Mustapha is in Jacobean and Restoration Plays.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 03 April 1665. 03 Apr 1665. Up and to the Duke of Albemarle (56) and White Hall, where much business.
Thence home and to dinner, and then with Creed, my wife, and Mercer to a play at the Duke's, of my Lord Orrery's (43), called "Mustapha", which being not good, made Betterton's (29) part and Ianthe's (28) but ordinary too, so that we were not contented with it at all.
Thence home and to the office a while, and then home to supper and to bed. All the pleasure of the play was, the King (34) and my Baroness Castlemayne (24) were there; and pretty witty Nell (15), [Nell Gwynne] at the King's house, and the younger Marshall sat next us; which pleased me mightily.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 05 January 1667. 05 Jan 1667. At the office all the morning, thinking at noon to have been taken home, and my wife (according to appointment yesterday), by my Lord Bruncker (47), to dinner and then to a play, but he had forgot it, at which I was glad, being glad of avoyding the occasion of inviting him again, and being forced to invite his doxy, Mrs. Williams.
So home, and took a small snap of victuals, and away, with my wife, to the Duke's house, and there saw "Mustapha", a most excellent play for words and design as ever I did see. I had seen it before but forgot it, so it was wholly new to me, which is the pleasure of my not committing these things to my memory.
Home, and a little to the office, and then to bed, where I lay with much pain in my head most of the night, and very unquiet, partly by my drinking before I went out too great a draught of sack, and partly my eyes being still very sore.
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 04 September 1667. 04 Sep 1667. By coach to White Hall to the Council-chamber; and there met with Sir W. Coventry (39) going in, who took me aside, and told me that he was just come from delivering up his seal and papers to Mr. Wren; and told me he must now take his leave of me as a naval man, but that he shall always bear respect to his friends there, and particularly to myself, with great kindness; which I returned to him with thanks, and so, with much kindness parted: and he into, the Council.!
I met with Sir Samuel Morland (42), who chewed me two orders upon the Exchequer, one of £600, and another of £400, for money assigned to him, which he would have me lend him money upon, and he would allow 12 per cent. I would not meddle with them, though they are very good; and would, had I not so much money out already on public credit. But I see by this his condition all trade will be bad. I staid and heard Alderman Barker's case of his being abused by the Council of Ireland, touching his lands there: all I observed there is the silliness of the King (37), playing with his dog all the while, and not minding the business1, and what he said was mighty weak; but my Lord Keeper (61) I observe to be a mighty able man.
The business broke off without any end to it, and so I home, and thence with my wife and W. Hewer (25) to Bartholomew fayre, and there Polichinelli, where we saw Mrs. Clerke and all her crew; and so to a private house, and sent for a side of pig, and eat it at an acquaintance of W. Hewer's (25), where there was some learned physic and chymical books, and among others, a natural "Herball" very fine. Here we staid not, but to the Duke of York's (33) play house, and there saw "Mustapha", which, the more I see, the more I like; and is a most admirable poem, and bravely acted; only both Betterton (32) and Harris (33) could not contain from laughing in the midst of a most serious part from the ridiculous mistake of one of the men upon the stage; which I did not like.
Thence home, where Batelier and his sister Mary come to us and sat and talked, and so, they gone, we to supper and to bed.
Note 1. Lord Rochester (20) wrote "His very dog at council board Sits grave and wise as any lord". Poems, 1697; p. 150.—the King's dogs were constantly stolen from him, and he advertised for their return. Some of these amusing advertisements are printed in "Notes and Queries" (seventh series, vol. vii., p. 26).
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.
John Evelyn's Diary 18 October 1666. 18 Oct 1666. To Court. It being the first time his Majesty (36) put himself solemnly into the Eastern fashion of vest, changing doublet, stiff collar, bands and cloak, into a comely dress, after the Persian mode, with girdles or straps, and shoestrings and garters into buckles, of which some were set with precious stones resolving never to alter it, and to leave the French mode, which had hitherto obtained to our great expense and reproach. Upon which, divers courtiers and gentlemen gave his Majesty (36) gold by way of wager that he would not persist in this resolution. I had sometime before presented an invective against that unconstancy, and our so much affecting the French fashion, to his Majesty (36); in which I took occasion to describe the comeliness and usefulness of the Persian clothing, in the very same manner his Majesty (36) now clad himself. This pamphlet I entitled "Tyrannus, or the Mode", and gave it to the King (36) to read. I do not impute to this discourse the change which soon happened, but it was an identity that I could not but take notice of.
This night was acted my Lord Broghill's (45) tragedy, called "Mustapha", before their Majesties (36) [Note. and Catherine of Braganza Queen Consort England 1638-1705 (27)] at Court, at which I was present; very seldom going to the public theatres for many reasons now, as they were abused to an atheistical liberty; foul and indecent women now (and never till now) permitted to appear and act, who inflaming several young noblemen and gallants, became their misses, and to some, their wives. Witness the Earl of Oxford (39), Sir R. Howard (40), Prince Rupert (46), the Earl of Dorset (44), and another greater person than any of them, who fell into their snares, to the reproach of their noble families, and ruin of both body and soul. I was invited by my Lord Chamberlain (64) to see this tragedy, exceedingly well written, though in my mind I did not approve of any such pastime in a time of such judgments and calamities.