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ŮÚū. 2
(‚ŮŚ„Ó 6)

—őńŇ–∆ņÕ»Ň

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over forty other English towns and cities that would not exist but for
him. Man can only argue that Money has two sides to his coin and
the other is destructive, simultaneously undermining this creation of
England with temptation and crime, covetousness and poverty. Inter-
estingly, this debate remains convinced that money is controllable,
containable, and can be handled to good ends if only people would
choose to use it properly; but human beings were evil, jealous, and
covetous before Money came into the world, as evidenced by the murder
of Abel (A4, A6v).
In apparent contrast, Health takes little time to assert that ‚Ęwelth is ever
waverynge‚Ä™ and ‚Ęfugitive‚Ä™ (A2v‚Ä“A3). The wavering quality reminds us of
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
34
the stereotypical inconstancy of the English that Sara Warneke has out-
lined,29 and as such indicates a very English quality and perhaps suggests
that the problem lies once again with the handler and not the goods. But
Health‪s critique of the anthropomorphized Wealth insists that although
wealth is a good thing per se, it cannot exist as a stable commodity or
attribute to a native national identity, but causes domestic and inter-
national rifts because of the way in which it transfers itself from person to
person or realm to realm. Wealth does not seem to have a conscience or
any dedication or loyalty to one being ‚Ä“ a revelation that devastated
Everyman. It is dangerous, then, for it is an unstable subject, traitorous (or
at least mercenary) in that it is ‚Ęmutable‚Ä™, ‚Ęcruell‚Ä™, and ‚Ęever waverynge‚Ä™
(A2v), and those very characteristics put Wealth‪s claim that he has always
been in England into doubt. Craik notes that ‚Ęthere is a satirical impli-
cation that wealth was not known in England during the previous reign (of
Edward VI)‚Ä™, and this raises further questions.30 Where has Wealth been if
not in England? Where did Wealth come from in the Ô¬Ārst place? That
Wealth is also, according to Health, ‚Ęhauty and proude of name‚Ä™ would
point the Ô¬Ānger at the Spanish in the late-sixteenth-century English mind.
The epithet ‚Ęfugitive‚Ä™, too, combines many characteristics that alienate
Wealth from sound Englishness: the word denotes Ô¬‚eeing, vagabondage,
immateriality or fading away, banishment and exile. So we should not be
overly surprised when Hance the Dutchman later insists that Wealth is
not at court but in Flanders and later again that ‚Ęwelth is lopen [walking]
in an ander [another] contry‚Ä™ (D2). How we read such a line depends on
whether we consider the play performed in Marian England, perhaps at
court, or in the Ô¬Ārst year of Elizabeth‚Ä™s reign. From March to July of 1557
Philip was in England convincing Mary to help him in his war against
France. Against the majority of her advisers, Mary joined her husband‪s
conÔ¬‚ict by declaring war on 7 June, and by 5 July a Ô¬‚eet had left England
to hold the French at bay while Spanish ships traded through the
Channel with the Lowlands. Prior to this engagement a signiÔ¬Ācant
amount of public money had been spent on reÔ¬Ātting the navy, this in a
time of dearth that spanned the two years preceding the war and an
inÔ¬‚uenza epidemic that was to last until the end of the decade. Wealth
could not be seen as prospering at court, then, for it had indeed, as Hance
suggests, been drawn out of the realm and into hulks in the service of
Spain. Moreover, wealth is being passed via Spain to Hance‪s Lowlands,
where trade is rife. Although the name Hance/Hans for a Dutch character
is conventional, there is almost certainly an allusion here to the long-
standing tension between the English and resident Germano-Lowland
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 35
aliens in the community of Hanseatic merchants. Forming a widespread
European trading network, these merchants were active in England well
before their ofÔ¬Ācial fourteenth-century establishment as a league; they
were restricted in their social interaction with the English but possessed
custom breaks and trading privileges that consistently caused protests
from native merchants. The following year, Mary‪s humiliating second
pregnancy and fatal disease prompted another question that shifted the
material observation just made to an ideological one: if no heir was
arriving, was this a sign from God, too, of the realm‪s lack of moral
wealth?
The feeling of Spanish imposition in Wealth and Health, and the
weight more generally of the alien already resident in England are early
forces that encouraged the writing and more often translating of anti-
Spanish tracts and plays in England in the later decades of the century.31 If
there is one concept that could not be considered part of the Spanish
consciousness in these writings, it is that of Liberty. Through these tracts
to the very affecting late-Elizabethan plays of the fall of Antwerp (The
Weakest Goeth to the Wall and A Larum for London), it is the hidden
political and religious deceptions of the Spanish (the ‚Ęill‚Ä™ in their ‚Ęwill‚Ä™),
their sexual lust, bloodthirstiness, and unwillingness to negotiate that
erase liberty in the cities and lands they conquer. So when the character
called Liberty enters to Wealth and Health and neither of them recog-
nizes him, it is the loaded word ‚Ęstrange‚Ä™ that he uses in response to his
isolation: ‚ĘAbsence is cause of straungnes, / What looke ye on werwhy are
ye so straunge‚Ä™ (B); ‚Ęyour strange wordes alytle did greve me‚Ä™ (B2). Wealth
and Health, the one with a compromised national identity from the start,
the other who will be corrupted by the alien in the end, are like repre-
sentative book-ends, the alpha and omega of alienated Englishness within
which range ‚Ä“ and especially while Spain and England are contiguous
political entities ‚Ä“ Liberty must be a stranger. Liberty, therefore, denotes a
concept of Englishness, for he has been estranged from this alienated
country and will be ‚Ękept in duraunce and captivite‚Ä™ by alien enforcement;
or, as Health puts it, ‚ĘBy wast & war‚Ä™ (D2v), the latter epithet the one
applied to Hance the Dutchman (B4), representative as he is of the
draining of the country‪s wealth to the Lowlands.
Such exclusion of Englishness is maintained, moreover, ‚Ęthorow yll
wyll, and shrewdwit‚Ä™ (D2), the Spanish-tainted devil-vice and his thieving
sidekick, for England cannot be harmed ‚Ębut wyth falsehod or stelth‚Ä™
(C3). Illwill enters as the vice ‚Ęwith some jest‚Ä™ (B2), but he has also been
summoned like a devil; Liberty has simply mentioned ‚Ęwyll‚Ä™ and the vice
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
36
appears with ‚ĘMar[r]y I am come at the Ô¬Ārst call‚Ä™ (B2). Like a devil (and
like a Catholic Spaniard to the reforming Protestant English in a 1558 or
later text), Will is a self-confessed ‚Ęchylde that is pas[t] grace‚Ä™ (B3), an
epithet echoed by Remedy in his interrogation of Will and Wit, whom he
calls two ‚Ęchyldren that be past grace‚Ä™ (C3v). Wealth notices that Will is
‚Ęvery homely‚Ä™ (B2v), intimating not just nativity and rusticity, but also
uncomeliness, a disÔ¬Āgurement and ugliness that tends toward a devilish
identity. Health apologizes to Remedy that ‚ĘI am homely to come her[e]
in your prese[n]ce thus diseased‚Ä™ (D2), indicating visible deformity. In the
period, that outer complexion or ugliness would also lead to the suspicion
of inner corruption, which Wealth expresses in his dismissive ‚ĘDryve him
away quickly‚Ä™ (B2v). When Will is questioned about exactly whose will he
is, he claims to be everyone‚Ä™s and anyone‚Ä™s: ‚ĘI am your evyll wyll / your
wil, & your will, & your will‚Ä™ (B2v). Liberty resorts to that word
‚Ęstraunge‚Ä™ again and declares that ‚Ęthis cannot be / For in our wyles is
great diversitie / For one is not lyke another‚Ä™ (B2v). English Liberty Ô¬Ānds
the concept of a single, mutable ‚Ęwill‚Ä™ ‚Ęstrange‚Ä™ and alien, and indeed he is
right, because he is talking to the vice who will corrupt Englishness. Will,
however, does not claim to represent a new phenomenon: he is the alien
already within, the image behind the pattern, and for all the diversity that
Liberty claims, Will insists that the essences of ‚Ęevyll wyll‚Ä™, ‚ĘThe maddest
wyl, and the meriest‚Ä™ (B2v) are embedded to be brought out of native and
alien alike. Will can play with this concept of being inside Liberty (and
every other character) to emphasize the pathological trope of the alien as
insidious foreign body.
As we shall see, moreover, just as Wealth of the realm is implicated in
an infusion of Spanish blood into the English circulation, so Will proves
to be the Ô¬Ārst of the powerful trinity of what Jonathan Gil Harris terms
‚Ępoisonous bogeys‚Ä™ that were the frightening, inÔ¬Āltrating ‚Ęforeign bodies‚Ä™
in sixteenth-century England: Catholics, Jews, and witches.32 Harris
points out that in the second quarter of the sixteenth century, the idea of
the body politic was increasingly being understood and ideologically used
in terms of national boundaries;33 this localization substituted universality
and made the concept of penetration of that body so much more available
for metaphorical rhetoric and, in the case of immigrant aliens, of course,
physical demonstration. Harris‪ study of William Averell‪s Mervailous
Combat of Contrareties (1588) shows the later century‪s shift onto obser-
vation of those national margins and in particular an understanding of
corruptive disease as something breaking in from the outside through
weaknesses and ‚Ębreaches‚Ä™ in the body politic rather than as something
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 37
inevitably embedded in the complexional model of humoral theory.34
The ‚Ędeformation‚Ä™ of Christianity in The Tide Tarrieth No Man and the
‚Ęabomination‚Ä™ of Lady Conscience in The Three Ladies of London play out
this new understanding of invasive disease. As early as Wealth and Health,
however, the notion of internal bodily balance is being pierced by the
possibility of a foreign body‪s invasion as Will claims that he and Liberty
‚Ębe of one consanguynitie‚Ä™ (B2v):
Wyl and lybertye[ ]is, of aunciterie olde
with out lyber[t]ye, wil[l] dare not be[ ]bolde
And where wyl lacketh, lybertye is full colde
Thyrfore wyl and lybertye must nedes be of kyn. (B3)

In doing this, Will is causing a mutation and a deformation of the host
body. Michel Serres‚Ä™ theory of the parasite has shown the inevitability of
foreign presences within a new structure (there are always rats at the table
or in the cellar of the new-built house); and within the biological body
the parasites feed off the host while keeping it alive.35 The morality plays
and interludes do not separate the physical from the moral or the personal
from the communal: through The Tide Tarrieth No Man and The Three
Ladies of London, physical damage to the body indicates moral corrup-
tion, and religious or ethical deformation is displayed physically; the
damaging effects of one character on another are those forces that anyone
in a community might encounter. As Remedy works out how difÔ¬Ācult it
will be to reform the people of the country, then, he insists on the
inextricability of national identity with personal bodily and spiritual care
as he outlines his ‚Ęa[u]ctoritie‚Ä™ over ‚Ęthe comon welth, & helth both of the
soule and body‚Ä™ (C2v‚Ä“C3). In these plays of characteristic nomenclature,
too, Remedy has an apt warning for all:
Take hede in any wise exchewe yl & shrewd compani
yf a ma[n] be never soo good & use w[ith] the[m] th[at] be unthrifti,
He shal lese his name, & to some vice they wil him te[m]p[t];
therfore beware of such people, & from them be exempt[.] (C3‚Ä“C3v)

Even a good man might ‚Ęlese‚Ä™ ‚Ä“ lose, loose, or lease ‚Ä“ his name. To lose a
good name will mean to gain a bad one or be nameless; to loose the name
might be for it to roam and be degraded (like the compounds of Ill and
Will or Shrewd and Wit); and to lease a name might be to lend one‪s
name to an alternate, corrupting activity, thus staining a reputation.
‚ĘLease‚Ä™ also means to glean or to gather, and thus a bad name is gained
(again, an ‚ĘIll‚Ä™ or a ‚ĘShrewd‚Ä™) by association with the unthrifty. Serres‚Ä™
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
38
parasite outlines the everyday alien within that never needs to be
acknowledged, diagnosed, and treated; but in the quest for representation
of some inherent identity, a wealth and health based in a concept of
Englishness, the ways in which that alien body manifests itself must be
addressed. Will perverts the right sense of ‚ĘLiberty‚Ä™ to make it a
‚Ęlicentiousness‚Ä™ ‚Ä“ as Love will become Lust in Three Ladies ‚Ä“ that allows
Will to ‚Ębe bolde‚Ä™, dangerous, evil. His presence in turn is like the vice
Courage in The Tide Tarrieth who ‚Ęincourages‚Ä™ others to act illicitly; Will
turns ‚Ęcolde‚Ä™ Liberty into hot licentiousness. Liberty should of course be a
well-balanced, neutral protector of English Wealth and Health, as he
claims earlier in the play (Bv‚Ä“B2), and Will is upsetting Liberty‚Ä™s humoral
balance. When he house-sits for Liberty, Will has given ‚ĘPipe whore hop
theef, every knave and drabe‚Ä™ (Dv) free licence for debauchery, and
Liberty is at pains to insist on ‚Ęliberalitie competent‚Ä™, hospitality and
behaviour appropriate to his standing.
This enemy of the realm, Will, reveals his national colours almost by
chance. When questioned by Remedy, the only character in England that
Will actually fears, Will comically enters a linguistic disguise by speaking in
‚ĘSpanish‚Ä™: ‚ĘMe is un spy[ ]nardo compoco parlavare‚Ä™ (D3). A. J. Hoenselaars
reads this episode as ‚Ęa shrewd attempt to capitalize on pro-Spanish
sentiments prevailing in court circles‚Ä™. He writes that Illwill‚Ä™s ‚Ęchoice of
nationality suggests that, despite the anti-alien policy of Good Remedy,
to be taken for a Spaniard still involved certain privileges not to be
expected by other foreigners like Hance Berepot‚Ä™.36 Indeed, it could be
argued that the English criminal Illwill expects the Spanish ‚Ędisguise‚Ä™ to
protect him, either because political sensitivity of the moment gives him a
kind of diplomatic immunity, or because a Spaniard would not be
thought guilty of Illwill‪s crimes. In performance, however, the initial
reaction of a playgoer to this sudden switching of identity would probably
be superÔ¬Ācially to connect Illwill ‚Ä“ that evil inÔ¬‚uence that insinuates its
way into our unwilling self ‚Ä“ with the Spaniard. The sudden (attempted)
transformation of the character suggests the closeness of the two identities
he represents in these exchanges. Thus Laura Yungblut seems right in
thinking of this as ‚Ęa moment of agitation‚Ä™ in which Illwill ‚Ęreveals his true
identity‚Ä™,37 for this would indeed conÔ¬Ārm the revelation of the alien within
Will. However, to read it non-ironically probably misses the point. We
must remember that this character is Illwill, one who presents himself as
Will but has ulterior motives; such deceptiveness was consistently at play
in the anti-Spanish Marian tracts and in Remedy‪s line about foreigners‪
‚Ęfalsehod or stelth‚Ä™.
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 39
Health‚Ä™s response to Will‚Ä™s Spanish, ‚ĘThou folse [t]hefe is thine English
tonge gone‚Ä™ (D3), then, becomes an ironic comment on the doubleness of
English-alien identity throughout these plays. While this play does not do
much with linguistic identity (an issue I address further in following
chapters), this simple question highlights the impossibility of a single
answer: yes, his English tongue is gone for he has always been foreign, alien,
and anti-English; no, his English tongue is not gone, for he has always been
the will within the English, a force that prompts English expression.
Remedy‚Ä™s complaint that ‚ĘI can not tel what thou dost mene, babbler!‚Ä™
suggests an alignment of Spanish ‚Ębabble‚Ä™ with aspiring Babel and its evil
will that dares to rival the heavens. Remedy‚Ä™s demand ‚ĘBut y[o]u shalt
speake English & confesse an other mater‚Ä™ (D3), moreover, suggests the
belaboured and torturous enforcement of Englishness necessary in the
process of reformation as represented in these plays. The allusion to
‚Ęconfession‚Ä™ in Remedy‚Ä™s speech (and presumably ‚Ętruth‚Ä™, as spoken by all
good English subjects) makes an interesting ripple on Remedy‪s waters of
English superiority and purity; the Catholic babble would be the language
of the group Elizabeth Hanson notes constituted ‚Ęthe most visible and
vocal victims of English torture‚Ä™, that non-judicial practice occurring
between the mid 1560s and mid 1580s.38 The protection of the realm from
the alien would seem to entail making the foreign language speak, confess,
expose itself; here the Spanish is, of course, an ugly outside rendering the
corruption of the inner Will. By getting through to the English language,
Remedy assumes he will get his confession; such an identity, though,
cannot be drawn out and separated from the internal alien that remains
‚Ęfree Will‚Ä™ after the threats of imprisonment and that apparently ‚Ęnaturally‚Ä™
spurred Will‪s Spanish improvisation.
We get close to exorcism in this case: the ‚Ęhomely‚Ä™ Illwill is physically
deformed by his corruption, ‚Ęso croked, by Ô¬‚attery, diss[im]ulation, &
such other‚Ä™ (D4) (Dissimulation being the character who will cause the
corruption of Lady Love in The Three Ladies of London), and he must
be examined and contained for ‚Ęthe devyl and yl wyl is both of one
complexion‚Ä™ (D4) ‚Ä“ apparently a crooked, deceptive, dark, Spanish
complexion. This latter observation builds on an ethnicized alien-Spanish-
devil-pride cluster that will be more overtly presented at the end of Like
Will to Like, where Nichol Newfangle the vice ‚Ęrideth away on the Devils
back‚Ä™ to Spain (F). In Enough is as Good as a Feast, Friar Bacon and Friar
Bungay, and Histriomastix the destination would be hell, but Newfangle‪s
twist at this point is to declare ‚ĘFarwel my masters til I come again, / For
now I must make a journey into spain‚Ä™. The alien is ubiquitous; it is
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
40
always present and it always escapes. Will‪s last lines in Wealth and
Health are the deÔ¬Āant ‚ĘLock us up & kepe us as fast as ye can / yet yll
wyl and shrewdwit shalbe with many a man‚Ä™ (D3v), the declaration of
the alien presence always already within the English, but against which
the English reforming Remedy, in this Ô¬Ārst alien stage, continues
stubbornly to Ô¬Āght.

like will to like
Ulpian Fulwell‪s reformist Like Will to Like is extant in three editions
between 1568 and 1587, and like Wealth and Health it was possibly played
at court as well as by popular troupes.39 David Bevington writes that Like
Will to Like‚Ä™s ‚Ętone is predominantly satiric and denunciatory rather than
morally positive‚Ä™,40 and as such it serves more as an entertaining warning
to the popular audience than a moral judgement on ruling the realm or a
political allegory of the sort we saw in Wealth and Health; Hoenselaars
compares the two plays: ‚ĘWelth and Helth is a sociopolitical allegory
about the English nation. Like Will to Like, however, is best described as
an amalgamation of comedy and sermon.‪41 These comments both seem
apt, but I think there is a shift in the later play toward a communal
responsibility for the country‪s political and social health. As such, the
denunciation and satire that Bevington sees and the comic‚Ä“sermon
amalgam do indeed contribute to a positive moral appeal that is, however,
becoming more sensitive to the ways in which citizens make their own
urban world. Networks of social types ‚Ä“ artisans, preachers, merchants,
shopkeepers ‚Ä“ are starting to be recognized as forces for political change,
and political decisions inevitably entail moral dilemmas or imperatives.
The Tide Tarrieth No Man and especially The Three Ladies of London will
develop this notion of the role of professional groups in making their
world. In Like Will to Like, the overarching appeal is to English parents.
The play argues that a lack of reformed education and strict upbringing
in England produces licentious youth who associate with dangerous types
(like unto like) who corrupt them to the point of bringing about their
deaths. These dangerous types, represented primarily by Newfangle and
Tosspot, are inextricably bound ‚Ä“ by origin and association ‚Ä“ with the
alien. Tom Tosspot ends with the reÔ¬‚ection, ‚ĘIf my parents had brought
me up in vertue and learning, / I should not have had this shameful end: /
But all licenciously was my up bringing, / Wherfore learn by me your
faults to amend‚Ä™ (E2); and Cuthbert Cutpurse on the verge of being
hanged appeals to ‚Ęyou that Fathers and Mothers be: / Bring not up your
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 41
children in to much libertie‚Ä™ (E4). As in Wealth and Health, good English
Liberty is vulnerable to ‚Ęlese[ing]‚Ä™ his name and becoming alien licentious
corruption. Wapull is so serious on this point that he has Tosspot warn
bad parents that ‚Ęyour meed shalbe eternall damnation‚Ä™ (E2).
Newfangle the vice enters with traditional bravado until Lucifer
appears and gives him his orders to corrupt the world. Newfangle‪s friend
Tom Collier enters to report on his day‪s dishonest dealings before
dancing familiarly with Lucifer. Tom Tosspot and Rafe Roister join
Newfangle, and after several bouts of comic Ô¬Āghting, Newfangle sets up
a competition whereby Tosspot and Roister can compete for a plot of
land by proving which of them is the verier knave. After some contention
and proofs of knavery on both sides, Newfangle offers to divide the
reward between the contestants. The Dutchman Hance enters and sings
a drunken song as a Ô¬Āgure sadly fallen from a respectable position in
society; his friend Philip Fleming Ô¬Ānds him and leads him home. Fol-
lowing a soliloquy in which Newfangle reveals his intent to see the
destruction of Tosspot and Roister, Pierce Pickpurse and Cuthbert
Cutpurse are spurred on by Newfangle to their own increased corruption
and eventual executions. The tone of the play then shifts with its extended
moralizing section: Virtuous Living is joined by Good Fame, God‪s
Promises, and Honour to appeal to the audience for moral reformation.
Roister and Tosspot lament their fate and call on others not to indulge as
they did and to bring up their children well. Severity the judge is then
fooled by Newfangle who claims that he has been robbed and hurt by
Cutpurse and Pickpurse, and Hankin Hangman thanks Newfangle for
sending two more victims his way. Lucifer returns to carry Newfangle
away, and the play closes with Virtuous Living, Honour, and Good Fame
presenting a prayer for the queen and her council.
Very little time is wasted in Like Will to Like before the vice in England,
Nichol Newfangle, is exposed as a physical and conceptual alien. The
foreignness that matters to these reforming early Elizabethan playwrights
might be highlighted and entertainingly staged through characters such
as Wealth and Health‪s Dutch Hance or Like Will to Like‪s Hance and
Philip Fleming, and these characters have certainly been the focus of the
few critical comments on aliens in the play to date. But those overt
foreigners with a deÔ¬Āned nationality are representative embodiments of
political problems that are more insidiously manifested ‚Ä“ and more
dangerous to a construction of Englishness, because harder to see and
expel ‚Ä“ in the alien within apparent Englishness. It was easy enough for
Wealth and Health‪s Wit to boast with his scatological pun that the
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
42
Dutchman will be deported, ‚ĘThe horson Ô¬‚eming was beshitten for feare /
Because he should voyde so soone‚Ä™ (W&H D2v), and for Remedy to
concentrate on Hance‚Ä™s ability ‚Ęw[ith] craft & subtel ti[ ]get Englishme[n]s
welth away‚Ä™ (W&H Dv) with the protest, ‚ĘThere is to many aliaunts in this
real[m]e, but now I good remedy [/] have so provided that English men
shall lyve the better dayly‚Ä™ (W&H Dv); but in the end those characters are
seeing the face of an alien without but not perceiving the location of the
alien within.
The perception of large-scale immigration combined with urban social
problems would certainly have made comic anti-alien stage business
attractive to audiences, as it has been to critics. However, to say that
Hance and Philip Fleming benignly ‚Ęperform in a brief satire of drinking,
swearing, and general horseplay, aimed primarily at immigrant labour
from the Low Countries‚Ä™,42 isolates these characters as though they
represent an anti-alien blip on the play‪s radar of Englishness. A more
extensive examination of the alien must see these foreign characters as
media through which the alien already present in the English can be
perceived. Thus we could not talk about Wealth and Health‪s Hance
without concentrating on Illwill, Shrewdwit, and Remedy; similarly, we
will see through Hance and Philip Fleming to the important alien pres-
ence of Nichol Newfangle. Like Will to Like‚Ä™s ‚ĘDutchmen‚Ä™ reveal the
trope of the foreigner as something to be looked beyond even more
simply than in Wealth and Health, for they are not depicted as ‚ĘWar‚Ä™ and
immediate dangers to, or corrupters of, the country as they were in the
earlier play; they seem in Fulwell‪s play to represent a basic economic
burden on English society ‚Ä“ an irony in a period in which Lowlanders
were invited to England to spur the economy.
In fact, corruption is depicted in Like Will to Like as passing into rather
than out from the nationally deÔ¬Āned alien. Sitting in a chair because he
can hardly stand, drinking deeply, and stammering throughout his
speech, Hance the Dutchman is a pathetic, broken man who needs to
wait for his friend Philip Fleming just to lead him home ‚Ä“ but this has
not always been the case. Hance is apparently telling the truth when he
says ‚Ęas stameringly as may be‚Ä™ that he once knew Latin and could ‚Ęhelp
the pp preest to to zay mas‚Ä™, because Tom Tosspot conÔ¬Ārms:
For he was once a scoler in good faith.
But through my company he was withdrawn from thence:
Thorowe his riot and excessive expence.
Unto this trade whiche now you doo in him se:
So that now he is wholy addicted to followe me. (Cv)
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 43
Tom Tosspot‪s corruption at the hands of the foreign Newfangle has
inevitably led him to corrupt Hance in a kind of reÔ¬‚exive re-alienation of
foreigner and native. We hear Ô¬Ānally that Hance and Philip Fleming ‚Ęlie
sick of the gout . . . / . . . in a spittle house‚Ä™ (F), afÔ¬‚icted with the disease
of luxury, but also, interestingly the disease of usurers and Jews, a con-
nection that this play does nothing with. The Dutchmen in both these
plays contrast with the evil and vice Ô¬Āgures in exhibiting a signiÔ¬Ācantly
greater sense of attachment to the country of England. Wealth and
Health‚Ä™s Hance has lived in England for thirteen years and he ‚Ęlove[s] de
scone [beautiful] Englishman‚Ä™ (Dv). The idea of being forced to walk in
another land is for him ‚Ęquade‚Ä™ (evil), and when Remedy asks ‚Ęfrom
whence comest thou, and what dost thou here?‚Ä™, Hance, as a settled
resident, does not take it as a question about his national origin. Instead,
he answers at the local level and replies that he has come from ‚Ęsent
Katryns‚Ä™ ‚Ä“ St Katherine‚Ä™s Hospital, outside the walls just east of the
Tower, being the location of a strong alien community.43 It is to this
‚ĘLittle Flanders‚Ä™ outside the walls of the English city of London that
Remedy orders Hance to return, only, of course, as a station en route out
of the realm completely.
At the start of Like Will to Like Newfangle enters laughing like a
traditional vice, presents his calling card of a knave of clubs to an audi-
ence member, and claims surprise that he is not generally known ‚Ä“ or
rather that the audience thinks it does not know him. ‚ĘYet you wil knowe
me anone I dare jeobard [wager] a grote‚Ä™ (B2v), he insists and draws them
into his biography:
For first before I was borne I remember very wel:
That my grandsire and I made a journey into hel.
Where I was bound prentice before my nativitie,
To Lucifer him selfe suche was my agilitie. (A2v)

Reminiscent of Illwill in presentation and bad intent, the surreal sug-
gestion of pre-natal memory and the diabolical history of apprenticeship
before birth summon the spirit-like, alien nature of Newfangle. He may
be represented on the earth by outward means such as unnecessary
fashions, but prideful clothing is the quintessential marker of the
corrupted soul. While in hell, Lucifer taught Newfangle ‚ĘAll kinde of
sciences . . . / That unto the maintainance of pride might best agree‚Ä™, and
those sciences involve the making of showy apparel, ‚Ęgownes with long
sleeves and winges‚Ä™, ‚Ęruffes like calves chitterlings‚Ä™, ‚ĘAnd especially
breeches as big as good barels‚Ä™ (B2v‚Ä“B3). This commonplace of pride
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
44
comes up in Philoponus‚Ä™ words in Philip Stubbes‚Ä™ Anatomie of Abuses
(1583‚Ä“95):
Pride is threefold: namely, the pride of the heart, the pride of the mouth, and the
pride of apparell, the last whereof (unless I be deceived) offendeth God more
then the other two. For as the pride of the hearte, and of the mouth, are not
opposite to the eye, nor visible to the sight, and therefore cannot intice others to
vanitie & sin (not withstanding they be grievous sins in the sight of God) so the
pride of apparell which is object to the sight, as an exemplary of evill induceth the
whole man to wickednes & sinne.44

In spite of Lucifer‚Ä™s demand that Newfangle sow ‚Ęsuche pride through
new facions in mens harts‚Ä™ (A3v) as he himself possessed when he was cast
down from heaven, and that he ‚ĘLet thy new fangled fations bear suche a
sway, / That a raskall be so proud as he that best may‚Ä™, the play does not
dwell on proper dress codes or transgression in apparel. Instead, New-
fangle tells the apparently ignorant Lucifer that such corruption ‚Ęis all
ready brought to passe, / For a very skipjack is prouder I swear by the
masse, / And seeketh to go more gayer and more brave, / Then dooth a
Lord though him self be a knave‚Ä™ (A3v). Apparel in identity-making,
disguise, class mobility, national identity, gender relations, and race
receives more sustained treatment in The Three Ladies of London, and
especially in comedies such as Dekker‪s The Shoemaker‪ s Holiday, which I
discuss in the Ô¬Ānal chapter.
This Newfangle, literally dressed to kill, informs his audience that
‚ĘNichol Newfangle was and is, and ever shallbe‚Ä™ (B3). Akin to Wealth‚Ä™s
claim to ‚Ęhath ben ever in this countrey‚Ä™ (W&H A2v) but perhaps at a
deeper level aligned with Will‚Ä™s claim to be everyone‚Ä™s will and ‚Ęwith
many a man‚Ä™ (W&H D3v), Newfangle continues the politicized identity
of the inherent, already-there alien within Englishness. Particularly
striking about this alien presence for the play-world characters (who are
not necessarily aware that they exist in a moral play that requires a vice) is
the devilishness behind it; Newfangle‪s declaration is clearly a blas-
phemous counter to God‪s claim to be the beginning and the end, and it
is the ancestor of Iago‚Ä™s similarly ungodly ‚ĘI am not what I am‚Ä™ (Oth
1.1.65). The attractive comedy of the vice only seems to enhance the
uneasiness felt by an audience. Newfangle‪s own comic fear of Lucifer
both suggests the ‚Ęreality‚Ä™ of the frightening play-Ô¬Āgure whose ‚Ęname
Lucifer must be written on his back and in his brest‚Ä™ (A3) and contrasts
with English Tom Collier‪s utterly fearless dance with the devil (A4v).
When Lucifer addresses Newfangle as ‚Ęmyne own boy‚Ä™ (an appellation
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 45
suggesting kinship, which he will repeat several more times), Newfangle,
Ô¬‚ustered, and ‚Ępointing to one standing by‚Ä™ in the audience, blurts out:
‚ĘHe speaketh to you sir I pray you come neer.‚Ä™ Newfangle claims to be
afraid of Lucifer because ‚Ęye didst bruse me behinde‚Ä™ in a Ô¬Āt of temper and
‚ĘI am like to cary the mark to my grave‚Ä™ (A3v). Lucifer‚Ä™s brand is seared
into Newfangle‪s behind, evoking the common iconography of the devil
with a face in his rear end. The English vice is, in his deepest identity, a
hellish alien, who ends up, as I noted above, riding away on the devil‪s
back into Spain. The audience must have felt that Spain was a Ô¬Ātting, hell-
like hot place for the foreign-devilish vice to go, and a place, moreover,
where his outrageously puffed-up fashions would be appreciated. The
hellish aspect of the alien will be tempered somewhat (although it will not
disappear, and will even be played with) in the plays of the later Eliza-
bethan theatre where the practical politics and social tensions of urban and
court life demand that the contemporary, physical, ‚Ęreal‚Ä™ effects of the
alien be foregrounded ‚Ä“ a return to face up to and incorporate those
overtly foreign-marked characters. The vice, as vice, then, necessitates the
Ô¬Ārst alien stage‚Ä™s obsession with rejection and disgust; greater room opens
up for a negotiation within English-alien identity in the later plays,
because they comprehend the international interlacing of personal and
communal identities that must occur in dramatic representations of more
complex city and world pictures.
While no earthly country of nativity or citizenship is positively
assigned to Newfangle, we Ô¬Ānd out that England is certainly not his
homeland. Lack of immediate recognition of the vice character is not
unusual, and he often has to declare himself, but Newfangle‪s belaboured
turning from one audience member to another to insist on recognition
(A2v‚Ä“A3) seems to be making a signiÔ¬Ācant point about his strangeness or
alien identity when combined with the extended story of his early life.
When Tom Tosspot Ô¬Ārst appears ‚Ęwith a fether in his hat‚Ä™ and ‚Ęnew
fangled fations‚Ä™ (Bv), it prompts Newfangle to react, ‚ĘMe think by your
apparel you have had me in regard‚Ä™ (B2). Tosspot, however, tells New-
fangle that ‚Ęyour name is quite out of my remembrance‚Ä™, suggesting a past
break between them, leaving Tosspot‪s behaviour and appearance cur-
rently an English phenomenon. Tosspot has not been having much luck
Ô¬Ānding others in England to accompany him in his behaviour, however,
which may give a ray of hope against the corruption of the English
through pride of apparel and unthrifty spending, or it may just indicate
that corruption will come instead from the lesser pursuits noted in the
play of theft, dice, and drinking. Newfangle does not arrive in England
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
46
until after his apprenticeship in hell and a trip ‚Ęby and by the whole world
about‚Ä™ (A3). ‚ĘAt your Ô¬Ārst comming into England wel I wot‚Ä™, says Tosspot,
‚ĘYou were very wel acquainted with Tom tospot‚Ä™ (B2, my emphasis). The
vice is not English, but comes into England already of some age. It is not
entirely clear whether Tosspot‪s second line means that Newfangle became
acquainted with him once in England or was already acquainted with him
by the time of his arrival. The ambiguity puts Tosspot himself on the
verge of a foreign identity, and the alien newfangled fashion of Newfangle
creates addicted disciples: ‚Ętospots & rufÔ¬Āans‚Ä™ (B2).
The proverb of this play, ‚ĘLike Will to Like‚Ä™, is driven home to insist
on the necessity for a community of like-minded reformists who will
create a better England for the future, in particular through responsible
child-raising. The same force that attempts to unite the godly, however,
shows the threat of a uniÔ¬Āed army of unreformable types and more
problematically comes close to precluding any Christian attempt
at reconciliation between the two sides before reformation has been
effected. Hoenselaars‚Ä™ observation that ‚ĘThe xenophobia of Welth and
Helth is alien to the Christian doctrine of understanding that pervades
Like Will to Like‪45 seems to ignore the fact that the two sides (native and
alien) do not at all come together in social harmony in Like Will to Like,
and the ‚ĘChristian doctrine‚Ä™ shown by the vicious English characters is
hardly an understanding one. What pervades Like Will to Like is not
Christian understanding, but intra-Christian fracturing. Christ made it
clear that he was available for the sinners (Matt. 11: 28), and in Christian
presence would reformation be made possible. Virtuous Living preaches:
Come unto me ye that travail (saith he)
And suche as with sin are hevely loden:
And of me my self refreshed you shall be,
Repent, repent, your sinnes shalbe down troden. (D3)

However, the strictly bipartisan living shown in this play does not allow
any such practice; so when Newfangle introduces himself slyly to Vir-
tuous Living as ‚Ęyour olde freend‚Ä™, instead of any attempt to draw the
sinner into a life of repentance, Virtuous Living scornfully rejects him:
‚ĘMy freend, mary I doo thee defy: / And all suche company I doo deny. /
For thou art a companion for roysters and rufÔ¬Āans, / And not Ô¬Āt for any
vertuous companions‚Ä™ (D). Just a few lines before this rejection, Virtuous
Living expounded on the universal inÔ¬‚uence of God, who is ‚Ęof all men to
be praysed: / Of Christians, Sarasens, Jewes, and also Turks‚Ä™ (C4v). So
when Newfangle Ô¬Ānally returns, singing ‚Ętrim, trim merchandise‚Ä™ and
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 47
brandishing his ‚Ęrewards‚Ä™ of begging bag, bottle, and a pair of halters for
his victims, the audience has been well-warned of the inevitable ending.
Newfangle, as a devil-worshipper, is worse than Saracens, Jews, or Turks,
who (however misguided) turn to God. Newfangle is ultimately more
alien ‚Ä“ because more ungodly ‚Ä“ in his activity than all these ‚Ęothers‚Ä™. This
is the bind in which the play Ô¬Ānds itself, a constraint that hinders any tale
of moral restitution. It observes the state of affairs in the realm but does
not display a Christian solution so much as a conservative cleaning-up
operation, as the downtrodden and vice-ridden are executed, get sick, or
escape the country. The Prologue‚Ä™s claim that the play is like ‚Ęa glasse‚Ä™ to
see ‚ĘThe advauncement of vertue of vice the decay‚Ä™ (A2), then, is upheld
not in a way we might like, with the virtues conquering the vices and
bringing lost souls back to redemption; rather the caesura of this line
(after ‚Ęvertue‚Ä™) marks a tough point of no return, with the already-
virtuous on the one side glorifying each other with crowns and swords of
God, and vices on the other causing the decay of English bodies and souls
for whom it is apparently too late to repent and for whom there is no help
from the ‚Ęvirtuous‚Ä™ reformed.
I want to conclude this section with some remarks on the foreigners
with named nationality. The Dutch character of Hance is our more overt
indicator of social fracture and alien decay, a Ô¬Āgure to absorb national
anger and deÔ¬‚ect the dual problem of intra-English conÔ¬‚ict and alien
incorporation within the English social strata. As well as putting forth
deformed speech in an over-emphasized stammer, Hance cannot hold
together a dance or even the form of his upright body. The stage direction
orders that he ‚Ędaunceth as evil favoured as may be devised, and in the
dauncing he falleth down, and when he riseth he must grone‚Ä™ (Cv). He
becomes almost inhuman, a semi-linguistic, crawling Ô¬Āgure, who has
allegedly soiled himself like an uncontrollable animal: ‚ĘBy the mas he
hath beraid his breches me think by ye smel‚Ä™ (Cv) says Newfangle. The
‚Ędeformation‚Ä™ of Hance is not presented as something the spectators
should be sympathetic about or even ambivalent over. Hance does not
contribute to the value judgements of the play in the way that the major
pairs of good and evil Ô¬Āgures do, nor is he in the mould of the trinity of
Virtuous Living and his two companions; most of the spectators would
see his fall from scholarly grace to drunkenness in ‚Ęracial‚Ä™ terms, as a
reversion to the nature of his national shortcomings. In case there should
be any doubt, Fulwell introduces Philip Fleming, with his nationally
representative name, Hance‪s friend and partner in drunkenness. Fleming,
like Hance, enters singing, and soon recognizes a playmate, Tom Tosspot.
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
48
Newfangle remarks, ‚ĘWhy now I see the olde proverb to be true: / Like
wil to like bothe with Christian, Turk and Jew‚Ä™ (C2v). It is unclear what
kind of slander this is. Which part of the proverb has this meeting just
conÔ¬Ārmed? Is it the ‚ĘDutchman‚Ä™ or the ‚Ęnative‚Ä™ who is the ‚Ęother‚Ä™?
Equivocation is almost certainly the point, for Newfangle has travelled
around the world observing races, religions, and nationalities conform to
the proverb of the play, and it is this ubiquitous coming-together of likes
that suggests Christian and English similarity to all things alien, and the
presence of the alien within Englishness. Fleming‪s association with
Tosspot highlights the Englishman‚Ä™s name‚Ä™s reference to ‚Ętossing the
pot‚Ä™, or drinking, again insisting on an embedded corrupted domestic
behaviour. Charlotte McBride has observed that there was ‚Ęa shift during
the sixteenth century from perceptions of beer as a new and foreign
product to its status as a deÔ¬Āning English drink‚Ä™; she goes on to connect
the attitude to beer and drinking to the tension over the Protestant
English requirement to be hospitable to their religious brothers while
patriotically looking out for their home country‪s political health. Thus
the Ô¬Āgure of the refugee Dutchman in England who endangers the host
country through his alcoholism places ‚Ędrunkards [as] both victims and
perpetrators of crime‚Ä™.46 They both reÔ¬‚ect and accuse the English state of
alien corruption.
When Hance eventually wakes up from a deep, drink-induced sleep he
relates the details of his dream, which implicate either French ‚Ęknaves‚Ä™ or
perhaps English pirates in the trafÔ¬Āc of the sixteenth-century immigrant
burden to England:
Me thought iche was drowned in a barel of beer.
And by and by the barel was turned to a ship,
Whiche me thought the winde made lively to skip.
And iche did sail therin from Flaunders to Fraunce:
At last iche was brought hether among a sort of knaves by chaunce. (C2v)

Bevington‚Ä™s observation that ‚ĘLudicrous as they are with their dancing ‚Äúas
evill favoured as may be devised‚ÄĚ, Hance and Philip are harmful dissi-
paters of England‪s wealth‪ usefully brings out a trope of dangerous
comedy that we will see in the drama of the 1580s and 1590s.47 However,
the dissipation of wealth is, as we saw, more relevant to the role of Hance
in Wealth and Health. In Like Will to Like, the alien threat displays a
subsequent narrative in the same destructive story: while wealth is
allegedly drained from England, knavish destroyers of well-being (the
fraudulent and the destitute) pour in. Like Will to Like‪s Hance‪s dream
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 49
of a route from Flanders to England via France emphasizes the incoming
Ô¬‚ow of ‚ĘDutch‚Ä™ and French (Walloon) aliens and suggests an uncon-
trollable over-running of the realm with foreigners. These incoming alien
Ô¬Āgures of vice and deformation are the types of characters that playgoers
would like to have seen board the barge to hell in George Wapull‪s The
Tide Tarrieth No Man.

the tide tarrieth no man
A ‚Ęworme‚Ä™ is born within a piece of wood. It then consumes its home like
an ungrateful person who damages their own country through ‚Ęavaricious‚Ä™
and ‚Ęinsacious‚Ä™ behaviour. So begins George Wapull‚Ä™s The Tide Tarrieth
No Man (Q 1576),48 the very Ô¬Ārst lines bringing together ideas of
greediness and the insidious infection of unnatural, alien behaviour. The
‚Ęworme‚Ä™ evokes biological and psychological forms both larger and
smaller than itself, for in the early modern period the word is used
consistently for a snake or a dragon but also referred to parasitic presences
in the body; the worm is a ‚Ęcaterpillar‚Ä™ against commonwealths but also
the worm of conscience in life or hell; it generally refers to a miserable
creature or person and in this context speciÔ¬Ācally was applied to worldly
greediness. Such a worm, also, is Wapull‪s vice, Courage:
Thus may you see Corage contagious,
And eake contrarious, both in me do rest:
For I of kind, am alwayes various,
And chaunge, as to my mind seemeth best. (C3v)

‚ĘCorage contagious‚Ä™ infects minds and bodies with his ‚Ęinsacious‚Ä™
‚Ęincoraging‚Ä™ of immoral behaviour that has stark physical consequences; he
is also ‚Ęcourage contrarious‚Ä™, mutating according to the host to which he
needs to attach himself, the sequence of bodies to whom the disease should
be transmitted, and the deforming effects he desires. The worm is also the
merchant (alias Greediness, alias Wealthiness) ‚Ä“ a landlord and a usurer
spurred on by Courage ‚Ä“ who eats away at the structure of his homeland,
consorting with the oppressive conceptual and literal alien bodies in
England such that ‚ĘThe symple ones commonly, by such are opprest‚Ä™ (A2).
Wapull‪s world is a far more frightening one than Fulwell‪s, for the isolated
(if vicious) alien-infused vices that we saw in Like Will to Like have spread
like body-snatchers to deform and recast almost all of the community.
Following the Prologue on the ‚Ęworm‚Ä™, Courage the vice invites all to
board his boat to hell. Courage shows himself to be behind the work of
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
50
the evil trinity Hurtful Help, Painted ProÔ¬Āt, and Feigned Furtherance.49
The merchant Greediness confesses that he was ‚Ęmoved‚Ä™ by a preacher‚Ä™s
outcry against citizens‚Ä™ badness, and Courage dresses him down for such
weakness. This merchant is also a landlord who must be bribed by No
Good Neighbourhood to give up a lease that should be renewed for a
faithful tenant, and Courage prompts Help and Furtherance to exercise
their cunning in aid of No Good Neighbourhood. A courtier needing
cash to look the part is also promised ‚ĘHelp‚Ä™ by Courage. All this con-
nivance comes home in a traditional but effective soliloquy by poor, old
Tenant Tormented. Courage promises marriage for Wantonness, a young
woman who hates the single life and abstinence, because, Courage says, it
is a sin for girls older than ‚Ęxii yeares of age‚Ä™ (D3) to lie alone. The
courtier returns, having been ruined by the fees paid for all the help given
him, followed by Greediness the merchant, who is off to St Paul‪s to call
on his debtors. Wantonness follows her new husband Wastefulness on
stage and rails at him for neglecting her lusts to concentrate on making a
living; in a song they are renamed Pleasantness and Pliantness as he is
persuaded to disregard their wealth and indulge in young love and lust
before the tide turns. A sergeant leads in a debtor arrested at St Paul‪s on
the order of Greediness; the debtor refuses to pay a bribe for his freedom
and is taken off to prison. Christianity enters ‚Ęwith a sword, with a title of
pollicy, but on the other syde of the tytle, must be written gods word, also
a shield, wheron must be written riches, but on the other syde of the
Shield must be Fayth‚Ä™ (F2v) and is examined by Faithful Few until he
‚Ęturneth the titles‚Ä™. Faithful Few attacks the corruption of Greediness and
Courage, who argue for the worldly superiority of riches over godliness.
After Greediness and Courage exit, Wastefulness enters, ruined and
followed by Despair ‚Ęin some ougly shape, and stand behind him‚Ä™ (G1v).
Faithful Few gets Wastefulness to repent and pray, which causes Despair
to Ô¬‚ee. Courage enters weeping, because his friend Greediness has
committed suicide at the behest of Despair. Authority and Correction
Ô¬Ānally enter to judge Courage, who has no friends left to save him.
Working relentlessly to procure a commission or fee from any trans-
action, the characters in The Tide Tarrieth No Man assemble like vultures
and work with a cynical version of the ubiquitous ‚Ędisguise‚Ä™ of the metic,
as discussed by Jean-Christophe Agnew.50 In commercial meetings and
exchange, persons crossing socio-political boundaries have to take on
new faces, manners, and characters in order to ply their trade and
impose themselves upon others. Recognition of friend and enemy, native
and alien, becomes very difÔ¬Ācult and professions of identity highly
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 51
questionable as anyone, whatever his or her character or occupation, has
the potential to act out their anti-self. The Tide Tarrieth shows this by
the familiar method of compound naming that we saw in Wealth and
Health with (Ill)Will and (Shrewd)Wit, but now the everyday citizens are
widely caught in this web of politic crossings. The ubiquity of this self/
alien trope makes all urban relations doubtful. Hurtful Help becomes
plain ‚ĘHelp‚Ä™, Painted ProÔ¬Āt ‚ĘProÔ¬Āt‚Ä™, No Good Neighbourhood just
‚ĘNeighbourhood‚Ä™, and Feigned Furtherance puts himself out as true
‚ĘFurtherance‚Ä™. The vice Courage ‚Ęincourages‚Ä™ the multiplication of others‚Ä™
identities, making the merchant inhabit greediness and wealthiness and
the courtier seek out worship rather than true honour.
Courage holds the alien chain that links him to No Good Neighbour-
hood and Hurtful Help, who will liaise with Greediness the merchant to
evict Tenant Tormented; this event will be the central demonstration of a
deformed Englishness that Christianity and Faithful Few critique as the
thesis of the play. The play presents proud, ambitious, selÔ¬Āsh, complacent,
‚Ęsecure‚Ä™, and therefore weak English characters. Already utterly corrupted
by the alien, they are in communal denial, as Christianity points out when
he says, ‚Ęthe greater part sayeth, / I am still a christian, and so shall
remayne, / My Christianity say they, no domage doth sustaine: / But alas
they are deceived . . .‚Ä™ (F2v). The play conÔ¬‚ates the reformation of
Christian practice and a recovery of Englishness, for the inability of the
community to see their way to reformed Christianity is owing to alien
blinding. Through self-scrutiny, an investigation of actions and beliefs,
people must break down the public disguises they have used to propel
themselves toward riches at the expense of their neighbours and must
reveal their true faces and their ‚Ęlese[d]‚Ä™ names. Only then will their
mistaken creed be discovered, the creed that reads the proverb ‚ĘThe tyde
tarrieth no man‚Ä™ as a carpe diem trope prompting them to irreligious
earthly greed (‚ĘTake time while time is, / Least that you doe misse‚Ä™ (A3v),
warns Courage at the play‪s opening). It is not enough just to profess
Christianity, moreover; reformation must be absolute, genuine, and
effectively delineate a return to Englishness: ‚ĘFor better it were unchris-
tened to be, / Then our Christianity for to abuse: / The Jewish InÔ¬Ādell to
God doth more agree, / Then such as Christianity do so misuse‚Ä™, declares
Faithful Few (G4‚Ä“G4v).
The unpredictability of Courage the vice makes tackling him difÔ¬Ācult.
He is a mutating virus, contagious through ‚Ęcontrarious‚Ä™-ness, and the
demonstration that his deforming inÔ¬‚uence knows no bounds comes in
the Ô¬Āgure of inverted Christianity. The characters‚Ä™ hidden nomenclature
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
52
indicates those aspects ‚Ęincouraged‚Ä™ or infused into them, and now
confused with them and thus inextricable, only half seen, like alien bodies,
parasites that incubate within an apparently healthy English host, perhaps
seen in external glimpses ‚Ä“ pustules, lesions ‚Ä“ but infecting and cor-
rupting him or her from the inside, remaining largely hidden and difÔ¬Ācult
to remove without some superÔ¬Ācial (physical, Ô¬Ānancial) harm to the
alienated host. It will be this Ô¬Ānal apparent impossibility of separation of
the alien internality from the English character that will lead to the
merchant Greediness‪ suicide. I will outline Tenant‪s tale, show how
Christianity‪s deformed position has come about through such vicious
relations, and thereby demonstrate the alien underbearing of the whole
play as Ô¬Āltered through the character of the apparently English Greediness
the merchant.
The play‪s clearest examination of the direct effect of alien presence on
English welfare involves (No Good) Neighbourhood and (Hurtful)
Help‚Ä™s machinations against ‚ĘTenant Tormented‚Ä™, already a familiar
character to the audience.51 Paula Neuss writes that the character of
Tenant is one among a few who ‚Ęare introduced not simply or mainly for
the purposes of social satire, as is usually supposed, but in order to give
concrete application to the proverb, to show what it might mean in
practice for this particular audience‚Ä™.52 It is this concretizing imperative, a
drive to make allegory ‚Ęfelt‚Ä™, that really marks a shift from these earlier
interludes of moral restitution to Wilson‚Ä™s pivotal, late ‚Ęcity morality‚Ä™ and
the very ‚Ęmaterial‚Ä™ urban comedy of the 1590s. ‚ĘWhether shall I goe, or
which way shall I take‚Ä™, asks Tenant rhetorically, ‚ĘTo fynd a Christian
constant and just[?]‚Ä™ (C4v). A Ô¬Āne preacher, he forecasts the view of
Faithful Few exactly as he states that ‚ĘEch man himselfe a Christian
would make. / Yet few or none, that a man may trust. / But for the most
parte fayned, inclined to lust.‚Ä™ Tenant then goes on to lament the greed
of his landlord (the merchant Greediness) who threw him out, and the
hostility of his deceitful neighbour (No Good) Neighbourhood, who
does not play his part true to his publicized name (‚ĘMy neighbour
supposed, is my deadly foe‚Ä™). Unlike Lady Conscience in The Three
Ladies of London, who is also evicted at a moment‪s notice and succumbs
to a criminal life to make ends meet, Tenant declares that he will retain
his honesty and strive for salvation through Christianity. To say as much
in this play is to claim to remain ‚ĘEnglish‚Ä™ against alien encroachment
from all sides, and Tenant‪s concerns about the health of Christianity
prepare us for the heavier fate of English Hospitality in The Three
Ladies of London. This is Tenant‪s description of his situation in a passage
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 53
that declares his predicament‪s centrality to the reforming thesis of
the play:
Both my house and living, I must now forgoe.
What neighbour is he, that hath served me so?
Thus crewelly to take my house, over my head,
Wherein these forty yeares, I have bene harbored and fed.
And now being aged, must thus be thrust out,
With mine impotent wife, charge, and famely:
Now how I shall live, I stand in great dout,
Leading and ending, my life in misery.
But better doe so, then as they live, by theevery,
Catching and snatching, all that ever they can,
Because that (they say) Tyde taryeth no Man.
But God graunt that they, in following that Tyde,
Loose not the tyde of Gods mercy and grace:
I doubt that from them, away it will slyde,
If they still pursue the contrary race.
...
I see whome I seeke, is not here to be found,
I meane Christianity, constant and just:
I doubte that in bondage he lyeth fast bound,
Or else he is dead, and lyeth buryed in dust.
But if he be living, to fynd him I trust,
Therefore till I fynd him, I will no where stay,
Neyther in seeking of him, I will make delay. (D‚Ä“Dv)

The Christianity that Tenant seeks arrives rather late in the play, and
Faithful Few remarks even later that Authority has not yet turned up to
Ô¬Ānalize control over Courage and pass him over to Correction. These
absences demand resistance to alien forces by such as Tenant who
determine to remain honest. The strongest call for a renewed Englishness
comes from the embattled few up against terrible odds ‚Ä“ a trope of faith
and singular national identity-making that reprises in the quite different
context of Shakespeare‪s French war of Henry V.
Coming to this text after Wealth and Health and Like Will to Like, we
will now hardly be surprised that Tenant‪s distress is not simply caused
by evil Englishmen, but rather by the alien in their midst. Neighbour-
hood wants to get the lease on a ‚Ęcommodious and feate‚Ä™ tenement
but fears that two things work against him: the ‚Ęgood name and fame‚Ä™
of the current resident and the fact that he is ‚Ębut a straunger among
them‚Ä™. Help explains how Neighbourhood misperceives himself and his
chances:
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
54
Marry syr it is much the better for that,
For if thou werte more straunge, and borne out of the land,
Thou shouldest sooner have it I dare take in hand,
For among us now, such is our countrey zeale,
That we love best with straungers to deale.
To sell a lease deare, whosoever that will,
At the French, or [D]utch Church let him set up his bill.
And he shall have chapmen, I warrant you good store,
Looke what an English man bids, they will give as much more.
We brokers of straungers, well know the gayne,
By them we have good rewardes for our payne.
Therefore though thou be straunge, the matter is not great,
For thy money is English, which must worke the feate. (B4v)

The stranger the better, it seems. Neighbourhood, with no foreign accent
and not ‚Ęborne out of the land‚Ä™, might be an early modern ‚Ęforeigner‚Ä™,
strange in so far as he comes from a different town. However, Help‪s
last line, ‚ĘFor thy money is English‚Ä™, suggests the non-Englishness of
Neighbourhood himself, and combined with Neighbourhood‪s own self-
appellation as a ‚Ęstranger‚Ä™, perhaps we are meant to think of a second-
generation resident, born in England with one or both alien parents. As
such, his alien male lineage would maintain his status as a ‚Ęstranger‚Ä™ or alien
in commercial and legal transactions. Help does talk about ‚Ęstrangers‚Ä™ as
‚Ęthem‚Ä™, as though Neighbourhood does not belong to that group, but in the
1570s the audience might interpret ‚Ęthem‚Ä™ as the new immigrants of the last
decade. Later, Courage refers to Neighbourhood as ‚Ęthat good man growte‚Ä™
(C4); it is an odd moment, but it could literally mean ‚ĘMaster Large‚Ä™
(Dutch: groot), the epithet recalling the frequent joke on the fatness of
Dutchmen ‚Ä“ Vandal the Dutchman uses the word ‚Ęgrote‚Ä™ repeatedly in
Englishmen for My Money. Neighbourhood, then, is somewhere in the
middle of a scale of strangeness that plays to his advantage. He is a kind of
embodiment of the moral alien ‚Ęinfection‚Ä™ of England, using his host
country, doing it economic and ethical damage, but keeping it productive
for his own maintenance. In this passage, we are reminded that aliens,
known for their willingness to pay through the nose to rent property, are
given Ô¬Ārst refusal at prime real estate.
The rhetoric of strangeness in a context where all the characters are
‚Ęestranged‚Ä™ from themselves by their dual names quickly becomes a means
for conÔ¬Ārming familiarity. Something similar happens when the Duke
welcomes Shylock to the court in The Merchant of Venice with the lines
‚Ę ‚Ä™tis thought / Thou‚Ä™lt show thy mercy and remorse more strange / Than is
thy strange apparent cruelty‚Ä™ (4.1.18‚Ä“20). Shylock‚Ä™s ‚Ęstrangeness‚Ä™ as a Jew
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 55
is of course quite familiar to the Venetians as strange; for Shylock to be
more strange in the way that the Duke is requesting (i.e. to show mercy)
would at once be alien to both the Venetians and Shylock, but of course it
would bring the Jew into a familiar Venetian-Christian sphere. In The
Tide Tarrieth, the ‚Ęstrange‚Ä™ is posited at Ô¬Ārst as what is different from the
norm. The ‚Ęmore strange‚Ä™ pushes the strange further away, seemingly to a
greater ‚Ęotherness‚Ä™ (as suggested by Help‚Ä™s deÔ¬Ānition of ‚Ęmore strange‚Ä™ as
‚Ęborne out of the land‚Ä™). However, the ‚Ęmore strange‚Ä™ becomes the newly
familiar, the self-like. Landlords are familiar with aliens (i.e. the ‚Ęmore
strange‚Ä™); Help identiÔ¬Āes himself as one of a community of ‚Ębrokers of
straungers‚Ä™; and Courage, Help, and the rest of them are far more iden-
tiÔ¬Āable as non-Christian, non-English aliens than as natives. Like will to
like indeed, and the residents of England with the alien in their identity
deal more comfortably with the familiar aliens from abroad. The con-
tagious Courage infects the life-blood of the country by ‚Ęincouraging‚Ä™
money to come in with immigrant aliens, increasing a tainted wealth of
the nation that gets circulated by landlord-merchants like Greediness who
practise usury as a matter of course. Help knows the subject of aliens so
well because his career is that of a broker, or ‚Ęfactor‚Ä™, for foreigners (B4v).
Courage describes him as ‚Ęa broker, betweene man and man. / Whereby
much deceyte thou usest now and than‚Ä™ (B). Brokers were disliked by a
sector of the godly and economic observers because they seemed to do
nothing in exchange for their wealth. Like usurers, brokers have no trade
from which there is a product. They use the good works of others to make
money with money; even worse than usurers, they breed money not even
from money, but merely from speculation, from nothing.53 Every action
revolves around gaining money at the expense of another. There is for
these characters simply and literally no commonwealth.
Tenant‚Ä™s determination to Ô¬Ānd the straight and righteous path of
Christianity is a direct response to aliens in England and what they have
done to the Ô¬Ānancial and communal health of the country. When
deformed Christianity Ô¬Ānally turns up, he observes a sink that the ethical
Ô¬Ālth of society has run into and soiled beyond recognition. Christianity
arrives only just in time for reformation to be made, and Wapull seems to
understand that the kind of extended moralizing we were subject to in
Like Will to Like is neither dramatically tenable nor necessary for the
ethical message he wants to locate in a contemporary, physically painful
world. We recall Christianity, who on Ô¬Ārst sight holds ‚Ęa sword, with a
title of pollicy, but on the other syde of the tytle, must be written gods
word, also a Shield, wheron must be written riches, but on the other syde
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
56
of the Shield must be Fayth‚Ä™ (F2v). The state of Christianity is so dire that
even Faithful Few starts to doubt him. The rhetoric of ‚Ępolicy‚Ä™ is ‚Ä“ as Peter
¬ī
Happe points out, and as Marlowe knew, and reinvented it ‚Ä“ the usual
preserve of the vice, and so Christianity has some explaining to do.54
Faithful Few says, ‚ĘNow are you deformed like a thing forlorne, / Which
maketh me suspect, of me in my mind.‚Ä™ The deformation of Christianity
infuses Faithful Few, who, believing in Christianity, must now doubt his
own Ô¬Ādelity, his state of mind, and his very identity. Can a character called
Faithful Few be what he thinks he is, or appears to be, if the object to whom
he is faithful is in fact corrupted? Christianity assures Faithful Few that he
is what he claims to be, and that God will reform him, but for Faithful Few
the question mark remains because a corrupted Christianity would claim
this, too, for the purpose of deceiving Faithful Few into following him.
Christianity‪s explanation of his appearance focuses on the synthesis of
Ô¬Ānancial greed or avarice and selÔ¬Āshness in the context of commonwealth,
common-health, and national community or hospitality. In doing so, he
reprises the trope of the cankerous worm that begins the play and Ô¬‚oats
the image speciÔ¬Ācally of Greediness the merchant as the scum on the
rising alien tide; thus Faithful Few sees the ‚ĘEnglish‚Ä™ truth of Christianity
lying behind ‚Ępolicy‚Ä™ and ‚Ęriches‚Ä™. The deformation of Christianity is a
direct result of greediness, whose ‚Ęcruell force I may not withstand‚Ä™ (F2v).
‚ĘGreedy great‚Ä™ has caused Christianity‚Ä™s predicament, ‚ĘGreedy great for
this cause I have named, / For that the greater part use greediness, which
is to be blamed‚Ä™ (F2v). This behaviour has tainted the whole community,
making Christianity‚Ä™s claim easy for Faithful Few to believe: ‚ĘAlas I
lament to heare the report, / Which of us cittizens in every place is spread‚Ä™
(F2v), ‚ĘSo that for the covetous greediness, which some cittizens use, / A
shamefull ill reporte to the whole ensues‚Ä™ (F3). The power of this strain of
greedy infection is indicated when Faithful Few Ô¬Ārst meets Christianity:
he tries to turn Christianity‚Ä™s titles to reveal ‚Ęgods word‚Ä™ and ‚ĘFayth‚Ä™, but
he cannot yet do it (F3‚Ä“F3v). Faithful Few remains determined, however.
‚ĘI know how Greediness, with the great part is used‚Ä™ (F3v), he declares,
but ‚ĘSi Deus nobiscum, quis contra nos, / If God be with us, who may us
resist‚Ä™ (F3v). Ironically, of course, all are resisting. Christianity will return
to God‪s word and faith, but Faithful Few remains just that, only a few.
William Dynes argues that in the Estates Moralities and ‚ĘMoralities of
Economy‚Ä™ from The Tide Tarrieth, on, there is a strong sense that the
time for true reformation has already passed.55 Individuals are still able to
make the change, as we see Wastefulness repent (Gv‚Ä“G2v), but this is a
trickle of fresh water against the brackish waves.
Discovering the alien in Elizabethan moral drama 57
Greediness the merchant‪s rejection of Christianity is tempered by
Faithful Few‚Ä™s naming the merchant ‚Ęa Christyan with a canckered heart‚Ä™
(F4). This might suggest the possibility of the Christian country and its
people being reformable despite the extent to which alien evil has
insinuated itself. The merchant‪s conscience was touched by a preacher
earlier in the play, and he was almost pulled across that line into refor-
mation: ‚ĘHis talk I confesse my conscience did nip‚Ä™ (B2v), he declares to
Courage‚Ä™s disgust, ‚ĘAnd a thousand witnesses the conscience is‚Ä™ (B3). This
is an interesting moment, for Greediness recognizes his evil and this was
the concern of Christianity and Faithful Few ‚Ä“ that lost souls ‚Ęcannot, or
will not know, / The way to reforme me Christianity‚Ä™ (G). The knowledge
of his evil, and the tortured conÔ¬‚ict between earthly temptation and his
conscience‪s objections leads to the man‪s desperate suicide. In the end,
however, he cannot resist living in accord with the teachings of Courage,
who reminds him that ‚Ęthe world will thee despyse‚Ä™ (B3) if the merchant
wilfully gives up riches. The merchant declares, ‚ĘIn deede as thou sayest, it
doth me behoove, / Not so rashly to lay my gayning aside, / Least so my
selfe a foole I do proove‚Ä™ (B3). If evil or ignorant persons believe that they
and other misbehavers are in fact Christians and that their evil ways are
legitimate pastimes, then there is no effective way to reformation:
Yet many there are, which in the world doth live,
Who for Christians will needes accoumpted be:
Though to all abhominations, their selves they doe give,
And from no kind of vice be cleare or free.
Covetousnesse is accompted no sinne,
Usury is a science and art:
All wayes are good, whereby we may win,
Although it be to our neighbours smart. (Faithful Few, G)

And indeed, in the end, the merchant‚Ä™s ‚Ęcanker‚Ä™ is too powerful a disease.
Faithful Few berates the merchant, who, he says, ‚Ęboth in word and
deede, thy selfe thou doest misuse‚Ä™ (F4), turning ‚ĘMerchant‚Ä™ into
‚ĘGreediness‚Ä™ to make ‚ĘWealthiness‚Ä™ at the expense of Christianity (and
therefore care of the realm). That the merchant has become the worm is
manifest here, and I used the word deliberately. By his own hands, he has
dug his own corrupt hole deep into the bowels of his country, where
English tenants are trying to survive what they see as the waves of
immigration sweeping them out of their national rights; and he represents
the corrupt infestation, the alienated Englishman who facilitates the
eating away of his country by foreign bodies.
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
58
As Jonathan Gil Harris has demonstrated, the canker was widely
envisioned as the ‚Ęeating‚Ä™, or ‚Ębiting‚Ä™ worm of usury in the early modern
period, the term employed in pro- as well as anti-usury tracts.56 The
canker is also the caterpillar, the worm (OED ‚Ęcanker‚Ä™ n. 4) that we saw at
the opening of The Tide Tarrieth No Man. If money is cankered, then it is
a disease in the heart-blood of the commonwealth, and a disease that
always ‚Ęoriginates‚Ä™ with the alien. The mechanism of circulation of course
obfuscates that very notion of origin, such that the English and alien
cannot be extricated, the former ‚Ędying‚Ä™ under the inÔ¬‚uence of the latter.
The very character of the merchant called Greediness and Wealthiness
who practices usury, then, is weighed down with a heart full of unre-
deemable bullion against which his minor pangs of conscience are no
match. In Courage the vice‪s split-personality monologue/dialogue over
the death of the merchant, he understands that although ‚ĘI am sure he is
dead, or one in his likenesse, / For when he was buryed I stood by‚Ä™ (G3),
he is in fact a ‚Ęfoole‚Ä™ to think so, for ‚ĘGreediness will never dye, / So long
as covetous people do live‚Ä™ (G3). The Ô¬Āgure of everlasting greediness will
shift to become the eternal presence of Fraud in Robert Wilson‪s Three
Lords and Three Ladies of London and the later comedies. Before that,
however, Wilson‪s The Three Ladies of London continues the examination
of a ‚Ęcankered commonwealth‚Ä™. The word ‚Ęcankered‚Ä™ appears four times
in The Three Ladies of London, twice to refer to the money received
by Conscience from Usury (17.75 and 97) and twice to refer to the
corruption of others ‚Ä“ the hearts of Dissimulation, Usury, Simony, and
Fraud (4.179) and, ironically, the accusers of Lady Lucre (17.27). It is an
apt trope ‚Ä“ bringing together as it does the conceptual with the physical,
the worm of conscience and loss of godliness with the pain of disease and
Ô¬Ānancial ruin ‚Ä“ for a play that remains highly allegorical but expands The
Tide Tarrieth‚Ä™s suggestiveness to conÔ¬Ārm that every dramatic moral
problem has its material, communal, urban, alien consequences.
chapter 3

Accommodating the alien in mid-Elizabethan
London plays



The previous chapter‪s closing notion of the push toward real, physical
consequences of moral behaviour is what Robert Wilson brings home in
The Three Ladies of London, a play he wrote a couple of years before
being drafted into the new Queen‪s Men‪s company in 1583. The play
opens with Lady Love and Lady Conscience lamenting their impover-
ished state at the hands of the despicable Lady Lucre. Dissimulation,
Fraud, Simony, and Usury reveal themselves as villains before trying to
gain service with Love and Conscience who reject them. All the while
Simplicity is caught within his limited understanding of the world; he
recognizes some villainy, but gets into trouble easily. When Lady Lucre
enters, these henchmen tell narratives of their history in good vice style.
The Italian merchant, Mercadorus, is insinuated into the group and
assures Lady Lucre that he will serve her in his capacity as a cheating
and commonwealth-ruining trader, exporting good English materials
and importing foreign trinkets. Hospitality stands against them all,
representing English Christian tradition and stability of the realm, and
for his pains he is murdered by Usury. Indeed, in order to survive
characters have to be protean and selÔ¬Āsh. Thus Peter Pleaseman will be a
preacher in whatever denomination is required, Artifex the artiÔ¬Ācer will
use fraud in his craft to compete with the aliens, Creticus the Lawyer
will argue any which way Lucre desires for his reward, Sir Nicholas
Nemo offers hospitality and promptly disappears, and when Mercadorus
refuses to repay his loan to his Turkish Jewish creditor (the honest
Gerontus), he threatens to turn Turk to avoid the debt. Lady Con-
science is driven to poverty and eventually convinced to run a private
bawdy house for Lady Lucre; Lady Love is married to Dissimulation
and grows monstrous as a result. They are both judged in the Ô¬Ānal scene
and condemned to hell-like punishment, ‚Ędying, yet never dead‚Ä™ (17.95)
where there is ‚ĘWeeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and torment
without end‚Ä™ (17.58).1
59
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
60
In spite of Fame‪s proclamation in the opening scene of the play that
justice will be meted out appropriately, most of Wilson‪s vices do not
meet with Ô¬Āt judgement, and his virtues fall through entrapment in the
tempting and debilitating labyrinth of London. With the burgeoning
market and rapidly increasing population matters of daily concern in
London, the moral allegory of corrupted Conscience and lust-Ô¬Ālled Love
hits home in the theatre of the 1580s via the immanent and established
experience of English‚Ä“alien proximity. It is ‚Ęby the means of Lucre‚Ä™, states
the title-page, that ‚ĘLove and Conscience is so corrupted‚Ä™. But that Ô¬Ārst
‚ĘLady of London‚Ä™ is, as we shall see, alien. All the allegorical Ô¬Āgures are
capable of inÔ¬‚icting or feeling psychological and physical pain. The play
insists that trope manifests as reality and that allegory threatens English
bodies; it does so by placing an inordinate weight on the problem of
immigration into London and England and the presence of multiple
foreign identities. Thus we should examine the historical basis for such a
representation by outlining the investment of The Three Ladies in the
patterns of immigration into London and England and the demographics
of the capital city in the second half of the sixteenth century.
Whereas the nationally deÔ¬Āned foreigners in the earlier moralities were
important in themselves, they remained isolated representations of a
larger presence and acted in the last instance as sounding boards for the
alien-confused ‚ĘEnglish‚Ä™ characters deeply involved in the corruption of a
perceived Englishness and a process of socio-Protestant reformation.
Wilson uses a multinational and wider-reaching foreign presence to build
a claustrophobic enclosure within which we Ô¬Ānd residents of London
continually exposed as alien with the concomitant corruption of the
Christian Englishness of natives. For playwrights to emphasize geo-
graphically marked alien bodies in this way is a tactic based in part on the
experience of cosmopolitanism in London and in part on the necessary
adjustments that need to be made as the English imagination of for-
eignness and Englishness gets shaken up by the experience of inter-
national events in the 1570s and early 1580s ‚Ä“ from the Paris Massacre to
the sack of Antwerp, from the French Wars of Religion to invasion
rumours surrounding the Spanish Armada, and from the excursions of
the new Turkey Company in 1581 to the ongoing debate over intervening
to protect the Netherlands from Spain. In forcing this emphasis on real
alien bodies in England to broach the issue of alien confusion in England,
Wilson draws on the earlier drama but clearly lays a ground for the
history and comedy plays of the 1590s that mine the speciÔ¬Ācities of alien
bodies for ethnic ‚Ęclues‚Ä™ and answers to the elusive questions about, and
Accommodating the alien in mid-Elizabethan London plays 61
the quest for, Englishness. This ‚Ęevent-based‚Ä™ reading of Wilson‚Ä™s casting
of his plays is supported by his writing his topical ‚ĘArmada‚Ä™ play The
Three Lords and Three Ladies of London (c. late 1588‚Ä“9), as a sequel to The
Three Ladies, clearly seen by Wilson himself as in the same mode of
direct, alien-Ô¬Ālled critique.
When Thomas Platter wrote that London is not said to be in England,
but rather England to be in London,2 he was referring to massive
migration from the provinces in the late sixteenth century. But the capital
also accommodated a varied non-English immigrant community. Esti-
mates of alien population vary, but we might think, along with Nigel
Goose, of a ‚Ęnorm‚Ä™ alien population of about 8,000 for the second half of
the sixteenth century. This would give an alien population percentage of
between 5 and 10 per cent, as the city‪s general population increased
rapidly to some 200,000 in 1600.3 The major waves of immigration in the
1560s were split mostly between those from the Netherlands (about 75 per
cent) and those from France (15 per cent). The Mediterranean yielded
only about 6.5 per cent of aliens, in spite of the Italians‚Ä™ history of court-
level connections in England, the position of Horatio Pallavicino as
¬ī ¬ī
Thomas Gresham‪s successor, and a stable emigre community estab-
4
lished by the early years of Elizabeth‪s reign. A further 3.5 per cent came
from other regions. Whether one-in-ten or one-in-twenty is a more
accurate proportion of aliens to natives in London, strangers were
apparently a very visible minority. This visibility was made all the more
obvious by two phenomena: Ô¬Ārst, the clustering of the alien communities
in relatively small areas, a situation revealed in both ofÔ¬Ācial records and
popular texts that respond to immigration and the alien presence; and
second, an estimated 50,000 aliens coming into Elizabethan England
(30,000 in 1567‚Ä“73 alone, prompted by the Duke of Alva‚Ä™s activities on
the Continent) would have meant that, although they did not all stay, the
coming-and-going alone of this number of immigrants would give a
strong impression among the English of a massive inÔ¬‚ux of strangers.5
There are effectively three groups resident in the capital: Londoners,
English ‚Ęforeigners‚Ä™, and aliens or strangers from abroad. The pressures
brought to bear by conÔ¬‚icts within this uncertain triangle surfaced to
cause some confusion in The Tide Tarrieth and does so again in The Three
Ladies. Religious houses and mansions that had been bought up after the
Reformation were converted into tenements to accommodate the new
population; A. L. Beier writes, ‚ĘBy 1570 the space left by the dissolution of
the monasteries was Ô¬Ālled. By 1580 slum housing reached crisis propor-
tions, and the authorities acted to halt its further spread.‪6 Lien Luu
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
62
considers overcrowding the primary reason for Anglo-alien hostility in
London, ‚Ęalthough additional economic factors that affected several social
ranks included unemployment levels, inÔ¬‚ation, and trade deÔ¬Ācits‚Ä™.7 The
greatest migration into London was of English apprentices and
‚Ębetterment migrants‚Ä™, and many ‚Ępoor incomers‚Ä™. Both British (English
and Welsh, with some Scottish) and Continental immigrants were part of
a larger single problem: Mayor Nicholas Woodrofe wrote to Lord
Burghley in 1580, asking ‚ĘFfor restrainte of the buyldinges and erecting of
smale tenem[en]tes and turning of great howses into smale habitations
within the liberties of London by forens . . . and the strangers here
comonlie unclenly people‚Ä™.8 Real estate supply and demand is working as
it should ‚Ä“ or from an anti-alien point of view, as it shouldn‚Ä™ t, because it
ruins the English ‚Ä“ as Mercadorus the Italian merchant in The Three
Ladies advises Lady Lucre how to handle her properties:
Madonna, me tell ye vat you shall do: let dem to stranger dat are content
To dwell in a little room, and to pay much rent,
For you know da Frenchmans and Flemings in dis country be many,
So dat they make shift to dwell ten houses in one very gladly,
And be content-a for pay Ô¬Āfty or threescore pound a year
For dat which da Englishmans say twenty mark is too dear. (5.72‚Ä“7)

A Proclamation issued on 7 July 1580, shortly before the composition of
The Three Ladies, had attempted to deal with the suburban overcrowding
problem by forbidding just this multiple occupation of existing buildings,
‚Ęten houses in one‚Ä™, and by curbing the erection of new houses within
three miles of the city walls.9
An Act against new buildings in and around London to stem the tide
of immigration and to avoid compounding the problem of overcrowding
of persons with the overcrowding of buildings followed in 1592. In that
same year, Q2 of the still highly topical, if old-fashioned, The Three
Ladies was published.10 And just one year later again, growing alien‚Ä“
English tension and overcrowding is recorded by John Stow:
In Billinsgate ward were one and Ô¬Āftie housholds of strangers, whereof thirtie of
these housholdes inhabited in the parish of saint Buttolph in the chiefe and
principall houses, where they give twentie pounde the yeare for a house lately
letten for foure markes: the nearer they dwell to the waterside, the more they give
for houses, and within thirtie yeares before there was not in the whole warde
above three Netherlanders, at which time there was within the said parish levied
for the helpe of the poore, seaven and twentie pound by the yeare, but since they
came so plentifully thither, there cannot bee gathered above eleven pound, for
the stranger will not contribute to such charges as other Citizens doe.11
Accommodating the alien in mid-Elizabethan London plays 63
Particularly interesting in this observation is the fact that not only does
the active alien presence cause rents to sky-rocket, implicitly evicting
English tenants, but the passive aspect of the increased foreign population ‚Ä“
the refusal to contribute to the poor ‚Ä“ aggravates the problem of the
dispossession they have allegedly caused and worsens the already-dire
situation of the parish poor. Of course, such isolationist behaviour on
the part of small immigrant communities was an inevitable result of
encouraging them to remain essentially separate cultural islands through
their own churches, trading halls, and home-based production and
wholesaling. Moreover, there was an imbalance in poor relief expect-
ations: while ‚Ęit was either assumed or explicitly stated in practically
every place the refugees settled that they would maintain their own
needy‪, the aliens often had to contribute to their parish‪s poor relief
even though they were not receiving city money for the maintenance of
their own poor.12 By 1593 and the mid 1590s in general, class-aggravated
anti-alien protests and threats built in London.
Lady Lucre instantly dismisses Mercadorus‚Ä™ suggestion and tells us that
by the early 1580s, aliens were so well settled in English properties that
Londoners had no choice but to pay the inÔ¬‚ated market rate for rents;
and the capital was allegedly joined in its desperate straits by a number
of other towns to which aliens were attracted by direct invitation or
distributed by government population policy:
Why, Signiore Mercadore, think you not that I
Have inÔ¬Ānite numbers in London that my want doth supply,
Beside in Bristol, Northampton, Norwich, Westchester, Canterbury,
Dover, Sandwich, Rye, Portsmouth, Plymouth, and many more,
That great rents upon little room do bestow?
Yes, I warrant you, and truly I may thank the strangers for this,
That they have made houses so dear, whereby I live in bliss. (5.78‚Ä“84)

The exchange between Mercadorus and Lady Lucre argues that the
admission of aliens has confused English and alien in the capital city. Any
insistence on the ‚Ęotherness‚Ä™ and inferiority of the aliens is given the lie by
the apparent similarity of the state of poor Londoners and their immi-
grant counterparts. Those ‚ĘinÔ¬Ānite numbers in London‚Ä™ may be the
English migrants as well as ‚Ęold‚Ä™ Londoners, and it is the ‚Ęstrangers‚Ä™ who
are entirely to blame for making the English strangers in their own land
and whom Lucre ‚Ęmay thank‚Ä™.
A combination of uncertainties about the aliens in their midst and the
country‪s place in Europe certainly made the English reactionary and less
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
64
tolerant of the aliens than they might have been at a different historical
moment. We must be cautious, however, of overstating the matter. Steve
Rappaport and Ian Archer have (in contrasting ways) put the English
situation in the context of a less stable continent,13 and Joseph Ward and
Nigel Goose have tempered the general assertion of the ‚Ęxenophobic‚Ä™
English. Without denying extensive, recurrent anti-alien propaganda and
spates of violence in Elizabethan England (even called for directly in the
drama), violent behaviour against aliens was not as widespread or long-
lasting as were continuing complaints to the authorities about other
socio-political issues, such as fair trade practices and relief of dearth.14 A
generally antagonistic reputation attached to the English, however. As
outlined in Chapter 1, the English ‚Ęcharacter‚Ä™ as combining a tough,
northern Ô¬Āghting ability with an effeminate inconstancy is a geohumoral
commonplace that strongly inÔ¬‚uenced foreign views of the English and
even the ways in which the English examined and understood them-
selves.15 One Antwerp merchant noticed in his 1575 visit to England that
the English ‚Ęare bold, courageous, ardent, and cruel in war . . . but very
inconstant, rash, vainglorious, light, and deceiving, and very suspicious,
especially of foreigners, whom they despise‚Ä™.16 The English are a people
rife for alien confusion, resisting the alien but subject to absorbing the
habits of others, afraid of foreignness but needing (to understand or
contain) the foreign to bolster and inoculate the self against what they fear.
Extant texts of foreign visitors to England tend to concentrate in a few
areas of the English character: their self-sequestered and therefore xeno-
phobic and ignorant nature; their lack of art and culture (as a result of
such insularity); and their alleged idleness, passivity, corruptibility,
inconstancy, and ‚Ä“ as noted above ‚Ä“ potential rebelliousness. Goose has
recently warned us, however, of the dangers of the sources available to us to
assess foreign observation of the English character. Several factors com-
promise extant Continental reports of English visits: national stereotyping,
class prejudice in which the upper classes are represented as broad-minded
and the working classes virulently xenophobic, plagiarism between writers,
and simply the brevity and context of some writers‚Ä™ visits to London.
When the Dutch physician and geohumoralist Levinus Lemnius visited
England in 1560, for example, his mature age, the early date of the visit,
and the class of person he is remembering probably contributed to the
likelihood of a pleasant experience. He did, however, note that others ‚Ęwill
skarcely bee perswaded to beleeve‚Ä™ his good report of English learning and
hospitality.17 Late in the century the Duke of Wurttemberg‪s secretary
¨
writes by contrast of an ‚Ęextremely proud and overbearing‚Ä™ people who,
Accommodating the alien in mid-Elizabethan London plays 65
because they ‚Ęseldom go into other countries . . . care little for foreigners,
but scoff and laugh at them‚Ä™, especially the pugilistic ‚Ęstreet-boys and
apprentices‚Ä™.18 Although the secretary is shocked by the lack of respect
across class lines, age may be as important a factor here. If at this time the
‚Ępresence of servants and apprentices gave London‚Ä™s population a dis-
tinctive youthfulness: roughly 40 per cent were below age 15‚Ä™, then it would
be virtually impossible to avoid encountering annoying teenagers in
town.19 And indeed, we might think of the troublesome tricksters and
thieves of Like Will to Like as representing this youthful demographic.
Wilson‚Ä™s bringing together of a wide community of alien Ô¬Āgures in the
context of alien‚Ä“English tension and intra-English class mistrust puts
most pressure on his character Hospitality. If, as Daryl Palmer asserts,
‚ĘHospitality deÔ¬Āned life in London‚Ä™, then the murder of Hospitality in
The Three Ladies is a pivotal moment, for it effectively destroys the idea of
London itself, and the later play The Three Lords makes it clear that
Wilson considers the city of London to be at the core of Englishness.20
His death is, furthermore, of particular importance for a study of the
alien confusion of Englishness because of the stated exclusivity of the
character. When Conscience asks Hospitality, ‚ĘBut I pray you, sir, have
you invited to dinner any stranger?‚Ä™ the answer is an emphatic negative:
‚ĘNo, sure; none but Lady Love, and three or four honest neighbours‚Ä™
(4.65‚Ä“6). This is an English and an urban answer: it strongly suggests the
rejection of any aliens from the table, but it also suggests the rejection of
any inÔ¬‚uence that may bring corruption to the hospitable house. Three or
four honest neighbours would not include an Englishman like Artifex, for
example, once he is corrupted by Fraud. Even a citizen, a freeman, might
end up representing anti-citizenship in this alienated city. Felicity Heal
notes that civic entertainment and hospitality might invite outsiders, and
some small towns made a point of celebrating their achievements of
building and incorporation by inviting surrounding country gentry to
town feasts; largely, however, hospitable feasts were a centripetal practice
for citizens and ‚Ęneighbours‚Ä™.21 If Hospitality represents the life of the city
of London, then his ‚Ęprotectionism‚Ä™ or exclusivity is not that surprising or
unusual. Once Hospitality is killed by his nemesis, Usury, London as a
location for locating Englishness is lost, and that process of loss is
depicted through the subsequent fall of Conscience.
As the canker of Wilson‚Ä™s commonwealth, ‚Ęso well settled in this
country‚Ä™, Usury ‚Ęwill pinch all, rich and poor, that come to me‚Ä™ (2.267‚Ä“8).
Connoting both Ô¬Ānancial hardship and bodily pain, ‚Ępinching‚Ä™ insists on
the inevitable confusion we have seen through the Elizabethan moral
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
66
plays with their alien-instigated and circulated wealth on the one hand,
which works through dissimulation (Illwill, Newfangle, Courage Con-
trarious, Dissimulation) and deprives or corrupts the native English
(Liberty, Tenant, Artifex), and physical or somatic consequences on the
other (deformed Christianity, spotted Conscience). Having been evicted
from her house by Usury, Conscience complains that ‚ĘBoth he and Lucre
hath so pinched us, we know not what to do. / Were it not for Hospi-
tality, we knew not whither to go‚Ä™ (5.13‚Ä“14). Hospitality is the direct
antidote to poverty and bodily discomfort. Lady Conscience next appears
‚Ęrunning apace‚Ä™ in response to Hospitality‚Ä™s cries for help. With Con-
science‪s post-eviction declaration that Hospitality is her only hope still
ringing in our ears, Usury murders Hospitality (Scene 8). Lady Con-
science can Ô¬Ānd no friendly reception wherever she goes, and in her
desperation, she succumbs to Lady Lucre‪s temptation. The play has
demonstrated that the practice of usury directly eliminates hospitality,
and Conscience conÔ¬Ārms the connection: ‚Ęif we lend for reward, how can
we say we are our neighbour‪s friend?‪ (10.28). Covetousness leads to the
‚Ęunsatiate‚Ä™ mind (10.31), and with no end to aim at in life and no heaven
to believe in, endless desire for increase leaves us with characters like the
merchant Greediness or the merchants and usurers of the later comedies.
When Lady Conscience complains, ‚ĘBut usury is made tolerable
amongst Christians as a necessary thing, / So that, going beyond the
limits of our law, they extort, and many to misery bring‚Ä™ (10.25‚Ä“6), we
are thrown back to Christianity‪s complaint that the people claim that he
is sound when he is deformed: the mistaken Christians in The Three
Ladies apparently go ‚Ębeyond the limits‚Ä™ of the 1571 Anti Usury Statute,
which permitted usury at 10 per cent, yet they still call themselves
Christians. Such mistaken interpretation of the self means that when a
few lines later she asks ‚ĘWho bargains or chops with Conscience‚Ä™ (10.43),
we cannot help but take the multiple connotations of that second verb
into account: along with its simple meaning of market dealing, to ‚Ęchop‚Ä™
is to change or alter, to veer off to one side, to bandy with or change the
logic of something. This question lays out the problem: ‚ĘChristianity‚Ä™
and now ‚ĘConscience‚Ä™ are seen as ambiguous terms, interpretable, just as
‚Ęthe tide tarrieth no man‚Ä™ should be a clear religious call to reformation
but is easily ‚Ęchopped‚Ä™ into an earthly carpe diem trope. Conscience,
then, carelessly announcing Lady Lucre‚Ä™s ‚Ęfree heart and liberality‚Ä™ (10.71)
(somewhere between a legitimate Liberty and licentiousness) is corrupted
by Lucre until she ‚Ęmean[s] henceforth not to be seen‚Ä™ (10.120) ‚Ä“
Conscience, neighbourhood, Christianity, Englishness disappearing from
Accommodating the alien in mid-Elizabethan London plays 67
the urban landscape. She must deck her own home beautifully and make
a little hospitable corner ‚Ęwhere few neighbours dwell, / And they be of
the poorest sort‚Ä™ (10.94‚Ä“5) for Lucre to bring her ‚Ęfamiliar friends, to play
and pass the time in sport‚Ä™ (10.78). The irony of the part Conscience is
forced to play ‚Ä“ that of perverted and depraved hospitality ‚Ä“ is palpable.22
And the corruption of a Christian Conscience, like the deformation of
Wapull‪s character of English Christianity, is a multilayered process that
literally incorporates ‚Ä“ or in Jonathan Gil Harris‚Ä™ study of the spotting of
Conscience, overwrites on the palimpsest ‚Ä“ the metaphorical/allegorical,
the natural historical, and the economic readings of diseased English
Conscience.23 The pinch of Ô¬Ānances is felt in physical hunger, and the
worm of conscience manifests itself through the destruction of the
commonwealth and the individuals in it.
Hospitality‪s loss is owing to alien aggression and English ignorance.
He is murdered by the Jewish-parented Usury, on the order of the
Venetian-grandamed Lucre (I return to these identities below). At Hos-
pitality‚Ä™s funeral we hear: ‚ĘThere were many of the clergy, and many of
the nobility, / And many right worshipful rich citizens, / . . . / But to see
how the poor followed him, it was a wonder‚Ä™ (8.86‚Ä“9). The cries of the
poor are ineffective, the inÔ¬‚uential citizens just mumble into their sleeves,
and ‚Ęnone will hinder the murderer for this cruel act‚Ä™ (8.95).
Good English Hospitality is lost because the simpletons of England
have become greedy; Wapull insisted on greed as the non-Christian,
non-English worm of the Commonwealth, and Wilson has Simplicity
misunderstand Hospitality‪s apparent miserliness:
Now, God‪s blessing on his heart: why, ‪twas time that he was dead.
He was an old churl, with never a good tooth in his head.
And he ne‪er kept no good cheer that I could see;
For if one had not come at dinner time, he should have gone away hungry.
I could never get my belly full of meat;
He had nothing but beef, bread, and cheese for me to eat.
Now I would have had some pies, or bag puddings with great lumps of fat,
But, I warrant ye, he did keep my mouth well enough from that. (8.40‚Ä“7)

Heal notes the modesty of urban hospitable fare, citing William
Harrison‚Ä™s observation that country hospitality would provide ‚Ęa fat
capon or plenty of beef for welcome, while in the town a cup of beer or
wine and ‚Ęan ‚ÄúYou are heartily welcome‚ÄĚ is thought to be great
entertainment‪.24 All of this, and the play‪s joke about the non-existent
host Sir Nicholas Nemo (Scenes 4 and 8), comment on the state of what
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
68
Caleb Dalechamp called private hospitality in his 1632 Christian Hospi-
tality. This is the type of hospitality on which Heal concentrates, and with
which most of the contemporary commentators concern themselves.25
However, Dalechamp ‚Ä“ whose early Caroline text outlines understanding
of hospitality in place in late-Elizabethan England ‚Ä“ had another
category: public hospitality demands that a people ‚Ęsuffer strangers to
come into the land . . . defend them by good laws from injuries and
wrongs . . . give them leave to exercise their lawfull calling, [and] . . .
procure the relief of those that are in want and necessity‚Ä™.26 The irony that
Wilson‪s play highlights is that the latter type of hospitality (which
beneÔ¬Āts aliens) has destroyed the former type of hospitality (which
beneÔ¬Āts the English).
But accommodation had seemed the right thing to do. Dalechamp‪s
title is telling: hospitality is simply Christian, and for the moral plays
through the Elizabethan settlement, proper Christianity is Englishness.
The contemporary tracts and sermons on hospitality all cite the Old and
New Testament stories in which Jews and heathens hosted their neigh-
bours and strangers; how much more necessary, then, (the argument
went) for a Christian country to host its needy neighbours. The seven-
teenth century saw an increasing number of sermons and tracts on public
hospitality in response to a general English doubt about its relative
beneÔ¬Āts. Dalechamp insisted, ‚ĘLove and kindnesse we ow to all strangers
which are come amongst us . . . A Jew, a Turk, a Pagan, or any other
inÔ¬Ādel, deserves to be respected and relieved in his necessities, though not
for his manners, yet for his manhood, for his communion and fellowship
in the same nature with us.‪27 Reasons put forward for the general decline
in English hospitality ranged from the massive inÔ¬‚ation of the sixteenth
century, which had increased threefold in a generation,28 to the diversion
of personal funds toward the vanity of excessive apparel and foreign
fashion, to the unhealthy over-engagement in such pastimes as the
expensive new leisure pursuit of smoking tobacco or even selÔ¬Āshly
studying books, which took one‪s mind away from providing entertain-
ment for others.29 In theory, of course, to an extent all these causes of
hospitality‪s decline could be blamed on aliens. Hadn‪t they encouraged
the merchants to hoard goods and drive up prices? Hadn‪t they taught the
brokers to pinch every last penny out of the London market? Hadn‪t they
introduced the luxury cloths that made Ô¬Āne apparel and tempted the
English beyond measure? And wasn‪t it an alien habit that merchant
adventurers had brought home in smoking (or ‚Ędrinking‚Ä™) tobacco? As
Jeffrey Knapp points out, tobacco, as one of the imported triÔ¬‚es of the
Accommodating the alien in mid-Elizabethan London plays 69
Elizabethan age, was one that speciÔ¬Ācally reminded the English of their
belatedness in imperial endeavour and of their enemy, Spain, who sold it
to them from their New World possessions.30 The later Elizabethan
drama would understand the paradoxical Englishness of all these alien
habits, for alien confusion demonstrates that the English do not (to invert
Shylock‚Ä™s claim) ‚Ębetter the instruction‚Ä™ of the aliens whom they blame
for bad behaviour; they are rather tutors to themselves who use the aliens
as perspective glasses wherein to see their own desires for personal and
communal development.
Lady Lucre‚Ä™s residency ‚Ęin bliss‚Ä™ and the permanent and successful
settlement of aliens in the London of The Three Ladies is directly related to
what is happening outside the country. Daniel Vitkus has usefully
extended the notion of ‚Ęturning Turk‚Ä™ to examine how the burgeoning
international market inevitably led to perceptions of the corruption of
English subjects and the commonwealth.31 Vitkus also notes the
importance of the Italian merchant and Jew as a team involved in opening
up English trade in this detrimental way. Indeed, Wilson‪s surprisingly
‚Ęgood‚Ä™ Levantine Jew, Gerontus, is still a usurer, and his money is still the
life-blood of Mercadorus‚Ä™ abetting the corruption of England. The
coincidence of dates of historical events and literary texts is proof of little
in singularity, but a cluster, progression, or pattern might support a
connection between dramatic production in London and shifts in the
wider mercantile world: the founding of the Turkey Company in 1581
coincides with the writing of The Three Ladies; the Venice Company is
chartered in 1583, The Three Ladies is published in 1584; the second edition
of The Three Ladies comes out in 1592, the year of the combined Levant
Company.32 For English merchants, the 1580s were a decade of rapid
grabbing and monopolizing of trade opportunities; for moral and comic
playwrights, such a climate invited the staging of both the excitement and
the fear of international intercourse.
The Jew‚Ä“Italian partnership in Wilson‚Ä™s Turkey sets up a rather
obvious ‚Ęmirror‚Ä™ for England‚Ä™s Usury and Lady Lucre, since Usury
received his training in Venice under Lady Lucre‚Ä™s ‚ĘGrandmother the old
Lady Lucre‚Ä™ (2.216). Thus we are surely supposed to think of his heritage
as Jewish. Sure enough, in Wilson‪s sequel play The Three Lords, Simony
lists the aliens for Usury‚Ä™s beneÔ¬Āt: ‚Ę ‚Ä™Tis not our native countrie, thou
knowest, I Simony am a Roman, Dissimulation a Mongrel, half an Italian,
halfe a Dutchman: Fraud so too, halfe French, and halfe Scottish: and thy
parents were both Jewes, though thou wert borne in London‚Ä™ (1439‚Ä“42;
F4).33 H. S. D. Mithal questions whether Wilson put that last clause in
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama

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