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striving to comprehend their own English or Welsh manhood: Hotspur,
like Cordelia, denying the tenets of the father‪s law as written into his
map; Falstaff (that False Taff, Oldcastle) with the notorious stab in the
dead Hotspur‪s thigh (the displaced sexual location of rupture also for the
ill-fated Adonis); Mortimer and Glyndwr bleeding into the Severn River
together. Wales itself, for the Tudor line and Elizabethan playgoers,
represented a penetrable and adaptable Ô¬Āeld of activity affecting its iconic
status as ‚ĘBritish‚Ä™ and anti-English. On the one hand it let in Henry
Tudor at Milford Haven, and on the other hand the ‚Ęhaven‚Ä™ port at
Milford could permit another aggressive entry ‚Ä“ that of invading French
or Spanish, who might Ô¬Ānd some level of sympathy in Wales.51
Notions of gendered space, threats and expectations across lines of
difference are taken up in Hopkins‚Ä™ Shakespeare on the Edge, where she
expands on the notion of watery borders associated with Wales, especially
comparing them with the hard boundaries of fences and walls on which
England relies.52 Part of the outcome of the Ô¬‚uidity of the passages to and
within Wales is the already-noted sense of the region as marginal,
magical, and dream-like. Report from Wales is not certain, thus we do
not know whom to believe between Hotspur‚Ä™s report of Mortimer‚Ä™s Ô¬Āght
Incorporating the alien in Shakespeare‚Ä™ s second tetralogy 107
with Glyndwr and Henry‪s rejection of that version of events.53 The
uncertainty, however, feeds into the availability of multiple and con-
current views of Wales for the building of Anglo-British stature; if the
Ô¬Āght never happened in history, it happened in Hotspur‚Ä™s relation and
therefore it happened in this ‚Ęhistory‚Ä™ play. Such reports are not very
different from the calls to believe in the shifts of place and consequences
of events made by Henry V ‪s Chorus. Just as utterances make characters
on the stage, so they make events as well. The detailed atrocities of the
Welsh women on slaughtered male bodies, never part of the play text, are
now so engrained in the collective critical psyche by reiterated quotation
taken from the chronicles, that we have lost something of this mythical,
evasive quality of the fears that Wales holds for the English in Henry IV.
Like the mysterious content within the stage directions, ‚ĘThe lady speaks
in Welsh‚Ä™, the Welshwomen episode as supplied by Shakespeare consti-
tutes a deliberate textual breach that has been Ô¬Ālled up by critics with
those mutilated English dead. Hopkins‚Ä™ subtle reading of these moments
of Welsh vagueness leads her to conclude the illusoriness of a Welsh
threat, and for the Tudor regime, this was basically true.54 All dramatic
activity takes place upon report, however. Truth and falsehood get played
out on the wooden ‚ĘԬĀeld‚Ä™ of duel and battle, and Glyndwr outlasts
Hotspur, albeit to his own withering end. Richard II‪s relation of the
bounds-beating rebels brought the fact to life, and Henry feels the need to
contradict and suppress something that he asserts only exists as report:
Hotspur‪s relation of the battle of Mortimer. Henry‪s refusal to believe
Hotspur casts suspicion on Hotspur and Mortimer‪s loyalty, thus pos-
itioning them on the confusing fringe of a ‚Ępure‚Ä™ English identity; this of
course is entirely at odds with Hotspur‪s own sense of his very English
position in contrast to his strange comrade/antagonist Glyndwr. While
King Henry resists Hotspur‪s apparent rehearsal of the king‪s own
coming-to-power, Hotspur himself attempts to recast Glyndwr outside
the realm of Britishness that ambitious nobility sees as central to deÔ¬Āning,
winning, and maintaining English identity. Henry‪s action is not simply
an affront to Hotspur‪s honesty or military knowledge, but to his willed
masculine ability to Ô¬Āx events within a narrative of his own preferring,
one that conÔ¬Ārms his role in the reforming of a Welsh-bolstered English
identity. We have seen, however, that Hotspur lacks something to make
his desire for power a reality. If that map in 1 Henry IV (as well as the one
in King Lear) is supposed to be a settled agreement, not a text for
alteration and manipulation,55 then it is Hotspur who fails to align with
the men of the British kingdoms of the past and present. Both fathers,
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
108
and both British rulers, Glyndwr and Lear are astonished at the younger
generation‚Ä™s ability to Ô¬‚out this concreteness. The maps in both cases are,
for the older generation, not there to be redrawn or discussed, but to
show the Ô¬Āxity of things, decisions that have been made.
This masculinized desire for Ô¬Āxity relates to the audience‚Ä™s expectations
at the theatre. As students of drama, we like to remind ourselves often of
the drama‚Ä™s free play, improvisation, surprise, and disorder ‚Ä“ perhaps,
arguably, its liquidity and femininity. But the predictability of theatre
space, textual form, character relation, and moral structure has to inhere
sufÔ¬Āciently in an established system of generic and practical laws for
drama to be useful as an object or event for interpretation (i.e. one needs
to understand the basics of the language before one can begin to translate
or interpret effectively). When such Ô¬Āxity or reliability is thrown into
question, a character like Henry V ‪s Chorus is there to direct the spec-
tators how to ‚Ęimagine‚Ä™ what they see (or, rather, don‚Ä™ t see). Without and
within the plays, this battle for deÔ¬Ānition goes on, this contested balance
between the work of the (feminine) imagination and supposition on the
one hand and the necessity for a (masculine) curbed and well-deÔ¬Āned
identity or sense of place and ‚Ętruth‚Ä™ on the other hand. So when Hotspur
comes to Henry with his narrative of battle, it is not just individual
reputation that is on the line, but the very meaning and place of
Englishness and Britishness as articulated in the dramatic play of power.
Hotspur evokes the Anglo-Welsh border to place his narrative of
Mortimer and Glyndwr. Mortimer the Englishman leads the men of the
border Marches in Herefordshire against the Welshman Glyndwr who
captures Mortimer. There is a relentless pull westward here that, as we
have seen, Hotspur asks Henry to reverse and that Henry refuses to
believe:
. . . the noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to Ô¬Āght
Against the irregular and wild Glyndwr,
Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken[.] (1.1.38‚Ä“41)

To call Glyndwr ‚Ęirregular‚Ä™ reveals Hotspur‚Ä™s anxiety about the
Welshman‪s authority and his unorthodox magical powers.56 Jean
Howard suggests that the term refers to Glyndwr‪s guerrilla war tactics,
but the word hints rather at an attempt to pre-empt and deny the
regularity of the man: the courtly, orthodox English upbringing of which
he reminds us later.57 He is, asserts Hotspur, not aligned with regula, that
is, he is unruly. Such a view enacts the ‚Ęlaw‚Ä™/‚Ęlore‚Ä™ contrast that Hawkes
Incorporating the alien in Shakespeare‚Ä™ s second tetralogy 109
placed each side of the English‚Ä“Welsh border, but which is seriously
questioned as Glyndwr demonstrates his commitment to right ways of
doing things ‚Ä“ maintenance of the family, of native identity, of the map
of geological and Ô¬‚uvial fact. His alleged ‚Ęwild[ness]‚Ä™ is arguably proven
by his protestations of outrageous powers, but is this any more alarming
than the outbursts of the passionate Hotspur? Moreover, the word surely
recalls more immediately the traditional country ‚Ęwild man‚Ä™, again a
characteristic radically at odds with what we see in the play.58 Such a
‚Ęwild‚Ä™ man would have ‚Ęrude hands‚Ä™, unÔ¬Āt to manhandle ‚Ęnoble
Mortimer‪, but while Glyndwr may well have rough, soldier‪s hands, they
have raised and loved a daughter who enchants English Mortimer, and
`
they perhaps ‚Ęframed [themselves] to the harp‚Ä™ (3.1.120), a point of civility
I return to below. This play keeps compromising extremes in Welshness
and Englishness, or it sets up black/white English/Welsh contrast from
one point of view to have it made grey by another. We saw that it does
not repeat the full chronicle history‪s dwelling on the Welsh women‪s
atrocities that so fascinate new historicists, nor does it tell the story of
Glyndwr‚Ä™s ‚Ęwild‚Ä™ ending in the mountains. 1 Henry IV kindles the latent
heat of nationalism and xenophobia, only to dampen it again when there
is the potential of a Ô¬‚are-up. Instead of the wild alien invader, we have a
strong, angry, sympathetic, quite odd, intelligent, ‚ĘAnglicized‚Ä™ but very
Welsh man defending land that he respects and loves as his life.
This play simultaneously relates Hotspur to the ‚Ęoutlandish‚Ä™ position
of Glyndwr and sets him up as a compare-and-contrast foil for Hal; but
these positionings relative to other characters do not eliminate Hotspur‪s
essential isolation. It may be that medieval ‚ĘWelshness was bleakly deÔ¬Āned
by the shared experience of resisting the English‪,59 but from the play‪s
Anglo-centric point of view, Glyndwr‪s identity as alien because Welsh is
motivated or brought into being by the fact of his being alien because a
rebel (compare him with friendly Fluellen). Either way, Hotspur and
Mortimer are pulled into that rebel/Welsh cluster that lies across the
English‚Ä“Welsh distinction, for they too resist the centre of Englishness
as represented by the king. The logical end of this thinking of course
draws Henry IV into the mix as past rebel against Richard II, and even
Richard II himself has the dual alien‚Ä“English identity as a native
Frenchman and breaker of English tradition in denying Lancaster‪s
inheritance. For all this web of close connectors, however, Harry Percy is
the ‚Ęhotspur‚Ä™ because he cannot settle down. Part of Hotspur‚Ä™s uneasiness
lies in his own failure to go through an excursion of ‚ĘԬĀnding himself‚Ä™ and
Ô¬Ānding in himself a stable identity. John Michael Archer calls him ‚Ęthe
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
110
complete provincial‚Ä™, opposed to a citizen identity that Bolingbroke
incorporated in his rise to kingship.60 From what I have said in this
paragraph, we can add that this does not just place him in opposition to
London, but in a limbo between Henry‪s and Glyndwr‪s states of con-
Ô¬Ādent power. In his isolation (and his inability to engage in the kind of
empathy called for by Sir Thomas More or voiced by the duellists in
Richard II ) Hotspur cannot fully accept the strange, court-trained
Glyndwr. Without being able to ‚Ętake sides‚Ä™ in the battle, Hotspur is not
just the antagonist to Prince Hal but is very much the individual, rash,
solipsistic, determined-but-doomed reminder of Henry IV‪s enemy, King
Richard. He can thus never gather together an essential English identity
in the way that Henry did from excursive and familial experience, or in
the way Hal does from his multiple empathetic excursions into the citi-
zenry and underworld, or at court where he takes the crown ahead of his
time (2 HIV 4.3).
If Hotspur is an unsettled character, Glyndwr knows himself very well,
and his is a self of conÔ¬Ādent incorporation. He is the incomparable
Welshman who can insist to Hotspur ‚ĘI can speak English, Lord, as well
as you‚Ä™ (3.1.118). This may have got a laugh from a London audience, since
a Welshman attacking the English of a northener is ‚Ęthe pot calling the
kettle black‚Ä™. In spite of that, Glyndwr is certainly an extraordinary man,
for, as Glanmor Williams writes of the Reformation period to follow
much later than the play‚Ä™s setting, ‚ĘOnly in the towns, and partly Angli-
cized areas like south Pembrokeshire, the Vale of Glamorgan, and parts of
the eastern border, were there many who spoke English‚Ä™, and they would
have been the gentry, professional men, and higher clergy.61 Glyndwr‪s
English is not a sign of weakness, even if part of a colonial Anglicization,
but rather it displays precisely the politic intelligence we accord English
Hal in 2 Henry IV. As spectators, we already understand what Warwick
conÔ¬Ārms: ‚ĘThe Prince but studies his companions / Like a strange tongue‚Ä™
‚Ęto be known and hated‚Ä™ (2 HIV 4.3.68‚Ä“9, 73). We already know this not
least because it is hardly a new activity ‚Ä“ it is what Bolingbroke and
Mowbray were forced to do through banishment, thus Ô¬Ānding their own
true callings. Glyndwr also learns in order to compete with and outdo his
teachers and adversaries. This is in fact a Shakespearean commonplace,
which we hear in Shylock‚Ä™s claim that he ‚Ęwill better the instruction‚Ä™ of his
Christian oppressors (Mer 3.1.61) and witness in Othello‪s ability to be a
Venetian general. Learning the foreign ‚Ęlanguage‚Ä™ (linguistic and behav-
ioural) is political savviness rather than weakness, whether the authority
learns from the subject or the colonized from the colonizer. Glyndwr‪s
Incorporating the alien in Shakespeare‚Ä™ s second tetralogy 111
proud assertion of his linguistic Ô¬‚uency is in direct response to Hotspur‚Ä™s
provocation; it is a skill he is using against the English overlords, and it is
not one that has compromised or replaced his own originary Welsh
identity or knowledge. If Anglicization is ‚Ęthe process by which English
forms began to inÔ¬Āltrate foreign languages abroad‚Ä™, then Glyndwr protects
Welshness in Wales, and his daughter‚Ä™s Welsh avoids the ‚Ębroken English‚Ä™
of Fluellen and other comic second-language speakers, which would have
diluted her potency.62 Glyndwr is no Caliban, who represents the
oppressed with no other useful language and only impotently curses his
master. Glyndwr has a fully formed Welsh identity, he has gathered his
Anglicized strength from behind enemy lines, and his inÔ¬Āltration has the
potential to pay off.
Glyndwr extends his claim to the power of language in a passage that
insists on the penetration of Englishness by the Welsh alien. Addressing
Hotspur, he remarks that he learned his English ‚Ęin the English court, /
`
Where, being but young, I framed to the harp / Many an English ditty
lovely well, / And gave the tongue a helpful ornament ‚Ä“ / A virtue that
was never seen in you‚Ä™ (3.1.119‚Ä“23). While this is generally glossed as
meaning that Glyndwr‪s musical skill made the ditties sound all the
lovelier, the subject of the phrase seems to be his English ditty (i.e. words
and singing). Megan Lloyd has argued that ‚ĘThe wild Welshwomen,
along with the rebel magician Glendower and vocalist Lady Mortimer
construct Wales as a place of voices in 1 Henry IV ‚Ä™, although we have just
seen that Glyndwr‪s voice was nurtured and grew in England.63 After this
educational excursion, his vocal skill has been transplanted to Wales and
is now making its way back into Englishness. The alien infusion is again
something inherently English ‚Ä“ resisted but irresistible; held at bay with
language and overt action, but already within. Glyndwr claims that his
Welsh voice improves ‚Ęthe tongue‚Ä™ of Englishness; Hotspur‚Ä™s riposte to
Glyndwr‚Ä™s accusing ‚ĘA virtue that was never seen in you‚Ä™ (123) rejects not
musical composition, but ‚Ęmetre ballad-mongers‚Ä™ and ‚Ęmincing poetry‚Ä™
(126, 130). Thus it is the challenge of language that these two take on, and
it is the assertion that Welshness pervades Englishness and ameliorates it
that Hotspur cannot ‚Ä“ for all his disdain ‚Ä“ in the end reject. Behind this
anxiety lies the debate over the qualities of the English language as a part
of English self-deÔ¬Ānition. On the one hand, English was a Ô¬‚exible, poetic
language to be proud of; on the other, it was a mish-mash of colonizers‚Ä™
lexicons and grammars: Germanic, Latin, French. Hotspur‪s rejection of
Welsh as worse than a bitch-dog howling in Irish in such a historical
context, then, is in part a displacing of the fear of what Steven Mullaney
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
112
calls the ‚Ębarbaros‚Ä™ in the English throat, a continued denying of the alien
within.64
Hawkes points out that ‚ĘFor English speakers, to hear Welsh is fun-
damentally disconcerting. In a sense it is to experience the phenomenon
of ‚Äúlanguage‚ÄĚ itself, as an unmediated, inexplicable system of signs‚Ä™, and
David Steinsaltz concurs, noting that the Welsh is not written out because
‚Ęthe Welsh language was genuinely alien‚Ä™.65 (Alien enough, I suspect, to
prohibit Shakespeare from writing the lines even if he had wanted to.)
The contiguity and imbrication of Anglo-Welsh cultural and religious
aspirations in tension with the radical language division lies behind
England‪s policy of language suppression and enforcement in sixteenth-
century Wales. ‚ĘFor all the endemic disorder‚Ä™, argues Peter Roberts,
‚ĘWales in the mid-1530s was not considered by the regime to be a frontier
society, where attachment to the indigenous culture and language fostered
a disaffected separatism which might resist the changes of the Reforma-
tion. If anything, the linguistic difference was believed to inhibit the
spread of dissent and disobedience.‪66 Thus the apparently oppressive 27
Henry VIII, c.26 (1536) ‚ĘAct of Union‚Ä™ making English the ofÔ¬Ācial lan-
guage of the law courts and administration was followed by 5 Elizabeth I,
c.28 (1563) ordering Welsh vernacular bibles and prayer books.67 This
sequence should not be considered points on a line of ‚Ęa consistent and
single-minded ‚ÄúTudor policy towards Wales‚ÄĚ‚Ä™, although the latter Act
‚Ęhelped sustain the Protestant Reformation and the Welsh language in
ways that did not develop in other Celtic speaking regions‚Ä™.68 The Welsh
translating project was particularly useful as a tool against Catholicism
after the Council of Trent in 1546 ‚Ęhad declared the Vulgate alone must
be used for public readings, sermons and disputations . . . [T]he Privy
Council regarded the vernacular Scriptures as a potent weapon in the
campaign to implement the Elizabethan settlement of the church.‪69
The use of language as a tool of conquest, by example of the Romans,
is an important notion with regard to Wales. The mid-sixteenth-century
ofÔ¬Ācial recognition by the English state of the need to permit Welsh for
religious education in Welsh-speaking parts of Wales both aided the
Protestant Reformation and allowed a distance or resistance to English
power. Post-Reformation Wales remained strongly nationalist and its
counter-Reformation sympathies fought for primacy with its Welshness.
Thus non-Welsh counter-Reformation clerics (and even those who left
Wales for seminaries abroad and returned) found it hard to ingratiate
themselves with the Welsh.70 The religious free-verse poet, Rhys Pri-
chard, saw the need to draw the populace to the Word of God through
Incorporating the alien in Shakespeare‚Ä™ s second tetralogy 113
popular means. In a reÔ¬‚ection of the English desire to be like the Roman
colonizer while retaining the difference of their own language and rising
cultural promise, Prichard and others attempted to draw the Welsh
commoners toward greater Welsh literacy by comparing their back-
wardness with the better-educated English.71 Glyndwr anachronistically
but powerfully emerges from this controlled but semi-independent Wales
as representative of a confused, advanced Welshman: the alien located
within a nascent Britain that was increasingly being incorporated by an
ideology of expansive ‚ĘEnglishness‚Ä™.

henry v and cymbeline: the welsh correction
and the british complexion
King Henry V gradually absorbs a ‚ĘBritishness‚Ä™ into his identity that he
recasts as ‚ĘEnglish‚Ä™ until the joyful Fluellen‚Ä“Henry exchange that employs
questionable premises and analogy to stabilize a macsculine but morally
acceptable identity for the king. The fact that Welsh must be in English is
most strikingly played out when Fluellen beats pistol and forces him to
eat the leek. Captain Gower ‚Ä“ the Englishman with a very ‚ĘBritish‚Ä™ name ‚Ä“
gets the conclusive judging line for Pistol: ‚Ęlet a Welsh correction teach
you a good English condition‚Ä™ (5.1.69‚Ä“70), and indeed the play has
demonstrated Welsh ‚Ęcor-rection‚Ä™ (a leading, a straightening out) of the
English ‚Ęcon-dition‚Ä™ (what comes together, is spoken for).72 Pistol‚Ä™s
rejection of Fluellen‚Ä™s leek involves an important prejudice: ‚ĘNot for
Cadwaller and all his goats‚Ä™ (5.1.25), he retorts, because ‚Ęfor Pistol the
Welsh are foreigners with a distinct history‚Ä™.73 Pistol represents the
English ‚Ęold guard‚Ä™ of resistance to British and other foreign confusion.
His epithet for Fluellen, ‚Ębase Trojan‚Ä™, is footnoted in editions of the
play variously as ‚Ęrascal‚Ä™ and ‚Ęvillain‚Ä™, but this is Pistol using a term that
cannot be so easily extracted from its embedded sense of Britishness.
Fluellen is ancient Welsh, from Trojan stock according to the legend of
Brutus‚Ä™ landing in Albion, and Pistol attempts to separate his English-
ness from that legacy by reiterating the term.74 While Pistol‪s sense of
Englishness uncomfortably rejects Welshness, his attitude acts as a kind
of foil against which we see highlighted the king, who represents the
nation and must incorporate that Welsh history into a greater whole.
Pistol must eat the leek and allow the literally distasteful lesson of
Welshness to enter his body. In the Ô¬Āfteenth and sixteenth centuries, the
leek was used in comparative phrases to indicate something of little value,
and this is a kind of debased communion that once again couches vital
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
114
moments of identity formation in edgy comedy. The concentration on
the insigniÔ¬Ācant ‚ĘWelsh onion‚Ä™ is at once rather disproportionate to the
signiÔ¬Ācance of the ‚Ęcorrection‚Ä™ at hand, just as other vital attempts to
deÔ¬Āne identity are based around seemingly minor quarrels in Henry V.
Consider the English soldier who mistakes Harry in the night. He is a
reÔ¬‚ective means to articulate Hal‚Ä™s own fears of consciousness and
national responsibility, and we should no longer be surprised that this
shadowy Ô¬Āgure of resistance, correction, and conditioning is given the
common Welsh name, Williams. The Old-English-Irish Macmorris‚Ä™
complaint that Fluellen misrepresents Ireland as another ‚Ęnation‚Ä™ high-
lights the process of Anglo-Welsh conditioning and confusion that
privileges England against all Celtic countries.75 Jamy, Macmorris, and
even the arguably naive Fluellen are there to play the part of countries‚Ä™
representatives, but the English play forces them to ‚Ęact‚Ä™ as regional pieces
of a British puzzle that feeds the British king of England‪s desire to
represent the British coalition as English. Such a force is powerful enough
to keep criticism talking about this scene in terms of ‚Ęregional rivalries‚Ä™.76
There is no end to the formation of Englishness, of course. Henry V‪s
rejection of Falstaff at the end of 2 Henry IV, for all its sense of Ô¬Ānality,
did not conÔ¬Ārm the king‚Ä™s identity so much as set him on the path to
Ô¬Ānding it. If at this point Hal is denying the alien part of himself, the
unruly daemon, and a Rabelaisian excess, he is also through that very
rejection revealing the recognition of a reliance on that alien element in
his pursuit of quintessential Englishness. Claire McEachern notes that the
usual view of Henry V‚Ä™s movement from ‚Ęfellowship to estrangement‚Ä™ in
his rejection of Falstaff needs to be reread from Henry IV‪s point of view,
in which Hal‚Ä™s ‚Ętavern-founded fellowship‚Ä™ is itself ‚Ępersonal wilfulness‚Ä™
that must be left alone to provide for the ‚Ęcorporate welfare‚Ä™ assigned to
kingship.77 I have been arguing that these two processes are not so much
alternatives as immanent and public correlatives. Queen Isabel‪s personal
vision reveals public terror; Bolingbroke‪s wilful return incorporates a
release from Richard‚Ä™s tyranny; Mowbray‚Ä™s personal plight beneÔ¬Āts the
international cause of Christendom. Hal‪s English self requires the
interchange with the tavern friends, and his social process of rising
through the English ranks from familiar prince to unequivocal king
separates him from the bodies of knowledge that he now thoroughly
owns and rules over. At the same time, his personal self-discovery
(through recognition of the alien elements in and around London‪s
human bodies, the city‪s and the country‪s topographical features, and the
presence of Welshness all around ‚Ä“ and of course within ‚Ä“ him) is one
Incorporating the alien in Shakespeare‚Ä™ s second tetralogy 115
that leads him through the self-serving pseudo-camaraderie of the tavern
gang and into his role of synthesized, alien-English, British leader who
goes under the name of King of England.
That Henry is not simply rejecting the alien but instead working
through alien elements as he needs them to maintain his Englishness is
conÔ¬Ārmed in the manner in which he perceives Katherine and France.
When the French King notes that Harry sees the towns of France
‚Ęperspectively‚Ä™ in Katherine, there is a little more going on than ‚Ęsimply a
shift in perspective, the transformation of an object from one set of
dimensions into another, as in a map‚Ä™.78 For something at once expansive
and contracting occurs in this moment. Henry is faced with a combin-
ation of a looking glass and a perspective glass, seeing himself and his
possessions in Katherine to conÔ¬Ārm his English power, and through her
seeing the greater dimension of France as another alien aspect that builds
Englishness into the future. Self-conÔ¬Ārmation, reproduction, and
imagination come together. The possession of real estate and the body of
Katherine feed Henry‪s promotion of Englishness; the absorption of
France that he sees ‚Ęperspectively‚Ä™ builds the empire that Henry calls
English (although, as Schwyzer points out, ‚ĘHenry can never quite bring
himself to declare unambiguously that he is English‚Ä™).79 It is the empire
that Fluellen shows is Anglo-Welsh, and the emerging empire is one that
Elizabethan England will have to re-present awkwardly as alternately a
pure England and a settled Britain.
When Shakespeare ‚Ęreturns‚Ä™ to Wales in Cymbeline, he is working in a
new political climate and writing about ancient alien problems. Early
Jacobean drama examines the turning point in a colonized country for-
ging an ‚Ęempire state‚Ä™, the new British England now at the helm of what
Maley refers to as ‚Ęa repetition of the colonial project‚Ä™ that brought them
into being.80 Cymbeline certainly seems to be addressing this combined
anxiety and desire about the past and the future. Where Maley has
Shakespeare‪s England copying the colonial past, however, I have been
arguing in this book that any alien heritage is incorporated and
re-worked.81 It is not there to be copied so much as recovered, even
performed; and part of the impetus for the English work of alien con-
fusion lies in the plays‚Ä™ contemporary context of alien presence. Maley
claims that modern critics duplicate the early modern tendency to project
alien contexts into the past, thereby allowing them to be made familiar.82
But Aliens and Englishness has been examining plays that recognize the
currency of the alien and wrestle with the very strangeness that is confused
with the native self. Some scholarship recognizes such a dynamic. Avraham
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
116
Oz, for example, reads ‚Ęnations‚Ä™ in Cymbeline as characters in negotiation
with each other to Ô¬Ānd themselves, not prioritizing a narrative of conquest
and exclusion of one by the other, but instead one of ‚Ęlearning and
experience‚Ä™. There remains, however, ‚Ęracial‚Ä™ and national friction of the
kind we saw on the Welsh coast and Anglo-Welsh borders in Richard II
and Henry IV.83 Such face-offs between uncertain groups lead McEachern
to predicate her 1996 study of English nationhood on the premise that
understandings of nation and religion are not Ô¬Ānally understood by
absolute separation of apparent antitheses but by the more difÔ¬Ācult ‚Ęever-
threatened union with an opposite, one both desired and abhorred‚Ä™.84
Jodi Mikalachki has usefully put this tension of attraction and repul-
sion in gendered terms. The Roman Lucius landing at Milford Haven
‚Ęgives [Imogen] a new identity‚Ä™, she writes, although ‚Ęthe nature of this
new identity remains unclear‚Ä™. ‚ĘObedience and subordination . . . love
and mastery‪ are the poles between which Imogen‪s identity is uncertainly
poised in her relation to the imperial representative.85 A similar lack of
clarity attends the focuses given to women in the Henry IV and Henry V
plays; women are at once necessary and obstructive to the male-driven
expansion of England into its British and imperial margins. The Welsh
Lady literally cannot be drawn into the conversation of rebellious national
delineation, and France‪s Katherine remains the translucency through
which Henry sees his new terrain. These female markers are aliens to
authority (especially in their resistances to being understood), but they are
essentially ‚Ęgood‚Ä™. Here Aliens and Englishness disagrees with the alien‚Ä“
authority relationship outlined by Stephen Greenblatt.86 His alien is
produced or exaggerated by authority only to be suppressed and branded
as dangerous. His alien therefore only has ‚Ęreal‚Ä™ existence in its creation
and magniÔ¬Ācation by an authority always to some extent ‚Ęin the know‚Ä™ or
in charge of things. To be sure, this bears some relation to the Ô¬Ārst alien
stage of antithesis and rejection of the ‚Ęother‚Ä™; but the alien as I have
delineated it, and as it is understood in the second alien stage, comes into
existence before, and without, the power of Englishness as overlord. If
Englishness as an authority discovers that alien, it is in the same way that
new lands are ‚Ędiscovered‚Ä™ (not made but found and recast). The idea of
Englishness Ô¬Ānds the alien, and then makes its power felt by seeing the
alien as always-already in Englishness‚Ä™ formative ‚Ęnative‚Ä™ DNA; Eng-
lishness thus celebrates its new-found (but not newly created ) alien as part
of its hybridity. If we talk of the creation of the alien, it is only in this
sense of Ô¬Ānding out the thing that was already there but not seen. English
characters representing this process assert their new-found identity
Incorporating the alien in Shakespeare‚Ä™ s second tetralogy 117
variously: with an ironic solipsism, with aggressive celebration, or with
defensive uncertainty. King Henry V exhibits all three of these modes
when faced with Katherine. She, as the alien with a strange familiarity,
evokes anxiety and desire, forces the man to act (to be manly and to play
parts ‚Ä“ as in Henry V‚Ä™s role as wooer), and is taken into the identity that
Henry casts as expanded Englishness. ‚Ę[T]each you our Princess English?‚Ä™
asks Burgundy (5.2.261‚Ä“2), unwittingly giving her away with a new title
‚ĘPrincess English‚Ä™. She is betrothed to and confused with the language
that denotes a people ignorant of others (unable to speak French, unable
to speak Welsh), yet from the ‚Ęstart‚Ä™ of its self-knowledge a people full of
alien elements.
We have seen throughout this chapter, then, that the incorporation of
the edges, or the hidden past, of English identity, especially as processed
through Wales and Welshness, works through alien confusion. So
while the name of Wales (Wallia) is supposed to have been instituted by
the English to connote ‚Ęstrangeness‚Ä™ in general and thus demonstrate the
place of the ‚Ęabhorred‚Ä™ alien (to return to McEachern‚Ä™s language), the
revisiting of Wales in Cymbeline promotes the ‚Ędesired‚Ä™ recovery of its
magical space. Jacobean England is shadowed in two directions, for it
constitutes an age of post-Britain (aware of Roman history) and pre-
Britain (for the desired Union is still a wish to be fulÔ¬Ālled). It may be just
this tension between colonized subject and imperially minded power that
needs to revisit the Ô¬Ārst alien stage, the old insistence on rejecting the
alien to deÔ¬Āne an English self.87 To return to a naming of England as
Britain is to remould Gaunt‚Ä™s concept of the ‚Ęsceptered isle‚Ä™, and in such a
context Sullivan notes the contemporary fear of England‪s threatened
‚Ęeradication of a distinctive Welsh identity‚Ä™.88 Having worked through the
weighty incorporation of the various aliens surrounding Englishness in
Elizabethan drama, I would suggest that this ‚Ęeradication‚Ä™ cannot Ô¬Ānally
be enacted, a play like Cymbeline indicating, rather, an ongoing dis-
comfort with the inevitability of alien confusion. It recasts ‚ĘBritishness‚Ä™ as
a ‚Ęnatural‚Ä™ return to origins, but has some trouble working out the
shifting nature of hybrid identity. The contesting triumphs of Cloten and
Cymbeline, writes Huw GrifÔ¬Āths, ‚Ęproduce the Celtic margins as alien,
but also as a source of legitimacy, locating Britain not in the island but in
a constant shift of emphasis within the island‚Ä™.89 The body politic and the
geographical realm are here envisioned as constituting an expansive view
of this book‪s investigations of the personal and communal interactions
with the alien. England cannot simply overrun its borders and British
neighbour lands; the English must negotiate strangeness ‚Ęclose to home‚Ä™
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
118
and the familiarity of alien elements in ‚Ęwild‚Ä™ regions both of the self and
of the realm. Set at some historical distance from their dates of per-
formance, these plays perhaps provide some breathing room for an
audience working through their relationship to English authority and
identity in the difÔ¬Ācult 1590s. When playwrights isolate contemporary
London as the centre of concern, the ‚Ęshift[s] of emphasis‚Ä™ between the
strange self and the familiar alien all happen in much closer proximity
and with a tense immediacy. That new environment is the subject of the
next chapter.
chapter 5

Being the alien in late-Elizabethan
London plays



Jean Howard has noted that ‚Ęcity comedy is an interesting successor to the
history plays‚Ä™ of the 1590s, for it shifts the focus of national identity-
building from its concentration on the monarch to a negotiation between
communal imperatives. In her study of Westward Ho, Howard promotes
the new genre‚Ä™s concentration on the subject‚Ä™s ‚Ęrelationship to certain
places, values, customs, and institutions that could . . . lead to new
understandings of what constitutes Englishness‚Ä™.1 Such ‚Ęnew under-
standings‚Ä™ would be in part characters ‚Ä“ in addition to a monarch or
everyman/everywoman Ô¬Āgure ‚Ä“ Ô¬Ānding a certain individuality, auton-
omy, or independence from older communal ideas of identity, even as
urban community and unity are simultaneously trumpeted. The Ô¬Ārst play
I look at in this chapter, William Haughton‪s Englishmen for My Money
(1598), does indeed follow the shift away from the monarch and into the
valorization of English subjects in urban spaces. Thomas Dekker‪s The
Shoemaker‚Ä™ s Holiday (1599), which I discuss later, however, uses and
adjusts elements from the earlier genres to show that the new ‚Ęcity
comedy‚Ä™ does not entail a clean break from the dramatic past. It enacts a
surprising return to the history genre‪s central iconic delineation of the
monarch as the touchstone of Englishness; in doing so it also reminds us
of an urban history play like Sir Thomas More, in which city matters are
in the last instance determined by the will of the king. This tether of the
English city history to the monarch remains in place: one play that has
received a signiÔ¬Ācant amount of recent criticism because of a resurgent
interest in matters of Ô¬Ānance and citizen status in early modern repre-
sentations is Thomas Heywood‪s 2 If You Know Not Me, You Know
Nobody, which looks back at the Elizabethan age from the perspective of
the early seventeenth century. In the play, the modern self-made man Sir
Thomas Gresham, founder of the London Exchange, remains invested in
maintaining social hierarchy as a marker of true ‚ĘEnglishness‚Ä™. Gresham
buys an inordinately expensive pearl only to grind it into his drink and
119
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
120
quaff it down with a toast to Elizabeth; thus his ‚Ęwealth enables him to
express his love of his monarch and his city. He has become rich to serve
his queen, not to serve himself.‪2 Dekker‪s Simon Eyre similarly displays
his new-found wealth, but diverts (enough of) it into communal service
by instigating a holiday feast.
Just as important for a study of dramatic representations and devel-
opment of ideas of Englishness is the fact that not only Haughton and
Dekker‪s plays, but also the third play studied in this chapter, John
Marston‚Ä™s Jack Drum‚Ä™ s Entertainment (1600‚Ä“1), are in signiÔ¬Ācant ways
new morality plays. The protagonist usurer, Pisaro, in Englishmen for My
Money and the ubiquity of the moneylender through the Jacobean city
comedies suggest a continuing, if at times innocuous, moral debate about
the inevitability of corruption attending money. The Shoemaker‚Ä™ s Holiday
revives earlier dramatic tropes and concerns when, as Peter McCluskey
notices, it reinvents the comic Dutchmen that we saw in Wealth and
Health and Like Will to Like.3 And Andrew Fleck points out the play‪s
forward-looking investment in the nascent shift of sensibility that
accepted credit, wealth, personal enrichment, and even Simon Eyre‪s
fraudulence over earlier tract and dramatic moral objections to selÔ¬Āsh
monetary gain and deception.4 Another adaptation of the moral play here
is the inversion of Wealth and Health‪s concern that English wealth has
been drained abroad at the hands of aliens. The Shoemaker‚Ä™ s Holiday
instead shows the enriching of English citizens through alien presence;
furthermore, it is precisely the importation of luxury goods so railed
against by the moral tracts and Wilson‪s The Three Ladies of London that
now beneÔ¬Āts native welfare. Marston‚Ä™s play employs the new comedy of
inter-generational sexual antagonism to bring back the dangerous alien
that penetrates Englishness and to reinstate a deÔ¬Ānitive purpose of moral
judgement.
But why the late 1590s shifts (in plays set in England) from history to
comedy or hybrid comic forms, from ‚Ęnational‚Ä™ to local urban study, and
from the monarch to the subject as location of Englishness? I suggest that
one important impetus for these moves was the presence of resident aliens
in late-Elizabethan London and in particular the increasingly common
English‚Ä“alien interactions and constant (if unevenly expressed) antag-
onism between Londoners, domestic foreigners, and aliens. In 1596,
Thomas Johnson asked rhetorically, ‚Ę[w]hat countrie or nation in the
world is there at this presente that nourisheth so manie Aliens from all
parts of the world as England doth?‪5 In fact, both English and foreign
merchants and travellers had noted for decades that London lagged
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 121
behind other cosmopolitan port towns and trading centres. Johnson‪s
perception of England‚Ä™s ‚Ęnourishing‚Ä™ of aliens (in many historical and
dramatic minds to the wasting of English men and women), however, is
important, for it suggests the topicality of the alien play in this decade.
The three romantic comedies studied in this chapter take us deeper into
the paradoxical ‚Ęsecond stage‚Ä™ of the alien trope as something invasive yet
inherent in native identity with a combination of novelty and tradition.
Robert Wilson‚Ä™s streets of London are ‚Ęmapped out‚Ä™, and the diminution
of allegory brings the characters into closer view for the playgoers, for
they are now mimetic representations of the troublesome aliens in London
and the suburbs rather than allusive representations of moral conditions.
The pathological and practical fears of the plays the between 1550s and
1580s are newly embodied and embedded in the material city to re-examine
the alien as it gets into personal and public interstices, invades the mar-
ketplace, the bedroom, human oriÔ¬Āces, language, economic currency, the
court, the workshop, the household, and the country around London.

englishmen for my money: three more
ladies of london
It is only initially and brieÔ¬‚y surprising that a comic mode of alien
representation should emerge in the wake of the anti-alien unrest in the
capital that I outlined in Chapter 3, for comedy is a familiar psychological
cover for anxiety. It is a Ô¬‚exible mode, as we shall see, for making
representations of identity equivocal ‚Ä“ self-serving as well as self-
scrutinizing; moreover, comic drama dealing with potent contemporary
issues could perhaps escape the censorship problems attendant upon a
play like Sir Thomas More. In Haughton‪s Englishmen for My Money, we
Ô¬Ānd the Portuguese merchant and usurer, Pisaro, living comfortably in
London. He is the widower of an English wife who attempts to secure
matches in marriage for his three daughters with three foreign merchants:
Delion the Frenchman, Alvaro the Italian, and Vandal the Dutchman.
The women themselves do their best to elope with their true English
loves ‚Ä“ three men who are in debt to Pisaro and held Ô¬Ānancially captive
through bonds on their property. The Englishmen triumph over the
foreigners, and with a little help from their friends (through feats of
disguise, practical joking, and feigned sickness) marry the daughters and
win back their property. Pisaro, in a scene of capitulation that by this
time has become de rigueur in ‚Ęprodigal child‚Ä™ plays, accepts defeat, and
the marriages are celebrated with a feast at his house.
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
122
The ‚ĘPortingale‚Ä™ Pisaro, we suppose, learned his trade of usury from
the Jews of Portugal; but the question of whether Pisaro is himself a Jew is
a vexed one. The greatest Jewish contact with England in the sixteenth
century was from the Portuguese-Jewish merchants and ‚ĘMarrano‚Ä™
escapees travelling between Portugal and the Low Countries, but no
precise background is presented for Pisaro.6 The emphasis in the play on
the fact that Pisaro lives in Crutched Friars seems important, since it was
the quarter of town where the Jews mostly resided in the late-sixteenth
century.7 Thomas Coryate further records meeting an English Jew in
Constantinople: ‚ĘMaster William Pearch . . . invited mee . . . to the house
of a certaine English Jew, called Amis, borne in Crootched Friers in
London, who hath two sisters more of his owne Jewish Religion . . . who
were likewise borne in the same place.‪8 Pisaro, then, could be a Jew by
the circumstantial evidence of geographical history. It should be noted,
however, that Crutched Friars also housed a number of the Huguenot
community and other non-Jewish immigrants. To be sure Pisaro is a
mixed bag of characteristics: his ‚Ęsnout, / [is] Able to shadow Paul‚Ä™s, it is
so great‚Ä™ (1.2.15‚Ä“16), and he suffers from gout.9 Often read as indications
of his Jewishness, in the drama these are features of the usurer more
generally, in spite of the former‪s origination in physiological/racial
observation.10 The play seems to revel in its suggestiveness and equivo-
cation, for it continues to touch on the religio-racial identity of Pisaro
and his daughters: Delion threatens to eat up Pisaro‪s bacon (1.3.21),
Pisaro swears ‚Ęby‚Ä™r lady‚Ä™ (1.3.8; 4.1.299; 4.3.43; 5.1.89), and Marina
(Pisaro‚Ä™s daughter) swears ‚ĘI‚Ä™ll be no nun‚Ä™ (1.1.103) when she considers
the austerity of philosophy.11 In addition, behavioural evidence comes
into play. Pisaro‚Ä™s challenge to Walgrave, ‚ĘI am a fox with you? Well,
Jack Sauce, / Beware, lest for a goose I prey on you‚Ä™ (4.1.147‚Ä“8) recalls
both Barabas‚Ä™ ‚ĘWe Jews can fawn like spaniels when we please, / And
when we grin, we bite; yet are our looks / As innocent and harmless
as a lamb‚Ä™s‚Ä™ (The Jew of Malta 2.3.20‚Ä“2), and Shylock‚Ä™s ‚ĘThou call‚Ä™st
me dog before thou hadst a cause, / But since I am a dog, beware my
fangs‚Ä™ (Mer 3.3.6‚Ä“7). Pisaro echoes Barabas further in a sudden, vicious
aside, where he appears to be blessing his daughter‪s betrothal to Harvey:
‚ĘGod give you joy, / And bless you [Aside] not a day to live together‚Ä™
(5.1.130‚Ä“1).
While the evidence for reading Pisaro as a Jew is strong, then, it could
easily have been made deÔ¬Ānitive. It seems clear that Haughton deliber-
ately makes him ‚ĘJew-ish‚Ä™, a character with a ‚ĘJewishness‚Ä™ within him,
which causes him to practise the downfall of others through usury.
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 123
‚ĘJewishness‚Ä™ in this sense is the term that the judge in Wilson‚Ä™s The Three
Ladies of London uses to describe the Christian merchant Mercadorus,
with his evasive and damnable behaviour (14.48‚Ä“9). Anti-usury tracts ‚Ä“
both intellectual and popular ‚Ä“ had proliferated in England, and provide
a rich context for this and the many other usury plays on the Elizabethan
and Jacobean stage.12 So by the time Philip Henslowe paid twenty shil-
lings for the new book entitled ‚Ęa womon will have her wille‚Ä™ (the pub-
lished subtitle to Englishmen for My Money), usury was old, bad news.13
And if we are to approximate the contemporary opinion of possible
playgoers, it is this concept of ‚ĘJewish‚Ä™ behaviour coupled with the ever-
more-common and ever-more-acceptable sin of usury that should be
applied to Pisaro. While the fact of usury here might be an inevitable
counterpart to the dramatic Ô¬Āgure of a Jew-like and merchant character,
we have, as Laura Stevenson notes, moved on from the role of usury as
the driving force of depravation and degradation that it was in the
morality plays. However, that does not mean we can dismiss usury as a
blip on the protagonists‚Ä™ radars of love as they seek out their female
targets; for all that the late-Elizabethan years and early-seventeenth cen-
tury constitute ‚Ęa time when everyone from knights to scriveners was
lending at interest‚Ä™, this very fact, while making usury run-of-the-mill as a
topic, shows it to be an ongoing problem in cultural history.14
The vague crossover between ‚ĘJew‚Ä™ and ‚ĘJew-ish usurer‚Ä™ is a deliberate
ploy that continues the dramatic tradition of using ethnicity, religious
identity, and national identity loosely for political ends. We saw this in
Chapter 3: the Dutch church libel elided Protestant refugees with Jews,
and in the play of Sir Thomas More, apparently too-inciteful terms like
‚Ęstranger‚Ä™, ‚ĘFrenchman‚Ä™, and ‚Ęsaucy alien‚Ä™ were replaced by Master of the
Revels Edmund Tilney with ‚ĘLombard‚Ä™. This was a viable substitution
because, as James Shapiro notes, ‚ĘAfter the expulsion of the Jews from
England, the Lombards had assumed the role of moneylenders and, by
extension, the reputation of extortionate usurers.‪15 Anti-alien tension can
be eased through Jewish channels while the Jew is conversely made less
speciÔ¬Āc, as another alien; the river can be made to run both ways,
depending on the political current of the day. Such re-directing was
useful for desensitizing (or inÔ¬‚aming) subject matter in the early and mid
1590s, when the tide of English‚Ä“alien tension was running high. The
moralities had also talked of the loss of England‪s wealth as a result of
Continental foreigners and the Catholic troubles. If anything, Jews were
generally thought of as bringing wealth to a nation, although they also
had the general alien reputation of dealing with each other rather than
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
124
with the natives of their adopted land. As we will see, Englishmen for My
Money begins a process that The Shoemaker‚Ä™ s Holiday advances whereby
the wealth-draining problem of the moralities‚Ä™ Hance characters, and of
Usury, Mercadorus, Gerontus, and Lucre in The Three Ladies turns into
alien support for the commonwealth of England and the stability of a
notion of Englishness.
By the late 1590s, we might read some calming in domestic and
international affairs. The satirist can perhaps choose to make use of
Continental foreign Ô¬Āgures in a way that mocks the Englishman because
those foreigners are members of ‚Ębeaten‚Ä™ nations, apparently no longer a
threat to the cultural or ideological fabric of England. However, the Irish
problem was getting worse rather than better, and the triple relationship
with the Netherlands, France, and Spain remained tense as the queen
aged. Through the ‚Ęcrisis‚Ä™ of the 1590s, which involved terrible winters,
bad harvests, overcrowding, and poverty in the capital, the drama had a
romantic-patriotic moment, perhaps in part in reaction precisely to
domestic difÔ¬Āculties.16 By 1598 the main Armadas, including the unex-
pected third, had been defeated, and the anti-alien disturbances of mid-
decade had quietened. Alvaro‪s report in Englishmen for My Money that
bad weather scuppered the Spanish pirates‪ attempt to raid Pisaro‪s ships
(1.3.244‚Ä“9) may be a reference to ongoing privateering activity in the
1590s and probably would have been recognized as a joke about the failure
of the Armadas in general.
The aliens, then, are usually read here by critics as part of a tame
comedy, and presumably the English playgoers felt they could laugh at
their own weaknesses because the English political and social infrastructure
could withstand such shocks to the ego-system. ‚ĘHaughton‚Ä™s play marks
a shift‚Ä™, writes A. J. Hoenselaars, because it uses this sense of patriotic
conÔ¬Ādence to represent characters that have moved on from ‚Ęfear and
hatred‚Ä™ so that the ‚Ęinferior‚Ä™ aliens ‚Ęcan be ridiculed or derided in a
carefree, comic fashion‚Ä™.17 This is no doubt the play‚Ä™s ‚Ęsales pitch‚Ä™, for it
is a funny play in spite of its dismissal for jingoism by politically sen-
sitive critics. But such comedy is spurred both by the current situation in
London and England and the climate for plays in the Henslowe
syndicate ‚Ä“ adventure, comedy, foreign affairs. At stake in all cases of
competition ‚Ä“ international, domestic, or personal; comic or tragic ‚Ä“ is
pride. And pride is what some drama can trumpet with impunity, even
as in other drama and in the non-dramatic world pride of the English is
catching up with them. Thomas Lodge and Robert Greene had pre-
sented the stage in 1590 with a dramatic warning against pride in their
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 125
A Looking Glass for London and England. For the late-Elizabethan
audience, it is all comic to watch, but serious to contemplate. Where
Haughton‪s play really marks a shift is in bringing the problem of
national pride so comically into the local spaces of the contemporary
city. Englishmen for My Money literally brings home the chink in the
armour of pride, for the decline in the potency of the foreigners is a
narrative inscribed on the palimpsest of the weakness and unguardedness
of the English. Blinkered pride does not see corruption creeping up
on it, such as the insuppressible activity of usury (and by association
alien inÔ¬‚uence in general), which has put down roots and Ô¬‚owered in
England. Almost three decades after the Statute against Usury, and
almost two decades after the semi-native character Usury of The Three
Ladies of London, the practice has become established and ‚ĘEnglished‚Ä™.
Lending at interest among the gentle class is widespread, and the
Jacobean city comedies of monetary intrigue will almost exclusively
concentrate on English rather than foreign usury. For all its mundane
presentation, usury lies behind the relationships of the characters in
Englishmen for My Money as the play begins. Moneylending and trading,
moreover, thrive or wane according to the social status and native lan-
guage of the practitioners. Thus English language and Englishness are
privileged media in Ô¬Ānancial, mercantile, and ‚Ä“ for the romantic comedy
of prodigal play ‚Ä“ sexual intercourse. The linguistic trope as a synec-
doche for Englishness will explicate the spaces of London as English
spaces and reveal the gendered nature of the battle between men to
penetrate and possess those physical and symbolic holes in the urban and
human fabric.
The urgency of the Englishmen‪s quest for Pisaro‪s daughters is born of
three dams: romantic love is one, we assume (although not all com-
mentators will agree); reclaiming their lands pawned to Pisaro is another;
and Anglicizing the half-foreign women is the third. In the scheme of
things (social, economic, and political) the latter two have wider-reaching
importance. The combination of the father‚Ä™s usury (the ‚ĘJewishness‚Ä™) and
the daughters‚Ä™ mixed birth (the foreignness) must be conquered for the
play to remain in the realm of comedy. The scenes involving comic
foreigners reveal national political issues on the one hand and earnest
combat with the serious danger of usury on the other. Haughton is clearly
representing a London more afraid of incorporating the alien than is the
population of Dekker‪s later play. Part of the reason for this is gendered.
The Shoemaker‚Ä™ s Holiday is a play ruled by men, from journeyman to
mayor to king. In contrast, and although the Ô¬Ārst edition of Haughton‚Ä™s
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
126
play calls it Englishmen for My Money in 1616, Henslowe for one thought
the play‚Ä™s thesis was ‚ĘA Woman Will Have Her Will‚Ä™; that is the title he
put in the diary when it was written eighteen years earlier, and it is the
title Ô¬Ānally used on the 1631 (Q3) edition title-page.18 Phrases that evoke
the women‚Ä™s ‚Ęwill‚Ä™ echo throughout the play, appearing more than ten
times, whereas the phrase ‚ĘEnglishmen for my money‚Ä™ is never uttered;
Frisco only once uses the related saying ‚Ęfor my money‚Ä™ at all, and that is
in reference to the Frenchman. What we have here, then, are three more
ladies of London, upon whom the men of London are focused and the
economic and moral parameters of the city are traced. The women
become the Ô¬Ānal focus of familiar tropes of language, sexuality, and
topography that build up throughout the play.19 Language and sexuality
hardly separate here, and we should highlight some of the workings of
these issues before returning to the women speciÔ¬Ācally.
Proper ‚ĘEnglish‚Ä™ (language, behaviour, expectation) is the central
concept of Englishmen for My Money, and it is a concept worried,
manipulated, and proved through attacks on English ‚Ępurity‚Ä™. Hoense-
laars comments on the efforts of two English characters to imitate
foreigners:
One interesting aspect of Anthony‪s case is that his lack of French is the crucial
Ô¬‚aw in his disguise. Frisco, too, only manages with an immense effort to produce
some broken Dutch. To a modern reader, both characters‚Ä™ defective foreign-
language skills provide an ironic counterpoint to the foreign merchants‚Ä™ ultim-
ately disastrous inability to speak proper English. The play itself does not
elaborate or comment on this irony. Haughton unwittingly adopts a double
standard, providing the play with that Ô¬‚aw by which patriotism thrives ‚Ä“ namely,
a blindness to one‪s own national weakness.20

This needs comment because it does not seem right to say that Haughton
‚Ęunwittingly adopts a double standard‚Ä™. Patriotism in this play comes
from a recognition of the importance of the native tongue, and English
victory in war has made the English language a powerful tool of social,
sexual, and hierarchical politics. The Englishmen‪s inability to speak
foreign languages is the play‪s proof of such skills‪ lack of worth.21 If
England is the ideological conqueror, then English prevails. The play‪s
characters do dismiss foreign language easily and through ignorance, but
we should not confuse the ‚Ęunwitting‚Ä™ behaviour of the play‚Ä™s narrow-
sighted characters with the level of awareness of the author himself.
When Frisco dismisses French as the pig‚Ä™s language that goes ‚Ęawee,
awee‚Ä™ (1.1.170), he makes clear the view that the foreign language is
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 127
something that could not be incorporated into the higher order of
‚Ęhumane‚Ä™ Englishness, but can only be a debasing, corrupting inÔ¬‚uence.
Even without the animalizing trope, foreign language destroys English, as
we see when Pisaro‪s servant Frisco gives Heigham, one of the English
suitors, his summation of the Frenchman:
I am seeking a needle in a bottle of hay, a monster in the likeness of a man. One
that instead of good morrow, asketh what porridge you have to dinner, parley
vous signiour? One that never washes his Ô¬Āngers, but licks them clean with kisses,
a clipper of the King‪s English, and to conclude, an eternal enemy to all good
language. (1.2.76‚Ä“81)

As a ‚Ęmonster‚Ä™, the Frenchman is deformed, like The Tide Tarrieth‚Ä™s
Christianity and like The Three Ladies‚Ä™ Lady Love as Lust. As ‚Ęa clipper of
the King‪s English‪, an alien (according to Frisco) is a deformed debaser
of the realm‚Ä™s ubiquitous currency, the English language ‚Ä“ it is the one
binding common denominator of Englishness and prone to forgeries.
And much of the play‚Ä™s action depends on the vulnerability and Ô¬Ānally
the survival of the English language against fraudulent non-English
assaults. This problem revisits the growing concern with fraud, which
Teresa Nugent noticed in The Three Lords at the beginning of the decade
and Measure for Measure at the beginning of the Jacobean era;22 it is a nice
coincidence that Fraud in The Three Lords reveals that he is half-French.
But this fear of fraudulence and debasement is also a continuation of the
myth of purity in language and therefore national identity that I discussed
in Chapter 1, with John Florio‚Ä™s notion of English as a ‚Ęlanguage con-
fused‚Ä™, and expanded in Chapter 4, with the defence of English against
Welsh. Such perpetuation of the national ‚Ępurity‚Ä™ myth is of course
deeply ironic in a play about the ‚ĘEnglishing‚Ä™ of half-foreign women.
The failure of Vandal, Delion, and Alvaro‚Ä™s ‚Ęforgeries‚Ä™ of language as
they stand below the sisters‚Ä™ window and impersonate the Englishmen to
woo the women is a sign of the weakness of foreign linguistic currency. ‚ĘAh,
gentlemen‚Ä™, Frisco pleads, ‚Ędo not suffer a litter of languages to spring up
amongst us‚Ä™ (1.2.104‚Ä“5).23 Just as coin currency is bred illegally by ‚Ęcutting‚Ä™
or ‚Ębiting‚Ä™ usury (as the period‚Ä™s terminology would have it), so the
linguistic currency is debased with breeding of aliens in England. Pisaro‪s
daughters emphasize the importance of preserving their Englishness
through breeding and language: ‚ĘThough I am Portingale by the father‚Ä™s
side . . . I have so much English by the mother‚Ä™, says Mathea, ‚ĘThat no
base, slavering French shall make me stoop‚Ä™ (4.1.42, 45‚Ä“6).24 Edmund
Campos suggests a difference between Haughton‪s play and the other
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
128
two 1590s ‚ĘJew plays‚Ä™, The Jew of Malta and The Merchant of Venice, in
so far as the eminently convertible ‚ĘJewish‚Ä™ daughters in Englishmen do
not need to move away from paternal religion or ‚Ęrace‚Ä™, but instead from
the Portuguese national identity.25 Such a distinction is hard to make in
the drama, however. This play deliberately obfuscates ‚ĘJewish‚Ä™ identity,
somaticizes language, and continues the Tudor coding of money as the
circulating life-blood of the body of the commonwealth (see the
discussion of Wealth and Health in Chapter 2). Mathea‚Ä™s use of ‚ĘFrench‚Ä™
in the last quotation, for example, conÔ¬‚ates the man and the language ‚Ä“
bodily alien force is felt through the inÔ¬Āltration of the French language
that could ‚Ęlitter‚Ä™ a barbarous, mongrel version of English if not looked
to. Frisco exclaims, moreover: ‚ĘO, the generation of languages that our
house will bring forth! Why, every bed will have a proper speech to
himself and have the founder‪s name written upon it in faire capital
letters, ‚ÄúHERE LAY ‚Ä“‚ÄĚ, and so forth‚Ä™ (4.3.98‚Ä“102). Language is gener-
ated by ‚Ęracial‚Ä™ procreation and in turn determines ‚Ęracial‚Ä™ categories.
The ‚ĘHere lay‚Ä™ on the bedstead represents a gravestone with the
‚Ęfounder‚Ä™s name‚Ä™ for the sexual ‚Ędeath‚Ä™ of the alien. The alien‚Ä™s non-
English linguistic prodigy is not Dutch, not French, and not Italian, but
a ‚Ęproper speech‚Ä™, a monster in the likeness of a language, unique to that
bed‪s combination of national identities. Frisco‪s prophecy must be
avoided, then, for its fulÔ¬Ālment would increase the foreignness of the
Pisaro household, intimating the simultaneous death of Englishness.
Contemporary writers on the hybridized English language, however,
would notice that such new speech is in fact ‚Ęproper‚Ä™ to English, even as
the commercial, comic play resists access to that reading.
As much as the romantic comedy purports to be about connecting the
lovers, these women hold a threefold store of wealth for English identity,
and here again the individual experience that requires engagement with
and confusion of the alien leads to the public, communal effect that
promotes an ongoing sense of Englishness. The return of the English-
men‪s land depends on marrying the daughters; reproduction with them
determines whether they perpetuate the Englishness of their mother or
the foreignness of their father; and their ability to resist penetration by the
foreign incomers avoids the infecting of the realm‚Ä™s currency ‚Ä“ overtly
linguistic, but also economic and cultural currency. The daughters are
determined to incorporate themselves into the English body politic. They
can perform the apparent sin of prodigality and anti-patriarchy, dis-
obeying their father, because they are rejecting (or rather working through
and beyond) the alien. In the same way that The Merchant of Venice‪s
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 129
ostensibly Venetian/Christian point of view can forgive Jessica her escape
from and rejection of Shylock, so we are encouraged to forgive the
daughters for their escape from and rejection of Pisaro from the English/
Christian (anti-usury, anti-Jewish) point of view. The women‪s hybrid
national identity brings with it the understanding of alien status as they
ensure the restoration of English land and money to the Englishmen and
the accumulation of foreign money in the form of dowries and income
that Pisaro has got through foreign trade and transactions. Thus they are
the embodiment of the alien within Englishness, and their determination
is to be (re)producers of Englishness.
Diane Cady has argued that ‚ĘThe play conÔ¬Āgures women as the vul-
nerable oriÔ¬Āce in the body politic through which diseased language enters
the nation‚Ä™, and she aligns foreign language with femininity as a continual
threat to the male body politic of England.26 It is true that the impotence
and ineffectualness of the foreigners is enhanced by their overbearing
foreign language, but the women‚Ä™s mother as ‚Ęvulnerable oriÔ¬Āce‚Ä™ appar-
ently bred three very English daughters, and these three women seem to
act more as enclosures processing the alien to protect male Englishness and
English language than as any vulnerable space. They are assumed to be
the breach in the national wall by their own father, and in a way he is
right. They are the proper focus for an alien attack. However, that attack
will be contained within a fuller understanding of the privileging of
Englishness. These three ladies of London have inÔ¬Āltrated the troubled
male English world, which is impoverished through ‚ĘEnglish‚Ä™/‚ĘChristian‚Ä™
prodigality. Their potential danger as breaches for the entry of the alien,
however, proves to be another necessary somatic penetration to relieve the
pressure of the alien threat ‚Ä“ in this case Pisaro‚Ä™s signiÔ¬Ācant presence and
power in London ‚Ä“ and inoculate the English against the somewhat less
worrying foreign bodies of Alvaro, Delion, and Vandal. The women offer
themselves up for English impregnation, and this process, already begun
before the play ends, conÔ¬Ārms the circulations of blood, money, and
national bodies that the residency of the alien in England and within
(male) Englishness catalyses and sustains. Such protectors of the realm are
in stark contrast to Brabant Senior‪s wife in John Marston‪s harsh
romantic comedy Jack Drum‚Ä™ s Entertainment, whose story Ô¬Āts Cady‚Ä™s
thesis. The Englishman with a suggestively Lowlandish name, Brabant
Senior, decides to play a joke by presenting his wife to the Frenchman,
John fo de King, as a courtesan. Brabant bets on his wife‚Ä™s Ô¬Ādelity to him,
but fo de King manages to seduce her. John fo de King is bald from
venereal (‚ĘFrench‚Ä™) disease, and makes the joke of teaching his prospective
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
130
wenches French; in other words he will talk to them in French and give
them the clap. At the end of Jack Drum‚Ä™ s Entertainment, fo de King
triumphantly returns, post-coitus, among the Englishmen and offers to
teach Brabant Senior French ‚Ęto t‚Ä™end of the vorlde‚Ä™ (I3) for his help to a
wench. This is a double conÔ¬Ārmation of infection: Brabant will now get
the French disease if he sleeps with his own wife and he has been made a
non-English bawd. The name, Brabant, however, as the geographical
region running across modern Belgium and the southern Netherlands,
already suggests a contiguity to French identity and thus the lurking alien
in Englishness.
London comedies are of course speciÔ¬Ācally interested in talking about
the capital city as England and Londoners as English, thus the protection
of the realm is brought into focus as the protection and ownership of the
gendered and nationally marked city of London. The titles of scholarly
studies of London comedy, such as The City Staged and Theater of a City,
highlight the fact that these plays work symbiotically with the city itself,
putting the theatre into the urban landscape and drawing London‪s
topographical features into the theatrical world.27 In Englishmen for My
Money, the city structure is a catacomb-like ‚Ęopen prison‚Ä™ or rat-run for
aliens.28 Almost as a response to the earlier drama‪s ongoing complaints
about the ‚Ęalienation‚Ä™ of London through overcrowding and ‚Ęeating out‚Ä™
of Londoners by the French and Dutch ‚Ęlike Jews‚Ä™, Haughton has the
English take charge of the city and keep the aliens unsettled and uncertain
of their place. For example, when the Frenchman, Delion, asks for dir-
ections to Crutched Friars where he hopes to Ô¬Ānd his English love,
Heigham gives the deceptive reply, ‚ĘMarry, this is Fenchurch Street, and
the best way to Crutched Friars is to follow your nose‚Ä™ (3.2.95‚Ä“6). Delion
is already in Crutched Friars, as he suspects, and ‚Ęfollowing his nose‚Ä™
would take him through the poor Jewry to Aldgate. In fact, even if he
were truly in Fenchurch Street the stranger would still Ô¬Ānd himself
leaving the city by Aldgate.
The wily words to the Frenchman may seem like a simple piece of fun,
but they contain two greater resonances. First, there seems to be a joke on
the meaning that one‪s nose can be followed to Crutched Friars, because
the area smells of aliens, Jews, and usurers. In Thomas Nashe‪s The
Unfortunate Traveller Zadoch the Jew reveals the potency of the Jew‪s
smell as he conspires with his accomplice to commit murder: ‚ĘIle come
and deliver her a supplication, and breathe upon her. I knowe my breath
stinkes so alredie, that it is within halfe a degree of poison.‪29 Frisco also
makes the most of using his nose to Ô¬Ānd the way to Crutched Friars on
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 131
a dark night (3.3.40‚Ä“5), and at the very beginning of the play we are
warned of the potency of Pisaro‚Ä™s pots of stew, which give off a ‚Ęprecious
Vapour! ‚Ä“ let but a wench come near them with a painted face, and you
should see the paint drop and curdle her cheeks, like a piece of dry Essex
cheese toasted at the Ô¬Āre‚Ä™ (1.1.158‚Ä“60). Second, the turning out of the city,
the dramatic attempt at expulsion and expurgation is a cultural response
to ‚Ęotherness‚Ä™ in general that we saw in the interludes, and that concerns
these later playwrights (of Sir Thomas More and Jack Drum‚Ä™ s Entertain-
ment, for instance) who continue to represent resistance to the inevitable
incorporation of the alien. Below, I discuss the level of success and the
meaning of these actions in the context of alien confusion in Dekker and
Marston‪s plays.
Englishmen for My Money‪s interest in London topography allows for
further enclosure of the alien. If London is now used as an alien prison,
the theatre structure itself can emphasize the comical punishment meted
out to the foreigners. In a night-time escapade, the mischievous Frisco
loses the Dutchman, Vandal, in the dark streets of London and slips away
with the foreigner‚Ä™s cloak. Frisco warns Vandal at one point, ‚ĘTake heed,
sir, here‚Ä™s a post‚Ä™ (3.1.2‚Ä“3), opening the way for simple rough-and-tumble
physical comedy with characters running into stage-posts. Andrew Gurr
has noticed that the identiÔ¬Ācation by Frisco of the stage-posts as maypoles
(3.3.50‚Ä“1) implies
that they were set in enough open space to allow dancing around them. But there
might also be a joke built into the visuals in this play, if the characters blundering
blindly through the London streets are seen coming dangerously close to the edge
of the stage when they encounter the posts.30

Making the theatre building the structure of London as well as simply in
London constitutes part of the ‚Ęshift‚Ä™ I talked about in this play, bringing
the action and its dangers into literally closer proximity to the spectators
than did the dramatic histories of Thomas More, Henry IV, or Henry V.
The comic alien-bashing continues as we hear from the Italian, Alvaro,
‚ĘI hit my hed by de way ‚Ä“ dare may be de voer spouts‚Ä™ between Leadenhall
and Crutched Friars (3.2.60‚Ä“1),31 and Vandal complains ‚ĘIk go and hit my
nose op dit post, and ik go and hit my nose op d‚Ä™andere post‚Ä™ (3.4.1‚Ä“2)
(probably wandering back and forth hitting each of the stage-posts).
As stage-posts indicate the largely invisible border between stage space
and audience space, so they represent ideological limits and the edges of
the Englishmen‚Ä™s control. They are used as punishing ‚Ęweapons‚Ä™ by the
English as they give the aliens the runaround, knocking it home to them
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
132
that they are not at home. John Orrell has reminded us that the history
of the pillars and posts in the theatre includes their confused connection
to the columns that represented enslaved, dismembered, and encumbered
foreign bodies in the ‚Ęcaryatids and atlantes of ancient buildings‚Ä™. The
architectural Term (or column) was linked to these carved depictions of
defeated enemies, set up to public display in literal support of the con-
querors‚Ä™ ediÔ¬Āces of power.32 It is a sound mechanism adopted by
Haughton, therefore, to have the Englishmen inÔ¬‚ict pain on, and
embarrass, the aliens through the use of this feature of the structure of the
public theatre. If this is to read too far into architectural history and strain
the possible meanings of the play, we can simply stay with the idea of the
posts as the primary support for the English stage against aliens; we might
also remind ourselves that a stage-post may well have been used when
Simplicity tried (and failed) to tie up and burn foreign Fraud at the end
of Wilson‪s The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London (see Chapter 3,
pp. 74‚Ä“5).
It is important for the punishment of the aliens to remain comic, for it
is aligned with the aliens‚Ä™ own depiction as less than effective. Dekker will
follow Haughton who follows Wilson in raising stereotypical views of
national character within a context that allows the stereotypes‚Ä™ debunk-
ing. Haughton, for instance, has his English suitor, Harvey, feign fatal
sickness in a ruse to win the hand of Marina. Harvey‪s Italian counterpart
in the wooing competition assures Pisaro that ‚ĘIf he will no die‚Ä™ from the
sickness, ‚ĘI sal give him sush a drinck, sush a potion sal mak him give de
bonos noches to all de world‚Ä™ (5.1.98‚Ä“100). Alleged Italian skill at poisoning
was well known. Marlowe‪s assassin Lightborne in Edward II learned his
murderous cunning in Naples, and if we return again to that great text of
prejudicial comic horror, The Unfortunate Traveller, we Ô¬Ānd that ‚ĘIf thou
dost but lend half a looke to a Romans or Italians wife, thy porredge
shalbe prepared for thee, and cost thee nothing but thy lyfe.‪33 But when
Harvey does not die, Alvaro denies any knowledge in the art of poisoning
before the devastated Pisaro. Throughout this play viewpoints are shifted
subtly; the prejudices of the Englishman against aliens are also the
prejudices of one stranger against another of a different nationality. The
English faction remains a team, whereas the foreign one fractures. Such
English ‚Ęgroup identity‚Ä™ implies stable self-understanding, but the play
makes sure to have the English men improvise their way uncertainly
toward incorporation of the half-alien women.
Punishment of ‚Ęreal‚Ä™ aliens bleeds over into punishment of ‚Ęfake‚Ä™ aliens,
for there seems to be less and less difference between a ‚Ęreal‚Ä™ foreign
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 133
character and one national character disguised as another. This is a basic
theatrical joke, of course, since all stage foreigners are ‚Ęfake‚Ä™ and in cos-
tumed disguise. But within the Ô¬Āction of the play, mistaken national
identity has ideological as well as practical repercussions. When Pisaro
threatens to commit the slippery English schoolmaster, Anthony, to
Bridewell for deceiving him in the process of marrying off his three
daughters, he thinks the disguised Anthony is a Frenchman and says that
he will make Anthony ‚Ęsing at Bridewell for this trick‚Ä™ (5.1.218).34 As well
as being a prison and a workhouse for the idle poor, Bridewell was a place
for torture. Torture is designed to produce sound, to make the victim
‚Ęutter‚Ä™ (the most commonly used word in relation to torture at Bridewell
in the Acts of the Privy Council); that extracted utterance is made in the
victim‪s own language and reveals his own identity and fate. Bridewell
was also used for something else, less notoriously, and that was holding
foreign prisoners. Such a place is precisely the enclosure to ‚Ęout‚Ä™ someone
like Anthony, to make him utter the truth in his own language.
Anthony‪s own language, ironically, is English, and such a confession
should expose the weakness of the Englishman who behaves in a non-
English manner. Anthony‪s alien behaviour in both situations, therefore
(in or out of prison) would support a revelation and continuity of
Englishness as confused with the alien. He either helps his friends to
English-perpetuating marriages, or he reveals himself as an English agent
using foreignness to gain success.

the shoemaker‪s holiday: crafty englishmen
crafting the alien
Alien confusion makes The Shoemaker‚Ä™ s Holiday work. Acts of estrange-
ment enable refamiliarization as characters that should remain in the
country go abroad, those who should leave remain, and the returns and
re-meetings after these excursions or sojourns enable conÔ¬Ārmations of
English stability through recognition of the alien. An Englishman plays a
Dutchman; Simon Eyre moves out of his trade to bring himself and his
wife to great estate; characters dress outlandishly, taking on foreign
fashion and mis-Ô¬Ātting their apparel; and alien‚Ä“native relations withdraw
characters from familiar circles of society through their disguises of shape
(bodily change through injury), of language (Lacy speaking Dutch), and
of apparel (class mobility and/or transgression).
Dekker‪s fantasy version of London strangely sets itself in the past
(Eyre was Lord Mayor of London in 1445, making the unnamed king
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
134
Henry VI), yet remains dependent on social systems of the present. The
dynamism of an invented (nostalgic) past feeding the vigorously indi-
viduated subjects of the present attempts to grab the best of both those
worlds. The conÔ¬‚ated historical moment inexorably pushes (through
some domestic and professional conÔ¬‚ict) toward the celebration, holiday,
and apparent class resolution that charms many commentators. This aura
of charm focuses on the boisterous Eyre, often easily (if arguably) com-
pared with another class-crossing hero-rogue, Falstaff. Indeed, the play
runs on these tracks, but I also want to suggest that it contains a number
of equivocal sections that ‚Ä“ especially in performance ‚Ä“ question the
moral values lying behind London, guild, and family life; moreover, these
sections work through the alien to Ô¬Ānd answers. Dekker incorporates
the alien powerfully, even though there are no major alien characters in
the The Shoemaker‚Ä™ s Holiday, the minor Dutch skipper being the only
stranger. Andrew Fleck usefully insists that the infusion of the play with
alien elements is not so much to talk about the alien but to provide ‚Ęa
distorted mirror‚Ä™ in which to see ‚Ęthe values, the hopes, and the fears of
early modern English audiences‚Ä™; he goes on to say, ‚ĘDekker shapes the
foreign matter of his London to create English unity and identity.‚Ä™ Both
of Fleck‪s metaphors seem appropriate for the present study, for to look at
the English self as in ‚Ęa distorted mirror‚Ä™ is to Ô¬Ānd what is alien within, to
see the self strangely. But for a playwright to convey that alien content
into Englishness takes some artistic ‚Ęshap[ing]‚Ä™.35
The Shoemaker‚Ä™ s Holiday seems to suggest that, despite contemporary
socio-political unrest, the fantasy of communal, if not national unity is
still available to the playgoers. But a conservative social hierarchy is still
reinforced (as in Dekker‪s later, daring play, The Roaring Girl).36 Ronda
Arab‚Ä™s sense that the play ‚Ęsubtly disrupts‚Ä™ ‚Ęa dominant discourse of civic
and national authority‪ does not fully account for Eyre‪s rise in service of
the city or the king‪s upper hand in the closing scenes.37 Both these
elements are something of a throwback to earlier dramatic modes: Eyre‪s
‚Ęproperty‚Ä™ in the play entails his traditional membership in civic com-
munities as well denoting his personal possessions, and the centrality of
the monarch as touchstone of Englishness is a presumption of the history
genre.38 The king gives permission for Eyre‪s boisterous behaviour, and
the king controls the futures of the London and Lincoln families and the
nation. Thus, if we see this play as a general celebration of Englishness,
we should keep in mind its ending: the nation is rhetorically and prac-
tically uniÔ¬Āed around feasting and the beautiful labour of the gentle craft,
but it needs unity because of a daunting prospect concerning aliens: the
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 135
king reminds Eyre and the shoemakers, ‚ĘWhen all our sports and
banquetings are done, / Wars must right wrongs which Frenchmen have
begun‚Ä™ (21.193‚Ä“4).39 This ‚Ęright[ing]‚Ä™ will not happen, of course, because,
as Henry V ‚Ä™s Chorus reminds us, Henry VI‚Ä™s councillors ‚Ęmade his
England bleed‚Ä™ (HV Epi., line 12).

putting on eyres
The monarch-led ending does other work, too. Its (masculine) ‚Ęwriting‚Ä™
of events makes necessity the mother of invention. Lacy must be drawn
back into the noble force of the king‚Ä™s Ô¬Āghting men and is therefore
forgiven his desertion and awarded his bride by a king who over-rules the
increasingly comic bitter fathers. Eyre‪s questionable route to wealth and
status is absorbed into the need for a stable capital city that avoids the
inter-class tensions we have seen throughout the urban texts studied in
this book. In the roles of The Shoemaker‪ s Holiday‪s Eyre and Lacy/Hans,
and the second tetralogy‪s Prince Hal, deceit and prodigality enable the
socio-political and economic rise of Englishness (the securing of the
commonwealth), and the alien nature of this deceit and prodigality is
exposed to be absorbed by Englishness. With such crafty shaping of
events, even the most heinous crime, treason, is mitigated by national
need: ‚ĘI am a handicrafts man, yet my heart is without craft‚Ä™ (21.10‚Ä“11),
pleads Lacy to the king in defending himself after his military desertion.
Of course, his heart is with craft, but such cunning is the paradoxical alien
process (akin to Hal‪s tavern behaviour) that ensures the triumph of
Englishness. Eyre‚Ä™s equivocal ‚Ęalien‚Ä™ behaviour also gets recast in the
mould of Englishness. His role as a factor, an agent, a middleman for the
Dutch skipper would have troubled a Protestant reformed audience
whose parents (or who themselves) had been brought up on moralities
that damned such a profession of making money from nothing, and
generally assigned such activity to aliens and vice Ô¬Āgures.40 There is little
doubt that Eyre‚Ä™s alderman‚Ä™s outÔ¬Āt is a disguise, and that when he dons
his cloak to transact business with the Dutch skipper he is involved in a
bit of intrigue. Dekker thereby deliberately puts us on the edge between
on the one hand the strong moral question of impersonation as blas-
phemy, contradicting God-given identity, and on the other the cunning
and commendable initiative of the Englishman using the alien to improve
his and his community‪s status.
Simon Eyre understands and uses the importance of apparel in his
rapidly shifting, overlapping stage-world of late-medieval estate
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
136
boundedness and late-Elizabethan ‚Ęclass‚Ä™ opportunity. When the shoe-
maker becomes sheriff and then mayor, both he and his wife Margery
drool over the new sartorial possibilities: ‚ĘSilk and satin, you mad
Philistines! Silk and satin!‚Ä™ (7.108), Eyre shouts,41 and Margery asks ‚ĘHow
shall I look in a hood, I wonder?‚Ä™ (10.36‚Ä“8). Very soon afterwards, as
sheriff, Eyre brings her the hood: ‚ĘSee here, my Maggy. A chain, a gold
chain for Simon Eyre. I shall make thee a lady. Here‪s a French hood for
thee ‚Ä“ on with it, on with it! Dress thy brows with this Ô¬‚ap of a shoulder
of mutton to make thee look lovely‚Ä™ (10.139‚Ä“42).42 Eyre reminds Margery
that he brought her from the gutter to a decent living, and now he shall
raise her further to a lady. The status is deÔ¬Āned Ô¬Ārst by a ‚ĘFrench‚Ä™ fashion,
and a few lines later Eyre orders her, ‚Ęon with your trinkets‚Ä™. The latter are
presumably the foreign baubles that traders like Mercadorus in Wilson‪s
The Three Ladies bring into England. In Dekker‪s time, they were still
deemed destructive, but Dekker does some ‚Ęshaping‚Ä™ so that now they
simply adorn and serve an Englishness depicted as ‚Ęowning‚Ä™ the alien.
With the dressing-up of Simon Eyre the shoemaker as sheriff and then
mayor, a change of status unequivocally follows upon the change of
clothing. Or rather, endowment of status upon Eyre in decree (a text,
spoken or written) allows or demands his change in apparel, which in
turn effects (puts into practice, into reality) that change of status in the
public eye. City government ennobles commoners, and men may take on
ill-Ô¬Ātting outward appearance. In fact, as Robert Tittler argues, it is
essential that they do so in the way that Eyre demonstrates, convincing
themselves and others of the legitimacy of their illusion of power.43 The
lack of a signiÔ¬Ācant difference between legitimate apparel of status
necessary to carry out one‪s civic role on the one hand and inappropriate
overdressing or disguise that gets a private job done on the other hand
further encourages the playgoer to excuse Eyre‪s deceptive use of the
Alderman‚Ä™s outÔ¬Āt.44 Acting roles in disguise in Englishmen for My Money
delineated the constructedness of alien national identity within the play
world and the imagined incorporation of those roles into the larger
performance of Englishness. In the romantic comedies, or ‚Ęprodigal
plays‚Ä™, the development of Englishness is in the service of a competition
for women and money, which is designed to demonstrate English
superiority in building and conÔ¬Ārming identity and wealth. English actors
can undermine alien intervention because the strangeness of the character
is only acted on terms laid down within an English theatre. ‚ĘEyre‚Ä™s
sumptuary pretence is also testimony to the entrepreneurial ‚Äúskill‚ÄĚ of
acting, in which costly properties function not only as signs of social
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 137
status, but also as collateral for its acquisition.‪45 The skill of acting that
Eyre shows is an ability to step out of the self and recreate one‪s identity.
Such skill requires appropriate props ‚Ä“ at once properties of the self,
owned, native and acquired, brought in, alienated from former owners or
craftspersons. These props in turn act as principal investment, prompting
the interest in playing out Englishness. The moral problem of Eyre‪s
deception is then read as an alien importation, confused with the
Englishman for the greater good of himself, his city, and his country.

working with your hans
Julia Gasper reads The Shoemaker‪ s Holiday as Dekker‪s militantly
Protestant pedagogy, which casts Hans primarily as a religious ‚Ębrother‚Ä™;
thus ‚ĘThe hospitality shown by Simon Eyre‚Ä™s household towards the
Dutchman is handsomely rewarded.‪46 Such hospitality, she writes, is a
‚ĘspeciÔ¬Ācally Protestant‚Ä™ act.47 I argued in Chapters 2 and 3 that such an act
is also, therefore, from the Anglo-centric point of view, a speciÔ¬Ācally
English act. To make this English act of international relations, however,
is to acknowledge the brotherhood, the kinship, not just of religion, but of
the alien with the native. We saw Hospitality murdered in Wilson‪s The
Three Ladies, illustrating the destruction by aliens of private hospitality ‚Ä“
where the English exclusively take care of each other. The seriousness of
the old moral code‪s exclusivity is avoided by Dekker, as instead of
parading the problems of the alien, as every other writer has done, Dekker
suppresses the spectre of the alien (of moral questionability in English
characters) before they are manifested. Thus, in addition to the Dutchman
not really being a Dutchman, Lacy/Hans is employed and accommodated
immediately as a useful immigrant member of the commonwealth. In spite
of entering with a ‚Ędrinking song‚Ä™, by which he is recognized as ‚ĘDutch‚Ä™,
Lacy/Hans is not directly and overtly a drunkard or a realm-drainer like the
earlier Dutch characters of the moralities; instead, he is involved in the
short term in making English products and in the long term in making
Englishness a product of that work.
Gasper emphasizes that two Deloney stories provided Dekker with
‚ĘHaunce‚Ä™ a Dutchman and the tale of Saints Crispin and Crispianus
taking shelter from religious persecution. ‚ĘBy combining them‚Ä™, she
writes, ‚ĘDekker reminds his audience that the Dutch immigrants in
contemporary London are also to be seen as refugees from religious
persecution‚Ä™.48 Joseph Ward concurs, writing that ‚Ęeven in the highly
competitive economic environment of the late 16th century there was also
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
138
sympathy among the non-elite for their plight as religious refugees‚Ä™.49
I would add that genre is important, however, and there is no avoiding
the dramatic lineage of the dangerous ‚ĘHances‚Ä™ of Wealth and Health and
Like Will to Like. Any personal goodness in such a character does not
make up entirely for the detrimental public effect of that character‪s
actions, and the difference between the two has to be accounted for if the
character is English. For comparison, we might recall the ‚Ęgood‚Ä™ usurer
Gerontus in Wilson‚Ä™s The Three Ladies. Just as Gerontus‚Ä™ usury ‚Ä“ for all
his personal honesty ‚Ä“ enables Mercadorus‚Ä™ trade of baubles into England,
so Lacy/Hans is the cipher for the importation of unnecessary ‚Ęcivet,
almonds, cambric, end alle dingen‚Ä™ (7.2‚Ä“3), which enrich Eyre. As I have
argued in expanding Fleck‚Ä™s observations, Dekker then has to ‚Ęshape‚Ä™ this
material by having the foreign goods highlight Margery‪s social
improvement and by having Eyre‪s celebratory feast paid for from the
foreign gains in order to ‚Ęcreate English unity and identity‚Ä™.
Dekker seems to be having fun by not permitting the audience a settled
view on the fake alien, even as the play‪s nominal medieval historical
setting tempers the inÔ¬‚ammatory contemporary question of the legit-
imacy of alien residents who were not religious refugees. Lacy‪s Dutch
song prompts Firk‚Ä™s response that ‚ĘHe‚Ä™s some uplandish workman; hire
him, good master, that I may learn some gibble-gabble‚Ä™ (4.47‚Ä“9).
Although the word ‚Ęuplandish‚Ä™ is glossed by Russell Fraser and Norman
Rabkin as ‚Ęprovincial‚Ä™ (‚Ęforeign‚Ä™ in the early modern sense), the word also
means ‚Ęoutlandish‚Ä™ or alien (OED ‚Ęuplandish‚Ä™, entry 4);50 as Anthony
Parr‪s edition notes, the word‪s other sense of referring to highland dis-
tricts of a country may be Firk‪s ironic joke, since he thinks he knows that
the journeyman comes from the low countries of the Netherlands (4.47 n.).
Firk‪s amusing hospitality is also patronizing and effacing, as he turns
‚ĘHans‚Ä™ into a turkey who can only ‚Ęgibble-gabble‚Ä™, and alienates him as
‚Ęuplandish‚Ä™ from both the southern city of London and the Lowlands. As
pro-alien representation, the facts that ‚ĘHans‚Ä™ is the Englishman Lacy
and that Firk the clown is the primary mocker of the ‚ĘDutchman‚Ä™
perhaps deliberately undermine the expression of stereotypes in the
play.51 However much ‚ĘHans‚Ä™ is displaced and ridiculed, he is, Ô¬Ārst, a
shoemaker and is incorporated into Eyre‪s shop (initially by the workers,
not the master) for that reason ‚Ä“ and he is given hospitality as a fellow
Protestant. Against those readings lies the possibility that the very
falseness of the alien identity ‚Ęthreatens to undermine [the] unpreced-
ented and idealised vision‚Ä™ of an Anglo-Dutch workshop.52 Moreover, a
class statement might be articulated here to suggest that the lowly Firk is
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 139
naive in his (humorously biased) acceptance of the alien while the world-
savvy Eyre, with whom the audience might want to identify, expresses
his doubts. The whole play is constantly involved in a multiple process
of excusing, excoriating, refashioning, and manipulating the alien
elements of London life to understand them as the life of London and
Englishness, and class is the clearest context that the play uses to do
this work.
In the character of Lacy/Hans, national identity and class identity are
never severed. Late in the play, for example, each phase of Roger Oatley‪s
tirade of anti-alien abuse against ‚ĘHans‚Ä™ is brought back to a comment on
native class. Gerald Porter, like most commentators, privileges the class
references:
Dekker makes it clear that the rhetoric of the master shoemaker, Simon Eyre,
about his ‚Ęgentleman shoemakers‚Ä™ ‚Ä“ that ‚Ęnone but the livery of my company
shall in their satin hoods wait upon the trencher of my sovereign‚Ä™ . . . ‚Ä“ is
illusory. The Lord Mayor of London‚Ä™s comment about ‚Ęa foul drunken lubber, a
swill-belly, A shoemaker‚Ä™ in the same play . . . is a cool reminder of their actual
place within that system.53

Now, Mayor Oatley is not calling Lacy a ‚Ędrunken‚Ä™ ‚Ęswill-belly‚Ä™ because
he is a shoemaker, but because Oatley thinks Lacy is a Dutchman. At
16.42‚Ä“5, Oatley lets loose: ‚ĘA Fleming butter-box, a shoemaker! / . . . / . . .
Scorned she young Hammon / To love a honnikin, a needy knave?‚Ä™
Again, there are two separate prejudices in each instant of abuse, the
former against national origin and the latter afterthought against the
trade ‚Ä“ or rather, national difference is being encoded in terms of class
difference. Oatley privileges his bias against the supposed Dutchman,
proverbially fat, a ‚Ęhonnikin‚Ä™ (a nonsense, Dutch-sounding diminutive of
contempt), and ‚Ęa foul drunken lubber, swill-belly‚Ä™. Oatley‚Ä™s combined
attack on the alien and professional identities of Lacy/Hans conÔ¬Ārms the
fusion of the alien with his English trade. There is no separating the alien
presence in the English Christian body politic and therefore in those who
represent Englishness at different social levels.
To have the alien speciÔ¬Ācally within the workshop of the shoemakers
and to have that alien presence promote the master to a celebration on
St Hugh‚Ä™s day further embeds the alien in the conÔ¬Ārmation of an
Englishness that comprehends itself primarily through demonstrations of
class. For all the critical concentration on ‚Ębourgeois‚Ä™ economic issues,
money-making is in the end an enabler of issues of national identity. It
leads to the Ô¬Ānal kingly celebration with its layered conÔ¬Ārmation of a
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
140
conÔ¬Ādent late-medieval ‚Ęnational identity‚Ä™ in opposition to Frenchness;
and it supports the Eyre‚Ä“Lacy/Hans relationship, read easily as
‚Ęhospitality‚Ä™ or ‚Ębrotherhood‚Ä™ that asserts a late-sixteenth-century Prot-
estant political-religious power over Catholicism. L. D. Timms notes that
Eyre‚Ä™s renaming of Shrove Tuesday as ‚ĘSt Hugh‚Ä™s Holiday‚Ä™ would have
reminded an Elizabethan audience of the coincidence of St Hugh‪s Day
(17 November) with the Accession day of Elizabeth, on which day ‚ĘThe
traditions of the Catholic Saint‪s Day were absorbed and transformed
into a celebration of national achievement and Protestant militancy.‪54
Thus Lacy/Hans‚Ä™ role is as an enabler, embodying the alien confusion
that builds Englishness ‚Ä“ albeit anachronistically building a modern
Protestant individualized Ô¬Āgure in happy but not entirely settled subjection
to a medieval, communally bound London. Lacy/Hans‚Ä™ role in synthe-
sizing an English inter-class community is not limited to the workshop, of
course, but involves his relationship with Rose, which indicates an inter-
class appreciation and respect at odds with the bitter and underhanded
debate between Oatley and Lincoln, or the resentment against the nobility
in the Dutch church libel. That Oatley-Lincoln debate, incidentally, is yet
another example of Dekker reprising a questionable moral trope of earlier
drama and historiography only to pit it against a ‚Ęgoodness‚Ä™ that over-
powers it: the old debate (acted out extensively in Wilson‪s The Three
Lords) between the new London as powerful, modern capital city and
Lincoln as old, ‚Ęforeign‚Ä™, colonized England‚Ä™s Roman capital is reÔ¬Āgured
in The Shoemaker‚Ä™ s Holiday as a personal battle between the city mayor
Oatley and the foreigner Lincoln (Lacy senior). Diminishing the frac-
turing of national debate into the bickering of two individuals from the
older generation allows the prodigal, Christian, clever, class-joining, alien-
enriching Lacy/Hans (and therefore Eyre) to represent the newly
upwardly mobile and healthy urban identity of Englishness to succeed in
spite of the moral questions that permeate the play.
The name ‚ĘHans‚Ä™ in the plays would have had another major signiÔ¬Ā-
cance, since (as in Wealth and Health) it would have reminded the
audience of Hanseatic merchants (Merchants of the Intercourse), a
coalition of traders from northern German towns formed in the four-
teenth century. These stranger merchants operated in several major
ports, including London, until the sixteenth century. They were
exempted from stranger duties (which were traditionally higher than for
English citizens) and drew frequent complaints from English traders for
their allegedly questionable dealings. There had apparently been a
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 141
number of cases such as the one involving one Benedict Spinola, end-
enized in 1559: while acting as an agent for an alien trader, he paid only
the privileged resident fees to export customs, but took higher strangers‚Ä™
fees from his client, one John Justiniano, and pocketed the difference.55
We are reminded of Dekker‪s presentation of a questionable deal in The
Shoemaker‚Ä™s Holiday, and it would seem likely that the name ‚ĘHans/
Hance/Hanse‚Ä™ as a German‚Ä“Dutch conÔ¬‚ation hints at these merchants
on the edge between Englishness and alien identity.
Once again, Dekker works into his play a counterbalance to this
unwelcome allusion. Because Dekker‚Ä™s character is ‚ĘHans‚Ä™-eatic, he can be
the agent who straddles the English‚Ä“alien divide and enables the deal
between Eyre and the Dutch skipper. Lacy‚Ä™s ‚ĘHans‚Ä™ saves the Dutch
skipper additional subsidies as well as providing Eyre with more alien
material means to native self-improvement. Subsequently, the inverse
becomes true: because he manages to broker the deal, Lacy is ‚Ęa Hans‚Ä™. In
the older plays this would unequivocally mean something repellent;
Dekker blends the residue of this dramatic heritage with a Ô¬Āgure who is
more simply a mensch, a good, useful fellow. This may be the reason that
Eyre continues to refer to Lacy as ‚ĘHans‚Ä™ and ‚Ęmy Dutchman‚Ä™ after he
suspects and then even after he knows Lacy‪s true identity as an
Englishman. In Scene 17, during plans for Lacy and Rose‪s marriage, Eyre
calls Lacy ‚ĘRoland Lacy‚Ä™ at line 6 and ‚ĘRoland‚Ä™ twenty lines later, but calls
him ‚ĘHans‚Ä™ four times, twice before these references and twice after; in
Scene 20 Eyre refers to him solely as ‚ĘHans‚Ä™.56 To be a ‚ĘHans‚Ä™ (or Hance)
in the early interludes was to be ‚ĘWar‚Ä™ or an economic drain on the
country; a ‚ĘHans‚Ä™ by the 1590s could be someone who brings in goods
that elevate individual native status. Even this ameliorated process,
however, involves a continuation of Wilson‪s and many other writers‪
concerns with unnecessary imports, and still encourages currency to ‚Ęin
ander land lopen‚Ä™ (‚Ęwalk in another land‚Ä™, Wealth and Health, Dv).
Moreover, the troubled process in this instant is carried out by an
Englishman. Without Dekker‪s powerful context of forgiveness and his
diminution of moral turpitude, it would be tempting to read Lacy/Hans
rather as an English-alien vice Ô¬Āgure, akin to a Ô¬Āgure as devastating as
Wilson‚Ä™s Usury, the ‚ĘEnglish‚Ä™ representation of a foreign, problematic
counterpart. Indeed, we saw in earlier chapters that early modern ‚Ęusury‚Ä™
included a number of sharp practices, including brokering.
We may want to pull up short of such an extreme alignment, but
Dekker pushes Lacy/Hans close to this position of a tightly confused alien
Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
142
identity through a series of accreting conÔ¬‚ations and imbrications
involving national identity, human ‚Ęnature‚Ä™, and generic overlap or
medley. Lacy‪s journey away from his father and expected social role is
reminiscent of Hal‚Ä™s in Henry IV; even Lacy‚Ä™s Ô¬Ānal plea to the king feels
like the prince‪s promises to his father of betterment. Lacy, too, hides
himself among Londoners of inferior class. When the mayor Ô¬Ānds out
that Lacy is hiding in London, disguised, to Ô¬Ānd Rose, the servant
Dodger‚Ä™s words are that he ‚ĘLurks here in London‚Ä™ (9.91). The mayor
adapts the phrase with the rhetorical question: ‚ĘLurch in London?‚Ä™ and
this skulking, hiding Ô¬Āgure they are imagining is talked of in terms of an
animal who may be hunted down: ‚ĘWell, Master Dodger‚Ä™, says the mayor
to his informant, ‚Ęyou perhaps may start him‚Ä™ (9.95), meaning to Ô¬‚ush
this prodigal out of his hiding place, like a ferret to a fox. The rhetoric
throughout The Shoemaker‚Ä™ s Holiday demotes estranged characters to the
status of animals, suggesting their separation and therefore ‚Ęstranger‚Ä™
status from the ‚Ęnatural‚Ä™ laws or orders of human society as well as from
social, cultured English society. Of course, the contiguity and even
conÔ¬‚ation of the two effects ‚Ä“ loss of humanity and loss of Englishness ‚Ä“
suggests the drama‚Ä™s promotion of a ‚Ęnaturalness‚Ä™ of a certain view of
Englishness and the inhumanity of all other alien stances. This view
of Englishness is a fairly conservative one, for all the play‪s apparent
boisterousness and pushing of behavioural boundaries.

stranger jane
In The Shoemaker‪ s Holiday‪s other love story, between the journeyman
Ralph Damport and his wife, Jane, we see another important adaptation
from earlier drama. Symbolic objects such as Christianity‪s shield in The
Tide Tarrieth or the stones of Remorse, Care, and Charity in Wilson‪s
The Three Lords are moral lessons given in a suggested but not overtly
described socio-economic setting.57 In Dekker, the situation has been
inverted, for the object of focus is a commercial product, but it is steeped
in a moral narrative that works once again with the connection between
alien identity and the conÔ¬Ārmation of Englishness. Ralph crafts Jane a pair
of unique red shoes by which to remember him before he leaves to Ô¬Āght in
the French war. Eventually the shoes will be used to bring the couple
together again. In fact, the shoes (and the lovers‚Ä™ love for each other) are
the only stable element in this strand of the story, and this bears out the
importance of the English product as in turn a producer of Englishness
that I mentioned at the beginning of the section on Lacy/Hans.
Being the alien in late-Elizabethan London plays 143
When Ralph returns from war, he is crippled and almost unrecog-
nizable. He inquires after his wife, and he is told by his former fellow
workers that ‚ĘJane is a stranger here‚Ä™ (10.102), for she has Ô¬‚ed from
troublesome, would-be suitors. The trope of the excursion is doubled
(husband and wife) and both parties made ‚Ęstrange‚Ä™ in preparation for a
return to Englishness. Eyre‪s wife, Margery, greets Ralph with her usual
lexical/sexual impropriety: ‚ĘTrust me, I am sorry, Ralph, to see thee
impotent. Lord, how the wars have made him sunburnt! The left leg is not
well; ‚Ä™twas a fair gift of God the inÔ¬Ārmity took not hold a little higher,
considering thou camest from France ‚Ä“ but let that pass‚Ä™ (10.66‚Ä“70). The
term ‚Ęsunburnt‚Ä™ could be used in the early modern period to denote an
afÔ¬‚iction with venereal disease, and the ‚ĘFrench disease‚Ä™ is of course here
referenced, since the ‚ĘinÔ¬Ārmity‚Ä™ (inability for the ‚Ęimpotent‚Ä™ to get ‚ĘԬĀrm‚Ä™)
could have gone to the top of Ralph‚Ä™s leg ‚Ä“ thus the miracle is that Ralph
is still a ‚Ęman‚Ä™. During Jane‚Ä™s separation from Ralph by her ‚Ęlying low‚Ä™ and
absenting herself from once-familiar company, she is ‚Ä“ like Lacy when
‚ĘHans‚Ä™ and like Margery when dressed up out of her familiar social place ‚Ä“
animalized: ‚ĘWe‚Ä™ll ferret her out‚Ä™ (10.105), promises Hodge. The marriage
of true love and accord between the French-sunburnt and alien-looking
Ralph about whom Margery remarks, ‚ĘPerdy, I knew him not‚Ä™ (10.62),
and his estranged wife Jane is re-familiarized, re-Englished by means of
the recognition of Ralph‪s own English handiwork on the love-pricked red
shoes and by a ‚Ęlusty crew of honest shoemakers‚Ä™ (14.60), who will bring
them together to their wedding, by force if necessary.
Ralph‪s experience in France has Dekker again pointing to questions of
individual subjects‚Ä™ work and pain before subsuming them into a sphere

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