Monday 1 February 1668/69

Up, and by water from the Tower to White Hall, the first time that I have gone to that end of the town by water, for two or three months, I think, since I kept a coach, which God send propitious to me; but it is a very great convenience. I went to a Committee of Tangier, but it did not meet, and so I meeting Mr. Povy, he and I away to Dancre’s, to speak something touching the pictures I am getting him to make for me. And thence he carried me to Mr. Streeter’s, the famous history-painter over the way, whom I have often heard of, but did never see him before; and there I found him, and Dr. Wren, and several Virtuosos, looking upon the paintings which he is making for the new Theatre at Oxford: and, indeed, they look as if they would be very fine, and the rest think better than those of Rubens in the Banqueting-house at White Hall, but I do not so fully think so. But they will certainly be very noble; and I am mightily pleased to have the fortune to see this man and his work, which is very famous; and he a very civil little man, and lame, but lives very handsomely. So thence to my Lord Bellassis, and met him within: my business only to see a chimney-piece of Dancre’s doing, in distemper, with egg to keep off the glaring of the light, which I must have done for my room: and indeed it is pretty, but, I must confess, I do think it is not altogether so beautiful as the oyle pictures; but I will have some of one, and some of another. Thence set him down at Little Turnstile, and so I home, and there eat a little dinner, and away with my wife by coach to the King’s playhouse, thinking to have seen “The Heyresse,” first acted on Saturday last; but when we come thither, we find no play there; Kinaston, that did act a part therein, in abuse to Sir Charles Sedley, being last night exceedingly beaten with sticks, by two or three that assaulted him, so as he is mightily bruised, and forced to keep his bed. So we to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw “She Would if She Could,” and so home and to my office to business, and then to supper and to bed. This day, going to the play, The. Turner met us, and carried us to her mother, at my Lady Mordaunt’s; and I did carry both mother and daughter with us to the Duke of York’s playhouse, at next door.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"my business only to see a chimney-piece of Dancre’s doing, in distemper, with egg to keep off the glaring of the light"

L&M say the Royal Society's color experiments had led it to sponsor the revival of the medieval medium of tempera http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempera

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"we find no play there; Kinaston, that did act a part therein, in abuse to Sir Charles Sedley, being last night exceedingly beaten with sticks"

L&M relate: Kynaston was strolling in St James Park, having impersonated Sedley on the stage and still in costume. "Sedley ordered his bravo [ thug ] to give Kynaston the impression that he thought he was Sedley and to thrash him for an insult which he was to pretend to have received from Sedley." As a result of this beating, Kynaston, Pepys records, was unable to act until 9 February.

Will Norton   Link to this

I am sometimes envious of Sam meeting people such as Christopher Wren - it can be hard to remember that they were real people.

On a separate note, it is interesting to see how Sam's spelling of Surnames and play names differ from the modern versions. He seems to make more alterations to given names rather than the text of the diary

Stan Oram   Link to this

'to White Hall.....I went to a Committee of Tangier, but it did not meet'

Sam seems to spend a lot of time going to meetings of this body or that body, only to find that they did not meet. Was it normal to have meetings on the hoof or did these committees meet every day anyway? It all seems so ‘Airy Fairy’ with no prearrangement of meetings or committees so that Sam often goes thither for no purpose.

Don McCahill   Link to this

> how Sam’s spelling of Surnames and play names differ from the modern versions

There are a couple of things in play here. One is that spelling was not considered important at this time. Shakepeare used different spellings for his own last name. Also, the diary was written in shorthand. I don't know enough about the shorthand used to say how accurate it would be in terms of spelling, but modern shorthand is usually pretty phonetic.

arby   Link to this

I'm a little surprised he didn't comment on the play, I was expecting a review. Action, wit, possible immorality, seems like the sort of thing that would draw him out.

languagehat   Link to this

"He seems to make more alterations to given names rather than the text of the diary"

The text has been modernized in all but a few instances. And he's not making "alterations" to proper names, he's spelling them the way that seems natural to him; there were no standardized spellings (or "grammar" rules) then. (And yet people communicated perfectly well!)

"I’m a little surprised he didn’t comment on the play, I was expecting a review."

Same here; he rarely mentions a play without at least a capsule review ("best/worst I have yet seen").

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Beaten, you say? By Sir Charles Sedley's 'thug'?"

"So it's said, Bess. Terrible thing, Mr. K is so well...Whatever he is."

"Yes, but...As to this 'thug'? Do you mean to say such men can be hired for beating people one has a mind to?"

"Well..." Somehow I don't like where this conversation is going.

r l battle   Link to this

Ah, the good old days. Someone does a public & not so flattering parody you don't sue or seeth. You get one of your retainers to publicly beat him with sticks, no to harshly mind, and send a message that such behavior will not be tolerated.
So Kynaston misses a week of work. Big deal.

Log in to post an annotation.

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