Henry V is in Jacobean and Restoration Plays.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 13 August 1664. 13 Aug 1664. Up, and before I went to the office comes my Taylor with a coate I have made to wear within doors, purposely to come no lower than my knees, for by my wearing a gowne within doors comes all my tenderness about my legs. There comes also Mr. Reeve, with a microscope and scotoscope1. For the first I did give him £5 10s., a great price, but a most curious bauble it is, and he says, as good, nay, the best he knows in England, and he makes the best in the world. The other he gives me, and is of value; and a curious curiosity it is to look objects in a darke room with.
Mightly pleased with this I to the office, where all the morning. There offered by Sir W. Pen (43) his coach to go to Epsum and carry my wife, I stept out and bade my wife make her ready, but being not very well and other things advising me to the contrary, I did forbear going, and so Mr. Creed dining with me I got him to give my wife and me a play this afternoon, lending him money to do it, which is a fallacy that I have found now once, to avoyde my vowe with, but never to be more practised I swear, and to the new play, at the Duke's house, of "Henry the Fifth"; a most noble play, writ by my Lord Orrery (43); wherein Betterton (29), Harris (30), and Ianthe's (27) parts are most incomparably wrote and done, and the whole play the most full of height and raptures of wit and sense, that ever I heard; having but one incongruity, or what did, not please me in it, that is, that King Harry promises to plead for Tudor to their Mistresse, Princesse Katherine of France, more than when it comes to it he seems to do; and Tudor refused by her with some kind of indignity, not with a difficulty and honour that it ought to have been done in to him.
Thence home and to my office, wrote by the post, and then to read a little in Dr. Power's book of discovery by the microscope to enable me a little how to use and what to expect from my glasse.
So to supper and to bed.
Note 1. An optical instrument used to enable objects to be seen in the dark. The name is derived from the Greek.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 17 August 1664. 17 Aug 1664. Up, and going to Sir W. Batten (63) to speak to him about business, he did give me three bottles of his Epsum water, which I drank and it wrought well with me, and did give me many good stools, and I found myself mightily cooled with them and refreshed.
Thence I to Mr. Honiwood and my father's old house, but he was gone out, and there I staid talking with his man Herbert, who tells me how Langford and his wife are very foul-mouthed people, and will speak very ill of my father, calling him old rogue in reference to the hard penniworths he sold him of his goods when the rogue need not have bought any of them. So that I am resolved he shall get no more money by me, but it vexes me to think that my father should be said to go away in debt himself, but that I will cause to be remedied whatever comes of it.
Thence to my Lord Crew (66), and there with him a little while. Before dinner talked of the Dutch war, and find that he do much doubt that we shall fall into it without the money or consent of Parliament, that is expected or the reason of it that is fit to have for every warr. Dined with him, and after dinner talked with Sir Thomas Crew (40), who told me how Mr. Edward Montagu (29) is for ever blown up, and now quite out with his father again; to whom he pretended that his going down was, not that he was cast out of the Court, but that he had leave to be absent a month; but now he finds the truth.
Thence to my Lady Sandwich (39), where by agreement my wife dined, and after talking with her I carried my wife to Mr. Pierce's and left her there, and so to Captain Cooke's (48), but he was not at home, but I there spoke with my boy Tom Edwards, and directed him to go to Mr. Townsend (with whom I was in the morning) to have measure taken of his clothes to be made him there out of the Wardrobe, which will be so done, and then I think he will come to me.
Thence to White Hall, and after long staying there was no Committee of the Fishery as was expected. Here I walked long with Mr. Pierce, who tells me the King (34) do still sup every night with my Baroness Castlemayne (23), who he believes has lately slunk a great belly away, for from very big she is come to be down again.
Thence to Mrs. Pierce's, and with her and my wife to see Mrs. Clarke, where with him and her very merry discoursing of the late play of Henry the 5th, which they conclude the best that ever was made, but confess with me that Tudor's being dismissed in the manner he is is a great blemish to the play. I am mightily pleased with the Doctor, for he is the only man I know that I could learn to pronounce by, which he do the best that ever I heard any man.
Thence home and to the office late, and so to supper and to bed. My Lady Pen (40) came hither first to-night to Sir W. Pen's (43) lodgings.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 28 September 1664. 28 Sep 1664. Up and by water with Mr. Tucker down to Woolwich, first to do several businesses of the King's, then on board Captain Fisher's ship, which we hire to carry goods to Tangier. All the way going and coming I reading and discoursing over some papers of his which he, poor man, having some experience, but greater conceit of it than is fit, did at the King's first coming over make proposals of, ordering in a new manner the whole revenue of the Kingdom, but, God knows, a most weak thing; however, one paper I keep wherein he do state the main branches of the publick revenue fit to consider and remember.
So home, very cold, and fearfull of having got some pain, but, thanks be to God! I was well after it.
So to dinner, and after dinner by coach to White Hall, thinking to have met at a Committee of Tangier, but nobody being there but my Lord Rutherford, he would needs carry me and another Scotch Lord to a play, and so we saw, coming late, part of "The Generall", my Lord Orrery's (43) (Broghill) second play; but, Lord! to see how no more either in words, sense, or design, it is to his "Harry the 5th" is not imaginable, and so poorly acted, though in finer clothes, is strange. And here I must confess breach of a vowe in appearance, but I not desiring it, but against my will, and my oathe being to go neither at my own charge nor at another's, as I had done by becoming liable to give them another, as I am to Sir W. Pen (43) and Mr. Creed; but here I neither know which of them paid for me, nor, if I did, am I obliged ever to return the like, or did it by desire or with any willingness. So that with a safe conscience I do think my oathe is not broke and judge God Almighty will not think it other wise.
Thence to W. Joyce's, and there found my aunt and cozen Mary come home from my father's with great pleasure and content, and thence to Kate's and found her also mighty pleased with her journey and their good usage of them, and so home, troubled in my conscience at my being at a play. But at home I found Mercer playing on her Vyall, which is a pretty instrument, and so I to the Vyall and singing till late, and so to bed. My mind at a great losse how to go down to Brampton this weeke, to satisfy Piggott; but what with the fears of my house, my money, my wife, and my office, I know not how in the world to think of it, Tom Hater being out of towne, and I having near £1000 in my house.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 28 December 1666. 28 Dec 1666. Up, and Creed and I walked (a very fine walk in the frost) to my Lord Bellasses (52), but missing him did find him at White Hall, and there spoke with him about some Tangier business. That done, we to Creed's lodgings, which are very pretty, but he is going from them. So we to Lincoln's Inne Fields, he to Ned Pickering's (48), who it seems lives there, keeping a good house, and I to my Lord Crew's (68), where I dined, and hear the newes how my Lord's brother, Mr. Nathaniel Crew (33), hath an estate of 6 or £700 per annum, left him by the death of an old acquaintance of his, but not akin to him at all. And this man is dead without will, but had, above ten years since, made over his estate to this Mr. Crew (33), to him and his heirs for ever, and given Mr. Crew (68) the keeping of the deeds in his own hand all this time; by which, if he would, he might have taken present possession of the estate, for he knew what they were. This is as great an act of confident friendship as this latter age, I believe, can shew.
From hence to the Duke's house, and there saw "Macbeth" most excellently acted, and a most excellent play for variety. I had sent for my wife to meet me there, who did come, and after the play was done, I out so soon to meet her at the other door that I left my cloake in the playhouse, and while I returned to get it, she was gone out and missed me, and with W. Hewer (24) away home.
I not sorry for it much did go to White Hall, and got my Lord Bellasses (52) to get me into the playhouse; and there, after all staying above an hour for the players, the King (36) and all waiting, which was absurd, saw "Henry the Fifth" well done by the Duke's people, and in most excellent habits, all new vests, being put on but this night. But I sat so high and far off, that I missed most of the words, and sat with a wind coming into my back and neck, which did much trouble me. The play continued till twelve at night; and then up, and a most horrid cold night it was, and frosty, and moonshine. But the worst was, I had left my cloak at Sir G. Carteret's (56), and they being abed I was forced to go home without it. So by chance got a coach and to the Golden Lion Taverne in the Strand, and there drank some mulled sack, and so home, where find my poor wife staying for me, and then to bed mighty cold.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 13 February 1667. 13 Feb 1667. Up, and by water to White Hall, where to the Duke of York (33), and there did our usual business; but troubled to see that, at this time, after our declaring a debt to the Parliament of £900,000, and nothing paid since, but the debt increased, and now the fleete to set out; to hear that the King (36) hath ordered but £35,000 for the setting out of the fleete, out of the Poll Bill, to buy all provisions, when five times as much had been little enough to have done any thing to purpose. They have, indeed, ordered more for paying off of seamen and the Yards to some time, but not enough for that neither.
Another thing is, the acquainting the Duke of York (33) with the case of Mr. Lanyon, our agent at Plymouth, who has trusted us to £8000 out of purse; we are not in condition, after so many promises, to obtain him a farthing, nor though a message was carried by Sir G. Carteret (57) and Sir W. Coventry (39) to the Commissioners for Prizes, that he might have £3000 out of £20,000 worth of prizes to be shortly sold there, that he might buy at the candle and pay for the goods out of bills, and all would [not] do any thing, but that money must go all another way, while the King's service is undone, and those that trust him perish. These things grieve me to the heart.
The Prince (47), I hear, is every day better and better. So away by water home, stopping at Michell's, where Mrs. Martin was, and I there drank with them and whispered with Betty, who tells me all is well, but was prevented in something she would have said, her 'marido venant' just then, a news which did trouble me, and so drank and parted and home, and there took up my wife by coach, and to Mrs. Pierce's, there to take her up, and with them to Dr. Clerke's, by invitation, where we have not been a great while, nor had any mind to go now, but that the Dr., whom I love, would have us choose a day. Here was his wife, painted, and her sister Worshipp, a widow now and mighty pretty in her mourning. Here was also Mr. Pierce and Mr. Floyd, Secretary to the Lords Commissioners of Prizes, and Captain Cooke (51), to dinner, an ill and little mean one, with foul cloth and dishes, and everything poor. Discoursed most about plays and the Opera, where, among other vanities, Captain Cooke (51) had the arrogance to say that he was fain to direct Sir W. Davenant (61) in the breaking of his verses into such and such lengths, according as would be fit for musick, and how he used to swear at Davenant (61), and command him that way, when W. Davenant (61) would be angry, and find fault with this or that note—but a vain coxcomb I perceive he is, though he sings and composes so well. But what I wondered at, Dr. Clerke did say that Sir W. Davenant (61) is no good judge of a dramatick poem, finding fault with his choice of Henry the 5th, and others, for the stage, when I do think, and he confesses, "The Siege of Rhodes" as good as ever was writ.
After dinner Captain Cooke (51) and two of his boys to sing, but it was indeed both in performance and composition most plainly below what I heard last night, which I could not have believed. Besides overlooking the words which he sung, I find them not at all humoured as they ought to be, and as I believed he had done all he had sett. Though he himself do indeed sing in a manner as to voice and manner the best I ever heard yet, and a strange mastery he hath in making of extraordinary surprising closes, that are mighty pretty, but his bragging that he do understand tones and sounds as well as any man in the world, and better than Sir W. Davenant (61) or any body else, I do not like by no means, but was sick of it and of him for it. He gone, Dr. Clerke fell to reading a new play, newly writ, of a friend's of his; but, by his discourse and confession afterwards, it was his own. Some things, but very few, moderately good; but infinitely far from the conceit, wit, design, and language of very many plays that I know; so that, but for compliment, I was quite tired with hearing it. It being done, and commending the play, but against my judgment, only the prologue magnifying the happiness of our former poets when such sorry things did please the world as was then acted, was very good.
So set Mrs. Pierce at home, and away ourselves home, and there to my office, and then my chamber till my eyes were sore at writing and making ready my letter and accounts for the Commissioners of Tangier to-morrow, which being done, to bed, hearing that there was a very great disorder this day at the Ticket Office, to the beating and bruising of the face of Carcasse very much. A foul evening this was to-night, and I mightily troubled to get a coach home; and, which is now my common practice, going over the ruins in the night, I rid with my sword drawn in the coach.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 10 August 1667. 10 Aug 1667. Up, and to the Office, and there finished the letter about Carcasse, and sent it away, I think well writ, though it troubles me we should be put to trouble by this rogue so much. At the office all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, where I sang and piped with my wife with great pleasure, and did hire a coach to carry us to Barnett to-morrow.
After dinner I to the office, and there wrote as long as my eyes would give me leave, and then abroad and to the New Exchange, to the bookseller's there, where I hear of several new books coming out—Mr. Spratt's History of the Royal Society, and Mrs. Phillips's' poems. Sir John Denham's (52) poems are going to be all printed together; and, among others, some new things; and among them he showed me a copy of verses of his upon Sir John Minnes's (68) going heretofore to Bullogne to eat a pig1. Cowley, he tells me, is dead; who, it seems, was a mighty civil, serious man; which I did not know before. Several good plays are likely to be abroad soon, as Mustapha and Henry the 5th. Here having staid and divertised myself a good while, I home again and to finish my letters by the post, and so home, and betimes to bed with my wife because of rising betimes to-morrow.
Note 1. The collected edition of Denham's (52) poems is dated 1668. The verses referred to are inscribed "To Sir John Mennis being invited from Calice to Bologne to eat a pig", and two of the lines run "Little Admiral John To Bologne is gone"..
Samuel Pepys' Diary 19 October 1667. 19 Oct 1667. At the office all the morning, where very busy, and at noon home to a short dinner, being full of my desire of seeing my Lord Orrery's (46) new play this afternoon at the King's house, "The Black Prince", the first time it is acted; where, though we come by two o'clock, yet there was no room in the pit, but we were forced to go into one of the upper boxes, at 4s. a piece, which is the first time I ever sat in a box in my life. And in the same box come, by and by, behind me, my Lord Barkeley (65) [of Stratton] and his lady (29); but I did not turn my face to them to be known, so that I was excused from giving them my seat; and this pleasure I had, that from this place the scenes do appear very fine indeed, and much better than in the pit. The house infinite full, and the King (37) and Duke of York (34) was there.
By and by the play begun, and in it nothing particular but a very fine dance for variety of figures, but a little too long. But, as to the contrivance, and all that was witty (which, indeed, was much, and very witty), was almost the same that had been in his two former plays of "Henry the 5th" and "Mustapha", and the same points and turns of wit in both, and in this very same play often repeated, but in excellent language, and were so excellent that the whole house was mightily pleased with it all along till towards the end he comes to discover the chief of the plot of the play by the reading of along letter, which was so long and some things (the people being set already to think too long) so unnecessary that they frequently begun to laugh, and to hiss twenty times, that, had it not been for the King's being there, they had certainly hissed it off the stage. But I must confess that, as my Lord Barkeley (65) says behind me, the having of that long letter was a thing so absurd, that he could not imagine how a man of his parts could possibly fall into it; or, if he did, if he had but let any friend read it, the friend would have told him of it; and, I must confess, it is one of the most remarkable instances that ever I did or expect to meet with in my life of a wise man's not being wise at all times, and in all things, for nothing could be more ridiculous than this, though the letter of itself at another time would be thought an excellent letter, and indeed an excellent Romance, but at the end of the play, when every body was weary of sitting, and were already possessed with the effect of the whole letter; to trouble them with a letter a quarter of an hour long, was a most absurd thing. After the play done, and nothing pleasing them from the time of the letter to the end of the play, people being put into a bad humour of disliking (which is another thing worth the noting), I home by coach, and could not forbear laughing almost all the way home, and all the evening to my going to bed, at the ridiculousness of the letter, and the more because my wife was angry with me, and the world, for laughing, because the King (37) was there, though she cannot defend the length of the letter. So after having done business at the office, I home to supper and to bed.