S Wounds! What a week this has been. I busy every day with sundry business and much bustle hither and thither, here and there. Last week saw me, full of high expectation yet not a little trepidation, in the fair county of Ceredigion, with goodly lodgings I’the country a mile or so without the town of Cardigan which is a fine and noble place full of goodly folk and kind. I each morning to the theatre therein to make the play and so we all, the actors, stage hands and sundry musikians etc, shut up all day in the making of the scenes with the correct positions on the stage, so that the actors be seen and heard.
And for four days there being spent in dressing the stage up – and I mightily pleased with it. The scenes are painted by Mr Davies and I have not seen any more pretty or gay. Anon, the actors were fitted in their liveries of silks and satins, with many ribbons and fine periwigs set upon our heads, so that all the people did look mightily upon them: Mr Downing being triumphant in blue velvet, Mrs Seymour handsome in fine brocade, and Miss Phillips pretty comely in her linen shift which do show her fine leg. And I in an orange silk vest lined with plush – which is a dear and noble garment costing about 17s. Mr Pandolfo has many changes of clothes according to his character and position etc as viz, Desdemona, the Silent Lady, or urchin-type etc etc. Thursday last was the opening of our play and I mightily pleased with it and think it mightily witty, and the fullest of proper matter for mirth that ever was writ. And I do see clearly how the players do improve their acting of it, and the audience after agreeing much with me by the show of their applause and whistling and great caterwauling etc etc. So it be pronounced by all, we do have a hit.
After the show we all to our country lodgings and there I find all the company assembled and we all very merry. And after the drinking did set in we all to talking, one to another and another with another, and as the candles did burn low, we all to talking together. And I in might fine humour did proceed to tell witty stories about my granddame and Chewbacca (being a Wookie) and of the time in my schoolboy days when I was bit hard upon the shoulder by a monstrous bad girl. And pretty witty Mali T J did tell of the time in her youth whereby when a callous lad did make his functions in the hood of a young woman’s cape. And we all to wailing with much laughter. We continued, with short intermission, until 3 o’clock, with mighty mirth; and so broke up with extraordinary pleasure, as being one of the days and nights of my life spent with the greatest content, and that I hope to repeat many times yet. Yesterday we to Aberdare, being in the Welsh Valleys, the place being sodden with rainfall such as I did never see in my life, the storm being so violent and the rain so heavy, and we all to the putting on of the show with all the correct dresses and settings in our first appearance since Cardigan saw the play. There being some mislaying of lines etc, nonetheless, the show was goodly and lusty. And though the public be small in the house, yet the praise be great and each on their feet at the end and clapping and calling of actors’ names etc etc. God bless the good people of Aberdare! And, journeying back to my lodging in the rain, I giving thanks to God for a blessed time with goodly company and a successful show. And so to bed.