Hot Anger Soon Cold
Payments to Playwrights (Henslowe’s Diary)
Fol. 49 (Greg I.94)
lent vnto the company the 18 of aguste 1598 to } bye a Boocke called hoote anger sone cowld of } mr porter mr cheattell & bengemen Johnson in } vjli fulle payment the some of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . }
Presumably performed by the Admiral's Men at the Rose in the summer or autumn of 1598.
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
Wiggins, Catalogue #1139 opines that play might have been about humours; he bases this on the "hot anger" of the title that, in its turn to "cold," predicts an ending in melancholy.
References to the Play
Collier did not suggest a storyline for the play, but he did observe poignantly that the date of Jonson's payment for "Hot Anger Soon Cold" was "as nearly as may be" about a month before Jonson killed Gabriel Spenser with a rapier in a duel on 22 September 1598 (p. 131, n.3).
Carson speculates that the play was "almost certainly completed" (49) and that Jonson may have been "brought in as 'coadjutor' in a relatively subordinate role" to help Wilson and Chettle, who had recently collaborated on "Black Bateman of the North, Part 2" (62).
Donaldson points out that "[a]nger was a subject of some interest to Jonson, whose surviving commedies often depict wrathful eruptions of the kind indicated by this title...; and also to Porter" (1:110).
For What It's Worth
The title looks like a pun on the two common proverbial expressions "Hot love is soon cold" and "Soon hot, soon cold".
Site created and maintained by Domenico Lovascio, University of Genoa; updated 05 March 2015.