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pany, on its side.
Histrio belongs to the Chamberlain's company; I do not, however, believe that he represents any particular actor; he is a composite portrait, embodying the pride, vice, and possession of newly acquired wealth then so frequently charged against actors.
With this conclusion that Histrio represents the Chamberlain's company, I shall give below some reasons for agreeing; but Small seems to be wrong in implying the existence and operation of only two public playhouses in 1601. On December 31, 1601, the Privy Councillors wrote a letter (reprinted by Halliwell-Phillipps, Shakespeare 1. 282) to the Lord Mayor in answer to his complaint that the number of playhouses and the resort thereto had not been controlled or abated. The letter says: '. . wee must lett yow know that wee did muche rather expect to understand that our order sett downe and prescribed about a yeare and a half since [i. e. the order of June 22, 1600], for reformation of the said disorders upon the like complaint at that tyme, had bin duelie executed, then to finde the same disorders and abuses so muche encreased as they are.' The letter then enjoins the expresse and streight prohibition of any more playhowses then those two (the Globe in Surrey, and the Fortune in Middlesex] that are mentioned and allowed in the said Order. There follows immediately (ibid. 1. 283), under date also of December 31, 1601, a sharp letter from the Lords of the Council to the magistrates of Surrey and Middlesex censuring their failure to enforce the order of June 22, 1600. These expressions in particular should be noted: ... Wee do now understande that our said order hath bin so farr from taking dew effect, as, insteede of restrainte and redresse of the former disorders, the multitude of playhowses is much encreased, and that no daie passeth over without many stage-plaies in one place or other within and about the Cittie publiquelie made;' &c. It appears that even the order of December 31, 1601, was not carried out.
We cannot, then, eliminate with Small the other theatres; but there is in Poetaster a speech by Histrio (3. 4. 339–341) which seems decisive against the theory that he is either Henslowe or a member of one of Henslowe's companies:
We haue hir'd him [Demetrius-Dekker) to abuse HORACE, and bring him in, in a play, with all his gallants.' Now it was by the Chamberlain's men, not by any company acting for Henslowe, that Dekker had been retained; for Satiromastix was first acted, about September 1601, at the Globe. Jonson cannot have been misinformed as to where Dekker's play was to be produced, and therefore when he makes Histrio say 'We haue hir'd him,' he is evidently not representing Henslowe by this actor. Another piece of evidence is offered by Poetaster 3. 4. 168 ff., where it is made clear that Histrio and Crispinus have been unacquainted hitherto. This is flatly against the identification of Histrio with Henslowe, for the latter had had dealings with Crispinus-Marston as early as 1599 (cf. Henslowe's Diary 156), and the two would need no introduction. It should be said against the Henslowe theory in general that we have no evidence whatever that Henslowe was ever an actor, and this would be clearly in the way of our identifying him with Histrio, who is nothing else. Another theory concerning Histrio was advanced by Prof. Henry Wood, in the Amer. Jour. of Phil. 16. 273-299, 'Shakespeare, Burlesqued by Two Fellow-dramatists.' 'The Histrio of both plays, Histriomastix and Poetaster, is a poet-actor. In the former play, Histrio has been shown to be a burlesque of Shakespeare, and the connection between the corresponding scenes in both plays is now seen to be remarkably close. The natural and unforced conclusion points to the Histrio of the Poetaster as a companion caricature of the great dramatist' (p. 289 n.). Professor Wood's identification of Posthast with Shakespeare (in which he follows Simpson, School of Shakespeare 2. 8-9) is quite unconvincing. Posthast apparently, and Histrio certainly, was not a 'poet
actor,' as Professor Wood contends. Poetaster contains not the slightest hint that Histrio has poetic or dramatic powers or aspirations; he is presented as an actor pure and simple. On the other hand, the identification of Posthast in Histromastix with Anthony Monday, made by Fleay (Chr. 2. 70–72), Penniman (War of the Theatres 38-43), and Small (Stage-Quarrel 172-5), is undoubtedly correct. As for Histrio, there is absolutely no reason to suppose he represents Shakespeare.
Our conclusion, then, is that Histrio is neither Henslowe nor Shakespeare. He represents the Chamberlain's company, but whether he was a member whom Jonson's audience could call by name, we cannot know.
Horace. That Horace represents Ben Jonson himself cannot be questioned.
In Poetaster, Horace is described as follows: he writes in the satirical vein (3. I. 24-5); observes men only to satirize them (4. 3. 107–110); will sacrifice a friend for the sake of a jest (4. 3. 112-120)—which he denies (5. 3. 332 ff.). He is charged with arrogance and impudence in commending his own works (4. 3. 125-6); is a translator (4. 3. 127, 5. 3. 375); is falsely charged with 'felfe-loue, arrogancy, impudence, rayling, filching by translation, &c.' (5. 3. 239-240). He is valiant, and a man of the sword' (4. 7. 20-1); poor (5. 1. 77), but not degraded by his poverty (5. I. 79 ff.); not envious (5. 1. 90-3); he calls himself 'the worst accuser vnder heauen' (5. 3. 181). He is fortunate and honored in his acquaintance (3. I. 247-251 ; 5. 3. 472–8) and keeps the company of gallants (5. 3. 327).
In Satiromastix (p. 200), Tucca says to Horace: You must be callid Asper, and Criticus, and Horace, thy tytle's longer a reading than the Stile a the big Turkes: Asper, Criticus, Quintus, Horatius, Flaccus.' This, taken with the speeches by and concerning these characters, written by Jonson, is sufficient proof that Asper of Every Man Out, Crites (Criticus in quarto) of Cynthia's Revels, and
Horace of Poetaster, all represent Jonson himself. In order to understand Horace-Jonson as he understood himself, therefore, we must advert to the earlier plays. Asper is thus characterized (Every Man Out, Char. of the Persons): 'He is of an ingenious and free spirit, eager, and constant in reproof, without fear controlling the world's abuses. One whom no servile hope of gain, or frosty apprehension of danger, can make to be a parasite, either to time, place, or opinion. But the full-length portrait of Jonson as he dared to represent himself occurs in Cynthia's Revels, 2. I, Mercury loq. :
Crites. A creature of a most perfect and divine temper: one in whom the humours and elements are peaceably met, without emulation of precedency; he is neither too fantastically melancholy, too slowly phlegmatic, too lightly sanguine, or too rashly choleric; but in all so composed and ordered, as it is clear Nature went about some full work, she did more than make a man when she made him. His discourse is like his behaviour, uncommon, but not unpleasing; he is prodigal of neither. He strives rather to be that which men call judicious, than to be thought so; and is so truly learned, that he affects not to shew it. He will think and speak his thought both freely; but as distant from depraving another man's merit, as proclaiming his own (which is delicious). For his valour, 'tis such that he dares as little to offer an injury as receive
In sum, he hath a most ingenious and sweet spirit, a sharp and seasoned wit, a straight judgment and a strong mind. Fortune could never break him, nor make him less. He counts it his pleasure to despise pleasures, and is more delighted with good deeds than goods. It is competency to him that he can be virtuous. He doth neither covet nor fear; he hath too much reason to do either; and that commends all things to him.
Macilente of Every Man Out (see the Character of the Persons) has also been frequently supposed to represent Jonson, and I therefore add the characterization of him, though not agreeing in the identification:
Macilente. A man well parted, a sufficient scholar, and travelled; who, wanting that place in the world's account which he thinks his merit capable of, falls into such an envious apoplexy, with which his judgment is so dazzled, and distracted, that he grows violently impatient of any opposite happiness in another.
'Asper-Macilente,' writes Fleay (Chr. 1. 359), 'is, of course, Jonson.' Penniman (War of the Theatres 57) makes the same assumption. Dr. B. Nicholson has the following note (Jonson 1. 113) on Macilente: “The "lean (and malevolent) one", Asper transformed, i. e. Jonson out of his humour.' Small takes a different view (Stage-Quarrel 29-30): “Throughout the play the fact is enforced that Macilente's "envy" is not hatred, but envy in the modern sense.
Jonson is careful to distinguish the parts
Returning to the Horace of Poetaster, we should add
Thou hast no part of Horace in thee but's name, and his