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Comedy and CrisisPieter Langendijk, the Dutch, and the Speculative Bubbles of 1720$
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Joyce Goggin and Frans De Bruyn

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789622201

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789622201.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Quincampoix, or the Wind Traders

Quincampoix, or the Wind Traders

A Comedy as Performed at the Amsterdam Theatre [Amsterdamschen Schouwburg]

Chapter:
(p.15) Quincampoix, or the Wind Traders
Source:
Comedy and Crisis
Author(s):
Joyce Goggin, Merlijn Erken, Frans De Bruyn

Joyce Goggin

Merlijn Erken

Frans De Bruyn

Henk Looijesteijn

Helen J. Paul

Lodewijk Petram

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789622201.003.0002

This full-length tragicomedy in three acts explores the thematic opposition between traditional Dutch commercial and republican virtue, and the speculative corruption of 1720. Set in Amsterdam at the height of the “wind trade” that inflated the South Sea and Mississippi Bubbles, as well as local Dutch speculative bubbles, the play dramatizes both market mania and intergenerational conflict between parent and child, with a predictable victory for the younger generation. In this instance, Hillegond, daughter of the merchant Bonaventure, loves a sensible, virtuous young man named Hendrik, but she is also pursued by Windbag, a pompous, self-important speculator in bubble shares. Windbag is a French popinjay blown ashore from Paris and London by the shifting winds of speculation. Bonaventure is dazzled by Windbag’s fortune and is drawn into the speculative activity, but his brother, Noble-Heart, prefers Hendrik, who personifies the native steadfastness of the Dutch character. Hendrik’s name recalls the wise Prince Frederik Hendrik (a ruler associated with proclamations opposing uncontrolled speculation). At the close of the play Bonaventure faces the prospect of financial ruin, but he is rescued from his own imprudence by his brother, who buys back the “futures” contracts that had threatened to undo him. Noble-Heart counts the cost of this financial rescue as a trifle compared to the value of preserving the family’s honour and its credit or reputation.

Keywords:   Bubbles, Wind trade, Marriage, Domestic comedy, South Sea

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