Tuesday 28 July 1668

All the morning at the office, and after dinner with my wife and Deb. to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw “The Slighted Maid,” but a mean play; and thence home, there being little pleasure now in a play, the company being but little. Here we saw Gosnell, who is become very homely, and sings meanly, I think, to what I thought she did.

8 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Here we saw Gosnell, who is become very homely"

L&M cp. a line in Sir Carr Scroope's "In Defense of Satire" (1677)(l. 100 in this ed.)

Grandio* thinks himself a beau garçon,
Goggles his eyes, writes letters up and down,.
And with his saucy love plagues all the town,
Whilst pleas'd to have his vanity thus fed,
He's caught with Gosnell, that old hag, abed.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sheffield,_1st_…


Chris Squire  •  Link

‘homely, adj.
1. Of or belonging to the home or household; domestic, ‘family’. Obs.
2. a. Become as one of the household; familiar, intimate; at home with. Now rare or arch.
b. Familiar, that one is ‘at home’ with. rare.
3. Characteristic of home as the place where one receives kind treatment; kind, kindly. Now rare or Obs.
4. Such as belongs to home or is produced or practised at home (esp. a humble home); unsophisticated, simple; plain, unadorned, not fine; everyday, commonplace; unpolished, rough, rude. (Sometimes approbative, as connoting the absence of artificial embellishment; but often apologetic, depreciative, or even as a euphemism for ‘wanting refinement, polish, or grace’.)
5. Of persons, etc.: Of commonplace appearance or features; not beautiful, ‘plain’, uncomely.
a1616 Shakespeare Comedy of Errors (1623) ii. i. 88 Hath homelie age th'alluring beauty tooke From my poore cheeke?
. . 1706 Phillips's New World of Words (ed. 6) , Homely, ugly, disagreeable, course, mean . . ‘ [OED]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Poor Gosnell...Truly life upon the wicked stage ain't no place for a girl.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"there being little pleasure now in a play, the company being but little."

Even a middling comedy can work with a full house (and lacking the royals).

Mary  •  Link

"the company being but little"

But which company is it? I took this to mean that the company of actors was reduced (in number and/or artistry). The remark about Gosnell indicates a distinct falling-off, at least in Sam's eyes.

Jenny  •  Link

I took it as meaning there were very few people in the audience.

DJC  •  Link

“the company being but little”

The audience or the players ("Duke of York's Company"). In the context of his disappointment with the play and players perhaps he means the players. But this is, I think, a case where there is a benefit in the ambiguity of language: it is now high summer; the better part of town has escaped to the country and the the players reduced to the second division in consequence. So a poor performance to a poor audience.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“the company being but little”

L&M note (FWIW): I.e.the audience.

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