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days of Titus Oates. The public feeling of the age is indeed vastly amended, and even sectarian zeal is obliged to defer to popular opinion. But some of our modern statesmen have been fully as bad, as they dared, and in the pursuit of a political chimera, have “played sucli pranks before high heaven,” as leaves the present generation little right to censure and contend the court of their predecessors, for the absence of common honesty, fair dealing, and Christian charity, to their Catholic fellow-citizens.
The estimation in which Pepys was held for his literary talents raised him in 1684 to the presidency of the Royal Society. Hie was also the friend of Evelyn, and was a munificent patron of literature and the arts. Yet, if we may judge of the quality of his mind from his own diary, we should place him on an intellectual level, far below that of Evelyn, to whose Memoirs his own will henceforward form an essential pendant. To judge of him by this standard, he seems to have had little of the higher caste of philosophy in his conceptions. His views of the religion and politics of his day, though often shrewd, and, for a professed cavalier, sometimes liberal, shew for the most part more of cmmning than of wisdom. In his calculations of conduct he is a mere clerk in office ; jealous of exclusion, anxious after fees, and sufficiently intriguing—which was indeed the prevailing vice of the times. In this respect, the restoration of the Bourbons is a mere replico of that of the Stuarts : and it is curious to remark, that the greediness of the courtiers and the lavish profusion of the public expenditure, have in both instances led to the open sale of honours in satisfaction of demands made upon the liberality of the sovereign, when money was no longer to be had. Of this fact two instances occur in vol. 1, p. 71. That Penys's mind was not formed for the entertainment of expansive generalities, has (we repeat it) rendered his Memoirs at once more interesting and more trustworthy. A higher order of intellect and of feeling would have spoiled his work, and caused it to be a less faithful mirror of the age; while it would have deprived us of numerous piquant and striking anecdotrs that shed an instructive light on the manners and customs of the nation. Of this truth, we may instance his almost childish love of dress, which occasions him to note the successive changes in his toilet, and thereby to illustrate the national progress from the forms of puritanism to those of the French court. “July 10, 1660. This day I put on my new silk suit, the first that ever I wore in my life," p. 14.* 13th do. Up early, the first day I put on my black camlert coat, with silver buttons," p. 65.—“ 14th Aug. Agreed upon making me a velvet coat." p. 71.-" 25th do. This night Wm. Hewer brought me home from Mr. Pinis my velvet coat and cap, the first that ever I had." “ February 3d, 1661. This day I first began to go forth in my coate and sword, as the manner now among gentlemen is." p. 93.-“Nov. 4, 1660. My wife seemed very pretty today, it being the first time I had given her leave to wear a black patch.” p. 83.-“ October 19, 1662. Put on my first new laced band ; and so neat it is, that I am resolved my great expence shall be laced bands, and it will set off any thing else the more.” p. 171.4“ June 1663. When the house began to fill, she put on her vizard, and so kept it on all the play, which of late has become a great fashion among the ladies, which hi'les their whole face. So to the Exchange to buy things with my wife, and among others, a vizard for herself.”
Memoirs of Samuel Pepys.
PITCINTOT “ 24th Mar. By and by comes La Belle Pierce to see my wife, and to DIN- wher a pair of peruques or bair, as the fashion now is for ladies to wear which årt jokin
“30th Oct. To my great sorrow find myself 431. worse than I was a fast month, which was then 7601. and now it is but 7171. But it hatli chiefly arisay Lom ny. layings-out in clothes for myself and wife ; viz. for her about 121, and for ut son , 551., or thereabouts ; having made myself a velvet cloak, two new cloth shirts, black; plaio both; a new shag gown, trimmed with gold buttons and twist, with a new hat, and silk tops for my kigs, and many other things, being resolved heoceforward 10 go like myself. And also two perriwiggs, one whereof cost me 31 and the other 40s. I have woro neither yet, but will begin next week, God willing."
Like Old Rapid in the play, Pepys seems perfectly impregnated with ideas of dress, and at every turn we expect to find him journalizing, 6 What a very pretty spencer you have on.” The same attention to outward circumstances in other particulars, is perpetually starting new game for the antiquary and the historical novelist. To this propensity we owe the knowledge that Pepys, when worth no more than 1001. in the world, gave for his hat the large sum of 41. 58.; that tee (tea) was a curiosity almusi unknown in 1660; that this period the first appearance of females on the English stage may be dated; that the play ended at nine o'clock; that melons were first sent from Lisbon in 1663; that a guide was necessary to travel to Portsmouth ; and an infinity of similar facts, which, if not altogether new to the reader, are agreeably recalled by the perusal of these pages. The following passage contains several curious traits of manners :
“Oct. 29. To Guild Hall; and meeting with Mr. Proby, (Sir R. Ford's son), and Lieutenant-colonel Baron, a City commander, we went up and down to see the tables; where under every salt there was a bill of fare, and at the end of the table the persons proper for the table. Many were the tables, but none in the Hall but the Mayor's and the Lords of the Privy Council that had napkins or knives, which was very strange. We went into the Buttry, and there stayed and talked, and then into the Hall again : and there wine was uffered and they drunk, I only drinking some hypocras, which do not break my vowe, it being, to the best of my present judgement, only a mixed compound drink, and not any wine. If I am mistaken, God forgive me! but I hope and do think I am not. By and by met with Creed; and we, with the others, went within the several Courts, and there saw the tables prepared for the ladies and judges and bishops; all great sign of a great dinner to come. By and by about one o'clock, before the Lord Mayor come, come into the Hall, from the room where they were first led into, the Lord Chancellor (Archbishopp before him), with the Lords of the Council, and other Bishopps, and they to dinner. Annon comes the Lord Mayor, who went up to the lords, and then to the other tahles to bid wellcome ; and so all to dinner I sat near Proby, Baron, and Creed at the Merchant Strangers' table; where ten good dishes to a messe, with plenty of wipe of all sorts, of which I drnok none; but it was very unpleasing that we had no napkins nor change of trenchers, and drunk out of earthen pitchers and wooden dishes. It happened that after she lords had half dined, come the French embassador up to the lords' table, where he was to have sat; he would not sit down nor dine with the Lord Mayor, who was not yet come, nor have a table to himself, which was offered; but in a discontent went away again. After I had dined, I and Creed rose and went up and down the house, and up to the ladys' room, and there stayed gazing upon them. But though there were many and fine, both young and old, yet I could not discern one handsome face there ; 'which was very strange. I expected musique, but there was none but only trumpets and drums, which displeased me. The dinner, it seems, is made by the Mayor and two Sheriff's for the time
being, the Lord Mayor paying one half, and they the other. And the whole, Proby says, is reckoned to come to about 7 or 8001. at most. The Quecne mevds apace, they say ; but yet talks idle still."
In Pepys's time it was visual for the company in great houses to adjourn to the wine-cellar, where projects of all sorts were discussed among (tuns of strange and incomparable good claret," and hogsheads of Rhenish. In the wine-cellar of Whitehall, my Lord Chamberlain's secretary told the secretary of the Admiralty “ hot he had a project for all us secretaries to join together, and get money by bringing all business into our hands," p. 63 : a strange anecdote of manners, which shew's according to the jest, that great men were not above doing a bad action in those days. Thus however it is ; forms vary, but the substance of humanity remains unchanged : and though we must confess that a piece of official roguery tells better when the venue is laid in a well-carpeted and well-lighted saloon, than it does among the “incomparable good claret" of a filthy wine cellar; yet for all the rest, the difference of times is not very material. The orgies of King Charles's chamberlain's secretary, and those of King George's deputy licenser of plays, have doubtless an equal tendency to the public good, upstairs or below; and the secretaries of the admiralty in every epoch of naval history, have probably felt the same propensity to bringing all business into their own hands, whether they plotted to effect their purpose in a wine cellar," or unaccountably contrived to creep their
way into the society and confidence of great men. Among the many concerns on which Pepys has heaped up information for posterity, the theatre is one that he has more especially illustrated. Those who are well read in the dramatic works of Shakspeare, Ben Johnson, Dryden, Killigrew, Sedley, Beaumont and Fletcher, &c. &c. will receive great pleasure from the frequent notices of the reception their works met with from the polite audiences of King Charles's days, The most devoted amateurs of theatricals among the beau-monde of the present times, cannot be more dependent upon the green-room for their resources, than was the Admiral's secretary; and so much did this passion intrench upon his official duties, that, as in the case of wine, he felt himself called upon to restrict indulgence by a solemn vow,
a custom, still prevalent among the lower Irish on similar occasions. Knipp, Gwyn, and Hart, are names which occur in his journal, as frequently as those of the heads of the treasury and exchequer, and this passion of our author has perhaps thrown more light upon the bistory of the stage, than is to be obtained even in Cibber's Apology, or any other contemporary work on the subject. The following is an amusing notice on the early history of the Italian opera in England :
“Feb. 12th, 1666—7. With my Lord Brouncker by coach to his house, there to hear some stalian musique ; and here we met Tom Killigrew, Sir Robert Murray, and the Italian Signor Baptista, who hath proposed a play in Italian for the Opera, which T. Killigrew do intend to have up ; and here he did sing one of the acts. He himself is the poet as well as the musician; which is very much, and did sing the whole from the words without any musique prickt, and played all along upon a harpsicon most adınirably, and the composition most excellent. The words I did not understand, and so know not how they are fitted, but believe very well, and all in the recitativo very fine. But I perceive there is a proper accent in every country's discourse, and that do
reach in their sctting of notes to words, which, therefore, cannot be natural to any body else but them; so that I am not so much smitten with it as it inay be I should be if I were acquainted with their accent But the whole composition is certainly most excellent; and the poetry, T killigrew and Sir R. Murray, who understood the worus, did say most excellent. I confess I was mightily pleased with the musique. Hie pretends not to voice, though it be good, but not excellent. This done, T. Killigiew and I to talk : and he iells me how the audience at his house is not above halt so inuch as it used to be before the late fire. That Knipp is like to make the best actor that ever come upon the stage, she understanding so well: that they are going to give her 301. a-year more. That the stage is now by his pains a thousand times better and more glorious than ever heretofore. Now war. candles, and many of them; then not above 3 lbs. of jallow : now all things civil, ne rudeness any where : then, as in a bear-garden: then two or three fiddlers, now Dine or ten of the best : then nothing but rushes upon the ground, and every thing else mean ; now all otherwise: then the Quecne seldom and the King never would come ; now, not the King only for state, but all civil people do think they may come as well as any. rie tells me that he hath gone several times (eight or ten times, he tells me,) hence to Rome, to hear good musique; so much he loves it, though he never did sing or play a note. That he hath ever endeavoured in the late King's time and in this to introduce good musique, but he never could do it, there never having been any musiqne here better than ballads. And says 'Hermitt poore' and 'Chiny Chese' was all the musiquc we had ; and yet no ordinary liddlers get so much money as ours do here, wlich speaks our rulenesse still. That be hath gathered our Italians from several Courts in Christeodome, to come to make a concert for the King, which he do give 2001. a-year a-piece to; bnt badly paid, and do come in the rooi of keeping four ridiculous Gundilows, he having got the King to put them away, and lay out money this way. And indeed I do commend him for it ; for I think it is a very noble undertaking. He do intend to have some times of the year these operas to be performed at the two present theatres, since he is defeated in what he intended in Moorefields on purpose for it. And he tells me plainly that the City audience was as good as the Court; but now they are most gone. Baptista teils me that Giacomo Charissimi is still alive at Rome, who was master to Vinnccotio, who is one of the Italians that the King hath here, and the chief composer of them. My great wonder is, how this man do to keep in memory so perfectly the musique of the whole act, both for the voice and the instrument too. I confess I do admire it: but in recitativo the sense much helps him, for there is but one proper way of discoursing and giving the accents. Having done our discourse, we all took coaches (my Lord's and T. Killigrew's) and to Mrs. Knipp's chamber, where this Italian is to teach her to sing her part. And so ve all thither, and there she did sing an Italian song or two very fine, while he played the base upon a harpsicon there; and exceedingly taken I am with her singing, and believe she will do miracles at that and acting.
"Feb. 16. To my Lord Brouncker's, and there was Sir Robert Murray, a most excellent man of reason and learning, and understands the doctrine of musiqes, and every thing else I could discourse of, very finely. Here come Mr. Hooke, Sir George Ent, Dr. Wren, and many others; and by and by the musique, that is to say, Signor Vincentio, who is the master composer, and six more, whereof two eunuches (so tall that Sir T. Harvy said well that he believes they did grow large as our osen do), and one woman very well dressed and handsome enough, but would not be kissed, as Mr. Killigrew, who brought the company in, did acquaint us. They sent two harpsicons before, and by and by after tuning them they begun; and, I confess, very good musique they made ; that is, che composition exceeding good, but yet not at all more pleasing io me than what I have hcarui in English by Mrs. Knipp, Captain Cooke, and others. Their justness in keeping time by practice much before any that we have, unless it be a good band of practiced fiddiers,"
In page 136, vol. 2, occurs a notice of the interior of the theatre which is worth quoting.
“ Oct. 5. To the King's house; and there going in met with Knipp, and she took iis up into the tireing-rooms; and to the women's shili, where Nell was dressing herself, and was all unready, and is very pretty, prettier than I thought. And into the scene-room, and there sat down, and she gave us fruit: and here I read the questions to Knipp, while she answered me, through all her part of• Flora's Figarys,' whi was acted to-day. But, Lord! to see how they were both painted, would make a man mad, and did make me loath them; and what base company of men comes among them, and how lewdly they talk! And how poor the men are in clothes, and yet what a shew they make on the stage by candle-light, is very observable. Bui to see how Nell cursed, for having so tew people in the pit, was strange; the other house carrying away all the people at the new play, and is said now-a-days to have generally most company, as being better players. By and by into the pit, and there saw the play, which is pretty good.” (1007.)
To the society, however, of these “heroines des coulisses” the king, as is notorious, was devoted, and many of his most precious hours were stolen from state affairs, on which the fate of his kingdom dependied, to be given to “ Nell” and to Davis. It is amusing to note the humorous tone of complaint with which Pepys censures a fault in which he himself too feelingly sympathizes : for it is very clear that he had a “sneaking kindness” both for lady Castlemain and for “pretty Nell,” as is evinced in the following passages :
“ March 2. After dinner with my wife to the King's house to see 'The Mayden Queene,' a new play of Dryden's, mightily commended for the regularity of it, and the strain and wit: and the truth is, there is a comical part done by Nell, which is Florimell, that I never can hope ever to see the like done again by man or woman. The King and Duke of York were at the play. But so great performance of a comical part was never, I believe, in the world before as Nell do this, both as a mad girle, then most and best of all when she comes in like a young gallant; and hath the inotions and carriage of a spark the most that ever I saw any man have. It makes me, I confess, admire her"
“ March 25. To the King's playhouse ; and by and by comes Mr. Lowther and his wife and mine, and into a box forsooth, neither of them being dressed, which I was almost ashamed of. Sir W. Pen and I in the pit, and here saw 'The Mayden Queene' again; which indeed the more I see the more I like, and is an excellent play, and so done by Neil her merry part, as cannot be better done in nature.
“May 1. To Westminster; in the way meeting many milk-maids with their garlands upon their pails, dancing with a fiddler before them; and saw pretty Nelly standing at her lodgings' door in Drury-lane in her smock sleeves and bodice, looking upon one; she seemed a mighty pretty creature.”
"July 14. To Epsumn, by cight o'clock, to the well; where much company. And to the towne to the King's Head ; and hear that my Lord Buckhurst and Nelly are lodged at the next house, and Sir Charles Sedley with them: and keep a merry house. Poor girl! I pity her; but more the loss of her at the King's house."
One theatrical anecdote more for the benefit of the licensers of plays, and we have done.
" April 15. To the King's house by chance, where a new play; so full as l' never saw it ; I forced to stand all the while close to the very door till I took cold, and many people went away for want of room. The King and Queene and Duke of York and Duchesse tbere, and all the Court, and Sir W. Coven