The Slighted Mayde is in Jacobean and Restoration Plays.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 23 February 1663. 23 Feb 1663. Up by times; and not daring to go by land, did (Griffin going along with me for fear), slip to White Hall by water; where to Mr. Coventry (35), and, as we used to do, to the Duke (29); the other of my fellows being come. But we said nothing of our business, the Duke (29) being sent for to the King (32), that he could not stay to speak with us.
This morning came my Lord Windsor (36) to kiss the Duke's (29) hand, being returned from Jamaica. He tells the Duke (29), that from such a degree of latitude going thither he begun to be sick, and was never well till his coming so far back again, and then presently begun to be well. He told the Duke (29) of their taking the fort of St. Jago, upon Cuba, by his men; but, upon the whole, I believe that he did matters like a young lord, and was weary of being upon service out of his own country, where he might have pleasure. For methought it was a shame to see him this very afternoon, being the first day of his coming to town, to be at a playhouse.
Thence to my Lord Sandwich (37), who though he has been abroad again two or three days is falling ill again, and is let blood this morning, though I hope it is only a great cold that he has got. It was a great trouble to me (and I had great apprehensions of it) that my Lord desired me to go to Westminster Hall, to the Parliament-house door, about business; and to Sir Wm. Wheeler (52), which I told him I would do, but durst not go for fear of being taken by these rogues; but was forced to go to White Hall and take boat, and so land below the Tower at the Iron-gate; and so the back way over Little Tower Hill; and with my cloak over my face, took one of the watermen along with me, and staid behind a wall in the New-buildings behind our garden, while he went to see whether any body stood within the Merchants' Gate, under which we pass to go into our garden, and there standing but a little dirty boy before the gate, did make me quake and sweat to think he might be a Trepan1. But there was nobody, and so I got safe into the garden, and coming to open my office door, something behind it fell in the opening, which made me start. So that God knows in what a sad condition I should be in if I were truly in the condition that many a poor man is for debt: and therefore ought to bless God that I have no such reall reason, and to endeavour to keep myself, by my good deportment and good husbandry, out of any such condition.
At home I found Mr. Creed with my wife, and so he dined with us, I finding by a note that Mr. Clerke (40) in my absence hath left here, that I am free; and that he hath stopped all matters in Court; I was very glad of it, and immediately had a light thought of taking pleasure to rejoice my heart, and so resolved to take my wife to a play at Court to-night, and the rather because it is my birthday, being this day thirty years old, for which let me praise God. While my wife dressed herself, Creed and I walked out to see what play was acted to-day, and we find it "The Slighted Mayde". But, Lord! to see that though I did know myself to be out of danger, yet I durst not go through the street, but round by the garden into Tower Street.
By and by took coach, and to the Duke's house, where we saw it well acted, though the play hath little good in it, being most pleased to see the little girl dance in boy's apparel, she having very fine legs, only bends in the hams, as I perceive all women do. The play being done, we took coach and to Court, and there got good places, and saw "The Wilde Gallant", performed by the King's house, but it was ill acted, and the play so poor a thing as I never saw in my life almost, and so little answering the name, that from beginning to end, I could not, nor can at this time, tell certainly which was the Wild Gallant. The King (32) did not seem pleased at all, all the whole play, nor any body else, though Mr. Clerke (40) whom we met here did commend it to us. My Baroness Castlemaine's (22) was all worth seeing tonight, and little Steward (15). Mrs. Wells do appear at Court again, and looks well; so that, it may be, the late report of laying the dropped child to her was not true.
It being done, we got a coach and got well home about 12 at night. Now as my mind was but very ill satisfied with these two plays themselves, so was I in the midst of them sad to think of the spending so much money and venturing upon the breach of my vow, which I found myself sorry for, I bless God, though my nature would well be contented to follow the pleasure still. But I did make payment of my forfeiture presently, though I hope to save it back again by forbearing two plays at Court for this one at the Theatre, or else to forbear that to the Theatre which I am to have at Easter. But it being my birthday and my day of liberty regained to me, and lastly, the last play that is likely to be acted at Court before Easter, because of the Lent coming in, I was the easier content to fling away so much money.
So to bed. This day I was told that my Baroness Castlemaine's (22) hath all the King's Christmas presents, made him by the peers, given to her, which is a most abominable thing; and that at the great ball she was much richer in jewells than the Queen (24) and Duchess (25) put both together.
Note 1. TT. Trickster.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 29 May 1663. 29 May 1663. This day is kept strictly as a holy-day, being the King's Coronation. We lay long in bed, and it rained very hard, rain and hail, almost all the morning.
By and by Creed and I abroad, and called at several churches; and it is a wonder to see, and by that to guess the ill temper of the City at this time, either to religion in general, or to the King (33), that in some churches there was hardly ten people in the whole church, and those poor people.
So to a coffee-house, and there in discourse hear the King of France (24) is likely to be well again.
So home to dinner, and out by water to the Royall Theatre, but they not acting to-day, then to the Duke's house, and there saw "The Slighted Mayde", wherein Gosnell acted Pyramena, a great part, and did it very well, and I believe will do it better and better, and prove a good actor. The play is not very excellent, but is well acted, and in general the actors, in all particulars, are better than at the other house.
Thence to the Cocke alehouse, and there having drunk, sent them with Creed to see "The German Princess1, at the Gatehouse, at Westminster, and I to my brother's, and thence to my uncle Fenner's to have seen my aunt James (who has been long in town and goes away to-morrow and I not seen her), but did find none of them within, which I was glad of, and so back to my brother's to speak with him, and so home, and in my way did take two turns forwards and backwards through the Fleete Ally to see a couple of pretty [strumpets] that stood off the doors there, and God forgive me I could scarce stay myself from going into their houses with them, so apt is my nature to evil after once, as I have these two days, set upon pleasure again.
So home and to my office to put down these two days' journalls, then home again and to supper, and then Creed and I to bed with good discourse, only my mind troubled about my spending my time so badly for these seven or eight days; but I must impute it to the disquiet that my mind has been in of late about my wife, and for my going these two days to plays, for which I have paid the due forfeit by money and abating the times of going to plays at Court, which I am now to remember that I have cleared all my times that I am to go to Court plays to the end of this month, and so June is the first time that I am to begin to reckon.
Note 1. Mary Moders (21), alias Stedman alias Carleton, a notorious impostor, who pretended to be a German princess. Her arrival as the German princess "at the Exchange Tavern, right against the Stocks betwixt the Poultry and Cornhill, at 5 in the morning...., with her marriage to Carleton the taverner's wife's brother", are incidents fully narrated in Francis Kirkman's "Counterfeit Lady Unveiled", 1673 ("Boyne's Tokens", ed. Williamson, vol. i., p. 703). Her adventures formed the plot of a tragi-comedy by T. P., entitled "A Witty Combat, or the Female Victor", 1663, which was acted with great applause by persons of quality in Whitsun week. Mary Carleton was tried at the Old Bailey for bigamy and acquitted, after which she appeared on the stage in her own character as the heroine of a play entitled "The German Princess". Pepys went to the Duke's house to see her on April 15th, 1664. The rest of her life was one continued course of robbery and fraud, and in 1678 she was executed at Tyburn for stealing a piece of plate in Chancery Lane.