Tuesday 8 October 1661

At the office all the morning. After office done, went and eat some Colchester oysters with Sir W. Batten at his house, and there, with some company; dined and staid there talking all the afternoon; and late after dinner took Mrs. Martha out by coach, and carried her to the Theatre in a frolique, to my great expense, and there shewed her part of the “Beggar’s Bush,” without much pleasure, but only for a frolique, and so home again.

11 Annotations

First Reading

RexLeo  •  Link

"... and carried her to the Theatre in a frolique, to my great expense,.."

Sam despite all his vows, goes to the theatre and spends a lot of money (coach, theatre tickets?) and as Britney would say, "Oops, did it again" - it looks like a classic case of addiction!

language hat  •  Link

"carried her to the Theatre in a frolique"

At first glance, "frolique" looks like the name of a conveyance, but there's no such definition in the OED (s.v. "frolic") -- I guess this means "A scene or occasion of gaiety or mirth; a merry-making; a party." Sounds odd, though.

vicente  •  Link

Castleing today: I might be a DOM Miguel but frolique to me[n] means what it always meant, gabolling in the coach [ a great place to test reactions of a lonely gal] and the stalls, He knows where all the funny pieces be and he plays along.
Lines from prev viewing: "...where was acted "Beggars' Bush," it being very well done; and here the first time that ever I saw women come upon the stage….”
“…where the play of "Beggar's Bush" was newly begun; and so we went in and saw it, it was well acted: and here I saw the first time one Moone, who is said to be the best actor in the world,…”

Ruben  •  Link

We had a very explicit "frolique" at the Coronation last april:
"In which, at the further end, there was three great bonefyres and a great many great gallants, men and women; and the lay hold of us and would have us drink the King's health upon our knee, kneeling upon a fagott; which we all did, they drinking to us one after another - which we thought a strange Frolique. But these gallants continued thus a great while, and I wondered to see how the ladies did tiple."

Mary  •  Link

"in a frolique"

could be glossed "on a whim" [OED sense 1c], possibly partly introducing the idea of 'on a spree'. Swift (1711) is quoted, "If the frolic should take you of going to Bath ....."

language hat  •  Link

Ah, 'on a whim' makes sense. Thanks.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

"in a frolique"

Glossed as "on a whim." Cf. the legal phrase, "a frolic of one's own" which describes "the activities of an employee that, though resulting in job-related injuries, do not entitle the employee to compensation." (From a discussion of a novel by William Gaddis entitled "A Frolic of His Own," at

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"in a frolique"

A FROLICK, a merry Prank, a Whim.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

This must be the sense of ‘frolic’ intended here:

‘ . .1c. = whim n.1
1711 Swift Jrnl. to Stella 5 Apr. (1948) I. 235 If the frolick should take you of going to the Bath, I here send you a note on Parvisol.’

‘whim . . 3.b. In generalized sense: Capricious humour or disposition of mind.
a1721 M. Prior Enigma: Form'd half Beneath 7 They [sc. skates] serve the poor for use, the rich for whim.
1729 Pope Dunciad (new ed.) iii. 147 Sneering G**de, half malice and half whim.
1809 B. H. Malkin tr. A. R. Le Sage Adventures Gil Blas IV. xii. i. 376, I came up to pay my devotions; but whim, or perhaps revenge .. determined her to put on the stranger . . ‘ [OED]

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