King Henry VIII is in Shakespeare's Plays.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 December 1663. 10 Dec 1663. Up, pretty well, the weather being become pretty warm again, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and I confess having received so lately a token from Mrs. Russell, I did find myself concerned for our not buying some tallow of her (which she bought on purpose yesterday most unadvisedly to her great losse upon confidence of putting it off to us). So hard it is for a man not to be warped against his duty and master's interest that receives any bribe or present, though not as a bribe, from any body else. But she must be contented, and I to do her a good turn when I can without wrong to the King's service.
Then home to dinner (and did drink a glass of wine and beer, the more for joy that this is the shortest day in the year, [Old Style] which is a pleasant consideration) with my wife. She in bed but pretty well, and having a messenger from my brother, that he is not well nor stirs out of doors, I went forth to see him, and found him below, he has not been well, but is not ill. I found him taking order for the distribution of Mrs. Ramsey's coals, a thing my father for many years did, and now he after him, which I was glad to see, as also to hear that Mr. Wheatly begins to look after him. I hope it is about his daughter.
Thence to St. Paul's Church Yard, to my bookseller's, and having gained this day in the office by my stationer's bill to the King (33) about 40s. or £3, I did here sit two or three hours calling for twenty books to lay this money out upon, and found myself at a great losse where to choose, and do see how my nature would gladly return to laying out money in this trade. I could not tell whether to lay out my money for books of pleasure, as plays, which my nature was most earnest in; but at last, after seeing Chaucer, Dugdale's History of Paul's, Stows London, Gesner, History of Trent, besides Shakespeare, Jonson, and Beaumont's plays, I at last chose Dr. Fuller's (55) Worthys, the Cabbala or Collections of Letters of State, and a little book, Delices de Hollande, with another little book or two, all of good use or serious pleasure: and Hudibras, both parts, the book now in greatest fashion for drollery, though I cannot, I confess, see enough where the wit lies.
My mind being thus settled, I went by linke home, and so to my office, and to read in Rushworth; and so home to supper and to bed.
Calling at Wotton's, my shoemaker's, today, he tells me that Sir H. Wright (26) is dying; and that Harris is come to the Duke's house again; and of a rare play to be acted this week of Sir William Davenant's (57): the story of Henry the Eighth with all his wives.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 December 1663. 22 Dec 1663. Up and there comes my she cozen Angier, of Cambridge, to me to speak about her son. But though I love them, and have reason so to do, yet, Lord! to consider how cold I am to speak to her, for fear of giving her too much hopes of expecting either money or anything else from me besides my care of her son. I let her go without drinking, though that was against my will, being forced to hasten to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon I to Sir R. Ford's (49), where Sir R. Browne (58) (a dull but it seems upon action a hot man), and he and I met upon setting a price upon the freight of a barge sent to France to the Duchess of Orleans. And here by discourse I find them greatly crying out against the choice of Sir J. Cutler (60) to be Treasurer for Paul's upon condition that he give £1500 towards it, and it seems he did give it upon condition that he might be Treasurer for the work, which they say will be worth three times as much money, and talk as if his being chosen to the office will make people backward to give, but I think him as likely a man as either of them, or better.
The business being done we parted, Sir R. Ford (49) never inviting me to dine with him at all, and I was not sorry for it.
Home and dined. I had a letter from W. Howe that my Lord hath ordered his coach and six horses for me to-morrow, which pleases me mightily to think that my Lord should do so much, hoping thereby that his anger is a little over.
After dinner abroad with my wife by coach to Westminster, and set her at Mrs. Hunt's while I about my business, having in our way met with Captain Ferrers luckily to speak to him about my coach, who was going in all haste thither, and I perceive the King (33) and Duke (30) and all the Court was going to the Duke's playhouse to see "Henry VIII" acted, which is said to be an admirable play.
But, Lord! to see how near I was to have broken my oathe, or run the hazard of 20s. losse, so much my nature was hot to have gone thither; but I did not go, but having spoke with W. Howe and known how my Lord did do this kindly as I would have it, I did go to Westminster Hall, and there met Hawley, and walked a great while with him. Among other discourse encouraging him to pursue his love to Mrs. Lane, while God knows I had a roguish meaning in it.
Thence calling my wife home by coach, calling at several places, and to my office, where late, and so home to supper and to bed.
This day I hear for certain that my Baroness Castlemaine's (23) is turned Papist, which the Queene (54) for all do not much like, thinking that she do it not for conscience sake. I heard to-day of a great fray lately between Sir H. Finch's (41) coachman, who struck with his whip a coachman of the King's to the losse of one of his eyes; at which the people of the Exchange seeming to laugh and make sport with some words of contempt to him, my Lord Chamberlin (61) did come from the King (33) to shut up the 'Change, and by the help of a justice, did it; but upon petition to the King (33) it was opened again.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 December 1663. 24 Dec 1663. Up betimes; and though it was a most foggy morning, and cold, yet with a gally down to Eriffe, several times being at a loss whither we went. There I mustered two ships of the King's, lent by him to the Guiny Company, which are manned better than ours at far less wages.
Thence on board two of the King's, one of them the "Leopard", Captain Beech, who I find an able and serious man. He received me civilly, and his wife was there, a very well bred and knowing woman, born at Antwerp, but speaks as good English as myself, and an ingenious woman. Here was also Sir G. Carteret's (53) son, who I find a pretty, but very talking man, but good humour.
Thence back again, entertaining myself upon my sliding rule with great content, and called at Woolwich, where Mr. Chr. Pett (43) having an opportunity of being alone did tell me his mind about several things he thought I was offended with him in, and told me of my kindness to his assistant. I did give him such an answer as I thought was fit and left him well satisfied, he offering to do me all the service, either by draughts or modells that I should desire.
Thence straight home, being very cold, but yet well, I thank God, and at home found my wife making mince pies, and by and by comes in Captain Ferrers to see us, and, among other talke, tells us of the goodness of the new play of "Henry VIII", which makes me think [it] long till my time is out; but I hope before I go I shall set myself such a stint as I may not forget myself as I have hitherto done till I was forced for these months last past wholly to forbid myself the seeing of one. He gone I to my office and there late writing and reading, and so home to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 January 1664. 01 Jan 1664. Went to bed between 4 and 5 in the morning with my mind in good temper of satisfaction and slept till about 8, that many people came to speak with me. Among others one came with the best New Year's gift that ever I had, namely from Mr. Deering, with a bill of exchange drawn upon himself for the payment of £50 to Mr. Luellin. It being for my use with a letter of compliment. I am not resolved what or how to do in this business, but I conclude it is an extraordinary good new year's gift, though I do not take the whole, or if I do then give some of it to Luellin.
By and by comes Captain Allen (52) and his son Jowles and his wife, who continues pretty still. They would have had me set my hand to a certificate for his loyalty, and I know not what his ability for any employment. But I did not think it fit, but did give them a pleasing denial, and after sitting with me an hour they went away.
Several others came to me about business, and then being to dine at my uncle Wight's (62) I went to the Coffee-house, sending my wife by Will, and there staid talking an hour with Coll. Middleton, and others, and among other things about a very rich widow, young and handsome, of one Sir Nicholas Gold's, a merchant, lately fallen, and of great courtiers that already look after her: her husband not dead a week yet. She is reckoned worth £80,000.
Thence to my uncle Wight's (62), where Dr. of——-, among others, dined, and his wife, a seeming proud conceited woman, I know not what to make of her, but the Dr's. discourse did please me very well about the disease of the stone, above all things extolling Turpentine, which he told me how it may be taken in pills with great ease. There was brought to table a hot pie made of a swan I sent them yesterday, given me by Mr. Howe, but we did not eat any of it. But my wife and I rose from table, pretending business, and went to the Duke's house, the first play I have been at these six months, according to my last vowe, and here saw the so much cried-up play of "Henry the Eighth"; which, though I went with resolution to like it, is so simple a thing made up of a great many patches, that, besides the shows and processions in it, there is nothing in the world good or well done.
Thence mightily dissatisfied back at night to my uncle Wight's (62), and supped with them, but against my stomach out of the offence the sight of my aunt's hands gives me, and ending supper with a mighty laugh, the greatest I have had these many months, at my uncle's being out in his grace after meat, we rose and broke up, and my wife and I home and to bed, being sleepy since last night.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 27 January 1664. 27 Jan 1664. Up and to the office, and at noon to the Coffeehouse, where I sat with Sir G. Ascue (48)1 and Sir William Petty (40), who in discourse is, methinks, one of the most rational men that ever I heard speak with a tongue, having all his notions the most distinct and clear, and, among other things (saying, that in all his life these three books were the most esteemed and generally cried up for wit in the world "Religio Medici", "Osborne's Advice to a Son2", and "Hudibras"), did say that in these—in the two first principally—the wit lies, and confirming some pretty sayings, which are generally like paradoxes, by some argument smartly and pleasantly urged, which takes with people who do not trouble themselves to examine the force of an argument, which pleases them in the delivery, upon a subject which they like; whereas, as by many particular instances of mine, and others, out of Osborne, he did really find fault and weaken the strength of many of Osborne's arguments, so as that in downright disputation they would not bear weight; at least, so far, but that they might be weakened, and better found in their rooms to confirm what is there said. He shewed finely whence it happens that good writers are not admired by the present age; because there are but few in any age that do mind anything that is abstruse and curious; and so longer before any body do put the true praise, and set it on foot in the world, the generality of mankind pleasing themselves in the easy delights of the world, as eating, drinking, dancing, hunting, fencing, which we see the meanest men do the best, those that profess it. A gentleman never dances so well as the dancing master, and an ordinary fiddler makes better musique for a shilling than a gentleman will do after spending forty, and so in all the delights of the world almost.
Thence to the 'Change, and after doing much business, home, taking Commissioner Pett (53) with me, and all alone dined together. He told me many stories of the yard, but I do know him so well, and had his character given me this morning by Hempson, as well as my own too of him before, that I shall know how to value any thing he says either of friendship or other business. He was mighty serious with me in discourse about the consequence of Sir W. Petty's (40) boat, as the most dangerous thing in the world, if it should be practised by endangering our losse of the command of the seas and our trade, while the Turkes and others shall get the use of them, which, without doubt, by bearing more sayle will go faster than any other ships, and, not being of burden, our merchants cannot have the use of them and so will be at the mercy of their enemies. So that I perceive he is afeard that the honour of his trade will down, though (which is a truth) he pretends this consideration to hinder the growth of this invention.
He being gone my wife and I took coach and to Covent Garden, to buy a maske at the French House, Madame Charett's, for my wife; in the way observing the streete full of coaches at the new play, "The Indian Queene" which for show, they say, exceeds "Henry the Eighth".
Thence back to Mrs. Turner's (41) and sat a while with them talking of plays and I know not what, and so called to see Tom, but not at home, though they say he is in a deep consumption, and Mrs. Turner (41) and Dike and they say he will not live two months to an end.
So home and to the office, and then to supper and to bed.
Note 1. Sir George Ayscue or Askew (48). After his return from his imprisonment he declined to go to sea again, although he was twice afterwards formally appointed. He sat on the court-martial on the loss of the "Defiance" in 1668.
Note 2. Francis Osborne, an English writer of considerable abilities and popularity, was the author of "Advice to a Son", in two parts, Oxford, 1656-8, 8vo. He died in 1659. He is the same person mentioned as "My Father Osborne", October 19th, 1661. B.