Macbeth is in Shakespeare's Plays.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 05 November 1664. 05 Nov 1664. Up and to the office, where all the morning, at noon to the 'Change, and thence home to dinner, and so with my wife to the Duke's house to a play, "Macbeth", a pretty good play, but admirably acted.
Thence home; the coach being forced to go round by London Wall home, because of the bonefires; the day being mightily observed in the City.
To my office late at business, and then home to supper, and to bed.
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 07 January 1667. 07 Jan 1667. Lay long in bed. Then up and to the office, where busy all the morning.
At noon (my wife being gone to Westminster) I with my Lord Bruncker (47) by coach as far as the Temple, in the way he telling me that my Lady Denham is at last dead. Some suspect her poisoned, but it will be best known when her body is opened, which will be to-day, she dying yesterday morning. The Duke of York (33) is troubled for her; but hath declared he will never have another public mistress again; which I shall be glad of, and would the King (36) would do the like.
He tells me how the Parliament is grown so jealous of the King's being unfayre to them in the business of the Bill for examining Accounts, Irish Bill, and the business of the Papists, that they will not pass the business for money till they see themselves secure that those Bills will pass; which they do observe the Court to keep off till all the Bills come together, that the King (36) may accept what he pleases, and what he pleases to reject, which will undo all our business and the Kingdom too. He tells me how Mr. Henry Howard (38), of Norfolke, hath given our Royal Society all his grandfather's library: which noble gift they value at £1000; and gives them accommodation to meet in at his house, Arundell House, they being now disturbed at Gresham College.
Thence 'lighting at the Temple to the ordinary hard by and eat a bit of meat, and then by coach to fetch my wife from her brother's, and thence to the Duke's house, and saw "Macbeth", which, though I saw it lately, yet appears a most excellent play in all respects, but especially in divertisement, though it be a deep tragedy; which is a strange perfection in a tragedy, it being most proper here, and suitable.
So home, it being the last play now I am to see till a fortnight hence, I being from the last night entered into my vowes for the year coming on. Here I met with the good newes of Hogg's bringing in two prizes more to Plymouth, which if they prove but any part of them, I hope, at least, we shall be no losers by them.
So home from the office, to write over fair my vowes for this year, and then to supper, and to bed. In great peace of mind having now done it, and brought myself into order again and a resolution of keeping it, and having entered my journall to this night, so to bed, my eyes failing me with writing.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 19 April 1667. 19 Apr 1667. Up, and to the office all the morning, doing a great deal of business.
At noon to dinner betimes, and then my wife and I by coach to the Duke's house, calling at Lovett's, where I find my Baroness Castlemayne's (26) picture not yet done, which has lain so many months there, which vexes me, but I mean not to trouble them more after this is done.
So to the playhouse, not much company come, which I impute to the heat of the weather, it being very hot. Here we saw "Macbeth",1 which, though I have seen it often, yet is it one of the best plays for a stage, and variety of dancing and musique, that ever I saw.
So being very much pleased, thence home by coach with young Goodyer and his own sister, who offered us to go in their coach. A good-natured youth I believe he is, but I fear will mind his pleasures too much. She is pretty, and a modest, brown girle.
Set us down, so my wife and I into the garden, a fine moonshine evening, and there talking, and among other things she tells me that she finds by W. Hewer (25) that my people do observe my minding my pleasure more than usual, which I confess, and am ashamed of, and so from this day take upon me to leave it till Whit-Sunday. While we were sitting in the garden comes Mrs. Turner (44) to advise about her son, the Captain, when I did give her the best advice I could, to look out for some land employment for him, a peace being at hand, when few ships will be employed and very many, and these old Captains, to be provided for. Then to other talk, and among the rest about Sir W. Pen's (45) being to buy Wansted House of Sir Robert Brookes (30), but has put him off again, and left him the other day to pay for a dinner at a tavern, which she says our parishioner, Mrs. Hollworthy, talks of; and I dare be hanged if ever he could mean to buy that great house, that knows not how to furnish one that is not the tenth part so big.
Thence I to my chamber to write a little, and then to bed, having got a mighty cold in my right eare and side of my throat, and in much trouble with it almost all the night.
Note 1. See November 5th, 1664. Downes wrote: "The Tragedy of Macbeth, alter'd by Sir William Davenant (61); being drest in all it's finery, as new cloaths, new scenes, machines as flyings for the Witches; with all the singing and dancing in it. The first compos'd by Mr. Lock, the other by Mr. Channell and Mr. Joseph Preist; it being all excellently perform'd, being in the nature of an opera, it recompenc'd double the expence; it proves still a lasting play".
Samuel Pepys' Diary 16 October 1667. 16 Oct 1667. Up, and at home most of the morning with Sir H. Cholmly (35), about some accounts of his; and for news he tells me that the Commons and Lords have concurred, and delivered the King (37) their thanks, among other things, for his removal of the Chancellor (58); who took their thanks very well, and, among other things, promised them, in these words, never, in any degree, to entertain the Chancellor (58) any employment again.
And he tells me that it is very true, he hath it from one that was by, that the King (37) did, give the Duke of York (34) a sound reprimand; told him that he had lived with him with more kindness than ever any brother King lived with a brother, and that he lived as much like a monarch as himself, but advised him not to cross him in his designs about the Chancellor (58); in which the Duke of York (34) do very wisely acquiesce, and will be quiet as the King (37) bade him, but presently commands all his friends to be silent in the business of the Chancellor (58), and they were so: but that the Chancellor (58) hath done all that is possible to provoke the King (37), and to bring himself to lose his head by enraging of people. He gone, I to the office, busy all the morning.
At noon to Broad Street to Sir G. Carteret (57) and Lord Bruncker (47), and there dined with them, and thence after dinner with Bruncker to White Hall, where the Duke of York (34) is now newly come for this winter, and there did our usual business, which is but little, and so I away to the Duke of York's house, thinking as we appointed, to meet my wife there, but she was not; and more, I was vexed to see Young (who is but a bad actor at best) act Macbeth in the room of Betterton (32), who, poor man! is sick: but, Lord! what a prejudice it wrought in me against the whole play, and everybody else agreed in disliking this fellow.
Thence home, and there find my wife gone home; because of this fellow's acting of the part, she went out of the house again. There busy at my chamber with Mr. Yeabsly, and then with Mr. Lewes, about public business late, and so to supper and to bed.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 06 November 1667. 06 Nov 1667. Up, and to Westminster, where to the Parliament door, and there spoke with Sir G. Downing (42), to see what was done yesterday at the Treasury for Tangier, and it proved as good as nothing, so that I do see we shall be brought to great straits for money there. He tells me here that he is passing a Bill to make the Excise and every other part of the King's Revenue assignable on the Exchequer, which indeed will be a very good thing. This he says with great glee as an act of his, and how poor a thing this was in the beginning, and with what envy he carried it on, and how my Chancellor (58) could never endure him for it since he first begun it. He tells me that the thing the House is just now upon is that of taking away the charter from the Company of Woodmongers, whose frauds, it seems, have been mightily laid before them. He tells me that they are like to fly very high against my Chancellor (58).
Thence I to the House of Lords, and there first saw Dr. Fuller (59), as Bishop of Lincoln, to sit among the Lords. Here I spoke with the Duke of York (34) and the Duke of Albemarle (58) about Tangier; but methinks both of them do look very coldly one upon another, and their discourse mighty cold, and little to the purpose about our want of money.
Thence homeward, and called at Allestry's, the bookseller, who is bookseller to the Royal Society, and there did buy three or four books, and find great variety of French and foreign books. And so home and to dinner, and after dinner with my wife to a play, and the girl—"Macbeth", which we still like mightily, though mighty short of the content we used to have when Betterton (32) acted, who is still sick.
So home, troubled with the way and to get a coach, and so to supper and to bed. This day, in the Paynted-chamber, I met and walked with Mr. George Montagu (45), who thinks it may go hard with my Lord Sandwich (42), but he says the House is offended with Sir W. Coventry (39) much, and that he do endeavour to gain them again in the most precarious manner in all things that is possible.