Tuesday 16 April 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 was so angry at the liberty taken by Lacy’s 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 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] is offended with the Duke of Richmond’s marrying, and Mrs. Stewart’s sending the King 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, where we have made a bargain for the ending of some of the trouble about some of our prizes for 1400l.. So home to look on my new books that I have lately bought, and then to supper and to bed.

4 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Sweeter side of Sam, I think he sincerely wanted to share that new play with Bess, however anxious he was to disown any foreknowledge of it.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"There is more wit in it than goes to ten new plays." I know the feeling, Sam. One Billy Wilder film is worth at least 100 of today's movies ... they don't make 'em like they used to.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"The Apartment"...I imagine Bess watching that as a play and exploding. Fred MacM never did better acting than icy, arrogant, but ultimately stupid Jeffrey Shelldrake. I often think of the vicious Jeff when reading of Sam at his worst.

Though to be fair to Sam, he's much smarter and a somewhat more C.C. Baxterish human being.

"Be a mensch, kid. Do you know what that is?"

"I don't tour your synagogue very often, Doctor..."

"A human being. Look, Sam...So you've been lucky. But sooner or later it catches up with you. And you're not out of the woods yet. She may try the sleeping draught thing or something else again, they usually do."

Hmmn...

"What's her name? Bagwell, you said?"

"Yes. Uh, doctor...You don't have to report this? She just wandered into my office..."

"...Carrying a lethal dose..."

"She made a mistake. Doctor, couldn't we just say you came over as a neighbor? It's not me Im thinking of..."

"Aren't you?"

"Well, there's my wife...And the woman's family...And of course, the King and Nation, counting on me."

Trumpets sound, Sam bows.

"Well, as a neighbor I'd like to kick you on your ass."

Applause...Especially from one member of audience...

"I'm not sorry we missed that other play." Bess notes to startled Sam beside her, she clapping fervently.

Sam looking morose...Who the hell wrote this? And how did he get a spy in my office?

"Somehow it seems so true to life..." Bess continues. "I could almost believe it was about someone in your office. Say? Look there, with Mr. Lacy in the wings...Is that?"

"Hewer!!!" Sam rises.

jeannine   Link to this

"where Pierce told us the story how, in good earnest, [the King] is offended with the Duke of Richmond’s marrying, and Mrs. Stewart’s sending the King 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"

Unlike any of of Charles' actual mistresses (i.e. Castlemaine & later the French Louise the Duchess of Portsmouth --aka "the queens of greed"), Frances Stewart, 'the one that got away' was never out for glamour, jewels, titles and riches. I doubt Charles knew how to react when a lady did something in a dignified manner!

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