric in the Roman World
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972); D. L. Clark,
Rhetoric in Greco-Roman Education (New York: Columbia University
Press, 1957); M. L. Clark, Rhetoric at Rome (London: Cohen and
West, 1953).

35. William G. Crane has traced the editions in Wit and Rhetoric in the
Renaissance (New York: Columbia University Press, 1937), p. 61.
For the popularity of Hermogenes' progymnasmata see Annabel Patter-
son, Hermogenes and the Renaissance (Princeton: Princeton University
Press, 1970), passim.

36. Facsimile (Scolar Press, 1972). Pope appears to have been somewhat
confused and annoyed by Wycherley's ability to argue both sides,
such as in the poems in praise of the retired life, the active life
and the mixed life (Spence, p. 38). We should perhaps take this
as a warning against reading any of Wycherley's work, including
The Plain-Dealer, as self-expression.

37. Facsimile (Scolar Press, 1968), p. 184.

38. See Henry Knight Miller, "The Paradoxical Encomium with Special
Reference to its Vogue in England, 1600-1800," M.P. LIII (1956),
pp. 145-178.




Full Text

PAGE 1

THE ETHICS OF SPEECH IN THE PLAYS OF WILLIAM WYCHERLEY By JAMES PETER THOMPSON A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1978

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Copyright 1978 by James Peter Thompson

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT iv CHAPTER ONE: WYCHERLEY AND THE SENECAN ETHICS OF SPEECH 1 Notes 31 CHAPTER TWO : DECORUM AND LOVE IN A WOOD 39 Notes 63 CHAPTER THREE : PARADOX AND THE GENTLEMAN DANCING -MASTER 70 Notes 92 CHAPTER FOUR: FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE IN THE COUNTRY WIFE 98 Notes 127 CHAPTER FIVE: THE PLAIN-DEALER AND THE CONCEPT OF CORRECTNESS... 133 Notes 159 CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSION: TRYAL MAKETH TRUST 165 Notes 170 BIBLIOGRAPHY 172 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 185

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE ETHICS OF SPEECH IN THE PLAYS OF WILLIAM WYCHERLEY By James Peter Thompson June 1978 Chairman: Aubrey L. Williams Major Department: English This stylistic and thematic study of Wycherley's language argues that there is implicit in his plays an ethically correct manner of speech, and, consequently, that a man's moral essence can be determined from his words. Confirmation for my thesis is sought in seventeenthcentury devotional and courtesy writers, as well as in linguists and rhetoricians, all of whom write with surprising frequency and urgency of the necessity of speaking properly, decently and morally. Features of speech, in these writers, are commonly described in ethical terms, and "correct" often encompasses moral as well as grammatical rectitude. In addition, after tracing the concept, "Style is the man," from its classical sources, I also argue that the popularity of Senecan style promoted an expressive theory of speech, identifying the speaker and his words, and coloring those words with his essence. Changing concepts of the nature and function of words are investigated, because such shifts are bound to affect the ethical constraints thought to govern speech; exactly what these writers feel a sentence can or does accomplish goes hand in hand with what they feel ought to be done with words.

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However ambiguous words can be, and however their meanings change, most language theorists of the period seem confident that intended meanings are reasonably self-evident. The maintenance of such a "rectitude of words" is the subject of much speculation, for the preservation of the right meanings of words is perceived as the foundation of common coherence. Various aspects of the ethics of speech are examined in each of Wycherley's four plays. In Love in a Wood , the concept of decorum is analogous to prudence; the one is to speech what the other is to conduct, both governing appropriate behavior. Differing ethical values in The Gentleman Dancing -Master reflect conflicting concepts of signification, while differing uses of figurative language suggest alternative attitudes towards social constraints and rules in The Country Wife . The PlainDealer anatomizes the concept of correctness, questioning Manly's authority to judge and correct others' speech and action. Of particular interest in all the plays is metalanguage, because a large part of Wycherley's dialogue consists of remarks about remarks. His characters, for example, complete, expand, emend, or reject one another's similitudes. Such passages often indicate a character's conception of what his own words accomplish, and may reveal a tactic of expression. The abuses of speech are also closely examined, as aberrations or rejections of a rectitude of words. Dissimulation and deception, the ways characters mislead themselves and others, are consistently contrasted with proper communication; a correct use of words becomes a metaphor for cooperation, an attempt to reach, or aid, or inform another, rather than to deceive or attack him.

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CHAPTER ONE WYCHERLEY AND THE SENECAN ETHICS OF SPEECH Wycherley's characters congregate in French houses, St. James Park, the New Exchange, or the Cock in Bow Street, to talk about the talk of the town. Conversation in Restoration comedy, as Alan Roper remarks, is often about conversation; characters relate what others have said in order to anatomize the substance and style of such discourse. Novel's 2 and Olivia's exchange in The Plain-Dealer ( pp. 413-422) is representative of the reflexive nature of much of Wycherley's dialogue; Novel describes the dinner he just left so he and Olivia can comment. At the same time, Olivia and Eliza animadvert upon the present conversation; the dialogue consists of self-referential remarks upon remarks, for they comment upon their own and others' words. The amount of animadversion in Restoration dialogue indicates an extraordinary self-consciousness about speech and language; as Joan Webber has said, the seventeenth century is "an age tremendously conscious of its language: the individual writer, in every paragraph he sets down, reveals his anxiety to understand the character of words." Her subject, the projection of self in words, is especially appropriate for Wycherley's characters, because they are usually highly aware of the impression they hope to create with their words, but indeed much of the popular literature of the Restoration also exhibits a corresponding self-consciousness about speech. Thus Swift's Polite Conversations parodies a number of courtesy works that claim to teach

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2 their reader to speak cleverly and impressively. The Mysteries of Love and Rhetoric Revealed (London, 1658) includes whole conversations to be used on one's mistress in the pit, the Ring, or at tea. The Art of Complaisance , or the Means to Oblige in Conversation (London, 1673) is a rhetoric of conversation, adapting the art of persuasion to "casual" speech. Richard Allestree's The Government of the Tongue (Oxford, 1674) teaches verbal prudence, while other works "Remarque" upon or "Vindicate" "The Conversation of the Town." It may be supposed, in the light of such works, that Restoration comedy elevates conversation to an art form in part because much of the audience valued skilled, successful speech. Pepys, for one, equally admires conversation on the stage and in the pit, and often divides his attention between the two. And as James Sutherland has argued, the verbal qualities of conversation were also valued in written prose; the most admired Restoration prose is "a slightly formalized variation of the conversation of a gentleman," characterized by ease, studied underemphasis, imperturbable nonchalance and breeding. However studied or self-conscious Restoration speech may have been, conversation has been the measure of social grace from the Symposium to the Cocktail Party . Samuel Johnson gives a sense of the social nature of the man by closing each of his Lives of the Poets with a sample of the poet's conversation. But while Johnson characterizes poets by their conversation, in Restoration or Augustan literature men are more likely to be defined by their speech; from Mac Flecknoe to the Dunciad , men are defined and judged by the way they use words, because speech was thought to reveal the essence of the man, not just his social

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3 grace. It was, in fact, during the seventeenth century, according to the OED , that the meaning of "conversation" shifted from "living amongst people," or "mode of Life" to its present, specialized sense of 7 'talk." In Restoration comedy, conversation is a significant part of action. It is by use of words that man deals with other men, by words that he projects his self, his purposes and intentions; it is by words that he persuades others of these intentions. Speech was considered a moral act, as well as the means of revealing and exerting the will. Although this moral view of speech is not unique to Restoration literature, divines, moralists, scientists and poets of this period write with a surprising frequency and urgency of the necessity of speaking properly, decently, and morally. Seventeenth-century prose has been the subject of much study in the last sixty years, from all critical persuasions, but studies have increasingly turned to historical and theoretical linguistics. Though these studies focus on the most basic language texts of the period, grammars and spelling books, they still ignore relevant material. As important as language training was, it was but half of the grammar school master's responsibility, for he was to teach religion as well as right speaking, and his students were to learn their ca'techism along with their accidents. The two subjects went hand in hand; while Lily's grammar demonstrated how language worked, religious and moral literature explained why it worked or ought to work. Lily defines grammar as recte scribendi atque loquendi ars ; I wish to show that recte was Q understood to encompass moral as well as grammatical Tightness.

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4 This chapter traces, therefore, the ethical aspects of speech in conjunction with changing language theory in the seventeenth century. Morris Croll, George Williamson, and R. F. Jones have isolated three types of prose style, arguing that the first half of the century was dominated by anti-Ciceronian or Senecan style, while in reaction to both Senecan and Ciceronian style, there appeared after 1650 a "plain style" 9 associated with new science. All three styles have persuasive purposes, and I will treat them in terms of rhetoric in order to avoid the suggestion that any one style is more "rhetorical" than the others. Because these three are always more distinctive in theory than in practice, they are best distinguished by their dominant interest or aim: Ciceronian oratorical style is the most openly intended to sway an audience; Senecan essay style is designed to reflect and display its author's mind; scientific plain style tries to efface both audience and author in order to present its subject matter, the close description of natural phenomena. These three rhetorics are essentially analogous to critical categories established by M. H. Abrams, for Ciceronian rhetoric is "affective," Senecan is "expressive" and scientific is "mimetic." It is not my intention to prove that Senecan rhetoric either replaced Ciceronianism or turned into Scientific rhetoric. I am more concerned with the relative popularity of these three aims of discourse, aims that are perennial, and though one may seem more popular for a time, it can never eclipse the others. My purpose in distinguishing these three rhetorical modes is to show how differing concepts of what can or ought to be done with words necessarily affect the moral constraints thought to govern speech.

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5 Further, not all aspects of these rhetorics are exclusive, and through the century different facets of the theories shift, conflicting or aligning with each other, often in unpredictable ways. I will argue that Wycherley found most congenial the Senecan theory of speech, a speech that is ethical in its essential conformity with Stoic morality. It is also ethical in the etymological sense of "ethos": the peculiarly Senecan and Stoic influences lie in the emphasis on the ethos or character or essence of a man contained in and revealed by his words. Of the three, only Senecan rhetoric is truly comfortable with the idea that speech reveals the inner man. I The idea that men are characterized by their speech is of course proverbial,, with the first known example of speech as the image of the mind appearing as a received opinion in Dionysius of Halicarnassus : "it is a just and general opinion that a man's words are the images of his mind." In the Tusculan Disputations , Cicero credits Socrates with the analogy between speech and character: Qualis autem homo ipse esset, 12 talem eius isse orationem . The analogy is often expressed epigrammatically, as in Quintilian, ut vivat , quemque etiam dicere , or in 13 Seneca, Qualis vir , talis oratio , and passed into Renaissance proverbial lore through Erasmus's Adagia . In Robert Greene's proverb collection, The Royal Exchange , speech reveals the heart, significantly indicating virtues and vices: "Ex abundantia cordis os loquitor : alluding to our Olde Englishe proverbe, what the heart thinketh, the tongue clacketh: meaning heerby, that the affections of man are knowne by his speech, as favoring of wisedom or follie, of envie, as loving to backbite:

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of wrath, as uttering cholerick termes and such like." " Such views were commonplace, and found throughout seventeenth-century literature, from Ben Jonson to Thomas Sprat. To Isaac Barrow, for example, Speech is commonly judged the truest character of the mind, and the surest test of inward worth, as that which discloseth the hidden man of the heart , which unlocketh the closets of the breast, which draws the soul out of her dark recesses into open light and view, which rendereth our thoughts visible, and our intentions palpable. Hence Loquere , ut te videam , Speak, that I may see you, or know what kind of man you are, is a saying which all men, at first meeting, do in their heart direct one to another: neither commonly doth any man require more to ground a judgment upon concerning the worth or ability of another, than opportunity of hearing him to discourse for a competent time.*? As proverbial as this analogy is, it is somewhat at odds with traditional Ciceronian rhetorical theory. Consider George Puttenham's version of style as the man: . . . there be that have called stile, the image of man [mentis character] for man is but his minde, and as his minde is tempered and qualified, so are his speeches and language at large, and his inward conceits by the metall of his minde, and his manner of utterance the very warp and woofe of his conceits, more plaine or busie and intricate, or otherwise affected after the rate. Most men say that not any one point in Phisiognomy is so certaine, as to judge a mans manners by his eye: but more assuredly in mine opinion, by his dayly maner of speech and ordinary writing. There is nothing unusual here, but Puttenham adds an es'sential qualification: "And yet preadventure not altogether so, but that every mans stile is for the most part according to the matter and subject of the 1 8 writer, or so ought to be, and conformable thereunto." If each man had a unique, individual style, then style would be the man; the concept of decorum, however, dictates that each man adapt his style to subject

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7 and situation. Puttenham thus suggests the divergence between Ciceronian and Senecan concepts of style is the man. Ciceronian rhetoric, taught on the basis of imitation, provides a spectrum of styles designed for public speaking; appropriating these communal styles, each orator may speak like Cicero. Senecan rhetoric, however, places a much greater emphasis on the uniqueness of individual style; the Senecan stylist theoretically speaks like himself, not like Seneca. Even though Ciceronian rhetoric is unconcerned with individuality, it still deliberately connects speech and conduct. Thus, in order to refute the Platonic charge that rhetoric deceives and makes the worse seem the better case, Quintilian, following Cicero, makes virtue inseparable from eloquence. Borrowing Cato's definition of the orator, vir bonus dicendi peritus , Quintilian insists that it is the orator's duty always "to act and speak as befits a man of honor," because "no one can 19 be a true orator unless he is also a good man." Furthermore, from classical antiquity through the Renaissance, Ciceronian rhetoricians described features of speech in ethical or moral terms, as in the four 20 Theophrastan "virtues" of style. Cicero writes of the orator's "religious obligation" toward correct style, and Quintilian makes purity of style and conduct equivalent forms of correctness. Peripatetic philosophy, which I will shortly associate with Ciceronianism, postulates an "essential identity in the principle of the virtue of style 22 with moral virtue." Where Ciceronian rhetoric provides an external model of style for imitation, Senecan rhetoric insists that style emanates from within, a distinction which reflects conflicting Peripatetic and Stoic attitudes

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toward the community. Ciceronian rhetoric is devoted to law, politics and government: it stresses above all civic and social responsibility. At the opening of The Rhetoric of Alcuin and Charlemagne , the king reminds his rhetorician, "I remember you once said that the strength of this art [rhetoric] lay wholly in dealing with public questions." Senecan and Stoic theory proposes a style for philosophy, not public oratory, a style that comes not from the community but from the soul. Constancy, the most important of Stoic virtues, dictates that style and conduct be consistent, as Seneca instructs his correspondent: Philosophy teaches that he [the philosopher] should live according to his own standards, that his life should not be out of harmony with his words, and that, further, his inner life should be of one hue and not out of harmony with his activities. This, I say, is the highest duty and the highest proof of wisdom, --that deed and word should be equal to himself under all conditions, and always the same. 24 Ciceronian rhetoric and its corresponding Peripatetic philosophy provides a public, communal code of style and ethics, whereas Senecan rhetoric and its corresponding Stoic philosophy provides a private, individual style and ethic; Ciceronian style is theoretically external, Senecan internal. Further, the popular, public style of Ciceronianism is openly persuasive, whereas Senecanism asserts that persuasion is a function of the truth of its facts, not the wording of its arguments. Ironically, Buffon's famous phrase, "Le style est l'homme meme," is appropriate to both views, though for different reasons. Style is the man himself in Castiglione ' s Courtier or Oscar Wilde; where style is everything, each man is an artwork, the construct of style. Conversely, Stoicism posits an essential self, an inner man, a soul: here

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9 style is the man when speech and soul harmonize. Richard Lanham draws the contrast between Ciceronianism and Senecanism in terms of two views of self; the former denies the concept of central self, while the latter 25 insists upon fidelity to a central identity. In view of its public responsibilities, Ciceronianism is much more concerned with the many roles an orator must play, in contrast to the Senecan and Stoic imperative to individual consistency and continuity; the Ciceronian can be a good man in many different ways, the Senecan in only one way. The student of Ciceronian rhetoric is taught to argue both sides of any dispute because his science is argumentation; the function of rhetoric, as Aristotle defines it, is simply "to find out in each case the means of persuasion." The Ciceronian world view is consequently more relative and fluid than the Senecan commitment to the pursuit of absolute, self-evident, transcendental truth. Of the Courtier Lanham writes, "Pose, not central self, victory, not truth, pleasure, not improvement prevail;" these are also the aims Lanham associates with the Ciceronian 27 orator. Both Cicero and Seneca are interested in truth, but theirs are different truths. Cicero draws a distinction between Prudentia , 28 or practical wisdom, and Sophia , or speculative wisdom, and his rhetoric would be concerned with the former, Senecan with the latter. Their subjects differ as do rhetoric and analytics; according to 29 Aristotle, rhetoric deals with probable truth through commonplaces. The subject of Senecan inquiry is closer to analytics, that is, absolute truth.

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10 The contrast Cicero draws between Peripatetic and Stoic philosophy again turns on public and private, communal and individual. Peripatetic philosophy is the most suited to Ciceronianism because it is based on community standards and public views; Cicero observes in De oratore that orators are not, in contrast to philosophers, given to arcane knowledge: . . . the whole art of oratory lies open to the view, and is concerned in some measure with the common practise, custom, and speech of mankind, so that, whereas in all other arts that is most excellent which is farthest removed from the understanding and mental capacity of the untrained, in oratory the very cardinal sin is to depart from the language of everyday life, and the usage approved by the sense of the community. 31 Stoicism, on the other hand, committed to ideal truth, is more specialized, remote, technical and individualistic, if not idiosyncratic. Anthony Le Grand, in Man Without Passion : Or , The Wise Stoic , According to the Sentiments of Seneca (1675), writes of the "Peripateticks, " who, "leaning on the Opinion of the People," "affirmed that what was generally received could not be faulty." On the contrary, "Truth," 32 which Le Grand associates with Stoicism, "seeks not to please many." The point is a critical one for popular, public Ciceronian oratory, the art designed to please many; its function, as Aristotle argues, is to make the truths of analytics and dialectic understandable to the 33 untrained. Bacon's justification for rhetoric is similar to Aristotle's but essentially Christian and Augustinian; if men were perfect, persuasion would be unnecessary because they would always respond to what is right, but because men are fallen and flawed, their emotions must be swayed along with their reason:

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11 Again, if the affections in themselves were pliant and obedient to reason, it were true there should be no great use of persuasions and insinuations to the will, more than of naked propositions and proofs; but in regard to the continual mutinies and seditions of the affections Video meliora , proboque , Deteriora sequor , reason would become captive and servile, if eloquence of persuasions did not practise and win the imagination from the affections* part, and contract a confederacy between the reason and imagination against the affections. Where popular rhetoric is a mechanism designed to deal with the imperfections of men, Bacon writes that Stoic discourse "thought to thrust virtue upon men by sharp disputations and conclusions, which have no sympathy 34 with the will of man." Cicero observes that "Stoic oratory is too closely knit for a popular audience"; the language of philosophy is not intended for instruction, and if it is not adapted to the level of the audience, it will not be forceful enough for the moving persuasion of 35 oratory. Cicero records that the Stoics were notoriously hostile to his type of rhetoric, and for obvious reasons. With their stress on the control and mastery of emotion, Stoics necessarily found the emotional appeal of openly persuasive rhetoric repugnant. Antonius, the more practical orator in De oratore , says "it was rather by working upon, 37 than by informing, the minds of the tribunal" that he won his case. This type of claim invites the Platonic objection to the rhetoric Plato connects with sophists: real knowledge is irrelevant to oratory when its aim is not instruction but persuasion. In The Gorgias , Socrates' statement that rhetoric "has no need to know the truth about things but merely to discover a technique of persuasion," leads to the analogy

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12 between rhetoric and other superficial skills that deal with appearance and impression rather than real knowledge: "Sophistic is to legislation what beautification is to gymnastics, and rhetoric is to justice what 7 cookery is to medicine." Cicero refutes this attack with the insistence that eloquence must be founded upon wisdom. Crassus, Cicero's spokesman in De oratore, claims that the true orator, "whatever the topic that crops up to be unfolded in discourse, will speak thereon with knowledge, method, charm and retentive memory, combining with these qualifications a certain distinction of bearing." This orator should command "the subtlety of a logician, the thoughts of a philosopher, a diction almost poetic, a lawyer's memory, a tragedian's voice, and the bearing almost of the consummate actor." (Under questioning, however, Crassus admits that he is describing an impossible ideal, and Antonius counters with the claim that only eloquence is necessary; the forensic orator need not even have an extensive knowledge of the law.) The Stoic fondness for plainness is also at odds with the highly figurative Ciceronian style, because figures can be used to darken an argument. Seneca writes, Veritas simplex oratio est , and "Besides, speech that deals with the truth should be unadorned and plain. This popular style has nothing to do with the truth; its aim is to impress the common herd, to ravish heedless ears by its speed; it does not offer 40 itself for discussion, but snatches itself away from discussion." While plainness is a Stoic virtue, clarity is not, because the Stoic speaker's ultimate responsibility is to the pursuit of truth, not to easy comprehension. The Ciceronian orator must always answer to his

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13 audience; where he is forced to adapt his speech to the situation, the Stoic's speech must always be consistent if he is to have one true style that emanates from the soul. Seneca tells Lucilius to "take care of the soul; for from the soul issue our thoughts, from the soul our words, from the soul our dispositions, our expressions, and our very gait. When the soul is sound and strong, the style is vigorous, energetic, manly; but if the soul loses balance, down comes all the rest in ,.42 rums ." Stoic philosophy also has physical and metaphysical imperatives to style. The Stoic theory of language is Realist; that is, words are not arbitrary or accidental but God-given signs wherein the signifier is naturally and inherently connected with the signified. Their concept of the Logos extends through all features of the created world; the Logos is the informing, divine, structural principle in all things. As A. C. Lloyd summarizes in "Grammar and Metaphysics in the Stoa", "The Stoics shared Heraclitus's belief that Logos was part of nature, with the result that everything natural possessed some properties which it possessed. But they interpreted Logos more plainly, as sounds which signified by describing. Features of description were features of nature, so that their [grammatical] categories were, like Aristotle's, 43 facts of nature." Meaning or signification, the conjunction of signifier and signified, is neither arbitrary nor extrinsic, but the intrinsic spark of divine presence. The misuses of speech, catechresis, solecism, or worse, deceit, are then a denial or rejection or a tacit rebellion against the divine principle. Every sentence uttered is informed by the Logos , the word and reason of God, and so Montaigne can thus write

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14 To lie is a horrible-filthy vice; and which an ancient writer setteth forth very shamefully, when he saith, that whosoever lieth , witnesseth that he contemneth God and therewithal! feareth men . It is impossible more richly to represent the horrour, the vilenesse and the disorder of it: For, what can he imagine so vile, and base , £s to be a coward towards men , and a_ boaster towards God ? Our intelligence being onely conducted by way of the Word: Who so falsifieth the same betraieth publick society. It is the onely instrument, by means wherof our wits and our thoughts are communicated: it is the interpretour of our soules: If that faile us we hold our selves no more, we enter-know one another no longer. If it deceive us, it breaketh al our commerce, and dissolveth al bonds of our policie. 44 These contrasts between Ciceronian and Senecan, Peripatetic and Stoic schools, are pertinent to the history of seventeenth-century prose, for the early decades witness the predominance of a private, personal, subjective, idiosyncratic essay style over a public, communal, 45 objective, oratorical style. A contrast illustrative of the change may be drawn between the two extremes of Castiglione and Montaigne; 46 in Castiglione one makes himself, in Montaigne one is himself. The rise of Senecan style brings a renascence of the Senecan concept of speech as the index of the soul, and English aphorisms connecting style and self blossom after 1590. English interest in continental Neostoicism also began at this 47 time. Juste Lipsius's Latin Two Books of Constancy (1584) was translated into English in 1594, and Du Vair's French Moral Philosophy of the Stoicks (1585) was Englished in 1598. Joseph Hall, "Our English Seneca," published his explicitly Stoical Heaven Upon Earth in 1606; this saw print twenty-four times by 1637, and Earl Miner has shown that the number of Stoical works published remained constant throughout the

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15 48 century. Such works aimed, furthermore, to reconcile Stoicism and Christian doctrine, adapting Stoic ethics to Christian faith and Stoic fate to Christian Providence. Lipsius's Manuductio ad stoicam philosophiam and Physiologia stoicorum (1604) made available the fragmentary Stoic teachings on ethics, physics and metaphysics; he is particularly concerned to harmonize the Logos of the Old Stoa and the Logos of St. John: Vides clare , hanc Naturam , Men tern esse Dei et 49 Rationem , uno verbo Deum . Seneca and Epictetus had long been regarded as no ordinary heathens, and Etienne Gilson writes that "the Middle Ages regarded them as precursors to Christianity and occasionally as saints." Peacham thus recommends "the virtuous and divine Seneca" for morality, the Seneca "who, for that he lived so near the times of the apostles, and had familiar acquaintance with St. Paul (as it is supposed by those epistles that pass under either their names) is • thought in heart to have been a Christian; and certes so it seemeth to me, by that spirit wherewith so many rules of patience, humility, contempt of the world are refined and exempt from the degrees of paganism." Seneca, indeed, was thought a crypto-Christian through the nineteenth century. The Senecan revival in England produced a prose style that is, in one form, rough and tumbling, crabbed, convoluted, paratactic, lacking 52 in connectives, paradoxical, sententious. Robert Burton, in "Democritus to the Reader," provides the most felicitous description and example of this style when he claims to write

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16 in an extemporean style, as 1 do commonly all other exercises, effudi quicquod dictavit genius meus [I poured out whatever came into my mind] , out of a confused company of notes, and writ with as small deliberation as I do ordinarily speak, without all affectation of big words, fustian phrases, jingling terms, tropes, strong lines, that like Acestes' arrows caught fire as they flew, strains of wit, brave heats, elogies, hyperbolical exornations, elegancies, etc., which many so much effect. I am aquae potor [a waterdrinker], drink no wine at all, which so much improves our modern wits, a loose, plain rude writer, ficum voco ficum ligonem ligonem [I call a fig a fig and a spade a spade], and as free, as loose, idem calamo quod in mente [what my mind thinks my pen writes], I call a spade a spade, animis haec scribo , non auribus [I write for the mind, not the ear], I respect matter, not words; remembering that of Cardan, verba propter res , non res propter verba [words should minister to matter, not vice versa], and seeking with Seneca, quid scribam , non quern ad modum , rather what than how to write: for as Philo thinks, "he that is conversant about matter neglects words, and those that excel in this art of speaking have no profound learning." The manner conforms to Stoic theory; it is designed to express an inner realism by following the action of the mind, and it is natural for Burton to hold that style is the man: "It is most true, stilus virum arguit , our style betrays us, and as hunters find their game by the trace, so is a man's genius described by his works; multo melius ex sermone quam lineaments de moribus hominum judicamus [we can judge a man's character much better from his conversation than his physiognomy]; 'twas old Cato's rule. I have laid myself open (I know it) in this 53 treatise, turned mine inside outward." The most perfect Renaissance expression of Scnccan stylistic theory and practice is found in Montaigne's essays. As Montaigne's subject is the self, so his style emanates from the self; it is an exact meeting of

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17 manner and matter. In "A Consideration Upon Cicero," he can be seen to contrast public and politic language with the familiarity and sincerity of his own writing: I have naturally a comical and familiar stile: But after a maner peculiar unto my selfe, inept in all publicke Negotiations, answering my speech, which is altogether close, broken and particular: I have no skill in ceremonious letters, which have no other substance, but a faire contexture of complimental phrases and curteous words. I have no taste nor faculty of these tedious offers of service and affection. I believe not so much as is said, and am nothing pleased to say more than I believe. ... I offer my selfe but faintly and rudely to those whose I am indeed, and present my self at least, to such as I have most given my self. Me thinks they should read it in my heart, and that the expression of my words, wrongeth my conception. In "Of Presumption," Montaigne explores the ethical implications of the exposure of self, comparing the dissimulation necessary to the politician or courtier with his own honesty and openness. The Senecan style and theory in Montaigne yield nothing short of an ethical imperative toward the true and sincere language of the heart: For, touching this new-found vertue of faining and dissimulation, which now is so much in credit, I hate it to the death: and of all vices, I finde none so much witnesseth dimissenesse and baseness of heart. It is a coward and servile humour; for a man to disguise and hide himselfe under a maske, and not dare to shew himselfe as he is. Thereby our men addresse themselves to treacherie: Being trained to utter false words , they make no conscience to breake them . A generous minde ought not to belie his thoughts, but to make shew of his inmost parts: Ther al is good, or at least all is humane. ^ Montaigne's assumption that ethical qualities such as generosity and baseness can be determined from a man's speech is based upon Senecan and Stoic concepts of speech; this ethical hermeneutics of

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18 language argues, on the one hand, that there exists a morally correct manner of speech, and, on the other, that a man's moral essence can be determined from his speech. II In literary histories, it is axiomatic that by the Restoration, Senecan style was as outmoded as the witty style of preaching; the Latinate periods of Milton, the £ altitudo of Browne, the "extemporean style" of Burton, and the strong lines of Donne were superceded by some consensus of a "modern" plain style as " polite and as fast as Marble ." However much these changes have been exaggerated, scientific language theory must have had a significant effect on the conception of language. The language schemes of George Dalgarno and John Wilkins project a new theory of signification in their attempts to forge a rigorously nonfigurative language that would resist any implication beyond literal, denotative meaning. Yet their ambitious attempts to rectify the difficulties and uncertainties inherent in discourse demonstrate how much they, like earlier linguists, were concerned with moral aspects of language. New scientists are, if anything, more explicit about the ethical implications of speech. Throughout the century, to Ciceronian, Senecan, or scientific theorist alike, the preservation of common significance is perceived as the foundation of common coherence and understanding, while the subversion of the agreed meanings of words undermines social and moral order; it is "ill governed speech," according to Isaac Barrow, "which perverteth justice, which soweth dissentions, which raiseth all bad passions and animosities, which embroileth the world

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19 in seditions and factions, by which men wrong and abuse, deceive and seduce, defame and disgrace one another." Though the government of the tongue remained a prominent concern of linguistics, how scientific theorists proposed to govern it was radically different from their predecessors. Seventeenth-century scientific language theory is essential to any understanding of Restoration philosophy of language, because the schemes of Wilkins and others make explicit the writer's most basic assumptions about the capacity and function of words. Whether scientific plain style is an outgrowth of or a reaction to Anti-Ciceronian style has been disputed. According to either interpretation, the history of seventeenth-century prose style parallels the gradual erosion of the classical and medieval curriculum of language arts. According to D. C. Allen, Ciceronian, oratorical style, based as it was on conventional wisdom, was suited to describe the certitude of the ordered, hierarchical cosmos Ulysses traces in Troilus and Cressida , while F. P. Wilson suggests that Senecan style was suited to a "skeptical, tentative and self-conscious" Jacobean CO age. Demetrius 's contrast of periodic and paratactic structure illustrates the distinction these historians draw: the former is like the support of a vaulted dome, the latter like stones thrown in a 59 heap. Croll's connection of Senecan and scientific plain styles is based on the Senecan rejection of the traditional wisdom of Ciceronian oratory, the abandonment of generalities and probable truths, the Aristotelian topics so suited to popular audiences. In other respects,

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20 the causal connection between the two styles is, as R. F. Jones and Robert Adolph point out, tenuous at best. Clarity or ease of comprehension is essential to scientific writing, but is of little importance to Senecan stylists. Further, Bacon's plain style is designed, in Adolph's terms, to be a "styleless style," the antithesis of the selfrevelatory Senecan style. Humanists and scientists alike employ the metaphor of the trivium as the key to the door of knowledge, but the latter argue that humanists were only interested in the key itself, and never passed into the realm of true knowledge. Queen Elizabeth's tutor, Roger Ascham, described the student's end as "a true choice and placing of words, a right ordering of sentences, an easy understanding of the tongue, a readiness to speak, a facility to write, a true judgment both of his own and other men's doings, what tongue soever he doth use." Seventy years later, these are not the skills John Dury, a follower of Comenius, expects his pupils to master; Dury envisions a much curtailed language curriculum in The Reformed School (London, 1651) : "Whatsoever in the teaching of Tongues doth not tend to make them a help unto Traditional Knowledge by the manifestation of Real Truths in Sciences, is super 64 fluous." The devaluation of the trivium reflects new scientists' devaluation of disputation. The mastery of argumentation, in formal disputation, is the crowning achievement of the trivium (the locus classicus is Isocrates' Antidosis , where "the power of speech allows us to dispute, to resolve, to understand all issues"). ~ New science, on the other hand, "proceeds on Trials, not on arguments." Glanvill

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writes that the old methodology is ineffectual: disputation "runs round in a Labyrinth of Talk, but advanceth nothing.'* 67 Nullius in Verba is the motto of the Royal Society. The scientists reveal their most profound break with the past in their attitude toward eloquence. In a Renaissance translation of Isocrates* Nicholes , it is Eloquence that "reproveth and correcteth the wicked, encourageth and imboldeth the godly, instructeth the foolishe, craveth the counsell and judgement of the wise; dissolveth and dispatcheth all quarrells and controversies, and procureth the knowledge of things unknowne." New science treats this eloquence with contempt; even though Sprat recognizes that the persuasive techniques of rhetoric cannot be abandoned, he still writes that "eloquence ought to be banish'd out of all civil societies ." New scientists value a different eloquence that consciously rejects two millenia of rhetorical technique. According to Sprat, it was the "constant Resolution" of the Royal Society "to reject all the swellings of style: to return back to the primitive purity, and shortness, when men deliver' d so many things , almost in an equal number of words . They have exacted from all their members, a close, naked, natural way of speaking: positive expressions; clear senses; a native* easiness: bringing all things as near the Mathematical plainness, as they can." 69 Sprat envisions a discourse so clear that no interpretation would be necessary, and it was dissatisfaction with the existing language that made scientists propose a new system, a Real Character. 70 Such projectors did not condemn language, as Jones argues; rather, they

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22 ambitiously sought to rectify its defects, the "fallacies and sophistrie, 72 through Tautologies, ambiguous words, darke sentences," that man had endured since the fall. The Real Character is a synthetic lingua humana , the Edenic speech with which Adam named the creatures according 73 to their kind. "Return to primitive purity" suggest the attractions of the schemes: they will lead back to the golden age of language before the fall and confusion. In The Court of the Gentiles , Theophilus 74 Gale describes Adam's speech as "the first rectitude of words," a phrase, which exemplifies the fundamental desire to go back to or to forge anew the correct meanings of words, thereby eliminating verbal misunderstanding . Thirty-two schemes for Real Characters and/or Universal Languages appeared in Wycherley's lifetime. The most elaborate, Bishop John Wilkins ' An Essay towards a_ Real Character and A Philosophical Language (London, 1668), explains the psychological rational: "As men do generally agree in the same Principle of Reason, so do they likewise agree in the same Internal Notion or Apprehension of Things. . . So that if men should generally agree in the same way or manner of Expression , as they do agree in the same Notion , we should then be free from that Curse in the Confusion of Tongues, with all the unhappy consequences of it." If all men think alike, and have the same conceits or pictures in the mind, then difficulty and misunderstanding are caused by words themselves and occur in the translation from mental to verbal discourse. An advertisement to George Dalgarno's Ars Signorum , entitled "News to the Whole World, of the discovery of an Universal

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23 Character , and a new Rational Language " (1657), promises a system that will "deliver Truth in plain and downright terms." Vivian Salmon separates three levels of seventeenth-century language projects that naturally escalate from the less to the more ambitious. Common writing or universal language schemes propose a lexicon of symbols into which all languages could be translated in order to be made mutually intelligible. Philosophic schemes organized the lexicon into philosophical or conceptual categories, from Ramon Lull or Aristotle. Real Characters tried to make the philosophically organized symbols naturally or intuitively significant, on the analogy ° f Egyptian hieroglyphs, Chinese ideograms or the lingua humana . The Real Character would forge an indestructible bond between the signifier and the signified, making misunderstanding impossible by excluding 79 ambiguity and choice in meaning. Once one word clearly and precisely signifies one thing, language would accurately reflect the created world. As Knowlson puts it, "Language would not only be a means of 80 acquiring knowledge: it would itself be knowledge." Realist systems were clearly more ideal than languages that employed nominal, arbitrary signs, and the Realist ideal persisted as long as it was believed that language, like everything else," was created and 81 sustained by the Logos . Bacon, who is usually thought a nominalist, can write of the error that words are "derived and deduced by reason and according to signification," and then turn around and write, "The true end of knowledge ... is a restitution and a reinvesting (in great part) of man to the sovereignty and power (for whensoever

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24 he shall be able to call the creatures by their true name he shall be 82 able to command them) which he had in his first state of creation." The lingua humana provides more than a myth of a linguistic golden age: it offers divine sanction for a concept of a Real Character where the signifier and the signified are perfectly conjoined. The Real Characters were thought necessary partly out of despair of recovering the perfect, first speech. Unable to reach the unfallen Realism, Thomas Urquhart intends a synthetic solution, "to plainly 83 setteth down the analogie, that ought to be betwixt things and words." Nominal, arbitrary signs are reluctantly employed because "no language ever hitherto framed, hath observed any order relating the things • •*• a ,,84 signified." In attempting to fuse the signifier and the signified, these systems tacitly admit the void between them. There is an ironic displacement apparent here; Wilkins does not seem to believe that communication is more dependent upon the ethics of the speaker than upon his language itself, and scientists in general attempt to rectify the speech perhaps because they cannot reform the speaker. Wilkins asks us to consider "the common mischief that is done, and the many impostures and cheats that are put upon men, under the disguise of o r affected insignificant phrase." He goes on to blame the phrase, not the speaker, "equivocals, " not equivocation, trying to make honesty an externally imposed phenomenon. The Real Character ultimately tries to make truth and clarity mandatory by making deceit and ambiguity impossible, and this constitutes a major shift from the older theory

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25 of language. New science believes that correct and unequivocal signification can be maintained by a mechanical device that prevents deviation from the normative value or meaning; significance is determined and locked in by the Real Character. Responsibility is externalized, and the speaker is absolved when language is blamed for misunderstanding (willful deception does not enter into scientific discussions of language) . Traditional rhetorical theory insists upon the virtue of the speaker, holding him responsible for any misunderstanding; where speech is the index of the mind or soul, flaws and falsity come from within. In his attack on Alexander More, Milton expresses the older, rhetorical concept of the speaker's responsibility, arguing that words are neutral, and receive their ethical coloring from their speaker: "Yet not in a word or a thing, but in you consists every vice and obscenity. Fouler than some faun or naked satyr, by your manners you have changed innocent words into unchaste ones." Scientific language theorists of the Restoration attempted to objectify discourse by disassociating the speaker from his speech. Where classical and Renaissance language theory drew a correspondence between language and the mind, asserting that words signified or stood for ideas, Restoration linguists saw a correspondence between language Q "7 and nature, claiming that words signified or stood for things. The catch phrase, res et verba , serves as a model for language, bringing together as it does the signified, that which is understood, and the signifier, that which is said; in the seventeenth century, the meaning 88 of res changes from concepts or ideas to things or quiddity.

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26 The classical meaning of res ct verba is closer to thought and speech, not word and thing, and Swift parodies this shift in the Academy of Lagado, where words are reified into physical objects. In Cowley's "Ode to the Royal Society," affixed to Sprat's History , Bacon is credited with making the signified relate to things, not thoughts: From Words, which are but Pictures of the Thought, (Though we our Thoughts from them perversely drew) To Things, the Minds right Object he it brought. If words stand for or signify things, the auditor does not need to interpret or imagine the thoughts of the speaker. It is almost as if scientists viewed language as a tool extrinsic to man, a tool that would be exchanged at will as soon as a better language was invented. In consequence, none of the scientific linguists draw the analogy between speech and conduct or style and the man; to them speech does not image the heart or mind, or emanate from the soul. The universal language would function exactly the same for every speaker; it is, in fact, designed to eliminate individual variations. There is no evidence in Restoration scientific language theory of the classical concept of the perfect union between word and thought; words are no longer thoughts realized or thoughts the soul to the words' body. Cato's adage, rem tene , verba sequentur , "had exemplified the classical vision of the harmonious marriage of matter and manner, the most perfect expression of which occurs in I3e oratore : Every speech consists of matter and words, and the words cannot fall into place if you remove the matter, nor can the matter have clarity if you withdraw the words. And in my own view the great men of the past, having a wider mental grasp, had also a far deeper insight than our minds eye can achieve, when they asserted that all this

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27 universe above us and below is one single whole, and is held together by a single force and harmony of nature: for there exists no class of things which can stand by itself, severed from the rest, or which the rest can dispense with and yet be able to preserve their own force and everlasting existence. °™ The sentence almost becomes an emblem of the marriage of spirit and substance, of body and soul; the synthesis of matter and manner illustrates a doctrine of utility, plenitude and cosmic harmony, where everything in the universe has its place and purpose. Res , the order of concepts, is not only uncommuni cable but unimaginable without the form and expression of words. Quintilian warns that words have no merit save in context, and "when we praise words, we do so because 90 they suit the matter." His point, however, is not to denigrate words, but to celebrate the rhetor's mastery of expression. The most often repeated version of Cato's phrase is from Horace, Ars Poetica , verbaque provisam rem non invita sequentur , when the matter is in hand, 91 the words will not be loath to follow. To John Brinsley, in 1612, Horace's words embody the very goal of education: These three verses of Horace were worthy to be written in letters of golde, and to be imprinted in the memorie of every one who is desirous to get the best learning. ... To attaine to this facultie, to be able to write or speak of anie matter, and so to come to all excellent learning, the very first and chief fountaine, and that which is 'all in all is to understand the matter well in the first place. As for store of matter the writings of learned men (such as Socrates was) will furnish you abundantly therewith. And when you have the matter throughly in your head, words will follow, as waters from a fountaine even almost naturally to expresse your mind in any tongue which you study in any right order. 92

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28 New scientists, by contrast, sought a discourse of such "significance, perspicuity, brevity and constant facility," that they would 93 not need to hunt after words and the fine placing of them. At the same time, they lost the sense of the mastery of words. In Quintilian and throughout classical and Renaissance rhetoric, words are the servants of the thought, but words come to be regarded as rebellious servants by Restoration scientists. In his version of rem tene , Milton expresses all that the scientists reject; in this sentence, he displays the mastery of words that the scientists at once seem to feel is unnecessary but regret not having: For me, Readers, although I cannot say that I am utterly untrain'd in those rules which best Rhetoricians have giv'n, or unacquainted with those examples which the prime authors of eloquence have written in any learned tongue, yet true eloquence I find to be none, but the serious and hearty love of truth: And that whose mind so ever is fully possest with a fervent desire to know good things, and with the dearest charity to infuse the knowledge of them into others, his words (by which I can expresse) like so many nimble and airy servitors trip about him at command, and in well order'd files, as he would wish, fall aptly into their own places. 94 III It is against this background of conflicting attitudes toward language that I wish to read Wycherley's plays. Though I have described the Ciceronian, Senecan, and scientific modes of rhetoric as antagonistic, on certain points they are at one, the most important of which is the concern for the maintenance of the rectitude of words, a concern that scientists, rhetoricians, divines and dramatists shared. This passage from Richard Allestree is characteristic in its focus on the

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29 righteousness of words: "... for tho in our depraved estimate the Eloquence of Language is more regarded then the innocence, tho we think our words vanish with the breath that utters them, yet they become records in Gods Court, are laid up in his Archives as witnesses either for or against us, that Bv_ thy_ words thou shalt be justified and by thy words , thou shalt be condem'd , Mat. 12:37." 95 The preceding verse from Matthew is "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." God's attention to every idle word in the theatre of the world is analogous to the audience's attention to words in the world of the theatre. In either case words are to be weighed for more than amusement or eloquence: in the last act, they are evidence for judgment. Wycherley's plays were written and performed when Allestree was the most popular author in England; his plays reflect an age highly conscious of the moral significance of words. Wycherley's use of dialogue to indicate moral characteristics, along with his suggestion that there is a morally correct manner of speech, are based upon Senecan and Stoic concepts of speech. It does no t necessarily follow that his plays are Stoical, though he treats 96 Stoic subjects in his verse. Nor do Wycherley's plays exhibit Senecan style, though they are often paradoxical and sententious; as Dryden observes, such difficult and compressed prose is inappropriate for the stage: "A poet cannot speak too plainly on the stage: for volat irrevocabile verbum ; the sense is lost if it be not taken 97 flying." Wycherley's nondramatic prose is, on the other hand,

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30 highly Senecan, and his verse seems to reveal a Senccan poetic (if there is such a thing). His insistence on the ethical conformity of speech and self informs Vincent's question in Love in a Wood, "Is this the stile of a woman of honour," and it can be seen also in his frequent use of the cliche, "a man is as good as his word." Wycherley is usually regarded as a crude stylist; W. R. Chadwick, for example, writes of the "rough texture" of Wycherley' s prose, and the best he can say is that, like Wordsworth's, Wycherley's is the 98 language of ordinary men. Wycherley's contemporaries, however, praised him for his verbal characterization, and John Dennis believed that, in this respect, The Plain-Dealer was superior to classical drama: For the Style of the Comedy of the Ancients, and particularly of Terence his Comedy, does not seem to me to be varied enough, nor proportioned enough to the characters. The Slave in Terence speaks with the same Elegance, and the same Grace, for the most Part, that his Master does. But look into the Plain-Dealer , and you shall find as many styles in it, as there are Characters. For Manly , Freeman , Plausible , Olivia , Novel , Elisha , and the Widow Blackacre and Jerry , have each of them a different Dialect, which, besides the Variety, must be farther delightful, because 'tis an exact Imitation of Nature. For as every Man has a Different Form of Face, he has a different Turn of Mind, and consequently, a different Cast of Thought, and a different Manner of Expression . ^9 The tag loquere ut te videam , which Wycherley himself quotes (IV, 48), is essential to the theatre, and Ben Jonson provided for Wycherley the most outstanding model for characterization by speech; in Discoveries , Jonson writes that "Language most shewes a man: speake that I may see thee. It springs out of the most retired, and inmost part of us, and

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31 is the Image of the Parent of it, the mind. No glasse renders a mans forme, or likenesse, so true as his speech." Jonas Barish, in Ben Jonson and the Language of Prose Comedy , observes that "Jonson's moral and linguistic judgments coincide," and he finds the same coincidence in Wycherley's most Jonsonian play, The Plain-Dealer : in the Widow Blackacre, "Corruption of style and corruption of manners coincide with something like Jonsonian exactness." In all his characters, Wycherley observes a constant coincidence of stylistic and ethical qualities, through a parallelism of moral and verbal conduct. Donne had written of his text, "We consider in the words, The maner and the matter, How it is spoken, And what is said"; in Wycherley's plays, how it is spoken reveals as much of the moral argument as what is . , 102 said. Notes 1. "Language and Action in The Way of the World , Love's Last Shift and The Relapse ," ELH 40 (1973), pp. 44-69. 2. All quotations from Wycherley's plays are from Gerald Weales' edition (Garden City: Doubleday and Co., 1966), and those from Wycherley's verse are from Works , 4 Vol., ed. Montague Summers (1924, rpt. New York: Russell and Russell, 1964). 3 . The Eloquent "J_: " Style and Self in Seventeenth-Century Prose (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968), p.. 10. 4. See Remarques on the Humours and Conversation of the Gallants of the Town , London, 1673, and Remarks Upon Remarques : or a Vindication of the Conversation of the Town, London, 1673. 5. Pepys's admiration for Sedley's witticism is paradigmatic, in the entry for Oct. 4, 1664. Helen McAfee, Pepys on the Restoration Stage (1916, rpt. New York: Benjamin Blom, nd.), pp. 175-6.

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32 6. "Restoration Prose," in Stuart and Georgian Moments , ed . Earl Miner (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), pp. 113-4. 7. See John E. Mason, Gentlefolk in the Making : Studies in Courtesy Literature (1935, rpt. New York: Octagon Books, 1971)7~p. 35. 8. This is the first sentence of William Lily's Brevissima Institudio , (1567), facsimile ed. Vincent Flynn (New York: Scholars' Facsimiles, 1945), np. 9. Morris Croll, Style , Rhetoric and Rhythm , ed. J. Max Patrick and Robert 0. Evans (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966), pp. 7-233, George Williamson, The Senecan Amble (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), passim, and R. F. Jones, The Seventeenth Century (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1951), pp. 10-160. For important differences amongst these three, see pp. 19-20. 10. The Mirror and the Lamp (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1953), pp. 3-29. 11. Roman Antiquities , 7 Vol. trans. Earnest Cary, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1937), Vol. I, p. 5. 1 2 . Tusculan Disputations , 5.16.47. 13. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria , 4 Vol., trans. H. E. Butler, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1935), Vol. IV, p. 172. Seneca, Epistuale Morales , 3 Vol., trans. Richard M. Gummere, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1961), Vol. I, p. 300-1. 14. In A Dictionary of Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries , Morris Tilley cites seven examples of "Speech is the picture (index) of the mind," seven examples of "As the man is so is his talk," and five examples of "A bird is known by its note and a man by his talk." (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950), S735, M75 and B365. 15. London, 1590. Facsimile ed. Charles Speroni, University of California Publications in Modern Philology, Vol. 8"8 (1968), Proverb #50. 16. Ben Jonson, Works , ed . Herford and Simpson, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1947) III, 625, and Thomas Sprat, The History of the Royal Society , facsimile ed . Jackson I. Cope and Harold Jones (St. Louis: Washington University Press, 1958), p. 36. See also Henry Peacham, The Complete Gentleman , ed. Virgil B. Heltzel (Ithica: Cornell University Press, 1962), p. 54; John Hewes, A Perfect Survey of the English Tongue (London, 1624) facsimile edition (Menston: Scolar Press, 1972) epilogue, np.; Richard Head, Proteus Redivius : Or , The Art of Wheedling , or Insinuation , London, 1675, p. 53.

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33 17. Works , 3 Vol., New York, 1845. Vol. I, p. 141. 18. The Art of English Poesie (London, 1589), facsimile (Scolar Press, 1968), p. 123. 19. Quintilian, Vol. IV, p. 355, Vol. II, pp. 313-5 and I, 41, and IV, 163. 20. George Kennedy considers the Theophrastan virtues, The Art of Persuasion in Greece (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963), pp. 273-284. Among the Renaissance rhetoricians who write of the "vertues" of style are Richard Sherry, A Treatise of Schemes and Tropes , London, 1550, facsimile ed . Herbert Hildebrant (Gainesville: Scholar's facsimiles, 1961), p. 40; Angel Day, The English Secretorie , London, 1586, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1967) , p. 13; Thomas Blunt, The Academy of Eloquence London, 1654, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1971), pp. 1-46; John Barton, The Art of Rhetorick Concisely and Completely Handled , London, 1634, "To the Reader," np. 21. Brutus , trans. G. L. Hendrickson, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1952), p. 247, and Quintilian, I, 131. 22. G. L. Hendrickson, "The Peripatetic Mean of Style and the Three Stylistic Characters," AJP XXV (1904), p. 135. 23. Trans. Wilbur Samuel Howells, (1941, rpt. New York: Russell and Russell, 1965), p. 67. It may seem odd to oppose Stoicism with social responsibility, especially since, by the eighteenth century, Stoicism was regarded as the philosophy of public commitment, as opposed to Epicureanism. There is, however, a vast difference between Addison's Cato and Lipsius or the Old Stoa, and Wycherley's concept of Stoicism would have been closer to Lipsius 's than Addison's. The ethics of classical Stoicism are fundamentally self-centered; though familial and social ties have value, the only true good is personal virtue. There is, needless to say, no nature dependent upon grace: everything is dependent upon the individual will. See Ludwig Edelstein, The Meaning of Stoicism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966), passim. 24. Epistles , I. 133-5. 25. Landam makes his point a little too strongly: the Ciceronian "stylist has no central self to be true to. In the Arnoldian, highly serious sense of self, he boasts no self at all. At his center lurks a true Ciceronian vacuity. He feels at home in his roles and to live must play them. When he poses, he is being himself." The Motives of Eloquence (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976), p. 27.

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34 26. The Art of Rhetoric , trans. John Henry Freesc, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1926), p. 13. 27. Lanham, pp. 47-8. 28. De officiis , trans. Walter Miller, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1947), p. 157, De oratore , 2 Vol., trans. E. W. Sutton and H. Rackham, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1948), I, 137, 29. Rhetoric , pp. 11-15. 30. De finibus , III-IV and Tusculan Disputations , IV-V; on this point, I am indebted to Jerrold Seigel's fine discussion of Cicero, Rhetoric and Philosophy In Renaissance Humanism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968), pp. 22-8. 31. De oratore , I, 11. Again, see Seigal, pp. 1-30. 32. Trans. G. R., London, 1675, "Author's Preface," np. 33. Rhetoric , pp. 19, 287 and 347. 34. The Advancement of Learning (London: Oxford University Press, 1960), pp. 169-70. 35. Brutus , pp. 103-9, and Orator , trans. H. M. Hubbell, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1952), pp. 353-5. Cicero's justification of rhetoric is fundamentally different from Aristotle's, St. Augustine's and Bacon's; he does not, like them, separate rhetorical truths from "higher," transcendent truth, nor consequently, does he rank these two types of truth hierarchically. Rather, he fuses wisdom and eloquence, rhetoric and philosophy, almost as if they were manner and matter: either one alone is inadequate. 36. De oratore , I, 161ff, and II, 131ff. 37. II, 347. 38. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns, ed., Plato : The Collected Dialogues (New York: Pantheon Books, 1961), pp. 242 and 247. 39. De oratore , I, 49, 89-91 and 160ff. 40. Epistles , I, 331 and 365-7. 41. Croll, p. 89. 42. Epistles , II, 315.

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35 43. A. A. Long, cd . , Problems in Stoicism (London: Athlone Press, 1971), pp. 70-1. 44. John Florio, trans., Montaigne's Essayes , 3 Vol. (London: John Dent, 1910), II, 393-4. 45. Again, see Croll, p. 61. 46. Rosalie L. Colie, Paradoxica Epidemica (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966), p. 378., 47. My understanding of Neostoicism is indebted to Jason Lewis, Justus Lipsius , The Philosophy of Renaissance Stoicism (New York : The Liberal Arts Press, 1955), Rudolf Kirk, ed., Sir John Stradling, trans . , Two Books of Constancie by Iustus Lipsius (New Brunswick : Rutgers University Press, 1939) and Kirk, ed., Joseph Hall, Heaven Upon Earth and Characters of Vertues and Vices (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1948). 48. "Patterns of Stoicism in Thought and Prose Styles," PMLA 85, (1970), pp. 1023-34. Though Miner's conclusions have been justly censured, his data are nonetheless useful. 49. Quoted from Jason Lewis, Justus Lipsius , p. 125, n. 10. This work contains a very detailed description of Lipsius 's work on Stoicism. 50. The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy (New York: Scribners, 1940), p. 190. 51. Peacham, p. 64. 52. George Williamson still provides the best analysis of Senecan style, pp. 61-149. 53. Holbrook Jackson, ed., The Anatomy of Melancholy (1932, rpt. New York: Random House, 1977), pp. 31-2, and 27. Burton's note here refers to Lipsius; u_t ventatores feram e_ vestigo impresso , virum scriptuncula . 54. Essayes , I, 267-8, and II, 373. 55. Joseph Glanvill, Plus Ultra , facsimile, ed. Jackson I. Cope, (Gainesville: Scholars' facsimiles, 1958), p. 84. 56. Barrow, Vol. I, p. 143. 57. For the influence of Ramism on curriculum reform, see W. J. Ong, Ramus , Method and the Decay of Dialogue (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958), and Wilbur Samuel Howells, Logic and Rhetoric in England , 1500-1700 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1956), pp. 146-281.

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36 58. F. P. Wilson, Seventeenth Century Prose (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1960), p. 12, and U. C. Allen, "Style and Certitude," ELH 15 (1948), pp. 167-175: both are based on Croll 's work. 59. Demetrius, On Style , trans. W. Rhys Roberts, (Cambridge: 1 Classical Library, 1927), p. 307. Loeb 60. Robert Adolph provides a useful summary of the disagreements between Croll, Jones and Williamson, The Rise of Modern Prose Style (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1968), pp7 10-25~ 61. Bacon eventually thought Senecan style was as excessive as Ciceronian "copie:" "Little better is that kind of stile (yet neither is that altogether exempt from vanity) which neer about the same time succeeded this Copy and superfluity of speech . ... it hath been deservedly dispised, and may be set down as a distemper of Learning, seeing it is nothing else but a hunting after words, and fine placing of them," The Advancement of Learning and Proficience of Learning , trans. Gilbert Wats, Oxford, 1640, p. 29. Quoted from Croll, p. 38, n. 40. 62. Adolph, pp. 39 and 76-77. 63. The Schoolmaster , ed . Lawrence V. Ryan, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1967), p. 14. 64. Facsimile edition (Scolar Press, 1972), p. 49. 65. Trans. George Norlin, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1939) p. 327. 66. History , p. 332. 67. Plus Ultra , p. 7. 68. Thomas Forest, A Perfect Looking Glass for all Estates (1580) , quoted from Donald Lemen Clark, John Milton at S^t. Paul's School (1948, rpt. Hamden: Archon Books, 1964), p.~9.~ 69. History , p. 11, and 113. 70. I am indebted to four recent works on seventeenth-century language theory: Murray Cohen, Sensible Words , Linguistic Practise in England , 1640-1785 , (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1977) ; Vivian Salmon, The Works of Francis Lodowick , A Study of his Writing in the Intellectual Context of the Seventeenth Century (London: Longman, 1972); James Knowlson, Universal Language Schemes in England and France , 1600-1800 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1975); Russell Fraser, The Language of Adam , On the Limits and Systems of Discourse (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977).

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37 71. "Science and Language in England of the Mid-Seventeenth Century," in The Seventeenth Century , pp. 143-160. 72. Godfrey Goodman, The Fall of Man , 1616, p. 294. Quoted from Beverley Sherry, "Speech in Paradise Lost ," Milton Studies VIII (1975), p. 252. 73. According to Salmon, p. 85, the phrase lingua humana comes from Athanasium Kircher, Polygraphia , Rome, 1663. 74. Oxford, 1672, 2 Vol., Vol. I, pt. 1, p. 53. 75. Knowlson, Appendix B, pp. 224-232. 76. Facsimile (Scolar Press, 1968), p. 20. Knowlson suggests, p. 61, that this concept derives from the Dutch Jesuit Herman Hugo, D_e prima scribendi origine , Antwerp, 1617. 77. Broadside, facsimile included in Ars Signorum , Scolar Press, 1968. 78. Salmon, pp. 12-42. 79. Typical of what Wilkins would eradicate are "Equivocals, which are of several significations, and therefore must needs render speech doubtful and obscure." Real Character , p. 17. I use "signifier" and "signified," not in the specific Saussurean sense, but in the older sense of that which conveys meaning and that which is meant. 80. Knowlson, p. 8. 81. Knowlson, pp. 14-15, Salmon, pp. 87-98, and Fraser, pp. 142-194 demonstrate the Realist nature of these schemes. Following the work of Francis Yates, they also indicate how dependent these schemes are upon mysticism; there are Hermetic, Lullist, Cabalistic, and Rosicrucian elements found throughout. Particularly influential was Jacob Boehme's Signatura rerum , where the Real essence of words and things is revealed to the adept. 82. James Spedding, et al., ed., Works , 14 Vol., (London, 1858-74), Vol. Ill, pp. 400-401, and 222. Cf. the ambiguity in the goal of Dalgarno's Didascalophus , (Oxford, 1680): "That primative and Divine, or purely rational Somatology, taught by Almighty God, or invented by Adam before the Fall," pp. 101-2. 83. Logopandectieson , or an Introduction to the Universal Language , London, 1653, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1970), np. 84. Urquhart, p. 2. 85. Wilkins, dedicatory, np.

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38 86. Don M. Wolfe, ed., Complete Prose of John Milton (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955-), Vol. IV, pt. II, p. 74.3. 87. Cohen, pp. 1-42. 88. See A. C. Howell, "Res et Verba : Words and Things," ELH VIII (1946), pp. 131-42, and Salmon, pp. 72-82. 89. II, 17-19. 90. I, 79. 91. Trans. H. R. Fairclough, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1926), pp. 476-7, I. 311. Bacon quotes this, Advancement , p. 4, as does Peacham, p. 55. 92. John Brinsley, Ludus Literarius , London, 1612, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1968), p. 43. 93. Wilkins, p. 443. 94. Yale Prose , Vol. I, p. 143. 95. Richard Allestree, The Government of the Tongue , Oxford, 1676, fourth edition, p. 6. 96. "To an Unhappy, Impatient, Querelous Friend," for example, chides the friend's lack of "constancy," while recommending the explicitly Stoic virtues of patience and trust in a just Providence, III, 116-9. 97. George Watson, ed., Dryden's of Dramatic Poesy , 2 Vol. (London: John Dent, 1962), Vol. II, p. 233. 98. W. R. Chadwick, The Four Plays of William Wycherley (The Hague: Mouton, 1975), pp. 123 and 39. 99. Edward Miles Hooker, ed. The Critical Works of John Dennis , 2 Vol. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1939)/ I. 224-5. 100. Works , III, 625. The editors, IX, 270-2, cite Vives, De ratione dicendi as a source. 101. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960), pp. 94 and 288. 102. Janel M. Mueller, ed., Donne's Prebend Sermons (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971), pp. 74-5.

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CHAPTER TWO DECORUM AND LOVE IN A WOOD Love in a Wood (1670) was an exceptionally successful first play; if John Dennis is to be believed, it brought Wycherley fame, a titled mistress and recognition from the court. Today the play is dismissed as energetic but uncontrolled; Anne Righter judges it "confusing and centerless," and to W. R. Chadwick, it is an unsuccessfully synthesized "melange," "a Jonsonian--Fletcherian-Shirleyan-platonic-intrigue-wit2 farce-comedy." Nevertheless, some of the chaos apparent in Love in a Wood is purposive and controlled, for Wycherley finally restores order in his intrigue plot in the process of righting inverted values. Both formal and thematic unity, moreover, can be discerned, as in the arrangement of characters in the scale of love that Rose Zimbardo has demon3 strated. My particular concern is to show how a parallel scale of ethical and aesthetic values is revealed in the dialogue itself. The ethics of speech can be determined by asking what types of verbal behavior characters consider permissible, and by this I mean not only what they feel they may say, but also what they can say. The latter concerns what the speaker thinks he can do with words and, further, what success his sentences meet. In this respect, the language of deception is especially revealing and significant, because any disparity between intent and statement provides the best opportunity to investigate the tactics of expression. My first section 39

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40 examines the ways characters mislead themselves and others; the second section deals with the plot or action precipitated by lying; and the last section questions the significance of lying in terms of the values presented in the play. I In all of Wycherley's comedies, the language of his fools is the most distinctive; their speech is obtrusive, conspicuously distorting the normative modes of speech. The protagonists' speech is unexceptional, appearing "natural" or "correct" compared to the exaggerated or debased features of foolish talk. In Love in a Wood , it is Dapperwit's speech that stands out, calling attention to itself and serving as a false standard against which others' linguistic skills can be measured. Bonamy Dobree finds in Dapperwit's speech alone the brilliance of the later plays, and singles out for praise this promising exchange between Dapperwit and Martha, when, just as they are about to elope, Dapperwit 4 pauses to complete a similitude: Martha. Let us go before my Father comes, he will soon have the intelligence. Dapperwit. Stay, let me think a little. ( Pauses .) Martha. What are you thinking of? you shou'd hav'e thought before this time, or I shou'd have thought rather. Dapperwit. Peace, Peace. Martha. What are you thinking of? Dapperwit. I am thinking, what a Wit without vanity is like; he is like-Martha. You do not think we are in a publick place, and may be surpriz'd, and prevented by my Father's Scouts.

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41 Dapperwit. What, wou'd you have me lose my thought? Martha. You wou'd rather lose your Mistress, it seems. Dapperwit. He is like--I think I'm a Sot to night, let me perish. Martha. Nay, if you are so in love with your thought. ( Offers to go.) Dapperwit. Are you so impatient to be my wife? he is like--he is like--a Picture without Shadows, or, or--a Face without Patches--or a Diamond without a Foyl; these are new thoughts now, these are new. Martha. You are wedded already to your thoughts, I see, good night. (94). The characteristic improprieties of Dapperwit 's speech are exhibited here in several ways. His wit is, as always, ill-timed, leading Ranger to complain in another context, "S 'death, is this a time for similitudes?" (79). Martha suspects that Dapperwit 's delay results from some reluctance to marry, yet he is only searching for a vehicle to complete his simile; the coxcomb labors to give forth typically stale similitudes. It is this labor that draws attention to his wit and words, characterizing him as a "Witwould." Exposure of the machinery of art is a sign of crudity. Elsewhere, in his poetry, Wycherley writes of the conventional aim: wisdom "plays Discretion's part,/ Since the best skill is, to conceal one's Art" (III, 29, recalling the Latin tag, ars celare artem ) . Dapperwit's art is marked by effort, whereas Wycherley himself would consider a graceful ease and negligence as the sign of natural genius. And despite his own reputation as a slow, painstaking craftsman, Wycherley argues in "Against Industry: To a Laborious Poetaster, who preferr'd Industry to Wit" that the effect of art or wit is vitiated by obvious labor:

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4 2 For Wit, to gain Esteem, like Beauty too, Must seem, an Artful Negligence, to show; Must, for its Fame on Nature, more rely, Than either upon Art, or Industry. (IV, 17). The exhausting industry of Dapperwit's wit is again seen in his repartee with Lydia, where he admits defeat after a vain struggle to extend his cliched conceit on the light of her countenance: "I dare not make use again of the lustre of her face" (37) . If wit should be striking or novel, Dapperwit's belabored similitudes are entirely predictable, and his auditors so expect his comparisons that Ranger calls him "Mr. or as" (62). The trivial nature of Dapperwit's bon mots reflects, moreover, Wycherley's basic disassociation of wit from wisdom: this goes beyond the conventional distinction of true and false wit, because throughout his plays and verse, Wycherley c usually uses "wit" to mean false wit. In "Upon the Folly of Wit," he claims that the struggle for wit is inevitably foolish: Thus Wit, as more, but less Discretion is, Which makes it of the Praise it seeks, to miss; Most often too, but for its seeking it, So proves least Wisdom, as it is most Wit: So Wit, as more ' twou'd prove it self, proves less, By its degrading Self-conceitedness; The Praise it seeks, to lose by seeking it, So proves more Nonsense, as it wou'd, more Wit. (Ill, 144, 147). It is almost as if true wit is a contradiction in terms, and therefore does not appear in Love in a. Wood ; any expression that identifies itself as "wit" or "art" is necessarily self-defeating. Dapperwit has no conception of finesse, and his excess causes Vincent (19) and Ranger (54) to demand that he leave off his inappropriate similitudes. The folly of excessive wit is, indeed, a common Restoration topic; in his sermon

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43 on wit, Barrow could be describing Dapperwit or many similar figures in Restoration comedy: A man of ripe age and sound judgment, for refreshment to himself, or in complaisance to others, may sometimes condescend to play in this or any other harmless way: but to be fond of it, to prosecute it with a careful or painful eagerness, to doat and dwell upon it, to reckon it a brave or a fine thing, a singular matter of commendation, a transcendent accomplishment, anywise preferable to rational endowments, or comparable to the moral excellences of our mind (to solid knowledge, or sound wisdom, or true virtue and goodness), this is extremely childish or brutish, and far below a man. Wit and humor are pleasant, diverting and useful, but Barrow condemns wit when it is profane, slanderous, or in as Dapperwit's case, excessive, Dapperwit's foolish lingering while Martha awaits is above all inappropriate and indecorous in the classical sense of the failure to suit subject and style to the situation. Aristotle discusses decorum in terms of the orator's ability to make himself credible to each particular audience, but Dapperwit is unable to fit his words to his auditor: "now I call her Whore in plain english, she thinks I am jealous" (25). Seneca similarly exhorts his reader to "Let the words be fitted to the matter," so that no element calls attention to itself by appearing unsuitable or inappropriate, but it is inappropriate words that often lead Sir Simon into difficulty: "A pox I must be using the words in fashion though I never have any luck with 'em" (24). (In The Country Wife , Harcourt understands that the success of his disguise as a parson is dependent on his observation of the proper decorum, for he says, "I must suit my Stile to my Coat" 315.) Decorum, however, concerns more than stylistics: to Cicero, "The universal rule, in oratory as in life, is to consider propriety."

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44 Tn his examination of Milton's decorum, Thomas Kranidas shows that it represents a "concern for the relation of poetry to the total culture," and is most often "an ethical or religious problem rather than a 12 literary one." Decorum may be seen, in fact, to bridge ethical and aesthetic concerns in an effort to harmonize all aspects of a man's life. Quintilian shows this concern for harmony in his insistence that 13 a good orator always "act and speak as befits a man of honour." "In short," Cinthio writes, "decorum is nothing other than the grace and 14 fitness of things." This same concern is exhibited by English Renaissance writers; Charles Hoole urges the grammar school master "to minde his Scholars of the true decorum of both things and words." George Puttenham puts it most succinctly in his chapter on "decency," a word, like decorum, derived from deceo , to be fitting, or seemly, or proper; that which is decent is in keeping with accepted and expected behavior, "And there is a decency to be observed in every man's action as well as his speech and writing." Dapperwit's words and action display similar features. As Norman Holland has observed, his name suggests the fusion of foppish behavior and witty speech. Both are suspect in light of the nature of wit in this play, for according to all internal definitions in Love in a Wood , wit is vicious. In his taxonomy of wits, Dapperwit says that "all Wits rail" and concludes that the end of "the true Wit . . . lies in damning all but himself" (38). Even Ranger says that their duty is "to talk, censure, and speak ill of all [they] meet" (31). This essential equivalence of wit and slander is also prevalent in Wycherley's verse, where wit is

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45 defined as ill-natured fault-finding (III, 33 and 160). Barrow emphasizes the danger of the mistaken identifaction of wit and slander: When men, to raise an admiration of their wit, to please themselves, or gratify the humour of other men, do expose their neighbor to scorn and contempt, making ignominious reflections upon his person or his actions, taunting his real imperfections, or fastening imaginary ones upon him, they transgress their duty, and abuse their wits; it is not urbanity, or genuine facetiousness, but uncivil rudeness, or vile malignity. To do thus, as it is the office of mean and base spirits, unfit for any worthy or weighty employments, so it is full of inhumanity, of iniquity, of indecency and folly. *° Gripe's attitude towards wits is ironically fitting; he calls Dapperwit "an idle, loytering, slandering, foul-mouth'd, beggarly Wit" (108). Joyner's description of wits' activity is similarly appropriate: they condemn, defame, deflower, affront and break (52) . Both Joyner and Dapperwit associate wit with thoughtless and gratuitously destructive window breaking, a practice symbolic of the malicious nature of 19 insulting or slanderous wit. If wits misuse language to slander others, their praise is paradoxically similar. In the tavern scene, when Vincent leaves, Dapperwit abuses him and flatters Ranger to his face. When Vincent returns and Ranger leaves, Dapperwit abuses Ranger and praises Vincent. Praise and blame, equally void of sincerity and meaning, become interchangeable, 20 because they are both designed for self-elevation. As Wycherley explains in the dedication to the play, praise springs from vanity: poets "but begin praise to others, which concludes in themselves. . . . they offer Laurel and Incense to their Hero's, but wear it themselves, and perfume themselves" (6) . The self-interest of praise is evident 21 when Joyner and Gripe try to out-flatter each other. Their

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46 stichomythic praise of each other is so echoic and indistinguishable they could be speaking into mirrors, and their flattery is also so exaggerated and ambiguous that Weales terms it "lightly masked insult" (12n). There is, in fact, little distinction, because, in Pope's version of the commonplace, "Praise undeserv'd is scandal in disguise." The self-interest of praise is most pointed in Sir Simon, who, disguised as Jonas, praises Sir Simon: "faith, 'tis a pretty jest; while I am with her, and praising my self to her, at no ordinary rate" (61). The other person praised is patently a fiction, and Sir Simon is literally praising himself. As insult of another is really praise of self, so praise of another is really reflective of self. The purpose of communication with another is lost or subverted as the language becomes an entirely self-referential tool of vanity. Like the characters wandering in the dark of Act Five, they end up talking of and to themselves. Dapperwit recognizes the self-interest of wit, as is clear from his similitude, "you can no more find a man of wit without vanity, than a fine woman without affectation" (94) . He then presents a double indecorum; as his overly figurative style is excessive, inappropriate and indecorous, so the substance of his remarks is indecorous, for self-praise is always improper. Demetrius remarks that the style of boasting and boasting itself are inherently inappropriate: "There is a sort of general analogy between imposture and frigidity [of style] . The impostor boasts, facts not withstanding, that qualities belong to him which do not. In like manner, also, the writer who invests trifles

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47 with pomp resembles one who gives himself airs about trifles." Dapperwit's foppish self-satisfaction and foolish witty style are perfectly analogous; they are trifles invested with pomp. He presents himself as a man of parts when he is a fool, while his words suggest weighty thought when they are nonsense. In Dapperwit, style is the man: he is a trifle dressed with pomp. It is a short step from Dapperwit's self-deception to the actively and intentionally false facade that Lady Flippant presents when she images herself as a walking false signifier: "'Tis well known, no Woman breathing could use more Industry to get her a Husband than I have; Has not my Husband's Scutcheon walk'd as much ground as the Citizens Signs since the Fire, that no Quarter of the Town might be ignorant of the Widow Flippant" (10). Flippant's clapboard advertizes her as a rich widow, uninterested in remarriage, whereas actually she is impoverished and anxious to remarry. The Widow does not endeavour to deceive about her reluctance to marry; indeed, she wants her availability known. But her "wealth," however, is a lying claim, and, in the words of Robert South, is "an outward signification of something contrary to, or, at 23 least beside the inward Sense of the Mind." Distinctions of this sort, in the seventeenth century, frequently became casuistical. Bacon thus distinguishes between a type of dissimulation that withholds truth, a dissimulation that leads others astray, and simulation which actively deceives. Lady Flippant's impression of wealth falls somewhere between the second and third levels. In fact, most of the deception in this play similarly encourages others to

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48 misinterpret. Like the equivocal constructions that Wilkins condemned, the language of deception is largely dependent upon the natural ambiguity of the "sign." "Sign" is a complex word in Wycherley, particularly in The Country Wife , where Horner is "the Sign of a Man" (267) . In Love in a Wood the word is used nine times, as in Sir Simon's defense of himself: "that he [Sir Simon] is not married, is a sign of his Wit" (77). Every "sign" in the play is, like this one, false in itself, or misinterpreted. Like the shop signs in which Pinchwife reads his own horns, Wycherley's sign is a tabula rasa in which characters read what they want. Wycherley's characters try to exploit similar properties of words as signs when they speak ambiguously, hoping to entrap their listener in any one of their possible meanings. Flippant tries to engage Ranger in this manner, but she cannot quite master her words. She wants her reputation for aversion to marriage understood as coyness, but Ranger refuses to understand: Flippant. ...Sir, pray tell me is your aversion to marriage real? Ranger. As real as yours. Flippant. If it were no more real than mine. ( Aside .) Ranger. Your Servant, Madam. Flippant. But do you hate marriage certainly? CPlucks him back .) Ranger. Certainly. Flippant. Come, I cannot believe it, you dissemble it, only because I pretend it. Ranger. Do you but pretend it, Madam? Flippant. I shall discover my self ( Aside . ) I mean, because I hold against it, you do the same in compliance. (27).

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49 Flippant expects her language simultaneously to conceal and reveal her intentions, but her message is too dependent upon her auditor, and Ranger rejects her intimations, willfully interpreting her Words literally. When the refusal to understand meets the refusal to be understood, communication comes to a complete standstill, as in the following exchange between Ranger and Lydia: Ranger. [The reason] I did not wait on you was, my apprehension, you were gone to the Park, notwithstanding your promise to the contrary. Lydia. Therefore, you went to the Park, to visit me there, notwithstanding your promise to the contrary. Ranger. Who, I at the Park? when I had promis'd to wait upon you at your Lodging; but were you at the Park, Madam? Lydia. Who, I at the Park? when I had promis'd to wait for you at home; I was no more at the Park than you were; were you at the park? (68) . Both are lying and each knows the other is lying, but is unsure to what extent; Lydia knows that Ranger was at the Park, but she is unsure whether he knows that she knows, and Ranger knows he was at the park but is unsure whether Lydia knows. They each expect their words to conceal their own guilt and still elicit a revealing response. But this verbal sparring only produces echoes of their own words, reminding us of the indistinguishable compliments Gripe and Joyner exchange; again, Lydia and Ranger could be speaking into mirrors, for question and response are identical. Communication is frustrated as the words become less meaningful with each repetition; the conversation stagnates, unable to move beyond the repeated phrases, and confusion has replaced enlightenment as the end of speech.

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50 Double meanings and implications are lost when one or both of the participants is uncooperative; in the first case, Ranger is unreceptive to Flippant 's attractions, and in the second, Lydia and Ranger refuse to understand and to be understood. The most extreme example of such refusals occurs between Christina and Ranger; while she refuses to accept his implied message, he refuses to accept her apparent message: Ranger. Madam, I understand you ( Apart to Christina .) Christina. Sir, I do not understand you. Ranger. You wou'd not be known to Mr. Vincent . Christina. 'Tis your acquaintance I wou'd avoid. Ranger. Dull Brute, that I was, to bring her hither: ( Aside .) I have found my error, Madam; give me but a new appointment, where I may meet you by and by, and straight I will withdraw, as If I knew you not. ( Softly to her .) Christina. Why, do you know me? Ranger. I must not own it. ( Aside .) No, Madam, but ( Offers to whisper .) Christina. Whispering, Sir, argues an old acquaintance; but I have not the vanity to be thought of yours, and resolve you shall never have the disparagement of mine. (88). The drama here is played out in the stage directions; the asides and whispers signify the illicit nature of Ranger's message, a message Christina refuses to accept. She diverts his private message to public knowledge, making explicit what Ranger tries to keep implicit. She returns with directness all he tries to achieve by indirection, answering double-dealing with plain dealing. According to Vincent, Christina employs "the stile of a woman of honour" (83), using the "plain english" that eludes Dapperwit (25) and Sir Simon (74) . Her speech is characterized by simplicity and clarity,

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51 as in her direct statement, "The Paper is a stranger to me, I never writ it; you are abus'd" (88). She counters Ranger's elaborate language of deception with simple honesty. Several times in the play, characters claim, "I take you at your word" (73, 77, 105, 110), a cliche underlining the ethics of speech; but while Christina demonstrates that she is as good as her word, Ranger's word is, by his own admission, worthless: "My perpetual ill luck in lying, shou'd break me of the quality; but like a losing Gamester, I am still for pushing on, till none will trust me" (45). II The complexity of the intrigue plot of Love in a Wood is generated in part by an extraordinary amount of lying. Ranger is certainly not the only mendacious character; with few obvious exceptions, all deceive and cheat one another, almost effacing credibility with their crossbiting. Words must be tested and validated before they can be believed, and validation takes the form of a trial, where character's statements are treated as if they were testimony to be evaluated. Thus Ranger's word and character are suspect due to his "perpetual ill luck in lying" (45), and he finds himself on trial: Leonore. Why do you not put him to his tryal, and see what he can say for himself? Lydia. I am afraid lest, my proofs, and his guilt, shou'd make him desperate, and so contemn that pardon, which he could not hope for. Leonore. 'Tis unjust to condemn him, before you hear him. Lydia. I will reprieve him till I have more evidence. (71).

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52 Valentine and Christina arc also tried: "S 'death, what have I giddily run my self upon? 'Tis rather a tryal of my self than her" (103, see also 78, 85) . Trials in this play are accompanied with legal language and argument, raising questions of evidence that ultimately become epistemolog25 ical, asking what can be known and what must be taken on faith. Valentine and Vincent's debate over Ranger's credibility is essentially evidentiary: Vincent. Why do you believe him [Ranger]? Valentine. Shou'd I believe you? Vincent. 'Twere more for your interest, and you wou'd be less deceiv'd; if you believe him, you must doubt the chastity of all the fine women in Town, and five miles about. Valentine. His reports of them will little invallidate his testimony with me. (50). Vincent may allude to the distinction between inartificial and artificial proofs, or in Bacon's terms, matters of fact and matters of art and opinion; inartificial proofs are apparently incontrovertible facts like contracts, while artificial proofs are impressions created by the speech, and depend upon the character of the speaker. Vincent establishes Christina's innocence by undermining Ranger's credibility; to Valentine, Ranger's evidence is an inartificial proof, the testimony of a sworn witness, whereas to Vincent it is a question of Ranger's character and the ethos of his speech. The orator, as Aristotle saw him, "persuades by his moral character when his speech is delivered in such a manner as to render him worthy of confidence," and this confi27 dence is "due to the speech itself." Vincent tries to refute Ranger's ethical proof:

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53 Valentine. Will not Chamber-maids lye Vincent ? Vincent. Will not Ranger lie, Valentine ? Valentine. The circumstances of his story prov'd it true. Vincent. Do you think so old a Master in the faculty, as he, will want the varnish of probability for his lies? Valentine. Do you think a Woman, having the advantage of her Sex, and Education under such a Mistress, will want impudence to dis-avow a Truth, that might be prejudicial to that Mistress? (81) . Ethical proof brings us back to the morality of speech, for ethos is not simply a matter of cunning and rhetorical art, but is also part of the moral defense of oratory and rhetoric. Quintilian's concept of ethos follows his argument that only a good man can be a good orator: "ethos denotes moral character," and, "requires the speaker to be a 28 man of good character and courtesy." Similarly, in Hobbes, ethical proof rests on character, because "it is the speaker, or person we believe in, or trust in, and whose word we take, the object of our 29 Faith; and the Honour done in Believing is done to him onely." Ethical proof lies at the heart of Christina's defense, for she is not answering any particular charge so much as defending her honor and 30 honesty. Christina's case ascends the three stages of defense: the defense first questions whether the alleged event ever occurred; if it occurred, whether it was indeed a crime; and finally, if it was illegal, whether the defendant was not justified. Vincent first questions whether Ranger ever met Christina, suspecting that Ranger is either lying or 32 mistaken about the identity of "Christina." Vincent then admits tl meeting, but still denies her guilt. When it is determined that she

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54 did break her vow to Valentine, Vincent argues that she must have been justified, forcing Valentine to transcend mere questions of fact and mundane legality. Valentine must believe her word as a woman of honor, dispense with proofs, and have faith in Christina herself. The darkness of Act Five is emblematic of the falsity of some proofs and the frailty of the senses, because when the "night blots out all distinctions" (43), "you cannot distinguish a Friend from a Fop" (31) . Because there is much that Valentine cannot know with any certainty, Vincent argues that he must accept some things on trust. In all his works, Wycherley insists that love is based on faith and trust, "Since Love is Faith, as Faith, we Love/ More, by mad Zeal, than reason, prove" (II, 7), and faith in love and religion is not, by definition, provable (see III, 41). The word "faith" occurs forty-eight times in Love in a Wood , but it is misused more often than not. P. F. Vernon has observed the repetition of a "network of trust words," like Sir Simon's "faith and troth," 33 which are often used when the characters are the least truthful. Despite these negative citations, however, faith or willingness to trust acquires significance, and becomes, indeed, an index of the worth of the characters. If there is a high and a low plot, each is managed 34 by the "eiron" figures, Joyner and Vincent; where Joyner trusts no one and cheats everyone, Vincent is the only one to believe Christina. The lower characters like Gripe and Crossbite arc suspicious of everyone, exhibiting only a vain faith in themselves; Sir Simon and Dapperwit try to exploit each other's trust, because "every Wit has his

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55 Cully, as every Squire his lead Captain" (17). Boasting that "Women are poor credulous Creatures, easily deceived" (21), Ranger is also too willing to exploit others' trust, and in learning to trust Lydia, he is disabused of his selfish attitude towards others. Faith and trust demand that Ranger and Valentine transcend the apparent and learn to discern and respect inner, true values. Holland has explored the contrast between real and apparent values in terms of masking and disguise, concluding that the prevalence of disguise and deceit reveals Wycherley's doubt that real, natural, or inherent values 35 can exist. Disguise, however, usually fails in Wycherley's plays, and there is little successful deception here; only Joyner's schemes prosper, while Gripe's pose of piety, Lucy's of virginity, Flippant's of wealth, and Dapperwit's of wit deceive none but themselves. The futility of disguise is best demonstrated by Sir Simon's confused pride in his disguise as the clerk Jonas: "Then you shall see when I am Sir Simon Addleplot and my self, I '11 look like my self, now I am Jonas I look like an Ass; you never thought Sir Simon Addleplot cou'd have look'd so like an Ass by his ingenuity" (18). As Joyner points out, Sir Simon can not make a fool of himself, when he already is a fool. He is obviously an ass, whether disguised as Sir Simon or Jonas: Ranger. What fellow's that? Dapperwit. A Servant, to a friend of mine. Ranger. Methinks, he something resembles our acquaintance, Sir Simon, but it is no compliment to tell him so; for that Knight is the most egregious Coxcomb, that ever plaid with Ladies Fan.

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56 Sir Simon. So; thanks to my disguise, I know my Enemies. (Aside.) Ranger. The most incorrigible Ass, beyond the reproof of a kicking rival, or a frowning Mistress. (61). Sir Simon's unmistakable folly shines forth even in the dark, when the moon "scarce affords light enough to distinguish a man from a tree" (102). In Act Two, Flippant quotes the proverb, "Jone's as good as my Lady in the dark certainly" (33). Sir Simon tries to demonstrate that "Jonas is as good as the Knight in the dark," only to disprove it, for even though he dresses as a knight rather than a clerk, Martha refuses him: "Let me tell you, Jonas, 'tis not your borrow'd cloathes and title, shall make me marry my Fathers man" (97-8) . As Dapperwit claims, "You have carry'd your self so like a natural Clerk" (99); there are natural, inherent values that even Martha recognizes, and Sir Simon will remain a fool no matter how he is dressed, or what title he buys. Jone is not as good as my lady in the dark. A more appropriate proverb is quoted by Don Diego in The Gentleman Dancing-Master : "The Hood does not make the Monk, the Ass was an Ass still, though he had the Lyons Skin on" (194) . Sir Simon alludes to another night proverb: "Well, after all my seeking, I can find those I wou'd not" (97). Rather than the proverbial "He that gropes in the dark finds that he would not," in this play 37 characters find what they should, or what they deserve. As Righter puts it, "the whole comedy presents an ironic view of characters desperately rushing forward who nevertheless remain, despite their 38 efforts, in exactly the place to which their own value assigns them." The result of deception, disguise and darkness in Love in a Wood is not

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57 confusion but clarity, for the true worth of characters is revealed when there is no constraint. In this play, the truth will out, in words as well as actions; Sir Simon can act and speak as none other than a fool: Sir Simon. There is a Proverb, Mrs. Joyner, you may know him by his company. Joyner. No, no, to be thought a man of parts, you shou'd always keep company with a man of less wit than your self. Sir Simon. That's the hardest thing in the world for me to do, faith and troth. (16) . In Flippant' s line, "I never admitted a man to my conversation, but for his punishment" (42), the words reveal an unintended truth. Though Ranger is more adept at deception, all his lying also comes to naught: "A pox, I have hang'd myself in my own line" (45); he is so accustomed to concealing his thoughts that his fondness for Lydia is only revealed by the device of the overheard aside: he who gropes in the dark not only finds what he would not, but reveals what he would not. Ill Christina's constancy, in her faith in Valentine and her rigid honor, contrasts sharply with the more compliant and often deceitfully submissive behavior of the others. Lydia and Ranger are much more practical; rather than uphold principle, they always yield to expediency. Christina demonstrates little social resiliency or compliance in her rigid adherence to fixed ideas of conduct, ideas that do not alter with the situation. If she is idealized, or at least less imperfect than the other characters, we must ask whether her rigidity is congruent with the concept of adaptability that is associated with

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58 decorum above, and whether inflexible, absolute rules of honor or practical compliance is the ethical ideal of Love in a Wood . This ethical crux runs through all of Wycherley's work; Alithea and Harcourt's debate over her rigid honor, and Manly 's refusal to comply with social conventions, involve the same difficulty of conforming principles with pragmatism. Holland believes that Christina compromises her ideals when she is forced out of her house, and Cynthia Matlock goes further, arguing that Christina, Alithea and Fidelia are introduced only to be 39 undercut. The place and meaning of these ideal characters is central to any interpretation of Wycherley's plays, so it is essential to determine whether ethical values rest on a practical mean or an ideal, on resilient pragmatism or rigid principles. To some extent, the problem is inherent in the concept of decorum, for Kranidas has argued that there were two recognizable and conflicting types of decorum in the seventeenth century. First, the concept of adaptability, which "demands from the parts of a work of art consistency with established traditional social forms," is a limited or lower 40 decorum, associated with Anglicanism. Such social adaptability or compliance with custom is best exemplified by Balthazar Gracian's manual of prudence; Maxim LXXVII is entitled Tp_ be_ company for all sorts of Men : He is a wise Proteus that is holy with the holy, learned with the learned, serious with the serious, and jovial with the merry. That is the way to gain all hearts, similitude being the bond of good will. To discern tempers, and by a politick transformation to suit the humour and character of every one is a secret absolutely necessary for those who depend on others . *

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59 Richard Baxter's justification for the Puritan plain style of preaching is similarly rooted in this limited decorum; we must adjust our words to suit the audience: "All our Teaching must be as Plain artd Evident as we can make it. For this doth must suit to a Teacher's Ends. He that would be understood, must speak to the Capacity of his Hearers, and 42 make it his Business to make himself understood." Kranidas' second type of decorum is not concerned with the audience and their understanding; it is a cosmic decorum which insists upon the harmony of one's speech and behavior with the highest ideals, conforming not with social circumstance, but with God's word. Kranidas finds this rarefied decorum in the writings of Milton, Stanley Fish in George Herbert and Joan 43 Webber in John Lilburne. The conflict between these two types of decorum, the lower Aristotelian and practical, the higher Platonic and transcendent, is mirrored in the contrast between Lydia's practical adaptability and Christina's adherence to high-minded principles. Though I have described Christina's honest, open speech as an ethical ideal in the play, such a transparency is not approved by all the characters. Martha regards Sir Simon's openness as a flaw: he is "so perspicuous a Fop, the women find him out, for none of 'em will marry him." In the word "perspicuous" she attacks the "transparency of both his person and his speech, while Sir Simon defends his "darkness:" "for his being perspicuous, 'tis false, he is as mysterious as a new Parliment man" (77). As Dapperwit is foolishly unable to conceal his art, Sir Simon is unable to conceal his artifice, that is, his intrigues; the former is perspicuous in his verbal scheming, the latter is perspicuous in his actual scheming.

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60 It is not only fools and knaves who defend dark speech; after deceiving Ranger, Lydia boasts to her maid, "have I not dissembled well, Lenor ?" (71). And it is by no means clear that blunt truth was always regarded as best; the motto of The Art of Complaisance or The Means to Oblige in Conversation (London, 1677) , is Qui nescit dissimu 44 lare, nescit vivere . This book teaches the limited decorum, how to be politic, circumspect and polite by adjusting our conversation to fit the particular audience: "This Complaisance, which I pretende to teach, is an Art to regulate our words and behaviour, in such a manner 45 as may engage the love and respect of those with whom we converse." The author would agree with Lydia on the necessity of dissimulation: we must learn the discretion how to conceal secrets, in order not to betray or compromise our trust. He teaches the dexterity of how to avoid telling unpleasant truths without actually lying, equivocating carefully between truth and lies: We ought always in our discourse to have regard to Truth, as the ground of Conversation, but to avoid involving my self in those great questions concerning truth, I shall content my self to say, that it is conformity of our words, with our thoughts, without determining whether there ought to be a precise similitude of the thoughts we express to the thing we have in our mind. 4° The truth must be carefully guarded in Gracian's Maxim 'CLXXI, Not to tell a_ lie , and yet not to speak all the truth neither : "Nothing requires more circumspection than truth. For to tell it, is to draw the hearts bloud. There needs as much skill to know when to tell it, as when to conceal it."

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61 According to G. A. Starr, the favorite text for sermons on dissimulation was Matthew 10.16: "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and 48 harmless as doves." As in Bacon's essay, "Simulation and Dissimulation," the arguments are often casuistical; any form of deceit is forbidden, be the cause ever so good, though wisely withholding information is permissible. As Edward Stillingf leet puts it, we are allowed "so much Wisedom as is consistent with innocency ." The same may be said for the ethical ideals Christina represents; as much expediency is allowed as is consistent with honesty. How far one may trim and still maintain moral rectitude is not so important as the hierarchical relationship, the subordination of the means to the ideal. Honesty and dissimulation are never satisfactorily reconciled, by Wycherley or any other moralist. Gracian's work is entitled The Art of Prudence , and there is a clear analogy between decorum and prudence: decorum is to speech what prudence is to conduct. They are both, in Cicero's words, ars vivendi , and like rhetoric, which is based on decorum and adaptability, the means to live in an imperfect world. That prudence is a necessary evil is dramatically embodied in the unhappy lesson of deception that is forced on Margery at the close of The Country Wife . Christina's conduct is clearly imprudent, particularly in her bluntness with Ranger and Valentine, for she does not heed appearances, and Fielding's narrator's advice may be as appropriate for her as for Tom Jones: "Prudence and Circumspection are necessary even to the best of Men. They are indeed as it were a Guard to Virtue, without which she cannot be safe. It is not enough that your Designs, nay that your Actions, are intrinsically good, you must take Care that

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62 they shall appear so."' Like Alithca's, Christina's honor is a matter of internal worth rather than reputation, and both, at least initially, lack the guard of prudence. To a limited extent, Lydia and Christina move toward each other, for Lydia gives up intriguing as Christina learns to adapt her honor. Holland's argument that Christina is forced to compromise her principles, however, does not accurately describe her progress. Again, like Alithea, she must choose between true honor and a vow of lesser importance, and even though she ventures out, she remains true to Valentine. Her active defense of her virtue is much more admirable than her simple notion of retreat, a type of cloistered virtue; from her first entrance, which is to her disadvantage, Christina rises in our estimation, and rather than compromise her ideals, she refines them, adapting her honor to save Valentine. The ability to adjust is perhaps the most distinguishing mark of intelligence in this play; Gripe and Crossbite are never able to transcend their selfishness and greed, and Sir Simon represents the foolish inability to adjust to any situation: "What, ruin'd by my own Plot, like an old Cavalier: yet, like him too, I will plot on still" (99). Ranger learns to throw over his plots when the situation demands: "of Intrigues, honourable or dishonourable, and all sorts of rambling, I take my leave; when we are giddy, 'tis time to stand still" (91). The issue of adaptability dovetails with trust and faith in the final conception of marriage. Christina's last line, "I had rather suspect your faith, than you shou'd mine" (111), suggests that her virtue rests not only on prudence and appearance but also on Valentine's trust in her. Ranger and Valentine learn to trust and accept another under the

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63 conditions of marriage: "The end of Marriage, now is Liberty/ And two are bound--to set each other free" (112). These lines are not, as some have claimed, cynical, but rather follow the conventions of love poetry, as in Donne's paradox, "To enter in these bonds is to be 52 free." Wycherley has made speech a metaphor for cooperation; where Gripe, Sir Simon, or Dapperwit never hear anything beyond echoes of their own words, Christina, Valentine, Ranger and Lydia simply learn to talk to each other. At first Lydia and Ranger's inability to communicate is caused by wilful self-enclosure, just as Valentine and Christina are also unable to speak with each other when they first meet (85ff ) . Such mutual obfuscation adumbrates the selfishness and egotism of the interruptions in The Plain Dealer (413ff) , where Olivia will not suffer anyone else to speak. In Love in a Wood , characters learn to use words to reach others, rather than to cheat, slander or attack others. When they learn to speak correctly, they arrive at the understanding and cooperation promised in the last couplet. Notes 1. Works of John Dennis , II, pp. 409-411. 2. Anne Righter, "William Wycherley," in Restoration Theatre , ed . John Russell Brown and Bernard Harris, (New York: Capricorn Books, 1967), p. 72, and W. R. Chadwick, The Four Plays of William Wycherley (The Hague: Mouton, 1975), p. 18. 3. Wyehcr 1 cy ' s Drama (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965), pp. 21-48. 4. Restoration Comedy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1924), pp. 823.

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64 5. I wish to avoid attempting to define "wit," with the attendant problems of fancy, imagination and judgment. I use the term in its modern sense of verbal ingenuity, clever or striking remarks, because I believe this is quite close to IVycherley's meaning in the plays. Wycherley almost always uses the term satirically, ironically, and negatively, signifying the over-ingenious use of words. For a positive contemporary definition, Dryden's in "Apology for Heroic Poetry" (1677) is most fitting: "...the definition of wit (which has been so often attempted, and ever unsuccessfully by many poets) is only this: propriety of thoughts and words; or, in other terms, thoughts and words elegantly adapted to the subject." George Watson, ed., John Dryden's of Dramatic Poesy (London: John Dent, 1964), Vol. I, p. 207. 6. The inability to conceal art recalls the play's Horatian motto and its distinction between natural and excessively artful poets. Though Wycherley' s verse was written long after his plays, it very often deals with the same subjects, and I feel it is illuminating. His poems often state explicitly themes only implicit in the plays. 7. For "slow Wycherley" see Rochester's "Allusion to Horace:" But Wycherley earns hard what'er he gains He wants no judgment, nor he spares no pains. Complete Poems , ed. David M. Vieth (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974), p. 123. Pope refers to this passage in "To Augustus," Epistle II i, 1. 85. 8. Eugene McCarthy has noticed the negative implications of wit in Wycherley, "Wycherley' s Plain-Dealer and the Limits of Wit," English Miscellany 22(1971), pp. 47-92. 9. Barrow, Works , I, pp. 159-60. 10. Rhetoric , pp. 377-9; trans. Roger L'Estrange, Seneca's Morals , London, 1682 (second edition), p. 245. 11. Orator , p. 359. cf. Thomas Farnaby, Index Rhetoricus , London, 1625: Caput artis est , decere quod facias . Sic igitur eloquentiam prudent aimque miscebit orator , sic decoro scenaeque inserviet. p. 19. 12. The Fierce Equation : A Study of Milton's Decorum (The Hague: Mouton 1965), pp. 13, 14. 13. Quintilian, IV, p. 163.

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65 14. On the Composition of Romances , trans. Allan H. Gilbert, in Literary Criticism from Plato to Dryden (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1962), p. 273. This passage is cited by Kranidas. 15. A New Discovery of the Old Art of Teaching School^ London, 1660, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1969), p. 139. 16. The Arte of English Poesie, London, 1589, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1968), p. 231. 17. The First Modern Comedies (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1967), p. 39. 18. Barrow, I, p. 156. 19. Window breaking and wit are again equated in The Plain-Dealer , pp. 500-1. See also Dryden's "Prologue to the Wild Gallant, Reviv'd" (1669), 1. 10, for a similar use of window breaking. 20. The self-interest of praise is hardly new with Wycherley. In the Nichomachean Ethics , Aristotle writes: ". . . honor seems to depend on those who confer it rather than on him who receives it." Trans. Martin Ostwald, (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill , 1962), p. 8. Wycherley" s contemporary, Samuel Butler, writes of praise of the dead : And those Romances, which we frame, To raise ourselves, not them, a name. Butler's Satires , ed. Rene Lamar, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1928). p. 97. To Obadiah Walker, flattery is "an abusing of Language, a putting together many good words to signify nothing." Of Education , Oxford, 1673, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1970), p. 224. 21. This scene may owe something to similar flattery in Shadwell's The Miser Act two, Scene one, Works , ed. Montague Summers CLondon: Fortune Press, 1927), Vol. Ill, p. 38 ff. 22. On Style , trans. W. Rhys, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1927), p. 377. ' 23. Robert South, Forty Eight Sermons and Discourses , London, 1715, Sermon XII, Vol. I, p. 462. 24. Francis Bacon, Essays (London: Oxford University Press, 1937), "Of Simulation and Dissimulation," (1625), pp. 22-6.

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66 25. Wycherley's familiarity with forensic rhetoric is not unusual; like many of his fellow dramatists, he studied at the Inner Temple. Furthermore, any well-educated theatregoer would have known something of the subject from his studies of the trivium, which were still dominated by forensic oratory, and children were still taught to plead legal cases like Cicero. Thomas Farnaby's Index Rhetoricus (1625) is the best example of a popular, Ciceronian rhetoric. For seventeenth-century education I have consulted Sir Thomas Elyot, The Bringing up of Children (1533), Roger Ascham, The Scholemaster (1570), and William Kempe, The Education of Children (1588). Particularly useful and detailed are John Brinsley, Ludus Literarius (1612) , and Charles Hoole, A New Discovery in the old Art of Teaching School (1660). T. IV. Baldwin, William Shakespeare's Small Latine and Lesse Greeke (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1944) and D. L. Clark, John Milton at St. Paul's School (1948, rpt. Hamden: Archon Books, 1964) are also informative. 26. Bacon, Advancement , p. 34. 27. Rhetoric , p. 17. 28. Quintilian, Vol. II, p. 427. 29. Leviathan , ed. W. G. Pogson Smith, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967), 51. 30. Christina's defense is classically Ciceronian, winning favour through mild tone, modesty, gentle language and seeming reluctance, all of which serve to display good nature, calmness and loyalty. De oratore , I, 325ff. 31. See Cicero's De partitione oratoria , chap, xxxv ff., or the pseudoCiceronian Rhetorica ad herennium , book II. 32. Notice the skeptical repetition of "Christina," pp. 83-4. 33. "Wycherley's First Comedy and Its Spanish Source," Comp . Lit 18 (1966), pp. 139-40. 34. I use Northrope Frye's terms "eiron" or "gracioso" figure for those characters who manipulate others, and bring about action, without really participating in it. Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957), p. 173. 35. See particularly the chapter "Disguise Comic and Cosmic," pp. 45-63. 36. Cf. Edward Phillips, The Mysteries of Love and Eloquence , London, 1658, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1972): "There is a Proverb that tells the Gentleman, that Jone is as good as my Lady in the dark: and why should there not be another Proverb to tell the Gentlewoman, that Tom

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67 is as good as my Lord in the Dark." p. 150. For other examples, see Tilley, J 57. 37. Tilley, D 39. 38. Righter, p. 72. 39. Holland, p. 44, and Matlock, "Parody and Burlesque of Heroic Ideals in Wycher ley's Comedies." PLX 8 :3 (1972), pp. 273-286. 40. Kranidas, pp. 47-8. The whole of chapter one is relevant, pp. 1341 . Balthazar Gracian, The Courtier's Oracle , Or The Art of Prudence, London, 1694, p. 74. Cf. I Cor. 9:22: "To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." Pope told Spence that Gracian was one of Wycherley's favorite authors. The Art of Prudence , written in 1647, was translated in 1694; however, Wycher ley clearly read Spanish, and there is a distinct possibility that he was in Spain on a diplomatic mission in 1664, where he could have read or acquired an edition of Gracian. See John Loftis, The Spanish Plays of Neoclassical England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1973), p. 121, for a review of the evidence. 42. Gildas Salvianus (1658) in Works , London, 1707, Vol. IV, p. 358. 43. See Stanley Fish, Self-Consuming Artifacts (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), pp. 156-223, and Joan Weber, The Eloquent "I_" (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968), pp. 53-79. 44. The Latin is translated in anon., An Essay in Defense of the Female Sex , London, 1696: "it has been Proverbially said of Old, that He that knows not how to dissemble, knows not how to live." This writer is careful to distinguish dissimulation from "criminal Deceipt," pp. 113-4. To Gracian, dissembling is a form of self-control, and mastery of the will in Maxim XCVIII, To Dissemble : "Passions are the breaches of the mind. The most useful knowledge is the art to dissemble. He that shows his Game, runs the risque of losing it. Let circumspection combat against curiosity. Cover your heart with a hedge of diffidence and reserve, from those who nibble too nicely at words. Let them never know your disposition lest they prevent you either by contradiction, or flattery. He who yields to his passions, saith the Authour, Chap . 2 of his Hero, stoops from the state of a man, to the condition of a beast; whereas he that disguises them, preserves his credit at least in appearance. Our passions are the swoonings of our reputations.

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68 lie th3t can make a sacrifice of his will is Lord over himself. To dive into the will of another, is the mark of a sublime wit; to be able to hide ones own, is to get the superiority over another. To discover ones thought, is to open the gate of the fort of the mind: Here it is that politick Enemies give the assualt, and most frequently with success too. When once the passions are known, all the avenues and sally-ports of the will are known and by consequence it may be commanded upon any occassion. A complete man must then in the first place apply himself to the subduing of his passions, and then to the dissembling of them so artfully, that no spy can ever be able to unmask his thought. This Maxim teaches one to become an able man, when he is not; and so cunningly to hide all his imperfections, that all the sharp-sighted spies of another man's road, lose their way in seeking it." pp. 90-1. Tilley includes eighteen examples of this proverb, D 386. For others, see Sir Walter Raleigh, The Arts of Empire , London, 1658, p. 68, and Florio's translation of Montaigne, Vol. II, p. 374. 45. The Art of Complaisance , p. 2. 46. Ibid ., p. 54. 47. Gracian, p. 161. For the opposite view of dissimulation, see Richard Head, Proteus Redivivus : Or The Art of Wheedling , or Insinuation , London, 1675: " This art of Wheedling , which some would have called complaisance, is in plain terms, nothing else but the Art of Insinuation or Dissimulation, compounded of mental reservation, seeming-patience and humility, (self-obliging) civility, and a more than common affability, all which club together to please and consequently to gain by conversation." p. 3. Complaisance viewed negatively is wheedling, an art of self-interested hypocrisy, the means to thrive by pretence. The wheedle is a Restoration Uriah Heep, and more than a little dishonest: "Lyes he looks not on as half so sinful, and sometimes questions whether they are a sin or not, when a round sum hath been the product of their falsity." p. 25. 48. G. A. Starr, Defoe and Casuistry (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), pp. 191-3. Sampson Letsome, The Preachers Assistant , London, 1753, refers to thirteen sermons on this text, pt. 1, pp. 117-8. See also Gracian's proverb CCXLII, Not to be a Dove in all Things: "Let the cunning of the Serpent go in course with the simplicity of the Dove. There is nothing easier than to deceive a good man. He that never lyes, easily believes; and he that never deceives, confides much. To be deceived, is not always a sign of brutishness; for goodness is sometimes the cause of it. There are two sorts of people that well knew how to prevent a mischief, the one, because they have learn'd what it is at their own cost; and the others,

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69 because they have learn 'd it at the expence of others. Prudence ought then to be as careful to caution it self, as cunning is to cheat. Have a care not to be so good a man, that others may take occasion from it of being bad. Be a composition of the Dove and Serpent; not a Monster but a Prodigy." p. 215. 49. A Sermon Preached before the King at White-Hall , London, 1679, p. 4, 50. Cicero, De finibus , 5.16: sic vivendi ars est prudentia . My understanding of prudence is greatly indebted to Martin Battestin's discussion in The Providence of Wit (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974), pp. 164-179. 51. Martin Battestin, ed., Tom Jones (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975), I, p. 141. 52. Elegy XIX, "Going to Bed," 1. 31.

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CHAPTER THREE PARADOX AND THE GENTLEMAN DANCING -MASTER Wycherley's second play, The Gentleman Dancing-Master , has never been revived since it opened in 1672, a fact that may support Courtall's complaint in She Would If She Could : "A single intrigue in love is as dull as a single plot in a play, and will tire a lover worse than t'other does an audience." The slight plot unfortunately continues to tire readers, who, taking simplicity for simple mindedness, term the 2 play meaningless farce. In all fairness, The Gentleman Dancing-Master does seem to lack the wit and significance that characterizes Wycherley's other plays. But its simplicity and apparent meaninglessness are deceptive, resulting from the failure to apprehend its language of paradox, a mode of discourse present in all of Wycherley's work, but more pronounced here. The ethical foundation of this play is congruent with Wycherley's other comedies; indeed, those scenes which appear the most farcical, Monsieur's undressing and dressing, in fact demonstrate the playwright 's consistent focus on a language ethically correct and responsible. I Most of the farcical action follows Don Diego's demand that his prospective son-in-law Monsieur de Paris "Leave off French Dress, Stammering and Tricks" (177), and wear Spanish clothes. This "metamorphosis" (189 and 199) reaches a climax in Act Four when Monsieur puts on a Golilia, the paradigmatic Spanish garment: 70

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71 Don Diego. Off, off, off with it I say, come refuse the Ornamento principal of the Spanish Habit. (Takes him by the Crevat, pulls it off, and the Black puts on the Golilia.) Monsieur. Will you have no mercy, no pity, alas, alas, alas, Oh I had rather put on the English Pillory than this Spanish Golilia, for 'twill be all a case I'm sure; for when I go abroad, I shall soon have a Crowd of Boys about me, peppering me with rotten Eggs and Turneps, helas, helas. (Don Diego puts on the Golilia.) Don Diego. Helas again? Monsieur. Alas, alas, alas. (193). Monsieur's removal of his French crevat parallels his suppression of the hypercorrect French aspiration in "helas," underscoring the identity between his affected dress and his affected language. He had earlier pointed to the similarity, asking "must I leave off all Franch Beautes, Graces and Embellishments, bote of my Person and Language?" (177). Wycherley has enacted a literal, visual and audible parallel to the familiar metaphor of language clothing thought in words, and an understanding of this metaphor reveals much about the language of The 3 Gentleman Dancing-Master . The "garment" metaphor is common in rhetorical descriptions and definitions of style. Erasmus offers a representative analogy between word and thought and body and dress in D£ duplici copia : quod est vestis nostro corpori , id est sententiis , elocutio . Neque enim aliter quam forma dignitasque corporis , cultu habituque , itidem et sententia verbis vel commendatur , vel deturpatur . In Ramistic rhetorics the word most often used for elocution is "garnishing," which ornaments or covers as does clothing. Thomas Wilson's version of the metaphor

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72 describes the difference and distance between the rich clothing of word and bare thought: "Elocution commenteth the matter, that seemeth to be clad in Purple, walking afore both bare and naked." In a twentiethcentury discussion of the clothing metaphor, Holland mistakenly thinks of language as mere cover or disguise and deceit: "Language was itself regarded as an outside--clothing, ornament, or, in general a shell of accidents--within which the real substance, thought, lay hidden." Implying, in Wilson's words, that the "naked" thought is superior, Holland fails to realize that the metaphor has both positive and negative connotations, as is explicit in this analogy of Quintilian's: Again a tasteful and magnificent dress, as the Greek poet tells us, lends added dignity to its wearer: but effeminate and luxurious apparel fails to adorn the body and merely reveals the foulness of the mind. Similarly, a translucent and iridescent style merely serves to emasculate the subject which it arrays with such pomp of words. Speech should be thought to advantage dressed, but like dress, speech can be elegant or vulgar, appropriate or mismatched; in "An Epistle to Mr. Dryden," Wycherley compliments Dryden on the propriety and harmony of his language: Such is your Sense, which you so well express, Each Thought is brilliant in its proper Dress. (IV, 159). Furthermore, as Rosemond Tuve explains, the garment of style often indicates the ideal fusion of word and thought, "in the sense that the flesh is the soul's garment, its bodying forth or manifestation." Words realize or give life to thought, as Ben Jonson asserts in Dis coveries : "In all speech, words and sense are the body and the soul. The sense is, as the life and soule of language, without which all words are dead."

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7.3 The positive and negative connotations of the clothing metaphor correspond to the two poles of language in The Gentleman Dancing-Master : in Gerrard's normative speech, words harmoniously fit the thought and speaker, and in Monsieur's affected speech, word, thought and speaker are unrelated, if not warring, elements. Above all, the metaphor underscores the superficial nature of the French features of Monsieur's language. As David Rhodes points out, unlike Sir Fopling Flutter's correct French, Monsieur's is a bastardization of two languages: he debases English sentences with French morphology, syntax and pronunciation. Monsieur offends according to all four classical criteria of style, the Theophrastan virtues of correctness, clarity, propriety and 12 ornament. His speech is not grammatically correct, but deliberately broken; not perspicuous, but confused and incoherent; not brief, but prolix; not decorous, but grotesquely inappropriate for a native English speaker. In the Tavern scene, Monsieur's speech and Gerrard's speech contrast sharply: Monsieur. Auh--his Son (for he had but one) was making de Toure of France , Espaigne , Italy , an ' Germany in a Coach and six, or rader now I think on't, gone of an Embassy hider to dere Master Cromwell , whom dey did love and fear, because he was sometinge de greater Rebel bute now I talk of de Rebelle, none but de Rebel can love de Rebelle, and so mush for you and your Friend the Dushe I'le say no more, and pray you say no more of my friend de Franch, not so mush as of my Friend the Franch Foot man da Gerrard. No, no; but, Monsieur, now give me leave to admire thee, that in three months at Paris you could renounce your Language, Drinking and your Country (for which we are not angry with you as I said) and come home so perfect a French -man, that the Dreymen of your Father's own Brew-house wou'd be ready to knock thee in the head. (143)

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74 Monsieur's speech is very confused; the eleven clauses, progressing only through non sequitor, seem to parody the rambling, associative parataxis of Senecan style. Gerrard's speech, made conspicuous only by contiguity, is a model of logicality and perspicuity. The suspended hypotaxis of evenly spaced members separates admiration and insult at either ends of the sentence, balanced by a parenthetical expression. The contrast, of course, suggests that only Gerrard has the intelligence to construct a complicated or even coherent sentence. Monsieur's Gallomania and the contrast between English clarity and French confusion may derive from two characters, M. Galliard in the Duke of Newcastle's The Variety or The French Dancing-Master , and 13 Frenchlove in James Howard's The English Monsieur . Monsieur's speech is, however, quite different from these two. M. Galliard is Frenchborn, so his French pronunciation is not affected; using incorrect pronouns and substituting "de" for "the" and "vat" for "what," he is a social climbing dancing-master who is tricked into marrying the chamber maid rather than the rich widow. Frenchlove, on the other hand, is "an affected English man translated into a ridiculous French man." Like Sir Fopling or Melantha, Frenchlove speaks correct English with an occasional French idiom. But in Howard, Dryden and EtKerege, the language/ garment equation is much reduced; Sir Fopling sprinkles his conversation with French phrases as delicately as he scents his gloves with orange, affecting, as the author of Remarques on the Humours and Conversation of the Town writes, "the beautiful trimming of foreign words." His French is more like a cosmetic or accessory than a full

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75 suit of clothes. Of the five playwrights, only Wycherley creates a language unique to his character. Many of the features of Monsieur's and Don Diego's speech reflect contemporary English views of continental languages. Thus the prolixity of French was an English commonplace; in a preface to a translation from French, John Evelyn apologizes for the original, which is "somewhat verbose, according to the style of that overflowing nation." According to Roscommon, the opposite translation from English to French would necessarily be prolix: "The weighty Bullion of One Sterling Line ,/ 17 Drawn to French Wire , would thro' whole Pages shine." If French was thought florid and wordy, Spanish was antithetically grave and dull, corresponding to Don Diego's "Spanish Care, Circumspection and Prudence" [188). These conflicting qualities are personified in James Howell's prefatory poem to his Lexicon Tetraglotton : The smooth Italian, and the nimble Frank, The long-lunged Spanish march all in a rank, The English leads them, so commands the Van And reason good in this Meridian, But Spain brings up the rear, because we know Her Counsels are so long, and pace so slow.^ By asserting the self-sufficiency of English, especially by disparaging loan words, Seventeenth-century writers assert the independence of their 19 speakers and their nation. Undisguised patriotism prompts the virulence of Thomas Sprat's attack on the French language in his Observations (1665) on Samuel Sorbiere's A Voyage to England , where he defends the "Ornaments and Copiousness" of his native tongue, "comparing the Chastity, the Newness, the Vigour of many of our English Fancies, with the corrupt and swelling Metaphors wherewith some of our Neighbors do still

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76 20 adorn their books." Linguistic chauvinism is most extreme in L. S.'s Remarques , where his ancestors, refusing to debase their speech with French, "were careful of the true glory of English men, to justifie the 21 Dominion of their Language, equal to the Dominion of their Seas." Underlying this implausible synecdoche is the idea that style or language is the index of the soul, so that the greatness of the English language is ineluctably connected to the greatness of the English people. The connection between the man and his speech also underlies Wycherley's characterization of Monsieur and Don Diego; his satire is not, of course, directed at the French or the Spanish, but at those English speakers who affect other languages. The Romance features of their speech is like clothing in the worst taste, that which is completely inappropriate to the body dressed. Don Diego and Monsieur have, in effect, subverted the function of language by asserting the primacy of the signifier, because their signifiers take precedence over the signified. In the following dialogue, both behave as if the change of names will produce a change of nature or reputation: Don Diego. Do'st thou call me Monsieur (voto a St. J ago .) Monsieur. No, I did not call you Monsieur voto a -St. Jago , Sir, I know you are my Uncle, Mr. James Formal -daDon Diego. But I can hardly know you are my Cousin, Mr. Nathaniel Paris ; but call me Sir Don Diego henceforward, look you, and no Monsieur, call me Monsieur Guarda . Monsieur. I confess my errour, Sir; for none but a blind man wou'd call you Monsieur, ha, ha, ha--But pray do not call me neder Paris , but de Paris , de Paris (si vou plai'st) Monsieur de Paris! (174-5).

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77 Monsieur's unmasking, of his uncle demonstrates that no matter what accent they employ, their coat will still be a merchant's sign, their relatives will still be buried in the yard, not the church, and they will still be middle-class Englishmen, not European gentility (224). It is not enough to say that a change of name or dress will no more change a man than a change of word will transform the thing it was thought to signify, for there are clearly two opposing systems at work here. Monsieur apparently does believe that his new name transforms him; Gerrard, on the other hand, knows that Monsieur was a fool before and after his trip to Paris. Don Diego, with typical myopia, quotes the appropriate proverb, but only for Monsieur: "The Ass was an Ass still, though he had the Lyons Skin on" (194). Uncle and nephew are so concerned with externals that they take care of the words and dress, but let the thought and man shift for themselves. In Don Diego's words, "the incongruous match of Spanish Doublet and French Pantaloons" (190) parallels his incongruous match of Spanish oaths and English merchant. If asides conventionally represent a character's thought, it is telling that Monsieur employs perfectly acceptable English in his asides; his French accent is then a duplicitous facade. In Monsieur, the aside and regular speech represent two different languages, an internal language of thought, English, and an external language of speech, French. Wycherley here follows the traditional idea that thought is internal discourse. In Plato, "thinking and discourse are the same thing, except that what we call thinking is, precisely, the inward dialogue carried on by the mind with itself 22 without spoken sound." The difference between speech and thought

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78 is only sound; it is this essential identity in Stoic metaphysics that 23 invests speech with the properties of the mind and soul. To Saint Augustine, thought, the "inward and mental word," is the discourse of the inner man, and audible language, the "outward and sensible word," 24 is the discourse of the outer man. Communication was therefore conceived as the process of translation from internal to external speech; in Hobbes's words, "the generall use of Speech, is to transfer 25 our Mentall Discourse into Verbal." Monsieur's audible speech does not emanate from the soul, and there is no consistency or correspondence between the inner and outer man. The folly of Monsieur's speech differs from that of Wycherley's "witty" fools, Dapperwit, Sparkish and Novel, for they exhibit a correspondence between exterior, linguistic folly, and interior, inherent folly. Monsieur's speech produces a curious suggestion of emptiness; having rejected his country, his language and his nature, it is as if there is nothing behind his words and dress: style is all there is to such a vacuous man. Dapperwit 's dull similitudes always make some obvious cliched sense, but Monsieur's macaronic utterances are very difficult to follow. Like the Norman French legal language of The Plain Dealer , Monsieur's is a language which resists comprehension. Monsieur's and Don Diego's attitude toward language is the same as their attitude toward clothing. To Monsieur, who will "live and die for de Pantaloon against de Spanish Hose" (175), clothing becomes an end in itself. He and his uncle are no longer concerned with Hippolita, marriage, family honor, or even religion--Monsieur "could kneel down and varship a pair of jenti Pantaloons " (175). As dress becomes an end

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79 rather than a means to social grace or comfort, words also become ends in themselves; their "jernis" and "votos" lose referents, and are rendered meaningless out of their proper cultural and linguistic context. When Don Diego refuses him "one little Franch Oate" (178), Monsieur produces a word heap, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing: "Helas, helas, den I shall take my leave, morte teste, ventre, Jernie, teste-bleu, ventre-bleu, ma foy, certes" (178) . We witness a process of reification, as Monsieur's and Don Diego's words become things; their words are like physical souvenirs brought back from a grand tour, objects of status rather than means of communication. Words to Monsieur are like Mallarme's radiant jewels, valuable, not simply for signification, but in and of themselves, an attitude woefully out of accord with the prevailing Restoration language theory. Uncle and nephew value words for their social or national status rather than accepted, normative meaning, imposing a private or idiomatic value on words that is always consistent with Don Diego's or Monsieur's vanity. In consequence, they not only misuse words, but they misconstrue everyone else's, for everyone says exactly what these two would like to hear. Monsieur, Hippolita claims, "is as apt as an ill Poet to mistake the contempt and scorn of people for applause and admiration" (171). Don Diego's wilful misinterpretation and self-deception are even more brazen: "Be a Spaniard like me, and ne're think people laugh at you: there was never a Spaniard that thought any one laugh'd at him" (194). The false Spaniard and Frenchman's devotion to words allows them to be manipulated, not by meaning but by sound and association: Gerrard . But indeed, methinks, you are not slovenly enough for a French-man.

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80 Monsieur. Slovenly! you mean negligent? Gerrard. No, I mean slovenly. Monsieur. Then I will be more slovenly. (144). Because Gerrard associates "French" and "slovenly," Monsieur will endeavor to be slovenly, no matter what the word means, just as he is victimized by the accent rather than the substance of the Scullion's words (149) . He who directs words, in turn directs people, and through their exploitations of ambiguity, Gerrard and Hippolita talk rings around these dupes. Virginia Birdsall has observed that Hippolita "manipulates words, artistically playing with their variable meanings and deceiving all those incapable of recognizing a double entendre either in word or in action when they are faced with one." Gerrard and Hippolita exercise these verbal powers on each other at first; when they meet, Gerrard uses an inflated, "precieuse" style: "My Soul, My Life, 'tis you have Charms powerful as numberless, especially those of your innocency irresistable, and do surprise the wary'st Heart; such mine was, while I cou'd call it mine, but now 'tis yours for ever" (158) . The lovers must purify their language, particularly their oaths; when the mutual distrust between Hippolita and Gerrard is greatest, she calls attention to the misuse 'of "faith:" Gerrard. Cou'd all that so natural Innocency be dissembl'd? faith it cou'd not, dearest Miss. Hippolita. Faith it was, dear Master. Gerrard. Was it, faith? Hippolita. Methinks you might believe me without an Oath. (205)

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81 Hippolita reintroduces "faith" once again when she and Gerrard reach their understanding: "faith, here's my hand now in earnest, to lead me a Dance as long as I live" (218). The word has been validated, for the concept has been realized between them. Their linguistic reform follows a pattern predictable in Wycherley; a more precise use of words leads to a more truthful and honest correspondence between speech and thought; the more honest and open their speech, and the more exposed their true thought, the more dependent upon trust they become, achieving eventually the "language of the heart." They must purify their language, for it is only when they mean what they say that Hippolita can give her "self and fortune away franckly" (220) . II Monsieur's speech can be characterized by his affectation of "agreeable ill Englis'" (143), and rejection of "base good Englis'" (134); these oxymorons, like the "incongruous match" between his clothes and person, accentuate the disparity between his nature and appearance. Don Diego and Monsieur are not, however, the only characters whose chosen role contradicts their actual station, for Gerrard is a gentleman imitating an imitation gentleman. The title itself is oxymoronic because dancing-masters were considered only gentlemen in appearance. Usually "better dress 'd and prouder than many a good Gentleman" (164), Don Diego claims that dancing-masters have but the "outsides of Gentlemen" (161). In their first exchange, Prue and Hippolita construe Monsieur as a type of dancing-master: this "apish Kind of Gentleman" has "Civility and good Breeding more than a City Dancing-master" (131). C. J. Rawson explores the problems that dancing-masters create:

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82 Dancing-masters were a special and embarrassing case, because they were a necessary part of a genteel education. Not only did one therefore see them a good deal, but they were professionals who taught gentlemen some of the marks of gentility. . . . The gentleman thus had a painful obligation to the dancing-master, and the dancing-master must have acquired pretensions of gentility which exacerbated the situation; the gentleman had to learn from a laboured specialist the graceful ease which was supposed to be his birthright, and the dancingmaster could feel that he did things better than his pupils. Hence part of the insistence that a gentleman should learn to dance well, yet not like a dancing-master, and, more generally, the obsessional frequency with which writers of the period keep mentioning dancing-masters, often with edgily ambiguous or over-aggressive contempt. The title of Wycherley's Gentleman Dancing-Master must have derived much piquancy from this whole situation. 27 Monsieur and dancing-masters raise the question of what constitutes gentility, innate breeding, or acquired characteristics like manners, wealth and appearance. Following centuries of courtesy literature, Wycherley suggests that though gentility is in part inherited, it is 28 above all earned by gentle conduct. Monsieur sums up Gerrard's situation: "Well, thou art a generous man, I vow and swear, to come and take upon you this trouble, danger, and shame, to be thought a paltry Dancing -master, and all this to preserve a Ladies honour and life" (200). The oxymoronic title describes the apparently contradictory and paradoxical action of the protagonist, who demeans and -shames himself for an honorable cause. I emphasize oxymoron because Rosalie Colie has observed that this is the central trope of paradox, and I wish to 29 demonstrate that the language and action of this play is paradoxical. Though Pope was referring to Wycherley's verse when he told Spence that Wycherley "loved paradoxes," the plays also reveal a love of paradox, and The Gentleman Dancing-Master in part may be seen as a kind of

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83 30 Encomium Moriae , or Praise of Folly.' The word "fool" is used eightysix times in the play, mostly of Gerrard and Monsieur. But while Monsieur and Don Diego are anxious to deny their folly--"I am no fool, Look you" (152) --Gerrard willingly and deliberately "plays the fool:" "To be caught in a Fool's Trap--I'll venture it" (141), he says, and he is "Fooled and abused" (208), and "made a Fool" (213) by Hippolita. It is only when he consents, moreover, to "be such a fool as to steal a Woman with nothing" (206) that he wins her and a "Fools Paradise" (172) . Gerrard plays the fool by playing a dancing-master; where Monsieur tries to appear better by imitating his betters, Gerrard becomes better by imitating his inferiors. The ironic reversal of wisdom and folly has long been a comic convention designed to express the self-awareness of limitation; as Touchstone says, "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool" (5.1.33). Similarly, the Socratic docta ignoran tia , of which Montaigne provides a famous statement, is based on the humble declaration of ignorance: "The wisest that ever was being 31 demanded what he knew, answered, he knew that he knew nothing." The primary source of Erasmus's wise fool is, of couse, Saint Paul: "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" ("Rom. 1.22), or "If any man among you seemeth to be wise, let him become a fool that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (I. Cor. 3.18-9). On this text, John Webster writes, "This is the whole knowledge of man, to know that it is nothing of itself, and whatsoever 32 it is, it is of God and for God." Wycherley's familiarity with the docta ignorantia is clear from his poems "Upon the Impertinence of

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84 Knowledge," and "In Praise of Ignorance"; in "Upon the Discretion of Folly," he writes that "the greatest Folly is to be Wise," and "Folly Proves Wisedom" (III, 28). According to Pope, Wycherley's favorite authors were those most paradoxical: "He used to read himself to sleep o 'night, either in Montaigne, Rochefoucault, Seneca, or Gracian, for those were his four 33 favorite authors." Further, Wycherley would have been familiar with paradox from grammar school, because paradox remained an integral part of education in rhetoric.. While we may associate paradox with the complexities of the Parmenides , it was also the subject and method of epideictic or demonstrative oratory, because the contoversiae or practice cases for student declamations often were based on paradox. Practice declamations were collected in progymnasmata , which were still in use through the eighteenth-century; in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Aphthonius's progymnasmata went through thirty Latin and twenty Greek editions, not including English versions by Richard 35 Ramolde and William Fullwood. " Rainolde's A Booke Called the Foundation of Rhetorike (1563) contains nineteen declamations, about which questions are posed, including confirmation and confutation, praise and dispraise; such questions were intended to form topics for the student's compositions. John Brinsley, in Ludus Literarius, 37 recommends Cicero's Paradoxa Stoicorum for model themes, and the most famous and complete Renaissance collection of paradoxes, Ortensio Landi's Paradossi (1543), was presented as a formulary rhetoric: Thomas Lodge's translation, Paradoxes Against Common Opinions (1602), advertises

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85 its contents as "Debated in the form of Declamations," to be used for schoolboy exercises. Wycherley's knowledge of such material is clear from his many paradoxical encomiums; he has poems in praise of Ignorance, Folly, Poverty, Old Age, Laziness, Avarice and Dullness, and with the exception of that on laziness, there are analogues for each of these in the Landi collections, all with similar arguments/ Even these few examples do not, however, reveal the extent of paradox in Wycherley's verse, for almost half of the poems (all those in heroic couplets) are based on paradox, often arguing the opposite of what the reader expects, reversing their own argument, turning inward, and playing orthodoxy against 39 heterodoxy in the manner of a Stoic dialectician. Skepticism notwithstanding, Colie argues that paradox is "often designed to assert some fundamental and absolute truth," and the truth asserted by the encomium moriae is the necessity of humility. Webster quotes Nicholas of Cusa's dialogue between an Idiot and a Doctor, wherein the Idiot says, "This perhaps is the difference betwixt me and thee, thou thinkest thy self knowing, when thou art not, from hence thou art proud; I truly know my self to be an Idiot, from hence I am humbled, in this perhaps I am more learned." Vain an'd proud pretensions to knowledge are paradoxically countered by a humble awareness of frailty and limitation. In Erasmus, to the philosophers' objection, "'tis a miserable thing for a man to err, mistake and know nothing truly," Folly answers, "Nay rather, this is to be a man." In the play before us, the folly of wisdom is typified by Don Diego's claim to "ha'no body wiser than my self" (211).

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86 The importance of humility is best represented in Hippolita's explanation of Gerrard's jealousy. Unlike the excessive jealousy of Valentine in Love in a_ Wood or Pinchwife in The Country Wife , jealousy here serves as proof of love: "jealousy in a Gallant is humble, true Love, and the height of respect, and only an undervalueing of himself to over value" his mistress (219) . While Gerrard plays the fool and adopts the relatively humble pose of a dancing-master, his rival overvalues himself: "Cousin, I doubt not your amoure for me, because I doubt not your judgment" (133). Monsieur's indifference indicates that he is too self -centered to ever think of another's affection, but Wycherley was later to write, in poems and a letter, that there could 43 be no love without jealousy. And in one of his better poems, Wycherley argues that jealousy elevates the mistress and humbles the lover, because it witnesses that she is worthy to be beloved by others, while he is unworthy to monopolize her affections. Further, his assurance of her love would be impertinent and offensive (III, 17844 80). The most important distinction between Gerrard and Monsieur, therefore, lies in love of others and love of self, the distinguishing basis for so much Restoration and eighteenth-century ps'ychology and characterization, from Tom Jones and Blifil to Clarissa and her brother 45 James. Gerrard, Jones and Clarissa, in their several ways, are raised by falling, becoming worthy by admitting their unworthincss . That these characters function in part as moral exempla, and that their conduct is based on theological virtues, makes them no less interesting;

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87 here the moral significance of Gerrard' s generosity and humility only adds depth and richness to this supposedly thin play. Ill If The Gentleman Dancing-Master is paradoxical and oxymoronic, it is the more noteworthy that the language is relatively non-metaphoric. Compared to the other plays, there is a striking absence of elaborate similitudes and conspicuous metaphors; there are only about ten, and almost all of these are spoken by Gerrard and Hippolita. Such economy is partly explained by the fact that Monsieur's "wit," such as it is, is expended simply in French expressions. More important, similitude and metaphor necessarily illustrate similarity and conjunction, whereas oxymoron exhibits contradiction, dissimilarity and disjunction. With the exception of the isolated protagonists, this play is peopled with characters whose dress and language do not fit their nature or station. Hippolita in effect summarizes the design of the play when she contrasts French levity and Spanish gravity: "We shall have sport anon, betwixt these two Contraries" (174) . One contrary that runs through all of Wycherley's work, beginning with Lady Flippant's first line in Love in a Wood , is the choice of marriage for love or for money. Like the paradoxical contrast of spiritual and mundane values, mercenary self-interest of vicious characters competes with the idealistic, selfless values of love; Monsieur is only attracted to Hippolita's fortune, while Garrard is foolish enough to marry her portionless. Gerrard and Hippolita are not, however, untainted, because when she first reveals her fortune,

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he can only repeat, "Twelve hundred pound a year--" (158), just as Hippolita can only repeat "A Coach and Six" (185) . Both are swayed by material considerations, but Gerrard eventually agrees to "be such a Fool as to steal a Woman for nothing" (206) . Contrasting values are most vivid in the last scene; the articles of keeping between Monsieur and Flirt there appear as a grotesque parody of the lovers' proviso scene, where Hippolita proposes, "Let us 46 have a good understanding betwixt one another" (218) . Though Monsieur is unable to see the difference, kept mistress and wife form the two extremes of greed and generosity, or self-love and love of others. Flirt's articles symbolize, moreover, the disjunction rampant in the play, for they all deal with some type of separation. She and Monsieur doubtless stand at opposite sides of the stage: Monsieur. . . . there's no difference betwixt a Wife and a Wench. Flirt. Only in Cohabitation, for the first Article shall be Against Cohabitation; we Mistresses suffer no Cohabitation. Monsieur. Nor Wives neither now. Flirt. Then separate Maintenance, in case you shou'd take a Wife, or I a new Friend. Monsieur. How.' that too? then you are every whit as bad as a Wife. Flirt. Then my House in Town, and yours in the Country if you will. Monsieur. A meer Wife. Flirt. Then my Coach apart, as well as my Bed apart. (230).

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89 Surrounded by such disjunction and disharmony, Gcrrard and Hippolita appear remarkably well matched. Wycherley neatly demonstrates how well they compliment each other in the passages on modesty. Hippolita is always in danger of seeming "a confident coming piece" (220), although the two prostitutes provide a beneficial qualification to her forwardness, because their exaggerated aggression tempers her appearance of immodesty. Gerrard, however, believes that modesty is only important for the lady, claiming that "modesty in a man is as ill as the want of it in a Woman" (184), and that "Modesty between Lovers is as impertinent as Ceremony between Friends" (204). He is mistaken, for some diffidence is necessary in both lovers; moreover, the forwardness of both is dissembled; when they first meet, he says, "Love and Modesty come together like Money and Covetousness, and the more we have, the less we can shew it" (155). When they put aside dissembling, modesty reasserts itself, suggesting that they elicit the best in each other: "Well, though you are so modest a Gentleman as to suffer a Wife to be put upon you with nothing, I have more conscience than to do it: I have the twelve hundred pounds a year out of my Father's power, which is yours, and I am sorry it is not the Indies to mend your bargain" (220). I stress modesty because it is a particular source of misinter47 pretation. Birdsall is so taken with Hippolita's dominance that she is disappointed when she eventually gives her hand to Gerrard. Dobrce believes that Wycherley had an underlying "hatred" for Hippolita, and the usually sensible Weales concludes that "after watching Hippolita

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90 for five acts, one wants to congratulate Monsieur on escaping marriage 49 with her." These harsh judgments result from a misunderstanding or disregard for the "trial" plot common to so many Restoration' comedies; Hippolita admits to Gerrard, "I confess I had a mind to try whether your interest did not sway you more than your love" (220). Because her future and fortune are completely in Gerrard's hands, her prudence in testing his honor and love before accepting him is only sensible; while avoiding the aggressiveness of Flirt and Flounce, she must actively "try" her choice while she has the chance. Ironically, Hippolita must, to some degree, imitate her "precise" (129) aunt Caution. The epithet is used again twice; before meeting her, Gerrard refers to Hippolita as "a new City-Mistress, and you know they are as inquisitive as precise in the City" (147); and Hippolita is a city mistress, even though she herself says they "are never precise but at a Play" (220) . Wycherley plays upon the two concurrent meanings of the word, scrupulous and overscrupulous (O.E.D.); Hippolita must modulate between the two meanings, acting neither too easily like Prue, nor too punctiliously like Caution. She validates a positive, correct meaning of the word, exercising true judgment; when Gerrard proves his love, she gives her "self and fortune away frankly" (220) . The interplay between contradictory significations parallels the fundamental action of The Gentleman Dancing -Ma s t er ; the play dramatizes a series of binary oppositions, homologous to the contrast of folly and wisdom, including French levity and Spanish gravity, innocence and experience, and passivity and aggression. In scene after scene, pairs of characters play out these contrasts, often switching roles, like the

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91 way that Don Diego and Caution exchange their antithetical acceptance and suspicion of Gerrard. Though characters switch sides, the categories are immutable; Hippolita successfully oscillates between innocence and experience, or between activity and passivity, without moderation or compromise. Nor can Gerrard, the English gentleman, be considered a compromise between French levity and Spanish gravity; he is at times frivolous and other times serious. Protean and adaptable, the lovers are the only characters capable of navigating deftly between the contrarieties; though a gentleman, Gerrard, when necessary, becomes a dancing-master. While Monsieur is unable to adapt his speech even momentarily to gain Hippolita 's fortune, Gerrard is willing to learn a new language: "A Dancing-School in half an hour will furnish you with terms of the Art" (167). Gerrard and Hippolita embody the spirit of paradox because they are not rigidly bound to any extreme. Transcending the constrictions of contradiction, they understand that it is at times wise to be foolish, and at times foolish to be wise. The synthesis of conflicting qualities, such as modesty and forwardness, is symbolized by their dance. Dance is burlesqued and frustrated for four acts, until Gerrard and Hippolita reach an understanding: "faith here's my hand now in earnest, to lea'd me a Dance as long as I live" (218). The significance of such a dance may be seen in the words of Sir Thomas Elyot: "the association of a man and a woman in dauncing may be signified matrimonie. . . . which betokeneth Concorde." This concord is a concordia-discors, formed of masculine and femine qualities:

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92 Wherefore whan we beholde a man and n woman daunsing to gether, let us suppose there to be a concorde of all the saide qualities, being joyned to gether as I have set them in ordre. And the meving of the man wolde be more vehement, of the woman more delicate, and with lasse advauncing of the body, signifieing the courage and strengthe that ought to be in a man, and the pleasant sobernesse that shoulde be in a woman. And in this wise fiersenesse, joyned with mildnesse maketh severitie; Audacitie with timerositie maketh magnanimitie . . . He continues with the synthesis of the virtues Constance, Honour, Sapience and Continence: "These qualities, in this wise knitte to gether, and signified in the personages of man and woman daunsinge, do expresse or sette out the figure of very nobilitie." 50 Wycherley dramatizes a similar synthesis of virtues, carefully reversing, confusing, and finally correcting Gerrard's and Hippolita's qualities. Separately they are not perfect characters, and indeed, exemplary characters were considered inappropriate for comedy; but together, they represent as perfect a couple as can be found in Wycherley and in Restoration comedy. Notes 1. George Etherege, She Would If She Could, ed. Charlene Taylor, [Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1971), 3.1.107ff, p. 46. 2. Dobree, Rogers and Chadwick, pointing to the play's Horatian motto, term the play a farce. Only Holland and Righter find any meaning or value here. " 3. Following Holland, Klara Boyd notes the equation of clothing and language, "A Study of the Imagery in the Plays of William Wycherley," Diss. Florida State University, 1970, p. 58. 4. Opera Omnia , Leiden, 1703, Vol. I, p. 8. 5. See Dudley Fenner's translation of Talon, The Artes of Logicke and Rhetorike (1584): rhetoric is "an Arte of speaking finely. It hath two parts, Garnishing of speech, called Eloquution [and] Garnishing of the maner of utterance, called Pronunciation." Four Tudor Books on Education , ed . Robert Hood Bowers, (Gainesville: Scholars' facsimiles, 1966), p. 168.

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93 6. G. II. Mair, cd., (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909), p. 160. 7. First Modern Comedies , p. 51. 8. Institutio Oratoria , III, 189. 9. Elizabethan and Metaphysical Imagery (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1947), p. 61. 10. Works , VIII, p. 621. 11. "William Wycher ley's Love in a Wood and The Gentleman DancingMaster : A Critical Edition," Diss. Stanford, 1969, pt. II, p. 586. 12. Thomas Wilson translates the virtues as Plainness, Aptness, Composition (correctness) and Exornation (ornamentation); by the seventeenth century, the four were often reduced to three: in Farnaby's Index Rhetoricus (1625) the virtues are Elegantia , Compositione and Dignitare , facsimile (Scolar Press, 1970), p. 16. 13. Rhodes, pt. II, p. 524. The Variety was performed in 1641, 1661, 1662, and printed in 1649. The English Monsieur was performed in 1663, 1666, 1667, 1668, and printed in 1674. 14. The English Monsieur , London, 1674, p. 1. 15. London, 1673, p. 94. R. F. Jones discusses Restoration neologism in The Triumph of the English Language , (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1953), pp. 214-271, but he does not give enough weight to the evident resistance and hostility to this practice. Dryden typically expresses a moderate and sensible view in the "Defense of the Epilogue:" "For I cannot approve of their way of refining, who corrupt our English idiom by mixing it too much with French; that is a sophistication of language not an improvement of it; a turning English into French, rather than a refining of English by French." Watson, I, p. 176. 16. Miscellaneous Writings of John Evelyn , ed. William Upcott, (London: Henry Colburn, 1825), p. 559. 17. "An Essay on Translated Verse," in J. E. Spingarn, ed., Critical Essays of the Seventeenth Century , (1907, rpt. Bloomington": Indiana University Press), II, p. 198. This passage, with others, is cited by William H. Youngren, "Generality, Science and Poetic Language," ELH 35 (1968), p. 164. 18. Lexicon Tetraglotton , An English-French-Italian-Spanish Dictionary , London, 1660. Cf. L. S., Remarques : "the Spaniard . . . scorns to truckle under the laws of their [French] Mode; and sullenly keeps

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94 to a fashion of some hundreds of years, rather than appear inclined to the lightness of his neighbors." p. 98. 19. George Herbert's "The Sonne" opens Let Forrain nations of their language boast, What fine varietie each tongue affords: I like our langugae, as our men and coast: Who cannot dresse it well, want wit, not words. Works , ed. F. E. Hutchinson, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1941), p. 167. 20. A Voyage to England , with Observations on the Same Voyage by Doctor Thomas Sprat , London, 1709, pp. 170 and 172. 21. Remarques , p. 96. 22. Sophist , 263e, Collected Dialogues , p. 1011. 23. For internal discourse in Stoicism, see A. A. Long, "Language, and Thought in Stoicism," in Problems in Stoicism , p. 82. 24. On the Trinity , book XV, chap. X-XIV, Basic Writings of St. Augustine , ed. Witney Oates, (New York: Random House, 1948), Vol. II, p. 847. 25. Leviathan , ed. W. G. Pogson Smith, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967), p. 24. cf. John Hoskyns: "The conceits of the mind are pictures of things and the tongue is interpreter of these pictures." Directions for Speech and Style , ed. Hoyt Hudson, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1935), p. 2. This work, written circa 1600, was not printed until this century, but whole sections, including the passage quoted, found their way into Jonson's Discoveries and Thomas Blount's Academy of Eloquence , London, 1654. Blount has similar commonplaces: "Speech is nothing else but an expression to another man of the images one hath within himself," p. 97; "Thoughts are but over-f lowings of the minde and the tongue is but a servant of the thought," p. 98; "Speech and Thought are two sisters, the youngest created, that the eldest may be known," p. 98. See also Thomas Wilson, p. 2, John Hewes, A Perfect Survey of the English Tongue (1624, 1632 and 1658), epilogue and Cowley, "Ode to the Royal Society," stanza IV. 26. Wild Civility (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1970), p. 131. 27. Henry Fielding and the Augustan Ideal Under Stress (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972), pp. 27-8. 28. John E. Mason, Gentlefolk in the Making , Studies in the History of Courtesy Literature (1935, rpt. New York: Octagon Books, 1971), pp. 6-12 and 293-4. Gentle birth was often regarded as conferring a

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95 debt or obligation to virtuous conduct. Mason, p. 163, quotes William de Britaine, Humane Prudence (1680): "Urbanity and Civility are a debt you owe to Mankind." 29. Paradoxica Epidemica (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966), Introduction, pp. 1-38. 30. Joseph Spence, Observations , Anecdotes , and Characters of Books and Men, ed. James M. Osborn, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), Vol. I, p. 38. Wycherley wrote Pope about his letter of praise, "It is not the first, you great Wits have gain'd Reputation by their paradoxical or ironical Praises; your Forefathers have done it, Erasmus and others." The Correspondence of Alexander Pope, ed . George Sherburn, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956), Vol. I, p. 69, 11 August 1709. 31. "An Apology of Raymond Sebond," Vol. II, p. 202. 32. John Webster, Academiarum Examen , London, 1654, facsimile, ed. Allen G. Debus (New York: Elsevier Inc., 1970), p. 4. 33. Spence, p. 37. 34. I have used the following surveys of classical education: George Kennedy, The Art of Persuasion in Greece (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963) and The Arjt of Rhetoric in the^ Roman World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972); D. L. Clark, Rhetoric in Greco-Roman Education (New York: Columbia University Press, 1957); M. L. Clark, Rhetoric at Rome (London: Cohen and West, 1953). 35. William G. Crane has traced the editions in Wit and Rhetoric in the Renaissance (New York: Columbia University Press, 1937), p. 6l\ For the popularity of Hermogenes' progymnasmata see Annabel Patterson, Hermogenes and the Renaissance (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970), passim. 36. Facsimile (Scolar Press, 1972). Pope appears to have been somewhat confused and annoyed by Wycherley's ability to argue both sides, such as in the poems in praise of the retired life,' the active life and the mixed life (Spence, p. 38). We should perhaps take this as a warning against reading any of Wycherley's work, including The Plain-Dealer , as self-expression. 37. Facsimile (Scolar Press, 1968), p. 184. 38. See Henry Knight Miller, "The Paradoxical Encomium with Special Reference to its Vogue in England, 1600-1800," M.P. LIII (1956), pp. 145-178.

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96 39. Ludwig Edelstein observes that the famous Stoic paradoxes were not usually metaphysical, but rather casuistical problems of ethics, such as who should be saved first in a shipwreck, The Meaning of Stoicism , (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966), p. 89. 40. Colie, p. 10. 41. Webster, p. 12. 42. The Praise of Folly , trans. John Wilson, 1668, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1958), p. 51. 43. Wycherley wrote Pope that jealousy was a "signe" of love, Corres pondence , I, p. 55. The idea that love and jealousy are inseparable is proverbial; in the Anatomy , Robert Burton writes, "as Benedetto Varchi holds, 'no love without a mixture of jealousy,' qui non zealot , non amat ." pt. 3, se. 3, memb. I, ed . Holbrook Jackson, (1932, rpt. New York: Random House, 1977), Vol. II, p. 257. See also Tilley, L 510: "Love is never without jealousy." 44. The paradoxical emotions of The Gentleman Dancing-Master , jealousy, humility and assurance, projecting the lover's precarious balance between the assurance of the return of affection and fear of indifference parallels the contradictory emotions described in the body of seventeenth-century devotional literature based on paradox. Both divine and earthly love must confront the contradiction between complaisance and doubt, a hope of reward notwithstanding an awareness of unworthiness . So Herbert Palmer describes The Character of the Christian in Paradoxes as one who "is so Humble as to acknowledge himself to deserve nothing but Evil, yet is so confident, as to believe God means him all Good." Further, "He is most lowly-minded, yet the greatest Aspirier; most contented, yet ever Craving." (London, 1644, I have used the first American edition, printed in Memorials of Godliness and Christianity , Boston, 1713, np.). In the Orthodox Paradoxes (London, 1647) of Ralph Venning, when the believer "is most enlarged and his soule is upon the wing in Prayer, he doth not believe his acceptance for that; when he is at the lowest and most confin'd, he believes his accep tance notwithstanding that" p. 69. Colie writes th'at "Christian paradoxes, in an ultimate oxymoron, are always orthodox, not only in the propriety of their doctrine but also in the fact that they appear to describe accurately feelings deeply rooted in human nature." p. 32. 45. George Shcrburn discusses the sprcctrum of charity and pride in "Fielding's Amelia ," ELH II I (1936), pp. 1-14; Morris Golden enlarges on Sherburn in Fielding's Moral Psychology (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1966), pp. 63-75. See also Ben Ross Schneider's treatment of "Love vs. Self-Love," in The Ethos of Restoration Comedy (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971), pp. 141-190.

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97 46. Rhodes, part II, p. 618. 47. The Amazon connotation of Hippolita's name has led some, notably Birdsall, p. 122, to exaggerate Hippolita's forwardness. It is however, unlikely that her name derives from the queen of the Amazons in A Midsummer Night's Dream or Two Noble Kinsmen , but rather from Fletcher and Massenger's The Sea Company , also known as The Storm . This is confirmed by the fact that Wycherley also draws the conflict between the aging governess and Hippolita from this play: The Strictness of our Governess that forbids us, On pain of death the sight and use of men, for her self, she's past Those youthful heats and feels not the want Of that which young maids long for. (p. 19). Hippolita too has "not seen a Man" this twelve-month (p. 137), for she and Prue similarly distinguish between the sight and use of a man (130). All of them, however, dream of men, and like Hippolita, defend their dreams: "And visions I hope in dreams are Harmless." The Works of Beaumont and Fletcher , ed. A. R. Waller, (1910, rpt. New York: Octagon Books, 1969). If Wycherley alludes to this play, his character's name should suggest innocence more than aggression. The name may also be connected to the character Hippolito, Dryden and Davenant's addition to their version of The Tempest ; Hippolito is another "natural," "one that never saw Woman" (California Dryden , Vol. X, p. 8). That Hippolita asks the same questions as those raised in savage isolation ("Is he no man? 131), furthers her impression of inexperience, but she too is not especially innocent. 48. Birdsall, p. 126. 49. Dobree, p. 85, and Weales, p. xiv. Only Anne Righter has noticed the significance of the trial plot, pp. 75-6. 50. Sir Thomas Elyot, The Book Named the Governor , facs'imile (Scolar Press, 1970), pp. 82 and 84.

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CHAPTER FOUR FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE IN THE COUNTRY WIFE The subtlety of Wycherley's language has been frequently recognized in his masterpiece, The Country Wife (1675), wherein critics commonly observe a systematic corruption of verbal significations: "Ideals like 'honor,' 'reputation,' 'friendship' and 'freedom' are remorselessly presented as having no bearing on the conduct of those who invoke them." Horner and Lady Fidget seem to divorce such words from their accepted meanings in a linguistic shell game that leaves only the shell of a word, though I will argue that words are ultimately uncorruptible. David Vieth, David Morris and Alan Roper also write that the play is about the right use of words, a theme, as we have seen, common to all of Wycherley's plays, and, indeed, to a great deal of Restoration 2 comedy. But no Restoration play illustrates more clearly than The Country Wife the association of linguistic and moral corruption that Jonson expresses in Discoveries : "Wheresoever, manners and fashions are corrupted, Language is. It imitates the publicke riot. The excesse of Feasts and apparell, are the notes of a sick State; and" the wantonnesse 3 of language, of a sicke mind." Horner is the one character most responsible for the "wantonnesse of language" in this play; the cleverest of all Wycherley's characters, he gains ascendancy over others by insinuating himself into their conversations, appropriating and exploiting their words. Against his linguistic sophistication is set the simplicity of Margery Pinchwife; 98

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99 a "Restoration Eve," she neither uses nor understands Horner's clever language, often interpreting figurative language literally. As always in Wycherley, sophistication and cleverness are associated with deceit and fraud; in the parallel between speech and conduct, double meaning can promote double dealing. Innocence, on the other hand, is associated with honesty, as in the charge to believe Margery because "she's an innocent creature, has no dissembling in her" (333); her trip to town, however, her "socialization," involves learning to deceive. The opposition of artless and artful, innocent and experienced, literal and metaphorically minded, not only characterize Margery and Horner, but provide models for many of the others to imitate: Lady Fidget wishes to appear as artless as Margery; Sir Jaspar Fidget wishes to speak as artfully as Horner. Innocence and sophistication, however, are not the only coordinates in the moral scheme thought to regulate discourse; as always in Wycherley, intention and will are extremely important. Margery may be inexperienced, naive, and literal minded, but she is hardly guiltless, while Harcourt, on the other hand, may be honorable, but he resorts to deception and fraud to win Alithea. As we saw in Love in a Wood, qui nescit dissimulare , nescit vivere ; in the dramatic worfd dominated by Horner and Lady Fidget, Alithea would be disgraced and humiliated were it not for Harcourt 's deceit. So, though he actively endeavours to cheat Sparkish, Harcourt is, nevertheless, still honorable; his intentions are always honorable, and he only resorts to deception because Alithea deceives herself. He never deceives her, and, with each other, they achieve an open and honest discourse. The ethical setting of

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mo The Country Wife is, in this respect, no different from Wycherley's other plays; honesty, openness, trust, and faith remain ideal goals, but fully ideal and correct conduct is never possible. I have argued that verbal qualities can reflect moral qualities in Wycherley's plays because any character's speech is weighed against a code of accepted verbal conduct, but I have not shown just how detailed and systematic seventeenth century writers can be on this subject. Often they try to cover everything that touches men's speech; thus Barrow and Allestree are concerned with proper and improper speech with respect to the speaker himself, his neighbors, and God. Hobbes's detailed analysis of discourse is a secular version of the same division that Barrow and Allestree use; the proper use of language is the communication of knowledge, to promote cooperation, "that we may have the mutual help of one another," while "Abuses" frustrate communication: First, when men register their thoughts wrong, by the inconstancy of the signification of their words; by which they register for their conceptions, that which they never conceived; and so deceive themselves. Secondly, when they use words metaphorically; that is in other sense than that they are ordained for; and thereby deceive others. Thirdly, when by words they declare that to be their will, which is not. Fourthly, when they use them to grieve one another: for seeing nature hath armed living creatures, some with horns, and some with hands, to grieve an enemy, it is but an abuse of Speech to grieve him with the tongue.' 7 Q Again, the abuses offend or mislead the speaker or others. In the following sections, I will examine the ways Wycherley's characters commit verbal offenses against themselves and others, concluding with an examination of the apparent systematic corruption of language in the light of the concept of the rectitude of words.

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101 I The simplest type of verbal offense is catechresis; as Hobbes explains, words with multiple meanings, "Equivocals," cause thoughts and statements to go astray when they are not used carefully and consistently. "Honor" is the word that most promotes confusion and error in The Country Wife , for it is used seventy-six times with several, 9 contradictory significations. Curtis Brown Watson elaborates on the most basic distinction: Honor, in one of its meanings, is an exclusively social virtue. Honor, in this sense, may refer to one's reputation in the community, to one's credit as a man of integrity, to the honors or rewards which are bestowed publicly as a testimony to one's virtue, to the glory and fame which one acquires as the result of exceptional or heroic accomplishments, or to the good name which is gained when one consistently behaves in a fashion which wins the respect and esteem of one's fellows. . . . But honor also refers to one's private and personal judgement of one's own actions, one's inner conviction of innate moral rectitude. Honor, in other words, relates to self-esteem as much as to public approbation. 10 Wycherley often plays with these different meanings in his verse: Since, all, your Honour call, (you say,) Is but in keeping your Good Name: Not any's Honour, or Good Name, But in their Merit, can depend. (HI, 109-10). Several of his traditional seduction poems, such as "Honour, an Enemy to Love" [III, 268), are based upon the opposition of reputation and private integrity; they typically proceed from this rationalization: "Honour [my silly Dear!) was never lost,/ By Private Act, but Public Plaint, or Boast" [IV, 46). They can also argue in the opposite direction: Never pretend to Honour more, By which, your Word, Oath, you break, Yield to me on your Honour's score. [Ill, 94).

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102 Alithea is the character most susceptible to the confusion of contradictory significations, for she shifts erratically between the private and public meanings of honor. Thus she understands honor as reputation when refusing to break with Sparkish, "Sir, to end our dispute, I must marry him, my reputation wou'd suffer in the World else" (279), but two pages later, she invokes "honour" as private, individual justification in her excuse for lying on Harcourt's behalf. Wycherley provides an analogy to Alithea's dilemma, between honor of reputation and honor of virtue, in a poem on a mistress who would be reconciled "but for Her Oath": False to thy Love, true to thy Word, to be, Had been sure, but Want of Faith in Thee, Thou, to thy Word True, hadst been False to me; Not she, who keeps a rash Oath, 'gainst a Friend, Can e'er to Truth, or Honour more pretend; But she, who breaks her Vow, to save her Love, Her Honour, Faith, by Breach of it, does prove. (Ill, 59). Alithea is in danger of using "honor" in a signification more trivial than reputation; by preserving her engagement to a fool only because of an oath, her honor becomes nothing but punctilio. Harcourt points out the weakness of this justification: ". . .if you do marry him, with your pardon, Madam, your reputation suffers in the World, and you wou'd be thought in necessity for a cloak" (280) (recalling the proverb, an unlawful or foolish oath is better broken than kept) . Alithea's difficulty with "honor" is designed to contrast with Lady Fidget's ease with the word. Unlike Alithea, Fidget does not confuse or deceive herself, because she uses honor consistently; to all her circle, "Honor, like Beauty," in Horner's similitude, "now only depends on the opinion of others" (353) . Lady Fidget then does not

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103 necessarily invert the word but rather follows the current meaning of honor as good reputation, and, to a certain extent, her usage mirrors an historical trend. In the sixteenth century, Watson argues, honor was thought inseparable from virtue; the central commonplace, deriving from Petrarch and endlessly repeated, is "Honor is the shadow of 12 Virtue." By the late seventeenth century, honor is no longer an insubstantial sign of the presence of virtue, but rather "Honor is the 13 reward of virtue." It is arguable, however, that even this altered adage does not accurately reflect the common understanding of the word: in Moral Discourses and Essays (London, 1655), Thomas Culpepper dismisses the attribution of honor to merit, concluding that such a thought "is indeed the proper subject of a declamation, but it speaks rather Utopian then good English ." Alithea speaks Utopian to Horner and Lady Fidget's good English; her honor, however mistaken, is real, theirs only apparent. " Berman argues that the Fidgets have no comprehension of the ideal behind the word "honor," but this can not be so. Even in its public, external signification, the community confers honor upon something it values, and both Fidgets clearly know that it is virtue that is valued. Moreover, Lady Fidget wants to be thought virtuous. Her terming honor a "counterfeit" jewel (353"), constitutes a tacit admission about her internal dishonor, but she nonetheless believes that what seems is as good as what is. La Rochefoucault provides the best commentary on Lady Fidget: "L 'hypocrisie est un hommage que le vice rend a la vertue." However dishonorable she is, Lady Fidget lives in a linguistic and cultural environment that values virtue, and, in consequence, she takes pains to speak and appear as virtuous as possible.

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105 20 _ points. The most outstanding example of such questionable justification is the ladies' disputation on adultery: Lady Fidget. . . . 'tis an erranter shame for a Noble Person, to neglect her honour, and defame her Noble Person, with little inconsiderable Fellows, foh! — Dainty. I suppose the crime against our honour is the same with a Man of quality as with another. Lady Fidget. How.' no sure the Man of quality is likest one's Husband, and therefore the fault shou'd be the less. Dainty. But then the pleasure shou'd be the less. Lady Fidget. Fye, fye, fye, for shame Sister, whither shall we ramble? be continent in your discourse, or I shall hate you. Squeamish. 'Tis true, no body takes notice of a private Man, and therefore with him, 'tis more secret, and the crime's the less, when 'tis not known. Lady Fidget. You say true; y faith, I think you are in the right on't: 'tis not an injury to a Husband, till it be an injury to our honours: so that a Woman of honour loses no honour with a private Person. (284). Their premises and conclusions are correct only if one accepts their definitions: if honor means reputation, quality means rank, crime is equivalent to detection, and injury consists solely in public affront, then adultery is acceptable so long as it is hidden. The desired conclusion is reached only through the use of specialized 'definitions, and the whole argument is, in fact, remarkably circular: adultery is offensive only if people take offense. The pretense is threatened only when Dainty lets slip their real subject, pleasure; Lady Fidget, however, points out that pleasure is totally incongruous with the terms of their debate and is therefore not admissible.

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106 Alithca and Harcourt have corresponding scenes of disputation, of which this is the most telling: Alithea, Love proceeds from esteem; he cannot distrust my virtue, besides he loves me or he wou'd not marry me. Harcourt. Marrying you, is no more a sign of his love, than bribing your Woman, that he may marry you, is a sign of his generosity: Marriage is rather a sign of interest, than love; and he that marries a fortune, covets a Mistress, not loves her: But if you take Marriage for a sign of love, take it from me immediately. Alithea. No, now you have put a scruple in my head; but in short, Sir, to end our dispute, I must marry him, my reputation wou'd suffer in the World else. (279). In ironic contrast to the ladies' disputation, Alithea 's intentions may be better, but her logic is even worse; her three enthymemes exhibit the most outrageous logical flaws, which Harcourt tries to correct. Her argument, in which both the premise and conclusion are incorrect, expanded, seems to follow this "Platonic" line: virtue is estimable; I am obviously virtuous and therefore estimable; Sparkish knows me and therefore knows I am virtuous, therefore he esteems me; love follows esteem and therefore Sparkish loves me. Harcourt tries to correct Alithea by introducing the essential term she has ignored, self-interest. With his last admonition, Harcourt, in effect, is forcing Alithea to argue particulars rather than generals; should Sparkish marry Alithea, 21 not should people in general marry. Alithea 's reasoning echoes Margery's answer to Pinchwife: "Ay, but if he loves me, why shou'd he ruin me? answer me to that: methinks he shou'd not, I wou'd do him no harm" (276). Margery's logic is unanswerable, for the premise, should Horner love, is not only actually

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107 false, but apparently impossible. It is difficult to analyze Margery's and Alithea's enthymemes of love because love is illogical; as in all of Wycherley's plays, the paradoxes of jealousy and faith must be accepted, and Harcourt must defy reason, evidence, and testimony to have faith in Alithea. Of all the characters, Margery should understand this best, because she follows intuitions and desires rather than reason and reasons. But she is taught the logic of lying, how to deceive in order to protect others. Her town education is, in fact, a corruption, something for which Horner and Pinchwife are equally responsible. She is forced into lying, and Chadwick is right to say that there is something 22 pathetic in the fact that she is remade in Lady Fidget's image. The audience is reminded of the adage, Melius est enim bene ignorare , quam .23 turpiter scire . II While Alithea and Margery harm only themselves with their words, the others (with the possible exception of Harcourt) continually use words to offend each other, by direct attack or deceit. As is usual with IVycherley, there is a general opposition between honest and deceitful characters, like that between Alithea and Lady Fidget. By the end, there is a similar opposition between the two deceivers, Harcourt and Horner. Sparkish claims that Harcourt is "A man of such perfect honour, he wou'd say nothing to a Lady, he does not mean" (277), and Harcourt never does deceive any one but Sparkish, whereas Horner deceives everyone but the Quack. At the climax of the play, it is Harcourt who represents honor and honesty, while Horner deliberately fails to behave like a man of honor when he willingly sacrifices

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108 Alithca's reputation (356). His is the cynical and debased honor and honesty typical of the Restoration comic rake; in She Would If She Could , Courtal mocks honesty: ". . . fie, fie, the keeping of one's word is a thing far below the honor of a gentleman." The irony of course is that the keeping of one's word is the very foundation of the honor of a gentleman; Lodowick Bryskett in A Discourse of Civil Life (London, 1606) regards honesty as "that excellent virtue that is of all others the best fitting a Gentleman, and maketh him respected and welcom 25 in all companies." But Horner lies to everyone who trusts him, boasting that he is "a Machiavel in love" (325) . A master rhetor, Horner is able "to make the worse seem the better, and to suppress truth by force of eloquence." Horner's great skill with words is most distinctive in his metaphors, and, indeed, the most fascinating and subtle verbal offenses in The Country Wife are those connected with figurative language. Hobbes argues that speech is abused when people "use words metaphorically; that is, in other sense than that they were ordained for; and thereby deceive others," a description of metaphor echoing at least two millen27 nia of rhetorical theory. The Latin word for metaphor is translatio , a translation or turning from the accepted and expected word; Quintilian's definition is representative: Words are proper when they bear their original meaning; metaphorical when they arc used in a sense different from their natural meaning. Propria sunt verba, cum id significant, in _„ quod primo denominata sunt; translata, cum alium loco praebent. The most significant word here, and one that is used in countless classical rhetorics, is propria ; the root of "proper" and "appropriate" here signifies the special, inherent characteristic or literal meaning

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109 belonging to, or fitting, or distinguishing the vehicle. In definition after definition, propria is set against translata , proper or natural against metaphorical. Thomas Wilson defines metaphor as "an alteration of a worde, from the proper and natural meaning to that which is not proper, and yet agreeth thereunto by some likeness, that appeareth to be 29 in it." One hundred years later, in 1657, John Smith employs the same terms: "A Trope is when words are used for elegancy in a changed signification; or when a word is drawn from its proper and genuine signification to another. ... A Metaphor is a Trope which notes out comparison. John Hoskyns writes, "all metaphors go beyond the signification of things," suggesting that the bond between res et verba is stretched: "A Metaphor or Translation is the friendly and neighborly borrowing of a word to express a thing with more light and better note, though not so directly and properly as the natural name of the thing would sig31 nify." English rhetoricians often considered "translation" an historical process in the evolution of language, and Abraham Fraunce's explanation may reflect the sixteenth-century writers' desire to expand the English lexicon: A trope or turning is when a word is turned from his naturall signification, to some other, so convenientlie, as that it seeme rather willinglie ledd, than driven by force" to that other signification. This was first invented of necessitie for want of words, but afterwards continued and frequented by reason of the delight and pleasant grace thereof. 32 Translation was related to sophistication not only in Fraunce's diachronic sense, for Aristotle held metaphor to be the single most distinguishing feature of speech, and rhetoricians have since regarded metaphor as the pinnacle of style, suggesting that he who has mastered 33 metaphor has mastered language.

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110 The sophistication of metaphor became the subject of increasing debate in the Restoration, when writers transform the terms of the preceeding definitions to express the suspicion that the proper, natural and genuine signification is always preferable to a subtle if not specious "turn." In the second half of the seventeenth century, metaphor came to be considered by many theorists as fundamentally misleading or, worse, deceptive, because the vehicle does not signify in its customary fashion. Language was considered contractual, and men agreed to use words like a common coinage. The speaker of metaphor disregards custom and social bonds to alter words for his own private motives; he is a coiner, flaunting linguistic "law." The gravity of this controversy is indicated in Bishop Parker's argument, "that had we but an Act of Parliament to abridge Preachers the use of fulsome and lushious Metaphors, it might be an effectual cure of all our present 35 Distempers." The following familiar attack on fulsome metaphor by Thomas Sprat is based on moral, not literary criteria, and his condemnation reads like a sermon: Who can behold, without indignation, how many mists and uncertainties, these specious Tropes and Figures have brought on our Knowledge? How many rewards, which are due to more profitable, and difficult Arts , have been still snatch'd away by the easie vanity of fine speaking ? For now I am warm'd with just Anger, I cannot with-hold my self, from betraying the shallowness of all these seeming Mysteries; upon which, we Writers , and Speakers , look so bigg. And, in few words, I dare say; that of all Studies of men, nothing may be sooner obtain'd, than this vicious abundance of Phrase , this volubility of Tongue , which makes so great a noise in the World. But I spend words in vain; for the evil is now so inveterate, that it is hard to know whom to blame , or where to begin to reform. 3"

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Ill Sprat illustrates the "Platonic, rhetorical heresy," that the truth is plain and clear, and rhetoric but a specious art that darkens the light 37 of truth. The concern over metaphor and figurative language was not the product of individual eccentricity or linguistic naivete'', but to many it was a matter of eternal salvation; one's choice of religion could determine damnation or salvation, and often that choice was dependent upon the persuasiveness of the respective churches. In his defense of Puritan metaphor, Robert Ferguson quotes this attack by Parker: "... all the swelling Mysteries of Fanaticism would immediately sink into flat and empty Nonsense; and they would be ashamed of such jejune and ridiculous stuff as their admired and most profound Notions would appear to be, when they want the varnish of fine Metaphors and glittering 38 Allusions." Wilkins alludes to the same passage in his Real Character : This design will likewise contribute much to the clearing of some of our Modern differences in Religion , by unmasking many wild errors, that shelter themselves under the disguise of affected phrases; which being Philosophically unfolded and rendered according to the genuine and natural importance of Words, will appear to be inconsistencies and contradictions. And several of those pretended, mysterious, profound notions, expressed in great swelling Words, whereby some men set up for reputation, being this way examined, will appear to be, either nonsense, or very flat and jejune. The Restoration debate over metaphor was not confined to divines and scientists, for Dryden, Sprat, Evelyn and Waller were members of the Royal Society's "Committee for Improving the English Language," and any debate over the proper mode of language would be bound to interest poets. Moreover, divine, scientist, and poet were in many cases the same man. George Williamson writes that the scientists

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112 "reflected rather than initiated stylistic reform," a reaction true for divines and poets as well; scientific essays, sermons and plays are equally part of the movement toward a "plainer" prose style. While poets could not, would not, and did not abandon metaphor, the more fulsome metaphors and extravagant conceits are increasingly held up for ridicule in characters like Dapperwit and Sparkish. There is nothing wrong with metaphor per se, but it is ridiculed when it becomes fulsome, or condemned when it is used to clothe and conceal vice. Parker's, Sprat's, Wilkins's and other's discussions of the use of figurative language in sermons do not dictate style to the poets; however, they do make the audience, if not the author, more conscious of the use and nature of metaphoric language. The two sides of the debate over the morality of metaphor corres42 pond roughly to Anglican and Puritan, but as Fish points out, the distinction is more prescriptive than descriptive, more theoretical than actual : . . . the difference between Puritan and Anglican has less to do with the formally observable components of their styles than with the use to which these components are put. That is to say, for the Puritans metaphor and the like are justifiable so long as they operate to aid the auditors understanding . . . the style is plain not because it is free from tropes and figures but because the tropes and figures are in "the service ._ of making plain the sense the sermonist wishes to communicate. The "Puritan plain style" is more likely to use illustrative or analog44 ical metaphors, and Ferguson's justification of Puritan metaphor supports this point; metaphors are designed to clothe divine mysteries "with as much external sensibility as may be; so that the disproportion between them and our faculties, being qualified and reduced, we may

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113 better and more familiarly converse with them." Anglican metaphor, on the other hand, is more likely to be presented as an idea in itself, rather than "an explanation of ideas." Webber argues that in meditative or autobiographical prose, as well as in sermons, Anglican writers tend to explore metaphors, expanding them, toying with them, or dropping 47 them only to return to the same comparison. The microcosm metaphor, for example, here will tend to have more than limited or local significance; it rather colors or informs the entire discourse, to the point where the reader is convinced that man literally, not just figuratively, is a little world. The metaphor is realized or verified in some way as a literal truth, and the distinction between literal and figurative is blurred, as the metaphor is fleshed out. In general, Wycherley's metaphors in The Country Wife conform to the "Anglican" practice, for the equation of vehicle and tenor is itself significant; the comparison between love and disease is itself diseased or flawed. Though characters like Sparkish and Sir Jaspar give little thought to the words that return to condemn them, their idle or trivial similitudes of Act One become realized by Act Five. Similitudes and metaphors do not disappear but are repeated, and with each repetition, the comparison becomes more significant. As love literally becomes a disease, rather than like a disease, language ceases to be a passive record of observation, and is dramatized in action; Horner and Pinchwife earlier comment that marrying is like trading horses, but the comparison is later realized as an ugly fact when they trade Margery.

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114 The language of The Country Wife is more obviously metaphoric than the language of the previous two plays, and, as P. F. Vernon observes, almost more than any other comedy in English; the play opens' with a 48 similitude, and there are twentytwo more in the first act. A large part of the dialogue not only consists of metaphors, but is about metaphor, as one or another character's similitudes are commented upon, expanded, completed, or corrected; similitudes also conflict when two characters supply one tenor with contrasting vehicles, or when one emends another's comparison. There is a high level of awareness about metaphor, as in Lucy's comment on Sparkish's language: "He has been a great bubble by his similes as they say--" (346). The two meanings implied here are suggestive of two uses of metaphor in the play: CI) Sparkish's auditors discover his folly by (means of) his similes; (2) Sparkish has duped himself by his similes. Both Vieth and Holland have noticed that there are two distinct types of comparison in the play, one raising love to a higher plain, 49 the other debasing it with degrading comparisons. Often a more elevated vehicle will be offered to correct a degraded one. Harcourt's language is conspicuously "celestial"; he consistently likens human love to divine love (277, 315), whereas Horner, Pinchwife, Sparkish and Lady Fidget compare love to food, disease and animals. The comparisons between food and women or loving and eating are particularly revealing because almost all of the characters draw them or object to them. Sparkish is especially prone to food comparisons, for he is always making preparations to dine; a wife is a man's " little Firkin of Ale " (335), or "loving alone is as dull, as eating alone" (304).

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115 In Barrow's words, such an equation occurs "when the mental appetite of men is become like the coporeal." Sparkish is similar to the character described in Samuel Vincent's The Young Gallants Academy (London, 1674): "No man abuses more the name of Love , or those whom he applies this name to: for his love is like his Stomach, to feed on what he loves, and in the end to surfet and loath, till a fresh Appetite rekindle 52 him." Horner compares wives to "dainties" (269), while Lady Fidget compares adultery to dining out: "I have heard people eat most heartily of another man's meat" (350). When Pinchwife makes an alimentary comparison, Alithea cannot stomach it and so corrects it: Pinchwife. — a Woman mask'd, like a cover 'd Dish, gives a Man curiosity, and appetite, when, it may be, uncover 'd, 'twou'd turn his stomack; no, no. Alithea. Indeed, your comparison is something a greasie one: but I had a gentle Gallant, us'd to say, a Beauty mask'd, like the Sun in Eclipse, gathers together more gazers, than if it shin'd out. (393-4). Horner is similarly disgusted when Sparkish draws an even more degraded version of the same similitude: Sparkish. But Harry, what have I a Rival in my Wife already? but withal my heart, for he may be of use to me hereafter, for though my hunger now is my sawce, and I can fall on heartily without, but the time will come, when a Rival, will be as good sawce for a married man to a wife, as an Orange to Veale. Horner. thou damn'd Rogue, thou hast set my teeth on edge with thy Orange. (335). Harcourt also is unwilling to accept Horner's comparison between drinking and loving: Horner. Wine makes Dorilant. Ay, Wine makes us--makes us Princes, love makes us Beggars, poor Rogues, y gad--and Wine

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116 Horner. So, there's one converted . --No, no, Love and Wine, Oil and Vinegar. Harcourt. I grant it; Love will still be uppermost. (264). Characters are differentiated by the types of similitudes they draw as well as by their ability and desire to draw them. One manifestation of Margery's naivete is her inability to use or understand figures of speech, and her sole comparison in the play is one fitting her country upbringing: she "must stay at home like a poor lonely, sullen Bird in a cage" (290). Led astray by others' words, she catches an "infection" from metaphor. Alithea's insufficient explanation of jealousy, "He's afraid you should love another man" (273), causes Margery to identify jealousy with love, and when Pinchwife appears, he leads his wife further astray with a metaphor: Pinchwife. . . . you'l make me sick too. Mrs. Pinchwife. Of what sickness? Pinchwife. 0, of that which is worse than the Plague, Jealousy. Mrs. Pinchwife. Pish, you jeer, I'm sure there's no such disease in our Receipt-book at home. (292) . She interprets his metaphor literally; if jealousy equals love and jealousy is a kind of sickness, then love is a sickness, and Margery is, in consequence, sick for love of Horner: "I have got the London disease, they call Love, I am sick of my Husband, and for my Gallant" (336). She has innocently fleshed out not only Pinchwife 's metaphor, but Sparkish's similitude as well: "Cuckolding like the Small Pox comes with a fear, and you may keep your Wife as much as you will out of danger of her infection, but if her constitution incline her to't,

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117 she'l have it sooner or Inter" (338). The comparison is particularly ironic in light of Pinchwife's earlier lie about Margery having the small pox (282) . The other characters associate innocence and literal understanding. Lady Fidget's pretense to literalism is evident in her objection to the "naked truth" (285). Horner observes that her tongue is carefully chaste (284); like Olivia, she uses only "innocent" words, confessing of Horner, "truely not long ago you know, I thought his very name obscenity, and I wou'd as soon have lain with him, as nam'd him" (290). Even privately she objects to Horner's word "impotent": "Nay, Sir, let us not be smooty; but you talk of mysteries, and bewitching to me, I don't understand you" (324). Her similitudes, drawn only when she is tipsy, illustrate her bankrupt morality: "our virtue is like the State man's Religion, the Quakers Word, the Gamesters Oath, and the Great 53 Man's Honour, but to cheat those that trust us" (351). While Lady Fidget will not admit to her understanding of figurative speech, Sir Jaspar and Sparkish glory in their cleverness, as their feeble "signs of jests" indicate (260 and 267). Because Sir Jaspar "knows" Horner is impotent, and Sparkish trusts his superior "parts," both believe they possess privileged information; thinking they are eirons, they are instead ironic dupes, victims of their own words. A man of business, Sir Jaspar is not given to metaphor, and his only similitude is drawn from commerce (326) . Though he speaks to Horner in ironic innuendo, he is often unconscious of double-entendres; he provides Horner and Fidget with the "china" vehicle. Colley Cibber's

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118 description of Sparkish also fits Sir Jaspar: ho is "a false, flashy Pretender to Wit, and the Dupe of his own Sufficiency." 54 Pinchwife's confidence that he "knows the town" makes him another dupe of his own sufficiency. With the exception of Horner, who has more than four times the number of similitudes than anyone else, Pinchwife's language is the most metaphoric. But unlike Fidget and Sparkish, Pinchwife is not proud of his speech, for he fears the power of the word when he curses Horner! "A Pox on him and his Simile" (269) . His interpretation of animal shop signs as cuckold horns indicates his tendency to leap from the literal to the figurative (300) . When Sir Jaspar asks him to communicate, Pinchwife answers, "Why, my wife has communicated" (357); verbal intercourse has become sexual intercourse in Pinchwife's suspicious mind. Holland has observed in Pinchwife's speech a strain of "quasiheroic images of hostility," which liken wives, lovers and love to enemy soldiers and war. "' When Horner suggests that her London trip should improve Margery, her husband replies, "To be taught; no, Sir, I thank you, good Wives, and private Souldiers shou'd be ignorant" (269). Horner counters with equal cynicism: "Women, as you say, are like Souldiers made constant and loyal by good pay, rather than by Oathes and Covenants" (271). Though Horner's version is somewhat less degrading, they both view women as mercenaries, that is to say as whores. Pinchwife similarly uses a traditional metaphor comparing Margery to a town or a fortress under siege: ". . . if we do not cheat women, they'll cheat us: and fraud may be used with secret enemies,

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119 of which a Wife is the most dangerous; and he that has a handsome one to keep, and a Frontier Town, must provide against treachery, rather than open Force" (323). Horner draws the same comparison: "Well, a silly Mistress, is like a weak place, soon got, soon lost, a man has scarce time for plunder; she betrays her Husband, first to her Gallant, and then her Gallant, to her husband" (354-5). Horner has succeeded with his siege, having mastered Pinchwife, Pinchwife's metaphor and Pinchwife's wife. Their most telling comparison likens marrying to horse trading: Horner. . . . that grave circumspection in marrying a Country Wife, is like refusing a deceitful pamper'd Smithfield Jade, to go and be cheated by a friend in the Country. Pinchwife. A Pox on him and his simile. (Aside.) At least we are a little surer of the breed there, know what her keeping has been, whether soyl 'd or unsound. Horner. Come, come, I have known a clap gotten in Wales. (269). "Sound" is used once again; upon Pinchwife's delivery of Margery, Horner asks, "is she sound?" (343). It is an uncharacteristically crude remark for Horner, serving to remind us of the earlier exchange. The two men think essentially alike; traffic with women is like trading horses (or cheapening china) . As Hobbes warns, metaphors can be used to deceive others, serving, in Harcourt's terms, as a "cloak" to conceal vice (280 and 299). In the china scene, Sir Jaspar and Lady Squeamish use "china" literally, while Horner, Lady Fidget and Squeamish use it metaphorically. Horner reassures Lady Fidget that she alone is privy to his secret potency; Squeamish cannot know the secret, nor partake of his illicit sexuality,

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120 because she docs not understand their "china" metaphor: "Alas she has an innocent literal understanding" (329). The passage implies that figurative language must be mastered in order to intrigue. Horner and Fidget in this scene justify Pinchwife's sexual meaning of "communicate" (357); as Morris writes, here "communication itself, the function of language, becomes the play's final charged metaphor for adultery and 57 dishonor." It would, however, be incorrect to conclude that figurative language is necessarily evil; as Fish argues in the passage quoted above, what is significant about figures is the use to which they are put. Metaphors can equally darken or enlighten, and, as always, deception is a matter of intention. Ill Metaphors are fleshed out and words return with ironic significance so consistently as to suggest something other than a complete corruption of language; rather, words are invested with a curious power that often seems to reside outside the speaker. Pinchwife is the one character most conscious of the power or efficacy of the word; he is a Restoration Archilochus who would, had he the power, "rime rats to death." He fears Horner's simile (269) and the very act of communication (357) . His imagined power over Margery is exercised over her words; in the letter-writing scene he would impose his wording on hers, substituting a style "base, rude, unmannerly" for her "very soft" one (321). His words threaten a violence that is exemplified in his threat, "Write as I bid you, or I will write Whore with this Penknife in your Face" (320), and the threat is almost realized when he twice draws his sword on her (337 59 and 357) .

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121 Pinchwife is justified in his belief in the efficacy of the word, for his own words echo a current riddle: Q. If a man calls his wife a Whore, what follows by consequence? A. That he is a cuckold. Pinchwife brings about his cuckolding by calling his wife a whore just before delivering her to Horner (32); he has educated Margery to prostitution by treating her like a whore and finally calling her one. Curses are fulfilled, metaphors are realized, and lies are verified in the last act. Margery catches a metaphoric disease from confused language of love, jealousy, small pox and great pox, just as Horner is poisoned by his original lie of disease. It is a common-place that Horner first feigns impotence but later becomes so, literally when he has no more "china," and figuratively in that he is incapable of marriage. Horner fleshes out his simile of serving the ladies like a "little squab French Page" (323), while Pinchwife realizes his threat, "a Cuckold is a kind of wild Beast" (357). This last statement is not figurative; Pinchwife is a wild beast who draws on a defenseless woman . The Country Wife , in more ways than one, illustrates the proverb, "Words once spoken cannot be called back," again, a p"roverb which Allestree invests with spiritual significance: . . . tho in our depraved estimate the Eloquence of Language is more regarded then the innocence, tho we think our words vanish with the breath that utters them, yet they become records in Gods Court, are laid up in his Archives as witnesses either for or against us, that By thy words thou shalt be justified , and by thy words thou shalt be condemn 'd , Mat . 1 273 7~]

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122 Allestrce also quotes Proverbs 26.27, "He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it, and he that rolleth a stone, it shall return to him," suggesting that he that utters a word, it shall return to him. This play presents a principle of linguistic entropy, as words return to haunt their speakers. Pinchwife's ugly comparison of "sound" horses and women (269) returns in Horner's inquiry of Margery (343). Margery repeats Fidget's phrase of Horner's sexual prowess, "to my certain knowledge" (329 and 358), and Horner repeats Fidget's pious "'tis a censorious world" (325 and 358). Repetitions, like the rimes of heroic couplets, exhibit both parallelism and antithesis, as the repetition of "sound" reveals an underlying parallelism or harmony between Horner and Pinchwife. With "'tis a censorious world," Horner's use of the phrase may be more ironic and self-consciously hypocritical than Lady Fidget; but the inescapable parallelism remains, and the two characters are subtly connected by the echo. Ironic or self-incriminating words point to each character's responsibility for his own fate, as in Pinchwife's admission, "--well, if thou cuckold me, 'twill be my own fault--for Cuckolds and Bastards, are generally of their own fortune" (292). Sir Jaspar is more responsible for his cuckolding than Horner; similarly, Horner cannot "dishonour" Lady Fidget, because she has no honor (261) . Horner especially is responsible for his metamorphosis into the sign of a man he once pretended to be. He repeats Fidget's hypocritical vocabulary and behaves like Pinchwife, damning Margery, locking her in, treating her like a horse to be traded, and willingly sacrificing Alithea. His speech is

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123 echoic (sec particularly 260), parroting others' words and attitudes. At first he can exploit others this way, by appealing to their pride in their words, but in the end he has no vocabulary of his own and must use the Fidgets' and Pinchwif es ' words; his protean lack of identity entraps him in the language he once appropriated from others. Most damning is the association of Horner with Sir Jaspar; they are connected by the mercantile strain in Horner's metaphors (see 259, 262, 266, 269 and 352) . Further, Sir Jaspar makes "business" a metaphor for Horner's sexual activity, charging Horner to "go, go, to your business, I say, pleasure, whilst I go to my pleasure, business" (290, see 286 and 305 for the same language) . Chiasmus becomes tautology, the business of pleasure and the pleasure of business become identical, and Horner's pleasure at cheapening china literally becomes business. Wycherley's poem "Upon the Impertinence of Knowledge" describes Horner's progress: But Man condemn 'd to Luxury's a Beast, Must, at another's Pleasure, drudge or rest; His Pleasure at another's leave, or take, Till he his Pain does of his Pleasure make; Must too much Pleasure, or too little have, It least too can, when he grows past it, leave; His Pleasures oft pursues, til that they grow, Of his Joys, his dissatisfactions too. (Ill, 153). Horner has become a drudge, a "little squab French Page," serving the Fidgets. Horner also loses his friends in his pursuit of pleasure; Berman argues persuasively that Horner demonstrates Bacon's view, "it is a meere, and miserable Solitude , to want true Friends ; without which the world is but a wilderness." Horner's isolation is tempered at first because he takes the audience into his confidence through his asides,

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124 but in the cud he has neither the audience nor Harcourt nor even Dorilant in his confidence. His exchange of his friends for Lady Fidget is indicated by the correspondence between the ladies' drinking scene and the earlier discussion of drink between Harcourt, Dorilant and Horner. The earlier conviviality of friendship is replaced with distasteful cynicism. His behavior toward Harcourt would indicate that Horner has accepted the advice of Francis Osborn: 'Tis a natural guard, and within the management of the most ordinary capacities, to keep an Enemy out at the Staves end; But suitable only to a superlative prudence, so wisely to govern your words and actions towards a Friend, as may preserve your self from danger: Not to be done but by communicating to him no more than Discretion or Necessity shall warrent you to reveal. 66 Like Manly, Horner treats friends as enemies, though Manly is fortunate enough to be corrected. The unhappy consequences of this behavior is made all the more conspicuous by the contrast of Horner's final solitary state with the union of Harcourt and Alithea. D. R. M. Wilkinson argues that Restoration dramatists follow Machiavelli, Hobbes and Osborn by elevating distrust to a "kind of virtue"; in Etherege, "Allegiance, like trust, belongs only to fools." Distrust is never a virtue in Wycherleyj in Act Three, Harcourt complains to Alithea, "Have Women. only constancy when 'tis a vice, and like fortune only true 'to fools?" (309), but she answers him in Act Five: "Women and Fortune are truest still to those that trust 'em" (360). There is nothing admirable or positive in Horner's boast that he has become "despis'd" (361), for he has exchanged trust, companionship and honesty for the dubious affections of Lady Fidget.

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125 Birdsall and Chadwick insist that there is no comparison between Alithea's and Horner's values, that they represent non-intersecting planes of idealism and comic realism. Wycherley, certainly, is careful to keep Alithea and Horner apart; they appear on stage together only once prior to the denouement, and only then does Alithea address Horner. Comparison and judgment are forced upon the audience as much as they are forced upon Horner, when he must chose to protect his pleasure with 69 Margery or defend virtue with Alithea. He stands on the apron of the stage, between Alithea and Harcourt on one side and Lady Fidget and Margery (peeping from behind the door) on the other. Wycherley creates an emblem of the Choice of Hercules, and Horner chooses vice over virtue, admitting, "... I am still on the criminal's side, against the innocent" (355) . Horner's complex and clever language, by making his clever conduct possible, becomes itself a metaphor for intriguing, for double meaning can generate duplicity, deception and double dealing. Alithea is, in 70 contrast, a plain dealer, insisting that "truth is truth." The tautology asserts a confidence in fundamental and apprehensible truth that is totally at odds with the radical rhetorical epistemology that Horner represents: truth is what you can make convincing . While the action of the play demonstrates that Alithea's initial position is untenable, it does not validate Horner's. None of Wycherley' s earlier characters are any where near as clever and ruthless as Horner and Lady Fidget, and when confronted with these two, both language and conduct turn out to be far more complicated than Alithea first suspects.

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126 But while Horner and Fidget seem to escape exposure in the end, Lady Fidget has actually been exposed from the beginning; the audience does not consider her honorable, and the only one who does think so is Sir Jaspar, no doubt because her honor reflects on him. She and Horner give the impression that they alone are exempt from the ordinary rules of language, that they can make words signify whatever they please, but this does not prove to be so. Their disregard for rules "violates" language no more than it overturns social conventions. She may argue that only reputation is significant, but she is fundamentally unable to disassociate "honor" from "virtue." Every attempt generates ironic undertones that emphasize the "judgmental" nature of words in this play; each character's use of a word is measured against our expectations of what that word ought to mean. In the last scene, the characters go to much trouble in order to save appearances and maintain the status quo. Bound together by their self-interest, the Fidgets, the Pinchwifes and the Squeamishes lie to each other and believe what they know to be lies; Pinchwife admits that "Cuckolds like Lovers shou'd themselves deceive" (360). Only Harcourt and Alithea behave out of something more than self-interest; acting honorably for each other, they validate an ideal and a "proper meaning of "honor." They have come, in short, to hold themselves accountable for proper meanings and standards of conduct. The conclusions are twofold: (1) there is a rectitude or ideal meaning embedded in the lexicon of the language that, synchronically, is practically unchanged by current usage; (2) a speaker is expected to attempt this signification in

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127 order to communicate. Thus words, in a sense, have to be met half 72 72 way. We praise words, says Quintilian, when they suit the matter. But we also praise matter when it suits the words. Wycherley suggests that "honor" elicits in both Harcourt and Alithea concepts that are similar enough to promote understanding and trust. Moreover in the end, he shows that they alone make the attempt to use words correctly in order to reach that understanding and trust. Notes 1. Ronald Berman, "The Ethic of The Country Wife ," TSLL , IX (1967), p. 54. William Richardson offers a much more naive and indefensible assertion: "Words, particularly words like 'honor, ' 'quality,' and 'virtue,' as well as social conventions have lost all their significance." diss., Texas Christian University, 1969, p. 70. 2. David Vieth, "Wycherley *s The Country Wife : An Anatomy of Masculinity," PLL 2 (1966), p. 348; David Morris, "Language and Honor in The Country Wife ," SAB XXXVII (1972), pp. 3-10; Alan Roper, "Sir Harbottle Grimstone and The Country Wife ," SLI , X (1977), pp. 115-23. 3. Works , VIII, p. 593. 4. "Restoration Eve" is Morris's phrase, p. 4. Chadwick (pp. 109-10) argues very persuasively that Margery is simple and not cunning; Lucy is the schemer behind her deception of Pinchwife. See pp. 340 and 358. 5. "Socialization" is Charles Ballet's term in "The Hobbesian Substructure of The Country Wife ," PLL 9 (1973) , p. 385. 6. The tripartite divison of man's relations is best known from Allestree's commentary on Titus 2.12, " That we should live soberly , righteously and godly in this present world ; where the word Soberly , contains our duty to our selves ; Righteously , our duty to our Neighbor ; and Godly , our duty to God ." The Whole Duty of Man , in Works , Oxford, 1695, p. 2. Allestree uses the same division in The Government of the Tongue , fourth edition, Oxford, 1675, p. 7, as does Barrow in his sermon on James 3.2, "Not to Offend in Word," Works , I, pp. 37 Off.

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128 7 ' Leviathan , p. 25. 8. Offenses against God will be treated in the next chapter. To Barrow and Allestree, these constitute mainly oathes, but any offense is, ultimately, an offense against God. Bacon quotes Montaigne's version of Plutarch on lying, "If it be well weighed, To say that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God, and a Coward towards Men." "Of Truth," Essays (1625)) (London: Oxford University Press, 1937), 9. Morris argues similarly, pp. 3ff. 10. Curtis Brown Watson, Shakespeare and the Renaissance Concept of Honor (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1960), pp. 11-27 The same distinction is made at length by Lovel in Jonson's New Inn , 4.4.40ff. ' ' 11. Tilley, 7. 12. Watson, p. 3 and note. 13. Tilley, H 571. C. L. Barber's study bears out this shift in usage, The Idea of Honour in the English Drama 1591-1700 , Gotenburg Studies in English, VI (1957), pp. 285-96. 14. p. 125, quoted from Jean Gagen, "Congreve's Mirabell and the Ideal of the Gentleman," PMLA 79 (1964), p. 425, no. 10. 15. Their debased use of ideal terms recalls Cicero's Paradoxica Stoicorum : "Thou mad man. Thou knoweste notte, Thou knoweste notte, I say, what powers vertue hathe. Thou usurpethe onely the name of vertue and knoweste not what power Vertue is off." Cicero Paradoxe , trans. J. Redman, London, 1540. 16. Berman, p. 54. 17. Maxims, 1678 edition, #218, Oeuvres Completes , ed. L. MartinChauffier (Paris: Gallimard, 1964), p. 432. 18. "Of Lying," in Essays Upon Several Moral Subjects , Part IV, London, 1709, pp. 134-5. 19. Berman writes that Horner is a "logician," p. 48. 20. G. A. Starr, Defoe and Casuistry (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), reviews Restoration attitudes towards casuistry, pp. 1-50. 21. The rhetorical exercise of arguing generals then particulars, or thesis and hypothesis derives from Hermagoras; see George Kennedy, The Art of Persuasion in Greece (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963), p. 21.

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129 22. Chadwick, pp. 113-4. 23. St. Chrysostom, Homily LXXV: Matthew 24,1, 2. Charlene M. Taylor, ed., (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1971), p. 39. 24 25. p. 243, quoted from Watson, Shakespeare and Honor , p. 98. 26. Francis Bacon, Advancement , pp. 12-3. 27. For a useful survey, see Marsh McCall, Ancient Rhetorical Theories of Simile and Comparison (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1969. 28. Quintilian, I, p. 111. 29. The Arte of Rhetorique , p. 172. Children, it must be remembered, were forced to memorize these definitions, and even the dullest would have gotten as far as metaphor. 30. John Smith, Mysterie of Rhetoric Unveiled , 1657, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1969), pp. 1 and 3. ton: 31. Directions for Speech and Style , ed . Hoyt Hudson, (Princetc... Princeton University Press, 1935), p. 8. The same passage is used by Thomas Blount, Academy of Eloquence , London, 1654, pp. 1-2. 32. The Arcadian Rhetorike , (1588) ed . Ethel Seaton, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1950), p. 3. For the expansion of the English lexicon, see R. F. Jones, The Triumph of The English Language , pp. 68-141. 33. Rhetoric , p. 335. 34. The coinage metaphor will be considered in the next chapter. 35. Samuel Parker, A Discourse of Ecclesiastical Politie , London, 1670, pp. 75-6. 36. History of the Royal Society , p. 112. 37. The phrase is from James Murphy, "Saint Augustine and the Debate about a Christian Rhetoric," QJS , XLVI (1960), p. 409. 38. Robert Ferguson, The Interest of Reason in Religion, with the Import ^ Use of Scripture-Metaphors , London, 1675, p. 290; Parker" Discourse, p. 76. 39. Wilkins, Dedication to the Royal Society, np.

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131 can speciously connect tenor and vehicle. To use Helen Gardner's definition of conceit, it persuades more by ingenuity than justness, a "rhetorical" trick more clever than correct, The Metaphysical Poets (Hamondsworth: Penguin Books, 1957), p. T9~! 49. Holland, pp. 78-9, Vieth, p. 344. 50. The alimentary metaphors may be an oblique allusion to the Anglican accusation that Puritan preachers stuff "their Sermons with KitchenMetaphors and Rascal Similitudes." Fergusion, p. 371. 51. Barrow, I, p. 153. 52. p. 84, quoted from D. R. M. Wilkonson, The Comedy of Habit (Leiden: Universitare Pers, 1964), p. 55. 53. Holland terms this a "right-way-wrong-way simile," where the satiric or ironic antithesis underscores the corrupt perspective of the speaker, pp. 70-1. 54. An Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber , ed . B. R. S. Fone, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1968), p. 76. 55. Holland, p. 74. 56. Even Margery may be said to have mastered metaphor in order to intrigue, for her substitution of the letter is, in a sense, the metaphorical substitution of an entire signifying chain. 57. Morris, p. 9. 58. Robert C. Elliott's discussion of the power of the word and the power of satire is appropriate: "The power seems to have resided, not in secret, esoteric spells, or in the mechanics of sympathetic magic, but in the character of the poet himself--in his command over the word. The word could kill; and in popular belief it did kill." The Power of Satire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1960), pp. 14-5. Pinchwife is neither a poet nor a satirist manque'', but he does believe in the efficacy of the -word, both fearing and perhaps envying Horner's skill. 59. Behind Pinchwife' s threat and confusion of sword and pen lies the proverb "Words hurt more than the sword," Til ley, W 839. The remark in question recalls Othello 4.2.71-72, "Was this fair paper, this most goodly book/ Made to write "whore" upon?", though the echo is probably not significant. 60. Edward Phillips, The Mysteries of Love and Eloquence , London, 1658, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1972), p. 173.

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1.32 61. Tilley, W 777. 62. The Government of the Tongue , pp. 6 and 112. 63. "Sound" is used once more of women in the Epilogue (361)., and again it is designed to reveal the speaker's crudity and brutality. 64. Cf. Pinchwife's last speech, "Cuckolds like Lovers shou'd themselves deceive" 360. 65. Berman, pp. 50ff; Bacon, "Of Friendship," Essays , pp. 107-108. Ann Righter also points out how solitary and isolated Horner appears, p. 78. 66. Advice to a Son , in Works , seventh edition, London, 1673, pp. 87-8. 67. The Comedy of Habit , pp. 32 and 121. 68. Birdsall, p. 137, and Chadwick, pp. 119 and 130. 69. Roper rightly observes that this is a difficult choice for Horner, "Sir Harbottle," p. 70, and we are certainly sympathetic. Horner is the center of attention throughout; that he is so fascinating and attractive only makes his end more discomforting to the audience. One of Wycherley's brilliant strokes is to make Horner sensitive to Harcourt's problems: "Poor Harcourt I am sorry thou hast mist her" 334. 70. Tilley, T 581. In connection with later Restoration comedy, Alan Roper writes, "The language of virtue is, as it were, 'single, ' because its function is to identify the truth in terms of itself. The language of wit is, as it were, 'double, ' because it functions by determining the relationship between things, identifying one thing in terms of another." "Language and Action in The Way of the World , Love's Last Shift and The Relapse ," ELH 40 (1973), p. 51. 71. The distinction is between the permanence of the language as a whole system (langue), and the individual utterance (parole). 72. Herein lies perhaps the most significant contribution of Restoration language schemes and theories; implicit in their dissatisfaction with existing language is the realization that the system has a will of its own and resists our attempts to signify whatever or however we please. 73. Quintilian, I, 79: laudamus enim verba rebus bene accommodata.

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CHAPTER FIVE THE PLAIN-DEALER AND THE CONCEPT OF CORRECTNESS According to John Dennis, The Plain-Dealer 's first audience "appear'd Doubtful what Judgment to form of it," until the play received the "loud approbation" of the great wits. Today readers remain doubtful, and those who do pronounce with confidence and finality usually dismiss the play's complexities; Alexander Chorney's identification of Manly as a misanthropic "humorist" reduces a "richly enigmatic" charac2 ter to a stereotype. K. M. Rogers argues that the presentation of Manly is inconsistent and the play is therefore poorly constructed, but her conclusion is untenable in the light of Percy Adams's detailed exam3 mat ion of Wycherley's careful workmanship. Rogers judges the play faulty because Manly is "both butt and hero," but Ian Donaldson concludes, I think correctly, that this "contradictoriness" is the "source of the play's energy and brilliance." With the previous three plays, we have examined language before turning to plot and theme, but language must follow theme and plot here. Judgment of Manly remains the crux of the play, for he dominates it more than Horner does The Country Wife , and other characters and events are largely significant only in their relation to Manly. Without a clear grasp of his centrality, the play seems disunified. As Chadwick has pointed out, The Plain-Dealer is almost twenty-five percent longer than Wycherley's other plays, and he attributes the sprawling plot to a lack of either control or revision. To some, the long discussion 133

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134 of wit in Act Five appears strained and extraneous; worse, T. W. Craik sees little or no connection between the main plot, Manly's pursuit of Olivia, and the subplot, Freeman's pursuit of the pettifogging Widow. Wits and lawyers, however, are not simply arbitrary targets of Wycherley's social satire, for their moral blindness is parallel to Manly's: all of them are unable or unwilling to make ethical distinctions. I shall first examine how Manly's pride prevents him from seeing the similarity between himself and those he despises, Novel, Plausible, the Widow, and, above all, Olivia. Next, Manly's proud language will be considered in terms of the concepts of linguistic law and correctness, concepts which, in turn, raise ethical questions about correctness and, ultimately, about divine correction. I A contrast is often drawn between land and sea as representative of two conflicting codes of conduct. Those who approve of Manly interpret his naval code as the primitive justice of natural law, in contrast to the complex and corrupt civil law of Westminster and the Widow Blackacre. Those who disapprove, contrast Manly's savage violence with the civility of established social institutions, however these institutions may be corrupted. From either view, the common element, and one that Ben Ross Schneider finds ubiquitous in Restoration comedy, is the opposition of the sword and the law, where the sword usually represents Q the man of honor's ability to settle his own affairs privately. In The Plain-Dealer , however, Manly's rudeness in Westminster indiscriminately yields law suits and challenges, both little better than quarrels.

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135 Manly describes the response of two men he insulted: "... one desires to know my name, that he might have satisfaction by way of Challange, as t'other by way of Writ," but it was "rather to direct his Brother's Writ, than his own Challange" (455). The challenge may be a disguised law suit, though in either case the quarrel is motivated by self9 interest rather than honor or justice. Wycherley represents the corruption of civil law by disassociating the law from justice. Not only is there no reference to ideal right or wrong, just or unjust, there is no reference to the "facts" of the case; the Widow sneers at a lawyer who "has the impudence to offer me a Reference" (to the circumstance of the case, not to a legal precedent; see 443 and note) . In her last scene, she and her Knights of the Post merrily manufacture their own evidence, having already "perjur'd," "Forg'd," and "counterfeited" (505), while earlier she boasts, "I can prove any thing" (475) . Law not only ignores justice, but it is so corrupt that it actively promotes injustice. In one of his poems against the law, Wycherley wrote: The Law then, Justice, against Reason is, Makes Men, in'th'Name of Right, do more amiss; Reward of Knaves, instead of Punishment, Meant the Support o'th'Poor, and Innocent, Yet does but cause the Wrong, it shou'd prevent; Design'd for Justice, is Oppressions Aid, Protects not good Men, nor corrects the bad; Since without Force, good Men wou'd still be so, The bad, but worse, for its correction grow, The Fradulent more cheats, but by it too; The Law's a Licence so, to cheat, rob, kill, To make the rich Rogues, live unpunish'd still, And hold, the Pow'rful, Great, can do no 111. (Ill, 135-6).

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136 By providing a forum and rewards, the law perpetuates quarreling, breeding the likes of the Widow Blackacre, who "has no pleasure, but in vexing others" (401) . Because it has no foundation in Revelation or right reason, Wycherley also disassociates civil law from natural law and divine law. In his "The Dilemma: Or, the Case of the Poor Coiner," the criminal is justified in coining rather than starving: So by one single Crime, shun doing two; Which but a Crime is 'gainst Man's Laws, or Pow'r, T'other 'gainst God and Nature, therefore more. (Ill, 129). Here we approach Wycherley' s most basic objection to civil law; it adjudicates not on the basis of morality or even reason but on custom or precedent. Manly likens a hackneyed poet to a lawyer "because he is dull, and sayes or writes nothing now, but by Precedent" (456), and the lawyer Petulant refuses to act because "that's without Precedent" (446). In "Upon the Tyranny of Custom," Wycherley writes that custom "thwarts Pow'r, Truth, Reason . . . Sense, Law, Justice" (III, 138). He uses Custom, Example, Precedent, and Prescription as equivalent terms, claiming that now people eat, drink, love and hate by example rather than by individual will or desire: Laws to the Laws, 'gainst Equity to give, Makes Men, against Rule, by Example live; By its Example, against Justice, can Make Right Wrong, or, can Wrong for Right maintain: Laws to the Laws, from Time, not Truth to give, As Old Men, for their Sense, which they out-live, From Age, not Reason, are most positive. (HI, 138). The law is self-sufficient and self-referential, looking back to itself and its history rather than to reason or Revelation for judgment, obeying neither God nor man, but itself.

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137 Because the law is so self-centered and so easily perverted to selfish ends, lawyers, like the Widow, are "at Law and difference with all the world" (401). Though the institution of civil law is designed to draw fine distinctions, in practise, it obliterates distinctions between men. The Plain-Dealer 's most impressive lawyer is Petulent, who responds to his client's query, "Yes, no; may be they are, may be they are not: what know I? what care I? ... Perhaps I do, perhaps I don't, and perhaps 'tis time enough: prey hold your self contented, Mistress" (445). In the face of Petulent's masterful indifference, all is one: clients, cases, crimes, and contracts are all indistinguishable from one another. As the Widow observes, "These are those Lawyers who, by being in all Causes, are in none" (447). With the Widow too, all those at law become a confused mass of indistinguishable claimants: " John-a-Stiles -no there are first, Fitz , Pere , and Ayle ; --No, no, Ayle , Pere , and Fitz ; Ayle is seized in Fee of Blackacre ; John-a-Stiles and the Disseisor dyes; then the Ayle --no the Fitz . . ." (403). Jerry's confusion is justified, for his mother treats all claimants like these stock names; they are all simply potential for litigation. If the Widow views everyone as a source for litigation, Novel views everyone as a butt for raillery, and, like litigation, "raillery effectively obliterates distinctions. Olivia can provide the character before she knows the man she is supposed to be describing (415). Raillery or wit tends to reduce individuals to general types, until they are all indistinguishable fools. Further, Novel's raillery is as vexatious as the Widow's pettifogging, for both wits and lawyers allow themselves the right to accuse, judge and pass sentence on their fellows.

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1 38 Novel defines wit simply as "being Mischievous" (SOI), so it is naive of Eliza to claim that there is no "Malice" in railing (410); rather, raillery is nothing but detraction and backbiting. Both Olivia and the lawyer Quaint revert to slander when then run out of arguments (493, 444) . Novel and Olivia are analogous to "the Courtiers, who laugh at wooden legs" (393, 423, 426), a repeated phrase that becomes emblematic 12 of the viciousness of raillery. Both indiscriminate litigation and indiscriminate detraction are made parallel to indiscriminate flattery, because Plausible ' s claim "to speak well of all mankind" (390) is an equally thoughtless failure to differentiate. Eliza points out that his flattery is as abusive as the wits' backbiting: "This is a Coxcomb, that speaks ill of all people a different way, and Libels every body with dull praise, and commonly in the wrong place, so makes his Panegyricks abusive Lampoons" (417) . Plausible is the pattern for Wycherley's poem, "The Universal Friend:" In Treating all alike, the Good and the Bad, You make Friends Foes, when Friends of Foes you made; Benefits, which to all alike are done, Must Welcome, or obliging be, to none; When you, betwixt Men, no distinction make, What you give all Men, you from the Best Men take. (IV, 36). I have dwelt so long on law, wit and flattery because their universal censuring is so like Manly's. When Plausible says he speaks good of all, Manly counters, "I speak ill of most men" (390). In the course of the play, that qualifying "most" appears lost, almost to the point where Manly speaks ill of all men. He is described in the dramatis personae as "nice," and like "precise" in The Gentleman Dancing-Master , "nice" implies overly discriminating. He is so nice and precise that he

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139 trusts only two people, Olivia and Vcrnish, and the play demonstrates that when he becomes too nice, he loses the ability to discriminate; in 1 3 Manly 's scrupulous eye, everyone proves fallible and imperfect. Just as the law reduces everyone to criminals, Manly comes to consider everyone false: "And, in short all Women, like Fortune, (as you say) and Rewards, are lost by too much meriting" (470). Like lawyers and wits, he assumes the right to judge and censure everyone, for he is, as Freeman observes, "severer than the Law" (396) . In his chapter "Of Uncharitable Truth," Richard Allestree condemns indulgence in personal judgment: "Indeed this rash judging is not only very unjust both to God and man, but is an act of the greatest pride. When we set our selves in the tribunal, we always look down with 14 contempt on those at the bar." Manly 's judgments are often disconcertingly contemptuous, making his and Olivia's rants similarly uncharitable; further, their speeches become noticeably echoic (cf . Olivia's, 410, and Manly's, 395-6). Where the Widow "has no pleasure but in vexing others" (401), it is said of Manly, "I never saw him pleas'd but in the fight" (391-2). Manly, Olivia and Novel lack "good-Nature," a quality Novel claims is "a sign of a Fool" (501). In "A Vindication of Simplicity, and Good-Nature," Wycherfey reverses Novel's assertion; it is for lack of these qualities that someone like Manly grows violent and brutal: Without Good-Nature, which is Charity, Ev'n the Devout wou'd serve God wickedly, Justice itself wou'd grow most Injury; The Height of which, turns Rigour, and Unjust, Friendship base Int'rest, pure Love foulest Lust; Courage but Brutal Butchery wou'd grow, Man's Guilt and Shame, but of his Honour so. (Ill, 34).

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140 Such sentiments arc echoed in Ohadiah Walker's courtesy book, Of Education , where he writes that many "trusting to their Justice and severe virtue , have bin ruin'd for neglect of compliance and civility ." Manly' s too severe standards obviate any understanding and sympathy for others' frailties, and he is totally at odds with Walker's view that civility is a mechanism that enables us to live with other imperfect beings, and that, without it, we grow bestial and brutal: For he who cares not to live void of offence towards others, renders himself offensive and odious to others; consequently they comply not with him; they act for him, if at all, by force of either reward or punishment, and therefore no more, nor otherwise, then they are constrained. Thus, for want of civil address, many men of parts and virtue become useless in their generation; but others also by their surly and uncompliant humor, grow distastful in conversation, fall into contempt, whence follow affronts and quarrels. Walker claims that it is impossible for a man to live in civilization "without mortifying his own humor," ' which suggests the underlying moral and religious imperative to civility; in his Maxims, Wycherley writes, "To be severe on our selves, and indulgent is the true Character of Christianity" (IV, 131). In Walker, Allestree, Barrow, and Wycherley, detraction, backbiting, calumny and all forms of censure are caused by pride and self -approbation: "In Discourse concerning other persons (familiar amongst Women) Backbiting , and calumny is most frequent: because all men had rather hear evil of another then good. Perhaps thinking thereby to justify their own faultiness; at best indulging their self-love, which is grounded upon a too high estimation of themselves, and too low of others." Allestree cites a multitude of Biblical injunctions against judging others, leading up to James 4.12,

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141 "There is one Lawgiver who is able to save and destroy, who art thou 18 that judgest another?" Manly is presented as an essentially good, honorable character who is nevertheless flawed and vulnerable. Donaldson argues that all the internal and external evidence, from the play itself, the prologue and epilogue, the dedication and the dramatis personae, indicates that 19 we are intended to approve of Manly. Rose Zimbardo writes, however, 20 that Manly undergoes a "fall" or "degeneration," and I suggest this occurs when we realize that his plain-dealing or censuring has become indistinguishable from the wits* or lawyers' backbiting. He proudly assumes the right to judge his fellows; setting his opinion above all others, he boasts, "I . . . am proud that the World and I think not well of one another" (397). Olivia construes this pride as self-love: ". . . for you dare give all Mankind the Lye; and your Opinion is your onely Mistress" (427). Refusing to mortify his own passions, he is not selfeffacing but self-righteous; as Olivia says, "He that distrusts the World, trusts most to himself" (482). Elevating his perceptions and judgments above everyone else's, Manly is bound to fall. Deceived by others, he loses faith in others, only to reinvest his faith in himself. Underscoring hrs self-satisfaction and self-deception is a strain of mirror, echo and parrot imagery running through the play (401, 411, 466, 479, 482). He first claims to love Olivia because she is honest and hates "fluttering Parrots of the Town, Apes and Echoes of men only" (407), but she manages to captivate him simply by reflecting his own image: "I knew

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142 that he lov'd his own singular moroseness so well, as to dote upon any copy of it; wherefore I feign'd an hatred of the World too, that he might love me in earnest" (482). That Manly cannot see through Olivia shows his inability to recognize his own image. Manly is a worthy character who falls through pride and yet is reclaimed. Stated so baldly, the plot is indeed familiar, and Zimbardo has suggestively termed Manly a morality Everyman. 21 His progress, the abasement of pride, follows the Christian cycle of disobedience, retribution, repentance and deliverance, and The Plain-Dealer thus becomes a type of Morality play. It is a progress, moreover, that has begun before the opening of the play; he enters having lost his ship, his station as captain, and his own investment of six thousand pounds (392). He has lost the other half of his fortune in jewels to Olivia (405); all his worldly goods must be stripped away, for he will not acknowledge his frailty until, like King Lear, he has nothing. He says that his family and his old acquaintances refuse to recognize or aid him (495), and worst of all, he loses his mistress, his one "true" friend, and his faith in others. Like Everyman, Manly must lose Fellowship, Cousin, Kindred and Goods before he reaches Knowledge. All that remains is his excessive faith in his own judgment', a misplaced faith which, when renounced, makes possible his restoration. The play traces the loss of Manly's goods, his degeneration into excessive pride (Olivia curses his "proud hard heart" 431), and also his increasing doubt. When first faced with Olivia's obvious betrayal, he cannot believe he was deceived; in Act One he had boasted, "I shou'd (I confess) doubt the Love of any other Woman but her, as I

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14."? do the friendship of any other Man but him I have trusted; but I have such proofs of their faith as cannot deceive me" (407) . By Act Four, he must admit, "Good Heav'ns! How was I deceiv'd!" (481). In between lie growing doubts along with aborted attempts to deceive himself, such as his violent psychomachia beginning, "But she was false to me before, she told me so her self, and yet I could not quite believe it" (467); faced with her certain falsity, he would yet be deceived into believing her true. The gradual accumulation of doubt significantly prepares for his final humbling; forced to admit that Olivia was false, he must also admit that his judgment was wrong, and not just wrong about her, but wrong about everyone important to him, Vernish, Freeman and Fidelia. In the denouement, Manly recognizes his frailty and unworthiness, and his confession (513) that he is not worthy to be rewarded with Fidelia is the sign of his renunciation of pride. For the first time, he is willing to mortify his own passions; he says to Fidelia, "I wou'd beg of you--" (513), when earlier, begging is exactly what he 22 refused to do (see 502). His repentance and deliverance from pride is admittedly compressed in the last scene, yet confession of his frailty is all that is necessary to recognize the true character of Fidelia, 23 faith no longer in himself but in another. In the Prologue, Manly describes his role as "a Fool's Part" (386), and, like that in The Gentleman Dancing-Master , the fable of this play , . 24 concerns the protagonist's voluntary acceptance of that role. Having called everyone else in the play a fool, in the last scene Manly first realizes that he has been a fool all along; as Montaigne writes, "To learne that another hath eyther spoken a follish jest, or committed a

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141 sottish act, is a thing of nothing. A man must learne, that he is but a foole: A much more ample and important instruction." Humbly accepting his fool's part, admitting others are more worthy than he, Manly can be rewarded with Faith itself. As in all of Wycherley's plays, women and fortune are not so blind as Freeman and Manly claim (469-70), but always "truest to those who trust 'em." II Manly 's fall and redemption are dramatically represented in his diction as well as his behavior. Initially, he conforms to his titular role, plain-dealing in contrast to Olivia's and Vernish's double-dealing. With him, plain-dealing largely means the correct use of words, or "etymology" in its seventeenth-century meaning, when it was considered the lexical part of language, defined as the "true choice," or "true notion" 27 of words, or "right-wording." Manly is obsessed with his own rightwording, and, more significantly, the right-wording of others, for he continually corrects others' speech. When Plausible calls him "my dear Friend," Manly responds, "With your pardon, my no Friend" (389), refusing to allow an acquaintance to call himself a friend. He characteristically claims the right "to call a Rascal by no other title, though his Father had left him a Duke's" (390), just as he emends Plausible's vow upon his honor to "Upon your Title, my Lord, if you'd have me believe you" (388). His right-wording contrasts sharply with the "eloquence" of the Widow's lawyers, such as Quaint, who brags of his ability to darken any argument with specious and deceiving sophistry: "I will, as I see cause, extenuate, or examplifie Matter of Fact; baffle Truth, with Impudence; answer Exceptions, with Questions, tho' never so impertinent;

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145 for Reasons, give 'em Words; for Law and Equity, Tropes and Figures: And so relax and enervate the sinews of their Arguments, with the oyl 28 of my Eloquence" (444). The Widow's language inverts Manly's practice: "Let your words be easie, and your Sense hard, My Cause requires it. Branch it bravely, and deck my Cause with Flowers, that the Snake may lie hidden" (444) . It would seem as if Manly exemplifies the correct use of words in contrast to the lawyers who represent the abuse of the art of persuasion. Subordinating meaning to effect, the pleaders substitute copious wording for sense, so they can talk around rather than to the point: "bluster, sputter, question, cavil; but be sure your Argument be intricate enough to confound the Court" (445). Nevertheless, it would be misleading to construe Manly's speech as a corrective, for it too becomes confusing, querulous and contentious. Cynthia Matlock applies to Manly an appropriate aphorism from Halifax: "A man that should call everything by its right Name, would hardly pass the streets without being knocked down as 29 a common enemy." "Plain-dealing is a jewel," but, the proverb often continues, "they that use it die beggars." Manly's refusal to accept others' wording and to comply with common usage makes his speech not just harsh, but uncommunicative. Even if he had the be'st of intentions, if he refuses to speak so as to be understood, his language will be, like forensic sophistry, impenetrable. Manly and the Widow Blackacre, for example, cannot communicate with each other because they are too self-centered; they could be speaking mutually unintelligible languages for all the sense that passes between them.

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146 Manly presumes to sot his own rules for speech, rather than follow communal standards. In consequence, his too strict definitions are as inappropriate for modern conversations as his "nice" judgments are too harsh for fallible people. His definition of "friend," for example, is so foolishly restrictive that even Marianne Dashwood would not agree: "I . . . can have but one Friend, for a true heart admits but of one friendship, as of one love" (395). The failure of his too exact and restrictive meanings is demonstrated by his own inability to follow them. Like Alithea's, Manly's use of "honor" is inconsistent; in Act Three, he tells Fidelia that Olivia's rejection "concerns more than my life, my honour" (441), but when Fidelia questions whether his continued pursuit of Olivia is honorable, he claims to act "out of revenge" (442). Eventually he so confuses honor and revenge as to use them interchangeably: Manly. Come, you have my leave; and if you disgust her, I'll go with you, and act Love, whil'st you shall talk it only. Fidelia. You, Sir! nay, then I'll never go near her. You act Love, Sir.' You must but act it indeed, after all I have said to you. Think of your Honour, Sir, Love-Manly. Well, call it Revenge, and that is Honourable: I'll be reveng'd on her; and thou shalt be my second. (468) There is nothing honorable in Manly's debased idea of revenge, save his careless use of the word. His linguistic "fall," his perversion of "honor" to "revenge," is emblematic of his moral fall; words are selfishly manipulated for self-deception. His sophistry here may recall such contemporary statements as that by Du Vair, who writes, "Injury and Revenge are no other than the same sin under diverse excuses: they

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147 both have the same end which is anothers harme." In seeking revenge, Manly descends to the cruelty of Vcrnish and Olivia who can laugh at a wooden leg, and be pleased with another's discomfort. Furthermore, he resorts to the Widow's tricks, commanding Fidelia to "flatter, lie, kneel, promise, anything to get her for me," and to save for Olivia all her "insinuating Arguement, " "soothing persuasion" and "Rhetorick" (442). Manly' s overly nice concept of the proper meanings of words, like his overly severe standard of conduct, degenerates into brutal judgments and brutal actions. Following the word "honor" but not the virtue, his language and conduct become no better than these of the other fools and knaves he condemns. He is concerned no longer with plain-dealing, but uses his words more to conceal than reveal thoughts and emotions. From the Widow's Norman-French legal language to Novel's mere "Roar, and making a Noise" (500), each character's speech reveals his self-centered, almost solipsistic nature, for they are more concerned to hear themselves 32 speak than to make themselves understood. Manly utters the most perfect expression of the refusal to listen, telling Jerry, "You may talk, young Lawyer, but I shall no more mind you, than a hungry Judge does a Cause, after the Clock has struck One" (403) . Speech after speech opens with "Peace," or "Hold," or "Tell me not," for few characters are willing to listen to any but themselves. We hear throughout the play the continuous, selfish talk of "those Fops who love to talk all themselves" (415). Manly connects these fops with lawyers: "one can no more stop [lawyers'] mouths, than a Wit's, when he talks to himself" (402). The Widow commends Mr. Quaint: "You are so copiously fluent,

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148 you c;m weary any ones oars, sooner than your own tongue" (444). Novel especially exemplifies aggressive talk for its own sake: "Talking is like Fencing, the quicker the better; run 'em down, run 'em down; no matter for parrying; push on still, sa, sa, sa; no matter whether you argue in form, push in guard, or no" (500); this is his response to Manly' s claim that "always talking; especially too if it be loud and fast, is the sign of a Fool" (500). Manly tries to correct such nonsensical and selfish talk by assuming the authority to set strict standards, laws of conduct and speech, somewhat the way other contemporary authorities concerned themselves with problems of linguistic propriety. Attempts to describe the English grammar raised questions about regularity and linguistic law, while the possibility of an academy raised the attendant problems of the "authority" who was to write the grammar. The reformation of language curriculum 33 also stirred up conflicting pedagogies. ~ Latin was commonly taught as 34 if it were regular and rule bound, but writers like Ascham and Joseph Webbe argued that this view was misleading because all languages evolve 35 accidently through usage. At the same time, theorists like Bassett Jones and Pierre Besnier thought they had discovered, in the analogy between forms, the true rationality and regularity of L'atin. Furthermore, the language schemes of Urquhart, Dalgarno, and Wilkins were supposed to be superior to existing, irregular languages, because these 37 synthetic codes were perfectly rational and regular. Such a regular, consistent, and perfect system would not allow the kind of deviation from proper meaning that Manly charges Freeman with:

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149 how many Lords Families (tho' descended from Blacksmiths, or Tinkers) hast thou call 'd Great, and Illustrious? how many ill Tables call good eating? how many noisie Coxcombs, Wits? how many pert Coaching Cowards, stout? how many taudry affected Rogues, well drest? how many Perukes admir'd? and how many ill Verses applauded? (496) Quintilian's sensible discussion of grammatical analogy and 38 anomaly remained very influential; he rejects analogy as a serious grammatical tool because it is "based not on reason but on example, nor is it a law of language, but rather a practice which is observed, being in fact the offspring of usage." Usage, over reason, antiquity and authority "is the surest pilot in speaking, and we should treat language as a currency minted with the public stamp." The coinage comparison is the paradigmatic nominalist metaphor; Bacon writes that "words are the tokens current and accepted for conceits, as moneys are 40 for value." It is, however, a strikingly ambiguous metaphor because all coins were supposed to contain their inherent value in metal. The value of words can be said to be based on the social or linguistic contract, and meaning is accepted by the community; or, the meanings of Wilkins's arbitrary signs are assigned as base metal acquires its value from an authoritative stamp. Hobbes uses the metaphor to reject authority, antiquity and tradition: "For words are wise mens counters, they do but reckon by them: but they are the money of fooles, that value them by the authority of an Aristotle , a Cicero , or a Thomas , or 41 any other Doctor whatsoever, if but a man." The worth and meaning of words ought not to be established, according to Bacon and his followers, in any common market, but in the philosophical marketplace, Gresham College. This authority would not permit someone like Novel, in Manly's words, to "make the name of a Wit as scandalous, as that of Bully; and

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ISO signifie a loud-lnughing, talking, incorrigible Coxcomb; as Bully, a roaring, hardned Coward" (502). When he lectures Freeman on "intrinsick worth," Manly uses the coinage metaphor to reject communal standards: "but counterfeit Honour will not be current with me, I weigh the man, not his title; 'tis not the King's stamp can make the Metal better, or heavier: your Lord is a Leaden shilling, which you may bend every way; and debases the stamp he bears, instead of being raised by it" (394) . Characteristically suspicious, Manly follows the practice of weighing for himself each gold coin, to verify its value and weight. So too, he weighs each word and person, accepting nothing on faith or the community's recommendation. He ignores the fact that even gold has no intrinsic worth, and is valuable only as a medium of exchange. Rejecting the whole concept of social interdependence, he trusts only his own scale. Manly simply will not accept others' words, for he rejects them and their sentences; in Westminster, Oldfox, the Lawyer, the Alderman, and especially Freeman profess their friendship for him, yet he rejects the meaning they attach to the word (457-464). He commonly contradicts others by reversing their statements, responding "nay," "but," "rather," or "you lye" (see 422). In Act One, Manly contradicts and corrects Plausible, then his sailors, Freeman, Fidelia, and finally the Widow. The argument over authority is part of the question of whose should be the model speech. Like Cicero, Thomas Wilson counsels his readers to speak like the many, not the few; the authority for speech is general usage or custom, not the refined speech of scholars or aristocrats: we ought to eschew affected phrase and "ynkehorne terms,

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151 but to spcake as is commonly received." " One hundred years later this is echoed by Sprat; scientists achieve their "purity" by "preferring the Language of Artizans, Countrymen, and Merchants before that, of 43 Wits, or Scholars." Dryden's view is much more aristocratic than Sprat's, giving credit "to the Court; and, in it, particularly to the King," for refining English speech and manners. His advice to speak like the best, not the most, has the sanction of Quintilian, in this passage that Jonson translates: Custome is the most certaine Mistresse of Language, as the Publicke Stampe makes the current money . . . Yet when I name Custome, I understande not the vulgar Custome: For that were a precept no lesse dangerous to Language, then life, if we should speake or live after the manner of the vulgar: But what I call Custome of speech, which is the consent of the Learned; as Custome of Life, which is the consent of the good. Wycherley follows the classical and aristocratic bias of Quintilian, Jonson, and Dryden in his discussion of fashions in language; the authority for language comes from the best speakers, not the majority: Another Vice, which likewise is of the Growth of Ignorance, is a Vanity of expressing our selves in obsolete Terms, and out of the Road of polite Conversation; of drawing down Words, perhaps good in themselves, that have not been heard since our Forefathers wore Ruffs and Shoestrings : Whereas fine Words out of Use are as ridiculous as fine cloathes out of Fashion . What is still more barbarous, is, that every Scribbler thinks he has the Priviledge of minting Words and Phrases , of tossing about Metaphors at Discretion, and making his own Jargon the Standard of a Language : These are Fops in Literature , that make as awkward a Figure as Apes in Humane Cloathing. It is only the Business of great Wits to legitimate Words and Modes of Speech, as it is of great Gallants to invent and introduce the Modes and Fashions of Garb. (IV, 108) Wycherley' s moderation between authority and usage is essentially the same as Pope's in his Essay on Criticism:

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152 In Words , as Fashions the same Rule will hold; Alike Fantastastick if too New , or Old : Be not the first by whom the New are try'd, Nor yet the last to lay the Old aside. 46 His deference to "great Wits" notwithstanding, Wycherley endorses above all the current and accepted fashion, that which has been coined and validated by the community. But rather than accept their usage, Manly defines "friendship" for Freeman and Fidelia, "honor" and "revenge" for Fidelia, "ceremony" for Freeman and Plausible, "wit" and "fool" for Novel and Plausible, and "courage" for Oldfox, Manly' s dictatorial attempts to correct others' use of words counters a tendency in the play toward verbal anarchy, where the overwhelmingly selfish and solipsistic nature of speech seems to threaten language as a social system, for the meanings of words shift from moment to moment and from speaker to speaker. Olivia best represents such anarchy in her criticism of The Country Wife , where she claims the right to "ravish a Poet's innocent words" (379), and declare whatever meaning she likes. Wycherley would have us believe that she projects her own prurience on his innocent words; she possesses a "touchstone" (379) enabling her to identify "clandestine obscenity" (420). She is like The Character of the Town Gallant (anon., London, 1675) : "The Devil has taught him a Chymistry, whereby, he can extract Bawdry out of the most modern language." Most amusing is her treatment of china; fleshing out the metaphor, she allows the figurative signification to color, not just the tenor, but the vehicle, and the thing itself. She insists to Eliza that the one use of "china" in one scene by one playwright has forever transformed the meaning of the word.

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153 Manly's and Olivia's speech is nonetheless similar in that they both assume the authority to dictate meaning. Even seventeenth-century language theory did not justify such one-man rule; Wilkins calls upon the aid of all his fellow collegians to establish a lexicon. Whether the authority for meaning resides in antiquity, current fashion, or even scientific or Lullist taxonomy, this authority always resides in some group, though the suggested groups are as various as all speakers of English, the Colleges, the Court, Londoners, all learned or all virtuous men. Manly's attempt to correct others' speech is doomed to failure, for it is not just proud and vain but ineffectual; like the exercise in defining wit, correction is worthless if Novel does not listen. People can be forced to speak correctly no more than they can be forced to think and act correctly. How can he presume to dictate the meaning of "friend" to Lord Plausible when he himself has so little comprehension of the word as to misinterpret Freeman's and Fidelia's friendship? Manly's correction of speech and conduct grows out of his certitude and self-confidence in his own judgment. Emending others' words, he rejects usage and custom for his own self-sufficiency, clearly preferring, in speech and conduct, his own to any communal rules. His" humbling forces a return to dependence upon the community; he accepts aid from his friends when he bends to their signification of words. He accepts Freeman's and Fidelia's friendship as he understands their definition of "friend," abandoning his own foolishly restrictive definition.

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154 III For all of Manly's honesty, he is consistently unable to recognize 48 the same quality in others; he counsels Freeman to speak from the 49 heart (396), but is himself unable to read the play's one true example of the language of the heart: when Fidelia weeps, Freeman responds, "Poor Youth.' believe his eyes, if not his tongue: he seems to speak the truth with them" (399). Unable to recognize sincerity, Manly rejects her. The sincerity of such tears is curiously matched in Fidelia's description of Olivia's eye language: "Her tongue, I confess was silent; but her speaking eyes gloted such things, more immodest, and lascivious, than Ravishers can act, or Women under confinement think" (466). This elemental, non-verbal communication expresses a truth that Olivia refuses to convey in her words. As in all of Wycherley's plays, underlying truths come to light whether characters will or no, and we have seen this most often in the fulfillment of ironically true words. In Act One, claiming that a man can only be betrayed by his friend, Manly brags, "but I have such proofs of their faith, as cannot deceive me" (407)--only to be betrayed by his friends. Olivia connects Manly's jewels and her honor: "I dare not ask [my husband] for* your Jewels again, to restore 'em to you; lest he shou'd conclude you never parted with 'em to me, on any score, but the exchange of my Honour" (429). Of course Manly retrieves the jewels through the exchange of Olivia's honor, as her husband correctly surmises. The most often noted example of the fulfillment of the word is the curses which Manly and Olivia

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L55 exchange, curses which are realized down to the letter (430-1). Olivia herself becomes suspicious of the prophetic powers of words, forbidding Fidelia to utter her husband's name because "I mention *d my Husband but once and he came" (510, and he comes again) . These magical or prophetic or efficacious qualities of words, their tendency to expose unintended ironies, all seem to reflect the interpositions of Providence. The particular type of special Providence most evident in The Plain-Dealer is the fortuitous interruption of conversation and action. The divine efficacy of interruption is apparent in the Widow's escape from aural rape (507), and Fidelia's escape from actual rape (488), both by interruption. Interruption again reveals Olivia's C422) and Vernish's (510) double-dealings. As Barrow, and others, never tired of saying, "the sudden detection or seasonable obstruction" of "pestilent enterprises," is a "character of special Providence": "God's secret efficacy doth suddenly restrain and repress" offenses • u50 against Him. Interruptions, however, do not always appear to be divinely inspired. Consider the following exchange: Vernish. But, methinks, she that granted you the last favour, (as they call it) shou'd not deny you any thing-Novel. Hey, Tarpaulin, have you done? (Novel looks in, and retires again.) Vernish. I understand not that point of kindness, I confess. Manly. No, thou dost not understand it and I have not time to let you know all now, for these Fools, you see, will interrupt us. (503) Novel's fortuitous interruption is secretly efficacious in that it prevents Manly from revealing his deception of Olivia, and, in

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156 consequence, Vernish is tricked into revealing his treachery in the last scene. Novel's interruption is, moreover, typical of verbal interruptions in The Plain-Dealer , which reveal not so much the interpositions of Providence as the self -centered nature of men. Manly 's and the Widow's first "conversation" [402) is composed entirely of interruption, and later Oldfox complains to the Widow, "0 Lady, Lady, all interruption, and no sense between us" (471). Olivia's constant interruption of Novel (413-16) demonstrates her self-centered desire to dominate the conversation. I believe that the unintended or unknowing interruptions of action, such as the servant's frustration of Vernish' s attempted rape of Fidelia, and the verbal interruptions, such as Olivia's disruption of Novel's speech, are not parallel events but are diametrically opposed; the former appears to represent the machinations of special Providence, effecting, in and through the will of man, Its ends, while the latter appears to represent the sheer perversity of the individual will. Barrow warns that the detection of Providence is a difficult matter: "Divine and human influences are so twisted and knit together, that it is hard to sever them. The manner of divine efficacy is so very soft and gentle, that we cannot easily trace its footsteps.'^ Olivia's, the Widow's, Novel's, and often Manly's deliberate, selfish rudeness underscores the nature of speech as a moral act of will, for if, as Barrow writes, "A good governance of speech is a strong evidence of a good mind," interruption is an inability to govern speech. Manly learns that good governance can only come from within, and the external

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157 imposition of absolute standards can never substitute for self-control: "Hence it is, that speech is commonly judged the truest character of the mind, and the surest test of inward worth, as that which distloseth the hidden man of the heart, which unlocketh the closets of the breast, which draws the soul out of her dark recesses." Despite the perversity of the individual will, the omnipresence of deception and the debasement of words, a Tightness, or correctness, or rectitude of words paradoxically remains immutable, and this rectitude derives from God. The divine sanction need not descend directly from the original, real lingua humana , nor be synthesized in any second, scientific, real character; rather, it is inherent in the Logo-centric universe, ever contingent upon the word of God. The Logos , in Latin ratio and oratio, reason and speech, is that which makes reason and speech possible, the divine presence in man, and his ability to understand his duty to himself, others and God. However ambiguous, equivocal, or transient the meanings of words may be, seventeenth-century linguists appear confident that our reason can grasp a "proper," or "natural," or "right" meaning. The medieval speculative grammarians argued that meaning of significance is "imposed" on things by "the creator of language," and this argument still held true in the Renaissance. If all language, codes and signs originate with God, the primal encoder, the Logos within man ensures linguistic competence. I have argued that words, in a sense, have to be met half-way, and this can be seen as the meeting of the divine and individual will. Discussions of lying assert that God is the assured auditor to every conversation, internal or external. Having been created homo significans, man is

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158 enjoined to use his language correctly; in Proverbs 18.21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue," and in 21.23, "Whoso keepeth his mouth and tongue keepeth his soul from troubles." It is as if seventeenth century moralists and linguists envision the Creator as a cosmic grammarian; Allestree quotes Matthew 12.37, "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." The ironic fulfillment of unintended truths is a type of divine correction, both moral and grammatical, as "He doth secretly restrain His outrage." Good governance and the individual control of the will run counter to Manly's positive rules; his absolute standards have no place in the sub-lunary world, and the humbling of his pride is accompanied with a parallel movement from certitude to doubt. The contumacy he displays for the first four acts is a manifestation of "a culpable" self-confidence, and the last act traces the generation of not only Manly's but also Vernish's doubt; in his long soliloquy (504), Vernish's confidence is completely undermined. In the following scene, the Widow demonstrates her claim, "I can prove anything" (475), as she manufactures "facts" and "evidence" by forging deeds and hiring witnesses; in effect, she renders "fact" and "truth" meaningless words. This* scene leads directly into Manly's enlightenment, where he is shown to have been wrong about everything and is forced to understand that certainty is not a condition of this world; he must, as Holland writes, be taught 58 his own mortality. Donne's exposition of the word "surely" is appropriate: "This word, surely, in such cases, in such senses, is not your

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159 mothers tongue, not the language of the Christian Church. . . . But absolutely, unconditionally, this surely is appropriated to the propositions, to the assertions of God himselfe." Faced with Fidelia's sudden change of sex, for the first time Manly has nothing to say, no opinion and no positiveness . His offer to her is in the conditional and not, as it had been all along, in the imperative mood: "I wou'd beg of you . . ." (513). Manly has finally come to care for the manner as well as the matter of his expression, having learned that how it is said is just as important as what is said. Notes 1. The Critical Works of John Dennis, II, p. 277. 2. "Wycherley's Manly Reinterpreted," in Essays Critical and Historical Dedicated to Lily B, Campbell (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1950), p. 162. "Richly enigmatic" is from Ian Donaldson, "'Tables Turned:* The Plain-Dealer ," in The World Upside-Down (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970), p. 103. 3. K. M. Rogers, "Fatal Inconsistency: Wycherley and The Plain-Dealer ,' ELH, XXVIII (1961), pp. 148-62; Percy G. Adams, "What Happened in Olivia's Bedroom? Or Ambiguity in The Plain-Dealer ," in Essays in Honor of Esmond Marilla (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971), pp. 174-87. 4. Rogers, p. 156. 5. Donaldson, p. 104. 6. Chadwick, p. 136. 7. "Some Aspects of Satire in Wycherley's Plays," ES, XLI (1960), p. 175. 8. The Ethos of Restoration Comedy (Urbana: University of Illinois Press), 1971), pp. 72-95. 9. Oldfox's sword is a similarly useless tool, designed for vanity rather than honor, p. 458.

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160 10. Cf. Wycherlcy's Maxim CCXCI: "He who lives in the world must do like it, and be in the Wrong, if lie would be thought to be in the Right; since Example and Custom, more than Prudence or Truth, are seen to govern it" IV, 140. This is a commonplace; see Ramble's oppositions of custom and nature in The Country Wit (1675), The Dramatic Works of John Crowne (1874, rpt. New York: Benjamin Blom, 1967), Vol. Ill, p. 45, and Rochester's "A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind," L. 98-111, Complete Poetry , ed . David M. Vieth (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), p. 98. See also Milton's Of Reforma tion (1641): "...neither ought Custome to hinder that Truth should not prevaile, for Custome without Truth is but agednesse of Error." Complete Prose (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1953-), I, p. 561. 11. In a suggestive essay, "Character Change and the Drama," Harold Rosenberg argues that the law "must define the individual not as an entity enduring in time but by what he has done in particular instances. . . . The law is not a recognizer of persons; its judgments are applied at the end of a series of acts. With regard to individuals the law thus creates a fiction, that of a person who is identified by the coherence of his acts with a fact in which they have terminated (the crime or contract) and by nothing else." Litigation obliterates distinctions by excluding individual exigencies, peculiarities and extenuating circumstance, reducing complex personalities to accused or condemned "criminal," The Tradition of the New (1959, rpt. New YVrk: McGraw Hill, 1965), p. 136. 12. Cf. the repeated vow refusing a shilling to save someone from hanging or starving, 460, 480, 502; it is representative of the cruelty of the wits. Barrow considers backbiting a bestial use of speech: "Lastly we may consider that it is a grievous perverting of speech, (that excellent faculty, which so distinguishes us from, so highly advanced above us, other creatures,) to use it to the defaming and disquieting our neighbor. It was given to us as an instrument of beneficial commerce, and delectable conversation; that with it we might assist and advise, might cheer and comfort one another; we might therefore in employing it to the disgrace, vexation, damage, or prejudice in any kind of our neighbor, do fouly abuse it, and so doing, render ourselves indeed worse than dumb beasts: for better far it were that we could say nothing, than that we should speak ill." i, p. 186. 13. Cf. Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici , sec. 57: "Those who upon rigid application of the Law, sentence Solomon unto damnation, condemne not onely him, but themselves, and the whole world." Prose , ed. Norman Endicott, (New York: Norton, 1972), p. 64. 14. Government of the Tongue , pp. 86-7.

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16] 15. Obadiah Walker, Of Education , Oxford, 1673, facsimile, (Scolar Press, 1970), pp. "206, 210 and 211. In contrast to Love in a Wood , where the treatment of prudence may be somewhat more idealistic, civility and prudence in The Plain-Dealer appear to represent the simple consideration of one's fellows. 16. Walker writes that "a good Christian , for the glory of God, mortifies all his own passions and humours, and puts on those, which are for his purpose, and according to his intention." p. 211. 17. Walker, p. 246. 18. Allestree, Government , pp. 107-8. Cf. Browne, Religio Medici , Part II, sec. 4: "No man can justly censure or condemne another, because indeed no man truely knowes another ... .Further, no man can judge another, because no man knowes himself e." p. 73. 19. Donaldson, pp. 101-5. 20. Zimbardo, pp. 86ff. 21. Ibid ., p. 141. 22. For the first time, Manly uses the language of civility: "I beg your pardon" 514 . 23. Cf. Barrow's "Of Faith:" "To the begetting of faith there must concur humility." II, p. 188. 24. Vernish boasts of Manly, "I'll lead the easie honest Fool by the Nose" 480. 25. Essayes , III, p. 333. Holland writes that The Plain-Dealer "is, like all great comic art, encomium moriae ." p. 109. 26. In the last scene it is almost as if Manly recapitulates St. Paul's concept of Christian history, from the Old to the New Testament, from law to faith. See particularly Galatians 3.11-3. 27. Roger Ascham, The Schoolmaster (1570), p. 14; Ben Jonson, The English Grammar , in 1640 Works ; Milton, Grammar (1669), Works (New York: Columbia University Press, 1931), VI, p. 287. 2S. Forensic rhetoric in The Plain-Dealer corresponds to Huntington Brown's "indenture style," which is described as massive and difficult, swelling and prolix; it is designed to embody its authority, and to exclude the uninitiated. Prose Styles , Five Primary Types (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1966), pp. 90-124.

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162 29. "Parody and Burlesque of Heroic Ideals in Wychcrley's Plays," PLL 8 (1972), p. 286. The Halifax aphorism comes from Works , ed. Walter Raleigh (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1912) , p. 246. 30. Tilley, P 381 and P 382. 31. The Moral Philosophy of the Stoicks , trans. Charles Cotton, London, 1667, p. 83. Cf. Jeremy Taylor's view of revenge: "But revenge is the disease of honour, and is contrary to the wisdom of men as dwelling in rivers and wallowing in fires is to their manner of living, and he who out of pretence of valour pursues revenge, is like to him, who because fire is a glorious thing, is willing to have St. Anthonies fire in his face." The Golden Grove , Selected Passages of Jeremy Taylor , ed. Logan Pearsall Smith (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1930), pp. 168-9. This passage comes from the 1674 edition of The Worthy Communicant , p. 301. 32. Fidelia's blank verse especially seems to separate her from the others . 33. See, for example, Samuel Hartlib, The True and Ready Way to Learne the Latine Tongue , London, 1654, facsimile (Scolar Press, ~971); John Drury, The Reformed School , London, 1651, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1972). Both were followers of Comenius. 34. See Jeremiah Warton, The English Grammar , London, 1654, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1970), and John Hewes, A Perfect Survey of the English Tongue , London, 1624, facsimile (Scolar Press, "1972) . 35. Joseph Webbe, An Appeal e To Truth , London, 1622, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1967), pp. 26ff; anon., An Examen of the Way of Teaching the Latin Language to Little Children by Use Alone , London, 1669, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1969). 36. Bassett Jones, Herm 'aelogium : or an Essay at the Rationality of the Art of Speaking , London, 1659, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1970); Pierre Besnier, A Philosophical Essay for the Reunion of Languages , trans. Henry Rose, Oxford, 1675, facsimile (Scolar Press, 1971). 37. In Ars Signorum , George Dalgarno reduces grammar to one principle part of speech, the noun; for an analysis, see Ian Michael, English Grammatical Categories and the Tradition to 1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970), pp. 241-7. 38. For the origins of this debate, see F. II. Colson, "The Analogist and Anomalist Controversy," Classical Quarterly 13 (1919), pp. 2436. 39. Quintilian, I, p. 119 and I, p. 113.

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163 4 . Advancement , p . 159. 41. Leviathan , p. 29. 42. Thomas Wilson, The Arte of Rhetorique , p. 112. 43. History , p. 113. 44. Watson, ed . , Of Dramatic Poesy , I, p. 181, "Defense of the Epilogue. " 45. Herford and Simpson, Works , VIII, p. 622; Quintilian, I, p. 131. Cf. Horace, Ars Poetica : si volet usus ,/ quern penes arbitrium est et ius et norma loquendi , 1. 71-2. See also, Cratylus 435 a ff~ 46. Eds. E. Audra and Aubrey Williams (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961), I, p. 276. The editors cite analogous passages from Dryden, n. 335. 47. Sig A 1 , quoted from Wilkonson, The Comedy of Habit , p. 57. Walter Montague writes of the deliberate distortion of another's meaning, "methinks this is one of the most censurable parts of this liscentiousnesse, in regard it laboureth to taint the whole body of conversation, as it corrupteth the nature of words, which are the Publique Faith , whereupon all innocent discourse must needs trust itself; so that this perversion seemeth a publick impediment to the commerce of all vertuous communication; wherefore this distorting of equivocal words, which passeth commonly for a triviall peccancy, if it be well examined, will be found a very dangerous admission; for me thinks this may be termed a verball adultery, as it vitiateth and corrupts the property of another, which would have remained innocent without that sollicitation, and therefore seemeth much a fouler fault, then a single incontinency of our own words." Miscellanea Spiritulaia or Devout Essayes , London, 1648, p. 143. """' "' """ "" " 48. Holland writes, "One must look underneath the linguistic surface to tell if the speaker speaks the truth but Manly is unwilling to admit that he must." p. 104. 49. This passage alludes to Alceste's demand, "Je veux qu'on soit sincere, et qu ' en homme d'honneur,/ On ne lache aucun not qui ne parte du cocur." The Plays of Molicre , ed. A. R. Walker, (Edinburgh: John Grant, 1926), Vol. V, p. 6. 50. Sermon XI, "On The Gunpowder-Treason," I, p. 115. It should be noted that though Manly laughs at poetic justice in the Prologue, he announces its presence: "And where else, but on Stages do we see/ Truth pleasing, or rewarded Honesty?" p. 386. Poetic justice is conspicuous throughout Wycher ley's four plays; all characters receive strict justice, usually at their own hands, as virtue is rewarded and vice punished.

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161 51. Oldfox's comparison, "What, Interruption still? the plague of Interruption! worse to an Author, than the plague of Critics!" (472J, reminds us of the interruptions players and dramatists had to endure from the pit. 52. I, p. 111. 53. I, p. 141. 54. I, p. 141. 55. See Ian Michael, English Grammatical Categories , pp. 14-22, but especially 16-17. He quotes Richard Kilwardby (d. 1279), to the effect that though signs are accidental and mutable, the universal grammar is permanent; meaning, signification, order and reason remain, however individual words change, p. 17. Milton writes quite simply in Logic , "languages .. .are without doubt divinely given," linguae . . . diviitus procludubio datae sunt . Columbia Works, XI, pp. 218-221. "'" " "" 56. Allestree, Government , p. 6. Montague quotes the same text in a very similar context; we may speak carelessly, "thinking such words weigh as little as the breath that carries them, for we know that even all those nulls and ciphers, in our reckoning, are set upon account to us. I will therefore close up this caution with that terrible animadversion of the Gospel 1, Bv_ thy words^ thou shalt be justified , and by thy words condemned ." Miscellanea Spiritualia , pp. 112-3. 57. See Barrow, Sermons LXI-LXIII, Vol. I, p. 621-11, p. 12, particularly II, p. 1. These three sermons distinguish between justified and culpable self-love. 58. p. 106. 59. Janel M. Mueller, ed . , Donne's Prebend Sermons (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971), p. 82.

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CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSION: TRYAL MAKETH TRUST In St. Thomas More's Utopia , when Hythlodaeus complains that his ideal philosophy would be rejected by politicians, More responds, "But there is another philosophy, more practical for statesmen, which knows its stage, adapts itself to the play at hand, and performs its role neatly and appropriately." This classic statement of the contrast between idealistic, or absolute, or transcendent philosophy and Ciceronian rhetoric poses the central ethical problem of Wycherley's plays. The conflict in Love in a Wood between resilient pragmatism and rigid or fixed idealism is an ethical crux that Wycherley returns to again and again. We have viewed this contrast in terms of two codes of conduct, one understanding the necessity of adaptation, or even dissimulation, the other insisting upon perfect honesty. The Country Wife vividly contrasts the persuasive and protean Horner, whom we associated with Ciceronianism, with the upright and unyielding Alithea. Though Horner may abuse persuasion, Harcourt adjusts rather than abuses speech in order to win Alithea. Again in The Plain-Dealer , Wycherley contrasts a protean and expedient Freeman with the rigidity and self-righteousness of Manly. Such contrasts have been examined in the light of various character's expectations of what their words can accomplish. Where Valentine and Manly tend to insist upon or pronounce what they feel are uncompromising truths, Ranger, Harcourt, and Freeman are far more conscious of the need to persuade their auditors; they embrace the 165

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166 hortatory aims of Ciceronianism. Manly and Valentine, on the other hand, speak of facts, truths, and rules; either Christina did or did not break her vow--there can be no middle ground. They expect their questions to be answered yes or no, just as one is either friend or enemy to Manly. (Alithea is similarly given to the false dichotomy: "Besides he loves me or he wou'd not marry me" 279.) Their confidence in facts, rules, right or wrong, irrespective of speaker and situation, reflects the indicative or assertive aspects of the scientific theory of speech. A character like Fidelia fits into neither category, but can be associated with some of the features of the expressive or 2 Senecan theory of speech. Her idealism has little to do with right or wrong, true or false, but rather concerns a private and personal type of emotive truth. She does not participate in Manly' s and Freeman's disputations on conduct, for she neither persuades anyone nor asserts anything. Nonetheless, her affection for Manly is, in its way, an incontrovertible fact, a donne, to which she remains true. The absolutes or ideals which she affirms are not the truths or facts of scientific discourse, but personal and private values that come from within. Of these three kinds of speech, the scientific or mimetic is shown to be the most vulnerable and inadequate in Wycherley's plays. Christina's and Alithea's rigid notions of honor are definitely shaken and altered in the course of the plays, while Manly's assurance in absolute rules and confidence in his judgments of others are greatly undermined. Such confidence springs from pride, and his rigid speech and judgment must be tempered with some doubt, some awareness of

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167 imperfection, some humility. He expects everyone to speak as he docs, and to speak the same no matter whom they address, arguing that only the message is important. Again, this practice corresponds to scientific language theory, which effaces author and audience; such speech is shown to be naive or overconfident and ineffectual. If scientific speech proves to be an inadequate model, we are still left with the same crux, between the relative and resilient pragmatism of Ciceronianism, and the personal fixity of Senecanism. The relationship between these two is best examined in those characters who have mastered both, Ranger, Gerrard and Harcourt. I have argued that even though Harcourt dissimulates, he still achieves an honesty with Alithea. To some extent, the language of all Wycherley's male protagonists is transformed in the course of the plays. There can be no question that in the social intercourse of these plays, some caution, or adaptation, or prudence, and even some dissimulation is necessary. The consciousness of audience that Ciceronianism teaches is essential for self-protection, something that even Margery learns. In the courtship plot, the protagonists achieve between them honesty, openness and trust, the kind of truths Fidelia represents. Ranger and Lydia pass through a stage of persuasive, tentative, skeptical verbal sparring until they become honest with themselves and each other, a progress followed by all of Wycherley's successful couples. The language of Wycherley's fools, on the other hand, may be said to represent the failure of persuasion. Dapperwit, Monsieur, Sparkish and Novel are extremely self-conscious; they always seem to worry about

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168 what they should he seen to be saying, in their effort to convince others that they are what they are not. This failure to persuade indicates a fundamental inability to speak successfully. In a much quoted passage, Descartes makes language the mark of rationality; while animals can utter the same sounds as men, they are incapable of forming infinitely variable sentences which respond appropriately to each new situation. Like Descartes' magpies, Wycherley's fools speak in borrowed phrases, cliches, and aped sentences, which never quite answer to the situation. Dapperwit can not respond to the point, because he is not supple enough to follow and participate in a flowing conversation [see 36-7). The speeches of these fools tend to stagnate, like the unrelenting series of cliche's, the dialogue of non sequiturs, that Swift strings together in Polite Conversations . Monsieur's behavior, for example, is always imitative, or mediated by some model of what he would like to be, and thus he can never act spontaneously; his statements always reflect received rather than considered opinion. Civility often demands that one mediate his conduct according to an acceptable model. Further, received opinions are the stock in trade of the rhetorician, but where he can always achieve his end, working with and around common-places, Wycherley's fools are bo'und by them. They never persuade, and never attain original, or spontaneous, or even appropriate utterance. Resilience and appropriateness raise again the essential concept of decorum. While Novel can only speak one way, Manly learns to adapt his words to the situation. So too, all of Wycherley's protagonists

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169 learn that practical and prudent Ciceronian speech, which is necessary for public utterance, in private, can be replaced with Senecanism. These two stages of language conform with the stage of the couple's relationship. The initial skepticism of Ciceronianism gives way to the assurance of Senecanism in much the same way that Hippolita explains jealousy; the lover may doubt his worthiness and his success, but once he has been assured, he ought to have learned to trust (219). Thus trust overcomes doubt, caution and prudence. Senecan rhetoric is not necessarily superior, for prudence and circumspection are necessary to the best of men, and even Fidelia must "suit her style to her coat" (see 315) before she reveals herself. Still, they are happiest who reach a state where prudence and circumspection are unnecessary; I believe it is suggested in the plays that the language of trust is more than one in a series of poses, but is something special, a culmination, or a goal reached. The courtship plot thus consists of the passage between the two stages of language and can be summarized in the adage "Tryal Maketh Trust." The closing state of trust is the result of the testing of the protagonists, as trust is reached by way of doubt. Skepticism paradoxically asserts the primacy of faith, and faith and trust are of such paramount importance in all of Wycher ley's work that he must be considered a fideist. In his Maxims, he writes, "The Merit of our Faith in God is to believe implicitly, without any Appeal to Reason" (IV, 135). 8

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170 The rectitude of words and actions that we have sought throughout is similarly reached by trust and faith, and not by rational or absolute assurance. Walter Montague, under the heading "Courtship and Conscience Reconciled," admits that perfect honesty and humility in a courtier is a will o'the wisp: "But this perfect rectitude of our lips is not to be hoped in this our state of crookednesse of hearts; for our words are cast off from their moulds." He continues, however, that though "we cannot rectify this shape of our distorted nature," we are 9 expected to try. So too, in Donne, rectitude is found in men's will toward God; in a sermon on Psalms 64.10, "And all the upright in heart shall glory," he expatiates on the fact that "rectitude" is "uprightness" in Latin, merging Tightness and uprightness. This rectitude is not a perfect or absolute condition, which would be impossible in this world, but rather a matter of attitude and intention, the will to do what is right: "That disposition that God proposes here in those persons, whom he considers, is Rectitude, Uprightness, and Directness." This is a perfect formula for correct speech and conduct in Wycherley; Rectitude, Uprightness, and Directnesse appear in the language of the heart of Christina, Hippolita, Alithea and Fidelia, that language which Valentine, Gerrard, Harcourt and Manly must learn. Notes 1. Works of St. Thomas More , ed . Edward Surtz and J. 11. Hexter (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965), Vol. 4, p. 99. 2. These analogies between the characters' language and my linguistic categories are far from exact; this version of Senecanism differs from the Stoicism we began with, but the essential features arc still present, especially the stress on the self as the measure of all things. The insistence upon honesty and openness, as well as the axiom that virtuous conduct is always possible are recognizable in Fidelia's behavior.

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171 3. Discourse on Method , trans. Laurence Lafleur (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1960), pp. 42-3. Noam Chomsky claims that this is the central contribution of Descartes to linguistic science, Cartesian Linguistics (New York: Harper and Row, 1966); the problem Descartes raises in distinguishing human from automaton is the subject of Hugh Kenner's The Counterfeiters (New York: Doubleday, 1973). My subsequent paragraph has echoes of Bergson's theory of comedy, contrasting the organic and the mechanical, but I prefer to derive this, at least tangentially, from Descartes, someone whom Wycherley would unquestionably have known. 4. I employ Rene Girard's paradigm of triangular or mediated behavior, where the subject's desire is generated, not by the object itself, but by a mediating figure or model, who would desire this object; spontaneous desire is not mediated. Deceit , Desire and the Novel (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1962) , pp. l-52~ 5. See Chapter One, p. 9 and note 29. 6. Wycherley's justification for rhetoric is, in this respect, closer to Aristotle's than Cicero's, and closer still to the Christian rhetoric of St. Augustine or Bacon; Bacon writes, "as Plato said elegantly, 'That virtue, if she could be seen, would move great love and affection'; so seeing that she cannot be showed to the sense by corperal shape, the next degree is to show her to the imagination in lively representation." Further, "the duty and office of rhetoric is to apply reason to imagination for the better moving of the will." Advancement , pp. 169, 168. Though Platonic idealism or perfect rationalism are desirable, they are too much to expect from fallen men; the passions therefore must be recognized and dealt with. Rhetoric then is necessary in this world, but higher truths are understood to exist. See also Chapter One, note 35. 7. John Lyly, Euphues , ed . Edward Arber (London: Constable and Co., 1923), p. 48; see also Tilley, T 585. 8. Cf. Maxim CXVI: "Tis our Faith, not our Reason, must make this, as well as the other Life, happy or unhappy to Us: " Since by Faith the present good Fortune is made lasting, and the bad dissipated; whilst Sense and Knowledge, which are overapprehensive, beget in us Fears, and multiply Affliction" (IV, 121), and Maxim CCLXII: "A Man must renounce his Reason to prove his Faith; as the best Way to see the Light at Break of Day, is to put out the Candle" (IV, 137) . 9. Walter Montague, Miscellanea Spiritualia or Devout Essayes , London, 1648, p. 112. 1 . Donne ' s Prebend Sermons , p . 119.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Abrams, M. H. The Mirror and the Lamp_. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1953. Adams, Percy G. "What Happened in Olivia's Bedroom? Or Ambiguity in The Plain-Dealer . " In Essays in Honor of Esmond Marilla . Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971, pp. 174-87. Adolph, Robert. The Rise of Modern Prose Style. CambridgeMIT Press 1968. Alcuin. The Rhetoric of Alcuin and Charlemagne . Trans. Wilbur Samuel Howells. 1941; rpt. New York: Russell and Russell, 1965. Allen, D. C. "Style and Certitude." ELH , 15 (1948), 167-75. Allestree, Richard. The Government of the Tongue . Oxford, 1676. . Works . Oxford, 1695. Aristotle. The Art of Rhetoric . Trans. John Henry Freese. Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1926. Nichomachean Ethics . Trans. Martin Ostwald. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1962. The Art of Complaisance or the Means to Oblige in Conversation . London, 1677. Ascham, Roger. The Schoolmaster . Ed. Lawrence V. Ryan. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1967. Augustine, Saint. Basic Writings . 2 Vol. Ed. Witney Gates. New York: Random House, 1948. Bacon, Francis. The Advancement of Learning . London: Oxford University Press, 1960. . Essays . London: Oxford University Press, 1937. Works . 15 Vol. Ed. James Spedding, et al. London, 185874. 172

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184 Wilkins, John. An Essay towards a Real Character and A Philosophical Language . London, 1668. Facsimile. Menston: Scolar Press, 1968, Wilkonson, D. R. M. The Comedy of Habit . Leiden: Universitare Pers, 1964. Williamson, George. Senecan Amble . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951. Wilmot, John, Earl of Rochester. Complete Poems . Ed. David M. Vieth. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974. Wilson, F. P. Seventeenth-Century Prose . Berkeley: University of California Press, 1960. Wilson, Thomas. The Art of Rhetorique . Ed. G. H. Mair. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909. Wycherley, William. The Complete Plays . Ed. Gerald Weales. Garden City: Doubleday, 1966. Works . 4 Vol. Ed. Montague Summers. 1924; rpt. New York: Russell and Russell, 1964. Youngren, William H. "Generality, Science and Poetic Language." ELH XXXV (1968), 158-87. ' Zimbardo, Rose. Wycherley 's Drama . New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH James Peter Thompson was born July 24, 1951, in Cambridge, New York, and educated at Brandeis University, The Johns Hopkins University and The University of Florida. 185

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Aubrey L. Williams, Chairman Graduate Research Professor of English I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. , -) I ; John M. Perlette Assistant Professor of English I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. C. John Sommcrville Associate Professor of History This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. June 1978 Dean, Graduate School

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