The Villaine is in Jacobean and Restoration Plays.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 October 1662. 20 Oct 1662. Up and in Sir J. Minnes's (63) coach with him and Sir W. Batten (61) to White Hall, where now the Duke is come again to lodge: and to Mr. Coventry's (34) little new chamber there.
And by and by up to the Duke, who was making himself ready; and there among other discourse young Killigrew did so commend "The Villaine", a new play made by Tom Porter; and acted only on Saturday at the Duke's house, as if there never had been any such play come upon the stage. The same yesterday was told me by Captain Ferrers; and this morning afterwards by Dr. Clerke, who saw it.
Insomuch that after I had done with the Duke, and thence gone with Commissioner Pett (52) to Mr. Lilly's (44), the great painter, who came forth to us; but believing that I come to bespeak a picture, he prevented us by telling us, that he should not be at leisure these three weeks; which methinks is a rare thing.
And then to see in what pomp his table was laid for himself to go to dinner; and here, among other pictures, saw the so much desired by me picture of my Baroness Castlemaine's (21), which is a most blessed picture; and that that I must have a copy of.
And having thence gone to my brother's, where my wife lodged last night, and eat something there, I took her by coach to the Duke's house, and there was the house full of company: but whether it was in over-expecting or what, I know not, but I was never less pleased with a play in my life. Though there was good singing and dancing, yet no fancy in the play, but something that made it less contenting was my conscience that I ought not to have gone by my vow, and, besides, my business commanded me elsewhere.
But, however, as soon as I came home I did pay my crown to the poor's box, according to my vow, and so no harm as to that is done, but only business lost and money lost, and my old habit of pleasure wakened, which I will keep down the more hereafter, for I thank God these pleasures are not sweet to me now in the very enjoying of them.
So by coach home, and after a little business at my office, and seeing Sir W. Pen (41), who continues ill, I went to bed. Dunkirk, I am confirmed, is absolutely sold; for which I am very sorry.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 27 October 1662. 27 Oct 1662. Up, and after giving order to the plasterer now to set upon the finishing of my house, then by water to wait upon the Duke, and walking in the matted Gallery, by and by comes Mr. Coventry (34) and Sir John Minnes (63), and then to the Duke, and after he was ready, to his closet, where I did give him my usual account of matters, and afterwards, upon Sir J. Minnes' (63) desire to have one to assist him in his employment, Sir W. Pen (41) is appointed to be his, and Mr. Pett (52) to be the Surveyor's assistant. Mr. Coventry (34) did desire to be excused, and so I hope (at least it is my present opinion) to have none joined with me, but only Mr. Coventry (34) do desire that I would find work for one of his clerks, which I did not deny, but however I will think of it, whether without prejudice to mine I can do it.
Thence to my Lord Sandwich (37), who now-a-days calls me into his chamber, and alone did discourse with me about the jealousy that the Court have of people's rising; wherein he do much dislike my Lord Monk's (53) being so eager against a company of poor wretches, dragging them up and down the street; but would have him rather to take some of the greatest ringleaders of them, and punish them; whereas this do but tell the world the King's fears and doubts.
For Dunkirk; he wonders any wise people should be so troubled thereat, and scorns all their talk against it, for that he says it was not Dunkirk, but the other places, that did and would annoy us, though we had that, as much as if we had it not. He also took notice of the new Ministers of State, Sir H. Bennet (44) and Sir Charles Barkeley (32), their bringing in, and the high game that my Baroness Castlemaine's (21) plays at Court (which I took occasion to mention as that that the people do take great notice of), all which he confessed.
Afterwards he told me of poor Mr. Spong, that being with other people examined before the King (32) and Council (they being laid up as suspected persons; and it seems Spong is so far thought guilty as that they intend to pitch upon him to put to the wracke or some other torture), he do take knowledge of my Lord Sandwich (37), and said that he was well known to Mr. Pepys. But my Lord knows, and I told him, that it was only in matter of musique and pipes, but that I thought him to be a very innocent fellow; and indeed I am very sorry for him. !After my Lord and I had done in private, we went out, and with Captain Cuttance and Bunn did look over their draught of a bridge for Tangier, which will be brought by my desire to our office by them to-morrow.
Thence to Westminster Hall, and there walked long with Mr. Creed, and then to the great half-a-crown ordinary, at the King's Head, near Charing Cross, where we had a most excellent neat dinner and very high company, and in a noble manner.
After dinner he and I into another room over a pot of ale and talked. He showed me our commission, wherein the Duke of York (29), Prince Rupert (42), Duke of Albemarle (53), Lord Peterborough (40), Lord Sandwich (37), Sir G. Carteret (52), Sir William Compton (37), Mr. Coventry (34), Sir R. Ford (48), Sir William Rider, Mr. Cholmley, Mr. Povy (48), myself, and Captain Cuttance, in this order are joyned for the carrying on the service of Tangier, which I take for a great honour to me.
He told me what great faction there is at Court; and above all, what is whispered, that young Crofts (13) is lawful son to the King (32), the King (32) being married to his mother (32)1. How true this is, God knows; but I believe the Duke of York (29) will not be fooled in this of three crowns.
Thence to White Hall, and walked long in the galleries till (as they are commanded to all strange persons), one come to tell us, we not being known, and being observed to walk there four or five hours (which was not true, unless they count my walking there in the morning), he was commanded to ask who we were; which being told, he excused his question, and was satisfied.
These things speak great fear and jealousys. Here we staid some time, thinking to stay out the play before the King (32) to-night, but it being "The Villaine", and my wife not being there, I had no mind.
So walk to the Exchange, and there took many turns with him; among other things, observing one very pretty Exchange lass, with her face full of black patches, which was a strange sight. So bid him good-night and away by coach to Mr. Moore, with whom I staid an hour, and found him pretty well and intends to go abroad tomorrow, and so it raining hard by coach home, and having visited both Sir Williams, who are both sick, but like to be well again, I to my office, and there did some business, and so home and to bed.
At Sir W. Batten's (61) I met with Mr. Mills, who tells me that he could get nothing out of the maid hard by (that did poyson herself) before she died, but that she did it because she did not like herself, nor had not liked herself, nor anything she did a great while. It seems she was well-favoured enough, but crooked, and this was all she could be got to say, which is very strange.
1. There has been much confusion as to the name and parentage of Charles's mistress. Lucy Walter (32) was the daughter of William Walter of Roch Castle, co. Pembroke, and Mr. S. Steinman, in his "Althorp Memoirs" (privately printed, 1869), sets out her pedigree, which is a good one. Roch Castle was taken and burnt by the Parliamentary forces in 1644, and Lucy was in London in 1648, where she made the acquaintance of Colonel Algernon Sidney (39). She then fell into the possession of his brother, Colonel Robert Sidney1. In September of this same year she was taken up by Charles, Prince of Wales. Charles terminated his connection with her on October 30th, 1651, and she died in 1658, as appears by a document (administration entry in the Register of the Prerogative Court) met with by the late Colonel Chester. William Erskine, who had served Charles as cupbearer in his wanderings, and was appointed Master of the Charterhouse in December, 1677, had the care of Lucy Walter, and buried her in Paris. He declared that the King (32) never had any intention of marrying her, and she did not deserve it. Thomas Ross, the tutor of her son, put the idea of this claim into his head, and asked Dr. Cosin to certify to a marriage. In consequence of this he was removed from his office, and Lord Crofts (51) took his place (Steinman's "Althorp Memoirs"). Lucy Walter took the name of Barlow during her wanderings.
1. TT. Not clear who Colonel Robert Sidney is since Algernon Sidney 1623-1683 (39) didn't have a brother called Robert. Algernon's brothers were Philip Sidney 3rd Earl of Leicester 1619-1698 (43) and Henry Sidney 1st Earl Romney 1641-1704 (21).
Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 December 1662. 26 Dec 1662. Up, my wife to the making of Christmas pies all day, being now pretty well again, and I abroad to several places about some businesses, among others bought a bake-pan in Newgate Market, and sent it home, it cost me 16s.
So to Dr. Williams, but he is out of town, then to the Wardrobe. Hither come Mr. Battersby; and we falling into a discourse of a new book of drollery in verse called Hudebras1, I would needs go find it out, and met with it at the Temple: cost me 2s. 6d. But when I came to read it, it is so silly an abuse of the Presbyter Knight going to the warrs, that I am ashamed of it; and by and by meeting at Mr. Townsend's at dinner, I sold it to him for 18d. Here we dined with many tradesmen that belong to the Wardrobe, but I was weary soon of their company, and broke up dinner as soon as I could, and away, with the greatest reluctancy and dispute (two or three times my reason stopping my sense and I would go back again) within myself, to the Duke's house and saw "The Villaine", which I ought not to do without my wife, but that my time is now out that I did undertake it for. But, Lord! to consider how my natural desire is to pleasure, which God be praised that he has given me the power by my late oaths to curb so well as I have done, and will do again after two or three plays more. Here I was better pleased with the play than I was at first, understanding the design better than I did. Here I saw Gosnell and her sister at a distance, and could have found it in my heart to have accosted them, but thought not prudent. But I watched their going out and found that they came, she, her sister and another woman, alone, without any man, and did go over the fields a foot. I find that I have an inclination to have her come again, though it is most against my interest either of profit or content of mind, other than for their singing.
Home on foot, in my way calling at Mr. Rawlinson's (48) and drinking only a cup of ale there. He tells me my uncle has ended his purchase, which cost him £4,500, and how my uncle do express his trouble that he has with his wife's relations, but I understand his great intentions are for the Wights that hang upon him and by whose advice this estate is bought.
Thence home, and found my wife busy among her pies, but angry for some saucy words that her mayde Jane has given her, which I will not allow of, and therefore will give her warning to be gone. As also we are both displeased for some slight words that Sarah, now at Sir W. Pen's (41), hath spoke of us, but it is no matter. We shall endeavour to joyne the lion's skin to the fox's tail.
So to my office alone a while, and then home to my study and supper and bed. Being also vexed at my boy for his staying playing abroad when he is sent of errands, so that I have sent him to-night to see whether their country carrier be in town or no, for I am resolved to keep him no more.
1. The first edition of Butler's "Hudibras" is dated 1663, and it probably had only been published a few days when Pepys bought it and sold it at a loss. He subsequently endeavoured to appreciate the work, but was not successful. The edition in the Pepysian Library is dated 1689.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 January 1663. 01 Jan 1663. Lay with my wife at my Lord's lodgings, where I have been these two nights, till 10 o'clock with great pleasure talking, then I rose and to White Hall, where I spent a little time walking among the courtiers, which I perceive I shall be able to do with great confidence, being now beginning to be pretty well known among them. Then to my wife again, and found Mrs. Sarah with us in the chamber we lay in. Among other discourse, Mrs. Sarah tells us how the King (32) sups at least four or [five] times every week with my Baroness Castlemaine's (22); and most often stays till the morning with her, and goes home through the garden all alone privately, and that so as the very centrys take notice of it and speak of it. She tells me, that about a month ago she [Baroness Castlemaine (22)] quickened at my Lord Gerard's (45) at dinner, and cried out that she was undone; and all the lords and men were fain to quit the room, and women called to help her. In fine, I find that there is nothing almost but bawdry at Court from top to bottom, as, if it were fit, I could instance, but it is not necessary; only they say my Lord Chesterfield (29), groom of the stole to the Queen (24), is either gone or put away from the Court upon the score of his lady's (22) having smitten the Duke of York (29), so as that he is watched by the Duchess of York (25), and his lady (22) is retired into the country upon it. How much of this is true, God knows, but it is common talk.
After dinner I did reckon with Mrs. Sarah for what we have eat and drank here, and gave her a crown, and so took coach, and to the Duke's house, where we saw "The Villaine" again; and the more I see it, the more I am offended at my first undervaluing the play, it being very good and pleasant, and yet a true and allowable tragedy. The house was full of citizens, and so the less pleasant, but that I was willing to make an end of my gaddings, and to set to my business for all the year again tomorrow. Here we saw the old Roxalana (20) in the chief box, in a velvet gown, as the fashion is, and very handsome, at which I was glad. Hence by coach home, where I find all well, only Sir W. Pen (41) they say ill again.
So to my office to set down these two or three days' journall, and to close the last year therein, and so that being done, home to supper, and to bed, with great pleasure talking and discoursing with my wife of our late observations abroad.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 September 1665. 07 Sep 1665. Up by 5 of the clock, mighty full of fear of an ague, but was obliged to go, and so by water, wrapping myself up warm, to the Tower, and there sent for the Weekely Bill, and find 8,252 dead in all, and of them 6,878 of the plague; which is a most dreadfull number, and shows reason to fear that the plague hath got that hold that it will yet continue among us.
Thence to Brainford, reading "The Villaine", a pretty good play, all the way. There a coach of Mr. Povy's (51) stood ready for me, and he at his house ready to come in, and so we together merrily to Swakely, Sir R. Viner's (34). A very pleasant place, bought by him of Sir James Harrington's (57) lady (48). He took us up and down with great respect, and showed us all his house and grounds; and it is a place not very moderne in the garden nor house, but the most uniforme in all that ever I saw; and some things to excess. Pretty to see over the screene of the hall (put up by Sir Mr. Harrington (57), a Long Parliamentman) the King's head, and my Lord of Essex (33) on one side, and Fairfax on the other; and upon the other side of the screene, the parson of the parish, and the lord of the manor and his sisters. The window-cases, door-cases, and chimnys of all the house are marble. He showed me a black boy that he had, that died of a consumption, and being dead, he caused him to be dried in an oven, and lies there entire in a box.
By and by to dinner, where his lady I find yet handsome, but hath been a very handsome woman; now is old. Hath brought him near £100,000 and now he lives, no man in England in greater plenty, and commands both King and Council with his credit he gives them. Here was a fine lady a merchant's wife at dinner with us, and who should be here in the quality of a woman but Mrs. Worship's daughter, Dr. Clerke's niece, and after dinner Sir Robert (34) led us up to his Long gallery, very fine, above stairs (and better, or such, furniture I never did see), and there Mrs. Worship did give us three or four very good songs, and sings very neatly, to my great delight.
After all this, and ending the chief business to my content about getting a promise of some money of him, we took leave, being exceedingly well treated here, and a most pleasant journey we had back, Povy (51) and I, and his company most excellent in anything but business, he here giving me an account of as many persons at Court as I had a mind or thought of enquiring after. He tells me by a letter he showed me, that the King (35) is not, nor hath been of late, very well, but quite out of humour; and, as some think, in a consumption, and weary of every thing. He showed me my Lord Arlington's (47) house that he was born in, in a towne called Harlington: and so carried me through a most pleasant country to Brainford, and there put me into my boat, and good night. So I wrapt myself warm, and by water got to Woolwich about one in the morning, my wife and all in bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 October 1667. 24 Oct 1667. Up, and to the office, where all the morning very busy, and at noon took Mr. Hater home with me to dinner, and instantly back again to write what letters I had to write, that I might go abroad with my wife, who was not well, only to jumble her, and so to the Duke of York's playhouse; but there Betterton (32) not being yet well, we would not stay, though since I hear that Smith do act his part in "The Villaine", which was then acted, as well or better than he, which I do not believe; but to Charing Cross, there to see Polichinelli. But, it being begun, we in to see a Frenchman, at the house, where my wife's father last lodged, one Monsieur Prin, play on the trump-marine1, which he do beyond belief; and, the truth is, it do so far outdo a trumpet as nothing more, and he do play anything very true, and it is most admirable and at first was a mystery to me that I should hear a whole concert of chords together at the end of a pause, but he showed me that it was only when the last notes were 5ths or 3rds, one to another, and then their sounds like an Echo did last so as they seemed to sound all together. The instrument is open at the end, I discovered; but he would not let me look into it, but I was mightily pleased with it, and he did take great pains to shew me all he could do on it, which was very much, and would make an excellent concert, two or three of them, better than trumpets can ever do, because of their want of compass. Here we also saw again the two fat children come out of Ireland, and a brother and sister of theirs now come, which are of little ordinary growth, like other people. But, Lord! how strange it is to observe the difference between the same children, come out of the same little woman's belly! Thence to Mile-End Greene, and there drank, and so home bringing home night with us, and so to the office a little, and then to bed.
1. The Trumpet marine is a stringed instrument having a triangular-shaped body or chest and a long neck, a single string raised on a bridge and running along the body and neck. It was played with a bow.