SEDLEY (Sir Charles) The Mulberry-Garden, A Comedy. As it is Acted by His Majesty’s Servants at the Theatre-Royal. Written by the Honourable Sir Charles Sidley [sic], London, Printed for H. Herringman, at the Sign of the Blew Anchor in the Lower Walk of the New Exchange, 1675
Wing S2403; W & M, 1014. A...Restoration tragi-comical play which was first published and performed in 1668; Samuel Pepys, who had long looked forward to it, was severely disappointed. The play was then apparently revived for the 1674/5 season, and presumably also revised at this time....
The original Mulberry-Garden, to which the title refers, was a four acre orchard, planted by James I in 1609, on the site of the present (north-west corner of) Buckingham Palace. King James had been hoping to kickstart English silkworm production, but unfortunately chose the wrong sort of bush. Clement Walker in ‘Anarchia Anglicana’ (1649) refers to “new-erected sodoms and spintries at the Mulberry Garden at S. James’s”; which suggests it may at that date have been a place of debauchery. In 1674, Goring House, which occupied part of the site adjacent to the Mulberry Garden, burnt down, which perhaps explains the play’s revival at that particular date.
Song from The Mulberry Garden
AH, Chloris, that I now could sit
As unconcerned as when
Your infant beauty could beget
No pleasure, nor no pain.
When I the dawn used to admire,
And praised the coming day,
I little thought the growing fire
Must take my rest away.
Your charms in harmless childhood lay
Like metals in the mine:
Age from no face took more away
Than youth concealed in thine.
But as your charms insensibly
To your perfection pressed,
Fond Love, as unperceived, did fly,
And in my bosom rest.
My passion with your beauty grew,
And Cupid at my heart,
Still as his mother favored you,
Threw a new flaming dart.
Each gloried in their wanton part:
To make a lover, he
Employed the utmost of his art;
To make a beauty, she.
Though now I slowly bend to love,
Uncertain of my fate,
If your fair self my chains approve,
I shall my freedom hate.
Lovers, like dying men, may well
At first disordered be,
Since none alive can truly tell
What fortune they must see.
Sir Charles Sedley
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.