Monday, March 19, 2012

The Bondman

Tuesday 19 March 1660/61
We met at the office this morning about some particular business, and then I to Whitehall, and there dined with my Lord, and after dinner Mr. Creed and I to White-Fryars, where we saw “The Bondman” acted most excellently, and though I have seen it often, yet I am every time more and more pleased with Betterton’s action. From thence with him and young Mr. Jones to Penell’s in Fleet Street, and there we drank and talked a good while, and so I home and to bed.

“The Bondman” was produced by English playwright Philip Massinger a generation earlier than Samuel Pepys.  Pepys writes of the plays he sees often in his diary, and his March 19, 1661 entry is two decades after Massinger died.  The name Philip Massinger found a way into Walter Scott’s “The Fortunes of Nigel”:

“Oh! a well-known piece,” said Lord Nigel, impatiently throwing down the Proclamation, which he had hitherto been twisting to and fro in his hand,—“an excellent and well-approved piece — A New Way to Pay Old Debts.

Master Heriot stooped down, saying, “Ah! my old acquaintance, Philip Massinger;” but, having opened the paper and seen the purport, he looked at Lord Nigel with surprise, saying, “I trust your lordship does not think this prohibition can extend either to your person or your claims?”

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