The Silent Woman is in Jacobean and Restoration Plays.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 May 1661. 25 May 1661. All the morning at home about business. At noon to the Temple, where I staid and looked over a book or two at Playford's (38), and then to the Theatre, where I saw a piece of "The Silent Woman", which pleased me.
So homewards, and in my way bought "The Bondman" in Paul's Churchyard, and so home, where I found all clean, and the hearth and range, as it is now enlarged, set up, which pleases me very much.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 June 1664. 01 Jun 1664. Thence to W. Joyce's, where by appointment I met my wife (but neither of them at home), and she and I to the King's house, and saw "The Silent Woman"; but methought not so well done or so good a play as I formerly thought it to be, or else I am nowadays out of humour. Before the play was done, it fell such a storm of hayle, that we in the middle of the pit were fain to rise1 and all the house in a disorder, and so my wife and I out and got into a little alehouse, and staid there an hour after the play was done before we could get a coach, which at last we did (and by chance took up Joyce Norton and Mrs. Bowles, and set them at home), and so home ourselves, and I, after a little to my office, so home to supper and to bed.
Note 1. The stage was covered in by a tiled roof, but the pit was open to the sky. "The pit lay open to the weather for sake of light, but was subsequently covered in with a glazed cupola, which, however, only imperfectly protected the audience, so that in stormy weather the house was thrown into disorder, and the people in the pit were fain to rise" (Cunningham's "Story of Nell Gwyn", ed. 1893, p. 33).
Diary of Samuel Pepys 16 April 1667. 16 Apr 1667. Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning, at noon home to dinner, and thence in haste to carry my wife to see the new play I saw yesterday, she not knowing it. But there, contrary to expectation, find "The Silent Woman". However, in; and there Knipp come into the pit. I took her by me, and here we met with Mrs. Horsley, the pretty woman—an acquaintance of Mercer's, whose house is burnt. Knipp tells me the King (36) was so angry at the liberty taken by Lacy's (52), part to abuse him to his face, that he commanded they should act no more, till Moone went and got leave for them to act again, but not this play. The King (36) mighty angry; and it was bitter indeed, but very true and witty. I never was more taken with a play than I am with this "Silent Woman", as old as it is, and as often as I have seen it. There is more wit in it than goes to ten new plays.
Thence with my wife and Knipp to Mrs. Pierce's, and saw her closet again, and liked her picture.
Thence took them all to the Cake-house, in Southampton Market-place, where Pierce told us the story how, in good earnest, [the King (36)] is offended with the Duke of Richmond's (28) marrying, and Mrs. Stewart's (19) sending the King (36) his jewels again. As she tells it, it is the noblest romance and example of a brave lady that ever I read in my life. Pretty to hear them talk of yesterday's play, and I durst not own to my wife to have seen it.
Thence home and to Sir W. Batten's (66), where we have made a bargain for the ending of some of the trouble about some of our prizes for £1400.
So home to look on my new books that I have lately bought, and then to supper and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 September 1668. 18 Sep 1668. Up, and to St. James's, and there took a turn or two in the Park; and then up to the Duke of York (34), and there had opportunity of delivering my answer to his late letter, which he did not read, but give to Mr. Wren (39), as looking on it as a thing I needed not have done, but only that I might not give occasion to the rest to suspect my communication with the Duke of York (34) against them. So now I am at rest in that matter, and shall be more, when my copies are finished of their answers, which I am now taking with all speed.
Thence to my several booksellers and elsewhere, about several errands, and so at noon home, and after dinner by coach to White Hall, and thither comes the Duke of York (34) to us, and by and by met at the robe chamber upon our usual business, where the Duke of York (34) I find somewhat sour, and particularly angry with Lord Anglesey (54) for his not being there now, nor at other times so often as he should be with us.
So to the King's house, and saw a piece of "Henry the Fourth"; at the end of the play, thinking to have gone abroad with Knepp, but it was too late, and she to get her part against to-morrow, in "The Silent Woman", and so I only set her at home, and away home myself, and there to read again and sup with Gibson, and so to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 19 September 1668. 19 Sep 1668. Up, and to the office, where all the morning busy, and so dined with my people at home, and then to the King's playhouse, and there saw "The Silent Woman"; the best comedy, I think, that ever was wrote; and sitting by Shadwell the poet, he was big with admiration of it. Here was my Lord Brouncker (48) and W. Pen (47) and their ladies in the box, being grown mighty kind of a sudden; but, God knows, it will last but a little while, I dare swear. Knepp did her part mighty well. And so home straight, and to work, and particularly to my cozen Roger (51), who, W. Hewer (26) and my wife writes me, do use them with mighty plenty and noble entertainment: so home to supper, and to bed. All the news now is, that Mr. Trevor (44) is for certain now to be Secretary, in Morrice's (65) place, which the Duke of York (34) did himself tell me yesterday; and also that Parliament is to be adjourned to the 1st of March, which do please me well, hoping thereby to get my things in a little better order than I should have done; and the less attendances at that end of the town in winter.
So home to supper and to bed.