The Custome of the Country is in Jacobean and Restoration Plays.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 25 September 1664. 25 Sep 1664. Lord's Day. Up, and my throat being yet very sore, and, my head out of order, we went not to church, but I spent all the morning reading of "The Madd Lovers", a very good play, and at noon comes Harman (27) and his wife, whom I sent for to meet the Joyces, but they came not. It seems Will has got a fall off his horse and broke his face. However, we were as merry as I could in their company, and we had a good chine of beef, but I had no taste nor stomach through my cold, and therefore little pleased with my dinner. It raining, they sat talking with us all the afternoon. So anon they went away; and then I to read another play, "The Custome of the Country", which is a very poor one, methinks. Then to supper, prayers, and bed.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 02 January 1667. 02 Jan 1667. Up, I, and walked to White Hall to attend the Duke of York (33), as usual. My wife up, and with Mrs. Pen (16) to walk in the fields to frost-bite themselves. I find the Court full of great apprehensions of the French, who have certainly shipped landsmen, great numbers, at Brest; and most of our people here guess his design for Ireland. We have orders to send all the ships we can possible to the Downes. God have mercy on us! for we can send forth no ships without men, nor will men go without money, every day bringing us news of new mutinies among the seamen; so that our condition is like to be very miserable.
Thence to Westminster Hall, and there met all the Houblons, who do laugh at this discourse of the French, and say they are verily of opinion it is nothing but to send to their plantation in the West Indys, and that we at Court do blow up a design of invading us, only to make the Parliament make more haste in the money matters, and perhaps it may be so, but I do not believe we have any such plot in our heads.
After them, I, with several people, among others Mr. George Montagu (44), whom I have not seen long, he mighty kind. He tells me all is like to go ill, the King (36) displeasing the House of Commons by evading their Bill for examining Accounts, and putting it into a Commission, though therein he hath left out Coventry (39) and I and named all the rest the Parliament named, and all country Lords, not one Courtier: this do not please them. He tells me he finds the enmity almost over for my Lord Sandwich (41), and that now all is upon the Vice-Chamberlain (57), who bears up well and stands upon his vindication, which he seems to like well, and the others do construe well also.
Thence up to the Painted Chamber, and there heard a conference between the House of Lords and Commons about the Wine Patent; which I was exceeding glad to be at, because of my hearing exceeding good discourses, but especially from the Commons; among others, Mr. Swinfen, and a young man, one Sir Thomas Meres: and do outdo the Lords infinitely.
So down to the Hall and to the Rose Taverne, while Doll Lane come to me, and we did 'biber a good deal de vino, et je did give elle twelve soldis para comprare elle some gans' for a new anno's gift ... [Note. 'biber a good deal de vino, et je did give elle twelve soldis para comprare elle some gans'. 'drink a good deal, and I did give her twelve soldis to buy her some gans'. Not clear what 'gans' means. Missing text 'I did tocar et no mas su cosa, but in fit time and place jo creo que je pouvais faire whatever I would con ella.']
Thence to the Hall again, and with Sir W. Pen (45) by coach to the Temple, and there 'light and eat a bit at an ordinary by, and then alone to the King's house, and there saw "The Custome of the Country", the second time of its being acted, wherein Knipp does the Widow well; but, of all the plays that ever I did see, the worst-having neither plot, language, nor anything in the earth that is acceptable; only Knipp sings a little song admirably. But fully the worst play that ever I saw or I believe shall see. So away home, much displeased for the loss of so much time, and disobliging my wife by being there without her. So, by link, walked home, it being mighty cold but dry, yet bad walking because very slippery with the frost and treading.
Home and to my chamber to set down my journal, and then to thinking upon establishing my vows against the next year, and so to supper and to bed.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 01 August 1667. 01 Aug 1667. Up, and all the morning at the office.
At noon my wife and I dined at Sir W. Pen's (46), only with Mrs. Turner (44) and her husband (54), on a damned venison pasty, that stunk like a devil. However, I did not know it till dinner was done. We had nothing but only this, and a leg of mutton, and a pullet or two. Mrs. Markham was here, with her great belly. I was very merry, and after dinner, upon a motion of the women, I was got to go to the play with them-the first I have seen since before the Dutch coming upon our coast, and so to the King's house, to see "The Custome of the Country". The house mighty empty—more than ever I saw it—and an ill play. After the play, we into the house, and spoke with Knipp, who went abroad with us by coach to the Neat Houses in the way to Chelsy; and there, in a box in a tree, we sat and sang, and talked and eat; my wife out of humour, as she always is, when this woman is by. So, after it was dark, we home. Set Knepp down at home, who told us the story how Nell is gone from the King's house, and is kept by my Lord Buckhurst (24).
Then we home, the gates of the City shut, it being so late: and at Newgate we find them in trouble, some thieves having this night broke open prison. So we through, and home; and our coachman was fain to drive hard from two or three fellows, which he said were rogues, that he met at the end of Blow-bladder Street, next Cheapside. So set Mrs. Turner (44) home, and then we home, and I to the Office a little; and so home and to bed, my wife in an ill humour still.