Saturday 20 April 1667

Up, with much pain in my eare and palate. To the office out of humour all the morning. At noon dined, and with my wife to the King’s house, but there found the bill torn down and no play acted, and so being in the humour to see one, went to the Duke of York’s house, and there saw “The Witts” again, which likes me better than it did the other day, having much wit in it. Here met with Mr. Rolt, who tells me the reason of no play to-day at the King’s house. That Lacy had been committed to the porter’s lodge for his acting his part in the late new play, and that being thence released he come to the King’s house, there met with Ned Howard, the poet of the play, who congratulated his release; upon which Lacy cursed him as that it was the fault of his nonsensical play that was the cause of his ill usage. Mr. Howard did give him some reply; to which Lacy [answered] him, that he was more a fool than a poet; upon which Howard did give him a blow on the face with his glove; on which Lacy, having a cane in his hand, did give him a blow over the pate. Here Rolt and others that discoursed of it in the pit this afternoon did wonder that Howard did not run him through, he being too mean a fellow to fight with. But Howard did not do any thing but complain to the King of it; so the whole house is silenced, and the gentry seem to rejoice much at it, the house being become too insolent. Here were many fine ladies this afternoon at this house as I have at any time seen, and so after the play home and there wrote to my father, and then to walk in the garden with my wife, resolving by the grace of God to see no more plays till Whitsuntide, I having now seen a play every day this week till I have neglected my business, and that I am ashamed of, being found so much absent; the Duke of York and Sir W. Coventry having been out of town at Portsmouth did the more embolden me thereto. So home, and having brought home with me from Fenchurch Street a hundred of sparrowgrass,1 cost 18d. We had them and a little bit of salmon, which my wife had a mind to, cost 3s. So to supper, and my pain being somewhat better in my throat, we to bed.

  1. A form once so commonly used for asparagus that it has found its way into dictionaries.

15 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Brodrick to Ormond
Written from: [London]
Date: 20 April 1667

We fear to lose Polleroon [ Pulo Run, East Indies http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/7584/ ]..., upon the 'alternative article' as they call it; for the Dutch pretend to have delivered the island to 20 English before they heard of the war, & that they justly retook the same. ...

Adds some further reports as to the pending dispute betwixt the Crowns of Spain & Portugal about the title 'Rex Lusitaniae'.

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Recall what Pepys recorded yesterday: "the news is strong that not only the Dutch cannot set out a fleete this year, but that the French will not, and that he hath given the answer to the Dutch Embassador, saying that he is for the King of England’s, having an honourable peace, which, if true, is the best news we have had a good while." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/04/18/

Are we sufficiently deluded and distracted? Let's find a play!

jeannine   Link to this

" and then to walk in the garden with my wife, resolving by the grace of God to see no more plays till Whitsuntide, I having now seen a play every day this week till I have neglected my business, and that I am ashamed of, being found so much absent; the Duke of York and Sir W. Coventry having been out of town at Portsmouth did the more embolden me thereto"

When the cat's away the mouse will play! Let's see how long this vow lasts! Too bad he wasn't giving a pound to the poor box for each play he saw-he could probably rebuild London at the rate he's been going!

Carl in Boston   Link to this

did wonder that Howard did not run him through, he being too mean a fellow to fight with
There's the Aristocracy for you, off with his head, or run him through if he's a nothing.
The Founding fathers of America had so little use for the aristocracy that they dismissed the whole idea in about ten words, there shall be no emoluments or titles of nobility, etc.

cape henry   Link to this

"Are we sufficiently deluded and distracted? Let’s find a play!"[TF] If we cast back over the last week and more there has been a leisureliness and casualness to Pepys' daily activities that, given the situation, has seemed at times like fiddling while the Navy sinks.Obviously there have been some tense moments in the Office, but only moments, and then to no real purpose.This is a common response in bureaucracies - and individuals - when problems reach a certain level of complexity and/or hopelessness.It also makes interesting reading as we await the next shoe dropping.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...Up, with much pain in my eare and palate. To the office out of humour all the morning. ......." time for the clerks to keep their heads down, scribble away diligently and avoid eye contact.

Jesse   Link to this

"Lacy had been committed to the porter’s lodge for his acting his part in the late new play"

Wait, what? Pepys notes the King was upset w/Lacy on the 16th, but was it because of his role in the "late new play" the day *before* (which Pepys noted he "do abuse the Court") or because of his role in "The Silent Woman" which was performed on the 16th (admittedly apolitical).

Okay, lets say it was from his performance on the 15th. One would think that the King wouldn't be too happy w/the author of the "nonsensical play that was the cause of [Lacy's] ill usage" - yet who complains to the King?

Is being "committed to the porter's lodge" something like a house arrest?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Lacy improvised, so the author of *The Change of Crownes* (Edward Howard) was not responsible for the offense.

"Is being “committed to the porter’s lodge” something like a house arrest?"

So methinks, or in detention?

L&M say the Porter's Lodge in Whitehall Palace was on the ground floor of the gatehouse at the main entry from the Charing Cross-Westminster Road.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porters'_lodge

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... a hundred of sparrowgrass, cost 18d. We had them and a little bit of salmon, which my wife had a mind to, cost 3s. ..."

SP discussing eating a vegetable; is this a 'first'?
He sounds remarkably pooterish, http://www.diaryofanobody.net/

Michael Robinson   Link to this

@ SP discussing eating a vegetable; is this a ‘first’?

No, to answer my own question, he has mentioned sparrowgrass three times before.

chrisl   Link to this

Back in May 2005 Sam gave us his way of cooking sparrowgrass, which I tried and indeed found to be 'most excellent'!
My version is here: http://cribbit.net/cocmetze.html#asparagus

JWB   Link to this

From David Quidnunc's series of asparagus posts, find once thought to ease toothache. Perhaps why Pepys bot & ate. Asparagus & salmon=17th century fast food. My 40 year old bed of Martha Washington produced exceedingly well this year.

J A Gioia   Link to this

...there met with Ned Howard, the poet of the play, who congratulated his release; upon which Lacy cursed him as that it was the fault of his nonsensical play that was the cause of his ill usage. Mr. Howard did give him some reply; to which Lacy [answered] him, that he was more a fool than a poet; upon which Howard did give him a blow on the face with his glove; on which Lacy, having a cane in his hand, did give him a blow over the pate.

Ahhh... an actor's life for me! Does this remind anyone else of "The Producers"?

cape henry   Link to this

"sparrowgrass & salmon" --still wonderful after all these years.

djc   Link to this

Are we sufficiently deluded and distracted?

Tired of working on a project you can see is doomed to failure, worried your colleagues will drop you in it when the inevitable happens, the boss not chasing you for a moment, oh and being busy as a distraction from bereavement not very effective in these circumstances. Why not go to a play.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.