“Displeas’d ambitious TONGUE”: Lingua and Lingual Duality
Chapman, Jonson, and Marston 1605 play, Eastward Ho, with its two younger gentry sons contracted to a London goldsmith, satirically stages contemporary social struggle over the identity of the gentle born apprentice in London. Peter Earle, in The Making of the English Middle Classes, argues that younger sons of country gentry were an integral component of the emergence of a middle station in London in the seventeenth century. This chapter discusses on the quicksilver, chafing against the restrictions of apprenticeship as an insult to the privileges of a natural born gentleman, struts around the stage bedecked in the gear of a young gallant about the town, and insolently swears to a superior status. The Eastward Ho demonstrates the potentially troublesome affective identity of the younger son turned apprentice whose social and cultural disposition may have developed in ways counterproductive to operating within the mercantile ethos of the urban trade world.