Thursday 15 August 1661

To the Privy Seal and Whitehall, up and down, and at noon Sir W. Pen carried me to Paul’s, and so I walked to the Wardrobe and dined with my Lady, and there told her, of my Lord’s sickness (of which though it hath been the town-talk this fortnight, she had heard nothing) and recovery, of which she was glad, though hardly persuaded of the latter. I found my Lord Hinchingbroke better and better, and the worst past. Thence to the Opera, which begins again to-day with “The Witts,” never acted yet with scenes; and the King and Duke and Duchess were there (who dined to-day with Sir H. Finch, reader at the Temple, in great state); and indeed it is a most excellent play, and admirable scenes.

So home and was overtaken by Sir W. Pen in his coach, who has been this afternoon with my Lady Batten, &c., at the Theatre.

So I followed him to the Dolphin, where Sir W. Batten was, and there we sat awhile, and so home after we had made shift to fuddle Mr. Falconer of Woolwich.

So home.

25 Annotations

First Reading

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary today:

"I went to Tunbridge wells, to visite my Wife, who was there drinking the Waters."

Bob T  •  Link


I am assuming that Sam is using this word to say that they tried to get Mr. Falconer drunk.

If there was a special word for this amusing endeavor, then it must have been fairly common. I tried to think of a single word that we would use today, and couldn't come up with one.

Australian Susan  •  Link

My lady
Sam is careful not to tell Lady M of her husband's illness until he is on the mend and also when her son and heir is getting well. He does not seem to have taken care to see no-one else told her, merely expresses his surprise that she did not know. Sam seems very relaxed about this - and we have seen him agitated about his affairs aplenty - but if Lord Montagu had died, and Lord Hinchinbrook, leaving an 11 year old heir, Sam would have lost much patronage and opportunities for preferment. Or does he now feel secure enough in his own right to progress up the slippery pole of social status and much lucre coming his way??

dirk  •  Link


1: make stupid with alcohol [syn: befuddle] 2: consume alcohol [syn: drink, booze] 3: be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly [syn: confuse, throw, fox, befuddle, bedevil, confound, discombobulate]

Source: WordNet - 2.0, - 2003 Princeton University

Tom  •  Link

... and so home after we had made shift to fuddle Mr. Falconer of Woolwich. So home.

The repetition of "so home" reads as if Sam himself was a bit fuddled!

Louis  •  Link

"scenes" = stage scenery

dirk  •  Link

Tom, I prefer "discombobulated"...

john lauer  •  Link

To make shift, to contrive or manage in an exigency.
"I shall make shift to go without him." --Shak.

[They] made a shift to keep their own in Ireland. --Milton.


vicente  •  Link

Here is our young gentle man[and only 17 too...], may have not been that good a Laddie, maybe he has been kissing all the milk maids?
"...I found my Lord Hinchingbroke better and better, and the worst past...." 'Twas only in latter years, that it was found that the pretty milkmaids had perfect complexions for kissing and not fading away from the epidemic, before it dawned that inoculation could be had, [Reading the Man of Kite fame and his paper the Courant and the battle royal, in the Americas and at the fellows of London [Printer Franklin]. Just a tiny thought? Hinching brooke was known for all it's famous pasture for wenches that sat on their stools and filled the urns ....
This is one time that washing away of germs was not a good thing.
There be good germs as well as bad ones.
One should always wash after mucking out the stables.

vicente  •  Link

"fuddle" is as Dirk says, except he doth forget it begotten from our Saxon forefathers on the Rhine [ fuddlein to swindle]
discombobulated, has too many syllables, European in tone, the simpler word it should be. "sotted': [sot: it be potator in Latin drinker; then potus,a, um adj drunk]
then I like one is potted.
[ Ebrius inebriated too upscale]

Australian Susan  •  Link

No-one who is fuddled or befuddled could possibly attempt to say 'discombobulate' with any hope of accuracy!

Mary  •  Link

Milady's ignorance.

I read Sam's statement as one of satisfaction rather than one of surprise. It would appear that her entire household has taken care that she should not hear the news of Sandwich's illness, no doubt bearing in mind that it was generally considered very dangerous to shock or alarm a pregnant woman for fear of harming the baby that she was carrying. The fear that a shock, even the sight of something ugly or threatening, could damage the unborn child persisted into the 20th century in England.

The fact that Lady Sandwich is heavily pregnant at this date has probably made it easier for her household to keep her in ignorance, as she will not be going abroad as often as she would at other times.

JWB  •  Link

Anybody else think of Ernie Kovac's "Madeira, my dear?" A Fuder is German for a large beer or wine llb., like in Ratskeller, Munich.

Stolzi  •  Link

"Have some Madeira, m'dear?"

- Michael Flanders of Flanders & Swann.

JWB  •  Link

Madeira, m'dear?
Thanks, Stolzi. I only remember Kovacs singing,er..., doing it. Reco:

RSheldrake  •  Link

Pls, in this vein, consider a splendid word, "potvalient" - that is, a person emboldened by drink. A young lady who chats with a potvalient gentleman may wake up with a beard in her ear.

Stephen Walkley  •  Link

Fuddle: In Nottinghamshire / Derbyshire a fuddle is a function at which we all bring something to eat or drink - we have them at Christmas at our factory!
Had not heard the word used until moved here! Nothing to do with drunkenness

vicente  •  Link

"Fuddle: In Nottinghamshire": My guess is that at one time yer brought yer own tonic[maybe stronger , homebrewed too] waters, then sometime in the past, it became politically in- correct to besotted, and inebriation was out and conversation was in. Please investigate and ask one of the old codgers what he did in the good old days, when he went fuddling and cuddling.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"Sir H. Finch, reader at the Temple"

Sir Heneage Finch, the Solicitor-General, was treasurer of the Inner Temple, and was selected as autumn reader, when he revived the splendid festivities which had long been discontinued.
---Wheatley, 1899.

A Reader - This gentleman was selected from the utter barristers, and being elected reader, was in due course called to be a Master of the Bench. He had, during his period of office, precedence over other Masters of the Bench, and certain privileges with regard to the admission of members. He was however required to give entertainments which were of a costly character, and this he could only avoid by refusing the readership and paying a substantial fine to the house.
---The Inner Temple: Its Early History. 1896.

Finch had early secured the favour of Charles, and upon his appointment as Autumn Reader in 1661 he gave one of the most magnificent entertainments ever recorded in the Inner Temple Hall. The feast lasted several days, and was honoured on the last day by the presence of the King in person, accompanied by the Duke of York.
---The Inner and Middle Temple, H.H. Leigh Bellot, 1902.

Bill  •  Link

"so home after we had made shift to fuddle Mr. Falconer"

To SHIFT ... 5. To practice indirect methods.
SHIFT ... 3. Fraud; artifice; strategem.
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

To FUDDLE, to bib or drink till one is tipsey or drunken.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘Shift . . 5. a. An expedient necessitated by stress of circumstances; a forced measure . .

. . 6. to make (a) shift.
a. To make efforts, bestir oneself, try all means. Now dial. Also †to make busy, good, hard shift .
. . 1600 P. Holland tr. Livy Rom. Hist. ii. x. 50 Euerie man made shift for himselfe . .

b. To attain one's end by contrivance or effort; to succeed; to manage to do something. †to make shift of : to manage to secure (some result).
. . 1611 T. Middleton & T. Dekker Roaring Girle sig. F, If I could meete my enemies one by one thus, I might make pretty shift with 'em in time.
1698 J. Fryer New Acct. E.-India & Persia ix. 128 The Horse..made the best shift of all . .

c. To succeed with difficulty, to manage with effort to do something. So †to make a hard shift .
. . 1704 Clarendon's Hist. Rebellion III. xi. 136 Most of the Foot made a shift to conceal themselves . .

d. To do one's best with (inferior means), to be content with, put up with.
. . 1687 A. Lovell tr. J. de Thévenot Trav. into Levant i. 33 When they have no Spoons, they make an easie shift without them.
1733 Swift Let to Mrs. Cæsar 30 July, I cannot make shift nor bear fatigue as I used to do . . ‘


‘Fuddle, v. . . Of obscure origin; compare Dutch vod soft, slack, loose, German dialect fuddeln to swindle.
1. a. intr. To have a drinking bout; to tipple, booze. Also, to fuddle it . .
1659 D. Pell Πελαγος 116 (note) See a Captain of a ship sending for this, and the other shandy fuddle it in their cabbins . .

2. a. trans. To confuse with or as with drink, intoxicate, render tipsy.
. . 1633 May Heir i, in W. C. Hazlitt Dodsley's Sel. Coll. Old Eng. Plays (1875) XI. 523 Did you never come in half fuddled?
. . 1890 Spectator 27 Dec. 938/1 It [hypnotism] fuddles the will, in fact, but does not destroy it.’

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I walked to the Wardrobe and dined with my Lady, and there told her, of my Lord’s sickness (of which though it hath been the town-talk this fortnight, she had heard nothing) "

L&M: She was about to give birth to a child:…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence to the Opera, which begins again to-day with “The Witts,” never acted yet with scenes;"

L&M: A comedy by Davenant, first acted in 1634 and published in 1636. The cast listed in Downes (p. 21) includes Betterton as 'elder Pallatine', Underhill as Sir Morglay Thwack, and Mrs Davenport as Lady Ample. The '/opera' was the new theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields which made use of movable painted scenery: cf.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the King and Duke and Duchess were there (who dined to-day with Sir H. Finch, reader at the Temple, in great state);"

L&M: Sir Heneage Finch, Solicitor-General, was Treasurer and autumn Reader of the Inner Temple (4-17 August). The Dinner is described in Sir W. Dugdale, Origines Juridiciales (1680), pp. 157-8. The King had sent venison for it: M. H. Nicolson (ed.) Conway Letters, p. 189. The costliness of these feasts was one of the reasons for the abandonment c. 1680 of public readings: R. North, Life of . . . Guilford (1742/0, pp. 74-6; Sir W. Holdsworth, Hist. Engl. law, vi. (1924), pp. 491-2.

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