Mustapha is in Jacobean and Restoration Plays.
Life of Sir Philip Sydney by Fulke Greville Introduction. Here, in fact, we have the matter in a nutshell. In all that he writes, except the love poems of the series named Caelica, Greville writes as a political philosopher and moralist. Even in Caelica the thinker dominates the lover, and often banishes the artist: the rest of the poems, including the plays, are, even avowedly (cp. Life of Sidney, chs. 14 and 18), political philosophy in verse. The bulk of them are called 'Treatises' — 'a Treatise of Religion'; 'a Treatie of Humane Learning'; 'an Inquisition upon Fame and Honour'; 'a Treatise of Monarchy', which is divided into 'sections' with such titles as 'Of weak-minded Tyrants', 'Cautions against these weak extremities', 'Of Lawes', 'Of Commerce.' These treatises 'were first intended', Greville writes (Sidney ch. 14), 'to be for every act [in the Tragedies] a chorus': but 'with humble sayles after I had once ventured upon this spreading Ocean of Images, my apprehensive youth [i.e. youth which naturally grasps at whatever it sees], for lack of a well touched compasse, did easily wander beyond proportion'. The tragedies themselves were political, especially the one which Greville destroyed, Antonie and Cleopatra', many members in that creature (by the opinion of those few eyes which saw it) having some childish wantonnesse in them, apt enough to be construed or strained to a personating of vices in the present Governors and government.' The object in all three of them was 'to trace out the high waies of ambitious Governours, and to shew in the practice, that the more audacity, advantage, and good successe such Soveraignties have, the more they hasten to their owne desolation and ruine ' (ch. 18). Similarly very much the greater part of the Life of Sidney consists of reflections upon the political problems of Elizabeth's reign, upon Sidney's views on this subject, upon Elizabeth's methods of government. Greville, like Sidney and Drake and most of the 'stirring Spirits ' (ch. 8) of that time, was strongly anti-Spanish and anti-Papal. His denunciations of Spanish ambition and Papal subservience are so persistent that only the abundance and the quaintness of his language save them from becoming monotonous. There can be little doubt that part of the scorn and displeasure, with which in his later years he alludes, in terms however general, to the degeneracy of the times, was due to his memory of the days of his early manhood, when the struggle with Spain worked together with the commercial enterprise, fostered by the discovery of the New World and the intellectual awakening of the Renaissance, to give a zest to political life, which was more and more lacking in the reign of James I, and even in the last years of Elizabeth herself Not that Greville was ever, in all probability, a very light-hearted optimist or an adventurous man of action. One pictures him as usually throwing his influence on the side of prudence in his relations with his two more brilliant friends and kinsmen, Sidney1 and, afterwards, the rash and unfortunate Essex. His own career, too, was that of a man who was more apt to fill useful and more or less lucrative employments and to steer clear of the extremes of partisanship than to put his fortune to the touch in any daring scheme of ambition. He had his strong sympathies, and they were not with the Cecils2; but he had no open breach with them, and he filled various posts while they still lived, though he evidently blossomed out again in his old age after the Earl of Salisbury's death in 1611. The following pages will show that he was genuinely devoted to Queen Elizabeth; and it is clear that she regarded him with favour as a courtier who could be trusted. He started his political career wuth offices in the principality of Wales, of which his friend's father. Sir Henry Sidney, was Lord President. He received various grants of land and emolu- ments, was knighted in 1597, and made Treasurer of Marine Causes in 1599-1600. Bacon records that 'Sir Fulke Grevill had much and private access to Queen Elizabeth, which he used honourably, and did many men good: yet he would say merrily of himself 'That he was like Robin Goodfellow': for when the maids spilt the milk-pans or kept any racket, they would lay it upon Robin: so what tales the ladies about the Queen told her, or other bad offices that they did, they would put it upon him"'. Whatever they said about him, he was, as another writer tells us, 'a constant courtier of the ladies'; and the fact that he never married no doubt contributed to his having ' the longest lease and the smoothest time, without rub, of any of her [Elizabeth's] favourites3 '.' In the second year of James I he was granted Warwick Castle, then a ruin, which he made into the splendid pile which it still remains. Internal evidence and the probabilities of the lease point to the time between the death of 'Henry IV of France4 in 1610 and that of the Earl of Salisbury in 1612,5 as that in which the so-called Life of Sidney was composed. Soon after the later of: these two dates Greville was made Under-Treasurer,
Note 1. Cp. p. 74, where Greville relates how he inspired ' that ingenuous spirit of Sir Philip's' with suspicion of Drake's whole-heartedness in their projected enterprise.
Note 2. Cp. pp. 217 foll., and the story of the fall of Essex, pp. 156 foll.
Note 3. Sir Robert Naunton, Fragmenta Regalia (1642), p. 30: quoted, with the passage from Bacon (Spedding, vii, p. 158), by Grosart, Lord Brooke's Works, vol. i, p. Ixx.
Note 4. Cp. p. 31.
Note 5. From the manner in which Salisbury is spoken of on pp. 217-9, combined with the absence of any allusion to his death, I think it probable that he was still alive when the treatise was written. The fact that Greville's tragedy Mustapha was, perhaps piratically, published in 1609, may have some significance in connexion with the date of the Dedication of his poems to the memory of Sidney.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 April 1665. 03 Apr 1665. Up and to the Duke of Albemarle (56) and White Hall, where much business.
Thence home and to dinner, and then with Creed, my wife, and Mercer to a play at the Duke's, of my Lord Orrery's (43), called "Mustapha", which being not good, made Betterton's (29) part and Ianthe's (28) but ordinary too, so that we were not contented with it at all.
Thence home and to the office a while, and then home to supper and to bed. All the pleasure of the play was, the King (34) and my Baroness Castlemayne (24) were there; and pretty witty Nell (15), [Nell Gwynne] at the King's house, and the younger Marshall sat next us; which pleased me mightily.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 05 January 1667. 05 Jan 1667. At the office all the morning, thinking at noon to have been taken home, and my wife (according to appointment yesterday), by my Lord Bruncker (47), to dinner and then to a play, but he had forgot it, at which I was glad, being glad of avoyding the occasion of inviting him again, and being forced to invite his doxy, Mrs. Williams.
So home, and took a small snap of victuals, and away, with my wife, to the Duke's house, and there saw "Mustapha", a most excellent play for words and design as ever I did see. I had seen it before but forgot it, so it was wholly new to me, which is the pleasure of my not committing these things to my memory.
Home, and a little to the office, and then to bed, where I lay with much pain in my head most of the night, and very unquiet, partly by my drinking before I went out too great a draught of sack, and partly my eyes being still very sore.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 August 1667. 10 Aug 1667. Up, and to the Office, and there finished the letter about Carcasse, and sent it away, I think well writ, though it troubles me we should be put to trouble by this rogue so much. At the office all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, where I sang and piped with my wife with great pleasure, and did hire a coach to carry us to Barnett to-morrow.
After dinner I to the office, and there wrote as long as my eyes would give me leave, and then abroad and to the New Exchange, to the bookseller's there, where I hear of several new books coming out—Mr. Spratt's History of the Royal Society, and Mrs. Phillips's' poems. Sir John Denham's (52) poems are going to be all printed together; and, among others, some new things; and among them he showed me a copy of verses of his upon Sir John Minnes's (68) going heretofore to Bullogne to eat a pig1. Cowley (49), he tells me, is dead; who, it seems, was a mighty civil, serious man; which I did not know before. Several good plays are likely to be abroad soon, as Mustapha and Henry the 5th. Here having staid and divertised myself a good while, I home again and to finish my letters by the post, and so home, and betimes to bed with my wife because of rising betimes to-morrow.
Note 1. The collected edition of Denham's (52) poems is dated 1668. The verses referred to are inscribed "To Sir John Mennis being invited from Calice to Bologne to eat a pig", and two of the lines run "Little Admiral John To Bologne is gone"..
Diary of Samuel Pepys 04 September 1667. 04 Sep 1667. By coach to White Hall to the Council-chamber; and there met with Sir W. Coventry (39) going in, who took me aside, and told me that he was just come from delivering up his seal and papers to Mr. Wren; and told me he must now take his leave of me as a naval man, but that he shall always bear respect to his friends there, and particularly to myself, with great kindness; which I returned to him with thanks, and so, with much kindness parted: and he into, the Council.!
I met with Sir Samuel Morland (42), who chewed me two orders upon the Exchequer, one of £600, and another of £400, for money assigned to him, which he would have me lend him money upon, and he would allow 12 per cent. I would not meddle with them, though they are very good; and would, had I not so much money out already on public credit. But I see by this his condition all trade will be bad. I staid and heard Alderman Barker's case of his being abused by the Council of Ireland, touching his lands there: all I observed there is the silliness of the King (37), playing with his dog all the while, and not minding the business1, and what he said was mighty weak; but my Lord Keeper (61) I observe to be a mighty able man.
The business broke off without any end to it, and so I home, and thence with my wife and W. Hewer (25) to Bartholomew fayre, and there Polichinelli, where we saw Mrs. Clerke and all her crew; and so to a private house, and sent for a side of pig, and eat it at an acquaintance of W. Hewer's (25), where there was some learned physic and chymical books, and among others, a natural "Herball" very fine. Here we staid not, but to the Duke of York's (33) play house, and there saw "Mustapha", which, the more I see, the more I like; and is a most admirable poem, and bravely acted; only both Betterton (32) and Harris (33) could not contain from laughing in the midst of a most serious part from the ridiculous mistake of one of the men upon the stage; which I did not like.
Thence home, where Batelier and his sister Mary come to us and sat and talked, and so, they gone, we to supper and to bed.
Note 1. Lord Rochester (20) wrote "His very dog at council board Sits grave and wise as any lord". Poems, 1697; p. 150.—the King's dogs were constantly stolen from him, and he advertised for their return. Some of these amusing advertisements are printed in "Notes and Queries" (seventh series, vol. vii., p. 26).
Diary of Samuel Pepys 19 October 1667. 19 Oct 1667. At the office all the morning, where very busy, and at noon home to a short dinner, being full of my desire of seeing my Lord Orrery's (46) new play this afternoon at the King's house, "The Black Prince", the first time it is acted; where, though we come by two o'clock, yet there was no room in the pit, but we were forced to go into one of the upper boxes, at 4s. a piece, which is the first time I ever sat in a box in my life. And in the same box come, by and by, behind me, my Lord Barkeley (65) [of Stratton] and his lady (29); but I did not turn my face to them to be known, so that I was excused from giving them my seat; and this pleasure I had, that from this place the scenes do appear very fine indeed, and much better than in the pit. The house infinite full, and the King (37) and Duke of York (34) was there.
By and by the play begun, and in it nothing particular but a very fine dance for variety of figures, but a little too long. But, as to the contrivance, and all that was witty (which, indeed, was much, and very witty), was almost the same that had been in his two former plays of "Henry the 5th" and "Mustapha", and the same points and turns of wit in both, and in this very same play often repeated, but in excellent language, and were so excellent that the whole house was mightily pleased with it all along till towards the end he comes to discover the chief of the plot of the play by the reading of along letter, which was so long and some things (the people being set already to think too long) so unnecessary that they frequently begun to laugh, and to hiss twenty times, that, had it not been for the King's being there, they had certainly hissed it off the stage. But I must confess that, as my Lord Barkeley (65) says behind me, the having of that long letter was a thing so absurd, that he could not imagine how a man of his parts could possibly fall into it; or, if he did, if he had but let any friend read it, the friend would have told him of it; and, I must confess, it is one of the most remarkable instances that ever I did or expect to meet with in my life of a wise man's not being wise at all times, and in all things, for nothing could be more ridiculous than this, though the letter of itself at another time would be thought an excellent letter, and indeed an excellent Romance, but at the end of the play, when every body was weary of sitting, and were already possessed with the effect of the whole letter; to trouble them with a letter a quarter of an hour long, was a most absurd thing. After the play done, and nothing pleasing them from the time of the letter to the end of the play, people being put into a bad humour of disliking (which is another thing worth the noting), I home by coach, and could not forbear laughing almost all the way home, and all the evening to my going to bed, at the ridiculousness of the letter, and the more because my wife was angry with me, and the world, for laughing, because the King (37) was there, though she cannot defend the length of the letter. So after having done business at the office, I home to supper and to bed.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 11 February 1668. 11 Feb 1668. At the office all the morning, where comes a damned summons to attend the Committee of Miscarriages to-day, which makes me mad, that I should by my place become the Hackney of this Office, in perpetual trouble and vexation, that need it least.
At noon home to dinner, where little pleasure, my head being split almost with the variety of troubles upon me at this time, and cares, and after dinner by coach to Westminster Hall, and sent my wife and Deb. to see "Mustapha" acted. Here I brought a book to the Committee, and do find them; and particularly Sir Thomas Clarges (50), mighty hot in the business of tickets, which makes me mad to see them bite at the stone, and not at the hand that flings it, and here my Lord Brouncker (48) unnecessarily orders it that he is called in to give opportunity to present his report of the state of the business of paying by ticket, which I do not think will do him any right, though he was made believe that it did operate mightily, and that Sir Fresh. Hollis (25) did make a mighty harangue and to much purpose in his defence, but I believe no such effects of it, for going in afterward I did hear them speak with prejudice of it, and that his pleading of the Admiral's warrant for it now was only an evasion, if not an aspersion upon the Admirall, and therefore they would not admit of this his report, but go on with their report as they had resolved before. The orders they sent for this day was the first order that I have yet met with about this business, and was of my own single hand warranting, but I do think it will do me no harm, and therefore do not much trouble myself with it, more than to see how much trouble I am brought to who have best deported myself in all the King's business.
Thence with Lord Brouncker (48), and set him down at Bow Streete, and so to the Duke of York's playhouse, and there saw the last act for nothing, where I never saw such good acting of any creature as Smith's part of Zanger; and I do also, though it was excellently acted by————-, do yet want Betterton (32) mightily.
Thence to the Temple, to Porter's chamber, where Cocke (51) met me, and after a stay there some time, they two and I to Pemberton's (43) chamber, and there did read over the Act of calling people to account, and did discourse all our business of the prizes; and, upon the whole, he do make it plainly appear, that there is no avoiding to give these Commissioners satisfaction in everything they will ask; and that there is fear lest they may find reason to make us refund for all the extraordinary profit made by those bargains; and do make me resolve rather to declare plainly, and, once for all, the truth of the whole, and what my profit hath been, than be forced at last to do it, and in the meantime live in gain, as I must always do: and with this resolution on my part I departed, with some more satisfaction of mind, though with less hopes of profit than I expected. It was pretty here to see the heaps of money upon this lawyer's table; and more to see how he had not since last night spent any time upon our business, but begun with telling us that we were not at all concerned in that Act; which was a total mistake, by his not having read over the Act at all.
Thence to Porter's chamber, where Captain Cocke (51) had fetched my wife out of the coach, and there we staid and talked and drank, he being a very generous, good-humoured man, and so away by coach, setting Cocke (51) at his house, and we with his coach home, and there I to the office, and there till past one in the morning, and so home to supper and to bed, my mind at pretty good ease, though full of care and fear of loss. This morning my wife in bed told me the story of our Tom and Jane:—how the rogue did first demand her consent to love and marry him, and then, with pretence of displeasing me, did slight her; but both he and she have confessed the matter to her, and she hath charged him to go on with his love to her, and be true to her, and so I think the business will go on, which, for my love to her, because she is in love with him, I am pleased with; but otherwise I think she will have no good bargain of it, at least if I should not do well in my place. But if I do stand, I do intend to give her £50 in money, and do them all the good I can in my way.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 15 June 1668. 15 Jun 1668. Monday. Up, and with Mr. Butts to look into the baths, and find the King and Queen's full of a mixed sort, of good and bad, and the Cross only almost for the gentry.
So home and did the like with my wife, and did pay my guides, two women, 5s.; one man, 2s. 6d.; poor, 6d.; woman to lay my foot-cloth, 1s.
So to our inne, and there eat and paid reckoning, £1 8s. 6d.; servants, 3s.; poor, 1s.; lent the coach man, 10s. Before I took coach, I went to make a boy dive in the King's bath, 1s. I paid also for my coach and a horse to Bristol, £1 1s. 6d. Took coach, and away, without any of the company of the other stage-coaches, that go out of this town to-day; and rode all day with some trouble, for fear of being out of our way, over the Downes, where the life of the shepherds is, in fair weather only, pretty. In the afternoon come to Abebury, where, seeing great stones like those of Stonage standing up, I stopped, and took a countryman of that town, and he carried me and shewed me a place trenched in, like Old Sarum almost, with great stones pitched in it, some bigger than those at Stonage in figure, to my great admiration: and he told me that most people of learning, coming by, do come and view them, and that the King (38) did so: and that the Mount cast hard by is called Selbury, from one King Seall buried there, as tradition says. I did give this man 1s.
So took coach again, seeing one place with great high stones pitched round, which, I believe, was once some particular building, in some measure like that of Stonage. But, about a mile off, it was prodigious to see how full the Downes are of great stones; and all along the vallies, stones of considerable bigness, most of them growing certainly out of the ground so thick as to cover the ground, which makes me think the less of the wonder of Stonage, for hence they might undoubtedly supply themselves with stones, as well as those at Abebury. In my way did give to the poor and menders of the highway 3s. Before night, come to Marlborough, and lay at the Hart; a good house, and a pretty fair town for a street or two; and what is most singular is, their houses on one side having their pent-houses supported with pillars, which makes it a good walk. My wife pleased with all, this evening reading of "Mustapha" to me till supper, and then to supper, and had musique whose innocence pleased me, and I did give them 3s.
So to bed, and lay well all night, and long, so as all the five coaches that come this day from Bath, as well as we, were gone out of the town before six.
Diary of Samuel Pepys 16 June 1668. 16 Jun 1668. Tuesday. So paying the reckoning, 14s. 4d., and servants, 2s., poor 1s., set out; and overtook one coach and kept a while company with it, till one of our horses losing a shoe, we stopped and drank and spent 1s. So on, and passing through a good part of this county of Wiltshire, saw a good house of Alexander Popham's (63), and another of my Lord Craven's (60), I think in Barkeshire. Come to Newbery, and there dined, which cost me, and musick, which a song of the old courtier of Queen Elizabeth's, and how he was changed upon the coming in of the King (38), did please me mightily, and I did cause W. Hewer (26) to write it out, 3s. 6d. Then comes the reckoning, forced to change gold, 8s. 7d.; servants and poor, 1s. 6d. So out, and lost our way, which made me vexed, but come into it again; and in the evening betimes come to Reading, and there heard my wife read more of "Mustapha", and then to supper, and then I to walk about the town, which is a very great one, I think bigger than Salsbury: a river runs through it, in seven branches, and unite in one, in one part of the town, and runs into the Thames half-a-mile off one odd sign of the Broad Face. W. Hewer (26) troubled with the headake we had none of his company last night, nor all this day nor night to talk. Then to my inn, and so to bed.
John Evelyn's Diary 06 April 1665. 06 Apr 1665. In the afternoon, I saw acted "Mustapha", a tragedy written by the Earl of Orrery (43).
John Evelyn's Diary 18 October 1666. 18 Oct 1666. To Court. It being the first time his Majesty (36) put himself solemnly into the Eastern fashion of vest, changing doublet, stiff collar, bands and cloak, into a comely dress, after the Persian mode, with girdles or straps, and shoestrings and garters into buckles, of which some were set with precious stones resolving never to alter it, and to leave the French mode, which had hitherto obtained to our great expense and reproach. Upon which, divers courtiers and gentlemen gave his Majesty (36) gold by way of wager that he would not persist in this resolution. I had sometime before presented an invective against that unconstancy, and our so much affecting the French fashion, to his Majesty (36); in which I took occasion to describe the comeliness and usefulness of the Persian clothing, in the very same manner his Majesty (36) now clad himself. This pamphlet I entitled "Tyrannus, or the Mode", and gave it to the King (36) to read. I do not impute to this discourse the change which soon happened, but it was an identity that I could not but take notice of.
This night was acted my Lord Broghill's (45) tragedy, called "Mustapha", before their Majesties (36) [Note. and Catherine of Braganza Queen Consort England 1638-1705 (27)] at Court, at which I was present; very seldom going to the public theatres for many reasons now, as they were abused to an atheistical liberty; foul and indecent women now (and never till now) permitted to appear and act, who inflaming several young noblemen and gallants, became their misses, and to some, their wives. Witness the Earl of Oxford (39), Sir R. Howard (40), Prince Rupert (46), the Earl of Dorset (44), and another greater person than any of them, who fell into their snares, to the reproach of their noble families, and ruin of both body and soul. I was invited by my Lord Chamberlain (64) to see this tragedy, exceedingly well written, though in my mind I did not approve of any such pastime in a time of such judgments and calamities.