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Iglesias, Marisa C.
Secret servants :
b household domestics and courtship in Eliza Haywood's fiction
h [electronic resource] /
by Marisa C. Iglesias.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 50 pages.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: In Eliza Haywood's fiction, as in eighteenth-century Britain, social restrictions repress the sexual desires of upper class women and men. Therefore, the secret desires of this social class often rely on a different group: domestic servants. Sometimes acting as confidants and other times as active players in the scheming, these servants are privy to the inner secrets of the households in which they live. In Haywood's Love in Excess (1719), Lasselia (1723), Fantomina (1725), and The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless (1751), the servant class plays significant roles in the narratives. Since the role of the servant is the central issue in my interpretation of Haywood's works, the historical background of the relationship between master and servant in the eighteenth-century is significant to my investigation. Conduct books, a popular genre of the times, were written to offer practical instruction to domestic servants.Haywood's A Present for A Servant Maid; or the Sure Means of gaining Love and Esteem (1743), offers a view of Haywood's own attitude toward the servant class. In addition to her career as a writer of amorous intrigue, Haywood worked as both actress and playwright, and, because of her experience, elements of the stage can be seen in her works. I explore the influence of the theatre in Haywood's fiction and connect it to the prominent role of servants in her work. Though Haywood demonstrates that the servants' loyalty can be bought for the highest price, they are not ruled by the same sexual passion as are their employers. This area is of particular interest to my study. I explore whether the motive of financial gain is greater than sexual desire, or whether it is an awareness that aristocrats are not truly available to the servant class that accounts for the differences in erotic responses.Additionally, I explore how servants affect Haywood's narrative by acting as agents of change and argue that the social restrictions placed on the upper class and the awareness of the sexual freedoms the servant class bring master and servant closer together.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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Advisor: Laura Runge, Ph.D.
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Secret Servants: Household Domestics and Courts hip in Eliza HaywoodÂ’s Fiction by Marisa C. Iglesias A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of English College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Laura Runge, Ph.D. Pat Rogers, Ph.D. Regina Hewitt, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 11, 2008 Keywords: masquerade, class, confidant, theatre, novel Copyright 2008, Marisa C. Iglesias
I dedicate this Masters Thesis to my daughter, Chloe Elizabeth Sysk.
Acknowledgements I would like to express my gr atitude to Dr. Laura Runge fo r her guidance and dedication. I am also grateful to Dr. Pat Rogers and Dr. Regina Hewitt for their thoughtful consideration of my wo rk. I could not have completed this project without the support of my mother, brother, and friend, Patricia Ortiz, who were, and still are, always available. Finally, I wish to thank Anna Beskin who w ill forever be a part of this experience.
i Table of Contents Abstract ii Chapter 1 Â– Historical Background 1 Master/Servant Relationship 1 HaywoodÂ’s A Present for a Servant Maid 6 Chapter 2 Â– Love in Excess 13 Chapter 3 Â– Lasselia and Fantomina 31 Chapter 4 Â– Conclusion 42 Bibliography 46
ii Secret Servants: Household Domestics and Courts hip in Eliza HaywoodÂ’s Fiction Marisa C. Iglesias ABSTRACT In Eliza HaywoodÂ’s fiction, as in eighteen th-century Britain, so cial restrictions repress the sexual desires of upper class women and men. Therefore, the secret desires of this social class often rely on a different group: domestic servants. Sometimes acting as confidants and other times as active players in the scheming, these servants are privy to the inner secrets of the households in which they live. In HaywoodÂ’s Love in Excess (1719), Lasselia (1723), Fantomina (1725), and The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless (1751), the servant class plays signif icant roles in th e narratives. Since the role of the servan t is the central i ssue in my interpre tation of HaywoodÂ’s works, the historical background of the rela tionship between master and servant in the eighteenth-century is signif icant to my investigation. Conduct books, a popular genre of the times, were written to offer practical instruction to domestic servants. HaywoodÂ’s A Present for A Servant Maid; or the Sure Means of gaining Love and Esteem (1743), offers a view of HaywoodÂ’s own at titude toward the servant class. In addition to her career as a writer of amorous intrigue, Haywood worked as both actress and playwright, and, because of her expe rience, elements of the stage can be seen in her works. I explore the influence of the theatre in HaywoodÂ’s fiction and connect it to the prominent role of servants in her work.
iii Though Haywood demonstrates that the se rvantsÂ’ loyalty can be bought for the highest price, they are not ruled by the same sexual passion as are their employers. This area is of particular interest to my study. I e xplore whether the motive of financial gain is greater than sexual desire, or whether it is an awareness th at aristocrats are not truly available to the servant cla ss that accounts for the differe nces in erotic responses. Additionally, I explore how serv ants affect HaywoodÂ’s narra tive by acting as agents of change and argue that the soci al restrictions placed on the upper class and the awareness of the sexual freedoms the servant class bri ng master and servant closer together.
1 Chapter One Historical Background MASTER/SERVANT RELATIONSHIP In the eighteenth-century, servants were a significant part of English society. What has often been seen as the growth of the middle classes as a result of commercial and industrial expansion caused an accelerated growth in domestic service (Hecht 1). The number of servants a household maintained was a sign of social status; therefore, as middle class society grew more capable of hiring these workers, the upper-class felt greater pressure to enlarge the number of servants they employed. This high demand placed servants in a unique position as they became one of the largest Â“occupational groups in eighteenth-century EnglandÂ” (1). Co nsequently, domestic servants gained the power to be more selective in their empl oyment, and once the households were chosen, opportunities for further control increased. In order to understand the integral part that servants play in Eliza HaywoodÂ’s fiction, it is necessary to take a detailed look at the historical background of the relationship betw een master and servant in the eighteenthcentury. In his seminal work The Domestic Servant Class in Eighteenth-Century England J. Jean Hecht points out that Â“the liberal grat uities [a servant] received from visitors and tradesmen likewise augmented his indepe ndence, for by freeing him from complete reliance on his masterÂ’s bounty they permitted him to be less mindful of his masterÂ’s wishesÂ” (78). Rising in social status, or at the very least in wealth, became a possibility,
2 and Â“conditions [were] obtained that encouraged servants to assert themselvesÂ” (78). At times Â“servants were highly insubordinate,Â” and it was commonly believed that they Â“tended to exploit their places to the fu llÂ” (Hecht 80). Though referred to by Hecht as exploitation, the change in servant behavior can be accounted for in part by the shift from Â“the old paternalistic relationship between masters and servantsÂ…to a contractual oneÂ” (Hill 5). In other words, the relationship betw een master and servant increasingly became that of employer and employee, a llowing the servant further agency. There is conflicting information as to wh at the relationships between master and servant were really like. Hecht reminds reader s that Â“little of what servants committed to paper has survivedÂ”; therefore the bulk of hi s material concerning se rvants Â“derives from the employer classÂ” and Â“some of it naturally reflects the prejudices of that groupÂ” (xi). Even within the accounts of employers, there are varyi ng perspectives; however, one expectation remains consistent throughout: servants were to gua rd their mastersÂ’ secrets. In Not in Front of the Servants: A True Po rtrait of English Upstairs/Downstairs Life Frank Dawes writes that Â“the upper class relied on the total discretion of those who served them, a trust that wa s rarely misplacedÂ” (26). Alt hough Dawes suggests that the majority of servants were loyal to those th ey served, it is clear that much of society thought differently. Restricting female servants from socializing outside of the household was not only an attempt to avoid pregnancy or marriage, but also to limit the spreading of gossip (Hill 54). Dawes illustra tes the lack of respect empl oyers had for their servantsÂ’ privacy: Â“Employers sometimes opened letters a ddressed to their serv ants to find out if they were keeping any secretsÂ” (14). But, pe rhaps the secrets they expected to discover were their own.
3 Hecht writes that Â“the average English employer was so aware of being observed and had such deference for the opinion of his servant that he regulated his conduct with him constantly in mindÂ” (207). Servants were expected to guard their masterÂ’s secrets, Â“defend his good name against calumny and hosti le criticism, and in general make his interests their ownÂ” (75). Domestic servants observed their mastersÂ’ actions, and contrary to DawesÂ’ earlier statement, often had oppor tunities to use the information to their advantage. Control of their masterÂ’s secr ets coupled with incr eased opportunities for financial gain resulted in greater negotiati ng power and, ultimately, more freedom for the servant class. Paula M. HumfreyÂ’s collection of female servantsÂ’ depositions, from the records of the Court of Arches in Canterbury, dem onstrates awareness that servants had an incomparable insight into the lives of thei r masters. Servants served as Â“important witnesses in matrimonial and testamentary suitsÂ” which often put them in difficult positions (53). Humphrey writes that the de position narratives Â“strongly suggest that protecting oneÂ’s own reputation while gatheri ng knowledge about others must have been central to female servantsÂ’ management of their working livesÂ” (55). The testimonies often contradict one another and include evidence of bribery. Relationships between master and se rvants varied; however, close living conditions inevitably led to intimate relations hips (friendly as well as carnal) between upper-class men and women and their employees A female servant found herself in a precarious situation if the recipient of her ma sterÂ’s sexual advances. Hill observes that servants were Â“well aware that their w hole futureÂ—both economic and maritalÂ—lay in their employerÂ’s handsÂ” (47). If a servant became pregnant, she was often fired without a
4 reference that would assist he r in acquiring another job, and Â“i f her family refused to take her in, she was faced with the alternative of the workhouse or prostitutionÂ” (Dawes 40). These servants were to serve their master s and could not completely turn down their advances, yet they were aware of what they could lose if they succumbed. In Servants: English Domestics in the Eighteenth Century Bridget Hill writes that a large majority of servants Â“were young, single girls, away from their family, their friends, and relationsÂ” (44). These circumstances added further to their vulnerability. HaywoodÂ’s conduct book, which I discuss at the end of this chapter, offers advice for avoi ding these disastrous situations. Female domestic servants were not only e xposed to the desires of their masters, but sexual advances from other servants also occurred frequently. Hill comments that Â“it would be foolish to try to cl aim that all women servants we re victims of menÂ’s seduction. Many voluntarily entered in to sexual liaisons Â” (63). Though this observation seems commonplace from a modern day perspective, a servant girl in the eighteenth-century would find it difficult to acknowledge. Servan ts were discouraged from having families of their own and were often more accepting of sexual liberty than those they served because of greater societal restrictions on the upper class. However, in addition to the risk of pregnancy, women suffered greater consequences when relations were exposed: Â“if rumours of liaisons between their male and female servants reached the ears of their employers it was usually the woman w ho was dismissedÂ” (59). Neither the servant/servant relationship, nor the master/servant relations hip offered a solution for a girl who found herself pregnant. The impulse to avoid public and private shame and to
5 avoid losing their jobs caused many servant gi rls to abort the child or commit infanticide (61). The predicament was without a good solution. Clearly, sexual relationships were no t unusual, and although discussed less, mistresses were also involved with male servants. Henry FieldingÂ’s Joseph Andrews a satire of Samuel RichardsonÂ’s Pamela portrays Lady BoobyÂ’s pursuit of her footman, Joseph. If the deposition of Frances Lamb, a servan t maid, serves as an example, servant men were less chastised for their involvem ent with employers. After witnessing her mistress, Mrs. Weston, in bed naked with se rvant Frank Alchin Â“lying upon her,Â” Lamb tells the court: Â“Â… [I] did soon afterÂ…talk what [I] had seen to several of the apprentices and servants in the neighbor hood, and they used to laugh at Frank about lying with his mistressÂ” (64). LambÂ’s statement conveys th e different standards for men and women; affairs with male servants provoke laughter, wh ile female servants who have affairs with their masters result in unemployment or wors e. This disparity between male and female servants mirrors the sexual li berties allowed to up per class men and the sexual limitations placed on upper class women. Additionally, it is important to note that the number of male servants a household maintained added to a masterÂ’s social standing (Hill 31). Furthermore, LambÂ’s deposition confirms a mast erÂ’s fear that servants not only observe behaviors, but also share their secrets. Intimate relationships did not always involve sexual liaisons. For example, the job of a ladyÂ’s maid, also known as a waitingwoman, was the personal attendance of her woman which involved companionship at hom e (Hecht 61). Despite class differences, close bonds were often created by this consta nt company. Hecht stat es Â“upper-class ladies sometimes invited well-bred but necessitous wo men to live with them so that they might
6 continually be provided with agreeable company (62). He a dds that both parties were often Â“more completely involved in the relations hip thus established th an the terms of the contract suggested (72). As a result, these household domestics, who frequently acted as confidants, acquired unique in sight into the lives of their mistresses. Ciamara and her maid Brione in HaywoodÂ’s Love in Excess reflect this type of relationship. Once servants recognized their potential pow er, they often utilized their positions to help themselves. Hecht states that Â“as a member of the household, [a servant] had an unparalleled opportunity to acquire the knowle dge essential to su ccessful imitation. He could observe his master at close range; he could observe him for protracted periodsÂ” (206). Servants frequently wore the clothe s their employers no longer wanted, making it more and more difficult to distinguish betw een the classes. Daniel DefoeÂ’s error of kissing the hand of a servant who he confused as a member of his own status caused him much distress (Perkins 105). Some employe rs Â“sought to impose th e extensive control and exact the perfect allegiance to which in th eory he was entitled,Â” and servants were often criticized for being ins ubordinate (Hecht 77). As Haywood exemplifies in her work, employers could similarly observe and imitate their servants, using the servantsÂ’ manner of dress and rebellious beha vior to their advantage. HAYWOODÂ’S A PRESENT FOR A SERVANT MAID In an attempt to manage Â“the servan t problem,Â” conduct books, a popular genre of the times, were written to offer practical instruction to domestic servants. HaywoodÂ’s A Present for A Servant Maid; or the Sure Means of gaining Love and Esteem (1743), which consists of rules for behavior as well as instruction for shopping, cooking, and
7 cleaning, was one of her most popular works, going through at least seven editions in six years (Spedding 402). It is important to not e that the work was later expanded and retitled, A New Present for a Servant-Maid (1771), fifteen year s after HaywoodÂ’s death. Spedding speculates that the revisions where not complete d by Haywood, but rather an anonymous compiler hired by her publisher, Thomas Gardener (413). The expanded version, reduces the section ti tled, Â“Necessary Cautions and Precepts to Servant-MaidsÂ” to less than half its original size and ex tends the cooking section by two hundred pages (412). In this chapter, I focus on the original text, A Present for a Servant Maid (1743). In the preface, Haywood states that fo llowing her advice Â“can not fail of making every Mistress of a Family pe rfectly contented, and every Servant-Maid both happy and belovedÂ” (4). Though the work focuses on se rvant behavior, Haywood repeatedly places blame on employers, beginning in the preface: Â“C orruption, thoÂ’ it begins at the Head, ceases not its Progress till it reaches the most inferior PartsÂ” (4). Sub-sections which center on avoiding advances of masters, masterÂ’s sons, and gentlemen lodgers, criticize men who use power to Â“satisfy [their] brut al AppetiteÂ” (46). A dditionally, mistresses Â“who permit Indecency in [their] House[s]Â” ar e also culpable (49). HaywoodÂ’s Â“presentÂ” is perhaps the rare sugges tion that employers take pa rtial responsibility for poor relationships with their servants. Â“Necessary Cautions and Precepts to Se rvant-MaidsÂ” begins with a Â“Caution against bad Houses,Â” which warns the Â“modest maidÂ” to enquire into the places where she seeks employment before she is hired because in some homes Â“are too frequently acted such Scenes of Debauchery, as w ould startle even the Owners of common BrothelsÂ” (6). Haywood describes the fate of Â“pretty Girls who come to Town to go to
8 ServiceÂ” only to find themselves Â“ensnared into the Service of the DevilÂ” (6). The dark tale of a servant girl Â“who prefers the Preser vation of her Virtue to all Promises can be made her,Â” but still cannot es cape prostitution, illustrates th e importance of researching the character of an employer (6). Again, she removes blame from the employees and directs it instead towards employers. Furt hermore, HaywoodÂ’s advice acknowledges that servants observe, and share with other serv ants, the behavior of their masters and mistresses. Haywood dedicates several sections to th e spreading of gossip. In Â“Telling the Affairs of the Family,Â” her caution bears a st rong resemblance to what often occurs in fiction: Things that may seem to you Matters of perfect Indifference, may happen to prove of great importance to those con cerned in them, and sometimes a single Word, inadvertently let fall, may so coincide with what has been said by others, as to give room to Prying People for Conj ectures, which you are not aware of. (13) She further advises servants Â“to be extrem ely circumspect how [they] mention [the] Humour, Circumstances, or BehaviorÂ” of their masters and mistresses (13). This warning highlights the power servants ha ve in the telling of a stor y, and consequently, over their masters. Haywood continues to stress the value of silence in subsequent sections. Under the heading Â“Secrets among Fellow-Servants,Â” she tells the young servant maid that Â“when any two [servants] are observed to be continually whispering, it not only raises a Jealousy in the rest, but also is apt to give your Master and Mistress a Suspicion that you are carrying on something to their DetrimentÂ” (14). Â“Entering into their QuarrelsÂ” and
9 Â“Giving Opinion too FreelyÂ” emphasize the im portance of remaining out of employersÂ’ affairs for interfering is Â“sure to incur the Di spleasure of one Party, and often bothÂ” (14). Similar to her advice against telling the affairs of the family, in Â“Tale-Bearing,Â” she reminds readers that words Â“carry a stronger Meaning when repeated by anotherÂ” (14). HaywoodÂ’s fictional servants repeatedly func tion as tale-bearers whose words carry the intensity she recommends avoiding. That maintaining virtue may consume much of a servant maidÂ’s time is apparent, beginning with the section titled Â“ChastityÂ” and continuing with six pages that follow. She tells young servant girls that Â“going as freq uently as [they] can to hear Sermons, and reading the Holy Scripture, and other good B ooksÂ” will inform them of Â“how great the Sin is of yielding to any unlawful Sollici tationsÂ” (44). However, awareness of sin, according to Haywood, is not enough. Maids must be Â“strictly virtuous in rejecting all the Temptations offeredÂ…but likewise prudent in the Manner of doing itÂ” (45). The remaining sections teach servant girls how to vary their denials Â“according to the different Characters of the Persons who solicit [them]Â” (45). In other words, she directs servant girls to perform diffe rent roles when necessary. Haywood begins with a circumstance Â“w hich happens but too frequentlyÂ”: Â“Temptations from your MasterÂ” (45). She notes the differences required if the master be single or married and, with her subtle humor c oncludes that Â“Greater Caution is still to be observed, if he is a Married manÂ” (47). A serv ant requires great skill to deny the advances of a married man, and though Haywood does not dire ctly state that prior subsections such as Â“LyingÂ” and Â“Giving Opinion too FreelyÂ” must be disregarded, her advice insinuates that it is necessitous in this extreme case. If a servant finds it difficult to avoid the
10 persistent pursuit of her ma ster, then she may speak freely and Â“give [him] WarningÂ” (47). However, she must Â“be very careful not to let [her] Mistress knowÂ” (47). In this case, a servant must lie to her mistress for her own preservation. The greatest trial of a maid-servantÂ’s vi rtue ensues when tempted by a masterÂ’s son. Flattery and gifts as well as Â“the Offer of a Settlement for LifeÂ” or a promise of marriage, seduce servants who have avoide d all other situations (48). Following the release of Samuel RichardsonÂ’s Pamela published three years prior, Haywood notes that Â“such Matches have sometimes happenedÂ”; however, Â“examples of this kind are very rare, and as seldom happyÂ” (48). Haywood elaborates on th e fateful results of such occurrences: Such a Disparity of Birth, of Circ umstances, and Education can produce no lasting Harmony; and where you see such Couples paired, all the Comfort they enjoy are mere outside Show; and thoÂ’ they may wear a Face of Contentment, to blind the Eyes of the World, and keep them from prying into the Merits of their choice, their Bosoms are full of Disquiet and Repining. Suffer not, therefore, your Hearts, much less your Innocence, to be te mpted with a Prospect wherein the best that can arrive is bad enough. (49). HaywoodÂ’s warning provides insight as to why the servants in her fiction are able to refuse upper class men. She is emphatic in he r advice to deny their sexual advances, and her fictional servants in Love in Excess avoid this fate she describes. Haywood lists Â“Gentlemen LodgersÂ” as yet another group of men whose sexual advances servants must circumvent. Nevert heless, though servants who Â“give any Ear at first to the SollicitationsÂ” or yield to the Â“Act of ShameÂ” will be Â“accounted a JiltÂ” and
11 lose their job, this cons equence is less severe than if th e servant gives in to her masterÂ’s son (49). Love is a factor, and servant girls who fall in love with their masterÂ’s son live in despair: Â“Eternal Ruin; every Misery you e ndure rendered more severe by the Strings of Disappointment, and a too late Repentence ( 49). A young maid must stay in control to avoid an unhappy fate. The first section of HaywoodÂ’s conduct book concludes with a reminder of the advantages of remaining with the same family for at least eight y ears at which point a servant maid Â“will be then of a fit Age to marryÂ” (50). Constancy, lacking in most of the male characters in HaywoodÂ’s fiction, is a valu able characteristic of the domestic class. According to Haywood, servants who follow he r advice, succeed in being Â“both valuable and happyÂ” with their own husband and children (50), a desire that crosses class lines. Part two of HaywoodÂ’s conduct book, Â“D irections for a Young Woman to qualify herself for any Common Service,Â” offers inst ruction for skills a servant maid will likely have to perform (51). Haywood includes advi ce for selecting the best quality meats, poultry, fish, cheeses, and eggs followed by basic recipes. General instruction for housekeepingÂ—such as washing linens, removi ng stains, and ironingÂ— close this section. Haywood concludes her text as she begins, by stressing the benefits of following her recommendations; however, this time with more emphasis than in the preface. She Â“stronglyÂ” recommends to servant maids th at Â“a strict Observance of the several Particulars contained in [the ] small TreatiseÂ…will be the only Means of entitling [them] to the Blessing of God, the Love and Esteem of the Families in which [they] live, and procuring to [themselves] a never-failing Source of Comfort and SatisfactionÂ” ( emphasis mine 76).
12 In his study of domestic servants, Hech t includes HaywoodÂ’s work under a list of popular guides and frequently quotes Hayw oodÂ’s conduct book to demonstrate expected servant behavior. He writes that Â“Eli za Haywood praises timidity, calling it Â‘an Indication of your Respect for those you serveÂ’Â” (Hecht 73). HaywoodÂ’s fictional servants are far from timid and suffer few c onsequences, leaving th e reader to question which behavior Haywood in fact advocates. It is difficult to establish how the average eighteenth-century r eader interpreted A Present for a Servant Maid One accustomed to the satirical works of Alexander Pope, J onathan Swift, or, indeed, HaywoodÂ’s own fiction, may have questioned Hayw oodÂ’s sincerity in the conduct book. Indisputably, domestic servants were of pa rticular importance in the lives of their employers. By observing and imitating their masters, servants gained power by blurring the social divide. Furthermore, by having thei r masterÂ’s secrets, servants gained the advantage in the households they served. In subsequent chapters, I will investigate the relationship between servant and master in HaywoodÂ’s fiction. Additionally, I will explore how servants affect HaywoodÂ’s narr ative by acting as agents of change. The social restrictions placed on the upper class and the awareness of the sexual freedoms of the servant class bring master and servant cl oser together. As a re sult, although a reader might first identify with the upper class protagonis t(s), after a closer consideration both master and reader may also identify with the domestic servant(s).
13 Chapter Two Love in Excess Building upon George WhicherÂ’s The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood (1915), scholars such as Ch ristine Blouch, Kathryn R. Ki ng, Mary Anne Schofield and Patrick Spedding have, in recent years, at tempted to piece together Eliza HaywoodÂ’s biographical background. Yet as King poignant ly states: Â“The h eadnotes, introductions, and biographical entries that pr oliferated in the current flu rry of interest in Haywood are filled with guesswork presenting itself as established (or nearly so) fact, the preferred qualifier (Â‘almost certainlyÂ’) lending spurious substance to speculationsÂ” (Â“Eliza Haywood, Savage Love, and Biographical Uncert aintyÂ” 2). However, one conclusion can be drawn with certainty: little is known about HaywoodÂ’s personal life. Most scholars agree that Haywood wa s born Eliza Fowler in London around 1693 and died February 25, 1756. That she was a pro lific writer is indis putable, but she wrote little about her private life. It was believed that she marri ed a cleric by the name of Valentine Haywood, but this information has been discredited. It is, however, agreed that her marriage was unsuccessful; Blouch writes that Â“Haywood herself would later give conflicting accounts, claiming in one documen t that her husband had died, and hinting elsewhere at abandonmentÂ” (9). All evidence shows that Haywood was an independent woman, a difficult achievement in her century, w ho dedicated much of her life to writing. HaywoodÂ’s background is rooted in the dram atic arts, as actress and playwright. She left her familyÂ’s home to act in the theatre and worked with the Theatre Royal in
14 Dublin for three years (9). She debuted as Chloe in Thomas ShadwellÂ’s adaptation of ShakespeareÂ’s Timon of Athens at Smock Alley, Dublin in 1715 (Whicher 6). After returning to England, she continued to perf orm with local theatre companies. Blouch notes that Â“although the theatre remained a first love to which Haywood returned repeatedlyÂ… success as an actress always eluded herÂ” (9). Haywood again returned to the theatre from 1729 to 1737, when she acted in at least six plays and was author, co-author, or probable author of at l east four more (10). Elwood comments on HaywoodÂ’s lack of impact as an actress on the theatre: Â“Whethe r or not Mrs. HaywoodÂ’s stage career meant much to the stage of her time, the stage of her time meant a great deal to Mrs. HaywoodÂ” (112). Involved in an artistic community which included Richard Savage, Henry Fielding, Aaron Hill, and William Hatchett, to name a few, Haywood participated in and was a victim of the literary sparring of the time. Though, there is evidence of an antagonistic relationship between her and Fi elding, Â“Haywood had herself acted in many of FieldingÂ’s scandal-shop productions as a regular memb er of Little Haymarket company in the 1730sÂ” (Blouch 11). In 1720, Haywood wrot e: Â“The Stage not answering my Expectation, and the Averseness of my Relatio ns to it, has made me turn my Genius another wayÂ” (Blouch 9). Blouch conclude s that HaywoodÂ’s Â“sp ectacular career as a novelist was the resultÂ” (9). Similarly, in his article Â“The Stage Career of Eliza Haywood,Â” John R. Elwood notes that Â“it wa s [HaywoodÂ’s] theatri cal experience that contributed much to her eventual skill as a novelist. She liked the stage, and much of what we like in her later work she owed to the stageÂ” (107).Theatre was a significant part of HaywoodÂ’s life, and it is not surprising that elements of the stage can be seen in her works.
15 In the early stages of formation, novels often included stock characters from the stage that the viewing, and reading, audience would recogn ize. Elwood writes that Â“HaywoodÂ…must be credited with helping to bring into the novel patterns which originated on stage (115). He notes that Alderman Saving, Captain Hysom, and Mr. Chatfree, all characte rs from HaywoodÂ’s The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless, are Â“of the kind one might expect in stage comedyÂ” ( 113). He adds that Hysom and Chatfree are Â“are revealed to the reader mainly through wh at they say and how they say it, not by the omniscient authorÂ’s commentsÂ” (113). A lthough Elwood observes stage influences in HaywoodÂ’s later prose, particularly The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless, I argue that her earlier works such as Love in Excess are also influenced by th e theatre. Of particular importance to my study is the servantÂ’s tr ansition from stage to novel, which an examination of Love in Excess will highlight. In his work The ServantÂ’s Hand: English Fiction from Below Bruce Robbins examines the narrative functions of the literary servant and notes servants had aesthetic objectives: (1) to provoke laughter ; (2) to extend the protagon istÂ’s identity by duplication, displacement, and amplification; (3) to transmit the story; (4 ) to intervene with the plot (41). Robbins notes the connection between th e role of the servant on stage and although Â“more subdued,Â” in print (41). In Love in Excess HaywoodÂ’s servants perform all four functions. Robbins does not fail to mention the Â“minor servantsÂ” whose functions he thoroughly describes: Â… featureless and perhaps even namele ss, to whom the author nevertheless chooses to give the floor at some stra tegic point, who emerge into ephemeral being in order to deliver messages, comm it indiscretions, impart family secrets,
16 administer consolations, emit prophecies make recognitions, and so forthÂ— through whom, in short, the business of di vulging decisive information is largely carried on. (92) In this chapter, I explore the influence of the theatre in HaywoodÂ’s fiction and connect it to the prominent role of servants in her work, including the significance of the Â“minor servants.Â” In Eliza HaywoodÂ’s fiction, as in eight eenth-century Britai n, women and men of the upper class are restricted by social rules of their society from expressing their desires due to the fear of losing their virtue or, wo rse yet, being ridiculed. Therefore, women of the upper echelon struggled with their yearnings, while men worried about their reputations. As a result, the secrets of this social class relied on a different group to confide in: domestic servants. Sometimes acting as confidants and other times as active players in the scheming, these se rvants are privy to the inner secrets of the households in which they live. In Love in Excess pages, servants, and attenda nts play a pivotal role in the courtship of thos e they serve, and upper class members disguise themselves in order to gain freedoms they otherwise would not be allowed. One of the major concerns of upper class society was the selection of a marriage partner. Paula R. Backscheider describes marri age in the eighteenth century as Â“the most important event in womanÂ’s lifeÂ” and the Â“desire of the heroine to win the heroÂ’s respectÂ” as the Â“central preoccupationÂ” in many novels of this time period (152). In HaywoodÂ’s fiction, however, the women are more ofte n preoccupied with pleasure and sexual obsession. Backscheider adds that Â“drive n by appetite rather than motivated by tenderness and desire to please, they may se duce the man and are certainly obsessed with
17 thoughts of sexual enjoyment. They scheme a nd want to receiveÂ” (156). Servants, often witnesses to their passions, are recr uited to assist with the schemes. In her preface to an issue of Literature Interpretation and Theory dedicated to servants in literature, Juli e Nash writes, Â“because of th eir marginal status, servant characters can often give voice to unort hodox ideas or rebellious longings without disrupting the status quo complete lyÂ” (132). Just as keeping affa irs private to avoid public criticism is common practice in upper class house holds, so is using servants to assist in fulfilling desires. Aware of the liberties wh ich the servant class is allowed, Haywood often depicts aristocratic char acters masquerading as a member of the lower class in order to act with less restraint. In Fantomina the protagonist disguises herself as a servant girl in order to continue a tryst w ith Beauplaisir. Similarly, in Love in Excess several upper class members also dress as servants to pursue their loved ones. Although women in eighteenth-century Brit ish society were expected to marry, they were forbidden by custom, as Haywood suggests in Love in Excess Â“to make a declaration of their thoughtsÂ” (40). Consequently, they c ould either wait, hoping the man they desired would notice their blushings and glances, or construct a plan. Parts one and two of Love in Excess though set in Paris, conform to the customs of British society. Alovisa, a parentless co-heiress of a vast estate overcome with passion for Count DÂ’elmont, chooses to formulate a plan, but her design to gain DÂ’elmont cannot be executed without her Â“trusty servant,Â” Charlo (42). AlovisaÂ’s first letter to DÂ’elmont, which does not disclose her name, is deliver ed by Charlo who Â“performed her orders exactlyÂ” by disguising himself so as not to rev eal the author of the letter and runs away before he can be interrogated (42). When her plan goes awry and DÂ’elmont gives his
18 attention to Amena instead, Alovisa asks he r attendants (all witness to her misery) for Charlo and commands him to attend a masquera de ball where DÂ’elmont is in attendance. She instructs Charlo to Â“liste n carefully to all discourses where you hear Count DÂ’elmont mentioned, enquire who he dances with, and above all watch what company he comes out with, and bring an exact account Â” (47). Charlo returns with the news that confirms AlovisaÂ’s fears that DÂ’elmont is with Amen a, the daughter of a gentleman with a Â“very small estateÂ” who has managed to maintain th is Â“darling of his heart in all the pomp of qualityÂ” (48). In the confines of her bed ch amber, AlovisaÂ’s pain and tears, which she does not attempt to disguise, are witnessed by Charlo. Willing to serve her further, Charlo, at her request, delivers a second a nonymous letter from Al ovisa to DÂ’elmont. As noted in chapter one, employers in creasingly became more conscientious of their behavior in front of their servants. Fr ank Dawes summarizes th e general opinion of the upper class in the title of his study of the domestic class, Not in Front of the Servants, and E.S. TurnerÂ’s study, What the Butler Saw: Two Hundred Fifty Years of the Servant Problem implies a similar sentiment. This a nxiety over being observed is one of the greatest causes of what is often referred to as Â“the servant problem.Â” The increase of the servant population caused by the rise of industr ialization and the rise of the middle class resulted in a greater Â“undergroundÂ” with whic h to contend. With more servants available to gossip and more employers to gossip a bout, more attention was paid to the hand servants played in damaging reputations. Given this conscientiousness, how do we acc ount for AlovisaÂ’s lack of concern in front of her servants, and especially with Ch arlo? One possibility is that Alovisa is too overcome by passion to concern herself with he r reputation, a behavior which will repeat
19 itself in other characters who are ruled by obse ssive love. However, another possibility is that Haywood keeps Charlo pres ent in order to amplify Alovi saÂ’s irrational behavior by contrasting it with th e servantsÂ’ calm. As Robbins sugge sts, one narrative function of servants is to serve as a foil to their ma sters. CharloÂ’s presence of mind underscores AlovisaÂ’s lack of control. CharloÂ’s most important role as Alovis aÂ’s Â“diligent spyÂ” is creating a diversion which removes Amena from Count DÂ’elmontÂ’s arms and sends her seeking refuge in AlovisaÂ’s home. Charlo not only creates action, but acts as narrator, informing both Alovisa and the readers. In her essay Â“The Story of E liza HaywoodÂ’s Novels: Caveats and Questions,Â” Backscheider addresse s HaywoodÂ’s Â“invention of formÂ” which Â“develop[s] from her blending and inventi ng of discourses and na rrative voicesÂ” (27). She writes that the narrators Â“are often di sguised observers, pur ported observers, and shocked but uninvolved citizensÂ” (27). The narrative voices in Love in Excess exemplify this blending of discourses often dominated by the servantÂ’s tale which Charlo is the first to demonstrate: Â…thoÂ’ I formed a thousand inventions, I f ound not any so plausible, as to alarm Monsieur SanseverinÂ’s family, with an out cry of fire. Therefore I rang the bell at the fore-gate of the house, and bellowed in the most terrible accent I could possibly turn my voice to, Â‘Fire, fire, rise or you will all be burnt in your beds.Â’ I had not repeated this many times, before I found the effect I wished; the noises I heard, and the lights I saw in the rooms, assured me there were no sleepers left; then I ran to the Tuilliers, designing to observe the loverÂ’s proceedings, but I
20 found they were apprized of the danger they were in of being discovered, and were coming to endeavour an entrance into the garden. (67-68) This action results in AmenaÂ’s being sent to a monastery and AlovisaÂ’s marriage to DÂ’elmont. Charlo receives a monetary reward for his good service. The use of multiple narrators can also be attributed to HaywoodÂ’s theatrical background. Robbins writes that Â“though theat er usually lacks a narrator, certain moments and devices in theat rical performance clearly offer statements that are, relatively to others, auth oritative. And these tend to involve the theatrical servantÂ” (94). He adds that Â“authority flows inevitably towa rd the informant to whom we must either listen or put the book downÂ” (94). HaywoodÂ’s masters are eager to be informed, and Robbins brings up an interesti ng point: a shift in power from master to servant occurs when the servant assumes the role of storytelle r. Alovisa must wait in agony for Charlo to return, and Charlo controls the action between Amena and DÂ’elmont with his Â“timely interruption.Â” Like Alovisa, th e reader attends to Charlo, a narrative inversion that facilitates readerly identification with the servant. Similarly, Anaret, AmenaÂ’s attendant, play s a crucial role in the romance of Amena and Count DÂ’elmont. Anaret, whose relationship with Amena is intimate enough to give her confidence to make a plea to DÂ’elmont on AmenaÂ’s behalf, later becomes a contributor to her undoing. Amena is commande d by her father to stop receiving visits from DÂ’elmont unless he requests permission to marry her. DÂ’elmont receives a letter from Amena which tells him that she must Â“deny [her] self the honour of [his] visits, unless commanded to receive Â‘em by [her] fath erÂ” (51). Anaret appears at DÂ’elmontÂ’s home to relay the details of th is forced separation. Anaret, like Charlo, acts as storyteller,
21 working to bridge the divi de between the two lovers. She allows AmenaÂ’s feelings to be openly voiced (a practice considered socially taboo) and acts as an outlet for AmenaÂ’s sexual expression. Anaret tells DÂ’elmont th at Amena, while weeping, commanded her Â“to wait on himÂ” and give Â“her vows of eternal loveÂ” (55). Additionall y, her function is to transmit AmenaÂ’s story, thereby moving the plot In contrast, Amena, locked away, is powerless to propel her story forward. However, AnaretÂ’s explanation of AmenaÂ’s Â“mis fortunesÂ” carries with it a hint of falseness. Amena has displayed herself thus far in the novel as innocent of love, yet Anaret portrays her as willing to Â“despise every thing for [DÂ’elmontÂ’s] loveÂ” (54). AnaretÂ’s motives become transparent when she tells DÂ’elmont that AmenaÂ’s father has ordered her to Â“quit his house in a few days Â” because she is AmenaÂ’s confidant in the affair. She is in need of employment, and comp ensation is her goal. It is in her response to DÂ’elmontÂ’s desire to see Amena that AnaretÂ’s performance peaks: I wish to heaven there were a possibility of your meeting; there is nothing I would not risqu to forward it, and if your lordship can think of any way in which I may be serviceable to you, in this shor t time I am allowed to stay with the family, I beg you would command me.Â” (56) DÂ’elmont convinced that Â“she really had it in her power to serve him in this occasion,Â” gives her a purse of Â“Lewis-dorÂ’sÂ” (French gold coins), and AnaretÂ’s loyalty changes (56). She professes to DÂ’elmont that she ha s assured Amena of he r Â“willingness to serve her in any commandÂ” (55), ye t she, as Haywood writes, accepts the coins Â“to betray the honour of her whole sexÂ” (56). Anaret prom ises Amena to DÂ’elmont who in response Â“could not forbear kissing and embracing her with such raptures as might not have been
22 very pleasing to Amena, had she been witness of Â‘emÂ” (57). Anaret Â“who had other things in her head than gallantryÂ” is not m oved and focuses on Â“forwarding an affair in which she proposed so much advantage, ra ther than in the car esses of the most accomplished gentleman in the worldÂ” (57). Anaret is pivotal in AmenaÂ’s undoing. After much persuasion from DÂ’elmont and Â“with the assistance of Anaret,Â” Amena is taken into the Tuileries, a garden, and surrenders to her lover (62). Ironically, AmenaÂ’s virtue is saved by Anaret who disrupts the lovers in the garden when she notices the lights on in every room of AmenaÂ’s hous e (64). Anaret has remained close enough to the two lovers to witness their rapture. It is Charlo who has created the diversion for AlovisaÂ’s sake, and the story is later to ld by him illustrating how both servant and attendant are key figures in the romance plot. Alovisa eventually gets her way and ma rries DÂ’elmont, but she does not win his heart. Because he has yet to learn of love DÂ’elmont marries out of ambition and to increase his brotherÂ’s chance of marrying An sellina, AmenaÂ’s sister. Part two of the novel begins with the vo ice of the narrator: But as human happiness is seldom of l ong continuance, and Alovisa placing the ultimate of herÂ’s in the possession of her charming husband, secure of that, despised all future events, Â‘twas time for Fortune, who long enough had smiled, now to turn her wheel, and punish the pr esumption that defied her power. (90) DÂ’elmont meets Melliora, the daughter of one of his guardia ns in his youth, and for the first time falls in love. This experience of love creates a new sensitivity in DÂ’elmont (except towards his wife), and when he receives a longing letter from Amena, which his servant delivers, he
23 is moved to write her back to ease her pai n. Before the servant can deliver DÂ’elmontÂ’s letter, Alovisa interferes and demands it from the servant, but he refuses until she bribes him and promises to never reveal that he ha s given it to her (102). Yet, when DÂ’elmont later discovers that his letter has never reached Amena, he ta kes the servant Â“by the throat and holding his drawn sword dire ctly to his breast, swore th e moment should be his last, if he did not immediately confess the tr uthÂ” (107). The servant reveals AlovisaÂ’s involvement (107). Consequently, the argumen t that ensues between husband and wife gives DÂ’elmont justification to pursue Mel liora. Though a servantÂ’s allegiance has proven thus far to be bought by the highest bidder, f ear of death provokes the ultimate devotion. Haywood later warns servants in A Present for a Servant Maid to avoid entering the quarrels of their masters, for they will be Â“s ure to incur the Displ easure of one Party, and often of bothÂ” (14). However, the servantÂ’s disobedience allows the narration to move forward. The heated dialogue between DÂ’elmont a nd Alovisa is not possible without the characters that Haywood designa tes minor servants. When DÂ’elmont sends a servant to tell Alovisa he will not be sleeping at home Alovisa sends a message with a servant in retaliation. Robbins comments that Â“the messenge r, speaking in the name of another, is freed of responsibility for whatever verbal aggression she or he may deliver, and yet will be associated with it and perhaps also take satisfaction in itÂ” (61) He adds that Â“the servant is always the messenger of absent authoritiesÂ” (61).The servants are given complete access to the quarrel. Ultimately, DÂ’ elmontÂ’s pursuit of Melliora, and AlovisaÂ’s desire to witness his unfaithfulness, leads to AlovisaÂ’a accidental death as she runs towards his sword in the dark. Servants are wi tness to the crime scene and are ordered to
24 clean up the body (176). There are no secrets, but this time it proves beneficial to DÂ’elmont who is not charged with murder. Part three of Love in Excess introduces similar master/servant relationship in Italy with Ciamara and Brione. It is through Ciam araÂ’s confessional conversation with Brione that DÂ’elmont (and the reader) discovers Ci amaraÂ’s passion. Though she does not directly profess her love for him, she confides in her attendant. Acting as a receiver of the narrative is also a typical functi on of the servantÂ’s role in th e theatre. BrioneÂ’s status as an attendant appears to be hi gher than that of CharloÂ’s a nd AnaretÂ’s. Ciamara trusts her with innermost feelings, and Brione, rather than staying silent, pl ays devilÂ’s advocate. She is one of the few female characters in th e novel to speak poorly of DÂ’elmont. When Ciamara describes him as Â“more than raptured poets feign, or fancy can invent,Â” Brione reminds her that he returned her letters a nd insulted her messenger and boldly claims, Â“Â…even I should scorn so spiritless a wretchÂ” (193). Haywood seems to be, once again, illustrating the follies of the upper class. Few women have been able to avoid the power of DÂ’elmont, yet Brione, a member of a lower class than Ciamara, would refuse him just as Anaret ignored his embraces. Hecht writes that Â“upper-class ladies sometimes invited well-bred but necessitous women to live with them so that they might continually be provided with agreeable company (62). This description could explain the closeness between the two women; however, it does not explain BrioneÂ’s power to resist DÂ’elmontÂ’s charms. Unlike Anaret, Brione does not seem to be motivated by money; instead, the fear and admiration for CiamaraÂ’s family whom she serves is her motivation. DÂ’elmont, who has been secretly listeni ng to Ciamara and BrioneÂ’s conversation, trips on the carpet and makes a dramatic entr ance, falling with Â“part of his body cross the
25 lady, and his head in BrioneÂ’s lapÂ” (196). Bri one, unable to move because of DÂ’elmont, is further involved with the affairs of her mist ress. CiamaraÂ’s plan to meet DÂ’elmont the next evening cannot occur without the Â“faithfulÂ” Brione who DÂ’ elmont is told will admit him into the summerhouse (197). Brione serves several functions. He r brazen responses to CiamaraÂ’s declarations of love offer an alternate perspective of the novelÂ’s hero Count DÂ’elmont. Robbins notes that a traditional characteristic of th e servant in theatre is to address the audience directl y, breaking down the Â“fourth wa llÂ” and articulating views contrary to those of the leadi ng characters (63). Robbins argu es that Â“the servant is not only speaking to the masterÂ” ( 64). Similarly, Brione reminds readers that DÂ’elmont is flawed. In addition, BrioneÂ’s assistance w ith CiamaraÂ’s plan, though unsuccessful, moves the affair between Ciamara and DÂ’elmont forward. In addition to the primary roles of Charl o, Anaret, and Brione, other servants play significant roles in the novel. In his ar ticle Â“Trading Sex for Secrets in HaywoodÂ’s Love in Excess ,Â” Scott Black states that the narrative structure of the novel is one of Â“timely interruptionsÂ” causing the reader to be Â“distr acted with impatienceÂ” (216). This structure could not be maintained wit hout the servants. Servants cr eate a distraction, as when Anaret gains a moment to slip a note to DÂ’ elmont (51) or the page who interrupts the chaos in AlovisaÂ’s home to announce the ar rival of Chevalier Brillian, DÂ’elmontÂ’s brother (74). They are messengers and confidan ts, but they are also agents of change, creating distractions to keep the intrigue present. They are le tter carriers and witnesses to the chaotic lives of the upper class, sometimes working as their aids and other times as a comic device.
26 In the theatre, one role of the servant is to provoke laughter, and Haywood carries this convention into her fiction. While in Italy, a messenger Â“who seems to be about threescore years of age,Â” sent to bring DÂ’elmont to Ciamara, provides yet another disruption as well as a humorous interlude. Haywood takes care to describe his manner of dress in detail: Â…he had on a suit of cloaths, which might perhaps have been good in the days of his great grand-father, but the person who they fitted must have been five times larger about the body than him who wore them; a large broad buff belt however remedied that inconvenience, and girt th em close about his waste, in which hung a fauchion, two daggers, and a sword of more than ordinary extent; the rest of his equipage was a cloak, which buttoning round his neck fell not so low as his hips, a hat, which in rainy weather kept his s houlders dry much better than an Indian umbrella, one glove, and a formid able pair of whiskers. (186) Haywood never names this messenger, yet his phys ical description is provided in greater detail than any other charact er in the novel, even DÂ’elm ont. Haywood encourages readers to recognize this messenger as a comedic fi gure by repeatedly mentioning DÂ’elmontÂ’s reaction to his visitor. DÂ’elmont Â“could scarceÂ…forebear laughing at the figureÂ” and could not Â“keep his countenanceÂ” during th e messengerÂ’s speech (187). Finally, when DÂ’elmont refuses to visit Ciamara as the c ourier demands, the Count could not withstand Â“laughing more and moreÂ” (187). Though he o ffers a comedic interlude, this messenger fails his mission. DÂ’elmont refuses his request, demonstrating his loya lty to Melliora, the woman he loves.
27 The freedom that the servants enjoy is often enviable and did not go unnoticed by the upper class. Servants lear n the intimate details of thei r employersÂ’ lives and act as Â“household spiesÂ” (Brightwell 63). Aware of these priviliges, the upper class also masquerades as attendants allowing them to participate in situations which would otherwise be impossible. Frankville, brothe r to Melliora, convinces DÂ’elmont to allow him to act as his attendant in order to see Camilla, the woman he loves (243). In his own clothes, Frankville is forbidden into her home; as a servant, he is able to enter. While DÂ’elmont is preoccupied with CiamaraÂ’s ad vances, Brione again does her part. Ciamara commands her to speak with DÂ’elmontÂ’s serv ant (Frankville in disguise) Â“and get what she could out of him, of the CountÂ’s affair s,Â” and the Â“faithfulÂ” Brione Â“sat down and began to talk to him with a great deal of freedomÂ” (251). Ciamara shows an awareness of the knowledge to which servants have access. Frankville does not have the patience to play his part well, and holds Brione at gunpoint to force her to do as he wishes and take him to Camilla. Although seemingly fearful of her life, Brione still manages to stay in control and Â“all this whileÂ…had been casting ab out in her mind how to make the best use of this adventure with CiamaraÂ” (254). However, Haywood does not imply that it is because of loyalty, but rather because of the power of CiamaraÂ’s family that Brione stays devoted to her mistress. In spite of BrioneÂ’s attempt to foil him, because of his disguise, Frankville is able to clear the confusion betw een him and Camilla and ultimately gain her as his wife. Yet, it is Violetta, CiamaraÂ’ s niece, who is the most ma sterful in her disguise. She dresses herself as a page boy, Fidelio, in orde r to be near DÂ’elmont She sacrifices her aristocratic lifestyle as well as her family in order to live her life with him. As Fidelio,
28 Violetta is able to lay in th e same room with him, talk to him, and tell him stories to Â“divert his sorrowsÂ” which stem from the loss of Melliora (271-272). They share an intimacy which would never have been allowe d as unmarried, unrelated upper class man and woman. While traveling with DÂ’elmont, Frankville, and Camilla, Violetta learns from a servant that her father has died af ter he discovered his daughter missing, and after her health begins to diminish, her disguise is discovered. Camilla recognizes her and reveals her name on her death bed: Â“This, th is is ViolettaÂ…who like a page disguised has followed the too lovely count, and lost her self Â” (294). DÂ’elmont does not fail to see her sacrifice and asks, Â“can it be possible that the admired Violet ta could forsake her father, --country, ---friends, ---foregoe her sexes pride, ---the pomp of beauty, ---gay dresses, and all the equipage of state, and grandeur, to follow in a mean disguise, a man unworthy of her thoughtsÂ” (295)? What Violetta has traded, DÂ’elmont cannot fully grasp. He sees only that she has forfeited what upper class societal norms deem worthy. She, however, believed she would engage in an inti macy otherwise closed to her. Although a minor character, Mademoiselle Charlotta DÂ’Mezray, MellioraÂ’s friend from the monastery, also disguises herself as a servant to win back the love of the Marquess DÂ’Sanguillier to whom she was e ngaged (280). The Â“charms of MellioraÂ” encouraged DÂ’SanguillierÂ’s inconstancy, and his devotion shifted from Charlotta to Melliora (282). Melliora, still commited to Count DÂ’elmont and to her friend Charlotta, attempts to discourage him, but DÂ’Sanguil lier sends men to a bduct her in hopes of winning her love by force (283). Charlotta, suspects DÂ’SanguillierÂ’s involvement in MellioraÂ’s disappearance after reading a lett er addressed to Melliora in DÂ’SanguillierÂ’s hand. Charlotta leaves the monastery because, she tells Melliora, Â“Â’tis as much the hopes
29 of being able to be instrumental in servi ng you in your releasement, as the prevention of that blessing the injurious DÂ’Saguillier aims atÂ” (286). Charlotta came to DÂ’SaguillierÂ’s residence and disguised Â“found means to be re ceived by the house-keeper, as a servantÂ” (287). Charlotta later informs Melliora of DÂ’ Elmont and FrankvilleÂ’s presence and assists Melliora to DÂ’elmontÂ’s chamber (288). Charlotta, still in servant guise, knocks at DÂ’elmontÂ’s door and interrupts DÂ’elmont and Melliora in the midst of passi on just in time to prevent DÂ’elmont from obtaining Â“the aim of all his wishesÂ” (288). Wh at Melliora wishes for, Haywood fails to tell the reader; however, Â“dissolved in l ove, and melting in his armsÂ… [Melliora] found no words to form denialsÂ” (288). Through her tr ansformation, Charlotta is able to confirm that her friend, Melliora, wa s not a willing participant in DÂ’SaguillierÂ’s scheme, and ultimately, after changing into a bridal dress which Â“she had brought with her, in case any happy opportunity should arise for her to disc over herselfÂ” Charlotta marries the man she loves (292). Clearly, servants in HaywoodÂ’s Love in Excess are significant. They act as channels of communication for those who love and those who are loved. Without Charlo, Anaret, and Brione much of HaywoodÂ’s tale would be missing. The action would move at a slower pace as the women wait hoping that DÂ’elmont or Frankville will one day notice the shiver of their hands or the glance of their eyes. Though Haywood demonstrates that servantsÂ’ loyalty can be bought for the highest price, they are not ruled by the same sexual passion as are their employers. Charlo finds himself alone with Alovisa in her bed chamber, yet he seems unmoved by her b eauty, only her wealt h. Anaret desires
30 DÂ’elmontÂ’s gold, not his caresses, and BrioneÂ’s devotion is to Ciamara, a member of one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Italy. Additionally, servants are ab le to obtain more knowledge of the actions of the upper class than the upper class itself, and empl oyers freely adopt th e servantsÂ’ role to gain their personal ends. Further evidence of this awareness is illustrated in HaywoodÂ’s shorter fiction: Lasselia (1723) and Fantomina (1725). Haywood not only utilizes the traditional functions of the stage servants who act as transmitters of the narrative as well as interveners of the plot, but also begins to transfer these functions on to other characters, which fully comes into fruition in her work, The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless (1751).
31 Chapter Three Lasselia and Fantomina As in Love in Excess influences of the theatre ca n also be observed in HaywoodÂ’s short fiction. HaywoodÂ’s works repeatedly us e the strategy of masquerading, primarily as servants, for aristocratic characters to e xpress emotions and accelerate love affairs. Additionally, without servants to deliver messages, cause interruptions, or divulge secrets, much of the action would be lost. In Lasselia, or The Self-AbandonÂ’d (1723) and Fantomina; or, Love in a Maze (1725), servants assist wi th scheming, and members of the upper class disguise themselves in domestic class garb, all in the name of love. Lasselia was originally intended to be part of a collection titled, The Danger of Giving Way to Passion, in Five Exemplary Novels to include The British Recluse The InjurÂ’d Husband Idalia and The Rash Resolve (Spedding 53). The novels, however, took longer for Haywood to complete than publis hers predicted, and, consequently the collection never appeared in its intended fo rm (53-54). Instead, the novels were included in an expanded version, The Works of Mrs Eliza Haywood; Consisting of Novels, Letters, Poems and Plays in 1724 (57). Spedding speculates th at the five original novels, to be released separately and consecutively prior to the reissuing as a whole, were delayed in part by HaywoodÂ’s interest in other genres namely plays (53). During this time, Haywood completed two theatrical works: Fair Captive and A Wife to be Lett (53). Lasselia though short in length, includes num erous characters as well as an interpolated story which can momentarily cau se confusion; theref ore, a brief summary
32 will offer clarity for further discussion of the text. Lasselia, the niece of Louis XIVÂ’s mistress Madame de Montespan, lives with he r aunt who not only provides her with an education but also Â“all thos e Advantages and Improvements which are necessary to accomplish a Maid of Quality for Conversation as were suitable to her CharacterÂ” (107). Though, like HaywoodÂ’s later heroine Betsy Though tless, Lasselia has Â“in herself rather an Aversion to Marriage, than any Inclination to it,Â” her charms attract numerous adorers, including her auntÂ’s lover, the King. To a void his seduction and Ma dame de MontespanÂ’s wrath, Lasselia flees to the country to live wi th Monsieur and Madamoiselle de Valier. While Lasselia and the de Valiers visit Madame de lÂ’Amye, her husband Monsieur de lÂ’Amye returns after a long ab sence, and when he meets Lasselia, a fatal omen appears: Â“three Drops of Blood fe ll from his Nose, which stainÂ’d a white Handkerchief she happenÂ’d to have in her Ha ndÂ” (113). In his essay Â“The Eloquence of Blood in Eliza HaywoodÂ’s Lasselia ,Â” David Oakleaf examines this moment at length, calling it both Â“a tragic portent and a comi c symptom of unruly sexualityÂ” (487). An affair between the Lasselia and de lÂ’Amye soon follows, and they lived Â“for some Months in all the Felicity that Love, in the mo st elevated Degree, can afford to those who devote themselves entire ly to that PassionÂ” ( Lasselia 131). At this point in the narrative, Haywood provides back story by shifting to Â“The History of the two Mademoise lle DouxmouriesÂ” whose family has a long history with the de lÂ’Amyes. Although arranged to marry th e elder Douxmourie sister, Monsieur de lÂ’Amye falls in love with the younger. De lÂ’ AmyeÂ’s refusal to marry the elder sister creates havoc, and as a result he marries neither. The wrath of the elder Douxmourie sister, whose jealousy mirrors that of CiamaraÂ’s in Love in Excess drives her towards
33 revenge. De lÂ’AmyeÂ’s affair with the younger D ouxmourie sister, resu lts in childbirth and a death of Sieur Le Blessang who appears onl y long enough to challenge de lÂ’Amye to a duel and die defending the younger sisterÂ’s honor. De lÂ’Amye briefly goes in to exile and his lover retires to a convent. Upon his return, De lÂ’Amye marries a young widow, the present Madam de lÂ’Amye. The story of Lasselia and the Douxmourie sisters intersect when the elder sister accidentally comes upon the two l overs, Lasselia and de lÂ’Amye in the midst of passion. Douxmourie arranges for de lÂ’AmyeÂ’s wife to discover the tryst, and the tale ends with the reconciliation of the de lÂ’Amyes and La sseliaÂ’s admittance to a convent where she becomes Â“an example of Piety even to thos e who never had swervÂ’d from itÂ” (149). Unlike the women in Love in Excess kings were not preven ted by the rules of society from Â“mak[ing] a decl aration of their thoughtsÂ” ( Love in Excess 40); however, in Lasselia Lewis XIV utilizes his groomsman, Monsieur le Brosse, in an attempt to gain Lasselia as a lover. The king, believing that La sselia refuses his declaration of love in fear of her aunt, Madame de Montespan, sends Â“the Gentleman of his Bed-ChamberÂ” to offer Lasselia Â“a very fine Castle near the River Sein for her residenceÂ” ( Lasselia 110). Disturbed by the kingÂ’s message, Lasselia Â“co njurÂ’d him that brought it to return some Answer, in what manner she did not care, so it were such as would cut off all room to believe she ever could be prevailÂ’d on to do any thing which might deserve such BountiesÂ” (110). Similar to the power shift th at occurs between Amena and her servant, Anaret, in Love in Excess the king relinquishes control to his groomsman, le Brosse. LasseliaÂ’s refusal is definite, yet the method by which it is c onveyed to the king is in the
34 hands of his messenger. Le Brosse, referred to as the kingÂ’s Â“ Confidante, Â” assumes the role of storyteller, conveyi ng both love and rejection (110). As mentioned in chapter two, Bruce R obbinsÂ’ examination of literary servants recognizes the significance of the narrative functions of Â“minor servantsÂ” (92). Lasselia provides numerous examples of these na meless servants who Haywood strategically utilizes. It is Madame de MontespanÂ’s servan ts, or Â“Spies,Â” that inform her of Lasselia and the KingÂ’s conversation in the Galler y, divulging pertinent information for the narrativeÂ’s progression ( Lasselia 110). At another pivotal mome nt, de lÂ’AmyeÂ’s arrival, to his home as well as to the narrative, is announced by Â“a Servant running hastily into the RoomÂ” where Lasselia, Madame de lÂ’Am ye and the de Valiers played cards, interrupting LasseliaÂ’s Â“TranquilityÂ” forever mo re (113). Later when Madame de lÂ’Amye suspects her husbandÂ’s infidelity, she sends a servant Â“whom she c ouÂ’d confide in, to watch at a distance where his Master wentÂ” ( 125). This intensified cautiousness reflects what was occurring historically in British soci ety: a heightened awareness that servants not only watched their mastersÂ’ behavior, but used the info rmation to their advantage. The upper class characters in Lasselia demonstrate an increased awareness of being observed by their servants. When Lasseli a leaves Madame de MontespanÂ’s home to avoid the King, she does so in the evening with only one servant so that the Â“Place of her Retirement should be kept a SecretÂ” (112) When Lasselia leaves her home in the country, again to avoid the King, the de Valiers Â“dispatchÂ’d all the Servants, some way or anotherÂ” to minimize the risk of discove ry (125). Later, at the Inn Â“in which de lÂ’Amye had placed his belovÂ’d Lasselia ,Â” Â“not a Servant in the Hous e, but one, whose Fidelity the Mistress of it was secure of, knew ther e was any Woman lodgÂ’d thereÂ” (143-144).
35 After the sudden death of their father, the Douxmourie sisters are left parentless co-heiresses of a vast estate. The younger is left a portion infe rior to her sisterÂ’s to be forfeited if she married de lÂ’Amye (137). T hough rejected by de lÂ’Amye, the elder sister still desires his love and uses he r servants to either attain de lÂ’Amye or to assist her in seeking revenge. While on her way to the count ry Â“to indulge a Discontent she couÂ’d not have so much leisure to do at Paris ,Â” Douxmourie stops at th e inn where Lasselia and de lÂ’Amye carry on their affair (143). While wa lking with her Â“Woman,Â” she stumbles upon the couple who she mistakes for thieves (143). When she realizes that it is de lÂ’Amye with someone other than his wife, she hides herself waiting to use th e opportunity to her advantage (145). Douxmourie employs several servants to aid with her plan. From the confines of her chamber, she Â“orderÂ’d them to watch about the House, and bring her word of all the MotionsÂ” of de lÂ’Amye and Lasselia (145). Th e Â“most diligentÂ” of her servants is her footman (145), and the relationship between him and Mademoiselle Douxmourie is reminiscent of Alovisa and CharloÂ’s in Love in Excess The footman assures Douxmourie that de lÂ’Amye and Lasselia rema in at the inn, and he, Â“having his Message given him privately,Â” is sent by D ouxmourie to tell Madam de lÂ’Amye: Â…that he belongÂ’d to a Gentleman who ha d the greatest Concern imaginable for her ill Usage; and had sent to inform he r, that her Husband having an Intention wholly to abandon her in a s hort time, of late had been very busy in disposing of some Lands, which Money he had made a Present to a young Girl, whom he was excessive fond of, that he designÂ’d to live with her as his Wife. (145)
36 This fabrication, though presumably origina ting from Douxmourie is relayed by the footman. The reader can only assume that he followed her commands. This example, perhaps more than any other, demonstrates th e power in the servantÂ’s tale because even the reader is not pri vy to DouxmourieÂ’s orders. The f ootman is the sole source of the narrative. He Â“performÂ’d the Business he was se nt about with so much Art, that [Madam de lÂ’Amye] presently assented to the Proposal of going th at moment to detect her HusbandÂ” (145). The footman moves the plot forward. As in Love in Excess upper class characters in Lasselia disguise themselves as members of the domestic class to gain access to the ones they desire. While Lasselia is lounging on a grassy bank, shaded with jessam ins and vines, longing for de lÂ’Amye, she is told that a messenger has br ought her a letter and will deliver it only to her. The servant Â“who seemÂ’d to be a Country-FellowÂ” hands her a letter whose handwriting Lasselia recognizes as de lÂ’AmyeÂ’s (117). When she re ads de lÂ’AmyeÂ’s professions of love, she cannot hide her reaction of Â“a lternate Joy and Shame, Surpri ze and Fear, and sometimes a Start of virtuous Pride and Indignation, sparkled in her Ey esÂ” (118). Unaware that the messenger is de lÂ’Amye Â“disguisÂ’d in the Habit of a Rustick ,Â” Lasselia reveals her desires (118). By performing the role of servant, de lÂ’Amye not only exposes his own feeling, but he is also able to observe LasseliaÂ’s undi sguised reaction. They become vulnerable to each other, revealing their emotions. As the di sguise gives way, the social constraints that confine the lovers are removedÂ—although temporarily. In the interpolated story of the Douxmourie sisters, Sieur Le Blessang, a man of great wealth and esteem, disgui ses himself as a footman to discover the truth concerning the woman he loves, the younger Douxmourie After hearing the rumor of the younger
37 DouxmourieÂ’s intimacy with de lÂ’Amye, he is persuaded by the elder sister to disguise himself, and Â“under the Pretence of bringing a Letter from that happy Lover [de lÂ’Amye], he easily got Admittance into the House, wh ere the unfortunate Lady was in her ChildBedÂ” (138). Le BlessangÂ’s disgui se is revealed, as is the trut h of Douxmourie Â’s child with de lÂ’Amye, which societyÂ’s criti cal view of giving birth out of wedlock has forced her to keep secret. However, unlike de lÂ’AmyeÂ’s exposure to Lasselia, this kno wledge leads to destruction: le BlessangÂ’s death and the e nd of the affair between de lÂ’Amye and Douxmourie. Fantomina shares similar patterns of concealed identities with Love in Excess and Lasselia Originally published as part of a set of works titled Secret Histories, Novels, and Poems Fantomina was not reprinted outside that collection until 1986 (Spedding 237). The story is of a young lady of Â“distingui shed Birth, Beauty, Wit, and SpiritÂ” who repeatedly disguises herself, in itially out of curiosity and late r to maintain the affection of Beauplaisir, yet another Haywood ma le characterized by inconstancy ( Fantomina 227). Although all of her disguises are not of lower class stature, they provide examples of theatricality characteristic of HaywoodÂ’s fiction. The story opens, appropriately, at a playhouse where the protagonist observes gentlemen entertaining a woma n who Â“might easily be known to be one of those who come there for no other Purpose than to cr eate Acquaintance with as many as seem desirous of it,Â” in other words a prostitute (227). Interested in discovering how a woman of this sort is addressed, she dresses Â“herself as near as sh e could in the Fashion of those Women who make sale of thei r Favours and set herself in the Way of being accosted as such a oneÂ” (227). Performing this role, she at tracts the attention of Beauplaisir. Though
38 she had talked with him before, undisguised, Â“her quality and reputed Virtue kept him from using her with that Freedom she now expected he would do, and had discovered something in him, which had made her often think she should not be displeasedÂ” (228). As predicted, Beauplaisir is bold in words a nd behavior, and as Fantomina, the name she adopts for this role, she is Â“undoneÂ” (230). B ecause of her tears (and the manner in which her table was served at supper), he suspects th at she is of a higher class standing than she pretends; however, he still offers her his Â“a Purse of GoldÂ” and Â“ten thousand Protestations, that he would spare nothing, which his whole Estate could purchase, to procure her Content and HappinessÂ” (231). It is in her reaction to his offer of money that her class stature is revealed. According to Frank Dawes, many prostitu tes were domestic servants who either became pregnant or were discovered by the mist ress of the house to be having an affair with her husband (40). Servants were often fi red if pregnant, and Â“w ithout a reference, a maid stood no chance of getting another situ ationÂ” and was often Â“faced with the alternative of the workhouse or prostitutionÂ” (40). That Fantomina is not of the domestic class is apparent when she throws the gold B eauplaisir offers her and questions, Â“Can all the Wealth you are possessed of, make a Re paration for my Loss of HonorÂ” (231)? Unlike Anaret, AmenaÂ’s attendant in Love in Excess Fantomina does not desire money, and unlike Anaret and Brione, she is not immune to the advances of a man. When Beauplaisir tires of FantominaÂ’s ch arms, the protagonist disguises herself as a servant girl in order to continue the tryst with him. He r responsibilities as a country maid named Celia include Â“t hat of making the GentlemanÂ’ s BedsÂ…and waiting on them in their ChambersÂ” (234) allowing her access to locations forbidden to unmarried upper
39 class women. By wearing a Â“round eared Cap, a s hort red Petticoat and a little jacket of Grey Stuff,Â” garb to suit her affected positi on, she grants Beauplaisi r permission to speak to her without the decorum characteristic of their social class. He barrages her with questions Â“befitting one of the Degree she appe ared to beÂ” (235) and soon he Â“loses the Power of containing himselfÂ…till he had ravaged allÂ” (235). Ye t, Fantomina, or in this role Â“Celia,Â” is not a victim to BeauplaisirÂ’ s forceful sexual advances; she chooses to act out the role of domestic serv ant to satisfy her own passion. Th e expected protection of the servant disguise results in intimacy between lovers of the upper class. Fantomina is the ultimate actress, able to adjust her behavior to the demands of her roles. In her third role, that of the Wi dow Bloomer, she tells a Â“sorrowful Tale, which had been several Times interrupted by a Parenthesis of Sighs and GroansÂ” (237). Additionally, she Â“counterfeited a fainting and fell motionless upon [BeauplaisirÂ’s] BreastÂ” (238). Haywood acknowledges FantominaÂ’s performing abilities: Â…besides the Alteration whic h the change of Dress made in her, she was so admirably skilled in the Art of feigni ng, that she had the Power of putting on almost what Face she pleased, and knew so exactly how to form her Behaviour to the Character she represented that al l the comedians at both Playhouses are infinitely short of her Pe rformances: She could vary her very Glances, tune her Voice to Accents the most different imag inable from those in which she spoke when she appeared herself. (238) HaywoodÂ’s description of Fant omina reads like a theatre re view following an opening night show. Despite her grand performance as the Widow Bloomer, Beauplaisir once again loses interest.
40 FantominaÂ’s final performance requires he r to operate as pl aywright, director, producer, and actor. She secures a location a nd hires two men, Â“Squires of low DegreeÂ” to act as servants and assist her with her plans. She sends one to deliver a letter to Beauplaisir from Incognita, her new role, invi ting him to meet her, which he accepts (242-243). Granting him everything Â“excepting the Sight of her Face, and Knowledge of her NameÂ” the two enjoyed Â“mutual RapturesÂ” (244). Her scheme to keep her identity concealed goes as planned, with the aid of Â“the two imagined ServantsÂ”; however, Beauplaisir is disappointed by her unwillingness to reveal herself (245). He tells her that Â“he could not submit to receive Obligations from a Lady, who thought him incapable of keeping a Secret, which she made no Difficu lty of letting her Servants intoÂ” (245). Beauplaisir is vulnerable to these servants w ho have insight that he cannot attain; he is aware of their power. Incogn ita still does not reveal he rself, and the performance concludes when the arrival of the young ladyÂ’s mother Â“obliged her to put an immediate Stop to the Course of her whimsical Advent uresÂ” (246). After deliv ering BeauplaisirÂ’s child, the heroine of HaywoodÂ’s tale is sent to a monastery in France. Both Lasselia and Fantomina display HaywoodÂ’s extensive theatrical background as well as her awareness of class differences. In Lasselia as in Love in Excess servants act as critical interrupters to the narratives, a function characteristic of the servantÂ’s role in theatre (Robbins 94). In Lasselia and Fantomina, Haywood again employs the strategy of disguise to advance love affairs; however, rather than concealing her identity with only domestic class garb, Fantomina performs various positions in class structure, hiring servants to assist her when necessary. Additionally, the protection provided by a difference in class disrupts as disguises are revealed, reflecting a br eakdown in rigid class
41 structures. This decrease in the divide that bridges the upper and lower classes is a result of the increased servant population in Br itish society. HaywoodÂ’s works reflect the significance of servants in her time.
42 Chapter Four Conclusion The domestic class served important f unctions in eighteent h-century British society, and also on the dramatic stage, in fluences which are illustrated in HaywoodÂ’s works. However, HaywoodÂ’s servants move be yond the stock characters of the theatre and into more rounded characters, complete w ith names, identities, and pivotal roles. The wide-range of servants represen ted, as well as their centrality to the plots, demonstrates HaywoodÂ’s perspective of the servant cla ss, one that differs from RichardsonÂ’s prototypical Pamela. Hayw ood offers dynamic servants whose inventiveness often dominates those they serve. It is recognized, and often criticized, that servants imitated their masterÂ’s manner of dress and behavi or, but Haywood inverts this criticism and shows that masters also imitated servants. Se rvants desired the wea lth and extravagances their masters possessed; masters desired the s ecrets and sexual freedoms of their servants. Her portrayals decrease the divide be tween the upper and lower classes. The historical background of the ma ster/servant relationship as well as HaywoodÂ’s published advice to servant maids creates a foundation to further understand her works. Haywood sees the place servants occupy in the household in a dynamic relationship with their masters. Furthermor e, she acknowledges the frequency of the sexual relationships between lower class and upper class members of society, and dedicates a significant portion of A Present for a Servant Maid to the avoidance of such temptations. Because of the class difference, masters often pursued their servants with
43 less discrepancy than with ladies from thei r own class. Similarly, in HaywoodÂ’s fiction, the servant costume allows the upper class memb er who dons the garb to chip away at the strict rules that confine be havior. Though in reverse, the fabricated class difference between the disguised and undis guised upper class members lead s to uncensored conduct. Chapter two examined how the traditiona l role of the servant on the dramatic stage influenced HaywoodÂ’s ficti on, particularly how servants function in her first novel, Love in Excess Servants in the theatre acted as transmitters of the narrative, interveners of the plot, comic devices, and foils to the protagonists; though all functions are present in her work, Haywood primarily makes use of the first two. Love in Excess provides clear evidence of the servant dominance. Char lo, Anaret, and Brione perform and relate some of the most significant actions in the text. Readers are intr igued by the servants who demonstrate characteristics of stage tricksters. Additionally, love between the aristocrats could not be communi cated without their servants. HaywoodÂ’s shorter fiction, Lasselia and Fantomina illustrates further evidence of theatrical elements in her work. Fantomina pl ays the role of the actress extraordinaire who controls BeauplaisirÂ’s desires, as well as her own. Additionally, characters in both stories exploit the freedoms granted by dis guising their class st anding. The upper class characters in these texts, however, show more discretion in hiding actions from the servants than in Love in Excess As I previously mentioned, John R. Elwood credits Haywood with creating patterns in the novel that began on the stage, citing characters Al derman Saving, Captain Hysom, and Mr. Chatfree from The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless as examples (115). It is important to note that Saving, Hysom, a nd Chatfree are not servants, but members of
44 the upper class. Although servants appear in Betsy Thoughtless their traditional positions in HaywoodÂ’s works are altered and few are gi ven names. Significantly, most servants in Betsy Thoughtless have very little insight into the lives of their employers. For example, when a correspondence is discovered betw een Miss Forward, BetsyÂ’s schoolmate, and a Â“young ladÂ” Master Sparkish, all the servants were examined, but Â“none of them knew any thing of the matterÂ” (28). Haywood adds th at Â“it was a secret to all but Miss BetsyÂ” (28). Betsy replaces the traditi onal role of servant as confid ant, as Forward shares the details of her amorous intrigue with Be tsy. Though the servants have no knowledge of the affair, the narrator comment s that Â“the reader shall not remain in ignoranceÂ” (28). In Love in Excess these Â“secretsÂ” would have been transmitted through a servant. Although there are a few exceptions such as Miss Prinks, Lady MellasinÂ’s woman who is allowed access to all of her mistressÂ’ secrets, servants in Betsy Thoughtless are prevented from having an excess of information. When one of BetsyÂ’s admirers, Gayland, slips a love letter (without the aid of a servant) into BetsyÂ’s hands, she tells no one for fear of being judged (42-43). Furt hermore, Miss Trusty, a friend of BetsyÂ’s deceased mother, communicates her concerns for Betsy to no one (36). Servants are noticeably absent. The scant use of servants in Betsy Thoughtless leads to the question: who or what replaces the servantÂ’s functi ons in the narrative? Though Elwood identifies dramatic characters in HaywoodÂ’s work, the characters he mentions do not replace the servantÂ’s function. Instead, Haywood develops minor char acters of similar class stature to the protagonist(s), utilizes her narrative voice, and, perhaps as a result of the popularity of Samuel RichardsonÂ’s Pamela (1740), increases her use of the epistolary form. Though
45 Haywood became less submersed in the theatre as she developed as a writer, remnants of the stage remained. Without que stion, she contributed signif icantly to the novel form.
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