Up, and to the Office; and there all the morning; none but my Lord Anglesey and myself; but much surprized with the news of the death of Sir W. Batten, who died this morning, having been but two days sick. Sir W. Pen and I did dispatch a letter this morning to Sir W. Coventry, to recommend Colonel Middleton, who we think a most honest and understanding man, and fit for that place. Sir G. Carteret did also come this morning, and walked with me in the garden; and concluded not to concern [himself] or have any advice made to Sir W. Coventry, in behalf of my Lord Sandwich’s business; so I do rest satisfied, though I do think they are all mad, that they will judge Sir W. Coventry an enemy, when he is indeed no such man to any body, but is severe and just, as he ought to be, where he sees things ill done. At noon home, and by coach to Temple Bar to a India shop, and there bought a gown and sash, which cost me 26s., and so she [Mrs. Pepys] and Willet away to the ’Change, and I to my Lord Crew, and there met my Lord Hinchingbroke and Lady Jemimah, and there dined with them and my Lord, where pretty merry, and after dinner my Lord Crew and Hinchingbroke and myself went aside to discourse about my Lord Sandwich’s business, which is in a very ill state for want of money, and so parted, and I to my tailor’s, and there took up my wife and Willet, who staid there for me, and to the Duke of York’s playhouse, but the house so full, it being a new play, “The Coffee House,” that we could not get in, and so to the King’s house: and there, going in, met with Knepp, and she took us up into the tireing-rooms: and to the women’s shift, where Nell was dressing herself, and was all unready, and is very pretty, prettier than I thought. And so walked all up and down the house above, and then below into the scene-room, and there sat down, and she gave us fruit and here I read the questions to Knepp, while she answered me, through all her part of “Flora’s Figary’s,” which was acted to-day. But, Lord! to see how they were both painted would make a man mad, and did make me loath them; and what base company of men comes among them, and how lewdly they talk! and how poor the men are in clothes, and yet what a shew they make on the stage by candle-light, is very observable. But to see how Nell cursed, for having so few people in the pit, was pretty; the other house carrying away all the people at the new play, and is said, now-a-days, to have generally most company, as being better players. By and by into the pit, and there saw the play, which is pretty good, but my belly was full of what I had seen in the house, and so, after the play done, away home, and there to the writing my letters, and so home to supper and to bed.
Pepys Diary (1667)
"...and to the Duke of York’s playhouse, but the house so full, it being a new play, “The Coffee House,” that we could not get in, and so to the King’s house: and there, going in, met with Knepp, and she took us up into the tireing-rooms: and to the women’s shift, where Nell was dressing herself, and was all unready, and is very pretty, prettier than I thought."