Thursday 11 October 1660

In the morning to my Lord’s, where I met with Mr. Creed, and with him and Mr. Blackburne to the Rhenish wine house, where we sat drinking of healths a great while, a thing which Mr. Blackburne formerly would not upon any terms have done. After we had done there Mr. Creed and I to the Leg in King Street, to dinner, where he and I and my Will had a good udder to dinner, and from thence to walk in St. James’s Park, where we observed the several engines at work to draw up water, with which sight I was very much pleased.

Above all the rest, I liked best that which Mr. Greatorex brought, which is one round thing going within all with a pair of stairs round; round which being laid at an angle of 45 deg., do carry up the water with a great deal of ease. Here, in the Park, we met with Mr. Salisbury, who took Mr. Creed and me to the Cockpitt to see “The Moore of Venice,” which was well done. Burt acted the Moore; by the same token, a very pretty lady that sat by me, called out, to see Desdemona smothered.

From thence with Mr. Creed to Hercules Pillars, where we drank and so parted, and I went home.

36 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

with a pair of stairs round; which being laid at an angle of 45 doth carry
L&M make the passage clearer by deleting the repeated word "round". They note their action in the textual footnotes. The also leave out the word "deg." which I suppose was inserted by Wheatley.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

a very pretty lady that sot by me, cried to see Desdimona smothered
The above passage is per L&M. I'm not sure what to make of the either version. The word "sot" in the L&M is certainly odd. In the Wheatley version, the very pretty lady who "called out, to see Desdemona smothered" seems a bit of a sadist.

martha wishart  •  Link

The lady who called out to see Desdemona smothered reminds me of the story of the audience member at the badly acted production of The Diary of Anne Frank, who called out, when the Germans arrived, that she was in the attic. Three pubs and a play all in one day-you have to admire Sam's appetite for entertainment.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

we sat drinking of healths a great while, a thing which Mr. Blackburne formerly would not upon any terms have done
L&M: "Puritans objected to the drinking of healths as a pagan custom."

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"by the same token, a very pretty lady that sat by me, called out, to see Desdemona smothered.”

I read this in the sense, “cried out aloud” — a sign of shock, not a demand.

Mary House  •  Link

...a good udder to dinner? Is anyone familiar with this dish?

vincent  •  Link

"sot" ME fool,fr= sott : an habitual drunkard; be-sot to make dull,to muddle with drunkedness or infatuation;
I wonder what the original entry was? Is it case of purifying the text; SP would love our lass to be infatuated with him? as written she covered a wondering hand? Just a thought.
"...where he and I and my Will had a good udder to dinner..." maybe I am too suspicious? He does like his tipple, that this is SP form of a yard of ale? We used stomachs of sheep and camels to carry our water in front of our desert vehicles to have a nice cool drink (cooling by evaporation), in the dessert, so it is a remote possibility that an Udder is as cow's Udder? filled with Sack?

Pauline  •  Link

Fried Cow's Udder
(from Google)
In order to remove all traces of milk, put the udder into lukewarm water and let soak for 2 to 4 hours, permitting the water to cool off. Then cook the udder in a 2-percent to 3- percent salt water solution until tender. Remove from the cooking liquid and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Let the slices dry a bit. Season on both sides, dip into whisked egg, and then into breadcrumbs. Fry in butter, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.
Serve with lettuce.
Serves 4.

There are other methods of preparing it too.

john lauer  •  Link

"...the several engines at work to draw up water"
were apparently Archimedian screws, shown in Paul's citation above. "Old technology" is frequently best.

Mary  •  Link

.... cried out to see....

Andrew's interpretation of 'cried out' is correct. The phrase 'to see' here means 'at seeing'. Compare the old children's rhyme 'Hey, diddle, diddle' where,
'The little dog laughed to see such sport
'And the dish ran away with the spoon.'

Mary  •  Link

.... that sot by me....

OED and the English Dialect Dictionary both record this variation on the more usual 'sat' as late as the 19th Century in London. We don't need to concern ourselves with habitual drunkards.

Keara  •  Link

What is "The Moore of Venice"? "Moore" (Moor?) and Desdimona (sic) seem to indicate that the play mentioned is Othello. But "of Venice" appears to indicate "The Merchant of Venice." Or is the play referenced simply not by Shakespeare?

JWB  •  Link

If Pauline invites me over for a late night supper of fresh fried udder, what wine would be appropriate for me to take along?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

L&M note: "In Drury Lane. From 8 October until 4 November 1660 this theatre was used by a new troupe known as His Majesty's Comedians, including Mohun, Hart, Clun and Cartwright from the Red Bull Theatre and Burt, Betterton and Kynaston from the former Cockpit Company."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

'The Moore of Venice,'
L&M: “The play was Shakespeare’s Othello, which had been acted in 1604 and published in 1622.”

Paul Brewster  •  Link

I liked best that which Mr. Greatorex brought
L&M: "Probably a version of the Archimedean screw -- a wooden spiral tube consisting of a worm inside a cylinder ..."

steve h  •  Link


I can't find the source off th cuff, but there is a famous anecdote of a 19th century perfromance of Othello in the American South, where an audience member stood up and shot the (blackface) actor playing Othello for "defiling" a white woman.

Ruben  •  Link

To JWB: in Buenos Aires province you may ask for a "parrillada" consisting of a meat sausage, blood sausage, kidney, some internal glands, testicles, brain and of course, udder; all served in a special grill that seats on your table. Ask for a dry white wine and finish it before you ask for the main course.

Pauline  •  Link

OK JWB: I'll bite:

Dirk Van de putte  •  Link

"udder to dinner"

Strange as it may seem to British readers, udder is still served as a meal throughout the continent - and not just in France, a country which in Britain stands for items like froglegs, snails and similar oddities. It is actually considered a delicacy, much like milk lamb and piglets - although I must admit that I personally don't like it.

This may shock some people, but it's true!

Melissa  •  Link

I would like to know who takes their gun to the theatre? Is this common?

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

My understanding is that Gentlemen and higher rankers, such as the Baronial class would have the priviledge to carry their weapons of war. Exceptions be of those that could be consider Better but would be excluded due to religeous considerations. There were ordinances that controlled this. At One time Bowmen being needed, could be seen having fun playing, hit the bull's eye every weekend on the artillery grounds, but ordinary militia were banned from the city, except when the Lord Mayor was requested by Parliament to have an armed force.
Hope some one can find the regulations.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

CSG may well be right about Merrie Olde England, but the event Melissa is referring to, from steve h's post, occurred in the 19th century American South, where carrying a handgun at all times was virtually mandatory social behavior. In the US we have an organization, the National Rifle Association, which is trying to reinstate that norm.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"to dinner, where he and I and my Will had a good udder to dinner"

To bake an Udder.
Lard a young Udder with large Lardons, seasoned with Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves and Mace; boil it till it is tender, let it stand till it is cold; then wrap it up in a Veal-caul, but first season it with Salt, and the former Spices; lay some Slices of Veal in the Bottom of your Pye, season them; lay the Udder upon them; then Slices of Veal seasoned, and on them Slices of Lard and Butter; close up your Pye, bake it and liquor it with clarified Butter.
---The cooks and confectioners dictionary. J.Nott, 1723.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

According to a biography of Margaret Hughes (who much later became Prince Rupert's final mistress):

"Margaret 'Peg' Hughes appeared in Sir Thomas Killigrew’s ‘Othello’ as Desdemona in December 1660 at a converted tennis court called the Vere Street Theatre. The audience were asked: ‘And how do you like her?’ The applause that followed guaranteed the place of actresses on the English stage.

Not much is known about Margaret 'Peg' Hughes’ early life, and she was already 30 before she performed Desdemona, but apparently she took the London theater scene by storm. With her long dark hair, sleepily sensual eyes and lovely face, Margaret ‘Peg’ Hughes counted among her lovers a brief liaison with Charles II, Charles Sedley, the famous fop and, reputedly, other members of the court circle."


You'd think Pepys would mention a little detail like that -- but it explains why the woman was so taken with Desdemona's death.
OR Desdemona was played by a man until December, when Killigrew successfully tried out Margaret for the part.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Archimedes' screw

An Archimedes' screw, also known as the water screw, screw pump or Egyptian screw,[1] is a machine used for transferring water from a low-lying body of water into irrigation ditches. Water is pumped by turning a screw-shaped surface inside a pipe. It is named after Greek philosopher Archimedes who first described it around 234 BC, although there is evidence that the device had been used in Ancient Egypt long before his time.[2] A screw conveyor is a similar device which transports bulk materials such as powders and grains.…'%20screw%2C%20also%20known,shaped%20surface%20inside%20a%20pipe.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"The regicides who sat on the life of our late King, were brought to trial in the Old Bailey, before a commission of oyer and terminer."

The Cromwell Association has an informative article about "The lies of the Regicides? Charles I’s judges at the Restoration" by Dr. Jason Peacey.…

With the recent loss of the BCW Project website, my belief that we should include the pertinent points as well as the link, just in case the website disappears, has increased. But in this case I think the Cromwell Association is suffriciently well funded that it should be stable for as long as our site stays up. Enjoy, if that's an appropriate wish in this case.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... in St. James’s Park, where we observed the several engines at work to draw up water, with which sight I was very much pleased."

Was this part of Charles II's alterations to the Park, or some sort of competition?

MartinVT  •  Link

The Leg — one of Sam's favorites. I realize it probably has something like a carving of leg of mutton hanging outside and therefore is so named, but every time the place is mentioned in the diary, I get this vision of a proverbial "hollow leg," meaning a prodigious capacity for alcoholic drinks, something Sam and his friends seem to have.

Tonyel  •  Link

One of the main features of St James's Park was (still is) a canal running down the middle stocked with a variety of watery birds. An early memory as a child was my first sight of a pelican. Presumably, the engines were lifting water to fill it for the first time.

Keith Knight  •  Link

The Pillars of Hercules remains a pub name in London. There is one near Holborn and another in Greek St, Soho, although annoyingly that has been renamed Bar Hercules.

Neville  •  Link

Udder. Widely eaten when I was young in Lancashire, not sure why, but it was called elder where I lived. My Dad ate it, it was sold ready cooked and could be eaten cold. I was sent to the Tripe Shop to buy it for him and would be displayed alongside tripe, seam or honeycomb, cowheel and potted meat. A thriving business in those days.

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