The Exceptional Eliza Haywood:Women and Extralegality in Eovaai
Eliza Haywood's The Adventures of Eovaai (1737) has been read as satire and as oriental tale, but rarely as an engagement with political theory. The narrative argues for a revised legal standing for women by echoing colonial mythemes and manipulating pastoral conventions. Eovaai suggests that women will never become rational citizen-subjects without becoming temporally dislocated, passing through a state of nature in order to clear the ground for a more just constitution. The text wavers between optimistic and pessimistic assessments of that passage, for women in the state of exception also depend on a masculinized military power.
At a crucial moment in Eliza Haywood's 1737 oriental romance The Adventures of Eovaai, the narrative unexpectedly incorporates a mytheme of colonial encounter: the moment of apotheosis in which explorers or colonists are misrecognized by "savages" as emissaries from the gods bearing sacral objects of extraordinary power.1 The princess, forced to flee her kingdom after its disintegration into civil war, has accepted comfort in the arms of the vile tyrant Ochihatou. She is on the verge of surrendering her virtue to him when she receives from a divine being a gift that is simultaneously technological and magical: a "sacred Telescope" that dispels illusions, revealing more authentic truths.2 This narrative move has affinities with descriptions of intercultural contact from the history of British exploration and settlement, such as Thomas Harriot's 1588 account of an encounter with a group of Algonquian Indians in Virginia, in which he and his party persuade the savages of their divinity by astonishing them with technological wonders, including not only gunpowder and clocks but also "a perspective glasse whereby was shewed manie strange sightes."3 In the case of the eponymous heroine of Eovaai, however, this gift is not a prelude to conquest and settlement; rather than rendering her passive with astonishment, the magical telescope allows her to penetrate superficial appearances and to see virtue and vice clearly. Though the gift of the telescope is frequently associated with oriental tales, particularly with Ali's telescope in the Thousand and One Nights, I want to examine here different interpretive possibilities made available by attention to another textual prehistory. [End Page 565] This quasi-colonial conjunction of the magical and the technological condenses underexplored elements of Haywood's political thought, especially her interest in reason, constitutionalism, and gender. Displaced from her throne and kingdom, Eovaai, like Harriot's Algonquians, is estranged from virtue, reason, and law. Her reentry into the sphere of legality and constitutionalism is mediated by a technological fetish that significantly shapes that reentry. Eovaai's magical telescope, with its associations with cultural contact in zones beyond the law, figures the possibility of a new relationship of women to the legal order and, in particular, to rational citizenship.4
The gift of the "magical" telescope, then, borrows from European ideas about temporality and cultural progress, as a talismanic technology associated with modern reason dispels the lies, illusions, and irrational desires of archaic magics deployed by demagogues. This sacred telescope figures the bringing of persons excluded from law and reason—savages or women—out of their extralegal condition. For a colonizing power, this movement brings racial Others closer to a state of civility but also subjects them to an alien sovereign authority. Haywood borrows but revises this trope: The gift of the telescope enlightens Eovaai, making her worthy of rational citizenship. Borrowing from other writers such as Margaret Cavendish who had emphasized women's exclusion from the legal order, Haywood rhetorically yokes savages and women to explore their common exclusion from the law.5 Savages, however, are unlike women in that their lawlessness is not merely extralegal but also prelegal, since a savage people may eventually develop a social contract or be incorporated into another's. By linking savages and women, Haywood experiments with the idea that woman must be dislocated temporally, passing through a state of nature in order to clear the ground for a renewed and more just constitution.6 This emphasis on temporality is reinforced by Haywood's manipulation of genre, as she juxtaposes the "timeless" conventions of pastoral and romance with other, more dynamic and complex settings and characters. Eovaai's portrait is notably different from the romantic conventions used to depict most of the text's characters. The princess, initially embedded in a pastoral landscape, develops into a character more akin to the lusty and desiring women of Haywood's scandalous tales and amatory fictions; cast out from her pastoral setting, her body and her desires roam freely. In Haywood's portrayal, women's desire and women's virtue outgrow the confines of romance narrative, leaving pastoral innocence behind in ways that parallel the passage of passively virtuous savages into a more complex and tempting modern world. Eovaai, however, wavers between optimistic and pessimistic assessments of that passage, for the exceptional state of war and the return to savagery offer both opportunities to re-establish the constitution on more equitable ground and a perilous dependence on a masculinized military power for that reestablishment. Eovaai's ambiguous passage from dependent daughter-sovereign to imperiled body in the state of nature is, Haywood suggests, a necessary step on the path to rational citizenship, but it is also a perilous movement through a dangerous, Hobbesian world which, in this narrative, can be tamed only by masculine violence.
In the sections that follow, I demonstrate these claims in three phases. First, I argue that Eovaai uses a flattened version of romance to underscore limitations in the conception of constitutional monarchy; the princess Eovaai encodes a dynamic feminine personality not capable of containment within the political [End Page 556] structures of patriarchy or the conventions of romance narrative, both of which are figured as static and archaic and are challenged by Eovaai's characterization.7 Haywood's text conflates constitutional monarchy and romance narrative to point to the exclusion of both women and desire from the contractual model that undergirds the former. In particular, the text highlights the contradictions inherent in a constitutional monarchy that is subject to law and that yet subjects women to a kind of absolutism that does not allow them to act as desiring yet rational citizen-subjects. While much of Eovaai's political rhetoric is deeply engaged in its historical moment, giving voice to Patriot Whig and Tory criticisms of the reign of George II and the Walpolian Parliamentary regime, its experiments with genre and its revision of conventional political rhetoric also point to these less obvious thematic undercurrents. In the second section, I look at Haywood's identification of women with savages in an essay on female education in her later periodical, The Parrot (1746)—an essay that explicitly links imperial reason to the idea of the rational self-directed woman. Harriot's Algonquians are stunned into submission by European technologies; the savage woman in Haywood's tale is instead freed from the constraints of nature but is, tragically, not educated to use her freedom rationally. In the final section, I examine the crux that results when Haywood attempts to imagine a new constitutionalism arising out of a state of lawlessness. Eovaai's disobedience has created a "real state of emergency," to borrow Benjamin's language; that is, she has taken actions that shatter the constitution and the normal order of the law, and now takes part in the fashioning of a new, remade constitution. However, my reading suggests that the narrative ultimately reverts to romance tropes to obscure the problem posed by the military power that undergirds this new constitution.8 The restoration that concludes the narrative is often read as a triumph of a Patriot opposition ideology, figured by the noble prince Adelhu, perhaps a figure for George II's estranged son, Prince Frederick. But this emphasis on military power, rendered as romance heroism, underscores the patriarchal content of pastoral tropes, and acknowledges the alarming dependence of the new rational woman on masculine violence.
Fantastic Genres and Failed States
Eovaai has frequently been understood as a hybrid of two paranovelistic traditions in the eighteenth century: the scandal chronicle or secret history, and the oriental tale.9 Eovaai is the princess and heir apparent of the "pre-Adamic" kingdom of Ijaveo; her tale is recorded by (fictional) Chinese scholars, and translated by an (equally fictional) Chinese expatriate in England. The tale's inaugural crisis is the collapse of Eovaai's kingdom after she fails to respect her father's commands: His dying wish is that she preserve intact a talismanic necklace he has bequeathed her, and when she comes to doubt its magical efficacy, her sovereignty collapses, leaving her vulnerable to multiple captors. After a period of imprisonment and near-seduction by the neighboring nation's corrupt minister Ochihatou, a figure for Robert Walpole, her kingdom is finally restored to her through the intervention of the exiled prince Adelhu. While earlier critics have been correct to emphasize its most salient generic affiliations, I wish to complicate our sense of Eovaai's genres by shifting attention to its incorporations of what I am calling "contact narrative," to which I will return later, as well as its conscious manipulation of the emerging [End Page 567] distinction between "probable" fictions and "romance." In this first section I note the text's conflation of constitutional monarchy and the temporally frozen improbabilities of pastoral romance. The princess Eovaai differs from her ancestors and from most of the texts' characters because she is torn between impulses towards virtue and her illicit sexual and political desire, while most of Eovaai's characters are simply virtuous or vile without duality or dynamism.10 Her desires spark the novel's political crises and point to the limitations of constitutional monarchy as a framework for liberty for women. My claim is not that female desire is typically excluded from romance narrative, but rather that the dynamism and instability of Eovaai's desires mark her as distinct from the more static characters found in the narrative. In particular, Haywood herself strongly marks Eovaai as a countertype of the romantic masculine characters she encounters, who hew especially closely towards the poles of virtue and vice, as we shall see. Haywood's characterizations not only comment on the status of women but also explore the intertwined questions of political and social constitutionality: what power or authority founds the legal order that preserves limited monarchy and excludes women from citizenship? Haywood's complex narrative, in the end, suggests that gender inequality, enforced by masculine power and feminine subservience, is both the source and result of that order. However, it also suggests that Eovaai's disobedience, which registers in the text as a mark of doom and chaos, may be a necessary step to revise and reconstruct a new constitutional order.11
Eovaai's character—particularly the growth and eventual taming of her desire—is the axis around which the plot revolves. While much of the story centers on the temptation of Eovaai and her ultimate victory over Ochihatou, I want first to attend to the narrative's opening: the pastoral setting that precedes the civil war triggered by Eovaai's skepticism and desire. Haywood offers a familiar pastoral fantasy, to which she adds references to theories of constitutional monarchy and elements of Patriot Whig rhetoric. Under the reign of Eovaai's father and his benign predecessors, the kingdom had remained in a happy condition of pastoral innocence, where "The Earth produced all kinds of Fruits and Flowers: the Rivers abounded with the most delicious Fish: the Air afforded a vast Variety of the feather'd Race, no less beautiful to the Eye, than exquisite to the Taste; and to crown all, the Climate was so perfectly wholesome, that the Inhabitants lived to an extreme old Age, without being afflicted with any Pain or Disease" (AE, 52). This portrait of an Arcadian kingdom protected by a benign (and limited) monarchy is decidedly conventional, romantic, and timeless; however, in a move that parallels Eovaai's shift from stasis to dynamism and desire, this kingdom is shortly to topple headlong into history. Haywood's deployment of romance and pastoral topoi is not, however, typical of the pastoral romance. Rather, her simplified, reduced form of that genre functions as a foil and as a tool of her satire of politics and patriarchy, not as a serious treatment of romance as a genre in its own right.
This pastoral land is governed by the virtuous Eojaeu, who rules as a hereditary but constitutionally limited monarch. He emphasizes that he is "bound by Laws" and that his subjects "have a Right to call [him] to account for any Violation of them" (AE, 53; Haywood's emphasis).12 His family is long-serving, having governed without war or insurrection for 1500 years. By forcibly conjoining the pastoral to modern political theory, Haywood inscribes limited sovereignty in a [End Page 568] nearly timeless genre, reimagining Britain's recent political arrangement as one so traditional and stable as to have no visible point of origin. In doing so, she invokes a common anti-Walpolian discursive construct: the Patriot King, theorized most famously by Lord Bolingbroke but appearing frequently in other writings from the period.13 This blend of the traditional and the contemporary, however, apparently can accommodate neither female desire nor skepticism. Eojaeu's magic has told him that his reign will be the last peaceful one in Ijaveo; his daughter's will instead be characterized by a "long and terrible Interruption" of the kingdom's peace and prosperity—an interlude of state failure and civil war. To mitigate the effects of this interruption, he attends carefully to his daughter's education, training her in the paths of both political and sexual virtue; instead of cultivating feminine attractions, she is well-instructed in Ijaveo's political theory and practice. Eojaeu underscores the limitations of Ijaveian sovereignty in terms recalling Britain's 1689 settlement and Patriot Whig invocations of patriot princes, noting that the king's "glory" is "the Liberty of the People," and warning Eovaai of the "false Lustre of Arbitrary Power." He continues,
Remember, you are no less bound by Laws, than the meanest of your Subjects; and that even they have a Right to call you to account for any Violation of them:—You must not imagine, that it is meerly for your own Ease you are seated on a Throne; no, it is for the Good of the Multitudes beneath you; and when you cease to study that, you cease to have any Claim to their Obedience.(AE, 53)
Here we find whiggish political theory distilled into a few pedagogical phrases, authorized by the voice of a virtuous king and father: The monarch exists to serve the people, to govern their bodies and goods for their own enrichment, pleasure, and delight, not to transform limited sovereignty into the perverse, even libertine, authority of the oriental despot, the Filmerian patriarch, or the Hobbesian sovereign. The sovereign is inscribed within the circle of human law and must, primarily, give order to civil society so that it may live in harmony with natural law and bring wealth and peace. But our understanding of Ijaveo's politics shifts as Eojaeu nears death and the accession of his young daughter looms. Indeed, the collapse of this magical pastoral harmony into war and conflict is simultaneous with the intrusion of new impulses and desires into Eovaai's character—impulses alien, apparently, to the generations of royals that preceded her.14 Unlike her predecessors, Eovaai develops into a passionate, ambitious, and lusty woman.
The romantic king fits readily into the constitutional monarchy model the text praises; borrowing from the Patriot emphasis on the accountability of monarchs, Ijaveo's polity is explicitly opposed both to divine right absolutism and to the rationalist version given its most powerful formulation by Thomas Hobbes. Despite important distinctions between these two forms of absolutism, both exclude the sovereign from the legal order, since the sovereign sits outside of law, bound by it but not to be judged by any human authority.15 On the other hand, Haywood populates Ijaveo with sovereigns who are bound by and accountable to human law, whose implicitly contractual status gives their citizens the right to judge their actions. The tropes and conventions of romance allow Haywood and the reader to imagine this king as perfect and desireless; though accountable in theory, his perfect character means this accountability will never need to be [End Page 569] exercised. Ijaveo, much like Lord Bolingbroke's romantic vision of a patriot king, synthesizes "seemingly incompatible monarchical languages," in Christine Gerrard's phrase, but while Bolingbroke's king is an effort to bring together Tory and Court Whig, Haywood's portrait is more ambiguous.16 This ambiguity can be seen in the way that Eovaai parts from romance tropes and represents a more modern form of selfhood, troubled by desires and, as the narrative unfolds, unconstrained by conventional authority. Unlike preceding monarchs, which the narrative imagines in relatively generic, stable terms as patriarchs subject to law but apparently not inclined to abrogate or violate it, Eovaai's desires (erotic and political) threaten the established order. Her desires underscore some of the difficulties in conceptualizing constitutional monarchy, tensions concealed by the fantastic qualities of archaic pastoralism. Eovaai's desire forces questions about the stability of this political norm, as well as about the possibility of imagining a virtuous yet liberated female subject. Constitutional monarchy, perhaps, relies on a static and pointedly romantic understanding of kingship.
Haywood's gendered critique of constitutional monarchy becomes more visible when we examine Eovaai's accession to the throne. Haywood uses this transitional moment to suggest that the romantic frame of limited monarchy conceals an absolutism as regards women—that the constitutional monarch and his romantic kingdom are inimical to women's independent reasoning. Though earlier sequences emphasize Eovaai's careful indoctrination into a feminized version of patriotic virtue (shunning luxury and disclaiming private interest), on his deathbed Eovaai's father gives her an implicit command to limit the sphere of her inquiry regarding an unusual magical object: a jewel set into a necklace. Eovaai's father admonishes her not to lose or damage this talisman, though he does not offer any explanation of its importance; implicitly, his command is also to avoid probing the mystery of the jewel and to accept its magical efficacy unquestioningly:
Receive from me a Jewel of more Worth than ten thousand Empires.—A Jewel made by the Hands of the divine Aiou, the Patron of our Family, and most powerful and beneficent of all the Genii. This, if you preserve entire, and in its present Purity and Brightness, will avert the most malevolent Aspect of the Stars, and even the inveterate and incessant Attempts of the fiery Ypres themselves; and defend you, and the Nations under you, in all the Dangers with which you are threatened. In speaking these Words, he took off a Carcanet, which he had constantly worn upon his Breast, and put it upon her's. Let neither Force nor Fraud, resumed he, deprive you of this sacred Treasure: Remember that what ought to be infinitely dearer to you than your Life, your eternal Fame, and the happiness of all the Millions you are born to rule, depend on the Conservation of it.(AE, 55-56)
Most commentators on this passage have noted the figuration of Eovaai's chastity and feminine virtue in the form of this "jewel." But while such an analysis is correct so far as it goes, it misses the peculiar way in which the implicit command of a sovereign father works here—a command that Eovaai, plagued by desire, will not be able to obey. Eovaai has been well-educated, but this education's outer boundary is her father's command; she is not invited to inquire as to the reasons behind this order, and when her curiosity disobeys this command her fall (fortunate or not) begins. 17 From the moment Eovaai takes the throne, her rule is governed and [End Page 570] limited by this fatherly command—Eojaeu requires blind, unquestioning obedience, not thoughtful collaborative governance or inquiry. The good king is not only a pastoral figure and an emblem of patriarchy: he is also, crucially, a believer that the father's command and the magical objects associated with it must not be questioned or investigated. This command makes explicit what is implied in Harriot's presentation of similarly "magical" objects to the Algonquians; their political efficacy requires that their power not be scrutinized. Eovaai is not invited to understand the mystic object she wears any more than Harriot's Algonquians are asked to understand the inner workings of clocks or telescopes. Another way of saying this is that the father's command and his talismanic necklace figure a kind of constitutional law: the fundamental authority that undergirds and authorizes all other laws. With regard to his people, the king is subject to law, but when facing his daughter at the crucial moment of accession, his will is akin to the "emptiness and standstill of the law" that Giorgio Agamben associates with dictatorial power.18 We could, in other words, read Eovaai's father not only as the guardian of his people—a constitutional monarch—but also as the primordial sovereign that underlies and preserves the constitution and its day-to-day operations.
Interpreting Eovaai's father this way opens up new possibilities for understanding the politics of this text, which can now be read as bringing together the public political order of sovereignty and the constitution with the question of women's legal status. It is all the more significant, then, that Eovaai goes on to question his command, shattering her nation's constitution. The gendered command of the father is equated not only with patriarchal authority but also with a constitutional law that subjected women, rendering them unable to act as citizens or to make use of their rational faculties inside the legal order. If the father represents the authority of the constitution as an authority that women, in particular, must not question, then Eovaai's disobedience figures not her lost virtue but rather her first step towards changing the legal order; the political collapse of her kingdom may be a necessary passage through an extralegal state in which the previous constitution is abrogated and can be rewritten. Eovaai's counterpastoral personality—her desiring, curious selfhood—cannot abide this injunction for long, and her desire gets the better of her, sending her through a series of misadventures that will only be overcome by the outside intervention of the technology-bearing genii.19 After having reigned happily for some months, the instructions her father gave her fade, as she begins to experience "Emotions, to which hitherto she had been a Stranger" (AE, 57). These feelings lead her to question her father's instructions regarding the jewel; though it is beautiful, she
cou'd not conceive how it shou'd be of so much consequence to her Happiness as she had been told; and perceiving some mystic Characters engraven on the Inside, which yet were seen through the Clearness of the Stone, she resolv'd to consult all the learned Men of her Kingdom, for the Interpretation.(AE, 57)
Interpretation: the first step on the road to perdition. For rather than merely accepting her father's word, she hopes to make this secret matter visible and legible: to render the magical and the paternal knowable in rational terms. In examining the necklace she also seeks a rational explanation for her authority and its underpinnings. [End Page 571]
The results of her investigation are cataclysmic. The jewel falls out, leaving only the "exterior Ornament" that had held it, and is carried off by a bird, apparently vanishing forever (AE, 57). Eovaai's political apparatus quickly collapses, and the peaceable kingdom descends into civil war. In the thick of this tumult, Eovaai finds herself captive rather than sovereign, as rebel groups "ambitious of the sovereign Sway" keep her alive only to lay claim to her throne (AE, 60). This sequence, I suggest, asks us to take note of what happens to a peaceful limited monarchy when that monarch questions the singular, seemingly irrational command of her father—or, in other words, what happens when rational inquiry looks closely at the constitution and the settled forms of authority encoded therein. In doing so, it also makes a gendered argument: inscrutable magics and unquestionable commands will only be accepted by the women of pastoral fantasy.20 A reasonable assessment of the female personality must grapple with the problem of female desire rather than wishing or commanding it away. In trying to analyze and make legible the object that condenses and preserves her father's final and most important command, Eovaai returns her kingdom to a war of all against all.
This is her condition, and that of her kingdom, when she is "rescued" or perhaps captured by the corrupt Ochihatou. Carrying her away in a bizarre vehicle that resembles an amalgam of fish and bird, which Haywood calls a "Leviathan," he dazzles her by cloaking his hideous visage in a magical disguise and by stunning her senses with the wealth of his corrupt court (AE, 68-70).21 Ochihatou is plainly a figure for a corrupted Robert Walpole, and by associating him with Hobbes's Leviathan, Haywood points to the Patriot opposition's critique of an absolutism based not in divine right sovereignty but in a corrupting ministerial power. Ochihatou's corruption overwhelms and tempts Eovaai with new kinds of sensory pleasure, however illusory, and she succumbs to the temptation of "Rich Viands, delicious Wines, Musick, Dancing, Dalliance, and, above all, the ardent Pressures of a Man whom . . . she infinitely liked . . ." (AE, 78), almost surrendering that other "jewel," her virginity. This seduction of her political and personal virtue leads her to the verge of sexual experience even as it cultivates in her a sympathy for lawless quasi-Walpolian absolutism. But while her passage into lawlessness places her in tremendous danger, it may also be necessary for her eventual return to a new constitutional order that operates on reason and clearness of vision and, significantly, that offers those powers to women as well as men. For that to happen, however, Haywood needs to introduce a different mode of narrating lawlessness and lawgiving: To negotiate her passage back into law, Haywood draws on the colonial archive and its narratives of cultural contact.
After the Fall: Enlightened Savages, Enlightened Sovereigns
For Eovaai to overcome the temptations that beset her—the irresponsible desire for political power and sexual pleasure, both readily available in Ochihatou's court—she must cultivate the urge toward rational inquiry that led her to this pass in the first place. However, Haywood's presentation of Eovaai's development suggests that left to herself she is unlikely to abandon libertinism for rational and virtuous citizenship; she needs an external force to encourage or compel her to resume the mantle of virtue and her throne. The narrative's opening gives us her [End Page 572] fortunate fall; her redemption comes through a narrative move that, as I have suggested, draws on narratives of imperial exchange and cultural contact: the genii's gift of the magical telescope.22 This "sacred Telescope" will dispel the illusions encircling Ochihatou's obscene power and allow Eovaai to see the vile usurper in all his repellent glory. Thanks to this magical object, Eovaai finds that this seemingly handsome man is in fact deformed, his skin coated with demons "which sat upon his Shoulders, clung round his Hands, his Legs, and seem'd to dictate all his Words and Gestures"; it is at their "Instigation [that] Rapes, Murders, Massacres, Treasons, all Acts which tend to universal Ruin are committed by him" (AE, 94). Ochihatou's illicit sovereignty—which, hidden by magical illusions, had so tempted Eovaai—is here shown to be undergirded with ruthless ambition and violence.23 Only through the intervention of a power simultaneously technological and divine is she able to return, gradually, to the correct path. Most readings of Eovaai attend to its participation in the eighteenth-century vogue for oriental tales, but no critics to my knowledge have noted this other aspect of cultural difference that surfaces at moments where magic and science overlap to highlight the archaism of libertinism and the paradoxes of female education. This alignment of education with the imperial surfaces, significantly, in another moment in Haywood's literary corpus in a way that points toward the analogue of woman and savage. This analogue works for Haywood's purposes because savages and women are both rhetorically excluded from the law—women because contractual notions of monarchy are based on masculine citizenship, and savages because they have not left "nature" to enter civil society. Savages, like women, live outside the constitution.24
Haywood's interest in and use of this comparison can be seen by examining one of Haywood's later periodical essays from The Parrot (1746). In a brief tale that is broadly homologous to Eovaai, Haywood uses the figure of the savage woman to underscore the importance of female education and rationality, critiquing the idea that mere commands can preserve the "native" virtue of women.25 In the process of arguing for a woman's education, Haywood's eidolon—an Asian parrot— tells of an Indonesian "Indian" whose virtue is briefly preserved by an English gentleman, but who is eventually corrupted by London's erotic temptations. It is a cautionary tale, which the parrot uses to illustrate the moral that innate goodness cannot preserve virtue alone; what is required is the inculcation of reason through proper instruction. This female savage is innocently virtuous as long as she remains in her own quasi-pastoral permanent pastness. But, once drawn forcibly into the modern world and its temptations and desires, virtue will depend on education, not on nature. That education, in this sequence, is decidedly imperial, for it is contact with emissaries from the "civilized" world that contaminates her timeless pastoral savagery, and it is only an explicitly imperial education that might have saved her. The parrot intends in this essay to treat "Woman," who is "the last, and most finished Work of the omnipotent and all-wise Creator." He describes women of his own country as simple but virtuous, "wild and untaught" yet with a "native Simplicity" among those who have not been corrupted by European contact. The savage woman he introduces is rescued from a rape attempt by an English merchant. Won over by her displays of gratitude, he takes her on as a servant and eventually his "Housekeeper" with "Command over all his other Slaves" (P, 269-70).26 But when the woman accompanies her master to England, her naïve [End Page 573] virtue is contaminated, and she finds the city's temptations irresistible. Seduced by another servant, she degenerates into harlotry and vice, becoming "the perfect reverse of what she had been:—That Chastity she once had set so high a Value upon, as to chuse Death rather than be deprived of, was now prostituted, not only to him who had first betrayed her, but to as many as attempted it." She becomes a "vain, pert, and arrogant" harlot and thief, and her master deports her (P, 271).
This savage woman's tale approximates the structure of Eovaai's: naïve innocence contaminated by contact with a new world of desire. What is most striking about her story, however, is the conclusion that the parrot draws—not that her innocence should have been preserved, but that her European master should have taught her to use reason to restrain desire. The parrot writes that he has only transcribed this tale
to shew how very necessary a good Education is; for though an innate Modesty may render a Woman Proof against all Temptations for a long Time, (it is possible for Life,) yet without she is able to give a Reason for what she does, and maintains her Virtue from Principle, as well as Inclination, all the Dependence on her is but precarious; and if she once falls, she falls forever, incapable for want of the Power of comparing her past with her present State, ever to return into the Paths of Honour.(P, 271)
Education and reason are the guarantors that feminine bodies will remain within bounds. Women can be proper possessors of the right of self-determination, assuming they are governed by education and reason rather than by mere naiveté and good nature. Haywood's parrot insists that female virtue—chastity—must become rational and principled, not merely habitual.27 Natural virtue may be adequate to the challenges of pastoral romance or noble savagery, but it is no match for the temptations of modernity and no foundation for female citizenship. Had the Indian woman been morally educated, the parrot suggests, she would not have fallen.
As we have seen, Eovaai's fall is (just barely) prevented not by education, but by a fantastic gift of a technological object: an eruption into the narrative of a paradoxically magic-dispelling magic. The narrative has already highlighted one object: the cryptic necklace that embodies the unquestionable command of a father. But the sacred telescope instead teaches Eovaai to observe and perceive correctly for herself, not commanding but rather imparting judgment, thus offering a fantasy of non-coercive education producing self-commanding female citizens.28 These technologies, I want to suggest, speak to the way that Eovaai's character, in order to become autonomous and not merely obedient, must first be shaped by outside forces, here distantly figured through the tropes of colonialism. The genii is a dreamlike displacement of the colonizer, her telescope a metonym for the civilizing mission.
Eovaai also rhetorically links women and savages in the digressive tale of Atamadoul, whose corruption suggests the dangers of unreasoning desire and irrational spectatorship, while her species-shifting links her to savagery. Eovaai meets Atamadoul while being held captive by Ochihatou. Atamadoul, though human, is trapped in the form of a monkey; she, too, is a captive of Ochihatou, but unlike Eovaai, she has no magical telescope to dispel her desire. Her unreasoning lust for Ochihatou had, years earlier, led her to trick him into a tryst with her, for [End Page 574] which offence Ochihatou has transformed her into a brute animal and keeps her chained up in his bedchamber, an unwilling witness to his further seductions. Eovaai returns her to human form and assists her in a bed trick; Ochihatou copulates with Atamadoul, mistaking her for Eovaai. Their erotic passion, however, stirs Eovaai's own desire, sending "unusual thrillings thro' every Vein" (AE, 135). Inspired by voyeuristic urges, she peers through her magic telescope, but what it reveals gives her no pleasure, for she sees that the true source of their "polluted Joys" is a crowd of vile spirits dousing them with "sulphurous Fire." Repelled, she pauses to reflect on the "Meanness of suffering Passions of any kind to get the Mastery of Reason" (AE, 135). Though the scene encourages some sympathy for Atamadoul's plight, it also offers an emphatic contrast between her bestial—even savage—desire and Eovaai's technologically-enhanced rationality. Like the parrot's uneducated savage, Atamadoul cannot restrain her untutored desire and lapses into amorality.
Haywood's return to the savage here, I think, is a way to imagine a point of origin for female citizenship. Excluded from the political order, women need a foundational or exceptional moment to bring them into being as citizens or even legal subjects. Eovaai is not "uncivilized" as the eighteenth century usually understood that term, but Haywood does present her as ungoverned and in need of some force to bring her into being as a rational, civilized, autonomous citizen. The genii's gift represents one way of representing that return to civility and citizenship. But this passage is not a simple one, and Eovaai acknowledges the difficulty of imagining this benign and nonviolent reshaping of subjectivity in its conclusion's return to romance tropes and its attention to the role of force in establishing constitutional order.
The Romance of Force: Masculine Power and Lawmaking Violence
I have argued that Eovaai is returned to a path of political and sexual virtue through a quasi-divine intervention that I read as surreptitiously colonial. The colonial scene has an analogue in the text's frequent references to political emergencies such as civil wars and tyrannical usurpations; these representations of failed states lie, like the natural savage, outside of sovereignty and law. These exceptional states have, Haywood suggests, the potential to liberate, for a self-commanding woman must free herself from blind dependence on her father's orders and, analogously, from a political constitution that excludes women from rational citizenship. However, despite their potential to liberate, these extralegal conditions are dangerous, for they are vulnerable to capture by other forces, particularly masculine ones. In the end, Haywood's text worries that masculine military violence lies at the heart of constitutionality. This danger is signaled not only by allusions to military violence in the text's political rhetoric but also by the peculiar return to romantic characterization (in particular, romantic heroism) at the narrative's conclusion. For Haywood's text does not resolve the paradoxes of gender and power; its concluding deus ex machina relies on another conventional and static character—a romance hero—as a way of acknowledging the contradictions inherent in the wish for political transformation.29 For Eovaai, extralegal states of nature, of war, and of emergency open spaces for revised constitutions and new places for women. However, the passage out of that state of lawlessness [End Page 575] is not a simple result of female education, or even the quasi-magical enlightenment enabled by the gift of superior technology. Eovaai is not returned to the throne by a powerful rhetoric nor by her newfound political wisdom but by military violence: It is the warrior prince Adelhu who, embodying perfect, selfless virtue and carrying with him Eovaai's lost jewel, restores order to the kingdom by force. Eovaai takes the throne, but that throne is reestablished under the terms of a new constitution enshrined by the violence of her hero and husband-to-be.
Haywood has hinted well before the narrative's denouement that masculine violence is at the heart of lawmaking. In an important sequence following Eovaai's first escape from Ochihatou, she temporarily shelters in the neighboring republic of Oozoff (AE, 108). Having escaped temptation by the charms of despotic power in Ochihatou's kingdom, she finds herself debating her political principles with a republican who emphasizes the threat that temptation and desire pose to constitutional monarchy; though he does not frame it so, his critique is essentially that a realistic assessment of human nature will not tolerate even limited monarchy. Eovaai does not defend absolute monarchy, emphasizing that she is advocating only "Monarchies, where Power is limited by Laws, where the Tenure, by which the Prince holds his Crown, is the Observance of those Laws"—in other words, constitutional monarchies like Ijaveo's and like Britain's, where a constitutional settlement divides sovereignty and power among multiple parties. In such systems, Eovaai emphasizes, the king cannot wage war, form treaties, or spend public funds without duly consulting "his People" (AE,114). Under such constitutions, the position of the sovereign cannot be corrupted by the mere desires of the embodied monarch; Eovaai, indeed, takes a romantic view of kingship, noting that "such a King surely cannot be said to act by the Instigations of his own Will . . . He is indeed the Head of a large Family; for whose Happiness he is perpetually contriving, who watches for their Repose, labours for their Ease, exposes himself for their Safety" (AE, 114). Eovaai here gives voice to Patriot rhetoric: Bolingbroke's The Idea of a Patriot King speaks of a king who will "espouse no party, but . . . govern like the common father of his people."30 For Eovaai, as for a Patriot Whig, an ideal sovereign's own desires vanish inside a selfless public personality.
These fine sentiments certainly accord with the rhetoric of Britain's own constitutional settlement, particularly as it was understood by the Patriot opposition. But Eovaai's confidence in these principles is shaken over the course of the argument, as Haywood's text gives voice to a radical anti-monarchical republicanism. 31 Her republican interlocutor rejects constitutional monarchy as an illusion, suggesting that there is in fact an absolutism latent within every supposedly limited monarchical constitution. His anti-monarchical stance is extreme, pointing to the way that the monarch's power to grant titles and honors, and thus to use state employment to corrupt, renders legal restraints moot. Where such power inheres in the sovereign, de facto absolutism replaces de jure constitutional monarchy, and the distinction between tyrant and limited monarch evaporates. Some of these criticisms are identical to satires on George II, Walpole, and the British state penned by Toryish Scriblerians and Patriot Whigs.32 But Eovaai's interlocutor goes farther than all but the most radical of Whigs, arguing that even in a kingdom where the law is strictly observed, the delicate balance between limited monarch and the people is untenable, since "The Balance of Power cou'd never be so equally [End Page 576] pois'd, but that one Side or other wou'd have some little reason for Complaint . . . Misinterpretations wou'd be put on every thing: Heart-burnings wou'd rise to Animosities, and these break forth at length into open Ruptures . . ." (AE, 116). In short, the republican suggests that limited monarchy is either absolutism in disguise, or a state of civil war held briefly in abeyance; there is, from his perspective, no formula for a workable limited monarchy. This rhetoric draws heavily from an antique republican tradition, but it is striking that this republican echoes Hobbes in suggesting that a mixed government is in fact not a fully constituted state at all, but rather something more akin to a balance of terror.33
But interestingly, the republican does not offer an affirmative defense of his commonwealth's political practices, and the manner in which this commonwealth is made stable is never articulated. The republican and the other inhabitants of this land are, unlike Eovaai but like her father, apparently free of "heart-burnings" themselves, not afflicted by the desires associated with Eovaai and with the genres of the scandal narrative and the novel. Though Oozoff is hardly pastoral, the virtue spoken of by the republican nevertheless invokes a functionally similar set of narrative conventions—the founding and stabilizing factors in this polity remain invisible and unimagined; their constitution's origins date from their throwing off the yoke of a neighboring power, but is it not clear how their exact equality originated nor how it is maintained. In other words, Oozoff's spokesman offers a cogent and perhaps unanswerable critique of constitutional monarchy—one that exposes its limited capacity to respond to the new world of desire, passion, and interest—but is himself oddly silent on the nature of his own constitution in ways that suggest that his citizenry's characters are intelligible and credible only in the codes of a quasi-romance narrative that erases those modern passions and interests. I would again suggest that Haywood's mixing of genres is strategic. The critique of limited or mixed forms of sovereignty is nowhere answered, least of all by Eovaai, who finds herself "little able to confute" these arguments (AE, 118). This is not to say that Haywood's text endorses republicanism; the text presents these doctrines in an ambiguous and multivoiced fashion and may, as Ros Ballaster has noted, associate them with the misogyny of the text's fictional translator.34 Yet it is also important to scrutinize other ambiguities in this sequence, particularly the way the narrative presents republicanism as an apparently unanswerable critique of limited monarchy and Patriot conceptions of the 1689 settlement, even as it reveals that same republicanism to require a fantastic and romantic erasure of unvirtuous human desires.35 Using the figures of Eovaai, Ochihatou, and others, the text has repeatedly emphasized that human desire is an intractable problem for individuals and sovereign alike, and that republicanism, like constitutional monarchy, requires a magical and romantic underpinning.
Haywood's republican is particularly suspicious of military power, which is inimical to republican institutions. His narrative of the rise of civil society is grounded in the sense of war's tendency to strengthen the oppressive institutions of monarchy. Once, at the beginning of time, "there was no Precedency, no Subordination," he notes, but when the demonic Ypres break loose, "Self-love, Discord, Avarice, the Lust of Power, and every kind of Vice, corrupted the native Simplicity of our Manners." Then [End Page 577]
We . . . grew arrogant and assuming . . . seizing by force what Fraud cou'd not obtain. Then, dividing ourselves into Parties, Wars ensued; various Instruments were every day invented, to destroy the Workmanship of Heaven; and Death triumph'd in those Plains where Love, and Peace, and sweet Society before had reign'd. In these Skirmishes, he who had shewed himself the boldest, or most cunning in the fatal Science, was look'd upon with the greatest Respect: Here began Distinction; and such a Man, in a future Engagement, was put at the head of the others, by their joint assent . . .(AE, 111-12)
This warrior slowly transforms himself into a king, bribing the majority to support him. Thus kingship comes into being through the corruption of military heroism.
Yet in a gesture that anticipates Eovaai's conclusion, the republican leaves a Trojan horse embedded in his argument: the state of emergency that requires a moment of absolute decision. Though hostile not only to Ochihatou's tyranny but to kingship in any form, he confesses that one-person rule can be justified under exceptional circumstances—states of emergency, or "extraordinary Exigencies." And while contending that emergencies are temporally circumscribed, since "all Men have in them the Seeds of Tyranny," he has little to say on how republicanism can cope with or return from these periods of dictatorial power (AE, 112). Yet any republican thinker must be aware of the hazards of this line of thinking; these exceptional conditions are, after all, what paved the way for various tyrants that threatened the Roman republic, from the second decemvirate to Julius Caesar himself. The republican's logic exposes an aporia in his commonwealth's constitution. I would suggest that this passage cannot escape the paradox; the inclusion here of the state of emergency—of the necessary exception—seems purposeful, as does Haywood's own refusal to assign a clear rhetorical triumph to one party or the other in this debate.
Haywood's narrative closure, too, ultimately depends on military force, albeit in a romanticized form, since her military backing comes not from an army but from Eovaai's idealized husband-to-be, the prince Adelhu. This figure embodies much of what the republican had left permissible in his brief allusion to emergencies. Adelhu comes to the kingdom of Ijaveo following his exile from his own kingdom of Hypotosa under Ochihatou's tyranny; believed dead, he wanders for a time before arriving in Ijaveo and rescuing it from civil war and from a vaguely-described "monster" that has threatened it. Eovaai's servant describes the state of the kingdom on his arrival:
The Nobility, the Populace strove to outvye each other in laying waste this unhappy Land—all things were in Confusion, and to make perfect our Undoing, the offended Gods sent among us a dreadful Monster, who in a short space of time devour'd thousands of your wretched Subjects . . . [Then] a gallant Stranger arrived, and with his single Arm laid dead this Terror of the Earth, as did his Wisdom afterward reconcile the jarring factions, and what before was Discord converted into Harmony.(AE, 156)
This "stranger" now reigns in Eovaai's stead, duly elected and reigning, like Oliver Cromwell, as "Protector," rather than king. The way in which he attains this position is reminiscent of the state of emergency alluded to briefly by Eovaai's republican [End Page 578] acquaintance. But, more important than his title is the fact that this hero has paved the way for Eovaai's return through military heroism. It is the realm's good fortune that he is an inherently virtuous prince of romance rather than a tyrannical figure of satire or of the despotic East, but they nevertheless depend absolutely on his military prowess.
In other words, Adelhu—son of the sedated and subordinate king Oeros who is in thrall to the minister Ochihatou—is a lawmaking sovereign, stabilizing the political order, or, rather, crystallizing it from the state of nature and restoring law. His role as lawmaker is made apparent in a moment of narrative crisis, as Adelhu prepares to leave Eovaai. The narrative drive underscores the irony of his failure to recognize Eovaai as the rightful owner of the gem which he has found and continues to bear, and thus the person for whom he is destined. But a political reading encourages us to recognize the fact that Adelhu spends his last day in the kingdom attempting to set a constitution in order that can survive his absence—"to fix the Government of this Kingdom, if possible, in such a manner, as shall prevent it from falling again into the Confusions I relieved it from" (AE, 157).36
Adelhu's significance as a restorer of stability and monarchy goes beyond this, however. While Eovaai's virtue must be secured and produced by outside forces—particularly by quasi-magical technological fetishes—Adelhu seems to require no such education. He is a stereotypical romance hero, devoted to his lady, and entirely devoid of the complex desires and temptations that have driven Eovaai's adventures. The narrative seems unable to imagine a language in which an enlightened Eovaai can claim the throne for herself and must fall back onto romance conventions. Much as she could not be brought into reason by herself or by blindly following her father's commands, neither can she bring herself back to the throne, instead requiring the military support of an exceptionally virtuous lawgiver who stands outside and guarantees the legal and political orders—a founder-figure who is also a military man. Having passed through the state of emergency and been granted reason through a divine infusion of technology, Eovaai is still dependent on masculine military heroism. Here, perhaps, Haywood's narrative bumps up against the limits of the imaginable. Women may become rational citizens, and perhaps only through extralegal means. But the state's constitution will remain dependent on the military power that this text, at least, cannot imagine in female hands.
Eovaai, then, is a foray into fundamental political aporiae not usually associated with Haywood's oeuvre. I suggest that a careful reading of Eovaai (and, very likely, other Haywood texts) may help us uncover, not only Haywood the savvy professional writer and occasional political satirist, but also Haywood the political theorist. Haywood perhaps anticipates Carole Pateman's interrogation of myths of contractual origins, while simultaneously exploring the role of political emergencies, war, and imperial expansion in challenging conventional assumptions about law and the British constitution. Reading this way may help us avoid the temptation to fit Haywood's writing into stable categories of republican, Tory, Patriot Whig, or Jacobite. Rather, we ought to see Haywood's political commitments as contingent and fluid, particularly in their confounding of women's legal status with the conundrums of political authority. As Kathryn King and others have emphasized, there are many things about Haywood we will never know. Excavation of key texts may, as I hope to have done here, offer possibilities that biography will never supply. [End Page 579]
But this is not all. Setting aside for a moment Haywood's apparent pessimism, we might ask what it means for Haywood that force apparently trumps reason. Even in the case of the savage, the key narrative moment is that of the body's rescue; the female savage needs a man to protect her, and, by extension, to educate her. This duty fails in the case of the corrupted Indian; she is trained to manage other (enslaved) bodies but never to manage her own. Does the process of education necessarily begin with a moment of deferred violence? Or can we read in Haywood's genii a vision of a possible alternative—of a benign empire of reason that could escape the cycle of war, captivity, and rape that perpetually threatens the female body and justifies the very forms of sovereignty that Haywood seems here to contest? Perhaps so—but that vision is short-circuited in the final analysis by a return to masculine valor and the romantic moment of rescue. Yet perhaps, unlike the genii's lens, Haywood's tale offers us an opportunity to see things not as they are, but as they might be.
Christopher F. Loar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Davis. He has published essays on James Boswell's melancholy and Robinson Crusoe's firearms. He is completing a book manuscript on fictions of colonialism and sovereignty in the long eighteenth century.
. I would like to thank Felicity Nussbaum, Manushag Powell, David Simpson, Rivka Swenson, and the anonymous reviewers for ECS for their insights and comments on earlier versions of this essay.
1. This essay frequently uses the term "savage" and "savagery." To avoid tedious repetition, I have declined to mark this term out with quotation marks, despite its obviously problematic history. In this essay the term always refers to savages as discursive constructs rather than to actual non-European peoples.
2. Eliza Haywood, Adventures of Eovaai, Princess of Ijaveo, ed. Earla Wilputte (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 1999), 94. Future citations are to this edition and will appear parenthetically in the text as AE.
3. Harriot, A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia . . . (London, 1588; facsimile ed., Amsterdam and New York: De Capo Press, 1971), 35. See also Stephen Greenblatt's landmark discussion of this encounter in Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1988), 21-65. For a discussion of this common trope of imperial apotheosis, see William Hamlin, "Imagined Apotheoses: Drake, Harriot, and Raleigh in the Americas," Journal of the History of Ideas 57.3 (1996): 405-28. For other examples of this topos, see Michael Adas, Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology, and Ideologies of Western Dominance (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1990), 17-127.
4. There is a growing body of writing on Haywood's political commitments, beginning with Paula Backscheider's pioneering essay "The Shadow of an Author: Eliza Haywood," Eighteenth-Century Fiction 18.1 (October 1998): 79-102. For an important assessment of the evidence regarding Haywood's political activities in the 1740s, see Kathryn King, "Patriot or Opportunist? Eliza Haywood and the Politics of The Female Spectator," in The Fair Philosopher: Eliza Haywood and The Female Spectator, ed. Lynn Marie Wright and Donald J. Newman (Lewisburg: Bucknell Univ. Press, 2006), 104-21. Catherine Ingrassia offers intriguing speculations about Haywood's possible political sympathies and affiliations, though her primary interest is in Haywood's position within the book trade and economies of credit. Authorship, Commerce, and Gender in Early Eighteenth-Century England: A Culture of Paper Credit (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998), 116-27. More directly concerned with Eovaai, Elizabeth Kubek situates Haywood's text in the political context of the 1730s in "The Key to Stowe: Toward a Patriot Whig Reading of Eliza Haywood's Eovaai," in Presenting Gender, ed. Chris Mounsey (Lewisburg: Bucknell Univ. Press, 2001), 225-54. Kubek's essay is thorough and persuasive but is not, perhaps, sufficiently attentive to certain ambiguities and complexities in Haywood's text.
5. Margaret Cavendish, Sociable Letters, ed. James Fitzmaurice (New York: Garland, 1997; Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004), 25. For a discussion of European conceptions of lawlessness in the New World, see, for example, Carl Schmitt, The Nomos of the Earth in the International Law of the Jus Publicum Europaeum, trans. G. L. Ulmen (New York: Telos Press, 2003), 92-96. [End Page 580]
6. My thinking on this point is influenced by Carole Pateman, The Sexual Contract (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1988). Shea Stuart notes the difficulty of accommodating women to developing notions about the original political contract in "Subversive Didacticism in Eliza Haywood's Betsy Thoughtless," SEL 42.3 (2002): 559-75, 563.
7. Cf. Delarivier Manley's discussion of romance heroism in her preface to The History of Queen Zarah (London, 1724): "The Heroes in the Ancient Romances have nothing in them that is Natural; all is unlimited in their Character; all their Advantages have Something Prodigious, and all their Actions Something that's Marvellous; in short, they are not Men . . . The Heroes of the Modern Romances are better Characteriz'd, they give them Passions, Vertues or Vices, which resemble Humanity" (np). Manley praises the ability to distinguish a complex of passions within a character. Haywood takes this principle farther, depicting conflicting passions within the princess that contrast sharply with the more monochromatic portraits of the major male characters. See also Ros Ballaster's discussion in Seductive Forms: Women's Amatory Fiction from 1684 to 1740 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 50-52. For a reading of Thomas Hobbes's conception of sovereignty as a critique of the romance, see Victoria Kahn, Wayward Contracts: The Crisis of Political Obligation in England, 1640-1674 (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2004), 141-47. Kahn emphasizes the association of the heroic and pastoral romance with absolutist Stuart politics; Eovaai extends those associations to encompass Britain's constitutional monarchy.
8. Throughout this essay I reference a large body of political theory that explores the distinctions between constituted and constituting authorities, which literature scholars know best from its formulations in the work of Giorgio Agamben and Walter Benjamin. I adopt their terminology because their topological descriptions of sovereignty and law are adaptable to what I see as Haywood's own suggestions about how women are positioned relative to the legal order, and because her narrative of a woman's passage through a time and space outside the law is legible in terms of their discussions of extralegal states of emergency. See in particular Agamben, State of Exception, trans. Kevin Attell (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2005); Benjamin, "Theses on the Philosophy of History," in Illuminations, ed. Hannah Arendt (New York: Schocken Books, 1968), 253-64; and Benjamin, "Critique of Violence," in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings Volume I, 1913-1926, ed. Marcus Bullock and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of the Harvard Univ. Press, 1996), 236-52. The reference to the "real state of emergency" is from Benjamin, "Theses," 257.
9. Discussions of the generic complications of Eovaai are found in three important essays: Earla Wilputte, "The Textual Architecture of Eliza Haywood's Adventures of Eovaai," Essays in Literature 22 (Spring 1995): 31-44; Srinivas Aravamudan, "In the Wake of the Novel: The Oriental Tale as National Allegory," NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 33:1 (Autumn 1999): 5-31; and Ros Ballaster, "A Gender of Opposition: Eliza Haywood's Scandal Fiction," in The Passionate Fictions of Eliza Haywood, ed. Kirsten T. Saxton and Rebecca P. Bocchicchio, (Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2000), 143-67. Wilputte's pathbreaking essay offers an important assessment of Eovaai's formal complexities and multiple layers of narration. Aravamudan explores the genre of the oriental tale using Eovaai as a case study, concluding that the oriental romance contests notions of a hegemonic realism constitutive of British fiction. Ballaster trenchantly examines the complex layering of voices and unreliability of narration and translation, supplementing her briefer treatment in Fabulous Orients: Fictions of the East in England, 1662-1785 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2005), 223-25.
10. A full discussion of the term "romance" is of course far beyond the scope of this essay. In the eighteenth century and today it is often deployed by writers and critics as the antithesis of other forms of writing—historical, veridical, or "probable." See, for example, Michael McKeon, Origins of the English Novel, 1600-1740, rev. ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2002), 25-64, 212-55. Haywood, however, is not interested in dispassionately evaluating genres but rather in strategic manipulations of convention; the comingling of romance and "true history" or scandal chronicle in Eovaai is not an accidental hybridization but rather a pointed incongruity. For a thorough discussion of the seventeenth-century romance and its politics, see Annabel Patterson, Censorship and Interpretation:The Conditions of Writing and Reading in Early Modern England (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1991); Paul Salzman, English Prose Fiction 1588-1700: A Critical History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985); and Steve Mentz, Romance for Sale in Early Modern England: The Rise of Prose Fiction (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006).
11. Kubek similarly argues that Eovaai describes the "natural" role of sexual desire and ambition in the development of an "autonomous and mature" female self. "Key to Stowe," 232. [End Page 581]
12. Backscheider cites this section as characteristic of the "advice to princes" genre. "Shadow of an Author," 91.
13. For discussion of the figure of the patriot king in the 1730s, see Christine Gerrard, The Patriot Opposition to Walpole: Politics, Poetry, and National Myth, 1725-1742 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), 194-223.
14. The text might be taken to imply that all the preceding monarchs were male, though this is not explicitly stated.
15. The distinction between despot and sovereign is fundamentally one of legitimacy: Hobbes's sovereign is authorized by liberal subjects through contractual agreement from which the sovereign is structurally excluded. The despot, or usurper, operates without contract, seizing power that is legally granted to a legitimate sovereign. Yet both are similar in that neither is answerable to any other legal authority; both stand outside the legally constituted order. Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. C. B. Macpherson (London: Penguin Books, 1968), 265-66; Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1995), 104-6.
16. The Patriot Opposition to Walpole, 187. Bolingbroke may be represented in the text by the figure of Alhahuza, whose praise for virtuous monarchy and critique of luxury echoes Bolingbroke's writings (Kubek, "Key to Stowe," 230-31, 244-45).
17. On the importance of curiosity in Haywood's fiction, and in the emergence of fictional categories more generally, see Kathryn King, "Spying Upon the Conjurer: Haywood, Curiosity, and 'The Novel' in the 1720s," Studies in the Novel 30.2 (1998): 178-94. King's remarks, which anticipated a reinvigorated inquiry into Haywood's sophistication as a self-reflexive author, note the sense of play and ironic indeterminacy in her earlier writings—traits characteristic of Eovaai as well.
18. Agamben, State of Exception, 48.
19. Haywood idiosyncratically uses the spelling "genii" as both singular and plural; I have retained her practice.
20. To be sure, the arbitrary command is a common romance trope, and not always given to women; see, for example, the Green Knight's command to Sir Gawain in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, in The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript, ed. Malcolm Andrew and Ronald Waldron (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1979), 208-300. I am indebted to Manushag Powell for pointing this example out to me. Haywood's use of this topos, however, is decidedly gendered.
21. Wilputte notes in her edition that "the Leviathan" was a satirical epithet for Walpole; see, for example, the 1729 ballad "The Honest Jury, or, Caleb Triumphant," which celebrates Bolingbroke's victory in his libel trial. Nicholas Amhearst, ed., A Collection of Poems on Several Occasions; Publish'd in the Crafstsman (London, 1731), 67-70. This association perhaps conflates the Leviathan as an image of Hobbesian absolutism with a somewhat older usage of the term that describes a man of vast power and wealth. "Leviathan n1," Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 20 vols. (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1989).
22. Kubek instead reads the (female) genii as a complex condensation of Patriot Whig iconography and motherly power ("Key to Stowe," 238-40). Kubek's argument is powerful but misses interesting valences of the sequence that are illuminated by the narrative's debt to the colonial archive.
23. Eovaai's magical telescope is perhaps also inspired by a similar instrument belonging to Prince Ali in Prince Ahmed's tale; see Arabian Nights Entertainments, ed. Robert Mack (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1998), 826-30. However, the functions of the two glasses in their respective tales are quite different, as Ali's telescope neither transforms nor enlightens him.
24. Much contemporary political, legal, and critical theory has noted analogies between the state of nature and the state of political emergency, as well as between the supposedly "prepoliticial" or extralegal space of the colonial world and the state of nature. The association extends to pre-Hobbesian writings on property rights and colonialism. See, for example, Schmitt, The Nomos of the Earth, 92-96. My analysis here does not lean specifically on the contours of Schmitt's arguments; I do, however, want to call attention to parallels between the extralegal status of sovereigns and leaders during exceptional, emergency states, and the extrapolitical status of colonizers and lawgivers, such as the telescope-bearing genii. [End Page 582]
25. The Parrot 7 (1746); reprinted in Selected Works of Eliza Haywood II, Vol. 1, ed. Christine Blouch, Alexander Pettit, and Rebecca Sayers Hanson (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2001), 270; hereafter cited as P.
26. The passage suggests but does not explicitly state that the young woman is a slave herself.
27. See Manushag Powell, "Parroting and the Periodical: Women's Speech, Haywood's Parrot, and Its Antecedents," Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 27:1 (Spring 2008): 63-91.
28. The figural connection between optical technologies and reason is of long standing. Cf. Margaret Cavendish, The World's Olio (London, 1655), 100: "The Brain is like a Perspective-glass, and the Understanding is the Eye to discover the Truth, Follies, and Falsehood in the World." Haywood advocates the use of optical technology as part of female education. For discussion of optics in relation to gendered gazes and female subject formation, see Juliette Merrit, Beyond Spectacle: Eliza Haywood's Female Spectators (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 2004); for an incisive discussion of optics in another crucial Haywood text, see Rivka Swenson, "Optics, Gender, and the Eighteenth-Century Gaze: Looking at Eliza Haywood's Anti-Pamela," Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 51.1-2 (Spring/Summer 2010): 27-43. For a discussion of the complex gendered valences of the microscope, see Deborah Armintor, "The Sexual Politics of Microscopy in Brobdingnag," SEL 47.3 (2007): 619-40.
29. Haywood's literary corpus does not always emphasize male physical power. Nicola Graves has suggested that Haywood is in sympathy with Hobbes in perceiving a fundamental equality between men and women in the state of nature, citing Haywood's revenge narratives as evidence that violence is a zone of "equality between the sexes that has . . . the potential to be the foundation for new relations between men and women." "'Injury for Injury'; or, 'The Lady's Revenge': Female Vengeance in Eliza Haywoood's Female Spectator," in The Fair Philosopher, 157-75, 159. In Eovaai, however, women's capacity for violence is nowhere on display, and women remain vulnerable to masculine force.
30. "The Idea of a Patriot King," in Political Writings, ed. David Armitage (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997), 257.
31. For a comment on the republicanism of this sequence, see Frank Palmeri, Satire, History, Novel:Narrative Forms, 1665-1815 (Newark: Univ. of Delaware Press, 2003), 224. Palmeri is one of few critics to suggest that Haywood's work might be read as a republican and anti-monarchical, but his treatment is too brief to be entirely persuasive.
32. For numerous examples of this rhetoric, see Gerrard, The Patriot Opposition to Walpole, as well as Bertrand A. Goldgar, Walpole and the Wits: The Relation of Politics to Literature, 1722- 1742 (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1976).
33. The balance of power that undergirds doctrines of limited monarchy is first clearly articulated in the classical tradition by Polybius. See The Histories, trans. W. R. Paton, vol. 3 of 6 (London: William Heinemann, 1923), Book 6, 11-18, 295-311. For Hobbes's related attack on Polybian notions about the balanced constitution, see Leviathan, 368-70. Haywood's republican's formulation is intriguing for its omission of the other estate—the aristocracy, or the "few," often seen as a key balance against potential alliances of demagogic tyrants and the servile multitude. For discussion, see J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition, rev. ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2003), 326-27.
34. Ballaster suggests that Eovaai links republicanism and misogyny through the figure of the commentator Hahehahotu, who expresses sympathy for both extreme republican and misogynist traditions. This is surely correct, but I think the more remarkable feature of the passage is the cogency of the republican's critique of other political systems without any proper explanation of how his own functions. Ballaster, "A Gender of Opposition," 159.
35. Haywood very probably had pro-Jacobite sympathies in the wake of the 1745 uprising, but Eovaai provides only thin evidence of any Jacobitism at this early stage. For a note on Haywood's arrest for pro-Jacobite sedition in the late 1740s, see Catherine Ingrassia, "Additional Information about Eliza Haywood's 1749 Arrest for Seditious Libel," Notes and Queries 42.2 (1997): 202-3. We might observe, however, that the Walpole figure, Ochihatou, commits suicide by bashing his head into an oak tree—the oak being one of Jacobitism's most salient icons. See also Powell, "Parroting," 65; and Rachel Carnell, "The Very Scandal of Her Tea Table: Eliza Haywood's Response to the Whig Public Sphere," in Presenting Gender, 255-73. Marta Kvande offers a distinctive treatment of Haywood's political fiction [End Page 583] in "The Outsider Narrator in Eliza Haywood's Political Novels," SEL 43.3 (2003): 625-43. Kvande is perceptive in seeing the category of the outside or the exterior as crucial to Haywood's political writing, but I would argue that she misses the mark in seeing Haywood's narrator in this text, at least, as being clearly distinct from the contaminated values of the diagetic world of the fiction.
36. Thus, it does not seem quite correct to say with Backscheider that the reader is well-versed in Eovaai's and Adelhu's "theory and practice of government" by the narrative's end ("Shadow," 92). The political views and practices of these characters are more slippery than at first appears. Kubek notes that the "fairy-tale" qualities of the narrative's end are in accord with Lord Bolingbroke's own mythology of the "patriot king," but does not consider the possibility that this echoing might have a satiric bent ("Key," 230-32). [End Page 584]